7GenBlog | Seventh Generation
Skip to Content

7GenBlog

The latest news, food for thought, recipes you’ll love, great advice on everything from raising kids to nurturing bees, plus videos designed to entertain, educate and enlighten. If you’d like to find out what’s on our mind – or let us know what’s on yours -- this is place to be.

  • Pin It

The Longest Day

0 comments
Author: the Inkslinger

Today is the year’s longest day. As we sit on this serendipitous ball of water-drenched rock, sailing through the space at 66,700 miles per hour, we will arrive this afternoon, at 2:06 pm Eastern Daylight Time, at that place in our annual 149.6 million mile journey around the sun at which the Earth’s gladfully tilted northern axis points most directly at the sun and our hemisphere is most fully bathed in its lifeforce.

I think it’s the year’s best moment to stop and contemplate the mysteries that surround us. And I think we very much need to find such moments wherever we can and whenever they present themselves. I think this is the amorphous hunger so many feel. A hunger for connection to something larger than themselves, something that reaches well beyond our daily banalities to penetrate deeper and get at the marrow of life, a spiritual hunger for a relationship with the divine. For me (and we each have our own definition), that divinity is embodied by nature, the sum of all things that sustain us and that bring to our senses and our hearts the inscrutable beauty that cannot be named but only known.

See Full Post
  • Pin It

Change It '07 Participants Announced!

0 comments
Tags:
Author: Lara Petersen

Cross-posted from the Change It blog...

If you’re one of the faithful visitors to the Change It web site then by now you’ve noticed new profiles appearing on the Participant page. I’m so excited to finally share with you more names, pictures and Change It statements from the students who have committed to joining us in DC for a week of tough activism training July 20th to the 26th.

I’ve said it a million times by now, but I wish we were posting all 1,260 of the applicants up there – if only because I would love to meet and work with every one of them towards creating a movement of change. But that’s just me being selfish, because they’re already doing that! Read their statements to see how, and then tell us how YOU will change it.

You can also click on individual participant profiles and send a note of encouragement or a question to one of the 200 students (still being added). Already I see that Angel has asked Luis if they’re on the same flight to DC!

Congrats to all Participants – and many many thanks to ALL the applicants who have shown us that real change is already taking place on campuses everywhere!

See Full Post
  • Pin It

Cariboost Needed Now

0 comments
Author: the Inkslinger

Our friend Aaron at ForestEthics
wrote yesterday to let us know about his organization’s campaign to preserve vital caribou habitat in British Columbia in order to save the region’s dwindling herd and a whole bunch of other things, too. Like 6 million acres of priceless wilderness, vast tracts of sacred old growth inland rain forest, and you know… all kinds of irreplaceable stuff that will never be again if the bulldozers and chainsaws show up.

The campaign needs as many voices as it can calling out as one for some conservational sanity up there in BC. IF you’ve never been let me tell you: It’s one of the most magnificent beautiful spectacular magical spiritual places on the face of the Earth. There’s no place like it anywhere else. And why anyone anywhere thinks there’s a better thing to do with it than save it for future generations to know, I simply can’t fathom.

Go here and lend a hand. Now. Today. We signed the business letter. You should send one of your own. Forest Ethics will show you how to do it, and they make it easy to help. The caribou will appreciate it in their way. And tomorrow thanks you.

UPDATE: Aaron just asked if we could post a link to that special letter that ForestEthics is asking businesses to sign. If you own or run a business, please consider joining other concerned companies (like us) in asking Canadian officials to save the caribou and everything to which they're attached for future generations. You'll find everything you need to become a signatory here.

See Full Post
  • Pin It

DREAM - they are back and with a v-log to-boot

0 comments
Tags:
Author:

So on July 11th a whole lot of 7th Geners are going to do the Dream experience. I am not sure what that will be, but we will have a camera crew to capture. Here is a guest blog from Daniel Shearer our ongoing Dream-blog voice...WR

See Full Post
  • Pin It

Rules to Design By: Green Chemistry Principles

0 comments
Author: the Inkslinger

While researching an article on Green Chemistry for the upcoming Non-Toxic Times (which, keep your fingers crossed, will come out next week), I stumbled across an entry on the same subject in the ever amazing Wikipedia that contained something I didn’t know existed: a set of principles to guide chemists in greening their labs and the things those labs create.

Principles, of course, are always a good thing because they set certain benchmarks and establish concrete guidelines for whatever it is we’re trying to do. Whenever a decision comes up as we proceed, we can compare all our possible choices to the principles at hand. When we do, we often find that there’s no decision to be made at all. The principles make it for us. They may even suggest that we drop the current operation entirely and try something else.

In the case of green chemistry, the 12 principles were created to steer chemists away from toxic substances and processes, and encourage healthier alternatives. I can’t for a moment pretend to know what some of these are about. (“Stoichiometric reagents, for example, is a pretty scary term. I think I had a beaker or two of that at a really ugly frat party once…), but than again why should I? They’re not for me. They’re for the people who are actually out there mixing up the molecules. The people who need to stop messing with nature and start working with it instead. They’re only for you and I in the sense that as they ripple through the chemical community, they’ll eventually trickle down to us in the form of safer, healthier, non-toxic alternatives to today’s hazardous products and processes. You’ll never use them yourself, but you will someday end up using the stuff they lead to, and we’ll all be a lot healthier for it.

See Full Post
  • Pin It

An Apology

1 comment
Author:

You have to love Consumer Reports. Their vigilance when it comes to looking out for consumers is as boundless as their enthusiasm for the job, and, as I learned late last week, no detail gets overlooked along the way.

I wish I could say the same for things here. But details occasionally do get overlooked on our end. Stuff happens. I’m philosophical about it. As a company that’s gone from struggling to explosive growth in the space of just a few years (a corporate Cinderella story if there ever was one), I know all too well how many days we spend just trying to hang on as this roller coaster picks up steam. We do the best we can, so I can’t complain. But Consumer Reports can. And last week they did and rightfully so.

At issue was the label for our Automatic Dishwasher Gel. One of the words that appears on the front is “biodegradable,” an implicit message that our formula breaks down in the environment. And all of it will except for one polymer-based cleaning agent that it uses. (There’s another cleaning agent in the formula that does biodegrade, and both are needed for the product to work.) In accordance with our belief in full ingredients disclosure, this important information appears on the back of every bottle. Still, without an asterisk or some kind of immediate notation on the front, “biodegradable” really shouldn’t be there. But it is. And Consumer Reports quite correctly wondered why. Here’s the story:

See Full Post
  • Pin It

WAGES

0 comments
Tags:
Author:

Was recently in San Fransisco and met up with Hilary Abell, the Executive Director for Women's Action to Gain Economic Security ( WAGES ). The mission of WAGES is to promote the social and economic empowerment of low-income women through cooperative business ownership.

See Full Post
  • Pin It

Patience is a Virtue

0 comments
Author: Lara Petersen

That’s a saying I heard a lot growing up – ever the eager child looking for immediate results. I always answered with the same smart-aleck response: “well, MY middle name is a virtue!” But at the time I didn’t really know what “Faith” meant either. I think eventually I grew to learn the meaning of my middle name, but like a lot of us I still struggle with practicing faith as well as having patience.

(Oh crap, she’s gotten preachy on us.) “WHO is going to Change It?! Blog about that!” you say. Nope, sorry, can’t. Not until the verdicts are all in. But let me tell you a bit more about the process so far, about patience and faith, and how it all relates to our current stage in the application process for the 2007 Change It program.

Memorial Day weekend was part of my ninety-hour work-week reading Change It applications. I was so committed to getting them done as quickly as I could (no patience) that I didn’t shower, barely slept, missed a few Red Sox games on the boob-tube and even skipped my own kickball game (we have an adult kickball league here in Burlington – although I think I’m worse at it now than I was in 2nd grade!).

The point is that I really felt as though I needed every minute I could find to finish reading the applications in time. I wouldn’t say I’m a slow reader, so much as conscientious…I agonized over every single essay answer – 10 per applicant. I kept second-guessing the scores I was giving (oh ME of little faith), and revisiting the acceptance criteria to be sure I was calculating correctly.

See Full Post
  • Pin It

The End of Corporate Social Responsibility?

0 comments
Author:

Some months ago I called your attention to the amazing work Dannon was doing in Bangladesh. Now the CEO of Unilever is talking about the end of CSR and the rise of sustainable development. Wow! This sounds promising, and Unilever has a number of exciting projects that highlight its commitment to the idea. Unilever CEO Patrick Cescau tells Ethical Corporation magazine that his definition of social innovation, at least in Western markets, is "finding new products and services that meet not only the functional needs of consumers for tasty food or clean clothes but also their wider aspirations as citizens."
So what does this mean?

Unilever sees social innovation at two levels, one macro and one micro. On the Macro level Unilever wants to contribute to “cross border trade via membership in Business Action for Africa and the Investment Climate Facility. This a public-private partnership that "aims to address some of the structural bottlenecks holding back investment in Africa." The company is working with British American Tobacco and (alcoholic beverage maker) Diageo to pioneer customs reform in Kenya.”

What does it mean that their two partners here sell tobacco and alcohol? Maybe that bottleneck is intended to benefit public health?

My cynicism aside, this is a critically important discussion, and the fact that Fortune 500 companies have entered the dialogue is nothing but great. What real benefits the world will see is very much an open question, but take the time to read the complete Ethical Corporation interview.

.

See Full Post
  • Pin It

Intolerable Beauty: The Art of Mass Consumption

0 comments
Author:

Chris Jordan’s photographic work is featured in this month's issue of Good magazine. His work focuses on consumerism, and it’s true: a picture is worth a thousand words. He has a show of his opening up in New York City this week.


Chassis Yard #1, Seattle 2003

In his own words:

“The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits.
See Full Post