Category: circular economy

Move Over Pumpkin Spice Lattes— Fall is Time to Change Up Your Family Garden

Washington (GGM) Analysis | September 8, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

Creating a garden together helps families form long-lasting memories and allows each family member to explore the beautiful and bountiful side of Mother Nature. According to Reuters News, home gardening, seed sales, and community gardening have become very popular during the last few months. In an interview with Market Watch, Linda Look, owner of an Arkansas-based seed store, The Seed Guy, said that sales and demand were unprecedented this spring. “This year has been unique because of COVID-19,” she said.

Instagram- @itsthymetogarden 

Those of you who have started gardening and composting with your kids this spring and summer might be wondering how to continue these comforting and joyful family moments in the fall season. Don’t fear, September and October aren’t just for Pumpkin Spice Lattes. In fact, there are plenty of delicious foods that thrive as the temperature drops, and experts say that fall is the perfect time to start composting!

Top 5 Foods to Plant This September

  • Spinach 
  • Radishes
  • Carrots 
  • Kale
  • Snow Peas

Swapping out your cucumbers and tomatoes with these veggies and leafy greens will help you keep up the conservation conversation all through the fall season!

5 Steps to Make The Best Fall Compost Pile Ever

  • Collect your fall leaves
  • Collect the extras from your summer garden
  • Layer them with drying flowers, old tomato plants, & grass clippings
  • Reserve extra leaves in a separate pile & as a “brown layer” in between compostable kitchen food
  • Keep a tarp ready to protect your pile from getting soggy as the rain comes in 

Twitter- @Gaia_College

So as September rolls into October and you sip your beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte, don’t let the golden and orange leaves fool you. You don’t have to say goodbye to your family garden. Switch up your produce, and teach your kids how to make the perfect fall compost pile. You will make wonderful memories, and your kids- and Mother Nature- will thank you!

Come back every Tuesday for more Eco-Friendly Parenting tips!

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

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Top 5 Vegan Beauty Brands | Vegan Scene

Washington (GGM) Analysis | September 3, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

Consumer ethics has never been such a hot topic!  Compassionate and eco-friendly shoppers are searching for resources and products everyday. With many making changes in their diet and fashion choices, there has never been a better time to switch out your old cosmetics and trade them in for vegan alternatives. Vegan beauty brands do not rely on animal cruelty and animal products or biproducts to create makeup. Here is a list of five major vegan and cruelty free beauty brands that are focused on both ethics and sustainability. 

KVD Beauty- Kat Von D’s makeup line has been cruelly-free since its launch in 2008. The brand came out with its first vegan product, tattoo liner, in 2010. The Tattoo Liner sold like hotcakes, and is still one the most popular items today. KVD announced the switch to a vegan line in 2015, and went completely vegan in 2016. Today they boast the slogan “made with love, not animals.” They are also committed to not using bee’s wax, which is a big help to the environment.

Twitter- @guadalahari

NYX- NYX Professional Makeup is a PETA approved cruelty-free brand. They are well known for creating pigmented palettes and bold makeup trends. NYX is owned by L’Oreal, who recently released a statement about their commitment to meeting consumer demands for ethics and sustainable products. “To meet the changing expectations of our consumers, we are continuously innovating… [in] maintaining consistency in the quality of the product while also improving their environmental impact.”

MILK- The brand has always been cruelty- free, and in 2018 co-founder Dianna Ruth announced that MILK would convert to 100% vegan formulas as well. MILK’s commitment to sustainability comes in the form of water reduction. The brand has shed  light on excess water usage in cosmetics, and they are responding  by designing concentrated formulas that do not waste water. Their products are also formaldehyde free. This is significant, as formaldehyde is known to be detrimental to marine life.

Rare Beauty- Rare Beauty is something completely brand new! Singer, actress, and producer Selena Gomez is coming out with a beauty brand on September 3rd, and it is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. In an Instagram post Selena said this, “for the past few months, you’ve all been asking… and we’re proud to share that our products will be 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Like you, we love and care for our animals too.”

Instagram@rarebeauty 

Bare Minerals- Bare Minerals brand is 100% cruelty free and the high majority of their makeup is vegan. They make the list because of their strong commitment to mother earth. Bare Minerals runs an eco-friendly blog that regularly offers tips and advice to consumers on how to live a more sustainable life. Their products are all palm oil free, which makes them a viable option in selecting sustainable vegan makeup.

Each of these companies is working hard to provide the world with ethical and sustainable vegan beauty products. If makeup is part of your routine, consider shopping with one of these brands the next time you are in need of a new lipstick or brow pencil! 

Come back every Thursday to learn more about the role veganism plays in combating climate change!

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

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US Vegan Climate Index Isn’t “Shackled to The Past”

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 27, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

European investing platform Beyond Investing– no relation to Beyond Meat– celebrated the second ‘birthday’ of its US Vegan Climate Index this summer. As the world’s first exchange-traded fund (ETF) focused on veganism and environmentalism, the US Climate Index (VEGAN) should be a ticker on your investor watchlist.  

Twitter- @BeyondInvest

The US Climate Index avoids companies and business models that pose a threat to the environment.  This means that they do not support animal exploitation or unethical business. In a press release published on June 16, 2020, Beyond Investing reported, “over its two-year live history, VEGAN has outperformed the S&P 500 Index…on a price return basis of 5.93%.” VEGAN outperforming the S&P 500 means big things for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) funds. 

When questioned about the future of ESG investing, Claire Smith, Beyond Investing CEO, shared some poignant thoughts with The Hill Report. “ESG investing will become the primary driver for investment. Investors are holding companies to higher standards and questioning the viability of unethical and polluting business models. It represents the opportunity to invest for the future that you want to see, as opposed to keeping your money shackled to the past.”

Instagram- @beyond_animal

With a boom of awareness of veganism and sustainability in the US, and the success of companies like Beyond Meat and Tesla, new Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) are sure to be popping up. Investors in the US Climate Index can rest assured that each new IPO will be properly screened and vetted before being added to the fund. Smith said that she anticipates “more IPOs of ethical plant-based and cruelty-free food and lifestyle product companies.” She looks forward “to including them in our US Vegan Climate Index as replacements for those damaging companies that fail our screens.” As the demand for ethical investing soars higher, people looking to the stock market should consider the US Vegan Climate Index. 

Tl;dr

  • European investing platform Beyond Investing celebrates two years of the US Vegan Climate Index
  • As the world’s first exchange-traded fund (ETF),  US Climate Index (VEGAN) is a ticker to watch
  • VEGAN has outperformed the S&P 500
  • CEO, Claire Smith predicts that more IPOs of ethical plant-based and cruelty-free food and lifestyle product companies are on the rise 
  • US Climate Index screens companies to ensure that only ethical businesses are added to the fund

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

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Vegan Junk Food Without Palm Oil?! | Vegan Scene

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 13, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

According to Lacey Bourassa, of Plant Proteins.co, there has been a 500% increase in consumers identifying as being vegan within the last six years. Whether people are switching up their eating habits for ethical, health, feminist, or ecological reasons- or a combination- it is clear that eliminating animal products from our plates is on the rise.  

Suppose you are switching up your diet as a part of an eco-friendly initiative. In that case, you probably already know that foods like broccoli, lentils, and tofu produce extremely low carbon emissions relative to producing meat. An assessment of global emissions performed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FOA, deemed that 15% of the human-induced greenhouse gas emissions stem from livestock production. That doesn’t even take into account the ecological impact of the grain and antibiotics used to sustain animals prior to their slaughter.

Still, if you are struggling to upkeep your transition into a plant-based lifestyle, you should know that veganism doesn’t have to be all kale smoothies and chia seed salads. There are plenty of vegan options for desserts, snacks, and munchies, that will help you stay strong in your commitment to keeping it cruelty-free.

Twitter – @TarotByJaqqi

Top Ten Vegan Munchies:

  • Doritos – Spicy Sweet Chili 
  • Enjoy Life – Cocoa Loco Chocolate Bars
  • Garden Veggie Straws – Sea Salt
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Kettle Brand – Salt & Vinegar Chips 
  • Twizzlers
  • Betty Crocker – Fruit Snacks
  • Vegan Rob’s – Cheddar Puff (all flavors)
  • Miyoko’s cheese Wheels 
  • Ben & Jerry’s Dairy-Free Ice Cream 

The best part about this list is that every ‘junk food’ item is 100% palm oil-free!  This is a big deal for Mother Nature as this common ingredient is well known to be extremely detrimental to the environment. Palm oil plantations contribute to deforestation and the destruction of animal habitats. According to the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, Palm oil is associated with the further endangerment of species like the Orangutan, pygmy elephant, and Sumatran rhino.  

Twitter – @monkey_burns

Grabbing a couple of these snacks on your next trip to the grocery store is a convenient and tasty way to go vegan and protect the environment! 

Come back every Thursday to learn more about the role veganism plays in combating climate change!

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

Raising a Green Baby in 3 Easy Steps!

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 4, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

For five straight years, United States birth rates have been steadily declining.  Many speculate as to why people have been choosing to have fewer children.  Back in July of 2019, Miley Cyrus told Elle Magazine that she was not interested in having children because of environmental concerns, and she’s not the only one.  Despite the 1%-2% annual decline, there are still over 3.7 million babies born in the U.S each year.  Unfortunately, bringing a sweet-faced love-bug into your life does tend to impact the environment negatively.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, 4.2 million tons of disposable diapers make their way to landfills each year.

If you and your partner recently brought home a bundle of joy, fear not!  There are easy lifestyle changes that you can make to lower your little one’s impact on the environment.  Adopting cloth diapers is one great way to protect the planet.  In the first month of a baby’s life, parents will buy at least 300 disposable diapers.  In contrast, parents only need to purchase 20 cloth diapers until potty-training time!  According to Earth911, “cloth diapers are 40% less harmful to the environment than disposables.”  If you buy non-synthetic hemp diapers, lower the water temperature during wash cycles, and sundry, you will increase that percentage even more!

Twitter – @Ginger_Snap713

How you feed your little tyke is important too.  Despite the mail-in recycle program provided by Terrecycle, most plastic single-use baby food containers end up in the trash.  Making your baby food is a great alternative!  Nutribullet Baby’s variety of sizes, recipe suggestions, and convenient storage containers make this switch simple and affordable!

Instagram – @karendbphotograpghy

Wow!  Cloth diapers and homemade baby food — at this rate, you’re a green parent pro!  One final step is to consider consignment shops for your baby’s wardrobe.  Before you reject the idea of used baby clothes for your cutie-pie, keep in mind that many adorable–  dare I say chic–  second time around shops have opened up specifically with baby gear in mind.  Many store owners sell items that have never even had the tags torn off.  Often times baby clothes are worn once or twice before they end up in the garbage. Making a second-hand switch will make a significant impact on the fight to combat the climate crisis.

Come back every Tuesday for more Eco-Friendly Parenting tips!

Tl;dr

  • The US has seen a steady decline in birth rates for the last 5 years in a row
  • Miley Cyrus told Elle Magazine that she was not interested in having children because of environmental concerns
  • Many people are having few children- or no children at all- due to expected impact on the environment
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, 4.2 million tons of disposable diapers make their way to landfills each year
  • Cloth diapers are 40% less harmful to the environment than disposables
  • Buying non-synthetic hemp diapers, lowering the water temperature during wash cycles, and sun drying reusable diapers cuts down on environmental impact
  • Most plastic single-use baby food containers end up in the trash— try using Nurtibullet Baby instead
  • Baby focused consignment shops will significantly lower landfill waste

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

America’s Global Corporations | Do the Right Thing

Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 8, 2020 by Noreen Wise

With so much government disfunction in the United States, it’s life-threatening for US global corporations to wait for US laws to be passed in order to act on climate. All must quickly rise to the occasion and do the right thing for climate’s sake.

EU countries, Canada, and China are shining beacons from hill tops. Most are moving briskly into sustainability and renewable energy, while the majority of states in America are stymied by legislative impasses. Large portfolio management firms as well, those managing many trillions of dollars, are dumping fossil fuels and other “old world” stalwarts, and quickly buying into the future. It reminds me of the late 1990’s when all the new tech giants began emerging.

The most maddening part about the corporate landscape and climate action and inaction, is that the majority of American global corporations only adjust their practices in those states or countries that pass green laws. They apparently refuse to apply the new best practices, such as mandatory composting and single-use plastic bag bans, to all their locations today.

Twitter @SASB Services

Profit over lives creates climate injustice which fuels the climate crisis. It also kills. It’s time to hold corporations accountable by boycotting. I love Wegman’s. However, to see paper bags being used in New York Wegman’s after the single-use plastic bag ban went into effect there, but seeing plastic bags in Virginia stores because there’s no ban in Virginia, resonates as irresponsible and harmful to millions. Yes, Wegman’s does have a plastic bag recycle bin which may ease their conscience, but it’s still only a quarter-step forward when American corporations need to be sprinting into the future to catch up with all of our allies.

How about McDonald’s in Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada, which passed a law mandating no food waste, and requiring all restaurants to compost. McDonald’s is apparently rejecting the law and allowing customers to toss food waste much to the dismay of Nova Scotia, when it should be abiding by Canadian laws as well as applying these same principles to their American locations despite the fact that there’s limited legislation in most states.

Twitter @qwag

America has fallen so far behind that we’re being humiliated by much smaller countries who are are seizing the moment and charging into the future.

Dysfunctional local, state and federal government doesn’t have to be an obstacle to implementing climate solutions. We American citizens, as well as corporations big and small, can act on our own. In fact, we simply must.

Let’s GO! If corporations like Wegman’s and McDonald’s and so many others have lost their way and can’t start sprinting, we consumers must say “enough is enough” and begin boycotting. Period. No time to waste. Just like with covid, immediately implementing effective solutions is a game-changer. Dragging our feet is a killer.♻️

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

Is San Francisco First US Waste-Free City?

Washington (GGM) Analysis | June 24, 2020 by Noreen Wise

San Francisco has been aggressively steering towards becoming the first waste-free US city by 2020 since all the way back to 2002. Just imagine being a completely waste-free city. It sounds so blissful. A modern day Utopia of sorts.

With only six months remaining in 2020 though, I’m sure cities across the US are eagerly pulling for this eco-trailblazer as it closes in on the final stretch. It’s amazing to scroll through Twitter and view the steps San Francisco as taken to accomplish this remarkable feat.

We all must now follow the same road map in a fraction of the time, 18 months according to some scientists. It’s agonizing to see how long it takes to move a mountain. Although there are already millions of us across the country who have been attempting waste-free living for months, perhaps even years, and have gotten into the groove and are reaping the benefits, we have to help motivate others. Our own towns, cities and organizations. Everyone simply MUST follow San Francisco’s lead. Our children’s lives depend on it.

Let’s GO! ♻️

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

It’s Friday | Time to Get A Solar Quote

Washington (GGM) Analysis | June 12, 2020 | by Noreen Wise

With many states now entering Phase 2 reopening, and corporations motivated to get employees back to work and make up for lost revenue, it’s the prefect time to click through and get a solar quote to take advantage of the many rebates, discounts and tax credits that are now available.

We should all be sprinting to lower our carbon footprints. Solar energy benefits are significant:

  • Substantial installation price drop in 2020
  • Reduce carbon footprint
  • Slash monthly energy costs
  • Increase home value
  • Store energy when you produce more than you use, earn income

During first four months of covid, we’ve seen how early action saves lives. So too with climate action. Fossil fuels are being phased out quickly. Investors are backing and growing renewables. There are plenty of incentives in most parts of the country, especially now more than ever, to jump in immediately, the same way we immediately purchased our face masks.

There’s no time left to be standing on the sidelines and wondering about whether to switch. Now’s the time to act. Click today and get a free quote and have a wonderful weekend.

Climate change is catastrophic and is expected to kill millions, but climate action is simple and easy. It just requires immediate action. Let’s save some lives and act TODAY.

Time to SPRINT!

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

Goodbye Liquid Laundry Detergent | Hello Sheets!

Washington (GGM) Analysis | June 10, 2020

Climate change consequences are catastrophic, but the solutions are simple and easy for the most part. So why aren’t we sprinting forward? There’s no time to waste. All we have to do is change our weekly habits. We’re already doing that with covid, so let’s keep up the momentum for change and include climate solutions in our routine.

We all bought facemarks in record time. Once we were told it was required, done. We have to do the same with many of our daily products, specifically laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner. All three now come in bars, strips, pods and sheets. But this week, let’s focus on immediately eliminating liquid laundry detergent sold in the jumbo plastic jugs. There are multiple brands of alternatives.

Many of the name brands such as Tide, now offer laundry pods which eliminates plastic waste. But there are a plethora of new eco-brands that have eco-friendly product lines, many of which are manufactured by companies using solely renewable energy.

No time to waste. Let’s DO THIS! Make the change today. 🌎

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

Redesign of Products & Packaging for Zero Waste

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 11, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

With an aggressive goal of zero waste in many personal products and detergents, new sustainability companies are blossoming, offering everyday essentials sold as solids instead of liquids, which can be packaged in paper or even more simply, without any packaging at all. One company in particular has an expansive zero waste product lineup, the Zero Waste Store.

Personal staples like shampoo and conditioner, and even laundry detergent, have begun capturing  consumer attention. Recycling has been a challenge during the stay home orders, resulting in stronger consumer awareness of just how much plastic packaging households toss out daily, and how quickly it accumulates in garages, closets and cars.

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I’m very particular in my preferences for personal products like shampoo and conditioner, and have been using one particular brand for many years. In fact, I have a huge crate of empty plastic shampoo and conditioner containers that I have to wash as soon as I have time. The problem is, I’ve become so busy that I never actually do have time. So, the pile keeps growing larger, creating a more daunting task, with no end in sight.

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Daily conversation focused on how to turn a negative into a positive and land on the bright side. A daily emotional 7 minute vitamin to boost your spirits. Podcast Host, Noreen Wise. Today’s Episode: How developed are your survival instincts? Two key essential traits.

The Zero Waste Store is an online presence with exceptional shipping procedures from a waste perspective:

  • everything shipped using plastic-free materials
  • 100% water activated paper tape
  • compostable shipping labels
  • recycled padded mailers
  • corn starch packing peanuts
  • everything 100% biodegradable

There’s no time to waste in confronting plastic waste. Covid has highlighted how imperative it is to be prepared and get out in front of life-impacting crises as quickly as possible. Switching to no waste products during covid, while we’re making so many other changes to our daily routines, is the ideal way to build strong habits during one crisis, that will help alleviate the impact of another crisis.

I can’t wait for my shampoo and conditioner to arrive so I can check it out. ♻️

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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