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Since early January of this year articles and blogs have been telling us 2011 is going to be “The Year of the Electric Car”. This mighty title was taken from an early January Globe and Mail article of the same name and has re-opened talk around Ontario’s sometimes unclear stance on electric cars on our roads.

Electric car use is presently at provincial-level jurisdiction, but that wasn’t always the case. Transport Canada originally approved electric cars for sale and use, but left the finer details to be worked out province by province.

The perception that Ontario didn’t allow electric cars is not correct, but it does speak of the quandary of legislation it passed which rendered these e-vehicles of very little use to everyday drivers. The stringent safety standards set out by the province meant the low-speed e-vehicles in existence could not be driven on most Ontario roads.

This left e-cars like the Zenn in a position to operate only in closed, private spaces – hardly practical. It also forced the Canadian manufacturer Zenn, to sell its product in the United States and other countries with more reasonable safety standards.

However, 2010 saw the provincial government express more interest in the possibilities e-vehicles present. Safety standards have stayed consistent which allowed car-makers to catch up. Cash rebates are also offered to those purchasing electric cars as of July 1st 2010.

This incentive deal is coupled with the vast array of choices consumers now have when sourcing an e-car, in 2011 models from such manufacturers as Ford, Toyota, Nissan, and even the sexy Porsche and Tesla companies are being rolled out to compete in this new corner of the market.

The Ontario government has more recently taken further steps to promote use of e-cars, announcing it wants to see 5% of all vehicles on Ontario roads are electric by the year 2020. Ontario energy companies are busy preparing for the upcoming demand this will place on the grid by investing $7 million into Ryerson University’s new Centre for Urban Energy over the next 5 years.

This cash infusion will allow Ryerson University to tackle such tough energy supply issues as ways that cities can produce more energy, how to distribute it cleanly, and improving energy storage techniques.

It took a while, but Ontario is bringing the electric car back to life.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, plugging into green matters!
Share your story of how you are working to reduce carbon emissions, by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

Carbon emissions are a huge contributor to our rapid declining in air quality. Pollution and smog affect our health, our environment and our quality of life. Vehicles of all kinds play a serious part in creating this problem, but we all need transportation. That’s why Toronto based Ian Clifford took action and co-created the Zenn car in 2006. Zenn stands for Zero Emission, No Noise and is a totally electric vehicle.

Ian Clifford’s journey to GreenHerodom started later in life. His career saw him begin as a professionally trained photographer under the mentorship of Ansel Adams. He soon became a leading corporate photographer before co-founding digIT Interactive, a marketing company in 1995. After selling digIT Interactive in 2000, Ian was looking for a more meaningful project and began to think of ways he could make a positive contribution to human impact upon the earth.

In 2001 he co- founded Feel Good Cars (now ZENN Motor Company) and began producing vehicles that allow for zero-emission transport. These cars, like the CityZenn take less than 8 minutes to fully charge and can reach top speeds of 125 km/hour! A great replacement for gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks.

Zenn now owns 10.7 percent of Texas-based EEStor, a company that develops technology used to store electric energy. They provide the batteries for the Zenn vehicles and this collaboration allows Zenn to continue to stay on the cutting edge of electric storage breakthroughs.

Since February 2011, Ian has been Vice Chairman of ZENN Motor Company and continues to be involved with the production of these green machines.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, plugging into green matters! Share your story of how you are working to reduce carbon emissions, by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

Photo credit: Shetu Modi

Corder became vegan when he realized how unethically animals were treated in much of agriculture. He credits his dietary change for paving the way to his current career, explaining that as an omnivore, he didn’t cook much.

“It’s how I found out what I’m passionate about,” he says.

While Corder didn’t initially consider the positive effects his new diet would have on the environment, he says it’s factored into his decision to stay a vegan.

“The Western diet is so meat-centric,” he says, adding that feeding the world on a similar diet wouldn’t be sustainable—given how livestock agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, and also consumes a large amount of the world’s freshwater.

Corder became vegan when he realized how unethically animals were treated in much of agriculture. He credits his dietary change for paving the way to his current career, explaining that as an omnivore, he didn’t cook much.

“It’s how I found out what I’m passionate about,” he says.

While Corder didn’t initially consider the positive effects his new diet would have on the environment, he says it’s factored into his decision to stay a vegan.

“The Western diet is so meat-centric,” he says, adding that feeding the world on a similar diet wouldn’t be sustainable—given how livestock agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, and also consumes a large amount of the world’s freshwater.

Photo credit: Shetu Modi

Even for those who aren’t looking to cut meat, dairy and eggs out of their diets, Corder has advice on eating sustainably.

“Learn where your food comes from,” he says. He recommends the documentary Food Inc., which he says doesn’t have a vegan slant but still details the industrialization of food and how destructive it is for the environment.

For those who do want to become vegan, Corder says it’s not that difficult.

“It’s not as hard as people tell you it is,” he says. He realizes that the most accessible food isn’t vegan, but adds that because of the growing prominence of the environmental movement, it’s now fairly easy to find vegan-related resources.

While avoiding animal products can significantly offset one’s carbon footprint, Corder acknowledges that it’s not the only way. And his advice for anyone looking to go green is pretty simple.

“Be mindful of your impact,” he says.

– Shetu Modi, Journalist

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!

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!

By Emily Hunter

People tell me the “green fad” is dead. It’s no longer the hot news story in the media, after the failure of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. For some, it might seem that our revolution was short lived.

My generation’s eco-battle began with Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth that awakened us all to our own self-made thermageddon and ended at the UN summit that sealed a suicidal century with politicizing the climate.

Well, they’re wrong. The movement may be struggling to get airtime, but it’s not dead. Every day I hear of stories of heroism, victories and the continued struggles of individuals around the world who are sparking meaningful change for this planet, its inhabitants and us.

Just last week, Sea Shepherd, an organization I fought on the frontlines with to help save whales in the Antarctic ocean realized its decade-old dream – they shut down Japan’s whaling fleet.

After years of battle, what has been dubbed the “Whale War,” the Japanese whaling fleet ending their whaling season early after clashes with the Sea Shepherd activists. They may have killed an estimated 80 -100 whales this season, but the whalers were far from their goal of a thousand that usually include endangered species.

Nearly a year after the Copenhagen debacle, 350.org organized the most widespread day of action across the globe. As world leaders fell asleep at the helm, more than 7,000 rallies were held in 188 countries on Oct. 10, 2010 (10/10/10).

People from all walks of life got to work on climate change by installing solar panels, weatherizing homes and planting trees. In Bangladesh, citizens demonstrated knee deep in the flood-waters that are affecting hundreds of thousands of people. In South Africa, a local business installed solar panels on the roof of an orphanage.

In the United States, there were over 2,000 rallies with events in all 50 states. As for Canada, there was an event in every province and territory, from the northern reaches of the Arctic to isolated islands.

If that’s not impressive enough for you, try this number on for size: 1.3 billion – that’s the number of people that participated in the last Earth Hour. Imagine: that’s over one-sixth the earth’s population that is a part of this movement.

This year’s Earth Hour is expected to have even more join in the revolution on March 26th.

So I will repeat again, the movement is not dead. We’re just getting started!

– Emily Hunter, Eco-Warrior


Join the Revolution: Emily’s new book “The Next Eco-Warriors,” tells these stories and more on today’s growing environmental movement.

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!


My entry into the history of the environmental movement came at a key time in its evolution. The Don’t Make a Wave Committee of Vancouver B.C., had sailed a ship “The Greenpeace” to Amchitka Island near a fault line on the Aleutian Chain in an attempt to stop nuclear testing.

This brave act resonated globally with incredible success.

I was there with the fledgling group to open their first office on Fourth Avenue in Vancouver.

I met; fell in love with and soon married Bob Hunter, the first President and Father of the current day Greenpeace International.

I became the Treasurer of Greenpeace and the first woman to place my body in front of a harpoon to save a whale.

There were many acts of heroism stemming from our small group, one act that still resonates is the image of Bob and Paul Watson (now founder and Captain of Sea Shepherd) standing in front of icebreakers to save the Seals.

At that time, in the early 70s, we were a small band of eager idealists and intellectuals, yet we spun images, of heroism that have effected all the forthcoming generations of environmental crusaders.

Robert, Emily, & Bobbi Hunter

Robert, Emily, & Bobbi Hunter

We used non-violent means to create what Bob called “mind bombs” in the media that changed environmental consciousness of the western hemisphere.

Now, today, I look at the diversity of people and groups of activists, and I am proud that my daughter has this same spirit raging in her soul. I am proud of her brave actions. We don’t have Bob to turn to any longer, but, his passion carries on.

Bob always wondered if he had made a difference. I know he has, because of his inspirational actions and books he has helped mould many of the Eco-Heroes of today, whether they know it or not.

Today I am involved in many legacy projects such as advising on a documentary, a park and a biography, helping to continue to spread our message.

While there is more knowledge and resources available today, there are more battles and more urgency than ever. For the Planet, never give up!

– Bobbi Hunter, Eco-Activist

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!

Following in her father’s footsteps, as a journalist, Emily has become a powerful voice within eco thought today and has taken every opportunity to engage with mainstream media to bring important concerns to a wide and diverse audience.

Her credits include but are not limited to: writing for This Magazine and Eye Weekly, as well as broadcasting work with CTV Canada AM, CTV News, City TV and CP24.

Her largest project is being an eco-correspondent for MTV Canada.

Her two largest investigations to date have been into the Alberta Tar Sands and to Mexico, to expose the devastating effects of climate change Mexican people are living with right now.

Below, take a look at the first part of her extensive investigation into the Tar Sands:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eZ6i2cUA24[/youtube]

Here, see Emily’s trip to Mexico in-full in “Impact: Mexican Standoff

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 enteringour contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

Next Gen Heroes
14Feb
2011
Emily Hunter is the daughter of late Greenpeace co-founder Robert Hunter and fellow activist Bobbi Hunter.

Soon after graduating from high school, Emily became an activist herself when she witnessed appalling environmental and humanitarian conditions on a trip to China.

This young GreenHero is well-informed on a wide range of issues from pollution to endangered habitats and species protection.

She has participated in anti-whaling campaigns, oil-spill cleanups and projects opposing Alberta’s tar sands, the latter of which she calls: “our biggest environment crime on the planet – our scar on the world”.

With her impressive list of credentials, Emily strives to make people aware of the consequences of consumption and everyday actions through television and videos, print media and web-based publications.

Her latest project is a book entitled The Next Eco-Warriors, which tells the stories of this new generation of GreenHeroes.

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 enteringour contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

As the General Manager of Redken Canada, I can say with great pride that our entire team applauds and supports the efforts of Green Circle Salons to create a green shift within the beauty industry.

We believe that every movement, like the one Green Circle has started, begins with a remarkable idea.

Green Circle Salons offers the salon industry a simple way to make a significant environmental difference, and remain in step with today’s consumer demands for sustainable business practices.

Shane and his team first approached Redken Canada in the spring of last year seeking support for their campaign to send hair to the US to help with the oil spill clean up.

Redken was very happy to be involved in this project, and in fact provided financial support to cover the shipping cost to send the hair to the Gulf.

The fact that hair can be diverted out of landfill to provide cradle to cradle solutions elsewhere seemed really exciting to us.

The heart of the partnership between Redken Canada and Green Circle Salons is about bringing awareness to affiliated Redkenites (Redken Salons) across Canada about this unique opportunity that now exists.

We hope that salons here in Ontario will join the movement in reducing their eco-footprint, and that this wonderful opportunity will ripple out across Canada.

– Scott Moon, General Manager, Redken Canada

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, the smallest things, such as cutting your hair, can have a big environmental impact. Share your story of how you’re choosing the environment first and voting with your dollar by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

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