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Good Housekeeping, that housewife’s magazine that’s been around since 1885, is keeping with the times by developing a new green Good Housekeeping seal for products its new environmental advisory board considers ‘green’.

It’s an interesting concept that shows how far our consciousness has come. But not all green things are golden. As my friend, who works in a consumer advocate’s office herself, once said, “Just because it has a seal, doesn’t mean it’s good for you or the environment.”Organic cookies? They contain sugar, too.

Sigh.

I had proudly swept my hand across a drawer of organic products to show her what a good green person I was! She peered inside, then frowned. I realized how many of them were contained in plastic, with wrapping or had travelled from afar to land in my cupboard.

To quote Kermit the Frog: “It’s not easy being green.” But Good Housekeeping‘s efforts (see below) are admirable and it’s a sign of our ever-changing times. We’re trying, folks. Really, we are!

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING CREATES AN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY BOARD TO PROVIDE INSIGHT FOR THE GREEN GOOD HOUSEKEEPING SEAL

A Special Environmentally-Focused Good Housekeeping Research Institute Tour is Open to the Public on Earth Day

Good Housekeeping has created an Environmental Advisory Board consisting of leading sustainability experts from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, and media to provide insight for the Green Good Housekeeping Seal evaluations, pinpointing areas of biggest concern, and educating the magazine’s more than 27 million print and online readers through interviews for editorial articles.

Inaugural members of the Good Housekeeping Environmental Advisory Board are: Laurie David, producer (An Inconvenient Truth) and award-winning, bestselling author; Wood Turner, Executive Director for Climate Counts; Suhas Apte, Vice President Global Sustainability for Kimberly-Clark; David Bennell, Executive Director, Textile Exchange; Pamela Brody-Heine, Product Stewardship Manager, Zero Waste Alliance; Jill Dumain, Patagonia; Sally Edwards, Sc.D, Research Associate at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Sustainable Production; Katie Galloway, Earth Fund Manager for Aveda; Reid Lifset, M.S., M.P.P.M, Associate Director of the Industrial Environmental Management Program at Yale University; Erin Meezan, Vice President of Sustainability, Interface; Ursula Tischner, Program Coordinator Design for Sustainability at Savannah College of Art and Design; and Mary T’Kach, Energy and Sustainability Coordinator, Ramsey County, MN.

In celebration of Earth Day, at 10AM on Friday, April 22, Good Housekeeping will host a special environmentally-focused tour of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, the magazine’s state-of-the-art product testing laboratory (I’ve never been, but boy! Would I love to go!).

Visitors will have an opportunity to meet the engineers, chemists, nutritionists, and all of the Research Institute’s expert staff, learn more about the Green Good Housekeeping Seal, and visit the famous Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen to hear about the increasing interest in vegetarian recipes and participate in a taste test.  You can sign up for the special Good Housekeeping Research Institute Earth Day tour here.

Good Housekeeping created the Green Good Housekeeping Seal to set a mainstream bar for consumers who want to live a greener lifestyle.  The scientists and engineers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute worked with Brown & Wilmanns Environmental, one of the nation’s leading green consultants for businesses, NGOs and governmental organizations to establish criteria for the Green Good Housekeeping Seal.

Before being considered for the Green Good Housekeeping Seal, a product must pass evaluations for the primary Good Housekeeping Seal, which evaluates claims and measures efficacy to ensure it performs as promised.  If the product passes, it is then reviewed using more in-depth environmental criteria, including the reduction of water use in manufacturing, energy efficiency in manufacturing and product use, ingredient and product safety, packaging reduction (see my post on plastic), and the brand’s corporate social responsibility.

And it seems their evaluations have fairly rigorous standards.

Products that have earned the Good Housekeeping Seal and the Green Good Housekeeping Seal carry a limited warranty: If the product proves to be defective within two years of purchase, Good Housekeeping will replace the item or refund the consumer.  You can get more answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Green Good Housekeeping Seal here.

Continuing to establish a leadership role within the environmental industry, Good Housekeeping is co-sponsoring with The Daily Green the Good and Green conference, a two-day conference on May 11 and 12 featuring a series of environmental-themed sessions, keynotes, case studies and roundtable discussions.  I will actually just miss it as I’m leaving NYC on May 11, but for those who are interested, Good and Green will be held in the Hearst Tower, the first LEED-gold certified office building in New York City. You can register to attend the Good and Green conference here.

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Hearst Magazines recently released Slow Cooker, Casseroles, Soups & Stews, a special bookazine featuring 105 easy, hearty recipes for simple slow cooker suppers, classic casseroles and savory soups and stews, developed and tested by the editors of Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and Country Living. It hit the newsstands nationwide on February 15 and will be on sale until May 17.

Despite the challenge of changing the recipe to the metric system, we enjoyed two of the recipes already: Latin Chicken and Curried Red Lentil Soup. My husband couldn’t resist adding an additional dash of this or that. He is what you would call a bold cook. He considers recipes to merely be the foundation of his own masterpiece.

Lucky for me because I eat like royalty on the weekends.

While the recipes call for slow cooking, they can be easily integrated into your culinary routine with a little foresight. We washed and soaked the black beans overnight, then cooked them slowly for a few hours. With a crock pot, you’d be better off (we don’t have such things in Germany). But not only were the recipes delicious; they also left a lasting flavor of wholesomeness, like we had done something not only good for ourselves, but for the Earth, too. We purchased locally grown ingredients without packaging, lengthy transport, hormones or pesticides. As I told my kids,

“When you eat food, you eat its energy, too. Imagine eating an apple that bobbed across 3,000 miles to get to your door. You’d be eating the pace of that apple. Now imagine eating Slow Food. How does that make you feel?”

Slow cooking resonates beyond your own plate to a whole new world of savory delight. I can’t wait to try out the other recipes this coming weekend. It gives me another reason to look forward to Friday!

About the bookazine:

Slow Cooker highlights hearty dishes and everyday favorites, including barbecued chicken, short ribs, chili, lasagna, tasty mac and cheese, flavorful soups—from old-fashioned vegetable to Thai chicken—as well as classics like Coq au Vin and new ideas such as Latin Chicken with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes.  Crisp side salads, like the Healthy Makeover Caesar and Spinach & Nectarine Salad, and fresh-baked breads complete the experience of this special recipe collection.

 

In addition, the bookazine features expert, step-by-step tips on using your slow cooker for effortless homemade meals, with nutrition information and low-calorie options, as well as a guide to the top kitchen equipment for making soups, stews, and casseroles.

 

About Hearst Magazines

Hearst Magazines is a unit of Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com), one of the nation’s largest diversified communications companies with interests in magazines, newspapers, digital media, business media and television.  As one of the world’s largest publishers of monthly magazines, Hearst Magazines publishes nearly 200 editions around the world, including 14 U.S. titles and 20 magazines in the United Kingdom, published through its wholly owned subsidiary, The National Magazine Company Limited. Hearst Magazines is a leading publisher of monthly magazines in the U.S. in terms of total circulation (ABC June 2010) and reaches 73 million adults (Spring 2010 MRI).

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