On "Entourage," Adrian Grenier's character Vince Chase and his posse often reveled in the debauched, hedonistic side of Hollywood. But with his latest real-life venture, Grenier and business partner, Peter Glatzer, producer of the "Alter Eco" TV series, represent Hollywood at its most earnest and altruistic.
After meeting through a mutual friend, Grenier and Glatzer decided to take their own eco-consciousness to the next level, starting Los Angeles-based SHFT.com. The site curates cool products that are also green, ranging from a doughnut-shaped iPhone speaker made from recycled paper to felt planters.
"We know consumption isn't going to go away tomorrow, but maybe responsible consumption will take over the less conscientious ways we do things," Grenier said.
Through SHFT, Glatzer and Grenier also highlight small business innovations, such as Bionic Yarn -- a soft, durable material made from recycled plastic bottles (Pharrell Williams is an investor) -- and collaborate with big businesses, including Ford, Virgin America and AOL/The Huffington Post. And they recently started selling their first private-label product, the sustainable SHFT house wine, for $24.99.
HuffPost Small Business found out why Grenier and Glatzer believe consumers making small shifts in purchases can make a huge dent in environmental issues.
Why did you take the route of starting a small business instead of a nonprofit?
Grenier: I see a lot of people indulging in abstract righteousness, talking a lot of big talk but without any real tangible, actionable solutions. We chose this approach because it's accessible and doable. We want to inspire as many people as possible to make these decisions and shifts in the way they purchase and consume.
Glatzer: We don't look at this as a cause. It's a way of life -- the way we need to start functioning in every way, whether energy, furniture, food, clothing, architecture or design. These things are all connected.
How did the environment became a personal concern of yours?
Grenier: It's how I was brought up. My mother always taught me to be respectful to others and to take care of my own personal space, and as I got older, it became apparent that my own personal space is beyond my bedroom, my apartment or my community -- it's the world at large.
Glatzer: For me, it was about seven years ago. Besides driving a hybrid and recycling, there was more I wanted to do, but in the so-called eco space at that time, there was very little that appealed to me. There seemed to be a void in the marketplace.
Since you started your company, have you started seeing the shift?
Glatzer: We have. We see a great deal of change in the private sector -- all these great small businesses popping up as well as very large companies changing the way they do business. But we're not Pollyanna about it. There needs to be a combination of private and public sector cooperation to have a big shift. We'd like to see both parties get on board when it comes to environmental and energy policy and work together on this and make it more viable for clean energy business to thrive in this country.
Grenier: Humbly, I feel we're doing a great job at bringing the megaphone and spotlight to small companies that are making changes. But what inspires me even more is watching big business transform itself to address the new values of new consumers. I'm in awe that the old guard has seen the necessity to make those changes.
We're inspired to invest in a vision, and that vision requires a lot of people to put their dollars, their energy toward finding new innovations. There is no panacea -- there are just a great many shifts contributing to the next discovery.
Names: Peter Glatzer, Adrian Grenier
Ages: 48, 36
Location: Los Angeles
Started: December 2009
2012 Projected Revenues: $2 million
UPDATE: Glatzer clarified an answer about where he's seeing the shift.
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Although she may be one of the <a href="http://www.askmen.com/celebs/women/models/15_gisele_bundchen.html" target="_hplink">most beautiful women in the world</a>, Gisele Bündchen is much more than just a pretty face. Named the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/27/gisele-best-green-celebrity_n_1115242.html#s429728" target="_hplink">2011 Greenest International Celebrity of the Year</a>, Bündchen devotes an extraordinary amount of her time and money to environmental causes. She has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the <a href="http://www.unep.org/" target="_hplink">United Nations Environment Program</a> since 2009, works with the <a href="http://vimeo.com/32243308" target="_hplink">Brazilian movement A Drop Of Water (Gota D'água)</a>, and is involved in her <a href="http://hqweb.unep.org/gwa/ambassadors/gisele/" target="_hplink">hometown's Clean Water Project</a>. And with the Amazon rainforest as one of her main passions, Bündchen co-hosted the Rainforest Alliance annual gala in 2009. For more information on how <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20261937,00.html" target="_hplink">Mrs. Bündchen-Brady</a> stays eco-friendly, <a href="http://blog.giselebundchen.com.br/en/" target="_hplink">check out her green blog</a>!
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Actor <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000602/" target="_hplink">Robert Redford</a> is a long time environmental advocate and a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council and founder of <a href="http://www.sundance.org/about/" target="_hplink">the Sundance Institute</a>. <br> A <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-redford/" target="_hplink">long time blogger for HuffPost, Redford</a> has written many pieces dissecting the impact of fracking on our planet, and the cozy relationship Big Oil has with the government. <br> In a June blog piece, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-redford/fossil-fuel-subsidies_b_1605146.html" target="_hplink">Redford wrote about energy subsidies</a> and the Rio+20 conference. "We should not be subsidizing the destruction of our planet," Redford affirmed. "Fossil fuels are literally cooking our planet, polluting our air and draining our wallets. Why should we continue to reward companies to do that?"
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Adrian Grenier may share good looks and acting chops with his <a href="http://www.hbo.com/entourage/index.html" target="_hplink">Entourage alter-ego Vince</a>, but the similarities end when it comes to extracurricular activities. Unlike the hard-partying Vince, Grenier is an activist who uses his fame to better impact the world around him. He created <a href="http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/alter-eco/alter-eco.html" target="_hplink">a TV show called "Alter Eco"</a> for Discovery Channel's Planet Green, <a href="http://www.shft.com/" target="_hplink">the website SHFT.com</a>, which promotes sustainable living through various multimedia, and <a href="http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/natural-beauty-fashion/blogs/adrian-grenier-gets-eco-fashionable" target="_hplink">supports eco-friendly fashion</a>. In addition, <a href="http://oceana.org/en/about-us/people-partners/celebrity-supporters/adrian-grenier" target="_hplink">he is an Oceana ambassador</a> and works with <a href="http://www.charitywater.org/" target="_hplink">charity:water to bring safe drinking water to third world countries</a>. And did we mention that <a href="http://www.ecorazzi.com/2008/03/10/adrian-grenier-wins-blue-sky-award-for-environmental-activism/" target="_hplink">he won the Blue Sky award in 2008</a> for his environmental activism?
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While Streep is often considered one of the greatest screen sirens in history, her passion for environmental health is no act. In 1989, she created <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/spotlighthealth/2002-10-18-streep-healthy-kids_x.htm" target="_hplink">Mothers and Others, after reading a Natural Resources Defense Council report</a> regarding pesticides in produce, according to USA Today. The group taught consumers about chemicals and toxins that have become commonplace for non-organic foods. <br> Although <a href="http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1594/is_4_12/ai_76020609/" target="_hplink">the organization shuttered in 2001</a>, Streep's <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/spotlighthealth/2002-10-18-streep-healthy-kids_x.htm" target="_hplink">fight for environmental food awareness</a> continues today. She is involved with <a href="http://healthychild.org/about/" target="_hplink">Children's Health Environmental Coalition</a>, a group that aims to protect children from toxins in water and food sources.
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A longtime green advocate, things got personal for Mark Ruffalo when hydraulic fracturing or "hydrofracturing" began to disrupt his hometown in upstate New York's Sullivan County. Ruffalo educated himself on the complex practice and has been using his fame to call attention to this destructive method of natural gas extraction. The A-list activist, who founded <a href="http://www.waterdefense.org/" target="_hplink">Water Defense</a>, even landed himself on a U.S. terror watch list for organizing screenings of a documentary about natural gas drilling. <br> Ruffalo specifically <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alison-rose-levy/northeast-fracking_b_968907.html" target="_hplink">seeks to fight gas companies' positive spin</a> about the arguably destructive practice. In one memorable forum, he challenged their claim that the extraction method would bring much-needed work to low-income communities. "You don't put everyone else in jeopardy just because its going to bring jobs," he said on the local news, "you don't bring your daughter to the red light district because you're having hard times."
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Actor and activist <a href="http://www.alecbaldwin.com/" target="_hplink">Alec Baldwin</a>, know for his role on the sitcom "30 Rock" and for movies like "<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318374/" target="_hplink">The Cooler</a>" and "<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407887/" target="_hplink">The Departed</a>," is a a staunch advocate for clean energy. <br> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/02/alec-baldwin-nuclear-power-dirty-energy_n_946555.html" target="_hplink">Baldwin told HuffPost's Lynne Peeples</a>, "The biggest problem in the anti-nuclear movement is the constant big lie, and the constant assertion, metronomic assertion, in the industry, that nuclear is clean power." <br> He also tackled the oil industry, saying, "In fairness, the oil industry is ... a bunch of a very, very smart, very shrewd, very necessary, industrialists who did their part and did what was asked of them to get us to where we are now. Now it's time for them to step aside in terms of their primary role." <br> In April 2011, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alec-baldwin/the-big-lie-of-clean-nucl_b_844161.html" target="_hplink">Baldwin blogged for HuffPost about nuclear power</a>, writing, "Fukushima shows us that utility companies reap all of the benefits, while we assume all of the risks."
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Portman, a vegetarian since childhood, turned full-on vegan after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's book "Eating Animals" last year (although she went back to being a vegetarian during her pregnancy) . <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natalie-portman/jonathan-safran-foers-iea_b_334407.html" target="_hplink">She blogged on The Huffington Post</a>, "The human cost of factory farming -- both the compromised welfare of slaughterhouse workers and, even more, the environmental effects of the mass production of animals -- is staggering." <br> She traveled to Rwanda to film <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/10/natalie_portman.php" target="_hplink">a documentary about endangered gorillas</a>, she's designed her own <a href="http://www.ecorazzi.com/2007/12/25/razzi-snap-natalie-portman-announces-new-vegan-shoe-collection/" target="_hplink">vegan shoes</a>, and is now even sporting <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/07/natalie-portman-reveals-e_n_805946.html" target="_hplink">an eco-friendly engagement ring</a> from husband Benjamin Millepied. Portman's passion for the environment began at a young age - she can even be seem dancing in a very...<em>unique</em> <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/06/vintage_video_n.php" target="_hplink">environmental video as a World Patrol Kid</a>.
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When it comes to green activism, George Clooney doesn't mess around. "You don't want to be a spokesperson unless you are absolutely committed to a cause," <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1668446,00.html" target="_hplink">the actor said in an interview</a> with TIME magazine. And according to his own logic, Clooney is a total environmental buff. MSN reported that after his role in Syriana, Clooney helped launch <a href="http://news.uk.msn.com/environment/green-living/photos.aspx?cp-documentid=150371643&page=5" target="_hplink">Oil Change</a>, a campaign to diminish America's oil dependence. He is also a major human rights activist, protesting in favor of aid for Sudan and Darfur, and even going so far as to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/george-clooney-arrested-dc-_n_1353441.html" target="_hplink">get arrested at a protest in March 2012</a>. Clooney drew <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinehoward/2012/03/16/george-clooney-arrested-protesting-darfur-sudan/" target="_hplink">a parallel between human rights issues and climate disasters</a> in 2010, when he asked <em>Today Show</em>'s Ann Curry "If you knew a tsunami, or Katrina or a Haiti earthquake was coming, what would you do to save people?" The rugged actor also tries to stay green in his everyday life. According to MSN, <a href="http://green.in.msn.com/gallery.aspx?cp-documentid=3680004&page=4" target="_hplink">he drives two electric cars</a>, and was the cover photo for <a href="http://www.hollywood.com/news/Clooney_and_Roberts_Go_Green_for_Vanity_Fair/3488954" target="_hplink">Vanity Fair's first green issue.</a>
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Once known as the archetypical valley girl Cher in the movie "Clueless," Alicia Silverstone now makes her name as the face of vegan beauty. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Kind-Diet-Simple-Feeling/dp/1605296449" target="_hplink">She wrote a diet book</a> called "The Kind Diet" <a href="http://www.thekindlife.com/about" target="_hplink">which she says</a> "is about living your healthiest and happiest life to the fullest, while taking care of mama Earth at the same time." She also regularly updates her blog, <a href="http://www.thekindlife.com/" target="_hplink">The Kind Life</a>, with vegan recipes, beauty tips, and other Earth-friendly finds from the celebrity fashionista. Silverstone recently <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/alicia-silverstone-pre-chewing_n_1458678.html" target="_hplink">created a cyber-windstorm for pre-chewing her son Bear Blu's food</a>. "It's natural," <a href="http://www.etonline.com/news/121146_Silverstone_Responds_to_Mouth_Feeding_Controversy/index.html" target="_hplink">she defended herself</a> to <em>Entertainment Tonight</em>.
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In 1989, Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, formed the Rainforest Foundation Fund to preserve rainforests and protect indigenous populations within them. "Sting and I founded the Rainforest Fund after seeing with our own eyes the destruction of one of the world's most precious resources," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/elton-john-sting-james-taylor-revlon_n_1299749.html" target="_hplink">Styler was quoted as saying in a HuffPost article</a>. "If we all take action, we can help save the planet and prevent further harm to the rainforests and indigenous people who live there." <br> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/trudie-styler/why-sting-and-i-set-up-th_b_98252.html" target="_hplink">Styler blogged for HuffPost</a> that she and Sting founded the Rainforest Foundation Fund after flying over the Amazon and meeting people on the ground there. She said, at first, "Sting was criticized for daring to be a rock star who wanted to change the world." But she says their group has worked to successfully protect over 115,000 square kilometers of rainforest.
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Actress <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000435/" target="_hplink">Daryl Hannah</a>, known for films such as "Blade Runner" and "Splash," has lent her name to several environmental causes. <br> In 2009, she travelled to West Virginia and was arrested while protesting mountaintop removal coal mining. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daryl-hannah/why-i-was-arrested-in-coa_b_224531.html" target="_hplink">She wrote for HuffPost</a>, "I was honored to be joining an inspiringly brave group of concerned Americans." <br> More recently, she was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/30/daryl-hannah-arrested-keystone-protest_n_942072.html" target="_hplink">one of over 1,200 people arrested</a> in August in front of the White House as part of a Keystone XL pipeline protest.
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This <a href="http://www.unicef.ie/Content.aspx?PageDetailId=24&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1" target="_hplink">UNICEF ambassador</a> is known in Hollywood for his Earth-friendly ways. While Brosnan stays environmentally aware on a daily basis by <a href="http://www.hellomagazine.com/celebrities-news-in-pics/19-05-2009/51565/general/" target="_hplink">driving a hybrid car</a>, according to Hello! Magazine, he has advocated for sustainable government legislation as well as publicized himself as a major supporter of environmental charities. <br> He's <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1549375,00.html" target="_hplink">protested natural gas facilities</a> near his Malibu home, and according to Treehugger.com, spoken in public forums <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/culture/pierce-brosnan-at-epa-markey-waxman-markey.html" target="_hplink">in support of the EPA and green legislation</a>. In 1997 he was given an Environmental Leadership Award by Mikhail Gorbachev, and in 2008 Brosnan and his wife Keely Shaye Smith were inducted into the <a href="http://www.ecorazzi.com/2008/10/30/pierce-brosnan-to-be-inducted-into-environmental-hall-of-fame/" target="_hplink">Environmental Hall of Fame</a>.
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Actor <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000437/" target="_hplink">Woody Harrelson</a> has reportedly been <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/23/woody-harrelsons-vegan-ac_n_295765.html" target="_hplink">a vegan for nearly 25 years</a>. In fact, for the 2009 film "Zombieland," Harrelson ate a special vegan Twinkie instead of the real thing. <br> Harrelson has also <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20070927/people-woody-harrelson/" target="_hplink">called for greater activism against oil</a>. Speaking at a media and technology conference in Amsterdam in 2007, Harrelson said, "Certainly (oil companies) just want to get as much out of the ground and make as much money as possible before they transition into anything else. So I still think it's time for some strong activism, especially as it relates to our dependency on oil."
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According to the Mother Nature Network, <a href="http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/ecollywood-glenn-close-dwayne-the-rock-johnson-eric-stoltz-lucy-lawle" target="_hplink">Glenn Close is a major puppy activist</a>. She works with not one, but two organizations devoted to helping her canine companions. Close and husband David Shaw founded <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/www.fetchdog.com" target="_hplink">Fetchdog.com</a>, an online shopping site for doggie treats which donates a portion of the sales to dog related charities. In addition, <a href="http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Puppies-Behind-Bars-Helps-the-Disabled/3" target="_hplink">Oprah.com reported that Close is also a staunch supporter</a> of <a href="http://www.puppiesbehindbars.org/about.asp" target="_hplink">Puppies Behind Bars</a>, a program that helps service dogs and prisoners have a symbiotic, educational relationship. Close also supports non-canine causes. In 2009, <a href="http://www.ammado.com/nonprofit/45792/articles/10064" target="_hplink">the ocean conservation group Oceana</a> honored her at their annual Sea Change Summer party, noting the actress's <a href="http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/ecollywood-hanging-with-celebs-at-the-oceana-fundraiser" target="_hplink">dedication to ocean conservation</a>.
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Who would've thought Mr. Darcy could be a shopkeeper? Colin Firth has set up various eco-themed shops in Britain. He opened two fair trade cafes called Progreso (<a href="http://www.standard.co.uk/news/new-fears-for-portobello-as-sam-cams-favourite-butchers-join-the-casualty-list-6424931.html" target="_hplink">at least one of which closed in 2010</a>), and <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/colin-firths-eco-store.html" target="_hplink">an ecological store called Eco in Chiswick</a>, offering ethical, fair trade goods, as well as expert energy efficiency advice for homeowners. As <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/about/ambassadors/colin-firth" target="_hplink">an Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign supporter</a>, Colin Firth raises awareness on behalf of Ethopian coffee growers, and lobbies for fair trade in the coffee markets. <a href="http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article2856825.ece" target="_hplink">According to <em>The Times</em>, Firth said</a> that "rather than being a luvvie with a lofty opinion preaching to people, I prefer to do things, to get involved, put my money where my mouth is and learn along the way."
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