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PosiPlanet: Intriguing News & Commentary
That's right. And it seems that no aspect of our economy is immune to the temptation of greenwashing. Thankfully, there are more than 300 cemeteries and funeral homes across the country offering eco-friendly death care. The Green Burial Council is the standard-bearer for truth and transparency in death care.
I recently attended Eugene, Oregon's famous environmental law conference. In the entryway on the bottom floor of the building where the conference sessions were being held, there were a series of environmental organizational tables including TarSands Blockade, which is using non-violent direct action to stop the construction of KeyStone XL, and Forest Ethics, a national non-profit working to protect our forests. A giant banner hanging above the Forest Ethics table caught my eye. It said, "SFI: Certified Greenwash".
You know it's important to "buy local." What if you could also invest local?
As the Slow Money investment movement grows, Local Investment Opportunity Networks, or LIONs are springing up across the country in places as diverse as: Port Townsend, WA, Portland, OR, Ithaca, NY, New York City, and Madison, WI. A LION is simply a way to connect local investors with local businesses that need loans. It’s a potent alternative to Wall Street.
Small business owners face many challenges, but we don't stay in business long without finding green customers to purchase our positive product or service. A 2009 Edelman survey found that 83 percent of consumers would change their consumption habits if it could help make the world a better place to live – and 61 percent of people have chosen to buy a brand that supports a good cause even if it wasn't the cheapest one. So, how to connect with these consumers?
Japan is a beautiful, magical place. Their sense of aesthetics runs through everything from clothing to architecture to packaging and food. I remember stopping into a small shop to grab a cheese sandwich and receiving something that looked like an art piece - two perfect triangles with the crust removed. Even the bag the sandwich was placed in was beautiful, sealed with a gold medallion. I never got used to everything as art, but I liked it. Food as an art form is celebrated in the Japanese semi-sweet, chewy rice treats called mochi. Once you try it, you'll want more.
A friend of mine sent me this photo. It's a picture of a women with the following, "Chris Silverston founded Cape Town artist' collective Potter's Workshop in 1991. Trained through apprenticeship, new artists slowly acquire the skills to create the bead-like, textured ceramic patterns the studio is known for."
If a product like milk is labeled organic does it matter where it came from? A small family farm from your state or a giant factory farm? Does it matter how the cows are treated? The employees? For many PosiPair members and the public, the answer is an emphatic "Yes!"
Where do you think the majority of your lipstick goes? Many of us know there are toxic chemicals out there, but I don't think we realize just how pervasive pollutants are in the personal care products we use everyday. The David Suzuki Foundation asked more than 6,200 individuals to search their product's ingredient lists to look for the Dirty Dozen cancer causing ingredients.The results are disturbing.
Who is in charge of stopping greenwashing? In the U.S. the Federal Trade Commission created the "Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims" or Green Guides for short to help businesses avoid deceptive environmental marketing. The guidelines aren't legally binding, but the courts view them as persuasive authority when evaluating deceptive advertising cases -of which there are many! A recent examination by Terra Choice found that of more than 12K different green advertising claims, 95% were overly vague or entirely unsupported. Yikes.
I love the summer and with such an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables around, its a great time to get healthy and happy! If you do the following three things for yourself, you'll feel great and you'll be helping your local farmers.
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A community-led transition to the new economy. We're way beyond green.