For the love of nature!

Great EARTH Expeditions logo

Great EARTH Expeditions

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 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.

In late 2012, Patrick Halligan, co-founder and CMO of Live Green Be Green by PMD United, was presented with the opportunity for temporary reassignment from Citystash, Washington, DC to the San Francisco office to assist with business marketing, development and operations.  Patrick, a 2012 graduate of the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business, viewed this offer as a great chance to hone his business skills and to boost his resume.  He eagerly accepted this proposition and set out to ready himself for the trip.

With the assistance and support of his girlfriend. Becca Donnelly, a recent graduate of George Washington University, Patrick carefully planned this cross-country trip.  While they realized this would be an awesome road trip, they had no idea that it would be an amazing testament to green living and sustainability.  It turned out that each step of this journey tells a story, a very personal one, of two members of the Millennial Generation, whose daily lives and interests seamlessly incorporate and reflect principles of green living and sustainability.  While having fun seeing the sites and enjoying each other’s company, Patrick and Becca’s journey unintentionally created a symbolic quilt with interlocking pieces displaying a theme of those principles.

Family.  In planning their journey, Patrick and Becca looked to family for moral support and encouragement for their trip.  Additionally, they made sure their route included stops to visit family, including cousins, a sibling and niece and nephew in Chicago.  They also reached out to west coast cousins while in California.  During their time in California, they took time out of their busy schedules to entertain east coast family members visiting in the area.

Energy Conservation.  As part of the Millennial Generation, it was only natural that Patrick and Becca chose to take this trip in a Fiat 500, a small energy-efficient car that gets great gas mileage.  With careful planning and limited space, they readily adopted a minimalist attitude, taking only what they needed.

Climate Change.  Patrick and Becca’s chosen route resulted in an unintended reference to climate change, often associated with extreme temperature changes and violent storms.  While visiting in Chicago, they encountered a severe lightning storm, and while driving through Wyoming and Nevada, they experienced continuous days of extremely hot weather with temperatures soaring as high as 118 degrees Fahrenheit.  In San Francisco, they experienced a summer quite different from the east coast, with some days not even making it to the 70 degree mark.

Nature.  Throughout this trip, Patrick and Becca experienced nature at its best, reinforcing the idea that we as humans do not own the earth.  Rather, we are stewards of this land, and as such, we are obligated to coexist with nature.  They visited many landmarks, including Mount Rushmore and Deadwood, as well as Yellowstone National Park and the Badlands.  While in Yellowstone, they saw animals free to roam, rather than being in corals.  After arriving in San Francisco, they walked the foothills, swam and played in the ocean and enjoyed the wonders of Big Sur where man’s footprint ends, and nature is in command.  They also enjoyed amazing sunsets, undisturbed by man’s light pollution.  They stood beside sea lions, allowed to coexist with man without being reduced to a commodity, contained in zoos or aquariums for the entertainment of man at a price.

Sustainability.  On their journey, Patrick and Becca included a stop to the Coors Brewing Factory in Golden, Colorado. There they were treated to a lesson in sustainability.  They toured the brewery where they were educated on the company’s business practices that makes it a priority to increase the productivity of natural resources with zero waste tolerance.

Their adventure also reflected the importance of people, which is recognized as an integral component of strong sustainability theory.  The success of their journey is largely attributable to the support of people, starting with the owners of CityStash, who believed in Patrick and offered him the opportunity to work in the west coast office.  Also, it is important to thank the Wygant family — Scott, Joelle, Bill and Diana.   These kind people graciously served as Patrick and Becca’s safety net in this leap of faith, particularly Bill and Diana, who provided them with a place to stay and helped them familiarize themselves and navigate the San Francisco landscape.

There are so many lessons to be learned from Patrick and Becca’s journey, too many to discuss in one article.  Perhaps the greatest lesson is that each of us should seek to engage the greater good in life, which in most cases will lead to living a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.  To do this, it is important to take a leap of faith, drop many of our rituals that encumber us and to heed the call of the universe to “come away with me” to a new place.  To do so is to live green, be green.

Generation Y

Generation Y (Photo credit: علي – ali)

Criticism of the Millennial Generation (Generation Y) by its predecessors appears to be rampant on many fronts.  Generally, young people today have been characterized as lazy, politically apathetic, economically informed and self-consumed.   Upon closer inspection, it appears that the basis of these complaints generally lie in the potential upheaval of business as usual that is on the horizon in terms of  the Millenials’ values on politicseconomicsculture and the environment.  Clearly, the overall values of the Millennials differ significantly from those of the previous generations in many significant ways:

  • They are more charitable.
  • They are more global minded.
  • They are more tolerant of racial, ethnic, political, social and economic differences.
  • They are more informal.
  • They are more educated and receptive to technological advancements.
  • They are more adept at multitasking.
  • They embrace networking.
  • They are more environmentally conscious.

Growing Up In A World Shaped By Technology

The Millennial Generation (ages 18-30) grew up in an environment that was much different from that of their parents and grandparents.  With the development of personal computers, smart phones and tablets, this generation has easy access to the Internet, which immediately delivers information and news, accompanied by vivid real-time images devoid of the filter of time delay and editorialized reporting.  The competition to be the first to deliver breaking news has resulted in an onslaught of sources of information, such as traditional news wire services, social media platforms, including, but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., and even individual messaging services on personal camera-equipped smart phones.  These technological advances allow those who use electronic devices to access factual information, examine the sources of the information and form their own conclusions about political, social, cultural and economic issues.

In his book, The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw stated, “It’s easy to make a buck.  It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”  It seems that the Millennials have taken this advice to heart.  To a large degree, they have shown great interest in being different (than previous generations) in order to make a difference.  Consequently, the Millennial Generation has matured into a group of self thinkers, who resist previous generations’ perceived notions of success and value, particularly ownership of stuff.  Millennials are more likely to resist moving to the suburbs and buying expensive houses and cars.  They often enjoy urban living and are pleased to have access to green energy-efficient buses or to walk or ride bicycles.  A meal does not have to include meat for many of this generation.  They are more likely to be environmentally conscious and to recycle and reuse.  They love to travel and are more likely than their predecessors to visit other countries.  Most importantly, Millennials are independent thinkers, whose truth does not have to be based on a preconceived consensus.

This brand of thinking is a major problem for the previous generations, who worry about passing the torch on to this “irresponsible” next generation.  How do they have the audacity to destroy this great society that has been built on the sweat and labor of so many dedicated citizens?  The answer here is that the Millennials have identified the missing link to our very survival, namely sustainability.  They see the prior generations manipulated by corporate greed, political gridlock, racial, social and cultural intolerance and the burdens of materialism— ownership of too much stuff, overwhelming debt, depression and unhappiness.  They choose not to participate in a political system that is consumed by partisan interests and burdened by ill will, contention and gridlock. They reject value defined by ownership of material things.  Rather, they prefer to collect experiences as opposed to objects, to enjoy the world’s natural resources rather than deplete them.

There is a quiet revolution going on, a grassroots movement that is gaining momentum.  The Millennial Generation is leading an upheaval of business as usual, and this is what the world needs, a new path to healthy lifestyles and environmental consciousness.   Perhaps we all should stop and pay attention to this movement.  To do so is to live green, be green.

If you are ever in San Francisco, be sure to visit the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. This beautiful place has been around for over 100 years and thanks to First Lady Hilary Clinton, in 1998, The Conservatory was placed on the 100 most endangered world monuments. It currently exists as the oldest public glass and wood greenhouse in the United States!



Wwoofing by the sea

Wwoofing by the sea (Photo credit: Peter Blanchard)

If you have a green thumb, need a vacation, and you are willing to work approximately 4 hours a day in exchange for room and board, WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms) may be your ticket to paradise.  WWOOF is an exchange program that started in the United Kingdom in 1971 for people at least 16 years old, who are interested in organic farming and travel.  You, the WWOOFer, pay your travel costs, but do pay any living costs, and the host farmers do not pay you a wage.  Rather, for a period of time predetermined by the WWOOFer and the host, you get hands-on experience in organic and sustainable farming, and the farm gets extra hands.

WWOOFing opportunities exist globally.  Those interested can WWOOF in the United States or abroad.  An excellent place to begin your WWOOF journey is at the website,  This is a comprehensive site that thoroughly explains the program, requirements and rules for participation.  This site has links for both volunteers and for organic farms interested in participating in this wonderful program.  The site also includes links to specific WWOOF organizations in Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe.  This site specifically addresses any concerns one may have regarding security, VISAS, insurance requirements and even specialty farming opportunities.

WWOOF presents a great opportunity for summer vacations.  The host opportunities come in all sizes and shapes.  A review of the site shows that there even are opportunities for family participation.  What better way is there to spend a summer vacation learning something new and valuable as a family while also providing a service to the environment?  This would be a truly unforgettable vacation with an added bonus of free time to tour places of interest while making a difference in sustainable living.  This also is a great opportunity for high school and college students to enjoy unique cultural experiences during their summer vacations.

For anyone still planning a summer vacation, who is interested in learning about organic farming and who does not mind a few hours of work in exchange for room and board, WWOOF certainly should be a consideration.  With our busy lives and the constraints of urban living, we often are limited in the ability to learn many aspects of organic farming.  WWOOF links individuals interested in learning about organic farming with experts all over the world, who are more than willing to share their knowledge.  This truly is a great way to live green, be green.


Sources for this article:


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 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.

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,, now.

Simple sustainability efforts go a long way.  Here’s a bit of a scoop on one such effort we’ve deemed worthy to shake up our headlines here at LGBG.

That’s right. It’s a company by the name of MPG Car Rental, and although its not the largest company, it hasn’t allowed that small fact to prevent it from doing big things!

Similar to rental car services like Hertz, Budget, Enterprise, and even old Thrifty, MPG provides a slew of automobiles to its customers on a temporary, rental basis.  No biggie, right?  But what sets this little Venice, California-based rent-a-car service apart from its traditional competitors, is that MPG’s fleet of vehicles are “all green” and still suit all needs.  Whether customers are looking for compact sedans or full-size SUV’s, MPG Car Rental boasts a wide range of eco-friendly vehicles.

The brand management experts at Interbrand rank the most green global brands yearly, based on what they consider to be critical criteria in determining the sustainability of business efforts.  In first, third, and fourth place on 2012’s Interbrand Best Global Green Brands list were Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen, respectively.  It should therefore come as no immediate shock to the consumer that MPG Car Rental offers some of the flagship hybrid vehicles associated with these top performing brands.

Aside from Toyota’s three generations of Prius vehicles, MPG offers its Camry and Highlander hybrids, as well as its Lexus offspring, including the CT 200 hybrid and two variations of the RX model.  Also members of the all-green MPG fleet are Honda’s Insight, Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI (diesel), and Chevy’s new Volt and hybrid Tahoe.  And the customer should look forward to seeing this selection of vehicles change, as MPG makes it a point to constantly re-examine and continually update its fleet’s member vehicles to reflect current top performance trends.

What further sets MPG’s business model apart from those of competitors is its special test drive program.  MPG allows its customers who are thinking about purchasing a eco-friendly hybrid vehicle to rent and test drive any member of its fleet for up to four days to see if the vehicle fits the customer’s lifestyle.  From that point, if the customer purchases that model vehicle from one of MPG’s affiliated dealers, the customer is automatically eligible for the reimbursement of up to four days’ rental of that MPG vehicle.  Clever and helpful.

Through minimal efforts in specialization within the constraints of already established methods of business in an industry, MPG has managed to re-vamp operations to increase sustainability.  Customers can rest assured that they are not only receiving vehicles that perform well, but that they are helping lessen their carbon footprints all the while.  MPG Car Rental should be an example to all future rent-a-car companies, that small change can make a difference and still pay off financially.  Hopefully the company continues to grow, both in successful business, and in the admirable ideologies with which its conducts its business.