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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

TIME TO STOP ASKING AND START ACTING

BY JOAN PROWSE

Producer/Director of GreenHeroes

Most people have heard of the Alberta Tar Sands. I was particularly struck by how far reaching Clayton’s message has been when I was in Germany at the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers TV conference at the beginning of the month.

People I met there, including TV producers from Europe, the UK, Australia and the U.S. were well aware of the travesty taking place near the tiny town of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Photo credit : David Dodge

Awareness leads to action. While I have never seen the Tar Sands first hand, I edited the pictures forGreenHeroes Episode 5 – Oil Changers and was frankly overwhelmed that we could rake havoc on such natural beauty.

I’ve been to the Athabasca River and Canada’s North. This pristine part of the world, and the people and wildlife living there, needs protection.

Photo credit : David Dodge

I urge everyone this holiday season to share Clayton’s webisode with others. I also encourage you take part in our campaign by doing one of the suggested actions.

Mother Earth will thank you for it.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, healthy communities matter. Share your story of how you are affecting the health of your neighbours and your local environment, 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.

These are the people who work behind the scenes, not the talkers or politicians, but the workers at the International Bird Rescue and Research Centre. Their job is to clean the affected birds, and boy what a job it is!

The birds, commonly known as Brown Pelicans, are oil soaked, and have incredibly large beaks and wings which typically can be as wide as 8 feet. The birds are held down by two workers with a grasp on each wing and beak. When they calm down a little the work begins…

They are first bathed in warmed vegetable oil, because their feathers are so sticky, then the workers armed with toothbrushes and dishwashing liquid get to work scrubbing the bird feathers and reaching into the beaks and the deep pockets to free the deposits of oil.

This process takes an incredible average of 45 minutes, but it is not over yet.

All the birds have to be dried and receive a health check, then they are branded for identification. Some rehabilitated birds may survive but might not breed again.

Tom Bancroft, chief scientist for the National Audubon Society said, “We really don’t know how much until the next breeding season”.

The men and women of the International Bird Rescue and Research Centre, with their diligence and courage, are truly unsung heroes.

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

On September 21, 2010, the Carbon Economy Summit unfolded in Toronto (if you happened to have an extra $675 + HST laying around). As many would agree, if we want to change the world, we have to shift the markets. The event originated in the U.S., but found its way north. Topics included total life cycle management, clean technology, sustainability, as well as carbon reporting, management and trading.

We GreenHeroes are an enthusiastic bunch, but we like to combine that with education about the topic at hand. So, let’s define a few of the Summit’s topics. You may be asking, what is “total life cycle management”? Life Cycle Management (LCM) is an integrated concept to assist in businesses managing the total life cycle of products and services towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns. We at GreenHeroes give an enthusiastic thumbs up!

Let’s talk a bit more about carbon reporting, management and trading. If you’re like us, you’ve heard a lot of conflicting messages on these topics. One of our favourite resources for dispelling myths comes from our friends at New Internationalist magazine, located here in Toronto, as well as in the U.K. and Australia. New Internationalist devoted an entire issue to the topic. If you’re interested in Canadian efforts for carbon offsetting, you can check out GreenHeroes’ interview with Howie Chong of Carbonzero.

If you didn’t have the resources or the time to join in the 2010 Carbon Economy Summit, don’t worry! The GreenHeroes team was on the scene, and will be sharing our experience soon.

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

Carbonzero
22Sep
2010

Can’t afford to install solar panels and wind turbines on your roof? Craving to leave a positive impact on the planet?

We know nobody’s perfect – everyone emits carbon in some shape or form from transportation and/or daily consumption of food and materials, which is why we’re betting on carbon offsets as the global warming mitigator of the future – investing in projects that actually pump money into carbon offsetting initiatives across the world.

One of our favourite offsetting companies is Carbonzero, founded and operated by GreenHero and self-proclaimed eco-entrepreneur Howie Chong.

Carbonzero helps Canadians measure, manage, and offset carbon emissions. We wanted to know more about how we can offset our emissions, so we asked Howie: How is it done? Simply put, we pay a fee proportional to the amount of carbon we emit, and that money is put towards innovative projects (think solar-powered buildings, retrofitting hospitals, etc.) to offset someone else’s emissions.

Carbonzero is practical and cool, and ties into the concept that the economy and the environment are linked; pricing carbon creates a price signal to help guide the actions of people and businesses. Simply calculate your emissions using Carbonzero’s handy calculator, and then purchase an equivalent amount of carbon offsets to support renewable energy projects.

Here’s one we thought was particularly neat: The Fredericton Region Solid Waste Commission (FRSWC) project aims to capture and flare landfill gas containing methane, thus significantly reducing the global warming potential of the greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere. The aggregated actions of many individuals and businesses offsetting their emissions can have some significant impacts. And no, carbon offsetting isn’t just for businesses – you can do it too!

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

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

Leilani Münter is a triple threat: long before she was a racecar driver and eco-activist, she was a biology major in university. It seemed a natural fit for her to become the first ambassador to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

The NWF is America’s largest conservation organization, protecting and restoring wildlife habitat. As ambassador, Leilani is the face of the NWF, speaking up on urgent issues related to wildlife and the environment.

We think it suits her well, and Leilani admits that if she had gotten paid for her work rescuing endangered wildlife in university, she would never have become a racecar driver.

The NWF was on the scene of the BP oil spill from April 20, 2010 and still is, taking immediate action to clean up and prevent a similar disaster from happening again. The

NWF is a major player and a triple threat in its own right: tracking and reporting impacts of the spill, rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife, and restoring damaged ecosystems.

The NWF is also raising awareness about the impacts of the spill, and speaking on behalf of wildlife, to ensure they are given a voice in policy decisions.

We watched Leilani visit the Gulf with a group of athletes to shed light on the disaster, but what you may not know is that since 2008, Leilani has been translating her climate fighting words into action, working with the NWF to push the American Climate Security Act on Capitol Hill.

To take action yourself, visit our Oil Changers campaign page, and learn about how you can purchase an acre of rainforest like Leilani does, to offset carbon emissions, donate to the NWF and make changes in your own life to prevent a disaster like this from happening again. And leave a comment to let others know what you’re doing to change, because as Leilani reminded us, small changes, when multiplied by millions, can make a really big difference.

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



When Leilani went down to the Gulf with the Sierra Club to view the impacts of the BP oil spill, she was not the only athlete with the environment on her mind.

As it turns out, there’s a community of athletes committed to making the world a greener place, because though we all have a stake in the environment, these individuals call the earth, the air, and the water their playground; they depend on its health every day for their jobs.

Leilani is a part of an incredible community of athletes called Athletes for a Healthy Planet (A4HP), some of whom went down to the Gulf with her and Andrew Ference. We were drawn to these athletes, because despite responding to an environmental issue seemingly out of their realm of work and interest, these individuals continue to search for solutions and promote understanding of the impacts of destructive environmental practices.

A4HP promotes the idea that a healthy planet impacts our health, economy, jobs, national security, social justice, and overall quality of life. Our own GreenHero Leilani is joined by Mike Richter, National Hockey League (NHL) champion goalie, Connie Carpenter, Olympic Gold medal cyclist, Billie Jean King, tennis champion, John McEnroe, tennis legend, Mark Messier, NHL icon, Angela Ruggiero, four-time Olympic Medalist.

Their message is clear: we cannot wait.

Political bickering has stalled the process of finding a solution, and the most harmful thing we can do, is do nothing at all. If you live in the U.S., you can join A4HP by using their online Advocacy Tool to contact your Senator. If you live in Canada, visit our Oil Changers campaign page for tools on contacting your MP.

We’ve got our own shining athletes in Canada, too. Play it Cool is an exciting initiative in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation, which raises awareness about the harmful damages of climate change and introduces ways of taking action. We learned about Play it Cool through our GreenHero Andrew Ference, who worked with the David Suzuki Foundation to form the NHL Carbon Neutral Challenge to reduce his and 500 other NHL players’ carbon footprints.

Other Play it Cool members include Hayley Wickenheiser Captain, Canadian Women’s Hockey Team, Jennifer Heil, Canadian Freestyle Canadian Ski Team, and Justin Lamoureux, Canadian Half Pipe Team. Understanding that climate change affects how these athletes train and compete, Play it Cool encourages them to spread their message, and to offset their emissions using Gold Standard offsets, the highest-quality offsets in the world.

As of February 10, 2010, athletes in the Play it Cool program have collectively offset 509 tonnes of carbon! Find out how to sign up your own team and offset your emissions by visiting our Oil Changers campaign page.

Have you checked anything off our Cool Climate Checklist? Here are a few more tips from the David Suzuki Foundation on keeping green with your team:

Follow Play it Cool on Twitter.
Become a fan of Play it Cool on Facebook.

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

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