Sunday, March 7, 2010

Twitter recap for non-followers: February 2010

What's the big deal about #kids and chemical exposure? Great video from @healthy_child:

Holy cow, really? More Dangerous to Give Birth in California than in Kuwait or Bosnia:

40% of world's conventional chocolate is from Africa's Ivory Coast, where Int'l Labor Org and US State Dept report widespread child slavery.

More bad Vday news: Commercial flowers are most toxic & heavily sprayed agricultural crops. I use freshroses:

RT @enviroblog: Babies are born pre-polluted with 100’s of toxic chemicals. Help us fix our broken toxins law.   

I love this business success story about rethinking "advantage" and "disadvantage." #autism

My thoughts exactly! RT @thegoodhuman "Green" Olympics? I think not, if trucking in snow.

Good Guide recap of #green myths like "recycling doesn't save energy" and "plastics are microwave-safe":

FDA, seeing link to heart disease, urges consumers to cut exposure to BPA til further studies are complete:

RT @missrogue "We have the tools to reverse[ the devastation to oceans], we lack the political will" -- Knights #TED #TEDActive /via @onepinktee     

Not to get into politics, but it's an interesting POV. RT @vinmiller Great healthcare reform article

I follow my BPA warning yesterday with good news. Folates and soy appear to block BPA damage: [via @drgreene]

RT @derekmarkham The Environmental Cost of Making 10 Everyday Items: (via@ecosalon)

Outstanding investigative articles on #BPA: (via #EWG)

Book review of The Unhealthy Truth by @AlphaMom -- I'm late to the party, but can't wait to get a copy of it.

Why Fast Food is “Healthier” Than School Lunches (Public School Review):

Fantasmic article on school lunches from Sustainable Table:

More recent blog post about school lunches and USDA oversight (or lack thereof):        

RT @unhealthytruth NYT: Do Toxins Cause Autism?

WOW. Some seriously cool indoor playsets:  

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Twitter recap for non-followers: January 2010

Cool org and they're teaching green tech skills:

Avoid the "pink slime" or why you should pack your kids' lunches: [@NYTimesOnline]

Just found new great nontoxic kids toys site:

Via @Healthy_Child: 10 tips to detoxify your diet. Not hard either.

ECOBIOBALL, ecological & biodegradable #golf ball containing fish food: #green

New favorite stylish #green #eco site:

Super cute product idea, great #green #kids gift or #favor for party/wedding:

Great article by @theeconomist -- Why it is important to put a price on nature:

#FairTrade, #Organic Cotton Kids Sneakers and more. Very cool store/concept. (via @zoebweekly)

By all accounts, crib mattress wraps prevent SIDS. Read more:

More melamine-tainted milk products found in China [washpost]:

Buying Fake "Organics"? OCA Spreadsheet Reveals EWG Hazard Ratings for "Organic Cheater Brand" Personal Care Products:

RT @jmichaeledwards Book Review by @thegoodhuman: "How To Be An Everyday Philanthropist"

Great article about 7 "foods" even farmers won't eat, with ironic Hunt's ad placement. #organic #healthy

LOVE this: Revolution Foods bringing 30,000 nutritional school lunches a Day to nation's cafeterias @planetgreen    

Monday, March 1, 2010

Will Wal-Mart Beat the FDA/EPA to Chemical Reform?

Recently I started thinking about Wal-Mart's efforts toward reducing its carbon footprint (which they are famously doing by requiring their suppliers to reduce their collective footprint). As I understand it, their position was essentially "while our carbon footprint is big, the carbon footprint of our vendors is many multiples greater, so helping them achieve great energy and materials efficiencies helps everyone." True, but I always thought it was a blatant cop-out as well as a brilliant strategy to extract even lower prices from their vendors.

My new thinking is that maybe they can use their enormous influence to do what government agencies don't have the power or the wherewithall to do expeditiously: Rid consumer products of untested, unsafe chemicals.

Think about it. Tomorrow, Wal-Mart could look at the great body of scientific research from all over the world and say, hmmm, these studies prove that some chemicals are not safe for human exposure. It's our duty to protect our customers from harmful chemicals that are most likely causing cancer, reproductive dysfunctions, neurological disorders, respiratory illnesses and scads of other ailments.

They could issue a mandate: Any company wishing to sell to Wal-Mart will need to reformulate their product -- and submit testing by an independent laboratory to verify product composition -- by 2011 to remove phthalates, triclosan, formaldehyde, lead, arsenic, parabens, methylchloroisothiazolinone, PEGs, triethanolamine, BPA, PBDEs, PFOA, perchlorate and PBTs (just for starters).

You know what? A few vendors would cry foul. Wal-Mart would stand its ground. And we'd all end up with a slew of reformulated, healthier products at a fair price with wide availability. Their tagline, "Save money. Live better." would have a whole new meaning.

Suddenly, I'm feeling optimistic. I just hope our chemical reform advocates see the light and shift their efforts from Washington, D.C., to Bentonville.