The Moving Beyond Sustainability Project: Challenge #1: Car free April in Los Angeles

car free la

The Moving Beyond Sustainability Project Challenge #1:

Car free April in Los Angeles

As a renewable energy/sustainability consultant I thought I would challenge myself and decide to literally ‘walk my talk’. And by that I mean I will not use my car for a month in Los Angeles. I will continue my work, but I will not be able to use my car for any of it.

For those living in Los Angeles, you know how difficult this will be. A friend recently shared with me the art of asking, so in that vein I will ask to carpool, if needed. I will use public transit, my bike (it is not a mountain bike, by the way) and will walk or run to meetings, events, work and to visit friends.

I really have no idea or preconceived notions of what the month of April will be like for me. As Southern California has the worst air quality in the United States, I thought I would do my part and reduce my carbon footprint in my neighborhood.

What are you doing for Earth Day? Will you move Beyond Sustainability?


‘Tis better to have run and gotten injured than to have never run at all.

Why I love to run!After being sidelined from running in a marathon over a month ago due to a neck injury, I am back beginning to train for my next half-marathon. This injury gave me a chance to pause and reflect on why I really run. Yes, I run for the physical challenge, the sense of accomplishment, my sanity, the silence, the constantly changing scenery, and the causes I believe in. But I have learned a lot from this injury and experience and I can now say that I will really listen to my body and be kinder to myself next time. Running, through the training, injuries, races and victories has taught me so many life lessons. I’m excited to hit the ground running and discover what is on my path today. To all runners out there, this post is for you.


Support My Sustainable Super Bowl Sunday

ElenaRunningSupport My Sustainable Super Bowl Sunday

On February 3rd many of you will be watching the Super Bowl, but I will be participating in my first half-marathon of 2013, the Surf City Marathon located in Huntington Beach, California. As I did in 2012, I will be running for a cause that I strongly believe in and support. This is how I choose to use my voice, a voice for sustainability. This year, I am supporting Heifer International. They are a development organization and their mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth.

Heifer gives families a hand-up, not just a handout. They empower many to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity. They bring communities together and connect them with local markets; they help bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Funds donated help families around the world receive training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant. Then there is the “Passing of the Gift”. Recipients agree to share the offspring of animals with others in need, making them equal partners with Heifer in the flight to end world hunger. If that’s not sustainable business, I really don’t know what is.

I look forward to running at least three marathons this year to not only raise funds but to further raise awareness of this wonderful organization. So, this Super bowl Sunday, during one of the many commercial breaks, please take a moment and visit Heifer International.2010_heifer_logo

Click here to donate and know that your gift is giving families a hand-up and not just a handout.


Support the Green Chamber of Commerce BC


The Green Chamber of Commerce BC (GCCBC) needs the support of individuals residing, or doing business, in British Columbia who are passionate about sustainable business development.

The GCCBC is looking to incorporate their organization in British Columbia under the Canada’s Boards of Trade Act, and they need your commitment as an incorporator.

If you are someone who is passionate about promoting and advocating for green developments in BC, be the voice of sustainable business and register online at http://greenchamberofcommercebc.org/events/founders-support/. Your voice needs to be heard!


Woman of the Week: Elena Christopoulos

ElenaStudio02proof-X2_newBy Marin Wallace – womenspost.ca

If the definition of superhero is ‘one who saves the world,’ Elena Christopoulos could be called a superhero. She has devoted her working life to renewable energy, striving to help reduce humanity’s carbon footprint.

This interest in environment started early: Elena spent time in Greece as a child, and their way of life formed her identity.

“My relatives always had a huge appreciation of the environment. That upbringing has left an everlasting mark on me.”

Ahead of her time, Elena started in the industry before the modern environmental movement really caught hold.

“Many have recently entered the ‘green’ space and unlike many of my competitors, I have worked in this industry since the ’90s, which is not only rare, but has given me credibility in the industry.”

As the movement gained momentum, Elena pushed to integrate more environmental projects into the everyday world. In 2000, Elena worked as part of a team to bring the first urban wind turbine in North America to Toronto.

“I wanted to make my hometown city of Toronto the greenest city in the world. This was a very successful project because it integrated diverse political and environmental spheres.”

Elena is president of the Board of Directors for the Green Chamber of Commerce, a technical and consular advisor for E3NYC and a speaker/member of Women of Wind Energy (WoWE). But her skills in the field are not just recognized by those working for environmental causes. While flying into Toronto once, Elena met with pilots who were routinely flying the route and were familiar with her turbine. She says, “They told me that they brought their kids to look at the turbine and that all pilots flying into Pearson see the turbine, a beacon of renewable energy, a beacon of hope for the future of this world. It was at that moment that I realized the impact I had made and the footprint I already left behind.”

Elena, as a woman and an environmentalist, has to wage a steady battle against the lingering mindsets of previous generations. But as she sees it, “Making a difference in this world, whether it is an environmental or political change, is not only a job for me, it is my passion.”

Now all she needs is a superhero name.