Ambassador Notes

Cleveland is rapidly transforming, recently convening the historic Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit championed by Mayor Frank Jackson and the City of Cleveland in partnership with the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value at Case Western Reserve University. This city-wide sustainability effort brought hundreds of stakeholders representing diverse sectors of the civic space together to collaboratively co-create a ten year vision and action plan toward becoming a 'Green City on a Blue Lake'.

We are thrilled to help bring Cleveland into a growing and diverse mix of cities and look forward to opportunities to collaborate and share ideas with the other great chapters of the EcoTuesday network. We look forward to cultivating sustainable value and a unique culture while remaining supportive of other local green networks like Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, Green Drinks, and Net Impact. We will serve, educate and inspire new audiences and encourage constructive collaboration between diverse groups and people by leading by example. Most importantly, we will have fun. Welcome to EcoTuesday, Cleveland!

Cleveland EcoTuesday welcomes our first event sponsor: idgroup for October 26th

View Sudhir Raghupathy's profile

We of Cleveland EcoTuesday are thrilled to have secured our first sponsor, idgroup, a consulting and creative firm specializing in whole systems, sustainable design and unique proprietary methodologies that help effect cultural transformation for clients.  This is done by aligning culture, image, and identity to drive client success.  Management guru Peter Drucker said, 'What gets measured, gets managed', and idgroup honors this by employing meaningful, values-based metrics to help effectively propel this critical culture work.  idgroup will be sponsoring our October 26th event which will feature a forum of all six candidates for County Executive - a new and influential leadership position.  The forum will be moderated by idgroup founder and president Dr. Mona Amodeo, who has been interviewed recently by Sustainable LIfe Media and just featured in a half hour program on PBS.  She also appears in the recently released documentary So Right, So Smart.   We are so fortunate to have her facilitate our powerhouse panel in an inclusive, impartial, and nonpartisan fashion.  Whole systems, values-driven approaches will be featured as the evening progresses. 

Brief commentary will also be provided by Joyce Burke-Jones, Cuyahoga County Sustainability Officer, to set the stage for the panel to follow.  

We are grateful for idgroup, our first /charter sponsor for EcoTuesday Cleveland! 

Welcome Our Two New SF Ambassadors

View Nikki Dionne's profile

I'm happy to introduce our two new San Francisco EcoTuesday Ambassadors!
Jesse Martinez and Jenny Martinez (no relation) have fully stepped up and taken the lead, which has have been a huge help for me in San Francisco as I take a step back (to have a baby) and play a more minor role in organizing the monthly events.
Thanks so much to everyone out there for joining me in welcoming the new family members!

Jesse Martinez

Originally from the big state of Texas, Jesse has enjoyed being in San Francisco since 1997. After a few startups and Corporate Life, he currently helps companies minimize or eliminate paper usage through document-driven business process improvement techniques. He is not only passionate about volunteering for great causes (Food Bank, March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, etc.) but helping other organizations become more “green” through their efforts thru Connect the Dots. As an EcoTuesday Ambassador, his mission is to help facilitate the bringing together of other like passionate individuals so that we can make a difference/impact on this planet in our lifetime.

Jenny Martinez

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have worked as a designer for local technology companies and startups. My specialty is the design of brands, web and interactive tools. I believe design can effect change for the common good. My passion is to work for and partner with organizations who’s goals are to build a more sustainable world.

West Coast Green; Van Jones and the Power of Love

View Shane Metcalf's profile

As William Gibson said “ The future is here, it’s just not widely distributed yet”. That quote gets at the feeling one has while attending a conference like West Coast Green. Dozens of passionate and charismatic speakers describing extraordinary efforts to create a sustainable world and helping everyone else imagine what that actually looks like. This is all taking place next door to an expo trade-show that’s showcasing 300+ of the most advanced green building, renewable energy, smart transportation, and clean energy technologies on the planet. The suits standing next to the hippies, a synergistic combo of visionary ideal and corporate execution.


The opening keynote was given by Van Jones. If you’ve never seen Van Jones speak before, he’s my generation's Bobby Kennedy or Martin Luther King. He uses his charisma and humor to relax your cynicism then delivers a powerful message of personal empowerment and action. As Paul Hawken said “If you look at the facts, you can’t help but feel depressed, but if you look at the people creating solutions, you can’t help but feel hopeful”. Van Jones and the other WCG speakers are those people.


Van shared that he’s watched our country elect a president on a message of hope and quickly move into despair and cynicism after seeing just how little has changed. He calls for a new kind of hope, a Hope 2.0 that isn’t about Washington creating change, but about “user-generated change”, change coming from you and me. He encourages us that our despair is actually an opportunity to do the “Inside-Out” work of digging deep within ourselves and listening to that small voice that’s been quietly whispering in our ear, pushing us forward, telling us we have a gift to give to the world. It’s listening to and acting upon this voice, of discovering what we truly love and want to contribute to the world that will not only overcome that despair, but lead to an extraordinary and meaningful life. “Your dream isn’t just a dream for yourself. For some reason you have the dream to be prosperous by helping others thrive”.


How many of us believe that we are actually capable of changing the world? How many of us are told that we’re more powerful than we ever realized? On the other side, we usually don’t think about how much harm one small act of greed can cause. One of the main causes for the Deep Water Horizon oil volcano was a bean counter in BP choosing to save some money by not installing the proper seal on the rig. That one small act of greed led to the greatest environmental catastrophe in history. On the contrary “That means that one small act of love can have non-linear, good results. I would ask you to keep that in mind and to act in love. You have no idea how much power you have to change the country and the world. In the context of your enterprise, you have to keep stretching out that heart, just like in yoga. When it gets harder to love, love harder” Have you stretched your heart out today? Have you found the gift you have to give to the world? If not, get busy searching. If yes, get busy sharing.

A Full Day at West Coast Green 2010

View Rosana Francescato's profile


Even three days wouldn't be enough to experience all of West Coast Green; I was lucky enough to be able to attend one full day, and though I saw only a fraction of what was available, it was well worth it. 


After the morning keynotes I squeezed in a quick visit to the tradeshow, which featured everything from energy management to the latest in building materials, water treatment and harvesting, and electric cars. Among the solar companies represented was Luminalt, a San Francisco company that's partnered with 1 Block Off the Grid to provide solar to local homeowners. They've been very helpful in researching options for installing a solar system at my condo complex. Speaking with them led me to the PG&E booth to get information about solar rebates for multi-family dwellings. I was glad to see examples at the tradeshow of LED lights, which I'm considering for both my home and the outside lighting at our complex, and a portable solar generator, which can be used by those who are off the grid. At the Plug-in America booth, I learned more about the latest in electric cars. There was so much to see at the tradeshow.


It was hard to pick which of the many excellent sessions to attend. My quest for more information about rebates and incentives for homeowners took me to "Energy Upgrade California - Residential Retrofits Go Live!" Leif Magnusson from the EPA, Panama Bartholomy with the CA Energy Commission, Michael Wheeler from the CPUC, and Jeff Gleeson of PG&E encouraged us to pursue the conference's theme of The Power of 10 by retrofitting our own home and getting 10 friends to do the same. Electricity demands are increasing about 1.2% a year, and this increase is from the building sector; our best and most cost-effective option is to decrease demand by increasing efficiencies. California has goals to decrease energy consumption in homes and commercial buildings, and plans are in place to facilitate this. A new program provides low-cost financing and high rebates for homeowners. I was encouraged to see these diverse agencies and companies working together to find solutions for all of us. While it's easier now to implement some of these measures in single-family homes, I look forward to more incentives for multi-family dwellings, which are on the way.


At another session on buildings, "Passiv Haus: Aggressive Savings," Prudence Ferreira of Integral Impact, Inc., Nabih Tahan of Bau Technologies, and Graham Irwin with Essential Habitat discussed the rigorous Passive House standard, which greatly reduces buildings' energy consumption. While it's best to apply it to new buildings, many existing ones can benefit greatly from a retrofit - especially older buildings, which tend to leak a lot. A main principle of the Passive House is to ensure there are no leaks in the building that would let out heat (or cool air in hot weather), but that doesn't mean the air is stale. On the contrary, because the system brings in fresh air and circulates it, it increases air quality, which is beneficial for people's health as well as the building's durability. During cold times it heats the air coming in to the house and sends out cold air. The system uses the ingenious method of capturing the heat generated by appliances and people, and it works so well that their slogan is that you should be able to "heat your whole house with a hair dryer." It can be more affordable than other green options, while giving a lot of bang for the buck. In addition, the Passive House works well in many climates, including California's. And in California, AB32 has set a goal for 2020 for all new homes (2030 for new commercial buildings) to be "zero net energy," meaning the amount of energy used by the building equals the amount produced either in the building or by nearby renewable energy resources. That's an ambitious goal, and the Passive House concept can help! 


Attending a day of WCG inspired me in many ways, and I'll make an effort to attend more of it next year. Even one day left me feeling much better informed; there was so much useful information in one place, as well as many people to contact for follow-ups. I look forward to the conference next year, and in the meantime I'll do my best to extend my own efforts to the power of 10!

West Coast Green 2010: Turning Problems Into Solutions

View Rosana Francescato's profile

How can we deal with the problems facing our world today? How do we turn a seemingly desperate situation into something positive? It's all too easy to succumb to despair and hopelessness. But if the choice is to do that or to turn what seems desperate into something beneficial, the choice is clear. The keynotes on day 3 of West Coast Green, a conference in San Francisco on green innovation, provided guidance and encouragement. Thanks to Eco Tuesday, I was lucky to be in the audience to hear the speakers and panelists presenting messages of hope along with ideas of how to turn negative situations into positive ones, and even examples of how some individuals have done just that.

Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post, expanded on the conference theme of "The Power of 10," which celebrates the exponential change that each of us can help create. When traveling around the country to research her latest book, Third World America, her alarm about the country's condition was turned into amazement at what people are doing on an individual level. If we can scale up from that, she said, we can turn things around. The current crisis is an opportunity for the country to go beyond spending and consumption to create a future with success redefined as something more sustainable, in both the world and our personal lives. We need to focus not on our deficits but on our surpluses, such as time -- as did an unemployed concierge who, because he needed something to do, started We've Got Time to Help to help others. Though the government still has an important role to play, "Hope 2.0," Huffington said, is about "discovering the leader in the mirror." We need to transform our culture, and the politicians will follow when they see which way the wind is blowing. Americans are feeling frustration and anger, but we can channel those feelings in positive, creative ways.

Caroline Casey, host of KPFA's "The Visionary Activist," enchanted the audience with similar ideas from a different angle. She drew on the mythological archetype of the trickster, whose time has come in our world: like a seed that sprouts only after a fire, the trickster emerges at a time in history that seems the most daunting. The ancient Celts believed that only satire could defeat tyranny, and we see that in current public figures like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The trickster is also in each of us: West Coast Green attendees can be thought of as a "council of public dreamers" welcoming the "passionate trickster" in our own heart. Casey urged us to tell positive stories and promote innovative ideas -- like the one of using oil rigs as platforms to harvest kelp, which grows a new crop every two weeks and can be used to produce natural gas or fertilizer. Like the seed sprouting from the fire, we can turn calamity into benefit and find the solution in the problem.

A panel on the intersection of technology, education, and sustainability focused on different areas but with the same message of hope. Andy Mannle, Education Director for WCG, moderated the panel with Hunter Lovins, Founder and President of Natural Capitalism Solutions, and Greg Miller, Technologist and Professor at Presidio Graduate School. In the past, they said, business seemed to be in conflict with sustainability, but research has shown that sustainable business practices are actually more profitable. In Presidio's Green MBA program, Miller and Lovins have promoted an "open source" educational model that redefines who educators are and allows everyone to learn from one another. This needs to go beyond academia, they said; separations must break down between schools, businesses, teachers, and students. A "Madrone League" of sustainability would be differentiated from the Ivy League in part by its pervasiveness and use of many different tools and avenues to spread information. Miller and Lovins believe that education can make the future brighter, and they encouraged everyone to take this to the power of 10 by getting others involved.

I was genuinely inspired by these messages of hope, and of turning despair into something positive and powerful. This is an idea we can take to our personal lives as well as to all the work we do in the world, and especially our green work. I encourage everyone to think of ways you can turn difficult, negative situations into positive ones -- you may find that the result is better than anything you could have imagined.

Significant Actions You Can Take on 10/10/10

View Nikki Dionne's profile

Earlier this week founder Bill McKibben went to the White House to with one of the original solar panels that was removed by the Reagan Administration. His request was simple - to reinstall a new solar array as a symbolic gesture of the current administration's commitment to a clean energy future.

We all know that one symbolic gesture is not the only thing it will take to get us out of this situation.  What it's going to take is millions of big and small actions across the entire world. The International Day of Action on 10/10/10 has been spearheaded by to coordinate such an unprecedented undertaking.'s mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis, and they've successfully helped to create awareness of this issue with people even in the most far-reaching places across the globe. We hope you'll get involved.


Nikki Pava

Is Your Sustainable Media Trustworthy?

View Nikki Dionne's profile

Media today can feel to be just like high-fructose corn syrup: the more we have, the worse off we seem to be!

Even with millions of bloggers, websites and tweeters feeding us massive amounts of information about the environment and business, it can often feel unsustainable. As a result, it can be challenging to filter through it all to find the real trustworthy sources.

How do you stay healthy with your sustainability-related news? Here are a few of our favorites:

: a diverse assortment of short and long articles, videos, and blogs covering a wide variety of sustainability-related news that both informs and entertains.

Ode Magazine: focuses their articles on people and ideas that are changing the world for the better (and the founder is the speaker this month in San Francisco!).

Earth Island Journal: published by Earth Island Institute, this magazine is full of in-depth exposés and articles that connect the environment to a wide variety of topics.

Sustainable Industries: our long-time friends. Coverage focuses on 8 of the biggest areas of sustainability through webinars, business guides, podcasts, white papers and articles (and more).

There are many other worthwhile news sources out there to select (I wish we had space to add all of them!). Whatever you do - choose wisely!



Is Your Sustainable Media Trustworthy?

View Nikki Dionne's profile

Even with millions of bloggers, websites and tweeters feeding us massive amounts of information about the environment and business, it can often feel unsustainable. As a result, it can be challenging to filter through it all to find the real trustworthy sources.

Opportunity Green - Bringing The Best In Green Business Together (20% off, too!)

View Nikki Dionne's profile

A few years ago, Mike Flynn and Karen Solomon came to an EcoTuesday event to share about a new conference they were organizing. They were both full of energy and great ideas about bringing the best in green business together. 


The following year, I attended my first Opportunity Green conference in Los Angeles. The conference included a wide range of speakers, panels and sessions that provided a true service to all attendees. I always found it hard to choose a session to attend, as the selection catered to every area of sustainability that I wanted to learn (more) about. The following year was even better as the top representatives from some of the most influential companies shared their perspectives, triumphs and pitfalls about successfully navigating their business into the green economy. A great new feature of the conference includes the OG Green Startup Innovation Competition, where you get to see entrepreneurs "pitch" their company to the entire room. It was a great part of the event last year!


Opportunity Green takes place this year September 22-24th, in Los Angeles. This year EcoTuesday participants get 20% off the regular conference rate by using this code: REG_P20_EcoTues. We'll be there and hope to see you, too!

Kudos To Our Shirlaws Business Coach

View Nikki Pava's profile

I felt completely honored when Tony Cooper of Shirlaws told me that he’d like for EcoTuesday to be his “Love” client. I had been learning bits and pieces of the Shirlaws “frameworks” when I would eavesdrop on his coaching sessions he had with my husband, Aaron (of CivicActions). In my head I would apply the red/blue/black framework to my company, EcoTuesday, and visualize the progress that could be made. It was such a gift to start my monthly meetings with Tony.


At the very beginning, Tony asked me about the parts of the company that were working and not working and we analyzed all of these areas together. In a short period of time, he supported me in finding solutions for many of the aspects that “weren’t working”. Very soon, the company was on a completely different trajectory. Tony helped me gain the courage and confidence that I needed to make some difficult decisions that I’d been grappling with for a quite awhile. We celebrated the areas that “were working” and applied the same models to other parts of the business.


The Shirlaws IP is absolutely incredible. More businesses and businessowners could be more successful if applied the Shirlaws frameworks into their business. The approach is unlike any that I learned in business school. It is more holistic of all areas of a businessowners life – so it is more applicable as people move through different stages of their business, both mentally and physically.


Tony is an excellent listener. He was always present with me, as if I were his only client (and I know how busy and in-demand he is!). He has the ability to clearly explain complex issues in ways that applied to me on both a personal level and a business level. These two areas of life are so tightly intertwined! Oftentimes, he helped me take a step back and remove myself from a specific scenario so that I could get a bigger picture of what was going on with an issue, project, or difficult situation. That is so challenging for me to do on my own, since I am so tied to every aspect of my business. He’s smart and incredibly knowledgeable about the business world. What’s most important, though, is that he is incredibly heart-connected and has the ability to go deep to find the core aspects of what motivates and inspires people (or finds those that do the exact opposite). He served as a guide while I navigated through the ups and downs of being a businessowner, essentially “feeding” me questions so that I would essentially develop my own solutions.


Tony helped me to let go of the unnecessary parts of EcoTuesday that weren’t serving its future, despite my holding on for fear of “failure.” My monthly meetings with Tony were a place where I could share all of my deepest, darkest fears and insecurities about my business, knowing that he would still love and support me. I could also share my successes and triumphs, many of which I could not achieved without his knowledge and insight.


Again, I feel fortunate to have worked with Shirlaws, and more specifically, with Tony. Our time together made a huge, positive impact on all areas of my life.


Cleveland Local Partners