After recalling beach camp-outs, rainy days and salmon feasts, Uncle Weed finds out commercial water usage is banned in Tofino and closing down for the tourist operations for the busy weekend ~ thusly he sets out on the trail from Half Moon Bay to Wickaninnish Bay to discover what’s up.
Includes riffs and spiels about local geography, traveler accommodations like zimmers, campgrounds, resorts, park concessionaires, permits, beach access, war memorial plaques, low impact tourism, priorities, RVs, parking tickets, municipal investment, float planes, coffee shops, boat docks and surf breaks, roaming bears, and shipwrecks in Florencia Bay.
Out on a trail, Uncle Weed shares a few lessons learned bearing witness to the blockade lines including thoughts about non-violence and pacifism, importance of respecting others, and the common desire for trees which the ecologists and workers unwittingly share.
Plus discourse on ways to replace economic gains from industrial logging with value-added finished products and alternative sources of pulp and fiber including hemp.
Arriving at a campground between the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet, Uncle Weed sets out to explore the west coast’s unique environment and offer discourse on natural resource-based and tourism-based economies starting with recollections from the noted logging protests in the early 1990s with comments about blockade logistics from early morning pick-up trucks rides to posting bail to jangling guitars.
Introducing a series of explorations and soliloquies from the Clayoquot Sound area on the west coast of Vancouver Island during a summertime water outage in the midst of a temperate rainforest. While figuring out what happened, Uncle Weed recollects the tense logging blockades in early 1990s and compares current conditions through lens of deep ecology and sustainable development practices.
Throughout this 9 part series, he wanders the region and examines the tension between fishing, logging and tourism industries then adds ideas on promoting the economy while protecting the environment along with spiels on clearcuts, salmon, camping espresso, user fees and flak jackets.
What happens when a happy frog and a pod of whales get together to change the world? Vancouver, Canada-based, green web companies 3rdWhale.com and happyfrog.ca announced an equity merger with plans to grow globally with the goal of helping eco-minded consumers make informed choices in all aspects of their lifestyle – from organic food to eco-travel.
Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) November 12, 2008 — Vancouver Canada-based, green web companies 3rd Whale and happyfrog.ca announced an equity merger and plans to grow globally under the 3rd Whale name.
The merger combines 3rd Whale’s location-based mobile phone application with happyfrog.ca’s rich “web 2.0” platform providing green consumers with cross-platform tools to find values-aligned businesses. By using the company’s next generation mobile and web tools, participants can easily share their eco-smarts by adding business reviews, blog posts, and mentoring programs to help others reduce their eco-footprint.
3rd Whale is best known for the “Greenest Person in the World” contest which generated media exposure from Venezuela to Germany. 3rd Whale is the brainchild of Boyd Cohen, who holds a Ph. D in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and is an Assistant Professor at British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University. The company recently opened an office in Sunnyvale, California and is actively adding members to the executive team and meeting with venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.
Dr. Cohen, CEO, points out, “By combining happyfrog’s expertise in web delivery of green business listings, and related community engagement, with the growing global brand of 3rdwhale.com and our mobile application, we are poised to initiate truly global change.”
In just over a year, happyfrog.ca grew into the definitive directory for finding environmental and wellness focused businesses and organizations in B.C. Happyfrog’s platform also gave a voice to bloggers and the public to share their opinions about favorite businesses from yoga to sushi with the Myhappyfrog social networking platform.
Happyfrog’s “Frog squad” of bloggers and podcasters were visible at eco-trade shows and conferences, including EPIC Sustainable Living Expo at Canada Place, resulting in tremendous exposure for the businesses and organizations showing real environmental leadership.
Founded by independent media veteran Ron Williams, happyfrog was built and launched by Webby-nominated consulting firm, Social Signal (known for Change Everything, BCHydro Green Gifts).
Williams, now President of 3rd Whale, expressed his excitement with the merger saying, “When I first dreamed of creating happyfrog.ca, I knew partnering with values and technology-aligned companies would be the key to scaling to a larger base. Upon meeting the 3rd Whale team, I knew we’d found a great fit to bring our local prototype to a worldwide audience.”
3rd Whale’s mobile application (called Luna) is in public beta for iPhone and on track for general release on Nov. 14th followed by versions for the Google Android and RIM Blackberry platforms. The happyfrog.ca site will be re-imagined and re-branded as 3rdwhale.com and tens of thousands of new entries will be added in conjunction with subsequent rolling launches in new markets worldwide.
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.
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.
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
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
You 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
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
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!
Check out the Myhappyfrog help desk with annotated screenshots and step by step instructions to use each of the new tools.
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.
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.