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Know another Oil Changer who would make a Great GreenHero?

After seeing An Inconvenient Truth, Leilani was so moved by the film’s message that she posted to her blog that she had seen the movie. That note got posted on a NASCAR forum and created a storm of letters and discussion. Though most comments were negative, she realized she had managed to get the racing sector talking about climate change. With that, she was on her way.

Like Leilani, are you, or someone you know, working in a particularly polluting industry, yet are determined to do something to offset or lessen your impact on the environment?

Leilani’s desire to spread the word has always been strong:

“I felt a responsibility to do something about the impact I have on the environment because of my racing career. If I can get one person to think twice about their impact on the earth and start recycling and conserving energy, then it’s working.”

Sound like something you or your buddy might say? Then enter our contest for a chance to win a GreenHeroes prize and be featured on our contest website. You may even end up having your story told on TVO!

Check out last year’s winner: Mary Gorman! Winners this year will be announced at the Green Living Show, in April 2012.


You can watch Leilani’s own GreenHero profile video to learn more about her inspiring work and how she’s changing her life to reduce her carbon footprint.

To learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint and change the way you live, visit our Oil Changers campaign page. Don’t forget to leave a comment!

To read more about Leilani’s work, visit her Carbon Free Girl site.

Follow Leilani on Twitter, or become her fan on Facebook.

Donate to the National Wildlife Federation to help wildlife affected by the BP oil spill.

Are you working in a particularly polluting industry? Are you feeling guilty about the fossil fuel and oil you are emitting as a result? Like Leilani, are you doing something to offset or lessen this negative impact on the environment? Share your Oil Changer story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest.


Your music, at work for water

By Allie Kosela

When GreenHeroes approached me asking to do a guest post for the Take Action blog the first “action” that came to mind is probably the most fun thing you can do for the environment: listen to music.  Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has started a new groundbreaking project called Swim Drink Fish Music where water advocates and the arts community connect to support local Waterkeepers.

Musicians, like fellow GreenHeroes Gord Downie and Sarah Harmer, have a strong connection to environmental issues.  In fact, if you look at the arts community as a whole, you’re likely to find that many painters, writers, poets, musicians and dancers share a love for the environment.

We think like-minded people should connect more often!  Swim Drink Fish Music (#SDFM) was launched for you to connect you to your waterbody and to the musicians who are working with Waterkeeper groups to protect it.  The online version of SDFM launched in June 2009 and continues to grow thanks to our amazing supporters.  There is no easier way to take action and help protect your water than joining Swim Drink Fish Music.

Thanks to GreenHeroes, you have an exclusive chance to take action.  The first 10 people to email us at hello@swimdrinkfishmusic.com will get a complimentary subscription to Swim Drink Fish Music!

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. President of Waterkeeper Alliance

Robert F Kennedy in IL

Named one of Time Magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has used his legal expertise to tirelessly defend the health of natural water resources the globe over. Just like our GreenHero Mark Mattson, Mr. Kennedy shows us that people of any profession can make a contribution to saving our planet.

With an impressive list of credentials including a stint as senior attorney for the National Resources Defense Council and Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, a long-running radio show on Air America and a distinguished career as a law professor at Pace University where he teaches Environmental Litigation, Mr. Kennedy is tireless in his efforts to raise awareness about this cause. Mr. Kennedy has long had a passion for water, he is an accomplished white water rafter and kayaker and often leads excursions through Canada and South America.

It was Mr. Kennedy’s ability that saw Riverkeeper prevail in the battle to save the Hudson River, soon after, the more than 190 Waterkeeper Alliance members that we know today sprung up all over the world.  It is amazing what one victory can inspire.

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This past January, Mark Mattson of Lake Ontario Waterkeepers sounded off about the proposed Darlington nuclear facility. Take a look below and see what he had to say in opposition to this proposed construction:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZmTJ7pTrws

Since that time, nuclear power has become a much-discussed issue, near Darlington, but also internationally. Read about what Lake Ontario Waterkeeps had to say in their newsletter of late March:

From the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper newsletter, March 2011:

“The first new nuclear power plant to be built in Canada in decades is slated for review beginning next Monday.

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, other NGOs, members of the nuclear industry, and government departments have been preparing for the hearing for years. Waterkeeper’s research focuses on cooling water systems and impacts on fish habitat: the kinds of impacts a nuclear power plant has on the environment during its day-to-day operations.

OPG’s written proposition is so vague and so incomplete that it is virtually impossible to predict all of the environmental impacts of the new Darlington Nuclear Power Plant. OPG does not yet know, for example, which type of reactor or cooling water system it will build.

Waterkeeper’s experts have identified a lengthy list of decisions, information, and data that are not included in OPG’s plan. On the first day of the hearing, Waterkeeper will ask the review panel if the hearing can continue without this important information. If the hearing does proceed as scheduled, we will present our scientific analysis on Monday, March 28, 2011.

Numerous media reports speculate that recent events in Japan may dampen enthusiasm for nuclear power. We expect that intervenors and media will be asking questions about the future of nuclear power in Canada and the potential risks it poses. Concerns about safety and emergency preparedness will likely be foremost in many people’s minds as the Joint Review Panel convenes Canada’s first environmental assessment hearing of a new nuclear power plant. ”

This Site- http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/16101 allows you to download an interview with Mark Mattson from their “Healing the Earth” series. This half-hour interview sees Mark explaining why our lakes are on the verge of collapse. He also talks about the insanity of bottling water, of industrial and urban growth, and the tools citizens have to stop this.

Mark Mattson has used his background in criminal law to successfully run Lake Ontario Waterkeepers beginning in 2001. Their goal is to promote “Swim-able, Drinkable and Fishable Water”. Since then, he has gained a reputation as a dedicated environmental warrior who aims to bring meaning and force to environmental laws everywhere.

By making use of his legal skills and background, Mark has brought much needed attention to Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights, has represented the public in both a Provincial and Federal capacity and appeared on behalf of clients before the International Water Tribunal in Amsterdam. Mark is also the proud founder of the volunteer-based Environmental Bureau of Investigation, dedicated to identifying and prosecuting environmental offenders.

He is a great example of how any skill set, coupled with the right amount of passion and dedication, can be used to help the environment and make a real difference. Mark works in conjunction with others who use their skills to raise environmental awareness and provoke action. He has worked with some of our own GreenHero eco-artists such as Bruce Cockburn, Sarah Harmer and Gord Downie. Mark has also worked with hit-maker Broken Social Scene along with many more well-known names through Waterkeeper’s Swim, Drink, Fish Music project.

The Oceanic Preservation Society

Founded in 2005 by marine enthusiast Louie Psihoyos, The Colorado based Oceanic Preservation Society’s sole mission is to motivate people to help protect and sustain our oceans. Like GreeenHeroes, OPS uses film, images and media as a medium from which to motivate people into eco-action. OPS is the creator of Ric O’Barry‘s Oscar winning documentary The Cove. This film has won more than 70 awards worldwide and inspired many people to act to protect the earth’s oceans and its inhabitants, especially dolphins.

OPS is currently working on a new documentary entitled Signing Planet which focuses on the mass extinction of oceanic species. This alarming trend is coupled with raising levels of toxins in the see and wide-spread destruction of coral reefs. Reefs are large indicators for the overall health of a body of water and if they begin to disappear, the consequences could be far-reaching. Through this film, OPS is aiming to once agin spread the word about the danger our oceans face.

You can do your part, even in your everyday chores. Fishonline,org is a great tool for determining how to shop and consume fish and seafood in a responsible, sustainable manner. Brought to you by The Marine Conservation Society, this group works toward the same goals of preserving our oceanic resources. They make it easy for you to help, so make this your first step!

When Ric O’Barry was denied the right to film in Japan, to tell the world about the slaughter of thousands of innocent dolphins, he didn’t let that stop him. He kept going and moved underground-or rather, underwater. It was 41 years ago this past Earth Day that Ric experienced a life-changing moment that began his years of dedication to the cause of preserving and protecting dolphins and their habitat.
Under cover of darkness and under threat of incarceration, divers from The Oceanic Preservation Society, Louie Psihoyos (director of The Cove) and Ric, planted equipment that captured the harrowing sight and sounds of innocent dolphins being killed in alarming numbers. By planting inventively customized cameras beneath the waterline, they were able to capture footage to make the awareness-raising The Cove. This film has been seen all over the world and has affected massive changes for the better. Documentaries have this power, as the outspoken filmmaker and director of the well-known Sur said:
the important thing was not the film itself but that which the film provoked.”
—Fernando Solanas
Here are just some of the things that the film The Cove managed to provoke:
-The cove in Taiji, Japan is no longer a secret.
-Previously, the film was banned in Japan, now it has been seen by hundreds of people within Japan.
-It helped fight off a proposal at the International Whaling Commission to lift the ban on whale hunting.
-Soloman Islands tribes agreed to end hundreds of years of dolphin hunting. NO DOLPHINS HAVE BEEN KILLED there in the past year for the first time in 450 years!
-Since The Cove the sale of dolphin meat within Japan was down 30%.
-Read more HERE for what other changes this film has affected.

Tomorrow is Earth Day! We want to know what you are doing to save the planet.

GreenHereos are everywhere; you could be our Earth Day GreenHero, just tell us what you’ve done on a past Earth Day and why the earth is so important to you.

What made you take action?

How have you showed the world that you were a GreenHero?

What is your story that is helping to save the planet?

Just leave us your entry in our comment section below and our director, producer and team of Green bloggers will choose choose a winner

The Greenest, most heroic story wins a GreenHeroes prize.

This Sunday at the Green Living Show, Green Heroes announced their new winner, Mary Gorman. Driven by her love for the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Mary has fought to prevent oil and gas development in the area, after the Canada-Nova Scotia Petroleum Board issued two leases for oil and gas development on both sides of Cape Breton Island.

From left to right: Gretchen Fitzgerald, Sierra Club of Canada, Jason Priestley, Mary Gorman, Save Our Seas and Shores Coalition. Photo Credit: Ruby Tree Film

Mary’s 12 year battle to protect the thousands of marine species in the Gulf and the Acadian, Gaelic and Aboriginal communities that surround it has required every ounce of her passion and dedication to the cause. She has involved fishermen, First Nations leaders,  several environmental organizations and more recently public figures like Jason Priestley to bring awareness and protect the Gulph. Taking the BP Oil spill into account, we must be aware of the threat that this might represent for our land.

Despite obstacles, Mary has managed to get the two shoreline leases for offshore oil and gas at Cape Breton withdrawn. As a Grand Prize winner, Mary and her drive to protect the Gulf of St. Lawrence will be featured on the next season of TVO’s Green Heroes series. When called to the stage, a truly passionate voice took over the mic, urging us all to take a look at the situation and join her cause for the protection of our country’s environment. Mary’s heart-felt gratitude and unwavering determination were written all over her words.

GreenHeroes is participating at The Green Living Show this weekend
April 15-17 at The Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. This is the largest consumer
show in Canada, attracting over 25,000 visitors each year. There are hundreds of
other exhibitors to see, after you’ve come by GreenHereos of course. So come learn
about easy, workable, and enjoyable solutions to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

We will be at our booth (#337) Friday the 15th (10 a.m.-10 p.m.), Saturday the
16th (10 a.m.- 10 p.m.), and Sunday the 17th (10.am. -6 p.m.) along with some
of our very own GreenHeroes. You can drop by and Nominate a GreenHero in
our ‘Director’s Corner’, tell us who you know that is making a difference.

Watch our webisodes on the main screen or attend some of the many other
great events. Our own GreenHero Emily Hunter will be there speaking at the
youth forum Friday at 11:30. From 1-2 p.m. she will be in our booth greeting
people and signing copies of her new book “The Next Eco-Warriors”.

We will be announcing our next GreenHero contest winner on stage! Come
hear the announcement live Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and find out who our champion
GreenHeroes is as selected by our jury members and who will appear in our next
season of GreenHeroes webisodes.

Watch GreenHeroes on TVO Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Or see video profiles of our 24 heroes at our website at www.greenheroes.tv

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