Thursday, January 19, 2006

Vegas Baby!

Alright my gentle readers, I shall have to say goodbye until Monday, as I am off to Vegas to play Hold 'Em, roullette, blackjack and craps in the sun, see the Eifel Tower and take in the majesty that is Las Vegas.

I'll leave you with a fun ad to tide you over.

Malibu Melon Stand

Part Of A Well-Balanced Breakfast

Well, it looks like the public has finally caught on to the fact that Sugar Smacks and Count Chocula’s miniature marshmallows aren’t actually good for kids, and that claims of a balanced breakfast refer more to the glass of orange juice and the milk in the bowl.

Advocacy groups are now suing Kellogg and Nickelodeon in an attempt to get the lost teeth and waistlines of their children back.

For anyone who has ever doubted that marketing and advertising actually work this could be an interesting case to follow.

It is one thing to bring awareness of a product to the public – but how easily is the public actually swayed into performing behaviour they wouldn’t otherwise do?

"Going out on a limb here, perhaps her (Carlson's) kids want these foods not because of ads, but because they're children," said Dan Mindus, spokesman for the Center for Consumer Freedom.

The cereal and junk food promoted by the cartoon station Nickelodeon is considered to dreadfully low in nutrition and high in calories. Essentially the worst stuff you can put in your body, but pushed to children by characters such as Sponge Bob Squarepants.

Advocacy groups such as Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood have had enough, and in less than a month, their quest to take ads for children off the air will begin.

Stay tuned for when the Count Chocula video game comes out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

42 Km for Cancer

Well, here goes. I am officially announcing my New Years pledge over this blog.

My plan is to run the Alaska Midnight Marathon in Anchorage on June 17th.

And I plan to do it in under four hours (we’ll see).

My girlfriend is going to run the half marathon on the same day.

We plan to raise as much money as possible for leukaemia research in the process.

So if any of you out there are interested in making a pledge for a worthy cause over our weary knees, we’d be delighted.

The most I’ve ever run before is about 20 km, and that was a long while ago, and Maria, well, she is only just making the conversion from being a hardcore smoker to fantastic athlete.

Wish us luck!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Baggage Issues

Ah, shopping, it is a necessary evil for some (I hate malls) and a joy for others. But no matter how you part with your cash, there are always ways to put the conscious back in ‘conscious consumer.’

If you can afford it, it is great to buy local organic food, local clothes made with sustainable materials, and anything that cuts down on fuel costs over long distances, etc. However, most people cannot afford these luxuries, so we have to shop at Wal-Mart and Winners and whatnot.

But no matter how expensive that particular bar of soap, or carton of milk, or hemp parka costs, it will always have something in common by the time it crosses the counter.

It will be in a fancy, easy-to-carry container.

Introducing: the bag.

The bag comes in two flavours, paper and plastic. I’ve heard that one is as bad as another. Plastic may be deadly in terms of its manufacturing and disposal, but paper is hard on the trees.

Either way, one thing is for certain, the less bags that are out there, the better off our world will be in terms of sustainability.

When I lived in Sweden a few years back, they had a policy where they would charge you for your bags. It makes you think twice about double-bagging a 4L carton of milk, or box of oranges that already has a convenient and easy to use handle. Most Swedes carried around blue reusable shopping bags with flair, it accentuated their blondeness, and went well with their eyes.

It really is a win-win situation (except for the plastic bag companies that is) – stores can make some extra coin by selling bags, people are more aware of unnecessary baggage, and the blue-bag manufacturers stand to make a fortune.

When you really think about how many bags the average person uses the numbers are staggering. Even if everyone in Canada used one less bag a day that would be over a billion bags saved. That’s a lot of landfill and forest.