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Preserving the environment is always met with backlash concerning the perceived expense to maintain it, but can you put a price tag on how much we lose by failing to do so? Turns out, we can!

Casey Trees and Davey Tree Expert Co. banded together to create the National Tree Benefit Calculator, a handy tool for determining the approximate yearly value of any street-side tree. By calculating the absorbed stormwater runoff, energy conservation, reduction in air pollution and carbon, and even property value increase, this tool provides easy financial justification for maintaining trees on your property.

Green Heroes used this tool to calculate the value of a very special tree! It was received as a cutting at the memorial service for Greenpeace co-founder Robert Hunter in 2006. Recently, we measured it on its rooftop home in Toronto’s downtown waterfront neighbourhood. Based on how it has grown, it provides $109 annually to the rooftop, adding to Robert Hunter’s already valuable environmental legacy.

Green Heroes intern Jay, taking the tree’s measurements!

CineFocus Canada, producers of Green Heroes, had the opportunity to interview Robert Hunter twice, first for their series Lucky Breaks and again for the documentary Greenpeace: Made in Canada on the Discovery Channel, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the organization. Robert’s daughter Emily Hunter has continued her father’s work and is one of our featured Green Heroes.

We’re wondering if anyone else received a cutting at Robert Hunter’s memorial that has now grown into a tree? Tweet us a photo of it @GreenHeroesTV or post it to our Facebook page, and don’t forget to use the calculator above to find out its value and let us know!

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Canadian photographer, filmmaker, conservationist and Green Hero Rob Stewart was best known for making and directing the documentary films “Sharkwater” and “Revolution”. For four years, Stewart worked as chief photographer for the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s magazines, and also worked as a freelance journalist. He held a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Western Ontario and studied zoology and marine biology in Kenya and Jamaica. Stewart died in a scuba diving incident while in Florida filming “Sharkwater: Extinction” on January 31.
Stewart’s contribution to the common human struggle to respect the Earth and all her creatures was herculean. May we continue his work with alacrity.

Premiering Sunday April 13 on CBS’ Showtime is the investigative series Years of Living Dangerously. In it, Ford and other Hollywood celebrities and respected journalists span the globe to expose the dangers resulting from years of living without serious regard for our planet.  Green Heroes applauds CBS’s Showtime for airing the series in a key program slot on Sundays at 10 p.m. Green Heroes airs Sundays on TVO featuring stories of celebrity and everyday people  taking on climate change.

The first episode of “Years of Living Dangerously” features Harrison Ford as he travels to Indonesia; there he witnesses the deforestation of the country’s once plentiful jungles to support the palm oil industry. Even elephants living in state parks are at risk. Poisoned to make way for the replanting of trees, these elephants are just one of many species facing extinction.

The two other investigations done by NY Times Journalist Thomas Friedman and Academy Award nominee Don Cheadle show the direct result of increased carbon emissions on our planet’s temperature and make the connection between droughts and social-political conditions – such as civil unrest in Syria and unemployment in the bible belt of America. In both cases, people are forced to move from their homes to the city, only to face under-paid, overcrowded, and stressful living conditions.

As a warm-up to a night of climate change enlightenment, tune into TVO as Green Heroes’ second season airs with two back-to-back episodes beginning at 6:00 p.m. Biting into Change features celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy and legendary music producer Daniel Lanois. Green is the New Black tracks three fashionistas as they take on the mega beauty biz.

At the Green Heroes Academy embark on a personal journey to make a difference with a mobile app filled with fun, family focused activities. Go the extra mile with challenges like the Transport Mission and make a difference– one green act at a time.

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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.


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