Eco Parties and Eco Swag – A Love Made for the Movies

From the indie film world of the Sundance Film Festival to the prestige of the Academy Awards, green is the color…no, not the funds involved in making movies. Green is the color of the eco-friendly gifting at the 2014 Eco Hideaway Park City and the 2014 Eco Oscars Beverly Hills. Both hosted by producer Debbie Durkin, these premier events offer great food, drink, music and celebrity gifting – along with a decidedly eco-friendly bent.
No snow fell on Park City, Utah at the 30th Anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival’s stellar independent movie mecca. The Eco Hideaway was a part of the celebration. Held right on downtown’s Main Street, there were three days of gifting, featuring thirty plus live musical acts, a Whole Foods sponsored elegant snack table buffet, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka – drinks from a classic Bloody Mary to OJ + Vodka were sipped by attendees who browsed and gifted some great items at this third floor loft space.

Favorite vendors included the ultra soft, beautiful fabrics of Minky Couture. Designer blankets, pet blankets, and lush scarves were the order of the day. Ultimate coveted design: a black sequined throat scarf that was warm, plush, soft, and sexy. Complimenting these fine fabrics were the stunning naturally sourced handcrafted jewelry by trend setting Dallas based designer Deborah Gaspar. Citrine, sterling silver, snakeskin, mixed metals, pearls – these thick bracelets, eye galvanizing necklaces, and stunning earrings were made for the Sundance scene. Totally original jewelry designs that go outside the box – a good match with outside the box film makers.

The Marisa Kenson Collection continued to stun the celebrity scene with innovative designs and unusual fabrics, with resort wear and evening wear that’s already a favorite of stars like Katy Perry. The one of a kind clothing line is supplemented by a new fashion mate, the Youngevity MK make up collection. Sensuous colors created from organic minerals give a fashion forward flair to eco-friendly make up. Other ecologically sound sources on hand included The Spa at Stein Eriksen Lodge, renowned for it’s spa treatments and service, as well as custom product lines, and Under Canvas glamping destinations – luxurious vacation camping where you won’t have to raise a well-groomed pinky finger to set up a tent. Celeb sightings were in abundance from Jason Schwartzman (whose acerbic dark comedy Listen Up, Phillip was drawing laughing crowds) to Patricia Arquette, whose stand-out performance in twelve-years-in-the-making feature Boyhood deserved a little sweet, green swag.

While the streets remained swept of snow at Sundance this year, in Los Angeles, rain fell up to the final Oscar countdown, and the Eco Oscars were not immune to deluge. But with a complimentary valet right outside the door to the event’s location at the Bar 210 in the Beverly Hilton Hotel, guests were kept dry from the downpour. Once inside the venue, a world of rich plum pillows and couches, glowing golden lamps, and a beautiful buffet and bar transported guests from a rainy day in LA to some exotic Casbah, one packed with beautiful green friendly products and green friendly causes.

Pet lovers took note of the Canine and Feline Caviar foods and treats on hand. This burgeoning, organic pet care company offers wet, dry, and treat items all with a careful food pH balance developed to improve pet life quality, creating more oxygen in a dog or cat’s blood stream. Canine Caviar is the only alkaline-based pet food designed to reduce the risk of getting cancer, and the company supports the Canine Caviar Cancer Research Foundation, which provides research in pet cancer and cancer education. With new glamorous evening wear on tap, and a beautiful makeup collection, Youngevity, the Marisa Kenson – MK Collaborative Makeup and designer clothing was a delight to sample. Eye shadows in sparkling Champagne and Smoky Grey, beautiful blushes, and a full palette of lip-wear were stand-outs in a line of organic, toxin free mineral makeups good for the skin and the environment.

This socially conscious luxury lounge celebrated other fine sustainable products too including BULA LIFE spf coverage ski and sun wear, Will Leather Goods classic carry alls, and stunning hand painted silk scarves from LA based boutique LA + Jo. L’Arganium 100% organic Argan Oil, an all natural beauty product that strengthens and sustains skin with oils, lotions, and more was another must-have. Good for the hair, scalp, and skin, this is a rich oil that can help maintain youthful appearance and increase skin health and tone.
And what about the mysterious globes and light fixtures creating a magical atmosphere in the bar space? Those would be the creation of lighting designer David Trubridge, whose energy conscious and beautiful patterned fixtures helped transform the 210 Bar into an Award-worthy venue. While a DJ spun smart tunes, Ofrenda Maya Tequila offered tastings aged up to a smooth 42 months, and tasty buffet items included lavender dusted cauliflower and Kalamata olives in a rich spread of veggies, hummus, cheeses, and tuna tartare. Academy Award nominees browsed, grazed, and were gifted, posing for photo ops throughout the afternoon.

The event also benefitted charity partner Say Yes! To Hope, Beat Liver Tumors. 20 cancer survivors were hosted on site along with co-founder Suzanne Lindley, currently courageously battling liver cancer.

Rain or snow or sun, the eco-gift suites in Park City and Beverly Hills offered a world of sustainable, beautiful products in sleek environments drawing celebrities from the world of indie film to the blockbusters of Hollywood.

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Canine Caviar and Feline Caviar

Pet owners seeking holistic nutrition for their pets have a new solution. Canine Caviar is proud to introduce a new lifestyle of healthy alkaline based dog and cat food for your pet friend.

Canine Caviar’s food is truly holistic, dealing with every health issue a pet faces. It’s markedly different from any other pet food available, consisting of  low carb, raw dehydrated meat in a dry kibble, both with grain and grain free. The company also offers treats, bones, chews, and supplements, and canned,  grain-free food. Human grade, grass fed proteins including lamb, venison, duck, chicken, and wild-caught fish make up this eco-friendly and sustainable pet food product. Every dry food formula is flash cooked for only 6 seconds, and all formulas include sustaining, low-allergenic ingredients such as pearl millet, alfalfa, kelp, fenugreek, papaya, peppermint and parsley. While Canine and Feline Caviar pet foods are grain free, it doesn’t mean they’re carb free. The recipe: pet health supported on all levels through high quality ingredients and precise nutritional formulation.

And, these pet foods are designed to settle digestive upsets, reduce coat problems, and assist with the management and prevention of diabetes, cancer, kidney, liver, and heart disease in dogs and cats. The company’s careful food pH balance was developed to improve pet life quality by creating more oxygen in your dog or cats blood stream.

Along with offering many health benefits for pets, Canine Caviar’s food line is delicious, and sustainably eco-friendly, too. Chicken and Peal Millet, Lamb and Pearl Millet kibble, Free Range Buffalo and Wild Ocean grain free dinners, dinners for puppies, large breeds and more keep dogs of all kind healthy and happy. And for cats, there’s delectable chicken with salmon, New Zealand Venison grain free, and wild ocean kibble. Canned food for both dogs and cats offer single protein diets with no grains, fillers or added salt, sugar, or preservatives. With no wheat, corn, or soy, tasty treats for cats such as tuna with vegetables, or chicken and cheese with vegetables will win every purr-fect friend’s heart and stomach. And then there’s the treats – from rawhide alternative sweet potato chews to buffalo bones, there’s a pleasure to be found for every pet palate.

Canine Caviar is the only alkaline-based pet food designed to reduce the risk of getting cancer. In fact, the company supports the Canine Caviar Cancer Research Foundation, providing advanced research in pet cancer, and working to educate and support pet owners on health and treatment. Serving as a support network for pet owners to obtain information, advice, and health counsel, this research organization is supported by the purchase of healthy, delicious, holistic pet food products.

For more information on Canine Caviar and the CCCRF, contact the company at, and visit their website at

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Ram Trucks = Power and Performance

If you’re looking for a powerful truck, think Dodge Ram. And if you’re looking for a ride near Troy, Wisconsin, check out online, or drop on in for a test drive.

Dodge Ram Trucks have really come a long way on power and fuel efficiency in 2014. The trucks we enjoyed test driving at Lynch Ram Trucks in WI included the new EcoDiesel, with powerful performance and my favorite word, “Eco” in its marketing.

That eco title is not just lip service to the environment. The Ram 1500 is the first light-duty truck to receive a sleek diesel engine, a 3.0-liter turbo diesel V6 built under the auspices of VM Motori in Italy. With an eight speed automatic, and 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, the Ram can tow, and it can go – there’s a lot of power in this truck.

Now you’re probably not planning to tow any Wisconsin dairy cows or the entire Green Bay Packers, but in case you are, you could tow both at one time – the Ram 1500 has a towing capacity of 9200 pounds. That’s a lot of pull, power, and innovation.

And what kind of eco-friendliness does this powerful behemoth offer? Well, low CO2 emissions for one thing. The Ram 1500 is equipped with a cool diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalyst reduction. In simple words?  The EcoDiesel V6 engine is emissions-compliant from Wisconsin to California – in all fifty states.

From the green friendly standpoint, I’m most excited about the fact that this vehicle is
B20 BIODIESEL CAPABLE. In case you don’t know what that means, or why I put it in caps, biofuel actually creates less air pollutants and less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fueling. So not only is the EcoDiesel engine powerful, tough, smooth, and more, it’s also the cleanest light duty engine around.

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Dodge Designs for Fun and Eco-Efficiency in Wisconsin

Are you a Cheese Head? If you’re driving to a Packers Game with a bevy of Wisconsin in laws, then you might just be by default. Wherever you’re headed, to a lighthouse along a lake or along bucolic pasture lands, or into the city for a football game, make a stop at Sheboygan Dodge of WI to test drive a fine ride.

No matter where you’re heading, these days both your wallet and the environment will thank you for choosing a car that gets great gas mileage. The Dodge vehicles you’ll find in Sheboygan will more than fit the bill for eco-friendly, fuel efficient, and some powerful and fun driving, too. It’s tough to beat the sleek new 2014 Dodge Dart. The superior gas mileage in this car and its solid emission controls equal a good for the earth/good for your budget combo.

So what’s the bottom line? A lot of zip in a car that averages forty mile average per gallon. Even if it was half as attractive as it is, with those stats, the Dart would be a great choice. But this is a car that does good, is good, and looks good. Comfortable leg room and contoured seating make drivers happy even if they are looking in the rear view mirror at relatives wearing headgear that resembles triangles of cheese. The Dart has a powerful 150 HP engine, fast acceleration, and a smooth handling capacity, even uphill.

Need to bring a group of friends to the next sporting event on your list? Try the Dodge Journey. This SUV has made Road & Travel Magazine’s top ten list in the crossover/SUV category. And it’s place is justified. There’s roomy storage in this comfortable and fuel efficient SUV’s design, including two floor bins in the rear. We loved them. Plenty of room to stash the tailgate picnic. And for families with little ones, the Journey offers built-in booster seats. So what’s the mileage? A spunky 26 mpg on the highway with a four speed automatic Journey, and 25 mpg for AWD with six speeds.

I was impressed with just how eco-friendly Dodge vehicles are this new year – they’re both economic and ecologically attune to our times. Chrysler has made and kept a real commitment to fuel efficiency in all automobile models. Isn’t it time you took a test drive?  To find out more, check out

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Eco-Friendly and Stylish Chrysler Rides

At Earnhardt Chrysler Center in Arizona, we found the Phoenix area’s best collection of 2014  Chrysler vehicles. Whether you’re looking to ride to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, or the South, or just take a drive past the buttes and beauty of Highway 89, you’re going to enjoy the ride all the more in one of the luxurious and amazingly fuel efficient Chryslers that make up this year’s line of powerful cars and trucks.

So before you chill out in a Sedona vortex, drop in for a test drive, or check out everything Earnhardt has to offer online at

We were delighted with the stylish look and smooth handling of Chrysler’s Town & Country. The 30th Anniversary Edition has a stellar and comfortable riding 3.6 V-6 engine. It accelerates well even as you’re heading into the Arizona hills. But naturally we were concerned with fuel consumption – concern that was quickly alleviated when we found this ride has an EPA miles per gallon rating of 25 mpg on the highway. This roomy, beautiful vehicle is eco-friendly.

Perhaps my favorite Chrysler is the 200 Touring Sedan. First of all, I love the highway mpg of 35, and it’s compact feel and size. Here’s the thing – it gave me all the control of a small car with all the room of a much larger vehicle inside. Design – delightful. Fuel efficiency – just fine. This is a car that offers a luxury feel at a price well below other luxury offerings. And the sedan’s roominess isn’t just for riders. The trunk was big enough to pack a picnic, rock climbing gear, and several suitcases with room to spare. I liked the sleek and easy to use dashboard controls, and the fact that this car is very low noise. This is a very strong and lovely mid-sized sedan, built on an Alfa Romeo chassis. And another cool touch: the car’s  all-wheel-drive system automatically disconnects the rear axle for improved fuel economy. With some sixty safety and security features and really attractive interior LED lights – you have to love this car. We did.

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Don’t Miss Out on a Jeep in Missouri

Start the New Year right at Marty Cancila’s Jeep dealership in Florissant, MO.  If you’re heading under St. Louis’ welcoming arches as we were, you’ll want to make a stop here to check out the 2014 offerings from Jeep – whether you’re after a Wrangler or a Grand Cherokee, take a look at the new models online at – — or better yet, try a test drive.

You’re looking at vehicles with powerful engines and transmissions that are also eco-friendly. The new Grand Cherokee shares design with the Mercedes Benz M class, while purring along with a fuel efficient 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine. Fuel economy and handling ease are combined in this ride. We loved the comfortable interior and smooth feel on the road,  and we loved the Eco button that alters throttle sensitivities with one click, and handles gearbox shift, too. On V-8 models, the Eco button adjusts cylinder deactivation as well. For both comfort and eco-friendly ease, we also liked the optional air suspension in this machine. What’s that about? Well, when you use it, the Aero setting lowers the vehicle’s ride allowing more efficient higher speed travel.

And of course, the Cherokee is still one tough Jeep SUV- it has towing capabilities for that weekend boating trip to the lake and then some. With a powerful assist from the gearbox, the Cherokee is strong, and kind on the environment – fuel economy is improving with fuel efficiency raised by more than 2 mpg on the highway, to a sweet 25 mpg, with city fuel consumption at 17 mpg.

Looking to head into St. Joe State Park for a little off roading and back-to-nature acceleration? Then check out the 2014 Wrangler, a fine vehicle for the kind of trip where back roads, dirt roads, and no roads at all are no obstacle. Sand flats, hills, and beautiful lake views all seen from the driver’s seat of a Wrangler – it doesn’t get much better than this.

New design features have made the Wrangler more comfortable, too so you’ll relax while this powerhouse takes on the tough terrain. With Chrysler’s superior Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine now standard on every Wrangler, I’m happy to report that while this Jeep can take on any driving challenge, it’s also gaining in fuel economy. In fact, the 2014 Jeep has an Environmental Protection Agency certified miles per gallon of 17 in the city and 21 on the highway in both the six speed manual and five speed auto transmission models.

With nice EPA numbers like these and the freedom to take on virtually every trail, you’ll want to get out and explore in these comfortable new Jeep lines. We did!

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Heading for Hurst

If you’re heading for the Lone Star State, you should make a stop at FIAT USA of Hurst TX to find the right ride for those long Texas roads. This dealership has a lot of great cars to offer the discerning Dallas Fort Worth area driver. You can check out some of the options on line at

Take a test drive in a cool and exceptionally fuel efficient FIAT such as a 500 Pop, 500 Sport, or 500 Lounge.  These eco-friendly cars gave us great mileage of around 40 miles per gallon. Commuters and cross-Texas ramblers alike will enjoy the fuel efficiency and comfortable ride – we did.

I was impressed with FIAT’s fine rep for low vehicle emissions, reducing air pollution while these fast, seriously cool cars saved me money at the pump.  In a state as big as Texas, small gives you a large lease on road life, and reduces your carbon footprint at the same time. Good deal. Try the ABARTH for 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque – a lot of wow for a little car. And, FIAT’s also got a strong contender in the electric vehicle category too, the 500e. This new entry offers a top speed of 85 mph, and a charging battery with an eight year warranty. The EPA estimates an annual fuel consumption rate of  29 kilowatt hours (kWh) for every 100 miles or more driven.

My driving experience showed me that today’s FIAT’s handle smoothly, maneuver quickly, and have a streamlined, attractive design. Test driving one of these 500 series vehicles will give you a lot of power on the road, and a lot lower fuel cost, as well as being tremendously green-friendly.


Whether you’re heading for the plains of Amarillo, the high rises of Dallas, or the sea wall in Galveston, FIAT will get you there in style, saving you on gas, and gaining you great mileage. I’m a convert.

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Winter in Utah with a Dodge Flair

If you’re planning a drive past the red rocks of Utah, with a little seasonal snow dusting those beautiful shapes, try a winter exploration behind the wheel of fuel efficient Jeep, Dodge, or Chrysler from Ken Garff Jeep in West Valley. At Ken Garff,  you’ll find a fine selection of Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge cars to take out for a test drive. Or if you want to look around right this minute, check out this dealership’s inventory at

We found no need to avoid off road driving in winter conditions behind the wheel of a sturdy and tough Jeep Wrangler. This is a ride that will take you just about everywhere, while new features make the Wrangler more comfortable than ever before. This brilliantly capable car has high  ground clearance and and a hardy build capable of taking on off roading, mountain exploration, and simple highway speed. Featuring Chrysler’s Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine the Wrangler gets an EPA mpg of 21 on the highway with both manual and automatic transmissions along with the driving freedom to go almost anyplace your imagination takes you. From the great Salt Lake to the Rio Grande, we felt we could go anywhere. With 25 mpg, to its eco-friendly credit, the Jeep Grand Cherokee offers comfort and fuel efficient design that makes this roomy vehicle another sound choice.

The Ken Garff dealership also offers the extremely efficient Dodge Dart, with an average 40 mpg and a smart, aerodynamic design that allows easy handling and quick reflexes with its 150 HP engine. Whether you’re heading out for a little cross country skiing or checking out some roadside petroglyphs, the Dart will get you there, fast and fuel efficiently.

The Dodge Journey SUV gets 26 mpg on the highway that eases the driving burden at the pump and lowers its carbon footprint on the road.

Check out more of these green-aware rides at Ken Garff, today.



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Meandering Maryland in a Dodge

I’m a Maryland native, I grew up on Eastern Shore crab cakes, and a view of Washington D.C. politics. I have friends and family in Hagerstown, and while visiting, I checked out some of the great, green-friendly vehicles available at

The  Hoffman Dodge dealership offered us a choice of comfortable and fuel efficient cars for a test drive.  We loved the roomy and easy to handle Chrysler Town & Country. This gorgeous car’s 3.6 V-6 engine gave us smooth and rapid acceleration, and 25 mpg on the highway. With a family to reunite, we were happy to pack people and luggage comfortably in this car. Also roomy was the Chrysler 200 Touring Sedan with a strong highway mpg of 31, that offers a luxurious feel at an reasonable price. This car too had excellent trunk room, and we loved the easy to find and use controls. I’m a big fan of the look of LED lighting, and having it in the car’s cabin with a big plus. I’m eager to see what Chrysler will come up with next – rumor has it the 200 series will soon offer a four door vehicle with an mpg of 38 on the highway.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for fuel efficiency and excellent power, check out the Dodge vehicles at this dealership, too.  With a strongly appealing mpg of 41 on the highway, the Dodge Dart has sure-fire appeal for any driver looking to save money at the gas pump, and leave a lower carbon footprint in the bargain. The Dart looks good too, with a lean profile and stylish interior that offers plenty of leg room. This car lives up to its name, darting efficiently and smoothly through traffic. It’s strong 150 HP engine really takes off, even when passing up hill.  We loved meandering the back roads of Maryland from Hagerstown to Columbia in this stylish and fuel efficient ride. We’d encourage you to get behind the wheel and check it out for yourself.



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Going Green with Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep in Iowa

In the nation’s heartland, Iowa, we made a stop in Le Mars, near Sioux City, and known as the “ice cream capitol of the world.” Le Mars is home  to one of the nation’s largest purveyors of novelty ice cream items, Wells Dairy. It’s also home to Jensen Dodge Chrysler Jeep where we tried out a few rides just as sweet as those chocolate ice cream sandwiches we were enjoying.

Jensen has great and eco-friendly cars from each of the auto manufacturers it sells. For adventurous drivers, looking for off-road flexibility with green-friendly reliability, there’s the new Jeep Grand Cherokee which has a chassis is shared with  Mercedes Benz M class vehicles and a strong engine and powerful transmission, too. Be sure to check out Jeep’s new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine.  This stellar vehicle even has a new feature – the Eco button, which changes changes this SUV’s gearbox shift and throttle sensitivities for enhanced fuel savings. On V-8′s the Eco button  alters cylinder deactivation, too. Something we liked was the optional air suspension, which will lower the vehicle’s ride to “Aero” in order to travel efficiently at higher speeds – that means more fuel savings. In fact, the rear wheel drive V-6s offer 25 mpg on the highway, while city driving remains at 17 mpg.

Jensen’s Dodge inventory includes the highly fuel efficient and very powerful Dodge Dart. This sleekly designed car averages forty mpg along with great leg room, comfortable and easily adjustable seating, and an especially cool Thin Film Transistor display screen that lets drivers see real-time statistics on the Dart’s performance and nav.

U.S. assembled just a state away in Illinois, the Dart features FIAT sourced parts for its engine and transmission.  This Dodge is ecologically efficient and a powerhouse on the road, it’s 160 horsepower engine all revved up and ready to take us where we wanted to go – for one last ice cream purchase before we left the state.

For more information on these vehicles and others, check out

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