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We at GreenHeroes are inspired daily to take action. We do understand, however, that it can be hard to know where to dig in to solve complex challenges facing our planet.

One of the best ways we’ve found to take action is by looking around in our own backyards for ways we can make a difference. Sometimes the first step is to join in with others on a project or campaign.

As we wrote about last week on the GreenHeroes blog, we were excited about the collective action of thousands of people around the world on 10/10/10.

350.org inspired people from 7,000 communities in 188 countries to convene work parties in their own communities to fight climate change. Here is the video with some of the highlights of that important day.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, you can make a difference in your backyard. What actions are you taking to make a difference in your community? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

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Simple Changes Matter, and they especially matter when folks around the world do them at the same time!

We at GreenHeroes are very inspired by 350.org’s Global Work Party to celebrate climate solutions. The upcoming day of action is on 10/10/10 – just in time for our Canadian Thanksgiving!

What better way to bring your family together and give thanks than to join in one of the hundreds of work parties happening right here in Canada.

You can even form your own work party, get it listed on the 350.org website, send in pictures of your party and they will add it to their interactive online album.

What is 350.org all about? Scientists say that 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. We’re currently at 390 parts per million.

Now, we might not be mathematicians, but that seems like a problem to us. So, what can you do? Get involved! As of right now, there are 6,077 events listed in more than 184 countries around the world.

GreenHero Sarah Harmer and her organization PERL have an action you can take right now to help save the Niagara Escarpment and its wealth of biodiversity. Just sign the petition, and ask your family and friends to join you. It only takes a minute, but again, Simple Changes Matter.

Watch the video below to learn more about 350.org.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, simple actions matter: What simple actions are you taking to help the environment? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a small change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest!

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes
Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns
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Photo credit: Jose Goulao (flickr)

Jack Johnson is a GreenHero. Besides his cool voice and Hawaiian flare, Jack Johnson has got a lot to give.

Back in July, we highlighted his generosity in the form of matching donations to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper until October 15, 2010, an action that is part of a larger initiative of his, called All at Once.

The campaign mirrors our work and beliefs in that “an individual action, multiplied by millions, creates global change” (allatonce.org).

While our GreenHero Stuart Hickox’s work is on the ground, All at Once uses an intricate digital “social action network” to link projects locally and across the world, connecting non-profits and individuals with inspiration and advice on stepping up for the environment.

All at Once is run by Jack Johnson’s charity, the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation. As part of his 2010 tour, Jack Johnson is donating 100% of his profits to charity; that means over 150 non-profit groups working on Sustainable Local Food Systems and Plastic Free Initiatives will be supported.

All at Once isn’t just about donating money though. The campaign is about connecting with organizations and people in your community!

Visit All at Once to discuss and explore actions where you live, and for every video you watch, $1 is donated to the organization.

It’s a neat place to see hundreds of inspiring initiatives that are underway and making major changes around the world. And, for ideas on how to take action in your community, visit our Small Changes Matter campaign page!

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, simple actions matter: What simple actions are you taking to help the environment? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a small change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest!

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes
Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns
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Green Your Commute
05Oct
2010

For many people, a commute is a simple way to make a green change.

Some people opt to car pool or work from home. Others start cycling, walking and taking public transit.

Here is Natasha Eloi, an on-air personality at SPACE, telling us about her transportation epiphany.

What’s your favorite way to green your commute? Take our poll and tell us why your commute lessens your impact on the environment in the comments below.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, simple actions matter: What simple actions are you taking to help the environment? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a small change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest!

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

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8 q
Doors Closed
30Sep
2010

Have you ever felt a cool breeze wafting out of a storefront while walking under the scorching summer sun? Sure, it might provide a second of relief from the heat, but the cumulative effect of thousands of air-conditioned stores leaving their doors open and freeing the air is actually disastrous to the environment.

The air conditioners have to work extra hard to make up for all of the escaped cool air, which means pumping more energy and pollution into our air. We want to put an end to wasteful practices. Can we do it with one simple action, like Stuart Hickox does?

We had a conversation with another GreenHero, Chris Winter, who is Executive Director of the Conservation Council of Ontario.

Like Stuart, he puts into practice the belief that individual acts of conservation do add up, and promotes steps we can all take to conserve resources. He is the catalyst that links ideas and projects together, which can have amazing ripple effects throughout communities.

Chris’ newest project is Doors Closed, an impressive initiative sparked by consumer frustration at storeowners leaving their air-conditioned store doors open on hot summer days. Now why didn’t we think of this sooner?

One change with a huge impact, Doors Closed is so simple: own an air-conditioned store? Close your door and close the door on wasteful energy practices.

The campaign is movement based, meaning volunteers canvass business owners in the summer, delivering information sheets on energy conservation and posters to inform consumers on why their doors are closed.

“The Conservation Council of Ontario and its “We Conserve” movement define conservation as “the art of living lightly”. We believe our lives should be better as conservers, our communities stronger, and our economy more resilient. We believe individual acts of conservation add up to global solutions to environmental, economic, and social crises.”

– Chris Winter

Want to take action with us? Learn how to run a Doors Closed campaign in your community by visiting our Simple Changes Matter campaign page.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, simple actions matter: What simple actions are you taking to help the environment? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a small change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest!

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Sign up for our newsletter

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GreenHero Stuart Hickox is the founder and President of One Change. What moved Stuart to action was a feeling of anxiety that many of us can relate to, a sense that some environmental issues and disasters feel too big to tackle.

But Stuart’s story is one of transformation, as his light bulb moment led him to quit his job in marketing and to take on One Change as a full-time project. Shortly before founding the organization, Stuart was already busy planning his first major campaign: Project Porchlight.

Project Porchlight and the new fuel efficiency initiative are such simple ideas, and that’s why Stuart’s an inspirational GreenHero to us. His campaigns hand us the tools to take action, so that each of us can transform our thoughts into action.

Stuart took time out of his busy campaign schedule to send us his personal thoughts on moving beyond the light bulb, because though these actions may be small, millions of them put together can have huge reverberations.


Frankly, at One Change, we were getting tired of talking about light bulbs anyway. Vampire Load is so much sexier.

Buffy may be off the air, and I’m not buff enough to cameo on True Blood, but I’m welcoming the opportunity to represent One Change not as “the bulb guy” but as “the Slayer.”

Did you know that 15-20% of household energy use is power that is consumed by stuff that’s turned off?

All day, every day, a little trickle of power is being sucked from items like cell phone chargers, TVs, computers – yes, even when they are turned off!

You can slay Vampire Load by installing a power bar. Just turn it off when you’re done. Or install a smart power bar like “Trickle Star” that automatically turns off secondary devices like the DVD player when you turn off the TV. Fight Vampire Load and you can save up to $200 per year. Easy! Now I just need to practice my pout and start wearing all black.

Psst! If hunting Vampires isn’t your thing, consider checking your tire pressure. Or, better yet, volunteer to hand out some of the 150,000 digital tire pressure gauges One Change is distributing across Ontario this fall with Canadian Tire. Checking pressure regularly can help you save up to $60 per year on gas, cut emissions, and helps prevent accidents.

And, well, if you don’t have a car, you can still replace those wasteful incandescent bulbs…Simple Actions Matter!

Stuart Hickox, Founder and President of One Change


Remember – in the battle to save the planet, simple actions matter: What simple actions are you taking to help the environment? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a small change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest!

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook



When Leilani went down to the Gulf with the Sierra Club to view the impacts of the BP oil spill, she was not the only athlete with the environment on her mind.

As it turns out, there’s a community of athletes committed to making the world a greener place, because though we all have a stake in the environment, these individuals call the earth, the air, and the water their playground; they depend on its health every day for their jobs.

Leilani is a part of an incredible community of athletes called Athletes for a Healthy Planet (A4HP), some of whom went down to the Gulf with her and Andrew Ference. We were drawn to these athletes, because despite responding to an environmental issue seemingly out of their realm of work and interest, these individuals continue to search for solutions and promote understanding of the impacts of destructive environmental practices.

A4HP promotes the idea that a healthy planet impacts our health, economy, jobs, national security, social justice, and overall quality of life. Our own GreenHero Leilani is joined by Mike Richter, National Hockey League (NHL) champion goalie, Connie Carpenter, Olympic Gold medal cyclist, Billie Jean King, tennis champion, John McEnroe, tennis legend, Mark Messier, NHL icon, Angela Ruggiero, four-time Olympic Medalist.

Their message is clear: we cannot wait.

Political bickering has stalled the process of finding a solution, and the most harmful thing we can do, is do nothing at all. If you live in the U.S., you can join A4HP by using their online Advocacy Tool to contact your Senator. If you live in Canada, visit our Oil Changers campaign page for tools on contacting your MP.

We’ve got our own shining athletes in Canada, too. Play it Cool is an exciting initiative in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation, which raises awareness about the harmful damages of climate change and introduces ways of taking action. We learned about Play it Cool through our GreenHero Andrew Ference, who worked with the David Suzuki Foundation to form the NHL Carbon Neutral Challenge to reduce his and 500 other NHL players’ carbon footprints.

Other Play it Cool members include Hayley Wickenheiser Captain, Canadian Women’s Hockey Team, Jennifer Heil, Canadian Freestyle Canadian Ski Team, and Justin Lamoureux, Canadian Half Pipe Team. Understanding that climate change affects how these athletes train and compete, Play it Cool encourages them to spread their message, and to offset their emissions using Gold Standard offsets, the highest-quality offsets in the world.

As of February 10, 2010, athletes in the Play it Cool program have collectively offset 509 tonnes of carbon! Find out how to sign up your own team and offset your emissions by visiting our Oil Changers campaign page.

Have you checked anything off our Cool Climate Checklist? Here are a few more tips from the David Suzuki Foundation on keeping green with your team:

Follow Play it Cool on Twitter.
Become a fan of Play it Cool on Facebook.

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.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes
Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns
Sign up for our newsletter
Follow us on Twitter
Become our fan on Facebook

It doesn’t take much change to make a huge impact on the planet. Making a few small changes in your everyday life can lead to major reductions in carbon emissions, leave you with a smile on your face, and put money back into your pocket too. Challenge yourself by checking off tips from our top-ten checklist to minimize your carbon footprint. Source: www.climatecrisis.net

1. Change your lightsCompact fluorescent light bulbs are more energy efficient than regular light bulbs, meaning you have to replace them less often. Switching one light bulb saves 150 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. One of our premium GreenHeroes webisodes features Stuart, who has the bright idea.

2. Drive less – Though sometimes you need to drive, it’s not always essential. Consider walking, biking, public transit, or carpooling. Every mile not driven saves 1 pound of carbon dioxide.

3. Recycle, reduce, reuse – By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of CO2 per year. Did you know that it takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum than to make it from raw materials?

4. Check your tires – Properly inflated tired can improve gas mileage by more than 3%, meaning you save money and the environment. Every litre of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

5. Use less hot water – Warm showers can be heavenly, but simply installing a low flow showerhead can save 350 pounds of CO2 per year, and washing your clothes in cold water can save 500 pounds per year. Check out how much power it takes to heat up your shower

6. Avoid buying packaged products – Pack a reusable mug for coffee and tote bags for grocery shopping. Cutting down household garbage by 10% keeps 1,200 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere.

7. Adjust your thermostat – Reducing your thermostat by 2 degrees in winter, and raising it by 2 degrees in summer saves 2,000 pounds of CO2 a year!

8. Planting and protecting trees – Trees are some of the most important natural warming mitigators. One tree absorbs a ton of CO2 over its lifetime.

9. Turn off electronics when you aren’t using them – Here’s a trick: plug them all into a single power bar, so that you don’t have to unplug each individual device. Switching off unused electronics can save up to an amazing 20% on home energy use.

10. Go meatless – If you don’t want to become a complete vegetarian, try this: meatless Mondays! Skipping meat one day a week saves over 35,000 gallons of water, and 5,000 pounds of CO2 per year. You know who is a vegetarian? Leilani Munter!

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.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

8 q


We might be taking our bikes for granted. Have you ever thought that a bike could be a school bus, an ambulance, or a taxi? That it could save a life, provide an education, and put food on someone’s plate?

Bikes without Borders (BWB) is a visionary organization run out of Toronto, headed by a GreenHero named Mike Brcic, who had his own personal epiphany while in the hills of Ecuador. There, he met a young girl who travelled two hours to get to school every day – each way.

Mike has since travelled around the world, to dozens of countries, and the story is always the same; children make treks like these every day to get an education. Inspired by their stories, Mike began collecting used bikes to form a small shipment for the girl’s community in Ecuador. The life changing stories after his bike delivery were enough motivation for Mike to form BWB, and expand their services globally.

BWB uses bikes as a tool for development – to help children get to school, to bring medical care out to rural villages, and to enable people to travel to urban centers to earn livelihood. But BWB is doing something else, right here at home; their work is demonstrating just how far a bicycle can take us, making us re-think our dependence on cars and automobiles. BWB shares our vision of a world in which every person has a bike. According to their website:

“In our future our governments give us a bicycle by law. In our future a bicycle is built for every age and every disability and everyone knows how to grease a chain and change a tire the way we know how to tie our shoes. In our future bicycles take you to work, courier cargo and carry your groceries… and BWB no longer exists.”

BWB currently runs three incredible programs: 1. Pedal Powered Hope, which ensures that healthcare workers and education workers have ways to access rural communities 2. BikePlanet, which aims to design and develop affordable bikes, and 3. PedalPower Program, our personal favourite, which is a spin-off of an organization Mike discovered in Guatemala, called MayaPedal.

The project collects used bikes and from them builds bike-powered machines, such as water pumps, washing machines, and blenders. Sounds a little bit like some other projects we’ve seen, putting the pedal to the medal for power.

You can donate money, a bicycle, or your time to Bikes without Borders.
Become a fan of BWB on Facebook
Follow Mike on Twitter

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, exercising your pedal power is key. Enter our contest to nominate a bike riding hero, highlighting the challenges they face and how they overcome them. Let us know about your ride to work, how you envision a better biking future, or your efforts as a bicycle innovator, using bike-powered solutions to change the planet. Contest details, prizing, and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes
Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns
Sign up for our newsletter
Follow us on Twitter
Become our fan on Facebook

BIXI
10Sep
2010


We used to watch jealously from the sidelines as people zipped around us on the streets of Paris on their BIXI rented bikes. Then BIXI came to Montreal, and we wondered when we’d see the bike-sharing program on our hometown streets.

A year later, the BIXI bike-sharing program has finally arrived in Toronto, offering access to an active and green alternative form of transportation. We have a love affair with BIXI. Why? Because it’s cheap, fast, easy, and cool. You can stylishly borrow a bike in 3 easy steps:

1. Pick a bike from the nearest BIXI station, insert your key, and take the bike.
2. Ride away! The first 30 minutes of any trip is free.
3. Return the bike to any network station when you’re done.

The global phenomenon, which is now established in Minneapolis, Washington, London, and Melbourne, is thrilling because it means more people are getting on bikes and getting off of oil. Montreal has always been a leader in urban street style, but they’ve set the bar high on this one; by the end of the summer of 2009, the city had already installed 5,000 bicycles and 400 stations.

Check out how many stations the city has now; this unbelievable map shows how easy it is to use the system – with this many stations, you’ll be able to pick up and drop off a bike just about anywhere. Ride to work, ride to school, ride home – it looks to us as if BIXI is more efficient (and a whole lot cheaper) even than public transit. Plus, if you live in Montreal, it’s easier than ever to bike to work with BIXI corporate incentives.

On a mobile phone?

Click the image to watch the video in H.264

Mr. Something Something & Elaine

BIXI was unveiled in Toronto at the end of July 2010, with one major catch: in order for BIXI to become a sustainable feature of Toronto’s landscape, 1,000 new members need to sign on by November of 2010. Have you signed up yet? It costs $95 plus tax for an entire year of a BIXI membership (that’s less than a month on Toronto’s transit)!

Sign up today to get the system officially rolling in our streets, so that we can elevate our coolness factor to Montreal’s, and have biking as a permanent part of our city! We’re counting down until this kind of idea hits the rest of Canada. Here’s hoping that one day, our traffic jams will look like this:

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, exercising your pedal power is key. Enter our contest to nominate a bike riding hero, highlighting the challenges they face and how they overcome them. Let us know about your ride to work, how you envision a better biking future, or your efforts as a bicycle innovator, using bike-powered solutions to change the planet. Contest details, prizing, and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes
Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns
Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter
Become our fan on Facebook

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