Monday, June 25, 2007

No More Plastic Water Bottles Ever! (in san francisco)

First plastic bags, now water bottles, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is on a mission to protect natural resources and leverage the impact that his already green consituency can make.

According to the Newsweek Article:

Gavin Newsom signed an executive order banning the use of city funds to purchase single-serving plastic water bottles. The order also prohibits the sale of such water containers on city-owned property. The move is part of a campaign by the city to boost the environmental awareness of its already-green citizens by getting them to use tap water instead of bottled water—and cut down on the acres of plastic generated in the process.

As an incentive to get San Francisco residents involved, people who sign an online pledge will get a stainless-steel recyclable container from the city for free. This is a bold statement against plastic bottle water suppliers. According to Newsom, "these people are making huge amounts of money selling God’s natural resources. Sorry, we’re not going to be part of it. Our water in San Francisco comes from the Hetch Hetchy [reservoir] and is some of the most pristine water on the planet. Our water is arguably cleaner than a vast majority of the bottled water sold as "pure."

I admit to only recently trying to break my plastic bottle habit with my new Sigg bottle. Ironically, I only use my Sigg bottle when I am in San Francisco (as I split time with Austin, Tx). It is not that Austin isn't green in its own right, however, I do feel a greater amount of responsbility/peer pressure when I am in San Francisco. Regardless, there is no doubt that San Francisco is a leader when it comes to making bold civic "green" statements, and this is just one more initiative that will continue to pave the way towards building sustainable communities. Check out the full article.

Monday, June 18, 2007

McConaughey and Grenier Among People’s Lean Green Sexy Machines

Step back ladies, People’s Sexy and Single Bachelor issue is out, and there are more than a few eco-hotties spanning the pages. Whether driven by a free-spirit lifestyle or a green conscious, Mathew McConaughey has actually taken up residence in his new Airstream RV and truly reducing his carbon footprint, especially by Hollywood standards. Dancing With The Stars champion Apolo Ohno shares his pick-up secrets by shopping at his local Whole Foods: “I’m not really one to hit on a girl in a club or a bar, but if I’m at Whole Foods and this group of girls walks by, that’s a different situation.” Canadian hottie, Ryan Green is currently making his bachelor pad green. And of course, Ecorazzi fav [insert giggle] Adrian Grenier [close giggle] is fully committed to educating any lady who dares walk into his green life to step up to the plate: “If a woman isn’t environmentally conscious, she will be after going out with me. I like women who are aware of what’s going on around them and are willing to learn.”

A few other green specific celebs highlighted in the issue include: Aaron Rourke, an Industrial Hygienist; Bill Schenk, Attorney for the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Agency; Tom Ballanco, an Environmental Laywer; Guillermo Payet, Founder of Local

We heart all of these “Lean Green Sexy Machines!” Check out the full issue.

Crosspost with ecorazzi.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Spike Lee and Ed Bradley Recognized at Peabody Awards Luncheon

Bill Costas of NBC hosted the 66th annual Peabody Awards luncheon held at the Waldorf-Astoria last week. The Peabody Awards, administered by the University of Georgia, honor radio and television networks for “distinguished achievement and meritorious service.” While the big networks including NBC were recognized via the series “The Office” and “Scrubs,” HBO also won several awards including: “When the Levee Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” Spike Lee’s film about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. According to an article, Lee provided an emotional moment as he accepted his award:

“People still catch hell in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast,” he said. “They’re still up the creek with no paddle, abandoned by local, state and federal governments. We can’t forget them.”

CBS also took home an award for Ed Bradley’s “60 Minutes” report on the Duke rape case. Producer Michael Radutzky accepted the award for Bradley, who died in November, and said:

“he would have been so proud and so honored if he were there to accept it.”

Big networks were not the only ones to gobble up the spotlight. Several documentaries received well deserved kudos including Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet showcased on the Independent Film Channel. The feature was produced by Listen Up! and was written, shot and edited by young filmmakers, ages 13-19. The nine short films in this series introduce budding artists who convey unique visions of what it`s like to grow up in different lands, under different social and economic conditions.

From budding young filmmakers to network legends, it proved to be an event whereby recognition truly reigns upon those who are committed and inspired through creating amazing works of entertainment.
Check out the full list of recipients.

Crosspost with ecorazzi.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Willie Nelson Hits NYC for Farm Aid

Willie Nelson is “on the road again,” this time in his biodiesel tour bus headed to Farm Aid in NYC at Randalls Island on September 9th. Farm Aid co-founders Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp made the announcement with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Union Square, which has a renowned fresh-produce market. Farm Aid concerts have raised more than $30 million for farmers since 1985. And with all the recent hoopla about eating local and going organic, local groups are in a prime area to benefit.

According to the folks at Sustainable Table (who are well known for the Eat Well Guide and The Meatrix), one of the groups that Farm Aid is supporting in NYC is Just Food, a fantastic organization that has helped set up all the city’s CSA (community supported agriculture) programs and does a lot of work with growing food in the city.
But the green doesn’t stop there, the Mayor is talking a big talk when it come to making NYC more sustainable including cutting greenhouse gas emissions, using biodiesel for city vehicles, and supporting small farmers. We can only hope that Farm Aid along with the people of NYC will keep the Mayor committed to his word.

The lineup includes Nelson, Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews.

Nelson captured the enthusiasm best: “We’re so happy that y’all have invited us, Farm Aid, to New York City,” Nelson said. “More people eat probably around here than anywhere in the world.”

Check out for more info.

Thanks Linton for the tip! Crosspost with ecorazzi.

Victoria Beckham is a "Skinny Bitch"

Forget about the potential Spice Girls reunion rumor, Victoria Beckham was recently spotted buying the book Skinny Bitch. The book was written by two LA fashion industry elites - former model Kim Barnouin, who has a degree in holistic nutrition, and ex-Ford model agent Rory Freedman. This no-nonsense book takes an “in your face” approach pushing you to go vegan and get skinny!

The authors describe the book as a “tough-love guide for savvy girls who want to stop eating crap and start looking fabulous.” It is loaded with strong language and no-holds-barred advice such as, “you are a total moron if you think the Atkins Diet will make you thin” and “soda is liquid Satan.”

Basic do’s of the book include lots of fruits, vegetables, and tofu; don’ts include meat, cheese, and sugar. While the vegan lifestyle has picked up a swirl of recent controversy, it is clear that Hollywood starlets are on a mission to veganize the world, one skinny bitch at a time!

Crosspost with ecorazzi.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Father's Day: Green Gift Ideas

Father's day is one of those holidays that despite the "hallmarkesqueness" represents an opportunity to be grateful for all the men in our lives. In searching for the perfect "green" father's day gift, I came across some unique eco-friendly options that I thought I would share:

Green Gadgets: For the eco-friendly man who wants to be up on the latest green gadget, check out the solar powered juice bags from Reware. These rugged bags are outfitted with a super flexible solar panel that can charge your handheld devices.

Plant a Tree:
Green Mountain Energy's new campaign Be Green Now provides the perfect gift that keeps on giving - planting a tree. According to the website, an average tree will absorb more than 650 pounds of CO2 over its lifetime - as much as not driving your car about 740 miles. Leave a legacy and help the planet for just $9.95.

DIY: For the DIY man, check out the Energy Federation to find the latest from outdoor lighting to water saving shower heads that could reduce your water use by 3,650 gallons a year (assuming a 10 minute daily shower).

For more gift ideas ranging from fair trade coffee to hemp neckties, check out National Geographic's The Green Guide and Eco-geek for more green gadget ideas.

Happy Father's Day!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Bob Barker: Animal Activist and Price Is Right Legend Retires

While Bob Barker’s famous calling “come on down” will forever be remembered, his closing message at the end of each showcase showdown for the past 35 years of “don’t forget to get your pets spayed and neutered” is equally consistent. Bob Barker has been making dreams come true for over 3 decades and more importantly bringing animal rights advocacy to the forefront of public awareness. Barker was an activist in Hollywood long before it became the thing to do and has been a vegetarian since 1979. In an interview Barker describes his first involvement:

About 20 years ago I was chairman of Be Kind to Animals Week in LA. I was invited by different organizations to participate in their activities. As I did, I began to become aware of the terrible exploitation of animals in the world and felt compelled to try to rectify the situation. And that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. My wife who died in 1981 had been a vegetarian for years. When I became a vegetarian I gave up red meat and fowl, and gradually fish and dairy products as well. I did it out of concern for animals, but I have certainly learned why so many people are becoming vegetarians out of concern for health reasons. I can control my weight better than before, I feel better, I have more energy, and I think that it is certainly a healthful way of life.

Bob Barker is clearly a man who lives by his convictions and at age 83, his vegetarian lifestyle speaks for itself. He will be missed on the airwaves, but clearly will continue to make waves in the world of animal rights. Farewell Bob!!

Crosspost with ecorazzi

Farmers Markets - What's The Deal?

While farmers markets have existed for a long time, the trend of the market experience is clearly on the rise. Farmers markets are now integral part in the urban/farm linkage and the increased awareness of the effects of organic and local farming on our personal and environmental health. According to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service there are currently 4,385 farmers markets currently operating in the United States, representing a 18 percent increase from 2004.

We took a trip to our local farmers market and discovered the top 10 reasons to shop at the farmers market according to the Center for Uran Education and Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA).

  1. Taste Real Flavors: The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits are allowed to ripen in the field and brought directly to you - no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets -food fresh from the farm.
  2. Enjoy the Season: The food you buy at the farmers market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the farmers market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year.
  3. Support Family Farmers: Family farmers are becoming increasingly rare as large agribusiness farms and ranches steadily take over food production in the U.S. Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today's globalized economy.
  4. Protect the Environment: Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes greatly to pollution and creates excess trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.
  5. Nourish Yourself: Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed. The fresh produce you do find is often grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. In many cases it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. All of these practices have potentially damaging effects on the health of those who eat these foods. In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by building their soil's fertility and giving their crops the nutrients they need to flourish in the ground and nourish those who eat them.
  6. Discover the Spice of Life ~ Variety: At the Farmers Market you find an amazing array of produce that you don't see in your supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, white peaches, stinging nettles, green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, gigande beans, whole pheasants, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience first hand the diversity (and biodiversity) of our planet, both cultivated and wild!
  7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals: At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and been fed natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of so many of their brethren on feedlots.
  8. Know Where Your Food Comes From: A regular trip to a farmers market is one of the best ways to reconnect with where your food comes from. Farmers themselves sell their produce at the farm stands. Meeting and talking to farmers is a great opportunity to learn more about how food is grown, where it is grown, when it is grown, and why! CUESA's "Meet the Producer" program and our Farmer Profiles that hang at the booths give you even more opportunities to learn about the people who work so hard to bring you the most delicious and nutritious food around.
  9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas: Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy, but farmers, ranchers, and vendors at the farmers market are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. They'll give you ideas for what to have for supper, hand out recipes, and troubleshoot your culinary conundrums. At the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, you can attend cooking workshops such as Shop with the Chef - a weekly program featuring seasonal ingredients prepared by leading Bay Area chefs - with free recipes and samples!
  10. Connect with Your Community: Wouldn't you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? Coming to the Farmers Market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The Farmers Market is a community gathering place - a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of our wonderful big city.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Martin Scorsese Directs New American Express TV Spot

n a new television spot, Martin Scorsese directs Andre Agassi, Sheryl Crow, Ellen DeGeneres, Alicia Keys and Shaun White in a unique online initiative called The Members Project that enables American Express Cardmembers to come together as a community by submitting and sharing their project ideas for making a positive impact in the world. The spot features the celebrity cardmembers sharing their ideas on how to make a positive impact in the world. Scorsese even makes a special cameo from behind the camera.

The Members Project, which is a part of American Express’ new brand campaign, “Are You a Cardmember,” highlights the value of being a cardmember and part of the American Express Cardmember community. It provides a forum for cardmembers to rate and discuss project ideas on message boards. Ultimately the community will vote and choose one innovative winning idea that American Express will help bring to life with up to $5 million.

According to the press release:
“Our Cardmembers make up a unique community — one that is highly engaged and passionate — and we know that they care about the world around them,” said Jud Linville, president of American Express Consumer Card Services Group. “Through the unique experience of The Members Project, our community of Cardmembers is pulling together and collectively shaking up the world just a little bit to do some good.”

In a time when green suspicions run high when any big corporation launches a new green or cause related initiative, American Express seems to be sticking to its values and giving the power to the people in this new campaign with the star power to support it.

Crosspost with ecorazzi