Do Me A Solid: Happy Earth Day

We are lean, mean green living machines – Happy Earth Day
everyone! But much like Valentine’s Day, International Women’s Day or Mother’s Day, shouldn’t every day be
Earth Day? After all, we only have one planet so we need
to show it a lot more love, a lot more often to preserve it for our future generations. We
were drilled with
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
when we were kids in middle school and now that we’re “adults”, our lot in life
largely depends on the responsibility to be an informed and active citizen in society.


Now, we don’t know about you but when we think of Earth Day, we promptly think about this handsome fella:



David Suzuki is
considered a pioneer in green living and people often look to his expertise as
the model by which we should all aspire. The David Suzuki Foundation is a encyclopaedia for environmental issues and while there are hundreds of tips for going
greener, we compiled a few baby steps that are well-suited for just about anyone. 


TIP: Recycle your old
electronics. 
We live in a society where we need to have the best/newest/most high-tech product and that material want produces a lot of unnecessary garbage. Think
Recycle
is a free environmental service that rewards members with money and
environmental incentives in exchange for your unwanted gadgets. There are plenty
more organizations that accept old, gently used electronics, including Shift
Recycling
ReBoot and our very own City of Toronto. Pick one. That old phone isn’t coming back in style any time (ever). 

TIP: Reduce
unnecessary waste
by becoming a DIY Beauty Queen. Since most ingredients in
our cupboards and fridge are good enough to put in our body, don’t you think
they’re good enough to put on it? For a super-soothing facial
mask
, mix two tablespoons of honey with one teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon until it’s a thick paste. Apply to face. Nutmeg and honey are natural
anti-inflammatories that reduce swelling and redness, and cinnamon is a drying
agent that can combat breakouts. Voilà! No extra containers and more beauty. 
TIP: Boycott plastic. Bottled water doesn’t actually prove to be any cleaner or better for you than Toronto’s finest AND it clogs up our already-polluted landfills. First off, there is “stuff” in the plastic that may be more harmful for your body than anything found in Toronto tap water. Bisphanol A (BPA), a compound that mimics estrogen and has been a controversial chemical for quite some time, most recently for its presence in various plastics, including water bottles. Secondly, it takes up to three litres of water to produce one litre of bottled. Thirdly, tons of greenhouse gases are generated both transporting the bottles and keeping them cold. Honestly, there’s a pile of other reasons to take a hard look at the choice to drink bottled water. We are unbelievably fortunate to live in a city (and a province and a country) with safe drinking water. So, invest in a BPA-free, stainless steel reusable water bottle to keep on your desk or throw in your purse to encourage the consumption of those pesky 8 glasses a day while saving the planet, your body and your wallet. Win-win-win-win. 


To win even more, consider replacing all of your plastic bowls and servingware (once they’re no longer usable, that is!) with something more sustainable and biodegradable – like bamboo-based products. They now come in modern designs and really nice colours, and are pretty affordable. We like the PC Home line – easy to get anywhere and won’t ruin our budget.


 PC Home bamboo products available in select Loblaw banner stores including Real Canadian Superstores www.realcanadiansuperstore.ca
TIP: When available, choose
eco-friendly cleaning products
. Brands like Seventh Generation (also endorsed by our earthy master
above) have biodegradable formulas, hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, and don’t
contain dyes or synthetic fragrances. Look for products that are packaged in
recyclable containers, and made from 100 per cent recycled fibres. 

And of course, a little peer pressure always helps. Here are
some familiar faces who (apart from just being annoyingly beautiful) devote their time and efforts to keeping our planet pretty while encouraging others to do the same.

Canadian actress and environmental activist Rachel McAdams lives in a house powered by Bullfrog Renewal energy and bikes everywhere she can.

(Hot) Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio  has received praise from various environmental groups for his activism, and chooses to fly on commercial flights rather than chartered jets. #StarsLikeUs



British designer, Stella McCartney mixes her earthly love with high fashion. In addition to her studio and website being powered by wind energy, McCartney offers her online shoppers the option to have their purchases shipped carbon neutral. Brilliant. 
There you have it: a brainy scientist, scary stats, easy alternatives that are good for you, the planet AND your wallet, and famous people, all resulting in some pretty compelling motivators to become more eco-conscious. No excuses now – start making some changes. 



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Media, Darling: Gabrielle Johnson

Gabrielle Johnson graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins with a Master’s degree in fashion journalism. Her dreams of becoming a muse to fellow alum Alexander McQueen never came true, sadly, but she did sit next to Stella McCartney at a café once, and that was pretty exciting.
She began her career as the associate editor of FQ and SIR magazines, where she worked with a fantastic team and was given a surprising amount of creative freedom. She spent a year as the beauty editor of Rouge Magazine before joining the Sweetspot.ca family, where she now very happily works as the editor of SweetLife, overseeing fashion, beauty and more restaurant/boutique/spa openings than you can shake a stick at.
Gabrielle lives in Toronto with her husband, their two cats and a small army of shoes. 

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
When I was four, I wanted to be a cocktail waitress; I thought it sounded like an incredibly glamorous career choice.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
Still working in fashion, but I’d eventually like to spend a little less time at my computer and a little more time playing with clothes (preferably in exotic locales).
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Show people that you’re a hard worker. Say yes to everything. Stay late once in a while. It absolutely sucks that we don’t pay our interns in this industry, but giving off an I’m-too-good-for-this attitude won’t impress anyone. We all have to start somewhere.  
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I don’t think I’ll ever stop hoarding magazines, and I never miss an issue of British Vogue, American Vogue, Lula, The Gentlewoman, Living Etc. and Elle Decoration UK.
Online, I get my news from the Globe and Mail, New York Times and The Guardian, my celebrity gossip from DListed, and my fashion and design updates and inspiration from too many websites and blogs to list here. I’m also obsessed with the Tumblrs of angsty teenage girls who like to post photos of Parisian cafés and crumbling castles and Sofia Coppola and macaroons.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
The best was probably Paul Smith, who was lovely and charming and made it seem like we were two old friends having a nice chat. I also enjoyed interviewing Andy Samberg when I had a huge crush on him about five years ago. Nothing wrong with mixing business with pleasure, right?  
Worst?
I once drove out to the middle of nowhere to interview a flaky socialite at her faux-Georgian mansion. It was 30 degrees outside and she answered the door dressed in head-to-toe riding gear (including boots and a heavy tweed jacket) despite the fact that she didn’t own a horse and had no plans to ride that day – so of course I included that detail in the opening paragraph of my story.
She was friends with my editor-in-chief at the time, and for reasons I can’t explain, this editor broke one of the most basic rules of journalism and sent her a draft of the story before it went to print. The socialite threw a giant hissy fit and demanded we take out basically everything that made the story interesting.  
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
 
Don’t get too caught up in what other people are saying about you — even the good things. Other people’s opinions are usually more about them than they are about you, so don’t give them the power to make or break your day.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Also: you can’t make friends with salad.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Please, please, please read my website before contacting me so that I don’t spend half my day responding to irrelevant pitches. Please don’t call me 10 times in one day without leaving a single message; I have call display and you’re being kinda creepy. Please update your media lists on a regular basis so that you’re pitching to the right people (it helps if they’re people who actually still work at the company you’re pitching).
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
I’ve had a lot of fantastic experiences with PR people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, but honestly, as long as you’re friendly, helpful and get back to me quickly with the info I’ve requested, I’ll think you’re pretty awesome.
I hate?
Noisy neighbours, slow walkers, endless winters, confined spaces, Gwyneth Paltrow.
I love? 
Carbs, napping, fancy tea and freshly baked scones, Saturday morning quiet time with my kitties and a stack of books, new nail polish colours, being in London, laughter that leads to snorting, my husband’s mad breakfast-making skillz, taking pictures of trees, looking at pictures of trees, packages from Miu Miu waiting to be unwrapped, moody British period dramas and very long walks.
Reading? 
I’ve been reading The Beautiful Fall since 2006 and I’m determined to finish the damn thing this month; I’ll throw a party once I finally reach the last page. I’m also working my way through The Marriage Plot and Sophie Dahl’s new cookbook From Season to Season. I don’t cook, but I enjoy reading about food and imagining myself cooking someday.
Best place on earth? 
It’s a tie between the Four Seasons Maui and the swan pond at Kensington Gardens in London.
Dinner guest? 
Tilda Swinton.
Hero? 
Daisy from the 1980 Judith Krantz classic, Princess Daisy.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
I’m an online editor with Luddite tendencies. Pass.
Pool or ocean?
Either, as long as there are no sharks around (yes, I believe in swimming pool sharks).
Voicemail or email? 
Unless we’re actually real-life friends, email.



Fashion-able: Fall trending topics

Remember back in August when NYFW Fall 11 took off? We do too…vaguely.
For those that need a calendar reminder, and with fall now actually around the corner (truth can be harsh, we know), we wanted to refresh fashion tastebuds with trends to look forward to and attempt, come the turning of the leaves.Sigh. At least there’s some silver lining to the end of summer.
Glitter gone wild
Sparkles twinked under the flashbulbs on the runway. Be it accessories, a dress, or even a jacket, this fall is your time to shine bright.
Small sprinkles of glitter on pretty Miu Miu shoes… 
Image source.
…and large, stylish sequins by Prada
Image source.
Polka-dilly
Polka dots lighten any mood and have the ability to air their youthful playfulness to an elegant and classy outfit. Wear ’em well, so as not to look like a junior miss.
Stella McCartney meshes sheer fabric and polka dots to create a stunning, curvy silhouette. 
Image source.
Marc Jacobs takes dotting his “I’s” one step further with extreme patent leather dottage. 
Image source.

Colour me mine
Forget black for your holiday parties. Colour is where it’s at this season. Take this quiz to find out what colours suit you best. (Yes, this links to a Seventeen quiz. You know you want to do one again, for old time’s sake).
Jil Sander matches lips to coat in a hot poppy hue. 
Image source.
Givenchy raunchy in yellow. 
Image source.
So there you have it – lovely colours, prints and textures to look forward to in the coming months. How can you not be excited for a fall that involves sequins?

*Thanks to FASHION Magazine for the photos and trendy reminders!

Meet Our Team: Michelle

Michelle Easton, a stellar publicist, loves fashion, music and Queen West-West. She adds spunk and sass to the fourth floor. She may or may not have a tattoo in an interesting place….

Michelle’s current client roster includes Shopgirls Gallery Boutique, Emily Hampshire, Passport to Prana, You Name It Baby! and Tastemakers Lounge, among others.

How long have you been part of the team?
One glorious year!

Ideal vacation spot?

A deserted beach in Costa Rica.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Wine. Oh, and of course, the amazing show True Blood (I’m addicted.)

Favourite movie of all time?

Romeo + Juliet (Baz Luherman)

How do you like to relax?

I like to sit in a park reading a fashion magazine while listening to music on a sunny day. It’s so calming and lovely.

Best part about being a publicist?

I love that I get to meet and chat with so many interesting and wonderful people.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website Beautiful Things to Share
Designer – Stella McCartney.
Store – Chatelet
Book If You Have To Cry Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone.
Snack – Heavenly hash ice cream.
Season – Summer: I love sunshine and wearing sun dresses.
Sexy – Confidence.
Inspiration – My mother.
Drink – Vitamin Water.
Motto in two words – Love always.