*

Saving the Planet One Story at a Time
menu +

Blog


Canadians are amongst the largest producers in the world of greenhouse gas emissions, the key contributors to climate change. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), between 1990 and 2005, Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 25.3%. Our reliance on fossil fuels for transport and production is mostly to blame for our skyrocketing emissions.

GreenHero Leilani Munter holding an owl

According to a World Wildlife Federation (WWF) report, a switch from oil to renewable energy sources could provide 70% of global energy supplies.

Leilani Münter is a National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing(NASCAR) driver, and though her everyday career depends on driving a car, she is an eco-activist who uses her celebrity voice to drive home the point that we can all change our lifestyles and kick our oil addictions.

Charles Darwin said, ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.’ Humans are so adaptable, yet we’re not changing. It’s time for Americans to look ourselves in the mirror, check ourselves into rehab and get off our oil addiction.”
– Leilani Munter

Leilani has a background in biology and a longtime love for wildlife and species protection; she’s the first Ambassador to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Though seemingly paradoxical, Leilani is using her NASCAR celebrity status to bring major issues to the forefront, visiting America’s Capitol Hill to speak on behalf of clean energy and climate change legislation.

In July of 2010, Leilani was part of a group of athletes that ventured to the Gulf of Mexico with the Sierra Club. The group examined the damages wreaked by the BP oil spill, and spoke about the need to move forward with clean energy technology and the responsibility of each of us to make changes in our own lives to reduce our carbon footprints.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S70cli9tVEI[/youtube]

You can watch Leilani’s own GreenHero profile video to learn more about her inspiring work and how she’s changing her life to reduce her carbon footprint. To learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint and change the way you live, visit our Oil Changers campaign page. Don’t forget to leave a comment there and on her profile page!
To read more about Leilani’s work, visit her Carbon Free Girl site.
Follow Leilani on Twitter, or become her fan on Facebook.
Donate to the National Wildlife Federation to help wildlife affected by the BP oil spill.

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.


Leilani Münter is a busy environmentalist, juggling her National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) racing duties and environmental responsibilities, speaking up for the Gulf, the need to transition to clean energy, and the protection of the world’s wildlife.

In August 2010, Leilani boarded a plane with Ric O’Barry to Taiji, Japan, to shine a light on the annual dolphin hunt occurring in the infamous cove. On her plane ride to Japan, Leilani reflected to us on our remarkable ability as human beings to adapt to change, and reminded us that we have the power and the capacity to change – we just need to act.


Leilani Munter on the Race Tract

BY LEILANI MÜNTER

I drove in a “zero emission vehicle” rally across Norway called the Viking Rally. When I crossed the finish line, I got out of my car, walked over to the exhaust pipe, put my hand out to capture the condensation and drank it.

How could I do this? I was driving a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, of which the only emissions are water and heat.

The “exhaust” coming out of my car was water vapor, nothing more.

People laughed at me and said I was crazy for doing that, but I drank that exhaust because I wanted to drive home the point – the waste from this car is so clean I can drink it!

The particular hydrogen fuel cell car I was driving cost about $1 million to build, so don’t think we are going to see them all over the road anytime soon. But it is a step in a right direction and shows that it CAN be done.

There are many other promising solutions to our fossil fuel like cellulosic ethanol and algae based biodiesel,electric carsgasification of trash to fuel, and the increased use of public transport.

Of course there are a multitude of reasons for us to get off of oil. Besides the obvious drawback of continuing to contribute to the 90 million tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into our atmosphere every day, our addiction to oil is also a national security issue.

In America, we currently spend $1 billion per day buying foreign oil from unstable countries that don’t like us very much. Drilling here is not the answer either, because our oil reserves are minimal.

Even if we drilled all our reserves – on and offshore – with our current use, it would be enough to last us for about three and a half years. That is not a workable formula, no matter how you do the math. And having made two trips to the Gulf in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill disaster, I have seen first hand the dangers of offshore drilling. It’s not a pretty sight.

Charles Darwin once said:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives. Nor is it the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

And so it is time for us to utilize our intelligence to adapt, to change, to improvise the way that we are living. For all our destruction and carelessness, one thing you cannot take away from the human being is our ingenuity.

There are brilliant minds around the world and I have no doubt we can find a solution to our problems, but we must act quickly.

This generation has been called upon to answer to the most noble of duties – to ensure the survival of future generations with the most basic of survival mechanisms – adaptation.


You can watch Leilani’s own GreenHero profile video to learn more about her inspiring work and how she’s changing her life to reduce her carbon footprint.

To learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint and change the way you live, visit our Oil Changers campaign page. Don’t forget to leave a comment!

To read more about Leilani’s work, visit her Carbon Free Girl site.

Follow Leilani on Twitter, or become her fan on Facebook.

Donate to the National Wildlife Federation to help wildlife affected by the BP oil spill.

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.


GreenHero Leilani Münter is not only a crusader for change at NASCAR, but she’s an advocate of living your values by making changes in your day to day.

Want to reduce your carbon footprint? Got 5 minutes every day?

Follow Leilani’s tips below, and share them with your friends via Twitter and Facebook. Just pick one or two to start, and let us know how it goes by commenting at the bottom of this post.

1. Change your lightbulbs to compact fluorescent lightbulbs – not only are they more energy efficient, but they will save you money!

2. While traveling, pack your own bar of soap & bottle of shampoo and don’t open the little soap & shampoo the hotel offers.

3. Bring your own reuseable tote bags to the grocery store instead of using paper or plastic bags.

4. Block junkmail. Call the companies and tell them to take you off their mailing lists (most junkmail will have a 1-800 number listed in their materials). Visit 41pounds.org for more information on how to block junkmail.

5. When you pick up take out food, ask them to hold the condiments and utensils – use your own if you are going to eat at home.

6. Plant a tree for every trip you take. Trees convert CO2 to oxygen, they are our best defense against global warming.

7. Become vegetarian – or at least reduce your meat consumption. Leilani has been vegetarian for years. There are many reasons why being vegetarian is better for the environment, humans, and animals. Meat goes hand in hand with fossil fuels, rainforest destruction, water pollution, world hunger, and animal cruelty.

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
– Albert Einstein

8. Buy and use organic and natural products.

9. Tell the bartender or waiter to hold the straw.

10. Support your local farmers – the further away your groceries come from, the more CO2 was produced getting it to your house.

11. Recycle. Did you know it takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum than to make it from raw materials?

12. Adjust your thermostat. In winter, lower it a few degrees and wear warmer clothing. In summer, raise it a few degrees and take off some clothes!

13. Use recycled paper towels and toilet paper. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry recycled products, ask them why.

14. If you are visiting a conservation site, if they have ads on their site, click on them. The conservation site will collect money from the advertisers for every click they get.

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



Photo credit: The Boston Bruins

By Joan Prowse, Director

I really love this week’s episode because it’s about oxymorons. Despite working in fields that depend heavily on fossil fuels, these GreenHeroes have nevertheless found ways to help protect the planet.

Take Boston Bruins’ defenseman, Andrew Ference, as an example. He turned the jet-setting NHL Player’s Association onto carbon offsets. Virtually every player in the NHL now contributes to programs that help the environment.

Professional racecar driver Leilani Münter also offsets her sport by buying an acre of rainforest for every race she drives.

By the way, she only accepts sponsorships for her racecar from green businesses, and in so doing, uses the car as a big billboard for the environment.

Both Andrew and Leilani are tapping into their extensive fan base to extend the reach of environmentalism beyond the committed “deep greens” to the “mushy middle” – those of us who want to do something but have yet to take action. The two of them both visited the site of the giant oil spill in Louisiana in July to bring further attention to the problem there.

These two heroes have faced their share of criticism. In the middle of a brawl, Andrew’s been called a “tree-hugger”, and Leilani certainly has put up with a lot of criticism as a woman speaking out for the environment in a gas-guzzling, male-dominated sport.


Photo credit: Craig Davidson

It seems the naysayers have it out for people who are trying to make a difference. Just this past week a friend of mine, who works in the Alberta Tar Sands (of all places) asked me if I didn’t feel like a hypocrite jet-setting around the world to tell my stories.

My answer was simple – I’m doing my part by making stories of incredible people known through the airwaves and the Internet. What I’m hoping to do is change minds – like yours – across the globe.

Want to be a part of the action? Learn more about this week’s featured GreenHero, Wangari Maathai and start Talking Climate Change by visiting our campaign page!

Oil Changers premières on TVO tonight at 7 p.m. and repeats on Saturday, December 3 at 4 p.m.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, it’s time to speak up:
Share your story of how you’re starting a discussion on climate change and the environment and how you’re making your voice heard by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details 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

Leilani Münter is a busy environmentalist, juggling her National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) racing duties and environmental responsibilities, speaking up for the Gulf, the need to transition to clean energy, and the protection of the world’s wildlife.

This past August 2010, Leilani boarded a plane with Ric O’Barry to Taiji, Japan, to shine a light on the annual dolphin hunt occurring in the infamous cove. On her plane ride to Japan, Leilani reflected to us on our remarkable ability as human beings to adapt to change, and reminded us that we have the power and the capacity to change – we just need to act.


By Leilani Münter

Last year I drove in a “zero emission vehicle” rally across Norway called the Viking Rally. When I crossed the finish line, I got out of my car, walked over to the exhaust pipe, put my hand out to capture the condensation and drank it.

How could I do this? I was driving a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, of which the only emissions are water and heat.

The “exhaust” coming out of my car was water vapor, nothing more.

People laughed at me and said I was crazy for doing that, but I drank that exhaust because I wanted to drive home the point – the waste from this car is so clean I can drink it!

The particular hydrogen fuel cell car I was driving cost about $1 million to build, so don’t think we are going to see them all over the road anytime soon. But it is a step in a right direction and shows that it CAN be done.

There are many other promising solutions to our fossil fuel cellulosic ethanoland algae based biodiesel, electric cars, gasification of trash to fuel, and the increased use of public transport.

Of course there are a multitude of reasons for us to get off of oil. Besides the obvious drawback of continuing to contribute to the 90 million tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into our atmosphere every day, our addiction to oil is also a national security issue.

In America, we currently spend $1 billion per day buying foreign oil from unstable countries that don’t like us very much. Drilling here is not the answer either, because our oil reserves are minimal.

Even if we drilled all our reserves – on and offshore – with our current use, it would be enough to last us for about three and a half years. That is not a workable formula, no matter how you do the math. And having made two trips to the Gulf in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill disaster, I have seen first hand the dangers of offshore drilling. It’s not a pretty sight.

Charles Darwin once said:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives. Nor is it the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

And so it is time for us to utilize our intelligence to adapt, to change, to improvise the way that we are living. For all our destruction and carelessness, one thing you cannot take away from the human being is our ingenuity.

There are brilliant minds around the world and I have no doubt we can find a solution to our problems, but we must act quickly.

This generation has been called upon to answer to the most noble of duties – to ensure the survival of future generations with the most basic of survival mechanisms – adaptation.


You can watch Leilani’s own GreenHero profile video to learn more about her inspiring work and how she’s changing her life to reduce her carbon footprint.

To learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint and change the way you live, visit our Oil Changers campaign page. Don’t forget to leave a comment!

To read more about Leilani’s work, visit her Carbon Free Girl site.

Follow Leilani on Twitter, or become her fan on Facebook.

Donate to the National Wildlife Federation to help wildlife affected by the BP oil spill.

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

TOP