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Behavior Change

The latest developments supporting a shift toward sustainable consumption, as well as specific ways brands are encouraging less wasteful behaviors.

Social Media an Invaluable Tool for Helping Conscious Consumers Live Even More Consciously

With hundreds of millions of individuals logging into social media accounts every day, using the medium as a platform for social change and activism is just common sense. Today, about 61 percent of consumers use social platforms to learn about sustainability issues. In this open forum-style digital environment, consumers are able to have open conversations about corporate social responsibility and other salient subjects in sustainability.

Waitrose Joins Tesco in Threatening to Can John West Over Broken Tuna Sustainability Pledge

Waitrose has joined Tesco as the latest UK retailer to take seafood giant John West to task over its fishing practices, threatening to remove its canned tuna from store shelves if it does not follow through on its promise to improve. The decision will pile pressure on the embattled tuna company — which is Britain’s most popular tuna brand, accounting for a third of the UK market — following last week’s announcement by Tesco that John West would be banned if it continued using harmful fishing practices.

How Standardized Labels, Celebrities and Brands Are Working to Help the Public ‘Recycle Right!’

In celebration of Earth Month (shouldn’t every month be Earth Month?), our nonprofit organization Recycle Across America (RAA) hosted an exciting pair of events to discuss the faltering recycling industry and a simple solution that can help begin to make recycling fiscally viable and help it begin to thrive. Before we talk about the Earth Month events and RAA’s society-wide standardized labeling system for recycling bins, let’s briefly discuss the challenges facing the recycling industry and the ominous signs that suggest we need serious solutions, and fast.

How a Shrub in Africa Made Me Want to Change the Food Industry

In 2004 I was on my knees scrabbling through the Cameroon rainforest. A keen botanist, I’d signed up as a volunteer with an NGO to help map the forest and search for new species. One day whilst hiking along a surging river, I came across a little shrub, no taller than my knee, peppered with bright blue flowers. Not recognizing the bush, I called over one of the local scientists in our group. He immediately alerted the botany professor who, in turn, got very excited. They had never seen a shrub like it before, and it turned out to be a new species.

Disney, Recyclebank Extol the 'Magic of Conservation' to Encourage Kids to Recycle, Respect Environment

A new collaboration between Disney and Recyclebank, a Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS) company that promotes sustainable behavior change, “hopes to inspire teachable moments with kids and families” across the U.S. and encourage recycling through the magic of Disney storytelling and characters.

41 Energy Companies Accept EPA Challenge to Reduce Methane Emissions

Duke Energy, PG&E, National Grid and TransCanada Pipelines are among the 41 energy companies that have accepted a challenge from the EPA to reduce their methane emissions.

What Difference Does One Make?

My family eats a mostly vegetarian diet. Some kids at school were making fun of my 9-year-old son, telling him how great meat tastes. Before diving into the challenge of dealing with childhood peers, I asked him if he knew why we’re vegetarian. When it was clear he didn’t (that’s on me), I started to tell him about the environmental impacts of meat as it’s currently produced, health benefits, and animal welfare.

UK Announces Tax on Sugary Beverages; Industry May Sue

In a surprise announcement on March 16, the UK government unveiled a tax on sugary drinks amidst its budgetary plans. Companies have 2 years to reformulate their products, but the director general of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said they were “extremely disappointed” by the decision and called it “a piece of political theatre.” Soft drink makers, including Coca-Cola, are reportedly considering suing the government to force the tax to be scrapped.

Criticism Over Coffee Cup Waste Leads to Starbucks Discount, Call to Go Biodegradable

A successful campaign led by chef-turned-activist Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall drew attention to a big problem: coffee cup waste. Fearnley-Whittingstall claims that in the UK, less than 6 million takeaway hot beverage cups are recycled each year, while 7 million are thrown out each day. As part of his Hugh’s War on Waste initiative (which includes a television show), he took to the streets of London on March 14 in a “coffee cup battle bus.”

Study: More Conscious Living Increases Happiness; Tetra Pak Challenges Consumers to Find Out

New findings from a survey and a social experiment suggest that ‘the key to happiness’ may be as simple as making small lifestyle changes that help protect Earth’s natural resources. 70 percent of the survey respondents and all of the participants in the social experiment reported that ‘making eco-minded choices’ led to significant increases in personal happiness.

Love for 'Ugly Fruit and Veg' Slowly Growing in the U.S., But Food Waste Fight Still Needs Steam

The amount of food we waste globally has become a front-of-mind concern recently and with good reason: In the U.S. alone, an estimated 26 percent of all food produced is wasted. In a country where, in 2013, an estimated 17.5 million households faced food insecurity, this just should not be a problem. One major link in the food waste chain is retailers, which often throw away less than aesthetically pleasing produce, often not even donating it to food banks or other charities.

6 Chinese Rayon Producers Join Effort to End Use of Ancient Forest Fiber in Fabrics

Today, Canadian environmental NGO Canopy welcomes six large Chinese viscose producers to the growing roster of fashion and textile leaders committed to eliminating the world’s ancient and endangered forests from their fabrics. While to date 60 brands and designers, representing more than 85 billion USD in annual revenues, have signed on to the CanopyStyle campaign — triggering the need for deep shifts within the viscose supply chain — the real change will come from producers, who must provide the industry with alternatives.

How Supermarkets Can Help Fight Obesity, One Receipt at a Time

Obesity is a big problem in numerous countries around the world. Obesity rates are above 20 percent in every US state, and exceed 35 percent in 3 states (Arkansas, West Virginia and Mississippi). Every state is expected to reach a rate of at least 44 percent by 2030, and in 13 states, the rate is expected to surpass 60 percent. Across the pond, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that 74 percent of men and 64 percent of women in the UK will be overweight or obese by 2030.

Web Series Puts California’s Drought, Oil Wastewater Use, Gas Prices in the Spotlight

“The California you don't see on postcards” is featured in a new web series: Spotlight California. In each episode, comedienne Kiran Deol speaks to community activists and people directly affected by issues such as the state's drought, high gas prices, and the racial disparities of air pollution.

Tyson Foods Dumps More Pollution Into Waterways Each Year Than ExxonMobil

Tyson Foods Inc. was the second biggest polluter of America’s waterways from 2010 to 2014, according to data the company submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Toxic Release Inventory.

Global Companies Played Key Role in Precedent-Setting Great Bear Conservation Agreement

It has taken the combined and herculean efforts of countless individuals, but this week, the vision of the landmark Great Bear Rainforest Agreements has finally been realized. Local communities have a vibrant future and 85 percent of the rainforest in the region is now protected or off-limits to logging.

Mayors Get Creative as Competition for 'Coolest City in California' Heats Up

A competition that began in October, the CoolCalifornia Challenge, is motivating Californians in 22 participating cities to reduce their water and energy consumption. The cities are competing for a share of $150,000 to put towards local sustainability projects and the coveted title of “Coolest City in California,” and Mayors and city officials are joining in the fun by releasing rallying call videos to encourage their constituents to take part.

'Sea the Possibilities' Healthy Eating Challenge Not So Healthy for the Oceans

For Chicken of the Sea, the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans give the right recommendation: People should eat more seafood, and it should replace of other protein foods for two meals per week. In response, the company launched the “Sea the Possibilities Challenge,” a behavior change campaign that encourages consumers to lead “happier, healthier, and more adventurous” lives, in part by increasing their seafood consumption.

Marketers: Stop Selling 'Green,' Start Selling Products That Match Our Values

Sustainable Brands recently referenced a study from Ohio State University that shows that “not only do many consumers not want to put much effort toward finding out whether our purchases were produced ethically (which is not exactly news), they have a way of looking down on those who do.”I can relate: My in-laws feel that way about me! They see organic food, for example, as expensive nonsense for fools/snobs/hippies who believe in that “green stuff.”

Singularity University, Amnesty International Turning to Tech to Tackle Human Rights Challenges

Benefit corporation Singularity University (SU) is in ambitious pursuit of solutions for eleven “global grand challenges” that its experts have identified: environment, security, health, learning, energy, food, prosperity, water, space, disaster resilience, and governance. SU hopes to use technology to address these challenges with the support of its Developing Organization Partners and their expertise.

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