C’mon, let’s face it: in many ways, this time of year really boils down to the food. There’s a lot of it going around. Which, in turn, makes being conscientious of what you buy and eat even more important. ARE YOU AN ECO-FRIENDLY EATER?! There are ways to discover this scathing truth about yourself . . . fun ways. Planet Green has come up with several quick, insightful quizzes that give a few general pointers on how to keep our consumption of food earth-friendly in the industrial gauntlet of our modern world. I say throw down that gauntlet, in your kitchen.

Try “What’s the Footprint of Your Food?” Some of the numbers associated with the destructive qualities of food production are simply embarrassing.  Without wanting to spoil the answers (kind of), I’ll say that it requires far more water to manufacture bottled water than the amount that actually ends up in the bottle, and the mass-amount of carbon emissions saved by switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet is heavier than I’ll ever hope to bench-press with free weights, this year.

One of the quizzes, which title happens to be the same as the all-caps exclamation above (Are you an Eco-Friendly Eater?) shines some light on even the most basic, every-day aspects of our dining habits.  Do you know which season is most eco-friendly to eat apples?  Or if hand-washing dishes saves more water than a dishwasher? Or how about defining the “100-mile” diet? You’re wrong if you think it involves power-walking for two straight days while chain-drinking packet-shakes.  Or are you?

On top of these two we featured, there are a whole set of Eco-friendly quizzes from food to weddings to fashion to test your knowledge! The most interesting aspect of these Planet Green teasers is that each question and quiz provides informative explanations on the issues and is surrounded by links to other interesting resources on the interwebs for more in-depth research.  I say do that research, and in feeding yourselves and loved ones over the holidays, help try to give the earth a little more good news before 2010.  There are only two years left, after all…

-Jeremy Pearson


We’re guessing that you were as disturbed as we were with the meat recalls all over the news last month. While there was no known related illness in the meat, the endless videos and photos of the animal abuse that spawned the recall were scary, outrageous, and oh-so-revealing. We had all heard about the horrors of slaughterhouses, but to see it streaming through cnn.com is an entirely different story.

Our favorite coverage of this story BY FAR is the satirist cartoon The Meatrix. Brought to you by our friends at Sustainable Table, The Meatrix features 3 funny vignettes whose underlying message is a point-blank and gritty portrayal of factory farming.

So what’s a person to do other than chuckle at a 3 minute cartoon? While we advocate vegetarian lifestyles, we know it’s not for everyone and that some of us just can’t give up summer BBQ’s!

Here are some quick tips on how you can support a better life for these animals:

  • Buy Local: supporting your local, family farms and participating in CSA (“community supported agriculture”) is not only better for the environment, but it prevents slaughterhouse conditions and strengthens your local economy.
  • Buy Organic: animals are raised without any antibiotics on a natural, grass-fed diet and are not pumped with artificial hormones. Unlike their factory farm relatives that are genetically modified or fed GM food.
  • Read the Labels: meat that is classified as “free range” and poultry that is “cage free” usually means that the animals are raised in healthier, more natural environments were they are allowed to be outside, exercise and graze in a pasture.
  • Connect with Others: become a part of the sustainable food movement and help educate other consumers on food related issues.
  • Buy Vegan: even if you love meat, you can make other vegan purchases. Our Ethletic footwear collection is 100% vegan, which means there are no animal by-products in the materials, including wool, leather, suede, and the not-so-obvious glue. Many glues used in shoe production are actually made with a material from horse hooves. One can only imagine what they do to the horses in order to get it!
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