Lester Brown, well-known American environmentalist, said: “We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.”
These days, if you think terms like carbon footprint, climate change and the like are being bandied about alarmingly often, just think of Brown’s wise words. Brown, Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio are just some of the high profile figures to get behind environmental causes.
And with *83 per cent of Australians willing to change their lifestyle to prevent climate change, what does it mean for the beauty conscious? The good news is, some brands are already one step ahead of us, doing their bit to make sure green is glamorous so jump on the environmentally friendly (solar powered, of course) bandwagon now…
The brainchild of Dr Rudolf Steiner and Dr Ita Wegman, Weleda pioneered the use of biodynamic and organic ingredients in the personal care industry. Harvesting biodynamically-grown plants from homeopathically-prepared soil by hand, the brand slowly processes plants into holistic, synthetic-free formulas for the skin, body and soul.
But it’s not just about what goes into Weleda’s recyclably-packaged products – it’s about how it gets there. To minimise its production footprint, Weleda’s New Zealand manufacturing site runs on wind- and hydro-power while in Europe, the company’s offices and plants are built to capture natural light.
The brand also uses its wealth of knowledge to educate others about environmental sustainability. Due to the success of its Wild Rose Facial and Body products (that cause the brand to harvest more than 400,000,000 Rosa Damescena and Centifolia roses annually), Weleda has developed a fair trade project with local farmers and residents of the Turkish village, Senir. Here, Weleda began helping the community covert its land into a site for organic cultivation several years ago, since then over 120 farmers have enhanced their farms according to organic standards.
Focusing on specific eco issues each year, the global brand is seeking to raise $3 million in 30 days for clean water rights for Earth Month 2009. Kicking off on April 1, the activist-based brand, which pioneered Earth Month in April 1999, will aim to top 2008’s record-breaking year, which raised $2.8 million for the cause. All in all, Aveda has raised over $11 million for environmental causes through its annual Earth Month campaigns.
Aveda also uses predominantly organic plant ingredients and 100 per cent of the electrical usage at Aveda’s Minnessota headquarters is offset with wind energy.
Yes To Carrots
Self-confessed carrot lover Igo Leffler, founder of Yes To Carrots, established the Yes To Carrots Seed Fund, a non-profit organisation that is on a mission to make a difference. Together with partner organisations, it provides under-served communities with resources (seeds, equipment, technical know-how and irrigation support) to develop and sustain an organic food source and in turn, access to healthy nutrition.
Built on the premise of give a person a carrot, feed him for a day, give him seeds, feed him for life, the Fund aims to provide a community facility to grow organic fruits and vegetables season to season; the seeds required to grow, harvest and/or sell organic fruits and vegetables in the local community; environmentally-sound farming systems to grow crops; follow-up mechanisms to ensure the project is well-maintained and lives up to the spirit of the Mission; a sense of community in order to help developing communities worldwide realise the dream of having a self-sustained, organic food source and access to healthy nutrition.
Since its inception in 1990 Origins has been committed to the planet and people who populate it. Its latest ‘Return to Nature’ Earth Initiative sees the brand partner with Greening Australia to support critically important environmental issues like global reforestation. Jane Lauder, Senior Vice President/General Manager of the brand says “Origins will continue to support these global and local charities in an effort to help build a cleaner, healthier environment.”
Taking this dedication one step further, Origins continues its partnership with Community Energy Inc. USA to purchase wind-generated power to offset electricity used by its US retail stores and manufacturing places of both Origins and Origins Organics™. By helping to fund the building of additional turbines with Community Energy Inc. USA to supply electricity to Origins manufacturing operations, Origins will achieve reduction in CO2 emissions that equate to 1.25 million trees being planted.
Other environmentally friendly initiatives from the brand include a tree being planted when a new Origins guide is hired, as well as trees being planted to honour new store openings.
Did you know?
One tree absorbs about 18 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year
One tree reduces heating and cooling costs on a typical home by up to 12 per cent
One tree has the net cooling effect on the environment of ten air conditioners operating at 20 hours per day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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*The Modern Digital World 2008 Australian report by STW Group