Tag Archives: vancouver

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

Car Free Choogle, a musical wandering – Choogle On! #68

Car Free Choogle – a musical wandering – Choogle on #68
Car Free Choogle, a musical wandering – Choogle On! #68

Aside a rushing creek under evergreen canopy smoking OG Kush, Uncle Weed recounts BC camping trips, summer leisure plans, and describes the wonders of the Vancouver Car Free Festival including Portuguese salted sardines, Grateful Dead cover band, drum circles, poets, activists and dancers galore, before embarking on an auditory space cruise through Commercial Drive and Main st. 

Edited/produced by Bread – Best w/ headphones! Mount your iron steed for Car Free Choogle ~ a musical wandering – Choogle on #68 (.mp3, 25:06, 23MB)

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Toking and Traveling in Nippon – Choogle On! #67

Toking and Traveling in Nippon – Choogle On! #67
Toking and Traveling in Nippon – Choogle On! #67

From a new backporch high on the mountain slopes, Uncle Weed talks about his collections of t-shirts and lighters and long-ago trips to Japan – then discusses stoner culture, legal penalties, and travel observations with a Japanese cannabis enthusiast who tells his favourite strains, how he met ganja in Japan, compares Vancouver and Amsterdam, and documents the many strains of BC bud enjoyed on his visit while eating curry rice.

Pack your satchel for Toking and Traveling in Nippon – Choogle on #67 (.mp3, 21:27, 20MB) Continue reading Toking and Traveling in Nippon – Choogle On! #67

Post-apocalyptic Skunks and Fevers – Postcard #54

Post-apocalyptic Skunks and Fevers

From a skunk-scented perch along Mosquito Creek, Dave spiels about feverish dreams in a Mexican clinic, personal archeology, mirages about the Wonder Hotel, and reads verse about late trains, dammed rivers, watching ships, and men in white coats walking past.

Take your vitamins for: Post-apocalyptic Skunks and Fevers – Postcard #54 (128k mp3, 16:35, 15MB)

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Howling at Land and Sea – Postcards #53

Howling at Land and SeaVisiting the Woodshop on Steamboat Island amidst hayfever and national holidays, Dave and Wm. Lenker exchange spontaneous musical freeverse tales of Pennsylvania, Agana Harbour (Guam), Jericho Beach (Vancouver), and Lake Crescent (Washington) while wounded Samson howls along.

Weigh anchor for: Howling at Land and Sea – Postcard #53 (128k mp3, 17:51, 16MB)

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Blues Bands Playing at Car Show in New Westminster

A few wee bits of footage from some blues bands playing in New Westminster as part of a Car show… July 13th 2008.

Return of Uncleweed – Bonus Choogle On via Clubside Breakfast Time

Return of Uncleweed – Bonus Choogle On via Clubside Breakfast Time
Return of Uncleweed – Bonus Choogle On via Clubside Breakfast Time

Uncleweed and Cosmo sit around the Fishbowl Tavern in Olympia, Washington and talk of political fortitude, Olympia garage rock, and play some groovy tunes, from SubPop and Reap and Sow Records. Ya Dig? Plus anecdotes form SXSW (Billy Bragg, Pasties) and plans for civil liberty edu-tainment. 

Get yer own beer for: Clubside Breakfast Time Episode 61 – The Return of Uncleweed

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Trainspotting: CP Classic on the Gastown Rails

Tis no secret i enjoy trains and would ride trains everywhere given a choice of trains, planes and automobiles. I noticed this noble Canadian Pacific train idling on the tracks by Waterfront station. I snapped some identification shots to find out the story from a transportation veteran like Stephen Rees.

My biggest question is: Can i ride this Halifax? Really, how do i get aboard with a berth and permanent seat in the bar car? Who’s running this train?

CP Train in Gastown CP Train in Gastown CP Train in Gastown CP Train in Gastown CP Train in Gastown

This train looks to be from the era of the Trans-Continental Pop Festival’s fabled “Festival Express” train from the legendary train+alcohol+LSD-powered cross-Canada tour of counter-culture bands (Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band) in 1970. I’d love to recreate that trip!

Side note: here’s how the tour went down:

Concert dates

Shared with Flock – The Social Web Browser
http://flock.com

Chris Anderson Talks about Free + Long Tail – Vidfest, Vancouver, 2008

Chris Anderson speaks at a conference
Chris Anderson speaks at a conference (different than this talk) photo by Dave

Noted thinker and authour Chris Anderson – also Wired editor-in-chief – speaks about (then new) book Free and the important of sharing ideas widely when the incremental cost is negligible – as well the “power law” of the long tail and how applies to technology, culture, marketing, and life. Recorded at Vidfest, in Vancouver, Canada on May 23, 2008 and released as Raincity Radio podcast.

Listen freely: Chris Anderson Talks about Free + Long Tail (57:00, 192k .mp3, 77MB via Internet Archive)

Dave and Roland Talks Social Event at New Town Bakery

Dave O and Roland Tanglao riff about social media conference and events while enjoying some Cantonese style grub. Topics include: Northern Voice, Open Web and other upcoming Social Media events.