Companies Worth Checking Out

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Working Assets Long Distance
 
http://www.workingassets.com/index.cfm

Amazingly, they've actually got very competitive rates. ...and aside from running that Working For Change org, they donate 1% of their long-distance gross charges to nonprofit orgs, send you coupons for Ben and Jerry's, and send political bulletins and "action alerts" with your bill. I think they also provide free calls to yer senators. They've got a cellular biz and a credit card as well...

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Green Mountain Energy
http://www.greenmountain.com/

They try to focus on the "cleaner" energy sources - wind, solar, geothermal, etc... they do seem to be a bit more expensive, at least for stuff like wind-based energy. On the other hand, I wish I had checked their rates during the Great California Energy Swindle back in... what was it, spring of 2001? Anyway, unless something changed in the last couple years, I think California's "deregulated" energy laws does allow us to purchase energy independently of the owners of our section of the grid.

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Seventh Generation
http://www.seventhgeneration.com/

 "in our every deliberation, we must consider
the impact of our desisions on the next seven generations"
- from the great law of the iroquois confederacy 
Their glass cleaner works better than anything else on the market.  They make dish soap too.  Works a dāmn sight better than that  "Cleanliness Next to Godliness" crap from Trader Joe's.

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Natural Value
http://www.naturalvalue.com/

Another one similar to Seventh Generation, but their toilet paper is cheaper.
I think they make sandwich bags and some foodstuffs too.

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Organic Pastures
http://www.organicpastures.com/contact.html

Here's the dairy that supplies the raw milk I was talking about a while ago... still haven't checked these guys out much. Hmm.. there's some link on the site claiming that their products cure Autism... ok, so don't leave your skepticism at home. If anyone ever feels like taking a field trip to Fresno, they do offer tours of the dairy in their Contact section.

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Ocean Beach People's Food Co-op
http://www.obpeoplesfood.com/

For those San Diegans on the list who haven't checked it out yet. You can get some big-ass jugs of killer unfiltered apple juice for dirt cheap, and they've got a bulk food section too. Also bulk spices... they completely and utterly blow the price of individually bottled spices out of the water (that's true of every bulk-spice offering I've ever seen tho)... at least 75% of the cost is for the spice bottle.

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Tom's of Maine
http://www.tomsofmaine.com/toms/

They offer a few things, but I just buy their toothpaste. It's saccharin-free and Nutra-Sweet/aspartame-free, which not many toothpastes are. Also, they offer flouride-free toothpastes.

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Bariani Olive Oil
www.barianioliveoil.com/

I got drunk a few times with the guy who owns this company up in San Luis Obispo. He's a sleazy womanizing kinda dude, but very honestly passionate about his olives. He just got his organic certification a couple of years ago too.  It's expensive and hard to find but once you try this stuff, you'll never go back. When you think about the amount of olive oil you actually use in the average month, the price isn't that much more (although you'll probably start using more olive oil). It's unfiltered cold-pressed first press virgin olive oil, which means it still has all the antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients in their raw form. Compare it to anything else on the shelf - all the other olive oils look, pour, and taste like water compared to this stuff. Happily, olive oil happens to be one of the best oils at coping with high temperatures, ie frying.

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peace coffee
www.peacecoffee.com

AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO COFFEE BASED ON THE BELIEF
THAT COFFEE SHOULD REWARD YOUR TASTE BUDS
WHILE RESPECTING COFFEE FARMERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

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Full Sail Brewery
http://www.fullsailbrewing.com

Employee-owned, located in Hood River, Oregon. They make a bitchin amber ale, and they don't have histories of Nazi collaboration like Coors.

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Wolaver's Certified Organic Ales
http://www.wolavers.com/home/wolavers.html

Organic brewery outta Vermont - check out the brown ale and the IPA.

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Butte Creek Brewery
http://www.buttecreek.com/

More organic brew, located in Chico this time. Unfortunately, as with Wolaver's,
 it's got that Organic Beer price. Try the porter.

 

FYI sites

What's so much better about Organic Food? http://all-organic-food.com/educate.htm

Why is cotton the clothing of the devil? http://www.cooperativegrocer.coop/cg2000/cotton.shtml

Do boyscouts hate cotton too? http://www.arapahoedistrict.org/scouting/pdf/Klondoree2004_.pdf (search for "cotton")

What about companies NOT worth supporting? http://www.corporations.org/

Is there anything wrong with Coors other than the taste? http://www.corporations.org/coors/

"Unfiltered cold-pressed first-press virgin olive oil?" So what?
 
http://www.living-foods.com/articles/oliveoil.html

http://www.elikioliveoil.com/goodoloilish.html

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 Other FYI

1) Get a garden goin! If you live in an apt, use one of those 4-foot long planters... you'd be amazed at how much good stuff you can get growing in there. Pasta will never be the same after you've had it with fresh chopped basil, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Also, garlic greens... mmmmmm... Instead of pesticides, get a simple plastic spray bottle and spray the plants with water. It'll knock the aphids an other parasitic varmints off the leaves so they can starve and/or be gobbled up by all the predators on the ground. Also, spread some marigolds among the plants - aside helping you impersonate someone with class, they repel a lot of pests. Aloe Vera of course is great to have around in case of sunburns, and it's tough as nails so you can neglect it pretty severely.

2) Check out the organic food stores and the farmer's markets in your area. If you've read enough to know how much better organic food is for you, ask which of the products are organic at the farmer's market stands. Also, if you're near an aggie school, see if they've got any organic orchard projects going or anything along those lines.

Ok, that's it 4 now.

-bb

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