*

Saving the Planet One Story at a Time
menu +

Blog


Like every kid discovers, that has ever spent endless summers hiking, camping and canoeing in and around beautiful parks and freshwater lakes, a healthy appreciation and respect for the wonders of the outdoors, is rooted deep in the soul.

In fact, one of my father’s favorite stories to tell about days long past occurred on a cool summer morning when a thick fog had descended on our campsite. Apparently, dad was getting dressed and mom was fixing her hair, inside the tent, and like most four-year-olds, I darted off to explore whatever was within hands reach.

As he says he so vividly remembers, Dad stepped out of the tent to come after me when to his amazement, I had vanished in the dense, meter-high layer of fog. I was nowhere to be found. He called my name, but no answer. But suddenly, “I kind of saw this trail forming in the fog, kind of zigzagging through the trees and around the makeshift picnic table.” Apparently mom and dad got a good laugh as they let the charade go on for quite some time.

I give this background because, as we all know, every moment of awakening, or epiphany in life, is predicated upon the magical mixture of events and experiences that unfold into the uniqueness of you.

My story has always been about nature. My deepest insights into the mysteries of life came as a result of being surrounded by nature. My experiences as a child in the outdoors, no doubt anchored my life and my future deeply in the love for wild and untamed places.

About four summers ago I spent a month scrambling around the beautiful peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Most of the time, and selfishly, I was alone. Something about aloneness and nature, compliment each other so perfectly well!

Shane

At any rate, I had two separate, but very related, experiences that opened my eyes to the wonders of nature, and made me understand the importance of protecting the landscapes that, as I see it, make up the very best lecture halls in the world.

While on a solo ascent of Mt. Lefroy near Lake Louise, I suddenly found myself gripped. I was feeling a bit paralyzed by the steep 55% angle, the exposure and fact that I was…alone. I remember leaning into the mountain, my tools firmly griped in the ice and looking between my legs to Abbot Hut about 300 meters below.

Looking over my shoulder west were giant mountains in British Columbia, and to the east endless ranges of mountains all the way to the horizon. But what I was able to figure out, splayed out hugging the mountain in terror, would, I think, change my life forever.

I suddenly realized that all this fear that I was feeling, all the anxiety, was no more than a cue, an indicator to wake up, let the rest of the world disappear, and to get focused like never before. Every breath, every thought, every single part of my being and existence was about living in that moment. Out of body really…

– Shane Price, Founder of Green Circle Salons

Click here to read Part 2. Check out Shane’s webisode here.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, the smallest things, such as cutting your hair, can have a big environmental impact. Share your story of how you’re choosing the environment first and voting with your dollar by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

Shane Price is the founder of Canada’s Green Circle Salons. Shane is a forward thinker who has taken the every day experience of getting a hair cut and made it an environmental issue.

By discovering a business model around the disposal needs of the hair salon industry, Shane Price has joined the ranks of the GreenHeroes.

Green Circle Salons (GSC) is a service that provides its members with the tools to reduce their environmental impacts.

GCS puts salons on the path to becoming greener businesses, and they do it in a way that is designed to actually add additional income for the salon business while giving its customers the satisfaction that they are contributing to greening the planet.

We now begin a campaign around his innovative idea and are calling it: Hair Today, Green Tomorrow. Find out how you can act now to help Shane in his mission and be sure to watch his webisode below:

.
Remember – in the battle to save the planet, the smallest things, such as cutting your hair, can have a big environmental impact. Share your story of how you’re choosing the environment first and voting with your dollar by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!
.

The Corporation is a 2003 Canadian documentary film written by Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary is critical of the modern-day corporation considering its legal status as a class of person and evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world at large as a psychiatrist might evaluate an ordinary person.

The Corporation has been shown worldwide. Please see http://www.thecorporation.com/.  Mark Achbar shared some thoughts with GreenHeroes about Ray Anderson who appears in this award winning documentary.


By Mark Achbar

Ray Anderson first came to my attention in the mid-90s, in an article in the Globe And Mail. What struck me about him was his willingness to be bluntly self-critical about his own business’ environmental practice.

The outlook normally delivered by CEOs of billion dollar corporations in thepress is all sunny for the next quarter, constant improvement, growth, up, up, up, and do no wrong. It was rare — perhaps unique — to see a full-on “mea culpa” in the business pages of a national newspaper.

Call it counter-branding if you will; I took him at his word and was rewarded with one of the most memorable interviews of the 70 I conducted for the film.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pin8fbdGV9Y[/youtube]

World premiere of The Corporation, at midnight, at a gathering on Squamish Nation land, outside of Vancouver

Ray became a strong supporter of The Corporation, and one day hosted a big screening of the film in Boston for all kinds of progressive business and design people. Before the film snacks and drinks were served.

I was wearing my “The Corporation” T-shirt, with the devil-man-halo logo on it, and all the serving staff were wearing black t-shirts with this sentence printed on them:

“Some day people like me will be put in jail”
– Ray Anderson, CEO, Interface

I quickly took the shirt off my back and made a trade with one of the medium-sized waiters.
– Mark Achbar, Director of The Corporation

.


Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

Valerie Casey, founder and Executive Director of the Designers Accord, used her SXSWInteractive keynote last year as a call to rally the interactive community to create positive social and environmental changes based on sustainability.

This notion fits in very well with Ray Anderson’s 7th and final front on Mount Sustainability, “redesigning commerce”.

Valerie said that the interactive community will be the one to make the  biggest strides in the sustainability effort because  members of the digital community control a great deal of  the dissemination of information.

She says they are in the best position to help shape the global community into a more eco-conscious one. They are particularly influential because they are designers and communicators all in one.

The Designers Accord provides a platform for product designers and anti-consumption environmentalists to find common ground and begin tackling the problem of sustainability together. Here is a video of a few segments of Valerie’s address (the most relevant part is around the 3rd minute):

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=805-HI8Jx2I[/youtube]

Redesigning commerce is what the Designers Accord is all about.  Why not learn more about this important initiative and take on the 7th front of Ray Anderson’s Mount Sustainability.  The world needs more companies like Interface Carpets and CEOs like Ray Anderson.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

Not Far From The Tree

When a homeowner in Toronto, Canada can’t keep up with the harvest produced by their trees, some of them let “Not Far From The Tree” know and volunteers come by to pick the fruit.

The harvest is split three ways: 1/3 is offered to the tree owner, 1/3 is shared among the volunteers, and 1/3 is delivered by bicycle to be donated to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens.

This is a good example of a project that helps “sensitize stakeholders” thereby scaling the 6th face of Ray Anderson‘s Mount Sustainability.

Photo credit: NFFTT

Photo credit: NFFTT

Awareness in the community gets raised by this project while making good use of healthy food, addressing climate change with hands-on community action, and building community by sharing the urban abundance.
.
In 2010 Not Far from the tree picked nearly 20,000 lbs of fruit from 226 trees, participated in 40+ fairs, festivals, and community events across the city and ran 12 preserving workshops.Click the image to watch the video in H.264
.

On a mobile phone?

Click the image to watch the video in H.264

video

Spreading the harvest and sensitizing the community about sharing good, locally produced food. Sensitizing stakeholders, in this case, owners of urban fruit trees and agencies in need of healthy food.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

CAR SHARING

Ever dreamed of owning a fleet of cars for yourself or for your business? With car sharing companies like AutoShare and Zipcar now in existence all over North America, you can now take part in the operation of a fleet of often new and very high tech vehicles not as an owner but as a member of a pretty cool club.

You can do this and also be climbing Ray Anderson’s 5th face of Mount Sustainability which is Resource-Efficient Transportation.

If more businesses and everyday folks took advantage of the offerings of car sharing companies like these, there would inevitably be less cars on the road and less CO2 in the air.

AutoShare in Canada reports that every member of a car sharing organization saves on average about 1.2 tonnes of CO2 per year as a result of changes in their lifestyle because they are a member of their fleet.  They also say their customers often wind up choosing alternative methods of transportation such as biking or public transit because they don’t always need a car.

Here are some videos that explain how car sharing actually works.  It only takes a few minutes to learn how easy it really is. Check them out and consider tackling the 5th face of Ray Anderson’s Mount Sustainability by becoming part of the car sharing revolution!

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/10564522[/vimeo]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uux8uSRDFK0[/youtube]

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

8 q

How does a “naked” pizza help Close the Loop?

An example of “Closing the Loop”, Ray’s 4th face on Mount Sustainability are the efforts by Naked Pizza chain, started in a 500sq foot “shack” in New Orleans.

The founders designed what they call the healthiest pizza with all natural ingredients without a premium cost. Their pizza shows that local food is good for you without “getting eco” and satisfies people who may only care about how good the pizza tastes.

© Naked Pizza

Their website explains further:

“Naked means natural. Our pizza is simply an honest diversity of all-natural, whole food ingredients that taste better and are better for you…our tomato sauce is all-natural—nicely spiced and herbed, with no added sugar or citric acid.

Our cheese is 100% natural, rGBH-free, our vegetables are all-natural, no additives. Our meats are pork, chicken and beef—free of growth hormones and antibiotics…we intend to launch the world’s largest grassroots health movement.

We’re simply pointing out that all that money spent on pizza and invested in building stores, hiring people, sourcing ingredients, etc., along with the millions of farmers and suppliers and regulators — can be mobilized in a better way….”

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/9758307[/vimeo]

Using pizza as the inspiration for an innovative design of a sustainable product helps “close the loop” that Ray Anderson is talking about.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

Ray Anderson’s challenge for businesses to join him in the climb up Mount Sustainability includes a commitment to the use of renewable energy which is step 3.

Nissan Canada is an example of a company  that now powers its head office with 100 per cent locally produced renewable electricity.

They use the generators of a company called Bullfrog Power which injects renewable electricity onto the regional grid to match the amount of power the car company’s head office uses.

In the province of Ontario, Bullfrog’s electricity comes from local wind and hydro facilities that have been certified as low impact by Environment Canada. Across all of Canada, Bullfrog Power uses the collective demand of its customers to help support the development of new renewable generation.

This video explains more about how Bullfrog uses renewable energy to support the energy demands of businesses and consumers in Canada and is an example of a source people can connect with to scale Ray’s 3rd face of Mount Sustainability.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNRq3J-GrCc[/youtube]

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

The second face of Ray Anderson’s Mount Sustainability is “Benign Emissions”.

There are all sorts of attempts being made in industry to harness wind and solar energy to save money and reduce harmful emissions.

For Ray Anderson, this challenge was met head on at InterfaceFLOR. Where can this lead?

It is intriguing to think of how processes that would seem obsolete in today’s world, such as wind power for shipping, could be re-thought so that this second face of Mount Sustainability can be scaled.

KITE POWER

Photo credit: Tidewater Muse (Flickr)

Can you think of other ideas for how to make emissions benign where you work? Is it possible to incorporate wind or solar energy into the day to day operations of your workplace? How about harnessing a kite someday to your shipment of goods overseas!

Watch this video which shows how a large kite attached to an ocean going vessel improves performance while producing fewer emissions.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyLjISR6XQQ[/youtube]

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

Ray Anderson has 7 stages to climb what he calls Mount Sustainability.

he first one of these is thinking about eliminating waste at work. This can be done more easily than you think.  In Canada there is an annual campaign called Waste Reduction Week which has some pretty funny and very short videos featuring Oscar the Grouch to help inspire us.

Who better to lead us in the battle against garbage?  Waste Reduction Week isn’t until October of this year (Oct. 17-23, 2011), but the 2 PSAs for this annual campaign are amusing if you are a fan of Oscar.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjienlArV18[/youtube]

Think of Oscar the next time you need to throw out something at work rather than using a re-usable container.  Taking reusable containers to work just for your sandwiches would be a huge step for anyone who currently wraps their lunch with disposable plastic.

Start the climb on Mount Sustainability. Try to bring less garbage to your workplace.  It might make Oscar mad, but he is always in a bad mood!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmgAlc2uLPc[/youtube]

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, scale the sustainability mountain. Share your story of how you’re scaling the sustainability mountain by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

TOP