Tag Archives: eco

Fresh batch of happyfrog “Pond casts” from the Health Show

You know i dig making my wee little audio documentary interviews and … at the recent Vancouver Health Show at Canada Place, i interviewed four entrepreneurial women for podcasts posted at happyfrog.ca’s Frog blog. Thought i’d share ’em here for posterity:

Know your Local Water
Vancouver has exceptional drinking water but there is many reasons for concern – chlorination, excessive water laws, groundwater protection and finding a filter made for local water. Mary of yourwatermatters.com also invites you to speak your mind by contacting the Ground Water Advisory Board.

Grab a Stylish and Durable Bag
Bringing your own bag is easier, more stylish with Moukisac.com. Marie tells about her durable 6 in 1 bag system which starts as a fanny pack and turns into a shopping bag with a variety of small sacks for bulks, produce and even sprouting.

Dried Fruit for Washing Clothes

Soap Nuts are a fruit for washing clothes – the waste water is non-polluting, the soap packets are compostable and the smell is like lemongrass. The fruits are grown, dried and prepared in India and fairly traded to green consumers in Vancouver. Learn more about Sapindus (aka soap nuts) at Wikipedia

Healthy Food and Packaging to Change the World
At the Vancouver Health Show, Dave talks to Alex a mother and entrepreneur who, with her partner Colin, produce dried whole foods packaged in cellulose, glass and with no glues. They discuss carbon footprint, local sourcing and creative distribution. Visit madewithlove.ca.

B.C. Green Web Community Adds New Ways to Share

Attention BC-based eco-savvy folks, Vancouver-based web community start-up – happyfrog.ca – releases social networking features for green minded enthusiast to share tips and reviews of local businesses and organizations.

In the beginning, happyfrog.ca was created to help green-minded citizens find businesses and organizations which fit their values and displayed the results sorted by proximity to conserve transportation resources.

Then, happyfrog invited the public to add reviews to the thousands of listings, as well as engage in a community Q&A project to share tips and solve problems.

Now, all the frogs can “auto-magically” share their green favourites with the public with Myhappyfrog. Here’s the low-down …

Sharing your eco-smarts

Meet daveo

All registered happyfrog members now automatically have a Myhappyfrog page with a unique address to share with friends.

Once you login to your happyfrog page, you’ll see all the reviews, questions & answers, and blog posts you’ve submitted so far.

To see the new page, just click “Myhappyfrog” on the happyfrog navigation bar – Your personal address looks something like mine: http://happyfrog.ca/user/daveo

Meet the new tools!

Show off your favourites

see my happyfrogYou can add any listing as a “favourite” and share your preferred coffee shop, yoga studio, or market with the public – handy for you and useful for others. Add a badge to your blog or site to let people know about your happyfrog page with all your faves.

Meet new friends

See daveo's friends

Outreach to talented, interesting people seeking to exchange tips, share best practices, or get involved in new activities. Add your pals and see their blog posts and other content right on your happyfrog page.

Write a blog article

Have something to say? Step up and let it out on your happyfrog blog. You’ll have an instant audience, a unique address and RSS feed, and your best stuff will be promoted to the “Frogblog” for even more readers (and accolades).

Share your knowledge

daveo's blogs, reviews and answers

Your brilliantly written reviews, probing questions and wise answers are now grouped together on your personal page to show off your wisdom and show people your contributions for fame and fortune.

Haven’t written anything yet? Getting started is easy – you just need something to say!

Getting Started

Check out the Myhappyfrog help desk with annotated screenshots and step by step instructions to use each of the new tools.

What’s next?

Many “frogs” and listed businesses and groups already have a blog, and some bloggers only write about happyfrog relevant content on occasion, so we are crafting a way to import your feed and display on your Myhappyfrog page or directory listing page.

Also on the list is personal tagging to help finds frogs with similar interests. Stay tuned and of course, we love hearing your opinion.

Thanks for your help

We appreciate your help reporting bugs and oddities so we can make your experience even better. Drop happyfrog a note with your observations and thoughts.

Media: Going green online (Happyfrog) / North Shore News (BC), April 23, 2008

Media: Going green online (Happyfrog) / North Shore News (BC), April 23, 2008

Going green together online – Happy Frog directory helps green businesses connect

by Rosalind Duane
Special To North Shore News
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dave Olson is declaring war on paper coffee cups.

“And this is coming from a guy who loves his coffee and hates remembering to take one of those travel mugs, hates remembering to rinse it out and hates remembering to clean it,” he says.

Olson notes that the switch is on to cloth shopping bags, and organic foods, but paper coffee cups and plastic water bottles still need to be done away with.

Five years ago, Olson, a North Vancouver resident, says he got funny looks when he used his own canvas bag for grocery shopping, but these days, options other than the ubiquitous and environmentally unfriendly plastic bags are popping up all over the place. Similarly, 10 years ago, it was difficult to find fair-trade, organic coffee, but that has also changed.

Along with consumers, businesses both big and small are also paying more attention to sustainable practices. It is getting easier (read cheaper) for companies to change their internal practices to include measures such as office recycling, and to offer incentives to employees to walk to work or carpool.

For the past 10 years, Olson has been working in online marketing and has noticed a definite shift in the way business is being done; even big-box stores are highlighting their “green” features.

“It shows that big companies are following the little companies, which is a real big paradigm shift really because 20 years ago, 10 years ago, that certainly wasn’t the case,” he says.

While working in the business world, Olson has also been taking pictures and writing blogs in support of his passion for the environment. About six months ago, he joined in the creation of an online green business directory called Happy Frog.

He says the opportunity to help develop what he calls a “green community” allowed him to put some structure around the grassroots journalism that he was doing.

“We’re really hosting the community conversation about these green and sustainability minded topics,” he says of the directory, which lists various environmental and sustainable-minded businesses from across the province. While the idea for Happy Frog started out as a directory, it has evolved to include reviews and tips from users, and piece by piece, more interactive elements have been added. Olson and his team have also gathered a group of non-professional writers and photographers to attend the upcoming Epic Sustainable Living Expo and report back to the site with photos, stories and podcasts. He says the website is the “social media partner” for the fair, and he wants to profile vendors that may not otherwise be featured in the mainstream media.

Olson notes that over the years as he has been attending and reporting on wellness fairs as a hobbyist, he has learned that by telling stories and letting people know each other’s points of view a lot of progress can be made.

Letting businesses in on the conversation is another aspect of the directory that Olson is excited about. Once listed in the directory, business owners can access their listing and add their own blog. Olson says beyond regular print ads, the online blogs allow business owners to be “authentic” and tell their story.

Each business chosen to be included on the website has to be B.C.-based and has to fit into one of the Happy Frog categories, which include Arts and Culture, Eco Travel, Food and Beverage, Fashion and Beauty and more. Olson and his team then look at what the company is selling and make sure that the company is at least making an effort toward sustainability practices.

“The other big requirement is that they are willing to say publicly, ‘We’re trying to get better. We’re trying to learn how to be sustainable,'” explains Olson.

He adds that the vendors listed may still have improvements to make, but just because the owners aren’t walking to work and wearing recycled burlap for clothes, the business can still be considered.

“We want to be inclusive and help people make those first couple of critical steps.” Olson says although it’s easy to get cynical about the amount of change that still needs to occur, every little bit helps.

“The little changes beget bigger changes and really snowballs into all of a sudden you find yourself eating organic, shopping with bags, not taking that paper coffee cup, and if we reach a critical mass of people doing that all of a sudden real positive change happens. So it’s really a shift in thinking and habits that starts small and gets bigger,” he explains, adding that his hope for the website is to get people communicating in an authentic, honest manner about environmental issues.

For more information, visit the Happy Frog website at www.happyfrog.ca. © North Shore News 2008

NOTE: Re-posted from North Shore News on Canada.com [archived link] for archival purposes

Green Biz Review contest

Happyfrog is BC eco directoryI’ve found myself a day job with BC eco-business and org directoryhappyfrog.ca.  To generate some reviews,  my colleagues and I fired up a contest to encourage you to share your ideas by submitting reviews of green businesses and organizations in Vancouver and throughout BC.

Deadline: Dec. 20th the clock stops and we draw a random winner for a $500 gift credit to use at any one happyfrog.ca listed business or organization.

Each qualifying review you leave (make them worthwhile eh, don’t spoil the pond) counts as another entry. This means the more you help others with your tips, the more chances to score the frogbucks for whatever reason you choose (well almost anyhow).

tub with view

I have a few ideas (buy a goat for an African village, massage gift certificates, donation to a non-profit group, or perhaps a weekend at a Sunshine Coast B&B), but we happyfroggers also want to hear where you like to shop and what you are buying with sustainability in mind.

More discourse at the frogblog: Review a happyfrog Listing and Win a Prize! on the pros and cons of festive purchases and how to get creative for whatever holiday you are celebrating (or not).


Photo Tour of the Epic Eco trade show for happyfrog, Vancouver, 2007

jorg and olif (add to wishlist)
Stopped by Canada Place here in Vancouver a couple of weeks back for the EPiC show.

A kinda of eco/sustainable goods trade show with free samples of tasty goods, interesting building materials and transportation modes as well as a variety of clothes and household items, speakers, films, exhibits etc.

Pictured a killer jorg & olif dutch city bike (caution Flash site) – the very ones i am always yapping about and talked with on Urban Vancouver podcast #1 – Wellness at Canada Place. I noticed they are moving their storefront (they are in the midst of the Cambie/Canada Line construction chaos. Still staying the SE False Creek Fairview area i do beleive. They also sell some cool bags, baskets and wooden tubs to trick your ride and sharp helmets as well.

some damn fine pyjamasAnyhow, take a look at my photo series of Epic Vancouver 2007. The pics aren’t the finest due to my flaky settings but note also the fine products including Dream Designs kick-a$$ pjs and green hemp shirt (add both to my wishlist ;-)) and crazy bath bombs from Lush.

vogs for dogs

bath nutrients

hemp shirt - yes please!

f*@k plastic (dedicated to san francisco)

defeat the evil robots

cob house building requires some dancing

and remember … building cob (mud and straw) houses requires some dancing.