Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Photo courtesy of cchronicle.com

For those of us who have a figurative yet painfully tangible umbilical cord attached to our laptops, hunting for outlets is a task we begrudgingly carry out on a daily basis.  It’s like an unspoken game of musical chairs at every Starbucks – who can migrate to the newly vacant wall seat before the next Norah Jones chorus?

Well the day is finally dawning when we can leave the children’s games behind. Samsung recently introduced its first-ever solar-powered notebook into the U.S. market this month. The NC215 netbook is said to have a battery life of up to 14.5 hours, and with every two hours in the sun, the computer gains an extra hour of power.

The solar innovation has already been released in Asia and Russia as an upgraded version of the Samsung NC110 netbook.  It can still be charged with a standard plug-in adaptor but provides an alternative power source via the solar panel integrated on the computer’s lid.

Photo courtesy of systemdiary.com

This is far from Samsung’s first venture into eco-friendly innovation.  The company has long been using the “Planet First” approach when developing their products.  Under the green initiative on the company’s website, Samsung states:

“The environmental impact of new technology shouldn’t be an afterthought. At Samsung, we believe our products should respect the planet from the moment they’re conceived to when they’re in use, and beyond.”

The company has won a number of eco-innovation and conservation accolades from around the globe including the Energy Star Award for Excellence from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Imagine the energy we’d save if all our computers were powered by the sun, not to mention the added benefit of no longer having to untangle wires and remember to unplug our idle power cords. Here at Roozt, we believe that’s a dream worth pursuing.

The Samsung NC215 is currently sold at around $400 on Amazon and various other online retailers.

As children, we are all taught about photosynthesis: the process by which leaves convert sunlight and water into energy. This almost-magical process is the reason we have beautiful fields of flowers, lush forests… It is the foundation of all things natural.

Photo courtesy of Deshow.net

Yet, scientists have found a way to replicate this natural process and create artificial “leaves” that use the same ingredients to create electricity.

In the developed world, one of the things we often take for granted is electricity. It powers our homes, phones, laptops… just about everything! It is hard to imagine life without it.

Unfortunately, over a quarter of the world’s population lives without any source of electricity.  This staggering statistic hinders the economic development of many people around the world.

Can you imagine how limiting it is to not have electricity? Children are unable to read books after sunset, entire communities have no means of communication, and even necessities like water must be fetched from far-away places as there is no electricity to pump it out of the ground.

Are artificial leaves the solution to these problems?

This exciting discovery can be used to generate electricity for homes in developing countries, even in remote areas that are not on the electric grid. This is great news for places that get sunlight year round!

So how exactly do these artificial leaves work? While they don’t exactly resemble a real leaf, the process through which they create energy is very similar to the naturally occurring process of photosynthesis. They are about the size of a playing card, and can be placed in a bucket of water and left out in the sun.

Photo courtesy of EarthEasy

This means that virtually anyone with access to water can use it to create electricity! And you might be wondering, just how much electricity can these leaves make… Each one can generate enough electricity to power an entire home for a day!

Here at Roozt, we are very excited about all the possibilities that people in the developing world could have with access to a cheap, clean source of power! Who knows, maybe one day we will all be using artificial leaves to power our own homes…

-GB with Roozt.com

Los Angeles, California (January 31, 2011) – Roozt, Inc. and SAGE Global have developed a strategic partnership to promote and encourage teen social entrepreneurship worldwide, the two organizations announced last week.

SAGE – Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship – is a global community of teenage entrepreneurs sharing a common purpose: to make the world a better place.

Roozt.com is a for-profit company that inspires and empowers Social Entrepreneurs to be successful through several initiatives, one being its e-commerce platform that provides great deals on products from companies that are Humanitarian, Eco-Friendly, Ethical, and Community Conscious.

Through this partnership, SAGE will become a nonprofit recipient of the 1% of all sales made on Roozt.com that are donated to the nonprofit of the buyer’s choice. These proceeds will directly fund the global education and mentoring of social entrepreneurship to the youth involved in SAGE. Additionally, Roozt, Inc. will become a sponsor of the annual SAGE competition.

The annual SAGE competition allows aspiring teenage entrepreneurs to showcase their efforts on a national and world stage, and make their dreams a reality. SAGE is sponsored by such organizations as Macy’s Foundation, Target Corporation, Deloitte, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Kobe Bryant Family, Umpqua Bank and Wells Fargo Bank.

In addition to Roozt.com’s socially responsible e-commerce platform, the company is actively involved in the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurs (“NFTE”), with Roozt Co-founder/CEO Brent Freeman teaching a weekly 10th grade social entrepreneurship class to at-risk youth in Downtown Los Angeles.

SAGE will also become active in Roozt, Inc.’s NFTE social entrepreneurship classroom at Downtown Magnet High School in Los Angeles, assisting the students with their business plan submissions to the SAGE competitions and further laying the groundwork for their future success.

Curt DeBerg, SAGE Executive Director and Founder, said, “The partnership with Roozt is exciting for us. Not only will more teens participate in SAGE, but we envision a time when our successful teen entrepreneurs will sell their merchandise on the Roozt.com website.”

Through real-world application in helping their communities, students are taught what it means to be a social entrepreneur and guided through the process of starting their own company, with a means of “giving back” built directly into their business models.

At the end of the year-long program, students will present their business plans to a panel of industry executives and veterans, before launching their companies in earnest. The winner of the business plan competition will receive full incorporation from myCorporation.com, and will be featured as a socially responsible company with its product for purchase on Roozt.com.

Roozt, Inc. and SAGE Global are excited to announce the details of their recent strategic partnership, expressing their shared mission to further promote social entrepreneurship among youth around the world.

For the common sports fan, it’s easy to focus our thoughts on “who’s the most expensive athlete on their payroll?” or “who won the game last week?”

But the Seattle sports world is looking at things a little differently, aiming to change the world one arena at a time.  The big wigs in the Seattle front offices are asking questions more along the lines of “how do we further reduce our carbon footprint this year?” Which, in our books, is a touchdown, home run, or any other sports euphemism you want to throw in.

The Seattle Seahawks organization understands a more unusual need that their fans want filled: sustainability.  As such, the team has created a sustainability department at Qwest Field.  The Seahawks encourage their guests and fans to leave their trash in their seats, for cleaning crews to hand sort the trash from the recycling after each game.

Qwest Field used to generate 20 tons of trash per game, but through its efforts, 13 tons are now diverted from the landfill and successfully recycled.  The stadium also uses specific computer technology to compare outside air temperature and inside air temperature, and determine if air conditioning and heating are necessary (thus seriously streamlining their energy efficiency).

ShoWare Center, home of the Western Hockey League (WHL) Seattle Thunderbirds, has become the first sports arena in North America to become LEED Gold Certified in its green practices.  The team, already managing an $80 million building, noticed that “going green” would only cost an additional $200,000 (a relative drop in the bucket). As a result, the facility uses 508,000 less kilowatt-hours than a standard arena, or the equivalent of 50 homes’ power!

Stadiums around the country are beginning to notice the Seattle sports world’s efforts, and see the city’s stadiums as “best practice companies” to emulate. With this new direction gaining momentum, other teams will not be far behind. Going green will create a better sports experience for everyone, guaranteed…even if a hot dog still costs $6.

-BN with the Roozt team

P.S. Does your hometown team have its own sustainable practices? Let us know!

Creativity. Innovation. These are things that Social Entrepreneurs and Social Entrepreneurship hold as some of their highest values. They allow people to start companies and come up with solutions to make an impact on the world for the better. Using these two, Social Enterprise will continue to flourish in the future while the freshest ideas keep spurring even fresher ideas for the next generation of businesses.

Using creativity and innovation, Mexican designer Marco Castro Cosio found a way to add over 35 acres of plant-life in cities throughout America. How? Planting gardens on the roofs of buses. For every 4,500 bus gardens, 35 acres of gardening is achieved.

Seems like a ton of buses right? I mean how many could we possibly have? Well in the school system in the US alone, there are estimated to be over 480,000!! That means that those 480,000 school buses= 3,733 acres of gardens in the school system alone. Think about what impact this could have rolled out to an entire country.

The benefits are obvious:

– Aesthetic Value
– Mitigation of Urban Heat Island Effect
– Acoustical and Thermal Insulation
– Storm Water Reduction
– CO2 absorption
– Habitat Restoration
– Storm Water Management
– Public Education and Recreation
– Reclaiming Forgotten Real Estate

This type of guerrilla gardening could have a major impact on the health of cities across the US and the world. We’re already starting to see it in niche city communities like Fort Greene and Clinton Hill in Brooklyn, New York. But taking this ideology citywide and then nationwide would be incredible. Filling in every possible space with natural gardens would be a welcome change that would make any city feel a little cleaner. Like many of the self sustaining gardens that are popping up for gourmet restaurants in many cities, a whole new industry could emerge with cities providing locally grown produce in a sustainable manner.

Check out the Bus Roots Campaign by Marco Castro Cosio.

What guerrilla gardening techniques do you use or want to see?!?

-ND

Recently the Roozt team was having a casual conversation that touched on the realm of natural/mineral cosmetics vs regular cosmetics. We’ve been working with a company called Alima Pure whose deal we just posted and were discussing what all the fuss about natural makeup was really all about. When told what goes into the average cosmetic product, I was in total disbelief. Between cow placenta, mercury and even pthalates (which causes everything from birth deformities in pregnant women to hormone imbalances) I couldn’t believe it. So how do we settle bets in 2010? Do some internet research. Here’s a compiled list of commonly found cosmetic ingredients, what health effects they can have on the users, and some other important things to know about your makeup:

Pthalates- These are generally referred to as “endocrine disruptors”. They have an estrogen increase effect (unnaturally) which upsets your body’s hormone balance. This can result in birth defects in men ranging from undescended testicles to a permanent testosterone deficiency. In women it can cause breast cancer, cervical cancer, early and more rapid pubescence, and even infertility. It has been closely linked to the rising childhood obesity epidemic and is something that should be avoided at all costs. Pthalates and other “endocrine disruptors” are estimated to be in 75-90% of products!

Nanosilvers- This is something I had never even heard of. Nanosilvers kill multiple strains of healthy and incredibly important bacteria. They’ve been linked to the growth of stronger, more resistant illnesses. Other than aiding viruses and unhealthy bacteria, the nanosilvers kill the healthy bacteria in your body causing problems with your digestion.

Almost No Regulation- The President’s Cancer Panel has been quoted saying that only about 11% of ingredients in the industry have been tested thoroughly. Incredibly unsettling considering the potential risks previously mentioned. What new risks will be discovered in a year? 5 years? 10 years?

Known Carcinogenic Ingredients- One chemical in particular, 1,4 Dioxane, is in 22% of personal care products (many even in children’s products) and has been directly linked to cancer

Cow Placenta- I know right? Terrible. It’s not just an ingredient that sounds disgusting, it’s terrible for you. The hormones in the placentas used are enough to show breast growth in toddlers… Girls are developing earlier but I think that’s a little too early

Mercury- Aw the liquid metal. While it looks cool, its effects are very uncool. Even in small amounts, mercury can cause brain damage. So why is it in cosmetics? As a preservative…

And on. And on.

So what should you take out of this? RESEARCH YOUR PRODUCTS! The side effects can be deadly. It’s a ton of work and it’s definitely going to give you a headache, but a research headache is better than one from brain damage.

Issues like this are why we hand pick specific vendors to be sold on Roozt. We do the choosing for you specifically because of our own experiences and research surrounding these products. If you’re looking for mineral makeup, look into a Roozt approved company called Alima Pure. They’re an all natural mineral makeup company that has an amazing mission. We’re featuring them as our deal through the weekend so give them a look!

ND

What is the most sustainable business in the world? If I were to describe it, I would say one that takes potential trash and turns it into something of value (feel free to chime in with yours in the comments). Think about it, not only would you be saving the potential trash from a landfill somewhere, but you’re also providing people with something they would actually want to buy, effectively cutting down on the amount of trash total. This is exactly what a college duo did when they created BTTR Ventures.

The idea behind BTTR Ventures product is simple; take the coffee grounds leftover from various Peet’s Coffee locations (over 8,000 pounds) and use them as the fertilizing agent in a gourmet mushroom growth recipe. Not only is this model incredibly sustainable, but BTTR even takes the initiative after they have used the recycled grounds and donates them to local schools and gardens as fertilizer. This leaves them with literally zero carbon footprint, a way to cut down on coffee waste, a way to fertilize local gardens, AND a way to make a living! Social Entrepreneurship at its finest!

BTTR was founded by two college students going to Berkeley and has grown to a 12 employee company with an estimated 2010 revenue north of $500,000!

We talked with owners of BTTR because we HAD to have them on Roozt. Nikhil and Alex loved the idea so you can find them having their own Roozt deal on October 6! Come by tomorrow to get them 50% 0ff of $19.95!

Check out a video with a little info on the company…