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Avi Green Now!: Eco-Presentations in the San Francisco Bay Area

KeenforGreen.com is proud to present another installment in a series of profiles of organizations or companies involved in the sustainable movement. We are promoting these organizations to help them gain exposure and attract volunteers and funding.  But really, we just wanted to talk about some of the good people are doing.

These organizations or companies are run by people that decided to make a difference. We hope their example inspires you to get involved or even start your own group in the same vein. If you are a member of such an organization or company or want to give credit to such an organization, please e-mail me at [email protected] with the details.

The format of these articles is simple. I ask six questions and reproduce their responses. I let the organizations tell their stories since they do it so much better than I could. So without further ado, let me present...

Avi Green Now!

Avi Green Now!

Avi Green Now! is an educational venue and a community service organization, founded in January 2009 by Michal & Avi Lenchner.  The venue serves the entire San Francisco Bay Area.  Avi Green Now! strives to education and increase public awareness to living green, healthy homes, greener communities and healing the planet.  Through our eco-presentations series, we encourage people to get the latest information, suggest practical tips,inform about risks and options and guides on how to make green choices. 

1. Why, how, and when did your organization come about?

Our family has a passion and a strong commitment to the environment. We, Michal and Avi, have been green activists for many years and have a growing passion for a healthier environment.

Our professional lives have brought us closer to the realization that there is a lot of confusion when it comes to the environment, to the terms used in the media, or by legislators, and by experts. We found that not much functional information is available and that people are hungry for useful information and want to learn about specifics, such as environmental hazards, toxins in our homes, and what can individuals or families can do to get greener. Everyone wants to have healthy lives, and we believe that useful and targeted information will help people to make the best decisions for their circumstances.
As our family has been gradually going green, we have spent tremendous efforts researching various Green topics for our own needs and interests: where to recycle pharmaceuticals? What does LEED mean? How can we minimize our waste? Which known materials or chemicals pose the least risk at home? What are the options and alternatives?
Michal is a green writer for several online and print publications. In her column on the national edition of the Examiner, she focuses on green careers, the growing green economy and the opportunities it presents, and on how can one transition into a green job.

Avi is the principal of Avi Decorative Painting, Inc., a highly reputable painting contractor. Through his work as a master painter and home improvement specialist, Avi’s company provides a broad range of eco-friendly services. Over the years, Avi has acquired a profound knowledge of Green practices in home improvement projects and other Green concerns. Avi is also a graduate of an agricultural high-school, grows the family vegetables (well, most of them) and an avid composter. We are also parents and are concerned with the future generations’ well-being, as well as, our planet – our home!
We found ourselves researching various environmental topics in relation to daily lives, the home environment and family health, and then, sharing the information in useful and practical ways with our communities. At some point we said, “Why not share with everyone?” and that is how we created and founded Avi Green Now! Our activities and our organization are funded by our family business, Avi Decorative Painting, Inc., an eco-friendly business.

2. What is the goal of your organization?

Avi Green Now! was founded as a community service venue, therefore all of our presentations and events are free of charge and are open to all. We strive to educate and increase public awareness to living green, healthy homes, greener communities, and healing the planet. Our goal is to increase environmental understanding and encourage all to take eco-friendly action NOW!

We provide clarification of various environmental terms used in the media, by officials and in conversation. For example, what does ‘Green Building’ mean, especially with so many new city ordinances? What is a ‘Sick Home’ versus a ‘Healthy Home’ and how to ‘get’ there?

Through knowledge we empower everyone to make choices and gradually take green action. We also share our personal & professional experience and how we ‘work’ on greening our own family life. We present to parent groups, school PTO/PTAs, senior groups, private & public clubs, various organizations, employee groups, places of faith, corporate, neighborhoods, and in special events.

OUR APPROACH: We offer many FREE resources and suggest options to everyone. The presentations are suitable to adults and teens. We do not preach; we encourage understanding, increase awareness and help people get started greening their lives, or in becoming gradually greener. We have props and hands-on greener materials and teach how to read labels. We also provide detailed handouts with various resources, list of known toxins, and suggestions.

3. What projects have you recently done?

As we reach out to various groups, we learn that there are certain areas of concern associated with healthy living our home environment, and the outlook of our planet.  Many people care about the future of the environment and they want to learn and do more. Green buzz words and acronyms are confusing and there is a need to clarify, as well as, provide practical and particular information that may be scattered over many resources, or may be overwhelming or hard to locate.

Based on our audiences’ feedback we recently developed two new presentation segments:

     A. Holiday Gifts Go Green! addresses several aspects on to green the holidays and contribute a bit more to a healthier planet by reducing our carbon footprint and minimizing garbage.

Many of us realize that a constant pursuit of things and gifts may not lead to happiness or help the environment, not to mention, costs us a bundle. As the holidays approach, learn how to save money, enjoy alternative and creative gift giving, and improve our planet’s health, at the same time?

               i. Save trees: Greener ideas for gift wrapping & packaging

               ii.. Eco-dinnerware – new compostable alternatives

               iii. Top Green gift-giving tips

      B. “Safe Homes for Baby & Family”

Pollution at home? Really? Parents, don’t say, “I didn’t know.” How to make your home a safe and healthy habitat for your baby, your family and yourselves! Today, we know that some known environmental chemicals trigger diseases and disorders in adults and children, including infants in the womb, babies and toddlers.

Scientists are exploring links to respiratory diseases, asthma, infertility, early on-set of puberty, endocrine disruption, cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption, reproductive and neurological disorders, learning disabilities (ADHD, hyperactivity, other), and mental disorders.

We talk about known environmental chemicals, indoor air pollutants, fire retardants, baby care products, sunscreen, cleaning supplies, and more. We also provide handouts with lists of chemicals and additional resources.

At Avi Green Now! We offer the flexibility of customized presentations and can adjust contents to particular groups’ interests.

4. What future projects are planned and are you looking for volunteers?

We are trying to reach to as many groups as possible and help increase Green awareness in our daily lives. Our calendar is busy with events and scheduled talks.

We will be presenting Holiday Gifts Go Green! on October 22, 2009, at the new Palo Alto OFJCC. Our hosts are the Adult Program at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, and the public is welcome. We will also present Holiday Gifts Go Green! on November 3 and 8, 2009 at the Palo Alto Family YMCA and on November 29, 2009 at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park.  We are featured speakers at the New Mom Fair for parents and expectant parents with our Family & Baby Safety at Home presentation on October 18, 2009 in San Mateo.

In addition, we have two upcoming events:

On September 26, 2009 we will be part of the Wellness Fair at the Palo Alto Family YMCA, which will be celebrating ‘America on the Move’, a national YMCA event.  On October 4, 2009, we will be participating the Humane Planet Expo! sponsored by the Palo Alto Humane Society. The event will help clarify some of today’s most pressing issues involving animals, while highlighting the relationships of those issues to people and planet. Location: Cogswell Plaza in Palo Alto (at Lytton and Ramona)   

We are currently not looking for volunteers, but may do so in the future, as our presence expands. Our children are involved with all of Avi Green Now!’s work and this is a truly total family initiative. Our children support, incorporate and help transform our family’s daily life into an eco-friendly culture. They also help develop concepts, wording, environmental games, and graphics, not to mention, provide technical help with PowerPoint. Hey young, Lenchners: THANK YOU!


5. Are you aligned with any green organizations?

Here is a list of some other green activities & organizations we are involved with:

      - Build It Green, California

      - Green Making For Silicon Valley (Building/Making homes Green)

      - Acterra, Palo Alto

      - Menlo Park GRCC – Green Ribbon Citizen Committee

      - Palo Alto CEAP - Community Environmental Action Partnership

      - Palo Alto YMCA, Green Committee, Leader

      - HomeTown Peninsula - Independent Business Alliance - Shop Local!

      - Other: Green/Sustainability committees -Town Of Portola Valley, LiveGreen, Atherton, Humanity for Habitat, Sam Mateo County RecycleWorks –  Resources  Conservation, Connexions, Sustainable Silicon Valley, Edible Gardens - Greening Up With the Joneses MeetUp, more.

6. What is the major problem(s) your group has faced in making your goal a reality?

Our major challenge is time: we simply do not have enough time to respond to all requests, to expand our reach to specific groups, such as parenting groups, employers, and private or public clubs. We definitely need help with marketing efforts. Another challenge is funding. Currently, our only sponsor has been our family business Avi Decorative Painting, Inc.

However, our administrative costs have accumulated with office, phone, collateral, and handouts, etc. costs. We are not in a unique situation; we believe that many grassroots organizations face a similar challenge.





 


Comments

Satisfied customers' reply

Dear Avi & Michal,


As very pleased clients of "AVI GREEN NOW!", for so many years - we will be more than happy to help you funding part of your expenses.


We believe  in your vision. We know how devoted & thruthful you both are to the idea.


We know you dedicate your time & efforts (so much of it...) to increase Green awareness in our daily lives.


We know you are worthy of any help you can get.


Thank you!!!


Please call us.


Rachel & Co.

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