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People may know him from his HBO series Entourage, some may remember him from a little rom com called Drive me Crazy (such as myself), but now Adrian Grenier is making a name for himself as a passionate environmentalist. And well, this could be his most important role yet!
After Grenier read Jeffrey Sach’s book The End of Poverty, he was inspired to make a difference. Grenier hosted and produced a show on Planet Green called Alter Eco in 2008. The show featured Grenier with a new entourage of green experts who help people discover how they can be more eco friendly. It even showcases Adrian Grenier “eco-vating” his own home by making it nearly 100% green while maintaining its 1920's style. The series dealt with changing the perception that having a green lifestyle has to be difficult, time consuming, and not fun. As Richard Byrd, Grenier’s green real estate developer, points out, “How are we going to expand the movement if people think they have to live in a cardboard box?”
This same idea brought Peter Glatzer, another producer of Alter Eco, and Adrian together to create the lifestyle website, SHFT.com. SHFT is a multi-media platform that promotes an eco friendly, sustainable lifestyle, but in a new, fun and creative way.
“We feel there was a need for a more creative and inspirational approach to our environmental concerns. We saw a lot of negativity and doom and gloom out there. And there had been (for decades) the old school granola crunchy brand of environmentalism. We saw an opportunity to provide a platform for something we'd want to look at, use, and explore ourselves. When you tap into the creative impulse of people, good things happen. We're filmmakers, so SHFT was our approach to something we cared deeply about,” co-founders Glatzer and Grenier told EcoPlum.
SHFT's goal is to redefine the term “sustainable lifestyle” and give it more of a positive spin. To some, being green can be a daunting task, but even small shifts can help (hence the name SHFT). The site contains chic, cool, sustainable products as well as original content, and acts as a guidebook to the crazy adventure that is the sustainable world. For example, they posted an article about Vik Muniz, who recreates famous art pieces with recycled material, which I found featured on the site and loved! "The SHFT brand is growing and it includes all the things that interest us - things that share the through-line of good living and sustainability.” Part of that growth is more episodes of the documentary series they produced with Ford Motor Company, called The Big SHFT. Also, they recently launched a SHFT wine label – “a decadent sustainable blend that’s bottled and packaged with a lighter footprint.”
But Peter and Adrian also want SHFT to be the source for all things sustainable – food, architecture, gadgets, fashion, art, etc., and be a way of “nudging” sustainable ideas into our culture and everyday lives. They don’t want sustainability to be separate from our daily lives, but to be an unconscious part of it. “We want SHFT to be the go-to place for cool ideas and products that speak to the culture of a more conscious lifestyle," said Glatzer and Grenier. "It would be great to see a little SHFT everywhere in our culture too.” They also want to remind us that consumers hold all the power, and what we buy and what we want to buy can really spur change.
“Change is happening and it's happening at a really fast pace. Little personal shifts are up to us. We can make them every day. And the bigger shifts from business are a response to consumers' preferences. Together that relationship is driving change," said Glatzer and Grenier. "When there is a shift in the zeitgeist and people are asking for more sustainable products, businesses respond to that. We're seeing this more and more. We want more of this in the future and we want SHFT to be a part of it.”
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