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20 YOUNG MEN & WOMEN WHO ARE SAVING THE PLANET

Ed. Emily Hunter. San Francisco: Conari Press. 2011.

REVIEWED BY: ALICE VAN WART

If we need proof that young people are neither apathetic nor in what is going on around the world, here we have it.

If anything, judging from the voices in this collection, young people around the world are passionately committed to counteracting the problems created by the powerful few who have squandered and destroyed much of the earth’s bounty.

Their voices need to be heard since their very commitment might just save the planet.

In The Next Eco-Warriors, Emily Hunter, daughter of Greenpeace founder Robert Hunter, has collected the stories of twenty-two people that redefine the meaning of activism.

Hunter’s purpose is a plea for a global movement that puts the value of the planet before the value of profit and progress.

Ranging in age from their early twenties to their thirties and geographically spanning the globe from North America to China, their stories are as diverse as their characters.

Hunter calls them the new global ‘Eco-warriors’, a term coined by her father.

The stories of these Eco-warriors prove beyond doubt that it is not just those with power who can effect change. As their stories show anyone who cares can be an Eco-warrior; it is a matter of passion and commitment.

To help make the world a better place to live, they tackle problems of climate change, energy use, overfishing, the disappearance of indigenous cultures, animal species, and various ecosystems.

Enei Begaye, a Dine activist uses protest to stop the coal mining that is destroying the land and culture of her her people in the south western United States.

Kevin Ochien, a young Kenyan, leads a peaceful climate movement not just in Kenya but across Africa. Win

Bo, a Chinese activist, started the first Greenpeace in mainland China, while African American Tanya Fields uses urban farming as a way of fighting poverty in her community of the Bronx in New York City.

Their tactics are as different as their goals; ranging from individual protest and group demonstration, to more radical actions of confrontation and subterfuge, as well as artistic expression to draw attention to the problems they see.

Australian Andy Riley first conceives his idea of Earth Hour in Sydney. Now it takes place around the globe.

The American Jamie Henn founds the movement 350.org to help lower carbon emissions.

Rob Stewart makes a documentary to reveal the brutality behind the shark fishing that supplies fins for shark fin soup, while Jo-Anne McArthur uses photography to reveal the cruelty animals often suffer in the name of fashion, fad, and sport.

Each story in this collection offers another example of the various ways we can all help save the planet.

As Hunter says in her introduction, “the world of revolution is open to everyone who wants to make a substantial difference.” As a collection, this book offers hope and inspiration to us all.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, plugging into green matters! Share your story of how you are working to reduce carbon emissions, by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero!

This week’s episode, “The Power of an Idea”, is all about putting ideas into action, something which Bill Lishman is quite famous for! Have you got an idea that you want to take flight?

Sure, it can be overwhelming to think about “saving the planet” from environmental destruction, but these GreenHeroes have found ways to make simple changes as part of a much bigger picture; that’s what GreenHeroes is all about

Three great innovators show the power of simple steps: Willa Black, a corporate warrior who has turned one million acts into a world-changing environmental campaign, David Suzuki, the quintessential Canadian environmentalist who models simple actions every day, and Stuart Hickox, a former marketer who has demonstrated the phenomenal power of millions of people making one change.

Tune in tonight and in the weeks to come for other GreenHeroes venturing forth to Save the Planet One Story at a Time.

If you can’t tune in tonight, Episode 3 will also be playing this Saturday at 4 pm (EST) on TVO!


Thank You Guest Bloggers!


Mark Mattson

Besides incredible blogs from our GreenHeroes Rob Stewart, Laura Reinsborough, Leilani Munter, Stuart Hickox, and Sarah Harmer, we’ve been incredibly lucky to host the voices of some phenomenal community leaders from across Canada.

These bloggers are GreenHeroes in their own rights, earning a spot on our wall for undertaking incredible social initiatives.

Claudia Li, Founder, Shark Truth – Claudia Li is the founder of Shark Truth, an organization dedicated to putting a stop to traditional Chinese delicacy of shark fin soup.

Claudia is a person of Chinese heritage, and felt the need to take responsibility on the issue, so she researched, strategized, and launched a mega anti-finning campaign.

Mark Mattson, President, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper – Mark Mattson is a criminal lawyer and the face and voice of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.

He has been working tirelessly for years to prosecute environmental offenders, and now focuses his energies on public access to clean, healthy and safe waterways through Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, which he founded in 2001.


Sarah Elton

Dr. Gail Krantzberg, Director, Center for Engineering and Public Policy, McMaster University – Dr. Gail Krantzberg’s work focuses on shared water stewardship and water policy in large lakes.

Though water science is her specialty, it’s her infectious personal passion for the Great Lakes and dedication to preserving them that shines through her work.

Sarah Elton, Author, Locavore: From Farmers’ Fields to Rooftop Gardens – How Canadians are Changing the Way We Eat – Sarah Elton is a journalist and food writer, featured in publications including The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, and The Atlantic’s Food Channel.

Sarah was inspired to write Locavore after discovering that her daughter’s cookie had traveled all the way from China.

Rhonda Teitel-Payne, Urban Agriculture Manager, The Stop Community Food Center – Rhonda Teitel-Payne is incredibly dedicated to ensuring access to healthy food for all, which doubtlessly contributes to the fact that the Stop is much more than a food bank. Rhonda works with The Stop to provide fresh produce from local community gardens and community skill building workshops.


Justin LaFountaine

Justin LaFontaine, Project Founder and Director, Bike Train – On a trip to the Niagara Region, Justin discovered that there was no easy way for cyclists to get out of the city and see the countryside, so he partnered with VIA Rail Canada to introduce a unique service, which allows tourists to take their bikes on trains with little environmental impacts.

Lea Anne Mallett, Executive Director, EcoSource – Lea Anne Mallett is the head of EcoSource, an organization that empowers the community to become more environmentally responsible through creative public education.

Lulu Cohen Farnell, Founder, Real Food for Real Kids – Lulu and her husband David started Real Food for Real Kids because they didn’t want their son Max to grow up on anything by real food. She decided that it wasn’t impossible to try and change the world, and her phenomenal company, bringing real, healthy food to kids has been growing since.

We believe that sharing ideas is essential to sparking change; it can be as simple as contributing to our blog. What are you doing in your community to make a change? We want to hear from you! If you are interested in appearing on our blog, send us your ideas, words and questions to blog@greenheroes.tv.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, let your ideas take flight: Share your story of innovation and bright ideas sparking change 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!

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