Go to the following link or click on the image below to “develop (yet another) iron-clad excuse to drink a cool beer… ‘I’m not just drinking, I’m saving the Earth!'” http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/latest/organic-brewery-0625?click=main_sr
Typically on this blog, we focus on sustainability as it relates to the MantraMeds brand and the eco-friendly textiles we use to make our scrubs. We have touched on recycling plastics, organic cotton, hospital sustainability efforts, and customers who include our scrubs on their exciting healthcare missions.
Today, I’d like to venture to a topic that is particularly prevalent this time of year, especially in the hot & humid Carolinas where the scrub materials are made… MOSQUITOES! Due to this past mild winter, they are EVERYwhere! I don’t know about you, but I’m SICK of spraying my body with chemicals twice a day, and I just don’t trust those clip-on fans that continuously emit who-knows-what into the air around you.
According to this blog, “… most bug repellents found on the market contain a chemical known as DEET (diethyl toluamide), a pesticide with known toxic effects, including endocrine disruption, brain disorders, slurred speech, skin irratation, seizures and even death. Children are more susceptible to subtle brain changes caused by chemicals in their environment because their skin more readily absorbs them (up to 56% of DEET enters the bloodstream!) and their still-developing nervous systems are more potently affected.”… YIKES!
FIND OUT ABOUT THE THREE PROPOSED “GREEN” ALTERNATIVES HERE: http://mightynest.com/blog/natural-and-effective-bug-repellents
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: https://mantrameds.wordpress.com/insider-program/
Sign up to become an Insider here: http://www.mantrameds.com/insider-signup
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.
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.
Eco-Friendly Shipping: It Is Possible!
Love the convenience of shipping but hate the environmental impact? Don’t fret, eco-conscious consumer. Our experts are here to help. Earth911 sat down with Darby Hoover, senior resource specialist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, to get the low-down on shipping the eco-friendly way.
FedEx hybrid electric delivery vehicles are on the road in several major cities around the U.S. Photo: FedEx
1. Opt out of overnight
Ground or air? The age-old question has puzzled sustainable shippers for decades. And the decision to have an item shipped via ground or air mail is still the most important choice consumers make with regard to eco-friendly shipping, Hoover says.
“Ground shipping is going to use less fuel than air,” she says. “So, the more you can avoid having things shipped overnight mail (or whatever is going to require air), that’s probably a good way to think about it.”
While top-name shipping companies, such as UPS and FedEx, are taking steps to reduce the carbon footprintof air shipping, choosing a ground method is usually your best eco bet. Transporting one ton of parcels for one nautical mile produces about 1.39 pounds of CO2 emissions, according to 2010 UPS data. So, if you can wait a few extra days for your package, go for ground instead.
2. Choose the right provider
Carriers for the U.S. Postal Service walk and drive through every neighborhood six times a week, which left Earth911 wondering: Since delivery trucks will be on my street anyway, is USPS my greenest choice for shipping?
“That can be true, especially if everybody [on your block] is getting mail,” Hoover says. “But if the trucks are driving through and not everybody is getting mail, I’m not sure if that ends up being considerably more efficient.”
Green perks offered by the Postal Service that the other guys can’t match include a program that allows you to purchase stamps and other supplies online and have them delivered with your mail. USPS will also schedule a free pickup for outgoing packages, which carriers will pick up at your doorstep when dropping off your mail. But the Postal Service isn’t the only eco-friendly way to ship.
“There are so many different parameters that it’s hard to come down and say, ‘This is always better’ and ‘This is always not preferable,’” Hoover says. She suggests keeping an eye out for trucks you see in your neighborhood most frequently. If you often see drivers from a particular shipping company in your neighborhood, you may want to opt for that company for your shipping needs.
“[Private shipping companies] are motivated to reduce their drive-times and increase their fuel efficiency,” Hoover says. “So, they’re going to try to plan the best routes and figure out how to get packages to people the most efficiently in terms of time and money, which also turns out to be the most efficient in terms of environmental resources.”
To keep carbon footprints shrinking, USPS, UPS and FedEx have all begun utilizing alternative fuel fleets. A growing number of companies, including UPS and FedEx, also offer carbon offset programs to help minimize your shipping impact.
Earth Day is right around the corner! Find out how to get involved in your community! http://act.earthday.org/events/search/distance/29301