Minnow’s Five Things


Philanthropic consumerism, urban chickens, royal babies and hot dog toasters all caught my attention this week. Not to be missed, the floods in Toronto did too.
1. I received a few emails this week from companies that are selling goods and raising money at the same time. They have a unique business model and it’s definitely a trend to watch—I call it philanthropic consumerism. These e-retailers sell goods to consumers and send a portion of the profits to the charity of choice (the consumer’s choice). My favourite example is a company called Donate Naturally, a virtual organic grocer operating out of Toronto that markets to groups (mostly schools or teams) who can buy in bulk and then consolidate the funds raised into one cause (the school, for example). Recently I learned of Fitly, a US start up that provides recipes with a corresponding shopping list. They deliver the groceries to your door and send a percentage of the sale to the charity of your choice. GreedyGiver is another new one—it’s more of a deal site, like Groupon, but when you choose the deal, you choose the cause to go with it; thus their slogan ‘save money and save the world.’ Both Donate Naturally and GreedyGiver are Canadian. No more retail therapy required—you’ll feel better now that you can shop for a cause. There’s nothing wrong with shopping for a cause.

2. Speaking of trends and consumerism, you might have seen this video about a couple who orders chicken in a restaurant and wants to know where the chicken is from, what its name was and who the parents are. It’s hilarious. That was 2011 when eating locally was a new trend. Now, in 2013, the trend has backfired for the poor chickens, I’m afraid. This article from The Globe explains how ‘urban farmers’ are buying chickens but they’re ending up at animal shelters after being abandoned. The real farmers are blaming the ‘hipster farmers who don’t know what the hell they are doing.’ Good to know: Toronto outlaws chickens in city backyards while it’s encouraged in Vancouver. What is a dedicated locovore to do?
3. The royal baby isn’t even born yet and I’m already getting tired of waiting. Yes, I’m impatient but that’s not it. I’m amazed at all the news being generated about this baby that isn’t even alive yet. For example, did you know the UK is expecting the royal baby to bring close to a $400M bump in the economy? That’s $400M in baby onesies, biscuits and more trinkets and trash emblazoned with the baby’s face or name or the Union Jack. Don’t get me wrong—it’s nice that the Brits have something to get excited about and I’m as happy as anyone else to find out what the name is, but $400M?

Roya Baby

4. Speaking of trinkets and trash, I found a cool product that the kids would love all summer long (and into the fall and the winter). It’s a hot dog toaster. How much easier can it get to make the perfect dog?

Hot Dog Toaster

5. Finally, I think the floods in Toronto should get a bit of attention this week. Fortunately, nobody at Savvy HQ was seriously affected by the storms on Monday, except that our site was down for about 30 minutes and some of our team had to wade through deep waters in subway stations to get home. Here are some images of the aftermath in case you haven’t seen them already.

Toronto Flood

Have a great week.


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