Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'd rather have a beer...

Is it really that great when a bottled water company that bottles, ships and distributes water from FIJI is "going green"? Should we be happy about this? Isn't the underlying, bottom line point that there is water all over the world and absolutely NO need or excuse as to why you would have to have water sent from Fiji to your lips!? There is no logic in this. Going "green" for a bottled water company should mean going out of business, because the entire concept of bottled water is an (say it altogether now) environmental absurdity. The company, quite boldly, outlines their carbon footprint which is still apparently being calculated. This seems all well and good except for the fact that the first thing they state is:

"Bottled water contributes to a mere 0.33% of the U.S. municipal waste system, and Fiji Water comprises less than 2% of that total."

Oh, great. And plastic bags are a mere 1% and styrofome is a minimal .55%, etc. etc. etc. So, why really even bother?

The fact that the company acknowledges, on their website ("Every Drop is Green" they say) most of the points in the process in which they create carbon emissions is impressive. It's an admittance of wrongdoing, of needing to change, of their efforts to do so. But that, of course, is where things fall weak. For example, on how they are going to impact the influence on recycling of their plastic packaging, they state:

We seek to boost overall recycling rates via support for expanded curbside recycling programs and container deposit laws that include bottled water and other beverages. There are multiple bills, especially for container deposits, under consideration at national and local levels. Because the legislative landscape is changing constantly, we will post updates on the FIJI Green blog about what is happening, what FIJI Water is doing to help, and how you can partner with us to support these bills.

That's just really nothing, is it?

It is like Fiji Water is Catholic and going to confession...Admitting your wrongdoings is great, but is saying a couple of Hail Marys really going to make any bit of difference for your ethos? Really? They made a cute green website, simplistically and cartoonishly outlined their carbon footprint, but come up with very few real solutions.

Finally, I would again like to ask, WHY DOES ANYONE NEED WATER IN A BOTTLE FROM FIJI??? Stop killing the Earth with your garish commodities!

Bust a move.

How can you argue with this?

I guess I can think of a few ways... the gym is too expensive, I work ten hours a day and I basically hate working out more than anything else.

But, if it improves your health in practically every aspect, how can you argue with that?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Devil Wears Birkenstocks

Just received this in my "Organic Bytes" email...


The merger of Whole Foods Market with Wild Oats highlights the benefits and drawbacks of this organic retail giant. Although Whole Foods Market certainly provides a "feel good" shopping experience for millions of consumers, it's important to keep in mind that WFM isn't nearly as green as it pretends to be. But of course, for many consumers, Whole Foods Market offers the only access for green and organic products. If Whole Foods Market is the only option available in your area, here are some important tips for the organic-minded shopper:

  • Look for locally grown produce: Whole Foods offers only a limited supply of local produce, although it is well labeled. Reduce the burden of long-distance food transportant on the planet by asking your WFM produce manager to stock more local produce.
  • Not everything is as "natural" or "organic" as you might think: Although Whole Foods doesn't carry products with trans fats or artificial coloring, everything else is fair game, including MSG and rBGH, so being a vigilant label reader is still a necessity. Look for the USDA organic label.
  • Whole Foods has taken the position that unions aren't valid. It is the second largest union-free food retailer, right behind Wal-Mart. Don't assume the employees are all adequately trained in understanding how to distinguish between products that are and are not truly organic and natural.
  • The OCA always recommends supporting your locally owned food co-op, farmer's market, CSA or independently-owned natural food store, first and foremost, (search for resources near you in OCA's "Local Buying Guide" here: