News from Around the Web: Fracking – Friend or Foe?

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While most people concerned with the environment agree that that we should wean ourselves off our dependence on fossil fuels and switch instead to natural gas, which is plentiful and cleaner than coal, there are some concerns with the methods used to collect this resource.

Fracking, or induced hydraulic fracturing, the drilling technique used to collect natural gas has been blamed for polluting water supplies and air quality. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recently proposed new rules to govern drilling on more than 700 million acres of federal and Indian lands that his department oversees.

Check out this interesting editorial in the New York Times and let us know what you think? Is fracking the Achilles’ heel of natural gas? How can this problem be solved?

News from Around the Web: Letters to the Editor

We love to see people taking a stand for the environment. Whether you are creating an eco-friendly product, spearheading a charity event for an Earth-friendly organization or simply composting your kitchen waste, actions matter. A recent batch of letters to the editor in the New York Times reminded us of another way people can make a difference: through the power of the pen. Next time you read an article that moves you, or see a documentary that makes you think, sitting down and writing a good old-fashioned letter (or email, as the case may be) is a great way to get involved and have your opinions be heard.

When is the last time you were inspired to write a letter? We’d love to hear about it.

News from Around the Web: An Ode to Mud

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This recent piece in the New York Times is strike a chord with all you gardening- and farming-types out there. It pays homage to mud, a field and garden bed companion that the author, Verlyn Klinkenborg, is missing this year.

Mud-Less Season

There are clear advantages to a spring without mud. I have not lost a boot to the suction of the barnyard swamp. I haven’t had to cut drainage channels through the corral. Nor have I had to tractor through primeval ooze while hauling a round bale to the run-in shed.

Still, something is missing in a season in which the forsythia came and went without mud. In a well-drained garden, mud season makes it easy to do your spading, whether you plant potatoes on Good Friday, as my uncle does, or merely prepare the earth for tomatoes to come.

What we have this year, dry earth, is intractable stuff — hard, powdery and too light in color. What rain has fallen has barely laid the dust, and even a good storm now wouldn’t raise the kind of mud I’ve come to expect over the years. Mud season is more complex than that. It needs frozen ground, good snowpack and a sudden thaw. The mud of mud season isn’t merely waterlogged dirt. It is upheaval, the amphibian earth changing shape before your eyes. It is the seed of spring in the corpse of winter.

To read the rest of this piece on NYTimes.com, click here.

Spring Plant Sale & Farm Festival is Tomorrow!

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Don’t forget: tomorrow, April 28th, is the 2nd Annual Four Elements Farm Spring Plant Sale & Farm Festival. From 11 am to 10 pm, Elemental Herbs, in partnership with Four Elements Organics, will have thousands of organic plant starts for sale, including numerous varieties of fruits, veggies, herbs, flowers, and heirloom grains, all of which have been grown in our beautiful straw-bale greenhouse.

In addition to the sale, the Farm Festival will feature activities for the entire family including:

  • Farm tours
  • Watershed ecology walks
  • Permaculture workshops
  • Information on sustainable living, organic gardening and cooking
  • Yoga
  • Children’s activities

There will also be tons of fabulous food and live music from The Earthtones, Burning Bush and BoomBala!

For more information and directions, visit www.fourelementsorganics.com.

Elemental Herbs: News from the Web

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This is an interesting piece that appeared in the New York Time recently about Wal-Mart’s allegiance with a a major environmental group. What do you think of these two as bedmates? And what, if anything, do you think will come out of such a partnership? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Unexpected Ally Helps Wal-Mart Cut Waste

by Stephanie Clifford

Michelle Harvey, an employee of the Environmental Defense Fund, has a security badge to a site that used to be considered enemy territory: the headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores in Bentonville, Ark.

An environmentalist in Bentonville sounds like the premise for a low-budget reality show, but Wal-Mart has been courting environmental groups and seeking their input on its policies in the seven years since it first announced a sustainability program.

The company, the nation’s biggest retailer, has met some environmental goals and missed others. On Monday, it plans to announce that it now reuses or recycles more than 80 percent of the waste produced in its domestic stores and in its other United States operations. That is up from 64 percent as of 2009, but it is short of the zero-waste goal the company hopes to get to.

Wal-Mart’s environmental push has helped transform public opinion of the company, easing the way for it to open stores in urban areas like Chicago and Los Angeles. About a quarter of Americans now have a favorable impression of Wal-Mart, about double the percentage that did in 2007 (the earliest available figure for Wal-Mart), according to the YouGov BrandIndex, which measures consumers’ impressions of companies and products.

Before Wal-Mart announced the environmental initiative in 2005, H. Lee Scott, the chief executive, reviewed the legal and public relations problems the company was having. It had paid millions of dollars in fines for violating local pollution laws, and was facing a lawsuit claiming that Wal-Mart discriminated against women. Mr. Scott wondered if behaving differently could enhance the company’s reputation, he told Fortune. That year, Mr. Scott announced a wide-ranging plan to lessen the retailer’s environmental impact. Wal-Mart has issued regular updates on its progress since then.

Click here to read the rest of this article on NYTimes.com.

EH Earth Day Contest: We Have a Winner! Plus More Prizes!

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Congratulations to Lorrin Salchli for winning last week’s Elemental Herbs Earth Day Contest! A healthy product will be shipped to you directly!

Just as a reminder, throughout the month of April, we are going to be celebrating Earth Day in a big way. Every Monday, until April 23rd, look for our Earth Day Question of the Week here or on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Answer the question here on the blog in the comments section and you’ll be entered to win an Elemental Herbs goodie. We’ll choose a winner at random and send the lucky person his or her eco swag in the mail.

The question will be posted on the Elemental Herbs Facebook page and on Twitter, but don’t forget to leave your answers here on the blog.

This week’s question: If you had $1 million to donate to an Earth-friendly charity or cause, which one would you choose and why?

Go. go. go! We can’t wait to see your responses!

April Earth Day Contest: We Have Winners!!

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We have not one but two winners of our Earth Day Contest this week! Denise and Stephanie, please email your addresses to caroline@elementalherbs.com.

To win prizes and share your knowledge throughout the month of April, look for our Earth Day Question of the Week every Monday until April 23rd. Answer the question here on the blog in the comments section and you’ll be entered to win a different Elemental Herbs goodie each week. We’ll choose a winner at random and send the lucky person his or her eco swag in the mail.

The question will be posted on the Elemental Herbs Facebook page and on Twitter, but don’t forget to visit the blog to leave your answers.

This week’s question: Which Earth-friendly celebrity do you most admire and why?

Go. go. go! We can’t wait to see your responses!

Enter Our April Earth Day Contest… No Foolin’!

April is a month of rebirth: the beginning of spring, longer periods of sunlight and a pervasive feeling of gratitude that winter is finally over!

April also plays host to Earth Day. This year the 42nd Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22nd but, here at Elemental Herbs, we plan to party starting right now, with prizes all month long.

To participate, look for our Earth Day Question of the Week every Monday until April 23rd. Answer the question here on the blog in the comments section and you’ll be entered to win a different Elemental Herbs goodie each week. We’ll choose a winner at random and send the lucky person his or her eco swag in the mail.

The question will be posted on the Elemental Herbs Facebook page and on Twitter, but don’t forget to visit the blog to leave your answers.

This week’s question: What changes have you made to make your lifestyle more green?

Go. go. go! We can’t wait to see your responses!

Treehugger’s Best of Green 2011

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Have your voice heard in Treehuggers’ annual Best of Green Awards. Vote for your favorite Earth-friendly car, green cookbook, eco home decor and more!

Nominees will be announced daily. Voting is open through March 30th at 11:59 p.m. Awards will be announced the week of April 2 – 6.

Click here to start voting!

News from the Web: The pH and the Sea

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Poor, poor ocean. How we abuse thee.

New research suggests that we are changing the pH of seawater — a measurement of how acid or alkaline it is — at an alarming rate. While history indicates that there have been many episodes of acidification over the history of the Earth, some scientists say that the current changes in the oceans’ pH level is cause for great concern. Please read this recent New York Times
short editorial and tell us what you think.

Changing the Chemistry of Earth’s Oceans

Elemental Herbs: News of the Week

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After a year of debate, the Iowa legislature has passed a bill that makes taking undercover footage and photography at factory farms illegal. It is one more hurdle for animal rights activists whose mission it is to expose those farms who don’t treat their animals humanely. Montana, North Dakota, and Kansas have already enacted similar laws and Illinois, Missouri, Utah, New York, Nebraska, Indiana, and Minnesota are considering such bills.

Do you think that these videos should be illegal, or do you believe activists have the right to expose factory farms that mistreat animals. Read the article on Treehugger and let us know what you think.

Get Your Garden Going!

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Spring is coming, though depending on where you live that may be hard to believe. Here in the Bay Area the weather has been pretty great, sunny and cool with hints of rebirth showing up on the shrubs and tree branches.

Right now is the perfect time to start thinking about your garden. Plan you plot. Gather your seeds. Seek out the perfect containers. (Even if you don’t have outdoor space, window boxes and container gardens can keep you in herbs all summer long.)

To ensure that your garden is 100 percent organic, from start to finish, consider starting your own seeds instead of buying plants. You’ll need to start now but the results will be work the dirty work.

For tips on starting your own seeds, check out this handy guide on OrganicGardening.com, with tips on choosing  seeds, containers and soil, as well as techniques for raising healthy plants.

Happy sowing!

Elemental Herbs: News of the Week

This weekend, the New York Times posted an interesting op-ed piece written by Thomas L. Friedman. Something in his email inbox recently reopened the debate over who is responsible for higher oil prices. What do you think?

A Good Question

By

AN e-mail came in the other day with a subject line that I couldn’t ignore. It was from the oil economist Phil Verleger, and it read: “Should the United States join OPEC?” That I had to open.

Verleger’s basic message was that the knee-jerk debate we’re again having over who is responsible for higher oil prices fundamentally misses huge changes that have taken place in America’s energy output, making us again a major oil and gas producer — and potential exporter — with an interest in reasonably high but stable oil prices.

From one direction, he says, we’re seeing the impact of the ethanol mandate put in place by President George W. Bush, which established fixed quantities of biofuels to be used in gasoline. When this is combined with improved vehicle fuel economy — in July, the auto industry agreed to achieve fleet averages of more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025 — it will inevitably drive down demand for gasoline and create more surplus crude to export. Add to that, says Verleger, “the increase in oil production from offshore fields and unconventional sources in America,” and that exportable U.S. surplus could grow even bigger.

Then, add the recent discoveries of natural gas deposits all over America, which will allow us to substitute gas for coal at power plants and become a natural gas exporter as well. Put it all together, says Verleger, and you can see why America “will want to consider joining with other energy-exporting countries, like those in OPEC, to sustain high oil prices. Such an effort would support domestic oil and gas production and give the U.S. a real competitive advantage over countries forced to pay high prices for imported energy — nations such as China, European Union members, and Japan.”

To read the rest of this article, click here.

Elemental Herbs: News of the Week

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The San Francisco Bay Area is home to some 7.5 million inhabitants, with many paying an exorbitant price for real estate that offers even a slivered view of those namesake waters — but it turns out that behind the Golden Gate lies much more than meets the eye. According to the results of the first comprehensive assessment of pollution in that famous bay, a mind-boggling 1.36 million gallons of trash are being dumped in it every year. All that waste, say experts, is be enough to fill 100 thousand kitchen-sized garbage bags! Oh, and it’s 100 percent avoidable.

To read the rest of this article on Treehugger.com.

Activist Athletes: Where the Colorado Runs Dry

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Elemental Herbs Activist Athlete Jon Waterman, author of Running Dry: A Journey From Source to Sea Down the Colorado River, this week published a thought-provoking Op-Ed piece in the New York Times on the desiccation of the Colorado River. Take a look at his important piece and, if so moved, head to his website where you can make a donation through Change.org to help.

MOST visitors to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon probably don’t realize that the mighty Colorado River, America’s most legendary white-water river, rarely reaches the sea.

Until 1998 the Colorado regularly flowed south along the Arizona-California border into a Mexican delta, irrigating farmlands and enriching a wealth of wildlife and flora before emptying into the Gulf of California.

But decades of population growth, climate change and damming in the American Southwest have now desiccated the river in its lowest reaches, turning a once-lush Mexican delta into a desert. The river’s demise began with the 1922 Colorado River Compact, a deal by seven western states to divide up its water. Eventually, Mexico was allotted just 10 percent of the flow.

Officials from Mexico and the United States are now talking about ways to increase the flow into the delta. With luck, someday it may reach the sea again.

It is paradoxical that the Colorado stopped running consistently through the delta at the end of the 20th century, which — according to tree-ring records — was one of the basin’s wettest centuries in 1,200 years. Now dozens of animal species are endangered; the culture of the native Cocopah (the People of the River) has been devastated; the fishing industry, once sustained by shrimp and other creatures that depend on a mixture of seawater and freshwater, has withered. In place of delta tourism, the economy of the upper Gulf of California hinges on drug smuggling operations that run opposite to the dying river.

Click here to read the rest of Jon Waterman’s article on NYT.com.

Is There Something Fishy About Your Fish?

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There is more to improving the health of the planet than just using Elemental Herbs lip balm. When you get serious about making a positive change in how you live your life, you start thinking not only about what you put on your body but what you put in your body as well.

If you saw our post on Monday about FarmPlate, check this out. The Monterey Bay Aquarium publishes a Seafood Watch Guide, a handy online (or pocket-sized guide to people who still like paper) to all things that swim. It is updated regularly to serve as a shopping guide to which species of fish are safe and environmentally-sound to eat, making it that much easier to do the right thing when you are standing in line at the seafood counter or sitting at the sushi bar.

You can check out the complete list online here or you can order your pocket guide by clicking here.

Elemental Herbs: 20-40% Off Select Products!

 

Hey Elemental Herb fans! Great news! Our sale has been extended until December 21st!

We are offering 20-40% off select products. Also, if you buy one sunscreen, you’ll get a FREE sunstick, one of our most popular new items.

Head to our online shop now!

Happy holidays everyone!

 

Elemental Herbs: News of the Week

What do you think of these stats? According to an article on Treehugger.com:

  • The House of Representatives averaged more than one anti-environmental vote for every day the House was in session in 2011.
  • More than one in five of the legislative roll call votes taken in 2011 – 22% – were votes to undermine environmental protections.
  • On average, 228 Republican members of the House – 94% of the Republican members – voted for the anti-environment position during these roll call votes. On average, 164 Democratic members of the House – 86% of the Democratic members – voted for the pro-environment position.

To read the article in full, click here.

 

Welcome to the New Elemental Herbs Blog!

Welcome to Elemental Herb’s new blog! We look forward to having you visit us here to learn more about our company, about special offers and information about our partner companies.

But what exactly is Elemental Herbs and why should you purchase our products?

Elemental Herbs is proof that sometimes the best products start with the simplest ideas. Elemental Herbs started with a straightforward vision: to harness the natural powers of the environment’s purest, most elemental ingredients and organic herbs in order to offer natural healing products that are not only good for people but good for the earth.

The mission began with owner Caroline Duell, a massage therapist and outdoor enthusiast who wanted to start a company that would connect nature and healing. She was living and working on an organic farm in Northern California where she began to experiment with the healing power of the plants that grew around her.

Made of five different plants, the ingredients in All Good Goop were chosen for their medicinal properties. Blended together in a healing balm, they proved strong enough to fight the dry skin of cracked carpenter’s hands, and gentle enough to heal a rash on a baby’s bottom. Continue reading “Welcome to the New Elemental Herbs Blog!” »