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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.

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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.

GreenHero Tzeporah Berman was on The Current on CBC yesterday, speaking out against the rampant logging of Vancouver Island’s Clayoquot Sound. You can listen to the half-hour program.

Tzeporah explains why preserving this ecosystem is important not just for the environment, but for our health and the economy. She also reflects on her early act of civil disobedience and her work with corporations to reduce their impact on the environment.

She recently published a memoir called This Crazy Time: Living our Environmental Challenge

You can visit the Indigo in the Manulife Centre in Toronto, Ontario September 20th at 7 pm for Tzeporah’s talk and book signing.

Here are the dates of Tzeporah’s book tour from her website.

You can also learn what she’s up to by following @Tzeporah on Twitter.

GreenHeroes has been following the news from Leilani Munter on her efforts to halt the dolphin hunt in Taiji.

Leilani is an environmental activist and race car driver. If this seems paradoxical to you, watch our webisode on her. Leilani was inspired to fight for dolphins after watching The Cove, a documentary based on Ric O’Barry‘s work in Taiji.

She’s also a gifted writer, as we’ve seen in her blog posts for SaveJapanDolphins.org and the Huffington Post in which she updates us on the dolphin hunt and her activism on behalf of other environmental causes.

“If only they would turn these dolphin hunting boats into dolphin watching boats,” Leilani Munter, The Cove Continues: Diary From Taiji, Huffington Post, 9/14/11

She also wrote a guest post for GreenHeroes.

Leilani is very active on Twitter. Follow her for updates on her work.

GreenHero Laura Reinsborough‘s Not Far From the Tree  is bringing fall to the public!

The organization aims to promote the benefits of eating  locally by helping Toronto homeowners make use of their  harvests. Not Far From the Tree is partnering with other  organizations to put on two great events this month in the  city:

City Cider – On September 18th, 2011 from 1-5 pm, visit  The Orchard at Spadina Museum for live music, cider,  yoga for kids, and more!

Harvest Festival – On September 22, 2011 from 4-7 pm, come out to Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard for free fruit and snacks, orchard tours, children’s activities, and more!

Not Far From the Tree is also using green transportation! Check out the new cargo bikes it will use to share fresh fruit from trees in Toronto.

Why should you go local? Laura explained it in this guest post she wrote for our blog last year. Inspired by Laura’s work, Greenheroes created the Tasting Local Foods campaign in which we share information on how you how you can grow and eat locally.

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