10 “Natural” Products I like in Packaging that hurts our Earth.

Via elephant journal
on Oct 15, 2010
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It’s time for eco companies to use eco packaging.

Organic(ish) companies in Toxic(ish) containers!

Intro via elephant editor Waylon Lewis:

“The great thing about being broke and not being supported by companies in your own LOHAS demographic is…you can afford to call bull, when warranted. But don’t worry, most of these companies don’t mind too much: they all genuinely want to improve and be responsible to our planet—that is, after all, the definition of a LOHAS company, lest we forget.

Sometimes, it’s just cost-prohibitive to source eco-responsible packaging. Or, the technology doesn’t exist, yet (though, somehow, our grandparents’ generation managed).

So, in the spirit of speaking truth to one’s friends, here’s our Top 10 Wonderful Products in Nasty Packaging List.” ~ Waylon Lewis.

1. Earth Balance! Nice name, horrible (hard to recycle) plastic.

2. Evol Burritos spells “love.” Too bad plastic is forever, and related to carcinogenic stuff. Not very lovey!

3. Silk Soy, and every milk company on earth now uses a plastic cap and little internal thingy that you have to throw away (to get technical). Talk about an unnecessary, un-eco innovation!

4. Justin’s Nut Butter doesn’t last in my kitchen for more than 5 minutes—I eat it up. But the packages last forever, bonus!

5. Rudi’s: gluten-free bread in plastic bags that give the earth a real tummyache.

6. Rush’s Yoga Bowl: this one takes my cake. An unrecyclable plastic-lined container with a plastic bag inside of it. More packaging, please!

*Oh, and it violates the “food rules” of Michael Pollan by 100 ingredients too many.

7. Now, I wouldn’t eat them…but Manduka—and every eco yoga mat—is still coated with stuff that lasts forever (I’ve owned and loved mine for 8 years). Forever’s a long time! To be fair: they are far more biodegradable, natural and eco-responsible than yoga mats of yore. They’re trying.

*Here’s a better alternative—if you’re hardcore (and don’t sweat).


8. Ben & Jerry’s. I’ve loved ’em since I lived in darnit Barnet, Vermont. But, not only do they disingenuously claim to be “All-Natural,” which is like claiming you’re 100% of 50% of something unspecified [Kudos: they just removed All Natural from their containers in order to be more honest! One of the first if not the first companies to do so!] but every pint comes with a plastic seal—that, somehow, is deemed unnecessary by several other ice cream companies.

Question: Is it possible to buy ice cream sans plastic?

9. Fiji? Pick a plastic water bottle company, any company, and they’d make number 9 on our conscious consumer hit list. Only thing worse than plastic containers full of heavy, not-even-that-pure-water shipped needlessly all over the planet is…

10. Pepsi! Winner of the 2011 elephant greenwashing award for their Refresh Campaign—Pepsi is, like Coke and the rest, obesity in a bottle for children and other sweeties. And, again, the bottle…never…goes…away.

Who’d I miss?


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


6 Responses to “10 “Natural” Products I like in Packaging that hurts our Earth.”

  1. elephantjournal says:


    Laura F also commented on Derek Markham's link.

    Laura wrote:
    "I was just noticing this myself when shopping in the natural and organic food section of my grocery store a few days ago. Gee, I wonder if the organic vegetables I got for my pantry this winter are in BPA-lined cans…Maybe the good cancels out the bad the same way obese people think that medium diet cancels out the the calories in the fast food…"

  2. ailanna says:

    Processed, packaged food just isn't that earth-friendly. Convenient, yes. Profitable (for manufacturers), yes. Delicious, sometimes. This is probably where the eating whole foods (that you process and prepare yourself) thing comes in. For most people, including me, preparing everything they eat is totally impractical, but moving away from as much processed and single serving food as possible is a goal worth striving for.

  3. candicegarrett says:

    dude. I was just thinking this morning how much I hate that my soymilk comes in unrecyclable containers.

  4. elephantjournal says:

    Maianna F: All Canadian "Chapman's Ice Cream" comes in cardboard boxes with only a thin plastic wrap. Much, much cheaper that Nestle and tastes better too and no forever plastic container with a forever lid.

    Daniel S gently massaging the green movement's many tensions: what I love most about elephant and other indie papers

    Maianna F: I just wrote to Chapman, praising their products and asking when they will make other products Earth friendly

    elephantjournal.com Maianna, good for you. I love Olomomo nuts; while not organic their packaging is compostable. So hard to get simple, good, organic food in eco-responsible packaging!

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