One of our MantraMeds Insiders took our sustainable medical scrubs to Panama on a medical mission. His team performed routine dentistry for people in need while there. He wrote us:
The scrubs were great thanks so much. I was in Penonome, Panama for 2 weeks doing dental work in poor communities. I appreciate you getting me the scrubs so quickly and exchanging sizes, ya’ll made it really easy. They were the best looking scrubs in Panama.
Find out more about the MantraMeds Insider Program here: http://mantrameds.wordpress.com/insider-program/
Sign up to become an Insider here: http://www.mantrameds.com/insider-signup
“From fair trade coffee to organic designer fashions, Ethical Ocean will help you find the products that make the world a better place.” Join the movement w/ their Facebook App
Repreve Recycled Fiber that we use in MantraMeds Scrubs sells their eco-friendly materials to tons of cool companies! Check out this one – American Flora – Founded by a veteran dancer, American Flora is a line of dance and yoga wear that emphasizes a woman’s true femininity, athleticism and beauty. They create boutique high-performance garments inspired by our passion for dance and the beauty of our natural world. Smart design and extensive use of eco-friendly Repreve® fabric ensures each piece in our collection provides the ultimate combination of luxury, comfort and performance. American Flora is made in the United States from 100% US sourced material.
The organic farming debate is about more than just yields
Yields from organic farming may not match those produced by farmers who use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, but there are other good reasons to buy and support organic — its health benefits, the good that it does for farm workers, even its animal-welfare rules.
So, at least, say executives of the Organic Trade Association, a Washington-based group that represents about 6,500 organic farmers, producers, retailers and suppliers.
“Yield is only one window into organic farming,” says Laura Batcha, executive vice president of the trade group. Organic farming is “good for the environment. It’s good for local economies. It’s good for the farmer incomes.” A 2008 USDA survey of organic production found that organic farms had average annual sales of $217,675, compared to the $134,807 average for U.S. farms overall. Overall, the U.S. organic industry, including fiber as well as food, generated about $31 billion in 2011, up from just $1 billion in 1990. Despite the U.S.’s sluggish economy, organic food and farming remain growth businesses.
I went to see Laura and Christine Bushway, who is CEO of the organic trade group, at their offices on Capitol Hill to talk about several issues, including the push to require labels on food containing genetically modified organisms, the Farm Bill and food safety, including a recent incident of mad cow disease in California. But we talked a lot about yields because it’s in the news: A recent survey of 66 research studies published in Nature, which found that organic yields lag those of conventional farming, has stirred up a bit of a brouhaha. [See my blog post Organic food is not as green as you think, and the comments.]
Green Lessons Our Moms Taught Us
Read full article on Earth911: http://earth911.com/news/2012/05/08/green-lessons-our-moms-taught-us/
Moms teach their children a variety of lessons as they grow up – from how to tie their shoes to the importance of spending quality time with loved ones. As we get ready to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, Earth911 couldn’t help but realize that many of the values our moms imparted are actually very eco-friendly – whether Mom was an enthusiastic eco-advocate or not. From finding new uses for scraps others might have thrown away to encouraging us to stand up for our beliefs, here are five green lessons our moms taught us.
1. Family and friends are more important than material possessions
You know your mom would like nothing more than to spend some quality time with her kids this Mother’s Day – and would prefer this gift of time over flowers, jewelry and other store-bought presents.
This is just one of the values mothers pass down to their children that happen to be very green: Spending time with your loved ones is more important than buying the hottest new car, latest designer outfit or just-released electronic gadget.
Of course, prioritizing your friends and family and living green doesn’t mean quitting your job and avoiding new purchases altogether. But what’s better for the Earth – and your family – is to buy only items you need and think carefully about each purchase, opting for high-quality goods that will last for a long time. Remember, the first “R” of the famous “three R’s” is to reduce: When you reduce your unnecessary purchases, you end up consuming fewer resources and disposing of less waste.
In fact, this philosophy of buying only the necessities and abstaining from impulse shopping has freed up time for two eco-moms, Béa Johnson whose family strives to lead a zero-waste lifestyle and Meg Hourihanwho is spending the year trying to avoid new purchases.
“Now that we’re not burdened by stuff, we have more time do things we truly enjoy. I have more time to play with my kids,” Johnson told Earth911 last year.
2. Nothing beats a home-cooked meal
No matter how old you are or how many Michelin-rated restaurants you’ve eaten in, there’s nothing quite like the comfort and warmth of your mom’s best homemade meal.
And while Mom may have whipped up home-cooked meals to save the family money or to promote better health, it turns out that home cooking is a great way to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
By steering clear of takeout lunches and frozen dinners, you’re cutting down on food packaging, including many materials which cannot be easily recycled through local collection programs – such as polystyrene foam clamshell containers or frozen food packaged in plastic bags. You can further reduce your waste when cooking for yourself by buying in bulk to avoid packaging or choosing products packaged in materials that are recycled in your community.
Cooking from scratch also gives you more control over the meal’s ingredients, so you can pick organic, free-range and local choices to reduce your environmental impact.
3. Stand up for what you believe in
Mothers don’t just impart important values to their children; they also remind their kids to actively pursue their principles and defend their beliefs when they are challenged.
If sustainability is your passion, there are plenty of things you can do in your local community, school or workplace to make a difference and make your mama proud.
To prevent usable items from ending up in the landfill, organize a citywide garage sale or bicycle repair and recycling program in your community. You can also start a food scraps composting program at your school or a recycling program at your office or apartment complex. Or volunteer your time weeding and tending plants at your local community garden or picking up litter at a local beach cleanup event.
Read full article on Earth911: http://earth911.com/news/2012/05/08/green-lessons-our-moms-taught-us/
Pepper – the Eco Friendly Dog
By Gia Machlin
This is Part I of a two-part post on how consumers can use Eco Labels to distinguish the green from the greenwash.
After years of making fun of dog owners in the city, I became one myself: a city dweller with a canine friend. Meet Pepper. Of course now I think having a dog in the city is the best thing since sliced bread, but I still feel somewhat ridiculous picking up after Pepper does her business on the sidewalk. Luckily we have those tidy little poop bags to help us out and keep the mess to a minimum. I realize that using an old newspaper is probably more eco friendly, and I may just switch to that, but as I was getting used to this dog walking concept, using the bags just seemed much less disgusting.
So I walked into the pet store and asked for biodegradable poop bags, and the clerk pointed me to some bags hanging in a display case. On the packaging, there was a picture of the earth with some recycling arrows around it and the words “earth friendly.” If I didn’t happen to be in the sustainability field, I might have taken this information at face value and bought the bags. But I didn’t recognize the symbol as representing a reputable eco-label and I looked further. Nowhere on the packaging did the product claim to be biodegradable, compostable, or made of renewable materials. In fact, the bags were, as far as I could tell, no different than any other plastic poop bag. But I’m sure the manufacturer fooled a few customers into believing their product was “greener” than the next. How is this possible?
It’s possible, because there is very little regulation around what companies can claim as “green,” “eco friendly,” or “earth friendly.” Not that there isn’t any regulation – in 1992 the Federal Trade Commission came out with the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims also known as the “Green Guide“. This regulation has been updated several times, and in October 2010 the FTC proposed major updates to this section of the Federal Register (the proposed updates have yet to be finalized). So this is all good, and the FTC has started to enforce these rules, but the rules are new, and in some cases unclear, and the door is still open for all the “greenwashers” and their claims for now.
So, as a consumer, knowing that the door is still open for marketers to make all kinds of green claims, how do you know what’s green? Well the first thing to know is that nothing is truly “green.” Everything we buy has some kind of environmental footprint. A product’s footprint is calculated using many factors: the material used to make it, the energy used to manufacture it, the gasoline used to transport it, the electricity needed to operate it, and the waste created when ultimatelydisposing of it. But a product can be “greener” than another. (The most environmentally friendly option is not to buy anything new at all and reuse what’s already out there!) So how do we know what’s “greener?” Currently, we at EcoPlum believe the best option is to buy products that have are made of recycled materials, have been certified green by independent organizations or that have earned a reputable eco-label.
Now, how do you know which Eco-Label is reputable? That’s the topic of Part II of this post. But, for now, here is a list of eco-labels we have found be run by independent non-profit or government third parties that appear to have no vested interest in the products or companies they certify.
[Note: the EcoPlum Online Boutique carries only eco friendly products that have been certified green, have a third party eco-label, or are made of recycled/upcycled materials.]
Gia is the President and CEO of EcoPlum, Where it Pays to Buy Green®. EcoPlum is the green shopping rewards site with eco friendly products and green living ideas that makes it fun, easy and rewarding to go green. Under its loyalty program, buying green at EcoPlum online earns EcoChipz rewards points, good for coupons in its shop or donations to environmental causes.
May 08, 2012 11:06 ET
Health Care Professionals Return From CleanMed Ready to Green Health Care
Conference Provided Education, Tools, Motivation to Speed Health Care Sustainability
WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwire – May 8, 2012) – Health care professionals from across the country are returning to work today with renewed energy and tools for engaging in sustainable health care after attending CleanMed, the nation’s most important conference on health care sustainability. With information on new products, procedures and tools to help hospitals green their operations, including a new free program developed by the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, plus a strong business case, hospitals now have every incentive to begin reducing their environmental footprint.
“At CleanMed, we provided more than 50 multidisciplinary educational sessions that made the business case for health care sustainability as well as highlighted the health concerns of climate change and environmental impacts,” said Laura Wenger, executive director ofPractice Greenhealth, one of the host sponsors of CleanMed. “We are also providing tools, education, practice guidelines and other assistance to hospitals to help them engage in sustainable operations, and we hope they will take advantage of these programs.”
The Healthier Hospitals Initiative, started by Practice Greenhealth, Health Care Without Harmand The Center for Health Design, along with eleven major hospital systems, provides free “How-To” guides and technical assistance for hospitals to engage in sustainability in six areas of hospital operations. Hospitals can enroll for free and proceed at their own pace. The goal of HHI is to speed the engagement in sustainability across the health care sector. A presentation on each of the six areas or “Challenges,” was made at CleanMed for attendees to become more familiar with the program.
“CleanMed has an undeniable re-energizing component to it,” said Gary Cohen, President and Founder of Health Care Without Harm. “Attendees are inspired by each other. As attendees see what can be done, they bring back new ideas and information that they need to push their programs forward. And of course, the main reason health care is engaged in this effort is to improve public health, which touches the mission of every hospital and speaks to health professionals, most of which entered their field with this goal in mind.”
The nation’s epidemic of chronic illnesses, much of which can be attributed to environmental factors, is behind the push for accelerating sustainable health care. Heart and lung disease, obesity, cancer, asthma and other chronic illnesses all have environmental components. Treating chronic illness consumes 75 percent of today’s health care expenses.
During CleanMed, Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm announced its annual award winners. Jackie Hunt Christensen has been named the recipient of the 2012 Environmental Health Hero Award, the highest award bestowed by HCWH. Presented annually, the Environmental Health Hero Award recognizes an individual whose professional accomplishments have significantly contributed to advances in environmental health science or policy. Ms. Christensen is a founder of HCWH and served as one of three co-coordinators who ran the organization following its formation.
“At Health Care Without Harm, with Gary [Cohen] and Charlotte [Brody], I learned to think — and work — both inside and outside ‘The Box.’ I think that strategy has been the key to the campaign’s many successes,” said Christensen.
Health Care Without Harm’s Nurses Work Group, along with The Luminary Project, has named Dr. Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, APRN, PHCNS-BC, FAAOHN, as the 2012 Recipient of the Charlotte Brody Award. Dr. Chalupka is Professor of Public Health Nursing and Chair of the Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing at Worcester State University and also holds an appointment as a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health, Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program at the Harvard School of Public Health. The award recognizes a nurse’s endeavors towards “brilliantly lighting the way to a healthier environment and inspiring other nurses to do the same.” Other awards were presented by HCWH honoring nursing students, as well as achievements in waste management.
More than 280 hospitals and supporting businesses received awards from Practice Greenhealth, including six inductees to the Environmental Leadership Circle, Practice Greenhealth’s highest award, which honors facilities that exemplify environmental excellence and are setting the highest standards for environmental practices in health care. Those hospitals are Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Madigan Healthcare System, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, MetroWest Medical Center/Framingham Union Hospital and MetroWest Medical Center/Leonard Morse Hospital.
CleanMed’s companion conference, CleanMed Europe, will take place in Malmo, Sweden, on September 26-28, 2012. CleanMed’s next US conference will be held on April 24-26, 2013 in Boston, Mass.