3 posts categorized "Myth Busting"

March 03, 2011

EWG's 2011 Bottled Water Score Card

https://www.startalie.com Still buying bottled water? Check out how your brand stacks up. According to a study by the Environmental Working Group, there are some questions you should ask before shelling out up to 1,900 times more for bottled water than tap water.

  1. Where does the water come from?
  2. Is it purified? How?
  3. Have tests found any contaminants?

According to their study, among the ten top-selling brands, nine (Aquafina, Dasani, Crystal Geyser and 6 of 7 Nestle brands) don't answer at least one of those questions.

Why are these companies so hush-hush about something as simple as water?

"Bottled water companies enjoying this massive commercial success may suspect that their customers would turn away if they knew that most of them draw their product from municipal tap water (BMC 2010, Food and Water Watch 2010), or that the plastics used to make the bottles can be laced with chemical additives that leach into the water (EWG 2008)." - EWG Bottled Water Score Card

With Canada's Bottled Water Free Day just around the corner (March 10th) this is a great time to take the pledge to say NO to bottled water. Filter your own tap water at home, or use a filtering bottle - you'll save money and resources in the process.

For more facts about plastic bottles click here, and check out our selection of safe, reusable water bottles here



January 25, 2011

Who is the CCF & what's their beef with reusable bags?

Berman Recently, several reports have surfaced revealing unsettling lead content in cheap reusable bags sold by many major retailers. We've never carrried the non-woven polypropylene bags featured in the reports, and quickly responded with facts you should show about reusable shopping bags.

We feel it's important to understand where these reports are coming from, and it didn't take much searching to find out who was behind the most recent alarming studies - the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF). 

So who is the CCF? From Wikipedia:

CCF was set up in 1995 by Richard Berman, executive director of the public affairs firm Berman and Company, with $600,000 from the Philip Morris tobacco company. Berman told The Washington Post that CCF is now funded by a coalition of restaurant and food companies as well as some individuals; according to the group's website it is supported by over 100 companies and thousands of individual consumers. Sponsors are reported to include Brinker International, RTM Restaurant Group (the owner of Arby's), Tyson Foods, HMSHost Corp, and Wendy's.

CCF has campaigned against a number of organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and maintains several websites devoted to criticizing them.

According to a story on GreenTech, "In a press statement CCF senior research analyst J. Justin Wilson says 'retailers were goaded into selling these bags' by environmentalists." The result, he went on to say, is an increase in cheap, and possibly unsafe reusables flooding the market.

While we agree that the popularity of cheap reusables, namely 99 cent shopping bags, inevitably does more harm than good, we have to question the motives behind the CCF study.

So what's the good news? In that same story from GreenTech,  we were sited as a source for reusable bags "made of safe, and recycled materials."

Check out our previous post about lead in reusable shopping bags here.

Read more about the problems associated with cheap reusable bags here.

September 29, 2009

Planetary Boundaries: A Safe Operating Space for Humanity aka Wake Up, We're Blowing It


According to a new paper published in the latest issue of Nature called Planetary Boundaries: A Safe Operating Space for Humanity, there are 10 separate biophysical systems crucial to humanity’s flourishing and we've already exceeded three of them. 

In their digest of the article, Grist discusses the notion of "carbon blindness" - the idea that most people see climate change as a single problem with a single solution. (Reducing CO2 in the atmosphere.) As they put it, "... the Nature paper makes clear that as politically, intellectually, or even spiritually inconvenient as it may be, the problem we face is much larger and more systemic than carbon in the air."

There's no doubt that this information is daunting, and knowing that the fate of the world lies squarely on our (its inhabitants) shoulders is humbling to say the least. But as William James said, "Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." Read the paper and ask yourself what you can do to keep the seven other crucial systems as far from the tipping point as possible.

We all have the power to start consuming less right now. Basic steps we promote like taking only what you need, reusing what you have and cutting down disposables. Grist quotes Marshall McLuhan as saying, “There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” And we're inclined to agree.