Maybe actors should just stay in front of the camera and away from the keyboard. Adrien Grenier's website, SHFT.com seems to follow in the well-intentioned but misguided footsteps of Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's (assistant's) website and her biggest laughingstock since View from the Top.
Before we even move on to content it must be said that SHFT, like Goop, is unfortunately named. Even if designers had chosen to hold on to that pesky syllable, the website would have opened it up to the inevitable excrement jokes. And reducing the domain name to a non-existent four-letter word only makes the resemblance to a very much real one all the more uncanny.
To be fair, SHFT does not officially launch until tomorrow. But that makes the portion that is currently available all the more galling. That's because the only thing users can currently do on the environmentally-themed website is buy stuff. As in, buy products online that are then to be packaged in cardboard and plastic and flown or driven all across the country to arrive at the buyer's doorstep. Doesn't anybody remember the first of the three R's? Reduce! (Having said all that, this lamp looks pretty cool.)
It's unlikely that SHFT will engender Goopian levels of ridicule. For one thing, people actually seem to like Grenier. The guy lives shuns Beverly Hills in favor of Brooklyn, plays in a band and works at the Park Slope food co-op. Yet he's stuck on the dreadful Entourage (a man's gotta eat, and even co-op prices add up), a show that is about as un-green as possible in its portrayal of conspicuous Hollywood consumption. Maybe SHFT is just a form of penance in need of direction.
And unlike Goop, SHFT at least purports to help people with something other than DVD recommendations and the ideal bowel movement. So long as Grenier's tone avoids smugness and the actor doesn't assume we're all best friends with Mario Batali, William "Don't Call Him Billy" Joel and Steven Spielberg. You know, the sorts of things that prompted one Globe and Mail reporter to ask why she didn't title the site "Learn From Me, Ungrateful Peasant."
Hopefully, Grenier's internet side project will decrease carbon footprints without becoming a Goop carbon copy.