Day 6

Organic

SPONSORED BY SAMBAZON

The Story of Stuff Project
Guayaki
EcoWatch

OVERVIEW

“Organic is something we can all partake of and benefit from. When we demand organic, we are demanding poison-free food. We are demanding clean air. We are demanding pure, fresh water. We are demanding soil that is free to do its job and seeds that are free of toxins. We are demanding that our children be protected from harm. We all need to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done—buy organic whenever we can, insist on organic, fight for organic and work to make it the norm. We must make organic the conventional choice and not the exception available only to the rich and educated.” ― Maria Rodale, Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

Every time you make a purchase, you cast a vote with your dollars – a vote that has the power to lessen impact on people and planet. All it takes is becoming informed and shifting your habits, which can be as simple as buying a piece of certified organic produce.

But what exactly does the term certified organic mean, and why should you care? At the most basic level, it means that a product was produced without harm to soil, water, air, humans and all species –– promoting ecological health and biodiversity. Certified organic goods must meet specific production requirements as outlined by national organic programs and independent certifiers.

Buying certified organic also means you’re supporting farmers and businesses that are placing human (that’s you) and environmental health first. But how?

When you opt for certified organic, whether in the form of food or textiles, you significantly reduce that risk.

Take an apple for example. The average conventionally grown apple has about 47 pesticide residues on its surface, many of which are known or probable human carcinogens (substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue). When you opt for organic, however, whether it’s in the form of food or textiles, you’re actually reducing your exposure to harmful pesticide residues. Check out what’s on your favorite foods at What’s on My Food .

Organic cotton as another example. A life cycle analysis of organic cotton found that energy demand was 62% lower than that of conventional cotton. Moreover, the total global warming potential of organic cotton was 46% lower than that of conventional cotton.

For some more info check out Natracare’s video on “5 Fantastic Facts About Cotton”, and this infographic from the Organic Center

The U.S. represents 43 percent of the global market for organic food, but less than one percent of total U.S. cropland is devoted to organic farming. There are many forward-thinking companies out there committed to organic and taking action to heal our planet. One such company is today’s partner, Sambazon, who uses their business model, focused on people, planet, purpose, as a vehicle for positive change in the Brazilian Amazon. Their sustainable management of acai berries mandates certified USDA Organic, Fair Trade and Non-GMO.

For more information about “why organic” and inspiration, check out The Organic Center’s factsheet on the “Top 12 Reasons to Go Organic” and Rodale Institute’s feature about a college student getting her organic farming certification

Together, we believe that every step we take in the right direction makes a difference in strengthening communities, personal health, environmental impact, and commitment to one another, and our collective future.

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

Think

Product labels are really important. They were created to help you better understand the ethics and intention about what you buy, consume, and put into and onto your body. But with all of the hype out there, sometimes it’s hard to decipher if the label is really telling the true story. If you understand what labels mean, then you’ll also learn a lot about a company’s ethics, integrity, and values. Having a USDA organic certification holds a third party accountable for ensuring that ethical business practices are being adhered to and that there is oversight and enforcement.

Challenge

  • Find the most common organic certification in your country.
  • What are two requirements that producers must meet to be certified organic?
  • Which one do you think is most important and why?
  • Find two recent studies about organics and share two facts from each.
  • A good place to start might be the “Hot Science” page from The Organic Center (a non-profit that summarizes research on the health and environmental impacts of organic).
  • Deliverables

    Upload a PDF Document with your responses and links to your studies. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

    Submission Guidelines
    Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
    Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_green_2017.pdf)
    Do not include # or spaces in filenames
    Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
    Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
    You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
    If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again.
    Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
    Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2017.

    Greener

    40 POINTS

    Think

    Companies often use images like rolling green pastures, bright blue skies, vivid leaves, or words like “natural” or “farm fresh” to create the illusion that their products are eco-friendly, even when they’re not. This practice is referred to as “greenwashing”.

    Challenge

    It’s your turn to be a detective.

  • Stop by any grocery or convenience store near your campus and walk the aisles. (Check out aisles besides just food – the term “organic” covers a wide variety of products.)
  • Take photos of 3 products (1 household item, 1 food item, and 1 body product) that are seemingly “natural” based on their packaging, but that you believe could be using greenwashing tactics. (Be sure to take a picture of the ingredient list on each package.)
  • Take a minute to consider what you think is misleading about the product. Let’s start to unpack the complexity of greenwashing tactics.

  • Look at the ingredient list on each of these products.
  • Identify 3 ingredients that you are unfamiliar with or can’t pronounce.
  • Conduct some research to see if these ingredients have any known adverse effects on human or environmental health.
  • List the ingredient and the impact.
  • Based on your research, do you think it’s a greenwashed product? If yes, why? If no, why not? What changed your mind?
  • Select one product you researched and find its organic, non-GMO alternative. Create a side-by-side comparison and present it in a creative and informative way.
  • Caption your comparison with your “a-ha” moment and how you plan to approach grocery shopping in the future.
  • Deliverables

    Upload a PDF Document with your responses and pictures of your 5 products and their ingredient lists. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

    Submission Guidelines
    Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
    Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2017.pdf)
    Do not include # or spaces in filenames
    Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
    Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
    You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
    If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again.
    Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
    Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2017.

    Greenest

    60 POINTS

    Think

    What have you discovered about organic products that you feel the world should know? It’s time to spread the word and teach it forward!

    Challenge

    Create an informative, thoughtful, and engaging presentation about the benefits of certified organic over conventional. Feel free to include favorite brands, labels, etc. Are you musical? Write a song. Have a camera? Do a photo essay. Love to draw? Create a poster. Have graphic design skills? Make an infographic. Feeling chatty? Interview a friend. Choose any format that allows your unique voice to emerge. The possibilities are endless! Be brilliant. Have fun.

    Post your final creation on social media to share it with the world. Tag Turning Green and Sambazon and use the hashtag #PGC2017.

    Deliverables

    Upload a pdf with photos, graphics, or links directing us to your presentation and a screenshot of your social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, email address and school.

    Submission Guidelines
    Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
    Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greenest_2017.pdf)
    Do not include # or spaces in filenames
    Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
    Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
    You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
    If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again.
    Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
    Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2017.