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Saving the Planet One Story at a Time
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Earth Day began on April 22, 1970 with an impassioned speech by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson who, at the height of protests against the war in Vietnam, asked whether money might be better spent on solving environmental problems instead. Response to the challenge was swift with the launch of the Environmental Protection and Clean Energy Acts in the U.S. and the founding of Pollution Probe and Greenpeace in Canada.

But as quickly as the environmental movement was born subsequent decades have laid claim to environmental disasters from wars to nuclear explosions, chemical spills, toxic gas leaks, and oil spills.  Questions remains such as why, 50 years after the first Earth Day, has so little headway been made to protect our precious planet? 

Furthermore, why was our early activism replaced by complacency that led to weakened environmental laws, extreme weather conditions and environmental disasters like the Exxon Valdez oil spill? Where have we failed?  Where have we succeeded? While international awareness led to innovation and campaigns to protect the planet, there remains an enormous gap of indifference from political leaders down to everyday people about the fragility of our planet’s future.

CineFocus Canada is tackling these questions in a new documentary and interactive experience, Hindsight in 2020. By taking a chronological approach to telling the story of the modern environmental movement viewers will see how world events and public policy have supported or challenged individual efforts over time and learn that there is still time to turn things around if we adopt solutions that are available to each one of us.

The onset: In 1970 municipal recycling did not exist in Ontario before a small women’s group from Burlington initiated the idea of a recycling experiment. Their major aim — once they had completed the initial research with just over 250 families — was to propose that the City of Burlington offer municipal recycling for its citizens.

The group of housewives was known as Citizens Committee for Pollution Control (CCPC) and their door to door campaign to collect bottles and cans led to the province’s first recycling program. In 1981, Burlington was the first city in Ontario to begin municipal recycling with curbside pickup of “separated at source” household waste.

The original group has undergone a recent revival under the banner “Recycling Revisited.” The goal of Recycling Revisited is to preserve the memory of an amazing citizen action, led by up to 1,000 people at a time, to inspire those who are concerned about other environmental issues to gather with like-minded others in order to implement some positive change.

Mid-point: This environmental story illustrates the David and Goliath challenge facing environmentalists around the world who want to protect natural resources, such as old growth forest, against consumer demand.  To do this we turn to Green Hero, Tzeporah Berman and her experience at Clayoquot Sound 25 years ago.

Prior to coordinating the historic blockades in 1993, Tzeporah Berman had never been to a protest in her life. She was among one thousand people arrested, marking the largest civil disobedience action in Canada’s history. She was acquitted of the 850 criminal charges she faced, marking a real tipping point in Canada on environmental issues.

In a recent Globe and Mail editorial, she writes of her experience on the blockades 25 years ago and its relationship to the the Kinder Morgan pipeline protests today.

Present Day: Each year, Earth Day creates themed events leading to the 2020 challenge to engage citizens from across the globe in action actions to save the planet. In 2018 the Earth Day campaign to end plastic pollution had significant results raising awareness and participation around the world. In 2019, Earth Day Canada is teaming up with Kamik Footwear to celebrate Earth Day by inviting families to #FreeYourPlay and make a commitment to step outside and connect with the environment through play.

According to UN research, children in Canada are losing their connection to nature due to a sharp decrease in the amount of time they spend outside. Our Green Hero Ta’Kaiya Blaney, featured in the TVO episode, Back to Nature, tells us why more young people like herself should take to the great outdoors.

For more information about the campaign and upcoming events, including resources for how to bring outdoor, unstructured play into your own community and family, visit Kamik.com/FreeYourPlay or EarthPlay.ca.

Ric O’Barry’s first environmental act took place on April 22, 1970, when he was arrested for freeing a captive dolphin. What makes his story particularly poignant is Ric was unaware that this action would change the course of his life, taking him from dolphin trainer to dolphin protector.

During the 1960s, Ric’s love of marine life led to a position at the Miami aquarium where he trained the five dolphins that regularly appeared as Flipper on the popular TV series. When the series was cancelled and the dolphins warehoused, Ric realized the error of his ways and began a crusade to save dolphins from captivity and senseless death.

Ric’s campaign has been fuelled by the 2010 Oscar® winning film The Cove and by his determination. Today, as Japan prepares to host the Olympic summer games in 2020, Ric is calling on Japan’s Prime Minister to halt the annual dolphin capture and slaughter that takes place around the coast of the country in Taiji.

Ric is not the only Green Hero using a 2020 target date for campaigns aimed at changing government policy and individual behavior in favour of the planet.

Already underway are Earth Day events leading up to the 50th anniversary date with a goal of inspiring 3 billion people worldwide to take part on April 22, 2020.

But why wait for Earth Day? Now is a great time to reflect on ways we can protect our planet today. Here are 30 suggested ways to create a more hopeful situation leading to Earth Day’s 50th birthday. How many are you doing right now and how many more would you like to adopt during the countdown to 2020?

Planet in Focus, Canada’s largest environmental film festival and leading environmental media organization, will present environmental documentaries to celebrate Earth Day in Cineplex and other major theatres across Canada from April 23 – 25. Get tickets.

Our Back to Nature episode featuring Robert Bateman, Olivia Chow, Shaun Majumder, Ta’Kaiya Blaney and others, was selected to be among the documentaries shown on Thursday April 24. Green Hero Rob Stewart‘s documentary Revolution will also be featured on April 23.

Back to Nature explores the many benefits of escaping from our indoor world and into nature. The TV episode, along with the entire second season of Green Heroes, is set to re-air on TVO with back to back episodes starting April 13 and leading up to Earth Day.

Robert-Bateman-campaign

With a successful TVO Earth Day broadcast on April 22 that previewed two episodes from our upcoming second season, you can also test drive the Green Heroes™ Academy App that features Missions from these preview episodes!

Then with the season launch on June 11, 2013, Green Heroes™ will unlock the full-version of our Green Heroes Academy App one mission at a time
with each new TV episode.

Through fun games, engaging quizzes, cool videos, and even crazy dares, all members of the GreenHeroes Academy will prove their heroic passion for protecting the Earth. Be sure to watch GreenHeroes TV on TVO and play along on the App as you learn about all of our inspirational GreenHeroes in Season Two.

Produced by CineFocus Canada in association with TVO, the 6 x 30 minute series tells remarkable stories of people who acted on their ideas and heroically “ventured forth” to protect our planet. From the celebrity to the everyday person, each story details the different paths and interests the Green Heroes have taken in their quests to help save the world.

The special Earth Day broadcast previewed back-to-back episodes of GreenHeroes, “Biting into Change” and “Green is the New Black, featuring Chef Jamie Kennedy, Daniel Lanois, Adria Vasil, and many more amazing Heroes who are saving the planet.

Be sure to download the new Green Heroes™ Academy App and give it a test drive! (http://academy.greenheroes.tv)

If you missed the Earth Day special, be sure to check the many repeat broadcast times of “Biting into Change” and “Green is the New Black”, Thursday April 25 at 7 p.m. and on both Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. on April 27 and 28th, or watch it online, on the TVO webiste: http://ww3.tvo.org/program/120110/greenheroes


Watch and learn about our celebrity Green Heroes

Join the Green Heroes™ Academy App to complete challenges and secret missions to become an honorary Green Hero too!

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Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

On Monday, April 22, 2013 at 7pm and 7:30pm, Green Heroes™ will premiere the new, exciting, and enticing second season on TVO. Produced by CineFocus Canada in association with TVO, the 6 x 30 minute series tells remarkable stories of people who acted on their ideas and heroically “ventured forth” to protect our planet. From the celebrity to the everyday person, each story details the different paths and interests the Green Heroes have taken in their quests to help save the world. Season 2 launches with special back-to-back episodes, “Biting into Change” and “Green is the New Black”, featuring Chef Jamie Kennedy, Daniel Lanois, Adria Vasil, and many more amazing Heroes who are saving the planet.

Now you can help save the world and become a Green Hero too by downloading the new Green Heroes™ Academy App (http://academy.greenheroes.tv) with different missions and actions relating to each of the upcoming episodes.

At 7pm, “Biting into Change” looks at how food is at the core of our life, but changing how we produce and consume food is at the centre of a sustainable life. That is why these Green Heroes are finding planet-saving at the end of a fork with celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy and renowned musician and producer, Daniel Lanois, at the forefront of it all.  Jamie is one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs, and his passion for locally grown food has shaped the evolution of Canadian cuisine, one dish at a time. Collaborating with musicians and chefs to create FoodStock, a culinary event that drew 30,000 supporters to stop the mega-quarry of Southern Ontario farmland, Jamie is definitely one Hero to watch. Daniel is another Hero who made an impact by stepping out of the recording studio, after producing career-changing records for Bob Dylan, U2 and Emmylou Harris, and became a food advocate supporting Ontario farmers. In August 2011, he hosted and and helped organized the Harvest Festival Picnic in Hamilton, a celebration of local food and music with a line-up of stellar musical acts including the Tragically Hip and Sarah Harmer.

Then at 7:30pm, “Green is the New Black” observes that, for the planet, fashion and beauty items costs more than the price tag and that is why these Green Heroes are making it hip to go green. Adria Vasil is known for her informative Ecoholic books and column in NOW Magazine, offering incites on how to better treat our homes and bodies. Another Hero helping to green the beauty industry is Donna Bishop, a former makeup artist/hair stylist who has been a been a beauty and fashion insider for over 10 years. She created Green Beauty, a curated online beauty boutique and full-service spa in Toronto on her mantra that there is no need to compromise quality and effectiveness of makeup and other beauty products in order to be conscientious. “Green is the New Black” fittingly features eco-fashionista Kelly Drennan, founder Fashion Takes Action, the one and only organization in Canada that is re-sizing fashion’s footprint from the inside out. Over the years, Kelly witnessed, first hand, the enormous impacts of fashion, from energy, waste, chemicals and human rights abuses. Instead of being part of the problem, she decided to be part of the solution and today her organization is transforming the clothes we wear to make them more affordable and sustainable.

Be sure to tune in on EARTH DAY, April 22nd, at 7pm for our 1 hour, back-to-back Season 2 premiere on TVO. Full episodes and webisodes of all the featured Green Heroes will also be available on the Green Heroes™ website: https://www.greenheroes.tv/

Also play along with our Green Heroes™ Academy App, a fun way to help save the planet
http://academy.greenheroes.tv

WHERE TO FIND TVO

On air:

Over-the-air (may vary in some areas)
Cable channel 2 (may vary in some areas)
Bell TV channel 209
TVO HD on Bell Fibe TV channel 1209
Rogers TVO HD channel 580
Shaw Direct channel 353

MEDIA CONTACT

Angela Garde
Communications and PR Specialist, TVO
P416-484-2600 x 2305
Eagarde@tvo.org

Social Media:
Nerese Richter
Nerese@GreenHeroes.tv
@GreenHeroesTV


Watch and learn about our celebrity Green Heroes

Join the Green Heroes™ Academy App to complete challenges and secret missions to become an honorary Green Hero too!

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

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