Eco-Luxe Lounge – Green, Glamorous and Charitable in LA

It was a star studded Stardust Penthouse Sunday the 24th at the Beverly Hilton, where producer Debbie Durkin once again combined luxury with green living. The EcoLuxe Lounge honoring the 66th Emmy Awards nominees and presenters, also raised both funds and awareness for Los Angeles Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The organization’s individual mentorship program opens the door to personal relationships that improve children’s lives for the better.

What could be cooler than that? Tasty appetizers from the hotel’s hip Circa 55 were passed, great tunes were spun, and White Lotus Productions created a beautiful outdoor deck space for celebrating when the non-stop awesome gifting was done.

As always, the point of these gatherings is to introduce new, exciting, and eco-aware brands while honoring the entertainment community, and supporting a worthy charity. The stars showed up, including Orange Is The New Black stars Alysia Reiner and Madeline Brewer, Elliot Gould (Ray Donovan), Patrick Gallagher (Night at the Museum), and Scott Bailey (The Bay), among others.

People and pets were feted with great products such as O.P.I. nail polish, sleek Serengeti sunglasses, and super tasty VyPassetti Cake Pops – try the chocolate covered oreo. products including Fresh Balls and Fresh Feet, and all natural cosmetic sponges from Jandre were joined by KellyAnn Novak’s purely amazing Youth Eternal 100% natural skin care oil. A mix of 22 essential oils in a formula Ms. Novak took years to perfect, cell regenerating virgin coconut, apricot kernel, carrot seed, rose hip, lemon oil, myrrh, rosemary, lavender, and other oils form an alternative to invasive chemical based anti-aging treatments.

Luxurious eco-friendly items went beyond the skin, with workout posture gear from AlignMed,  and Mark Roscoe’s amazing pure silk men’s ties – a rainbow of beauty that will help any man “tie one on.” Mark Roscoe’s designer gowns were on display for the ladies, too. That Mark Roscoe tie would look amazing with the men’s designer shirts available from Armani Wells, a Studio City shop with fashion forward men’s wear for both formal and casual occasions. Based in Orange County, the traveling hair and make-up pros behind OC Hair and Make Up offered their services and a glamorous nail pack.

Feline and canine friends weren’t forgotten either. Baylee Nasco offered delightful, soft, faux-fur patterned pet blankets. Canine Caviar served up probiotic, organic food both wet and dry for Fluffy and Fido with its stellar canine and feline caviar pet meals. They’ll be licking their lips over flavors like organic chicken, sweet potato, and spinach. And The Rein Coat’s dog-calming breathable coat was the fashion accessory that also has emotional health benefits for pups of all sizes.

From a stunning skyline view of LA to the perfect, eco-friendly gifting, the EcoLuxe Lounge brought out people, pets – yes, Ms. Durkins own precious pup made an appearance along with other leashed ones – and the best in charitable giving. Another award winning scene played out in Beverly Hills.


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Eco-Friendly Vacation? Take the Train to La Posada in Winslow, Arizona

Looking for an eco-friendly vacation that let’s you leave your car behind? How about delicious organic cuisine that includes a fabulous vegetarian plate to rival any Michelin 5 Star? What about a hotel that utilizes an historic spot, recreates it, recycles artistically, and lets you luxuriate?

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All aboard then for the wonderful La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona. Winslow was once a bustling railroad town, and Amtrak still stops on the way to Chicago or LA outside the hotel’s back door. But today the town is a sleepy enclave on the cusp of becoming an artistic hub in the Arizona desert, the site of  small galleries and shops, and “Standin’ on the Corner Park” which commemorates the Jackson Browne/Eagles song “Take It Easy.”

La Posada is a wildly gorgeous hotel, with a fascinating history. The hotel began as a wealthy hacienda, re-imagined by renowned architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter as one of the last of the Harvey House hotels, which served railroad passengers. The hotel opened to great fanfare and terrible timing in Depression Era 1930, and closed in 1959. The railroad took over, gutted it into office space, eventually abandoning it to ruin.

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Fortunately, owners Allan Affeldt and Tina Mion fell in love with the place in 1997 and have been recreating an elegant and just-about-perfect 53 room hotel, replete with art galleries, sculptures, murals, and gardens. And oh yes, trains rolling picturesquely down the tracks outside the hotel’s back lawn.

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Never fear, it was built with care, and you won’t be awakened by the rattling of the locomotives. But you can sit out on a bench and both star and train gaze simultaneously. Or you can choose to stroll through the hotel and make note of antique furnishings, a sunken garden, serene fountains, and the La Posada Madonna, a brilliant contemporary sculpture designed by artists Verne and Christy Lucero.

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Of course, you may not want to leave your room. Each room is different, filled with antiques, tile and tin mirrors, heavy wood desks or tables, blissful, handcrafted beds. The Southwestern style is artistic and unique, there is nothing here that hasn’t been chosen with love.

And speaking of love, you can find plenty of eco-friendly love for your palate at the world class restaurant, a destination in and of itself, known as The Turquoise Room. Helmed by Chef John Sharpe offers organically sourced, cutting edge cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Start your dining experience with a fabulous frozen margarita and then enjoy a three course meal that you’ll be talking about until your next visit. From the Maytag Blue Cheese Salad to the fragrant Hazlenut Brownie with Coffee Ice Cream, meals here are meant to be lingered over. Beneath the warm glow of hand-painted stained glass panels, enjoy refined dishes such as the uniquely delightful vegetarian Killer Vegetable Platter that includes an amazing wild mushroom corn custard and a mild chili stuffed with three cheeses among its taste sensations. Don’t miss the signature soups, heirloom tomato salad, or fresh salmon, either.

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The hotel’s 53 rooms are each furnished individually, but all feature hand-built southwestern furniture, wrought iron, heavy wood, and antiques. Many have patios, balconies, and views of gardens or trains. Reasonable rates encourage long stays, allowing plenty of time to explore the art work, history, views, and large gift shop filled with handcrafted treasures including stunning jewelry and kachinas. New plans are afoot to expand the property with a museum, orchard, sculpture garden, and even a vineyard. It’s a perfect jumping off spot to explore nearby Native American ruins, the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Parks, and the 550 foot deep Meteor Crater just outside of town. No standing on the corner for you!

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An Eco Evolution in Hair Care in Hermosa Beach

“You tell me that it’s evolution, well you know, we all want to change the world…” As the Beatles  sang, if you want to change the world, try evolution. And if you want to change the quality of your hair care, and support the environment at the same time, there’s Evolution Salon in Hermosa Beach, CA. This is a spot whose keywords are organic, sustainable, and affordable.

Yes, Evolution offers all the bells and whistles men, women, and kids seek from their stylists, from Brazilian Blowouts to highlights, cuts, and color of all types. But this salon is different. You won’t have to worry about toxicity from fumes caused by Coppola Keratin Treatments or Brazilian Blowouts here. The salon offers a fume extractor designed to absorb and remove treatment vapors, such as formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde, and other gaseous pollutants such as hydrogen sulfide, ethylene, and mercaptans. Fans don’t do the trick, but a fume extractor like the one at Evolution, will. Less than 1% of LA area salons offer Brazilian Blowout in this safe an environment. The chemical capture system protects the breathing zone around the client and stylist, absorbing and containing chemical vapors, minimizing what’s known as “hair salon air,” cleansing the work station, and capturing pollutants not just in the air but those which sink toward the floor, due to the heaviness of the chemicals.

Salon owner, stylist, and salon director Rodilyn Basco-Wooldridge is also a certified Reiki practitioner, wife, and mother of 6, and she’s used all her skills and experience to create an eco friendly, green hair salon from her fume extractor to utilizing recycled furnishing components and installing infrared saunas to address her client’s whole body needs.

“ Becoming environmentally conscious and health conscious was at the top of my list when I decided to take the leap on my own. We recycle all recyclable materials, we choose recycled products whenever possible, and we purchased an air cleaner and fume extractor specifically designed to remove harmful chemicals from the air, keeping our stylists and clients safe,” Basco-Wooldridge states. Her hair care products are green-friendly, too. “Loma Organics hair care line is our main and biggest seller.  It’s also is an environmentally conscious company,  manufactured and bottled in the US, certified organic aloe vera based.”

All of Loma Organics products use aloe vera rather than a water base, are sulfate, sodium chloride, gluten, and paraben free, with natural UV protection and natural essential oils. Not only is the salon’s top seller color safe and keratin safe, too, it’s economical, available at less than half the cost of most salon products with a less environmentally friendly bent. So Evolution isn’t just about helping the environment stay green, it’s about keeping more green in clients’ pockets, too.

As Basco-Wooldridge explains “The Evolution name was chosen for a reason. It represents our philosophy and goals: constantly growing and contributing positive energy to humanity and our planet.”

The salon exudes a chill vibe, with easy appointment making, carefully selected, soothing music selections, and even water flavored with cucumber ice cubes. “I used a feng shui map, and arranged the salon to create a positive flow of energy,” Basco-Wooldridge notes. “And we wanted to take the salon beyond just hair care and into whole body care. We recently installed infrared saunas to allow our clients an affordable place to detox and relax, strengthen the body’s immune system, burn calories, and help to eliminate stress-related problems.”

In fact, according to USC’s Dr. Jeffery Spencer, infrared wavelengths create great therapeutic benefits increasing blood flow, delivering oxygen, and improving cell health. Not a component of an average hair salon, the infrared saunas here are a great fit with the holistic direction of the hair care offered at Basco-Wooldridge’s salon.

From cutting edge, healing infrared saunas to pollution free hair treatments, the revolution has begun – at Evolution Salon.

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An Early Eco Vision: The Venice Canals

The LA County Museum is currently presenting an historical exhibit about the creation of the Venice Canals. I’m not talking about the gondolas of Italy, or the graceful Ponte di Rialto bridge stretching across the Grand Canal. No, I’m talking about Venice, CA, home to a low key series of canals, along which a mix of modern, million dollar and funky smaller properties line the waterways and bridges. Here you’ll find Buddha in a garden, a riot of purple flowers spilling into the walk way, a labyrinth of a neighborhood, and residents eating and hanging out in their water front lawns. My favorite spotting: a paddle boat tethered to a home front dock, shaped like a giant rubber ducky. Second favorite: a pair of paddle boat black swans.

The Venice Canals are hidden in plain sight, just off 25th street in Venice. Literally, if you weren’t looking for them you’d pass them by. There are five canals, each about a quarter mile long, and shallow. Fascinating and good for about an hour’s leisurely stroll, you might very well ask, as I did, why exactly are they there? Other than to look cool, that is.

Apparently millionaire Abbot Kinney – who now has a boulevard in Venice named after him and filled with tasty, off-beat, hip restaurants and busy boutiques and bars – founded Venice as a resort, digging the canals to drain marshland and provide a tourist attraction. He had others – a salt water plunge, a long pier which later burned, a dance hall, and a block long arcade – whose arches still stand.It was all part of a very elaborate design of which the canals were a big part. He developed a miniature railway, a hotel, an auditorium, and a swimming lagoon, overcoming harsh deadlines, a devastating winter storm setback, and more to create his vision, which opened for the 4th of July, 1905. Sadly in the 1920′s the city needed roads, and many canals were filled in, despite protest by residents, another example of Los Angeles making itself into a town built on the automobile. Thankfully, at least a few remain – Cabrillo, Altair, and Grand -  to evoke the grandeur of this funky beach town’s Italian namesake. Until the 1990′s, those remaining canals fell into disrepair. It’s good to see them lined with gleaming homes and small gondolas, blooming with tangled flowers, and remarked upon by strolling couples, families, and eager photographers.

After walking the canals, pay homage to Abbot Kinney and stroll down his street. You can stop in for some crisp, thin crust pizza at the slightly oddball Gjelina, or walk on over to the Canal Club, just a block from the beach, a sushi bar plus mix of Mexican/Japanese fusion appetizers in a Frank Lloyd Wright conceived space. And then take a walk onto the Venice boardwalk, out onto the more recent incarnation of the pier, and imagine Abbot Kinney extolling the virtues of an artistic community modeled on Italian grace. It didn’t turn out quite the way he planned, but there’s plenty of artists – some of them street performers wearing silver body paint – and the feeling of living in a dream world that Kinney hoped to invoke. It’s just a California dream, not an Italianate one.

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Recycled Art

Just north east of downtown Los Angeles, in an old industrial area, you’ll find what was once a Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery and what is now today a collection of artists lofts. Twice a year, I get to visit this cool eclectic place, when the artists open up for an art walk.

This is the ultimate in recycling – a former industrial space has become a great place for artists to live and work.

Galleries not your thing? Well how about galleries contained inside old warehouses and factory buildings, the huge smoke stack still labeled “Brewery” towering over make shift gardens and porches fronting what were once loading docks, an awesome Steam Punk style cavernous space filled with interactive gizmos including a crystal and china dinner party set on a moveable table on mammoth bicycle wheels, cool crafts and jewelry for sale, and many eclectic art pieces available for well under $100.

I love the mix of people here – families, hip art maven types, scruffy hipsters. And it’s free, yes, free – even the parking. I also love the opportunity to visit with the artists who show you not only their work but in many cases where they sleep and eat. From big lofts with capacious kitchens and views of the 5 Freeway with plenty of light, to small side buildings just this side of cozy with beds and book shelve chock a block with easels and dark rooms, this art walk gives you a glimpse into an actual artist’s life.

Some artists are extraordinarily accomplished, with sophisticated pieces you know you’re going to see a lot of in gallery shows and museums. Others are more rudimentary, just starting out, discussing what their art school professors think of their pieces.

It seems that every time I visit there are different studios open. There’s always something cool and approachable to consider buying or – gasp, even buy. Everything from a spooky gallery of severed doll heads that look like something out of a horror movie set to beautiful and evocative photos of Death Valley to contemporary jewelry all brushed silver and slate can be found in the maze-like configuration of the Brewery. There were clear plastic purses infused with battery operated winking neon for only $25, small squares of canvas filled with blooming flowers for $40, lithographs being created right before my eyes, a narrow metal suspension bridge connecting buildings, classic portraits, dream-like hyper-realistic landscapes of Haiti, spinning gears and gizmos, spray painted mannequins – you get the drift.

I loved talking to the artists about what inspired them, or what a piece meant.  And it’s a great way to explore not just an enormous art colony inside a warren of an old factory but to explore a part of Los Angeles you’ll probably not venture into on your own. Oh, but just to know that it’s there – eclectic and a little bit crazy, sandwiched between freeway interchanges, warehouses, and trucking companies – it’s a much headier brew than the one originally manufactured here!

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2014 Sundance Film Festival – Great Films are Headed to Your Cineplex this summer

It’s that time – time for my recap of the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah which, having just turned thirty this year, remains the premiere mecca for independent film-making in the U.S. Many of the films I’m citing here will be viewable in your cineplex this summer.

The themes at this year’s Sundance Film Festival seemed to be music – and madness. Sometimes both in one film, as witnessed by the interactions of genius-musician-hidden-inside a large cartoon face mask in Frank, Irish director Lenny Abrahamson’s story of an exceedingly ill-fated band’s attempt to record a new album and perform at a music festival; or the rampaging shooter behind the blissful love songs of Rudderless, a heart-rending story of the power of talent and the love of a father, starring the quite brilliant Billy Cruddup.

But mostly these themes were separate, if large players in the 2014 fest. I had the pleasure of screening 28 films in 6.5 days, consuming Greek yogurt and Boom Chick A Pop’s organic, fat free popcorn, and the occasional spiked hot chocolate as physical sustenance along the way. You might call that crazy, too, but I look at it as Nirvana.
On the madness-only side, the highlight was Kumiko, Treasure Hunter, a beautiful, dream-like film, about a Japanese “office lady,” who discovers an old VHS tape of the Coen Brothers’ classic film Fargo, takes it is as truth, and goes on a search to for the treasure shown buried by Steve Buscemi. Depressed and disheveled, Kumiko’s tragi-comic search is leavened with brilliant supporting performances in Japan and the States, her obsessive plight pulling the viewer along for the ride. Always poetic, sometimes silly, sometimes sad, Kumiko’s quest is entirely believable through the performance of gifted star Rinko Kikuchi. Stunning visuals and a deep and abiding sense of loss, hope, and regret make this a film to seek out.

Another crazy lady of an entirely different stripe attempts to hold horror at bay in the Australian import The Babadook, starring powerhouse actress Essie Davis. She plays Amelia, mother of a seven year old boy, nursing home worker, and keeper of a dark secret – she lost her husband, Oskar (Benjamin Winspear), in a car accident as he was speeding her to hospital to give birth. Her son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), is anathema to her, and the fact that his boyish acting out is often violent and volatile doesn’t exactly make him endearing. But is he right about the monster introduced through an alarming children’s story, The Babadook? Is he inside? Who is mad, mother or child? Jump in your seat scary, this neat, claustrophobic horror flick is intelligent and horrifying, both.

Whether it’s self-defeating madness or mere egotism eating away at Jason Schwartzman in Listen Up Phillip, it’s hard to tell. Voice over narration and sardonic, Woody Allen-ish wit tell the tale of a self-serving novelist who is impossible to live with, interacting with his genius slash narcissist mentor. And PTSD is the name of the game for Catherine Keener’s distressed, close to panicked war correspondent in War Story, wandering the streets of Sicily after she’s held hostage in Libya and a beloved friend killed. The vibrant laugh with them, cry with them comedy The Skeleton Twins also touches on madness, as Bill Hader and Krisin Wiig do a suicidal brother and sister act that’s both laugh out loud hilarious and heartbreaking. The Skeleton Twins ranked high in my festival favorites list. Far less effective was the dysfunctional family – manic mother, killer dad – envisioned in Shailene Woodley starrer White Bird in a Blizzard, whose surrealist images didn’t compensate for a weirdly conventional script.

Back on the music front, Anne Hathaway supports her injured musician brother by meeting and bedding his folk singer idol, in Song One, a slow out of the gate but poignant rumination on the meaning of life, music, love, and creativity. Things get a little bit crazy for depressed but recovering anorexic Eve, played by the delightful Emily Browning, in God Help the Girl. The very definition of quirky, this film is another of my favorites from the festival, an actual musical from Stuart Murdoch, front man of indie folk artists Belle & Sebastian. Yes, people actually sing, and the color pallette here is technicolor pop, and it works. The jubilant sound track can’t help but snap you out of any depression of your own. The winner of this year’s Sundance Festival U.S. Dramatic competition, Whiplash, told the harrowing drama about an aspiring drummer (Miles Teller) encouraged and abused by his professor (J.K. Simmons). Somewhere in this award winner’s genetic mix of music, passion, and anything-for-art is a coming of age story. Music was also present in Hits, an acerbic comedy riff on what lengths people will go to achieve fame, in which Katelyn (Meredith Hagner) seeks musical fame despite a lack of discernable talent, while her father gains unasked for fame by taking on his small New York town’s city council.

Of course there were standout films that played with neither music or madness, too. From the charming Iceland-set travels of the buddy film Land Ho to the pretty amazing, twelve years of filming that went into the creation of an actual Boyhood through the lens of Richard Linklater, and the awe-inspiring science and faith love story that was iOrigins, provocative and enormously entertaining films were everywhere you looked. I saw a lot of great films this festival, and will be singing the praises of many of these films with in-depth reviews still to come.

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Movie Awards Eco Lounge 2014

Producer and sustainable product placement expert Debbie Durkin put together another eco-fabulous festival, celebrating both the 2014 MTV Movie Awards and Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, April 9 and 10 at the Beverly Hilton.

Held at Bar 210, whose cozy and cushy lounge atmosphere spilled out onto an open-air patio for the event, the Movie Awards Eco Lounge was sexy, fun, and rock n’ roller hip. Over the course of the two days this socially conscious event featured DJ’s spinning solid tunes and an awesome buffet of gourmet cheeses, fruit, veggies, and yes, for the carnivores present, meats courtesy of locally sourced farm to table Circa 55′s chefs. Personal favorite: delicate hummus, Kalmata olives, and oh, that fresh pecorino, my favorite cheese.

Past the bar serving up martinis, fine scotch, vodka with fruit mixers, the gifting and personal upgrading began.

Baylee Nasco offered the cushiest pet beds in town and luxe pet blankets in jungle patterns and solid – the kind of pet care products that make every cat and dog into a celebrity. O.P.I Gwen Stefani Collection offered gorgeous new nail colors that included the one I got to try – a slate grey that was rock n’ roll spectacular. A note: I’ve tried the sparkle gold, a lavender, and a bold bronze in the past – they’re great colors. Loree Rodkin’s delightful fragrances, leather bracelets and cool tee shirts from Nash Motorcycles, and Transcend Organics heavenly pink grapefruit body scrub – quite a grab bag of wonderful gifting.  Transcend’s mix of wild botanicals and organic, fair trade, essential oils is something quite, um, scent-ual. LA + Jo’s boutique fashion and Jockey’s trendy, stretchy boy-shorts were a great clothing match. And then there were C4 belts. Offering a thousand combinations of belts and buckles, the idea is to pick your colors and then choose a cause to support by wearing it. Wearers can choose one of four charities online to determine how the company gives back 10% of the purchase.

And speaking of giving back, the event supported two worthy causes: SAY YES! To Hope in support of cancer survivors, and Fresh Step litters efforts to to raise money for the ASPCA. These efforts included the ability to cuddle with an adorable Catdance kitten, view beautiful adoptable kitties, and generally just get hypnotized by cat love. Tweeting and photo taking = effortless fund raising for a worthy cause.

Meanwhile, out on the patio, you could get a luxe body spray tan or even a tattoo. The organic tans and some pretty awesome eyebrow shaping were courtesy of Glendale’s The Eyebrow Boutique - where eye brow shaping is more of an art than at those mall chain threading emporiums you may be used to. The tattoos – from Perri Ink tattoo artist Adam Daniel. That perk I turned down – perhaps a few more cocktails from the Southmore Group at the bar and I would’ve gone for it.

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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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