I think we all remember that scene in The Matrix when Neo is given a choice between the blue or red pill. Morpheus tells Neo; “There is no going back. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” Neo took the red pill and so did I.

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With increasing media reports of enormous protests and even coverage of a few riots in Copenhagen, it seems now is perhaps the time to get more intimately involved.

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An octopus using a coconut as a tool, monkeys recognizing their friends in photographs, a shark performing an impromptu caesarean at a New Zealand aquarium and chimps displaying ‘human-like’ altruism. It has been a busy year for animal behavior ‘discoveries’.

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, there is a lot of pressure on North Americans to show their ‘love’ by participating in a consumer purchasing frenzy of roses, chocolates and lingerie. The fact that everyone knows it is a corporate constructed holiday does little to alleviate the feverish thoughts of normally intelligent individuals who believe they must pay homage to loved ones with a variety of unnecessary gifts.

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The apparent disconnect between environmental activism and animal rights was again highlighted by a recent protest organized by Victoria-based Dogwood Initiative. During the protest, student activists threw six live chickens into an office area to protest MLA Ida Chong’s inactivity on protecting the Western Forest Products land, located on Vancouver Island.

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It has been a busy couple of months for GreenMuze. com as we become more involved in the global environmental community. Website traffic is increasing, we have a new Twitter account, and sales have been great at our GreenMuze Store – a big thanks to all our visitors for their support.

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Sixty seconds. A mere sixty seconds is the amount of time Natural Resources Canada recommends you leave your engine idling while running errands, chatting with a friend, waiting at the ferry or picking your children up from school.

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On Earth Day, communities around the world will come together for parades, picnics, demonstrations, dancing, singing and laughter. Even though environmentalism is becoming more commonplace, many activists believe that Earth Day is even more relevant today than when the movement first started nearly forty years ago.

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Salt Spring Island, a rural agricultural community located a few kilometres off the Vancouver Island coastline and mainland western Canada, is a veritable horn of farming plenty. Everything from cheese, cereals, meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables and fruits are grown locally or produced on this small 182.7 sq. km. (70.5 sq. mi.) island.

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Mark your calendars as it is almost time for the hottest green event of the summer season – the solar-powered Organic Islands Festival and? Sustainability Expo on July 10th and 11th in Victoria, British Columbia. Now in its sixth year, this thriving sustainability festival will feature more than 150 leading green businesses, visionaries and activists at Canada’s largest outdoor environmental expo.

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Did you feel the earth move Thursday morning? Well, it wasn’t an earthquake or an explosion; rather GreenMuze. com went live at about 8am, August 28th, 2008. It was a momentous occasion for the GreenMuze team and took us damn near a year to get here. Although, I don’t think we caused so much as a blip on the web Richter scale. It usually takes a few days to start to percolate (or marinate) enough so that the web-Gods and Goddesses start to notice us - which is OK by us as we are still in the process of loading articles.

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With summer easing towards autumn, my partner and I become increasingly preoccupied, maybe even a tad obsessed, with squirreling away enough local food (which does include gathering some walnuts and hazelnuts) to ensure we are able to consume a primarily local diet during the winter months.

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We lost touch with the importance of local food production and its celebration for several generations, but with more and more people growing weary of the current overly-industrialized food system, factory farming and the true cost of foods shipped hundreds of miles from farm to plate, the love of local food is back on the table.

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We all live in a toxic world, but the degree of toxicity varies considerably according to where we live on the planet. I tell myself that it is only luck that some people were born in a healthy part of the world and it is only an unfortunate roll of the dice, often coupled with poverty, that has some disadvantaged souls living in Chernobyl, Bhopal, or near Alberta’s Tar Sands.

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Watching the world’s reaction to media organization Wikileaks and journalist Julian Assange, and their recent release of a portion of an estimated 250,000 US embassy diplomatic cables (known as Cablegate), our response at GreenMuze. com has run the gamut from curiosity, to cheering on Wikileaks’ gumption in the face of considerable opposition, to shock at the oppressive might that the American government has unleashed on Assange and Wikileaks, to out and out fear at how quickly, how entirely, freedom of speech can be eroded.

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With the holiday season underway and shopping malls teeming with frantic consumers, the blogosphere is equally as busy with environmental websites pushing everything from hemp slippers to vegan Free Trade chocolates to organic cotton hoodies.

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We live in a society that has normalized the use of animals for entertainment and profit - whether it is in zoos, aquariums, carriage rides or whale watching – animal exploitation is ubiquitous. Take the recent example of the brutal slaughter of 100 sled dogs in Whistler, B. C that is currently making headlines around the world.

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Knut, the most famous, and arguably, the world’s most beloved polar bear, died at the Berlin Zoo on March 19, 2011, well short of a normal 35 year lifespan. I have to admit that I find the outpouring of grief and sentiments of love from around the globe for the deceased young polar bear both confusing and conflicting.

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In honor of Earth Day (April 22, 2011), we have a special treat for our Canadian readers – a free basket of goodies from the 100% green energy provider Bullfrog Power. We support switching to cleaner sources of energy in our homes and businesses as a great method of reducing our carbon footprint and we like giving away green goodies to our readers – so it is a win-win situation.

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MTV has just announced that the documentary Summit on the Summit: Kilimanjaro about Emile Hirsch, Isabel Lucas, Kenna and Jessica Biel, and a heap of other eco-celebrities, scientists and artists’ successful climb to the top of iconic Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about the global water crisis will air in March.

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James Cameron believes he has made the most successful environmental movie in history with Avatar. The Canadian director explained how his film, the top grossing film of all time and currently nominated for nine Oscars, was also an important contributor to raising environmental consciousness, at a recent Natural Resources Defense fundraiser.

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Hot on the success of last year’s Disneynature’s EARTH comes another environmental flick from the happiest place on earth – OCEANS directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud. With nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface covered by water, OCEANS promises to explore and chronicle the mysteries that lie beneath the sea.

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Celebrities have come together to help the creators of the award-winning documentary The Cove encourage people to support the end to dolphin slaughter and dolphin captivity.

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A recently released undercover video of sadistic abuse at the Conklin Dairy Farms Inc. in Plain City, Ohio is generating colossal shock waves in the media and farming communities across North America. The undercover video, filmed by Mercy For Animals during roughly a one month period in late April to May, 2010, shows diary farm workers beating cows with crowbars, punching calves in the face, stabbing animals with pitchforks, holding down newborn calves and stomping on their heads. The video is extremely graphic and goes far beyond rough handling into sadistic criminal violence against animals.

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Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton, Artistic Directors of the Sydney Theatre Company, are making great strides in turning their theatre into one of the greenest in the world. In fact, the eco-couple are working on a collaborative large-scale project called Greening The Wharf with the University of New South Wales, NSW Government Architect's Office and the Australian government. The eighteen-month project is designed to showcase how heritage buildings can be made more sustainable.

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George Clooney, aside from being an extremely popular American film actor and director, will soon be the fourth recipient of the prestigious Bob Hope Humanitarian Award on August 29, 2010 during the 62nd Emmy Awards.

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Popular American talk show hostess Ellen DeGeneres, in conjunction with Farm Sanctuary, is asking the public to adopt a turkey for Thanksgiving rather than eat one. DeGeneres is the official spokeswoman for the annual Farm Sanctuary Adopt-A-Turkey Project that works to raise awareness about the unpleasant life of factory-farmed turkeys.

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American actor David Arquette is the star of a new advertisement encouraging Americans to oppose Proposition 23 in California. In the Matthew Cooke written and directed short video “No On Prop 23 – Don’t Mess With California”, Arquette (representing California) gets into a highly stylized fist fight with a couple of thugs (representing Texas oil). Executive producers include actor and environmentalist Adrian Grenier.

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James Cameron recently released a short film, created in conjunction with Amazon Watch, to raise awareness about a real life Avatar-style battle in the Amazon Rainforest. A Message From Pandora is a 20-minute feature that highlights the struggle to stop the Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon.

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American actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio has donated US$1 million (€746,000) to the WWF in a bid to save wild tigers from extinction. With fewer than 3,200 tigers left in the wild, experts are predicting the wild tiger could be extinct in less than 12 years.

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Lady Gaga and Polaroid recently unveiled the Polarez, a Gaga-inspired pair of glasses that incorporate a built-in 5-megapixel camera and two 1.4inch (3.56cm) organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens. Lady Gaga is a creative director at Polaroid.

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While sitcom actress Jennifer Aniston continues to shuck bottled Smart Water to the masses, celebrity actors and activists are spoofing America’s obsession with fancy bottled waters in a bid to help provide access to safe, clean drinking water for nearly 900 million children and adults across the globe.

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Much loved American game show icon Bob Barker is also a tenacious animal rights activist who won’t take no for an answer. After taking part in the battle to help move Lucy the elephant from the City of Edmonton owned zoo, Barker is now offering $100K (€71K) to the city council in order to have Lucy’s health assessed by an independent body of elephant experts and veterinarians.

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Popular American actor Matt Damon was recently included on the 2011 Time 100 influential people list. Recognized for his work to raise awareness about clean water and sanitation for children, in conjunction with water supply system expert Gary White. The short article, written by Ted Danson, highlights how the environmental duo set up the non-profit charity Water. org and continue to be a strong voice for water rights.

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Julia Roberts is the Global Ambassador for The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, promoting the "...public-private initiative to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions".

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Well you would have to be living under a rock to not be aware that the Americans are heading to the polls in November to choose between John McCain and Barack Obama. However, what you might not have heard is that Canada is also heading to the polls in October to choose a new Federal government.

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A slew of shark-loving celebrities have come together to show their support for the sea creatures in a new PSA (public service announcement) from The Humane Society of the United States’ Shark Free Marina Initiative (SFMI). The initiative works to reduce global shark mortality by, in part, encouraging marinas and businesses to refuse to allow the killing, landing and processing of sharks and related products.

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