Consumers drive America’s economy and very often advertising drives consumers. We are beginning to see a shift in that model as conscientious buyers, lead the way to healthier products and practices, by making choices that aren’t driven by mainstream media. Millions have made change in their lifestyles. Those changes are translating into a social shift in the marketplace.
Whether we focus on foods or fashions, transportation or trade, the way we spend our dollars has created a booming new industry of Greener choices. Every dollar sends a vote to the market and Green voices are growing louder. Green consumers are the wave of the future and the corporate world is working to win your support. On the other hand the corporate world is paying for Congressional support. Our voices are not yet a force in the legislative arena.
We know democracy is based on the idea that government must serve the public interest. Unfortunately, money talks and corporate interests have gotten much better support for their agenda than individuals have. From the standpoint of green consumers with ethical and fair trade policies, the new Millennium has seen monumental progress. Our values are shaping the free markets for the better. It is time to move those better values and practices to Washington.
By electing Members of Congress who support Green Living values, we can make even greater strides in America and around the globe. The first step is to have a clear understanding of our candidates and the policies they really promote. To help identify the candidates positions, Organic Consumers has created a nationwide candidate survey that will profile the contenders.
Years ago, researching the issues surrounding genetically engineered foods, it was hard to find many people who were knowledgeable or informed. Groups like Organic Consumers were trying to spread the word and build support, but the seeds of resistance and awareness were just being sown. As Dylan once sang, “The times they are a changin’” and the worldwide grass roots efforts are becoming a Green Force.
For me, the changes have been a treat on many levels. I no longer feel like part of a fringe cult when I talk about the GMO problems. Millions of others are not only talking about it, they’re doing something. Actually, they’re doing all kinds of things in every corner of the globe. Successful efforts, to promote fair trade and sustainable agriculture, preserve biodiversity, raise awareness and opposition to monoculture-agribusiness-GM crops and promote healthful local foods, are now everywhere.
For the last few months I have been part of a documentary film project that spans the globe covering the individuals and organizations involved in creating the change. We have focused on the battles and victories and the issues have become more personal as the people have shared their stories and touched our lives.
The Reel Deal
The support has been overwhelming and incredibly energizing for a muckraker like me who generally focuses on the transgressions of the biotechs. It is a refreshing change to look at the positive. With appreciation to some of our contributors the focus of this report is the positive news coming from the work they are doing. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Not quite, but stores are already stocked up with fall styles. If you’re like me and not ready to let go of summer, here are a couple transitional eco-fashion pieces — good now, good later, and even good enough to bust out with next spring.
Organic Cotton Bubble Dress by Eco-Ganik
This puffy, hemmed dress with black butterfly detailing comes in a beautiful green for fall. Perfect for an August lunch in flipflops, but when October rolls around you can pair it with boots, leggings, denim jacket and scarf.
To the left, new brown version of the coolest shirt from No Enemy – a great t-shirt company based out of Santa Cruz. Super soft organic cotton with PVC free water based dye. Plus a sweet design- the peace dove rising above two fists.
A brief explanation of the logo:
No Enemy stands for living in peace with all that is. It is not just tolerance, it is a patient face that will search and crinkle its brow for that higher understanding instead of running away, building a wall, or pointing a finger and screaming of demons.
Well said, friends. To the right a self pic of No Enemy founder Paul and me, hanging out at the Eco-Petal event in West Hollywood.
Thanks for the new styles Paul, and for creating an eco-fashionable tee for guys. The hub digs his black version – it’s the first one on after we do laundry. Mostly he loves the look of it (musicians have to have cool t-shirts), but he also wears it cuz replacing one traditional tee with organic saves 1/3 a pound of pesticides.
Two new organic cotton pieces for fall from Stewart + Brown. Above, the Long Sleeve Open Polo featuring a deep neck line. A little longer than your traditional polo with a slightly deeper neckline. Below, the Scoop Neck Thermal Tee, a cozy and sassy piece that can easily be worn with sweats at home or for a casual night out.
Both piece are 100% organic cotton and made in California. Stewart + Brown has super high quality garments you’ll wash and wear over and over again. Well-made, comfy, sassy, and organic.
There’s much to love about these tops designed by eco-friendly Twice Shy: artsy yet sophisticated color combinations, offbeat graphics and 95%-100% organic. The Woods Asymmetrical Batwing Knit is beautifully abstract and (dare I say) poetic enough to wear for work or play.
We were able to speak with Debbie Brosenne at G-living recently and learn about her green fashion designs. Debbie’s past designs include the Alligator Half Sweater and very popular Rebuilt Levi Mini. She’s gone to a whole new level this time. Her newest hit is the Dynasty Dress to the left.
Taking her scissors to froofy old 1980′s dresses, Debbie keeps the good (fabulous colors, off the wall patterns, and long-lasting polyester) and ditches the hideous (shoulder pads, tapered sleeves, you get the point).
It just wouldn’t be a season of summer sales without Summer Bowen, fellow G Fashion blogger and founder/owner of eco-style boutique BTC Elements. If you’re looking for those of-the-moment boho-chic tiered skirts this is where you should look. But here are some other fab finds:
I love this Hula Happiness ruffled skirt. Made from a gorgeous vintage Hawaiian muumuu, this piece will transition beautifully into the fall. Very Anthropologie. On sale for $72.00. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Military Waste in Our Drinking Water
By Sunaura Taylor and Astra Taylor
From AlterNet via Truthout – Friday 04 August 2006
In 1982 our family was living on the southside of Tucson, Ariz., in a primarily working class and Latino neighborhood not far from the airport. That year Sunaura was born with a congenital birth defect known as arthrogryposis, a condition that severely impedes muscle growth and requires her to use an electric wheelchair. On nearby blocks, women were giving birth to babies with physical disabilities and neighbors were dying of cancer at worrisome rates. Over time, we learned that our groundwater was contaminated.
Most of us are vaguely aware that war devastates the environment abroad. The Vietnamese Red Cross counts 150,000 children whose birth defects were caused by their parents’ exposure to Agent Orange. Cancer rates in Iraq are soaring as a result of depleted uranium left from the Gulf War. But what about closer to home?
(picture – Depleted Uranium’ (2003). Oil painting by Sunaura Taylor. You can see more of Sunuara’s work at sunnytaylor.org.)
Today the U.S. military generates over one-third of our nation’s toxic waste, which it disposes of very poorly. The military is one of the most widespread violators of environmental laws. People made ill by this toxic waste are, in effect, victims of war. But they are rarely acknowledged as such.On Sept. 11, 2001, we were living together in New York City. In the months following the attack on the World Trade Center, the media and government routinely informed a fearful citizenry of the importance of clean drinking water. Terrorists, they warned, might contaminate public sources with arsenic. We were instructed to purchase Evian along with our duct tape. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
A background note, to appreciate the report you need to understand the author who the author is and know why his words carry so much weight. Ignacio Chapela, was an assistant professor in the Environmental Science Department at the University of California-Berkeley in 1998, pharmaceutical giant Novartis signed a $25,000,000 deal with Berkeley’s College of Natural Sciences. The university Board closed the deal without the consulting the faculty.
In exchange for the funding, Novartis gained exclusive patent rights to one-third of all of research and direct influence over the specific areas of the college’s research. The corporate control of research was a serious concern for the faculty. Many worried what would happen if their work resulted in discoveries unfavorable to the corporate agenda. Ignacio Chapela would find out that an inconvenient truth would not be tolerated.
Chapela discovered GMO contamination of Mexican maze. The GMO crops were prohibited and he set out to publish his findings in the Journal Nature. The biotechs instantly launched attacks. Their attempts to discredit and silence Chapela read like a dime store crime novel. The implications of censorship sent shockwaves through the research community and the American media maintained its silence as it does with all subjects relating to GMO crops and genetically engineered foods.
Chapela has refused to be silenced and is one of the heroes of the anti-GMO movement. If you would like more about the events surrounding the Monsanto and Novartis attacks on Chapela there are links to good summaries. For Chapela’s position on GMOs here are his position papers. What follows is his report.
Just ask Arturo, the fashion stylist I met at the Yogi Times eco-fashion shoot. For readers who don’t know, stylists are the people in charge of finding the hottest, newest clothes for a photo shoot. They spend days shopping and preparing for the shoot and also make sure the clothes look fabulous in front of the camera (steaming, pinning etc.). To the left, Molly of Yogi Times and I before the day started.