Following a wave of cities and corporations like Starbucks banning single-use plastic straws, grocery giant Kroger just announced that it would stop distributing plastic bags by 2025. "We listen very closely to our customers and our communities, and we agree with their growing concerns. That's why, starting today at QFC, we will begin the transition to more sustainable options," said EVP Mike Donnelly. (NPR)
2. Gloria Steinem is launching an ethical beauty product.
What happens when you add your favorite feminist activist to a pro-social, cruelty-free makeup brand? Magical things. Steinem teamed up with The Lipstick Lobby to produce a paraben-free, vitamin-E-based lip balm called In The Clear. All the profits will go toward the unPrison Project, which helps incarcerated women and girls develop life skills so they can succeed after prison. (NYLON)
3. Should all offices copy this new company rule from General Motors?
GM doesn't let any of its employees walk around on their smartphones, period—not on the way to the bathroom, while grabbing food from the kitchen, or anything. They implemented the new rule this year to make their workplaces safer (it's a car manufacturer, so that makes sense) but also to limit workers' distractions. Considering the growing research on how smartphones are cutting away at our productivity at work, it's not such a bad idea. (Fast Company)
4. To conserve energy, Europe will ban halogen light bulbs.
LED light bulbs use about five times less energy than halogen bulbs. The yearly energy conservation is comparable to the amount of energy the entire country of Portugal would consume in a year—a huge win in the fight against climate change. (CNN)
5. There's good news for people suffering from this aggressive form of cancer.
For the first time in more than 40 years, progress has been made in acute myeloid leukemia treatments. A new drug, developed by Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HU)'s Faculty of Medicine, attacks several leukemic proteins at once and does the work of four separate drugs. That's something to celebrate! (EurekAlert)
6. One night of bad sleep could affect your metabolism.
A new study published in the journal Science Advances showed that one night of sleep loss affected genetic and metabolic factors associated with unhealthy changes in body composition. We've known for a while that there's a strong connection between weight gain and sleep disruption, but this is just one more reason to nail down a solid nighttime routine. (mindbodygreen)
7. New research links moderate drinking to global health risk.
We've all heard that a glass of wine a day can be good for your health, but new research suggests otherwise. A study published in the journal the Lancet assessed global alcohol consumption and concluded that even moderate drinking can contribute to disease and premature death. "The take-home message being that people shouldn't drink under the belief that it will lower their risk of disease," said University of Cambridge epidemiologist Steven Bell. "[A]nd those of us who opt to drink should minimize our intake if we wish to prolong our life and well-being." (CNN).