April 21, 2009
HOLLYWOOD (RPRN)04/21/09 - With this year's Earth Day ’09, many people find their minds wandering to thoughts tinged with green.In the face of what may seem to be a daily deluge of bad environmental news, a certain sense of helpless blues edging out the agreeable green in one’s mind can be expected. It can be hard to see what effect any one person can have on the problem.
Fortunately, it appears that a new breed of entrepreneurs is taking up the challenge presented by the environment’s degradation. Thanks to these individuals, consumers now have an ever-broadening choice, especially on-line, of shops providing green products - allowing instant-activism with a click of the mouse.
Small business myEARTH360.com founder Lynn Hasselberger is one such person who decided to get over the malaise and get to work on making her world better.
The catalyst in her case, as with many new environmental activists, came in the person of her son. Hasselberger, a self-described “mom with a passion for the environment and all living things”, came face to face with what she deems “the epicenter of the problem” when confronted with the culture of consumption being practiced at her son’s elementary school.
“I was shocked by the over consumption - cases of bottled water in parents' trunks, refrigerators packed with plastic-bottled Gatorade - and the school requisite that kids bring a bottle of water to school every day. I figured out that in the U.S. alone, we toss enough water bottles out to circle the equator every 2.9 days”, says Hasselberger. However, once she got over the shock, she got to work.
Even Hollywood wants in on the eco-action. The growing cache of eco-products is attested to by the annual “Earth Day in Hollywood” gift bag promotion by Distinctive Assets, in which myEARTH360 is participating. This earth day, an inspiring list of 25 eco-conscious celebrities will be the lucky recipients of a variety of products hand-chosen and vetted by Hasselberger and her family, running the gamut from decadent (organic raw vegan chocolates) to sentimental (the “I Count on my EARTH” Bookmark, a love poem to the earth from a kid’s respective).
And so, thanks to one individual woman’s mix of activism with entrepreneurship, celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio, Heather Graham, Justin Timberlake, Jake Gyllenhaal, Pink, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Eva Longoria, Tobey Maguire, Drew Barrymore, Ellen DeGeneres, Kathy Griffin, Tyra Banks, Bette Midler, Sting, Rosario Dawson, Tina Fey, Alicia Silverstone, Ricky Martin, Courteney Cox and others will continue their work as Hollywood’s green ambassadors with a broad cross-section of eco-friendly goods that would not have been available a year before.
Now, what began with a personal investment in custom-designed reusable water bottles to fill a needed niche and inspire the young minds of her son’s school, has flourished into a burgeoning eco-business. Hasselberger’s passion has been transformed into a retail site that “carries everything from the eco-practical to the eco-chic”, or as she also puts it, “If it doesn't help one to reduce, reuse and/or recycle, you won't find it on the website”.
Of course, not all businesses providing green alternatives to consumers are simply green companies. Some on-line retailers, such as dorothylee.com (an imprintable apparel and accessories site) and Kaboose.com (a site for all things Parent), are now offering green lines of products to augment their regular inventory. The more consumers demand enviro-friendly products, the more they are being supplied.
With the growing potential for on-line consumer activism, the chance to get past one’s sense of helplessness and make a positive choice for the environment is greater than ever before. Who knows, it could even inspire someone to create their own eco-niche. With all the alternatives available, that one person who makes a difference could be all of us.
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