Living

whale tale

Whales bring up the rear in the fight against oceanic acidification

Photo courtesy nestor galina via FlickrAnti-whaling advocates can take a giant load off their shoulders. An article on Treehugger shares yet another reason not to whale on whales: They crap ecosystem gold. Ocean acidification, caused by seawater absorbing too much carbon dioxide, is a major problem facing marine ecosystems. As water’s pH drops, so does aquatic organisms’ ability to photosynthesize and absorb nutrients. One geoengineering quick fix is to plunk iron into the ocean, fertilizing the entire food chain and encouraging marine plant growth. But holy crap — researchers recently discovered that when whales eat iron-rich krill, they naturally fertilizer the …

She's redefining green

Valerie Martinez

Art: Nat Damm Valerie Martinez Executive Director, Indigenous People’s Green Jobs Coalition Minneapolis, Minn. Valerie Martinez, a 31-year-old Mexican/Cree/Apache/Ojibwe woman, spreads the benefits of the green economy to American-Indian communities in Minnesota through the Indigenous People’s Green Jobs Coalition. She’s also working with urban-ag pioneer Will Allen to bring small-scale sustainable food production to Little Earth of United Tribes, an affordable-housing community for Native Americans in south Minneapolis. Follow Martinez on Twitter.

He's redefining green

Ambessa Cantave

Art: Nat Damm Ambessa Cantave Educator, Alliance for Climate Education Oakland, Calif. Ambessa Cantave, 33, uses his skills as an entertainer and his green savvy to help young people throughout the Bay Area connect with the environmental movement. As an educator at the Alliance for Climate Education, he makes high-energy, inspiring presentations to high school kids about global warming (take notes, Al Gore). And as a cofounder and creative director at Grind for the Green, he uses hip-hop culture to help move at-risk youth toward good, green jobs. Cantave also spreads messages of eco-consciousness and self-awareness through the hip-hop group …

She's redefining green

Anita Maltbia

Art: Nat Damm Anita Maltbia Director, Green Impact Zone Kansas City, Mo. Anita Maltbia is spearheading the transformation of 150 square blocks of Kansas City, Mo., from blight to bright. The Green Impact Zone project, which she directs, is resuscitating this economically depressed African-American neighborhood by putting local residents to work weatherizing the zone’s 2,500 homes and by developing a bus rapid-transit system that will connect the zone to other parts of the region. With $50 million in funding from the federal economic-stimulus package, the initiative will also offer community policing, job training, and health and wellness programs. Maltbia, who has 30 years of …

She's redefining green

Dorothy Le

Art: Nat Damm Dorothy Le Planning and Policy Director, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Los Angeles, Calif. Dorothy Le wants to get you out and about on two wheels. Not sure where to start? Watch her series of videos on how to find the bike that’s right for you. At the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, she works to make the archetypal car-obsessed city more welcoming to cyclists and to make the cycling community more welcoming to women and people of color. Le has organized community bike tours, women’s bicycle rides, safety workshops, a bicycle count. While a student at UCLA, she led E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity, …

he's redefining green

Rob Jones

Art: Nat Damm Rob Jones Cofounder, Crop Mob Carrboro, N.C. Like a growing number of young folks across the country, Rob Jones, 27, likes to get his hands in the dirt, making his foodshed and community more robust and vibrant. Once each month, Jones and a band of young agrarians alight upon an area farm. Calling themselves the Crop Mob, they do a big project together—say, break new ground for raised beds or harvest a labor-intensive crop like sweet potatoes. The host farmers make a big meal, and everyone eats together. Sustainable agriculture is “way, way, way more labor-intensive than …

She's redefining green

Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart

Art: Nat Damm Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart Founder, Vaute Couture Chicago, Ill. Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, 27, launched Vaute Couture last year with a line of chic, eco-friendly, cruelty-free, ethically and locally produced coats that are warm enough for Chicago winters. As a vegan, model, and MBA, she brings a unique perspective to her work—and strong values too; all profits from one of her styles are donated to Farm Sanctuary, a haven for rescued farm animals. Vaute Couture also sells vegan-themed T-shirts and jewelry. Hilgart tells you about it all on her blog. Watch Hilgart talk about her business:

She's redefining green

Zakiya Harris

Art: Nat Damm Zakiya Harris Founder and Executive Director, Grind for the Green Berkeley, Calif. Zakiya Harris, 32, founded Grind for the Green in 2007 to use hip-hop to move youth of color from the margins to the epicenter of the green movement, helping steer them toward educational opportunities and green careers. The group puts on the solar-powered G4G Eco-Music Festival in San Francisco, and this Earth Day it’s rolling out a Get Fresh campaign that aims to get young people educated about and active in environmental issues. Harris also makes her own music as one half of the eco-conscious …

he's redefining green

Matt Golden

Art: Nat Damm Matt Golden President, Founder, and Chief Building Scientist, Recurve Sausalito, Calif. Matt Golden, 35, has become a golden boy of the nascent energy-efficiency industry. He started Recurve—formerly called Sustainable Spaces—back in 2004 before retrofit was hip. While Recurve works on a software-driven solution to scale up the energy-efficiency business from mom-and-pop shops to a sustainable industry, Golden spends much of his time in Washington lobbying for Home Star and other legislation to fund energy-efficiency work and create thousands of jobs. Read more about Golden in a Grist article on Home Star and a Grist article on Sustainable …

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