By Susan Lutz
Hope seems lost. So often headlines tumble us backwards, forgetting that hope exists. But all is not lost. I found hope, and more, in these stories, these people, and these communities – each bringing rejuvenation to our environment and its communities. Moreover, it’s not just hope that these stories project. Within the actions and hearts of the people in these stories, a deep certainty resides in their power to change not only life for themselves but for others.
- Taking Back Detroit Neighborhoods with the Power of Organic and Community – Urban depression runs through many areas of large cities. Abandoned homes often represent a dark picture of an impossible task: how to bring life back to once vital areas. This Detroit neighborhood is taking back its homes and its community by using YouTube, gardening, and the support of each other to revitalize and reclaim a neighborhood.
- Planting Trees as a Mission – This 103-year-old woman Karnataka has planted not just one, two, or even 100 trees. Saalumarada Thimmakka, from India, has for the last 50 years planted over 400 banyan trees. But that’s not all. She also fights to get a hospital in her community.
- Urban Garden in the Heart of NYC – In a place least expected, the Urban Garden Center sprouted, providing fresh natural food and serving the community through gatherings and education. The Urban Garden Center has forged on, despite many obstacles. Their location houses a two-block stretch of city concrete under part of the railway system. What they do inspires others to bring the beauty and revitalization of greens into city living.
- Empowerment through Fair Trade – The success of companies will no longer be measured in dollars only. Perhaps that never was true success. Some companies achieve empowerment for their community and themselves by giving back. Alaffia is a company in Togo, Africa with a mission to invest in the community. They state that their goal is to end poverty and foster gender equality. They work on things such as educational projects, maternal health, and reforestation, to name a few.
Connecting with the community, demonstrating an organic lifestyle, and helping others through cooperation with the environment, brings forth prosperity, perhaps slowly, but surely. As the large corporations struggle with profits, they now look to the little – though giants in heart – as models for the future. The power of their certainty plants seeds of true change that will benefit all.
Do the electric slide into an EV (electric vehicle), and plug into a greener way to travel. My guest this week, Seth Leitman, a/k/a Green Living Guy, brings his expertise on vehicles that are electrifying the roadways. From Ford Fusion to Mitsubishi to Tesla, we learn about how the car industry is heading towards a more electric future. Seth’s Green Guru Guides and soon to be videos, are great tools to help you become a more sustainable Earthling. For more information go to greenlivingguy.com
#1532: The Green Living Guy by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud
“Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and I say, it’s alright.” – George Harrison
New York State is committed to achieve 50% renewable energy by the year 2030. The Shared Renewable Program is part of that push, and Governor Cuomo recently stated that “this program is about protecting the environment and ensuring that all New Yorkers, regardless of their zip code or income, have the opportunity to access clean and affordable power.” This week’s show takes us to the #Solar4All Community Celebration sponsored by Solar One and Vote Solar. We heard from the NYS Energy Czar Richard Kaufman, as well as many other New York elected officials, who have worked to get this program off the ground. We spoke to Peter Olmsted and Adam Browning of Vote Solar, who are instrumental is developing policy for solar projects in New York, and beyond. We also spoke to Elana Laichena, Program Manager for Here Comes Solar, a project of Solar One, which promotes many solar initiatives. The Shared Renewable Program will help improve neighborhood health, resiliency and create opportunity, as renters, businesses, and homeowners will be able to participate in renewable energy projects, and receive tax credits on their utility bills. For more information go to votesolar.org, herecomessolar.nyc and sharedrenewables.org
#1529: Going solar, baby! by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud
According the the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents within the past 30 years. Enter the National Farm to School Network, which is working to bring local, fresh foods to school across the U.S., in an effort to reduce obesity, and bring healthy food choices to cafeteria menus. My guest this week is Jaime Lockwood, Development Director at the Farm to School Network, which helps connect local farmers with schools, chefs to cafeterias, and students to gardens. We talk about the importance of the Farm to School Act of 2015, and discuss how chefs inspire healthy eating, environmental awareness, and fitness via wellnessintheschools.org. Jaime is also a board member of Urban Tree Connection, an organization based in Philadelphia, that works to educate and develop community driven greening and gardening projects on vacant land. For more information visit farmtoschool.org. and urbantreeconnection.org
#1527: Farm to School by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud
A river runs through it, and it is up on the roof. Tune in to find out how my guest Gennaro Brooks-Church, Director of EcoBrooklyn, created a river on a roof, which uses gray water and rain water filtration systems to cut down on water use, while creating a beautiful waterscape. We also discuss ways to keep your home more energy efficient, by using less waste, via reusable materials and installing passive heating and cooling systems. Water is a precious commodity, and we talk about the sewage/water issues affecting the neighborhoods closest to the Gowanus Canal. Gennaro is building green to keep his “Build It Forward” mantra alive for future generations. For more info go to www.ecobrooklyn.com
#1428: Gennaro Brooks-Church, EcoBrooklyn
Learn what you can grow Up On The Roof, as Bradley Fleming, Farm Manager at Brooklyn Grange Farm explains how urban agriculture is taking hold on a tall building near you. Find out what grows best on a city roof, and how it helps both the environment and adds to the sustainability of NYC. Go to www.brooklyngrangefarm.com for more info.
#1401: Bradley Fleming, Brooklyn Grange Farm
In Part 2 of our discussion with Global Kids, Makayla Comas touches on water issues, environmental technologies and how her experience in Chile brought her to be even more in tune with nature and what we need to do to improve conditions throughout the globe. Amosh, Sam and Molly discuss the Green Roof Project and the successful implementation of a “green roof” on William Cullen Bryant High School. Global Kids continue to lead the way on the importance of the need to protect the environment, as it interconnects with social justice issues and human rights. The student leaders are passionate, caring and are truly a breath of fresh air. For more information check out the website www.globalkids.org
#1346: Global Kids, part 2 of 2