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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!

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!

GreenHero Laura Reinsborough‘s Not Far From the Tree  is bringing fall to the public!

The organization aims to promote the benefits of eating  locally by helping Toronto homeowners make use of their  harvests. Not Far From the Tree is partnering with other  organizations to put on two great events this month in the  city:

City Cider – On September 18th, 2011 from 1-5 pm, visit  The Orchard at Spadina Museum for live music, cider,  yoga for kids, and more!

Harvest Festival – On September 22, 2011 from 4-7 pm, come out to Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard for free fruit and snacks, orchard tours, children’s activities, and more!

Not Far From the Tree is also using green transportation! Check out the new cargo bikes it will use to share fresh fruit from trees in Toronto.

Why should you go local? Laura explained it in this guest post she wrote for our blog last year. Inspired by Laura’s work, Greenheroes created the Tasting Local Foods campaign in which we share information on how you how you can grow and eat locally.

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of one of our GreenHeroes. Ray Anderson was the founder and chairman of carpet manufacturer Interface Inc. Ray passed away on August 8 after an epic struggle with cancer.

Ray  was a hero, as he encompassed the true spirit of entrepreneurship and left behind an innovative green business model. He used the metaphor of climbing a mountain to identify and explain what he called the Seven Fronts of Mount Sustainability, efforts companies must make to become sustainable:

  • Front 1 – Eliminate Waste
  • Front 2 – Eliminate Harmful Emissions
  • Front 3 – Increase Energy Efficiency and use Renewable Energy      Resources
  • Front 4 – Reduce Finite Raw Material Inputs and use recycled materials
  • Front 5 – Reduce Transportation’s Carbon Footprint
  • Front 6 – Sensitize Stakeholders
  • Front 7 – Redesign Commerce

Ray  saw that a profit could still be made by placing a heavy emphasis on recycling, ensuring that the company was working towards reducing their ecological footprint while also boosting their reputation and sales. Ray was a conundrum: he was both a successful capitalist as well as an active GreenHero — a Green Capitalist! He sought to drastically shift his company’s practice of operating primarily to the goal of achieving profit to becoming completely sustainable.

GreenHeroes has released several posts related to his great work and will be featuring them in the blog over the next two weeks.