Day 7

Organic

SPONSORED BY SIMPLY ORGANIC

The Story of Stuff Project
Guayaki
EcoWatch

PGC Notes: As a reminder, you must follow all submission instructions in order to be considered for a daily prize. This means including your name, username, email address, and school in every submission. Please be sure to fully read the instructions for each challenge!  Thanks. 

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 purchase you make is a vote with your dollar – a vote that has the power to lessen your impact on people, species, and planet. It all starts when we become informed global citizens and shift habits, a shift as simple as buying a piece of certified organic produce.

You’ve probably heard the term organic, but what exactly does certified organic mean, and why should you care? Certified organic means that item was grown and produced without toxic, synthetic pesticides or fertilizer and without genetic modification, which minimizes harm to the soil, water, air, humans and animals. Certified organic products promote ecological health and biodiversity by meeting specific production requirements as outlined by national organic programs and independent certifiers. Buying certified organic also means you’re supporting farmers and businesses that place human, animal, species, and environmental health first.

Let’s take an apple. The average conventionally grown apple has about 47 pesticide residues on its surface (47 pesticide residues – let that sink in), many of which are known or probable human carcinogens (substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue). Check out what’s on your favorite foods here. Organic cotton is another example; the 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 is 46% lower than that of conventional cotton. For some more info on the benefits of organic cotton, check out our partner, Natracare’s, video on “5 Fantastic Facts About Cotton.”

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 committed to organic and taking action to heal our planet. Today’s partner, Simply Organic, is one such company that believes embracing organics is key to a simply healthy way of life, and that dealing fairly with people is the key to a healthier society. One way that they are giving back to people and planet is by supporting organic research and education projects, sustainable agriculture scholarships, and social organizations such as organic urban gardens and community food banks.

For more information about why to shop and grow organic, check out our partner The Organic Center’s fact sheet, “Top 12 Reasons to Go Organic”.

We believe that every step we take together in a more ethical direction makes a difference in our ability to strengthen communities, personal health, environmental impact, and commitment to one another, and collective future. Turning Green lives by the statement that what you dream, you can do. Onward!

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

Think

Product labels are super important. They’re created to help you better understand the ethics and intention behind what you buy, consume, and put in and on your body. However, if you’re not familiar with the specifications behind a label, you may not be making an entirely informed decision about your purchases. This challenge will prompt you to become a more conscious consumer.

Challenge

To get started, read this article here about the benefits and basics of organic food and how to make organic more affordable. Feel free to seek out other resources as well to become that conscious consumer.

  • 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?
  • Why does organic matter? In the process of understanding that question, find and share three benefits of organic that impact you, all species, and the planet?
  • Share three ways that a college student might shop for organic items affordably.
  • What is your biggest takeaway from this article?
  • Deliverables

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

    Submission Guidelines

    • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
    • 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_green_2018.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. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
    • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
    • 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 #PGC2018.

    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 is when it matters most to be an informed consumer. This practice of using marketing and advertising to redirect messaging 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.
    • 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, informative way.
    • Post this comparison to a social media platform of your choice. Caption it with your “a-ha” moment and a change you will make in your shopping habits in the future.

    Don’t forget to tag @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg, and #PGC2018. Tag our partners of the day as well.

    Deliverables

    Upload a PDF Document with your responses, pictures of your 3 products and their ingredient lists, your side by side comparison and your social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

    Submission Guidelines

    • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
    • 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_2018.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. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
    • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
    • 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 #PGC2018.

    Greenest

    60 POINTS

    Think

    In today’s TED Talk, Ali Partovi, a founder of tech non-profit Code.org, previous board member of FoodCorps and vocal investor in sustainable farming, speaks about how important it is for policy makers to write laws that support organic farmers and the future of organic agriculture for all of us. With more and more people demanding organic food, why are our policies still focused on supporting and subsidizing conventional agriculture? There is a better option for our health, our farmers and our planet that isn’t reflected in our policies.

    Challenge

  • Watch today’s TED Talk to educate yourself about the multitude of ways in which organic farming is beneficial.
  • Use your voice! Compose a letter/email to a government official (someone who has the power to change and enact policy, preferably an official that represent you). In this letter, draw on the information that you learned in the TED Talk and other research asking them to advocate for legislation that supports organic agriculture. If there are specific laws that you think should be changed, include them. If not, educate your leaders about the importance of organic.
  • Using the ACLU’s Tips on Writing to Your Elected Officials, draft a letter that will have the greatest impact. Don’t be afraid to ask for bold changes!
  • Show us that you have sent your letter to your official of choice.
  • Post your final document on social media to share with the world along with a call to action for others to advocate around issues they deeply believe in.
    Tag USDA or anyone else who you mention. Don’t forget to tag Turning Green and use the hashtag #PGC2018 and today’s partners.
  • Deliverables

    Upload a pdf with your letter and a screenshot of your social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, email address and school.

    Submission Guidelines

    • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
    • 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_2018.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. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
    • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
    • 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 #PGC2018.

    TODAY’S PRIZES

    up to 10 winners from the greener challenge will receive:

    Simply Organic Vegetable Grilling Seasoning
    Simply Organic Black Pepper
    Simply Organic Italian Seasoning
    Simply Organic Alfredo Sauce
    Simply Organic Tote Bag
    Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Penne Pasta

    Amy’s Kitchen Organic Minestrone Soup
    Amy’s Kitchen Organic Candy Bars (2)
    Clif Bar Organic Smoothie Filled Bars
    Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos
    Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
    Drew’s Organics Salad Dressing

    up to 10 winners from the greenest challenge will receive:

    Simply Organic All Seasons Salt
    Simply Organic Pepper and More
    Simply Organic Herbs de Provence
    Simply Organic Turmeric
    Simply Organic Cinnamon
    Simply Organic Vanilla
    Simply Organic Tote Bag

    Amy’s Kitchen Organic Chili
    Lundberg Organic Quinoa
    Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil
    Navitas Organics Superfood Bars (2)
    Foods Alive Flax Snacker
    Superior Switchel Organic Lavener Lemon Elixir
    Acure Essentials Organic Argan Oil