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Written by Milan Clarke   
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Thursday, 01 July 2010

Environmental Awards

When thinking about the state of our environment, it is hard to look past all the disasters that keep occurring in the world. However, there are some remarkable people working hard to bring these issues to the public, to make all of us more conscious of Mother Earth. On April 20, 2010, The Daily Green and Home Depot sponsored an event called the 2010 Heart Of Green Awards. This ceremony was the third ever Heart of Green awards ceremony held in the LEED Gold certified Hearst Tower in New York City.1 Actress Gloria Reuben, a 2009 honoree, commenced the event.

For the past few years, the Heart of Green Awards has sought to make sustainability mainstream by showing the world the importance of the environment. Some of the award winners for 2010 include Ted Danson (Lifetime Achievement), Jamie Oliver (The Food Revolutionary), Josie Maran (The Role Model), Dr. Philip Landrigan (The Guardian), Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian (The Ground Breakers), John Flicker (The Steward), and Fred Schaeffer (The Local Hero).2 After doing some research on many of these awardees, the stories and work of actor Ted Danson, activist John Flicker, and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver were especially interesting.

Ted Danson: Ted Danson, the winner of The 2010 Heart of Green Lifetime Achievement Award, used his celebrity recognition to help a cause. As an actor, Danson has quite an impressive resume; he acted in the series Cheers, Bored to Death, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Damages. However, his high-achieved stardom doesn’t discount what he’s done for the environment. In 1987, he founded American Oceans Campaign, which in 2002 merged with Oceana, to become the largest non-profit organization working on ocean conservation in the world.3 Danson is proud that the organization focuses on policy along with raising awareness, and for almost 20 years Danson has regularly testified in front of Congress regarding the state of the oceans.4

Along with his creation of the American Oceans Campaign, Danson also narrated a documentary on Overfishing, called End of the Line, which put the issue in the public spotlight. For the past 20 years, Danson has passionately devoted his life to environmentalism. Not only is he a fabulously funny actor, but he has also used his celebrity to bring awareness to many environmental issues.

John Flicker: Another winner at the 2010 Heart of Green Awards was President and CEO of the National Audubon Society, John Flicker. He received the heart of Green Steward Award: a “Steward” is one who brings critical environmental messages to a mainstream audience, while making a significant difference for a cleaner world. The National Audubon Society’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.5 The National Audubon Society has created a national network made up of community centers and chapters that provide a platform for Americans to volunteer and learn more about conservation and restoration of ecosystems.

Flicker has years of experience in both policy and environmental activism. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and a Law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. He also spent 21 years working for The Nature Conservancy, harboring a great knowledge of the environment during his time there. As a leader of the National Audubon Society, Flicker has helped drive engagement from the public in many ways. For example, he found out that a huge percentage of Americans do not take their children outdoors. This is because some parents don’t feel it is safe for their children and others are preoccupied by electronics like television, video games, and computers. This astonishingly high number was a main reason why Flicker started an initiative to help people connect with the outdoors.6 In this initiative, Flicker helped link communities to nature. Starting in inner cities, Flicker partnered with local agencies to restore abandoned lots by turning them into open spaces and parks.

Flicker’s efforts make it is easy to picture him as an environmental steward and he is very much deserving of this award. In his interview with The Daily Green, Flicker noted that his continual project is “Getting more people engaged and active, particularly with climate change. This is the big one; if we don't solve this, kind of nothing else matters. Time is running out.”7

Jamie Oliver: Another Heart of Green award winner is British Celebrity Chef and Food Activist, Jamie Oliver, who won the Food Revolutionary Award. Ever since his first cooking show, the Naked Chef, Oliver’s undeniable passion has been to teach people how to cook tasty, healthy food. He has worked to reshape menus in school cafeterias in England, and now he has taken on an even bigger project in his new televisions series, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. In this new show, Oliver is tackling the eating habits of the "unhealthiest town in America," Huntington, West Virginia. By confronting school lunch ladies and trying to change the way children eat in school, Oliver hopes to tackle obesity in America.8

The 2010 Heart of Green Awards illustrate how sustainability is growing and becoming more mainstream. All of the award winners, including Ted Danson, John Flicker and Jamie Oliver are doing their part to help the world become more conscious of the environment and the way we coexist with nature. They are environmental heroes—fighters for a better world.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 February 2011 )