Over the weekend South Africans joined the global call for Levi's to Detox. Over 700 activists in over 80 cities around the world made their voices heard and demanded that Levi's eliminate all hazardous chemicals from its clothing and supply chains.
You are now reading our last issue of the year and my usual Christmas message is that of gratitude.
Zara, the world’s largest clothing retailer, today announced a commitment to go toxic-free following nine days of intense public pressure. This win belongs to the fashion-lovers, activists, bloggers and denizens of social media. This is people power in action.
As a savvy consumer, you will probably be a bit sceptical about the claims made by brands these days. eLabel is an independent source of information about consumer products.
Now conscientious shoppers can make use of durable shopping bags made entirely from recycled PET plastic – ticking ALL the boxes for the greenest shopper ever.
“If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals,” said Albert Einstein.
The results of the Fairlady Consumer Awards, which were recently announced in the April issue of the magazine, reflect the growing trend of South African consumers' movement towards choosing greener and more sustainable alternatives where possible.
Soylite Moisturising Candles took top honours in the Health & Wellness category; and Healing Earth Marula and Rose Face Serum scored top marks as the Best South African Product overall.
Businesses are moving towards greener initiatives. Not only are people starting to choose more environmentally friendly options, but our earth is demanding it. Green Times attended a consumer awareness workshop hosted by the Marine Stewardship Council at Intakaisland, where the effects of South African consumers' changing needs were discussed.
On 30 March 2011 a first meeting to attempt to ban plastic bags from South Africa was held at the Two Oceans' Aquarium in Cape Town. 'The plastic bag we want banned is the checkout bag at supermarkets. Cashiers just hand them to you and ask: would you like a bag?' says Haly McLellan, senior bird trainer at the Aquarium and initiator of the Ban the bag campaign. 'My ideal is that legislation in government will help to shape human behaviour. This is not a 'smear the bag campaign', this is thinking compassionately about the environment.'
Greenpeace greener electronic ranking has shown how actions speak louder than words for the electronics industry as Philips and HP introduce new transformative products, but Toshiba and Microsoft fail to act on promises
The latest edition of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics (www.greenpeace.org/electronics) shows significant separation between companies that are failing to keep their environmental commitments and those that are making significant gains in phasing out toxic chemicals, increasing energy efficiency, and making it easier for consumers to recycle older products.
Pick n Pay is now offering wine bottled in plastic - to be correct, PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate). There are considerable benefits to using PET bottles for wine. They are light-weight and therefore significantly more eco-friendly as they require less energy to produce.
Traditionally, PET was used for sporting events or in-flight catering, where there is a very fast turnover. Now with a new oxygen barrier technology, it is possible to achieve a significantly longer shelf life, making it ideal for wine products.
The greenest candles in the country ' Soylites Candles - landed the license as the official candle range for the FIFA World Cup. SoyLites are our country's first specialists in hand-poured and scented Soybean Massage and Moisturising Candles.
All FIFA long burning candles will be poured into re-usable glass or travel metal containers (with lids) and branded with various FIFA logos and marks using either screen printing or high quality digital stickers.
Jane Iredale The Skin Care MakeupÂ® is the official makeup sponsor of this year's Miss Earth South Africa in association with Consol. With a focus on healthy skin, avoiding toxins and pollutants, this natural, environmentally conscious cosmetics range creates a perfect synergy with the Miss Earth SA initiative, which aims to empower young South African women with the knowledge and platform to create a sustainable difference through environmental work. Michelle Mountain, the brand ambassador and importer for the jane iredale brand in South Africa, says; 'We are thrilled to be part of such an inspiring initiative. Through our involvement we hope to motivate young women to not only promote awareness for the preservation of our environment, but also to lead by example through following a natural, healthy lifestyle and demonstrating that it is possible to be glamorous, gorgeous and 'green'!'
...any fresher and pigs might fly.
Porter's is a fresh food market, no mistake. The smell of moer koffie and bacon greet you. 'We styled it after old European markets where people come to hand-select fresh produce and catch up with friends,' said Gail Coetzee, the market manager, in a polo-neck jersey with her hair in a pony tail. 'About a quarter of the stalls are organic ' our policy is 'as natural as possible.'' The market is in a woodsy setting that attracts urbanites like flies. It's interesting how we long for Nature and to feel that we are getting out of doors and out of town. But even if it's the new urban shopping trend, and a little bit pretend, it's a positive move. Gail and her restaurateur clan started Porter's 3 years ago when they began having kids and wanted a place in Nature to take them. They leased a field on the Porter Farm in Tokai and put up the infrastructure ' wooden stalls, rustic tables, and a huge sandpit. Today cyclists are having a health breakfast, people are browsing with dogs and children, and everyone is choosing home-made food for a cold weekend.
Green terms like sustainable, organic and eco-friendly appear everywhere. At sea in all this greenspeak, how can we tell real claims from false? You may not be familiar with the term 'greenwashing' but you will have experienced it ' misleading marketing about the environmental benefits of a service or product.
As the environment emerged as an issue in the 70s, so going green became big business and companies were eager to be associated with saving the environment. In some cases the company's green image is patently false; in most cases companies are involved in 'random acts of greenness' such as tweaking policies, practices and products; and in some cases companies are truly green and are implementing systemic changes.
Are there still people out there who think the green consumer is odd? Actually, we are no longer standing on the edges of society, nor are we regarded as the new-age fringe. Today, demanding green and ethical products is the strongest driver in consumerism.
Are there still people out there who think the green consumer is odd? Actually, we are no longer standing on the edges of society, nor are we regarded as the new-age fringe. Today demanding green and ethical products is the strongest driver in consumerism. To establish the impact of your shopping on your body, the earth and her creatures, a couple of questions beg answering, such as'
What's inside this product? Read the labels and avoid chemicals ' codes, numbers and abbreviations like MSG as well as preservatives and colourants. Also avoid petrochemical byproducts ' see the complete list of unwanted ingredients elsewhere on this page.
How was it produced ' is it organic or were pesticides involved in the growing process?
How were staff treated in the production process? Now we're looking at the fair trade principle, as well as organic, as staff are protected from working with harmful substances.
'Just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy, a famous rabbi once said. It was one of those days, sky-blue and bounding with life, when I drove out to Stellenbosch to visit the Organic Farmers Market. The first thing I smelled was vanilla pods; the first thing I tasted was freshly juiced carrot and ginger. How much of life lies in the details, in getting off the train track and opening up to what is before us.