With fast fashion and quick turnover key commercial ingredients of today’s garment and apparel industry, excess textile production is prompting the sector to gravitate towards more recycling and re-use of materials, to conserve energy, increase sustainability and lower raw material costs. (more…)
The organic farming debate is about more than just yields
Published May 14, 2012
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.]
READ FULL ARTICLE: http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2012/05/14/organic-farming-debate-about-more-just-yields?utm_source=E-News+from+GreenBiz&utm_campaign=09dcecb2af-GreenBuzz-2012-05-14&utm_medium=email
Just eight months ago, a one-acre plot at the Denver Green School was an unused athletic field, but now that land has come to life with food-bearing vegetation.
“We have harvested over 3,000 pounds of produce from this ground,” said Megan Caley, a coordinator for Sprout City Farms, which partnered to create the garden.
“Kids are eating healthier,” said Frank Coyne, of the public school. “They are excited to eat the tomatoes on the salad bar, they are excited to eat the cucumbers.”
(WATCH the program’s video below, or READ the story in News-7 Denver)
Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, lists five toxic holiday gifts you should never buy a loved one for Christmas
Gift-giving is a wonderful activity, but many people who give gifts to family and friends don’t realize they’re actually giving the recipient cancer, or diabetes or attention deficit problems.
In this article, I expose five dangerous gifts that may literally increase the risk of disease and death. Whatever you give your family and friends this holiday season, please avoid giving these five dangerous gifts:
Dangerous gift #5) Clothing that’s full of GMOs, dyes and pesticides
Finally, all non-organic cotton isloaded with pesticides, and those pesticide chemicals can promote Parkinson’s disease, dementia and other brain disorders (http://www.naturalnews.com/027098_p…). The only cotton that’s free of pesticides is100% organic cotton, which is available from a few specialty stores and online retailers.
Read more at: http://www.naturalnews.com/034253_Christmas_gifts_toxic_chemicals.html#ixzz1ewIdaJYk
Mantrameds sustainable medical apparel encourages you to reduce, reuse & recycle on this Thanksgiving holiday! This great article from Organic Authority gives tips on reducing your waste before, during and after turkey day!
Written by Abbie Stutzer
Thanksgiving is not about stuffing your face and unbuttoning your pants to allow your stomach that extra inch of space. Nor is it about wasting oodles of food, paper products and energy. Shocking, I know. The renowned holiday is really about being thankful for what you have, family and good food prepared with care — and consciousness.
It’s easy to overlook that last part. We’re all hurried and rushed, and spend most of our holiday prep time thinking about meal presentation rather than preparation and clean up. The following tips, ideas and general advice can help you stay conscious this Thanksgiving. Enjoy the day and take pleasure in knowing you did everything in your power to produce a sustainable meal!
Thanksgiving Day Preparation
Get it Done in One Trip
Make your list, check it twice, and have your mom look over it so she can remind you of that one item you will inevitably forget. Getting all of your holiday shopping done in one trip will save gas, wear and tear on your car and time.
Break Out the Good Dishes
Don’t use plastic utensils or paper plates, and cook with reusable containers and pans. Sure, dish washing is a chore, but these “convenient” dishes create a ton of waste. Use cloth napkins, too. Also, post meal clean up can be done with a homemade, green cleaner and an old towel.
Recycle every last plastic container, cardboard box and wine bottle.
Put plant waste, coffee grounds and tea bags in your compost pile.
Decorate with Nature
Fill clear vases with pinecones, acorns and colorful leaves and use as an earthy centerpiece. Popped open your organic wine bottles already? Take the corks, carve a small slit in the cork, and place a piece of paper with a guest’s name to create unique, upcycled place settings.
Use the Whole Turkey
That expensive free-range, organic turkey gave its life to feed you and your family and friends — you better use the whole thing. Kathy Bechtel of Italian Food, Wine, Health and Fitness has a great post dedicated to how to use the entire bird.
Use Organic and Local Veggies
A no-brainer, but easy to forget if you’re in a rush at the store. Try to buy fresh rather than canned. Use traditional Thanksgiving food (cranberries, yams) and make unconventional side dishes.
Meat-Free Meal Options
These awesome holiday recipes are vegetarian-friendly. Serve as this year’s Thanksgiving entree (the butternut squash gnocchi looks amazing — and it can be made vegan) if you and your family don’t eat meat, or serve as unique side dishes to complete your turkey.
Read more at: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1ps4Je/www.organicauthority.com/sanctuary/waste-not-8-ways-to-reduce-holiday-waste-on-thanksgiving-day.html
Enjoy A Real Green Christmas!
If you’re planning on heading out and getting a Christmas tree this holiday season, please leave the axe at home. Urban Roots is teaming up with Riverkeeper, Grassroots Gardens and Olmsted Parks to, once again, offer up an alternative that can help your home, the city and our planet. Why not consider investing in a living tree? ”Living trees improve the air quality of your home,” says Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, General Manager of Urban Roots Community Gardening Center. “And eventually your community. They absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen as well as mediate air temperature and humidity. When you bring a living tree into your home, you and your family get the benefits of natural air purification. By planting the tree in your yard or an urban neighborhood after Christmas, you give the continued gift of improved air quality to the community. The trees will also provide habitat for native wildlife species as they grow. Living trees reduce landfill use and methane production. 30-35 million
cut Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year and approximately 10 million of them end up in landfills, thus producing methane. When you purchase a living tree, you keep valuable nutrients out of the landfill and cut methane production.”
If you’re not sure what to do with the tree once the holidays are over, bring it back to Urban Roots and they will take care of it until spring. Then they will give your tree to one of the partnering groups to get it planted (you can even get a write off). Additionally, since you did such a good deed, you can go and visit your tree whenever you want! Then you can buy a friend for your tree next season, and the season after that. After all, we were once known as the City of Trees.
Urban Roots Community Garden Center, located at 428 Rhode Island Street, offers eight (8) varieties of living, locally-grown evergreens for the holidays. They are priced in the $60-$70 range and stand 3′-4′ feet tall. The staff can provide you with full planting instructions.
Read more at http://www.buffalorising.com/2011/11/enjoy-a-real-green-christmas.html
Mantrameds’ South Carolina office moved early Fall to W. Antrum Drive in Greenville. We have a great display room that has remained sparse until today. Pictured below are some of the materials that go into Mantrameds scrubs.
To the right are miniature hay bales. The two brown ones are Texas Organic Cotton, which accounts for 50% of our poly/cotton blend. The orange hay bale with tiger paws is one of Jack Miller’s favorite souvenirs. He bought it at a fundraiser for the agriculture department at his alma matter – Clemson University. To learn more about Texas organic cotton, go to http://www.texasorganic.com/
The plastic pyramid in the center of the table is made of display canisters from Repreve Recycled Polyester, which makes up 50% of Mantrameds fabric. These canisters show the 3 stages of the recycled polyester process. The plastic is melted down and chopped into small beads. These are melted down into flakes, which are then extracted into polyester yarn. To read more about Repreve Recycled Polyester, go to http://www.repreve.com/
The left side of the table displays Mantrameds’ newest literature. As of last week, we have an updated catalog, story-teller hangtags, discount cards, and star-shaped badge pulls. To request a new catalog or inquire about Mantrameds scrubs, email us at email@example.com
Remember, Mantrameds scrubs are made in the USA using sustainable practices. Buy a pair for the green nurse in your family this Christmas!
Ever wonder what makes Mantrameds scrubs stand out from the rest? The difference is in the quality ingredients we use. Check out this youtube video to learn the recipe!
NC picked up one Insider, but AZ also, so the West is catching up! Let’s get California on board to compete with SC and we will really have some fun. Text your Golden State friends and get them going today.
We are well on our way to having an Insider in every state!
If you are in one of the states below in Red, we need you!!!! Tell your friends, pass this along.
Remember, the first one in each state gets a free pair of scrubs and will be invited to our special online design workshop team to create the new 50/50 scrub line styles for 2013.
South Carolina is in the lead with NC second and VA and MD tied for 3rd! Go Mantrameds Insiders!
We believe in eco-performance.
We believe apparel should embody a sustainable and active lifestyle that focuses on healthy choices in everyday life. Consumers are demanding that companies provide green alternatives to the apparel they wear everyday, and we’ve answered this challenge by creating our own line of eco-friendly scrubs and apparel for the conscious and committed healthcare professional. Our scrubs outperform, fit better, are softer and more comfortable than all other scrubs, hands down.
To highlight our competitive nature, we’ve decided to create a challenge.
It’s a 50 state / 50 day challege. The competition is easy. Just be the first to become a Mantrameds Insider (see below) in your state, then bring on as many additional Insiders as you can. It’s free, easy and you get a lot of swag in the process.
The first Insider in each state will receive a pair of free scrubs, as well a be invited to our special online design workshop team to create the new 50/50 scrub line styles for 2013. After 50 days, the state with the most insiders* will also be invited to the online design workshop team.
Great, How Do I Sign Up?
Apply here now http://www.mantrameds.com/insider-signup
*50/50 Program Guidelines
Insiders are limited to a percentage of population for each state. (So you better sign up quick!) Total 50/50 promotion program is limited to 1000 Insiders. If you miss this opportunity, we’ll be doing more, so don’t worry, you’ll get your chance.
The Insider Program
At Mantrameds we believe how you feel, and what you say about our brand and products is our greatest asset. Our Insider Program supports this belief and is our way of saying thanks and asking for your help at the same time.
Become a MantraMeds Insider and begin spreading the word about a truly different company.
As a Mantrameds Insider you will enjoy the following privileges:
- 30% Personal Use Discount
- Personalized Insider Card And Welcome Packet
- Free Scrubs Annually
- “Test Drive Gift Cards” Introduce Your Friends To Mantrameds At A 50% Discount*
- A Seat On The Product Design And Review Team
- Ability To Host Your Own Income Generating Scrub Sale
*MantraMeds Insider online application will list qualifications and requirements for acceptance to this program.
Click here: http://www.mantrameds.com/insider-signup
See the classic BE tote, made from retired Eco-Flexx(tm) advertising billboards. Dimensions are 6″ x 14″ x 15″ high, with generous handles for easy shoulder sling. Load it up! No two alike, amazing colors and patterns, a unique and green tote unlike any other.
The name is the mission:
They take retired advertising billboards, rescue them from a date with the landfill, and make them into great tote bags and other unique items. The real bonus is, when you use the tote bags to go shopping, you say “no” to paper and plastic.
If you are a school, sports team or youth group, we provide a unique and green fundraising program – selling unique eco-friendly tote bags. Outdoor advertisers, we offer a recycling program to make products from your retired billboards, providing key sustainability and green credibility. If you are just a thoughtful person who stumbled upon our site and wants to buy an awesome billboard bag, they can do that too.
Click here for their Unique Calculator to view the funds you can raise, the materials saved from the landfill and the single-use bags eliminated:
www.billboardecology.com BE cool, BE sustainable. BE made in Colorado, USA.
SAME GREAT FIT, PERFORMANCE AND COMFORT.
ROYAL is now available as seen on the Olivia scrub – a fresh twist to an old standby. This fashion forward smock style pullover uses darts and elastic back gathers, resulting in a flattering, form fitting scrub top. Paired with our signature Collective™ Pocket Design, Olivia effectively blends performance and fashion while providing all day comfort.
Plus, all of our apparel is responsibly made in the USA out of Texas organic cotton and recycled polyester for an eco choice that is super comfortable, softer and made without harming the environment. Be conscious. Be committed. Be real.
We believe in 4 principles - Fair, Accountable, Sustainable and Transparent - to create the framework we use to measure our actions and products; we like to call this F.A.S.T.
In everything we do from design and production to our marketing and office operations we ask ourselves… are we being fair, accountable, sustainable and transparent to people, planet and business.
Written by Kristy Hessman
One resident of Green Bridge Farm, a sustainable living community in Georgia, just stepped up his commitment to green living by getting the community’s first i-house. The Green Bridge Farm is set on 25-acres around an organic farm where green living practices like LEED homes and community gardening is encouraged.
Green Bridge Farm resident Charles Davis, just completed his new i-house, a sustainably built home that is the community’s first net-zero energy home. The iHouse is built by Clayton Homes. Home buyers can choose from a variety of floor plans that include a number of sustainable features inside and out.
Via Clayton Homes
Exterior features of the i-house typically include: solar panels, energy efficient windows, sustainable, low maintenance siding and roofing, a rain water system and composite decking. Inside, the i-house features Energy Star appliances, bamboo floors, no VOC paint, compact fluorescent lighting and water saving features like low flush toilets.
Green Bridge Community is located in Guyton, Georgia. Lots in the neighborhood range from 1.2-1.6 acres and sell for $50,000 to $55,000 per lot. Four acres in the community have been set aside for community space, including community orchards and gardens.
see original http://www.earthtechling.com/2011/08/sustainable-living-community-gets-1st-i-house/
Making, processing, transporting, using and disposing of our clothing amounts to a major impact on the environment. Cotton production accounts for 25% of US pesticide use as well as enormous amounts of water. Demand for synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon, has steeply increased over the last 15 years. The manufacturing of these synthetic fabrics is an energy-intensive process requiring large amounts of crude oil and releasing emissions into the air and water. The EPA considers many textile manufacturing facilities to be hazardous waste generators.
Finishing, such as dyeing, often uses heavy metals that contaminate sewers and rivers and bleaching results in the production of the toxin, dioxin. Almost all polycotton and ‘permanent press’ cottons are treated with formaldehyde. Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) are gaining worldwide recognition as neurotoxins. These are the family of chemicals that act as flame retardants. They have been linked to neuro-developmental and behavioral deficits, thyroid hormone disruption, and possibly cancer. PBDEs are used more heavily in the U.S. and Canada than anywhere else and studies show increasing levels are prevalent in humans and wildlife. PBDEs are slowly released over the life of the plastics, foams, and fabrics to which they are applied accumulating in water and working their way up the food chain. Flame retardants are often added to children’s clothes, pajamas, and mattresses.
Today, 30% of world apparel exports come from China and increasingly more clothing in the U.S. comes from countries that regularly keep their textile workers in slave-like situations. As well, child labor is still going strong in most of the world and grows with the demand for more cheap clothing. According to UNICEF there are more than 218 million child laborers worldwide (excluding domestic labor). Gap recently came under scrutiny when it was discovered that some of their kids clothes were being made by child laborers in brutal conditions in India. Unfortunately, sweatshop situations still flourish in the U.S. The Northern Mariana Islands exemplifies this situation: many textiles there are made in sweatshops and then sold as “Made in the USA.”
WASTE AND LIFECYCLE COSTS
An estimated 21% of annual clothing purchases never leave the home (until they enter the garbage)! Where they account for about 4% of total landfill space. The majority of energy used in the life cycle of a simple cotton t-shirt comes from washing and drying after it is brought home, thus even after clothes are purchased there is ample opportunity to reduce the environmental impact. Drycleaning reaps a high environmental burden and kids can be particularly sensitive to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that drycleaned clothes emit.
- Get hand-me-downs for your children. Sometimes people feel awkward giving handed-down clothes as gifts, so make it clear on party invitations or in person that this is not only acceptable, but preferable.
- Buy organic, fairly-traded clothing when buying new. (More and more you can find organic kids clothes everywhere, even Target. As well, there are many websites and boutiques that provide organic clothes for children. Under the Nile, Hanna Andersson, Lapsaky, Grembo, are just a few well-known companies. Many other companies, e.g. American Apparel, have organic baby clothes.)
- Make your own baby clothes from organic or all-natural materials.
- Look for clothes and textiles that bare labels such as the Öko-Tex Standard 100. (The European Union has adopted the Öko-Tex Standard 100, a testing and certification program that provides uniform guidance to the textile and clothing industry to help eliminate all substances that might be harmful to humans from the raw materials to the finished products and every stage in between.)
- Remember that you can save energy, water, and pollutants by how you care for your clothes at home. Buy a front-loading washer and line dry.
REAL WORLD OPTIONS
- Shop for alternative materials such as bamboo and hemp (and even corn!) or, popularized by the major retailer Patagonia, recycled PET fleece.
- Avoid buying children’s clothing and pajamas made of flame-resistant fabrics. Choose cotton over polyester, it is less likely to have been treated with flame retardants. (Watch out for those cute polyester pajamas, many of them have PBDEs in the material.)
- Buy an organic mattress for your child. Your baby spends half his life in bed, get one that will limit his chemical exposure. Organic mattresses don’t have to be expensive, visit www.tinybirdsorganics.com for a range of inexpensive options.
- Use cold water to wash your clothes and don’t cook clothes when using the dryer.
- Pass on your children’s clothes when they have outgrown them: gift them, take them to resale stores (e.g. Once Upon a Child), donate them to a charity, or drop them off at a thrift store.
See original post http://www.thegreenmama.com/greener-clothing-choices
Check out some of the latest sustainable offerings for boys and girls heading back to school this fall.
It’s almost impossible to think about the words “back to school” without adding the word “shopping” to the other three. Back-to-school shopping is a tradition for moms and kids each August — not always a fun tradition, but still, a tradition. Kids need new school supplies, shoes for their feet that grew two sizes over the summer, and, of course, the latest fashions.
If you’re planning on adding some of the latest back-to-school fashions to your kid’s closet, you don’t always have to choose between what’s in and what’s gentler on the earth. Try some of these eco-friendly trendy fashions for the fall.
For the girls
– Have you noticed older kids wearing Sesame Street characters
on their tees? Parents thought they bought their last Elmo tee when their kid was a 4-year-old, but suddenly junior highers are sporting the fuzzy red monster again. American Apparel
has a 100 percent organic cotton
T-shirt that pays tribute to the 40th anniversary of “Sesame Street
.” The company also offers organic solid color tees to mix and match with the latest fashions.
Gray Skinny Jeans
is big this year, both traditional and colored, and gray is the most popular color of denim this fall. You Deserve
has gray skinny jeans in 100 percent organic cotton for high school girls at a great price for organic denim – $49.99. They have a striped v-neck sweater
that teens will love, too.
Blazers – Blazers have made a comeback, particularly boyfriend blazers. The best place to find eco-friendly blazers is definitely the thrift store in the boy’s or men’s departments. Let your daughter rummage through the racks of pre-owned blazers to find the one that fits her style. Chances are no one else will have the exact boyfriend blazer she has, and you’ll be able to get it for a great price.
For the boys
– Graphic tees are even more popular with the guys than with the girls. Threadless
has T-shirts for boys and teens. Search for “organic” in Theadless’ search feature, and you’ll come up with a variety of graphic tees that big and little guys will love.
Under Armour’s Catalyst Green Products
– Under Armour
is the hippest performance wear out there, and the new line of T-shirts, hoodies, caps and more are made from recycled plastic bottles. Even though they’re made for the sports’ field, boys wear Under Armour as regular fashions. Guys who have moved up to men’s sizes will love the styles that don’t look almost identical to UA’s regular line.
– Hoodies seem to be the never-ending “it” piece of clothing for guys. For the littler guys, a blue striped organic cotton hoodie from Greenedge Kids
will make them feel like they fit in the big guys. For the older boys, a hoodie made of earth-friendly hemp from The Hempest
is one of the coolest things going.
Don’t forget the feet
Even if your child doesn’t need new clothes, the chances that he’ll need new shoes when school rolls around are pretty good. All that extra sun and water that feet get over the summer seem to help kids’ feet grow extra quickly. Check out Play Outdoors
for a one-stop place to find eco-friendly kids’ shoes from Keen, Simple Shoes, SmartWood and more.
Older kids will love to choose from Planet Shoes
large selection of sneakers, sandals, boots and even vegan shoes.
Know more about back-to-school shopping? Leave us a note in the comments below.
They say the profession demands a lot but that it also gives much in return.
By Sandy Whitesides
More men are choosing careers in the nursing profession these days, though they still are in the minority.
The field has become increasingly attractive to both genders in recent years because it offers abundant job opportunities and, according to the Nursing Online Education Database, the average salary of a nurse is now above the national average.
With the current conditions of the economy, it’s easy to understand why anyone would be interested in pursuing this field of study. But after talking to two male nurses in the Gaston County area, it became clear that job opportunities and salaries were only part of the equation. The dominant factor driving their career choice centered on their desire to help others.
Juano Duff, 54, of Gastonia and Gregg Talton, 43, of Belmont are the only male nurses at the Robin Johnson Hospice House in Dallas. The Robin Johnson House is a beautiful 12-bed inpatient facility for terminally ill patients.
“For those working here, this is more than a job,” said Teresa Reynolds, interim director. “It’s their mission.”
Duff and Talton agree, saying their work is part of their calling. Both men left other careers to attend nursing school.
Duff retired from the Air Force in 1996. He had been working in the aero-medical field at Wright- Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, providing medical care to Air Force families, and thought nursing would be the next logical step.
After graduating from nursing school, he worked as a traveling nurse, then moved with his wife and children to Gastonia because he had heard the area was a great place to raise a family. (more…)
Whether you’re a new nurse or a seasoned nurse, it’s always intriguing to take a look back at the history of the nursing profession.
This list provided by carenurse.com illuminates the day-to-day tasks and regulations pertaining to the life of a nurse in 1887—before routine charting was even invented.
1887 Nursing Job Description (more…)
t’s 6:00 a.m. and I’m so exhausted I can’t even think straight. After a long night of studying and writing a paper, I just want to curl back up into bed and forget the rest of the day. This is probably how the majority of us feel in the mornings before work or school.
Do you ever wonder where some of your fellow nurses find the time or energy to look so put together? Chances are they probably don’t have the time or the energy either, but it makes them feel better about themselves.
I am one of these people. Rarely do I leave the house without makeup. In a pinch, there are two items that must always be applied: mascara and, most importantly, lipstick. Mascara can make any sleepy eye look at least half opened. It gives a bright-eyed look that usually can last all day long. Lipstick takes only seconds to apply, and while it does make for a pretty face, it also enhances our smiles, which are a big part of who we are.
I feel better about myself if I look at least halfway presentable. I always keep my lipstick in the pocket of my scrubs and reapply it throughout the day. It just makes me feel good! Nothing is more frightening than a nurse who actually looks as if her intentions are to hurt you! Lipstick stat!!! (more…)
Susan C. Slaninka, EdD, RN, is an adjunct professor of nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA.
Most nurses are juggling career, home and family responsibilities. One wonders why anyone would add graduate school to an already busy life. Classes, seminars, term papers and long clinical days fill the time that is left in their already-packed schedule.
About halfway through the semester of an online graduate class, I assign one “lighter” assignment to allow students to take a breath and relax. This year’s assignment was a Top 10 List.
In today’s world, so many of us hear nurses complain about how difficult and challenging our jobs have become and yet graduate students have obviously met that challenge and are seeking to continue in nursing. They clearly see something positive in what they do, so I asked them to identify the top 10 reasons they love being a nurse. Instead of giving you 40 top 10 lists, I have drawn from all of their entries and made a Top 40 list. I encourage you to take a minute and make your own top 10 list. (more…)