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GRR Product Promise



Quite simply, Green Rainbow Revolution promises to source and develop products that are:
• Beautifully designed
• Seriously fun
• Sneakily (or not so sneakily) educational
• Reasonably priced
• Environmentally friendly &
• Ethically produced

We know that’s a tall order, but we believe that great design need not be sacrificed for boring, beige, environmentalism. You can have fun, you can be colorful, you can be responsible – you can have it all!

If you think the environment, workers’ rights, social justice, and corporate responsibility are just fanciful, boring intellectual ideals, just start shopping for cool stuff now!

If not, read on…

GRR Purchasing Guidelines

At Green Rainbow Revolution, we shun old-school, lame-brain thinking, and seek to promote a systemic, holistic approach to all things. In terms of products, this means that we’re looking for innovative, responsible suppliers who are making real efforts to move from “traditional” cradle-to-grave production to revolutionary closed-loop, cradle-to-cradle production. Therefore, we prioritize suppliers who provide easily-accessible, transparent information about their company and their products.

Green Rainbow Revolution does not utilize a specific set of criteria, or expect that every company can realistically achieve total closed-loop goals. However, we use the following guidelines as balancing factors when we make our purchasing decisions. By asking questions about each step in the product life cycle – and explaining the benefits and drawbacks of each product to you so that you can make your own informed decisions – we will do our best to find the most awesome, most innovative, most responsible products on Earth!

What Do We Ask? 

What Are We Looking For?
Concept

Is it both beautiful and educational?


We believe that products can be both beautiful and educational. We want products that you can learn from or that assist you in your own creative exploration. We don’t want pointless bells and whistles that mesmerize you into a coma or “kits” that do all the work for you.

Resources & Materials

Are the natural resources used renewable or non-renewable?

Are materials used natural or synthetic?

How intensive is the extraction or harvesting process?

Are any ingredients toxic or hazardous? 


Everything is made of nature and/or man-made synthetic compounds, and we believe it is a misconception to presume that “natural is always better.” In many instances it is, but things are not that simple. Extracting or harvesting natural resources can require large amounts of energy and water, cause cultural conflicts, damage the environment, and produce hazardous, toxic waste, while some synthetics can be more efficiently and safely produced from natural materials or other industrial wastes in clean, contained environments. In terms of health and safety, there are natural ingredients that can be toxic and hazardous to human health. The big conundrum is that most synthetics are new and untested, particularly in combination with other compounds, and the real long-term health and safety of their use is unknown. Thus, Green Rainbow Revolution seeks companies that consciously work to reduce the amount of material used, use renewable resources, and use safe, non-toxic, non-hazardous ingredients. We prioritize purchasing from businesses that provide transparent information and list all ingredients – both natural and synthetic – so that buyers can make the most informed decisions about health and safety questions.

Manufacturing & Production

How is it made?

Are any components reused or recycles?

How much energy is used?

How much waste and pollution is produced?

Who makes it?  Are workers properly protected and paid a fair wage?

What commitments does the manufacturer make regarding the environment, workers, and the community they operate in? 


As with the extraction of resources, the manufacturing and production of products can require large amounts of energy, and produce waste emissions that pollute our air, water, and land. In addition, human labor often is required. Regulations to protect our environment from pollution and protect workers’ rights are different from country to country. Generally, the laws in the USA and European Union have been strongest, but the legal landscape is constantly changing. Developing nations are adopting stronger protections, but often lag in oversight and enforcement. Therefore, Green Rainbow Revolution seeks manufacturers that actively address these concerns by adopting voluntary industry standards that surpass those required by law. We also look for innovative manufacturing processes that reduce energy and water inputs, and reduce, capture, and reuse wastes in order to close the production loop. Again, corporate transparency is paramount, and we seek manufacturers with active Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) programs – programs that track and measure inputs and outputs, set goals for improvements, and make serious commitments to protect and enhance the environment, their workers, their customers, and the communities they operate in.

Packaging & Distribution

Is packaging necessary?

Is packaging compostable, biodegradable, or recyclable?

Where does it come from and how far does it travel?

How is it transported and what type of fuel is used?


How many twist ties and uncuttable plastic boxes does it take to contain one busty doll and her boyfriend? OK, if you have kids, or have purchased almost anything these days, we think you know what we’re talking about. Is all that packaging really necessary? Green Rainbow Revolution looks for products that are not individually packaged, and where packing is required, efforts are made to use less material, and material that is biodegradable, compostable, recyclable or made from post-consumer waste. Because commercial distribution remains largely fueled by non-renewable resources, Green Rainbow Revolution makes every effort to keep its carbon footprint low by shopping locally, and prioritizes suppliers that produce goods in the USA.

Use & Consumption

Does use impact your health or the health of your community?

Does use impact the environment? 


Actually using a product can cause further impacts to the user and/or the environment. For example, art supplies that touch your skin may pose health risks depending on the ingredients they contain; toys often run on batteries containing hazardous materials that require regulated disposal or are made of harmful plastics, particularly PVC, which can negatively impact human health. Green Rainbow Revolution looks for products where normal use, wear and tear, and maintenance do not lead to negative impacts to human health or the environment.
Product Life & Disposal

How long does it last?

How do you get rid of it?
Is it:
* Reusable?
* Downcyclable?
* Recyclable?
* Compostable?
* Biodegradable?
* Incinerated?
* Dumped in a landfill?

Does the manufacturer have a take back program?



Typically, when a product is used or unwanted it’s sent to a landfill or incinerator – both of which are dirty polluting affairs that damage our health and environment, and make material reuse impossible. Green Rainbow Revolution seeks durable products with long life cycles that need not be replaced too frequently. We prioritize purchasing products that are designed to stay in the loop - when the end of an item’s useful life is reached, can it be repurposed or transformed for extended life? Used items can be reused in the secondary market, broken down so components can be downcycled into new products, or broken down so that resource materials can be recycled. Products that are compostable or biodegradable can be disposed of in traditional ways with less environmental and human harm. Often, there are responsible ways to dispose of products, but the infrastructure to return those items to where they are needed is lacking. Therefore, Green Rainbow Revolution also looks for suppliers who have take-back programs to facilitate responsible disposal and reuse of the materials they produced.


If you’re a closet geek and want to learn more about product design and life cycles, we have more information and resources for you to Explore.

If you’re curious, but don’t have time to work so hard, don’t worry!  Green Rainbow Revolution has developed its own nifty, color-coded system to help you quickly find the types of benefits you’re looking for. Check out our GRRrrr! Benefit Symbols!

By Leila Goldmark, January 1, 2013

Art Education Science Education Natural or Organic Materials Recycled and Recyclable Materials Vegan Materials Cruelty-Free Materials Responsible Manufacturing and Distribution Fair and Ethical Labor Corporate Social Responsibility Made in the USA