The 2008 Wired Store just opened up in New York and online, and it features a section dedicated to "green" products this year. The green section is curated by Adrian Grenier, star of "Entourage" and Peter Glatzer, producer of the Planet Green show "Alter Eco" and the upcoming "The Green Life," both of which he's worked on with Grenier.
Adrian and Peter talked to Huffington Post Green editor Dave Burdick about the Wired Store green section, Barack Obama and greening the television and film industry.
Dave Burdick: Though I love Wired and Wired.com, the magazine is something of a guilty pleasure for me -- I tend to buy it before flying, so I'm reading a printed magazine about plastic- and sometimes toxin-filled electronics while burning jet fuel. Not great. But there's a green section in the Wired store. At first, it's confusing. How did you get connected with Wired?
PG: I know. I read the last issue on the plane over here and had similar thoughts. For us though, going green is not an extreme or fanatic thing. We take a pretty moderate approach to it. You're going to use your computer, your cell phone, you're going to need to fly now and then. You have to look to other aspects of your life to offset those necessary things.
AG: We hooked up with Wired when Peter and I were asked to host a dinner at a green house that Wired sponsored in LA last year. We had just gotten the green light for our TV show, Alter Eco. We're both fans of Wired and when they asked us to do this year's store, we saw it as an opportunity to curate from what's become a fast growing eco-marketplace.
DB: Do you think the Wired demographic is likely to be interested in its carbon footprint?
AG: I think more and more the one thing everyone can get together on is the need to be responsible consumers. We are slowly becoming one unified demographic in terms of the environment, and that includes Wired lovers.
PG: Tech geeks can be environmentally conscious -- the two are not mutually exclusive.
DB: What kinds of products will be offered by the green section of the Wired store? Do you have favorites?
AG: They are all my favorites, that's why we picked them. I love to snowboard though, and it's winter and I have snowy mountains on my mind, so I'll say the Solomon Snowboard is my favorite. There will be no more snow if we don't shift our consumption to more ecologically stable products.
PG: I agree, they're all great and very different, but my standout is the Mango wooden radio. It's made from sustainable wood by an Indonesian designer who enlists local carpenters in areas of high unemployment. They're compatible with MP3 players and they're great looking.
DB: On my first run through the store's Web site, in addition to finding a really cool (and really expensive) LED desk lamp, I saw a snowboard. I come from Colorado, where that's plenty popular, but I'm not sure how it's green. Help me out.
PG: Snowboarders tend to be pretty conscious of the environment and aware of the diminishing snowpack. I think from consumer demand Solomon has been making boards out of bamboo, and there's very little fiberglass (which requires toxic resins), so it's sustainably made and incredibly strong and a bit more flexible. The snowboard is an example of design, functionality and sustainability, which were our basic criteria for all of these items. Also - and we're seeing this more and more - Solomon has sustainable practices as a business. When they do their demos, for example, they take their pros into the mountain and they hike up through the woods to the trails, where they used to snowmobile in. Snowboarding is relevant to this generation's lifestyle, and they're the ones who understand the baton is being passed to them.
DB: On a different note, what should the film and television industry be doing to lighten up on the earth?
PG: Film and television production is one of the most wasteful industries in the state of California. And we're both involved in it. Like a lot of industries, it's a bottom line thing. It costs to change your infrastructure. But there are many ways to curtail the waste and reduce the footprint. We did a green-over of Entourage on our show, Alter Eco. We replaced a diesel generator with a bio diesel one to help power the set, we replaced all styrofoam with Repurpose products - corn-based compostable table ware, we ruled out water bottles and got SIGGs for the entire cast and crew, and there were lighting switches that saved energy directly, as well as peripherally - less need for AC, cooler with the fluorescents. So, there are a lot of measures to take, but it's hard to get a production to make those changes. Fortunately, there are actors like Adrian who put pressure on their producers to do something. That's one way to making changes in our industry. Actors can apply pressure.
DB: If you could push through some eco-legislation, what would it be?
AG: I'm planning on going to the inauguration, and I will have a short list of suggestions in my back pocket in case I get to meet Obama. The first would be to use a reusable water bottle, especially when giving speeches where the whole world is watching. But I'm mostly encouraged by Obama, I know he has some big plans in store for us, promoting the new green economy. We're very excited. People are already joining in droves on a grassroots level, it's good to know that there will now be some legislation that will codify our efforts and help solidify our path to a greener future.
PG: There's little doubt that Obama will make the environment part of any stimulus package. The economic crisis has a silver lining I think, and this is where that comes in. There's such a strong need for infrastructure on the energy solution front, and with that comes green collar jobs. A lot of clean tech businesses, (wind farms certainly) depend on government incentives for a viable business model. Private sector can't do it alone, and the public sector can't either. Look at Colorado, Bill Ritter was elected governor on a green energy platform and took the state into greener pastures in a very short time. It requires a partnership of public and private to push clean tech to the next place, and leadership that understands that. I think Obama does.
DB: Do you guys feel a little spoiled having an eco-expert team on hand for your Planet Green show, "Alter Eco?" Any other teams of experts you wish you had available to you?
PG: It's great to have eco-experts around. Lauren Gropper is our LEED consultant and our partner in the green life. And Adrian happens to be ridiculously adept with a blackberry. A few Apple Geniuses would be pretty swell to have around whenever you need them.
AG: Maybe Wired could arrange that.
DB: Thanks for your time, guys.