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 …

he's redefining green

Gerod Rody

Art: Nat Damm Gerod Rody Founder, Out for Sustainability Seattle, Wash. Gerod Rody, 29, felt a disconnect between his life as a gay man and his work in the sustainability field, so he founded Out for Sustainability to bring the two together and encourage the LGBTQ community to embrace the green cause. The group is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with Earth Gay events where volunteers can help on projects like urban gardening and habitat restoration—followed, of course, by a lively afterparty, complete with limited-edition “Nature Is So Gay” T-shirts. Rody is also the marketing and communications associate at the sustainability-focused Bainbridge Graduate Institute, where …

As seen on TV

Save Bette Midler, er, Mother Nature! [VIDEO]

I remember watching The Earth Day Special when I was 10 years old, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, with far too much enthusiasm. I had even set the VCR to tape it more than two weeks prior. I was such a nerd. Lucky for you guys, I still am, as is some other kind soul who uploaded the whole made-for-TV movie to YouTube for our viewing pleasure (though, it’s broken into 11 parts). Enjoy some of your fave ’80s and early ’90s stars, like Mayam Bialik (Blossom!), Candice Bergen (Murphy Brown!), Ted Danson (Sam Malone!), and Kid ‘N …

he's redefining green

Mike Mathieu

Art: Nat Damm Mike Mathieu Founder, Front Seat Seattle, Wash. After working at Microsoft and founding an internet publishing firm, Mike Mathieu, 41, decided to put his software smarts to work for the greater social good. Seattle-based Front Seat, which he founded and chairs, has launched “civic software” projects like Walk Score, which shows you how walkable any given U.S. address is (Grist HQ scores a whopping 98 out of 100—a “Walkers’ Paradise”), and City-Go-Round, which spotlights innovative public transit apps, like Exit Strategy NYC, an app that shows you exactly where you should stand on the subway platform to …

he's redefining green

Selim Sandoval

Art: Nat Damm Selim Sandoval Founder, Growingreen Energy and EarthPlay Learning Adventures Ventura, Calif. Selim Sandoval, born in Guatemala and raised in South Central L.A., is hard at work creating green jobs in Southern California. His company Growingreen Energy installs renewable energy systems and trains workers to enter the field, while another venture, EarthPlay Learning Adventures, creates customized outdoor learning programs for kids and adults. Sandoval also works as community relations advisor for Sunside Solar, which manufactures solar systems, and as green jobs coordinator for Venice YouthBuild, which helps at-risk youth get on a positive career track. Watch Sandoval talk about his work:

They are redefining green

Benjamin Shute and Miriam Latzer

Art: Nat Damm Benjamin Shute and Miriam Latzer Farmers, Hearty Roots Community Farm Tivoli, N.Y. In a shallow 2008 New York Times style-section article, Benjamin Shute was portrayed as a hipster farmer. But growing food is no trendy pastime for him and his business partner, Miriam Latzer, 35. Since 2004, they’ve run Hearty Roots Community Farm, which is tackling two big challenges facing sustainable agriculture: 1) the scarcity of affordable land for new farmers; and 2) the need to broaden access to sustainably grown local food. They’ve already had to move their operation once because they couldn’t afford the multi-million-dollar sales …

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.