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Last year we kept you up-to-speed on our status in the ClimateSpark Venture Challenge, a funding competition to support big green ideas in Toronto, where CineFocus, the production company behind GreenHeroes, is based.

We also showed our viewers how to support us. And support us they did! GreenHeroes became a top 10 ClimateSpark finalist. In the final stage of the competition last week, we pitched our social media game to ClimateSpark investors. The game is in the early stages of development and, like the Take Action campaign on our website, will transform our viewers into “doers” by engaging them in green actions that will reduce carbon emissions.

We’d like to give a big thank you to ClimateSpark for providing us with this opportunity and we’re very excited to attend the ClimateSpark Launch Gala. It will be a great opportunity to meet people active in generating and financing green ideas and celebrate the winners of the Toronto Community Foundation’s Green Innovation Awards who will be announced at the event. The ClimateSpark Launch Gala is on February 7.

We’d also like to thank our partner ThingTank Lab for dedicating an Idea Jam (a type of focus group run by the organization) to GreenHeroes to help us prepare for our presentation to investors. Participants gave us feedback on a dry run of our pitch and shared ideas about how to optimize the game’s potential to bring about green change. The group was very enthusiastic and we had a lot of fun.

Idea Jam participants brainstorm. Photo credit: Marie-Eve Belanger, ThingTank Lab http://thingtank.ca

We will let you know when the results of the ClimateSpark Venture Challenge are in!

U.S President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline application yesterday. Here is what some of our GreenHeroes have said about the US government’s decision:

Tzeporah Tzeporah Berman: “Psst…Minister Oliver…we’re winning. State dept just rejected Keystone XL pipeline #Tarsands #cndpol #climate”

EcoHuntress Emily Hunter “Victory – Obama Administration to reject Tar Sands pipeline today at 3pm – huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/18/key…

waterkeepermark Mark Mattson “Wish Canada was as committed to democratic decision making. Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline Permit motherjones.com/blue-marble/20… @motherjones

StuartHickox Stuart Hickox “Today was a bad day for me to have used the word keystone in a pitch, especially as a Canadian. #keystone #marketing #energy

GreenHeroes will keep you updated on both the Keystone and Northern Gateway developments.

Check out our pages on Tzeporah Berman, Emily Hunter, Mark Mattson and Stuart Hickox to learn more about their causes.

What do you think of the US government’s delay of the Keystone pipeline? Let us know in a comment or send us a Tweet at @GreenHeroesTV.

GreenHeroes has been following the developments in the debate over the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline expansion that would go from Alberta to British Columbia.

First Nations groups such as the Gitxsan and the Haisla have been particularly vocal in their opposition to it because of the the threats to their environment and culture. Fishing will not be possible in the streams affected that the groups rely on. The Haisla warn that an oil spill would be catastrophic to their community.

Clayton Thomas-Muller, one of our GreenHeroes, is a Tar Sands Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental network. Watch our video to hear him talk about the environmental racism faced by indigenous communities and its impact on their health and culture.

Would you like to have a voice in the oil sands debate? Visit our campaign Clayton inspired us to create to get people involved.

Have you made any New Years resolutions this year? Are you skeptical that your actions could make a difference for the environment?

To inspire New Years Resolutions, this January GreenHeroes is featuring the work of iconic primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall and former marketing executive Stuart Hickox, two Heroes who have dedicated their careers to not only helping the environment, but showing individuals how they can help too!

Up first on our home page is Jane Goodall who travels the world sharing her message. Check out our Jane Goodall webisode to learn more about her work, including her program Roots and Shoots that engages youth in green action.

In very cool news, Disneynature, the organization that brings together filmmakers to tell stories about wildlife, has partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute on Disney’s upcoming True-Life Adventure film release Chimpanzee, a story about a chimp named Oscar and his adventures in the forest with his family.

Go see Chimpanzee during its opening week and Disney will make a donation to the Jane Goodall Institute! Chimpanzee will hit theatres in North America on April 20, 2012.

GreenHero Tzeporah Berman, who we are currently featuring on our home page, recently wrote an Opinion piece for the Globe and Mail from Durban, South Africa where she was attending the United Nations climate change negotiations.

Tzeporah praises the advancements made in a “cleaner, safer and more stable economy.” She also criticizes Canada’s loyalty to oil and reminds us of the urgent need to act on climate change.

As you can see in her piece, Tzeporah is a passionate writer. If you’d like to read more of her writing, check out her recently released first book This Crazy Time.

Tzeporah Berman

Check out our latest newsletter to see Tzeporah’s campaign and our retrospective post on the work of our Heroes’ work in 2011!

Also, if you haven’t done so already, please fill out the CineFocus online survey to help this production company enhance its productions and understand how online activities can lead to participation in environmental initiatives. The deadline for completing the survey is January 7, 2012!

GreenHero Leilani Munter uses Youtube and other social media to share information about environmental issues she fights for like stopping the dolphin hunt in Japan and making clean energy accessible and appealing.

Tapping into the power of film, a power we know all too well at GreenHeroes, Leilani has posted many great videos, making at least some of them herself, on her Youtube Channel about her work on these issues.

You may expect that a person as popular and famous as Leilani Munter may put herself front and centre of her videos, but she doesn’t, if she is present in the video at all. Her focus is completely on the issues. They are emotional videos, as you can tell by the music and and images. This one is a good example, depicting her trip to Japan last year to try to end the annual dolphin slaughter there.

Leilani Munter also shares her message on Twitter.

Last week in the GreenHeroes Newsletter, we told you about race car driver and GreenHero Leilani Munter’s latest environmental actions: she helped illuminate the Empire State Building for awareness about the dolphin hunt and is preparing an eco-education program to share on the race track next year.

Among her many environmental commitments, she is an advocate for clean energy, electric cars and more, as you will see in our webisode on her. You can also read this great guest post Leilani wrote for our blog last year about why turning away from oil is necessary and doable.

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Recycle fashion. Save money. Help the environment. Look fabulous!

You can do all of this at once, as GreenHeroes learned first hand at the Shop Sustainable event in Toronto we told you about recently, a fashion swap and green marketplace hosted by Fashion Takes Action (FTA).

Shoppers swapped designer clothing at the event, choosing from hundreds of items FTA had collected to reduce the disposal of unwanted clothing and the demand for clothing manufacturing, a process that is generally hard on the environment.

They also browsed through the green marketplace where vendors sold everything from shoes with tire soles to necklaces made from previously owned beads.

Live Green Toronto and Ethical Deal, companies that provide consumers with resources and discounts to green companies to encourage green buying practices, were also present to inform attendees about their services and help those interested sign-up.

FTA held Shop Sustainable to make green choices accessible and appealing.

“Everybody wears clothes,” said FTA program director Sarah Kear about the huge potential greening the clothing market has to reduce our impact on the environment.

But sustainable fashion isn’t just about buying practices; it’s about cleaning, too.

That’s why Fashion Takes Action launched Resize Fashion’s Footprint at the event, an online pledge and education tool to help consumers make green changes to their water, detergent and electric use when they wash their clothes. Take the pledge today!

Visit the Shop Sustainable page to check out the vendors, sponsors and activities from the event!

More GreenHeroes stories about Fashion Takes Action and sustainable fashion are coming soon!

Browsing at Shop Sustainable - Photo Credit Emily Hunter

Browsing at Shop Sustainable - Photo Credit Emily Hunter

GreenHeroes recently got a taste of the wonderful work of the Organic Council of Ontario (OCO), one of our partners, at the organization’s recent Organic Dinner and Jazz night.

The event celebrated the sustainability and deliciousness of organic food with a four course, fully organic meal with organic beer and organic wine. But it wasn’t all about eating.

The keynote speaker of the event was Dr. Ralph Martin, professor and Loblaw Chair of the Sustainable Food Production program at the University of Guelph, who tackled misperceptions that organic is unsustainable in his speech to the guests.

During the dinner OCO gave the guests a preview of some videos it has co-developed to introduce organic farming and raise awareness about why it is good for the environment, the economy and for health. Here is one of them!

The event raised nearly $5000 for the Organic Council of Ontario. Thank you, OCO, for a great night.

OCO is looking for nominations for the 2012 Organic Awards!

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CineFocus Canada, a Toronto based TV production company of arts and social issue documentaries and new media productions, wants to hear from you! They have created this short survey to understand how on-line activities can be used to enhance participation in real world initiatives around improving the environment.

We hope you will take the five minutes to complete the anonymous survey so CineFocus can continue to enhance their productions and deliver them in ways that are most relevant to you.

There is no deadline for doing this, but we suggest taking the time now, so as to get your feedback as quickly as possible.

Should you have any questions, please email CineFocus Canada directly at mail@cinefocus.com. Although anonymous, you can leave your email address so CineFocus can contact you to participate further.

The first completed survey we receive gets a free GreenHeroes t-shirt!

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