1. Honey Do Shampoo & Conditioner! And Giveaway!

    Posted on March 31, 2011 by Jody


    In my never-ending quest to eliminate unnecessary chemicals from my family’s waste stream, I was very happy to be given the chance to review A Beautiful Life’s Honey Do Shampoo and Conditioner set!

    This shampoo and conditioner set is not only sulfate free, but also paraben free and it is made with organic honey.  As a side bonus, they also come in bear shaped honey containers for extra cuteness!  Having the ever elusive tag of “Made in USA” doesn’t hurt, either.  Read more…

  2. My Tour of the Okabashi Factory

    Posted on March 30, 2011 by Courtney

    It wasn’t so long ago that everyone in America bought things that were made right in our country, if not the same state. It makes sense that things would be cheaper for the consumer if they didn’t have to travel halfway around the world to get to you, right? Not these days. Many of the things we buy on a regular basis just aren’t manufactured in the United States anymore; companies have discovered it’s cheaper to outsource factory labor overseas. That way, the companies can charge consumers pretty much the same amount in stores, but it costs the company less money to make the product.

    So what does this have to do with the environment? It’s not green to ship materials to factories in China — many of which far exceed the emissions restrictions on American factories — so workers can make the products, then ship the products back over here to sell to us. It would be much greener and more efficient to make the majority of the products we consume right here in the U.S. of A., and for other countries to do the same. (Plus, can you imagine the number of jobs that would open up if we manufactured more things in our own country? HELLO, ECONOMIC RECOVERY.)

    So it’s increasingly rare to find companies that manufacture their products domestically, but last week, I was lucky enough to tour the Okabashi factory in Buford, Georgia, which is less than an hour from my home. Clad in my beloved Okabashi flip-flops, which I raved about yesterday, Mickey (a fellow Greenist, who also served as the photographer during our tour) and I were escorted around the factory, seeing workers create the shoes that would be shipped out to stores and individual consumers. I’m glad to report that Okabashi not only creates a comfortable, high-quality product, it also lives up to its green message. (In fact, it won the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2011 Environmental Award!Read more…

  3. Okabashi Shoes: Affordable, Comfortable, and Made in America (Yes, Really!)

    Posted on March 29, 2011 by Courtney

    Do me a favor: Go look in your closet and find a pair, any pair, of shoes. Look for the little label or stamp that tells you where that pair of shoes was made. Without even knowing what shoes you’re looking at, I’d bet good money they were made somewhere in Asia, probably China or Taiwan.

    In fact, look at some other articles of clothing while you’re in there. Shirts, pants, whatever. Were most of them made in China? I thought so. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about my Okabashi flip-flops: Not only are they super comfortable and 100% recyclable, they were made right here in America. In fact, they were made in Buford, Georgia, no more than 45 minutes from my home.   Read more…

  4. Join an Appalachian Trail Crew

    Posted on March 28, 2011 by Jacob

     

    I hate to admit it, but vacations are the least green thing I do every year. The reason I hate to admit it is that I absolutely love travelling. I live for it. My choice of career was in large part driven by my desire to travel, but I can’t deny that wandering long distances in a car isn’t the greenest use of my resources. It doesn’t matter that I bought a Prius to ease my guilt (and to be able to afford the trips). That’s a lot of gas that I wouldn’t be using if I’d stayed at home.

    Then again, the very idea of a staycation, taking off work to do vacation type things near where I live, is just depressing. Not only is my wanderlust too clever to be fooled with that tactic, I live too far from even a medium-sized population center to make that even remotely interesting. If you’re like me and you’ve got the travel bug but you want to find a way to ease your environmental footprint in your travels this summer, why not try volunteering on one of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s trail crews? Read more…

  5. A/V Fridays: Earth Hour 2011

    Posted on March 25, 2011 by Courtney

    Earth Hour will take place at 8:30 p.m. (your local time) this Saturday, March 26! All you have to do is turn off the lights and unplug as many appliances as you can for one hour. In 2010, a record 128 countries and territories participated, and the lights on some of the world’s most famous landmarks were turned off, including the Eiffel Tower, the Acropolis, the Las Vegas Strip, the Coliseum, and the Empire State Building.

    What will you do to entertain yourself for an hour while the lights are off?

  6. A Tale of Two Shoes

    Posted on March 24, 2011 by Mickey

    While the internet has given us much (we can’t thank it enough for all the naked people and celebrity meltdown videos), one benefit that’s often overlooked is its capacity for inadvertent time travel. While researching this article, I came across the following passage on the site greensteps.org:

    To date, the Chaco team in Paonia has been able to beat the “landed cost” of assembling their core performance sandals in China. [HR Director Dave] Knutson attributes this to the simplicity of the product, and the experience and work ethic of their employees.

    It’s a fun exercise in flux capacity because the article was posted in 2005, three years before Chaco moved all production to China. Read more…

  7. Interesting Environmental Degree Programs

    Posted on March 23, 2011 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s guest poster, Brian Jenkins.

    Aspiring environmentalists have an array of degree programs to choose from. Some interesting programs are available at schools across the nation, while others are currently only provided by a few scattered schools. Let’s take a look at some of the programs out there.  Read more…

  8. From Fridge to Face

    Posted on March 22, 2011 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s guest poster, Randi Ragan.

    Plants are healing gifts that the Earth has given us – not only for nourishment, but to cure health problems and provide ingredients for a bounty of natural beauty recipes. Modern science has effectively learned how to synthesize those properties artificially in a lab for medical and economic benefits, but in the process, has short-circuited our culture’s interaction with plants on a level other than for food. We’ve come to believe that unless we buy our beauty products in a box that’s been made commercially, then it isn’t going to be as effective. Some people even believe that the more expensive the product and exotic the ingredients, the better the results will be. By following this line of thinking, we’ve also bought ourselves a boatload of chemicals components we’ve discovered are unnecessary and, in fact, doing more harm than good.  Read more…

  9. The 2011 Food and Fuel Crisis

    Posted on March 21, 2011 by Courtney

    Please welcome today’s guest poster, Jamison.

    As a boy, one of my favorite things in the world was mathematics, the utter simplicity of numbers and the structured sets of rules that were simple to understand and prove. I reveled in them. As I grew older I came across a branch of sociology that also reveled in them too. Through the use of statistical analysis, numbers were applied to people via the same mathematics I’d always loved. It all works out well until you stop and realize that those numbers are people and the numbers are saying there is going to be a disaster. So when I saw this report from the BBC and jumped over to the UN Food Price Index, it sort of took my breath away.

    Read more…

  10. A/V Fridays – How the Market Can Protect Rivers and Streams

    Posted on March 18, 2011 by Allie

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

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According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.


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