Living

He's redefining green

Robert Cialdini

Art: Nat Damm Robert Cialdini Psychologist Tempe, Ariz. Robert Cialdini, 64, until recently a psychology and marketing professor at Arizona State University, wrote Influence, the classic book on persuasion. Lately he’s been researching the best ways to persuade people to save energy. In 2007, he coauthored a study [PDF] that found that giving people info about neighborhood energy-use norms (combined with smiley faces) led to large home energy savings. His research inspired the creation of the company Opower, which sells software that utilities can use to make smarter bills and inspire energy efficiency. Cialdini now serves as chief scientist for …

He's redefining green

Ambrose Carroll

Art: Nat Damm Ambrose Carroll Pastor, Renewal Worship Center Denver, Colo. The Renewal Worship Center, founded in April 2009 by Rev. Ambrose Carroll, 40, is one of the first churches in the U.S. to have started up with an explicitly environmental emphasis; it also has a mission to reach out to all different kinds of people, including struggling African Americans in the inner city. Its nonprofit arm, RENEWAL, focuses on green-job training and placement in the northeastern Denver area. Carroll is also coordinator of Denver’s Green Jobs Interfaith Coalition and has collaborated with other Denver clergy to call for strong …

She's redefining green

Erika Allen

Art: Nat Damm Erika Allen Projects Manager, Growing Power Chicago, Ill. Erika Allen grew up on a farm in Rockville, Md., working in the fields with her father. “We didn’t have a TV and we relied on a wood stove, but we were known as the ‘food family’ because we had so much food. We could feed 30 people for supper,” she said recently. Today, her dad, Will Allen, is one of the world’s most famous farmers—the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant for his innovative work as an urban farmer/community organizer in Milwaukee, Wis. Erika is continuing the family …

he's redefining green

Chandrasekhar “Spike” Narayan

Art: Nat Damm Chandrasekhar “Spike” Narayan Leader of Science and Technology Organization, IBM’s Almaden Research Center Silicon Valley, Calif. Spike Narayan and his team at IBM’s Almaden Research Center work on bleeding-edge technologies that are at the nexus of efforts to create a sustainable world—endlessly recyclable plastics, lithium-air batteries that could dramatically extend the range of electric cars, and infrastructure for smart cities. Given Narayan and the Almaden Research Center’s proximity to Silicon Valley venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, expect to see some of these technologies hit the market in the coming years.

he's redefining green

Jack Newman

Art: Nat Damm Jack Newman Cofounder and Senior Vice President of Research, Amyris Berkeley, Calif. He may look like an amiable Deadhead, but Jack Newman, 44—that would be Dr. Newman to you—is a Berkeley microbiologist who cofounded Amyris, a start-up that went from bioengineering a microbe to produce an anti-malarial drug to genetically tweaking a bug to excrete biodiesel (crazy, right?). Amyris, which has a pilot project under way in Brazil, is backed by high-profile Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

She's redefining green

Brenda Palms-Barber

Art: Nat Damm Brenda Palms-Barber Chief Executive Director, North Lawndale Employment Network Chicago, Ill. Brenda Palms-Barber never meant to start a green project. She just wanted to create jobs for the residents of Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, 57 percent of whom have been incarcerated or had some involvement with the criminal justice system. As chief executive director of the North Lawndale Employment Network, she hatched the idea for Sweet Beginnings, an urban honey farming business that trains and employs locals who would otherwise have a hard time finding a job. In addition to selling honey, Sweet Beginnings produces the beeline brand of all-natural personal-care …

Eat your golf course

Coming soon to a cul-de-sac near you: farming!

  A new way forward for suburbia?Suburban sprawl was a dreadful mistake–and not one brought on by “consumer choice,” but rather by a specific set of government policies. Let’s hope sprawl’s forward march can now be stopped–the bursting of the housing bubble no doubt helped with that. But existing sprawl isn’t going away. It’s our built environment–a brute fact that won’t be wished away by my desire to see walkable, bikeable, flourishing neighborhoods everywhere. The question becomes, what to do with this existing, admittedly awful infrastructure? Here’s one answer, from Good Magazine: In cities, agriculture might be able to take …

She's redefining green

Irma Muñoz

Art: Nat Damm Irma Muñoz Founder, Mujeres de la Tierra Baldwin Vista, Calif. Los Angeles native Irma Muñoz, 57, founded Mujeres de la Tierra (Women of the Earth) in 2004, after two neighbors died of cancers that they suspected had been caused by nearby oil wells. Her group organizes women in Southern California to fight for cleaner, healthier neighborhoods for their families. Muñoz also serves as an environmental affairs commissioner for Los Angeles. “I think when you talk about the environment, most people are talking about the natural elements: air, water, the earth. But for me, and for many in my community, the environment …

She's redefining green

Patti Moreno

Art: Nat Damm Patti Moreno Founder, Garden Girl TV and Urban Sustainable Living Roxbury, Mass. Patti Moreno, 38, aka “The Garden Girl,” wants to sow the seeds of inspiration and get everyone growing organic veggies and living a more self-sustaining life. In her how-to videos and on her websites, Garden Girl TV and Urban Sustainable Living, she demystifies gardening (indoor and out), raising chickens, shearing rabbits, spinning wool, cooking, and even aquaculture. Before you know it, her infectious enthusiasm could have you not just building raised garden beds but considering goat adoption. Watch Garden Girl videos on Grist. Follow Moreno …

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