Introducing a New Podcast Series
This podcast series discusses some of the most pressing issues of the day, from the health of children to the health of the planet, and how the best solutions can only come from collaboration between individuals, organizations and corporations.
We spotlight experts, nonprofit organizations, businesses and individuals who are committed to making a change, and what they do to make it happen. We also celebrate real-life PLANET HEROES and ask you to help us recognize the ones that are closest to you.
About the Host
Charly Arnolt/Caruso is a veteran journalist and Backstage Host of World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) flagship brand, Monday Night Raw, where she has developed a large fan following in the sports and entertainment world. She is known by her WWE® personality name Charly Caruso.
As Charly Arnolt, she hosts regular updates on ESPN’s SportsCenter and ESPN’s Snapchat channel. She is also a certified personal trainer and is passionate about helping people live their best and healthiest lives.
Did you know that 20% percent of American youth, ages 6 to 19, don’t drink any water on a given day? When access to drinking water is readily available to most, why isn’t it their first choice to stay healthy and hydrated? Are we simply unaware of water’s many benefits? Are we drowning in misinformation? Does advertising muddy our choices?
Our guests dive into these questions and help us get our heads above water. They discuss the important role that drinking water plays in a healthy lifestyle, why many minority teens feel that water just isn’t for them, and what we can do to end discrimination in hydration and make drinking water the cool choice for kids.
Meet Our Guests
Division Chief of Community Pediatrics, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Georgetown University School of Medicine
The need for clean water is greatest in times of disasters, whether they be natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic or when water is contaminated. But what does it take to make water available?
In this episode, we talk to people who go above and beyond to ensure that there is access to safe drinking water. We discuss how organizations in Michigan came together to help Flint residents when lead contaminated the water supply, how a lack of water contributed to the spread of COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation, and how disaster relief and collaboration take many forms.
MEET OUR GUESTS
Plastic waste continues to be a major concern, yet solutions aren’t always clear. What are companies and communities doing to address this? How can the public get information about what and where to recycle?
We answer these questions, and also examine what plastic was originally intended to do, the needs it answers and innovations in packaging. And we talk with industry experts about the concept behind a circular economy and the role that companies, retailers, organizations and you can play in raising awareness about recycling.
MEET OUR GUESTS
We all know that children are our future and can become our best advocates and change agents. This episode features organizations that make it their missions to educate children on the importance of water stewardship and the environment.
We discuss what children can expect in the future with regard to water and how organizations from Maine to Florida are engaging them to care for nature and our water resources. Our experts also share helpful resources for parents.
MEET OUR GUESTS
When organizations and individuals join together as forces for good, their positive impact on a community can be huge.
In this episode, we talk with dedicated individuals, from well-known organizations to a local high school, who stepped up when communities were in need, and continue to do so. You’ll learn how these organizations work with others to problem-solve, how young people turned a good deed into a buzzing business with far-reaching effects, and even how the pandemic presented new opportunities to make a difference. Their amazing work demonstrates that collaboration is key.
What makes someone a PLANET HERO? In this episode we revisit interviews with the PLANET HEROES we’ve featured and hear again why they are so passionate about making our planet a better place. Although their work and missions may differ, they all share this common goal.
We’ll also hear from PLANET HERO nominees who were submitted by our listeners. They’re everyday folks, just like us, who have taken it upon themselves to make a difference in their communities in some unique and surprising ways.
The question we ask each of our heroes is, "What makes you so passionate about what you do?" Their answers are sure to inspire you to become your own PLANET HERO.
Meet Our PLANET HEROES
In each episode, we feature a PLANET HERO whose work and contributions to their organization and communities enrich people’s lives. We believe their experience, knowledge and passion can be inspiring to all! You can meet them here.
PTSAs are part of National PTA and provide youth members with the opportunity to make a difference by developing leadership skills, learning about the legislative process, increasing their self-esteem and contributing to the school and community.
Last November, Terramar Elementary’s PTSA held a special healthy hydration event that was attended by more than 200 teachers, administrators, community partners and families. The families especially enjoyed it because they had a chance to interact with one another, while also learning about the importance of drinking more water. They sampled tasty infused water and entered a raffle to win a stainless-steel water flask. Now, drinking more water in reusable containers has become the "cool thing" to do in their community!
For more information about Nicole, representing the Terramar Elementary PTSA of Peoria, and the PTSA, visit www.terramarptsa.org
The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan not only meets needs in times of disaster but provides life-saving services every day. Our PLANET HERO is Kara Ross, the organization’s president and CEO. Karen is well versed in what it takes to meet these needs, having also served as Interim President, Vice President and Director of Development during her nearly 23-year tenure.
In her role today, Kara tirelessly oversees the food bank’s annual distribution of more than 29 million pounds of food through its statewide network of over 700 Hunger Relief Partners in 22 counties, other partner agencies, community organizations and schools. Each year the food bank serves more than 330,000 people, from children to senior citizens.
Kara holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central Michigan University.
For more information about the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, visit www.fbem.org .
We’re pleased to recognize Kerry Getter, the CEO of Balcones Resources, and his son Richie, as PLANET HEROES.
In the mid-nineties, the only commodity being actively recycled in a commercial setting was white paper. Texas residents Kerry and Becky Getter saw the need to change the way their state recycled and founded Balcones Resources in 1994 in Austin, Texas.
Fast-forward over 20 years and Balcones Resources has facilities in Austin, Dallas and Little Rock, and is the largest independent recycling company in the Southwest and one of the top 50 in the United States and Canada. Today, the company is engaged in the business of commercial and institutional recycling, residential recycling, and document and product destruction.
The idea that drives Balcones Resources is simple: Don't waste resources that can be used again. Balcones believes in extracting the maximum amount of value from all recyclable commodities and in this regard, the company offers janitorial training, employee awareness events, marketing materials and reporting, all geared toward increasing recycling participation and reducing landfill costs.
To learn more about Balcones Resources and the great work they do, visit www.balconesresources.com.
A former fourth-grade teacher with a love of science, Meg Edstrom Jones found her true calling in 2007 as the Director of Education and Curriculum Design at The Ecology School, a nonprofit residential environmental learning center on the southern coast of Maine.
Meg, now Director of Educational Partnerships, is grateful for her teaching background because she can better provide authentic learning experiences for teachers and students outdoors. Participants experience a sense of belonging within our natural and human environments and can live, learn, work and play in ways that are restorative to the world around us.
Meg also loves that she can watch kids shine outside and experience success as learners. Most importantly, the children start to make connections between themselves and the outdoors as they realize how everything is connected. “Ecology really is the science of making connections,” she says.
For more information about The Ecology School, visit https://theecologyschool.org.
Titus O’ Neil is perhaps best known as a World Wrestling Entertainment fan favorite, Tag Team Champion and 24/7 champion. Titus is a Community Relations Ambassador for WWE where he has helped thousands of individuals through nonprofit organizations and WWE partners, such as Susan G. Komen, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics.
But in the Tampa Bay Region of Florida, where he lives and went to college, he is revered for his charity work through his Bullard Family Foundation. Titus is very involved with various nonprofit groups, which have helped more than 245 student athletes across the Tampa Bay area get into college.
And his commitment doesn’t stop there. He also leads corporate volunteers in reading books to children in after-school programs, uses his story to inspire employees from all types of companies to volunteer and taken part in the United Way's Walking School Bus program in at-risk neighborhoods where children are escorted to school on foot to ensure they get there on time to get a healthy breakfast.
Titus also hosts an annual Joy of Giving event, where he hands out toys to more than 1,000 children and visits children with cancer in the hospital.
This past August Titus was recognized as a community hero tonight by the NHL as part of the NHL's recent "We Skate for Black Lives" Campaign. At the ninth annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards, also in August, Titus O'Neil earned the Sentinel Award, which honors those individuals in sports for their transformative work in the industry. Titus is one of this year’s winners for using his position and talent to benefit social causes and improve his community.
And earlier this year, he was named the 2020 Citizen of the Year by the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce. He was also a finalist for the ESPN Muhammed Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.
Titus is also a former football player for the University of Florida and the Jacksonville Jaguars.