For those of us who are or have indulged in gardening, misshapen fruits and vegetables can be one of the joys of growing your own food. But as a society, something gets lost in translation when we go to the local supermarket or warehouse store: We expect our fruits and vegetables to be uniform in color, size and texture. To that end, the Oakland, California, startup Imperfect Foods is trying to change attitudes toward funny-looking fruits and vegetables while increasing waste diversion.
Author: Leon Kaye
One year after announcing its plan, Method opened its South Side Soapbox factory last week in the Pullman Park district of Chicago. Cradle-to-Cradle pioneer William McDonough + Partners designed the factory, the first such LEED Platinum certified facility within this sector.
The powerful Church of England is putting its pounds and pence where its mouth is: The body that administers the worldwide Anglican Communion last week announced it is divesting from thermal coal and tar sands.
For several years running, India’s Unilever and Lifebuoy employees have been instrumental in running one of the country’s most successful social responsibility programs. The brilliance of this handwashing campaign is in its simplicity: It teaches and reinforces a task that takes about 20 seconds.
The global textile and garment industry is one of the world’s largest polluters due to its massive impacts on water, soil and of course, people. While consumers are becoming more aware that their fashion choices have on distant places such as Bangladesh, China and India, much work still needs to be done until the industry can be truly described as responsible and sustainable.
What began with appliance donations has become one of Whirlpool’s most successful corporate social responsibility programs. It is hard to argue with the numbers: over US$85 million in donations since 1999, 8,000-plus company employees who have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and a renewed lease on life for over 100,000 families.
About 80 percent of California’s water sustains agriculture, but Sacramento is putting the onus on the state’s businesses and residents to find even more ways to conserve this precious resource. One sector scrambling to find even more ways to conserve water is Los Angeles’ denim industry.
One can surmise the many things tobacco companies have in common with fast food corporations, including the fact they must expand their business abroad while sales stagnate on both sides of the Atlantic. The result is that the World Health Organization estimates that 70 percent of the 8.4 million deaths that will be attributed tobacco use in 2020 will occur in developing countries. One country that has long run an aggressive anti-smoking campaign is Uruguay, but its laws are under threat by a lawsuit filed by Philip Morris International.
Shareholder activism made a difference again with yesterday’s announcement that Lowe’s will phase out the sale of neonicotinoid pesticides. Also referred to as “neonics,” which environmental watchdog groups said have been a leading contributor to “colony collapse disorder.” As the populations of bees have declined worldwide, these chemicals are often still sprayed on nursery plants, and are also in pesticides sold on store shelves
#YesWeCode, led by Van Jones, advocates for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) inclusion and wider access to computer science education for minority students across the country.
While solar and wind power continue to become more competitive in price to fossil fuels, the same is not holding true for plastics. The sudden drop in fossil fuel prices over the last several months have sent plastic recyclers scrambling to save their businesses. From China to Quebec, recycling companies have been struggling to stay in the black, even though more municipalities are mandating recycling for either waste diversion purposes or to stay compliant with a local sustainability plan.
Ecologic Brands was founded in 2008 by Julie Corbett who was tired of all the waste from plastic jugs and cartons that her family was generating.
Driscoll’s organic blackberries, strawberries and raspberries can be found in grocery stores throughout the country. Though they are environmentally friendly, a farmworkers’ union in Washington State has recently called for a consumer boycott, citing unfair working conditions.
The purveyor of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell says it will ensure its suppliers meet guidelines set by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Yum! Brands’ announcement comes fresh off yet another report that showed large companies have a long way to go when it comes to sustainable palm oil.
The pressure is on in Sacramento, where activists protest that Nestlé is draining local aquifers of as much as 80 million gallons annually.