Escapemaker Greenest NYer Semi-Finalists Bios

Greenest NYer Semi-Finalists Bios


Erik Baard: I'm a native New Yorker, the grandchild of immigrants, and I love New York. One of my greatest joys is exploring my home's natural splendor and food heritages, and finding ways to preserve and share those gifts as a volunteer. I founded the LIC Community Boathouse, which provides free paddle tours on the East River to thousands of people, arranges beach cleanups, and advocates for marine ecology. I also started what grew into City of Water Day, our harbor's biggest annual gathering of paddlers, rowers, and conservationists. To promote local eco-tourism, I conceived of the MetroBoat and worked with the MTA and Folbot to execute it.

Where I can't kayak, I bike. I'm a founding member of the Queens Volunteer Committee of Transportation Alternatives. Each year I marshal several public rides and work continually with the committee to improve transit, bike, and pedestrian options. I also founded the Newtown Pippin Restoration and Celebration, which donates hundreds of heirloom apple saplings (especially NY varieties) to public spaces throughout NYC each year. We're also working with UN diplomats to save the ancestral Kazakh apple forest. As a writer, I advocate for NY's environment through my Nature Calendar blog, professional articles, and pro bono contributions. Another aspect of my green work has been professional management, overseeing programs, grants, and volunteers for Earth Day New York and Citizens Committee for NYC. I'd be grateful to augment my happy work as the Greenest New Yorker!

Erik's Supporting Media: Facebook YouTube Website

Greg Black: In the 70's I traded in my motocross bike for a hang glider. I have flights over 6 hours and have over 1600 hours total. In 1981 I opened my own flight school teaching hang gliding and have taught over 10,000 people to fly hang gliders. We use no power, no fuel, just the power of mother nature and her winds. Check out my Mountain Wings website and see what hang gliding is all about. There is no greener way to enjoy hours of recreation. My students camp on my property when they come here to learn to fly. Average flights are between 1.5 hours and four hours. We are GREEN!
Greg's Supporting Media: Website

Tara DePorte:
In the Community: For ten years, I have developed and led hands-on environmental programs in New York, engaging thousands. From water quality and air testing to environmental leadership training, I help others connect their passions to green living. I am also the Founder of the Human Impacts Institute and the NYC Climate Coalition.

In the Classroom: I am an adjunct professor at the New School, at Webster University in environment and sustainable development, and a lecturer at Columbia.

In the Office: I have developed a program to provide small business owners with free consulting services on greening their business while saving money. I also consult to corporations (e.g. Nautica, HSBC, and L'Oreal) on greening the workplace.

Creative Green: I am developing Social Change Salons to bring together creative New Yorkers with environmental leaders to inspire others to go green.

From Local To Global: Working with the Climate Project and the United Nations, I facilitate the inclusion of locals in the international environmental policy process. I am working with the Intrepid Museum to bring 20 NY youth to the Commission on Sustainable Development.

In the Home: Being green doesn't mean just inspiring others, it s also about personal choice. We make our own cleaners, compost, grow organic vegetables, are building a rainwater harvesting system, buy used, ride our bikes, and more.

Being green is a continual learning process. Making informed decision of gains and impacts are crucial to our health, happiness, and the environment.

Tara's Supporting Media: Twitter Facebook YouTubeWebsite

Ed Fondiller: Ed, founder of Total Tennis, has actively promoted energy conservation and green, organic lifestyle for himself, his family and all of his patrons at his tennis resort. He recently installed the largest photovoltaic array in New York State to offset dependence on fossil fuel. He grows many of the vegetables served at his resort. He continually upgrades his facility to save energy, and uses sustainable materials. I consider him an asset to our goal of a healthy, pollution free existence.
Ed's Supporting Media: Website

Brian Kaminer: In being the Greenest New Yorker, I continue to make changes to every aspect of my family's lifestyle including energy, food, money and community. By participating in NYSERDA programs to conserve energy and install solar electric and hot water systems, we have cut our electric and oil consumption in half. We also buy additional utility electricity from renewable sources.

For the past 3 years I have been attending green related conferences, seminars and programs (including the NYU/Poly Clean Tech Exec Program) and am the founder of Talgra, an investment firm that supports sustainable projects. I am building a knowledgebase from which I can take informed action and engage others. I volunteer on various green related school, town and regional groups to inspire and lead people to take action.

We support the growth of sustainable local food systems by being a CSA member of a NY farm and shopping for food less-traveled. Our waste, garbage and recycling has been significantly reduced. We have started to change how we use and invest money by seeking opportunities in our community.

The benefits of a greener lifestyle have been saving money, lower environmental footprint, decreasing dependence of fossil fuels, growing appreciation of the living environment that supports us, building stronger local economies and bringing us closer together as a family. I am developing a website to share my family's experiences.

Being Green is realizing that everything is connected and that we need to take a pro-active approach to making more sustainable lifestyle choices. We take one action at a time, to help ourselves, our communities and our environment.

Brian's Supporting Media: Website

Gary Martin:
Gary Martin, of Martin's Lumber, knows that careful management of his Certified Tree Farm is needed to ensure there will be trees to meet the needs of his children and their children. He practices selective cutting, culling damaged or diseased trees to allow healthy ones to flourish. His sawmill uses a bandsaw that reduces the once standard kerf (the width of the bite the saw blade makes while slicing boards), yielding more lumber and less sawdust. Everything that can be used at Gary Martin's mill is used. Sawdust (except from toxic butternuts or black walnuts) is given away for livestock bedding or mulch. Odds and ends of small pieces are sawed into stickers, the strips that allow air to circulate through a lumber pile. Edgewood trimmed off logs before boards are sawn is used for camp wood or fuel for the outdoor furnace that heats their house and domestic hot water.

Wini Martin, Gary's wife and the other half of his business, is passionately creative in using things others throw away, crafting from junk mail multitudes of feather-light paper beads that look like porcelain, used for earrings. She calls it "recycling at its best." The Martins are apt to drop everything when visitors stop by the mill, taking them on a woodland walk to explain principles of sustainability.

The Martins feel the need to invest time in teaching children about the self-renewal of forests and the steps we can take to ensure that trees will always grow there.

Gary's Supporting Media: Facebook Website

Andrew Padian: For 35 years, I have worked to improve the NYS environment, making buildings across the State more energy efficient and training people to learn sustainability principles. I am currently the VP for Energy Initiatives at the Community Preservation Corporation, where we've created NYS' s first private Green Financing Initiative for multifamily buildings; I assist with our Weatherization Program upstate, where we provide grants to over 1200 multifamily low income apartments. Prior to this, I started Steven Winter Associates' multifamily division and helped design NYS's first affordable Energy Star, High Rise Energy Star, and LEED certified housing. I created the first statewide sustainability training for the NYS Housing Department (2001), the first energy hotline in the NYC Mayor s Office (1980) and was the first to receive a degree in Energy and Environmental Policy at Syracuse s Maxwell School (1979). My vacation time is typically spent in New York's Finger Lakes and Adirondack regions, some of the most beautiful places in the world. I bike to work when weather allows, and have never owned a car.

I work with college students to help them into the sustainability field, and I put significant time into my favorite non-profits: the Clinton Community Garden in Hell's Kitchen, where I have been a gardener for over 20 years; the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), where I have worked for decades helping to organize their annual sustainability conferences; and GreenHomeNYC, NYC s unbiased sustainable non-profit that tries to help all New Yorkers to green their lives, where I serve as Board member.

Andrew's Supporting Media: YouTube Website

Neal Regels: My family and I strive to live and travel green. While we enjoy sharing our lifestyle, we try to be mindful of being overbearing.

Recently, we were able to build a home and incorporate many green features, such as PV Solar, passive heating, Energy Star appliances, and high efficiency heating and cooling. Other examples of our green lifestyle include: Healthy and sustainable diet (we are all vegetarians); 100% florescent lighting Insulating shades and blinds; Timers used for electronics; Low flow faucets; Electric lawnmower; Planting city friendly trees; Ultra efficient toilets; Refillable water bottles; Reusable napkins and cleaning towels; Programmable thermostat; Electronic delivery of bills and other mail; and Recycling, Recycling, Recycling!

As a family we bike instead of driving whenever possible. We patronize farmer s markets and other local growers. This past year we were hosts of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association Solar Home Tour and even made the local news.

As New Yorkers we have access to near limitless activities. We are weekend traveling warriors and love to experience new things. We have been nearly everywhere in NY and particularly enjoy state historic sites, hiking, biking, theatre, performance arts, museums, Niagara Falls and NYC (by train of course).

We are fond of referring to ourselves as tourists in our own backyard. Not only would my family and I love to advocate for our State and our green lifestyle, we would also love to look forward to another year of traveling throughout NYS.

Neals' Supporting Media: YouTube

Karina Tipton: I would love to be selected as the Greenest New Yorker - I try hard to stay green! Daily I evaluate my choices and decisions to try and find easy ways to be greener. I write about these tiny choices on the Tiny Choices blog I co-founded four years ago.
Most of my blog posts come from my personal life - I live in an old farmhouse with a long commute and understand the kinds of daily decisions most New Yorkers are faced with. We are making our home more efficient, and I ride a motorcycle and drive a hybrid for my commute. We vacation in New York - at least annually we have a fancy weekend date in a new part of the state, and more frequently we have fun family camping and hiking trips. Motorcycling taught me that my favorite kind of trip requires me to take a slower route that focuses on the ride, not the destination - and it's changed the way I see much of New York State as I explore the backroads on two wheels. I've supported local CSAs (and learned to pickle), attended NYS craft and fiber festivals, and am endlessly fascinated by the name Central Leatherstocking [the vacation region now renamed Central New York]. My day job is environmental engineering, where I clean up hazardous waste sites and perform sustainability analyses.

I heart New York! and love the time I spend getting to know the state better.

Karina's Supporting Media: Twitter Flickr Website

Denise Warren: We grow, sell and eat green to make the "green." We are owners of a small family farm in the Catskills - Stone & Thistle Farm, a grass-fed organic livestock farm; Kortright Creek Creamery, an organic grass fed goat dairy and creamery; and Fable, an organic on-farm restaurant - we bleed green! Our farm hosts educational tours and family events to showcase healthy eating and living. My volunteer work includes being a board member of Farm Catskills, and organization working to preserve farmland and bring affordable healthy farm food to schools.
Denise's Supporting Media: Facebook Website