things for our planet

Earth Day! & Sustainable Companies to Follow

Happy Earth Day!

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I hope you have been enjoying my “love the earth” series and that it will inspire you to make a few subtle, yet impactful changes in your lifestyle.

A majority of pollution and waste comes from large companies that produce all of the STUFF we continuously buy. So, I thought I would share a few of my favorite companies that are eco-conscious, that you can buy from without feeling guilty not knowing what kind of footprint you’re leaving on the earth.

 MY FAVORITES

Arbonne

Pure. Safe. Beneficial. That has been Arbonne’s motto for years. Their website states: “Our products are good for you and kind to the earth.” And they really mean it!

It’s not just that Arbonne products are higher-quality, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and scientifically proven – Arbonne is concerned with their overall impact on the environment!

“By integrating the most beneficial botanical ingredients from nature with the principles of green chemistry — we craft products with integrity, expertise and innovation. And we do it responsibly, taking care of our earth at the same time.

“Our products are safe, nontoxic, and committed to being eco-friendly. We’re vigilant about the newest research regarding chemicals to ensure we’re being mindful and cautious. We proactively search for the purest, most unadulterated botanical ingredients from natural sources.”

Every single Arbonne product is designed, tested, and produced through a rigorous process. Each product is vegan, never tested on animals, and formulated without animal products or by-products, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde alkylphenols, synthetic dyes, artificial sweeteners/flavors, cholesterol, and trans fats. Can you say the same about your products?

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In addition (I just learned about this!) Arbonne has something called “Green Will Call.”  Basically, if you are local to an Arbonne office, then instead of having your packages shipped in boxes, you can pick up your order at Will Call in a recyclable bag! Love that! green-bag

Phish

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Obviously my favorite company on this list, though I don’t even know if you can really say it’s a company – and Arbonne is definitely high up on the list as well!! One of the reasons I ADORE Phish is because they are committed to sustainability.

They have a foundation, WaterWheel, that was created by the band to oversee charitable activities. Selling t-shirts, autographed posters, and other items, as well as collecting donations is the main way that the foundation supports non-profits in each community that Phish visits while they are on tour.  They also support Vermont-based non-profits, in keeping with their “local” focus.

The environmental charities WaterWheel focuses on tend to include clean water, land conservation, and urban gardening. Other non-profits they donate to include services benefitting women and children, food banks, and others. “Thanks to the generosity of the fans, since its creation WaterWheel’s Touring Division has donated over $1,000,000 to more than 425 groups.” Wow!!

Other examples of Phishy tree-hugging includes: allowing The Green Team, a group of volunteers, to clean up after shows and collect recyclables that would otherwise be trashed by the events team; partnering with Ben & Jerry’s (read more below!); at least one of the band members is vegan (my favorite band member at that!); offering USA-made and organic cotton clothing; and many others I can’t think of right now, but will add to this later if/when I come across them.

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In fact, there is a sale going on right now over at Phish Dry Goods! For every order placed during the sale, Phish will plant a tree. And, you will receive a free coupon for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (while supplies last). Wins all around!

Ben & Jerry’s

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I don’t think there’s anyone who needs to be convinced that Ben & Jerry’s is awesome. But maybe you didn’t know how supreme their focus is on being an honest company that works with our planet, not against it. These pictures were taken at the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Burlington, Vermont, and the plaque above reads:

“Social Mission: To operate the Company in a way that actively recognizes the central role that business plays in society in initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally, and internationally.”

I already knew that Ben & Jerry’s made an effort towards sustainability (otherwise Phish wouldn’t have partnered with them), but I didn’t know they were always so focused on having integrity and using their business to improve communities and people’s lives.

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Here are just some of the ways Ben & Jerry’s practices sustainable business: supporting mandatory GMO labeling, opposing the use of rBGH, all of their ingredients are sourced by fair trade, the eggs they purchase come from cage-free hens, they use and promote energy-efficient freezers, and they support climate justice, among MANY others!!

I could write a lot more about their sustainability mission, but I really liked this quote from their history wall at the factory:

“Giving is not a matter of pure altruism and benevolence but a mutual responsibility to make the world a better place.”

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Lark Burger

Larkburger food and menu items

I ran into Larkburger when I was attending a conference in downtown Denver. I immediately fell in love, not just with the gluten-free burgers and delicious truffle fries, but with the fact that everything they hand you is reusable, recyclable, or compostable. The building is powered using renewable energy sources, too!

Jamba Juice

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I can’t find much on their website about Jamba using sustainable food or energy sources (they do promote gardening!), but one way my favorite smoothie company helps our planet is by providing consumers with a product that is 100% real and from the earth. The only thing in their smoothies is real fruit and 100% fruit and/or veggie juice. No sugar added, no preservatives, and no artificial flavors! That’s good for the environment, and for you and me!

Jovial Foods

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If I haven’t mentioned Jovial Foods yet, I will! I have a post drafted with a yummy recipe from some of their products. I loved seeing this picture on their Facebook page today! This is what they wrote:

“Doing our part to take care of the environment is one of jovial’s top priorities. It shows in the many things we do with all of our organic certified products, from our compostable FSC wood pulp bags that are used for our pasta & wheatberries to the biodegradable/compostable packaging peanuts made from sorghum starch.”

EXTRA CREDIT

American Apparel2e3f1274bca730fd317dfda7d1f8077dI’m not going to lie, I’ve never shopped at American Apparel, and I honestly don’t know how I really feel about it (it mostly feels a little intense and creepy to me), but I did find this amazing earth day shirt – with a sloth on it. I actually know which sloth that is, HA! It’s Buttercup, the original sloth that was rescued at the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica.

“30% of the proceeds will go to the Sloth Sanctuary, which is committed to the rescue, rehabilitation, release, and research of sloths in Costa Rica. Support Artists (and Sloths), Support Ethical Manufacturing.”

In finding this shirt, I happily discovered that AA products are made in the USA and not in sweatshops – phew! Here are more sustainable items for purchase! I also discovered that while they support political issues that I do not agree with, they are taking responsibility in the environmental realm.

Target

targetI don’t know how Target fares overall on sustainability – if someone knows, please inform me, and please let it not be bad!! – but they do offer a decent number of sustainable products (brands like Scott, Seventh Generation, the Honest Company, etc.), and I do recall last year that they shut off their automatic doors on the hottest day of the year to preserve energy (and not lose as much air conditioning). BUT they are offering a discount on certain products today for earth day! Hop on over!

Let’s help each other make earth-friendly shopping choices!

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