Ready for butterflies? The Conservation Foundation's Will County farm was certified as a Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch. The butterfly conservation group requires sites to have a certain amount of milkweed and flowers for the designation. McDonald Farm in Naperville meets those needs. The Conservation Foundation's Conservation@Home program provides tips on how to attract monarchs to your garden and can help those interested navigate the process of getting their own garden certified as a Monarch Waystation. To learn more about Conservation@Home visit www.theconservationfoundation.org or call 630-428-4500. To find out more information on monarch butterflies and the environmental issues that impact them, visit Monarch Watch at www.monarchwatch.org.
A new window to the world: When kids are glued to the TV, video games or their cell phones, they may not get why the earth is really worth saving and what we're risking. Show them the great outdoors. Need some ideas? Visit discovertheforest.org. You can find park and nature sites near you, ideas about what to do outside and the reasons you should head outdoors.
Kudos to Lush: I fell in love with Lush Cosmetics in 2001 while I was visiting Switzerland. The affair deepened when I visited London in 2002. I was thrilled when Lush came to Illinois, but over time I moved to greener soaps. Sounds like Lush is getting the message that it's time for some eco-friendly moves.
Lush Cosmetics is launching a global campaign against palm oil because increased demand for palm oil is leading to the wholesale destruction of rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia. Lush has launched a newly formulated (and first of its kind) soap made with a palm-free base. Now, all Lush soaps are made with the new palm-free base. The soaps aren't all palm-free because they still use make sodium stearate and sodium lauryl sulfate, which both use palm oil. (This is why I try to pick cleansers that are free of those two products and palm oil.) But the switch to a palm-free soap base has meant that Lush has reduced the amount of palm oil they use by 133,000 pounds each year. Palm oil demand leads producers to clear ancient rainforests, forcing indigenous people off their land and pushing orangutans to the brink of extinction to make room for more palm oil plantations. The cosmetics industry uses approximately 6-7 percent of the global supply of palm oil, but the biggest current usage is food, with one out of every 10 items in the supermarket, from chips to breads to biscuits to margarine, containing it, Lush says. Visit www.lushusa.com for more information and local locations.