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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.

What can we do this year to make a difference? Start by heeding some sage advice from Dr. Jane Goodall – this month’s Green Hero.

What every person can do is spend a little bit of time every day learning about and thinking about the consequences of all the little choices we make each day. What we buy. What we wear. What we eat. How we get from A to B. How we interact with other people. How we interact with animals and the environment. If we all start making little changes the cumulative effect will be the kind of thing we need to change the world and put it back on track.

You can watch the webisode where she speaks these words or catch the entire Green Heroes TV episode featuring Dr. Goodall along with other animal champions including Dolphin Protector Ric O’Barry, Shark enthusiast Rob Stewart, and Papa Goose, Richard Lishman on Amazon Prime

Also as a special treat this month- the multi-award winning documentary National Geographic documentary about Jane Goodall’s life with the chimps airs on TVO Monday, January 7 at 9 p.m. as part of their Biography Mondays series. The documentary also gives a seldom seen look at footage filmed by Dutch wildlife photographer Hugo van Lawick who later became Jane’s husband. It’s an intimate portrait of their life and love that will capture your heart.

Now that’s a great way to start the New Year! Happy 2019 to all our Green Heroes and their many fans and supporters. May 2019 bring a greener and cleaner future for all and remember:

Everyone of us makes a difference every single day.

Dr. Jane Goodall

Today, as Green Heroes.tv celebrates our 6th anniversary, we honour musician and water protector, Gord Downie on tour with his band The Tragically Hip. Media articles and reports cover his musical legacy, but haven’t mentioned his activism and love of the lake. This led to stopping an environmental heavy hitter from burning tires as an alternate fuel source on the shores of Lake Ontario, just down the road from the band’s recording studio in Bath Ontario. Gord joined forces with the local community and the environmental organization, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, and became co-applicant on a case that led to changing how permits for potentially unsafe environmental practices are approved in Ontario.

“I feel more a citizen of Lake Ontario than I do of anywhere else.” Gord told us.

His love of the lake came early, growing up in Kingston Ontario, a waterfront city located at the eastern end of the lake near the start of the St. Lawrence River. But “with time and distance” Gord found he had “lost his connection with the lake” until he heard a speech by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. whose work on the Hudson River spawned the global Waterkeeper Alliance.

Gord said it was an empowering moment when he heard that “the lake belongs to us. It’s in the public trust. In an era when everything is owned and staked out, that really moved me.”

Watch our profile of Gord as he tells what it took to achieve victory against a large multinational and, for a more in-depth look, watch our TV episode, In My Backyard, produced in association with TVO.

The CBC carries the Hip’s hometown show in Kingston, Ont., live on its television, radio and online platforms on Aug. 20 starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. While it will be a moving event, we’ll remember Gord best for literally putting his name on the line to achieve environmental justice for the lake he loves so much.

Spring is a busy time for Green Heroes everywhere! With the celebration of the United Nation’s World Water Day on March 22nd and Green Hero David Suzuki’s 80th birthday on April 4, organizations are now revving up for Earth Day festivities this Friday, April 22nd.

A global network of Earth Day organizations is kicking off an ambitious campaign to plant 7.8 billion trees, one for every person on the planet, by 2020. Canada’s contribution to this worldwide goal is 35 million trees. Join Earth Day Canada’s #Rooting4Trees campaign which is committed to planting 25,000 legacy trees for Earth Day’s 25th Anniversary in 2016.

Every year, tens of thousands of Canadians participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean up presented by WWF and Loblaw Companies Limited. It is one of the largest direct action direct action environmental programs in Canada and the third largest cleanup in the world. To find out how you can get involved, go to: http://www.shorelinecleanup.ca/en/take-action/get-involved

Gala events bring people together to celebrate environmental acts and heroes and to fundraise for future activities. The 5th Annual Waterkeeper Gala will be held on April 21st at the Canadian Broadcast Centre in Toronto. Lake Ontario Waterkeeper was created by Green Hero, Matt Mattson and Krystyn Tully, with the support of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his global Waterkeeper network. Although the April 21st gala is sold out, Earth Day Canada’s Earth Ball still has tickets available. This annual event, held each Earth Day, hosts more than 400 business and environmental leaders and is held at the Mill Street Brewery in Toronto’s Distillery District.

Also for Earth Day, For Our Grandchildren (4RG)  invited Toronto high school students to creatively envision a healthier environment on earth by designing projects for reducing climate change and lowering carbon emissions, leading to a non-carbon future. Team projects will be presented at an event called: Speak Up For The Planet, at the Ontario Science Centre, on Friday April 22nd from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. More information about For Our Grandchildren and its programs is available @ www.forourgrandchildren.ca

It’s good to see retailers taking part in Earth Day events too. If you missed the 10th anniversary of The Green Living Show at the Metro Convention Centre Toronto April 15-17, you can still visit and learn more about exhibitor’s green products and services from the Green Living website.

Planet in Focus, Canada’s longest running environmental film festival,  screened some of their festival favourites at the Green Living show and is now accepting submissions and planning for their 17th annual environmental film festival to be held in Toronto from October 19th to October 23rd. With school field trips and world premieres, it’s a not-to-be missed event for both film-lovers and tree-huggers alike.

On Earth Day, and all year long,  fill your desire for great environmental stories by tuning into TVO, for Green Heroes TV shows and other environmental documentaries.

Premiering Sunday April 13 on CBS’ Showtime is the investigative series Years of Living Dangerously. In it, Ford and other Hollywood celebrities and respected journalists span the globe to expose the dangers resulting from years of living without serious regard for our planet.  Green Heroes applauds CBS’s Showtime for airing the series in a key program slot on Sundays at 10 p.m. Green Heroes airs Sundays on TVO featuring stories of celebrity and everyday people  taking on climate change.

The first episode of “Years of Living Dangerously” features Harrison Ford as he travels to Indonesia; there he witnesses the deforestation of the country’s once plentiful jungles to support the palm oil industry. Even elephants living in state parks are at risk. Poisoned to make way for the replanting of trees, these elephants are just one of many species facing extinction.

The two other investigations done by NY Times Journalist Thomas Friedman and Academy Award nominee Don Cheadle show the direct result of increased carbon emissions on our planet’s temperature and make the connection between droughts and social-political conditions – such as civil unrest in Syria and unemployment in the bible belt of America. In both cases, people are forced to move from their homes to the city, only to face under-paid, overcrowded, and stressful living conditions.

As a warm-up to a night of climate change enlightenment, tune into TVO as Green Heroes’ second season airs with two back-to-back episodes beginning at 6:00 p.m. Biting into Change features celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy and legendary music producer Daniel Lanois. Green is the New Black tracks three fashionistas as they take on the mega beauty biz.

At the Green Heroes Academy embark on a personal journey to make a difference with a mobile app filled with fun, family focused activities. Go the extra mile with challenges like the Transport Mission and make a difference– one green act at a time.

Planet in Focus, Canada’s largest environmental film festival opens Thursday, November 21 featuring an  array of films and events that includes our own Green Heroes: Back to Nature TV show and its new companion mobile app.

The Festival kicks off with an opening night celebration with Canadian eco-hero tribute to Inuit director Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) and the premiere of John Walker’s latest documentary, Arctic Defenders.

The festival has something for everyone. School field trips to see Rob Stewart’s ‘Revolution’ and TVO’s ‘The Water Brothers’, an industry day, pitching and award competitions, and this year’s international eco-hero winner, Col. Chris Hadfield’s appearance on closing night, Sunday November 24.

Green Heroes is proud to have Back to Nature screen as part of Green Family day on Saturday morning at the AGO. The documentary explores the issue of Nature Deficit disorder with commentary from twelve year old Ta’Kaiya Blaney, Shaun Majumder, Edward Burtynsky, Andrew Nikiforuk, Robert Bateman, Olivia Chow and more.

This free 9 a.m screening, at the AGO, is follwed by a Q & A with Ta’Kaiya and a demonstration of our new Green Heroes Academy app. Afterwards families can try out actions in the Back to Nature mission aimed at getting kids and their parents to re-connect with the great outdoors.


Green Heroes would like to offer a free screening pass to the Planet in Focus film festival to the first person who posts a picture action from the ‘Back to Nature’ mission in the  Green Heroes Academy app. Users will have to join the Green Heroes Academy Facebook page to have their picture post on Facebook.

1) Play or Download the Green Heroes Academy on your mobile device @ www.academy.greenheroes.tv

2) Join the ‘Green Heroes Academy‘ Group on Facebook

3) Select the Back to Nature mission in the app and do any of the photo missions!

4) Post to Facebook or tweet about it with #greenheroestv

November marks the transitionary period from vibrant fall foliage to winter’s beautiful crystal clear skies…and all the pale and muddy shades in-between.

While some may be delighted to see the seasons first snow flakes fall from the sky, others may not feel so cozy to the thought of the coming winter landscape. Nevertheless, we will continue with cheerful optimism – and what better to spread that November cheer but with the launch of a new Green Heroes Academy Contest!!! [I can already hear the forming snow flakes cheer from the skies] To celebrate Canada’s transition from Autumn to Winter beauty (and with it the coming holiday season), Green Heroes partnered with Donna Bishop’s Green Beauty salon to award November’s winner with a $125 certificate for use at the salon along with a consultation.

Green Beauty is a full service hair and beauty salon location in beautiful Lawrence Park in Toronto, as well as an online boutique. At Green Beauty, we are beauty fanatics who won’t sacrifice performance or quality in our skin care, make up or hair care. And we insist that these products are clean, healthy and safe for your entire family.  How do we decide what’s safe? We don’t. We decide what works. Founder and makeup artist Donna Bishop tests every single product to ensure it meets our high performance standards (several brands are used on actors in films and TV series). We let the experts decide what is safe, like David Suzuki and Environmental Defense. That means there are no carcinogens (cancer-causing), endocrine disrupting (mess with your DNA), or animal testing (that’s right bunny—you’re safe). All the ingredients are listed, every single one, whether you buy online or come into the salon. No surprises. Love that.

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To win the prize, this month’s action is to introduce us to your favourite eco store (for clothes or beauty products) and tell us why you like it.

Watch what NOW Columnist (and Green Hero) Adria Vasil loves about her favourite eco store as she gives us a tour of The Big Carrot in Toronto.


Here’s how to enter:

1) Play or Download the Green Heroes Academy on your mobile device @ www.academy.greenheroes.tv

2) Join the ‘Green Heroes Academy‘ Group on Facebook

3) Complete Action: Beauty Mission – Shop Wisely – Action 2: Introduce us to your favourite eco store (for clothes or beauty products) and tell us why you like it.

4) Upload to the Green Heroes academy Facebook group with ‘#GreenHeroesContest’ in the caption.

5) Share! The most likes on Facebook wins.

Last month’s contest featured a BionX bicycle upgrade – awarding the winner, Justin Arjune, with a free e-bike installation. Justin’s post to the Academy with his favourite way to travel using a Bixi bike for downtown trips netted the most likes and comments onto the Green Heroes Academy Facebook page.

Here’s what Justin had to say upon winning the contest: This is incredible! The first time I ever tested an e-bike I knew I was riding the future, I can’t believe I can have one of these systems on my bike! Thanks Green Heroes!

BionX Contest Winner

BionX Contest Winner

Thank you to BionX for offering this amazing prize!

Congratulations to Liz Culotti whose photo earned her two tickets to this year’s Greenbelt Harvest Picnic featuring great local food and a line-up of talented musicians led by Green Hero, Daniel Lanois.

When we told Liz about her prize she wrote: “I’m so excited to celebrate Ontario’s agriculture and hear amazing Canadian artists play music! Being a part of the Green Heroes community has taught me so much about what I can personally do to save the environment and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.”

Here is the winning photo that netted the most comments.

Liz

Fresh City Farms founder, Ran Goel, sets up an urban garden on King St West in downtown Toronto

The act of meeting a local farmer and uploading his pic, is just one of many fun activities people can do to earn points and move up the ranks from recruit to green hero status inside the Green Heroes Academy. For those yet to sign up on Facebook, the Academy is a mobile app full of missions and challenges inspired by the Green Heroes TV series. Each month we will highlight an action from the Academy and award a prize.

September’s contest features an action from the Academy’s transport mission with the prize being a BionX e-bike Power series kit – to add more fun and zip to your daily commute as we head back to school and work.

Watch this video to find out how to enter – and let’s all of us go the extra mile to keep our planet green.

Green Heroes – September Contest from Joan Prowse on Vimeo.

 

 


WHERE TO WATCH:

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
P: 416-484-2600 x 2305
E: agarde@tvo.org

Social Media:
Justin Arjune
justin@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

 

TVO’s premiere of Green Heroes’ second season featured Daniel Lanois and other performers at the 2012 GreenBelt Harvest Picnic. Inspired by the annual gathering of great music and wholesome local food, CineFocus Canada and the Green Heroes team are running a contest this month and giving away a pair of tickets to this year’s Greenbelt Harvest Picnic on August 31, 2013 featuring Gordon Lightfoot, Emmy Lou Harris and many more amazing musicians.

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The contest doesn’t require any petitioning and we most certainly are not asking you to dress up in a fancy costume parading around the streets as an environmental super hero (although this is always welcome)….

Your mission (should you decide to take it):

(1)  Join the Green Heroes Academy Facebook page via the Intro Mission at academy.greenheroes.tv, and if you already have you’re half-way there!

(2)  Enter the Food Mission: Biting into Change”. Once inside the mission select  ‘The Locavore Pledge” challenge and scroll down to find action #4 and take the required picture. Posting with the hashtag #GreenHeroesContest.

(3)  With the picture automatically posted in the Green Heroes Academy page on Facebook, share your picture-post to gain the most likes and retweets by August 26 to win two tickets to the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic on August 31st.

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Good luck to all you Green Hero recruits and we wish you well on your journey of greenspiration. This year’s picnic will feature musical acts such as Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Emmylou Harris, Daniel Lanois, the Arkells and many more; along with the great people that grow Ontario’s food. The Harvest Picnic is a perfect way to lead into the Harvest season.

Best of luck,

The Green Heroes Team

 


WHERE TO WATCH:

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
P: 416-484-2600 x 2305
Eagarde@tvo.org

Social Media:
Justin Arjune
justin@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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