Tuesday, July 8, 2008

W3LL: Hippie Tested. Diva Approved

via: Austinist

Calling all people who want to look good, be good, and do good. A new kind of shopping is making its way into Austin and bringing sustainability to a whole new level. Dubbed W3LL People, this the ultimate skincare boutique located at The Bridges on South Lamar.

No risk of greenwashing here - from the materials used in the d├ęcor and building to all the ingredients in the products, W3LL was created to bring a fresh, safe focus on skincare by providing products with proven, medical-grade nutrients that actually work and are not harmful for the planet.

Most conventional skin care products have extended shelf lives because they are packed with preservatives and other "scientific" fillers and chemicals. As it turns out, not so good for the planet or your skin. With the skin absorbing over 80% of what it comes into contact with, it makes a person take pause. While Europe has placed a ban on certain chemicals in many personal care products such as parabens and phthalates, the U.S. government does not require safety testing or have any regulations in place. At W3LL they have culled a list of the top ten worst of worst chemicals that we all should avoid and that you won't find in any of the products they carry.

W3LL was inspired by three friends who met at UT. James Walker, Renee Snyder, M.D., and Shirley Pinkson all shared a common passion in fashion, beauty, sustainability and doing good. The owners of W3LL embrace the challenge of creating a sustainable shopping experience. "We are learning as we go, trying to be conscious and deliberate to do the right thing. There is a level of education that has to happen and we want to create a safe haven that is fun and modern, so people can focus on the good stuff - taking care of themselves and their skin," says Walker.

The space itself serves as a respectable example of doing all things green with a variety of materials and processes. From meeting LEED energy requirements with its AC/electrical units and finish-out, to the zero/low VOC paint, to the eco-resin packaging and display, to the reclaimed chairs bought at a local thrift store, to the recycled denim insulations visible to the eye, you feel better just walking into the space. Whether you are a hippie or hipster, everyone will find something friendly at W3LL through a variety of product lines that are natural, organic, and scientifically proven. A few to take note of:

Ren (based in the UK, pioneers in all natural skincare, excellent men series); Luzern (all organic, luxury offering); Arcana (started by a German chemist turned homeopath/naturalist, proven driven science)
OSEA (marine based, family owned in Malibu, good men series - rumor has it the Luke and Owen Wilson use this line to get their glow on); Raw Gaia - 100% organic, nice baby and children line

W3LL is also coming out with its own product line that is crafted and manufactured in Taos, New Mexico. Its anti-oxidant lip balm (loaded with pomegranate which is a natural SPF) includes PLA biodegradable packaging and its eyeshadows and blushes come in aluminum cans that can be brought back for a discount. They also give 5% of all profits to its environmental partner World Wildlife Fund. Perhaps this goes into too much information for those of us not necessarily wise to the sustainable way, but the calm, fun, and hip atmosphere of W3LL makes you feel good just by being there. The tagline says it all: "Hippie tested. Diva approved." Stop by the W3LL Exclusive Preview Party @ The Bridges on S. Lamar on Saturday, July 12 from 2-8pm and take part in the W3LL experience – your skin will thank you!

Monday, June 30, 2008

A New Day!

Now this is how to kick off a Monday!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The "Woo Woo To Do"

As I was catching up on my Oprah for the week, I noticed that in one week she had Dr. Oz talking about past lives on one day with Dr. Brian Weiss and New Age revolutionaries like Louise Hay, Martha Beck, and Sheryl Richardson on another day talking about daily affirmations and Law of Attraction. For the record, I think it is safe to say that Oprah has gone "*Woo Woo" people and in turn making it mainstream.

Now usually I am not one to claim credit (although I do seem to be doing it lately - but at least conscious of it:-), but I have been following these new age philosophers practically since birth. While not explicitely perhaps in the form of mantras, meditations, and master cleanse, I was born into a family where we were taught to believe in ourselves and see the affirmative in every possible situation. My grandfather gave each of his grandchildren a gift of "Grandpa's Hints For Life" listing the top 10 lessons that we should aspire to in our life - "Develop and maintain your self-image, YOU ARE THE BEST" is number 6.

As I watch Oprah telling stories how she passes by a mirror on a daily basis and says "Hello Sunshine" as her self-love mantra, a part of me feels a sense of relief because perhaps the "O factor" can be that shifting point to wake people out of the humdrum of their daily lives. And if she can look in a mirror and say she loves herself, why can't the rest of us?

So what does all this have to do with sustainability and living green? Well, perhaps it is a stretch, but sustainability is literally about being conscious of our daily choices. And being conscious of how we view and feel about ourselves is where the deepest perception must change for the true paradigm shift to occur. If we can't love ourself, how can we love our planet? I get how cheesy that sounds, but I like to call it the "inner green."

Now perhaps affirmations and mantras are not your thing. Trust me, it is easy to judge as "koo koo" (a step below woo woo) because it feels awkward, silly, and sometimes really hard to look at yourself in the mirror and say "I Love You." I mean I can't even write it without giggling. But it is the modern age people, so we can get creative. The best example of this is from my older sister, who likes to leave herself voicemail messages when she needs to add something to her to do list. But because affirmations are part of our blood, she adds a special flare that goes something like this.

(note: For some reason whenever my sisters are on the phone or in a crowd, their Oklahoma accents tend to come out. If you can't imagine that - think Texas with an Alabama twang - not a tried and true accent, but one I think they got from my Aunt Tricia. So please try to imagine this as she calls herself.)

"Hey, it's me. First of all, you looked FABULOUS today. Great color. I wanted to make sure and remind you to call _______________ regarding __________________. Ok, have a great day. And seriously you look amazing today. Love you!"

The thing is, she is totally serious! So if mirrors aren't your thing, try the "woo woo to do" approach of my sister, texting, or even twittering yourself. Better yet, check out these Louise Hay online wisdom cards - (or buy them here for the full mantra:-) the perfect user friendly affirmative reminder. Whatever it takes - embrace the momentary awkwardness, grab hold of that conscious spark, and feel a little bit of the inner green love!

*Editor's note: You will notice the use of "woo woo" used throughout this blog. I am perfectly aware that "woo woo" has numerous terms, many of which are perhaps inappropriate and embarrassing to get into here. But for the use of this blog, it is meant to imply spiritual, energetic, perhaps even "koo koo" and embodies thoughts that many consider to be too new agey and out there.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Caught In A Green Moment

When it comes to being green, I have come full circle and seem to be coming around again. My journey began back in college as a journalism and environmental science major. My first job out of college was actually with the Sierra Club in San Francisco. So I can fully appreciate all shades of green from the old school treehuggers to the eco-chic trendiness that is taking hold.

While I grew up in Oklahoma, I spent the early part of my professional career in San Francisco where I Iiterally rode the dotcom boom and bust. So I am aware and keen on the excitement surrounding new trends, innovation, and the feared bubble aspect of this new green wave.

When I moved to Austin, Texas several years ago, I tried to nurture a different side of my green roots by focusing on health and wellness. After five years being a co-owner of a successful pilates studio, my entrepreneurial inner voice started to buzz once again, and I found myself back in the Bay Area and in the throws of the new green and sustainable bubble.

I epitomized all aspects of green trendiness. I blogged about celebrities going green. I carried an eco-chic reusable bag and a Sigg reusable water bottle. I drove around via Zipcar and even took public transportation on occasion (which for anyone who knows me is somewhat unheard of). And while I was filled with inspiration by this new voice of sustainability, I grew homesick for my home in Austin and all of the things that make this thriving city with all its hip and trendy development still feel like a quaint small town. Austin has this unique sense of community that really embraces the ability to make real impact. This combined with a commitment to bring a little piece of the green bubble back to Texas served as the primary catalysts for my latest venture. Over the last several months I have adapted back into my down home vibe of being back in Austin with a subtle dash of eco-intent sprinkled into my everyday awareness.

Yesterday, I caught myself in a moment where I realized that I had once again become that image of green trendiness that I was back in San Francisco, only this time it was not forced but rather just a natural evolution. Below is a brief recap of my day. I realize that to most people I seem eccentric at best. Luckily, I was taught very early on in my life that one of the greatest gifts in life is to be able to laugh at oneself. Therefore I am comfortable taking actions that others may consider odd/silly/stupid, and if there is even the smallest chance that I might be able to provide a new perspective to someone, then it makes it worth it.
  • Morning: Wake up. Make a soy protein smoothie because I ran out of Ultimate Meal - bummer.
  • Mid-morning: Go for a run. Wearing my "Do Good Often" t-shirt. People are staring - either at my odd running style, my chest, the t-shirt, or all of the above.
  • Late-morning: Go to Whole Foods, grab a wheat grass shot, some ultimate meal, and a BPA free water bottle (I left my other one at the pool the other day).
  • Lunch: PTerrys to pick up all natural organic hamburger and veggie burger for my niece and nephew.
  • Afternoon: Attend the grand opening of a new eco-conscience skincare boutique - W3LL People (Hippie Tested, Diva Approved).
  • Late-afternoon: Prepare/decorate for couple's baby shower I am co-hosting. On tap: Blueberry Izzy's (with vodka), Sushi (veggie), Blueberry Shortcake Cupcakes (vegan), Veggie Platter, Cheese Platter, all served on recycled plastic PRESERVE brand (awesome!) and biodegradable corn starch plastic cups.
  • Evening: Party time - big success! An eco-party and no one even flinched:-)
So there you have it. A few green moments that felt effortless thanks to an increased accessibility on several levels and an ingrained awareness. I believe I may have even managed to fuel some giggles (either by me or at me - it really doesn't matter!:-)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day - Gifts and Reflections

It has been awhile since writing for my beloved Sunshine Chronicles. Like so many times in life, it seems the littlest things that bring us the most joy get pushed to the bottom of our priority list as the sea of change, opportunities, and life experiences come swooping in and claiming more importance.

Well, perhaps it is the forced introspection from the universe as claimed by Mercury in Retrograde, or more sadly, the soulful loss of a great American commentator and father force, Tim Russert. While I come from a highly politically passionate family, I am a closet politico sticking close to the personalities of MSNBC as my informants. So this surprising loss is heart wrenching and reflective. It is in times like these where I turn to writing which serves as my internal compass to keep me on course. Don't worry, no dramatic theme shifts from the original purpose of the Chronicles, but perhaps a childlike clumsiness as I discover a new voice that reflects the many changes in my life. But what better way to kick off again, than with a note on Father's Day.

To reinforce what I am so passionate about and what I believe are the pillars not just of The Sunshine Chronicles, but of the core areas I try to be aware in my life, I have a few gift ideas for the men in our lives. 

Health: The Wii Fit seems too good to be true. And while the visual of your father playing my be to much to bear, it seems worth the risk and benefit of his health!

Wellness: I am crazy for these Brainsync meditations you can download. They come in a variety of topics from deep sleep to weight loss. The tap into your subconscious brainwaves, so perfect for passive meditation (ie. sleeping). The also come in guided meditations as well.

Social Consciousness: No secret my love for Kiva.org, and what better way to spread the love and entrepreneurial spirit than a Kiva gift certificate. Better yet, select an entrepreneur from our BlueAvocado page, and join the journey!

Sustainability: What is Father's Day without a day of golf? Check out these eco-golf balls to bring some green to his game.

One more note on Tim Russert. I am always keen to look at the literal and emotional links connected to physical ailments and manifestations (sometimes to an obsessive and annoying degree to the loved ones in my life:-) And when reading the details of Tim Russert's tragic death, it is noted that he died of a heart attack, more specifically an enlarged heart due to coronary disease. In no way do I want to minimize the seriousness of this disease, but in thinking of my own reflections about this amazing man and watching far too much MSNBC in the last 24 hours, a big heart almost too simply and perfectly encompasses the impact this man had on millions of lives. He always seemed to be overflowing in love, especially in his commentary on politics. He was truly a model of integrity, love, passion, grit and humbleness that we each can strive for in reflecting on our own "karma footprint" we make in this precious lifetime. 

And to my own father, who in some many ways reminds me of the integrity, passion, and soul that Tim Russert epitomized, I know I speak for my entire family when we realize how blessed we are to have the love, friendship, inspiration, guidance, and grace all beautifully wrapped up in the perfect little package we call Dad. Big love PaPa! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

SXSW Singing A Sustainability Tune

Via: Austinist

Austin is about to incur a hefty carbon footprint as SXSW kicks off, but thanks to the folks at MakeMeSustainable (MMS), people have an opportunity to walk the sustainability talk. The 'Interactive Carbon Tree' was designed specifically for SXSW in an effort to mobilize attendees at the conference to reduce their collective carbon impact. Check it out here: http://makemesustainable.com/sxsw

MakeMeSustainable's innovative social networking tool has earned a finalist position in the Activism and People's Choice categories for the SXSW Interactive Web Awards. The Carbon Tree tool is also available to environmentally conscious musicians to help mobilize fans around sustainable goals. Jose Gonzalez is the first artist MMS partnered with and they've created a customized Carbon Tree designed for him and his fans: http://www.reverbrock.org/josegonzalez/.

Event organizers are also doing their part to reduce SXSW's impact by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from the City of Austin to negate the 263 tonne carbon footprint.

Austin Energy will retire 448 solar RECs on behalf of SXSW and use the proceeds from the sale to begin implementation of a local renewable energy project. One project under consideration is a solar charging station. The charging station would provide sufficient power to charge small devises such as cell phones and laptops, as well as electric scooters and bikes.

Greener Actions at SXSW 2008 include offering all delegates 24/7 access to biofuel made from cotton seed waste for their vehicles; eliminating all bottled water for staff and volunteers and using municipal water fountains instead; featuring environmental issues in the conference programs and offering tips to delegates on how to have a greener SXSW.

So be sure and join the collective impact of tracking your carbon reductions via the MakeMeSustainble SXSW carbon tree tool and get your green on while getting your groove on!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lance Armstrong's New Shop Encourages Bike Commuting

Via: Austinist

As the growth of downtown continues to explode, so does the need for commuter-friendly transportation alternatives — enter the bike. Granted, it's nothing new, save for Lance Armstrong's recent unveiling of plans for a commuter biker shop.

According to Armstrong, "This city is exploding downtown. Are all these people in high rises going to drive everywhere? We have to promote (bike) commuting."

Mellow Johnny's, based on the nickname Armstrong earned while wearing the yellow jersey, will serve as a bike shop, commuting center, training facility and cafe. Showers and a locker room will provide commuters a chance to clean up, store their bikes at the shop, and catch a ride on a pedicab or walk the rest of the way to work.

Located near La Zona Rosa, the 18,000-sq-ft building—painted in yellow and black, of course—plans to open in May. While this can easily be characterized as just another bike shop, partner Bart Knaggs is quick to articulate the macro-level vision:

"There's a bigger ambition we're going to go for here. It's not like there's not a good bike shop in town. We want to add something to the community that will catalyze interest around riding bikes, about being bike friendly and folding it into life in Austin," Knaggs said.

Will this serve as yet another destination for the diehard gearheads of the city? Or will it really serve as a user-friendly gateway for rookie riders? Based on the "Armstrong effect," there's a decent chance this could be the turning point in making Austin a true bike commuter city.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love Is All Around Us!

As a recovering Valentine's Day cynic, I can now appreciate that it is a time to be grateful for the love that surrounds us all. From significant others, to family, to friends, each relationship occupies a special place in our hearts. On a day that can so easily be dismissed through hallmark mementos, perhaps the best gift is expression to those so dear to us. As a wise friend so eloquently puts it:

happy valentine's day to you.
may something simple remind you
of love all around
in the cracks
in between and
today. and
i'm grateful for all
each of you have
over the days, years & mountains
to fill up that
wild woman place inside.

~swami tina

Big heart to you all!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Austin Among Top Ten Greenest Cities

Via: Austinist

As the trendiness of "going green" evolves more into an issue of long term sustainability, Austin continues to thrive when it comes to merging civic leadership, local business, and tactical implementation for more sustainable living. Popular Science recently released a list of the top 50 greenest cities and Austin rounded out the top 10. Other Texas cities making the top 50 include Fort Worth, Amarillo, and Laredo.

Different from other top "green lists" out there on which Austin also ranks, this list uses hard core survey data of key constituencies. Taking into account Electricity, Transportation, Green Living, and Recycling/Green Perspective, the study used raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Geographic Society’s Green Guide. The collected data and government statistics included over 100,000 people in more than 30 categories with cities earning between 1-10 points. Here is how Austin shaped up:

Electricity: 6.0; Transportation: 5.9; Green Living: 3.3; Recycling/Green Perspective: 4.9

The electricity ranking should come as no surprise based on Austin's commitment to renewable sources such as wind, solar, and local incentives for consumers. However the green living ranking which is based primarily on USGBC certifications did seem a bit surprising. And obviously, they did not take into account Austin's upcoming new recycling program. While top 10 green honors are really nothing new for Austin, this recent ranking provides a thorough analysis and some good sustainability clout to stand behind.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Love Yourself!

Occasionally I move off the sustainability path and am sparked with some inspiration of things that stick to the basics of standing strong in our own skin. In a world with so many expectations, changes, and catalysts of "shoulds" it is more important than ever to claim our personal ground reminding us what is truly important in life. While I may be just a glorified Auntie, the messaging of the Dove Campaign for Beauty stresses the importance of finding the beauty within. Check out the clip below, share it with the women in your life, and love who you are!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Austin Wins National Award For Recylcing Efforts

Via: Austinist

What do you get when you recycle 80,000 pounds or approximately 2.7 million cans? Well, evidently $5,000 dollars and a national award for the City Recycling Challenge. Mayor Will Wynn accepted the "Cans for Cash" prize on behalf of the City of Austin at the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting taking place last week.

The nationwide campaign was developed to promote and encourage growth in aluminum can recycling. According to Kevin Greenawalt, President of Novelis North America. "In addition to its economic benefits, recycling reduces carbon emissions which help combat climate change; so it is more important than ever to energize community recycling and build a sustainable environment."

Municipal Waste Management Association
reports the national aluminum recycling rate is currently at 51.2%, another $1 billion in recyclable cans end up in landfills annually. A few additional factoids from MWMA for those needing some small talk fodder:

The average American drinks 370 beverages in aluminum cans each year; it only takes 60 days to turn the empty cans in your recycling bin into new cans on retailers’ shelves; recycling 40 cans saves the equivalent of one gallon in gasoline; the energy saved by recycling one ton of aluminum could fuel a car that gets 35 mpg for 82,250 miles.

While there may be some debate on whether the city is doing enough in its recycling efforts, it looks like the people of Austin are doing something right!

Cynic or Softy: Socially Responsible Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Valentine's day is a conflicting holiday of which people typically fall into two categories. First, the die hard romantics who thrive on the sentiments that Valentine's day brings. Second, the bitter and cynical few who are quick to blame this "Hallmark" holiday as coprorate conspiracy to increase consumption. Regardless, when it comes to socially conscious gifts of the heart there is something for everyone. The Green Guide recently came out with their list of V-Day gift ideas, and below are some of our favs:

WorldofGood.com: Ethically sourced gifts, housewares and accessories.
Organic Style: Buy Organic Roses and 5% goes to charity.
Furturenatural: For Natural and Organic Pampering.
EconsciousMarket: For gifts that support charities (50% goes to a charity).

Whatever category you fall in, single or coupled, take a moment to appreciate all the loved one's in your life. Or, if you prefer to stay cynical and bitter, at least forego the bon bons and consider curling up with some fair trade chocolate instead.

Via: Naturalpath

Friday, January 25, 2008

Blue Bins Be Gone - New Recyling Progam Hits The Streets

Via: Austinist

For all the avid recyclers out there who are suffering from multiple blue bin clutter, good news is on the way. The City of Austin's Solid Waste Services Department has announced a new program that will replace the blue bins with 90-gallon carts that can be filled with all recyclables, including new items like cereal boxes.

The new recycling plan, set to begin in October and rolled out over three months, coincides with Austin's recent announcement to create a zero-waste plan. The 32 year strategy aspires to reach some lofty goals including plans to reduce the garbage we send to landfills by 20 percent per capita by 2012. The new carts were tested in a pilot program for over 5,000 homes which ultimately increased the amount and frequency they recycled. According to the Statesman:

Under the new system, recycling collection will occur once every two weeks, instead of weekly, which is expected to lead to savings on gasoline and reduce harmful emissions. Also, rather than workers lifting recycling bins manually, newly outfitted trucks will pick up the carts and dump the recycling inside. "We'll be able to recycle more stuff, and we'll be able to pick the equipment up without literally hurting the backs of our crews," Mayfield said. "We're going to be getting more (recycling) at one time, and we're hoping to have the trucks on the streets less."

Streamlined facilities, less congestion on the streets, and more user-friendly carts - sounds like a recycling dream come true!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Eco-Luxury Transportation Comes To Austin

Via: Austinist

While high-end luxury transportation may not always be associated with sustainability, a new limo service is rolling into town to change all that. Clean Air Limo is Austin's first eco-luxury private car service. Traditionally, most limousine companies in Central Texas use Lincoln Town Cars, which get poor gas mileage and have high emissions. Clean Air Limo uses only eco-friendly vehicles in their fleet. According to Charlotte Luongo, President of Clean Air Limo,
The vehicles in our fleet, such as the Lexus RX 400h hybrid, are at least 50% more fuel efficient than a Town Car—that's 50% fewer emissions our vehicles will be releasing into Austin's air." In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, a Lexus RX 400h hybrid that drives 50,000 miles a year will consume almost 1,000 fewer gallons of gasoline than a Lincoln Town Car.

Clean Air Limo will not only include hybrids in their fleet. They will also have vehicles that can run on alternative fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel. Even their Mercedes Benz stretch limousine (shown) will run on biodiesel, making it easy for brides and business people alike to travel in an environmentally friendly style.

While other car services such as Planettran and Ozocar exist in other cities, Clean Air Limo is Austin's first eco-luxury private car service and is committed to minimizing its impact on the environment. So next time you must have the star-studded treatment of a private car service, add some sustainability to the mix and check out Clean Air Limo.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Austin Energy's GreenChoice Program - It's Back!

Via: Austinist

After being closed to new subscribers for a period of time, Austin Energy's GreenChoice program is extending its green arms for Austinites far and wide. Claiming to be the nation's most successful utility-sponsored green power program, GreenChoice is an opportunity to walk the sustainability talk.

In a world of anonymous carbon offsetting claims, Austin Energy's green power flows into Austin from wind turbines in McCarney and Sweetwater, Texas in addition to receiving electricity from several solar installations and three landfill gas projects in Austin and San Antonio.

So how does it work? By subscribing to the program, you will receive a charge of 5.5 cents per kWh which is fixed until December 31, 2022 (compared to the fuel charge of 3.65 cents per kWh). In short, the average residential customer consuming about 1,000 kWh per month wil pay about $18.50 more per month for GreenChoice power. But before you get in a monetary tizzy, take a moment to look at the bigger green picture.

As natural gas and fossil fuel prices continue to rise, an investment in GreenChoice decreases our reliance on these sources and will decrease air pollution. Here is the caveat, when you sign up, this does not necessarily mean your individual home or business specifically receives the renewable energy. It is a tried and true community model based on giving to get. According to Austin Energy:

When you subscribe to GreenChoice, Austin Energy contracts for green power to meet your needs. Green power then is delivered to our electric system daily. This means less electricity is needed from natural gas or coal-fired power plants. The green power reaches Austin over the statewide transmission system. Once it enters our system, it mixes with power from the generating plants. This means the electricity generated from "green" sources is not be directed to a specific home or business. Rather, as more customers subscribe to GreenChoice, the proportion of green power in that mix grows larger and larger.

So do your part today and subscribe at Austin Energy or call (512) 972-7548 while there is not a waiting list.

Apple Goes Green - For Real This Time!

Is there anything that Apple can't do? Granted the company received some attacks from a Greenpeace campaign last spring on its proposed claims to going green. But as transparency rules to mitigate any potential greenwashing, the company introduced the MacBook Air. Beyond being ultra lite and ultra cool, it adheres to some pretty potent green claims.

According to the Apple Website:

MacBook Air embodies Apple’s continuing environmental progress. It consumes the least amount of power of any Mac and is also designed with the following features to reduce environmental impact:

  • Highly recyclable aluminum enclosure
  • Mercury-free LCD display with arsenic-free glass
  • PVC-free internal cables
  • Largely recyclable, low-volume packaging
  • Meets ENERGY STAR requirements
  • MacBook Air received a Silver rating from EPEAT

No need to sell me, I drank the apple cool-aid a long time ago....

Via: Naturalpath

Sunday, January 13, 2008

EnviroMedia Establishes Greenwashing Index

Via: Austinist

Just as the F.T.C gathered last week to revisit new guidelines surrounding green marketing claims, Austin's own EnviroMedia has launched the Greenwashing Index (GWI). In a partnership with University of Oregon, consumers can post, review, and assess the credibility of new ads claiming the green word. Volkswagon, BP, and Lexus are among some of the first ads posted.

"We've been witnessing a tidal wave of green advertising over the past year," said EnviroMedia President Kevin Tuerff. "It's our hope the Greenwashing Index will help eradicate bad environmental marketing claims and, at the same time, shed a positive light on companies making measurable reductions in carbon emissions related to climate change."

The GWI scoring index is based on five factors that will guide consumers in the rating process. These range from using ads or graphics in a misleading way to exaggerating greenness.

Bringing transparency to a new level, the GWI is a user-friendly tool that empowers skeptics of greenwashing to take action, create better informed consumers, and bring a new level of accountability to corporations claiming green good. The GWI and the F.T.C's scrutiny of carbon offset programs are two critical steps that help make sure individuals and corporations are putting their "green" where it counts.