Monday, August 1, 2016

Green Gear Guide: Travel Edition

Summer in the Big Apple can't be missed. Fresh flowers on every corner, vibrant garden veggies in Union Square, quaint rooftop bars surrounded by endless city lights. What a time to be a New Yorker.

But occasionally, we just need to get away from it all (ahem, the subway can get a bit stifling). Whether it's jet-setting across the coast or road-tripping up north, it's not always easy to keep the green theme going. Luckily for you, we know a little bit about that. And, like always, we're here to help. 

   
So, to all you eco-conscious travelers, this one's for you. Cause getting your green on doesn't take much work. And, with the help of this list - it can be pretty cool, too.

Safe travels, fellow greenies. ☺

1. Once a Billboard, Now a Bag
California-based Rareform is transforming billboards into beauties, upcycling old ads into new bags. Their water-resistant weekender duffle is hand-cut in the Golden State, creating a one-of-a-kind way to gear up in style. (Side note - who would've ever thought the fanny pack would be cool again? Not us, but we just added two of these bad boys to our cart.) Plus, the company donates 1% of all proceeds to preserving and protecting the environment - because there's nothing better than looking good while doing good. Sold.  


2. Rise and Shine
We know what you're thinking. Who needs an alarm clock on vacation? When free breakfast ends at 9, we do. Sausage is calling. Anyway, hunger aside... Bedol's water-powered travel alarm clock is a responsible traveler's dream. The electrodes in the device harvest energy from water to power the LCD screen, making sure you're up in time for a sunrise hike, beachside jog, or... biscuits. Most importantly biscuits. 

   
3. So Fresh and So Clean
How fun is the mini toiletry section at CVS? Everything is so much cuter tiny. Except for pizza, which we prefer extra large and extra cheesy. Regardless, GoToobs are our new go-tos for eco air travel (or mini-lovin' fun in general). These airline approved, reusable & food-safe tubes are made of 100% BPA and PC-free plastic - ideal for making minis out of all your favorite products. Plus, they're perfectly squeezable, leak-proof and have handy dandy space for labeling. We're stockin' up.


4. Hydration Station
38 billion plastic water bottles are tossed each year - and it's Water Bobble's mission to #endthetrend. Today, their sleek yet sustainable products are revolutionizing reusable drinking... and we couldn't be bigger fans. (It doesn't hurt that they've got the catchiest company name around). Motivated by "taste over waste," BPA-free Water Bobbles are made in the good 'ol USA and incorporate their very own filtration systems. Most customers go for the trusty classic, but why not build your own Bobble? Ahh, tap has never been tastier.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Going Green? There’s an App for That!

Let’s be honest. We could all be a little bit nicer to Mother Earth.

Luckily, there’s an app for that. And, not surprisingly – we’ve given them all a whirl.

For the sake of phone storage, we were forced to choose a few of our favorites. Here are the apps that made the cut.

Now, let’s make every day Earth Day. Because it’s the only place we have to live. ☺



Craving a handful of sun-kissed strawberries? How about a bushel of crisp, organic lettuce? Mmmm…sounds like a sweet summer salad in the making! Luckily for you (and your taste buds), Farmstand is here to help. With a list of over 8,700 farmers markets worldwide, this app is your guide to fresh, local produce – complete with community photos, directions, open times and more. Your new favorite market – and your strawberry salad – awaits.



Being in the pizza industry, we’re all about sharing. Most of the time. (“Hangriness” is very, very real, guys). So, when we hear about an app that combines sharing with sustainability – you know we’ve gotta have it. Enter Carma Carpooling: the real-time ride-sharing app that helps you find nearby commuters to ride and drive with. Because, on top of reducing traffic, carbon emissions and even the cost of your trip, who doesn’t want a car-full of new friends?



How socially responsible is your shampoo? How “eco” is your Aveeno? In a world where it’s cool to be “all-natural,” GoodGuide is separating Earth-friendly fact from fiction – and all you need is a barcode. Simply scan a product to reveal its health, environmental and social rating, each based on extensive research from an in-house team of experts. From your laundry detergent to your lipstick, GoodGuide’s got your green-lovin’ life covered.



A Twitter-style app for tree-huggers, Ecoviate is a must-have for all gung-ho greenies. Between a newsfeed chock full of eco-friendly tips and photos, to an ever-growing list of green activities in your area, the app is designed to spread sustainability – the social way. Complete with “Eco-points” and rewards, a leaderboard reveals how your environmental impact rates among your friends (come on, who doesn’t love a little competition?!). Plus, they plant one tree for every download. Sold!


Now, tell us. What are some of your go-to’s in green apps?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Great Wolf Lodge Goes GreenBox!

They've got six-story funnel slides, 4D movie theaters, water fort tree houses, indoor mazes & lazy rivers. 



And now, they've got the GreenBox.

It's official: Great Wolf Resorts, America's largest family of indoor water parks is makin' a sustainable splash across the nation. 


From the east coast to the west, from the Rockies to the Plains - all 13 Great Wolf Lodge destinations across 12 states have gone GreenBox.  

That sounds like something to "howl" about. ☺ 


So next time you're Hungry As A Wolf, stop by Great Wolf Lodge's on-site pizzeria: the newest home to our planet-friendly pizza box. 

How lucky are we to be hanging out in the throws of signature 5 cheese pies, massive meatball subs & cheesy loaves of garlic bread? 

 Yup. We're definitely going to stay.

 

But going GreenBox isn't the only way that Great Wolf Resorts is putting the Earth first. 

In 2007, they launched Project Green Wolf: a company-wide dedication to environmental sustainability. Think composting, food sharing, recycling and most importantly - water conservation. 
That settles it then. We call top bunk in the Wolf Den!

 

For Great Wolf, the GreenBox was the missing piece in the Project Green Wolf puzzle. And we couldn't be happier knowing it's the perfect fit.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Food Fact or Fiction?

We could fill 730 football stadiums a year with the food we throw away.

You heard that right. Across the U.S., 40% of food is tossed annually. That equates to over $165 billion of wasted meals – while 1 in every 6 Americans go hungry.


What’s wrong with this picture?

Maybe the fact that the 1.3 billion tons of food we waste each year would be enough to feed all the hungry in the world… 4 times. Or that, if discarded food was a country, it would be the third-largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world.

Well, that’s good enough reason for us.

It’s time to acknowledge the top three myths that help contribute to food waste. Then, we must ask ourselves: Which am I guilty of believing? And, most importantly, how will I make a difference?


Myth #1: “Sell By” or Die

We’ve all been there. Your morning bowl of Cheerios is begging to be drenched in a sea of fresh, cold milk. But it’s “best before” two days ago, so you and your Cheerios are out of luck. Because who wants to start their day off with a hefty dose of food poisoning?

But, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), that carton of milk is best before… well, whenever your nose and taste buds say so. And – for non-refrigerated foods, there is no difference in taste or quality after the expiration date.


It’s a fact: most dates on products are simply an indicator of peak freshness, not edibility. Oh, and what about “sell by”? Surprise, surprise… it’s a marketing tool that ensures proper turnover in retail stores.

But confusion over “sell by” dates causes 9 out of 10 Americans to toss their food, good or bad. While your box of easy mac might be “expired” this June, we promise it’ll taste just as creamy, cheesy and delicious a whole year from now. Even eggs can be consumed well past those arbitrary sell by dates.

Your best bet? Go grandma-style and practice the good ‘ol fashioned sniff test. Your Cheerios, your wallet and your full belly will thank you.


Myth #2: Misfits Must Go

26% of produce never makes it to grocery store shelves. Why? Because it’s ugly.

Due to retailers’ strict cosmetic standards, that lumpy carrot or bumpy tomato won’t even see the fluorescent light of day. The smallest blemish will have it cast aside like a leper, despite being both perfectly tasty and nutritious.


So, where does this freaky fruit end up? The mouths of the homeless? The tables of the hungry? Not even close. It’s transported to landfills… by the truckload. The worst offender is the potato, with 35% getting the boot for its flaws.

Wait – are potatoes even “pretty” to begin with?

Up to 30% of a farm’s harvest succumbs to the strict beauty standards of the produce aisle. And, if the farmer complains, well – the store will just find another farmer.

Who isn’t a little bruised, misshapen or a tad discolored (think lobster-like sunburn)? In a world with more than enough judgment to go around, our green beans shouldn’t have to face it too.   


Myth #3: Don’t Feed Fido!

80% of corn grown in the U.S. goes to feed livestock – a process that involves massive amounts of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests for farmland.

All the while, food scraps are bee-lining it to the dump, converting to methane (a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide) along the way. Since when did it become taboo to feed our animals “people food”?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), boiling scraps at high temperatures makes them safe for animals to consume – and brings farmers back to an age-old tradition (humans have been feeding animals food scraps for thousands of years).


Just ask Pinter Farms, a family-owned pig and cattle farm local to Rutgers University. Rutgers donates over a ton of dining hall food scraps daily to feed the animals at Pinter Farms, saving the university from landfill hauling fees – and Mother Earth from toxic gases.

So next time you find yourself with a stale loaf of bread or some leftover brown rice, think of your backyard buddies. They’re sure to appreciate it.

Solutions?

Eat ugly food. Eat or, better yet – donate your leftovers. Juice your old produce. Plan your meals. Make use of the freezer. And remember: 868 million people across the globe go to bed hungry each night.