Saturday, January 31, 2009

Brief blog about HUGS 'n present and future giveaways...

I don't normally blog on Saturdays but Friday was a bit frantically busy... A.k.a., I didn't get a chance 0:)

And well as I thoroughly enjoy blogging, even if just briefly, I thought I'd remind you all today is your last chance to participate in my January Giveaway.  I'm already eagerly brainstorming my Feb Giveaway!  In fact, I am pretty certain I already know what I am going to giveaway, and it's going to be something from the new 2009 Collection... Be sure to come back next week to check it out!

Lastly, I've seen FREE HUGS campaigns before, most memorably in Paris in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame... Sending you a hug wherever you are ;)

Bon Weekend!  Happy Weekend!

PS - I got three pretty spring/summer dresses (halter) from the Preloved Sample/Warehouse Sale, each $10!  I think I'm going to give one to my little sister ;)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My love for Preloved

It's the last day of the Preloved Annual Sample & Warehouse Sale. I got a reminder in my inbox last night: "Everything is already at least $10 less than before" And considering that "Everything $10, $20, $30, $40 or $50!!" that quite literally could mean it's a steal. Hehe ;D

So it's 11:33am, and I happen to be snow-trekking distance from the sale this very moment. Guess where I'm off to? Am on a super tight budget these days, so this type of sale is just what I need! I'll be sure to show off any purchases if I make any ;)

Oooh, speaking of waiting to the last minute... Only 3 days left till my January Giveaway ends. Get those entries in, if you haven't already ;D

And with all that said and done, I located a YouTube video of a Preloved Fall Fashion Show from 2006 I will leave you with. I should warn you, the video's zooming can make you dizzy as, in seriously nauseated. I couldn't watch the whole thing... But if you watch the first few seconds you get an idea of Preloved's fabulous ecoSUAVE designs!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Eat bananas backwards

Originally uploaded by bocavermelha-l.b.

Happy Hump Day! Please excuse my absence yesterday. It's winter and with winter comes colds and flu and I was feeling under the weather. 'Nough excuses... I'm back :)

A January Giveaway entrant told me about ecoSUAVE 2009 yesterday. ecoSUAVE is a "party with purpose" in Toronto next month. Thank you to the awesome Anonymous commenter for telling me about the event to "raise awareness "for health local food production." Click on the banner below or here for more info. I may be attending a retreat that weekend, if not I'll definitely be there. I certainly like to consider myself "effortlessly gracious and green in a social manner!" ;)

As I just happended to purchase bananas and other fruits at Kensington Market yesterday evening... Therefore found this tidbit very handy... "Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off it. That's how the primates do it. Also, take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster." - from an email forward from my Uncle M.

That's it for now... If you're in Toronto or an equally snowy locale... Enjoy the snow. There's lots! Oh and I say treat yourself to some homemade hot cocoa with tons of marshmellows on top!


Monday, January 26, 2009

From Rice Terraces to Husks to Light.

Is it really the last week of January? Wow, time sure flies by. Only one more week to participate in this month's Giveaway.

How was your weekend? I was feeling under the weather, and spent most of my time in bed... Which makes the following stupendous video seem very appropriate. Although it sure looks like this girl's dreams were a whole lot more exciting than mine!

My little sister, Ticia shared the above video with me. And speaking of Ticia, it turns out she mentioned in me in a recent vlog of hers! Check it out below.

And finally, speaking of family... My mum's recent Facebook status (yes, my dear mother is on Facebook) revealed that a Mr. Alexis Belonio is a recipient of of the 2008 Rolex Awards for Enterprise. Mr. Belonio is the first Filipino Associate Laureate to win Rolex's award recognizing "pioneering projects that demonstrate innovative thought and contribute to the betterment of humankind."

Turning waste into fuel, "Alexis Belonio has produced a simple, gas-fired stove powered by rice husks, one of Asian's most abundant farm wastes." My folks had the pleasure of meeting Alexis and his wife, and according to my mum, "His wife and he are so nice and cerebral yet very low-key." There's a great video explaining Belonio's award-winning work here. I'd have embedded it if I could.

I must admit, I was particularly excited to hear about this project since, I suspect the reason my parents had the pleasure of meeting the Associate Laureate was because my dad's work is along similar lines. Affectionately referred to as "the fart machine" by his children, my dad designed a small-scale biodigester a few years back. Another time, I'll have to tell you more. For now, in a nutshell, systems that turn waste into renewable energy, ie., biodigesters are large, my dad's design is small and can be used by small to medium sized farms.

Well that's it for now. Here's to making an ecoDifference big or small!


Friday, January 23, 2009

From your OJ to your wrist watch... Reducing your carbon footprint

When I came across a NYTimes article entitled "How Green Is My Orange?" I couldn't help but want to click to read. After all, for the last few weeks I have been diligently buying big juicy oranges and making freshly squeezed OJ with my lovely ceramic juicer from my dear friend Janet --pictured above - the juicer not Janet ;)

The article refers to PepsiCo's recent concern on "How much does your morning glass of orange juice contribute to global warning?" Turns out, "3.75 pounds of carbon dioxide are emitted to the atmosphere for each half-gallon carton of orange juice." The question is, will PepsiCo start marketing this fact, and print it directly on their packaging. Do consumers care? What do you think?

I certainly do take an active mental note of packaging when I go shopping. I carry around my colourful patterned canvas bags to avoid plastic, but would I read the number of carbon dioxide units on a box? I care about eating healthy, but I don't calorie count. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

From reading carbon dioxide emissions on consumer products to, outright erasing your carbon footprint completely by simply wearing a wrist watch. Check out the eECO2 personal carbon dioxide scrubber by James Kershaw and Chad Garn. Featured at Yanko Design, "the system looks at capturing directly from the air and making it cleaner" while also telling time.

Would you wear it?

Seeing as I managed to require repair for my new wrist watch I got for Christmas already... I would! :-o

Well that's it for now. Bon weekend! Happy weekend!

xo, ej

PS - Until I figure out how to create a web widget to the left to announce current giveaways... Here's my January Giveaway, only 8 more days left!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Don't mess with karma..."

Do you recall when I blogged about the man who tried to pay a bill with a spider...? Which in turn prompted Thrive (Thanks again Thrive!) to introduce me to, a brilliantly funny website. Well last night I came across a Don't mess with karma YouTube ad, that of course I had to post...

A little extreme perhaps in its message... But I can't deny, it definitely made me laugh out loud!

The ad was next to an article in GreenMuze about a Climate Change Rug by Mexican design collection NEL and green rug company Nanimarquina..

Along the same lines of "Nuage Vert" the rug is an art piece meant to be an "invitation to reflect on the contemporary world around us. The loneliness of a small polar bear surrounded by nothing communicates the urgency of the message. Global warming is a proposition of hope; the potential for a better future, a possible world.”

Here's to not just the potential but a better future exclamation mark! Oh and of course always being aware of karma ;) You certainly wouldn't want this to happen to you...



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Onwards, Upwards and therefore looking up and seeing GREEN!

I trust we can all agree that was quite the speech by 44th American President Barack Obama yesterday. I happened to be at a community college library at noon, in awe of the history unfolding before me on a large projected screen of live CNN streaming video. "I suppose this is your Man walking on the Moon," said a woman to me. I nodded and replied with a big smile.

Now it's onwards and upwards we go. And if I were living in Helsinki (last year anyway), I'd be looking up at le Nuage Vert, the "Green Cloud" by French art duo Hehe (Helen Evans and Heiki Hansen).

Featured on inhabitat, "HeHe installed a Nuage Vert, or “Green Cloud”, across the skies of Helsinki. The installation used laser tracking to project a green illumination onto the chimney emissions of the Salmisaari power plant. The illumination adjusts its shape and size to the contours of the vapor, reflecting the electrical consumption of residents in Ruoholahti and neighboring Lauttasaari."

Click here for the full article. What an incredible art piece... Or as the French say "incroyable!" Apparently during the week long installation, local residents were encouraged to consume less. Incredible and inspiring to say the least...

Just as inspiring as your ecoResolutions as part of my January Giveaway. 30+ comments to day! That's a third more than my first Giveaway... Yay! Thanks everyone, and remember I'm running it till the end of the month... So please encourage your friends to share their ecoResolutions!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations America! Congratulations Obama! Yay Everyone!

It seemed only appropriate to use this graphic once again, designed by Carolyn Gavin and tweaked with Congratulations by me :)

I'd never seen this video until last night, and I gotta say, even post-Election, inauguration day, still a great watch...

Happy New US President Day!
I'll certainly be watching this momentous occasion in history at noon.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Inauguration Eve Day!

Without a doubt, all eyes will be on Washington, DC tomorrow for the historic inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama.

I just found out that Barnes and Noble recently ordered a special Ecojot journal "Hope Believe Dream" to be available at all stores in recognition to the big event. As Mark Gavin of Ecojot put it, "It's a very exciting time in history, and we are thrilled to be involved our own small way."

I must admit, I am a tad jealous of all my dear Facebook friends whose statuses state they will be in DC for this momentous occasion. I suppose all I can say is take lots of pictures, and looking forward to the accompanying stories.

On a completely unrelated note, my Uncle Matt, who rarely sends me cute forwards, apparently could not resist sending me this video. I thought it would be an excellent Monday morning watch. You be the judge...

Watch CBS Videos Online

PS - And of course, just in case, you haven't yet already... Please check out my January Giveaway. Only 12 more days left, and I must say each time I receive an entry I am inspired knowing how you're doing your part to be eco-conscious ;)

Friday, January 16, 2009

From Homeless Chateau to a Box of Tricks

As I am new to GreenMuze, I excitedly visited the website last night to see what fascinating things I would discover. My quickly caught a feature on The Homeless Chateau by nomadic artist James Westwater.

The Homeless Chateau is "a 4ft x 8ft x 4ft small dwelling made from FSC certified and recycled materials, which makes a provocative statement on the need to reclaim small spaces."

After living in a 120 square foot then-girlfriend-now-wife and three dogs, Westwater began wondering how small could one go with a house. Before long, he was inspired to build a Plywood Chateau he nicknamed Chateau for the Homeless Artist in his garden. He would invite people to stay in it, as in an artists' residency program. As he put it, "I guessed it would be smallest live/work residency in the country." With homelessness a genuine concern, it's a thought provoking art piece to say the very least. Read the full interview here.

From GreenMuze, I found myself on my favourite source for news and intriguing info, the NYTimes where on the very topic of small architecture, I came across "24 Rooms Tucked Into One." What architect Gary Chang dubs the "Domestic Transformer" is literally a 344-square-foot Hong Kong apartment he renovated last year capable of 24 different layouts.

"The allusion to toy robots seems apt, given the science-fiction quality of the color scheme -mostly black and silver, washed in eerie yellow light."

Just the pictures are worth a look. Click here for a slide show referring to the apartment as a "Box of Tricks."

Would love to know what you think of these small spaces... And if you're new to the site, comment on this January Giveaway post for your chance to win an ecoAgenda if you haven't already ;)

Well that's it for now. Happy Friday!

xo, ej

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sending solar energy via snail mail.

I signed on to Facebook to discover two of my friends had posted the video below to share. Granted, they know each other and one of them may have imitated the other. Regardless, it is as its title suggests "smart and funny."

I must admit, with my enormous love for YouTube. I'm not even sure how many videos I've shared thus far... I am more and more convinced February's Giveaway will involve video somehow. What do you say? Game?

Seeing as I will frequently watch videos on my iPod touch, the "World's First Solar Postcard by HYmini" featured by ecofriend caught my eye. Apparently, the "handheld battery generates enough power to keep your iPod alive for 20 minutes, provided you’ve charged it fully. It comes with USB adapter tips for handheld devices."

Granted 20 minutes isn't long, but if you've got a nano... According to greenmuze, "the miniNOTE can fully charge an iPod Nano or charge your cell phone battery half way." What an excellent alternative to a conventional charger. I suspect it would be particularly handy when traveling. No need for plug converters just sunshine!

xo, ej

PS - January Giveaway open until the end of the month! Check it out if you haven't yet already ;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wow Inspiring Wednesday

So I have to admit, I am thrilled to see so many ecoResolutions posted in response to my January Giveaway. What an inspiration to see so many of you committed to giving back to our planet.

It's particularly inspiring to know that the desire to be eco-friendly encourages innovation and innovation encourages eco-friendliness.

What I clung to most in a recent NYTimes article "Design Loves a Depression," is the hope that the better design will result not only in more affordable, "but packaging and other everyday objects to be designed specifically for recycling so that their parts and materials are used and reused without waste."

From Eco•font, which *~Jackie~* mentioned and I touched upon on in a previous post, to low power radio technology.... There are exciting eco-innovations abound!

My Uncle Matt was kind enough to forward this article to me, "Low power radio technology means no more remote control batteries," that I somehow missed on DVice. Apparently
"Not only does this technology [by Green Peak] enable better remote controls - they'll work through walls up to nearly a hundred feet away - but could help eliminate the 8 billion dead remote control AA and AAA batteries that are tossed into the garbage each year."
If you hear of an exciting eco-innovation, please do share. Thanks for stopping by :)


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Marry Me Tuesday

This afternoon I discovered the ytscreeningroom. For someone who spends an awful lot of time on YouTube, you'd think I'd found it sooner. I stumbled in to the screening room intrigued by the featured video "how to say i love you," but was more fond of "Marry Me" -the first YouTube video I finally figured out how to embed! Yay!

Perhaps I am a typical girl, being drawn to such titles. However, if you're indeed of a video Tuesday treat... The description says it all...
"Little girl likes little boy. Little boy likes BMX bike. Something has to give."
Enjoy. Happy Tuesday!


PS - Special Greetings to new readers, especially those who recently received my new years' greeting. January Giveaway info available here. Welcome and thank you for stopping by.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New buds to welcome you into each month...?

All this talk about ecoResolutions got me thinking about calendars, not just agendas... When I came across the Plantable Eco Calendar at I agree with ecofriend, it's still a bit on the pricey end for $19.99 ($24.95 on the manufacturer's site!) but a great concept... How lovely would be to have new buds to welcome you into each month through the year?

Speaking of innovative ideas... How about a wrist-phone? Not quite Dick Tracy's, and honestly, not sure if it's for me... Especially if when they say "disposable" they mean intended to be used one and then thrown away rather than readily available. I am obviously anti-disposable and pro-reuse, with the few exceptions... Like Kleenex!

However since the design is pretty sleek (or rather appears to be) I had to mention LG's Wrist Phone by Shirley A. Roberts featured on What do you think?
Thank you to all those who've participated thus far in January's Giveaway. Am so happy to see so many of you resolved to make an ecoDifference in '09! Please help spread the word... Tell your friends!

Happy Monday! Bon Lundi !


Friday, January 9, 2009

January Giveaway

A new year usually means a new year's resolution or two or more... Which got me thinking what is my eco-resolution for the new year?

Gerard (my electrical engineering of an older brother) pointed out that what we frequently forget is that although an electronic device is turned "off," it is still using energy. As obvious as this may be, the best way to ensure an item is not using energy is when it is unplugged. Therefore my 2009 eco-resolution is to remember this. I will limit recharging my cellphone, laptop, digicam, etc. to during the day, instead of before bed so I can monitor when it's done charging and then unplug.

What's your new year's eco-resolution? Perhaps it's something you already do, but minimally and now want to do completely... Perhaps it's related to the eco-factoid you shared to win last month's contest... Whatever it may be, please share it as a a comment below as your entry to my January Giveaway!

The winner will receive an ecoAgenda to help you keep track of all your important dates in 2009 and a complimenting 3x4" pocket notebook. ecoAgendas are perpetual which means you fill out the month and days, so they can start the moment you receive your prize!

January's Giveaway will run until Sunday, January 25, 2009, 11:59pm. I will announce the winner the week of January 26 to 30. Again, unfortunately winners are limited to residents of Canada and the US, but please don't keep that from sharing your eco-resolutions if you live abroad :)

Happy Friday! Bon weekend ! Looking forward to hearing your eco-resolution!


PS - designerjots has extended her January Giveaway till Monday, January 12. Check it out for your chance to win 4 packs of ecoCards.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ecosavvying instead of Greenwashing

Today's "Did you know Ecojot..." card is brought to you by the colour olive-green, and the letter K for Kermit the frog.

As today's card mentions "It's simply not good enough to be green anymore. Today, every company, whether truthfully or not, claims to be as a green as Kermit the frog. Ecojot walks the talk and more..."

Do you agree? Have you heard the term "greenwashing?" Apparently the term was coined by a suburban NY environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986 in response to the hotel industry's practice of encouraging hotel guests to reuse their towels to "save the environment." We all know the cards. Westerveld wrote that, in most cases, little or no effort was being made to actually recycle, mainly because there were no cost-cutting benefits.

In my opinion, when it comes down to a few simple, but not always easy things.....
  • Honest marketing campaigns from companies.
  • Being well-informed consumers (or as I prefer eco-savviests); and
  • Balance. We all consume products. We can't just stop. And I certainly doesn't always buy green, but we can make more conscious choices.
So on that note, and because they happen to be one of my favourite Canadian designers... Preloved is having their Annual Sample & Warehouse Sale from January 26 to 29 at 24 Ryerson Avenue, Toronto. Are you familiar with Preloved?

Click on the images above or below to be directed to their website. "Preloved creates one of a kind clothing from reclaimed vintage fabrics." My favourite piece is a black strapless dress made out of trench coats, of which I get frequent compliments! Perhaps I'll see you at the sale...

That's it for now. Tomorrow I'll be announcing my January Giveaway...


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

May you dance in to happiness today...

Although I am hoping you already also read designerjots, if not, just a little note to let you know Carolyn has posted her January Giveaway today! And it's only until this Thursday (as in tomorrow), so go quick! She's giving away 4 packs of Ecojot's new notecards. As I am still deciding on an idea, mine will be later this week... Perhaps Friday before the week is out?

So I was on YouTube this morning. Yes, I am one of those people who can spend hours on end procrastinating on YouTube 0; ) I was searching for the Happy Dance video. Do you know it? No fellow Canadians, I am not referring to the Lotto649 Happy Dance advert. I am referring to Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) which I prefer to call the Happy Dance video. Check it out below. As always just click on the image to view. One of these days I'll figure out how to embed a YouTube video!

And below here is Fifty People, One Question | Short Film that is among YouTube's featured videos today that I thought worth mentioning.

I am so fond of YouTube that I am brainstorming away to incorporate a video giveaway / contest. Don't worry that won't be this month ;) Let me know if you have any ideas though.

May you dance in to happiness today... Wherever in the world you may be :) xo, ej

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

And the December Giveaway Winner is...

Since I happened to be visiting Ecojot's headquarters and designer Carolyn Gavin was in, I decided to take the opportunity to pick out my first Giveaway winner. I guarantee there will be many throughout the year! I wrote down all participants names, including those who emailed me entries :) and placed them in my winter hat (known as a toque here in Canada). Carolyn was kind enough to assist... And the December Giveaway Winner is...

Larry, who shared the following eco-factoid:

"For every tonne of newspaper's that are recycled, 17 trees are saved."

Thanks Larry. And thank you to all participants! Please watch out, maybe even as early as tomorrow for January's chance to win. The Giveaway will be another new Ecojot product! Also, visit Carolyn's site for a second chance to win soon... She also holds monthly giveaways :D


Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy 2009! "Enjoy the Show!"

As promised, I am continuing to share my Did you know Ecojot cards... Today's card is brought you by the colour "Robin Egg Blue" (according to Wikipedia's handy Shades of Cyan and the number 7 (because Lily happens to be 7... See card). I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about Ecojot designer Carolyn Gavin.


I wanted to start the year with a mélange of different media, and so below two videos. Just click on the images to watch the videos.

The first, a little on the overly sweet side, I may actually like Marie Digby's "Say It Again" video more for its concept and paper props than the song itself.

The second, also on the sweet side, Lenka's "The Show" seemed very apropos for the new year... "Official" version below. My preferred original video here.

"I'm just a little bit caught in the middle.
Life is a maze and love is a riddle.
I dont know where to go.
I can't do it alone, I've tried,
and I don't know why.
I know I've got to let it go,
and just enjoy the show"
Lastly, from print to video and then video to print... Came across a great article in the New York Time's Week in Review: Design Loves a Depression by Michael Cannell. As the article states, "Design tends to thrive in hard times." However, what Cannell touches on is whether "today's designers [will] rise to the occasion" to design not just affordable products, but efficient long-lasting, waste-reducing design.... I certainly hope so!

Here's to enjoying the show and an exciting 2009 ahead!

PS - December Giveaway winner to be announced this week, perhaps tomorrow, or Wednesday... Remember to keep an eye or two out ;)



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