The Daily Green's 2009 Heart of Green Awards ceremony honored 11 individuals and organizations that have helped green go mainstream. The signature awards mirror The Daily Green's mission to reach a mainstream audience by showing how going green is relevant to all Americans. Below, you'll find the acceptance speeches of the 2009 Heart of Green honorees.
The star-studded Heart of Green Awards ceremony, sponsored by eBay, was held on April 23, 2009 -- the day after Earth Day, reflecting the fact that our honorees carry the Earth Day message to the rest of the calendar. The ceremony, at the LEED gold-certified Hearst Tower in New York City, was attended by more than 200 guests, representing influential voices in the green movement, media and politics. The reaction? Each story left other honorees and the audience truly inspired. No story was as inspiring as that of 2009 Local Hero honoree, Greg Perry, whose efforts to develop the Ultimate Green Classroom with his students while battling cancer inspired a standing ovation.
Click through the following links to watch each of the honorees' video acceptance speeches.
Frances Beinecke, Lifetime Achievement
President of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Frances Beinecke was honored with the first annual Heart of Green Lifetime Achievement Award, for her multifaceted work with one of America's largest (1.2 million members) and most influential environmental groups. See why Frances Beinecke deserves this Lifetime Achievement award.
Greg Perry, the Local Hero
Greg Perry, a high school teacher from Ohio, was honored with the first annual Local Hero award. Selected from among nominees submitted by The Daily Green's audience, Perry was honored for working with his marketing students to develop the Green Dream, Ohio's largest green products expo, and the Ultimate Green Classroom, a model classroom made with sustainable and nontoxic materials. Through it all, Perry has battled cancer, giving his students an extra lesson in courage. Read an update about Greg Perry's story, learn about 40 other inspiring Local Heroes nominated by The Daily Green's audience in 2009, or check out the 2010 local hero nominees.
Gloria Reuben, the Truth Teller
Gloria Reuben, winner of the 2009 Heart of Green Truth Teller award, has been an outspoken advocate for clean water and human health, among other causes. That passion led her to become the spokesperson for The Waterkeeper Alliance's The Dirty Lie campaign, which seeks to dispel the myth that coal is "clean." Read more about our celebrity honorees.
Deirdre Imus, the Guardian
Author of the best-selling Green This! series of books, Deirdre Imus has worked for years to support children with cancer and to prevent childhood diseases by reducing exposure to toxic chemicals, most prominently through the "Greening the Cleaning" campaign at her Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology. She was honored with the 2009 Heart of Green Guardian award. Check out 12 tips for protecting your kids from toxic chemicals, by Deirdre Imus, and learn more about the other nominees in the parenting category.
Alicia Silverstone, the Eco-Original
Honored with the 2009 Heart of Green Eco-Original award for her work promoting animal rights, a vegan diet and an ethical and environmental lifestyle, Alicia Silverstone will publish her first book in 2009, The Kind Diet. Read Alicia Silverstone's Diet Principles, and try some of her recipes from the Kind Diet!.
Roger Doiron, the Ground Breaker
Roger Doiron, founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, was honored with the 2009 Heart of Green Ground Breaker award for his work on the successful Eat the View campaign, which inspired First Lady Michelle Obama to plant an organic vegetable garden on the South Lawn at the White House. Read more about Roger Doiron and all nominees in the food category, then check out Roger's tips for eating more local food, building a garden greenhouse and planting high-yield vegetables.
Summer Rayne Oakes, the Path Finder
Oakes, an author (style, naturally), model, designer and activist, was honored with the 2009 Heart of Path Finder award for her work promoting a sustainable, affordable line of shoes with Payless and for her forest conservation work. Read more about Summer Rayne Oakes' fashion tips, and check out the other nominees in the consumer category.
Maria Menounos, the Star Connection
Maria Menounos was honored with the 2009 Heart of Green Star Connection award for her work on Access Hollywood and Planet Green's Hollywood Green programs, promoting how celebrities are going green, and inspiring their fans to do the same. Read more about our celebrity honorees.
Rit Aggarwala, the Visionary (for New York City)
New York City, under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has launched PlaNYC, a 30-year sustainability plan that is a model for other cities. For the city leaders' work, and for the work of countless entrepreneurial residents, New York City was honored with the 2009 Heart of Green Visionary award. Read more about New York City and all nominees in the politics category.
Laura Michalchyshyn, the Influencer (for Planet Green)
Planet Green, the 24-hour Discovery Channel green network, was honored with the 2009 Heart of Green Influencer award for doing what it does: keeping green themes on the air all day, every day. The channel's president, Laura Michalchyshyn, accepted the award. Read more about Planet Green and all nominees in the media category.
Jennifer Canty, "Green Team Community Award"
Jennifer Canty, winner of the eBay Green Team Community Award, selected by eBay, was honored for founding Dyscern, which refurbishes and resells old electronics on eBay, and TradeUps.com, which pays people for their electronics they would otherwise discard. Read more about Jennifer Canty and all the 2009 Heart of Green honorees.
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