October 9, 2006

Gisele Bunchen Saves the Rainforest

It's Columbus Day. What better time is there to sit back and reflect on indigenous people and the havoc we've wrought on them over the years? And who better to raise our awareness than...Gisele?!

Today's Ecorazzi reports that Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen is starring in a new commercial calling attention to the plight of the indigenous people of the Xingu River in Brazil, who are suffering due to deforestation and clean water issues in the Amazon.

Gisele will be starring in a new commercial to educate the public on the issues. These include a controversial hydroelectric dam that is under construction and river pollution from cattle ranchers, loggers and soy farmers.

Read the full story - and check out some fab pictures of Gisele from the photo shoot at Celebitchy.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 2, 2006

Lindsay Lohan Goes Commando to Save the Earth

lindsay.jpgGod, we love Ecorazzi. Is the healthy, wholesomeness of an organic and natural lifestyle ever getting to be too much? Click on over for celebrity dish with an eco-friendly twist. For example, this recent story offers an eco-activist explanation for Lindsay Lohan's recent undie-free antics:

Many times, in order to help the environment, we need to give up certain things in our lives. This could mean using reusable containers instead of disposable Ziploc bags to store food or shutting off lights when we leave the room. It could also mean giving something up completely, such as printing emails, in turn choosing to read and store them electronically.

Well, now America’s socialites have taken a step towards a better earth in their very own way. They have given up panties. This is a huge win for the environment. They have given up the thong, which caused much energy to be used in creating the little strings that rested well above their pants line. Not to mention the pesticides used to grow any cotton that might have been used in the production of said thongs. This is great news.

Read more at Ecorazzi. Or better yet, check out pictures of hot (and wholesome?) models in organic hemp lingerie and make the call for yourself about which is more attractive.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

FDA Lifts Ban on Fresh Spinach

spinach2.jpgThe FDA has lifted its ban on fresh spinach products, limiting the ban to already recalled products containing spinach from the central California company Natural Selection Foods. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

"All of the spinach implicated in the current outbreak has been traced back to Natural Selection Foods" of San Juan Bautista, said Dr. David Acheson, chief medical officer at the federal agency's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "Right now, the only spinach we're saying shouldn't be consumed is the spinach that was subject to the recall."

Read the official notice (and other press releases on the spinach E. coli outbreak on the FDA website.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 1, 2006

September Wrap-Up

It's time for the September wrap-up. It's been a busy month at Really Natural. We welcomed students back to school by selling them our old stuff on Craigslist, and offering tips on how to green your dorm room, courtesy of MTV and Tufts University.

Green building get several shout outs, from Brad Pitt, MIT and The New York Times.

Popeye's favorite vegetable was in the news as the FDA banned fresh spinach after E. coli breakouts across the country. Thankfully, that's a thing of the past, and we can continue to enjoy spinach salad from our CSA share or our Organic Veggies By Mail care package.

We talked about several green, natural and organic products that make our lives easier, including bamboo dinner plates, the Simple Human Cabinet Mount Trash System, the Envirocycle Backyard Composter, organic playdough, the Green Power Gold Juice Extractor, UnPetroleum, Seventh Generation recycled toilet paper, and Oops I Pooped biodegradable dog waste bags.

And then there are the things we want, including Herman Miller's Leaf lamp, Andy Gregg's bike chairs, Japanese message beans, and Timberland's Pacific Grove Mary Janes.

We featured stories on groups and individuals who making the world greener in several senses of the word: Richard Branson's $3 billion pledge to fight global warming, REBAR Group's parking interventions in San Francisco, the City of Boston's Best Bites campaign, Parents Against Junk Food, the Eco-Pioneers, Timberland, and John Abrams of South Mountain Company.

And we had tips on how to make your own life greener, from washing your clothes in cold water to how to renovate your lawn.

Last but not least, we started a section called Weekend Reading, which covers the books we've been reading and hearing about. On this month's list: Eric Schlosser's Chew on This, The Company We Keep, and, courtesy of author Deirdre Dolan, The Complete Organic Pregnancy.

Okay, I think that's just about everything. Everything but the pepitas and our continuing quest for a natural deodorant that works.

Whew. No wonder we're exhausted. And excited for October.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 28, 2006

Parents Against Junk Food

We've read the news. 17% of children are overweight. Childhood obesity is growing at alarming rates. The Center for Disease Control predicts that one third of all children born in 2000 will contract diabetes. The question is, what can we do about it?

Received email from Christopher Kimball, the editor of Cook's Illustrated magazine, which included an answer: join Parents Against Junk Food. The nonprofit distributes a free monthly newsletter with recipe makeovers for such favorites as Mac and Cheese, quick (and healthier) weeknight meals like Skillet Lasagne, and recipes like "Wacky Cake" which you can cook with your kids.

Join Parents Against Junk Food.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 25, 2006

Timberland: Shoes with a Nutrition Label

Here's something you don't see every day. The folks at Timberland are now including a "nutrition label" on every box of shoes they sell. The label highlights the shoes' environmental impact, including energy used to produce them and what percent of that energy was renewable; community impact ,which highlights the number of hours Timberland employees serve in their communities, the fact that all Timberland factories are assessed against a code of conduct that ensures workplace safety and fair labor practices, and notes that no child labor was used to produce your shoes; and where they were made, which lets you know, well, where your shoes were made.

Timberland has long been a leader on the corporate social responsibility front - measuring and reporting on the company's efforts to strenghten communities, protect the environment and improve global human rights. Sure, they recognize it as a way to sell more shoes - appealing to the outdoorsy, tree-hugging, hiker/environmentalist types the company has long embraced as one of its key constituents. But they also see it as a way to attract and retain talented employees, and distinguish themselves among their peers in the shoes and clothing manufacturing business.

"What kind of footprint will you leave?" asks the advertising copy for the new nutritional labeling. Kick up your heels for a company that's trying to come up with an answer.

Thanks, Russ, for sending this in.

Read more at Timberland.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 22, 2006

Richard Branson Pledges $3 Billion to Fight Global Warming

Did anyone see Virgin's Sir Richard Branson on Good Morning America this morning? We didn't, but heard about the story and thought it was pretty darned amazing.

The British business tycoon yesterday pledged to invest approximately $3 billion over the next 10 years to support alternative energy and fight global warming. Branson said he would invest all profits generated by Virgin Group's transportation sectors (including airlines and trains) in research and business efforts to develop and promote renewable, sustainable energy sources in an effort to reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels.

Branson made the announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative conference on Thursday. In a move that gives the term "power lunch" a run for its money, he explained that Al Gore had persuaded him to make the commitment during a two-hour breakfast meeting. More coffee, anyone?

Read the announcement.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 18, 2006

San Francisco Readers: Sept 21 is Park(ing) Day!

Calling all San Francisco readers of Really Natural: Park(ing) Day Wants You!

REBAR Group, the landscape design activist group that brought you the parking intervention - turning public parking spaces into temporary parks - has teamed up with the Trust for Public Land to bring you Park(ing) Day. This Thursday, September 21st, REBAR volunteers will transform parking spaces across San Francisco into parks to call attention to the need for additional public parks and green spaces. To volunteer for this event or set up your own installation as part of Park(ing) Day, check out the official Park(ing) Day site.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 12, 2006

Boston Campaign to Encourage Healthy Eating

Is your city getting fatter? If you live in the US, chances are the answer is yes. And if you want people to change their eating habits, you need to get them where they're eating - namely, in restaurants. Says Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino,

We live in a time when many people are eating outside of their homes more often and healthy options are needed when dining out. If we’re serious about addressing the problem of obesity we need to include restaurants as partners in our efforts to create a healthier Boston.

To that end, the Mayor's office recently kicked off Boston BestBites, a campaign to encourage restaurants to add or highlight healthy, lighter menu options. Participating restaurants work with a nutritionist from Brigham and Woman’s Hospital to identify healthier menu items; if recipes don't meet nutritional guidelines, the nutritionist will alternative ingredients or preparation methods to create a healthier dish.

According to the Mayor's office, 12 restaurants, including Really Natural favorite Haley House Bakery Cafe have signed on to the effort; the City is sending information about the campaign to another 600 restaurants throughout the city.

According to the National Restaurant Association, Americans spend 48% of their food dollars outside the home. By providing restaurant diners with information on what they're eating, Boston BestBites hopes to encourage them to make healthier choices, and to encourage restaurants to offer more of those choices. So next time you're dining out, everything you know about eating healthy doesn't have to go out the window.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 11, 2006

Organic Veggies By Mail

We've spent the summer digging in to local organic veggies through our CSA share with a local nonprofit farm. (CSA stands for community supported agriculture - you buy a "share" of the farmer's crop at the beginning of the growing season, and it pays "dividends" in the form of fresh veggies all summer.)

But what if you're stuck someplace where you don't have access to fresh, organic local produce? Well, the folks at Diamond Organics have a solution. Place an order for one of their organic sampler boxes, and founders Jasch & Kathleen Hamilton will ship you whatever's freshest right now, well, right now. The price on Amazon - $69 for 9lbs of fresh produce in their Original Organics or Organic Fruit samplers - includes free overnight shipping from their farm on Highway 1 in Moss Landing, CA to almost anywhere in the U.S.

Rebecca Johnson tried the service via Amazon, and had this to say:

The lettuce and greens reminded me of my days living on a farm where we made fresh salads from greens selected on that very day. There is nothing like it, well, not until I found this company. The lettuce seems to last longer and the baby spinach is delicious. A week later and the lettuce still looks fresh. That never happens when I buy produce at the store.

At Really Natural, we believe the best tasting and eco-friendliest produce comes from local organic farms. But if you want to eat organic and can't find a local source, then "Go Web, young man (or woman). Go Web."

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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