The ‘last mile’ of consumer sustainability behavior

February 18, 2021 by  
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The ‘last mile’ of consumer sustainability behavior Mike De Socio Thu, 02/18/2021 – 00:05 These days, it’s hard to argue that sustainability is a niche consumer interest. A vast majority of consumers worldwide believe we need to consume less, according to research by GlobeScan . More to the point, 57 percent of consumers in that survey were willing to pay more for sustainable products. But only about a quarter of them actually made any sustainable changes to their lifestyle or consumption. So what gives? “There’s this really marked intention-action gap when we’re asking people to change their behaviors to be more sustainable,” said Katherine White, professor of marketing and behavioral science at the University of British Columbia. White shared her research on sustainable consumption during GreenBiz 21. She was among industry leaders from Amazon and Procter & Gamble, as well as nonprofit executives, who shared insights on the trends in sustainable consumption. Here are three takeaways from the session: 1. Attitude has shifted, but behavior lags Across the board, indicators for consumer interest in sustainable products are up, according to the GlobeScan survey. The 2020 results, for example, showed that 73 percent of consumers wanted to reduce the impact they have on the environment by a large amount, up almost 10 percentage points from the year prior. During the session, Chris Coulter, CEO of GlobeScan, described it as a “remarkable shift” in consumer attitude that bodes well for the sustainable products market. But he was quick to underline the shortcomings of that progress. “There is still a gap between our desire to change and what we’re actually doing, but we do see significant movements happening across the world,” he said. White’s research in behavioral science looks into what levers could be most effective in convincing consumers to align their choices with their concern for the planet.  A fundamental truth for sustainable products: Consumers’ top concerns are still performance and price. “This is a real challenge for marketers, for organizations, for public policymakers,” she said. “We really need to understand, what are the key drivers of behavior change in particular?” White identified a few factors that stakeholders can focus on to shift behavior — social influence (in other words, peer pressure), habit formation, individual values, emotional buy-in and tangible outcomes.  But ultimately, no one should think about hitting consumers with all of those efforts at once, White said. The shifts are more likely to be gradual. 2. Price and performance are still king Todd Cline, as director for Procter & Gamble’s North America fabric care research and development, is trying to focus consumers on one tiny change that could drastically slash the climate impact of his company’s product: Wash their clothes in cold water. Cline said what consumers do with Tide, one of the company’s sub-brands, once they take it off the shelf accounts for two-thirds of the product’s carbon footprint. The biggest chunk of that is the energy used to heat the water in the washing machine. But Cline knows if he wants consumers to change to cold, the performance can’t suffer. So his plan is simple: “Make products that work great when consumers use them on cold,” he said. This highlights a fundamental truth for sustainable products: Consumers’ top concerns are still performance and price. So sustainable products must tick those two boxes before showing off their climate bona fides.  Adam Werbach, global lead for sustainable shopping at Amazon, knows this well. He led the development of a “Climate Pledge Friendly” label on the site that uses external certifications to direct customers to the most sustainable products. The experience so far has shown Werbach that customers, even at Amazon’s eco-conscious Whole Foods, primarily seek out price and performance before considering sustainability.  But the “Climate Pledge Friendly” label can be a quick, easy way for them to make that decision. “Customers like the cognitive load being taken off them,” he said. 3. Less (information) can be more The success of a simple label for Amazon speaks to another important tactic for nudging customers to more sustainable options: Sometimes less information is better. The average consumer, according to White, doesn’t have the time or interest to know all the details on ingredients, manufacturing or packaging. They just want to know it’s not going to harm the planet. “At the end of the day, if it’s really quick and easy and enjoyable and pleasant, I’m going to do it,” White said. That’s where labels can help. Doug Gatlin, CEO of Green Seal, said his company has worked to simplify the way it communicates its own sustainability certifications. “It can really be difficult to communicate the various attributes to the consumer,” he said. So rather than listing 20 or more claims on one label, Green Seal developed a “compass” that identifies four main categories — water, waste, health and climate — and acts as a shorthand to evaluate products. Cline keeps this in mind, too, as Procter & Gamble refines its own packaging and labeling. “If we can make it simple and make it so it’s a great experience for people, they’ll adopt the behavior and stick with it,” he said. Pull Quote A fundamental truth for sustainable products: Consumers’ top concerns are still performance and price. Topics Consumer Trends GreenBiz 21 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Consumer trend surveys show a shift towards an environmental mindset among shoppers but they need to start putting their money where their mouth is.//Image courtesy of Unsplash 

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The ‘last mile’ of consumer sustainability behavior

Vellabox delivers natural, artisan candles to your door

November 13, 2020 by  
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Subscription boxes can be a great way to treat yourself each month or surprise a loved one with a thoughtful, curated gift. As we spend more time at home than ever, these monthly boxes can break up the monotony of daily life, too. With sustainability and affordability in mind, Vellabox delivers candles and eco-friendly goodies to your door, and it is a perfect little act of self-care. Plus, who doesn’t love the coziness of a freshly lit candle this time of year? Vellabox is a Columbus, Ohio-based company that offers handmade, natural wax candles in its subscription boxes. Each month, new scents are available in 4- or 8-ounce glass jars with metal lids that are 100% reusable or recyclable . Prices range from $10 to $30, with the $10/month box offering a 4-ounce candle and sustainable product, the $20/month option offering an 8-ounce candle and gift, or the $30 box offering a 4-ounce and an 8-ounce candle plus the surprise gift. Related: How to make soy wax candles for a cozy, autumnal home The Vellabox  packaging  is simple and sustainable. The cardboard boxes have no packing peanuts or bubble wrap; instead, the candles are secured in cloth bags in perfectly sized boxes to keep them safe. Every element is reusable or recyclable. The only plastic in my first box was the packaging for the sunflower seed butter. I tested the Ignis Box ($20/month) and the Vivere Box ($30/month) and was honestly impressed with both. The Ignis Box included a large Pumpkin Spice candle by Aster Candle. I’ve smelled a lot of pumpkin spice candles in my day, and I loved that this one struck the balance between too spiced (I’m not a huge fan of the overpowering scent of cinnamon) and too sweet. Truthfully, this one was less potent in smell and didn’t dissipate throughout my home as much as the other candles I tested, but it still smelled lovely. The company, Aster Candle, is based in Rhode Island; the owner, Catherine Kwolek, hand-pours each soy candle, and the  cotton  wicks are lead-free. My Ignis Box also included a package of 88 Acres Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter. While the taste wasn’t exactly my cup of tea on its own (coming from someone who definitely enjoys a spoonful of peanut or almond butter on the regular), I blended it into a  dark chocolate-cherry smoothie  as recommended on the card included in the Vellabox package, and it tasted great this way. The second box had two candles by Lustre + Bloom. The larger of the two was an Aspen Woods scent. I’m picky about woodsy scents, as they can often be too strong or too musky for my taste. Honestly, I was bummed when I saw that scent in the box — that is, until I unscrewed the lid and took a whiff. It smelled like a walk through a  forest  in the best way. All the elements you’d expect here — leaves, moss, bark — blend beautifully with a touch of spice. Lighting it made a dreary day in the city feel slightly more in tune with nature. The second, smaller candle was a scent called Greenhouse. I wasn’t sure what to expect; I’ve definitely never encountered a candle with the scent of a  greenhouse , but it turned out to be my favorite of all the Vellabox candles I tested. Greenhouse reminded me of the very specific smell of eucalyptus in the shower, although the scent profile is technically “agave, aloe, chrysanthemum, green leaves.” It’s earthy and peaceful. This candle was the strongest of all three; even sitting across the room with other candles lit, I could only smell Greenhouse. Lustre + Bloom is a natural candle company based in Denver, Colorado. Mandy Candice, the shop owner, started making  non-toxic  candles after her son was born. She wanted to ensure she was only burning candles that were safe for the family. With these two candles came a bundle of Lunchskins, which are compostable, toxin-free sandwich bags meant to replace  single-use  plastic bags. When I was heading into the office every day, I always packed lunch and often used reusable silicone bags for my sandwiches. I actually have no immediate need for sandwich bags these days, but I’m excited to try these out, perhaps on a picnic or long drive. So far, I love that they have a cute avocado print across the bag. Although I received these boxes as editorial samples, I’ve already subscribed to the Vivere Box (I’m a sucker for natural candles, what can I say). I also have a few people on my list that I’ll be sending gift subscriptions for the holidays. Overall, I am thrilled with the candles. I loved all three scents despite being picky about candles, and the smells, especially Greenhouse, carried better than many of my other candles and wax melts. Although I was a little iffy on these particular bonus gifts , I am looking forward to seeing what other surprises are included in my future boxes. + Vellabox Images via Paige Bennett / Inhabitat

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Vegan hotel in Scotland wins National Geographic Award

October 27, 2020 by  
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Scotland’s first vegan  hotel  opened in June 2019, and it’s already winning awards. National Geographic just bestowed a “Good Egg” award on the  Saorsa 1875  for its commitment to sustainability. The 11-room Victorian lodging features vegan dining, upcycled furniture, eco cleaning products and runs on renewable energy. Sandra McLaren-Stewart and her son Jack head the Scottish getaway. “We wanted to create a space where everybody— vegans  and otherwise—can come together to celebrate the incredible innovation and diversity that we’re seeing across the movement,” Sandra said. “This isn’t about abstinence or sacrifice, it’s an environment where guests can experience amazing food, drink, and design that doesn’t come at the expense of our fellow animals.” Related: Hong Kong welcomes Veda, the first vegetarian restaurant inside upscale hotel Ovolo The Saorsa resides in Highland Perthshire in central  Scotland . Rich in culture and history, this area boasts gorgeous landscapes. Scottish monarchs used to soak up the beauty of the green hills and rivers from their Perthshire residence, Scone Palace. The vegan hotel sits nestled within two acres of woodlands and overlooks the town of Pitlochry. The 11 rooms of the 19th-century baronial house feature individual styles, antique furnishings and luxury linens. Each room’s name comes from a different local animal , such as the golden eagle, water vole and lynx. One is even named after the very Scottish-sounding western capercaillie, known to Americans as the wood grouse. A lot of attention goes into the Saorsa’s dining. Australian chef Deborah Fleck changes the menu daily and cooks five-course set meals featuring local organic produce, some from on-site  gardens . Meals are served communally, with guests encouraged to share stories and get to know one another. With carbon offset in mind, the Saorsa contracts with Green Earth Appeal to plant a tree for every dinner served. Faodail, the hotel  bar , mixes up innovative cocktails. Guests can try the ginger laddie, a combination of Bruichladdich classic laddie, Port Charlotte, Oloroso sherry, sweet vermouth and orange bitters. The auld pal features Copper Dog whisky, Cointreau, sweet vermouth, strawberries and verbena. The hotel offers some fun weekend packages planned for Christmas and Hogmanay — New Year’s Eve to Americans. The three-night  Christmas  weekend starts with a champagne cocktail welcome reception and includes special meals, a Christmas film, guided walk and cocktail master class. The four-night Hogmanay extravaganza begins on December 30th and features similar activities, plus a street party in Pitlochry, afternoon tea and a New Year countdown. Groups can take over all 11 rooms of the Saorsa for special events. Corporate getaways, wedding receptions, family gatherings and  yoga  retreats will all enjoy the Saorsa’s combination of Victorian elegance and luxurious modern amenities. + Saorsa 1875 Via VegNews Images via Saorsa 1875

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A telework transition won’t slash emissions unless we make car-free lifestyles viable

October 20, 2020 by  
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A telework transition won’t slash emissions unless we make car-free lifestyles viable Hannah Budnitz Tue, 10/20/2020 – 00:02 Even before the pandemic, the proportion of people working from home was slowly but steadily increasing. But COVID-19 has put the practice into hyperdrive. Down from an April peak of about 47 percent in the United Kingdom, recent reports suggest that 20 percent of those in employment still work exclusively from home, with many more continuing to do so at least some of the time. The benefits of reduced office costs — and the realization that staff are actually fairly productive at home — has led to many big tech firms encouraging their employees to keep working from home, perhaps indefinitely. Up to 90 percentof those who have worked from home during the pandemic are reportedly converts to “telecommuting,” preferring to continue remote working at least some of the time. These are only some of the bigger signs that many workers may be giving up the real commute for good, while others are expected to commute much less often. Up to 90% of those who have worked from home during the pandemic are reportedly converts to ‘telecommuting,’ preferring to continue remote working at least some of the time. So, is this seismic shift in our work culture good news for the environment? Does less commuting mean less traffic and so, less carbon emissions? Well, despite satellite images revealing rapid reductions in air pollution during lockdowns around the world, more people switching to telecommuting for good does not necessarily equate to lower carbon emissions from transport. Our research revealed that although telecommuters travel to work less frequently, they have a tendency to travel more often for other reasons. Google searches for ‘telecommuting’ in the UK, 2016-2020 How travel patterns compare We analyzed just under 1 million trips using all modes of transport recorded in travel logs filled in by over 50,000 working people in England between 2009 and 2016, as part of the government’s annual National Travel Survey . We found that those who said they usually worked from home at least once a week made 19 trips per week on average — just one fewer than regular commuters. Instead of going to work, they were more likely to take the children to school, give lifts to friends or family, do the shopping and run other errands. They also used the time saved from commuting to enjoy leisure activities more often than their regularly commuting counterparts, perhaps going to a café or a yoga class. These trips weren’t necessarily all by car, but most were. Studies found that those who work from home tend to live further away from their employer, and so clock up more mileage when they do travel to work. Previous studies have found that those who work from home also tend to live further away from their employer, and so clock up more mileage when they do travel to work. Regular telecommuters are more likely to live in smaller towns and suburbs, rather than city centers. In the U.K., such places are often car-dependent, lacking local public transport services and basic amenities within walking or cycling distance. Some of these towns and suburbs have train lines into the city, and pre-pandemic, some part-time telecommuters were likely to use the train when they did venture into work. Our research found that working remotely and commuting by train were the only two means of accessing work that were increasing in England outside of London. But most commuters still drive, and COVID-19 has meant that a fear of long stints on public transport prevent this changing any time soon. The 15-minute suburb The pandemic has accelerated not just the transition to telecommuting, but also the rush to buy homes with gardens outside of dense, urban areas and further from the head office. While the lifestyle benefits may be clear, the places people are moving to also will be further from the range of shops and services in city centers. It’s no wonder that people in the hospitality and retail sector, whose business models depend on office workers, are concerned . The ’15-minute city’ plan, where people can meet their basic needs without walking more than 15 minutes from home, also could work for towns and suburbs. High streets in smaller towns, cities and suburbs are reported to be performing rather better. Is it because they’re being visited by all the additional people working from home? If so, are there enough of these places, and are they located so that people can walk there? Do they have all the amenities that people need? Perhaps the ” 15-minute city ” plan, championed by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, where people can meet their basic needs without walking more than 15 minutes from home, also could work for towns and suburbs. Reorienting life around local amenities could help permanently reduce transport emissions.  Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash ,  CC BY-SA If increased telecommuting and reduced transport emissions is to be a silver lining of the pandemic, then our research shows that transport and land use planners need to focus more on ensuring schools, shops, parks and community and leisure centers are accessible by foot or bike for locals. Telecommuters, especially those working exclusively from home, may not have to worry about switching to a car-free commute, but if anything, they will need even more help in building a car-free lifestyle. Pull Quote Up to 90% of those who have worked from home during the pandemic are reportedly converts to ‘telecommuting,’ preferring to continue remote working at least some of the time. Studies found that those who work from home tend to live further away from their employer, and so clock up more mileage when they do travel to work. The ’15-minute city’ plan, where people can meet their basic needs without walking more than 15 minutes from home, also could work for towns and suburbs. Contributors Emmanouil Tranos Lee Chapman Topics Transportation & Mobility The Conversation Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Is working from home sustainable? Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash Close Authorship

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A telework transition won’t slash emissions unless we make car-free lifestyles viable

FOReT’s accessories marry sustainability with high-fashion

August 7, 2020 by  
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Mining for metals and gems often harms the environment — to say nothing of the leather, ivory regularly used to produce accessories. But who says that beauty has to hurt the Earth? Many less harmful options exist, and FOReT proves this with its line of sustainable, eco-friendly cork jewelry . FOReT keeps nature in mind and centers sustainable philosophies through every stage of production. Most FOReT jewelry uses cork, with small amounts of polyester and polyurethane. Cork comes from the outer layer of oak tree bark, which gets harvested every nine years. The harvesting process does not harm the tree, and in time, the bark grows back. This process encourages growth and renewal in the tree. Cork also helps make FOReT’s accessories water-resistant and durable. The jewelry line includes a range of eye-catching jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. Even FOReT’s handbags and wallets use cork . FOReT’s wide product range helps you create a variety of looks. Each accessory features a high-end look and distinct style meant to get noticed. As FOReT’s website states, “We believe that there is no greater designer than Nature and this led us in search of a material that encapsulates its ethereal beauty. We came across the beautiful cork and were completely enamoured by it, inspiring us to launch our sustainable brand FOReT. At FOReT, we aim to create products that have a positive impact on our lifestyle and environment without compromising on the latest style and trends using the choicest of materials that resonate with being earth-friendly and responsible.” That’s what FOReT stands for, sustainable, responsibly-made fashion . The company commits to making the world a greener place. Every purchase helps fund FOReT’s biodiversity initiative with SankalpTaru , an NGO that plants trees in India. This initiative focuses on “planting and maintaining trees and supporting rural farmers.” FOReT is also a PETA-approved vegan company. + FOReT Images via FOReT

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FOReT’s accessories marry sustainability with high-fashion

BP to reduce oil, gas production by 40% to focus on clean energy

August 7, 2020 by  
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London-based energy company BP has announced plans to reduce its oil and gas production by 40% and invest $5 billion dollars into clean energy strategies by 2030. The move is part of BP’s ambitious plan that will see zero-carbon emissions from the company by 2050. This announcement comes amidst concerns of reduced oil prices across the world caused by the coronavirus pandemic. With many businesses and factories closed, planes grounded and public transport reduced, crude oil prices have dropped to an 18-year-low of less than $20 per barrel. Although the prices have recovered to about $44 per barrel, they are still much lower than usual, and the new reality is straining gas and oil companies. As such, BP has sold its petrochemical unit and announced to cut over 10,000 jobs. Related: Coronavirus and its impact on carbon emissions In the second quarter of this year, BP reported a loss of $16.8 billion. The company is now trying to realign itself with the future of energy, as most countries focus on low-carbon emission energy options. In a statement, BP said, “This coming decade is critical for the world in the fight against climate change , and to drive the necessary change in global energy systems will require action from everyone.” The company has predicted that demand for fossil fuels will decrease by at least 75% in the next 30 years, at least if we are all to maintain global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The company now plans to reduce oil and gas production by at least 1 million barrels a day by 2030. This would be equivalent to a 40% reduction compared to BP’s oil and gas output levels of 2019. “We believe that what we are setting out today offers a compelling and attractive long-term proposition for all investors,” CEO Bernard Looney said. While environmental groups believe this statement is a step in the right direction, they encourage BP to go further with its clean energy goals. Via CNN and Reuters Image via Donald Trung Quoc Don

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BP to reduce oil, gas production by 40% to focus on clean energy

Beyond Veganism for Earth-Friendly Lifestyle Products

September 19, 2019 by  
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When you think of veganism, you probably assume “healthy,” “organic,” … The post Beyond Veganism for Earth-Friendly Lifestyle Products appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Beyond Veganism for Earth-Friendly Lifestyle Products

Wherever you go, the Layover Travel Blanket has you covered

August 6, 2019 by  
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While the odds of obtaining a blanket on today’s stripped-down commercial flights are slim, the chances that it’ll do the job of keeping you warm without debating which half to cover are slimmer— just like their density. Luckily the inventors of the Layover Travel Blanket have solved this problem while incorporating sustainability along the way. The Layover, produced by Gravel, is a packable travel blanket that can be used in planes, trains, automobiles, at the stadium or on a camping trip. It has features you’d expect from a travel blanket, like a lightweight design, weighing in at just 11.4 oz. It also easily compresses, similar to jackets that pack into their own pockets. While packed, the Layover measures about 5 by 7 inches but when it comes time to work, it reaches a body-covering 41 by 67 inches. You can conveniently clip the Layover to your backpack or stuff it into your bag. Related:This summer sneaker is completely biodegradable There are also features you might not expect, such as the 100% recycled PET plastic insulation that offers compressibility and a warmth rating of 60 degrees to keep you cozy on those temperature-fluctuating flights. The Layover is easy to use, simply release the paracord opening and pull out the blanket. During use, the bag that it came out of stays attached so it doesn’t get lost. As a thoughtful design touch, there also a small compartment to stuff the dangling bag into. Once done, the blanket easily stuffs back into the bag. The Layover is made from nylon that easily moves across your body. That also means it can easily slide off your body, so the Layover comes with snaps at the top corners that allow you to connect it around your neck. Black snaps along the sides allow you to connect multiple blankets together. A built-in hoodie/kangaroo type micro-fleece lined pouch in the front provides a space for hand warming and an envelope-shaped pocket gives you a safe spot for earbuds and cellphones. Packing the entire blanket into the pocket gives you a soft-sided 8 by 12 inch pillow to use. The bottom portion has a generous compartment to slide your feet into for that tucked-into-bed feel. Water-resistant coating protects against spills but when travel takes its toll, the blanket is machine washable.  With sustainability in mind, the team offers a lifetime warranty on the Layover Travel Blanket, backing up the goal of creating a quality and long-lasting product. To further support eco-friendly practices, the company uses a single cardboard box and paper for packaging . The Layover is fully funded on Kickstarter and shipments are expected to begin in the fall.  + Gravel Images via Gravel

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Beyond & Impossible alternative meats: are they actually healthier than the real thing?

July 29, 2019 by  
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Tempting the most loyal of carnivores, plant-based foods are spreading faster than wildfire as restaurant chains like Carl’s Jr., Del Taco, Burger King and White Castle have added alternative meats to their menus, providing vegans, vegetarians and non-meat eaters with popular food options like burgers and tacos. However, a lingering question remains— how healthy are they? Studies Say Many of us remember the infamous 2006 study revealing that livestock and meat production are generating more greenhouse gas emissions than transport. The report, released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), was enough to make any carnivore rethink their meat consumption. At the time, Henning Steinfeld, Chief of FAO’s Livestock Information and Policy Branch and author of the report said, “Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation.”  Related: Impossible Foods tests a fish-less fish protein The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, released a statement classifying processed meat as a carcinogen in 2015 . It also classified red meat as a probable carcinogen. It took a total of 22 experts from 10 countries and the review of over 800 studies to reach this conclusion. They found that consuming 50 grams of processed meat each day (the equivalent of about four strips of bacon or one hot dog) could increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. When it came to red meat, the report found evidence of increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers. The Big Bucks More and more people are making the switch to a plant-based diet, whether for the environment , personal health or love of animals. As the vegan and vegetarian lifestyles rise in numbers, corporations are taking notice and forming strategies to take livestock out of the equation.  The plant-based meat market is already booming. According to the Good Food Institute, the sale of plant-based meat grew 10% from April 2018 to April 2019 and 37% over the past two years. Last year 11.9% of all U.S. households purchased plant-based meat, which may not sound like much, but that equates to about 15 million households. Plant-based food is currently a $4.5 billion industry and has grown 31% in the past two years. Beyond and Impossible The question of whether these plant-based meats are actually good for your health, however, still has experts debating . Unsurprisingly, the futuristic vegan burgers of two most popular plant-based meat companies in the nation have found themselves under the spotlight. By 2016, Beyond Meat released the first plant-based burger sold in grocery stores (such as Whole Foods) internationally. Impossible Foods began selling their plant-based “bleeding” burgers to fast-food brands and gourmet spots such as Bareburger and Umami Burger in 2017. The controversy first began in 2018 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expressed concern over soy leghemoglobin or “heme,” which is an essential ingredient in the Impossible Foods burger “meat.” The key ingredient creates the illusion of blood and aroma of real meat, and the company found a way to harvest it from plants creating a protein produced by genetically modified yeast cells. Soy is also a key ingredient in popular veggie meat patty brands, Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Burgers and Kraft Heinz’s Boca Veggie Burgers. Beyond Meat uses beets for color and pea protein isolate, which is processed and is not considered a whole food. The Ingredients Beyond : Water, Pea Protein Isolate, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Rice Protein, Natural Flavors, Cocoa Butter, Mung Bean Protein, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Apple Extract, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vinegar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Pomegranate Fruit Powder, Beet Juice Extract (for color). Related: Cell-based meat could replicate and replace shrimp, lobster and crab Impossible : Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12. Things to Consider While the protein content is similar to actual meat, the plant-based protein used to produce vegan meat is processed. Processed proteins should be eaten in moderation, so more isn’t necessarily better. The process isn’t nearly as synthetic or harmful as say, a twinkie, but it is still something to consider. Both burgers include coconut oil (rich in saturated fat) as a main ingredient, which the American Heart Association has risen concerns about . There is a large amount of sodium in both burgers. Beyond has 390 milligrams of sodium and Impossible has 370 mg. There is also the concerning fact that both Impossible and Beyond have yet to reveal how exactly their burgers are made. The companies consider production methods to be trade secrets, which is understandable in a business sense, but far more complicated than the cow = meat process we’ve all grown up with. When compared to a 4-ounce beef burger with 20 percent fat content, both Beyond and Impossible burgers have fewer calories, fewer grams of fat and the same amount of (or slightly more) protein. Both plant-based burgers have no cholesterol and more fiber than a regular beef burger. So, are these plant-based burgers actually healthier than the real thing? Well, it depends on the individual. High risk for colorectal cancer? Need to lay off the saturated fats or sodium? Your lifestyle, diet and personal health all need to be considered when making the switch to plant-based meats— and that’s between you and your doctor. Images via Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat

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RISD student designs a micro-algae farm for home use

July 29, 2019 by  
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Rhode Island School of Design student Hyunseok An has created a prototype indoor micro-algae farm in a bid to sustainably and beautifully integrate algae into our everyday lives. Dubbed The Coral after its coral pattern, the micro-farm takes on the shape of a four-by-four gridded bioreactor that can be mounted on the wall like artwork. The algae that grows inside each square component is rendered visible through transparent containers so that owners can watch as the algae grows and changes color. In 1974, the U.N. World Food Conference declared algae “the most ideal food for mankind” for its rich nutritional makeup; however, popular opinion often dismisses the superfood as nothing more than pond scum. Hyunseok An, who is pursuing a master’s degree in industrial design at RISD , wants to change our perception of algae and promote its health and environmental benefits. Algae, which grows quickly with few inputs, is also lauded for its ability to sequester carbon at an absorption rate that’s estimated to be 10 times greater than typical plants. Related: Soil Algae aims to improve soil quality through algae cultures The Coral comprises 16 cells arranged in a grid pattern with two grams of algae in each culture cell — the recommended daily intake amount. Each cell replenishes its stock on a biweekly cycle so that users will always have access to the sustainable food. As the algae grows and replenishes its stock, the cell changes color from clear to varying shades of green. The coral pattern printed on the transparent cells symbolizes the reversal of “coral bleaching,” a global phenomenon where coral is irritated — the causes can be varied from sea temperature fluctuations or pollution — and expels algae, thus turning the coral completely white. “Through its use and indoor experience, The Coral aims to change the preconception of algae, suggesting a socially acceptable way of reconnecting with algae and bringing it into our everyday lives,” Hyunseok An explained in a project statement. “By doing so, The Coral can help us take one step forward to a better, more sustainable way of living for us and for our world.” + Hyunseok An Images via Hyunseok An

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RISD student designs a micro-algae farm for home use

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