Mission: Sustainable

by John Hamlin 20. January 2010 11:10

Mission Sustainable is part of a Project to inform and educate individuals about environmental issues and the importance of making more sustainable life choices. Via the social medium of a TV show, you as viewers can prepare to witness the transformation of ordinary citizens as they grasp their impact on the planet. Each show features a new individual nominated by friends and family for a “sustainability makeover”. Their green expert consultants will then perform this customized makeover to fit the individual’s needs, desires, and lifestyle. The green experts at Mission Sustainable support the changes they propose with hard facts, measurable cost savings, and documented improvements to mind and body; these benefits will be verified by credible scientists, doctors, and financial experts.

This really caught our attention here at Green Benefits as a cool and unique way to create social awareness of the impact each of us has on our environment, and how we can make positive life changes to promote more sustainable living. We think that a TV show documenting the lives of individuals who are trying to become more environmentally aware is a great way to motivate others to think about their own carbon footprint and reevaluate their consumption habits, too. It is especially nice to watch a team of ‘green experts’ who take the guesswork out of the decision-making process for you and help guide you how to live your life more sustainably. We could all use some habit changes – from the way we consume and use our precious natural resources when we shower, drive, use electricity, and more. There are small changes that really do make a difference and this show seems like a unique and interesting way to get that point across. We were in fact so delighted about what Mission: Sustainable is doing that we decided to support them, not only by attending their upcoming Pilot Premier on February 11th (and you should too), but also by donating some awesome custom organic and environmentally-friendly printed shirts for their staff to wear. We want to continue doing our part to help the planet, and want you to know that you can too – in many ways – one of which involves using Green Benefits to promote your business sustainably!

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The FDA reverses their position on BPA

by John Hamlin 18. January 2010 13:05

The Food and Drug Administration has officially reversed its stand regarding BPA, the chemical found in plastic bottles and thousands of consumer goods.  This comes after their longstanding position maintaining that BPA is safe, backed by two major studies which were paid for by none other than the chemical industry itself. Further review of scientific evidence has (unsurprisingly) linked the chemical to a range of health problems and the FDA are now advising the public to take measurable steps to reduce their exposure.

However, despite the overwhelming evidence pointing to the dangers of BPA, regulators have not enforced regulations that ban the compound in manufacturing or require labeling of products containing BPA – apparently due to insufficient data to support a legal crackdown. 

Scary Statistic:  BPA is so prevalent that in fact over 90% of the US population has traces of it in their urine due to the leaching of BPA from containers into food and beverages.

While this a good first step that the FDA is finally recognizing the legitimate concern about BPA use, it may take some time before regulations are imposed to prevent its use and protect public health.  This adds another reason why it pays to be a wise and informed consumer and to opt for alternative products to plastic or ensure that your plastic is BPA-free.  Check out our Stainless Steel Reusable Water Bottles.

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Plastic

Green-olutions For 2010

by John Hamlin 8. January 2010 09:38

It’s that time again where you have pledged to make some positive life changes in the upcoming New Year, from shedding some extra pounds and being healthy to spending less and saving money. Why not take the opportunity to add ‘Helping the Planet’ to your list of resolutions? Plus, did you know that ‘going green’ can help you achieve both those goals while doing your part for the Earth?

The buzz about our environment is getting louder and now is the time to realign your goals in accordance with a more sustainable future. If you’ve always found it a daunting task and haven’t been sure where to start, why don’t you take a moment to check out some pretty painless suggestions below:

EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT:

  • Can’t live without your daily caffeine fix? Well, you could save trees and money by making it a habit to bring your own coffee mug along
  • Recycle your garbage – baby steps first, but once you get in the habit perhaps you’ll want to try composting your food waste too!
  • Take Back the Tap! Don’t buy disposable water bottles – not only are we incredibly lucky to have access to pure and great tasting tap water, but plastic is also the number one contributor to landfills. California alone throws away 3 billion water bottles a day – if you’re like me that is incentive enough! And, you’ll save money – why pay for a free commodity? Spending money on bottled water adds up fast! Read more to find out why you should bring the tap back and invest your money in a sustainably-made and reusable stainless steel water bottle instead.
  • Bring your own reusable shopping bag to the grocery store – keep it in your car or purse so that you always have it on you. We offer some great ones that roll up into a small and virtually weightless ball. Check them out here.
  • Buy Post-consumer Waste (PCW) Recycled paper instead of supporting Paper Companies that cut down virgin forests.  Did you know that only about 1% of paper in the US comes from Post-consumer Waste?  By increasing demand for this market we can raise incentive for Companies to supply recycled paper at a competitive price. Check out Gray’s Harbor Paper Company to see how they run a completely carbon-neutral manufacturing process where they produce superior 100% recycled paper without cutting down any trees or burning any fossil fuels.
  • Eliminate disposable products such as plastic cups, forks, and paper pates. If you can’t avoid them, switch to compostable ones made from corn.
  • Try to purchase local produce and support your smaller farmers (perhaps by visiting your local Farmers Market once a week). Decide on a few products you think are worth buying organic, even for the fractionally higher cost.
  • If you enjoy seafood, look into eating fish that are more sustainably harvested.  Click here for a guide and make informed decisions.
  • Conserve water by cutting down on shower time, and save paper by eliminating the junk mail you receive or view your bills online.  You can get out of those annoying credit card and insurance offers by going to www.optoutprescreen.com
  • Convert your light bulbs to more energy efficient CFC ones and you will actually save money on your bill each month!  They’re definitely worth the slightly higher upfront cost for the return savings in energy and money.
  • Most importantly, get educated and know the facts!  Being informed means being a wise consumer
  • and demanding products that help rather than hurt the future ability of this planet to sustain us. 

*Remember, there are different shades of Green and we aren’t asking that you start hugging trees, but you can feel good about trying your best and doing your part. It really does add up in the big picture!! So, pick a few (or as many) of these helpful tips that you can incorporate into your daily living. Once they become habit, you’ll realize how painless it really is to make earth-conscious choices every day.

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Grocery Store Wars

by John Hamlin 20. August 2009 12:26

Not so long ago in a supermarket not so far away…help fight the dark side of the farm.

Store Wars is a hilarious five minute mini-movie about a small band of organic vegetable puppets -- Cuke Skywalker, Ham Solo, Chewbroccoli and wise old Obi Wan Cannoli -- battling against Darth Tader, evil lord of the Dark Side of The Farm. Can these Organic Rebels rescue Princess Lettuce and destroy the Death Melon in time? Or will Cuke be seduced by the Dark Side of the Farm ... an empire of pollution and pesticides that has taken over the market with its arsenal of genetic engineering, irradiation and toxic chemicals?

 

 

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General | Green Education | Green Food

Recycled Products 101

by John Hamlin 6. August 2009 20:16

What is the difference between recycled-content and post-consumer recycled content?

A recycled-content product is an item that contains recovered material.  Recovered materials are wastes that have been diverted from conventional disposal such as landfills for another use.  Recovered materials include both pre-consumer and post-consumer wastes.

Pre-consumer materials are generated by manufacturers and processors, and may consist of scrap, trimmings and other by-products that were never used in the consumer market.

Post-consumer materials is an end product that has completed its life cycle as a consumer item and would otherwise have been disposed of as solid waste.  Post-consumer materials include recyclables collected in commercial and residential recycling programs, such as office paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastics and metals.

Recycled content products may contain  some pre-consumer waste, some post-consumer waste or both.   A product does not have to contain 100 percent recovered materials to be considered 'recycled,' but cleary the higher the percentage of recycled content, the greater the amount of waste that is diverted from disposal.  Always look at the level of post-consumer content in a product.

Does the recycling symbol on consumer products mean the item is made from recycled materials or that the item can be recycled?

The recycling logo does not necessarily mean either.  The use of the recycling logo is not regulated by law.  If the label only says recycle or recyclable it may contain no recycled content.  It also may not be possible to recycle that item in your area.

To ensure you are buying a product made from recycled materials check the label for the word that indicate the product is made from recycled materials.  When buying materials, look for labels that indicate the highest percentage of post consumer recycled content.

Recycled product myths

False:  Recycled products are inferior in quality

Recycled products have the same quality, reliability, and dependability.  A 1996 survey by the Buy Recycled Business Alliance asked hundreds of corporate purchasing agents about their satisfaction with recycled content products.  The survey results showed 97% of respondents were pleased with the performance of recycled content products.

False:  Recycled products are hard to find

Thousands of products are now made with some recycled content.  All steel and most glass and aluminum made in the United States has recycled content.  Many paper products, including white printing paper have recycled content.  Clothes, purses, tool boxes, and many other items are also made with recycled materials.

False:  Recycled paper gets stuck in copiers and printers

Technological advances have overcome quality issues, while increased consumer demand is resulting wider variety and availability, and lower prices.  Recycled content paper now share the same printing and performance characteristics as their virgin equivalent.  Recycled paper is available in a wide range of colors, weights, and styles, including the brightest whites.  They also offer the same level of runnability and high quality imaging on copiers, and laser and ink jet printers.

False:  Recycled products cost more

This used to be the case for some materials, but now many recycled products are priced competitively with those made form virgin materials and in some cases are even cheaper.  Demand has lowered prices, and if you continue to purchase products made with recycled materials, this trend will continue.

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Gaining the Perks of Going Green

by John Hamlin 8. June 2009 05:42

With all of the hype surrounding the environment and reducing emissions from vehicles, factories and manufacturing facilities corporations and individuals alike have jumped onto the green bandwagon. Corporate office buildings are being redesigned and recreated to work harmoniously with the environment. Energy efficient lighting elements and heating and cooling systems that rely on the internal energy of a building or solar sources to power air conditioners and lighting are being reengineered into existing buildings and new edifices are being architecturally engineered to accommodate nature lighting and energy sources that are beneficial to the environment.

Automakers are also involved in reducing vehicle emissions through the introduction and growing interest in hybrid technologies that support low emission gasoline engines combined with electric power plants to increase fuel economy while emitting few pollutants into the atmosphere. Almost every major car manufacturer has joined the hybrid market with a cross system gasoline and electric engine, but the green movement does no stop there. Company sponsored car pools are giving incentives to employees that share rides to work, producing fewer emissions and alleviating congestion, both on the roads and in the parking structures.

Recycling plants and waste management companies have teamed up to provide homeowners with alternatives to piling almost half of the refuse disposed of by households into landfills. Recycled products made from plastic bottles, glass and paper are gaining in popularity as the trend toward recycling continues to expand. Even beyond recycling waste products made of plastic, consumers are mow turning to renewable and reusable products like stainless steel water bottles that can be refilled with clean, clear water or taking natural fiber woven shopping bags to the grocery store instead of loading up on plastic bags that are not biodegradable.

Organic products that are biodegradable are appearing in more grocery stores. Organic products do not rely on chemical treatments for growth of stimulus. Not only are the healthier for consumers, because they are growth without the use of sprayed chemicals they are also better for the environment.

With more and more people contributing to the environment in a positive manner corporations are stepping forward to offer employees incentives and rewards for helping to protect and renew the environment. Companies realizing the need for environmental change to take place are turning to green incentive companies to help inspire and motivate the natural inclination to reduce waste and use replenishable resources. There is still much more that can be done to cut done on harmful emissions and reduce wasted resources, but thanks to the green movement many Americans are helping to heal the plant.

About

Green Benefits (http://greenbenefits.net) provides environmentally sound products, such stainless steel water bottles, as incentives and perks for individuals, businesses, and organizations that support going green initiatives for the environmental. Art Gib is a freelance writer.

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Sustainable Apparel

by John Hamlin 27. April 2009 21:58

Clothing is often an overlooked component to the green movement.  The news talks constantly about reducing our carbon footprint, but how does this relate to clothing? 

First and foremost, the greenest garments are those you already own.  No more resources are required to get them to you.  And best of all, no additional cost to you.  But we all like new clothing, so what should you look for in new clothing. 

cotton-bolls

When you do purchase new apparel, consider  clothing made from organic material.  This means the land has not been subjected to synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers for at least three years.  Did you know that 10 percent of all agricultural chemicals in the United States are used to produce cotton, grown on just one percent of all major agricultural land. 

Fact: Each T-shirt made from one hundred percent organic cotton saves one-third of a pound of synthetic fertilizers and farm chemicalsPET

Another new trend in apparel is clothing made from recycled material?  PET (polyethylene terephthalate )plastic and scrap cotton are combined to make shirts and hats.  This process reuses material once discarded into the landfills and turns  it to soft and long lasting apparel.

Fact:  Recycling one ton of PET containers saves 7.4 cubic years of landfill space.

It is also important to note, that the greatest eco-burden of clothing is not their construction or distribution, but in their daily usage.  Washing clothing can involve large quantities of water, energy and chemicals. 

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