*

Saving the Planet One Story at a Time
menu +

Blog


Today, as Green Heroes.tv celebrates our 6th anniversary, we honour musician and water protector, Gord Downie on tour with his band The Tragically Hip. Media articles and reports cover his musical legacy, but haven’t mentioned his activism and love of the lake. This led to stopping an environmental heavy hitter from burning tires as an alternate fuel source on the shores of Lake Ontario, just down the road from the band’s recording studio in Bath Ontario. Gord joined forces with the local community and the environmental organization, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, and became co-applicant on a case that led to changing how permits for potentially unsafe environmental practices are approved in Ontario.

“I feel more a citizen of Lake Ontario than I do of anywhere else.” Gord told us.

His love of the lake came early, growing up in Kingston Ontario, a waterfront city located at the eastern end of the lake near the start of the St. Lawrence River. But “with time and distance” Gord found he had “lost his connection with the lake” until he heard a speech by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. whose work on the Hudson River spawned the global Waterkeeper Alliance.

Gord said it was an empowering moment when he heard that “the lake belongs to us. It’s in the public trust. In an era when everything is owned and staked out, that really moved me.”

Watch our profile of Gord as he tells what it took to achieve victory against a large multinational and, for a more in-depth look, watch our TV episode, In My Backyard, produced in association with TVO.

The CBC carries the Hip’s hometown show in Kingston, Ont., live on its television, radio and online platforms on Aug. 20 starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. While it will be a moving event, we’ll remember Gord best for literally putting his name on the line to achieve environmental justice for the lake he loves so much.

8 q

Green Heroes had the chance to briefly interview Danny Michel at the Drake Hotel, on David Suzuki’s Birthday Party (March 20th).

Hundreds of artists submitted work for David Suzuki’s Playlist for the Planet, and Danny’s song: “Feather, Fur and Fin” was a winner. His performance was filled with extremely rhythmic melodies and the seamless interaction of a broad range of instruments. ‘Feather, Fur and Fin’ was written by Danny as a response to the way industrialization has destroyed so much land, which he observed while living just outside the city.

To watch the stop motion official video of the song, follow this link: ‘Feather, Fur and Fin’.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_gGz12rmGs[/youtube]

Sarah Harmer, the GreenHero from our ‘In My Backyard’ campaign and one of our favourite Canadian Green musicians has been busy.

This year, Sarah’s album Oh Little Fire is nominated for 3 Juno Awards; Adult Alternative Album of the Year, Producer of the Year and Recording Engineer of the Year.

In one of our previous webisodes, we profiled Sarah’s tireless work to raise awareness about the problems facing the Niagara Escarpment.

This UNESCO Heritage Site is home to numerous species and trees that are as old as 1000 years. As we highlighted, Sarah is co-founder of PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land) and lends her energy to this cause which is close to her heart.


The Niagara Escarpment

Her film on the same subject has received great acclaim and she continues to speak for this beautiful natural resource.

This film, entitled “Escarpment Blues” is being played at TIFF Thursday March 24th as part of the 40th Anniversary celebrations of the JUNO Awards in Toronto. For more info regarding this screening click here. Go check it out and get involved!

Listen to her song of the same name below:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52vXPZAkDug[/youtube]

From the Airwaves
17Mar
2011

Below, watch Bruce’s poignant video of “If a Tree Falls” recorded originally in 1988, which he performed live in 2005 at the U.N. Summit on Climate Change.

The juxtaposition of acreage of untouched beautiful forest with images of clear cutting and mechanic destruction of trees really bring to light the tragedy of destroying these natural resources.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8CibAuvZM4[/youtube]

Bruce’s song “If I had a Rocket Launcher” was the 1984 hit that really confirmed him as a musical activist in the public’s eye.

He penned this song after a visit to a Guatemalan refugee camps in Mexico following the coup of dictator Montt.

It came back into public consciousness when he was recently in Afghanistan visiting his brother, who was serving with the Canadian Army there For a short period of time, he was actually given a rocket launcher, listen below:

This interview showcases Bruce’s commitment to social change through his music. Read all about what keeps him motivated and how his career has been dedicated to raising public awareness about what is most important to him.

Credit : Justine Warrington

By John Bessai

Sometimes you remember details about an experience long afterwards once something jars your memory.

I met Emily Hunter I thought for the first time when she gave a speech to some high school students in September 2010. Below is a video of the event:

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

But after she gave her speech that day I realized that I had actually met Emily over 15 years ago one sunny afternoon in the suburbs of Toronto.

I was working on a video acknowledging the 25th anniversary of GreenPeace and was over at her Father’s house with a camera crew.

I had just read Robert Hunter’s Warriors of the Rainbow which had completely inspired me.  This book told the incredible story of the founding of GreenPeace in the 1970’s.  And, in stunning fashion how a bunch of 20 something adventurers (like Emily today) had confronted a Soviet whaling fleet on the Pacific high seas and brought world wide attention the senseless slaughter of these super intelligent mammals who were by then endangered.

This actually led to an international moratorium which largely ended the hunt.

The interview with Robert 20 years later remains one of my most treasured memories, but also to my amazement that day I met another mammal, the Hunter family turtle who was the size of a large beaver and who wad swimming in the back yard pool! Emily rushed in just home from school to ask her Dad if she could go swimming too.

Lucky for her, I thought.  Such a cool dad and even a  cool turtle to swim with!  I am glad Emily has continued on with the work of her parents, keeping us inspired to stay conscious about ecological imperatives.  Her call to action makes me think there is hope that in future millions more turtles will be still swimming!

– John Bessai, Creative Director & Executive Producer, GreenHeroes Campaign

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, consumption and everyday actions have consequences. Share your story of making the eco-conscious switch in your choices by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

Late July

Nicole Simone a.k.a. Late July is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Born in Toronto, Ontario she spent her early years state side in Del Mar, California.

She is a three-time graduate of Seneca College and York University in both arts, music and sociology respectively.

In 2010 Late July released her debut EP entitled “Side Swept” produced by Adrian Ellis. Stay tuned for the release of her next EP “Hospital Quiet” in the spring.

When she is not making music, she writes Miss Late July her blog chronicling her on-going adventures, hangs out with her dog, enjoys social media and runs Unchain Ontario’s Dogs.

Nicole won the Mediazoic GreenHeroes.tv Musician’s Prize at November’s MusicConnectTO event.

Check out the video below of her song “Literary Kings” which was featured in Emily Hunter’s webisode.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko5ulIZZ1lc[/youtube]

Here are two more songs:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXUrGJmB2kM[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYDjNc6FIWs[/youtube]

Follow Nicole’s tweets on Twitter and become a fan of Late July on Facebook:


Remember – in the battle to save the planet, consumption and everyday actions have consequences. Share your story of making the eco-conscious switch in your choices 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!

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 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