Guide to this site

An overview of how the Green Stars Project idea works. Individuals write reviews for products or services and include a rating for social and environmental impact on a scale of 1-5 greens stars, Reviews can be posted on any stie.

This site is the main home and information source for the Green Stars Project. The main role of this site is to increase awareness of ethical consumerism issues so that we can eliminate corporate practices that are detrimental to our planet and society. The goal is to encourage you, dear reader, to include a green … Continue reading Guide to this site

Ethical review competition to benefit 1951 Coffee Co.

The interior of the 1951 Coffee Co. in Oakland, featuring a sofa, bar counter and large mural.

It’s competition time again on the Green Stars Project! Your mission: Write a review of a business or product that includes a rating for social and environmental impact (on a scale of 1-5 Green Stars). For this round, I want to include a theme: Equality, whether racial, economic, gender or a mix of all three. … Continue reading Ethical review competition to benefit 1951 Coffee Co.

Racial equality and ethical consumerism

Racial equality and ethical consumerism. A mural of the words 'Black Lives Matter" painted in yellow on a road in Washington DC, 2 blocks from the White House, pointing to the Washington Monument.

Hey Folks. I think we all have different ways of dealing with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. The first thing for me was to start looking back – to Rodney King in LA, 1991, Oscar Grant in Fruitvale station in Oakland, 2009, Eric Garner in New York, 2014, and Michael … Continue reading Racial equality and ethical consumerism

Ethical review of the Grocery Outlet

Ethical Review of the Grocery Outlet. Items purchased recently, including plant-based milk from Oatley, Ripple, and Hope & Sesame; marcona almonds and spouted pumpkin seeds, vegan mozzarella and cheese spread from Miyoko's, and chocolate from Tony's Chocolonely and OCHO.

The Grocery Outlet is a supermarket based mainly on the west coast of the US that specializes in food and wine bargains. It started off in San Francisco when, back in 1946, James Read sold food at a discount that he had purchased from government surplus supplies. The idea is still the same – the … Continue reading Ethical review of the Grocery Outlet

The social impact of the meat industry

The social impact of the meat industry. The image depicts a soldier with the words Meat is Murder written on his helmet. The image was used on the cover of The Smiths' 1985 album, Meat is Murder.

One of the aspects of the meat industry that we don’t think about so much is the impact on humans – in particular, the social impact of slaughterhouses. We talk about the impact on the planet (climate change, land use, deforestation, pollution) and on the animals themselves, of course, but there’s also a very real … Continue reading The social impact of the meat industry

Coronavirus may be our best chance to save the planet.

A civet (the animal that transmitted the SARS virus to humans) looking out from a tree on the left. On the right is a pangolin (the animal originally thought to have transmitted the virus that causes COVID-19 to humans) being released from a cage into the wild.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably approaching burn out on Coronavirus articles by now. Well, prepare yourself for more, from COVID-19’s impact on the economy to fluffy social media posts about how we are changing the way we work and live (Look how my hair has changed after two months of isolation! ). But … Continue reading Coronavirus may be our best chance to save the planet.

Quercetin – a treatment for coronavirus?

Chemical structures of the drug hydroxychloroquine and the natural product quercetin

Hey readers. Hope you are well, physically and mentally. You’ve probably heard by now of the drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) that has been under investigation for treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Recommendations from Chinese doctors to employ it (the initial recommendation, on Feb 18 was to employ chloroquine phosphate, a related drug) were followed by … Continue reading Quercetin – a treatment for coronavirus?

Ethical vegan shoes from Etiko

Etiko high tops canvas shoes, shown from two angles. They resemble Converse high tops but are more ethcial in that they are made in a fair trade factory from organic, fair trade cotton and FSC-certified natural rubber

In this post I’m going to do an ethical review of shoes from an Australian brand, Etiko, and decide on an ethical (Green Stars) rating. Since turning vegetarian at 15, I’d relied quite a bit on Converse High Tops as my go-to leather-free shoes. Converse used to make shoes in the US but eventually went … Continue reading Ethical vegan shoes from Etiko

Cafes saying no to disposable coffee cups

Shadowlands cafe in Oakland, which does not stock disposable cups; zero-waste cafe

Hi folks! You know, there are many global issues that we could solve through simple changes in our lifestyle. Getting rid of disposable coffee cups is a good example. There has been a big push to find technological solutions to coffee cup waste, focusing on that plastic liner that makes cups hard to recycle. Designing … Continue reading Cafes saying no to disposable coffee cups

Why are legumes banned by the Paleo Diet?

Why are legumes banned by the Paleo Diet? The image shows six types of legumes in wooden spoons, against a black background.

Hey Folks! You would think that I’m finished critiquing the Paleo diet after the last post, but I want to focus on one major issue in this post: why are legumes banned by the Paleo Diet? Legumes (peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, etc.) are widely considered to be sustainable and healthy sources of protein, fiber, … Continue reading Why are legumes banned by the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet: science, health, and sustainability

Is the Paleo Diet heathy? A 20th century painting of two hunter-gatherers hunting a glyptodon in the Paleolithic era.

In this post I’m going to take a look at the “Paleo Diet” from a few perspectives: Is it based on solid science? Is it healthy? Is it good for the planet? In the last post I reviewed the scientific literature on the impact of low-carb diets on health and found that the evidence overwhelmingly … Continue reading The Paleo Diet: science, health, and sustainability