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Recycle fashion. Save money. Help the environment. Look fabulous!

You can do all of this at once, as GreenHeroes learned first hand at the Shop Sustainable event in Toronto we told you about recently, a fashion swap and green marketplace hosted by Fashion Takes Action (FTA).

Shoppers swapped designer clothing at the event, choosing from hundreds of items FTA had collected to reduce the disposal of unwanted clothing and the demand for clothing manufacturing, a process that is generally hard on the environment.

They also browsed through the green marketplace where vendors sold everything from shoes with tire soles to necklaces made from previously owned beads.

Live Green Toronto and Ethical Deal, companies that provide consumers with resources and discounts to green companies to encourage green buying practices, were also present to inform attendees about their services and help those interested sign-up.

FTA held Shop Sustainable to make green choices accessible and appealing.

“Everybody wears clothes,” said FTA program director Sarah Kear about the huge potential greening the clothing market has to reduce our impact on the environment.

But sustainable fashion isn’t just about buying practices; it’s about cleaning, too.

That’s why Fashion Takes Action launched Resize Fashion’s Footprint at the event, an online pledge and education tool to help consumers make green changes to their water, detergent and electric use when they wash their clothes. Take the pledge today!

Visit the Shop Sustainable page to check out the vendors, sponsors and activities from the event!

More GreenHeroes stories about Fashion Takes Action and sustainable fashion are coming soon!

Browsing at Shop Sustainable - Photo Credit Emily Hunter

Browsing at Shop Sustainable - Photo Credit Emily Hunter

GreenHeroes recently got a taste of the wonderful work of the Organic Council of Ontario (OCO), one of our partners, at the organization’s recent Organic Dinner and Jazz night.

The event celebrated the sustainability and deliciousness of organic food with a four course, fully organic meal with organic beer and organic wine. But it wasn’t all about eating.

The keynote speaker of the event was Dr. Ralph Martin, professor and Loblaw Chair of the Sustainable Food Production program at the University of Guelph, who tackled misperceptions that organic is unsustainable in his speech to the guests.

During the dinner OCO gave the guests a preview of some videos it has co-developed to introduce organic farming and raise awareness about why it is good for the environment, the economy and for health. Here is one of them!

The event raised nearly $5000 for the Organic Council of Ontario. Thank you, OCO, for a great night.

OCO is looking for nominations for the 2012 Organic Awards!

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CineFocus Canada, a Toronto based TV production company of arts and social issue documentaries and new media productions, wants to hear from you! They have created this short survey to understand how on-line activities can be used to enhance participation in real world initiatives around improving the environment.

We hope you will take the five minutes to complete the anonymous survey so CineFocus can continue to enhance their productions and deliver them in ways that are most relevant to you.

There is no deadline for doing this, but we suggest taking the time now, so as to get your feedback as quickly as possible.

Should you have any questions, please email CineFocus Canada directly at mail@cinefocus.com. Although anonymous, you can leave your email address so CineFocus can contact you to participate further.

The first completed survey we receive gets a free GreenHeroes t-shirt!

Do you enjoy shopping for designer or brand name clothing, but also want to make eco-friendly shopping choices?

If you’re in Toronto next week, you can do both at Shop Sustainable: An Eco Friendly Marketplace and Clothing Swap!

The event will be hosted by Fashion Takes Action, an organization that educates consumers and the fashion industry about sustainable fashion — a phrase that may seem paradoxical given the many environmental issues involved in the creation and disposal of clothing.

Shop Sustainable will take place on November 29, 2011 from 5 pm to 9 pm. Visit the Fashion Takes Action website for details.

Joan in Centre

Speaking of sustainable clothing, did you know that the GreenHeroes t-shirt is made from recyclable materials? It’s cute and comfortable too! Check out producer Joan Prowse and our GreenHeroes posing in our sustainable t-shirts!

Also, this week GreenHeroes became an official top ten finalist in the ClimateSpark Venture Challenge! Thanks so much to our fans whose support has helped us come so far! Stand by for updates on our position. In the meantime, check out our winning proposal.

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The GreenHeroes Newsletter is out! Read these stories and more:

We filmed two new Heroes for the second season at the Dew Line Concert: Climate is Culture, hosted by Cape Farewell, a great organization that brings artists and scientists together to address climate change.

We have great news on our ClimateSpark proposal and information on how you can get involved to support our upcoming programming and social media game that will encourage green action.

Note: Our ClimateSpark rating has changed since this newsletter was published.

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ClimateSpark narrowed down the field to the top 20 voter-ranked projects, with CineFocus producers John Bessai and Joan Prowse’s GreenHeroes campaign a part of the pack. ClimateSpark, an initiative run by the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, probed Toronto companies for 10 great ideas to reduce the city’s climate impact. The winning idea will be supported with a hefty $500,000 in venture funding.

The GreenHeroes “Take Action” campaigns aims to transform audiences from mere viewers to involved do-ers by celebrating people like Boston Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference, who created the NHLPA’s Carbon Neutral Challenge to which 500 players signed on to carbon off-sets. Andrew admits that the actions of 500 guys may not make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things, but their actions do reach a lot of eyeballs, inspiring people to make change in their own lives.

CineFocus plans to use the Venture Challenge funding to add a GreenHeroes “Call to Action” social media game. It’s a challenge-based game where players track reductions in energy or water use. Because the monthly savings are combined for an entire group, this encourages people to form teams and effectively spread the message of conservation.

To vote for the GreenHeroes proposal follow the ClimateSpark registration instructions on the ClimateSpark home page. Then once you’re logged in, go to the GreenHeroes Proposal (You can also find it by typing “GreenHeroes” in the search field.”) Read it, then underneath it says “Your Rating” and there are a bunch of empty stars. Click on the number of stars you think our proposal deserves and the stars will turn red. Then scroll down past the comments our proposal has so far and you’ll see empty fields to fill in your comments. After you’ve commented, click “Save” and you’re done. Remember to click save or your ratings and comments will be lost!

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!

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.