Monday, September 24, 2012

Help us what?

Don't worry. When the Earth is destroyed, we can join Newt Gingrich on the moon. Well, the 1% anyway.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Hidden Effects of Palm Oil

Well, I am finally getting around to posting something. Rutgers has sole ownership of my life once again. So, my apologies to anyone who reads this (all 3 or 4 of you).

I wanted to share something a friend of mine posted on her Facebook (thanks Kelly). The Philadelphia Zoo has started a campaign to help raise awareness about the effects of the palm oil industry on deforestation and orangutan populations called the UNLESS Campaign. Many people are not aware of just how many products contain palm oil. It's in food of course, but also in things you may not think about like shampoos and cleaning products. And we don't directly see the effects from harvesting it because it occurs in Southeast Asia. However, palm oil, which comes from the oil palm plant, is the most widely produced vegetable oil and in the last decade, 80% of deforestation in Sumatra was caused by expanding non-sustainable palm oil plantations, according to the campaign. You see where this is going... no forests, no place for orangutans to live or find food, no orangutans... not to mention other animals like the Sumatran tiger.
the oil palm plant
Palm oil can be grown in a sustainable manner though. It is already being done, but only 52% of the available supply is being used. The people at the UNLESS Campaign say, "Without an increase in usage, growers could return to non-sustainable practices. By raising awareness of the close connection between palm oil and orangutans, we can help drive the demand for sustainable palm oil in the U.S. that will save habitat in Sumatra and Borneo." Therefore, it's important to know what you are buying. Check the ingredients for palm oil and find out which companies use sustainable palm oil and which don't. Usually the ingredient is not listed as "palm oil," but as a chemical derivative. Some ingredients to be aware of are palmitate, palmate, palm kernal oil (PKO), sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and sodium dodecyl sulfate (the last few are often found in shampoos). Here's a list of just some companies committed to using sustainable palm oil: Avon Products, Inc., Colgate-Palmolive Company, ConAgra Foods, H.J. Heinz Company, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Co., Kraft Foods Inc., L’Oréal, McDonald’s, Nestlé, P&G (Procter & Gamble), PepsiCo Inc., S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Seventh Generation, The Body Shop, The Hershey Company, Unilever, and Walmart (private label products). For a complete list, go to
To learn more and see what you can do, watch this video and visit the UNLESS Campaign's website at

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fashion Website

eco-friendly fashion from Osklen, a brand
by designer Oskar Metsavaht is a cool website that lists hundreds of eco-friendly clothing and accessory companies. When you click on a company, it brings you to a page with information about the company and provides a link to their website. Some companies tell you where you can buy their clothing and others allow you to order their products online. You can search by brand, country, or type of clothing. It's not just women's clothing either... many brands also have clothing for men, kids, and babies. If anything, it's fun to look at clothes for a little while.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Green Team

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge Yankees fan, so I am always happy to go to a game. I hadn't been to one in a while, but I finally made the trip this past Friday. I was really happy to see the green changes that had taken place since my last visit there. Yankee Stadium now has bins for trash, recycling, AND composting. That keeps a lot of food waste out of landfills. They're also using beverage cups made of biodegradable material instead of plastic. All their paper products are recyclable... not wax-coated and such. Their goal is to divert at least 40% of their waste from landfills. They've been taking other green initiatives such as recycling cooking oil into biodiesel, installing water-saving toilets, using energy-saving lighting, and buying carbon offsets. I was almost as excited to learn about this as I was to see Derek Jeter... ok well, not that excited. I have an unhealthy obsession.
waste bins at Yankee Stadium