• Dallas Young Sierrans to host kickoff March 27 • Irving-based group puts marine animal welfare in the spotlight • Tarrant County vegan chef markets T-shirts based on SNL spoof



Calling all eco-minded young adults who love the outdoors. The Dallas Young Sierrans, an offshoot of the Dallas Sierra Club, aims to bring the under-40 set together for outdoor and environmental activities. The club is hosting its 2013 kickoff on March 27 at 7:30 pm at The Hacienda restaurant, 2326 North Henderson Ave. in Dallas. 

According to club leader Deborah Nixon, activity in the group had waned after its former leader aged out. Nixon was enlisted to take over in January and hopes to revive the club in the coming year. So far, about 200 people have expressed interest in jump-starting the club. Activities in the works include hikes, kayaking, organic farm tours and conservation-related events. 

“I want to cover the whole gamut,” said Nixon. For more information, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dallas-Young-Sierrans/28324083442


Irving resident Brian Lochlaer has a soft spot for marine animals. Since 2011, Lochlaer has brought attention to the worldwide seal slaughter as an organizer for a group called Harp Seals DFW. However, recently, he decided to broaden his outreach to include other ocean creatures by launching Friends of George and Gracie to promote a range of marine animal welfare issues. 

The group’s name comes from a Star Trek movie where the Enterprise crew travels back in time on a conservation mission. They retrieve two humpback whales named George and Gracie to save the species that goes extinct in the future. Lochlaer, an avid Trekkie, said he hopes the name will appeal to other science fiction fans and may even set up a booth at the next sci-fi fair. 

“We need to figure out ways to get these messages out into the mainstream,” said the 40-year-old health care professional. “I’ve been doing Earth Day events and they’re great, but to a certain extent I'm preaching to the choir.”  

This week, FOGG will host its first event with a film screening of “A Fall From Freedom” on March 28 at 7:30 pm at the Lakewood Theater in Dallas. The documentary exposes the captive whale and dolphin business. Dr. Naomi Rose, a marine biologist featured in the film, will be hand to answer questions following the movie. 

Lochlaer said he believes many atrocities could be stopped if more people were aware of them. “My overriding mission is to find ways to make people think about these things.”

For more information, see http://www.foggearth.org.


A local chef is capitalizing on a Saturday Night Live sensation. Earlier this month, SNL host Justin Timberlakebrought veganism to the masses when the pop star dressed up as giant piece of tofu and sang veganized versions of Top 40 hits. In the skit, as a street promoter, Timberlake urged passersby to “Come on Down to Veganville.” The video went viral and inspired Regina Wieland, a personal vegan chef based in Hurst, to join in the fun. 

After the show aired March 9th, Wieland, the owner of The Passionate Vegan Chef, and her husband got on their computer and designed a companion line of T-shirts. By Wednesday after the sketch appeared, the shirts were for sale on their website. Word quickly spread and by the end of the week, they were getting orders from across the U.S. PETA even blogged about it. 

Wieland, who became a vegan five years ago after being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, is excited to promote the health benefits of a plant-based diet. She said while the interest in plant-based fare is growing, there’s still a gap in the local restaurant scene. A former restaurant manager, her dream is to open a vegan bakery and cafe or food truck in Northeast Tarrant County. 

“I think there’s a big demand for vegan food,” she said. “It’s so much healthier for you.”

Watch the SNL Veganville skit on Youtube, just search veganville .    Buy the T-shirt:http://passionatevegan.com/pb/wp_a1d0c3e0/wp_a1d0c3e0.html 

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Julie Thibodeaux covers environmental issues, green topics and sustainable living for Green Source DFW. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Send your green bulletin items to[email protected]. Follow us at Facebook/GreenSourceDFW.co