Summer 2010: Who Do You Think Is Greenest of Them All?

For the Summer 2010 contest, we were looking for nominees for the title of “Greenest of Them All” and then let visitors to the site vote for their choice. We received just under 1000 votes during the month of July and it was truly amazing to see so much support for such great green people.

Our Winner:

John Smith of Tucson, AZ

John Smith

Why was this person nominated?

John is dedicated to preserving our natural resources for the future generations. He not only practices conservation in his own life, but promotes it via free seminars whenever possible. He is a walking encyclopedia of green plumbing practices that can save not only water, but money as well for those following his suggestions.

John Smith of the Arizona Green Plumbers received the most votes and the title of “Greenest of Them All”. He also received a two night stay at Loews Ventana Canyon courtesy of Legendary World and Mrs. Green. Great job, John! Congratulations!

And Here Are The Other Nominees…

Hallie Luedtke

Hallie Luedtke from Tucson, AZ

Why was this person nominated?

Hallie embodies the”Green” in life. She is supportive of recycling, reusing, reducing and refilling. She is an artist who paints about peace, love and the earth. She walks and rides when she can, limits her carbon footprint, is a vegetarian dedicated to animals and local farming. Her hero is Alicia Silverstone – thekindlife.com. She is a student at the University of Arizona and I am sure she will make a difference in the sustainability of our planet in her lifetime.

Ray Carroll, Pima County Supervisor

Why was this person nominated?

Ray Carroll is the only politician I have heard speak out against the Canadian Augusta Mining operation attempting to set up the Rosemont Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains. He truly understands the fragility of our water resources and the beauty of our wild areas – and he is honest about the lack of scruples the company intending to mine there has shown in the past. He is active in his career in speaking out against it to our federal forest service representatives and actually supporting the sustainable future of the people who live in southern Arizona. Way to go, Ray!

Gary Homesley from Northridge, California, USA

Why Was This Person Nominated?

Gary is the Assistant Director, Facilities & Maintenance in the University Student Union (USU) at California State University Northridge (CSUN). The USU includes over 275,000 sqft of facilities and grounds in the heart of the San Fernando Valley – about 25 miles north of Los Angeles. His green “back to basics” approach has not only saved the USU valuable financial resources, but conserved natural resources and influenced sustainability practice on the CSUN campus and within the larger LA community.

Gary has instituted several initiatives in the USU facilities. These include:
~ Retrofitting all restrooms with hand dryers to reduce paper waste.
~ Retrofitting all men’s restrooms with waterless urinals to save water *after* conducting a 12 month study on several brands to assess efficiently, cost, and ease of maintenance.
~ Encouraging all construction/renovation projects to exceed State requirements for energy efficiency. (The most recently completed 32,000 sqft construction project is 28% more efficient than State requirements.
~ Retrofitting lights with energy efficient/multi switched units.

~ Use of green cleaning supplies for custodians.
~ Maintaining all equipment to ensure longer useful life.
~ Collaborating on campus to reuse equipment and supplies.
~ Encouraging the installation of solar panels on the 118,000 sqft Recreation Center currently under construction. (Project is currently being assessed for feasibility.)

Gary is the definition of sustainable. While balancing fiscal impact, he genuinely makes all decisions regarding the management of the USU facility operation through the filter of the impact on the environment. He has been recognized on campus and in the community, (i.e., UCLA) for his work and has guest lectured in classes on the topic. Gary is the Greenest of Them All!

Bob Oldfather of Tucson, AZ

Why was this person nominated?

Bookman’s Entertainment Exchange is the best, most sustainable business in Tucson! If he would add solar power to his facilities he would be setting a fantastic example and increasing the green-ness of his company!

Tony Vaccaro of Tucson, AZ

Why was this person nominated?

Tony owns Brooklyn Pizza and the Sky Bar – he has invested in solar power for his businesses and is setting a great example of how to be a smart and sustainable business in our desert!

Jenny Gomeringer of Watertown, MA

Jenny Gomeringer

Why was this person nominated?

I grew up knowing that we need to be a part of the solution around living a healthy life. As an adult, I live by the mantra that each of us can make a difference and help our planet! My husband and I have a 100% Shaklee home which means we have no toxic home, laundry or personal care products. We shop local! Using a CSA for our veggies, a community farm for our meat and syrup and all recycled materials such as toilet paper and lunch bags! We compost in our backyard and started a garden this year to make sure bee’s have a place to grow and flourish! But most of all, we enjoy this amazing planet and share our passion for healthy living with our friends and family!

Lisa Hawkins, formerly of Tucson, AZ

Why was this person nominated?

She was the first guest on Mrs. Green Goes Mainstream, worked with Catalina Foothills schools to get families to use green bags instead of plastic bags, and helped start Mrs. Green on her journey of informing people about how to make small changes that can add up to changing the world.

Lisa’s mission to stamp out plastic bags is beyond just passionate. She speaks on the topic at local events and throughout the Tucson school system. She brings awareness to our community, and her efforts to enlighten children will have lasting effects on our future — AND the planet’s. She is also responsible for the creation of a community garden located on the grounds of a local elementary school. I don’t know Lisa’s personal “green” practices, but I’m guessing they match her commitment to abolishing plastic bags forever. Lisa is truly worthy of the title The Greenest of Them All!

Nick Lepore of Tucson, AZ

Why was this person nominated?

I have had solar hot water room heating since 1990. One half of the house 1200 square feet is built as if it were an independant house. The other half of the house (also 1200 square feet) is only heated or cooled during the day. I have large skylights through the house, and the house was architectually designed with porchesand well insulated. I am currently designing a heat exchanger to heat the water during the warm weather when heat isn’t needed in the house.

Libby Tobey of Tucson, AZ

Why was this person nominated?

Libby is so green and works in a shop called PopCycle which sells art made from reused items. She personally makes jewerly from recycled materials. She is always looking for ways to have sustainability in our town, in water, gardening, etc. She does walk the walk.

Holly Hutchison of Tucson, AZ

Holly Hutchison

Why was this person nominated?

As they say, Holly was green before it was cool. She has been gardening for years, and now participates in a community garden. She is also composting. She and her daughter raised chickens in her backyard. She has always been very health conscious, and, as a geneticist, sees the effects of environmental toxins on women who are trying to get pregnant. She is a positive influence on everyone in her life by providing factual, practical information to make better choices for health and sustainability.

Gene Zonge of Tucson, AZ

Why was this person nominated?

He volunteers a zillion hours a month building and maintaining gardens all over the city. It is a serious full time job for him (without the glory or the pay), and we would never have gotten the school garden off the ground without his help. Better yet – he is incredibly passionate about all aspects of community gardening…and incredibly generous with this time. The man is on a mission, and he is building a lasting legacy with his work.

Tony Arranaga

Tony Arranaga of Phoenix, AZ

Why was this person nominated?

Tony lives a carfree life in the car culture city of Phoenix, Arizona.

Through his blog (http://lightrailblogger.com) he explains how others can make a difference in their community by leaving the car in the garage at least one day a week.

Brad Lancaster of Tucson, AZ

Why was this person nominated?

Brad Lancaster

Brad is an accomplished author. He has written two best-selling volumes on Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands. He started the Dunbar/Spring Community Garden nearly twenty years ago.

He organized Desert Harvesters, which promotes eating native food http://www.desertharvesters.org/ including mesquite flour.

He manages the yearly Mesquite Pancake Breakfast, this year on Saturday, November 6, 2010, 9 am — 2 pm at Dunbar/Spring Organic Community Garden, Tucson, AZ

He also walks his talk. He does not own an automobile and lives off grid in downtown Tucson. I regularly see him bicycling in the heat, just saw him ride by this afternoon, in JULY! His home has been on the green home tour for years.

I could go on, but will sum up by saying that his life is a testament to green living in the Sonoran desert.

Jason Tankersley of Tucson, AZ

Why was this person nominated?

Jason Tankersley

Jason is recreating his business to improve the environment through creative business practices. Making The Fairfax Co’s a leader in sustainability in the construction waste industry. Through Jason’s plan it will demonstrate that it is possible to create new products from materials disposed of in landfills.


Thanks to everyone that took part!


One Response to “Summer 2010: Who Do You Think Is Greenest of Them All?”

  1. Bonnie Lewis says:

    Bob Oldfather is still my pick. While all others have made recent strides, Bob has been sustainably cool for decades, business-wise and lifestyle.

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