January 18 Questions:Michael Clayton

by Lauren Verini

1. What is your name (and age)?

Michael Clayton, 29 years old

2. What is your occupation?

Professional football player, I’m a wide receiver for the New York Giants.

3. Do you have a “green” memory growing up?

As a child I remember recycling on a regular basis, saving cans and plastic bottles. Every week we’d turn them in and I’d get to keep the $1 bill. It was instilled in me early on that recycling was important and created a good habit that stuck with me.

4.  What’s your favorite meal?

Smothered pork chops, green beans and sweet potatoes.

5. Who/What inspires you to be more “green” in your life?

My father. I didn’t know what “being green” meant when I was little, I just wanted the dollar bill that came with recycling. I have kids ages 3 and 5 now and I feel it’s my responsibility to instill the same traditions and values in my children. I believe it’s important to start teaching children at an early age and as the parents, its our responsibility to educate and pass on that knowledge.

6. Where on the “green scale” do you fall?

Around a 6 or a 7, there’s always room for improvement.

7. What are the most rewarding and most challenging parts of your job?

Of course having the fans support and being able to set goals and accomplish them is a great feeling. I love to challenge myself on a daily basis. The most rewarding part I would have to say is being in a position, as a professional athlete, to give back to the community and have an impact as a role model and mentor to children. I’ve had the opportunity to play football all over the country and have been able to offer my services and support within numerous communities. Through my experience I’ve started the Generation Next Foundation where we support local charities and organizations for children’s charities in the Tampa Bay, Louisiana and now New York area.

The worst part about my job is recuperating from injury. Football is a very physical sport and when two players collide, many people compare it to a car wreck. Being able to bounce back each week and tell the difference between being injured and being hurt can sometimes be tiring.

8. Where’s your “greenspot”: food, bodycare/beauty, oceans, home or neighborhood, explain?

My home is where I focus a lot of my energy on being green, especially eating healthier foods. Growing up I ate a lot of fast food, now as an adult my wife and I put a lot of focus on feeding healthy food to our kids such as foods that aren’t processed and those that don’t contain hormones.

9. Where do you turn for your news?

My wife. I have a very busy work schedule and I travel a lot, so I rely on her for news and updates.

10. What is one environmental change you vow to make in the next year?

This year I am building homes in my hometown of Louisiana and then Tampa with modular panels made with recycled glass, these are the same types of houses that were built after the earthquake in Haiti. The panels keep the cold air in during the summer and trap in heat during the wintertime so it saves energy and keeps our utility bill low.

11. If you could trade places with one person from any time in history (past or present) for one day—who would it be and why?

Barack Obama. I would love the chance to be in a position to make real change that is so greatly needed in our country.

12. You have a meeting with the leader of every country in the world. You have 30 seconds to tell them anything you want. Go!

It’s time to unify the world and live in peace with one another. Let’s create a new day for America and lets focus on doing so through compassion, peace and love.

13. You have the chance to send one tweet to all the tweeps in the world. Let’s hear it in 140 characters, or less!

Let’s love one another and work together to create change.

14. If there was one industry/product that you could make more eco-friendly, what would it be?

Vehicles – we need to continue to find more ways to eliminate the pollution that they create.

15. Where in the world would you most like to be right now?

Dubai – I’ve never been but I want to!

16. What is the best book you have read recently? 

One of my favorites is The Power of Prayer.

17. What makes you cringe?

That awful sound of scratching on a chalkboard.

18. What do you want your legacy to be?

As a father, I want my kids to be able to learn about the type of person I am through what people say about me and I hope that everyone I come in contact with has nothing but positive things to say. I want to be just an overall good person, living a positive life and to help in any way that I can. I always want to treat others with respect. Hopefully through my foundation, I’ll also inspire others to get involved.

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