For the love of nature!

Great EARTH Expeditions logo

Great EARTH Expeditions
www.greatearthexpeditions.com

Though founder Ryan Barry and his team admit profits were not at the forefront of their decision-making process in launching the Halifax, Nova Scotia-based eco-tourism start-up, Great EARTH Expeditions, they can all agree that continuing their efforts is no waste of their time.  In fact, according to Ryan, they believe that the best way to get the community to minimize its wasteful impact on the environment is “through education and appreciation for what lays in nature.”  So what better alternative exists than to press onward? Live Green Be Green says, “None!”

So, Eco-Tourism?

Yes.  Being that eco-tourism is marginally about uniting community and conservation in sustainable travel, Great EARTH Expeditions promises well-planned, exciting and educational adventures through some of Canada’s most beautifully raw countryside.  Great EARTH Expeditions‘ guides plunge participants straight into the wonders of nature, from the forest floor to the Canadian coastlines, all the while encouraging in them an elevated appreciation for the surrounding fauna and foliage.

Is all of this an effective approach, you ask?  Great EARTH Expeditions believes so.

When you suddenly educate people on things that exist in nature that [people] would not regularly think about in their daily lives, they suddenly look at these precious things and relate it to their own lives and what impact it could have for the future of their children[…] It’s then that people start to begin practices in their daily lives to live greener.  Education is powerful!  —Ryan Barry, Owner/Operator

Works Apart From Great EARTH Expeditions

Live Green Be Green could not agree more with Ryan’s notion, as it ties into the core value upon which we were founded — the simple sharing of knowledge.  Speaking to that a bit further, we delve into the current endeavors Great EARTH Expeditions has outside of its green tourism operations.  How can it leverage its voice to influence change?

“Through our social media,” explains Ryan, Great EARTH Expeditions stays “connected with various government organizations […] working to help conserve both fragile landscapes in Nova Scotia and at-risk wildlife species in Canada.”  With 18,000+ followers across its range of platforms, Great EARTH Expeditions constantly shares updates on ways to help these governmental efforts.  Barry and team hope to one day attain their aspirations of contributing to such efforts through direct involvement in these government initiatives.

I would like to see Canada make well thought out decisions when tapping into our natural resources. It’s no secret that Canada has a vast range of natural resources, but when extracting these resources — whether it be our forests or natural gas — there must be strategic plans in place to lessen the impact on the earth for not only this generation but the next.  Ryan Barry, Owner/Operator

Ryan and his team believe we are beginning to think more along these long-term lines, especially after having witnessed the devastating impacts of improper and irresponsible practices in countries all over the world in recent years. (Think about the Chilean Mining fiasco, the BP Oil Drilling debacle, etc.)  The resulting negative impacts of such events have proven to be difficult to correct, at best.

It is well known and understood that the Mother Nature’s climate is not the only one at play.  Great EARTH Expeditions is striving towards raising sensitivity to its host nation’s political, environmental and social climate in the work it continues to do.  The group at Great EARTH Expeditions believes, as we at Live Green Be Green believe, that every small difference matters.  Here’s to a brighter tomorrow.

 

Has your interest peaked yet?

Be sure to check out Great EARTH Expeditions‘ new webseries, launched earlier this year, to catch some of the amazing footage capturable on their outings!

Here’s Episode 1: Bay of Fundy Pirates, Waterfalls & Sea Caves

The GREEN Program: Iceland

The GREEN Program: Iceland

Perhaps you are an avid LiveGreenBeGreen.com reader who remembers my first Business Spotlight on the GREEN Program, or perhaps you are just now visiting LGBG for the first time and should definitely read up on that ASAP.  Either way, welcome, and listen up, because we have a new update on this fantastically new age study abroad program.

Since the last article I wrote, GREEN has made some big-time organizational moves.  They have literally doubled in size, and a huge contributing factor to that has been their newly developed program in Iceland, in addition to their original Costa Rican adventure.  They have a partnership with the country’s Iceland School of Energy at Reykjavik University, whereby students can gain 1.5 U.S. college course credits for their 10-day participation in the program.

The GREEN Program is still bringing together young minds from all over the world and educating them on energy sustainability practices with hands-on experience, in the hopes that the collection of young info-seekers will eventually see to it, as future leaders, that the world creates a better tomorrow.

For all interested in learning more about the program, there is an awesome video on it,

and for those considering pursuing an internship in the area of sustainability, the program is now looking for candidates in Philadelphia, PA!

This is not meant to be just another applausive article on the GREEN Program to join the already dozens written and published all over the U.S.   Rather, this is meant to show off what a ton of hard work can create in the way of educating the masses, a goal with which we at LGBG unquestionably align.  This study abroad program, still in its toddler years, is truly making energy-packed waves in the way of study abroad programs.

For all of our readers out there who are serious fans of granola, like I am, here’s a LiveGreen article for you! This week’s spotlight comes on the heels of a trip to my local grocery store, Wegmans. While there, shopping like I would on any other Saturday morning, I came across something that was not the norm for me and my Wegmans — there was a promotional stand set up in near the grains section. Immediately sparking my interest, I rode my curiosity on over to the stand to see what was up.  I met a great guy who offered me samples of and explained the mission of Michele’s Granola, a small Maryland company who is vegan, organic, and most inspiringly, GREEN. Needless to say, between the small talk and the tastings, I fell in love and walked away with two bags myself. But now, I’d like to delve a bit deeper into who Michele’s is…

Michele's Granola

Photo Credit: www.michelesgranola.com

Born from the experimentation sessions of a granola-crazed, self-taught baker, Michele’s Granola has grown from a one-woman stand at local farmer’s markets, to an operation which now produces about 5,000 pounds of product to serve its nearly 200 community retail outlets (markets, grocers, & other food service facilities).  Michele’s is dedicated to using 100% organic whole grains in its homemade style processes of production, guaranteeing the best tasting and most healthy granola possible.  But the brand’s mission does not end there.

Its baking facility currently runs 100% on wind power!  Amazing right? Yes. But what is even more amazing is that Michele’s also uses delivery vehicles that run on re-used vegetable oil from the deep fryers of local eateries.  Outstanding!  And as if this all weren’t enough already, Michele’s estimates that not only does 40% of its waste get recycled by traditional methods, but another 40% is sent to a local composting center to be used in the production of fertile soils (that are then used in Baltimore’s urban farming projects).

It is amazing that a young company like Michele’s Granola can be so committed to making a difference in the ways of green, especially within their local ecological and business environments.  They are a testament to the notion that the triple bottom line business methodology — Profit, People, and Planet — can prove successful beyond measure.  Here at LiveGreenBeGreen, we would like to firstly acknowledge the company’s great work and great product, and secondly, we want to extend the utmost respect and gratitude to Michele’s Granola for its initiatives and actions to do greener business.  Good luck, and God speed!

To read more about Michele’s Granola, or to enquire about how to get your hands on this scrumptious and socially-evolved health snack, visit the company’s official site at: https://www.michelesgranola.com/.


Photo Credit: http://www.verterra.com

While deep in my search for outstanding companies of all kinds the other day, I stumbled upon this sustainable gem — VerTerra.  I immediately decided that I must write this week’s spotlight article on it, to let all LiveGreenBeGreen readers know about this amazing company.  So, here it is:

VerTerra is a manufacturer of single-use dinnerware, an undoubtedly saturated industry.  However, unlike nearly all competitors out there, VerTerra operates with a special spark at its sole.  The company is completely focused on the environmentally and socially conscious consumer, as it sustainably produces its eco-friendly, high-quality products using fair wage labor practices.  But that does not mean its only customers are those environmentally and socially bleeding hearts — anyone can and should use their products!

Striking the perfect balance between smart and sexy is one of the most daunting and difficult tasks, and VerTerra makes it look effortless in their products.  What is most amazing, though, is exactly how the seed of this business idea came to be planted in the mind of its founder, Michael Dwork.  On a trip to India, Mr. Dwork stopped to buy some food from a street-vendor of sorts, not an unpopular practice.  To his amazement and delight, he found the woman serving him simply took fallen leaves, soaked them in water, and with a fairly primitive waffle-iron-like device, pressed them into serving plates!  He knew he wanted to bring this concept to full manufacturing fruition back home, so he fittingly set out on a journey to do just that.  And with one of the best ideas and founding stories in the industry, LiveGreenBeGreen agrees, he has gloriously succeeded.

To find out more about this eco-friendly entrepreneur’s brand, please visit and explore VerTerra’s Official Website at: http://www.verterra.com

And to explore and purchase the eco-friendly, disposable dinnerware solutions of VerTerra and other brands, please visit: http://www.joannehudson.com/disposable-plates-green-dinnerware.html

This month, LGBG is proud to present and salute Africa Inside.  This project is headed by Lori Robinson, Africa Adventures Specialist for the Jane Goodall Institute.  Lori’s unbridled passion and commitment to wildlife and natural conservation in Africa have been the guiding forces for her successful conservation work in Africa.

Lori’s remarkable journey to create Africa Inside began with a “life long passion to nature and animals.”  While on an assignment in Africa as a fashion model in 1984, Lori realized  that her deepening connection to nature and animals happened easier in Africa.  From that point on, she has remained committed to helping others identify that passion, namely,”the Africa inside of you.” 

Over the years, Lori has dedicated her time to promote conservation through the development of programs to educate Africans about wildlife conservation and environmental protection.  Lori cited the need for such programs based on the recognition of significant facts about local African citizens:

  • They have no positive direct experience with wildlife.
  • They have no emotional attachment to wildlife.
  • They receive no benefit from the animals.

Consequently, the locals had to be taught to have compassion for wildlife.  Thus, her Africa Inside program teaches children to be wildlife heroes.  The success of this program with the African locals’ increased awareness of the value of their land and wildlife and the desire to protect these precious resources speak loudly of Lori’s insight on the need for the younger generation to be the targeted group to educate to effect the needed changes in attitude toward the wildlife and the environment.

A second noteworthy project undertaken by Africa Inside is the  elimination of pollution by plastic bags.  This project brings attention to the danger of discarded plastic bags in Africa because they cause death to the animals who ingest them out of curiosity.  They clog rivers and streams, as well as get caught in bushes, grasses and trees, and they release toxins into the environment when they are burned with garbage.  To address the issue of the negative impact of plastic bags on the continent of Africa, Africa Inside developed an effective solution to the plastic bag pollution problem.  They organized an exchange whereby a reusable canvas shopping tote from America is given to anyone who has cleaned up 25 plastic bags from the African countryside.  This exchange has been overwhelmingly successful.  At one point, an exchange removed 320,000 bags from the “plastic pollution cycle.”

At LGBG, we are fascinated by Africa Inside’s success with this simple solution to such a large problem and with the overall success to date.  We feel that this is a very special project, and we are eager to get involved to ensure its continued success.  Africa Inside’s next plastic litter cleanup will take place in Samburu, Kenya in August 2013.  The program needs cloth shopping toes and financial contributions.  All contributions are welcome, and no amount is too small.  Please go to the Africa Inside website at http://africainside.org/globalconservation/one-wordplastics to see how to contribute or contact us at LGBG for more information on how to get involved in this wonderful project.

Africa Inside truly is a remarkable organization.  Driven by a passion for animal life and nature, this organization has maintained focus on solutions to real problems without getting bogged down in bureaucratic entanglements and intricacies.  This organization serves as an example of the difference that can be made when passion for a cause is combined with commitment, problem-solving abilities and tenacity.  Africa Inside– we are proud to salute you as an example of how to live green, be green.

Plastic bags are dangerous to wildlife.

Plastic bags are dangerous to wildlife.

In keeping with our mission to educate, inform and share all things green, LGBG is proud to recognize organizations that we feel are employing exceptional and unique approaches to accomplish their goals.  This week, we salute No Water – No Life (NWNL).  LGBG would like to thank Alison Jones, photographer and project director  for taking the time to share information with us about this very special organization.

NWNL is a very special project that uses photography, scientific research and stakeholder knowledge to raise public awareness on the importance of freshwater resources, the potential dangers associated with water degradation and the opportunities to manage these resources.  This organization is exceptional and noteworthy because of its unique approach to its mission.  NWNL has adopted a simplistic primary focus, namely watersheds.  It then uses beautiful and intriguing photography and videography to illustrate its premises.  We all know that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and NWNL’s pictures prove this point.

This project has cleverly selected six case study watersheds that document “current universal threats to freshwater systems,” and with the employment of photographers, scientists and interns, the team works to develop solutions to existing problems relative to water.  The background of the individuals involved in these projects range from natural resource management, conservation biology, restoration ecology, forest ecology, environmental education and conservation photography and videography.  To date, the NWNL teams have conducted 15 expeditions in the United States and Africa, with 5 more to go.

The NWNL team maintains the highest ethical standards in its research and photography practices, ensuring that the welfare of the ecosystems are maintained.  The photographers go to extreme lengths to respect the “rights, customs and values” of the stakeholders in the watersheds visited.  Also, whether on expeditions or within their offices, they strive to cover their carbon emissions.

LGBG invites you to visit the No Water – No Life website at http://nowater-nolife.org/index.html to learn about this organization and to peruse its stunning photographs which convey to the viewer the feeling that protection of the world’s watersheds is indeed a worthy cause.

No Water – No Life is a globally focused project that documents the availability of freshwater resources, raises public awareness and provides education to stakeholders through publications, lectures and exhibits to foster partnerships globally.  With the understanding that water is the key to life, NWNL truly is a dynamic force and a wonderful asset to our journey to live green, be green.

Photograph of Raritan River, copyright Alison M. Jones

Sources for this Article:
1.  Interview with Alison Jones, project director
2.  http://nowater-nolife.org/index.html

Here at LGBG by PMD United, we continuously aim to assemble a team of researchers and writers dedicated to our fundamental philosophies of learning new things and sharing that knowledge.  Everyday our team members converse over topics and entries, and seldom do we find and mine information on such impressive initiatives as that of the Green Global Renewable Energy Education Network (or GREEN, for short).

GREEN is a fantastically young organization that realizes the importance of today’s impact on tomorrow.  Like LGBG, GREEN supports the expanse of knowledge, specifically regarding sustainability and renewable energy.  However, GREEN goes one step further and works to increase awareness through more meaningful, first-hand experiences.

What exactly does GREEN do, you ask, that has us here at LGBG so impressed?  Well, we believe a quick look at the organization’s early body of work can speak volumes for itself.

Say, perhaps, that someone in college is interested in pursuing further knowledge about heightened sustainability practices and renewable energy options.  Suppose also that this individual prefers not the conventional ways of the classroom but rather, if given the opportunity, would opt for more hands-on learning in a heartbeat.  Cue GREEN and its program.

GREEN assembles groups of highly motivated and top-performing college students from around the world to immerse them in a twelve-day, all-inclusive Costa Rican adventure.  The center of attention is undoubtedly on education, and fittingly, GREEN’s program design makes skillful use of all that Costa Rica has to offer.  In fact, as the current hotbed of renewable energy technologies, the country offers students the unique opportunity to learn about and experience five main types of alternative energy that power eighty percent of Costa Rica – hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, wind and solar.

One of the major foci of the GREEN organization is supplementing typical classroom learning with a more hands-on approach, so as to further progress the students towards future career goals.  The GREEN program’s outside-of-the-classroom learning experience covers career interests in business, engineering, ecology and public policy.  With GREEN-assembled industry experts at the helm of all discussions and instructional sessions, and with managers, engineers, and operators heading all plant tours, students can rest assured that they are receiving a top-notch educational experience.

Students who participate in the GREEN program clearly share a passion for sustainability and renewable energies.  But there is one more thing students of each and every session can agree upon – perhaps the most fulfilling aspect of the trip is teaming their passions and newfound knowledge to complete the keynote project of GREEN’s program.  (The final project entails formulating their own green programs that are attainable on a university- or college-wide level, which students can potentially bring back with them and initiate at their respective institutions.)  GREEN is very proud to acknowledge that, in addition to the great network of alumni the program offers, graduate students have also taken advantage of the opportunities GREEN provides by pursuing excellence in internships and entry-level positions within the sustainability programs of major corporations like GE.

Don’t be completely fooled, however.  Although GREEN means business, and there is a very comprehensive list of well-planned informational activities, there is also time for play to be adequately mixed in with the work.  Students have some downtime during which they can explore the beautiful landscape and activities Costa Rica has to offer.  From enjoying the physical features of the landscape to delving further into cultural centers of the country, the possibilities for fun and learning prove endless.

Overall, LGBG proudly endorses, to the highest extent, the programs and initiatives set forth and carried out by GREEN.  It is precisely through this kind of igniting and continually feeding the green flame of knowledge, that People Making a Difference United firmly believes the future can be changed for the better.  Dedicated to that same cause, obviously, is the Green Global Renewable Energy Education Network (GREEN), and for that, we offer our sincerest praise to the organization.

To our readers, LGBG urges you to learn more of the GREEN program by visiting the official website, www.thegreenprogram.com, now.

The core of our mission in all aspects of this farm and farming is to preserve the ways of the past while honoring mother nature.

So reads the mission statement of Stoney Mountain Farm in Burlington, North Carolina, an organization that strives to perhaps revolutionize farming by simply reverting to older, less technologically advanced methods.  As opposed to many green farming technologies and developments to keep up with the changing world, the methodical approach of Stoney Mountain is to simply revert back to times when greater forces than technology – like nature – had control.

The farm allows old Mother Nature to take control of much that governs activity on its grounds.  The fields and pastures are not intensively plowed or even mowed.  The animals are not fed any hormones or medications.  They only worm as needed, and plant a variety of herbal remedies around their grounds, which the animals are naturally drawn to when they instinctively need it.

These methods prove extremely important not only to the environment, but to Stoney Mountain’s main revenue stream.  The farm specializes in 100% all natural wool products for consumers, offering a wide variety of felting kits, wool dryer balls and kits, and even eco-friendly wool cat toys.  Also, what is extremely unique is Stoney Mountain’s ability to produce and provide roving, batts, and yarns of over 20 natural colors.

All of this, we believe, and all that Stoney Mountain Farm stands for, is great in all its simplistic glory.  Few words can sum up our reasoning for loving Stoney Mountain more than its own words:

Through these practices, we believe we offer beautiful venues for our guests and the best quality products with healthy, happy livestock

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Green America organization, as I’d imagine the majority of people are not, it is the feature of this week’s spotlight.  Green America: Come Together.

That is the organization’s tagline, and that is indeed what they strive for.  Basically, GA is a not-for-profit membership group that constantly aims to harness economic power, through the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace, in order to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. This mission may sound like it’s full of huge ideas, and it is!  All of which, however, make perfect sense and seem extremely attainable, given the organization’s current vision for the future:

We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.

What is extra interesting about GA is its focus on economic variables in order to reach the roots of many social and environmental issues.  They take action against abusive business practices, whether obvious or not, and try to change them to more socially just and environmentally responsible ways.

In fact, GA does virtually all it can to help businesses convert to eco-friendly practices.  The organization offers and issues its Green America’s Green Business Certification, which allows not only recognition to individuals and businesses, but resources as well.  The group has a massive network of environmentally friendly firms along all areas of the conventional value chain of the business world, from producers to retailers, from marketing to financing.

Green America Green Business Certification

For more information on exactly what criteria potential members of Green America’s Green Business Certification program must meet, visit the organization’s site and learn more!