The state of the environment concerns many people for selfish reasons. It’s not just the environment's health that warrants attention, but also the way an unhealthy environment can affect our wellbeing. A new United Nations (UN) educational tool helps map out how climate change can and will impact human health. From flooding to malaria to scorching hot days, the effects are varied and dramatic.
It has been a long wait, but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on October 1 that its “Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims,” which have come to be known as the “Green Guides,” have been finalized for public consumption.
Even though our mothers wouldn’t let us forget it years ago, it seems Americans need to be reminded that “There are starving children in Africa!” Only 60% of the food made in the United States ever gets eaten, according to a new report from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Titled Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm To Fork to Landfill, the report estimates the economic value of the food we throw away annually at $165 billion.
In the view of Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the famous oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau and a filmmaker and ocean explorer himself, the oceans are the circulatory system of the earth, and an ailing one at that. As the founder and executive director of Plant a Fish, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to restoring ocean ecosystems and marine life in tandem with coastal communities, he seeks positive momentum in the fight to save the oceans.
An innovative tool presented online by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows businesses including grocers in the Pacific Southwest region to assess their options for reducing organic waste. By providing an interactive means to identify companies and services that specialize in waste management, the EPA’s Waste to Biogas Mapping Tool creates a path to eco-friendliness that is intuitive and straightforward.
The days may be numbered in which the disposable plastic bag sees widespread use in the retail setting. After the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 to phase out plastic bags in an estimated 7,500 stores over the next 12 months, the end may indeed be nigh for the convenient items that nevertheless harm the environment.
The concept of a commercial product with a net environmental impact of zero, at least in terms of its carbon footprint, is an enticing possibility for eco-conscious businesses and consumers. Now, products can officially obtain this “carbon-free” status, and step out in style with a certification and seal program, courtesy of a collaboration between NSF International and the Carbonfund.org Foundation.
Many consumers may turn to the bulk food bins for cost-saving reasons, or simply out of habit. Eco-conscious shoppers will be glad to know that when they go bulk, they’re also voting with their dollars for a more sustainable food supply chain. This is the crux of a new report compiled by Portland State University’s Food Industry Leadership Center (FILC), at the behest of The Bulk is Green Council (BIG). One eco-friendly stat to emerge from it? If every American purchased their coffee in bulk for one year, 240 million pounds of foil packaging would be eliminated from landfill.
Bringing home truly green products can put a smile on the face of any eco-conscious consumer. Of course, we’re talking about those “green” products that offer a real improvement in environmental impact over their counterparts. If these products serve their purpose well, too, these shoppers will keep smiling, all the way back to the store they got it from to buy it again and again. We might be considering anything from eco-friendly household cleaners to green fire logs, but the equation for success will remain the same: green and effective is the name of the game.