Category: Environment

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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How to Make an Eco-Friendly Hero Board With Your Kids!

Washington (GGM) Analysis | September 1, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

Most parents would like their children to become happy and healthy adults. As an eco-conscious parent, you are also aware of the need to provide a safe and viable environment for your children as they grow up. With this in mind, you have been recycling, upcycling, and teaching your children habits that reduce waste. You might be noticing that with talks of the climate crisis all around them, your children might be expressing feelings of being overwhelmed. Afterall, this is a massive issue, and it may leave your young one feeling like it is too big to tackle. Making a Hero Board composed of positive role models who are making headway in combating this crisis is an excellent way to assuage anxious feelings in your child.

Twitter- @FunWritings

First get out a dry erase board or a chalkboard and some chalk.  Next, give your child a list of five to ten people to research in a virtual scavenger hunt.  These people should all be worthy of being called a Hero for Mother Nature.  Ask your child to come up with an eco-friendly fact about each person on the list.  Once your child has discovered one thing that each of these individuals is doing for the environment, have a discussion with them.  Allow them to explain what they found out, and talk about which people are the most inspiring. Ask your child to pick their top three favorite people from the list, and give them some time to do some more research.  On the chalkboard, your child can draw an image of their top three heroes, write down inspirational quotes, and jot down some interesting things that those people are doing to improve the health of the environment. 

Here is a list of 10 people you can use to get this process rolling.

Lise King – Executive Director of United Nations Global Impact

Leonardo DiCaprio – Actor, producer, and activist

Greta Thunberg – Child activist and leader in climate change 

Jane Fonda – Actress and activist

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – United States Congresswoman 

Sean Mendes – Singer and environmentalist

Natalie Portman – Actress, Producer, and activist

Jane Goodall Research Scientist and activist

Bernie Sanders – Vermont Senator 

Dr. Gavin Schmidt– Climate Scientist at NASA

Instagram- @leonardodicaprio

For even more fun, use your driveway and some sidewalk chalk, instead of a chalkboard. This activity will give your child the chance to do a little research about all the positive things that are being done to help Mother Earth. It will give you a chance to bond with your child over this important issue. It will also encourage them on their journey, and remind them that they are not alone in their efforts to combat the climate crisis. 

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

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

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So-called “Fake” Leather is Real Deal

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

The freezer section of your local grocery store isn’t the only thing going vegan. The vegan leather industry- often misbranded as ‘fake leather’- is booming right now, and the world of fashion is getting a much-needed makeover! Sustainability and ethics have moved to the forefront of consumer consciousness, and brands are racing to be first in line to meet the high demand.

Twitter- @watsonandwolfe

Hill Report spoke with Helen Farr-Leander, CEO of the Peta approved brand Watson & Wolfe, about vegan leather and the future of eco-friendly fashion. Watson & Wolfe is a luxury vegan leather & accessories brand that offers ethical fashion alternatives. When asked about the future of ‘fake,’ Farr-Leander had this to say. “Leather alternatives are already attracting more attention, and with each new innovation, they are reducing impact and increasing sustainability. Within five years, we will see existing leather goods brands looking at these materials, not only to reduce their own impact but to attract new customers.” And she’s not wrong.

According to a recent study conducted by Infinium Global Research, the vegan leather industry will be worth  $89.6 billion by 2025. With the rise of veganism and consumer ethics, many are looking to vegan leather to resolve animal cruelty and carbon emissions problems. This is why it is no surprise that people are looking to change assumptions about what ‘fake’ leather is and isn’t. Jonathan Ohayon, Founder and CEO of the F.A.K.E. Movement, is rebranding the word to stand for Fashion for the Animal Kingdom and Environment. When interviewed he told Hill Report, “I created the F.A.K.E. movement, so we can proudly wear a  real vegan alternative.” 

Instagram- @fakemovement 

Farr-Leander echoed this sentiment by saying, “I would encourage those people to look at these materials objectively. The newer leather alternatives are materials in their own right, just like cotton or animal leather, with their own unique qualities and textures.” Vegan leather is the future and is the boost and innovation that the textile industry needs to combat the climate crisis. To quote Farr-Leander, “there is nothing ‘fake’ about [vegan leathers], they are future materials.” ‘Fake’ leather is the real deal!

Tl:dr

  •  Sustainability and ethics have moved to the forefront of consumer consciousness
  • Vegan leather industry- often misbranded as ‘fake leather’- is booming
  • According to Infinium Global Research, the vegan leather industry will be worth  $89.6 billion by 2025
  • Vegan leather is the future of the textile industry 

© 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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No Protein Problems Here — 10 Vegan Athletes Crushing It!

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 20, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

There has been a significant boom in the accessibility and inclusivity of veganism over the last decade. We are in the midst of a culture shift. The same people who once asked, but where do you get your protein from, are now filling their shopping carts with brands like Gardien, Beyond Meat, and Impossible. Athletes all over the globe are dispelling myths that paint vegans as anemic weaklings suffering from malnutrition. Below are just ten of the world’s vegan athletes who are crushing it in their field. 

Twitter – @Kaepernick7

  • Colin Kaepernick – Activist & Former NFL Quarterback
  • Tia Blanco – Pro-Surfer to Represent the USA in the 2021 Summer Olympics
  • Kyrie Irving – Brooklyn Nets Point Guard
  • Hannah Teter – Snowboarder & Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Serena & Venus Williams – World-renowned Tennis Legends
  • Novak Djokovic – 5 Time Wimbledon Champion
  • Ed Templeton – Professional Skateboarder
  • Austin Aries – Professional Wrestler
  • Kendrick Farris – Olympic Powerlifter

With each gold medal placed on a vegan athlete’s shoulders, more and more people are seeing the truth about plant-based diets.  By avoiding animal products, people can take control of many of the problems facing the world today.  A vegan diet saves the lives of countless animals, protects the environment, and promotes overall health.  This simple dietary and lifestyle change can lower your chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. It can also drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as water and land usage.  A 2016 study released by the University of Oxford found that the planet’s food-related emissions would drop by 70 percent if the world were to go vegan.

Instagram – @vegan_truthbomb

Whether it is the 150 billion animals that are killed each year in ‘animal agriculture’, or your own personal health that has started you on your plant-based mission, we can all agree that Mother Nature will benefit from this change. Look to these athletic legends for inspiration on your path towards veganism.  Who knows, maybe you will be the next vegan athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics!

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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2021 Mustang Mach-E & Ford Promise Plan

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 19, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

Many eco-conscious consumers are looking to electric vehicles, EVs, to help combat the climate crisis. EV’s are responsible for much lower emissions than their gas-powered counterparts, and they cost less overall to maintain and drive. Still, with starting prices ranging from $29,000 to upwards of $100,000- depending on the make and model- some people may be hesitant to switch to electric as economic concerns grow.

On July 29th, Ford announced the start of the Ford Promise plan. Under this new initiative, any new financed Ford can be returned without penalty to the buyer, if the buyer loses their job within one year of purchase.  Ford is the only major automotive company making this type of commitment to its customers. With this added safety net, getting an EV is more in reach for the average consumer than ever.

Instagram – @wasatchfrontford

Ford offers eight hybrid models on its lineup, but the car to look at is the 2021 Mustang Mach-E. This all-electric vehicle has 300 miles of range and can get up to 61 miles of range in 10 minutes when charging with a 150kW DC Fast Charger. Ford boasts the inclusion of FordPass for purchasers this gives owners of Ford EVs, or Hybrids, access to over 13,500 charging stations nationwide. 

Instagram – @ford

This all-electric mustang is said to come out for sale in late 2020. The stylish and sexy design, topped with exciting new tech features, has people lining up to pre-order their own. With substantial federal rebates and the Ford Promise’s added security, owning a 2021 Mustang Mach-E is a viable option for those searching for a new EV. Help combat the climate crisis purchase of this cutting-edge car!

Tl;dr

  • EV’s are responsible for much lower emissions than their gas-powered cars
  • July 29th, Ford announced new initiatives under the Ford Promise plan
  • Any new financed Ford can be returned without penalty to the buyer, if the buyer loses their job within one year of purchase
  • Ford offers eight hybrid models on its current lineup
  • The 2021 Mustang Mach-E is all-electric and has 300 miles of range
  • The Mach-E gets up to 61 miles of range in 10 minutes when charging with a 150kW DC Fast Charger
  • With the FordPass Ford owners have access to over 13,500 charging stations nationwide

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

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Leave No Trace — A Parents Guide

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 18, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

You are trying your best to head an eco-friendly family.  You are recycling and upcycling like a champ, you’re careful not to waste water or gas, and maybe you’ve even incorporated Meatless Mondays into your routine. With all the planet conscious talk around your house, your kids are probably starting to show a little love for Mother Nature too.

Twitter- @NatureKidsBC

Inviting your children to the conservation will inevitably lead to more time spent outdoors.  When you and your loved ones ‘get out’ and try to make the most out of summer, it is essential to remember: Leave No Trace. Leave No Trace is an outdoor ethics initiative that has helped people preserve and protect the environment for over 25 years.

The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace

  • Plan ahead & prepare
  • Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Leave what you find
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors

As a parent, it is important to take these principals with you when venturing into parks or woods with your kids.  Even if you are only going for the day and won’t be camping- you can still make sure to Leave No Trace.  

Before your outing, be sure to bring water and snacks in reusable containers.  It is also a good idea to bring a small satchel with you to collect any waste. You may find that other people have left behind water bottles or wrappers— help out by getting it out of the woods. Instead of bringing home trinkets like rocks, flowers, or bugs, bring a camera. Encourage your children to photograph what they see, so as not to disrupt the natural ecosystem. Make sure that you and your family members stay on the trails so that growing plants and small wildlife are not disturbed. Also, be sure that no one in your group breaks branches or carves initials into tree trunks.

Instagram- @texaskidsadventures

There are so many ways you can teach your children to respect Mother Nature while giving her a visit. The most important thing you can do is talk about it. Tell your children about Leave No Trace. Doing so will open up an avenue for their own personal interest in conservation to thrive. 

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

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Say Yes to French Press & Ditch Your Keurig

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 6, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

For years now, we have known that Keurig K-Cups are an environmental hazard.  Made from plastic, these little cups are too small to be properly sorted by recycling centers and machines.  Billions of K-Cups are piling up in landfills around the world, and many have been incinerated in Keurig’s program, Grounds to Grow On.  

John Hocevar, of GreenPeace USA, said “coffee pods are one of the best examples of unnecessary single-use plastics that are polluting our planet”. 

Twitter- @grtamericanovel

This year was supposed to be Keurig’s year. After many cities banned commercial use of K-Cups, the brand promised that their products would be recyclable by the start of 2020.  However, that promise has not been fulfilled, only replaced by an ambiguous delayed timeline of the “end of 2020.”  They also promise to convert to a combination of 100% recyclable and compostable materials by 2025.

Until then, consumers can get their at home caffeine fix a more sustainable way: using a french press.  According to eco-friendly resource and magazine, TenTree, the french press is the most environmentally friendly way to fuel your caffeine habit. Using a french press is less wasteful than traditional coffee pots, in that they do not use filters.  The design is simple, and the process is easy: boil water, grind the beans, pour the water over the growns, and press.

Twitter- @essential2learn

The result is a classic, fresh, and eco-friendly way to start your day! Now, make sure your coffee grounds are ethically and sustainably sourced– and pour your delicious elixir into a reusable mug– and you have just become an eco-pro!

Tl;dr

  • Keurig K-Cups are an environmental hazard
  • Billions of K-Cups end up in landfills
  • Keurig’s program, Grounds to Grow On, is responsible for incinerating the plastic cups
  •  “Coffee pods are one of the best examples of unnecessary single-use plastics that are polluting our planet.” – John Hocevar of GreenPeace USA
  • A french press is the most environmentally friendly way to fuel your caffeine habit
  • No coffee filters are needed & little every is used in the process

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

Why You Need to Know About the Launch of The Wonderful Wine Co.

Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 6, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

This time last summer, your evening plans may have included slipping on stilettos to meet up with a few friends at a new roof-top bar or rocking your favorite fedora at a neighborhood block party. As Friday quickly approaches, we know swanky bars and big parties are out of the question, but that doesn’t mean you have to let your summer slip away. You can uncork a bottle of wine on your back porch with your neighbor– six feet away, of course– and toast to Mother Nature!

Yes, that’s right; there is a wine that is actually doing something for the environment. In June of 2020, Winc launched a totally vegan and oh so sustainable line of wine. It’s called The Wonderful Wine Co., and people are loving it!  

Twitter – @helloboxes

The Wonderful Wine Co. is dedicated to the wellness of the planet and the wellness of its customers. All of the grapes are derived from organic vineyards, and no added chemicals or added sugars are used in the process. Unlike most wine available, The Wonderful Wine Co. is all vegan. This means that the ground-up bone, casein, milk, and fish bladders that sneak their way into your typical Rosé, won’t be found here.

More than simply better for you, this wine is better for the planet. The ingredients, the packaging, how it is shipped, and even the bottle itself are meticulously designed with Mother Nature in mind. Wonderful Wine uses a special lightweight glass bottle that requires 20% less energy and 12% less water in production, which reduces carbon emissions by 27%. They also have reduced landfill contributions and deforestation by eliminating the trash producing polylaminate capsule altogether and using an all-natural biodegradable cork. Additionally, the box the wine is housed in is 100% recyclable and 95% compostable.

With four delicious selections coming from non-GMO vineyards in Argentina, France, and California, there is a delicious and sophisticated option for any occasion. For a sustainable sip of summer, pour yourself a glass of The Limited Edition Orange wine. With notes of citrus and white peach and a touch of honeysuckle, you will know why they call it Wonderful Wine.

Instagram – @blevineproductions

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

Tl;dr

  • Winc launched The Wonderful Wine Co., a vegan and sustainable line of wine
  • The grapes are derived from organic vineyards
  • No added chemicals or added sugars are used in the process
  • Most other wine includes ground-up bone, casein, milk, and fish bladders
  • Wonderful Wine uses a special lightweight glass bottle that reduces carbon emissions by 27%
  • They reduced landfill contributions and deforestation by eliminating the polylaminate capsule and using an all-natural biodegradable cork
  • The box is 100% recyclable and 95% compostable

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.