Archives for March 2016

Magnifeco Eco Book Giveaway

eco bookKate Black’s Magnifeco is one of the most well-thumbed in my eco book library. Covering style from every angle—from green beauty to eco-friendly fashion—it’s a head-to-toe guide for making better decisions about everything you put on your body. Given that the Shop Drop Challenge is still front and center in my mind, I especially like Kate’s “shop with V.A.L.U.E.” philosopy: “Do I need to buy it and does it need to be new? Could I rent, borrow or buy it second-hand? (Vintage). Could my purchase help an artisan community in a developing country (Artisan), or could it help a designer or maker in my own community (Local). Is the item saving something from landfill? (Upcycled) And, lastly, does this purchase match my values? Does it support animal rights (vegan), human rights (fair trade) or environmental rights (eco-friendly)? (Ethical). Want to read all about it? I’ve got two copies to give away! [Read more…]

What’s Made Safe? Amy Ziff Explains

made safe product labelWhat an honor! I grabbed Amy Ziff in the press room of Expo West for this quick interview about her brand-new endeavor, Made Safe. The organization’s goal is to “ensure that goods are made entirely from ingredients that are not known or suspected to cause human health harm as determined by scientifically recognized lists from around the world.” Pretty cool, right? Because we all know that what’s listed on–or left off of–a product label doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story about the ingredients that are in it. Made Safe vets those ingredients and actually tests products (in some cases), so you know that a cleaning, beauty or household product that features the Made Safe label is, indeed. How does it all work? I got the inside scoop from Amy herself. [Read more…]

GMA Members Set To Label GMOs

In light of last week’s Senate failure to pass the DARK Act, which would have stomped states’ rights to label GMOs, the writing was on the wall: Federal policy is set to follow the will of the American people, 94% of which are in favor of our right to label GMOs. Still, the lightning-fast way that major manufacturers like General Mills and Kellogg’s announced plans to label GMOs on product packaging was a surprise. What does the Grocery Manufacturers Association have to do with it? [Read more…]

Can the Share Economy Save the World?

share economy photo of consignment clothing against a blue backgroundThere are so many ways to describe the share economy–including  “sharing economy,”  “collaborative consumption” and “circular economy.” But the essential concept is the same: Access to goods and services is more important than owning them. In this way, the share economy could solve some of the environment’s biggest problems. [Read more…]

DARK Act Fails in Senate!

We did it! Thanks to everyone who called or tweeted your Senator and helped S. 2609 FAIL a Senate vote yesterday. If you’re just tuning in, the bill was better known as Deny Americans the Right to Know–or the DARK Act–because it would have prohibited states the right to GMO labeling, even where the legislation had already passed. Think we’re done? Not even! I’ve got the list of Republicans who voted WITH 90% of Americans who want the right to GMO labeling in shutting down S. 2609, plus the list of Democrats who voted to pass the DARK Act. (Boo… Hiss…) There is a chance that this legislation will be introduced, and we want to make sure they know how we feel about it. Join me in tweeting your SHOUT OUT or SHAME! Here’s how: [Read more…]

What You Need to Know to Avoid VOCs

woman's hands applying VOC free nail polish removerA lot of people are worried about volatile organic compounds, better known as VOCs. These compounds can cause health issues like allergies and asthma—some have even been linked to cancer. Yet because you often can’t see or smell them, it’s difficult to know when your air has been compromised. Especially now that most new homes are built airtight for energy efficiency, VOCs are often trapped inside. Learn how to identify and avoid VOCs found in most American homes. [Read more…]

GMO Labeling Just Got Real

I just called my Senator. Up until now, I’ve been more interested in social media action, but the stakes are so high today that I had to take all steps possible. You see, tomorrow the Senate will decide whether or not to pass S. 2609–also known as the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” or DARK Act. After the House of Representatives passed it last year, the Senate is our last line of defense. The DARK Act would make it illegal for states to require GMO labeling and would override GMO labeling bills already in place–regardless of the fact that 94% of Americans want GMO labeling. Luckily, the Senate also has another bill on the table. [Read more…]

Vegan Chocolate Easter Eggs? Yes Please!

vegan chocolate on a boardTis the season for chocolate. Between Valentine’s and Easter, we’re practically made of the stuff. For several years, I’ve asked readers to boycott Hershey’s—the biggest chocolate manufacturer in America—because of delays in implementing third-party certification to reduce the prevalence of child labor, forced labor, child trafficking and verbal, physical and sexual harassment in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, where the company sources its cocoa. I even published candy guides to help parents navigate away from companies like Nestle, which phased out artificial food additives in their European confectionary line three years ago, but have yet to make the same move here in America. (Oh, and bottled California’s water without remorse during the drought.) Until recently, I had no idea that there was so much choice when it comes to conscious chocolate! From fair trade to organic to—yes—even vegan chocolate, this candy has come a long way, baby. [Read more…]