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All Green Podcast Ep. 12: Michael's First Impressions (Summer 2022 Edition)

All Green Podcast Ep. 12: Michael's First Impressions (Summer 2022 Edition)

What happens when you give Founder of Eco Four Twenty and Co-Host of the All Green Podcast, Michael, a campground in Algonquin and a box full of surprise products?

Listen in as Michael reports directly from the great outdoors and gives his first impressions! First, Michael learns about a new innovative energy that is beginning its trials in Norway. Can you guess what it is? Michael couldn't!

We get to listen to Michael unboxing and try out 5 unique products and his first reactions to some of the new snacks and topicals out on the market. From spicy dill pickle gummies to a soothing relief stick, Michael gives his honest feedback and opinion on it all and I can promise you that you won't want to miss hearing them. 


Michael: All right, all right, all right. Thank you so much for listening to a new episode of The All Green Podcast with Eco Four Twenty. My name is Michael Ghazal, I'm the Founder and CEO of Eco Four Twenty. Now, it's actually just me here today, because I am actually recording this outside in the great outdoors. I am here in Algonquin Park. This is in Ontario, Canada, and it's a beautiful, huge park. I'm in Canisbay Lake Campground, and what's really cool about this place is that in addition to the regular campsite, they also have back-country canoe sites, so I take a canoe, put all my stuff in a canoe, and then head out into one of 16 campsites. And so it's a lot more secluded, you don't have to be right beside other people like you would a normal campground, so it's really, really cool to be able to be here, I'm always on a computer all the time, you know. So I wanted to have a time for myself, just to take a couple of days off. However, I wanted to film a couple podcasts. And so I'm excited for this podcast, because Andrea, and I have a surprise, she picked four or five random items that I have no idea about and for the first time ever, I'm gonna, you know, give my first impressions.

Michael: So this is Michael's first impressions, I think it's really cool that there are so many unique products out there. There's so many different categories, there's so many items of things that I've never even heard of. And then now there's a new product and a new brand out there for it. Personally, I know I've bothered Andrea all the time, because I like to stay in stores for 20 minutes, a half an hour, just looking at products, looking at the box, looking at the packaging, I feel like you can learn a lot of things from just analyzing what other people are doing and learn for your own company. And so that's something I've always loved doing, you know, whether it's a big box store, or small businesses, I love going in there looking at products, seeing what they do, and what could I do? And how could I improve my own packaging? How can I improve my own products, and so all of these products, we are not affiliated with them in any way. The only sponsor of this podcast is Eco Four Twenty, the best filters and the best eco friendly products in the world. But besides that we have no affiliation with these companies. And if I don't like it, or if I think something's weird about it, I'm gonna let you know, you know, I think it's very honest, is what I'm going to do here. I always like to analyze products, and if it's something that I can learn from, I will say if it's something that I feel like, they could improve or is weird about it, I'm gonna say that just the same. So before we get into the actual, you know, four or five products, I'm excited because we usually talk about a story or something in the news. However, again, I don't know what this story is. So I'm gonna read it with you guys and kind of see how it goes.

Michael: So Andrea prepared an interesting story for me to read and I have it here. So let's open it and see how it goes. So it says a sand battery trial begins in Finland. Polar Night Energy, and Finland is tuning its new sand battery technology. While NREL is testing a similar concept. So I guess it's sand battery trials. I'm a huge fan of batteries. You know, I think electric vehicles are the future. And there's so many cool things involved about that. I don't know what a sand battery is. I know there's a lot of sand here in Algonquin Park and there's a lot of sand everywhere. I know I don't even know if it's a renewable resource or not to be honest, I'm not educated about sand itself. So let's read in and learn more. The sand battery is the idea of two Finnish engineers. Basically, they make a really big pile of sand. They heat it with excess renewable electricity, and then use that heat later to heat homes, factories and even swimming pools. They say that this sand can stay hot for three months or more. That's I never even thought of using- so they're not actually putting the sand in the batteries, which is what I thought originally. Thank God I'm not an engineer for that, I would not be doing that properly. They heat the sand and then use like the thermal energy from the sand to I guess heat swimming pools and homes. I think that's fantastic and such a unique way. If you've ever gone to a beach in a sunny day, you know how hot the sand particles can be itself. You know it burns your feet if you don't have shoes on so I think that's so interesting and wow that's a really unique idea at least.

Michael: I've never really heard of this kind of sand and heating, but I think it's a unique thing. But I also know it's very cold in Finland. So if they're able to keep the heat in and use this sand to kind of heat up stuff, I think that's a fantastic idea as well. The sand battery is primarily intended to supplement district's heating systems and significantly lower the amount of electricity, oil or methane used to heat buildings. Now I know electricity, oil, and methane is a lot of the traditional ways. But if there's new, innovative ways, like that scientists and engineers are able to do that. That's remarkable. I think that's, that's absolutely fantastic. And we need to find more practical ways to reduce our emissions. And so yeah, if it's with a sand battery, I love it. I love that idea.

Michael: So basically, like the key takeaway is just talking about energy storage, and the renewable energy revolution, I think it's really interesting that there are so many unique ways to tackle this problem, it's not just get a bigger battery. It's not just one way like, I love that we're using wind, I love that we're using electricity. Now, there's more innovative ways to geothermal sand batteries. I think that is such a fantastic way. And, you know, we need to get more sophisticated in this battle against climate change. And against all of these issues, that if we're able to make more environmentally friendly, and inexpensive ways to heat our homes, I think that's just something that all of the countries around the world need to do. It's very expensive to heat homes, it costs a lot of energy. And if we could see even 1% reduction, we imagine that across the globe, it would be really interesting to see if what this kind of sand battery can do. And we'll definitely link more about this as it comes available to us. So I think that's really cool. Something that you know, I never even thought about, you know, until yesterday, this was less than 20 years old of an innovation. And now it's commonplace. So I think it's really cool. But what kind of energy for things are we going to think about in the future, I think I'm very forward thinking in terms of innovation. And I never even thought about sand batteries in this unique way to be able to actually heat homes and provide energy in some way. So that's really cool. Good job, Finland. Now, to the exciting products, I get to check out products and you know, give my first impression. So I truly have no idea what to expect. What I do know is I brought scissors, because I hate a lot of the different packaging that we have. Sometimes I have to jam them open with scissors, sometimes, you know, it's just like annoying, you have to press down and turn. It is very hard. For some of these packages. I have no idea what these packages will be. But let's get into it.

Michael: Okay, so the first product is a wild flower relief stick. And so this is from a small team in Vancouver. It says it's one of the first companies to manufacture these kinds of oils, and mix them with essential oils. So it is one of the first products, I guess, in Canada to do that. And I think that's really interesting. I've never heard of it before I have a little-Andrea provided me a little info packet. So I can read a bit about what the products are before trying them. And so I like that the packaging in itself is made of cardboard, you know, it looks like that then itself can be recyclable. So that's a good eco friendly thing. I think it's really interesting how a lot of the companies are able to make do with a lot of government regulation and here's how you can sell things. Here's how you can package things. And you know, there's so many different rules no matter what industry and no matter what product you sell, being able to follow the rules and really push your product in a creative way is really important. And I think it's really cool to see other companies doing the same thing. So this is a basically a stick that you'd be able to rub on your legs on your arms to provide pain relief soothing muscles, calm skin. I've used Rub-A535 and similar products like that I've never used this wildflower stick before, but let's give it a try. I'll be honest, I was canoeing today and it's it's tiring

Michael: The smell is lovely. I think it's- I don't know if it is wildflower or I think the name of the company is wildflower so it doesn't it's not supposed to smell like a wildflower. But you can definitely smell the essential oils. I don't know what it smells like. Because I also smell the outdoors like I'm in the outdoors now so I'm getting a mix of of that outdoors scent as well. But I guess when you're having these kind of sticks, it's not really meant for the smell. You know, it's really meant for more of the pain relief. Just muscle aches and especially like in a canoe, you know, my back hurts and my shoulders hurt. So to be able to rub on would be really interesting. So I'm giving it a go now, and maybe I'll give a bit of a feedback in a bit later

Michael: All right, we're gonna go to number two right now

Michael: Number two is called Sunshower. Limited Edition. Spicy dill pickle. Spicy dill pickle. That is a tongue twister.

Michael: I don't know if it's supposed to taste like pickle, but I'm excited. I do like pickles in general on the packaging is very small. So I do like that. I know they're very small edibles. So we'll see how it goes. But it's from Sunshower. And this is a licensed producer in Alberta. And I like that it's green. And I guess that just reminds me of the dill pickle. So let's give it a shot and see how it even tastes. I'll let you know if it tastes exactly like dill or what kind of candy it is

Michael: It says "Put your taste buds to the test with our lip smacking mouth watering dill pickle flavored gummies with a nice spicy kick." And as I'm trying them truthfully, I can tell the spice. I don't think I had a candy. Maybe red hots, those little hearts or something that has that spice to it. But with a candy that's that's absolutely delicious. I'm gonna have the other one as well

Michael: Wow. Honestly, it's very delightful. Good job, Sunshower. I like the spice. This is great. I wish there was more in a package. But I understand that that is not you guys. I love it. Next, we're on to number three. Now number three, there are five so I guess we're almost halfway through. But now number three. So this says it's Blessed mint chocolate with cocoa nibs and sea salt. So let's get the packaging

Michael: Before I even open it, I really liked the packaging. It's very minimalist. It's very sleek. I like the black and white. It's very on par for what you would assume you know, high quality chocolate would be. I love the logo too, the B has this kind of like infinity sign in it. So it just it looks really slick but also simple. You know, blessed mint, dark chocolate with cocoa nibs and sea salt. Like everything about it just screams high quality Laura Secord chocolate

Michael: Even the chocolate looks like a work of art. It has like the actual chocolate but then it looks like it's painted with yellow and red candy chocolate as well like just to add to it it literally looks like modern art in itself. So I'm looking forward to seeing how it tastes as well because I haven't had dark chocolate in a while and this looks delicious

Michael: I can definitely taste the sea salt, the cocoa, I would definitely recommend it. Yeah, if you like chocolate, I would definitely urge you try these. They're good. Definitely got a strong taste and I see that it says 10 milligrams. So I think it is a very strong one, I'm not going to have the whole bar now but I like how it's each piece. I guess you can measure it out. So it's very good.

Michael: Next, we're on to number four. There's only two more products left. This one says go to the fridge. Okay. Number four is Summit lemonade ice tea. All right, let's see what it is.

Michael: Not sure if it's lemonade or iced tea, or if it's both together, but the packaging is all green.

Michael: It says Summit 10 on it. Lemonade iced tea. The packaging is all green. It looks I would say just like a soda or fancy sparkling water. So that in itself, you know, it's really hard to make a good drink and showcase it properly. Especially when you're talking about rules and regulations. You know, you can't demonstrate a lot of the ingredients right up front. It's very difficult to be able to showcase why your product is good, I think and I do like that they you know, give out the full nutritional facts. The full ingredient list. You know, number one water, black tea extract, modified coconut oil, natural flavors. I think it's really interesting. This is by Valens. agritech I think this is a Toronto drink company. So we're from Toronto, we're always happy to support Toronto companies as well so very cool. Let's give it a taste here.

Michael: Yep, tastes just like lemonade. Well, you can tell it's like a lemonade and iced tea mixed together. There's no carbonation. So it's just flat. So not like a sparkling water but I think I mean it's good

Michael: Definitely practical if you're at a campsite are you're on the go. You don't want to smell bad and you just want a quick drink. It's very refreshing. Lemonade iced tea. I still don't know if it's just iced tea or lemonade but something to research later. I really had no idea about any of these products and pleasantly surprised with all of them for sure

Michael: They're all memorable. And I know we're going to the last one but to be honest, like I put this wildflower on already on my legs on my shoulders. I can feel it like tingling, which really is the same feeling as if you know Rub-A535 I think this would be more long lasting, and I'm excited to give it a go. But definitely like the number one thing I tried was the Wildflower relief stick, and something I can recommend already. I do like it, I will continue using it on my camping trip. And I will see how it goes. But I definitely like it right now. There's no smell to it. So I actually do think like the Rub-A535 is very strong. And you know, people can tell when I put it on, but if this has no strong scent to it, I think that it could actually be a benefit. Rather than it's not supposed to smell like wildflowers or anything I was just mistaken by the name. So good job, Wildflower.

Michael: All right, this is the last one. Number five it's it says Olli confetti cake. Andrea loved mixing up a lot of names together, we got cake, confetti, lemonade, iced tea, chocolate, sea salt, a lot of good combinations and a lot of original and unique combinations. So something to keep in mind, I see a lot of products, you know, trying to be unique in some way. And I always think when you're developing a product, you want to be unique. And in one way, you can't always just be the cheapest, you have to be sophisticated in some way, colorful, some way clean in some way. I really think from a practical standpoint, you can't just be the cheapest, you have to be memorable in another way, especially in these kind of modern times. With so many people are able to just research 100 products online. So how can you be creative? And how can you differentiate yourself? I think these companies have done it really well. I don't know if us at Eco Four Twenty have but not to brag, but it's something that we constantly think about how can we be innovative? How can we, you know, improve our products? And how can we make unique product offerings when I made my filter, there really wasn't any other filters out there like that, and in and of itself. That in itself is the innovative part. So I think we're trying to get other companies to be more eco friendly. We're getting other companies to be innovative and make new products and new adaptions just because of our products. And to us that's a success. So I'm very happy about that with Eco Four Twenty And yeah, now we're gonna taste this Olli confetti cake

Michael: It looks just like a small muffin. And I'm really excited to eat this. Andrea really knows me to have cake at the end instead of the first one because I would have eaten all of the cake right away

Michael: So this is also a brand from Toronto, it says artisanal edibles prepared by a Michelin trained chef. I'm excited because that means that the product is going to be good. I've been to a Michelin star restaurant. It is expensive, but worth it. If you have a chance to do it at least once in your life. I do recommend it. All right now this is inspired from a Michelin trained chef. Here we go, Olli.

Michael: This might be the most delicious cake I've ever eaten. It tastes a bit like a muffin but also like cake a great combination. I really can't taste anything except the cake. It really just tastes like cake. Deliciously baked goods. This is phenomenal. And when you eat the whole thing I swear I'm going to finish this whole cake and then pass out on the floor

Michael: It really might be some of the best baked goods I've ever had. I highly recommend this. It is delicious. Great job, Olli. Maybe you'll hear from us so that we can meet you if you're from Toronto because we're also from Toronto. I think that's really cool.

Michael: I think if there's any takeaways that I would say from from trying these products right now is that I think you should always keep your eyes and ears open. There's always new products that are launching, there's always a lot of people, especially right in 2018-2019, they tried products that they might not have liked. And so they, they went away with it for four years. And they said, I'm never doing that, again", " I'm never trying these products." And I think you have to always be open to trying new things. Because there are so many different products out there that even launched like, I don't think this Olli cake was out there last year. So it's just really cool to see all of these new innovations. And just like the sand battery, I think we'll see so many different innovations in this industry. And I can't wait to see more of it. Thank you so much for listening to us, or me just me by myself as my first time doing my own podcast. So that's why I said us and that's why it's awkward a bit. So I do apologize. There was any pauses in between. But thank you so much for listening.

I highly recommend all of these products and we will definitely link all of them in the descriptions of the podcast so you'll be able to listen and try it all yourself. So thank you so much for listening to the All Green Podcast. You can follow us at Eco Four Twenty on Instagram on Twitter on TikTok and we're hoping to do a lot more podcast so please stay listening. And thank you so much. Have a great day.

To learn more about the brands and products mentioned in this episode or try them for yourself, check out the links below: 

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