Green Powered

Saving the Earth has become a celebrated cause, and several figures have stood out as major role players in the quest to maintain a healthy planet. Here, four “eco-icons” discuss their philosophies.

Jack Johnson – Musician, Co-Founder Of The Kokua Hawaii Foundation

Define “The Good Life.”

Camping! (Laughs) For me, a lot of times when we’re on tour, we end up in hotels. So when we have our time off, to me, the ideal would be to rent a camper van and do a trip with the family all staying in one van.

Where Did Your Altruistic Attitude Come From?

Mostly my wife. i would just be kind of a lazy surfer if it wasn’t for her. i believe in all the stuff that we do, but she’s the one who helps to motivate me to actually follow through with it. and then our amazing crew – we have all the people who tour with us; they’re also behind all of this and are willing to go the extra mile to make it all happen. So we’re lucky to have a “family” around us – it feels more like a family than a touring crew. i think growing up as a surfer and seeing the power of Mother Nature as a young kid, being out on big surf and feeling pretty small compared to the waves, i realized how powerful Mother Nature is.

How Do You Hope People In Power And Business Can Spread Your Message About Being Good To The Earth?

What i do doesn’t feel like a business, because it’s just playing music – but you get to a certain point where you realize that the shows have a certain capacity to raise a lot of money either for yourself or for things outside of yourself. So i think anybody who has the chance to shine the spotlight on something that’s bigger than themselves is important.

How Do You Feel About Hearing Stories Of Local Kids Doing Projects That Impact The Environment?

It makes me so happy. We’re just one little, small part of this – the Kokua Hawaii Foundation – but anytime you see stuff like that, it just makes you feel like the social consciousness is changing, especially in the next generation, so it feels good to be putting energy into this kind of thing.

Jeff Corwin – Host Of Animal Planet

Define The Term “Green Living” In Your Own Words.

i think “green living” is the way individuals and members of a community find a way to live sustainably with our resources. it’s about living healthy lives so that the next generation inherits our earth as pristine as it was before.

What Motivated You To Become A Champion For Ecology And Conservation?

it’s been the core of who i am as a human being since i was a child. Throughout my travels, i’ve seen the human species at its best, and I’ve seen it at its worst … I’ve seen endangered species in Hawaii that have gone to extinction. it largely comes out of witnessing the current environmental crisis of the planet (and realizing) we have a good opportunity to be good stewards for the next generation.

How Have You Adapted Your Personal And Professional Lifestyles To Help The Earth?

Professionally, through the books and TV shows i do, i try to give information on how to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. Personally, we do our family’s best to find foods that are locally harvested, reduce our personal waste and recycle the stuff that can’t be reduced. I’m also working actively in conservation, teaching about local ecology and global conservation.

Share A Simple Tip For Someone Looking To Start “Living Green.”

Hawaii has two major concerns: habitat conservation and the maintenance of coastal and marine habitats. We need to be aware of the impact climate change has (on the islands). Everyone needs to know where their waste goes and where their food comes from. Not only what you do in the community counts, but also what you do in our own back yard. For one day, look at what you do in terms of waste. Keep a bag of all your wrappers, bottles, etc., and look at what you can reduce. (For example), my family doesn’t use bottled water; we save our tin foil for two, three, even four uses; and we never use plastic bags. These are little things we can do that have amazing impact.

Everett Dowling – CEO Of The Dowling Company, “Greenest CEO In Hawaii”

Define The Term “Green Living” In Your Own Words.

Green living is really a state of mind – a point of view from which you approach every action. For me, it means that i am personally and professionally obligated to pass on this planet in a better environmental condition than that in which i found it. The best place to implement this commitment is in one’s own back yard. We started with Dowling Company and now extend it to every project we develop on Maui.

Why Do You Think It’s Especially Important For Businesses And Residents In Ha-Waii To Be Conscious About Sustainability?

It is morally, economically and patriotically the right thing to do. You have probably heard the term “pay it forward.” Morally, we must “pay it forward” to future generations by ceasing the destructive behaviors that could leave our islands in a state of peril. and i am not talking about unseen generations from now. i am talking about children who are part of our lives this very moment – our children and our grandchildren.

Your Company’s Headquarters Is Commendable In Being The First Leed-Certified Building On Maui. How Have You Incorporated “Green Living” Into Not Just Your Corporate Practices, But Also Your Personal Lifestyle?

Every member of the Dowling Company team is a personal “evangelist” when it comes to responsible environmental behavior. When we go home, we recycle, reuse and participate in community groups that protect the environment. This is not a switch you can turn off when you leave the office. Green living is about the whole person. On a personal level, in april i will take delivery of a 100 percent electric car, which will be recharged with energy produced by solar panels.

Share A Simple Tip For Someone Looking To Start “Living Green.”

Begin by making one small change in your lifestyle. For example, avoid using Styrofoam containers. i think that people sometimes think they can’t convert to a “green” lifestyle because they are overwhelmed by the amount of information that’s now available. None of us will be perfect in our efforts to be more sustainable, but it is fun to find ways to live greener while not compromising our quality of life.

Ray Anderson – CEO Of Interface Inc., “Greenest CEO In America”

Define The Term “Green Living” In Your Own Words.

“Green living” means to me adopting a new mind-set to shape a new world view. The Earth is finite as a source and as a sink – the consequences of our decisions affect generations into the indefinite future. The Earth was not made for us to conquer and subdue – we were made for it. We are strands in the web of life. Live to help that web, not hurt it. Tiny damage can become catastrophic if everybody does it. Live mindful of the needs of all species, and of each other.

Explain “Mission Zero” And Some Of The Steps You’ve Taken To Make Interface Inc. A Greener Company.

We have set our sights on zero environmental footprint (imprint) by the year 2020, taking nothing from the Earth that cannot quickly be renewed by the Earth, and doing no harm to the biosphere.

How Have You Impacted Other Companies – In The Carpet Manufacturing Industry Or Otherwise – With Your Message Of Sustainability?

Our competitors have all responded defensively to our initiatives. Other companies, larger than ours in industries larger than ours, have adopted the interface model, or some version of it. For example, we demonstrated to Wal-Mart, the world’s largest company in sales volume with 2 million employees, that sustainability was possible – for them and for their suppliers.

Is It Possible To Maintain A “Luxury” Lifestyle And Eco-Consciousness At The Same Time? If So, How Would You Recommend Doing That?

“Luxury” is a relative word. The average American lives luxuriously compared with 3 billion people who subsist on $2 a day or less. if “luxury” means having more stuff – avid consumerism – then the two are antithetical. The rich have a huge debt to pay. They can pay it by creating verifiable off-sets.

Share A Simple Tip For Someone Looking To Start “Living Green.”

Read a book a week about the environment until you get it. Then follow your conscience.

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