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Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Best Green Companies" - Not quite sure...

I was reading through the April 2010 Working Mother magazine(yes, it's a freebie subscription). I enjoy reading this publication and it usually has some good tips, recipes, and/or articles in it.
This month the magazine featured an article titled "Best Green Companies for America's Children". I must say that I was quite surprised by the names on the list. Here they are:
Annie's Homegrown - this one, in my opinion is a "no brainer"! Of course Annie's a great green company for kids! They make all natural, organic (and even gluten free) mac-n-cheese. (And don't forget this good stuff is on SALE at Kroger this week for 49 cents a box. That's cheaper than the Kraft version that ISN'T organic). I was pleased to find out that Annie's also funds and donates products to kids' organic gardening and education programs. The program is called "Grants for Gardents". They even give away scholarships totaling $50,00 for undergrads studying sustainable agriculture. Way to go Annie's!
Another thing I like about them is that they will send you freebies!

Clorox is the next company listed in the article. My response was "Clorox - really????". The writer thinks Clorox deserves this recognition because it purchased Burt's Bees and started the Greenworks label. They have also agreed to "phase out" (which means they are still using it) their use of and transportation of chlorine gas. It has also become a parter with the Sierra Club.
Personally, while I think Burt's Bees is a great company (and was much better off without the Clorox parentage), I don't agree with Clorox being a green company. While they may have started "Greenworks", they still make many other "non-green" products. My opinion is that they did it for the money - and if/when green doesn't put more "green" in their pockets, they will discontinue it. My other gripe is that if Clorox knows that petroleum based products are bad for the environment, then why keep making them?
Intel (yes the computer company) is also one of the 5 companies profiled in the article. To be honest, I don't know much about this company beyond their ads and the fact that my computer has their sticker on it. Did you know Intel hs given away $100 million a year in investments in education (mainly math, science, and technology). They sponsor an international Science fair with a prize of $50,000. The winners of this contest discovered some amazing things, like using mealworms (a favorite of bluejays)to get rid of styrofoam (who knew???). They are also working on making computers more energy efficient and purchases renewable energy-so much that they are the largest corporate purchaser of the stuff!
For the coffee drinkers out there, Starbucks may or may not be a name you were expecting to make this list. I don't drink coffee, so my experiences with Starbucks are limited to hot cocoa and cheesecake (the ones in Barnes and Noble or Target also sell Cheesecake Factory cheesecake). Starbucks gives away grants to support young innovators and they are a Save the Children sponsor. They are also the largest purchaser of Fair Trade coffee, which accounts for 75 percent of it' product (the other 25 will be changed over by 2015). It has a lot of plans, like making all their containers recyclable or reusable - but they are PLANS. Hmmmmm. This makes me think - if this company makes the list, still using 25 percent of it's coffee from suspicious farmers and is planning on going "green" - what about the companies that DIDN'T make the list.
The last company really shocked me (not as much as Clorox, but I was still surprised). It is Johnson and Johnson! Why? Because they have "reduced their dependency on fossil fuels by 34 percent." They have done some good things, like using hybrid vehicles and helping with the HIV/AIDS problems in Africa. Like Starbucks, they have a lot of goals or plans - like reducing carbon dioxide emissions and using less water, as well as looking into alternative "green" packaging methods. But they make a lot of petroleum based products, and do a lot of testing on animals, so I honestly don't know how they made this list.

The article mentions other companies - most of which I was shocked at. If these companies are going green then they need to be more vocal about it: General Motors, Honda, Nike, S.C. Johnson, Disney, Walmart....
The list also included Stonyfield Farm on the list. They should be upset to be mentioned with Wal-Mart. Really? Stonyfield Farm - the organic dairy company and Wal-Mart - are NOT on the same page when it comes to the environment.

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