Prince Charles might seem like an unlikely champion for organic farming. But I’ll embrace reason wherever I find it.
During a recent talk at Georgetown University, the prince extolled the virtues of organic farming over conventional farming, because it doesn’t destroy the soil with chemicals. He pointed out that our current methods of blasting crops with chemicals are endangering our ability to continue to even grow crops; which doesn’t make sense ecologically or economically.
Here’s his quote from the Des Moines Register: “Capitalism ultimately depends on capital but our capital ultimately depends on the health of nature’s capital,” the prince said. “Whether we like it or not the two are inseparable.”
Modern thong with hi-cut legs. Organic, stretch cotton. Flying butterfly print. Contrasting lace waistband. Cotton panel. Low, 5 inch rise. One size fits: 4-14. The World’s Most Comfortable Thong ®. The Hanky Panky Lace Thong is known for its superb fit and sleek silhouette. The super flattering, curved waistband is yet another reason to love this fantastic thong.
You’re never too young to go green, so when friends Soleil Moon Frye and Paige Goldberg Tolmach started having kids, they wanted the very best for them and sought out organic, eco-friendly options. It planted the seed for their own business endeavor — a children’s boutique in Los Angeles called The Little Seed — selling all things “green” for little ones.
I’d be a hypocrite if I advocated for Buy Nothing Day (this Friday in the US and Saturday internationally). For one, I just got done compiling and editing some green gift lists.
Granted, this consumer boycott being advocated by AdBusters has its appeal. It says no to what has become an embarassing grab-fest of shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
I like the concept of the boycott: Send a message to those corporations that want to hijack your wallet this holiday season. Refuse to shop. We really do need to cool it on the consumerism to help re-chill our warming planet. It’s painfully obvious now that our rabid consumption of limited natural resources coupled with our willingness to trash stuff is destroying our planet. Here in the U.S., we’ve got a TV or computer in every room in many households, and they’ll be in the landfill soon because tech wizards come up with the next gen of electronics about 28 minutes after we’ve purchased the very latest “thing”. We’ve got food, and clothing and large houses enough to sustain multiple families. And it’s not just us. Asia’s got a taste for luxury. Sharks are being killed for their fins. Really?
They’re out of their cages, they’re eating vegetarian and now they’re being freed of their Styrofoam packaging.
What’s next for organic, free range chickens? Vacations to city?
Petaluma Poultry, which lays claim to being the first and the largest producer of free range organic chickens, has determined that if it sells those chickies wrapped in leakless plastic instead of arranged on a foam tray, it can cut down on packaging costs and volume. And not just a little.
By Barbara Kessler
If you’re planning a traditional Thanksgiving, you’ll be needing a bird. This year, organic and pastured turkeys are more available than ever. Check your local grocery now, and get on a list if need be.
Here are some places to look for a turkey that’s been raised on organic feed, and allowed a more humane existence.
Local Harvest — If you’re into local heirloom turkeys or other pedigree varieties you may already be too late! But don’t beat yourself up over it, local farmers in Texas have told us that many connoisseurs place their orders months ahead of time. Still, there’s a flock of healthier birds waiting.
Organic products are much easier to come by these days. Items with the Fair Trade Certified label also are expanding and taking up more precious real estate on store shelves.
So far this year, more than twice as many Fair Trade Certified products have been introduced in the U.S. compared to last year. Some 284 products with the Fair Trade Certified designation have been launched compared to 130 in 2007, and as few as 17 in 2003, according to a report this month by Mintel, Chicago – a market researcher focused on consumer behavior and product innovation.
The Fair Trade food items include a virtual gift basket of treats: a variety of teas, cocoa, fruits, flowers and chocolates.
TransFair USA, headquartered in Oakland, California, is the governing entity in the U.S. behind products deemed Fair Trade Certified. The nonprofit is one of 20 member organizations worldwide that comprises the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO) International. TransFair audits agreements between U.S. companies and international suppliers to guarantee that farmers in developing countries around the world use environmentally friendly practices and are paid a fair price for their goods. Farmers in Costa Rica and Ghana have reinvested profits in their communities to build schools, develop improved sustainability practices, and establish health clinics.
Since its founding in 1998, TransFair USA has certified more than 74 million pounds of Fair Trade coffee, which in turn has given coffee farmers in Latin America and Africa more than $60 million more than if they had sold their coffee locally, according to the organization.
Most U.S. consumers were introduced to the concept of Fair Trade Certified products with the help of coffee marketers. Fair Trade, which asks consumers to buy products at a “fair price” to be socially responsible, initially seemed like a niche market. But it has gone mainstream. From 2001 to 2006, retail sales of coffee grew tenfold to $730 million, cites TransFair USA, in a recent Brandweek article. When worldwide retailer Wal-Mart joined the fold, Fair Trade Certified coffee sales really began to percolate.
Fair Trade products were available only at specialty retailers, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, as well as online, when they were introduced to the U.S. In recent years, however, Fair Trade products have moved onto store shelves in big-box discounters Costco and Target, and mainline grocery stores like Kroger. See the Transfair website for where to buy products.
After more than a decade in existence, TransFair USA now certifies tea, cocoa, sugar, fruit, rice, and flowers. With the organization’s fifth annual Fair Trade Month, held in October 2008, it’s counting wine among the products it recognizes and certifies. Certified chocolate bars are available in many grocery stores, as well. Look for Green and Black’s chocolate made in the Dominican Republic and Belize, El Rey from Venezuela, and Valhrhona from Trinidad.
For consumers who are taking copious notes on the growth of Fair Trade, there are businesses like Divine Chocolate, based in the United Kingdom, that are entirely farmer-owned.
So you need to replace your mattress, and you want to do the green right thing, for your health and for the environment. You may be trying to reduce your overall carbon footprint, or perhaps to choose a product that’s better for your health. Ideally, you can do both.
Unfortunately, there is a plethora of “natural,” “green,” “eco-friendly” mattress solutions out there, some with a hefty price tag. How’s a consumer to know what’s worth springing for – and what’s not?
Conventional mattresses are very likely to contain chemicals, some potentially toxic to humans and/or harmful to the environment. One way to go green is to choose a mattress with fewer chemicals or no chemicals.
My husband and I went the less-toxic, rather than 100 percent chemical-free, route.