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Posts Tagged ‘green products’

Hello Spinach Fans!  My name’s Aaron, El Peatón, and I’ll be joining my fellow Spinach heads here on the blog.  As you’ve probably already noticed, we here at Spinach like to share all things happening in the greenosphere, and try to do so in the most lighthearted and friendly way possible   We provide you breaking news, environmental trends and tips on how to make your life a little greener.  I plan to bring some urban issues to the Spinach table, and hope to cover topics such as sustainable transportation, greener urban development, and general topics affecting those of us living in and around cities.  But, to kick things off, I wanted to share something I think many of you (I know the Spinach Team will), may find useful as we enter the Holidays.  A Green Boozing Guide!

Yes, the Holidays are a time to give, spend time with friends, family and loved ones, reminisce on the year’s events, and be thankful for everything we have going for ourselves.  But it is also the time for indulging in libations.  So, what could be better than getting your drink on with friends and family this holiday season?  Why, doing it by being green of course!  Below is a list (by no means complete) of a few of the breweries, wineries, and liquor distilleries that do their best to provide you with something good to drink without stepping all over the planet.  I hope you find this list useful.  And remember, you can do your part and make green choices while having a good time.  Cheers!

BEER

1.   New Belgium Brewing: Fort Collins, CO

All of the brewery’s energy needs come from its on-site wastewater treatment facility as well as wind energy.  New Belgium is a strong bicycle advocate, and even included planet Earth as a stakeholder in its strategic planning!

Ranger IPA

New Belgium’s Ranger IPA

2.   Bison Brewing: Berkeley, CA

Touting USDA-certified organic ingredients, an energy grid comprised of renewables, and resource saving brewing practices, Bison Brewing is a green-brew fan’s best friend.

Bison Brewing's Gingerbread Ale

Bison Brewing’s Gingerbread Ale

3.   Peak Organic Brewing Company: Portland, ME

Like Bison Brewing, Peak Organic sources all of its ingredients locally and organically.  The brewery has also given back to the community, working closely with local farmers to bring organic commercial grade hops back to Maine, the first time in the state since 1880.

Peak-Organic-King-Crimson

Peak Organic’s King Crimson Imperial Red Ale

4.   Brooklyn Brewery: Brooklyn, NY

The first brewery in New York City to purchase 100% of its energy needs from wind farms, Brooklyn Brewery strongly stands by its commitment to sustainability.  Awesome beer, with out the CO2!

brooklyn-lager

Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Lager

5.   Full Sail Brewing Company: Hood River, OR

Preferring the term “responsible” rather than “sustainable”, Full Sail Brewing Company was thinking about the planet when it set up shop in 1987.  Repurposing a derelict canning facility, a waste-water treatment plant on-site, all beer making by-product used as animal feed locally, and using 100% recycled materials in all of its packaging are only a few of the many weapons in Full Sail’s sustainability arsenal.

Full_Sail_amber-bottle-pint

Full Sail Brewing Company’s Amber Ale

Wine

1.   Alma Roas Winery: Buellton, CA

Award winning wines that are certified organic and grown using sustainable agriculture practices.

Alma Rosa Winery's 2008 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

Alma Rosa Winery’s 2008 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

2.   Stratus Winery: Niagara, ON

Featuring the fist LEED-certified  winery in North America, Stratus Winery embodies what it means to be green.  The facility also uses geothermal heating and cooling, uses recycled materials in the construction, and even has a staff bike room and Prius!!

Stratus Winery's Assemblage Red Wine, a mixture Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Gamay and Syrah

Stratus Winery’s assemblage’ red wine, a mixture Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Gamay and Syrah

3.   Rodney Strong Vineyards: Healdsburg, CA

As if going 100% solar energy powered back in 2005 wasn’t enough, Rodney Strong Vineyards went a step further, and installed a 766-Kilowatt solar array on its own property.  The vineyard now produces all of its own energy, plus provides solar energy to the grid, enough to power nearly 800 homes per day!

Rodney Strong Vineyard's 2009 Sauvignon Blanc

Rodney Strong Vineyard’s 2009 Sauvignon Blanc

Spirits

Alcohol Giant Diageo is in the process of building a bioenergy plant at it’s Glenlossie distillery in Scotland.  The plant will produce steam that will help power the distillery, as well as animal feed from the distillery by-product not suitable for energy production.  The plant is estimated to keep nearly 6,000 of CO2 out of the atmosphere every year, the equivalent of removing 1,134 cars of the road.  Diageo’s brands include Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray, and Smirnoff.

Johnnie Walker Red Label

Johnnie Walker Red Label

Tanqueray

Tanqueray

Smirnoff

Smirnoff

If you’ve got a favorite green libation, let us know, and we’ll do our best to add it to the list.  Thanks for reading, and go out there enjoy the Holidays, without feeling bad about it!

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For those of you who aren’t in DC these days, or weren’t this past week, I advise you: stay away. There are interns, and it is really, really unpleasantly hot outside.  Summer is officially here.

Image

And his interns. JUST KIDDING, guys. I love everyone!

OK, so in reality, I love DC summers.  DC summers mean biking to work every day, rooftop bars,  backyard barbecues and balcony barbecues, poolside brunches, Jazz in the Garden, outdoor movies, and, you get the idea. It’s summer, and we’re going outside, damnit!

Which is great, except if you’re like me and your family history includes every single form of skin cancer known to mankind, and probably a few that they just haven’t discovered yet.  Enter sunscreen, that wonderful stuff that you use to give yourself a sunburn in the shape of a smiley face while preventing wrinkles, cancer, and unhappy moments when your friend tries to give you a hug the day you get back from your beach vacation.

I will admit openly that I’m not always an eco-products-exclusive consumer when it comes to beauty & skin care.  This, according to some sources, is putting vanity before health.  Anything that you put on your skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream, and while it’s very low-dose, the long term risks of that low-dose exposure might be worth worrying about.  I don’t know for certain- I’m not a doctor or a public health professional. But, some product types are worse than others in terms of containing potentially harmful and unregulated chemicals, and unfortunately, there are people who think sunscreen belongs on the no-no list. Concerns have been raised about whether we’re doing ourselves more harm than good – not to mention the fact that sunscreen isn’t the best thing for mother Earth when it runs down the drain or when we throw the tube away.  Sunscreens have even been named as a cause of coal bleaching when snorkelers or divers use them underwater.  Yikes.

So what’s a sun-worshiping girl (or guy) to do? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) runs a site called Skin Deep that ranks beauty and skin care products based on chemicals they contain and potential health risks.  Their section on sunscreen has been updated for summer, and has some articles where you can learn about the risks and weigh them yourself. But, if you want to cut right to the chase, you can always invest in an eco-friendly brand.  Many cost more than conventional sunscreens (sorry), but have been tested and shown to be effective and friendly for your skin and for the Earth.

According to justlivegreener.com, an eco-blog, Badger brand came out on top, followed by California Baby, Loving Naturals, and Purple Prairie BotanicalsEcoSalon has a list as well, topped by Kimberly Sayer brand, Cucumber Face by Coola, Korres, and Aveda. The reviews for each contain some more detail about which ones are fully organic and which are not, what they smell like (important to some), and how they performed for testers.

For more information and/or reviews, some more resource are below:

– WiseGeek on what is green sunscreen

– A Grist rundown of environmentally friendly sunblock

TheChicEcologist on ecofriendly skin care

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Hold onto your hats for this announcement.  NASCAR fans are in for some environmental education.  Not the sit down classroom kind, but the kind that provides resources on recycling, green products, and sustainability (just what The Green Light loves) at its races.  Last week, NASCAR and EPA signed an agreement to promote environmental awareness at NASCAR events and to work together on solutions that benefit the environment (can hybrids hit the same speeds as race cars?).  Perhaps the next Fast & Furious film will include hybrid race cars – they are making a F&F 6!  Maybe it will include this Porsche electric race car?

Mobil appears to be a fan of electric race cars

That aside, the announcement is exciting (despite the immediate fan backlash in the comments section on the NASCAR press release).  NASCAR is the second most popular sport in the U.S. to football, which is a very large fan base!  Initial practices under this agreement will include:

information on sustainable concessions at NASCAR events, expanding the use of DfE-labeled chemical products, conserving water, and continuing to grow the promotion and practice of all applicable types of recycling.

Additionally, NASCAR is committed to adopting greener products and to reducing its footprint such as proper recycling of automotive fluids.  Congrats to NASCAR and EPA on reaching this agreement; I too believe that if you show the benefits of sustainable practices it can save people and businesses money and protect your health.  Cheers.

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