My 5: Dwayne Parks, Musician and Choreographer

April 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Front Page, Illinois, Musicians, My 5, Slideshow

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After interviewing Dwayne Parks and his partner, Jay Nagle, about their entry in the Pepsi Refresh Project contest, Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) invited them to respond to questions we like to ask all of our interviewees. Following are Parks’ responses.

Just a reminder: If you are planning to vote for Ecologic or any of the other projects in the Pepsi Refresh Contest for April, be sure to cast your votes each day through the end of the month. — Julia Wasson, Publisher

5 Ways to Save the Planet

Dwayne Parks, Musician and Choreographer. Photo: Courtesy Dwayne Parks

BPGL: What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?

  • Education is the vital factor, and beginning at the youngest age possible.
  • Eliminate all products and companies that are not environmentally friendly.
  • Accelerate our recycling programs and refurbish what we have taken away.
  • Encourage and support organizations, groups, and efforts that are eco- and green friendly.
  • Engage others to take action by contacting your government representatives, starting neighborhood organizations, focus groups, the media, and doing your part as well to make every effort to maintain a green lifestyle.

2 Minutes with the President

BPGL: If you had two minutes with President Obama, what would you say to him?

PARKS: Knowledge and intelligence are two of the most important ingredients that make each one of us a well-balanced, thinking individual. Education is the key, and it must begin at the youngest age possible, because the next generations will be the ones to suffer the consequences and ignorance of our mistakes.

The more we continue to populate this planet, the more we endanger it from deforestation, overpopulation, pollutants, chemicals, and a plethora of other human-created catastrophes.

World codes, standards and practices, and what can be done to improve them, should dominate our elected officials’ minds and agenda, and our media’s programming.

Our planet is a fragile and unstable force that is already quite capable of eliminating the human race, and we are only accelerating these actions by our daily routines.

The earth has its own agenda, and we are the fortunate ones to be a living part of that plan. But the only way we will continue is if we learn to live in harmony with the planet and really appreciate its awing power and magnificence.

We are responsible for changing the natural evolution of the planet due to the factories, automobiles, livestock, and refuse we create on the land and in the water.

How we bring all the people of the world into one collective way of thinking about the environment is the real challenge here.

This is where it basically becomes impossible, as it would take world peace first and foremost; the elimination of all religions, or finding one common belief or faith; one common language; one common government; having a conscience; and knowing the difference between right, wrong, good and bad. This would also include food, health care and an education for everyone as well.

I realize this is asking quite a lot, but every effort, no matter how small, can start to make a difference.

What will you do to further environmental education and how quickly will you act on those decisions?

What will you do to further the efforts of placing limitations and restrictions on any unfriendly environmental companies, organizations, groups and individuals in the United States, and how will you discourage those outside our borders?

Dwayne Parks, Co-Owner

Talented Kids, Adults, and TeenS

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

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My 5: Duane Hallowell, President & CEO, Hallowell International

Duane Hallowell, President and CEO of Hallowell International, makers of the Acadia. Photo: Courtesy Duane Hallowell

Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) asked Duane Hallowell, President/CEO and co-founder of Hallowell International, the makers of Acadia, two questions we ask all our interviewees. Following are his responses. — Julia Wasson, Publisher

5 Ways to Save the Planet

BPGL: What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?

HALLOWELL: I focus on northern climates, so my responses are climate specific.

Mandate Weatherization. It’s a huge problem, and we need better programs in place to help guide people to making the right decisions — even going so far as to make laws to mandate how people are doing it. That is absolutely number one.

Upgrade Highway Infrastructure. We need upgrades to our roads and transportation systems. Let’s get rid of the gridlock.

Improve Power Infrastructure. We need to install smart metering and power infrastructure upgrades.

Replace Fossil fuels. We need to dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels. To me, using fossil fuels is cavemen mentality. Innovations are evolving. And with electric energy, there are now so many choices.

Embrace Innovation. Everyone needs to support innovation. They should want — and demand — that we get better at innovating, that we bring out new products, and that we do things better.

2 Minutes with the President

BPGL: If you had two minutes with President Obama, what would you say to him?

HALLOWELL: The very first thing I’d bring up to him is greater support for small business and innovative companies. As a small business, you wouldn’t believe the obstacles that I needed to go through [to get my product approved for the Energy Star program and tax rebates]. I waited two years for a federal standard, with no way to super-cycle the process, even when pulling in my entire delegation.

A small company can die in that time frame, if they’re not careful and not capitalized. I am very happy I’m not an engineer working out of my garage, having just invented a free-energy device, because I would have died in the process. That would be the first thing that I’d bring up to him.

And I’d be talking to him about the need for additional training and infrastructure to support emerging technology and innovation.

Duane Hallowell

President/CEO and Co-Founder

Hallowell International

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

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My 5: Angela Clark, Founder/Master Connector, enrgPATH

February 24, 2010 by  
Filed under 2010, Blog, Events, Front Page, My 5, Slideshow

Angela Clark, Founder and Master Connector, enrgPATH. Photo: Courtesy Angela Clark

Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) asked Angela Clark two questions we ask all of our interviewees. Clark is the founder of enrgPATH and self-described “Master Connector.” She is currently working to promote the Natural Living Expo, which will be held March 27 and 28 at the Polk County Convention Center in Des Moines, Iowa.  — Julia Wasson, Publisher

5 Ways to Save the Planet

BPGL: What are the five most important ways we can save the planet?

CLARK: These are my Top 5 Solutions for Sustainable People and Planet:

Be Grateful. The more grateful I am, the more productive I am. To have daily gratitude takes some practice. It is easy to get caught up in the drama of life and forget to focus on all that I have, but after living both ways, I prefer to nurture the spirit of gratitude. It makes life beautiful.

Be Mindful. Living with the awareness of how connected I am to everyone and everything means observing The Ripple Effect in each of my choices. My pursuit of mindfulness has led me to ask more questions about where my food, clothing, shoes, car and household items come from. I am making more conscientious choices about buying locally and supporting the Iowa economy. I also base my purchasing decisions on how each item’s life cycle impacts the environment.

Be Well. I believe that global sustainability begins with self-care. Once we master the task of essential self-care, I believe it will be a natural extension to also care for other people and the planet. Experience has taught me that taking care of myself first makes me more effective in my attention to everything around me.

Be Still. Once I learned the power of the quiet mind, I became more centered in my daily life. I might have a busy and crazy day, but I have a peace of mind that comes from de-cluttering on a regular basis. Anxiety is not the close friend that it used to be, and people appreciate my grounded presence. Meditation allows for fresh inspiration and valuable self-reflection to occur.

Be in Nature. Immersing myself regularly in nature in all the seasons is refreshing and inspirational. Observing the animals, the plants, the trees, the water, the wind, and the sunlight helps me see the world at large. There is more than just me on this planet!

2 Minutes with the President

BPGL: If you had two minutes with President Obama, what would you say to him?

CLARK: “If you had one day left to live on this planet, where would you spend it and what would you do and who would be along for the day’s journey?”

Angela Clark

Founder and Master Connector


Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

My 5: Dana L. Miller, Founder, Sustainable Earth

Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) asked Dana L. Miller two questions we ask all our interviewees. Miller is the founder of Sustainable Earth and proponent of UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for Burns Bog in Vancouver, British Columbia. Here are her responses. — Julia Wasson, Publisher

5 Ways to Save the Planet

BPGL: What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?

Dana L. Miller, Founder of Sustainable Earth and relentless campaigner for UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for Burns Bog. Photo: Courtesy Dana L. Miller


1. Media: Abolish the business of government propaganda, public relations, and conglomerate media in Canada and biased editorial columns. Reinvigorate investigative journalism.

2. Religion: Educate on the creation vs. evolution debate to prevent further war. Evolution is the creator’s vision. Respect it, by respecting our environment; it perpetuates your life.

3. War: Create businesses that sell knowledge worldwide on the economic model of reliance upon environmental resources. Thus we mitigate wars for resources.

4. Carbon: Analyze all data pertaining to carbon sequesters. Create a law to protect all peatlands, wetlands, and bogs to reduce the release of carbons and methane.

5. Education: Earmark federal funding for provinces to address the need for elementary and secondary education of words and symbols that denote ecology (e.g., slang is pervasive in the dictionary, and ecology words are being removed).

2 Minutes with the Prime Minister

BPGL: If you had two minutes with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, what would you say?

MILLER: Do you want to get re-elected? Say to Canadians what you say behind closed doors. If you don’t want to get re-elected, then keep us guessing about what you really think, because the more suspicious Canadians are, the more they vote against the government of the day.

Yet, most governments get re-elected because their name is repeated in the minds of voters through media.

Right now, you have this to your advantage. However, governments are historically ousted if they are embroiled in scandal involving tax dollars. Your decision to prorogue Parliament cost Canadians millions, as did your 33% income trust increase, signs for advertising, and miscalculation that has created multiple deficits.

Start saying what you intend to do with Canada or your recent plummet in the polls will continue and be your demise. On our environment, you ought listen to scientists and embrace the notion of evolution envisioned by the creator, because humankind will exist only if we can weather the cycles of extinction through science and technology innovations. Mimick natural metamorphosis by enacting ecologically wise policy.

Dana L. Miller, Founder

Sustainable Earth

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My 5: Jody Sherman, Sprout Baby Founder and CEO

January 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Ecopreneurs, Front Page, My 5, Slideshow

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Jody Sherman with his wife, Kerri. Photo: Courtesy Jody Sherman

Blue Planet Green Living (BPGL) asked Sprout Baby founder and CEO, Jody Sherman, two questions we like to ask all our interviewees. Following are his responses. — Julia Wasson, Publisher

5 Ways to Save the Planet

BPGL: What are the five most important things we can do to save the planet?


  • Commit to making one positive change a month that will reduce your personal impact on the environment. It takes time to get into the habit of doing something, and then it becomes second nature. I started with something simple: putting recycling bins in my house. At first, sorting trash seemed like a chore, now we don’t even think about it, we just do it. Then I started picking up trash every time I went surfing. Before long, that became part of my after-surf ritual. I keep adding things monthly, and I don’t find it overwhelming that way.
  • We’ve had the sun’s power available to us forever. It’s time to finally get serious about developing solar farms that utilize unused or underused land and allow us to reduce our dependency on oil — a substance that we don’t have in abundance and for which we have to pay dearly.
  • Become a more conscious consumer. Do you really “need” everything you “want”? And if you do really need it, do you have an option to get something that comes in less packaging, uses less resources to manufacture, or when done with can be reused, recycled, or re-purposed?
  • Get involved. Step away from the computer and do something in your community to help others. I know this sounds hypocritical because I have a company that only succeeds if you go online and make a purchase, but there is more to life than the internet. Connect with people. Listen to them. Talk to them. Find out their interests and share yours with them. Build community. Where I live in Los Angeles, in many parts of town most people don’t even know their neighbors! If they made the effort, they might find some common interests. And have your kids go outside and play! When I was growing up, we didn’t have computers and we played outside every day. We didn’t sit in front of a computer for hours, not getting any physical exercise. I didn’t know even one overweight child when I was a kid. We ran and played football and baseball, and although we were playing, we got exercise, while at the same time we learned to relate to one another.
  • Eat more healthy and, whenever possible, locally. If food doesn’t have to travel long distances, it doesn’t use as many oil-based resources. And for food that tastes better when fresh, the closer it is to you, the fresher it should be, right?

2 Minutes with the President

BPGL: If you had two minutes with President Obama, what would you say to him?

SHERMAN: I would ask him to stop worrying so much about getting reelected. I didn’t vote for him because I wanted to see what he could do in his second four years in office. I voted for him because he spoke to my interests and promised to deliver in this four years. And if he delivers that which he promised — even a reasonable portion of what he promised — he won’t have to worry about getting rehired. The challenges he faces, most of which were inherited, are so pressing and so important. It’s time to deliver — now!

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Twitter: SproutBabyClub


Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

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Part Two: Sprout Baby – Love Your Baby, Love the Planet