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About Green Right Now and Barbara Kessler



GreenRightNow is a syndicated news and features website about green living. It began in 2007 when people were newly focused on the environment and adopting more eco-friendly lifestyles.

Trees at NU

Trees: Important.

This was a pivotal time for Americans. Solar and wind power was taking hold, energy efficiency for homes was rapidly improving and electric cars and trucks would soon shatter our expectations, quadrupling the efficiency of comparable gasoline models. We could see the light at the end of the tunnel of our costly oil-addiction.

People across the US were becoming more aware of their impact on the planet, and getting better at recycling, reducing and reusing. (Houston, not so much.) These activities morphed from being a chore to becoming businesses where cities composted our grass clippings and small businesses resold our used cardboard boxes. People were crushing coke bottles to make kitchen counters, operating traffic lights on solar power and switching to “greener cleaners” to keep pollutants out of the water system. Cities were employing new “smart designs” that countered sprawl. Colleges were retrofitting dorms, and students were building solar-powered race cars.

Everyone, it seemed, wanted a natural latex mattress. Or at least a breakfast cereal without food dyes.

Water-HiRes PROMO

Water: We like.

Climate change drove home the urgency, slapping at our doorstep to deliver worse and more frequent droughts, floods, wildfires and hurricanes. People argued about whether this was “human-caused” or not.  But leaving that aside, these obvious stresses forced us all to think about trimming back the carbon pollution driving climate change. Today, new federal rules are nearly in place for the worst offender, coal-fired plants. But hundreds of homeowners and businesses already have jumped ahead, reducing their pollution footprint (and over the long-term, their bills) by opting for wind power or rooftop solar panels.

Did you know that more than 800 utilities offer renewable power choices?

The weird weather, the threat of more to come and a few nasty oil spills (the Gulf, Kalamazoo, Mayflower) have given us a new appreciation of what we must protect: Our fresh water, arable land and thriving, efficient communities.

Debates continue over how best to address climate change, or for that matter, oil drilling, natural gas hydrofracking, lumbering, chemical agriculture and countless other activities that weigh on the planet.

But there is little debate that we must try to preserve and regenerate natural resources for future generations.

Here’s where living greener can make a big impact. While each personal contribution by itself might seem small, our collective rejection of overconsumption, disposables, dirty energy, over-processed food and even packaging can be magnified by mass adoption. It already has been. The U.S. is on target to at least double, and possibly triple its use of renewable energy by 2025.

And so we devote considerable space on GreenRightNow to how we can make a meaningful, personal contribution – how we can pay it forward – in a gazillion small ways: Car sharing, eating less meat, repurposing furniture, installing a bee-friendly flower bed, switching to reusable water bottles, adopting efficient LED light bulbs, buying water efficient appliances, drinking less coffee….Scratch that last one.


Bobbi portrait for GRN

Barbara Kessler

Barbara Kessler, founder and editor of GreenRightNow, is a veteran reporter with a lifelong passion and concern for the environment. She grew up on a horse farm in the Upper Midwest, where she developed a love of the outdoors, respect for animals and picked up some ideas about gardening that worked better there than where she lives now.

She has a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has worked in television and at newspapers. She’s also a mom, making her an expert on healthy eating as well as cleaning one’s room.

Since founding GreenRightNow, she’s attended dozens of conferences, workshops and webinars on the green economy, renewable power, sustainable food and eco-friendly living, and interviewed authors, filmmakers, policymakers and thought leaders from across the country, though she neglected to take that course in green building.

Several other reporters have written for GreenRightNow over the years. You can find them under their bylines. They include Clint Williams, Harriet Blake, Shermakaye Bass, Melissa Segrest, John DeFore, Sommer Saadi, Julie Thibodeaux and several more.

We’ve also enjoyed publishing articles by student interns, who’ve come from Arizona State University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas and Texas Tech University.

If you’d like to write for or have story ideas that you’d like to see covered, please contact Ms. Kessler at bkessler@greenrightnow.com.