The Global Search for Education: Behind the Scenes of Be a Green Hero — A Conversation with Donna Britton Bukevicz and Ross Orenstein

C. M. Rubin
3 min readNov 9, 2023

This month, audiences can screen Be a Green Hero on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.

Viewers will join Mr. Recycle Man, Chef Green, and Daisy in a delightful animated short, Be a Green Hero, written by Donna Britton Bukevicz and Ross Orenstein. Catchy songs and lovable puppets teach kids and adults to “Think Ecologically” and become Green Heroes through the power of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. This short film is a fun and meaningful global learning experience for all planet lovers

The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Donna Britton Bukevicz and Ross Orenstein.

Donna and Ross, where did you get all of those puppets? How was that funded?

The concept for Mr. Recycle Man, Daisy, and Chef Green was created by us after having spent five years operating a grassroots non-profit where our eco-educational music programs were conducted in the communities of both Warrenton, Virginia, and Pensacola, Florida. We contracted James Kemp Puppets to design them. Our company, Music as Message, funded the costs associated with the creation of the puppets, and we own the characters 100%.

Were there voice actors hired specifically for the puppet roles?

Yes, there were. Professional puppeteers James Kemp was the voice of Chef Green, Jennifer Himes was the voice of Daisy, and Andrew Clinton was the voice of Mr. Recycle Man.

How long did it take to film the songs?

The songs were filmed as part of the music video for the short film that won Best Score and Music, Best Cinematography, and Best Educational Short in 2022 at the Show Low Film Festival and was an Official Selection at the Kids’ First Film Festival. We rented the studio at our local PBS station and shot the video with the songs in one full day.

The songs are really great. How long did it take to write them?

There were four songs featured in Be A Green Hero: “Think Ecologically,” “Mr. Recycle Man,” “La La La Love the Color Green,” “Recycling Girl,” and “We Like Music.” All songs were co-written by us (Donna and Ross), with the exception of “Think Ecologically,” which included co-writer Dr. Dave Tough.

Over the course of three months, we collaborated with Nashville producer, CJ Watson, who was instrumental in creating the character voices and the musical arrangements. “Mr. Recycle Man,” “La La La Love the Color Green,” and “We Like Music” were recorded by Bryan Steele, and he is the featured vocalist on “We Like Music.” CJ Watson is the vocalist on “Mr. Recycle Man” and “La La La Love the Color Green.” “Think Ecologically” was recorded and produced by Dr. Dave Tough and features vocalist Donna Britton Bukevicz and Tre Houston. “Recycling Girl” was recorded by Jason Ahlbrant of Red Guitar Studios in Nashville, and Donna Britton Bukevicz is the featured vocalist.

Congratulations again and thank you Donna and Ross!

C. M. Rubin and Donna and Ross

Don’t miss, Be a Green Hero, now streaming on the Planet Classroom Network. This film is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.

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