It’s All Good…ecomom Launches New Campaign to Feed Hungry Children

By ecomom Co-founders Jody Sherman and Emily Blakeney

Our story: Giving back has been super important to us at ecomom, since the day we started the company in 2009. We have donated a percentage of sales to various charities that align with causes we are passionate about. As ecomom has grown, we’ve learned that there is more we can do beyond writing checks to give back. Yes, we were donating money to amazing causes, but we didn’t have a meaningful feedback loop in place that allowed us, and more importantly, our customers, to see that their ecomom purchases were actually making a difference.  We knew we could do better.

ecomom is about providing moms with easy access to the best, safest, healthiest products for their families. We take great care in researching everything we sell so our customers have nothing but the best products to choose from. Because the very first product we started selling was a single line of organic baby food, we looked right to nutrition when evaluating how our charitable contributions could make an impact in local communities. When we looked more closely into the stats, we learned that in the United States, approximately 16 million children do not have consistent access to adequate food*. With a new perspective and deep motivation, we knew hunger would be the issue ecomom would help combat.

Beginning today we are launching ecomom’s giving program, “It’s All Good,” and with it comes the promise that every single order placed on — no matter how big or small — will feed a hungry child in America.  That’s one full day of the same high-quality, organic baby food we sell on our site and feed to our own children.  

To kick-start the giving, we’re delivering meals for 25,000 children directly to food pantries in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, and Indiana. This means 75,000 total meals for children who rely on those pantries. As “It’s All Good” grows, so will the list of pantries that receive food from us. Each month we will deliver to local organizations that can put this food to immediate use. Our goal is to feed at least 100,000 American children this year. It’s an ambitious goal, we know, but we’re confident ecomom and our loyal customers will make it happen. We’ve never been more energized about our business than we are right now!  We hope we can inspire others, as we’ve been inspired.

And, here’s how you can get involved: Continue reading

Amy Smart Visits Carthay Center Elementary School Garden

Young Hollywood Board Chair and garden mentor, Amy Smart, visited the beautiful garden at Carthay Center Elementary School on Thursday. The garden was in full bloom with fruit trees, a giant mulberry bush, carrots, herbs, grapes, lettuce, artichokes, fava beans, tropical fruit trees including papayas and bananas, and much much more.

The garden has been around since 2006 and has made a big impact on the way students learn about their natural surroundings. In fact, the hands-on experience of working in a garden has helped improve the school’s overall science scores by nearly 60% in a single year!

Harvesting fava beans

Garden chicken

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Climate Denial Conference Called Off Due to Lack of Funding

With their donors running for the hills, the Heartland Institute, a right wing think tank dedicated to denying the existence of climate change, has announced that this year’s climate denial conference will be its last for the foreseeable future. In his closing speech at this year’s event in Chicago, Heartland President Joseph Bast said that financial troubles are preventing the organization from putting on another event.

The Heartland Institute recently came under fire for launching a billboard campaign that compared mass murderers to people who believe global warming is real. Their creepy, nonsensical ads led the Heartland Institute to lose financial support from major donors.

The International Conference on Climate Change is a yearly gathering of climate change deniers who attempt to spread doubts about climate science.

Source: Think Progress

LA City Council Votes on Banning Plastic Bags

UPDATE: Just in, the ban has been approved! The ban was passed by a 13-1 vote and will go into effect later this year.

“Paper or plastic?” may soon be a thing of the past in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council is set to vote Wednesday on whether or not it should ban single-use plastic bags. The ban has been long sought out by environmentalists who say the bags are wasteful and pollute not only the city, but the ocean as well.

According to the LA Times, the proposal heading to the council would:

• Give large retailers a six-month phase-out period before banning plastic single-use bags;

• Give small retailers a 12-month phase-out period before banning plastic single-use bags;

• Require all retailers to charge 10 cents per paper bag beginning one year after enactment of the program and thereafter.

If the ordinance passes, Los Angeles will become the largest city in the United States to ban plastic bags. If it passes, it is likely that banning paper bags would be the next step. Paper bags require the deforestation of trees and are just as wasteful. Continue reading

EV Car Drivers in LA Differ From the Rest of the Country

According to the LA Times, people who drive electric vehicles in Los Angeles generally travel farther and charge more often in public and at off-peak hours (when it’s cheaper) versus those that drive an EV in other parts of the country. This is certainly good news for people in LA who are hesitant to buy an electric car because of range anxiety.

Ecotality oversees the EV Project, a $230-million deployment of electric-vehicle charging infrastructure funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy to aid the rollout of electric vehicles and conduct research.

About 4,600 of a planned 8,300 residential chargers and 1,600 of a planned 5,000 public chargers have been installed through the EV Project since 2010. To date, more than 26 million of an anticipated 100 million miles of driving data have been analyzed in 18 major cities, including Seattle, Dallas, Nashville and Los Angeles.

Owners of electric vehicles report their usage to Ecotality who then tally the data and analyze patterns. Based on L.A. data for the first quarter of 2012, Leaf drivers charge away from home 24% of the time, versus 19% nationally. They travel about 28.1 miles between charges versus 27.4 miles nationally and arrive at home with more depleted charges than EV drivers in other cities. Continue reading

Vermont Becomes the First US State to Ban Fracking

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a bill into law this week that officially bans fracking in the Green Mountain state. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. The problem with fracking is that it has the potential to contaminate ground water, as well as add tons of pollutants to the air.

According to the Huffington Post, Vermont’s ban may be more of a symbolic gesture though since there is believed to be little to no natural gas or oil beneath the surface in Vermont. Still, being the first state to officially ban the practice makes a strong statement.

In other states where fracking occurs, critics have stated that the practice contaminates drinking water wells of residents living near the drilling operations, but natural gas industry officials dispute those claims.

Shumlin said the increased amounts of natural gas obtainable through hydraulic fracturing were not worth the risk to drinking water supplies. In the coming generation or two, “drinking water will be more valuable than oil or natural gas,” Shumlin said. Continue reading