Good News Wednesday December 18

I am back with more good news for you.  This came to me from the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC).  Do you ever wonder if signing a petition or donating to a cause you believe in results in a change?  Here is what happened in 2013


Victory for the Environment

  1. We won in court to protect the polar bears habitat
  2. Efforts to mine Bristol Bay was stopped when pressure caused British mining company Anglo American to pull out.
  3. Aided New York residents in their efforts to stop frackng in their area.
  4. 11 million acres in the arctic reserve were protected from oil development
  5. Federal court ruled Obama administration violated the law when allowing oil company to  use seismic air guns off Alaska endangering the last 300 Beluga Whales.
  6. We ensured wild buffalo can graze outside Yellowstone National park on 75,000 acres of land they roamed on.
  7. Convinced British Columbia to oppose tar sands pipeline which threatened Bear coast.

You can watch a beautiful video on these issues (2:15 min long) here.


If that wasn’t enough I found a family owned business right here in the US that makes shoes. Not just any shoes but vegan shoes that come with a 2 year guarantee.  Like Pagonia,  Okabashi believes in the environment and having a closed loop business cycle.

Our production process is virtually waste-free. Almost all scraps and excess materials are kept free from contaminants and sent through our Microplast Recycling Process. The 2% of re-ground material that cannot be recycled in our factory are sent to our partner company for use in non-apparel goods. Additionally, our recycling, molding, and shut-down procedures enable zero emission of chlorine gas.

As you can see any material Okabashi can not recycle on it’s premises is sent to a recycling business that can. Zero waste business!

The result? We were able to re-introduce and reuse over 100,000 pounds of scrap material last year alone, diverting 10 tractor trailers full of waste from our landfills.

Comparing Okabashi to other shoe manufactures is like comparing apples to oranges.  Not only do the shoes come with a guarantee, but the shoes are designed to hold up in a washing machine or even a dishwasher.

Other shoes sold in the United States are designed to wear out in 3 to 9 months. Most shoes are difficult to clean, wear out quickly, and are nearly impossible to recycle. Okabashi shoes and sandals typically last 2 to 4 years, are machine washable & dishwasher-safe, and are 100% recyclable. Durable, recyclable Okabashi shoes reduce consumer expenses as well as the natural resources needed to produce and transport new shoes. Your new Okabashi shoes should last at least 2 years – we guarantee it.

While I would love to dress in all organic materials it’s not financially possible, but Okabashi has taken even that hurdle out of supporting a good product with shoes starting at $10.99 and up.  Their shoe like consists of sandals, shoes, diabetic shoes, arthritic shoes, shower shoes, and more.

I know where I’ll be buying my next pair of shoes.  Do you have good news to share this week?


    • Thanks, Sue. I started this to continue having a special Wednesday post but find the more I write the good news posts the better I feel. There is so much that is wrong it’s easy for me to get overwhelmed, but seeing I can easily find something to share each week helps me focus instead on those little wins and have faith things can change for the better, even if it may be years down the road.

  1. Thanks Lois for a happy Wednesday :)

    I have a friend who wears vegan shoes, belt and even his wallet is vegan. There’s a store in Montreal that sells such clothing and accessories and while their prices are out of my range as well, thankfully there are others who can afford it.

    Take care and my best to all.


  2. Oooo… I’ll have to check out those shoes. I’m not a big shoe person and generally stick with Birkenstocks when I do buy, but… my Teva sandals are on their last legs – they’re over 20 years old and have been glued several times, so I might go see if I can find something water proof like them that I can wear out in the garden.

    Anyhow, my good news for the week is that the FDA seems to have gone sane. They’re actually talking about banning bacterial soaps unless the companies can prove that they’re safe and aren’t causing antibiotic resistant bacteria to flourish. Woo Hoo!!! A regulatory agency that’s actually going to regulate… I’m beside myself!

    • YES!!! It’s about time. The last time I bought hand soap, it’s been a while, I had to search to find one that wasn’t anti-bacterial.

      I have to back track on my good news, I jumped the gun by sharing Okabashi. After digging a bit more their shoes are made with microblast which is a patented product that has anti-bacterial properties. Damn I was really excited about a vegan shoe from a company with a conscience. Basically it would be like having anit-bacterial soap in contact with your feet all day. Not what I want.

  3. Love NRDC – member for well over 20 years as it’s the single most effective environmental influence to the things that make the biggest difference – getting legislation passed, corporate pollution stopped, etc. Thanks for highlighting my heroes! PS – I have them as the sole beneficiary in my will, as I believe after I’m gone folks like them will benefit much more than anyone/anything else.

  4. I wonder about “vegan” shoes. Surely they are then plastic, which again is made of overused minerals (petrol)?! Sure plastic is recyclable but it will never biodegrade… which leather, cloth, natural rubber etc. will. I’m not sure people have really thought this through.
    Personally, I avoid plastic on my feet, since it will guarantee smelliness and stickiness – ugh.

  5. Hi Lois, I am so happy to hear that efforts do make a difference! I had never heard of Okabashi shoes before, and I am going to bookmark their site for when I need a new pair of shoes. I don’t wear more than a couple of pairs at any one time, but I think the Copenhagen clog may be my new “go to” brown shoe! And, at less than $20, it’s in my budget!

    • Tammy, besides the conscience Okasbashi has for the environment the prices blew me away. Like you said a good pair of shoes for less than $20 makes these a better deal than the cheap stuff at the big box and department stores and no child labor involved. I have a couple of pairs I need to narrow down to one for my next pair of summer sandals which I really do need.

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