Saturday, October 18, 2008

BPA No Way, Eh!

Yesterday marked the end of the 6 month waiting period before Canada could officially list Bisphenol A, or BPA, as a toxic substance. And it did.

Six months ago heath Canada began the process to have BPA listed as a toxic substance, among other things, notifying businesses and interested parties of it's intentions with notices in the Canada Gazette, a government publication. that notice period is now over and Canada now has the great honor of being the first country in the world to rasie official concerns over the use of BPA.

BPA is a building block to hard polycarbonate plastics such as baby bottles and plastic drinking glasses, as well as an agent in the epoxy of food and beverage tin liners, where it acts to inhibit bacterial contamination and lenghten shelf life. Recent, and frighting, studys have shown that BPA in baby bottles can leach as the bottles react to heat. Other concerns are BPA simply leaching into stored food products when kept in BPA lined cans.

The official labeling of BPA as a toxic substance paves the way for health Canada to begin drafting regularions that prohibit the manufacture, sale, marketing and importation of products ccaring BPA which are intended for use by infants. And it has.

Today I am proud to say 'I am Canadian!' Let's hope Canada's step towards safer products catches on.....

Friday, October 3, 2008

Certifiable Organic Bananas???

You would think that a pre-Halloween post about organic bananas would have something to do with Treats but this one is definitely about the Tricks.

I was killing some time walking around the mall before a meeting yesterday afternoon. I don't mall shop much at all, not my thing, but I do like to window shop now and again. I went into Pottery Barn Kids, drawn in by the Halloween window display. They had a selection of costumes for kids of course and they had this one, the Certified Organic Banana. Cute? Maybe a bit odd? For sure, especially with the pealed banana bag but one I got within a foot of the thing I noticed 2 things....

First, unsurprisingly, for Pottery Barn Kids, the costume sans bag was $90 Canadian.
side note - retails for $65 U.S. in the catalog, what do they think Canadians are, total suckers? F.Y.I. Pottery Barn, I can do math on currency conversions and don't tell me the shipping costs at almost 30%

Second, and filed under the 'duhh, should have guessed category', was that the 'Certified Organic Banana' costume was made out of 100% polyester. Nothin' organic here but maybe the kid wearing it.

I'm always happy to see planet friendly ideas go mainstream. I even believe we can balance our desires for commercial materialism with our eco-friendliness but it doesn't start with polyester organic bananas. If the costume had been made with cotton and linen, organic or not, like their Pirate costume, I would have appreciated the concept of an organic fruity costume for what is was (even though I don't know a single kid who would want to be a fruit of any kind for Halloween) and because it puts the concept of living naturally out there even if you didn't make your kids costume yourself. We don't all have the time or the inclination to make our own costumes. I have been buying previously loved costumes for my kids myself. That way my daughter has been able to pick her costume, which is important to her it seems.

But the PB costume is a fake, a trick, and an example of the worst kind of greenwashing - promoting eco-awarness without a stitch of eco-sensitivity.

Shame on you Pottery Barn Kids, you gave yourself a chance to do something right and you went all wrong instead. No Treat for you.