What if a small, pasture-based egg farm got to air an ad during the Super Bowl? That would probably cause a rift in the space-time continuum and trigger the great poultry uprising. And that would be awesome.

The northern Minnesota egg farm, Locally Laid, is one of four small-business finalists in a contest staged by the software company, Intuit. The winner gets a slice of Super Bowl airtime and a professionally produced video. It’s an internet popularity contest: You can vote here before Dec. 1.

[youtube http://youtu.be/CIIwuijRF50]

Among those top four businesses, however, lurks another strong contender for the green vote. It’s a toy company, called GoldieBlox, with a mission to inspire a new generation of female engineers.

[youtube http://youtu.be/UFpe3Up9T_g]

On the one hand, local eggs certainly feels more environmentally friendly than plastic toys. On the other, a new crop of female innovators might be precisely what we need to tackle our environmental problems.

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Everywhere I look, I seem to see this debate: Is it greener to go back to nature or to innovate our way forward?

This isn’t an absolute opposition, of course — I think we have to do both. Farms like Locally Laid, for example, aren’t moving backwards — they are innovators as well. But ultimately you have to cast your vote one way or the other. Do we curtail industry and human activity to shrink our footprint? Or do we step up the pace in hopes of tinkering our way to a green techno-utopia?

Of course you could quibble with the assertion that either company really fits the bill. Some will say that no type of animal farming can be good for the environment. Others will argue that the whole concept of gendered toys is sexist and misbegotten.

Me, I just want to keep trying new things rather than just wringing my hands, so I support experimental businesses like these. But I’m having a hard time choosing between them. What do you think?

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