The Many Shades of Green with Maxine Margo

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AC: Tell us about TMSOG and your mission

MM: The Many Shades of Green (TMSOG) is an internet radio show which airs on BBoxradio. The program delves into topics on the environment and its interconnection with culture, politics, music and the arts. Many important issues about the environment are under-reported in the mainstream media, and it is a low priority for most Americans. While we, as a human species, depend upon natural resources to survive, we are quickly decimating and depleting those resources, and we are causing the extinction of many of the world’s most majestic and beautiful creatures. We are not living in harmony, nor are we living in balance with nature. The mission of TMSOG is to inform and educate the public about issues of sustainability, and to explain what actions we all can take to protect the planet.

How did The Many Shades of Green start?

I was the content producer and booked guests for a show on Air America called “Green America”.  The program name was later changed to “The Money Message” with host Marc Sussman. We covered topics that included socially responsible investment, which greatly interconnects with issues of sustainability. I co-hosted the show on some occasions, and via my research for guests and topics, I became very interested in all things green. After Air America closed its doors, I hosted and produced an environmental radio program called “Village Green” on WDFH, Pacifica Radio. I was pursuing other avenues for my program, and I saw a flyer posted on a bulletin board in a coffee shop in Brooklyn, for BBox Radio, which stated that they were looking for radio programs for this new Community Internet station. I sent a sample show to Donna Zimmerman, the program director at BBox, and the rest is history.

Where and how did you get involved with sustainability?

I grew up in Brooklyn, not far from Brighton Beach, so I was always drawn to the ocean. I enjoyed the water, the birds, the salt air, as well as the French fries at Nathan’s (salt air and fries go hand in hand). My mom would take me on “nature” walks, and we would take cuttings of bushes and flowers that grew wild in vacant lots, which we would then plant in our backyard on Ocean Parkway. My interest in the environment grew even more through taking Geology courses at Brooklyn College, where I studied Geological periods, fossils, rocks, mountains, oceans, dinosaurs and more.

When I started working on the Green America show, I researched guests and topics that focused on sustainability. Alan Weisman, author of “The World Without Us” and Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org were guests on the Air America program.  I had Mr. Weisman on TMSOG, not long ago, to talk about his new book “Countdown” which covers the serious topic of overpopulation. I also had MayBoeve, co-founder of 350.org, on the program to discuss the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the leading cause of climate change.

Tell us about some of the most interesting people or things you've learned through hosting this radio show.

First off, getting to meet and work with two amazingly talented and compassionate people, Abba Carmichael, my co-producer, and Brian Horowitz, my sound engineer, has enriched my life on so many levels. I could not do the show without them, as they both put their hearts and souls into getting the show out each week.

I have had many fascinating people on the program, and each and every guest is working hard to make a difference and help the planet. I have learned, though it saddens me, that issues involving sustainability are not taken seriously and have a low priority in most people’s lives. The “it is what it is” attitude is pervasive, and on the show I try to educate and inform the public about the need to take action to make the environment a priority.

I have had many interesting interviews that have stood out in my mind. I did an interview with J.K. Canepa, co-founder of NY Climate Action Group, who is fighting to stop the liquefied natural gas port from being built off-shore from areas in Brooklyn and Long Island. When the sound of a construction jackhammer outside the window muffled the interview, we moved to a tree house in a Community Garden in the East Village. Doing a “green” show from an actual tree house was truly awesome.

I also hopped on a Ferry Boat to Governor’s Island with my co-producer, Abba, to interview Murray Fisher at the Harbor School, a high school that teaches students about the importance of the waterways, and what we need to do to protect them.

Other guests of note include Riverkeeper; Eva Radke of Filmbiz Recycling; Syd Mandelbaum, CEO of Rock and Wrap It Up; Clare Donohue, founder of the Sane Energy Project; Nancy Bruning, founder of Nancercize; Tiokasin Ghosthorse, spokesman for the issues affecting the Native Americans and radio host of First Voices Indigenous Radio on WBAI; and of course the terrific Anjie Cho, founder of Holistic Spaces.  

You can hear the interviews of all the wonderful guests that have appeared on the show via my web page (www.themanyshadesofgreen.com) and (www.BBoxradio.com/the-many-shades-of-green). The bottom line is that we have to all be proactive and pick an environmental group and/or cause to get behind, so that we can keep this planet safe and beautiful for future generations to come.

What are three simple tips that you can give to readers to go green and truly lead a holistic life? 

First tip would be “don’t waste water.” Water is a precious commodity that is being threatened by over-consumption, hydrofracking, the bottled water and soda industries and drought conditions due to climate change, nationally and globally. I suggest taking shorter showers, getting a reusable water bottle, and trying not to purchase bottled water whenever possible.

Tip number two: purchase LED light bulbs for your living quarters, you will be reducing electricity usage and saving money in the long run. LED light bulbs have come down in price, and it is a win, win all around.

Tip number three: recycle cans, plastics and bottles and reuse as much as possible. Thrift stores have become cool over the years, visit one and get some vintage clothes or furniture. You will be helping yourself and Mother Earth.

One extra tip: go outside and connect with Mother Nature.

by Anjie Cho


Maxine Margo Rubin has been involved with the media business as a content producer and part-time co-host for Air America (Marc Sussman’s Money Message), and hosted and produced Village Green on WDFH, a show which focused on topics of environmental sustainability and progressive social issues.

In addition, she worked to create a pilot for Green World Radio. Maxine is a Brooklyn girl, born and raised on Ocean Parkway, and is an alum of Abraham Lincoln High School and Brooklyn College. She has a master’s degree in Public Policy/Public Administration from New York University (The Wagner School). Maxine is a confirmed “Greeniac,” and serves on the Sustainability Advisory Board in the town of New Castle. She loves all genres of music, and enjoys her wonderful, nutty and creative family, including her pampered and highly cerebral pooch, Sparky 2.0. She is happy to be connected with BBOX Radio, and looks forward to spreading the word about environmental and social issues affecting Brooklyn and beyond.