by Maureen O'Connor @ 12:05 am 1 comment »
Today, December 9, 2013 is deemed Green Monday, a holiday shopping day coined by Ebay in 2007. Apparently the term has nothing to do with being sustainable or eco-friendly, but since everyday is truly green here at Alternative Consumer, we figured we’d do a roundup of 12 of our favorite eco-friendly e-tailers for all you smart, sustainably-minded shoppers.
- Faire Collection for beautiful Fair Trade eco fashion and accessories made by artisans around the world: shopfaire.com (be sure to check out their super luxe hand-knit alpaca scarves, stylish Gramercy Hat and fingerless gloves). (more…)
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
by Samantha Javier @ 9:26 am 1 comment »
Gardens are one of the best ways to take a step towards being sustainable and green. Nature’s Path promotes the belief that “everyone has the right to fresh, organic, and chemical-free food“.
In order to encourage organic gardening further, Nature’s Path has its Gardens for Good Grant competition, which has recently ended and the winners have been announced! The winners are: the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc., and rare Charitable Research Reserve!
Each of the winners will do their part by providing organic food for the communities that really need it. And of course Nature’s Path is happy to partner with Organic Gardening magazine to contribute a $15,000 grant to each of the winners to improve and continue their programs. The winners worked their way to the top of 153 entries and 9 finalists through online votes as well as their inspirational ways they described their project, the feasibility to establish and maintain the garden, and those that demonstrated community need.
- The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative will transform vacant land plots and buildings into “agriculture-based resources from education programing to large-scale community gardens.” With their newly won grant they can now get the buildings going and start making immense progress!
- The Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc. is working in Maui to build a self-sufficient community in regards to food through educating locals and maintaining a garden. Their Goodwill Garden grows produce for weekly donations to organizations that feed the hungry!
- Finally, the rare Charitable Research Reserve is a 900+ acre nature reserve in southern Ontario. They have community gardens allowing people of all ages to participate and grow their own food, a great sustainable initiative.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
by Samantha Javier @ 4:07 pm post a comment »
’tis the season … If you’re like me and you love to try new things, especially regarding cooking, Seasonal Spices may be just the thing for you. Launched on Kickstarter, and having received full funding, they will begin delivering its dried spices this month.
After all, variety is the spice of life … but there are so many spices out there. And it’s always difficult to choose which ones to try — whether you’re at the store or your local farmer’s market, but Seasonal Spices makes that process much simpler in a unique way.
If you sign on, each month you will receive a package with a set of freshly ground spices in small, pre-measured quantities, along with recipes to use them in and information about the spices themselves! Whether it is because of the season or just to give you something new to try, this little package of spices can sure come in handy to those who like to cook.
Eco perks: It not only saves you time, it also cuts back on toxic emissions as you won’t have to use gas or create carbon dioxide on your way to a store — just to stand in front of the spice rack wondering what to get! Also, you won’t waste the bottles and jars or space the spices come in and take up because Seasonal Spices come in a small, smart recyclable zip-lock and cardboard container.
The costs are low: you can buy a 3-month supply for $18 and a 6-month supply for $36, which means it’s $6 a month to get spices delivered right to your door. It’s very convenient and the dried spices available for the next few months are listed on the Kickstarter Project page for you to peruse. The brainchild of Brooklyn-based Tara Susan, I highly recommend checking out this unique, new service …
By the way, since the project received funding, you can also check out their Facebook page.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
by Samantha Javier @ 9:35 am post a comment »
If you’re concerned about health, as well as environmental and social impacts of the products you’re buying, you should probably check out GoodGuide. I learned about this website in my Conservation Biology class last year and have been using it ever since. (I attend UCSD and GoodGuide was started by a UC Berkley grad.)
(above) Many products that we use everyday have hidden and detrimental impacts that you may know nothing about, but this website can help. Plus, with over 145,000 brands and products listed, you can learn about the products you are purchasing and make sure they fit your filters. (more…)
Thursday, November 14, 2013
by Samantha Javier @ 9:01 am post a comment »
Friday, November 15 is officially deemed America Recycles Day. Recycling is a very important activity that all of us should take part in everyday, in order to help keep our environment healthy, and clean.
However, plastic bags have always been a big problem and continue to get used in great amounts unnecessarily. Plastic bags cause much harm to our global ecosystem and cost a lot to make in terms of both resources and money.
In 2009 the Ocean Conservancy discovered that plastic bags were the second-most common kind of waste found — every year Americans use about 102.1 billion plastic bags. Plastic bags are not biodegradable – instead, they get broken down by light into small particles that contaminate the soil and water which are very costly and at times impossible to remedy. Finally, less than 1% of plastic bags are recycled each year because it is so costly, at $4,000 per ton recycled, and the byproduct can only be sold for $32. (more…)
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
by Katherine Shi @ 2:06 pm post a comment »
Mercury is accumulated in streams and oceans through the burning of fossil fuels and industrial pollution, mostly through rainfall. Methylmercury is the chemical that is harmful to humans, and comes from mercury.
The fish with the most mercury are usually larger fish as they accumulate mercury by eating smaller fish (the food chain plays a huge part in this), and live longer. That being said, the FDA, (Food and Drug Administration), highly encourages people (especially children and pregnant woman as their nervous systems are not fully yet developed) to avoid eating the following fish: shark, swordfish, King Mackerel, White Snapper, and tuna because their mean PPM (how much mercury in them) is 1.45-0.96.
Almost every type of fish or shellfish has some trace of mercury, it just depends on how much. Amongst the smaller fish, trout, North American lobster, and grouper (Mycteroperca) should be avoided because they have a mean PPM from 0.43-0.27.
Fish (especially wild-caught Pacific salmon) and shellfish are still an essential part to keeping a healthy diet because it is high in protein, low in saturated fat, and contains omega-3 fatty acids. The FDA recommends people consume up to 12 ounces of fish that contains a low amount of mercury per week. So the next time you eat fish, remember which ones to avoid.
More info on mercury in seafood: FDA guidelines
related: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Canned Tuna
photo: school of tuna photo via shutterstock.com