Archive for February, 2010

Dirty Dry Cleaning!

Posted in inside slice with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by Sustainable Choice

Indeed, it is nice to have something fresh and clean and ready to wear from the dry cleaners…but then again, there is that peculiar smell…not quite fresh and in fact, perhaps a little disturbing.  Well it turns out (surprise, surprise) that is should be disturbing, because it just may well cause cancer, along with a spew of other health concerns.

A recent study from the National Academy of Science states  “Tetrachloroethylene — also known as perchloroethylene, PCE, or PERC — is a dry-cleaning solvent that is found as a contaminant in the air, groundwater, surface waters, and soil.  In humans it can damage the nervous and reproductive systems, liver, and kidneys and is a likely carcinogen.  People are mostly exposed to PERC by breathing it in the air, but exposure can also occur by ingestion or skin contact’.  (For complete press release go to:http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12863)

Newer methods are slowing evolving but 90% of dry cleaners currently use PERC.  You best options are to:

1: avoid clothing that requires dry cleaning

or in the case that just must have that cashmere or oh so sharp 3 piece…

2: find an eco cleaner

The following site has a data base of eco cleaners!  http://nodryclean.com/

Remember though, even the eco cleaners require a lot of energy etc.(check out this video on the eco cleaning process, it is a bit cheesy but will give you a good grip on the process: http://video.about.com/greenliving/The-Green-Dry-Cleaning-Method.htm)  so you’re better off finding those sweet things that prefer to be washed at home!

Valentine’s juicy jewelry, lingerie, chocolate & flowers…

Posted in main squeeze with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2010 by Sustainable Choice

Holidays are a wonderful opportunity to take a little breath (or try and catch it) and think about our consumer choices.  Valentines, in particular, offers a great opportunity to shift into sustainable shopping!  So many of the most common Valentine’s categories (Jewelry, Lingerie, Chocolate & Flowers!) are laden with a heavy back end in regards to the real cost of production (ironic, huh? as this is supposed to be the holiday of LOVE!).   So let’s give up the love all around and find something that was loved while being made and that your loved one will love!

Below you will find popular Valentine categories with bright alternatives following a brief bit of your daily juice about the dark side of the category.

Jewelry:  Always ask for diamonds that are “conflict-free!”  Many of the minerals (even besides diamonds!) in jewelry are behind several ongoing conflicts in Africa and particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Some of the biggies are cobalt, diamonds, gold, cassiterite, copper, tin and coltan. “Conflict-free” diamonds are now available as mitigated by the Kimberly Process.   Check out this link to learn more about minerals and conflicts:  http://www.globalpolicy.org/the-dark-side-of-natural-resources/minerals-in-conflict.html

There are some very bright alternatives to bad juju jewelry with excellent quality warables being made from reclaimed, sustainable or conflict free materials!  Check out these fine purveyors:

Leber Jeweler        www.leberjeweler.com
Brilliant Earth       www.brilliantearth.com
Encanto Jewels     http://encantojewels.com
Green Karat           www.greenkarat.com
Sumiche                 www.sumiche.com

Lingerie: Can you say Kathie Lee all over again!  I mean, let’s just agree right here and now that children should not be making your lingerie (ick!)!  Instead of going into the sweatshop ramble, without even mentioning the environmental side of things,  lets just instead support these sweet and sexy lingerie boutiques that are really doing it right!

Green Cheeks     www.greencheeksboutique.com
g=9.8  (hot!)         http://g98.fr/
Enamore              http://www.enamore.co.uk/onlineshop/product_info.php?cPath=1_108&products_id=742

P.S. In case you can’t resist Victoria’s dark Secret:

http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:X5SWRumptUUJ:video.aol.in/video-detail/lingerie-giant-victorias-secret-in-sweatshop-row/673329624+sweatshop+lingerie&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Chocolate: Yum, yum, yum! Buy Organic, buy Fair!!!  Now a days it’s pretty easy to find chocolate made the right way.  But bad chocolate (i know it’s hard to believe there is such a thing but…) really is just that, it takes a major toll on both the environment and the producers.  We can do better people.  There are numerous fair trade and organic certifications available in this category now.  many grocery stores and even corner stores will carry at least one fair trade/organic option and if that’s not the case in your community then don’t fear, the internet IS your friend!

To learn more on why Fair Trade and Organic is so important:  http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/

For the goods: Just look for Fair Trade and Organic wherever you buy or for chocolate gift boxes:

http://www.globalexchangestore.org/SearchResults.asp?Cat=38

…and don’t forget the FLOWERS!

Flowers: Flowers can fall in the the very stinky sweatshop category all to easily!  The nvironmental toll of acre upon acre of pesticides on flower farms has degragaded a many a stream around the world.  Fair Trade or LOCAL (meet the grower on nice day at your farmers market) flowers offer you a much BETTER option.

Get ‘em:

Flowers: http://www.transfairusa.org/content/flowers/

or for a farmers market near you: http://www.localharvest.org/

Go out and spread the love, I mean, even if you don’t have someone to share the, almost always weighted, big day with….know that you can spread some of your love around just buy thinking  a bit about how to treat yourself (and thus others!)!

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