Endangered Species – They Now Sell Chocolate!

So, I’m back in Harris Teeter, but I’ve switched from the cereal aisle to the chocolate aisle. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the link to my last blog about Honey Nut Cheerios helping saving our pollinators!)


While I’m walking down the chocolate aisle searching high and low for something sweet, something even better caught my attention. It was THIS chocolate bar.

As a matter of fact, there was an ENTIRE row dedicated to this brand of chocolate bars that caught my eye! It’s called Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC). They’ve been a company since 2014 and have a home office in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can learn more about the company at ChocolateBar.com. This website provides you with tabs labeled for their mission to help the world’s endangered species, their retailers, how to contact them, their blog and even a list of their products. I also found links where you can look at the company’s environmental impact and giveback from the previous year (2017), popular posts, twitter feed, and even recipes you can make using their tasty sweets. Here’s some of the main points I found from the website.

  • Mission/Giveback: 10% of the company’s net profits are donated annually to current 10% GiveBack Partners. Some of these partners include The Xerces Society, Chimp Haven, the African Wildlife Foundation, and the Wildlife Conservation Network. Each is guaranteed a minimum annual donation of $10,000 and is freely able to utilize the funds on projects they deem most important. With over $1.3 million generated in the past 3 years alone, each chocolate bar purchase is a big support in helping wildlife thrive.
  • Sourcing: ESC uses ingredients that meet strict standards for quality, ethical trade and environmental sustainability. They supports sustainable farming practices as well as honors the farmers that work with them by paying a social premium for ingredients to ensure they’re are supported and the species are protected. The company has certifications with Fair-trade International, being gluten free and kosher, RSPO, the Vegan Project, and the Non-GMO Project.
  • Products: There are 18 chocolate bars, 2 “bug bite” flavors, and 6 bark bite flavors. These flavors as well as their endangered species support and cocoa percentages* range from:
    • Dark chocolate – Chimpanzees
    • Dark Chocolate with 88% cocoa – Black Panthers
    • Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Almonds – Grey Wolves
    • Dark Chocolate with Forest Mint – Rainforests
    • Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Almonds – Eurasian Eagle Owls
    • Dark Chocolate with Cherries – Puffins
    • Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Toffee – Black Rhinos
    • Dark Chocolate with Blueberries – Sea Turtles
    • Dark Chocolate with Raspberries – Grizzly Bears
    • Dark Chocolate with Espresso Beans – Tigers
    • Milk Chocolate – Sea Otters
    • Dark Chocolate with Lemon Poppy Seed – Jaguars
    • Dark Chocolate with Blackberry Sage –
    • Dark Chocolate with Cinnamon, Cayenne and Cherries –
    • Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs – Bats
    • Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Crunch – Emporer Penguins
    • Dark Chocolate with Pumpkin Spice and Almonds – Arctic Fox
    • Dark Chocolate with Cranberries, Orange, and Cinnamon – Horned Rams
    • Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Sea Salt – Bald Eagles
    • Dark Chocolate with Almonds and Peanuts – Florida Jaguars
    • Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Spiced Apple – Polar Bears *all items without said cocoa percentages are 60%-72% cocoa
  • Impact: Here are links to the company’s 2017 Impact Report (http://www.chocolatebar.com/docs/doc_esc_ir_2017.pdf)  and Giveback Media Release (http://www.chocolatebar.com/media/3818_giveback.html)

The chocolate bars actually provide the consumer with a lot of cool information about different endangered species of animals as well as a delicious treat. I decided to not be too risky, so I went with the 48% milk chocolate flavor, which happens to have a sea otter on the cover.The inside of this wrapper included information about the sea otter such as it’s diet, threats, population, and regions of location, as well as information on how to help, their ethical ingredients and processes, more on some of the 10% Giveback Partners, and links/scannable QR codes to more information and media for the company. I’m eager to try some of the other flavors the company produces to see what their wrappers say about more endangered species. I highly recommend that everyone try out some of these sweet treats as well to find out more information as to how we, as humans and consumers, can help save those at stake for extinction.


Can Cereal Save the Bees?

As I was walking through the Harris Teeter cereal aisle one night, I turned and a particular box caught my eye. It was actually this box, and my immediate question was, “Where’s Buzz?”

Safe to say I ended up picking up (and eventually purchasing) this box of Honey Nut Cheerios. I was so excited for what I saw this brand doing in order to promote a change for things that are happening in and to our environment.

I know, it sounds crazy. Why in the world would you get so excited about  box of Honey Nut Cheerios? Well, not only did it catch my attention by NOT having their signature mascot Buzz Bee on it, but I also knew that I’d get a FREE packet of flower seeds “to help bring back the bees”! BRILLIANT! Since 2016, the brand has shown a cut-out silhouette of Buzz in order to more adequately inform consumers about the declining population of bees. General Mills, the company behind the #1 selling cereal in the U.S., joined forces with Burt’s Bees to bring awareness to this potentially catastrophic issue and are using the hashtag #BringBacktheBees on social media to further spread their message.

On the back of the box, there are tips and tricks as to how a potential consumer and petitioner for their cause can help bring back the bees! The box talks about the alarming rate that bee populations are declining, such as honeybees like Buzz. It also states a fact that 1 of 3 bites of food were made possible thanks to bees and other pollinators just from the work they do in our environments. Bees are the only insect that produce food eaten by man. Foods such as apples, almonds, coffee, and (obviously) honey all use pollinators to help grow, which is why some of the apples are missing from the apple tree.

So how can you help? Plant bee-friendly flowers like cosmos! Bees have great color vision, which is why flowers are so attractive to them especially blue, purple, yellow, and white colored buds. They also all need flower pollen and nectar in order to BEE happy, healthy, and helpful to the plants they get it from. Thankfully, the box already provides you with some, so you can go ahead and get started to #BringBacktheBees! By the end of 2020, farms that source oats for Honey Nut Cheerios will house about 3,300 total acres of dedicated pollinator habitats on almost 60,000 acres of land! Companies like General Mills and Burt’s Bees are making environmental impacts by calling on consumers to help join in their awareness movements. Do your part for what bees do for you! #BringBacktheBees

Consumer Product Analysis: Beauty & Planet


Before beginning my consumer product analysis, I’d like to start off by saying that I enjoy using this product. I have found that it washes my hair really well and I absolutely love the scent of the Coconut Oil and Ylang Ylang shampoo and conditioner. I have been using the hair products for several weeks now and I still have lots left (there’s 13.5 FL OZ per container). I just started to use the Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower body wash and I enjoy that scent as well! The products are not too expensive and they make me guilt-free when it comes to being an educated consumer and purchasing products that create as little carbon footprint as possible. In addition, I like that the business is using the triple bottom line approach by making sure their products are healthy for us, sustainable & sourced ethically, and priced reasonably so that we want to keep buying more!

Environmental Mission Statement located on the back of every shampoo/conditioner bottle: “Our goal is a carbon footprint so small, it’s like we weren’t even here. We’ve started our journey by loading our products with goodness and packaging it in recycled bottles. Our fast rinse conditioner technology saves you from tangles and can help you save water. Our delicate scents are infused with natural and ethically sourced oils and extracts. We are committed to acts of love that make you and our planet a little more beautiful, everyday. Find out how at http://lovebeautyandplanet.com  “.

  • Sources of material and energy used to make this product: The products are packaged in post-consumer plastic bottles, the essential oils used for the fragrances and scents are ethically sourced,  and the ingredients are vegan (no animal testing). The products do not contain sulfate cleansers, parabens, dyes, or silicones.
  • Manufactured and distributed by: Manufactured by Unilever. Distribution locations include Target, Bi-Lo, Publix, CVS, Walmart Supercenter, and Walgreens. City and State of Manufacturing is Trumbull, CT.
  • How long does the product last: About 4 months or so depending on the amount of shampoo/conditioner used per shower and how often showers are taken.
  • Inputs/energy put into using the product: Water is the only major environmental impact the product has after purchase since the products are only used in the shower or bathtub.
  • What becomes of the product at the end of its life: The bottles are 100% recyclable!
  • Assumptions made about the product: I assume from the beautifully written mission statements and the obvious concern for the environment and use of plant-based ingredients, that the products are generally safe to use. I can even go further to assume that the products are more safe than their competitors.
  • Any uncertainties remaining: One major uncertainty that remains after analysis is the relationship between Beauty & Planet and their manufacturer, Unilever. While Unilever is working to change the way they do business so that it is more sustainable and not at the expense of people and the planet — I still have my doubts when I see mainstream brands under the Unilever name side-by-side Beauty & Planet. I would be less hesitant if Beauty & Planet was its own business instead of a brand under a large conglomerate. A few “mainstream” brands under the Unilever name include: Axe, Lipton, Magnum and TRESemme. I do NOT encourage the purchase of TRESemme in particular so when I saw this product in the list of brand names, I was very disappointed.


“Love Beauty and Planet.” Lbp, Unilever , www.lovebeautyandplanet.com/us/en/home.html.

Shark Tank: Season 8 Episode 7

If any of you have watched the ABC show, Shark Tank and have watched any of the latest episodes then you might have seen a 10-year-old boy and his lemonade stand. If you haven’t watched Shark Tank before or watched that episode then I advise you to stop what you’re doing and GO WATCH IT! His name is Jack Bonneau and his a 10-year-old boy from Broomfield, Colorado. Jack is paving the way for kid entrepreneurs with not only his incredible lemonade stand but, his vast knowledge of the business industry! When I saw this cute little boy standing in front of the 5 biggest titans of the business industry today I immediately thought that this was going to end horribly. I told my brother that if this cute, little boy cries then I’m going to cry! Once Jack started speaking, to say I was blown away is an understatement. His knowledge, public speaking skills, just how eloquently he spoke was extremely impressive.

Bonneau came to Shark Tank to pitch his lemonade stands and marketplace startups. Bonneau asked the 5 sharks for $50,000 for 10% equity in his business. He highlighted how other kids could start their own entrepreneurial journeys. Bonneau shared ways that kid’s like himself, could operate drink stands or marketplace locations, all the while learning about business strategies, entrepreneurship, logistics, and profits starting at a young age (Shulman, 2018). After the presentation and the Sharks were able to present their offers or be “out”, 4 out of the 5 sharks decided that they were “out” because they felt he still needed to grow the business and more importantly grow and focus on his education career since he is 10-years-old. Which is malarkey! Mark Cuban said and quote, “Jack you’re incredible! I mean one of the reason’s I do this show is to inspire kids like you. I hope my kids and millions of kids watching, can turn what they see into a dream and, from a dream into a real company. You know, I started my first company when I was 10, so I definitely love what you’re doing. The challenge is, there’s millions of kids who might want to do the same thing. I don’t know if you can manage it all…you haven’t really taken it to that point to demonstrate that you can support them outside of Denver. And, so while I applaud you, I have to say I’m out”. By this point, you’re probably saying, “Kori, just tell us what happened!!!”. Well at the end of all 4 sharks being “out” one of the Sharks, Chris Sacca offered Jack Sacca a $50,000 loan at 2% interest which Bonneau accepted the loan. What bother’s me with Mark Cubans response is that he even said that he started his business at the age of 10! And, questions whether or not Jack can support kid’s who want to participate in the Lemonade stand outside of his home state. For starters Mr. Cuban, Lori Greiner, and Kevin O’Leary (aka “Mr. Wonderful”) Jack is 10 and only started this in the comfort of his home state, he hasn’t been given the chance to see if he can take this business farther than Denver. Secondly, you better applaud this kid because he’s so incredibly sharp. Yes, he is 10 and should focus on school, but why judge a kid for going after his dream and providing that same dream to other kid’s? He’s doing what most of you did at his age like Mark Cuban. Also, to say “there’s millions of kids who might want to do the same thing. I don’t know if you can manage it all” is false because it’s not just a lemonade stand, it’s business education strategies incorporated with in-person training and help with Jack, himself.

People say to go after what you believe and are most passionate about no matter how old you are, what stages of life you’re in, and no matter what anyone says’s or thinks! Well, I sure hope to see Jack Bonneau’s Lemonade stands in Charleston, South Carolina in the following year’s to come and to have him prove all the other shark’s wrong. You go, Jack and keep doing you because you’re crushing it at life…more than I ever have!!

Shulman, R. (2018, February 23). How 12-Year-Old Jack Bonneau From Shark Tank Is Leading The Way For Kid Entrepreneurs. Retrieved April 11, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/robynshulman/2018/02/23/how-12-year-old-jack-bonneau-from-shark-tank-is-leading-the-way-for-kid-entrepreneurs/


LUSH Cosmetics – Beauty on an Environmental Budget

When you’re shopping for body care products, whether it’s shaving cremes, lotions, shampoos/conditioners, bath or shower products, facial products or moisturizers, (and this list can continue), do you ever think how that specific product came to be? Do you even know what all is actually in the products you buy? Yes, the labels on the back can tell you, but do you know all of the chemical names and what they actually do to your body? One thing that most consumers can agree on is the thought of how we can look and feel beautiful while being on a budget. Well, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics decided to take it a step further and figured out how to be the best kind of beautiful naturally while being on a budget and equally being environmentally friendly. It’s a company based out of Canada that does just this for everyone, no matter what age, sex, race, or worldly background.

The company’s mission statement is as followed:

“We believe in making effective products from organic* fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics. We believe in buying ingredients only from companies that do not commission tests on animals and in testing on products on humans. We invent our own products and fragrances. We make them fresh* by hand using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients and tell you when they were made. We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud. We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and the right to make mistakes, lose everything, and start again. We believe our products are good value, that we should make a profit and that the customer is always right. We believe that all people should enjoy freedom of movement across the world. *We also believe words like “fresh” and “organic” have an honest meaning beyond marketing” (pg. 4).

LUSH’s co-founders have been creating products for over 30 years, but it wasn’t until after the loss of the original business, called Cosmetics to Go (CTG), that the brand’s innovators created the eco-friendly company that we know and love today. Mark and Karen Wolverton, who are Canadian business entrepreneurs, took a trip to London back in 1995. It was then and there that they first came in contact with LUSH and fell in love with the the philosophy and values behind the company as a whole. They later asked the founders if they’d thought of expanding their business into North America and in 1996, they did, opening the first North American LUSH store in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It wasn’t until 2003 that the first US LUSH store opened in San Francisco and today there are more than 250 shops across all of North America, with only 2 factories located in Toronto and Vancouver supplying their highly demanded products. “In October of 2014, we decided that we’d need to speed up our shipping times to customers. So we opened up digital fulfillment centers in Toronto and expand our distribution center..making us even more efficient by shipping shorter distances and reducing our overall carbon footprint” (pg. 17). It was also in 2014, that LUSH UK created their Lush Kitchen, which is the place where limited edition, exclusive products are created from a daily menu each week. Each Kitchen product is handmade and follows the strictly fresh policy while making the most of locally sourced ingredients. Customers can always shop from the Kitchen directly without having to cross the pond into the UK by following their social media accounts for a look at the latest menus and new products being sent out to stores.

The values of LUSH are the core of the brand as a whole and influence all that the company does. These values include always using the freshest ingredients, having all products handmade, making everything 100% vegetarian, creating “naked” packaging, buying ethically, fighting against animal testing, participating in charitable givings, implementing sustainable processes for the Earth, and getting involved in ethical campaigns.



On every recyclable black pot and bottle, they add a face sticker of the compounder who created the product along with their name, the date in which the product was made, a list of all of the ingredients used and when to use it by in order to ensure absolute freshness with maximum nutrient benefits. Every product in LUSH from the ones on the shelves to the actual shelves themselves and the other furniture in their stores are handmade in their very own woodshops. “Everything we do is made for us, by us..This way we can be sure that our products and shops are ethically sourced from beginning to end and that they’re of the finest quality” (pg. 34).

Not only do they create products that are fresh and 100% vegetarian, they’re also more than 80% vegan! For example, the glycerin that the company uses in their soap is made from non-GMO rapeseed oil instead of animal ingredients like most soap and cosmetic manufacturers use. In some cases, honey, yogurt, and eggs are used in products, but the company makes sure that that every ingredient is sourced from cruelty-free practices. The purpose of their ethical, organic buying is to help maintain sustainable farming practices and fair working conditions. Buying from small producer groups provides LUSH the opportunity to create positive change, increase sustainability, and create world-wide relationships. They even created the Sustainable Lush Fund, which takes 2% of the amount the company spends on packaging and raw materials and uses it to create sustainable farming and community projects from scratch around the world. Whenever someone buys a LUSH product, their money directly supports these Sustainable Lush Fund initiatives.

Other sustainable factors of the company include using as little to no packaging (otherwise known as “naked”) that’s recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable. They’re packaging in stores is also 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, which means that the pots have already been recycled at least once.They also have bags made 100% out of post-consumer paper. They also ship and wrap their products in 100% biodegradable plastic bags, recycled paper and biodegradable filler with eco-friendly packing tape. The company also monitors their fresh water resources to make sure they don’t overuse it. LUSH also works with their transportation providers to create low-impact and ethically responsible fuels for moving products worldwide. They also have a Green Team that are dedicated environmental advocates that are in store fronts and even behind the scenes in manufacturing to make sure that every product being made is environmentally safe (pg. 43).

Though they’re mostly known for the invention and innovations of new and exciting products throughout their past  30 years of business, the company is most commonly known for patenting the original bath bomb back in 1989. They’ve also patented toothy tabs, mouthwash tabs, and solid shampoo bars in order for everyone to experience the products just as they were originally imagined without any harmful additions. Since the very beginning, LUSH has created gender neutral products that don’t need excessive packaging or preservatives to stay fresh. The policies the company created then have always been rooted in trying to minimize the impact we as humans have on our environment and are continuing to do so every day. Stop by a LUSH store today to get a first hand experience into each and every product. There’s one conveniently located on King Street in Downtown Charleston! Maybe you’ll think about making the switch like I have into reusable, environmentally friendly, and 100% waste-free beauty products that not only come from the environment, but also continuously give back to their source – the Earth.


The Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics: The Starter Guide Manual



Consumer Product Analysis: Batiste Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo

As a woman pressured by looks and as a student rushed for time, dry Shampoo is the answer to most of my hair days. Most women get the same question as they sit in a salon “How often do you wash your hair?” It’s as if I’ve lived twenty years and haven’t been asked this question before, and they are going to deliver new wisdom. Presumably, they are asking to sell you their products. With the invention of dry shampoo, I like to go 2-3 days without washing my hair, which is salon recommended by almost everyone I’ve been too. Dry Shampoo allows me to cut back my water use and save time during the day. I use it so others don’t perceive me as greasy and unclean. A can of Batiste dry shampoo Is mostly aluminum, metal and plastic. It is manufactured by Crown packaging who’s recently started publishing sustainability reports for the last six years to commit to environmental stewardship. The CEO has spoken out to say “We continue to operate with a relentless focus on safety, innovation and efficiency – both in our manufacturing processes and our use of resources. That discipline has enabled us to reduce our overall energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, even as demand for metal packaging has continued to increase and we have grown our global footprint” (Donahue, 2017).  The latest of which details a 18% decrease in VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions, a 10% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, and 49% decrease in waste to landfill. The products can be found in several major retailers including but not limited to CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Target, and Amazon. On average I use an entire bottle every two to three weeks. A rough estimate is I probably consume around 24 bottles a year. After I completely empty the bottle I recycle all its parts. Its parts are not directly recycled back to the company but are repurposed materials which are used in other products. As far as waste management from the product, its recyclable when completely emptied and considered hazardous waste when still full. The Batiste website focuses primarily on this and not the material being sprayed into the air. While they’ve made efforts to reduce the VOC’s, ingredients remain in the products which pollute the air. Not only can this be harmful to human health but environmental health. The only way to reduce the impact to the air and potential communities would be to have products produced without these VOC’s. Some alternatives already exist such as, Lulu Organics Hair Power, BB Prêt-à-Powder, and verb which are powder alternatives to the aerosol. I am uncertain of how much dry shampoo effects air quality but can draw conclusions based on its negative human health effects. Aerosol’s are notoriously labeled as bad for the environment and the introduction of these VOC’s can be harmful to the environment, especially if they are replenished to often or are sprayed in not well ventilated areas.