Posts Tagged ‘organic’

Actress, model, green cosmetic leader Josie Maran

by The Green A-Team

Beauty is only skin deep but Josie Maran’s goes even deeper with her concern and contribution toward the health of women like her that are habitual wearers of cosmetics.

Whether it’s your modeling or acting job or simply your desire to feel more beutiful when you leave the house, the daily cosmetic consumer can avoid risk by using natuaral and organic products.

Our interview with Josie reveals her sincerity and belief in her product as well as insight on the larger industry and where we’re going as a country.

Q: How dangerous are conventional cosmetics really?

A: Conventional cosmetics are harmful because 60% of what you put on your skin, your skin absorbs.  20% of the ingredients are harmful so if you’re putting those on your skin every day, you have a likely chance of harming your body.

Q: How careful are you in making sure that the ingredients you’re using in your line of cosmetics are all natural or ogranic?

A: My mission was to create a line that was good quality and that was health.  That’s always been the most important thing for me, that I use non-toxic ingredients.

Q: Are you able to trace where the ingredients are coming from be it the coconuts used or the way the water is being process for the actual product.

A: I do as much as I can.  I’m not actually out there farming the products and so I have to put my trust in my labs. I do a lot of questioning, I go to the labs and look though everything so I do as much as I can to ensure that I’m getting quality ingredients and that they’re coming from sustainable sources as well.  It’s not just that they’re not toxic that they’re coming from a place that is employing women in their communities.

Q: What steps do you take to make sure the packaging is environmentally friendly?

A: I think that was my biggest impact on the industry is that my packaging is biodegradable, recyclable and that was something that I saw no one was doing out there.  Packaging is actually as harmful as the ingredients when you’re looking at the whole environment.  Nobody was doing it and it was really hard to find that kind of packaging but it’s much more popular now and packaging people are calling me all the time and I’m encouraging all companies to use sustainable packaging because it’s totally possible and it can look stylish too.

Q: Do you see big cosmetic manufacturers following in a similar path?

A: I think it’s a slow movement but I definitely think the customers are asking for it so I do see some change.  The big companies are using natural and orgainic a lot more than they used to.  I think you have to be careful about their marketing and make sure that when they say it, they mean it.  You can tell they’re looking into it more.

Q: How do you think the new Presidential administration is going to affect environmental issues going forward?

A: There’s a new feeling in the world of hope for change.  I think that it’s gonna open the door for asking questions and making changes so I think  the new Presidential election is going to be very positive for the environment.

Photo by curl.d.up.

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Gobble Green:
Sustainable Thanksgiving Spreads

by The Green A-Team

Greening up your holidays isn’t just a social statement anymore, it’s an economic necessity!

Thanksgiving is upon us and believe it or not, you can Green your turkey day without grossing out your guests.  Here are some simple steps to gobble  it up green:

1.)  As with any event that requires a bit of travel, carpool with your friends and family and consider public transportation where possible.  These services are generally extended during the holiday season.

2.)  Serve organic spirits!  Real cork in your wine or champagne in place of plastic stoppers or twistoff caps is better because cork is renewable and trees aren’t felled for it.

3.) We all know Thanksgiving is all about the sides and they are mostly vegetarian!  The meat and poultry industry contributes to the biggest carbon food print in the supermarket so if you can have more fun with veggies, you’ll be doing right by the planet.

and 4.) Don’t use paper or plastic flatware and if you must, make them be biodegradable.

I’m Rich Awn wishing you a happy Thanksgiving.  For more tips on a Green feast, check out some of the links below:

Thanksgiving Recipe Links (The Vegan Diet)

A slice of heritage with Thanksgiving (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Raising heritage breed turkeys (

Photo by Herbert Harper.

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Superheroes: Exclusive Interview with Anna Lappe

by Rich Awn

Discussed: Disconnect/Phobia of Nature, Community Supported Agriculture, Federal Trade Commission, Industry Supported Lies, Center for Global Food Issues, Chemical Farming, Monsanto, Against the Grain, Permaculture and Ancient Agriculture

There are a few voices that speak with resonant clarity through the noise of the “too much information generation.”  They are the conscientious mavericks whose passion and diligence in finding the truth of things have elevated them beyond mere mortal thoughtless drones but as hyper-human change makers, or as we like to call them, superheroes.

One such individual is Anna Lappe, co-autohor of Grub and Hope’s Edge, founding principal for the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund.  Her literary work brandishes a samurai blade in the face of the chemically tainted, spurious battle against the evils of the commercial agriculture and biotech industries.  Her ambitious work with the Small Planet Institute prods and ignites the basic human tendency toward social mimicry by generating a broad spectrum of “entry points” through media to understand, accept, and impart democratic social change.

See below for more photos from the MINI Space Rooftop: Sustainability Roundtable Discussion:

For the full transcript of this interview, click below.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Greenwashing 101

by The Green A-Team

Blinded by the barrage of eco-friendly stickers on your everyday products?

Deafened by the earthy tones of green marketing verbiage?

Greenwashing is the process by which companies mislead consumers regarding environmentally friendly products.  You see it everyday, stickers that read, “natural, green, earth friendly…” you know the drill.

Here are some key terms to watch out for:

1.) Organic - according to food industry standards, organic food is grown without conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge.  If you see the USDA Organic Seal, that’s a safe choice.

2.) Environmentally Preferred
- There is nothing about plastic or rubber that the environment prefers, so watch out for this term alongside unnatural or inorganic products.

3.) Sustainable - there is no standardized definition of sustainable in the context of commerce.  Sustainability implies permanence in nature so be especially aware of this term.

While there are many well-intentioned companies doing good things, protect yourself from greenwashing by understanding certain simple terms.

For more on greenwashing, click here.

Photo by MU_313679.

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The Green Wedding:
Simple Do’s for I Do

by The Green A-Team

It’s wedding season but did you opt for Green instead of white?

These next few months cast an amorous spell over the millions sharing their eternal devotion to one another. Religions and cultures lay down their differences to honor friends and family members in an epic celebration that, unfortunately, can be costly and wasteful if not planned properly.

But you don’t have to be an environmentalist to plan a Green wedding. The main objective is to throw a memorable affair with minimal waste in a special place. St. Louis native and Green event planner Rachel McCalla of Lucky You Productions panned her own Green wedding in and has a simple method for achieving the loveliest possible results:

1.) Pick a LEED certified location. Botanic gardens are a definite while most newer and recently renovated theaters and event halls have undergone the rigorous LEED Green building standards.

2.) Food is vital for your health and for making your wedding truly memorable. Organic caterers are in plentiful supply where the difference in freshness, locally grown, and smart choices with flatware can do a world of good.

3.) Decorations, invitations, and gifts can be a snap with resourceful planners like Rachel. You’d be surprised how many recyclable products are available to beautify your wedding environment while preserving the natural one.

and 4.) Forging your own flowers and having your bridesmaid dresses sewn of organic silk by fair trade seamstresses (eco-designer Starr McCaleb), as shown in the photo of our close friends Gemma and Andrew Ingalls‘ wedding last summer in Vermont, can make a huge difference both aesthetically and environmentally.

Photo by Anna Wolf


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