Upcycling Food Waste Can Make a Difference—And These 12 Organizations Prove It #FoodTank

To begin this newsletter, I want to make sure that everyone reading this in the United States has information about how to register to vote and how to request a mail-in ballot. No matter your political affiliation, voting is not just a right, but a responsibility. For more information, you can visit vote.gov and vote.org. For resources on voting by mail, visit the U.S. Vote Foundation or the Election Management Resources from the U.S. Election Assistance Committee.

The upcoming U.S. election is critical because the urgency of the issues we face is greater than ever before. More than two dozen scientists agree that “climate disruption is now locked in.” The wildfires on the West Coast, stronger slow-moving hurricanes along the Gulf, and record heatwaves are a harbinger of what’s to come.

Our food production and consumption practices need to change in response. In the U.S. alone, emissions from food waste are equivalent to 37 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gases, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Instead of continuing this cycle of production and destruction, we have to think about wasting less and using our food resources more efficiently to help keep our planet healthy.

This is the idea behind upcycling food—taking quality ingredients that would otherwise be wasted and turning them into nutritious and ecologically friendly snacks, beverages, and meals. The food wasted in a year contains enough calories to feed every undernourished person on Earth, according to the WWF. Upcycling is a realistic way to help bridge that gap, which is why the recently formed Upcycled Food Association has brought together over 90 upcycling brands to advocate for standards and policies that can help reduce food waste.

In honor of International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste next Tuesday, Sept. 29, Food Tank is spotlighting 12 companies and nonprofits giving a second life to wasted food through upcycling: Aqua Botanical, Australia; KROMKOMMER, The Netherlands; Matriark Foods, United States; NETZRO, United States; Pure Plus+, United States; RISE + WIN Brewing Co., Japan; Rubies in the Rubble, United Kingdom; Sweet Benin, West Africa; Toast Ale, United Kingdom; Treasure8, United States; Upcycled Grain Project, New Zealand; and Wize Monkey, Canada.

Learn more about each of these organizations—and where you can find their products—by CLICKING HERE.
Over the past week, I’ve been watching with horror as farmworkers on the U.S. West Coast face a seemingly impossible choice: go to work during a global pandemic with wildfires raging perilously close, or stay home safe without pay. The wildfires are just one more threat to workers’ well-being—and like this particularly devastating Atlantic hurricane season and the Australian bush fires late last year and into 2020, they are made worse by climate change.

I am sharing this article via FoodTank.com, and it was written by Danielle Nierenberg.

Great Gifts for an Active Mom

This time of year, I’m always seeing lists about the best gifts for mom. See, I’m even making one. But the truth is, not all moms are alike, and you know best your mom’s personality. A “makeup and jewelry” kind of mom? Flowers, chocolate? Maybe she wants to sleep in and get a massage. (Hint, that’s pretty much everyone, all the time.) Some of that stuff can be sort of a “cop-out”, just going through the motions. Your mom did (and likely still does) a lot for you- make her feel special on days meant to celebrate her. (Dads, if you have very young kids, you are in charge here. Do something besides that macaroni necklace they made in school, yeah?)

As an active mom myself, and one that wears pretty much zero makeup or fussy things like that, I wouldn’t personally love a bottle of perfume or nail polish. I also try to be as eco-friendly as possible, and my family knows that’s important to me. I’m guessing to a lot of other moms out there as well.

Since many “idea” lists focus on candy and makeup, we here at [email protected] thought there should be one with other options out there. This list is for the active mom, eco friendly mom, who is a little less traditional, but pretty cool in her own rights.

Sand Cloud, an environmentally aware company that donates %10 of it’s profits to #SaveTheFishes (help protect and preserve marine life) offers a wide array of items that are sustainable, adorable, and environmentally friendly. From super useful items mom will love like reusable glass bottles with beautiful and fun designs on them to metal straws that you can take anywhere (avoid those unnecessary plastic ones that end up in the nostrils of poor sea turtles and washed up on beaches), soft towels with lovely artwork, or organic tees and tanks, there is something your earth conscious mom will love.  These items are not only beautiful, but useful. In addition, a percentage from each purchase is given to a charity- I can’t think of a mother that wouldn’t be pleased that Mother Earth is also gifted on this special day.  Visit https://www.sandcloud.com to see their collections, and pick out a perfect gift for the moms in your life.

reusable bottle

Yoga lover? Me too, we hit the mat almost daily, it is one of the best ways to center yourself and have a few minutes of peace. It’s fantastic for both mind and body, and if you haven’t yet tried it out, there’s always today. The hype is there for a reason. It’s good stuff. Slightly Buddha is a yoga company for yoga lovers, by yoga lovers. The items on the site are simple, pretty, and express the ideas of living a zen lifestyle. They make, as they describe them, “well made, cute clothes” that offer value to the customer. As the owner describes the collection, “Slightly Buddha is a manifestation of my love for yoga, art and clothes.”  The clothing is soft and comfortable. Pay attention to sizing, as I find that they don’t run typically. Some say that they run large, so you will get the “heads up”, so to speak. Others don’t mention, but you can tell that they run slim. Joggers, for example, are less loose then any others I’ve had, and fit more like leggings, which you can see in the photos. They are perfect for a yoga class, however, so that may be why the design is different. The tanks are also a slim fit, but are a nice feel. Pay attention to the photos and the reviews, they are honest and helpful.  Visit https://www.slightlybuddha.com to see what strikes you- your mom will love the graceful designs that are easy to mix and match, and go from the studio to the couch to errand running and beyond.

yoga gear

Title Nine has everything the active woman needs, from running gear to swimwear to undergarments and more. Dresses that move with you, skirts that shake the rain off, leggings that actually stay in place. I can’t say enough good things about the company, which is run by amazing women for women, so they know what women want and need. It may be unseemly to talk about getting mom a bra for Mother’s Day, so maybe choose an awesome dress or sweater, and give her a gift card so she can choose her own, because these will be the only ones she will want from then on. I recently tried out the Roadster Convertible Underwire Bra and the Cuz She Say’s So Underwire Bra and I have to say, I’m in love. The :Roadster” in particular has become my “go to”- if it’s clean, I’m wearing it. Comfortable and keeping everything where it needs to be, even during vigorous workouts, this is the one to beat in my opinion. The “Cuz She Said So” was also comfortable and preformed well, but it was hard to compare to the “Roadster”.  The company is so passionate about their bras, they even have a program to help get them to girls in underprivileged communities. They know it’s hard to preform your best when you are being hindered- and that’s pretty cool. They do a lot of good work in the community. They even use “real life” models, who have regular jobs and live “regular” lives, no retouching the already impossible to achieve looks of supermodels here, and I love that. This company is all about celebrating women, and any mom would love that. Visit https://www.titlenine.com and see what mom would appreciate.

skorts

Looking for something pretty? Mountain Khakis puts a modern spin on classics, and the clothing is built to last. This company builds tough clothing that’s still pretty and soft to wear. You can find classic styles mom loves, which are durable and have the highest quality craftsmanship. A brand you can rely on not to fall apart on you. Not only that, but they are a company that cares, being Fair Trade Certified, members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and are organic and biodegradable, using only products and production methods that are safe, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. You can be tough and rugged and still look beautiful at the same time- all this while being environmentally responsible. Great gift options, take a look at https://www.mountainkhakis.com to see what strikes your fancy.

Healthy Bodies, Inside and Out

This winter, as Spring is (hopefully) around the corner, you might be having a hard time holding onto those New Years Resolutions or even trying to stay healthy or active as a part of your regular lifestyle. I know for me, February is my “ugh” month, I often find myself with a case of the winter blues and really just “done” with the gray and the cold. I find it hardest to be motivated in February, and not just grab a bag of chips and pop on the Netflix. What to do? Try something new, a little change can often be just the thing you need, a little bump to get you moving.

DIY kits

Have you ever heard of Purple Carrot? You have probably  heard of similar ideas, pre-ordered meal kits delivered to your home that you cook yourself. This is the ONLY 100% plant-based meal kit company of the kind, where you can get pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions for cooking healthy, vegan meals at home. As we are learning, eating plant-based meals even if only one day or a few times a week, has a positive impact on people’s health, the environment, and animal welfare. The food is very good, but it definitely takes time to make, so prepare to spend some time in the kitchen. While not difficult, some of the items made were challenging and to me very unnecessarily time consuming, like making my own veggie burgers. But we learned new things, so that was something. I can honestly say, even as vegetarians, we had never made any of these recipes before, so they were interesting and new.  Find out more here-

Trying to get yourself moving? It can be challenging in this weather. One of the fitness groups I belong to recently posted a meme which said “I was sad, then I bought some new workout clothes and now I’m running!” I was clearly amused, but it’s also true. Sometimes a new pair of leggings or shirt or sneakers makes you feel good, and then when you feel good, you move. Also, you of course need to show them off, right? Your couch will not be impressed. You however will be impressed with the Brooks Running Ghost Tight. I can’t say enough good things about it. I thought they were going to feel like shrink wrap when I saw them, but they are wildly comfortable. It’s ultralight fabric keeps  you cool and wicks sweat and the color options (3 total) are fun. Price $120 at  https://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/brooks-ghost-tight-womens/221347.html

Winter can be rough on the skin, rough all over. The new Limited-Edition NIVEA Creme City Tins from NIVEA® Creme are easy to carry around. They are tiny- easy to toss in your purse, backpack, or pocket, and give you a “protective layer of care that prevents the loss of moisture throughout the day” as per the brand. Smooth and soft, it has provitamin B5, which helps it last longer. You can use it on your face, hands, lips, and body- it’s good all over. These limited-edition tins are now available for $.99, get yours at www.NIVEAusa.com.

give back

For your love, no matter if they are one or a hundred and one, take a look at these. Not only are they amazingly adorable, but each toy funds 10 meals for a hungry person. These ethically produced, hand-knit dolls and stuffed animals give 10 meals to hungry children around the world for every item sold. Hand made by artisan knitters in Peru, these handcrafted, heirloom-quality dolls are great for anyone who loves stuffed cuddles. There are 27 toys to choose from currently, and two sizes are available in most cases.

“cuddle+kind has partnerships with several respected humanitarian agencies including World Food Program USA, Children’s Hunger Fund, Breakfast Club of Canada and WE Charity to guarantee that every purchase directly benefits children in need.” (Information given by the brand)

Choose your favorites here- https://cuddleandkind.com/collections/hand-knit-dolls.

Spring Fashion for a Cause #Education #InvestInGirls

Spring is in the air and Easter is around the corner, Olivela not only offers great spring fashion finds,  but a significant portion of every purchase goes to help educate girls worldwide (cause partners include Malala Fund, Too Young To Wed and CARE for Syrian refugees).

Olivela started when Founder and CEO Stacey Boyd joined Malala Yousafzai on a visit to refugee camps in Kenya and Rwanda. There she met amazing girls with extraordinary stories of overcoming poverty and war and escaping forced marriage to pursue their educations. She realized that the opportunities she and her two daughters are lucky enough to have—access to education and the ability to live life on their own terms—these girls literally had to risk their lives for. In that moment, it became crystal clear that while talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not. It was from that realization that a new kind of retailer was born, one with giving back built into every, single transaction.

Olivela is a luxury fashion and beauty platform that offers unique styles from the world’s best designers with 20% of each sale directly benefiting the education of girls worldwide through best-in-class partners CARE, Malala Fund, and Too Young To Wed.

How Olivela Works

  • Consumers: shop their favorite designer fashion and beauty brands.
  • Olivela: Gives 20% of the proceeds of anything purchased directly to one of their partner children’s charities.
  • And at absolutely no additional cost to the shopper.

Impact:

Since launching, Olivela has provided over 41,000 days of school to at-risk girls through Malala Fund, CARE and Too Young To Wed.

Boutiques:

The online platform opened their first physical boutique in Nantucket this summer, the first of 15 boutiques to open across the country through 2019. The next will be opening in Aspen in December.

Valentine Gifting From Companies that Give Back #ValentinesDay #Sustainable

If you want to shop sustainably this year, support small business, or like to avoid big box stores, I’ve got a shop for you. If you just like unique and high quality products at a reasonable price- this is a shop you will love. Marketplace Africa has clothing, bath and body products (and I’m in love with some of these already), purses, bags,- really, gifts for everyone on your list. Thoughtful gifts anyone would love to receive.

African body works

This website lets Africans can sell their one-of-a-kind handmade goods to the entire global market.  Anyone looking for a unique gift for the holidays can feel as good as the products they are buying, since they are purchasing directly from the source. Buying from small business owners in Africa boosts not only the store owner, but also the economy.

For more information on Marketplace Africa and to choose some fantastic gifts,  visit www.marketplaceafrica.com

Sudara creates ethically and sustainably sourced clothing for men, women, and children. This brand came about because of a desire to help women escape sex trafficking in India. 12 years ago, Sudara’s founder partnered with a sewing center in India and taught six women how to sew a pattern for pants.The year prior, she had been to India and heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery or were at high risk of being. The company was created to give woman the chance to have an education, a job with livable wages, and to be free.

ethical clothing

Sudara is a Certified B Corps company, which means they meet “the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems”. You know, the best of the best- the “good guys”.

The clothing is beautiful, as well. High quality, unique designs with fun colors and patterns, lots of options available. If you have not yet shopped with Sudara, I hope you take the time to give them a look now. Check them out on social media while you are at it, see what they have to offer- sudara.org  facebook  twitter  instagram

ethical clothing

Peace Frogs is a brand that encourages you to get outside, enjoy nature, and practices what they preach. They are helping to preserve the environment and giving back with purchases. Peace Frogs has been around for more then 30 years, and have “a long track record of giving back to charitable causes” while creating eco-friendly clothing and gear.  They have also  launched a #spreadthepeacecampaign that looks to bridge a divided nation. As per the company, “Today, in America, the country stands more divided than ever before, with constant fighting, name calling and general unrest, with social media and the news not doing anything to slow down the chaos. The Spread the Peace Campaign is a way for Peace Frogs to motivate people to be kind to one another and stop the hate, fighting and lack of tolerance. Peace Frogs wants to bring a sense of calm, peace and community back to a tense country that has forgotten how to love thy neighbor.”  The fun clothing, gear, stickers, and more promote joy, living in harmony, a healthy environment, and peace. For more information on Peace Frogs items or to purchase #spreadthepeace stickers, please visit: www.peacefrogs.com

ethical jewelery

Statement Peace (no relation to Peace Frogs) creates their “high vibration wooden jewelry” line designs and hand produces all of their “pieces of peace” in their South West Florida studio.  The company believes that energy is transferable, and that when you operate out of peace and love, that it is felt by all and creates a statement of peace. They want to transfer “passion, high vibrations and good juju with the intention that you feel our vibes” into the items they create. Each piece of jewelry is considered to be a work of art, and they convey this by including a custom designed wooden display stand with each item purchased. There is something special for everyone (men and women), from yoga lovers to outdoor enthusiasts. Rings, bracelets, and more are available. For every item purchased, they plant one tree.   Check out options at https://www.wearstatementpeace.com

show the love

Show the Love offers items that are each designed to showcase and inspire a specific sentiment. The jewelry is meant to inspire and to uplift the person who wears it. From feminist inspiration items to those inspiring others to speak up, to beautiful animal inspired themes, there is something everyone will love. Give a gift that is not only lovely but also inspiring and show the recipient that you are really thinking about them. Whatever they love, or perhaps would like more of in their life (happiness, calm, passion, etc) you can find something that will show your sentiment.

This company cares, and they show it not only with their designs, but also with the materials they use as well as the donations they give. Show The Love jewelry is made with recycled metals and ethically sourced stones. They also donate 25% of their proceeds, which they give to humanitarian and environmental causes. There are items for every budget, from $50 to a big splurge. These are fun, funky, unique, lovely items that your Valentine will cherish always. Visit the site at https://showthelove.com and see what you like best.

Adorable Moosh-Moosh Stuffed Toys #GiftGuide

smoosh toys

Do you know someone who loves soft, squishy toys? My son (and my partner) both loft pillow-like toys, especially when they are super soft on the outside. They would be great gifts this holiday season. If you know any kid (or kid at heart) who likes to collect stuffed toys, these are sure to be a hit.

Moosh-Moosh is an adorable new, marshmallow-soft, squishy stuffed animal/pillow. You can use it as either or both (we do). You can find them in the aisles of Michaels Stores or CVS,  Moosh-Moosh comes in quite a few sizes and options. More than three million cuddly characters have been sold since they first came out this year. Cuddle, snuggle, squish or stack these cuties, they are fun to collect as well. Moosh-Moosh makes the perfect December present for stocking stuffers, dreidel game prizes or an under-the-tree surprise.

You can get these soft plushies in a palm-size 4”Clip-on ($5.99) to a huggable 7” Regular ($9.99) to the ultimate 10” Large ($14.99).

Shop for over 72 styles online at Moosh-Moosh.com . You will have a hard time choosing just one, but as with all things, they are better with friends.  These have been hot sellers at neighborhood Staples, JOANN Stores, AC Moore, and Party City, as well as select Hudson News airport stores.

 

Companies that Care- GOOD DEEDS

Behind the Moosh-Moosh logo is a caring company that donates plush buddies as need arises. A Kindergarten teacher in the Washington, DC area was looking for an educator discount to buy her 28 students plushies for reading circle. Imagine her surprise when Sean Price, VP of Business Development and Marketing for parent company MMG Brands, shipped her two dozen soft friends.

A bigger shout out came from Omaha, Nebraska, home of Elliott’s Hoedown for ATCP. After learning about the A-T Children’s Project, MMG Brands donated $11,000 worth of toys! The Midwest charity creates awareness for A-T (a rare, inherited disease that affects several organs and systems, including the nervous and the immune systems) and funnels donations to Johns Hopkins’ A-T clinic in Baltimore, Maryland.

Sudara Clothing – ethically made and helps women #GiftGuide

If you are anything like me, you like to shop as ethically as possible. Most companies and stores don’t give a fig about you, me, the environment, or anything other then profit. So, when you know brands that give a darn, they are ones you tend to do your shopping with.

give back

I’ve recently discovered Sudara. This brand came about because of a desire to help women escape sex trafficking in India.  12 years ago, Sudara partnered with a sewing center in India and taught six women how to sew a pattern for pants. The previous year,  founder, Shannon Keith, had returned from a trip to India and heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery. She also heard stories of women who were at a high risk of being forced into the sex trade by their families or picked up off the streets by local pimps. The reasons they were at a high risk? Because they lacked an education or the resources or the skills to, truly, have a choice.

She returned home from that trip and formed a small team of family and friends. They have since made 10 sewing centers and hundreds of women have found both freedom and living wage employment.

The pants are awesome. Comfortable, easy to wash and wear, pretty, and unique. The are no sacrifice to wear, and it’s great knowing that my purchase is helping other women and supporting a company that does good in the world.

They also are ethically and sustainability made for the good of the environment as well. They are a Certified B Corps, which means they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems. So- you know. A good company to buy from. The good guys.

ethically made clothing

Sudara Brand Description:

  • Sudara is a lifestyle brand that creates jobs for women in India who are at the highest risk or survivors of human trafficking. They pay living wages and provide access to counseling, medical care and resources that empower women to create their own self-sustaining future.

  • Every pair of these Sudara Punjammies are made through living-wage employment by women in India who are at the highest risk or survivors of sex trafficking. Every purchase is an investment in Sudara’s freedom-filled work and empowers women who are working to forge a new life for themselves and their children.

  • Sudara offers beautiful and comfortable clothing with a freedom-filled purpose. Their women’s pajama pants, loungewear and robes are ethically-made in India through living-wage employment programs. Every purchase is helping empower women in India with the resources and skills they need to create a better life for themselves and their family.

Keep up with Sudara on social media as well- sudara.org  facebook  twitter  instagram

Back to School Shopping for @BTFE at @Costco #ad

Disclosure- I receive monetary compensation from General Mills in exchange of my endorsement of Box Tops For Education.

costco

Getting ready for back to school always requires a fairly big shop. When you have kids, so does the weekly grocery shopping trip, am I right? It’s bananas how much food these little hoovers consume. I have no idea where they put it, either. This is one of the main reasons I became a Costco member- that, and because they are often cited as one of the most ethical large companies out there. I try to shop small, shop local, and shop ethical whenever humanly possible. They tend to have higher quality products, sustainable sourced and ethically produced, as well as a fair pay for employees and a compassionate working environment. Imagine that! If only all companies acted like that. They do well for it, as well. The stores are always clean, and shopping experiences are easy and pleasant. Well, that’s not counting for the kids- but no store is responsible for that, LOL.  They almost always have “sample stations” throughout the store that you can bribe the kiddos with, however. Smart thinking, Sell more products, since we buy what we like, AND no hangry customers. Very smart.

The prices are fair, and less since you buy in bulk as well. This also means more time between trips, hopefully! I also like that they don’t use bags- bring your own, or use boxes, or just load directly into your car. Easy.

You can get SO MANY Box Tops for your kids school while you are shopping for items you already love, like Lucky Charms, Mott’s Fruit Snacks, and Nature Valley. Because the boxes are large, you often get “bonus” Box Tops as well- more money for your child’s school. Bonus, indeed.

What’s stopping you? Head over and become a member today. You can even pick up a prepared dinner while you were there. What? Hey, it totally counts as cooking. Shhh.

Plus, they have a contest going on where you can win 100 Box Tops! Check out this site to see more.


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.  GAME OPEN ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY (50) UNITED STATES AND D.C. WHO ARE 18+ WHO ARE MEMBERS OF BOXTOPS4EDUCATION.COM AND HAVE DESIGNATED A SCHOOL TO SUPPORT AT  TIME OF ENTRY. MEMBERSHIP TO BOXTOPS4EDUCATION.COM IS FREE AND AVAILABLE AT BOXTOPS4EDUCATION.COM. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Online instant win game starts 7/16/18 at 12:00 a.m. ET & ends 9/10/18 at 11:59 p.m. ET. For Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit www.CostcoBTFE.com.   Sponsor: General Mills Sales, Inc., One General Mills Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55426.