Stuff I saw at this weekend's Green Festival that I would buy if I had more money:
• An organic mattress, perhaps like those at OMI's booth. Or maybe from somewhere else—I haven't really researched this topic in depth yet—but all I know is that my current one is old and probably contains nasty flame retardants.
• Replacements for my old mercury-containing amalgam tooth fillings from a green dentist like this one. The person I spoke with at their booth told me that the company donates 10% of its profits to charity—that's an impressive figure!
• A soda maker from SodaStream. I love the idea that I could be making my own San Pellegrino using the water that comes out of the tap instead of buying it in those big plastic bottles, which don't even keep the stuff fizzy for as long as I have them in my fridge. On second thought, though, our counter space is already pretty limited, and we don't use sparkling water all that often...
• Lots of bars from Chocolate Conspiracy, two sweet guys from Utah who make delicous raw chocolate. The Wild Spice Bar is to die for.
Rubber can be a pretty dirty industry. I recently learned that Bridgestone Firestone’s tires come to us thanks to alleged labor exploitation on rubber plantations in Liberia (more info can be found here, here, and here).
I don’t know if most condom brands are made from unethically harvested rubber—that’s a research project for another day—but French Letter’s offerings seem particularly socially responsible: they carry the Fair Deal Trading logo (similar to fair trade) and are made from rubber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
So when Cupid’s arrow strikes this Valentine’s Day, amorous ethical consumers can make their love spread far and wide.
December 2010 I haven't actually bought anything from Po-Zu yet, but I appreciate their awareness of the fact that many vegan shoes are made of petroleum products and aren't necessarily better for the environment than leather footwear. Po-Zu seems to set a high bar for itself when it comes to ingredients and supply chains.
March 2010 After running out of dish soap, I started using our good old bars of Sappo Hill out of necessity. But you know what? Our dishes are just as clean, and when I pick up the soap at our grocery store, the only packaging on the bars is the price tag. And did I mention the soap is awesome? We love the oatmeal bar.
February 2010 TMI alert: If you're a squeamish guy, read no further. I'm done with tampons! Instead, I'm using the DivaCup.
January 2010 Mr. Wallet Mouth and I both love Pact. Its underwear is made of organic cotton, and the company donates 10% of its sales to worthy environmental causes. Not only that, but the company is serious about eco-friendly packaging. Each pair of undies comes not in a plastic bag but in a little cloth pouch made from fabric remnants. I'm also impressed with how responsive Pact is over email; when I asked a packaging question, I got a nice reply from the CEO.
December 2009 After reading about Skoy Cloths, the biodegradable paper-towel alternative, on Fake Plastic Fish, I bought a bunch for stocking stuffers and my own kitchen, and I'm now a fan. They're lasting a long time, despite repeated washings in the laundry, and they arrive with minimal packaging.
October 2009 I was already of fan of Straus yogurt (see June 2007), but now I love it even more. According to Michael Straus, a son of the company's founder, Straus yogurt "is made, cooled, and set in stainless-steel vats, unlike most yogurts, which are poured while still hot into plastic cups to cool and set." As someone who's concerned about plastics and chemical safety, I'm happy to hear that!
July 2009 I'm using a lot more baking soda now that I'm making more of an effort to clean the house in a nontoxic way. But from now on I'll be buying Bob's Red Mill, since Arm & Hammer engages in animal testing.
July 2008 Started feeling extra-good about buying one of my fave meat substitutes, Tofurky, after learning that its maker, Turtle Island Foods, is an independent, family-owned company (Unlike Boca Foods, which is a subsidiary of Kraft, and Morningstar, which is owned by Kellogg).
April 2008 I'm going to start buying my canned beans from Eden Foods, for two reasons: it uses custom-made cans that don't contain bisphenol A, and it's an independent, family-operated company.
February 2008 From now on, whenever I order takeout or ask for a doggy bag, I’ll make sure to avoid #6 polystyrene containers (and, of course, Styrofoam).