Tag Archives: Organic beauty products

Give the Planet a break. Why buy sustainable products?

Being eco-obsessive I love doing something good and fun simultaneously, which is why I do research while shopping! This method has lead to a lot of great finds for the sustainable connoisseur. Now, more than ever, we have many options from which to choose so I started a list of why you should care about buying certain types of sustainable products. Of course, some products meet one requirement and ignore another, this is what makes TheTrueBlueGreen challenge difficult, I’m still looking for the perfectly sustainable running shoe. Knowing what to look for is half the battle and I hope you enjoy my list. Please feel free to add to it!

Why buy recycled? Making products from recycled materials eliminates the need for raw material; it also can use less energy than making them from raw material.

Examples: Manufacturing from recycled aluminum uses %5 of the energy it normally takes to make aluminum from scratch.  Every ton of paper made from recycled material saves 17 trees, about 450 gallons of oil and 7 gallons of water.  It makes our landfills smaller by re-routing bottles, cans, paper and other household items from trash holes.  Also, it protects the environment when you divert electronics, batteries and solvents from landfills.

Why buy used, re-purposed, or upcycled?  The more uses you get out of something the longer its’ lifecycle and therefore less need for raw material.

Why buy Reduced? Maybe one of the most important  of the three R’s -*Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Less consumption of materials and resources will equally reduce their depletion. Products that use less material, like thinner Champaign bottles or concentrated laundry soap have an amazingly good impact. So do refillable items, like giant water jugs.

Why buy organic? Ensures that crops are produced without pesticides and herbicides used. This means pollution in waste water and fertilizers is minimized. Also decreases soil erosion and increases biodiversity by not killing off bug and plants.

Why buy fair trade certified? Harvesters are paid fairly and work in humane conditions. This also incentivizes farmers to use conservation methods and not take short cuts such as cutting down forests to grow more coffee. There’s a direct link between poverty and harmful agriculture practices. Sustainable harvesting and mining are equally integral to preserving resources like endangered wood species.

Why buy local? Buying products that were grown, processed and manufactured in close proximity to where you live ensures the have a lower carbon emission for transportation & distribution.

Why buy Carbon-Neutral? Essentially, this means buying carbon offsets. Carbon is offset by planting and protecting trees. (CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it absorbs infared light, trapping warmth from the sun and thus warming the planet.) The biggest “carbon positive”, (actually a negative thing), is the burning of fossil fuels such. Interestingly, burning bio-fuel adds no extra carbon. Read more here.

Why buy compostable?  Biodegradable material will degrade slowly and release methane gas if put in a landfill. Municipal access to a compost is something every town should consider implementing. Many bio-based products are on the market today, but they only complete a cradle to cradle cycle if they reach a   compost bin where they can degrade back into nutrient rich organic matter for fertilizing.

Other sustainability considerations:

  • Ability to be recycled
  • Environmental manufacturing
  • Manufactured locally
  • Products that use less water and energy
  • Toxicity- adhesives, aerosols
  • Safe disposal of waste

For more great green shopping choices visit Treehugger.

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Filed under Cosmetics, design, energy, fashion, food, Local, Organic, re purposed, Re-Used, recycled

Stop GMO’s from getting into your plants: Pangea Organics Ecocentric Bodycare a beautiful thing!

The Fashion Institutes Liquid Planet 5th annual Sustainable Business & Design Conference featured great speakers, causes and  awesome packaging/product designs from students. (Check out the very cool you-would-never-know it’s bubble wrap purse, middle). I was extra happy I arrived just in time to catch a few minutes of the speech by Joshua Onysko, Founder & CEO of Pangea Organics.  I love a good word mash-up and Onysko doesn’t disappoint with this company moto: Ecocentric Bodycare: Always Beneficial, Never Artificial. Pangea has been on my radar as they are based in my hometown Boulder, CO. The company name refers to the one big super continent that existed before the Tectonic Plates divided. I love the story of how Joshua got his start, (it really speaks to the idea of pursuing your dreams and making soap in your garage). He’s a genuine speaker and very crush worthy.

It gets even better with the message Joshua conveys through his products and his non-profit organization, the Pangea Institute.  The institute is dedicated to exploring and teaching sustainable lifestyles and business practices. They also support Women for Women International , helping women who are victims of war and other conflict by giving them the tools to be self-sufficient. This is what I love from businesses -the whole  mission of Pangea is to conduct itself as a socially responsible, mindful and environmentally aware brand. Major points from this sustainable connoisseur! These guys demonstrate holistic, all encompassing environmental activism. The founder Josh Onysko is incredibly passionate and accessible which is reflected in his products. Through his personal blog  and the Pangea Facebook page, he is crusading for his planet.

By the way, Pangea was the first company to introduce biodegradable, compostable, ‘plantable’ packaging!!!  His products are always natural, good for you and the Earth. Here’s more, they say it best themselves:

Pangea products are (and always will be):
• Crafted by artisans in small batches, using pure, organic ingredients that replenish the skin
• Hand-blended to soothe or stimulate your senses
• Preserved using the gentlest of methods to retain the nurturing properties of the botanicals in each customized blend
• Intentionally sourced from organic farmers through fair trade practices whenever possible
• Honest above all else: if it’s in our products, it’s on our labels

Check out Joshua’s latest blog entry where he really breaks down the difficulty of regulation in the cosmetics industry. He highlights the especially scary stuff that’s in most beauty products. Here’s a good tid-bit: most products are designed to only work for 6 hours, giving the effect of promised improvement but only temporarily. Yuck!

Among my personal must-haves in the Pangea line is the Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Goji Berry Mask, it’s the ultimate skin whisperer.  Yum to Joshua and Pangea!

FYI- Pangea has a Free Product Friday sweepstakes on Facebook, go check it out!


Filed under Activism, Cosmetics, fashion, Organic