10 Ted Talks to Celebrate Earth Day

10 Ted Talks to celebrate Earth day

Hosted in Las Vegas, TEDxFremontEastDistrict brought us over a dozen inspiring talks and performances on climate change.
Check out our favorites for Earth Day!

Jennifer Inaba

Is mindfulness out of fashion?

Behind the glitz and glamor of runways and red carpets, are troubling truths about production, manufacturing and labor practices within the fashion industry. In order to support a vicious cycle of overproduction and overconsumption, the environment and garment workers around the globe suffer. Government regulation, in the form of legislation such as the FABRIC Act, and increased transparency throughout the supply chain, are two frequently cited tactics to drive the fashion industry toward a more sustainable future. But what about what we can control within ourselves? With a specific focus on the fashion industry, this talk centers on the environmental and social impacts of consumerism and how the practice of mindfulness can help break this cycle of overconsumption — all while providing the additional value of reconnecting with nature.

Cheyenne Kyle

How localizing our food systems can help save the world

If we are to give future generations a fighting chance and change the trajectory of human life on this planet, a good starting place is localizing our food systems. In this talk, Cheyenne Kyle explains how a localized food system can increase access and affordability in food-insecure neighborhoods, reduce harmful emissions by limiting food travel time, and turn the overabundance of carbon in our atmosphere into usable products for the plants that sustain us. While this can take many forms, Cheyenne shares that the most practical and regenerative method in her opinion is through community farming. Traditional farming in urban areas allows people to reconnect with nature and develop a deeper sense of why we must do everything we can to protect it. As it stands industrial agriculture has become one of the most destructive human activities on the planet but what if we could change that legacy? What if production and restoration could walk hand in hand and we could heal our world with a handful of seeds?

Alex Harper

Our Urban Oasis

Alex Harper, an ecologist, shares his depth of knowledge and weaves several large concepts and community actions into this educational and inspiring talk. He details water shortages, drought’s effects on the Mojave Desert, and how wildlife such as migratory birds are becoming more dependent on metro areas for habitat and water. He explains what a heat island is, and how there is a connection between heat and a lack of tree or plant density. This talk argues that planting drought-tolerant and native plants best suited for the longer term is a key solution to curtail the effects of heat islands. By planting trees that mitigate the heat island effect that are drought-tolerant, we are also creating habitat for birds and pollinators. This holistic conservation strategy addresses several problems that people often think are independent of each other. He also shares how mindful attention in nature is critical, to our mental health. Time in nature lowers stress levels, and communities with access to nature demonstrate lower levels of anxiety and depression, drops in crime and abuse decrease, and school performance increases. Who wouldn’t want that?

Alexa Aispuro-Loaiza

Better together: En Comunidad We Are Stronger

We must come together to achieve justice for our people. In this talk, Alexa, a Digital Organizer for Chispa Nevada identifies environmental justice issues in the community and shares how making a plan, taking action together, and holding elected officials and people of power accountable leads us to win the fight.

Ray Delahanty

Living Car-Free in Vegas & Other Questionable Life Choices

Ray Delahanty focuses on cities and transportation with an eye toward sustainable, low-impact living and travel. He shares how his background as a transportation planner and project manager brought him to live a car-free life in Las Vegas. He covers why someone from one of the US’ most famously forward-thinking cities in terms of transportation and land use (Portland Oregon) would move to Vegas and how the “sunk cost” of car ownership leads to unnecessary travel, fuel consumption, and emissions. He shares the challenges, successes, and abject failures of his car-free experience so far and why we must reduce internal combustion engine vehicle travel.

Mauricia Baca

Where compassion, climate change, and green energy meet

How do we position humans to thrive alongside nature? Where do we find the compassion to ensure that the green energy buildout does not sacrifice what the biodiversity that creates wonder and beauty in places such as Nevada? At the same time, how do we ensure that we do not lose sight of the people who are most vulnerable and often most affected? Mauricia Baca, State Director for the Nevada Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, shares her vision of a future where compassion and empathy for nature and humans is interwoven.

Ashley Hemmers

The Desert has a Memory

Ashley Hemmers, a member of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, illuminates not just an indigenous voice, but a Mojave voice, and emphasizes the importance of public lands and wilderness in Southern Nevada. Ashley’s Tribe’s original name, Pipa Aha Macav, means people of the river. Her reservation spans the southern tip of Clark County, Nevada; Mohave County, AZ, and San Bernardino County, California.

Dr. Melissa Giovanni

Let Your Stories Flow Like a River

Time in nature reminds us to slow down, breathe deeply, and reconnect with an older sense of what it means to be human. Wild spaces are not to be conquered but respected. Nature will always serve up a dish of humility when we most need it. Our modern lives have drawn us away from that primal connection. How can we get it back?

Sarah Park

How to mobilize youth to combat climate change

Sarah Park, a senior in high school, addresses the need for a comprehensive public transportation and freight system to combat climate change. Young voters and youth have shown that climate change is an important issue to them — and one that matters in the polls. So, how can we physically transport (mobilize) youth in an eco-friendly manner and make climate change a large enough issue to mobilize them to take action? This speech will address just that.

Peter Gower

Smart-from-the-Start Climate Resilience

Fundamentally, climate mitigation cannot come at the expense of biodiversity, access to outdoor recreation, or exacerbate environmental justice issues in communities. We must find and prioritize places with the least potential impacts and people and nature. We must engage all partners to understand the issues and we must establish the policy framework and prioritize investments to build climate mitigation infrastructure in places that avoid the need to convert habitat and open space to industrial uses. Avoiding conversion maintains the functionality of those areas so they can be resilient to climate change while continuing to provide the ecosystem services people need to also be resilient. Planning, partnerships, and prioritization are key principles of smart-from-the-start that are shared in this talk by Peter Gower, Strategy Director for Energy, Infrastructure, and Land Use of the Nevada Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Smart-from-the-start means greater resilience in the future.

BONUS: Check out these four amazing literary artists with purpose behind their prose

Vanessa Latrice Williams

The Overlooked Beauty

Born and raised in California, Vanessa never saw Las Vegas as a place she’d ever call home. She always thought Las Vegas is only about partying, drinking, food, and entertainment. Yet, what she discovered is that the real beauty is beyond the neon lights and is missed by so many people.

Tanna Marie

What the future holds

What will be left in the future if we choose to ignore what is currently happening? Singer Tanna Marie performs a thought-evoking song. Tanna Marie is a literary artist born and raised in Las Vegas, NV.

Jesus Solis-Leon

Nature: Growth Beyond our People

This performance encompasses three poems touching on the themes of water scarcity, the heat island effect, and climate justice, from the perspective of a Las Vegas-raised individual with an educational background in Environmental Science.


Desert Flowers

Desert Flowers by Ms.AyeVee is a poem that sheds light on the importance and inspiration of the Southern Nevada desert. This piece highlights the resiliency of desert plants and by extension desert people. With 1000s of miles of desert lost each year to new energy initiatives, Ms.AyeVee reminds us that “the desert is full of flowers if you know where to look/nestled in tiny pockets of shade/existing in barren landscapes” and just like the miracle of a flower growing in the desert, we all can thrive and we all can grow.

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