Green Toys Big Hit This Holiday

December 20, 2010 · Filed Under Environment, Green, Health, News, Pop Culture, Products

The Holidays are rapidly approaching us.  Parents are scrambling to buy the latest toys for their kids.  But did you know that green toys are actually a huge hit this year?

Green Toys

Photo from {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/39794839@N03/5078507180/}Cara Faus{/link}.

In the recent past, it has been difficult to get a hold of toys that are made of environmentally friendly products and/or made in the US.  More and more toy makers are embracing the idea of “green toys” this year.  It’s not just a push by consumers, it’s actually demand has risen for them.  With so many toys being made without regulation and using dangerous products, it’s really no surprise.

Since the products are made with more sustainable products and are usually not made in China, there comes a price, literally.  The cost on these products is usually higher than the cheap plastic toys you would normally find.  Usually they are wood toys or those made from recycled or sustainable products.   They may be more expensive, but people are still buying these toys.  Why might you ask?

Well, the obvious answer is that they are better for the environment ans safer for their kids.  Another answer that I have heard from those who buy these toys is that they are much more durable.  They are made with higher quality and usually the products they are made from (i.e. wood) are much stronger.  So in the end, you could actually be saving some money since you don’t need to replace toys that break easy.

The Future

So what exactly is the future of  “green toys”.  If the trend continues like it has this year, we will see a good portion of the toys being sold made with environmentally friendly products.  It will be hard to take over the toys we find on the market today.  Many still like the fact that they are cheaper and kids will still be wanting the latest cheap toy of their favorite TV or movie character.  If the prices of “green toys” can come down some as they already have and if recalls continue to happen, we may see them take a larger share of the market.

GE EcoMagination Tag Your Green

October 26, 2010 · Filed Under Green, News, Pop Culture

GE’s EcoMagination is introducing their new online movement called Tag Your Green.  By sharing using popular social media outlets, GE is hoping that we can help spread the green word.

One of the best ways to really spread the word on how to living a green lifestyle is through video.  That’s why GE teamed up with Howcast to help bring creative videos on the topic.  Howcast was able to get some of the top video makers on Youtube produce videos on ways to live more green.   Some of those include Wong Fu Productions, Barely Political, DeStorm, What the Buck and many more.  They are taking suggestions from all their fans and producing videos on those topics.

Wong Fu Productions has some really great videos and I decided to share one of the videos they made.

Check out GE’s EcoMagination Tag the Green site to get a full list of all the participants and some of the videos they already produced. Share your favorite videos.

Nissan Leaf Polar Bear Commercial

September 22, 2010 · Filed Under Automobiles, Green, Pop Culture

I recently saw a new commercial for the Nissan Leaf electric car that is expected to be released in the coming months.  The commercial involves a polar bear leaving the Arctic to give a man who has a Leaf a hug.  Take a look:

I found this video to be interesting and a metaphor for things to come.  The mascot of global warming, the polar bear, is giving an electric car owner a hug for switching to a more environmentally friendly option.

Though electricity is still largely generated through coal, I think the video is trying to make a point that this car is the first step in right direction.   We can begin rid our country from depending so much on oil and start plans on doing the same with coal.

What are your thoughts on the video?

New Fall Comedy “Running Wilde” Features Green Main Character

September 15, 2010 · Filed Under Green, Pop Culture

It is a sad truth, but unless you’re watching the Planet Green network, then you’re probably not seeing much environmentally-focused programming. But perhaps the news that one of FOX’s new comedy series will feature an environmentally conscious main character is an indication that eco-friendliness is cool enough for primetime.

The new series, Running Wilde, premieres on September 21st at 9:30 p.m. and stars Will Arnett as the selfish and wealthy childhood friend of Keri Russell, an eco-friendly humanitarian who hopes to make him a better man.  If it succeeds, the show might very well be a lock for an Environmental Media Award nomination next year. This year’s nominees include Parks & Recreation, Avatar, and Spongebob Squarepants.

Organic Wines Vs. Organic Grapes

September 1, 2010 · Filed Under Green, Health, Pop Culture, Quick Saving Tips

Organic Wine

Photo by {link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahfelicity/83112974/}sarahfelicity{/link}.

Organic wines have been produced for centuries, but only recently have they become certified as organic.  It’s often a confusing topic as many people do not know what goes into making an organic wine. There is also a huge debate as to the difference between a wine that is certified organic as opposed to one that just contains organic grapes.

Organic Grapes

Any wine that claims to be organic must at minimum use grapes that have been grown organically.  That means we are not drinking harmful chemicals along with our wine.  Pretty straightforward, so whenever you see a wine that has organic grapes, you know that it was grown with you and the environment in mind.

Organic Wines

Here is where the debate gets interesting.  A wine can say that it uses organic grapes but not be certified as an organic wine.  Organic wines use organic grapes, but also do not contain any added sulfites in the wine.  I emphasis the word added as the production of wine causes a natural formation of sulfites.

What are Sulfites?

Sulfites do occur naturally in winemaking, but many winemakers add it during the process to get a product that will last longer.  They act as a  preservative in order to prevent oxidation and produce a better end product.  Doesn’t seem like a big deal, or is it?

Many people have various problems when consuming products in which sulfites were added.  The most common are difficulty of breathing and headaches.  If you get bad headaches after drinking wines, this could be the reason.

How to buy?

The next time you go to buy wine, be sure to check the labels appropriately.  Some wines may display large text of organic, but may just use organic grapes.  If you want to buy a truly organic wine, some cautious must be taken with foreign wines as some claim to be organic, but only use organic grapes.

Also be sure to check into the vineyard and winemaker.  There are still some vineyards that grown grapes organically or don’t add additional sulfites to their product and just don’t want to go through the process of getting certified organic.

Chemerical Film

August 25, 2010 · Filed Under Green, Pop Culture

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get rid of all of those chemicals in your home and switch to natural and homemade alternatives?  Andrew Nisker does just that in his new documentary Chemerical.

Andrew Nisker, environmental activist and filmmaker, is the head of Take Action Films in Toronto which produced this film.  If you are not familiar with Take Action, you may have heard of his previous film Garbage! The Revolution Starts at Home.  This film originally premiered on the Sundance Channel in 2009 and garnered attention from several major news outlets and famous celebrities.  Chemerical is his latest film that looks to have similar success.

In Chemerical, Nisker follows a family for three months as they make the dramatic shift of removing all chemicals from their home.  This meant the family would now solely being using all natural and homemade cleaning, personal hygiene and cosmetic products.  As the movie progresses, the family goes from being dependent on their products and skeptic of natural alternatives to believers.  The best part of the movie is that the family also find out that they can also save money along the way :)

Let’s take a look at a trailer of the movie to get a closer look of what the movie is about.

The goal of this movie is to bring to public attention the dangers of toxic chemicals and each ways to clean up our homes.  Since it’s short release, over 7,000 toxic products have been removed from households worldwide, with that number grows daily.  The hope is that the message of this film can spread to make not just our homes but the planet a greener place.

This film can be purchased directly through Take Action’s store either through download or by DVD.  Andrew was nice enough to provide all of my readers with the opportunity to get this film at 50% off by ordering by entering the code 50TA10 when purchasing an individual DVD.

Art Junkies Supporting Artists

July 31, 2010 · Filed Under Green, Guest Posts, News, Pop Culture

In todays World it isn’t only the artists who are struggling. But if you are an art aficionado, how does an art gallery filled with 255,000 works available at your fingertips sound? Artist Rising is the artist’s version of Etsy. It is open to anyone wishing to sell their artwork and offers an interesting set-up.

As the Buyer:

  1. Choose what subject you are looking for in your piece of artwork OR
  2. Choose the medium (photography, watercolor, mixed media…) OR
  3. Choose the style (art deco, impressionism, symbolism…)
  4. You choose whether you want the original or a reproduction
  5. If you choose a reproduction, you can choose the size
  6. It ships directly to you (so don’t worry about transporting valuable canvases across town
  7. You can also learn about the artist, how they got started and contact them directly if you find someone you love and see what gallery’s are showcasing their work.

As the Artist:

  1. Sign up for Artist Rising (accounts are f-r-e-e)
  2. Create your gallery, biography, and utilize the other free tools
  3. Upload a picture of your work
  4. Decide on the price range, what sizes are appropriate and other parameters
  5. Utilize their free marketing tools and communications platforms to learn and expand your art!

What is incredible about this tool is the ability to find big or small artists, discover art that you really love…not just what’s on sale to cover up those walls, and you can support true artists. Artists need to starve no more with these easy tool! What is also a relief as that the company takes care of the printing. So if you are offering poster prints, they do all of that for the artist. Since this can be quite expensive and a risky investment, especially during tepid economic times, this is an excellent option for artists, and artists that are just coming out of their shell, to share what they creative eyes see in the World.

So check it out! Find local artists or even become one.

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