Sarah Backhouse

Sarah Backhouse

Ethnically ambiguous with the accent to prove it, I’m thrilled to be on the cutting edge of this brave, new green world.

Major Retailers on Board For Sustainable Bedding

westelm organics 001 Major Retailers on Board For Sustainable Bedding

During her high-diva heyday, J.Lo reportedly demanded 600 thread-count sheets in her hotel rooms (maybe impending motherhood has mellowed her). But you know what? I get it. There’s nothing like that feeling of freshly laundered sheets and, generally speaking, the higher the number of threads per square inch, the softer the sheet.

But we shouldn’t be focusing on thread count alone. There are other fabulous developments in world of bedding worthy of our (and J.Lo’s) demands. Like sustainable, healthier fabrics such as bamboo and organic cotton.

Luckily, the home wear suppliers are catching on to our inner divas and stocking up on all manner of eco-luxe products. My favorites include West Elm’s pleated duvet cover and shams in organic cotton and their bamboo/cotton sheet set, as well as Pottery Barn’s waffle weave blanket and hemstitch duvet cover and sham (both in organic cotton).

westelm organics 003 Major Retailers on Board For Sustainable Bedding

It’s good to know the majors in home wear are catching on to what we’ve known all along: that healthy living is not just for the earthy crunchy.

So, get in touch with your inner diva and demand the best in bedding. Your body and the planet with thank you. Good night and good luck.

Alec Baldwin Urges Canada to Keep Water

alec baldwin waterkeeper 001 Alec Baldwin Urges Canada to Keep Water

Founded in 1999 and based out of New York, the Waterkeeper Alliance is the fastest growing grassroots environment movement in the world. According to its site, the organization unites and co-ordinates all Waterkeeper organizations in the protection of “rivers, lakes, bays, sounds, and other waterbodies around the world.”

It also inspires cool events like the Banff Spring Celebrity Sports Invitational for the Robert Kennedy Jr. Waterkeeper Alliance. (Phew, they really need to get a shorter title.) Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Angelina Jolie Visits Iraq

angelinajolievisitsiraq Angelina Jolie Visits Iraq

If she weren’t drop dead gorgeous, you’d almost forget that Angelina Jolie is most famous for being an Oscar-winning actress. Why? Because her role as a Goodwill Ambassador United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) dwarfs her contribution to the entertainment industry. I mean let’s face it, movies don’t save lives — they merely prolong them.

Jolie recently visited Iraq on a humanitarian mission, where she met with top U.S. officials and locals to discuss the crisis taking place on the ground. In an interview with CNN’s Arwa Damon she said, “In my research before I came here I looked at the numbers and there are 4 million people displaced. Of the two million internally displaced, it’s estimated 58 percent are under 12 years old. It’s a very high number of people in a very, very vulnerable situation and a lot of young kids.

angelina jolie visits iraq Angelina Jolie Visits Iraq

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New Mammals Found in Indonesia

new species 0011 New Mammals Found in Indonesia

With all the depressing news of species extinction, it’s wonderful to receive some good news — that two new species have been discovered in Indonesia. Especially when one of the species is none other than a… giant rat. (I know, I was hoping it was a new breed of polar bear too, but it is a new species, so let’s get excited, people.)

The other is more photo-op friendly — a tiny possum.

Both were discovered by scientists on a recent expedition to the virtually untouched Foja Mountains, which is located in an extremely remote part of western New Guinea. Vice President of Conservation International (CI) and expedition leader Bruce Beehler, says, “It’s comforting to know that there is a place on earth so isolated that it remains the absolute realm of wild nature. We were pleased to see that this little piece of Eden remains as pristine and enchanting as it was when we first visited”.

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Nicole Richie, Smart Mom?

nicole richie pregnat Nicole Richie, Smart Mom?

Some celebrities don’t handle their newfound role of motherhood very well. Examples of this might include: driving with a child on your lap, behaving erratically or even handing over custody of your children to a man who wears cornrows. Others seem better equipped for the job.

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Good On Paper | Good For the Environment

good on paper Good On Paper | Good For the Environment

I’m obsessed with stationery. As a card enthusiast, I’m always astounded to see people buying cards at supermarkets or pharmacies. What’s up with that? All that horrible Hallmarky, design anarchy. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

The Flying Cow (Minus the Leather)

flying cow shoes The Flying Cow (Minus the Leather)

Shoes and Italy. These two words are very comforting to me. Just like rhubarb and custard or “24” and TiVo, they go together well. Two words that don’t sit well (in the fashion world anyway) are leather and fur. That’s the belief held by Bologna-based ethical shoe company, The Flying Cow Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Tom Cruise Makes Liars of the EPA

tom cruise epa Tom Cruise Makes Liars of the EPA

There’s been so much “Tom Cruise is nuts” fodder that he’s almost unfair game. This week, more news broke of the Mission Impossible star’s excitable antics. This time, the focus of his energy wasn’t Brooke Shields, Paramount, Oprah’s couch or other SPs (suppressive people). It was the EPA.

Cruise branded the Environmental Protection Agency liars for declaring the air was clean in the aftermath of 9/11. In a Scientology promotional video filmed in 2004, Tom, clad in a dramatic black turtleneck, said “The EPA came out and said the air was clean. Of course, as a Scientologist you go, that’s a lie. Outright lie. Liar. Fine”.

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The Vendace | Britain’s Rarest Fish?

vendace 011 The Vendace | Britain’s Rarest Fish?

According to Webster’s, the Vendace is “a European lake whitefish (Coregonus Willughbii, or C. Vandesius), native of certain lakes in Scotland and England. It is regarded as a delicate food fish.” Seeing as how this entry comes from the 1913 edition, Webster is forgiven for not adding the fact that this fish dating back to the ice age could be on the brink of extinction.

The two remaining vendace populations are in Derwentwater and Bassethwaite, but it’s the latter where the fish could be facing extinction — according to Dr Ian Winfieldorf of Lancaster’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (via News & Star), who has recently embarked on “night-filming forays in freezing water conditions…to find evidence of Britain’s rarest fish”.

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Filed Under Green Report / Media Tags

Child Labor | The High Cost of Cotton

child slave labor cotton industry 01 Child Labor | The High Cost of Cotton

Just in case you thought it was okay to buy non-organic cotton, here’s a wakeup call: the workers sowing, picking, weeding, hoeing, cross-pollinating and carrying the heavy bundles of cotton are often… children. And I’m not talking about kids working their way through college. A report published by the Environmental Justice Foundation estimates that one million children are working 12-hour days earning $2 per day, if anything, to satiate demand for a global industry worth $40 billion.

“China, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Uzbekistan and Turkey – six of world’s top seven producers – have been reported to use child labor in cotton fields,” stated a recent press release. These children forgo their education and health to carry out the backbreaking work in extremes of temperature, many suffering physical, verbal and sexual abuse.

child slave labor cotton industry 02 Child Labor | The High Cost of Cotton

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Laysan Duck | From Rare to Bountiful

laysan duck1 Laysan Duck | From Rare to Bountiful

 Laysan Duck | From Rare to BountifulIn an age when species are sadly becoming extinct faster than you can say plum sauce, it’s pleasing to bring news of a regeneration. The Laysan teal, the world’s most endangered duck, has found a new home away from predators and is currently enjoying a population boom Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Fin | Norway Eco Luxe HQ

finoslo eco fashion 02 Fin | Norway Eco Luxe HQ

The last word on Scandinavian eco-luxury has got to be FIN. This socially conscious label, which already enjoys a firm following in its native Norway, will be rocking the runways of London’s fashion week next month. With an ethical spin on timeless classics like trench coats, asymmetrical dresses, pencil skirts, tuxedo blouses and denim, FIN would be a welcome addition to any fashionista’s capsule wardrobe Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

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