Business

September 17, 2012

Celadon Road 20 SPF Sunscreen: great products, accessibility an issue

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We've reviewed Celadon Road before, and I do truly like their products. This time, we were sent Sunscreen SPF20 by a public relations company, rather than a Celadon Road consultant.

Our Original Sunscreen is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, ecosystem approved, cruelty-free and comes in 100% recyclable packaging. Did we mention the remaining ingredients are gluten-free, corn-free, vegan edible-grade 86% certified organic? Just remember: it goes on your skin, not on your salad.

I continue to be frustrated by Celadon Road's accessibility. I do really like their products, but if I would not have had a prior consultants info, I could not have found the sunscreen on their website. Even so, the product photo was blurry.  Even my crappy old iphone photo is better.

Celadon Road's products are made of simple ingredients. To order them online, you either need to know a consultant already or fill out a form to have a consultant contact you. I don't have time for that. The multi-level marketing may be good for people to start their own businesses as independent consultants, but it also interferes with accessibility of these great products.

I love the quote from Sitting Bull on the sunscreen package.

This product is made in the USA.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 8, 2012

Really Natural Books: Fashion & Sustainability Design for Change

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I love clothes, but the environmental impact of our closets is astounding. I have pledge to limit myself to purchasing used clothing or new items from sustainable designers.  I only occasionally am led astray.

Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change by Kate Fletcher and Lynda Grosse explores "how sustainability has the potential to transform both the fashion system and the innovators who work within it".

The book is organized in three parts. The first part is concerned with transforming fashion products across the garment's lifecycle and includes innovation in materials, manufacture, distribution, use, and re-use. The second part looks at ideas that are transforming the fashion system at root into something more sustainable, including new business models that reduce material output. The third section is concerned with transforming the role of fashion designers and looks to examples where the designer changes from a stylist or shaper of things into a communicator, activist or facilitator.

There is so much we can learn from this book with ideas such as optimizing the lifetime of garments, designing with wrinkles in mind, minimum waste when cutting and sewing, and multi-functional garments.

If you are looking for used designer clothes, you don't need to spend hours in thrift stores looking for a needle in haystack. Ebay is a great place to look and sell your used fashion. Just search your favorite designers, and you will be surprised at what deals and delights you find.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 26, 2012

Scotties Facial Tissues: "We Plant 3 Trees for Every 1 We Use"

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I always am wary when I see mainstream corporations make green claims, but at the same time I commend their efforts. Greenwashing is a marketing trend, and the cynic in me tends to support smaller companies that have always been green, like Seventh Generation, especially when it comes to paper products. Considering Kleenex logged old growth forests to make facial tissues, Scotties is combating this negative action with their own plan to plant three trees for every one they use making their facial tissues.

WHAT MAKES SCOTTIES LIKE NO OTHER?

  • Scotties combines a unique brand promise to plant 3 trees for every 1 used with the long-standing history of its parent company, J.D. Irving, Limited.
  •  Scotties communicates on every box its commitment to plant 3 trees for every 1 used in making its softest ever tissues and uses 3rd party auditing to ensure compliance
  • Scotties Softest Ever tissues are chain of custody certified through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). To learn more visit www.sfiprogram.org.
  • Scotties is the only major U.S. facial tissue to be linked with the Responsible Forest Project (RFP).
  • Scotties has partnered with American Forests to create SCOTTIES RELEAF U.S.A. and TREES ROCK in an effort to promote our urban tree planting initiatives in the United States.
  • J.D. Irving has planted over 800 million trees in the last 50 years.

Of course, the greenest way to deal with that runny nose is to use washable Reusable Organic Cotton Handkerchiefs.

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 22, 2011

Disposable Single-Use Plastic Bags Drops Lawsuit Against ChicoBags

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I love ChicoBag reusable shopping bags! I keep one in my purse, and I love the way it cinches into a small packet. ChicoBags makes it so I always have a reusable bag with me, even when I forget them in the car.

In a classic story of David versus Goliath, ChicoBags was being sued by "three of the largest domestic manufacturers of disposable single-use plastic bags". Thankfully, they have dropped out of the lawsuit.  Green Festivals reports:

The plastic bag giants, which have also sued municipalities over bag bans or fees, had initiated the suit against ChicoBag alleging that the company's "Learn The Facts" page, (which contains widely accepted third party statistics regarding the impact of single-use plastic bags on the environment) was false and misleading, and had resulted in 'irreparable harm' to their companies....

When announcing the settlement, Andy Keller stated: "What started as a bullying tactic, to silence a critic and stop ChicoBag from achieving our mission of helping humanity kick the single-use bag habit, has morphed into two wins for the environment: First, Hilex Poly can no longer inflate plastic bag recycling numbers by including non-bag wrap and plastic film. And they have also agreed to acknowledge that plastic bags can become wind-blown litter despite proper disposal and to better educate the public."

"Ultimately, I hope this settlement will encourage Hilex Poly and the rest of the plastic bag industry to refrain from filing any future frivolous lawsuits, stop attacking reusable bags, and instead invest their dollars into reducing unnecessary single-use bag consumption and litter, while developing solutions to meet the growing consumer demand for more sustainable products."


Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 31, 2011

GE: Energy Smart Lightbulbs from a Company Making Record Profits and Not Paying Taxes

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We've come a long way when it comes to the energy we consume to light our homes. GE has been the leader in home appliances from the beginning. From Thomas Edison's first light bulb to today's CFLs and LEDs, GE is paving the way.

We were sent the following GE Energy Smart bulbs to try:
GE 74437 15-Watt Energy-Smart Covered Glass CFL Light Bulbs, 60-Watt Equivalent:

GE Lighting 74437 15-Watt energy smart CFL all glass light bulb, 60-Watt output, 1-Pack This bulb was made to look like a regular incandescent light, but uses a fraction of the electricity. Our compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs bring all the advantages of fluorescent lighting to regular incandescent sockets. They use up to 75-Percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer. This bulb has the same look and size as a standard incandescent light bulb, but has GE spiral bulb on the inside. The instant on feature allows it to perform similar to an incandescent. It is energy star compliant and RoHS compliant requiring it to contain lower mercury than before. It uses 73-Percent to 78-Percent less energy! This bulb will pay for itself with energy savings. It provides the same warm soft-white light and lasts 5 years (8,000 hours), 8 times longer than the standard incandescent equivalent.

GE 62180 9-Watt LED Soft White A19 Light Bulb
This 9-watt GE energy smart LED is an A19 General Purpose Bulb. A19 is a Shape of light bulb that you see in most homes also known as a "Household light bulb". They're the most common bulbs in the world and never before has an LED A19 existed that actually sends light out in all directions. We have the solution! This bulb uses fantastic LED technology to ensure it will last longer than other bulbs you've seen. this bulb specifically will last 22 years based on normal 3/hour per day usage. Its rated at 25,000 hours and puts out 450 lumens. The instant full brightness doesn't need to warm up and makes you feel like you have a normal bulb in the socket. It has omni-directional light distribution. Color temperature of 3000K. RoHS compliant with a 10-year warranty.

I think the future of light bulbs are LEDs. Sure they cost a lot more now ($42 a bulb!), but the technology has really improved. The LED bulb we were sent is fabulous, lighting up in all directions as promised.

If GE's record profits and lack of tax paying bother you, than you will want to shop around for other alternatives.  As ABC reported:

For those unaccustomed to the loopholes and shelters of the corporate tax code, GE's success at avoiding taxes is nothing short of extraordinary. The company, led by Immelt, earned $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, but it paid not a penny in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefit.


Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 4, 2011

During Recession and Energy Crisis Chevron Reports Record Profits

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It's hard not to complain about the price of gasoline as you fill up your car, and it is a constant reminder that this nonrenewable energy source is running out. Coupled with tough economic times, it is unfathomable that oil companies are making record profits. SF Gate reports:

Buoyed by high oil and gasoline prices, Chevron Corp. on Friday reported earning $7.73 billion in the second quarter, putting the San Ramon company on track for what could be its most profitable year yet.

Chevron, the nation's second-largest oil company, made $13.94 billion in profit for the first half of this year, easily topping its previous record of $11.14 billion in the first half of 2008.


Can you say, "outraged"?

Photo:  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by philosophygeek

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 24, 2011

Wal-Mart Voluntarily Bans PBDEs

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Mega-store giant Wal-Mart has voluntarily agreed to ban all consumer products containing PBDEs. This toxic flame retardant that is found in high levels in children's blood has been called a "chemical of concern" by the EPA.

Mother Nature Network reports:

Who needs government regulation when you have Wal-Mart? The retial [sic] giant is bypassing the government all together with a recent announcement that it will ban a controversial flame retardant commonly found in consumer goods, from computers to couches child safety seats.

The chemicals in question are polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, a class of chemical compounds used since the 70s as flame retardants in everything from furniture to electronics to sporting goods. But several studies have linked the chemicals to problems with the liver, thyroid and reproductive systems and brain development in laboratory animals.

In a recent notice to its suppliers, Wal-Mart said it would begin its own round of testing on June 1st to make sure products do not contain PBDEs. The company stated that the decision to ban PBDEs had been made several years ago, but just recently reminded its suppliers that it would begin verification testing

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I commend Wal-Mart for banning PBDEs, but I still not support the mega-stores. They are responsible for many local shops closing down, as well as the over-consumption of cheap goods made overseas.

Photo:  Attribution Some rights reserved by Monochrome

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 7, 2011

Best Green Company 2010: Nikwax Cleaning and Waterproofing Extends Life of Your Technical Gear

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If you have noticed your synthetic long johns are starting to smell, or the rain water no longer beads on your jacket, Nikwax has the solution for you to extend the life of your favorite gear. Many people think they need a new jacket when it starts to lose its waterproofing, but that is not the case! Nikwax even has solutions for your footwear too!
Nikwax Basewash:

Nikwax BaseWash is a new product created specially for cleaning synthetic base-layers.It enhances the fabrics wicking properties, stopping them from stinking and helping them dry more quickly.

Nikwax Downwash Fabric Cleaner:

Benefits of using this product

  • It prolongs the life of gear and optimises outdoor performance

  • Revitalises loft and insulation, without damaging the structure of the down

  • It maintains breathability

  • It maintains original water-repellency

  • It's easy to apply - can be used in a washing machine


Nikwax Tech Wash:
Wash-in cleaner for waterproof clothing and equipment

Safely revitalises breathability and water-repellency

This product is a non-detergent soap which can be used regularly to clean clothing and equipment without damaging the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coatings. Use this product instead of detergents or washing powder.


Nikwax Wool Wash:
Nikwax® Wool Wash is a new product created specially for cleaning and maintaining the natural qualities of wool garments. This new innovation from Nikwax® is a gentle product formulated to clean technical wool base-layers, whilst enhancing wool's natural wicking properties. Recommended for Merino.

Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel Treatment:
Benefits of using this product

  • Removes dirt and helps to release stains

  • Improves the appearance of dirty footwear

  • Prepares the footwear for proofing with an appropriate footwear product

  • Prolongs the life and performance of all types of footwear

  • Maintains breathability

  • Ideal for footwear with breathable linings e.g. Gore-Tex

  • Easy to apply

  • WaterBased - environmentally friendly, biodegradable, non flammable, non hazardous

  • Does not contain fluorocarbons


Nikwax Sandal Wash:
Nikwax Sandal Wash is a sponge-on cleaner for sandals Designed to clean safely, deodorise all sandal types - leather, fabric and synthetic, leaving you with a fresh smelling fragrance.

Whether you need to revitalize your capilene or your Smartwool, Nikwax has the product you need to keep your expensive outdoor gear lasting.

For two years in a row, Nikwax has been rated

one of the greenest companies in the UK. The Sunday Times Best Green Companies 2010 recognises that we deliver on environmental performance while instilling a culture within the business that ensures employees are doing their part as well. In fact, we are rated as having the 5th greenest workforce in the country!

It only makes sense that a company that helps your outdoor gear last longer also helps protect the environment through sustainable practices.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 13, 2011

Wal*Mart Greenwashes Consumers Committing Environmental and Human Rights Violations with Love, Earth Jewelry Line

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I've always been suspicious of any green claims by Wal*Mart. I just don't trust a company whose business model is based entirely on mass consumption of cheap Chinese-made goods and driving out competition from local shops (see How Walmart Is Destroying America (And the World): And What You Can Do about It). It is contrary to eco-friendly shopping in all regards!

Three years ago, I exposed Wal*Mart's Earth, Love jewelry line as greenwashing. Now, there is further evidence against the company that it has committed environmental and human rights violations in the Bolivian production of the jewelry line. Alternet reports:

The mines also rely on a controversial process called cyanide heap-leaching, which can result in one of the most toxic substances on Earth entering local water supplies. Indeed, the process is so problematic that it's been banned in Montana, and the European Union is considering a similar prohibition...

The story is a must-read--there's way more in it than I can explain here. But I asked Friedman-Rudovsky about pieces she wasn't able to include in the article--she talked about the impact of U.S. mining on surrounding communities, that the Love, Earth line promises to be community-friendly and engage with populations living on the territories or near the mines, but "there is a lot of documented evidence about how that's not necessarily true."

She added that workers in subcontracted factories don't receive aguinaldo, which she explained is like a Christmas bonus in Bolivia, except that it's legally mandated and should be ten percent of yearly earnings. She said one worker told her that she and friends are "so ashamed to be working in jobs where they don't get aguinaldo, they pull together to buy baskets with treats to bring home to pretend they did get the bonus."

Photo:  Attribution Some rights reserved by J from the UK

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 22, 2010

Organic Ancient Grains Granola: Nature's Path Partners with Kirkland Signature

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Nature's Path Organic Ancient Grains with Almonds is my absolute favorite granola! I discovered this product at Costco, only to also receive it as a product review too. Coupled with Greek yogurt, Ancient Grains is the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.

The ancient grains in this excellent granola are:

-Spelt: Considered to be of prehistoric origin, spelt is an early form of wheat that contains notable amounts of iron, amino acids and fiber.

-Kamut Khorasan Wheat: Buttery wheat believed to be of Egyptian origin and kept alive by peasant farmers in Egypt and the Middle East. Kamut contains higher levels of lipids, amino acids and vitamins than durum wheat.

-Amaranth: This grain was so important to the Aztecs that Cortez, in an effort to destroy the Aztec culture, declared that anyone growing amaranth crops be put to death. Thanks to some seeds that were smuggled into Asia, you can enjoy its lively, peppery taste and high quality protein.

-Quinoa: Originally cultivated by native people of the Peruvian and Bolivian highlands, quinoa is known as a complete protein, including all the essential amino acids that our bodies can't make by themselves.

-Oats: Crushed grains of oats that have been rolled into flakes, these are an excellent source of iron, dietary fiber and thiamin.


Nature's Path is one of the few health food companies that has stayed independent. At first, I was a little wary to see they had partnered with Kirkland, but this is not a corporate takeover. I am not in the least bit worried this partnership will degrade Nature's Path in any way, and it will make their organic products more accessible and affordable to the masses. I also really appreciate that Nature's Path shipped this product with eco-friendly packaging.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 28, 2010

Top 30 Natural Food Company Take Overs: Who Really Owns Your Favorite Organic Brand?

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I recently had the pleasure of defending one of our favorite natural foods brand to a friend, who mistakenly thought it was owned by a grocery giant. When seeking proof for Nature's Path's independence, I came across the above chart.

Such information is always so disheartening. To discover your favorite organic brand is actually owned by a company you have no faith or confidence in to uphold organic standards can be depressing. From Horizon using feed lots to Silk Soymilk choosing GMO Chinese soy over organic American farmers, rarely does a corporate acquisition mean good things for natural food. Although this chart is two years old, the information is important for consumers to reflect upon thier brand loyalty.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 31, 2010

Canada Lists BPA as Toxin and Bans the Plastic Chemical

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Canada has done what many Americans have been waiting for since BPA concerns became mainstream four years ago. Companies know that BPA free is selling point, but the US government has not followed suit with actually banning the chemical because of the power of industry lobbying. Not so for our neighbors to the north, the Grist reports:

Environment Canada -- our northern neighbor's version of the EPA -- has officially declared bisphenol A (BPA) toxic. The ubiquitous chemical, found in the lining of nearly all cans used by the food and beverage industry, will have to be phased out in Canada...

The North American chemical industry is furious with Environment Canada's decision. The American Chemistry Council has vigorously defended BPA during Environment Canada's toxic review, declaring that the agency had "pandered to emotional zealots" by even considering the toxic designation, the Toronto Star reports. The industry group demanded that Environment Canada halt the review process; Environment Canada held firm.

In our political system, the chemical industry has had better luck pushing its agenda.


Image:  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by abdallahh

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 22, 2010

Google Buys 20 Years of Wind Power

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Google has been putting their money into sustainable wind power. Three months ago, the company invested $38.8-million in two North Carolina wind farms. Now, the internet giant has "has entered into a deal to buy wind power from NextEra Energy Inc for the next 20 years to power data centers". Globe and Mail reports:

Google Energy LLC will begin buying wind power from July 30 from NextEra's facility in Iowa at a predetermined rate, Urs Hoelzle, Google's senior vice president of operations, said in a blog on Google's website.

"Incorporating such a large amount of wind power into our portfolio is tricky, but this power is enough to supply several data centers," Hoelzle added...

The often-quirky company said in late 2007 that it would invest in companies and do research of its own to produce affordable renewable energy - at a price less than burning coal - within a few years.

The company's Google Energy unit, formed in December, allows the company to buy large volumes of renewable energy from the wholesale power market.

Now, perhaps, those internet searches won't be contributing to your carbon footprint.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 17, 2010

Organic Honest Tea Yearly Sales Match Coke's 9 Minutes

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We occasionally drink Honest Tea because it is readily available in gas stations and health food stores alike. Recently, my daughter read an interesting statistic inside her Honest Tea lid:

Last year, Honest Tea sold 7,998,654 bottles of tea. This the same amount of Coke sold in 9 minutes.

She was blown away by this statistic, and it really shows how even a quasi-mainstream product like Honest Tea nowhere comes close to a giant like Coca-Cola. Of course, Honest Tea was only launched in 1998, and it somewhat ironic they would include such a quote when in 2008, "The Coca-Cola Company purchased 40 percent of Honest Tea". Hmm, maybe that's why we are seeing it convenience stores now.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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