NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

 

A YEAR IN REVIEW

As we close out the last issue of this newsletter for the year, we like to go back and review past issues to discover which stories generated the most interest, were clicked on most often, and generated the most feedback. Below you will find reprints of our most popular stories of 2019. We want to take this time to thank all of our readers, advertisers, and supporters for helping to make this year another great one. If you have a product you would like us to consider for review or have some exciting news to share, please contact us.

We wish you all a wonderful new year filled with all great things.


Eco-friendly Habits to Teach Your Children

Good and bad habits can be picked up at any age but Gabriella Anaya from RaiseVegan.com offers this fantastic list of eco-friendly habits we can teach our kids: 

Always use a reusable tote at the store
It’s easy to forget to bring a reusable bag, but when I do my rule is that I must do without a bag or buy another reusable bag (because you can never have too many) Set a good example by always keeping a spare bag in your purse, a few in the car, and by the front door so you don’t forget them.

(Disposable) Straws suck-bring your own
Plastic straws are one of the worst things for our oceans and can take many years (about 200) to decompose. Encourage using reusable straws (stainless steel or bamboo work great) whether you’re having smoothies at home or eating out. One of the most important eco-friendly habits to teach your kids.

Reusable water bottles over “recyclable” ones
With brands like HydroFlask and Swell making steel-based water bottles look cool, it won’t be hard to encourage your little one to proudly showcase their reusable bottle. Also, always carrying a water bottle will encourage both you and your child to stay hydrated.

Plant plants
You don’t need to have a green thumb to do minor gardening and to share the benefits of it with your child. You can start simple with planting herbs or carrots to show the process of growing your own food. Try checking out local events to see if you can find a kid-friendly gardening workshop within your community.

Walk, bike, or use public transit when possible
Depending on where you live, you might be able to walk or bike where you need to go almost all year long. If not, public transit is a great option to show your children a simple way to reduce their carbon footprint. Try taking the bus together to go to the store and familiarize them with the route.

Shop locally
Support independently owned small businesses-they are usually cheaper and better ethically compared to a large business. Shopping locally may mean going to the farmers market or buying handmade jewelry from your friend’s new business.

Repurpose before tossing out
If you can give a new life for an item instead of throwing it out, do it. Reuse mason jars as containers for nuts, oats, or rice. Turn cardboard boxes into a fun family project. Turn an old stuffed animal into a chew toy for your dog. The possibilities are endless.

Support ethical brands
Buying cruelty-free and ethically sourced products is a great habit to teach. Have a conversation on what makes a product ethical, where you can find them, why you should shop cruelty-free.

If it’s broken, try to fix it
We live in a society where many objects are made quickly with bad quality and at a low price point. Instead of spending money on a replacement, if it’s fixable, try to fix it. Teach your children (once they are old enough) basic skills in fixing items such as sewing a button, fixing a loose screw, or using a hammer.

Have no shame in second-hand items
A second-hand item can be just as good as one which is brand new. Eliminate the stigma around lightly used items being less desirable and embrace reducing and reusing items that may have previously gone unused in somebody’s garage.

RaiseVegan is the world’s first digital and print magazine dedicated solely to vegan parents.  It is a valuable resource for vegan recipes, parenting tips, videos and more!  For more info, visit:  www.raisevegan.com

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The Evolution Hoodie: Made from Recycled Coffee Grounds

Coalatree designs eco-minded gear and apparel for the adventurer in everyone, from athletes and photographers to your average city folks and weekend warriors. It’s their passion to bring elements of the outdoors and the city life together. Whether you’re summiting the tallest peaks or lounging around town with friends, their products are practical, stylish, and functional. Being ready for anything is what they’re all about.

But, a hoodie made from recycled coffee grounds and plastic bottles?  It's true! Spent coffee grounds are collected from local shops, processed to separate the oils, and finally are ground into nano-sized particles. These particles are mixed with melted plastic bottles and spun into the threads that eventually become the Evolution Hoodie!  The folks at Coalatree work hard to bring you the most innovative technology that supports a healthy you and a healthy planet. By utilizing discarded materials like coffee grounds and plastic bottles, they’re keeping our waste streams small and making our impact big!

THE EVOLUTION HOODIE:

REVOLUTIONARY SUSTAINABILITY
The Evolution Hoodie features a hidden zippered pouch to securely stash your valuables, plus two organizer pockets and a hanging loop for keys. Keep your goods safe so you can explore the streets of a new city worry-free!

PICK-POCKET PROOF
The Evolution Hoodie features a hidden zippered pouch to securely stash your valuables, plus two organizer pockets and a hanging loop for keys. Keep your goods safe so you can explore the streets of a new city worry-free!

QUICK DRY
The Evolution Hoodie is designed to be worn on-the-go. The material is constructed with small, microscopic pores which increase its surface area. This means moisture is spread throughout the hoodie and the drying process is accelerated!  Dries up to twice as fast as traditional hoodies

ODOR CONTROL
Play hard and stay worry-free! Coffee is a naturally odor-absorbing material and by weaving the grounds into the fibers, odors are trapped as you sweat. Because the grounds are embedded into the fabric, this feature is permanent and will never wash out!  Traps 3x more odors than traditional hoodies

UV PROTECTION
Keep your skin healthy from the sand to the slopes! The tiny pores in the fabric trap and block UV rays, turning the Evolution Hoodie into a chemical-free shield.  Nearly 6x more effective at blocking UV rays than traditional hoodies.

 

$62 + shipping.  Support them on kickstarter.  As of today, they have over $263,000 pledged.  Their initial $50,000 goal has been far surpassed by the nearly 3,000 backers.  Kickstarter fundraising ends 4/18.

As if this wasn’t enough of a reason to love this company, each year they use surplus fabric to create warm blankets for the homeless in their hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah. They also partner with local organizations to maintain the hiking and biking trails we frequent and to protect the integrity of our watersheds.  www.coalatree.com

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What Do American Consumers Feel Most Guilty About?

From Leaving the Lights On to Eating Meat…Where Do You Fall in the Survey?

Remember all those years our parents spent harping on us to turn off the lights when leaving a room? Those childhood messages must have left a big impression, since the largest share of respondents said leaving lights on is the biggest source of consumer guilt.

They also feel terrible when they throw plastic bottles or other recyclables into the regular trash. And that issue might get even more frustrating, now that China’s stopped accepting U.S. recycling imports — meaning that much of our carefully recycled leftovers could soon end up in landfills instead. 

Although bans on plastic straws in some major cities are getting a lot of press around the world (likely due in part to the startling 8.3 billion of them estimated to be polluting the world’s beaches), those consumers surveyed place plastic straw use squarely in the middle of the pack when it comes to worrying about their consumer habits.

The other end of the spectrum tells us — by a wide margin — that Americans love their burgers and steaks. And although people on the left of the political spectrum feel more guilty than conservatives about nearly everything on the list, respondents on both sides of the political aisle were equally unapologetic about eating meat.

There is lots of educational and entertaining results in this survey.  A great read.  Click here to read more. 

 


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Florida Reef Tract Rescue Project

Earlier this year, Adventure Aquarium partnered with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for the Florida Reef Tract Rescue Project. The Florida coral reef system is experiencing a crisis of a multi-year disease resulting in mortalities of multiple coral species. The aquarium will hold non-diseased corals for 2-3 years to eventually be replanted out on the Florida coral reefs after the outbreak of disease has ceased.

“The Florida Reef system is the only reef system within the continental United States and the third largest reef tract in the world,” said Nikki Grandinetti, General Curator of Adventure Aquarium. “Once a coral is affected by this disease and begins to lose tissue, it is almost certain the entire colony will die within a matter of weeks or months. It is important for us to be part of this conservation effort and to help prevent ecological extinction.”

The Florida Reef Tract stretches approximately 360 linear miles from Dry Tortugas National Park west of the Florida Keys to just north of Port St. Lucie, Florida. It contains more than 80 species of corals, with 21 species suffering from multiple diseases, including species listed under the Endangered Species Act. The reef protects our coast by buffering wave energy during storms and hurricanes. The Florida Reef Tract is also an important habitat for sport fish species, where they spend significant parts of their lives on or around coral reef ecosystems.

The unidentified coral tissue loss disease was first observed in Miami-Dade County in 2014. Adventure Aquarium is 1 of 64 AZA-accredited facilities who has committed to assist in this important conservation effort. The aquarium has even built a new coral holding system to house the rescued Florida corals and partake in this one-of-a-kind coral reef rescue project. www.AdventureAquarium.com.

To help with this initiative, donations can be made to the Florida Reef Tract Rescue Project to 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 710, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

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PATCH: Plastic Free + 100% Compostable Bandages!

Scratches and scrapes can be badges of honor, indications that you lived life to the fullest—climbed the highest tree, owned the dance floor till 3AM, or a sign that a home improvement project turned into a “teachable moment”. The PATCH offers the ultimate solution for natural, compostable wound care you can feel good about!

PATCH was born when James Dutton (the founder of Nutricare) noticed that while trying to protect his son’s adventure wounds his skin was in fact reacting badly to a common wound covering and making the wound worse.

This puzzled James and he set off on his mission to find out why. He was shocked to discover that there is an array of chemicals that lurk in the common plasters. He became motivated to find better alternatives when he found that Charlie wasn’t alone with his reactions. His research found that a staggering number of the of the world's population can’t wear common wound care coverings, which was predicted to be on rise. James was also motivated by his other son, Xavier, who hates putting creams on his skin.

Ultimately the wish for a wound care product that wouldn’t cause nasty skin reactions and serve as a way to help heal the wounds was the real reason for PATCH. PATCH bandages are completely biodegradable 100% bamboo fiber strips, that have the added natural goodness of activated charcoal, aloe vera and coconut oil, offer all-natural soothing and healing ingredients. These bandages are catching the attention of environmentally-conscious consumers worldwide.

Green Parent Magazine just named them the winner of the Plastic Free Green Parent Natural Beauty Award and July saw their release in over 3,000 CVS locations nationwide and on Amazon.

PATCH NATURAL
Ideal for minor cuts and abrasions No irritating chemicals Offers soft support for sensitive skin
PATCH COCONUT OIL
A kid favorite featuring a fun panda print Enriched with coconut oil to gently soothe minor abrasions Coconut Oil is also anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory
PATCH ALOE VERA
Designed with the adventurer in mind Enriched with aloe vera extract to soothe and repair burns, blisters, and minor abrasions
PATCH ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
Durable enough for the sports enthusiast Includes activated charcoal in the gauze to draw out impurities and infections from minor wounds


All PATCH strips are free of plastics, latex, and silicon; vegan-friendly and cruelty-free; and biodegradable.

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"Skip the Slip" Report Finds Most Retailers Get Low Score for Receipt Practices

 

Only three retailers – Best Buy, Apple and Ben & Jerry’s – get top marks in how they deal with electronic and paper receipts, according to a Green America report providing an overview of the practices of 36 top US companies. On the other end of the spectrum, 17 companies earned a “D” rating, including Walgreens and Chipotle, for only offering paper receipts coated with bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol S (BPS).

The new edition of the Green America “Skip the Slip” report also shows that thermal paper usage and costs are increasing every year, and it discusses policy actions aimed to address unnecessary receipt waste.

The new “Skip the Slip” findings include:

The majority of businesses (28) earned a “C” or “D” rating. A “C” grade designates that they offer an “opt-in” digital receipt program and use BPA or BPS thermal paper.  This less-than-ideal approach is used by CVS, Target and Lowe’s. A “D” grade designates that they fail to offer a digital only option and use BPS or BPS digital paper. Companies exploring alternatives are noted in the report, but the grading reflects current in-store practices.

Consumption of thermal paper for receipts is increasing worldwide, including in the US, according to recent market analysis conducted by Grand View Research. In 2018, US consumption was 256,300 metric tons of paper and this is projected to increase at least through 2025.

There are escalating costs for businesses automatically printing receipts that often are tossed in the trash. In 2018, market revenue for paper receipts in the US was over $386 million. Due to a severe shortage of leuco dye needed for thermal paper, costs will steadily increase each year. It’s projected that market revenue for paper receipts will surpass $566 million by 2025.

US receipt use consumes over three million trees and nine billion gallons of water each year, according to Green America estimates using Grand View Research’s analysis and the Environmental Paper Network’s Paper Calculator. Receipt production generates over four billion pounds of greenhouse gases (the equivalent of 450,000 cars on the road) and 302 million pounds of solid waste.

The new report includes an update on legislation addressing receipts. This includes the status of recent efforts in California to reduce unwanted paper receipts and ensure customers have a choice for the receipt mode they prefer. Named after Green America’s campaign, the “Skip the Slip” bill, or AB 161, was introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting and was approved by the California Assembly.

“Customers should have a choice when it comes to receipts,” said Beth Porter, Green America’s Climate Campaigns director. “More and more people want no receipt or an electronic receipt, and when companies make these options available to customers it’s good for the environment, human health, and a business’ bottom line.”

Since 2017, Green America has campaigned to raise awareness on the unnecessary environmental impacts of paper receipts and the toxins coating paper receipts, most commonly BPA and BPS.

“Given the increasing cost of receipt paper and the shift of customer preferences, it makes environmental and economic sense for businesses to offer a digital option while providing phenol-free paper on request,” said Todd Larsen, Green America’s executive co-director. “There are digital alternatives that are being used by businesses from independent cafes and food trucks to nationwide retailers.”

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