With Al Gore winning an Oscar for his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, I think people are finally recognizing the importance and actively taking steps to protect the environment. Anyone who thinks just because he or she won't be around when the glaciers melt or the rainforests are gone is just being irresponsible. You don't have to go all green overnight now people, BUT there are some amazingly simple steps you can take to start on this path.
So in keeping with this permanent trend of Hollywood going "green" which we hope will trickle down and across the country, our friends who run The Ultimate Green Room gift suite during the Oscars introduced me, and then me to you, to some tremendously great products to get you going!
• Start simple by getting rid of those chemical-crazy cleaning products. You know, the ones with toxins, petrochemicals, bleach and ammonias. Instead, pick up **EARTH FRIENDLY PRODUCTS**, which are plant-based formulas that give you a hard-hitting clean and each one, from the Dishmate Ultra hand liquid dishwashing product to the Baby Laundry Soap to the Creamy Cleanser for stainless steel to the the Uni Fresh air fresheners to the Spray Starch to the Orange Plus all purpose cleaner are derived from replenishable sources.• Redoing a home or building a new one? Then try AMERICAN CLAY, the original earth plaster. Forget the synthetic wall materials that contain toxins. This is an eco-friendly alternative and just happens to look stunning. What I love, and I honestly intend to use this when I build a new home, is that you can create any look you want, be it a smooth contemporary look, a rustic Southwestern vibe or a Mediterranean mood. Look into **NATURALWALLS** to create these looks for you! Can you think of better selling points than American Clay is 100% natural and nontoxic (hello, newborns!), resists mold, absorbs sound and breathes with temperature and humidity. The walls of the Ultimate Green Room were specially done with American Clay and the team behind Naturalwalls.
• Not ready for a Prius? Then how about an all electric vehicle that plugs into the same outlet you run your coffee machine on? The ZAP ZEBRA, the MILES ZX40 and MILES ZX40S. The 3-wheeled Xebra isn't going to win you the Indy 500, but at about $.03 per mile, speeds up to 40 mph, a range of 40 miles and the fact the 100v electric charger is all you need, you should be laughing hysterically at high oil prices. The **MILES** are also low speed all electric vehciles, with four wheels, that are also perfect for those quick commutes, but are also safe, high performance and comfortable zero emissions vehicles that can help you make a difference. Visit **ENVIRONMENTAL MOTORS** for more info.
• Next I met Cherie Calbom, the author of **Sleep Away the Pounds**. I recognized her from her infomercials with Jay "The Juice Man" Kordich and George Foreman. She autographed her book which shows the correlation with healthy sleep patterns and how it resets your metabolism for maximum weight loss. There is also the **Sleep the Pounds Away AM/PM** herbal pills you take in the program.• I also learned that all lighting in not the same. You can see better and improve your quality of life according to the folks at **Bluemax Lighting**. Using the Scotopically enhanced high definition lighting, which is a spetrum of lighting that reduces glare, eye strain, fatigue, irritability and more, thus increases productivity.• You can then visit Ron and Lisa Beres at **Green Nest**, which is a company they started when Lisa starting getting sick from the toxins in her home. They changed their lives, created a healthy home for themselves and wanted to share these products they discovered plus educate consumers about the dangerous toxins that exist in the environments today. Lisa is now a certified Bau-biologist (a study that encompasses how buildings imapact life and the living environment) so she really knows her stuff. Green Nest features products that benefit children and adults. Everything from air purifiers, to organic bedding and towels to toys. Click **HERE** to see Lisa on The Today Show.
• And as I type this I'm noshing on food, all-natural organic gourmet food and beverages that is, from our friends at Christie Communications who are committed to promoting healthy organic foods derived from sustainable resources. At the lounge, I had a **Steaz Energy** drink. It's a green tea energy drink and don't immediately jump to the weird taste assumption...it's actually a light, non-chemically tasting smooth flavor. It is the only USDA organics and Fair Trade Certified energy drink on the market. I have a bunch now in my fridge. But when I want to drink juice, I am completely addicted to **Frutzzo** Organic Pomegranate Juice. There is the straight pom version plus some awesome refreshing mixes like pomegranate blueberry, pom raspberry, pom passion fruit and pom acai. For a quick snack I just ate a **Tzu The's T-Bar**, a green tea energy bar. It's a low cal, low fat and sugar, preservative free bar that has a ton of protein, fiber and 24 essential vitamins. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of the Green Tea Original, but look forward to trying the Natural Rice and Tropical Fruit versions. I inhaled the **Krispers Baked Rice Crisps** last night when I got home from a week long trip - yummie sour cream and onion - and tonight I'm going to serve me up some easy to Heat and Eat Indian meals from Kohinoor Foods (I couldn't wait and I'm eating the **Tomato Chilli Pilau** microwaveable rice right now - it's got a kick! - took me 2 mins in the microwave to make) and also throw some **Pinch Plus** Organic Herbs and Spices, in a convenient 1 tablespoon size, into my dishes later this week.• I sampled the surprisingly tasty organic juices from iZO that is known for the **iZO Cleanze**, which is a juice-based detox cleanse featuring a comprehensive blend of elizirs and superfood designed to completely cleanse the body of toxins while providing an abundance of natural organic energy to get you through the day. Cleanse lengths can range from 3-40 days! I'm actually very inspired to do it, and I will let you know if I do, but I can't promise a 40 day one! Well, maybe since I just inhaled all that organic food I described above in basically a 24-hour period a 40-day one will do my body good!• And if you're not quite ready to try that cleanse, I recommend at least sampling tea from Art of Tea. I had a tea called the Chocolate Monkey and it was unreal! It had chocolate, banana, rooibos and pink peppercorn and it was sooooo good. I had it hot, but it would rock cold as well. Art of Tea imports only the best organic and specialty teas, and through the company's relationships with the best organic farmers throughout the world, and work respectfully with them, and its very own employees, to ensure it creates the best handcrafted teas, one batch at a time, using the best botanicals.• Shockingly I felt great the day I went to the Ultimate Green Room, but **sumbody**, the maker or all natural skin care and the must-have Zappers, blends of essential oils that you rub on to alleviate everything from insomnia to acne to stress to fatigue, was on hand to remind me to look them up when in need. I use their Lucky Lips Lip Balm and have the headache Zapper on hand. Definitely check out the sumbody store if you're in Santa Barbara too.• The Ultimate Green Room also featured vegetarian cuisine from **Soul Vegetarian** (if you hadn't told me it was vegan I never would have known -the mac 'n cheese with soy cheese and barbecue "ribs" made from wheat gluten were every bit as tasty as the real thing) and **Taste of the Goddess Cafe** who presented us with salad, bruschetta and dessert the room couldn't get enough of.• And lastly, just for fun and to expose your kids to some family-friendly and educational programming with a positive message, you must meet **The Unsustainables**. This is an original, new animated series that features an urban cast of quirky characters who stumble towards the future, while trying to be green. It's a quick episode that provides unique takes on global warming, toxic overload, organic living and more!
So Swagtime encourages you to get started living a greener life and definitely check out these products and services. I already feel better just by eating this organic and sustainable food. makes me feel good I'm not ingesting harmful chemicals and somewhere far off there is a farmer growing sustainable harvests of tea, fruits and more just for me and will hopefully do so if we all support them.
And stay tuned as Swagtime will have an upcoming auction of some of these items to benefit EXTRA Cans for the Needy, an organization started by Hollywood "Extras" where they take grocery bags to every set to collect the empty cans and bottles...and then hand them over to people in need to return for deposits.