Type 1 Ecolabels – An International Perspective

GEN Logo 11-2010smallIn 1994, Green Seal was one of the original founders of an international organization for Type 1 Ecolabels – the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN). Although GEN has been a major advocate and motivator for its members (ecolabelling programs around the world), many in Green Seal’s community are unfamiliar with GEN.

To provide a general introduction to GEN, Green Seal hosted a webinar on January 12th that featured presentations from the Chair of GEN, Bjorn-Erik Lonn, and from representatives of Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) and the Nordic Ecolabel.

Check out our recordings of the presentations below.

“The idea is to clearly identify the environmental leadership products in the market, help consumers to find them, and enhance the consumer confidence that the product actually is more environmentally preferable, therefore fighting greenwashing.” – Bjorn-Erik Lonn, Chair of the Global Ecollabeling Network (GEN).

“For businesses, an ecolabel is an effective way of measuring true environmental performance, the whole lifecycle of the product and communicating these credentials to consumers. For government, ecolabels are a tool to encourage behavior change in both consumers and producers to long-term sustainability. ” – Shaila Divakarla, Standards and Technical Manager at GECA.

In 2017, Green Seal intends to host several related webinars that will dive into the purpose, processes, and positive market effects of Type 1 Ecolabels. Stay tuned for announcements of a future webinar that make take place in April 2017.

Questions or comments about this webinar? Email us anytime at Standards@greenseal.org.

An Interview with Green Seal’s Own Farmer, Pt. 2

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Think you know about organic certification? Chelsea Chandler, Green Seal Environmental Scientist and Certification Project Manager, explains why she pursued third party certification for her CSA farm. If you haven’t already, read our previous blog post, in which Chelsea introduces us to her farm.

Tell us about your farm’s latest achievement.

This past fall, my farm, Plowshares & Prairie Farm, achieved USDA organic certification through MOSA (Midwest Organic Services Association, Inc.), a USDA accredited certification agency. (more…)

An Interview with Green Seal’s Own Farmer, Pt.1

CC and asparagus

Explore the smart and practical world of a CSA farm. Chelsea Chandler, Environmental Scientist and Certification Project Manager at Green Seal, takes us through her experience of managing a CSA farm outside Madison, Wisconsin.

How did you get into farming?

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and was pretty removed from farming beyond some backyard gardening and a great appreciation for all the fresh food grown in my home state.

I had been a member of a few different Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms over the years, and then really just dove into farming. I learned how to drive a tractor at my godfather’s grass-fed beef operation and farm stay, which my partner, Scott, and I visited frequently while living in Seattle. Farm stays, a growing phenomenon in the United States, offer travelers an opportunity to vacation in and experience a rural farm setting. Scott had a little more experience doing a work share for a CSA farm outside of Seattle.

Scott and I started talking about pairing our sometimes more abstract environmental policy work with the tangible work of growing food that is good for people and the environment. I’m enthusiastic about creating a model for sustainable food production and consumption and empowering local communities to adopt healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. (more…)

Celebrate the National Parks with Sustainable Travel

fdrBy Ben Walsh, Green Seal’s Project Coordinator

When people think of National Parks, most think of majestic vistas and wilderness locations.  However, there are 409 parks throughout the country that include National Parks, National Battlefields, National Seashores, National Monuments, and National Historic Sites.  Washington, DC, itself has 23 different National Parks including the White House.  I am privileged to be a volunteer at a number of those with the National Mall & Memorial Parks.

In addition to my work with Green Seal, I’ve always been a fan of the National Parks and a history buff.  Looking for a chance to get outside and connect with people, I became a Volunteer in the Parks (VIP) in 2009.  For the last seven years, I have been honored to work at some of our nations most visited and most hallowed memorials. I’ve met soldiers who stormed the beaches at Iwo Jima, couples that marched with Dr. King, and family members who broke down crying at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I have been lucky enough to hear their stories and then re-tell them to the next generation, to the millions of students who come to D.C. to learn about their history. My day job involves enhancing suitability through researching best practices and environmental criteria, while my weekend job allows me to bring the parks alive for visitors and show them why conservation and protection is important.  (more…)

A Monumental Time at Greenbuild 2015

Linda retouchedBy Linda Chipperfield, Green Seal’s VP of Marketing & Communications

The Greenbuild conference was loaded with opportunities for us this year. Not only was it conveniently held in our fair city (DC) many of our staff could attend, but we also got to visit with several current clients exhibiting at the expo. And as a USGBC board member, I was able to represent Green Seal at many of the leadership activities as well. Here are some highlights!

The opening plenary was introduced by HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who said that, “green means good health and more wealth”.  Rick Fedrizzi, President of USGBC, echoed the Secretary’s sentiment, saying the environment and the economy are deeply connected. This seemed to be a theme for the week, maybe because Rick’s new book is about how “profit saves the planet.” He quoted Francis Perkins, the first woman to hold a US cabinet position, who said, “There is work to be done, so we do it.” Another Perkins quote I like: “Being a woman has only bothered me in climbing trees.” (more…)

An Earth Day as Big as Texas

Linda retouchedBy Linda Chipperfield, Green Seal VP of Marketing & Communications

I just got back from exhibiting and speaking at Earth Day Texas, April 24th through 26th in Dallas. Touted as the biggest Earth Day event on the planet, it didn’t disappoint. It was a combination green festival, county fair (it was, after all, held at the Texas Fair Grounds), and networking conference with a wide variety of activities for both exhibitors and attendees. The mission of Earth Day Texas is to provide a forum for businesses, non-profits, academic institutions, and government agencies to network and engage the public in environmental topics.

The Cotton Bowl

Home of the Cotton Bowl

Several Green Seal clients were represented and our booth in the Automobile Building sat right between Renewal by Andersen and ServiceMaster Eagle Maintenance Co. Distributor Jan-Pak was close by, represented Clorox, Diversey, and Georgia Pacific, and Harvard University – Division of Continuing Education, a cleaning service client, had a booth in Centennial Hall. (more…)

A Sanitary State of Mind – Part 1

NanaBy Nana Marfo, Green Seal Marketing Intern

If one were to skim through the English language textbooks that school children like myself read in the late 90’s and early 2000’s in my native country Ghana, it would be hard not to notice the depictions of the local communities.

Apart from the familiar local housing structures, they looked small, unsophisticated, spacious, lively, enjoyable and clean. Fast-forward to today in real life and the opposite is true of urban communities. (more…)