Good News: Week 6

The USDA released their revised dietary guidelines and the First Lady wants to make our restaurants healthier by rethinking portion-sizes and menu options. The NY Times showed us a slower, more Japanese, approach to brewing our morning coffee. Goodlifer contributor Abigail Doan made us reflect over the negative effects “trashion” is having on the eco-fashion industry. We also shopped for fairtrade Valentine’s roses, walked to work and realized that people are awesome.

SUSTAINABLE STYLE: The problem with “trashion” and why it may do more harm than good.
Trashion. If you’re green and fashionable, you’ve no doubt noticed it’s everywhere you look these days. And this “creative reuse” in fashion may have finally gone too far. It’s time to question, for the sake of eco fashion’s future viability, the plethora of “trash to treasure” initiatives touted as sustainable fashion genius.
Condoms and Candy Wrappers: And We Wonder Why Anna Wintour Won’t Green Vogue
, by Abigail Doan, EcoSalon

HEALTH & WELLNESS: New Dietary Guidelines
The USDA released a revised version of it’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. No matter what our opinion of the USDA may be, we were happy to see the daily sodium allowance reduced and, for the first time ever, mentions of specific foods to be avoided. Anyone interested in food policy should give it a good read-through.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, The USDA

SLOW FOOD: Conscious Brewing, the Japanese Way
A few years ago, I mothballed the fantasy of getting a professional-grade espresso machine and setting it up in the kitchen next to the meat slicer. In part, I gave up because of cost. It turns out a starter machine runs about $600, and if I wanted to own the same technology and firepower as what’s on the counter of the coffee bar around the corner, the price jumped to $6,500. Thermal-stable dual-boiler systems, assembled by hand in Italy, don’t come cheaply.
Coffee’s Slow Dance, by Oliver Strand, The New York Times

HEALTH & WELLNESS: Another Reason to Walk to Work
In healthy adults, the hippocampus — a part of the brain important to the formation of memories — begins to atrophy around 55 or 60. Now psychologists are suggesting that the hippocampus can be modestly expanded, and memory improved, by nothing more than regular walking.
Fitness: A Walk to Remember? Study Says Yes, by Paula Span, The New York Times

DO GOOD: People are Awesome!
When dozens of pilot whales got stranded on a beach in New Zealand last week, “droves” of volunteers and professionals from the Department of Conservation teamed up to help move the animals back into the ocean. But just days later, 65 of the whales had again beached themselves. This time, not only did hundreds more volunteers show up, they stayed with the whales, hydrating them for hours until the tide rose and the whales could move themselves back to sea.
People Are Awesome: Look at Hundreds of Volunteers Help Hydrate Beached Whales, by Cord Jefferson, GOOD

FOOD & WELLNESS: Michelle Obama wants to make restaurants healthier
After wrapping her arms around the retail giant Wal-Mart and trying to cajole food makers into producing nutrition labels that are easier to understand, Michelle Obama, the first lady and a healthy-eating advocate, has her sights set on a new target: the nation’s restaurants. A team of advisers to Mrs. Obama has been holding private talks over the past year with the National Restaurant Association, a trade group, in a bid to get restaurants to adopt her goals of smaller portions and children’s meals that include healthy offerings like carrots, apple slices and milk instead of French fries and soda, according to White House and industry official
Restaurant Nutrition Draws Focus of First Lady, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and William Neuman, The New York Times

SUSTAINABILITY: Fairtrade roses for Valentine’s Day
Just miles from the equator, rose farms have become a colorful focal point of Ecuador’s Andean countryside. With an elevation nearing 10,000 feet, the country’s proximity to the sun and cool nights provide perfect growing conditions for long, straight roses. Ecuador’s cut-flower industry supplies roughly one-third of America’s roses, but the industry is notorious for dangerous pesticides, poor labor practices and corrupt management.
Ecuador: Flower Power, Fair trade roses for Valentine’s Day, by Cortney Hamilton and Deb Tullmann, PBS Frontline/World

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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