Good News: Week 17

Green consumer behaviors are on the rise and the fair trade label shows an increase in sales and allure. Swapping out some foods for others can be a lifesaver. Why the foodie movement is more than just a trend and should not be considered elitist. The top 15 online eco-boutiques. An interview with a vegan cupcake queen. Car use is on the decline, have we hit peak cars?

CONSUMER INSIGHTS: Green Consumerism & Brand Loyalty are on the Rise
There is a larger appetite for green products than there was two years ago, and brand loyalty plays a key factor in these buying decisions, according to a new poll. Green consumerism is on the rise, with 78% of consumers believing more than ever that buying green is a way to shop with their values and ethics (up 9 points vs. two years ago), according to a new Green is Universal poll. The poll was originally conducted in 2009, and was just re-fielded to measure the change in consumer sentiment around green.
Green Consumerism, Brand Loyalty Are on the Rise, by Bart King, Sustainable Life Media

CONSUMER INSIGHTS: Fair Trade Label shows increase in sales
A new study reported by Fair Trade USA and conducted by researchers from MIT, Harvard and LSE shows that the prominent appearance of the “Fair Trade Certified” label on coffee packaging can potentially increase sales by up to 13%.
Research Shows Fair Trade Label Increases Sales, by Thomas Miner, Sustainable Life Media

CONSUMER INSIGHTS: What’s Fair Trade’s secrets sauce?
The Fair Trade stamp of approval has an allure that other eco-friendly products can’t match. That’s the conclusion we came to after learning that Fair Trade imports of coffee, vanilla, honey, tea, cocoa, sugar, and more have skyrocketed in the past five years–even while sales of “green” household products decline. So what’s the Fair Trade secret sauce?
Why Fair Trade Imports Rise Even As Buyers Shun Other Eco-Friendly Products, by Ariel Schwartz, Fast Company

FOOD & WELLNESS: Five Lifesaving Food Swaps
Swapping popular fruit and vegetables for their less common counterparts can greatly improve the healthiness of diets. Even if you already maintain a healthy diet, there are some simple switches that you can employ to greatly boost the average intake of phytonutrients–the substances in fruit and vegetables that help to protect the body from conditions such as heart disease and cancer. According to findings presented at the 2010 Experimental Biology conference in California, the data highlights the importance of “not only the quantity but also the significant impact the quality and variety of the fruits and vegetables you eat can have on your health.”
5 Simple Food Swaps To Save Your Life, by Melissa Breyer, Care2.com

FOOD & WELLNESS: Eric Schlosser on why being a foodie isn’t ‘elitist’
At the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting this year, Bob Stallman, the group’s president, lashed out at “self-appointed food elitists” who are “hell-bent on misleading consumers.” His target was the growing movement that calls for sustainable farming practices and questions the basic tenets of large-scale industrial agriculture in America.
Why being a foodie isn’t ‘elitist’, by Eric Schlosser, The Washington Post

FOOD & WELLNESS: Why we have to stop thinking of the “foodie” movement as a trend.
Luxury continues to inspire the culinary world, and its eager diners. From $3,000 dinner reservations to a select list of the world’s 50 best restaurants, the top tier of the food chain is elevating the art of eating with price tags to match. In contrast, the general public faces rising food prices (which is even worse for the developing world). The foodie echelon is always looking for the latest and greatest; those concerned and engaged with what they eat are often branded as pretentious fools who care too much about food. Tell your friends you’re thinking about checking out the new artisan charcuterie and you may earn an elevated eyebrow. When did caring about food become food snobbery?
Foodie Underground: From Trendy to Tradition
, by Anna Brones, EcoSalon

SUSTAINABLE STYLE: The Top 15 Online Eco-Boutiques
Eco-boutiques are popping up all over the web thanks to visionary retailers willing to take risks. While the debate over green consumption asks tough questions (is marketing lots of green stuff the answer to our consumerism woes?), it is clear that when it comes to eco fashion, the mantra is quality over quantity. While some sites carry tried and true lines we’ve been following for years, others are peddling cutting edge sustainable fashion – making conscious consumption more provocative than ever.
Top 15 Online Eco-Boutiques
, by Amy DuFault, EcoSalon

INTERVIEW: Vegan Cupcake Queen Chloe Coscarelli
Chloe Coscarelli is as sweet as the vegan cupcakes which landed her the winner on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. She truly is! At just 23, Chloe has baked her way to the top, and she’s helped veganism garner the mainstream media attention that is so deserves. In between a mix of baking, cooking and writing her next cookbook, I chatted with the young vegan chef about “the big win,” her thoughts on America’s food industry and how she continues to refine her craft each day.
Heroines for the Planet: Cupcake Queen Chloe Coscarelli
, by Lindsay Brown, Eco-Chick

MOBILITY: Did we just hit peak cars?
Phil Goodwin, a transport economist at Oxford University, has a pile of statistics saying that car use is already on the decline—in the U.K. In its place, walking, bicycling, and trains are roaring back to life. Transport economists never predicted the precipitous drop-off in use of rail or buses in the early part of the 20th century, so they’re determined not to be caught flat-footed again in the transportation revolution that’s only just beginning. Academics have determined that miles traveled by auto and the number of car trips have both been declining since the mid-90’s, but meanwhile the bureaucrats in the U.K. government don’t have a clue, as they have continued to obliviously predict increases in car trips.
Did we just hit peak cars?, by Christopher Mims, Grist

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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