Omega in Action

Omega in Action highlights inspiring people and organizations making meaningful change. From protecting the environment to empowering women, healing veterans, and serving nonprofits, you'll find fresh perspectives, trending news, and the latest information on noteworthy events here at Omega and around the world.

Van Jones: Keynote at Design by Nature 2012

2 years 2 months ago

Globally recognized, award-winning author and pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy movement, Van Jones was named one of Time magazine's most influential people in the world. In this keynote presentation from Omega's Design by Nature conference, he discusses the politics of the green economy and why it's a lot less complicated than you might think.

Explore more from Van Jones


View More

Omega's Living Sewage Treatment Plant Featured in Yes! Magazine

2 years 3 months ago

The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) is featured in the latest issue of YES! Magazine:

"In a large greenhouse two hours north of New York City, banana trees, flowers, and other tropical plants grow amid frogs, fish, and burbling waters. Outside, bullrushes and cattails wave in the Hudson Valley breeze. Each year, more than 20,000 people travel to the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies for yoga retreats, wellness workshops, and conferences on how to live simpler, cleaner, better.

And each year, they stop in their tracks, stunned to learn that those lush gardens are actually sewage-treatment plants at work. At Omega, plants, animals, and microorganisms annually transform 5 million gallons of human feces, urine, and other waste into water rated pure enough to drink (though Omega uses it for irrigation).

'It looks like it came out of your kitchen faucet—there’s no odor, it’s perfectly clear,” says Omega’s CEO Skip Backus. 'It’s really sort of a life-changer for people.'"


Read the full article from Yes! Magazine


New York Spirit on Being Yoga

2 years 3 months ago

"The air was humid and warm, but as raindrops began to gently sprinkle down and cover us in their dew, a mild chill set in. There are certain types of experiences that, as you approach them, you know that they will change you. As 200 strangers stood in line at the Omega Institute registration kiosk, it was as though we collectively sensed that this would be one of those transformative life experiences. Some of us were students, many of us teachers, but all of us on a journey into the heart of the path of yoga...."

Read the full story

Hudson Valley Women Raise Money for Domestic Violence Shelter

2 years 4 months ago

Inspired by the global message to end violence against women and girls at Omega's recent conference Women & Power: What’s Possible, Mary Goggin, Jessica Sillins, and Noelle Adamo decided to act. They immediately organized an event to support local women facing violence in New York’s Hudson Valley, not far from Omega's Rhinebeck campus. In November, Jessica and her partner Julie Abrams hosted a fundraising celebration attended by over 50 people and raised $3,000 for local domestic violence shelter Grace Smith House.

Jessica told the enthusiastic crowd that she had been particularly moved by Women & Power faculty and Omega Women's Leadership Center Advisory Council member Hibaaq Osman. Hibaaq is Founder & CEO of Karama, an organization that connects women working to end of violence across the Middle East. She challenged American women to turn their attention to issues facing their communities. “In that moment," Jessica acknowledged, "this initiative was born.”

The organizers' goal is to keep this energy moving. They thanked guests and donors by saying: “Yes, we raised money. Yet more significant perhaps is the awareness and conversation that has begun. We are thrilled. Let's encourage one another to be bold enough to continue the conversation, and to take action for change, both within ourselves and in the world."

Learn more about Grace Smith House.

Photo: Jessica Sillins, Susan Denton, Julie Abrams, Mary Goggin, Noelle Adamo, and Sarah Urech

The Living Building Challenge: A Short Film Featuring the OCSL

2 years 4 months ago

Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) is featured in a short video titled The Living Building Challenge produced and directed by David Henderson-Hean and Todd Brooks. This inspiring short film on deep-green design was recently named a semi-finalist in the Focus Forward: Short Films, Big Ideas competition. Your vote could help this film win an Audience Favorite award.

Watch the video and cast your vote now

(Please note that voting may not be available on all mobile platforms. Your browser cookies must be enabled to vote.)

Bob Berkebile's Vision for the Future of Regenerative Housing

2 years 5 months ago

Bob Berkebile, the founding principal of BNIM Architects, brings more than 37 years of experience to the architectural profession. By combining his design and leadership skills, he has consistently created new approaches to holistic, integrated community building. He utilizes education, historic preservation, quality housing, mental health and public safety, and neighborhood conservation as tools to restore social, economic, and environmental vitality.

In this video and article for EcoHome Magazine, he shares his vision for 2020 and the future of regenerative housing. 

Elizabeth Lesser: Bozos on the Bus

2 years 5 months ago

Omega's cofounder, Elizabeth Lesser reads the excerpt "Bozos on the Bus" from her best-selling book, Broken Open, in the Ram Dass Library during Family Week at Omega Institute.

Explore more from Elizabeth Lesser


View More

Carla Goldstein to Speak on the Sacred Balance of Giving and Receiving

2 years 5 months ago

Carla Goldstein, JD, Omega chief external affairs officer and director of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center will be giving a keynote talk on November 3, 2012 at the Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s 12th Annual Women’s Symposium. This year’s theme is “It’s a Give and Take World” and Carla’s keynote, “Finding Flow: the Sacred Balance of Giving and Receiving,” will explore the importance of allowing oneself to receive, as well as to give.

Carla will be joined by an exciting lineup of speakers including Nicole Sheindlin, executive director of Her Honor Mentoring program and Dr. Michael Koch, MD and Lindsay Aarstad, RPA-C, who will discuss their recent experiences working at a clinic in Africa. The HVHC will also be honoring Chereese Jervis-Hill, President of Events to Remember, with their Community Woman of the Year Award.

The symposium is from 8:30am‑2:00pm. Yoga, chair massages, and meals are included. Registration is still open. For more information visit The Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s website.

CEO Skip Backus: The OCSL Is Built to the Highest Standard

2 years 5 months ago

Omega Institute's CEO, Skip Backus was featured in a Poughkeepsie Journal cover story and video because Omega's Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) in one of three platinum-certified buildings in New York State's Dutchess County.

The OCSL is an environmental education center and natural water reclamation facility built to meet the highest standards currently available in sustainable architecture. It is the first green building in America to achieve both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certification.

Read the full story and watch the video

John Perkins Awarded a 2012 LennonOno Grant for Peace

2 years 6 months ago

Omega teacher John Perkins (second from left), was awarded a 2012 LennonOno Grant for Peace in Reykjavik, Iceland last week. Also accepting awards from Yoko Ono (third from left) were Carol Blue Hitchens (left, accepting on behalf of her deceased husband, Christopher Hitchens), Lady Gaga, and Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of deceased peace activist Rachel Corrie.

Learn more about John Perkins

Learn more about LennonOno Grant for Peace