Drinking The Prius Kool-Aid: Living An Eco-Chic Life

Choosing to drive a hybrid vehicle is just one part of living an eco-conscious life. Toyota reminds drivers that purchase choices we make in clothing, food, cars, and even the hotels in which we vacation, contribute to the planet’s future health. But going Eco doesn’t mean adopting a drab existence.

By Tara Weingarten


Toyota: Still the Mac Daddy of hybrids, Prius is the vehicle of choice among America’s trend-setters, Red Carpet celebs and stylists, and families trying to live a more eco-conscious life. Prius is the most-sold hybrid in the world. And now, with four models – the compact city runabout Prius C (53 mpg), the Prius Liftback (51 mpg/city), the versatile wagon-like Prius V (with 44 mpg/city), and the new Prius Plug-In (with 50 mpg/city), there’s one for every life stage. Prius owners tend to gush over their wheels, loving the money they save at the pump and the reduced emissions their cars produce. Besides the Prius, Toyota has 13 hybrid vehicles in its model line-up, and there are 30 LEED-certified Toyota Dealerships in the country. From $19,710 toyota.com


Bardessono in Yountville, Ca.: A super-luxe Platinum LEED-certified hotel in the heart of California’s wine region. The Bardessono is just one of three Platinum-rated LEED-certified hotels in the country, meaning it achieves extraordinary marks for its do-good eco chic ways. Geo-thermal wells underneath the property provide hot water to the kitchen and guest rooms, a garden provides organic produce and herbs, 12 carbon-fiber bicycles are available for guests to explore nearby wineries, and European-style exterior shutters automatically close when guests are out of the room to keep rooms at a constant temperature, thereby reducing heating and cooling resources. From $499/night per couple, including dinner. Bardessono.com


Mary Sue Millikin: As co-owner with chef Susan Feniger of the celebrated Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, Downtown LA, and Las Vegas, Mary Sue is passionate about responsibly farmed and raised food, which she serves in her restaurants. She is also on the board of Share Our Strength, which is committed to ending childhood hunger in the U.S. And Mary Sue doesn’t just cook up eco-friendly cuisine, she also lives the lifestyle. “I’m committed to keeping our planet safe and clean for the future,” she says. “We can all eat healthy, great-tasting food if we just pay attention to buying organic produce and meats without hormones.” In addition, she drives a Toyota Prius Plug-In. “I researched the Chevy Volt, the Tesla, the Prius, but the Prius Plug-In won because I drive just 10 miles to and from work each day, so I can drive completely off a charge and my car isn’t spewing emissions from the tailpipe. It’s fantastic!”


Aveda: Founded in 1978 by a hair stylist who was dismayed by the harsh chemicals in hair and skin products, Aveda primarily uses plant-based ingredients, which are safe for the earth and water. The company is committed to reducing the amount of packaging it uses, and also says that most of its packaging is recyclable. We are keen on the Rosemary Mint Shampoo, which has a clean, minty fragrance that wakes us up! aveda.com

Mind, Body, Spirit

Yogitoes: An eco-friendly yoga mat made of recycled rubber and plastic and rice husk. The company claims to have “rescued” 900,000 plastic bottles from landfills over the past nine years. Next time you’re in the market for a yoga mat, try an eco chic one. Your Chakra will thank you. From $34.99 yogitoes.com


Threads 4 Thought: Sustainable fashion doesn’t have to look like a burlap sack. Organic cotton, sustainably derived wools and recycled polyeste are today’s ingredients for eco-friendly duds. All that, and the factory is solar-powered. Threads 4 Thought clothing – T-shirts, dresses, bathing suits and hoodies – are available at a variety of retailers, including: Urban Outfitters and Whole Foods. threads4thought.com

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