Solar Mamas and their Wild Idea

19 May 2013

They can’t read or write but a couple of brave Bedouin women from Jordan travelled far and wide to help their villages become solar powered. The biggest struggle yet may be with their husbands: We’ve covered this hopeful story of Solar Mamas, Bedouin women from Jordan who went to Barefoot College to learn how to solar power their villages. We’ve interviewed the women from solar mamas, and have reviewed the film Solar Mamas, a documentary movie about their journey.

Chasing Ice, the real-life eco thriller of the century

30 Dec 2012

Remember the first time you saw Inconvenient Truth? It was a game changer for me. So much so that right by the popcorn machine in the lobby of the theatre I decided to do my first podcast program called America the Green to wake us all up. I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing, right? No other film laid out the whole climate change horror like Al’s, until Chasing Ice.

Is Oprah pulling a Paul Newman?

20 Nov 2012

We’ll admit that we only have the vaguest idea of what the media maven has been up to since she ended her reign as the queen of daytime talk (we think we get OWN—like on channel 176 or something). But now comes news that Oprah might be getting into the organics game.

According to recent filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, Oprah—or, no doubt, her lawyers—has registered trademarks for “Oprah’s Organics,” “Oprah’s Farm” and “Oprah’s Harvest,” reports the New York Post.

A PR rep seemed to downplay the story, saying: “The trademarks were filed for Oprah’s farm on Maui to enable the farm to grow and distribute produce on Maui and throughout the Hawaiian I

Who are the Top Ten Women Of Green?

12 Nov 2012

We sending a BIG SHOUT OUT to our community. That’s you. And your friends. And your friend’s friends. We’re looking for the Top Ten Women Of Green. Women who are stepping out and making a BIG POSITIVE IMPACT on the planet. We know you know one. Send us her name, what she’s up to and why you think she should be on our Top Ten list. The time is now.


The Responsible Entrepreneur: What archetype are you?

28 Aug 2012

Four archetypes of entrepreneurship and how they contribute to a better world.

For four decades I have worked with small business entrepreneurs, helping them grow their businesses by keeping stakeholder success and consciousness of how they do business in the forefront of their minds. I have seen how, by developing the characteristics of what I call The Responsible Entrepreneur, anyone helping to bring new business into the world can fulfill the promise of entrepreneurship and contribute to the creation of a better world.

Every Responsible Entrepreneur represents one of four archetypes, each with a unique role to play in the entrepreneurial system. Cultural anthropologists have identified all four in every healthy culture, and all four are needed to ensure the health of our own evolving social system. Each takes on change differently in search of different outcomes. All four approaches can also be found inside established organizations, among intrapreneurs who lead change.

Amazing Green…how sweet the smell

27 May 2012

The Paleaku Peace Gardens Sanctuary in Kona, Hawaii, USA, is a meticulously planned garden spanning about 30 meters provides a relatively accurate map of our Milky Way Galaxy. Different plants depict stars, globular clusters, and even nebulas. Many bright stars visible in Earth’s night sky are depicted on leaves surrounding the marked location of the Sun. Plant rows were placed to represent arms of our Galaxy, including the Sun’s Orion Arm, the impressive Sagittarius Arm, and the little discussed Norma Arm. A small bar runs through our Galaxy’s center, while a fountain has been built to represent the central black hole.

Is this amazing or what?

Women’s History Month Film Feature: Wangari Maathai

7 Mar 2012

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Women Of Green will be featuring each week a film about woman of vision who has dedicated her life to the health and well-being of this Big Beautiful Planet and the beings that live on it. First up is the legendary environmental activist, Wangari Maathai, who became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

Three decades ago, she suggested to rural women in her native Kenya that they plant trees for firewood and to stop soil erosion — an act that grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, defend human rights, and fight government injustice. The tree-planting groups that formed gave the women a reason to come together and become involved in resolving their communities’ challenges.

Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai tells the story of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement and follows Maathai, the movement’s founder and the first environmentalist and African woman to win the Nobel Prize. Maathai discovered her life’s work by reconnecting with the rural women with whom she had grown up. They told her they were walking long distances for firewood, and that clean water was scarce. The soil was disappearing from their fields, and their children were suffering from malnutrition. “Well, why not plant trees?” she suggested.

The jewels of Jes: Spreading compassion through jewelry

9 Feb 2012

I truly believe the reason my work has been so successful is because it’s infused with my passion for life – passion born from a place of deep compassion, for all creatures and our beautiful Mother Earth. My collectors can feel this and have expressed how deeply inspired they are by the love built into every design and how good it feels to wear jewelry and support a company that celebrates life, by honoring ethical practice and raising awareness.

My interest in the environment developed from a childhood spent mostly outdoors. Countless hours riding my horse bareback deep into the wooded hills near my home – never failed to return me to my souls essence. Nature was my altar as much then, as it is today. It’s the place where I can hear and feel my heart’s wisdom; not only does it inspire my creativity, but anchors it. My relationship with animals is no different. They are so pure, present and without judgment – I always feel relaxed in their company, like I can really be myself and love without constraint.

When you love something unconditionally, it is natural to want to do anything in your power to protect it. My real work as an artist is to spread compassion and bring awareness to the suffering innocent, and the abusive practices that are detrimentally impacting our Earth. As a business owner and entrepreneur, I feel a responsibility to affect positive change in my immediate environment – and on a global level. Implementing ethical practice in business requires a lot of research, attention to detail, and in many cases extra expense – but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I get to stand behind (and in front of) a company that brings more beauty into the world, while helping eliminate what is not so beautiful. My dedication to this level of integrity has also created amazing opportunities to collaborate with bigger companies making a powerful impact socially and environmentally.

The Lorax has gone Hollywood. And so has its environmental message.

25 Jan 2012

From Mother Jones

If you read this blog regularly, it’s likely that you were a fan of The Lorax, Dr. Seuss’ cherished 1971 classic. It’s a story about a little orange guy devoted to protecting the Truffula trees, but it speaks more broadly to the threat that industry poses to the natural world. Now The Lorax has gone Hollywood, with a new film version from Universal Pictures due out on March 2. And it appears that fans of Seuss’ environmental message aren’t very excited about the release.

The trailer for the film prompted the students of Ted Wells’ 4th grade class at the Park School in Brookline, Mass. to start a petition asking Universal to revive the tree-hugging themes of the book. Over at, they’re requesting that the company at least add more educational materials to the film’s website and promotional materials. Wells notes that his students thought the trailer made the movie look “more like an adventure and romance, like it had totally lost its message about helping the planet.”

“Currently, the movie website, trailer, and story summary have no mention of helping our planet!” says the students’ petition. “This is a missed opportunity. There are big problems in our natural world and we need more and more people helping out.”

They have collected more than 50,000 signatures since they launched the petition in December. Here’s the trailer, which makes me think the kids are right on:

See the trailer here

How media would move if women ran the show!

8 Dec 2011

Women hold only 3% of clout positions in the mainstream media. ~ Annenberg Public Policy Center, “The Glass Ceiling Persists”

Here are 15 ways the media would be different if it were run by 97% women and only 3% men:

Nobel Peace Prize goes to women’s rights activists

11 Oct 2011

OSLO, Norway (AP) — The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three champions of women’s rights in Africa and the Middle East on Friday in an attempt to bolster the role of women in struggles to bring democracy to nations suffering from autocratic rule and civil strife.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee split the prize between Tawakkul Karman, a leader of anti-government protests in Yemen; Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to win a free presidential election in Africa; and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, who campaigned against the use of rape as a weapon in her country’s brutal civil war.

By picking Karman — the first Arab woman to win the peace prize — the Norwegian Nobel Committee found a way to associate the 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) award with the uprisings sweeping North Africa and the Middle East without citing them alone, which would have been problematic.

After a popular uprising at the height of the Arab Spring, Libya descended into civil war that led to NATO military intervention. Egypt and Tunisia are still in turmoil. Hardliners are holding onto power in Yemen and Syria and a Saudi-led force crushed the uprising in Bahrain, leaving an uncertain record for the Arab protest movement.

Prize committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said it was also difficult to identify the leaders of the Arab Spring among the scores of activists who have spearheaded protests using social media.

“We have included the Arab Spring in this prize, but we have put it in a particular context,” Jagland told reporters. “Namely, if one fails to include the women in the revolution and the new democracies, there will be no democracy.”

He called the oppression of women “the most important issue in the Arab World” and stressed that the empowerment of women must go hand in hand with Islam.

“It may be that some still are saying that women should be at home, not driving cars, not being part of the normal society,” he told The Associated Press. “But this is not being on the right side of history.”

He noted that Karman, 32, is a member of a political party linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement sometimes viewed with suspicion in the West. Jagland, however, called the Brotherhood “an important part” of the Arab Spring.

No woman or sub-Saharan African had won the prize since 2004, when the committee honored Wangari Maathai of Kenya, who mobilized poor women to fight deforestation by planting trees. She died last month at 71. The 2005 prize went to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its head Mohamed ElBaradei of Egypt.

Sirleaf, 72, became Africa’s first democratically elected female president after winning a 2005 election in Liberia, a country created to settle freed American slaves in 1847.

Fighting began in 1989, when Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia rebel group launched an armed uprising. His forces and rebel fighters were charged with looting Liberia’s small diamond reserves to buy arms, along with smuggling gems from Sierra Leone’s more expansive diamond fields for export through Liberian ports.

I was making pretty landfills for a living.

28 Sep 2011

Sometimes the challenges of the planet seem too big, too complex. What can I do? What is my role to play? My late friend, John Armer, used to say, “Our job is to leave the sandbox cleaner than when we found it.” I have always liked this simple yet poignant saying.

I am a textile designer by trade. For years, I designed products for mass markets — Walmart, Target, etc. I loved my job. Creating patterns and designs is total joy for me. In 2004, I got a call from a competitor who wanted me to come work for them.However, I couldn’t do it. It didn’t feel right. It felt like a step sideways. It was a blessing though, because it got me thinking. What is the next step? What does it look like?

It was around this same time that I walked into a mass market store and found a sea of check-out stands, all filled with customers, all with baskets filled with stuff. All I saw was a glacial-size flow of landfill. Cheap stuff to be enjoyed briefly and then discarded. It was in that moment that it hit me—I was making pretty landfills for a living!

Determined to have my life’s work be something I could be proud of, it was on that day that I started down the road that would ultimately lead to the creation of Harmony Art Organic Design — an independent, printed organic fabric company. I am happy to report that six and a half years later, colorful printed organic cotton is no longer an anomaly but a growing market segment.

It is my sincere belief that for the “sandbox” to get collectively cleaner (or remain dirty and continue to inherit more debris) there is a magic shovel. No, I can’t solve poverty, climate change, financial exploitation, or war. What I can do (and what everyone on the planet can do) is to look at my own life. What contribution am I making with my life’s work? What about your contribution? I made the decision to walk away from a steady paycheck to create a new, healthier fabric option for people and businesses. I don’t expect you to quit your job and start your own company — that’s extreme. But I do think if we each took a good hard look at the results of our life’s work, and simply focused on creating the best possible product (or outcome) for the world, the change would be explosive and powerful.

For Leah, creativity is the cure.

8 Aug 2011

As my knowledge and passion grows, I see that we, as Americans and world citizens, have a lot of work to do. To combat frustration and despair that grip many of us after we see movies like Food Inc., I have developed a platform for change. Human creativity remains to be one of the last resources that has not been commodified for profit. There are vast untapped stories, images, fears, dreams and damaged lives out there that are waiting to be expressed.

Our Facebook Page, World Food Day KC 2011 Flash Mob has many functions, but at the top of the list is: A place where we can express in different ways our concern, hope and fears around the topic of the future of food. These expressions, in turn, are then made into posters and fliers that are free for world citizens to download in order to make their own parties, potlucks, protests, flash mobs or advertisements. We encourage people who feel that they don’t have a voice to contribute, as their healing becomes our healing. The system in the U.S. and around the world is truly in a crisis of proportions that we are barely conscious of.

Sundance award-winning filmmakers of FUEL bring us new documentary FREEDOM

5 Aug 2011

From the filmmakers of the Sundance Award-winning film FUEL, comes the new documentary FREEDOM. In the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill; filmmakers Josh Tickell and Rebecca Tickell (check out our interview with Rebecca on Women Of Green) took an international journey to investigate alternatives to fossil fuels. FREEDOM offers an array of green solutions. From about advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol, to plug in hybrids, we learn about the sustainable technologies that could fulfill our transportation needs.

With insightful and inspirational interviews form former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former NATO Commander Wesley Clark, Singer/Songwriter Jason Mraz, international author Deepak Chopra and actors Michelle Rodriguez, Amy Smart and Ed Begley Jr., FREEDOM invites people to not just get mad, but get motivated.

Above all, FREEDOM calls for a revolution in how we live. Inevitably we must shift the types of houses and cities we live in, we must rethink the way we work and change the way we treat each other and the planet. Most importantly we must transform ourselves.

More information on theater location and time coming! If you are anywhere near Santa Fe, NM on August 23, I’ll see you at the screening. If not, check out the FREEDOM Film site for a screening near you.

If you don’t bring it, we won’t get it. A conversation with Rha Goddess – show 50

4 Aug 2011

One of the best parts of my work with Women Of Green is I get to hang out with some of the coolest, smartest, electrifying people on the planet. Rha Goddess is at the top of that list. She is a captivating performance artist, activist and social entrepreneur who uses her artistic and motivational talents to heal, transform, and inspire. If you are an entrepreneur (or want to be) whose mission has social change at the heart of your enterprise, listen to this interview. Rha’s shares her hard-earned business savvy with her deep passion to make a difference, and shows us how to “Stay True, Get Paid and Do Good”. That’s music to my ears.

From asthma to aesthetics: How Zem Joaquin created an eco fabulous life – show 44

17 May 2011

When Zem Joaquin’s two children suffered from chronic asthma, she took it in her own hands and undertook a major renovation in her home — and her life. “I was frustrated by the fact that both of my children were constantly being hospitalized. I was up so many nights with a nebulizer in hand with crying children,” she painfully remembers. “The pediatricians just kept saying that it was part of childhood, that many children have asthma.” But after they recommended putting her children on long-term steroids, she said, “Enough is enough!”