Consumer Product Analysis: Beauty & Planet


Before beginning my consumer product analysis, I’d like to start off by saying that I enjoy using this product. I have found that it washes my hair really well and I absolutely love the scent of the Coconut Oil and Ylang Ylang shampoo and conditioner. I have been using the hair products for several weeks now and I still have lots left (there’s 13.5 FL OZ per container). I just started to use the Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower body wash and I enjoy that scent as well! The products are not too expensive and they make me guilt-free when it comes to being an educated consumer and purchasing products that create as little carbon footprint as possible. In addition, I like that the business is using the triple bottom line approach by making sure their products are healthy for us, sustainable & sourced ethically, and priced reasonably so that we want to keep buying more!

Environmental Mission Statement located on the back of every shampoo/conditioner bottle: “Our goal is a carbon footprint so small, it’s like we weren’t even here. We’ve started our journey by loading our products with goodness and packaging it in recycled bottles. Our fast rinse conditioner technology saves you from tangles and can help you save water. Our delicate scents are infused with natural and ethically sourced oils and extracts. We are committed to acts of love that make you and our planet a little more beautiful, everyday. Find out how at  “.

  • Sources of material and energy used to make this product: The products are packaged in post-consumer plastic bottles, the essential oils used for the fragrances and scents are ethically sourced,  and the ingredients are vegan (no animal testing). The products do not contain sulfate cleansers, parabens, dyes, or silicones.
  • Manufactured and distributed by: Manufactured by Unilever. Distribution locations include Target, Bi-Lo, Publix, CVS, Walmart Supercenter, and Walgreens. City and State of Manufacturing is Trumbull, CT.
  • How long does the product last: About 4 months or so depending on the amount of shampoo/conditioner used per shower and how often showers are taken.
  • Inputs/energy put into using the product: Water is the only major environmental impact the product has after purchase since the products are only used in the shower or bathtub.
  • What becomes of the product at the end of its life: The bottles are 100% recyclable!
  • Assumptions made about the product: I assume from the beautifully written mission statements and the obvious concern for the environment and use of plant-based ingredients, that the products are generally safe to use. I can even go further to assume that the products are more safe than their competitors.
  • Any uncertainties remaining: One major uncertainty that remains after analysis is the relationship between Beauty & Planet and their manufacturer, Unilever. While Unilever is working to change the way they do business so that it is more sustainable and not at the expense of people and the planet — I still have my doubts when I see mainstream brands under the Unilever name side-by-side Beauty & Planet. I would be less hesitant if Beauty & Planet was its own business instead of a brand under a large conglomerate. A few “mainstream” brands under the Unilever name include: Axe, Lipton, Magnum and TRESemme. I do NOT encourage the purchase of TRESemme in particular so when I saw this product in the list of brand names, I was very disappointed.


“Love Beauty and Planet.” Lbp, Unilever ,

Shark Tank: Season 8 Episode 7

If any of you have watched the ABC show, Shark Tank and have watched any of the latest episodes then you might have seen a 10-year-old boy and his lemonade stand. If you haven’t watched Shark Tank before or watched that episode then I advise you to stop what you’re doing and GO WATCH IT! His name is Jack Bonneau and his a 10-year-old boy from Broomfield, Colorado. Jack is paving the way for kid entrepreneurs with not only his incredible lemonade stand but, his vast knowledge of the business industry! When I saw this cute little boy standing in front of the 5 biggest titans of the business industry today I immediately thought that this was going to end horribly. I told my brother that if this cute, little boy cries then I’m going to cry! Once Jack started speaking, to say I was blown away is an understatement. His knowledge, public speaking skills, just how eloquently he spoke was extremely impressive.

Bonneau came to Shark Tank to pitch his lemonade stands and marketplace startups. Bonneau asked the 5 sharks for $50,000 for 10% equity in his business. He highlighted how other kids could start their own entrepreneurial journeys. Bonneau shared ways that kid’s like himself, could operate drink stands or marketplace locations, all the while learning about business strategies, entrepreneurship, logistics, and profits starting at a young age (Shulman, 2018). After the presentation and the Sharks were able to present their offers or be “out”, 4 out of the 5 sharks decided that they were “out” because they felt he still needed to grow the business and more importantly grow and focus on his education career since he is 10-years-old. Which is malarkey! Mark Cuban said and quote, “Jack you’re incredible! I mean one of the reason’s I do this show is to inspire kids like you. I hope my kids and millions of kids watching, can turn what they see into a dream and, from a dream into a real company. You know, I started my first company when I was 10, so I definitely love what you’re doing. The challenge is, there’s millions of kids who might want to do the same thing. I don’t know if you can manage it all…you haven’t really taken it to that point to demonstrate that you can support them outside of Denver. And, so while I applaud you, I have to say I’m out”. By this point, you’re probably saying, “Kori, just tell us what happened!!!”. Well at the end of all 4 sharks being “out” one of the Sharks, Chris Sacca offered Jack Sacca a $50,000 loan at 2% interest which Bonneau accepted the loan. What bother’s me with Mark Cubans response is that he even said that he started his business at the age of 10! And, questions whether or not Jack can support kid’s who want to participate in the Lemonade stand outside of his home state. For starters Mr. Cuban, Lori Greiner, and Kevin O’Leary (aka “Mr. Wonderful”) Jack is 10 and only started this in the comfort of his home state, he hasn’t been given the chance to see if he can take this business farther than Denver. Secondly, you better applaud this kid because he’s so incredibly sharp. Yes, he is 10 and should focus on school, but why judge a kid for going after his dream and providing that same dream to other kid’s? He’s doing what most of you did at his age like Mark Cuban. Also, to say “there’s millions of kids who might want to do the same thing. I don’t know if you can manage it all” is false because it’s not just a lemonade stand, it’s business education strategies incorporated with in-person training and help with Jack, himself.

People say to go after what you believe and are most passionate about no matter how old you are, what stages of life you’re in, and no matter what anyone says’s or thinks! Well, I sure hope to see Jack Bonneau’s Lemonade stands in Charleston, South Carolina in the following year’s to come and to have him prove all the other shark’s wrong. You go, Jack and keep doing you because you’re crushing it at life…more than I ever have!!

Shulman, R. (2018, February 23). How 12-Year-Old Jack Bonneau From Shark Tank Is Leading The Way For Kid Entrepreneurs. Retrieved April 11, 2018, from


An Extraordinary Solar Boom

Blake Wooldridge

One of the most relevant and recurring topics in society today as well as our class is climate change. The role climate change plays on our everyday lives is increasing due to noticeably increasing impacts. The effects of years and years and millions of tons of burnt fossil fuels has created large scale turmoil regarding the implications on decisions to keep abusing resources. Combating these changes has become a priority for several nations. Renewable resources have gained popularity amongst these nations. The search for more efficient ways of maximizing the capacity of power with minimizing impacts has resulted in an outbreak of solar power.

Solar power alone has attributed to more than a third of all new net power capacity added worldwide in 2017. Solar power has become much more affordable and therefore applicable within the past several years. Since 2009 the cost of electricity from large scale solar projects has dropped by 72%. Recently solar panels have been used on thatched roofs in Kenya allowing Indian farmers to pump groundwater for their fields. This allows agriculture to flourish and boosts economy. Other new sources such as wind, biomass, and geothermal power can also account for a substantial change of reliance on fossil fuels.

Cumulatively all renewable energy sources account for only 12% of electricity consumed worldwide. The majority of energy produced still comes from coal and fossil fuels that are continually refused to be recognized as detrimental to the health of our planet. “This shows where we are heading,” said Nils Stieglitz, a professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, which produced the report along with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “The fact that renewables altogether are still far from providing the majority of electricity means that we still have a long way to go.” This long way to go is becoming longer and longer, and some world leaders have recognized the importance of combating this issue now.

One of the nations on the forefront of this solar revolution is China. China has significantly cut back on usage of coal at home as well as accounted for almost half of all renewable energy investments worldwide. In 2017 alone China pumped $86.5 billion into solar energy. The U.S. has also played a significant part in the development of solar power but has displayed an increasing lack of urgency regarding the protection of the environment. Even though the U.S has historically been the largest emitter of greenhouse gases the investment in renewables went down to $40.5 billion in 2017.

The priorities of U.S government can be exemplified through many of the recent administrative propositions such as the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. Some of the cuts included in this 2019 budget proposal include a 15% cut to the Agriculture department along with a 25% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency as a whole. Under this cut many programs could be completely relinquished. This creates a significant problem for the growth of the renewables industry. The lack of governmental subsidies could prove to be the tipping point for projects backed by government price support.

Forks Over Knives

Lee Fulkerson’s Forks Over Knives documentary explores the claim that diseases can be controlled and possibly reversed by changing the American diet from animal-based foods to whole foods and plant-based foods. Not only is the American diet overflowing with animal-based products, it is also flourishing in highly processed foods.  Obesity statistics are skyrocketing along with our top leading causes of death, cancer and heart disease.  Hypertension and diabetes are other food-related diseases that may arise as obesity takes over.  The doctors and research cases that are revealed in this documentary display how they went about proving that your diet can become a form of medicine when executed properly. This is not a new concept. In fact, 2,000 years ago Hippocrates made the statement,  “ let food be thy medicine”.  The science and research behind his statement wasn’t applied until the 1950s as researchers, such as Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Campbell began putting this claim to the test.  They conducted labs that exposed rats to animal nutrient cultures and many more.  They also pulled statistics from other nations, such as Kenya or Japan, and compared their disease rates to America.  One study shows that America’s breast cancer rate averaged nearly 80 times that of Kenya, simply because Kenyans did not have access to the protein and dairy that Americans have access to.  One of Dr. Esselstyn’s patients, Anthony Yen, who is a Japanese native that moved to America as a healthy adult.  Yen soon began endulging into the fast, convenient foods of America and shortly became a victom of weight gain, heart disease, and 5 bypass sugeries.  Yen explained how the Japanese diet consisted mainly of rice, soup, and vegetables, and that American’s servings of meat per person could feed a whole family in Japan.  There are a handfull of degeneratively-diseased patients reveiwed throughout the film who have made the decision to follow a whole food, plant-based diet, including Yen.  Each patient received worthy results after committing to the diet, and some were even able to ditch the pills, reverse their disease, and exceed their life expectancy.  In conclusion, Dr. Campbell and Dr Esselstyn pinpoint animal-based foods as the cause for disease, especially for cancer and heart disease.  Dr Campbell believes that authorities are avoiding this valuable concept in order to protect the status quo, which is ridiculous.  I know that doctors will recommend diabetics change their diet and it’s up to them to decide whether they want to listen or not, but sometimes healthy foods are not accessible or affordable to patients.  Having the support from authorities would be helpful.  As seen in Food Inc., the food industry has so much power that authorities are allowing them to produce tons of unhealthy foods that have been known to raise disease risks.  Dr Campbell believes that America could decrease health care costs by 70%-80% if everyone were to adopt this dietary pattern.  It’s a shame how much money is put into America’s health care and yet our nation is sicker than ever.  Food is essential to us because of its nutrition, culture, and tradition, but instead of “living to eat” we should learn to “eat to live”.


Downtown Charleston Flooding

The intersection of Wentworth St and Barre St during a king tide event.

Downtown Charleston, South Carolina, which sits nearly at sea-level, deals with periodic flooding events whether its caused by the king tides, a heavy summer thunderstorm, or storm surge from a hurricane at least several times a year. Currently, the city usually sees around 11 days of “sunny-day flooding” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA for short. Sunny day flooding are days of urban flooding caused only by astronomical forces that influence greater tides. When high tides are higher than usual, this excess water is pushed up the drainage system and onto vulnerable city streets like the intersection of Wentworth and Barre Streets, Fishburne and Hagood Streets, or Morrison Dr as examples as these streets are usually the first to flood during a sunny-day event. Sunny-day floods are problematic as major vehicular arterials can be closed for hours at a time and property can be damaged. Add a heavy summer thunderstorm to the equation and you might as well shut down the whole city for the rest of the day.

The Union of Concerned Scientists anticipates Charleston, SC may see an average of 180 days of sunny day flooding by the year 2045.

However, as sea levels continue to rise, the number of sunny-day flood events have as well in recent years. Trends already show that Charleston is feeling much of the impact coming from sea-level rise. In the 1970s, the City of Charleston only saw an average of 2 tidal flooding events each year compared to the 11 days we see each year now. As sea levels continue to rise, the number of sunny flooding days will rise as well. The Union of Concerned Scientists predicts Charleston will see 180 days, or roughly 1 in 2 days out of the year, of sunny day flooding by the year 2045. While this is just one prediction and others may show different results, all models show the number of days increasing and this should have residents worried.

Mean water level data conducted in the Charleston Harbor showing a linear increase of water level has occurred over the last 100 years.

Luckily for residents, the City of Charleston has accepted that flooding will continue to be a problem if something is not done and has a list of projects that need to be completed to combat the issue in the short term. One of these projects includes Division III of the Market Street Drainage Improvement Project, which starts this year and will take two and a half years to complete. The project will completely replace the current storm water collection system and link to three drop shafts to pump water out of the city. The project will also improve the surface streets to better allow water collection and add more aesthetic to the popular tourist attraction. The Market quickly floods during sunny-day flooding events and thunderstorms, so while it is unfortunate that taxpayers will be paying the brunt for this project, it will ultimately improve the quality of life in this area when it rains.

Photo of The Market during Hurricane Matthew. -ABC News

Unfortunately, many of these projects are expensive and will likely still take years or even decades just to be approved for construction. Also, flooding is a great challenge for most cities located near sea-level, and we will never be able to completely prevent flooding from ever occurring. While the city needs to improve infrastructure to keep up with the rising sea levels, I think it is also unsustainable if we are not building up as well. Eventually, if sea-level rise does continue, we will need to prevent water from coming into the city by other means. For example, what concerns me is that it will only take one direct hit of a powerful hurricane to wipe out everything that we are currently working so hard to keep up. It would take money that we probably do not have to prevent another major flooding event from eventually occurring again even with the infrastructure improvements we are currently making. I honestly cannot think of an effective and permanent solution, but I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.


Tonight I went to a workshop called “Financial Literacy Workshop”. John Hutchson led the discussion. He is a current business student at the College of Charleston. He first introduced himself to the group, and explained how he had served the military for 20 years. He was a nuclear operator in the Navy. He is now 40+ years old, and working to get his college education. He brought up topics that every college student tries to avoid- budgets, insurance, taxes, and everything else that has to do with “adulting”. I found out about this from a flyer that the Office of Sustainability put out. It was a contribution to Sustainability week, and caught my eye because I am always wanting advice when it comes to finances and saving. Knowing how to sustain a good life requires being responsible and knowing where and how to put your money. In less than a year I will be expected to understand 401Ks and other things that come with building and choosing the right career. I am clueless when it comes to things like that.

I have only worked part time jobs and have always just blown through paperwork- not looking at the benefits, W4s, or the fine print. I always have just put down what I was told, and worked. Tonight, I learned about what really goes into a W4 and how to properly find out your individual needs. He mentioned the “IRS W4 Calculator” that can help anyone if they’re not entirely sure. While on the subject of budgeting, he broke down a paycheck. He gave us an example paycheck, and explained how much youll actually get out of it, and why things are taken out. It seems silly at first, but a lot of people don’t quite understand. Being that when we graduate and start job hunting, it will be crucial to understand why things are set aside for you in the paycheck. He also gave us some tip on what to do in your first 4 years of your first full time job: ask about employer paid health insurance, signing loans, and don’t get a pet. Well, I am already breaking one of those rules, but my Golden Retriever is worth it. This event was highly related to our class because money is a huge contributor to how our environment is being impacted. What stood out to me most before deciding to go to the workshop, was that that it was a part of Sustainability Week. Knowing the power of money, and understanding how to spend it wisely is very important for one self, as well as the environment. He brought up the idea of buying a new car when you graduate and get a job. He said that you should just wait and use your old car until it cant run anymore. A lot of people rush to do this, and dump their old car, because they will be able to afford it and it looks nicer. This reminded me of perceived obsolescence. It is so important for many reasons to be careful with your money and decrease your consumption. It saves your future and the earth


Day at Botany Bay

This past weekend, I took a day trip to Botany Bay on Edisto Island, South Carolina, with the College of Charleston Outdoors Club. Although the trip was only a day trip, it served as yet another reminder to me of the importance of getting outside, in areas that are relatively untouched by humans.

Botany Bay is a wildlife preserve, so there are no permanent residents, no industrialization, and no noise pollution, something hard to come by here in downtown Charleston. Although Botany Bay was just over an hour away, the difference in the geology of the land, and the feeling of the land, was quite remarkable. Beautiful shells and marine life such as jellyfish were washing up onto shore. We found multiple sand dollars and obscure rocks. The fact that the land is uninhabited was profound because the thought of land being as it was hundreds of years ago is a powerful thought.

Leaving downtown Charleston often reminds me how it is truly necessary to get out of the hustle and bustle of a city. Throughout this year, I sometimes have felt a heavy anxiety coming from a source I was unsure of. The busy life of a college student, especially in a city, surrounded by industrialization, thousands of people, and the stress of school can sometimes be overwhelming. Our bodies are not evolved to sit inside and look at a computer all day, after all. This is why it has been so essential for me to leave the peninsula and go to a more natural setting every now and then. When I have put myself in this position this year, I have truly taken note of silence. I grew up in the woods of New York, and there were not many city noises.

Coming to Charleston is exciting because there is so much activity going on. However, I often need to be reminded that silence is curing. Sitting on the beach at Botany Bay was extremely beneficial for my mental health because it allowed me to be centered in a place of beauty. The fact that I was in such a beautiful atmosphere opened my mind up and let me reflect on the things that have been going on in my life recently. It is hard for one’s brain to keep up with all of the busy activity one does everyday, but putting oneself in a place of silence and natural beauty helps thoughts process and flow better.

There is great value, in addition, to sharing this type of experience with others. Although it’s vital that the group spends some time in silence, sharing this experience with other people often times amplifies the experience. Those who share the experience together can converse about the things they see, and the enthusiasm and excitement of being in a natural, beautiful place can easily rub off from one person to another. I have been on many trips with the Outdoors Club this year, and it has served as an inspiring community of people who also want to go back to their roots and experience nature the way our evolution would have liked us to!