The Heart of Green Awards
The Daily Green's Heart of Green Awards honor those people, organizations and companies that have taken the green message to the mainstream to the "heart" of the American people. In addition to honoring those with a national profile, the 2009 Heart of Green Awards also recognized a Local Hero nominated by The Daily Green's audience, and a Lifetime Achievement award winner.
Here, you'll find the 40 worthy nominees for the Local Hero award. To read about all the winners see complete coverage of the Heart of Green awards.
As a class of 18 high school senior students we would like to nominate our amazing teacher for your award.
Greg Perry (38) is our teacher who has led us to create the "ULTIMATE GREEN CLASSROOM" at our school. Under his direction last April we held the largest Eco-Friendly Showcase in Ohio and raised approximately $150,000 in Green goods and services to build this unbelievable classroom. Gregs incredible enthusiasm and energy is contagious. His passion for introducing Green companies to our community is unrivaled. He is an inspirational individual who has impacted all of our lives.
To fully understand why we think he deserves an award we need to tell you a little about him. At the age of 6 he was paralyzed from the neck down in an accident. He was told he would never walk, never play football and never feed himself. He proved the doctors wrong! He can do all these things and much more. His determination continues to thrive.
We had just started working on our 2nd Eco-Friendly Showcase that takes place on Friday, April 17, 2009, when Greg was told he has cancer. He started intense chemotherapy treatment at the beginning of this year. Despite this he has continued to guide us to achieve our goal by working with us from his home. We have Skype link ups with him and keep in touch daily. His enthusiasm for this project never wanes. He comes into the Green Dream Classroom here at Beachwood High School whenever he is able. He is adamant that we keep the Green Dream alive.
We cannot think of anyone who is more deserving of such an honor. He is a very special individual.
Nominated by: The students of Beachwood High School's Green Dream Classroom
Greg Perry accepted the first annual Heart of Green Local Hero award April 23 at a star-studded ceremony in New York City. Learn more about Greg and watch his inspiring acceptance speech!.
Robina Suwol is the Founder and Executive Director of California Safe Schools (CSS), a celebrated children's environmental health & environmental justice nonprofit coalition of over 50 organizations located in Southern California committed to the health and safety of children, staff and community members who reside near school sites.
CSS is internationally recognized for spearheading the most stringent pesticide policy in the nation at Los Angeles Unified School District (2nd largest in the nation). This policy called Integrated Pest Management Policy (IPM), uses low risk methods to eliminate pest and weeds. The policy was the first in the United States to embrace the Precautionary Principle and Parents Right to Know about pesticides used on school campuses. Today it has become the model for school districts and communities internationally.
October 6, 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 405 (Montanez) sponsored by California Safe Schools. This law closes a loophole, and protects more than 6 million California K-12 public school students and hundreds of thousands of teachers and school employees from exposure to experimental pesticides whose health effects are unknown. An articulate and compelling speaker, Suwol gives frequent presentations on safety to parents, students, school officials & legislators.
Robina was twice recognized as a Volvo Hero, and she has been recognized with the Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 - 2007 Environmental Award, the Red Cross Women of Spirit Award, the Los Angeles Childrens Council Leading Boldly Award, the 2007 South Coast Air Quality District Environmental Stewardship Award, an UTNE Magazine Visionaries Who Is Changing the World award, Prevention Magazine's Hero award, and other awards from local, state, federal agencies & government leaders.
Nominated by: Donna Inglima
In March 2006, Avery Hairston was a 14-year-old freshman who had just seen Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. It would have been understandable if Avery was overwhelmed by the frightening predictions of a future filled with global warming, melting ice caps and changing weather patterns. Most kids would have felt helpless to do anything about the problems his generation will inherit. But Avery knew that he didn't want his grandchildren to say: You were right there and could have done something, but didnt do enough.
So, Avery and a group of his friends got together to create RelightNY, a program that runs on the idea that together, everyone can have a big impact by doing something small. It's a simple concept that's mobilizing thousands of young people to directly tackle climate change in their communities.
"Something like global warming is kind of hard to wrap your head around," he said. "But a simple thing like changing a light bulb is empowering. Were really tackling a global issue."
Avery and his Relight team quickly began educating fellow New Yorkers about their energy use one apartment at a time and to ask their neighbors to switch from incandescent bulbs to CFL bulbs. Then, they figured if they donate CFL bulbs to community members, they would draw attention to the environmental issues and at the same time, help families save money on their electric bills. In the past two years, they have raised enough money to donate 30,000 bulbs to low-income housing in each of the 5 boroughs of New York City.
Recently, Avery realized that New York City schools are filled with our littlest volunteers and could be mobilized one classroom at a time. He teamed with the Children for Children Foundation to offer a K-12 curriculum to educate students on the power of switching to CFL bulbs and the impact they can have on the earth's environment. Kids throughout the NYC area are now able to get together with their friends and form Relight teams, and search online for a building that they can volunteer to "adopt." Armed with the right information, they can help convince all New Yorkers to make the switch.
The greatest success, Hairston said, has been the simplest one enabling people to make big changes in their lives through the quick changing of a light bulb.
RelightNY is a great example of individual responsibility, and collective action. It gives groups the power to self organize and achieve seemingly unachievable tasks. That is why Avery Hairston is my nomination for the Local Hero who deserves the Heart of Green Award.
Nominated by: Julie Moriarty
Director of Curriculum
Children for Children
Jamie has always dreamed of starting her own company, so when the opportunity presented itself, she knew this was her big shot to not only start a company, but to start one that would make a difference. With that mindset Jamie went to the drawing board to come up with That's Caring, an eco-friendly gift basket Website that provides consumers with "a greener way to give." Jamie scoured local Chicago sources to find the perfect items, eco-friendly packaging as well as a carbon offset company to ensure that when That's Caring gifts were shipped that they tiptoed and not stampeded across the earth. Keeping with Jamie's giving spirit she took the company even further beyond being green by also incorporating products from local non-profits that double consumers ability to give back to their surrounding community. What is even more amazing that even after all this Jamie is not content; she continues to upgrade her green packaging and eco-friendly products. Even further, she is constantly looking for opportunities to further her commitment to the green movement and community, by volunteering to speak at local schools and for Friends of the Parks, where she has spent weekends removing buckthorn and cleaning up trash. These are just other ways Jamie shows she cares about the earth and spreads the giving spirit.
Nominated by: Jacquelyn Tausend
I would like to nominate Pat Conlon of Palm Desert, California for The Daily Greens Heart of Green Awards. Mr. Conlon is director of Palm Deserts Office of Energy Management; his job is to oversee Set to Save, the citys plan to cut energy consumption by 30 percent by 2012 (that works out to 215 million kilowatt hours of electric energy). Its the most ambitious plan in California and is seen as a pilot program for the rest of the state.
The Set to Save program educates and provides incentives to businesses and residents who install efficient pool pumps, awnings, air conditioners, lighting, refrigeration, and more. In a city where residents' electric bills can reach over $1,000 a month, the program empowers them to explore renewable energy sources and make meaningful changes for both the environment and their own finances. The city has already approved $7.5 million in residential loans.
Pats career with the city began in 1977, when he was hired as a building inspector; prior to that, he worked in construction, building houses in the Coachella Valley. Over the next 30 years, he worked up the ranks of Palm Deserts Building Department, holding titles such as Plan Examiner, Building Official, and Special Projects Administrator in charge of capital improvements. He was named Director of the Office of Energy Management in 2006.
Without any formal environmental education, Pat has become one of California's foremost experts on solar energy, Energy Star appliances, and other ways to reduce electricity use in the home. With over 30 years of experience, hes learned everything through meetings with contractors, on-the-job experience, reading trade publications, and attending conferences. Hes spearheaded a number of creative initiatives to help the city reach its energy goals such as a recent pilot program that allows residents to monitor and modify electricity use via cell phone while away from home and the construction of a LEED-certified visitor center.
Nominated by: Nicole Gagnon
I would like to nominate my CEO, Meg Cheever, for the Heart of Green Local Hero Award.
Meg Cheever is the courageous founder and leader of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. The Parks Conservancy was formed in 1996 by citizens concerned with the eroding condition of our urban parks. The organization improves the quality of life for the people of Pittsburgh by restoring the park system to excellence in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh. The Parks Conservancy has completed nine capital projects to date and has raised over $40 million.
As a concerned citizen and park user in the early 1990s, Meg saw Pittsburghs great parks falling into disrepair after decades of neglect. She mobilized civic leaders to create a unique public-private partnership that is preserving Pittsburghs history and leading the way in environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The Conservancy serves the more than five million people each year who use the citys parks through capital projects, ecological restoration, trail and woodland work, and programming.
Believing that parks are democratic spaces that keep communities healthy and economically viable, Meg leads an expert team which restores and creates vibrant green space and amenities that people can enjoy. Parks play an important role in urban environments because they are vital to meeting basic human needs, including health, recreation, relaxation, and social interaction and because they are free and open to the public.
Meg is also an advocate for connecting children with nearby nature. The Parks Conservancy is committed to providing educational programming that will develop the next generation of park stewards. It is evident by her works that Meg Cheever cares for the past, present, and future of our city parks and the people who enjoy them.
Nominated by: Laura Cook
Marketing Communications Coordinator, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Stanley Selengut deserves a Daily Green nomination since he was thinking green long before it was in vogue or before there was even a term for "eco-tourism." Stanley had plans back in 1976 to build a few cottages on beautiful St. John (one of the 3 U.S. Virgin Islands).
Stanley Selengut, 78, is a civil engineer specializing in sustainable resort development. His varied career began in the 1950's when he created a large-volume importing company specializing in South American native crafts. The company (Piñata Party) grew to service hundreds of stores and employed over 2,000 Andean Indians. Complete villages existed on revenues from their woolen, leather and fur accessories.
Selengut's solutions to the developmental problems of these villages led him to serve as a consultant to the Kennedy Administration. He completed 14 contracts in Latin America working for the State Department and then worked as staff consultant in Industrial Development for the Office of Economic Opportunity. Subsequently, he opened a design-consulting firm.
He learned that the best way to not disturb the local plants and animals in the area was to build wooden walkways to connect tent cottages along the hillside to the white-sand beach. This started what is probably the first eco-resort, Maho Bay Camps, which now has 114 tent cottages with a Maho Art Center called "Trash to Treasure" where they make hand blown glass art from old beer bottles and make fabric home décor by batiking recycled sheets.
Selenguts background in craft development along with his interest in sustainable design has led to creating a craft center, which focuses on the local re-manufacture of waste from the resorts into salable art and crafts. The hot shop blows glass from melted bottles. The fabric studio tie-dyes and batiks on worn linens, blankets and sews them into home décor items such a place mats, napkins, and wall hangings. The foundry cast jewelry and sculptures from waste aluminum and the art studio makes art paper from office waste mixed with lint from the laundry.
Stanley has now built a sister eco-resort, Estate Concordia Preserve, that has 25 Concordia Eco-tents each solar-powered including a solar-heated shower, composting toilet, private deck and kitchen area as well as sleeping for at least five people per Eco-tent. There have been a number of articles in the press about Stanley and his work including one from the November-December 2007 issue of Audubon magazine, the writer Jane Braxton Little describes Selengut in her article, "Camp Caribbean":
"Selengut designed every facet of this resort to minimize the impact on St. John. His water conservation, use of recycled building materials and alternative energy, and light-on-the-land construction techniques have earned him the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys highest award for improving the environment and protecting public health. David Sollitt, executive director of The International Ecotourism Society, likewise heaps praise on Selengut. "He has been an innovative and inspiring leader of the ecotourism community, both in the Americas and worldwide," he says.
Nominated by: Melody Smith
Marketing Manager, Maho Bay Camps & Estate Concordia Preserve
I wanted to nominate my wife, Rosamaria Caballero, for the Heart of Green Award consideration.
Rosamaria set out to green our home about 18 months ago and when she realized how much research it was to pick the right showerhead and the right non toxic cleaner and dimmable CFL she realized that green would never go mainstream without a little help from a local green friend.
She created a woman- and minority-owned company, Green Irene LLC to train local people (via the web) to be a force for green in their communities and also make a part time professional income doing something they can feel great about: Greening Our World, One Home and Office at a time. She is the original Green Irene: That green, non-judgmental friend you wish you had to help you green your life without making a hobby out of going green.
Her Green Irene Local Eco-Consultants, just within a year, are in over 30 states and number almost 100. She didn't just green her own home, she set out to green the homes of 1000s of people and create a trained team of people who can make a green difference in their local community.
Please consider Rosamaria for one of the Heart of Green Awards. She is using private enterprise to bring the green message and implement solutions, not just to her own community, but through her Green Irene Eco-Consultants to 100s of communities. And she is just getting started.
Nominated by: PJ Stafford
Jim Ragland and Frank Bonifay
I would like to nominate a team Jim Ragland and Frank Bonifay of Alligator Bayou in Prairievile, La.
In 1993, conservationists and tour owners Frank Bonifay and Jim Ragland rescued 1,500 acres of the swamp from timber cutters and preserved 901 acres in a national non-profit organization, Bluff Swamp Wildlife Refuge & Botanical Gardens. Today they are restoring this wilderness through wildlife rehabilitation, habitat expansion and heritage eco-tours for school children.
This area has been under constant assault by developers, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Baton Rouge Loop committee plus many others. Frank and Jim have stood up to those who would destroy this delicate ecosystem in the name of profit, expansion and growth.
This beautiful area is home to bald eagle habitats, 2,000 year old cypress trees, alligators and much more. These guys have dedicated their lives to preserving the land and its indigenous wildlife for all of us and our children. They educate children and tourist about the lands history and do it with humor and passion. These guys are not your average swamp tour guides and conservationists. You truly have to go on one of their tours and visit with them to appreciate all that they have been through to preserve this land for future generations. It's amazing that they are able to maintain a positive outlook and such passion for what they do. Their enthusiasm is contagious!
Nominated by: Ann Shaneyfelt
Baton Rouge Sierra Club
I am nominating garbage designer/artist Tiffany Threadgould of RePlayGround for the Heart of Green Local Hero Award.
Tiffany Threadgould has the greenest heart in all of Brooklyn! She is all at once a successful businesswoman, artist and community-builder around the empowering action of creating new life out of discarded materials.
Tiffany is the creator of RePlayGround, an eco-design/gift company devoted to bringing garbage back to life. RePlayGround is about inventive products that make recycling easy, and holding workshops all over NYC that teach do-it-yourself recycling projects to kids and adults. RePlayGround also publicizes re-purposing with DIY craft instructions in magazines, radio shows and television programs.
Tiffany truly lives her mantra of re-purposing, and uses her design skills to confront the culture of over-consumption and waste in a creative way. Walking into her studio space is like opening a life-size treasure chest: wall-to-wall boxes filled with every kind of found-object, recycled trinket, power tool and recycled project busting out of every corner. And shed love to show you around, and talk with you about your ideas! She is green without being judgmental or holier-than-though. Quite the opposite, she is always supporting and networking with other garbage artists and spotting talent everywhere.
She is always thinking of creative ways to bring garbage back to life, waste nothing and share her joy and creativity with others. For example, Tiffany organizes a fabulous event called "Talkin Trash," where her and other artists take to the streets on garbage night in Williamsburg and write instructions (talk bubbles!) on how to reuse a particular piece of material that has been tossed away.
I am not the only one that recognizes her contribution to the green local community, Tiffany has recently appeared in Time Out New York magazine, the New York Times, Craft magazine, and the podcast Hipper than Hippie (just to name a few). She is also the head designer at Terracycle, a larger company that makes products from garbage, in Trenton, N.J. I am honored to be working at RePlayGround, where I get to learn from such an inspiring woman!
Tiffany combines her design talent with her environmental spirit to create products, events and parties that really bring the community together around something we can all relate to: saving our planet, and taking constructive action to make our world better!
Nominated by: Carly Miller
Garbage Outreach Coordinator, RePlayground
David A. Bainbridge is a writer, researcher, and educator. When he first began to discuss the term "sustainability" nearly 40 years ago, most people thought he was dreaming about far-fetched ways to save the world. He has since championed the cause through his research, writing, and educational work. He has played an important role in several areas, from development (subdivision design and planning), to alternative building materials (straw bale building), sustainable resource management (agriculture, agroforestry, irrigation, and desert restoration), and ecological economics and sustainable business management. At Alliant International University, Professor Bainbridge leads a full course load of doctoral students and serves on various committees in addition to consulting and writing.
Since David Bainbridge's public commitment expressed in his "Confessions as an Energy Professional" written in 1978, he has managed to uphold his pledge to relieve himself of his over-energy consumption guilt. Recognizing that all things are interconnected, he has not only made significant efforts to maintain a low-carbon lifestyle. That is why he recently opted to become the subject of the very first sustainability study performed on a household scale.
Furthermore, his achievements in 2007 included developing sustainable management courses offered at Alliant International's Marshall Goldsmith School of Management, in addition to suggesting sustainability indicators for the city of San Diego, conducting sustainability reporting, and promoting his book entitled, "A Guide to Desert & Dryland Restoration." He also developed a restoration short course that was offered at Lake Mead National Recreational Area for environmental professionals in the Southwest. Consequentially, he was presented with the 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Overall, David Bainbridge has succeeded in positively impacting the society in which he lives and operates. I should know! David Bainbridge was one of my professors over 10 years ago. Because of his commitment, "sustainability" has now become regularly used in my vocabulary. In fact, David Bainbridge has been influential in shaping my life as a Sustainability Consultant.
Now that "sustainability" has become more mainstream, his expertise is required even more than ever. He "remains optimistic about the future, despite the many challenges we face today." It could be said that his optimism derives from his life-long commitment to sharing his ideals with others by leading as an example to the broader community. This is why I think that he is the ideal candidate for the 2009 Heart of Green Local Hero Award.
Nominated by: Nancy Mancilla
I would like to nominate Shana Wolf who resides in Shalimar, Florida for the Heart of Green Award! She and her partner Cecilia Smith started Off the Vine Organic Produce in 2002 with their main focus to offer a convenient and practical way to help people eat local and fresh produce from local organic farmers.
When I asked her what inspired them to start their business Shana commented My farmer friend, Gerald Lightsey, grew beautiful, prime produce on his 3 acre farm in the suburbs of Atlanta. He had time to grow and harvest but no time to sell it at markets. So, we decided to start a produce delivery service with our main focus to provide the freshest and most local produce directly to peoples homes.
They now service 15 major cities in the Southeast connecting local produce to local families. Theyve joined with other trucking companies, sharing weekly routes in order to keep additional trucks off the roads. All of their produce is bought from 100% USDA certified organic farms and is delivered weekly in recycled boxes.
Also, Off the Vine has a program to directly benefit the farmers they purchase produce from. Their unique Got food thank a Farmer! program rebates a percentage of every case bought from that farm directly back to the farmer. Shana says This way we directly help support our local organic farmers to survive and thrive!
Off the Vine also offers a school fundraising program in which they help the school raise money for their needs by encouraging families to eat organic and healthy food at home. Plus, classroom education time is donated by OTV for the schools that participate.
Shana, along with other green community leaders, will be hosting the first Earth Day - Fort Walton Beach event on April 25th as well as supporting the Earth Day celebrations in Pensacola and South Walton on April 18th! Everything about Shana and her partner at Off the Vine Produce has a Heart of Green and the effects are spreading in our community!
Nominated by: Angela Zorad
I represent Greg Christian, also known as Chicagos Conscious Caterer and founder of Organic School Project, the pilot program within Chicago Public Schools that works to provide youth with a mindful foundation for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle through school-based wellness programming initiatives. He is one of the most wonderful people I've ever met. Granted, I work for him on the PR side of things, but honestly, this nomination comes from the heart. Hes a wonderful man.
He employs many people in the city of Chicago through his sustainable catering companies and OSP and his staff would speak on behalf of how he's raised their levels of consciousness in terms of the earth. He's instilled the idea that when you throw something "away" it doesn't go "away" because there is no such thing! Hes recently announced two major accomplishments:
- As owner of Greg Christian Catering, Greg is the first caterer to boast a zero waste kitchen in Chicago, with all of the materials he uses being recycled or composted or reused on site and at his catered events. Even his grease is used to fuel trucks! Within his offices and kitchens, his employees are now green converts, meticulously separating materials for composting and recycling and bringing in their own household materials for composting as Greg works through The Resource Center in Chicago to compost and recycle all materials. He initially saw composting as a challenge within the kitchen, as his staff was not accustomed to sorting and separating all garbage within their work space. In order to aid with his staff's hands on education, Christian removed garbage cans from the kitchen for a couple of days. "Its certainly not as easy as people think it is to separate garbage in kitchen," says Christian. "However, after only a few days, my staff caught on and each item is meticulously separated and rinsed when necessary to cooperate with the Resource Center's guidelines." Staff even bring in their own items to compost and recycle as it's hard to do in the city of Chicago and Greg encourages them to do so.
- He works with his staff to meticulously map how many miles the contents of his kitchen travel as well as how each ingredient is harvested or created and distributed. When food must travel internationally, Christian is working to choose only suppliers with ethical and sustainable practices. While food miles are extremely important, Christian also believes consumers must also track the "greenness" of their food, and be held accountable for where their food comes from. He's ahead of his peers in terms of the things he is doing to promote green catering.
Christian specializes in local and organic cuisine, customizing his catering menus based on seasonality and locality. He uses only local and organic produce when possible, buys his dairy products from farms in Wisconsin, and purchases meat from farms in the Midwest that are free of growth hormones. However, even with a very sustainable, organic minded and local menu, miles can still be high and some suppliers are not in sync in terms of consciousness and sustainability. Thus, his staff is working diligently to track the origins of the ingredients he uses, from mapping food miles, to calling every single supplier they work with and holding them accountable for where their food comes from and who is making it. If the manufacturer cannot supply Greg Christian Catering with complete production and tracking information thats positive, Christian's employees will phase their products out. His ultimate goal is to work with only suppliers with high ethical standards of consciousness.
Additionally, his employees use all natural products for cleaning and have decreased their use of unnecessary office supplies. At events Greg uses recyclable invites, practices water conservation, edible centerpieces, biodegradable service ware and much more!
Nominated by: Tali Hylen
Mary Elizabeth Keel
Let me introduce you to Mary Elizabeth Keel. I have known her since she was born. Her mother and I have been best friends from childhood. The direction in which Mary has taken her life causes me to search memories for early signs of her devotion to our Earth -- was she particularly adept at putting away her toys or, did she covet a clean face and hands, or did she excel at making mud pies from the flower beds in the yard? Well, maybe. But now she is a young woman in her early 30's and has found her path begins in our community. She strives to improve and preserve the environment by adopting "Go Green" as a daily commitment. As a personal goal, it's clearly laudable, but she has taken it far beyond her own life.
Mary has developed an eco-vision for Miami's residents in the name, 305Green. Its pledge is to promote and showcase green businesses in the 305 area code and give us, the green-striving consumer, options for green products and services. Mary and her staff will keep the community up-to-date on the latest green events with the "Green Scene" calendar available at 305Green.com. Also shown on the site are videos changing each month which spotlight local businesses that have adopted green policies and products. She also has a project in the planning stages which would engage our schools in the green-education of future generations, encouraging early awareness of the critical need to direct their lives, communities and the planet toward greener goals. Her belief is in educating people to the cause as a way of life, with each of us doing our part to make a big difference.
Nominated by: Frances J. Pantello
It is my great honor and with great enthusiasm that I nominate Jay Golden for the Heart of Green Award. Jay has a clear purpose of using story peppered with fun and humor to bring a message of hope, inspiration, and information to children. I could go on and on about his web series Gorilla in the Green House, which addresses complex issues such as the pacific garbage patch and mountain top removal through song and rhymes. I could tell you of its online successes, of how I watched a room full of children sing along with the movie as they watched it and beg for an encore, I could discuss Jays commitment to lead with vision, not with fear. However, the truest reason that speaks to why I want to see Jay win this award, is because when no one is looking, Jay lives the sustainability practices he preaches. He integrates his belief that living sustainably is a possibility into every part of his life: professional and well as personal: as an active member of his community, as an avid bike rider and commuter, and as a gardener. Jay is one of the leaders that will guide us toward a sustainable path by being a source of light in potentially dark times, and will provide people with a song and dance to go with their new found knowledge.
My association with Jay Golden: Friend and cohort: we worked together as consultants in Golden Lamb
Nominated by: Leah Lamb
Campus Green Committee, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota
St. Francis of Assisi shows his respect for creation in the hymn, "Canticle of the Creatures." Following in his footsteps, the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota, reverence and preserve all of Gods creation. It is not surprising then when a group of Franciscan lay employees, associates and sisters decided to follow these examples and together explore how they could become more "green and sustainable" to also make a difference in healing the earth. Established in December 2006, the Campus Green Committee leads by example, showing others ways to reuse, reduce, recycle and preserve the environment.
Numerous earth-friendly changes have since been implemented to move the employees and Franciscan Sisters toward a greener campus in Little Falls. Some of these changes include:
- Hosting a Step-It-Up Rally in April 2007, viewing the movie, Inconvenient Truth;
- Additional recycling bins placed throughout St. Francis Campus;
- Power Audit conducted by Minnesota Power to determine where energy saving could be made on campus;
- Implemented a sleep mode computer policy when computers were not in use;
- Now use earth friendly cleaning products, detergents ;
- Compost lawn clippings and study more extensive composting on campus;
- Vegetable peels/kitchen waste now going to a more extensive composting pile;
- Use recycled paper as much as possible;
- Created Green Light Specials, an education sharings to sisters and employees;
- Offer enLUNCHments, noon time educational programs for employees and sisters;
- Toilet paper that is made from 100% recycled paper;
- Use Fair Trade organic coffee, which is now also available to the public in their Franciscan Gift Shop;
- Use energy efficient light bulbs, compostable cups;
- Use farm to table products through a local farm co-op;
- Looking into using compostable plastic tableware;
- Continuing to study water usage;
- Lower wattage lights were replaced in gym with a 5-year payback;
- In the process of doing a Convent Kitchen Renovation, new appliances will be energy efficient; tile on floor will be made from recycled materials;
- Encourage employees and sisters to make their own greeting cards from those given to themreduce, reuse and recycle;
- Since 2007, have hosted an annual Green Fair/Peace Concert, an event reaching out to the broader community that encourages, educates and promotes anything and everything green in our community. In 2007--12 vendors and 450 attendees. In 2008--22 vendors and 650 attendees, with the addition of a fashion show with all clothing provided by the Clothes Review, a thrift store located on St. Francis Campus. The 2009 Green Fair/Peace Concert is scheduled for August 5, 2009.
Although this small volunteer committee can get discouraged because they are not erecting a windmill or installing solar panels, they should be commended for the changes they are making and ultimately the passion they possess. Thank you for considering the Campus Green Committee as a recipient of the Heart of Green Award!
Members of this committee include: Sister Mary Pat Burger, Jennifer Basch (pictured, left), Robyn Gray (pictured, center), Pat Sharon, Anne Heisick, Terry Bernardy, Heidi Quinlan, Alan Riedemann, Sister Vianney Weier, Sharon Kloss (pictured, right), Jeff Odendahl, Sandy Katzenmeyer, Chris Barnier, Karen Schellinger and Sister Gert Brixius.
Nominated by: The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minn.
I nominate Shane Snipes for the Heart of Green Award. Shane is hands down one of the most devoted, innovative and dedicated proponents of the Green Movement. He has and is determined to bring sustainable solutions to the masses through all communication mediums. As founder of OneGreener he is challenging all segments of society to not only discuss ideas but implement solutions towards a greener environment. Below is an excerpt from his Website:
"As a Fulbright Scholar, Shane founded several organizations in Europe to create awareness on environmental and social issues. He taught social change, technology and management strategies at University of Charleston. He has lead professional trainings with more than 25 organizations including JD Power & Associates, Volvo, University of Miami, Best Buy, CompUSA, College of Charleston and others. In Lithuania, Shane completed research on cultural change and a master's degree in organizational development from Vytautas Magnus University. He holds a BA in cross-cultural communication from NC State University with minors in engineering, international relations, German and political science. He is a certified ISO 14001 environmental auditor.
Shane founded One Greener in 2008. He has 15 years of teaching experience from middle school through university as well 10 years of management experience in nonprofits, television, sustainable development, and technology projects. Education and training are blended into all of his work. He recently developed training materials for launch of Office 2008 for Mac. It has been distributed in more than 100 countries.
Shane enjoys yoga, meditation, hiking, and independent film in his free time. He writes on sustainability, art and spirituality. Shane is green through and through with his motto consume less and live more.
Nominated by: Melissa Barnes
Shane Snipes initiated green efforts at our marketing agency in Irvine, CA. Shane sends out weekly e-mails to everyone with tips on how to be more green in the office. Shane provided free reusable coffee cups and glasses to deter people from getting new paper and plastics cups each day. Shane also set up paper and bottle recycling on all of the floors. By providing small easy tips on how to be more green, Shane made a significant difference in how wasteful our company was. In addition to his efforts at work, Shane keeps a blog on how to be more green, and encourages sustainable farming by having get-togethers and dinner parties where organic and locally grown food are used.
Nominated by: Erin Malone
Alison Whitelaw was an early adopter and advocate of sustainable design. She designed the first sustainably-designed public building tenant improvement project in the US, which received the first Energy Star Building Label in the country. This building went on be selected as one of five projects representing the USA in the 1998 International Green Building Challenge and was used as a model for the establishment of International Green Building design standards. It was also recognized by the American Institute of Architects of one of the top 10 US Green Buildings and by San Diego Gas & Electric with a Certificate of Excellence.
Alison went on to help spread the word about sustainable design throughout her community and beyond. She developed the sustainable design curriculum for the NewSchool of Architecture & Design and went on to teach sustainable design at the school for over five years and counting. She has recruited several members of her staff to take on sustainable design teaching duties at the school as well. She has also encouraged her staff to participate in the Built Environment Education Program in City of San Diego schools to help school children learn about sustainability and architectural design.
Alison has lectured to groups around the country about sustainable design, including to the City of San Diegos project managers when the City decided to require LEED ratings for many of their public building projects.
Alison remodeled an office building for her architecture firm using sustainable design principles, and has used the building as a green building demonstration project to educate and engage the public, including opening the building to San Diegos annual Green Building Tour several times and displaying educational material in the store front windows of the building.
Alisons other accomplishments and contributions in the field of sustainable design include:
- US Green Building Council LEEDTM Accredited Professional
- AIA San Diego Committee on the Environment Advocacy Chair
- Recipient of Ruocco Award from Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C3) for serving the public good in San Diego through sustainable design
- Member, City of San Diego Sustainable Energy Advisory Board
Nominated by: Jennifer Whitelaw
I would like to nominate my friend, Allison Shaewitz, for the Heart of Green award. When Allison became a mother she was inspired to live a greener and cleaner life for her son. Small changes led to even bigger ones, and she was on a mission to live the most eco-friendly life she could while encouraging her friends and family to do so as well. She has made it her goal to motivate others, not only her friends and fellow mothers like me, but to show everyone how easy being green really can be. That is why she created Ecominders, which are removable and reusable stickers that remind us all to do small things each day to help lessen our impact on the planet by reducing our carbon footprint, water consumption and waste. She felt that too many people viewed "going green" as life-altering, inconvenient or expensive and wanted to come up with a way to demonstrate how small changes and simple actions can collectively make a big difference.
Allison spent her own savings and countless hours (which isnt easy when you are a new mom!) developing Ecominders and making sure that they were accessible to all age groups and environments. There are two product lines of Ecominders, one for Home & Office and one for Kids & Schools. Allison is currently working on getting Ecominders into schools, for she believes that children can be amazing vehicles of change in the green movement. When creating Ecominders it was her hope that they would be used as a tool to start the discussion on how to live more eco-friendly lives in schools, at the office and at home. She also created The Green Board on her Website, which is a message board that she updates with additional green tips on everything from how to save green while going green to a million ways to reduce our waste.
Allison sourced a leader in eco-friendly printing, Digital Hub Chicago, to print and package Ecominders and her company is completely offset by wind power via Renewable Choice Energy. She is committed to only using the most eco-friendly products to sustain her business, which is how she lives her life as well. She practices what she preaches and constantly impresses me with her dedication to live green and persuade others to follow her example. She is partnering with other local green businesses to host and attend events in an effort to show as many people as she can how easy being green can be!
I am truly amazed by her dedication to living an eco-friendly life and I believe her dedication has and will continue to impact how others live their lives as well. It is because of all the above reasons that I believe Allison is deserving of this award.
Nominated by: Francesca Meder
Ario Lundy is the proud developer of the first affordable, single family green home in Miami Dade County. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home located in the City of Miami adheres to the strict benchmarks established by the nationally recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Green Building Rating Leadership from the U.S. Green Building Council. The home achieved LEED Silver Certification, which signifies that the home exceeds the basic standards of efficiency for usage of water, energy and materials. Through Palmetto Homes of Miami, Inc., Ario Lundy continues to change blocks and entire neighborhoods of Miami into safe, sustainable, family-oriented environments. The home has been featured in articles in the: Miami Herald, American Concrete Institute Magazine, The South Florida Builders Journal, and on Comcast, CNN, CBS, NBC, and WSVN News Stations.
Nominated by: Taquan Williams
I am nominating Beth McMaster for the Heart of Green Award for outstanding green living and community service. She is committed to helping those who cannot help themselves becoming an unrecognized hero and welcomed advocate.
Beth is the operator of Wildbird Recovery, a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation center dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of distressed wild birds in Western Pennsylvania. The organization promotes responsible attitudes toward the preservation of native species, habitat and the environment. Beth has over 10 years experience with wildlife rehabilitation but has decades of respect, diligence and perseverance towards promoting environmental awareness.
In 1999, I had an injured blue jay that needed help. Six degrees of separation led me to Beth. I took the bird to her rehabilitation center and have been involved ever since. This is where Wildbird Recovery becomes so much more than wildlife rehabilitation. Beth spends 8-16 hours every day (depending on the season) volunteering her time not only to nurture and mend these small birds but to also educate people on the potential cause of the injury and misconceptions surrounding wildlife and environmental issues. She is highly dedicated to educating the public on numerous environmental issues and is continuously developing and implementing new and improved education programs. She has found that if someone has taken the time to care about an animal in need that they are also caring and willing to learn about environmental issues.
A goal of Beths is to show people that you can do small things at home that make a difference to the world around us. Beth would never ask someone to do something that she wouldnt do herself. So when she talks about planting native plants to attract native species of wildlife, she can display her property - landscaped with native plants and a rain garden. In the back corner is a compost bin and the sorted recycling. She is planning a new pond with a marsh system for the recovering waterfowl. (This pond will then also be used for water quality lessons.) With these additions to her own home and property she promotes responsible attitudes toward the preservation of native species, habitat, and the environment.
Beth may not have water quality counts or waste measurements that we can use to measure her success but she does have the lives of over 400 animals every year. We also have the impact that she has had on individuals. There is a woman at the huge office building who talked with the custodial staff because every night they would remove all of the small rolls of toilet paper and replace with new. Now they save them for her and that paper gets used, not thrown away. Her own husband a long time meat eater now understanding the importance both physically and environmentally of eating more vegetables and less meat! She has touched so many people in this way. These are all small things individually but if you combine the impact it is huge!
What does this mean to our community? Beth is the only licensed rehabilitator in our county and helps over 400 animals every year. Pennsylvania schools now have new environmental education standards that need to be met. Beth is a part of a resource that is right in our own backyard. She believes in inspiring people locally so they can make a lasting change globally.
One person can, and does, make a difference.
Thank you for this opportunity to share her story and her local impact.
Nominated by: Stacey Widenhofer
Francisco "Pancho" Dousdebes
Francisco Dousdebes is with no doubt one of nature's most reliable defenders.
In most third-world countries, green issues are not yet considered as important; but "Pancho", as his friends call him, teaches us everyday why we have to care about our environment.
He works hard on Galapagos conservancy through the Galapagos-Ecuador Foundation, and is always thinking of new things to make the operations there better and more efficient.
Besides, he is in charge of all environmental policies in the offices, and he gets through to people in a way nobody else does ... maybe it's because the way he expresses. He wrote a phrase that says "Ghosts are not afraid of the dark, so after leaving the room ... shut off the lights." These kinds of things are the ones that make you take action. He even bought a Solio cell phone charger, which he lets everyone at the office use ... we can all contribute to decrease the use of electric energy.
For these and many more, I think Francisco should be nominated for the "Heart of Green" award.
Nominated by: Carolina Alban
I would strongly like to recommend Pancho for Heart of Green. He is an important member of our community in green subjects, always. Every day he is sending us recommendations about how to protect our environment. Every day he gives us ideas on how to recycle and other activities to help us protect our world. Pancho is also a fanatic of the Galapagos Islands, taking care of them as if he were the sole owner, and moving the people to Do things. He is active, charismatic and full of original ideas on how to wake up awareness in all of us.
Nominated by: Maria Cardenas
We would like to nominate Mr. Francisco Dousdebes as he simply lives green. He has a green message for you everyday. He is encouraging everyone here in Metropolitan Touring to follow his "green way of living." Due to his constant encouragement to be creative and seek for green behaviors, all of us here in the Metropolitan Touring Sales Europe department stopped the use of disposable napkins and we now have fabric napkins with our names on them which we take home, wash and take back to the office.
Pancho is the "greenest" person we have ever met. We truly admire his commitment towards the environment and we really appreciate every single lesson (and there are a lot) we learn from him.
Nominated by: Juan Sebastián Donoso
Account Executive Sales Europe
Jane Wyler came up with Reuseniks 19 years ago when she created a reusable garment bag that does away with those nasty plastic bags used by dry cleaners. Jane had immediate success with her cotton bag but the world was not quite ready ... and she was pregnant with her second child. So she shelved the idea until last year. Today, her Clothesnik, with the drawstring at the bottom and a zipper down the front, allows people to take their dirty laundry to the dry cleaners and have it returned cleaned, pressed and hung up in the same bag. No more plastic! Jane's bag is just a perfect and simple way to improve one's carbon footprint and she has sold thousands online through her Website and to green-friendly dry cleaners, hotels and stores throughout the country.
She has won a "What's the Big Idea?" award from the Sundance Channel.
I proudly nominate Jane Wyler of, Los Angeles, Calif., for the Heart of Green Award. Justly deserved!
Nominated by: Rich Leivenberg
Reducing carbon imprint and implementing sustainable building practices are becoming more critical now for developers, property owners, tenants and related services companies. With this in mind, Robert A. Francis recognized the need to green clean. As president of the Planned Companies, a fourth-generation maintenance, concierge and security services business in Parsippany, New Jersey, he took action. On July 1, 2008, Rob officially launched Planneds Go Green initiative, a practice that is now the basis of Planneds core values and services.
This initiative began with the replacement of 95 percent of Planneds current janitorial cleaning products with alternatives that are far less toxic, non-corrosive and biodegradable and approved as green by the Environmental Protection Agency. This change is not just safer for the environment, but will ultimately allow Planneds clients and staff to live and work in safer environments with improved air quality and will help control disease due to lessened contact with toxins and corrosive chemicals.
After this initiative was rolled out both internally and to its clients, Planned took steps to educate industry professionals about the importance of green cleaning and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by announcing its plans to construct an educational green training center at its company headquarters. Once completed, this on-site training center, the first of its kind in the state, will provide hands-on training and education courses for all of Planneds 1,200 employees.
To best achieve this, three of Planneds executive team members, including Rob, became LEED accredited professionals (AP) in the fourth quarter of 2008, a designation that just 1,300 New Jersey residents carry. By becoming LEED APs, Planned has further demonstrated its dedication and awareness of the growing environmental and sustainability concerns within the industry. With his LEED AP accreditation, Rob is not only better positioned to educate his growing client roster on green practices, but he is also now able to deliver specific credits to his existing clients seeking to obtain LEED certification for their buildings.
Planned further demonstrated its commitment to educating industry professionals about environmentally sound, safe and sustainable building practices by developing an educational program that defines and clarifies green cleaning and maintenance practices. The course explains what the LEED certification program is, the evolution of LEED and the green movement and the different ways in which building owners and industry professionals can implement effective green cleaning and maintenance programs to meet the standards set forth by the United States Green Building Council. Most recently, Planned Companies green team members presented its education program to attendees at the Institute of Real Estate Managements Tri-State Conference and Expo in Atlantic City.
As the green movement continues to gain momentum, Planned Companies will be on the forefront of educating industry professionals about green cleaning and maintenance, implementing standards of practice at commercial and real estate properties to ensure that the industry as a whole remains on the track to Go Green. I proudly nominate Rob Francis for this award. He truly has a heart of green.
Nominated by: Sarah Gormley
Account Supervisor, Beckerman Public Relations
Mary Margaret Donoho
I nominate Mary Margaret Donoho of Be Nourished In His Hands Farm and Retreat, Snow Hill, NC for your Heart of Green Award.
Mary Margaret is passionately committed to providing the community with grassfed biodynamically grown organic raw milk, cheeses, grains, vegetables, chicken, eggs, goat, and similar products. She is devoted to educating people about the benefits of raw milk and the dangers inherent with CAFOs and ultra pasturization, as well as offering classes to her customers and the public to teach them cheesemaking, sewing, breadmaking, and the like. She educates regarding the uses of raw milk and its benefits with "lactose intolerant" people, autistic children, ADHD, and similar afflictions, and is always helpful in steering people toward other similarly minded local farmers that sell products that she does not, to help her customers stay on a locavore track with organics and sustainably grown products. She will personally call a place with a smile and send a person on their way with directions, just so that a family can be as healthy as possible. She is a wonderful person who does all she can to promote a green, sustainable, and healthy planet!
Nominated by: Heather Wargo
I would like to nominate Elizabeth Borelli, founder of NubiusOrganics.com, an eco-friendly Website, co-organizer of the Race Against Global Warming and supporter of the Annual Greenfest in the Bay area.
She is committed to enlightening as many folks as she can on the importance of using reusable bags and bottles and many other eco-friendly items for sale worldwide on her Website. Her site is full of facts about how everyone can improve their carbon footprint. I think she has a very green heart!
Nominated by: Katie Isselhardt
Pictured here: Elizabeth Borelli, with mother Mary and daughter Talia.
I nominate Stephanie Barger, executive director and founder of Earth Resource Foundation. Stephanie pours her heart and soul into her work, not to mention every penny she has! She works long hours because it is so important to her to educate the public on the way their actions affect the earth.
Stephanie started environmental clubs in local high schools about 7 years ago and has been working with the students to get their cities to ban Styrofoam. Six years (!) after beginning the campaign, they finally got one city to ban it! Her tenacity is amazing; she obviously does not give up. The anti-Styrofoam campaign kicked off another campaign "Campaign Against the Plastic Plague" (CAPP), which educates the students and the public about the harmful effects of plastics in our oceans.
There are several other campaigns that Earth Resource works on, but will take too much room here. However, I do want to mention her campaign to bring Zero Waste efforts to Orange County by educating City Planners, individuals, and corporate decision makers, to name a few, on ways to re-use in order to reduce not only their waste, but their bottom line.
In short, she is a truly dedicated and amazing person!
Nominated by: Sherri Loveland
Co-chair, OC Interfaith Coalition for the Environment
My friend Lynn Mehl (pictured here with Hoot the owl) owns Good Old Days Eco-Florist. For a business thought of by many as natural, the flower industry is the farthest thing from green. Being a staunch environmentalist, she made the difficult decision that she could no longer continue her 30 yr. career without attempting to change the standards for her shop and be an inspiration to the thousands of others. She feels if local businesses do not adapt any green initiatives; then why should the consumer? Thus the only, full service, green-florist in the country was formed.
One by one, she has taken every item associated with the floral industry and searched out a green alternative or absolutely discontinued its use, even at the loss of revenue for herself. That's a huge task because not only has she ceased using all non-U.S.-made products and services, but also all non-U.S.-grown flowers -- because 70% of flowers sold today are grown out of the country and almost 100% of the hardgoods are imported. She also has implemented an in-store Recycle Rewards Program whereby consumers can return all floral-related product.
The designs are crafted without preservatives or foams (all toxic), and in vintage, recycled, biodegradable, and local/U.S.-made substitutes. She did not stop there -- she never does. Behind the scenes, her sustainable business practices include recycling of every single item coming in the door from rubber bands to bucket water. She is amazing and exhausting to keep up with. All cleaning and offices supplies are earth-friendly, and she only patronizes green-oriented telephone/banking/etc. firms. She compensates with carbon offsets for the energy used. And to top it off, she donates a percentage of all sales back to a multitude of environmental & wildlife organizations. This girl has heart.
She gives hundreds of promotional flowers away every week in the hope of promoting not just green thinking but awareness to an endangered animal. Her upcoming, new website will feature all of her green solutions to everything from weddings to "Benefit Bouquets which give 20% of the sale to each urgent cause. At the various holidays, instead of a capitalist outlook, she uses these to educate, influence, and entertain our community and raising awareness. Last Christmas she hosted a polar bear festival with 20% of the festival sales going to the NRDC polar bear fund. The events draw both parents and children alike to learn not only about a green florist, but about Earth awareness. Her business mantra is the more sales I generate, the more I can give back to fund this awareness.
I believe that this is a unique person and situation not only a benefiting to our community but to the nation, and is truly deserving of your award. She is wholeheartedly dedicated to changing her industry while saving the planet. She is a credit and a heroine to all who know her and I really feel this recognition is her.
Nominated by: Ed McCarthy
I am nominating Lynn Jenkins for the Heart of Green Local Hero recognition award. Lynn is the publisher of Indiana Living Green magazine, a local Indiana-based publication focusing on all issues related to leading a sustainable lifestyle. Her knowledge, passion and unwavering dedication to this cause are both inspiring and admirable and are the reasons I nominate her for this award.
Lynn's interest in sustainable living has expanded over the years from simple recycling and wildlife gardening to encouraging others to appreciate nature and do what each can to protect the environment. The creation of Indiana Living Green comes from her belief that most individuals have an inner desire to do what is best for our environment and that each individual act truly does make a difference.
Lynn has been instrumental in bringing her green consciousness to Indiana by way of Indiana Living Green magazine over the past two years. Indiana Living Green is the only local publication solely focused on green living and sustainability. In addition, Lynns pioneering efforts also provide public educational forums via "Green Scenes" a series of three hour events, each focusing on specific topics teaching Hoosiers how to lead greener lifestyles. She is a sought-after speaker, delivering topics such as "Greening Your Outdoor Space," "Updating Your Home to Green" and "Greening Your Lifestyle" to various businesses and organizations throughout Central Indiana. In addition, Lynn has appeared regularly on Indianapolis Fox 59 morning shows "Living Green" segment, discussing various topics of interest ranging from grilling green and green baby buys to composting and recycling.
In addition to her role as publisher of Indiana Living Green magazine, Lynn is also a Habitat Steward Host for National Wildlife Federation, editor of Hoosier Organic Gardener, the newsletter of the Indiana Organic Gardeners Association, and a member of Garden Writers Association.
Lynn Jenkins deserves to be publicly recognized for all that she is and all that she has done and continues to do to educate and empower each of us to improve our individual lives, communities and our Earth.
Nominated by: Jayne Benn
Indiana Living Green
Almost two years ago, Tonya Ensign was on a journey alone, wading through thousands of cyber pages of advice on how to go green. Tonya thought finding the basics about what she can do to lessen her familys impact on the environment would come easy, it didnt. During her ecoJourney, Tonya found that there were many women just like her, who yearned to do more for the environment and had no clue where to start.
So, Tonya launched emagineGreen with the purpose of turning curiosity about what is happening in our environment into positive action. With a team of researchers, she created a one-hour Green Power Hour workshop where the going green process is simplified for those who want a healthier home and environment. The workshop model that Tonya created is based on her belief that when people know better, they want to do better. The combination of education and ecoFriendly products are a unique and effective approach. It allows attendees to immediately act on their green intentions.
Through emagineGreen, she trained a team of greenCoaches across the nation. There is an emagineGreen workshop being held in the U.S. every other day. Over 2.6 million plastic bottles have been saved from landfills and nearly one million plastic bags were never used. Over 150 households have been inspired to compost.
I am nominating Tonya Ensign for the Heart of Green award because not only did she act on a desire to do more for our environment, she created a company to inspire and empower others to do the same.
She has said: To be the change you want to see in the world, you dont have to be loud. You dont have to have a corner office. You dont have to be elected. You can be that change today wherever you are. emagineGreen is about empowering you to get started or helping you spread the word about what you are already doing. We spend more than $1.7 trillion per year on household products. As consumers, we can be a voice for change when we use our dollar to vote for products and businesses that support a more sustainable way of life.
The local paper, The Arizona Republic, said emagineGreen has a dual mission to help families live greener lives and to give women a way to earn income that's not tied to a corporate calendar. emagineGreen simplifies the going green process, empowering women to reduce their ecoFootprint, become green role models for family and community, and spend responsibly, on products and with companies that support a more sustainable way of life.
Submitted by: Lexie Van Haren-Pierce
Think globally, act locally is not just a slogan, but the day-to-day operations at Global Links. Global Links relies on hundreds of local Pittsburgh, Pa. volunteers annually to sort and pack OVER 200 TONS of medical supplies that were recovered from U.S. healthcare facilities by the organization founded by Ms. Hower. These still-useful materials were kept out of the landfills and prepared for shipment to hospitals serving the poor in developing countries. More than 80% of the medical supplies sent overseas are packed by volunteers. Last year, 6,000 volunteer hours were donated.
Besides the impressive, sheer volume of medical supplies and equipment that is kept out of local landfills, I am impressed with how Kathleen can motivate staff and volunteers with the Global Links mission. She is helping spread the environmental message of reuse. Every volunteer is educated about how Global Links connects the surplus in the U.S. healthcare system with hospitals that are in need of these same items. As the volunteers sort life-saving surgical suture, or sort and pack exam glovesessential for preventing the spread of infections, they are learning through doing. In addition, these volunteers act as ambassadors in the community, helping to spread the message.
I have taught and coached many healthcare organizations about applying the Toyota Way to improving processes, but Global Links has responded in an unprecedented manner. To continually grow and learn takes leadership and passion. With process improvements, Global Links has increased their recovery of medical materials from hospitals over the past two yearswhich has led to a 70% increase in medical aid to patients in developing countries.
I am one of the many individuals inspired by Kathleen and her vision and became a volunteer myself, serving on the Board of Directors. I am so pleased to call Kathleen my friend, a colleague in green healthcare, and to nominate her for this years Heart of Green Local Hero award.
Nominated by: Mimi Falbo
Board member, Global Links
Over the last six years, I have worked closely with Ms. Kathleen Hower. Our initial meeting occurred as I was preparing for a medical mission trip to Swaziland, Africa. She invited me to tour the Global Links warehouse to select needed operative supplies. I was struck by the high quality medical supplies and equipment that could have been discarded, if it were not for her organizations work to help our healthcare system RECOVER materials, rather than discard them. I was also encouraged by the passion, commitment and vision that this young woman had for her work in developing countries.
I ultimately joined the Global Links board to support a mission that has continued to save lives throughout the world. As an Obstetrician/Gynecologist and board member I have had the opportunity to witness the fruits of Ms. Howers labor.
During a site visit to the Dominican Republic, I visited a maternal hospital that had received needed equipment and supplies from Global Links. Women who have unconscionable mortality rates from infection and hemorrhage were now delivering their babies and recovering in refurbished beds instead of on a floor. Children who once had little hope of surviving an acute asthma attack were breathing easier with donated nebulizers. Health care professionals were no longer recycling gloves that once harbored infection and exposed both worker and patient to disease.
Ms. Hower, also referred to as special K, continues her commitment to save lives while protecting our environment through recovery and re-distribution of surplus medical materials to under-resourced communities both in the United States and abroad.
The Heart of Green award is a recognition that clearly represents Ms. Hower.
Nominated by: Dr. Margaret D. Larkins-Pettigrew
Assistant Professor and Director of Global Health, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
My Heart of Green Local Hero happens to be my boss Kathleen Hower. She co-founded the nonprofit organization Global Links 20 years ago, when green was just a color, not a movement. She and a couple of friends discovered that tons of hospital surplus, much of it unused, were thrown away annuallymedical supplies, equipment and furnishings - that could be used to improve health around the world. Everything from small, surgical sutures (stitches) to large, gently used hospital beds are now collected from our U.S. partner hospitals and sent to public hospitals in Latin America where these supplies are desperately needed, instead of ending up in landfill. Kathleen encourages us to continually identify new opportunities for helping our hospitals reduce waste- during remodeling, during departmental moves, when supply rooms are being reorganized, when doctors offices are being closed or patients no longer need their crutches or walkers. All of these cases present surplus materials that would normally be discarded, but thanks to Global Links, are recovered and reused. Not only do I admire her for forging a new model of medical aid based on materials recovered from hospitals, not manufacturers or corporations, which protects the environment, but I am awed at the number of lives that have benefited.
Today, Global Links work is focused on helping local hospitals in the Western Pennsylvania and surrounding areas to green their operations by how they manage their surplus. As Deputy Director at Global Links, I track the numbers. It is amazing that last year, more than 200 tons of medical materials was recovered and 34 forty-foot sea containers of aid were shipped to Bolivia, Cuba, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Kathleens example shows that you can do good and be green at the same time.
Nominated by: Angela Garcia
Deputy Director, Global Links
Jessica Minch is our "GREEN Queen" Miss Florida United States. Going Green was and is her platform, if you will, at the pageants and life. She is the type of person who enjoys teaching us all how to be green, teaching the impacts of what we are doing, and teaching how we can do the some simple things to change the planet and ourselves: Better ways with less pollution, less waste and a better future of our planet Earth
She is doing a great job with her blog, Go Green United States, which she uses to promote eco-friendly tips and facts about going green. She has been our inspiration in stopping the use of plastic bags, reusing the same cup and cleaning up the St. Johns River and St. Augustine beaches. She is also on Sea Turtle Restoration Project team, which fights to protect endangered sea turtles in ways that make cultural and economic sense to the communities that share the beaches and waters with them.
Every little effort makes the difference she says, and we are trying to follow her footsteps. She is a true example for the community and an inspiration for us -- and most of all, she is our true Green Queen! Go Green!
Nominated by: Janice L. Oulton
I would like to nominate Mike Biediger for a Heart of Green Local Hero Award. Mike is the president and CEO of Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, South Carolina. I've worked with him for more than a year now and I have been continually impressed by his leadership in making his hospital as eco-friendly, patient- and employee-friendly as possible. Mike has made sustainable practices part of the very fabric of his organization and its culture.
Under Mike's leadership, Lexington Medical Center recently built the first LEED-certified medical building in South Carolina. Lexington Medical Center has also become a leader in the global healthy hospital movement, working to create healthier environments for patients, families, staff and the community. They've done this by initiating their "better choices" healthy food program throughout the hospital; by maintaining an outstanding employee health and wellness program; by establishing a smoke-free campus and smoking cessation programs for staff; by establishing a water conservation program with new walk-in coolers that save 3 million gallons of water each year and waterless urinals that each save 40,000 gallons of water a year. The hospital even uses electric vehicles to shuttle patients around the medical complex.
Last year Lexington's recycling program saved the equivalent of 4,038 trees, 970,000 kilowatts of electricity, and 110,000 gallons of oil. The hospital also eliminated 476 tons of carbon dioxide last year through its recycling program. It has been recognized for industry-leading recycling practices by the Business Recycling Assistance Program of the S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control. Under Mike's supervision, Lexington Medical Center was the first hospital in the state to become a member of the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP), a voluntary program that promotes environmental leadership. The hospital was also the recipient of a 2008 Spare the Air Award from the S.C. Dept. of Health & Environmental Control.
Mike is the standard bearer in his organization and has empowered his leadership team to innovate and challenge the status quo within the healthcare industry. If you knew Mike, you'd know that he would be the last person to take credit for these achievements. He would point to his leadership team and staff - the people who have embraced the hospital's mission and its commitment to sustainable practices.
Nominated by: Dan Dunlop
I would like to nominate Chloe Tuttle of Big Mill Bed & Breakfast.
Ms. Tuttle is totally devoted to the environment as shown in her picture: Just one example of her "green" attitude is letting nature do the drying of her sheets at the B&B. She maintains a chemical-free garden that provides the veggies and greens for the guests. Her Website shows how Chloe demonstrates her dedication to the environment. Her license plate tells it all... "Environut." Composting and recycling are everyday events at her home. Her picture should be in Webster's Dictionary next to the word, "Environmentalist."
Nominated by: Barney Conway
I would like to nominate Jeff Loch, co-founder of Green Earth Technologies, a clean tech start-up company producing environmentally friendly automotive products including a full line of automotive appearance products and a bio-based engine and motor oil called G-OIL. Over the past two years, Jeff Loch has devoted his life to producing renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly "G"-Branded products in an effort to "save the earth, sacrifice nothing."
Personally, he is also passionate about his community in Celebration, FL, and is in the midst of multiple ventures to help the city go green. As a start, whenever the community takes part in car-wash fund raisers, Jeff and his family donate G-Wash, a car wash made from plant oils which doesn't pollute runoff, so its safer for the kids to use and safe for the environment. At home, the Lochs recycle, use Greener Printer, green products, are exploring solar energy, and recently bought an Eco Options washer and dryer set. Celebration is a NEV (Neighborhood Electrical Vehicle) Community and the Lochs only have one car and their other car is a NEV!
The Lochs choose to live within the integrity of being green both professionally and personally and hope to instill that in their children and future generations. It's like they have their own Jiminy Crickett living in the town that was developed by the Walt Disney Development Company.
Jeff Loch is a true environmental hero for making waves in the automotive "green" industry across the nation and continuing to locally support his community in any way that he can to help sustain Celebration as a beautiful and clean city.
Nominated by: Denise Friedlander
I would like to nominate my wife, Amanda (pictured here with our dog, Harper), for the Heart of Green Award. My wife is an amazing individual who always stands up for and supports what she believes in. One of her many passions is our earth and the creatures who live on it. In order to pursue her passion my wife has taken our home beliefs and implemented them into her work place. My wife works for a bakery who produces breads, cookies, and pastries for many well known coffee shops throughout the country. My wife could not believe the amount of waste produced at her bakery that was recyclable material. She decided to set up a recycling program at her bakery, as well as at two other bakeries in different states. Because of her efforts all card board, plastic, aluminum etc. used at her bakeries are now recycled. Amanda not only worked with the logistics of setting up a recycling program she also worked internally to develop at training program she presented to all employees training everyone from the general manager to the janitorial staff on the proper and responsible ways to dispose of various materials.
In addition to her recycling program Amanda created what is referred to as The Green Team. Every week she creates an email that is sent to all employees nationwide providing them with easy and fun ways to be green in their own lives. In her weekly emails she takes a light hearted perspective on some serious issues that are currently impacted our world and offers many interesting facts and simple ways each and every reader can make a difference by adjusting their lifestyles in little ways.
Both her recycling program and Green Team emails have galvanized many people within her company to take action. Her company is now researching ways to offset their carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits and investing in wind and solar power.
She is definitely my inspiration to be the Greenest person I can be!
Nominated by: Greg Vucich
Capt. Bernardo J. Herzer
Captain Bernardo J. Herzer has always been interested in preserving the environment but as captain of the Sea Surveyor, while doing environmental research for Her Majesties Fisheries in the North Sea, he knew it was time to do something about it. Aboard ship, Captain Herzer had been converting high polluting gasoline generators to run on propane, a cleaner burning fuel whose emissions are far less toxic to the environment and to those aboard ship.
Committing time and personal resources, Captain Herzer patented the technology to run small engines on a standard, 16.4 ounce, propane canister and founded LEHR, an environmentally friendly technology company based in Los Angeles. He then set out to produce the first, consumer based lawn and garden tool that runs on propane. Utilizing the 100% recyclable "camping style" propane canisters as a source of fuel, the LEHR Eco Trimmer is making its debut in stores across the country just in time for Earth Day, April 22, 2009.
"I love the ocean and the environment," says Captain Herzer. "And I was truly ashamed and embarrassed by what I saw in the North Sea." Then why a string trimmer, you may ask? According to the EPA, nearly 17 million gallons of gasoline are spilled just re-filling lawn and garden equipment every season not to mention the dangerous gasoline emissions. Said Herzer, "It makes perfect sense to use a sealed system like propane in your garden and I knew it would be a good place for the technology to make an immediate environmental impact."
The LEHR Eco Trimmer is priced competitively with gasoline powered trimmers that have similar power and performance specifications but propane contains 96% less carcinogens, produces 97% fewer particulates and has no ozone depleting potential. This means that consumers can choose a much more environmentally friendly product without having to pay more for that choice. In addition, Captain Herzer and his R&D team at LEHR are working to adapt the propane technology to fuel a leaf blower, a lawn mower and basically every kind of tool that would use gasoline in a small engine for in the home and garden.
"Green is a strategy," Captain Herzer likes to say, "and I want to do everything I can to leave this planet in good shape for my son and future generations."
At a time when everyone wants to do something for the environment if they can, I nominate Captain Bernardo J. Herzer for a Heart of Green Award for providing all of us with a realistic alternative to those nasty gasoline powered lawn tools.
Nominated by: Mark Silver
Christine Rae, President of Certified Staging Professionals, is an internationally respected real estate staging authority, certified trainer, author of the book Home Staging for Dummies, and innovator in the fields of Green Education and Home Staging. Raes passion for greening the planet is evident in her partnering with the Live Green Live Smart Institute to be the training provider for its "Green Build Science Program." Rae has helped to develop a program for real estate agents, brokers, and homeowners to earn a Green Build Science certification. An alternative certificate version is available for contractors, designers, remodelers, home inspectors, project managers, corporations, and cities; even the general public that are interested in "opting into" the green alternative.
In Jan '08, Christine was the proud recipient of Real Estate Staging Association "Innovator of the Year Award 2007" for her work in EcoStaging the first of its kind in her industry. CSP is the first home staging organization in the world to initiate green training within the staging industry. Rae teaches that "sixty percent of our individual environmental footprint is related to our houses and the way we live in and operate them. This is a huge statistic," she says, "bigger even than our transportation footprint, and something must change." Rae has trademarked and developed a marketable energy audit for her Certified Staging Professional consultants to use with their clients, raising awareness of energy consumption and how to improve them. She is quoted as saying "Energy efficiencies are the most important feature homebuyers look for after price and location." She believes that sustainability begins at home whether you are a seller, investor, buyer, or living in your home.
Most recently Christine opened a "newly green" Intl Business Training Academy as part of her vision to educate the public about green building solutions. She understands choices are made for flooring, paint, cleaning, furniture, window treatment, garbage disposal, and other maintenance challenges whether in a commercial building or residential home. In her facility she has an opportunity to educate people how the state of the planet affects their bottom line and show that it's not as arduous or expensive task to choose green when remodeling your office or home, selling a property or starting a business the long-term savings are well worth the investment. She is the first to reiterate (as the Green Build Council stats show) that for every one dollar invested there is a twenty dollar return on investment. The CSP Business Training Academy and the North American team of instructors (15 growing to 100 in '09) will conduct "green" classes throughout the year, and serve as an inspirational and educational beacon. I highly recommend Christine Rae for your Heart of Green Award.
Nominated by: Mary DeBella
I am nominating my boss, Jim Murphy, for the Heart of Green award because he started the company Carbon Green. Carbon Green helps biofuel and ethanol producers reduce their carbon emissions by introducing them to the newest technologies. We were also successful in getting carbon credits for Corn Plus. Corn Plus was the first ethanol plant to become a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange, the worlds first voluntary cap and trade program. Ethanol gets a bad rap in the environmental world, and we at Carbon Green know it's not perfect. But Jim Murphy is working hard to change the image of ethanol and to help it become more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Not only is Jim a great environmental steward, he is also very passionate about the Chicago community. He founded and served as president of two major non-for-profits, the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Foundation and the Chicago Charter School Foundation.
Nominated by: Rachel Enthof
I nominate Kimberly Button, the founder of greenWell, for the Heart of Green Awards. greenWell is an eco-wellness company that educates families and businesses how by going green and improving the health of the Earth we can improve our health, too, by preventing common health problems such as allergies and fatigue to more serious health concerns such as asthma and cancer.
Kimberly founded greenWell after discovering how many of the more natural, non-toxic, eco-friendly choices that she started to make in her own life had a positive impact on her own health. Kimberly was diagnosed with childhood cancer, and then Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia while in college. Her debilitating health problems seemed to stem from something in her environment, and by choosing to go more natural, she started to see improvements in her own health.
Kimberly is now passionate about spreading the message of how we can easily and inexpensively choose to go green and be gentle on the Earth while at the same time living healthier lives. From green cleaners to lead exposure to chemical-free baby bedding and everything in between, greenWell helps individuals understand why its so important to choose greener, more non-toxic products for their families, their children, their pets and even their work place.
Through greenWell, Kimberly has given talks to expectant parents, young girls, retirement communities, community organizations and television audiences. As a freelance writer and author, Kimberly also writes articles on going green and living healthy for community papers in Orlando. Kimberly is also proud to support and promote local green businesses in central Florida that sell eco-friendly, natural products and services and refers her clients to these small businesses through greenWells unique Eco-Wellness Catalog. Kimberlys dedication, passion and in-depth knowledge of her subject is purely evident in her personal life and through her work with greenWell and thats why Im proud to nominate her as a Local Green Hero.
Nominated by: John Jenkins