Recycling
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The Recycling Partnership

Today, it's more important than ever to protect our planet and conserve our resources. And if you've been thinking that you'd like to do more for the earth, you're not alone. According to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans by The Recycling Partnership, eight out of ten believe that we're not doing enough to combat wastefulness. More than a quarter of these same people said that they'd prefer to spend their money with companies that allow them to make sustainable choices. And nearly 50 percent of people said they wouldn't shop with a brand that they knew wasn't working towards protecting the environment, lowering its carbon footprint, and protecting human health as it pushes towards innovation.

If you're reading this, you're likely among the many, many Americans who want a brighter, greener future for all. It's also likely that you already separate your recycling and bring reusable bags with you to the grocery store. So what next? It's time to think critically about how you can utilize your buying power in a way that benefits not only the planet but the communities that you live and work in.

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Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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