*

Saving the Planet One Story at a Time
menu +

Blog


Do you enjoy shopping for designer or brand name clothing, but also want to make eco-friendly shopping choices?

If you’re in Toronto next week, you can do both at Shop Sustainable: An Eco Friendly Marketplace and Clothing Swap!

The event will be hosted by Fashion Takes Action, an organization that educates consumers and the fashion industry about sustainable fashion — a phrase that may seem paradoxical given the many environmental issues involved in the creation and disposal of clothing.

Shop Sustainable will take place on November 29, 2011 from 5 pm to 9 pm. Visit the Fashion Takes Action website for details.

Joan in Centre

Speaking of sustainable clothing, did you know that the GreenHeroes t-shirt is made from recyclable materials? It’s cute and comfortable too! Check out producer Joan Prowse and our GreenHeroes posing in our sustainable t-shirts!

Also, this week GreenHeroes became an official top ten finalist in the ClimateSpark Venture Challenge! Thanks so much to our fans whose support has helped us come so far! Stand by for updates on our position. In the meantime, check out our winning proposal.

8 q

The GreenHeroes Newsletter is out! Read these stories and more:

We filmed two new Heroes for the second season at the Dew Line Concert: Climate is Culture, hosted by Cape Farewell, a great organization that brings artists and scientists together to address climate change.

We have great news on our ClimateSpark proposal and information on how you can get involved to support our upcoming programming and social media game that will encourage green action.

Note: Our ClimateSpark rating has changed since this newsletter was published.

8 q

ClimateSpark narrowed down the field to the top 20 voter-ranked projects, with CineFocus producers John Bessai and Joan Prowse’s GreenHeroes campaign a part of the pack. ClimateSpark, an initiative run by the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, probed Toronto companies for 10 great ideas to reduce the city’s climate impact. The winning idea will be supported with a hefty $500,000 in venture funding.

The GreenHeroes “Take Action” campaigns aims to transform audiences from mere viewers to involved do-ers by celebrating people like Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference, who created the NHLPA’s Carbon Neutral Challenge to which 500 players signed on to carbon off-sets. Andrew admits that the actions of 500 guys may not make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things, but their actions do reach a lot of eyeballs, inspiring people to make change in their own lives.

CineFocus plans to use the Venture Challenge funding to add a GreenHeroes “Call to Action” social media game. It’s a challenge-based game where players track reductions in energy or water use. Because the monthly savings are combined for an entire group, this encourages people to form teams and effectively spread the message of conservation.

To vote for the GreenHeroes proposal follow the ClimateSpark registration instructions on the ClimateSpark home page. Then once you’re logged in, go to the GreenHeroes Proposal (You can also find it by typing “GreenHeroes” in the search field.”) Read it, then underneath it says “Your Rating” and there are a bunch of empty stars. Click on the number of stars you think our proposal deserves and the stars will turn red. Then scroll down past the comments our proposal has so far and you’ll see empty fields to fill in your comments. After you’ve commented, click “Save” and you’re done. Remember to click save or your ratings and comments will be lost!

Last night GreenHeroes producers Joan Prowse and John Bessai attended the Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Awards ceremony.

Hosted by Greenliving Enterprises, a company that markets green programs, products and services and is a partner of GreenHeroes, the Awards honours leaders in corporate social responsibility — an initiative businesses often take to use their influence and power for social and often environmental good.

This year the Outstanding Achievement Award was added to the awards roster and given posthumously to Ray Anderson, former founder and chairman of carpet manufacturer Interface Inc. and pioneer in corporate sustainability.

We featured Ray in a GreenHeroes video last year. Watch it to learn more about his work.

Ray’s daughter was present at the event. She accepted the award on his behalf and read a touching poem called “Tomorrow’s Child.”

John and Joan were fortunate to be seated at the same table as two of the events’ award winners: Jennifer Williams, CEO of La Siembra Co-Operative, a company that offers free-trade and organic products who won a Small Business Award and the volunteer environmental team from Steam Whistle Brewing who won a Medium Business Award for Steamwhistle’s green manufacturing process.

Another of one of our GreenHeroes was honoured last night. Tom Heintzman, Co-Founder and President of Bullfrog Power, a Canadian provider of 100% green energy, won a Medium Business Award for his leadership in greening the energy marketplace in Canada.

Watch our video to learn more about Tom’s work.

For a full listing of last night’s winners and information on their work, check out the GreenLiving website.
Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to GreenLiving for a great night!

GreenHeroes is very proud that our video featuring Ric O’Barry’s journey from dolphin trainer to dolphin activist was screened at Planet in Focus on the environmental film festival’s closing night.

GreenHeroes producer Joan Prowse and Stephanie Silliker were delighted to see Ric O’Barry again. The trio first met at the Toronto premiere of The Cove, in the summer of 2009. Seeing a great story, Joan and Stephanie asked Ric if they could share it on GreenHeroes. That fall, Joan travelled to interview him at his home in Miami just as the Oscar buzz began. The Cove went on to win the Academy award for best documentary in 2010.

R to L Stephanie Silliker, Ric O'Barry and Joan Prowse

In his acceptance speech this past Sunday at Planet in Focus, Ric told the audience that he cannot protect dolphins from slaughter and captivity on his own. It requires heroic people who have protested the annual dolphin slaughter alongside him in Tajii Japan and other countries around the world.
Ric asked the audience to stop buying tickets to dolphin shows at Marineland as a simple way to help end dolphin captures. Want to help Ric’s cause in other ways? GreenHeroes will help you get started.
Planet in Focus gave out other awards on closing night to honour the best of the films featured at the festival. Read the Planet in Focus news release to learn more.

8 q

On Wednesday, GreenHeroes attended the opening night of Planet in Focus, an environmental film festival taking place in Toronto.

“Revenge of the Electric Car” was the documentary featured. It’s a heroic ride through the trials faced by executives from Nissan, GM and Tesla and an independent gas-to-electric car converter as they compete for their slice in the electric car market.

What’s particularly interesting about this documentary is that it does not take the familiar documentary road of demonizing corporations. It presents the electric car as a business with the executives seeing the lucrative potential of the market and taking big risks in a floundering economy.

You can get tickets to see “Revenge of the Electric Car” at Toronto AMC theatres. Check out the “Revenge of the Electric Car” website for American screening dates, interviews and more!

More Trees!
04Oct
2011

Continuing our celebration of Wangari Maathai‘s work to increase tree planting, GreenHeroes shares some more opportunities for you to help the cause.

Arbopals is a virtual world for children complete with social networking, gaming and more, that teaches them about trees. Arbopals also plants real trees with various fees users pay to use the site, buy merchandise, etc. The President of Arbopals, Peter O’Brien, was inspired by Wangari Maathai’s work and wrote a guest post on our blog about her and his work for Arbopals.

Courtesy of John Bessai

If you live in Ontario, you can apply for a program called My Backyard Tree to get a big tree for a cheap price and also help plant it!

Tree Canada has partnered with TD Friends of the Environment to create TD Green Streets, a forestry innovation program that helps Canadian municipalities and Aboriginal communities integrate forestry into their urban environment. Learn more about how your community or municipality can apply.

After the recent passing of champion of tree planting Wangari Maathai, many dignitaries have publicly reflected on her incredible work to bring more trees, and their social, economic and environmental impact, into the world.

“Professor Maathai’s tireless efforts earned her not only a Nobel Peace Prize and numerous prestigious awards, but the respect of millions who were inspired by her commitment to conservation, democracy, women’s empowerment, the eradication of poverty, and civic engagement.”

-Barack Obama, President of the United States

“She was determined to make our world a more peaceful, better place to live. I hope her valuable achievements will inspire other women to follow her example and take a more active role in society.”

-His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

“A globally recognized champion for human rights and women’s empowerment, Professor Maathai was a pioneer in articulating the links between human rights, poverty, environmental protection and security – for which she was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.”

– Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Photo Courtesy of Devin Lund

You can read more from these statements and others and sign the book of condolences for Wangari Maathai on the GreenBelt website.

Artists are also celebrating Wangari’s work. Actor and activist Djimon Hounsou Tweeted “The world has lost an environmental hero! We will honor your life and legacy. RIP Nobel Peace Laureate #WangariMaathai . We love you! #Africa Actress Kerry Washington Tweeted this reference to Wangari: “RIP MOTHER OF TREES”

GreenHeroes encourages you to plant a tree in Wangari’s memory. Want to do more? We will help you get started.

Photo Courtesy of Devin Lund

We are sad to announce the earth’s loss of one of her great champions. Wangari Maathai, our GreenHero who brought trees to areas in Kenya that had been environmentally degraded, died of cancer at age 71.

In the late 1970s, after hearing Kenyan women express their need for firewood, fresh drinking water and nutritious food, Wangari rallied them and said “Let’s plant trees!” She founded the Green Belt movement in Kenya that pays groups of women to plant trees. In over 30 years, 40 million trees were planted.

Her work inspired the United Nations One Billion Trees campaign, a worldwide program whose objective is to plant one billion trees per year.

In 2004, Wangari Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for her work. In developing a tree planting program, she fostered communities and showed the world how important trees really are.

For more on Wangari’s story, view our webisode on her. To learn how you can further her movement, visit our Talking Climate Change campaign we created that was inspired by her efforts.

“We created a movement that has inspired many other people, not only in Africa, but in many other parts of the world, so that many people feel ‘If she can do it, I can do it.’” – Wangari Maathai speaking to GreenHeroes

Courtesy of Lincoln O'Barry

Planet in Focus, an environmental film festival, has announced that it will give our GreenHero Ric O’Barry the festival’s 2011 International Eco Hero award for his 40 years of activism for dolphins. Ric will be present at the festival on closing night to accept this award.

The GreenHeroes video short, produced by CineFocus Canada, will introduce Ric to the audience at the gala event.

Planet in Focus is in its 12th year and will take place in Toronto from October 12-16, 2011.

Read our newsletter to learn more about a recent press conference to announce the line-up of this year’s festival and the 2011 International and Canadian Eco Hero award winners.

TOP