Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
Gina-Marie Cheeseman is a central California-based journalist who writes about sustainability, environmental issues, and healthy living. With a degree in journalism and a passion for social responsibility, she writes for a number of online publications. She believes that collaboration between the public and private sectors can help solve many problems facing the planet and its people. named Cheeseman as one of the “75 Environmentalists to Follow on Twitter.” Twitter: @gmcheeseman - See more at:

Posts by This Writer

4 weeks 1 day ago

The Hershey Company recently announced that it is transitioning to simpler ingredients, and that this transition builds on  its commitment to responsible ingredient sourcing. The details are still a bit vague, but the company stated that it plans to introduce new snacking products in the U.S. in 2015 that have simple ingredients. Specifically, the company stated that it plans to transition some of its most popular chocolate brands, including Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, to simpler ingredients.

If you are not a fan of foods with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients, you will be happy to know that...

1 month 1 day ago

Baseball, hot dog, apple pie and Chevrolet are as American as can be, as the old saying goes. General Motors (GM), the company behind Chevrolet, is showing that being good to the environment is also very American. Recently, GM announced that it is procuring wind energy to power some of its manufacturing operations in Mexico. As a result, one of its plants in Mexico will run mostly on renewable energy by adding 34 megawatts of wind power to the facility. That is enough power to charge 22,500,000 Chevrolet Volts.

GM signed a power purchase agreement with Enel Green Power, the company developing and building a wind farm in Palo Alto,...

1 month 3 days ago

Nestlé USA recently announced that it will remove artificial colors and flavors from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015. That means that over 250 of the company’s products and 10 of its brands will be free of the controversial ingredients. By the middle of this year, store shelves will feature Nestlé products bearing the label “No Artificial Flavors or Colors.” 

Nestlé will replace the artificial colors and flavors with ones derived from natural sources. There are several examples. In the Butterfinger candy bar, Red 40 and Yellow 5 will be replaced with annatto, which is derived from the seeds in the fruit of the achiote tree....

1 month 1 week ago

Mars, Inc. is known for its candy. Although the company owns other, non-candy brands, including pet food, making candy is how the company began. However, the company is also making a name for itself when it comes to sustainability. Take Mars Chocolate North America, which achieved zero waste to landfill certification in all 10 of its manufacturing plants. That means those manufacturing plants did not send garbage to landfills. 

Mars has a goal of achieving zero waste to landfill by 2015, a target established in 2007. Since then, the company has reduced waste by 4,500 tons a year, enough garbage to fill 35 football fields, 12 inches deep, annually. Three...

1 month 1 week ago

Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown asked the Golden State’s residents to reduce water use by 20 percent. The reason he asked is that California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in its recent history. Despite recent storms in northern California, almost the entire state is still experiencing drought, and a big swath is experiencing exceptional drought. 

Water conservation is badly needed. and Californians are responding by reducing water use, as an Associated Press report shows. A recently released survey found that in December California residents had reduced water use by 22 percent statewide from December 2013 levels....

2 months 1 week ago

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is serious about making its supply chain more humane. Murphy-Brown LLC, the hog production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., is well on its way to phasing out sow gestation crates. In 2014, 71.4 percent of Murphy-Brown’s company owned farms in the U.S. transitioned to group housing. The company increased the amount of pregnant sows in group housing systems by almost 20 percent from 2013. At the beginning of 2015, more than seven out of 10 pregnant sows on company-owned farms in the U.S. are in group housing systems.

Smithfield’s goal is to phase out gestation crates on company owned farms in the U.S. by the...

2 months 3 weeks ago
Toyota is serious about water conservation: the company saved 93.3 million gallons of water in North America in 2014. Certified LEED Toyota and Lexus dealers are reducing water use by over 20 percent. That'a good ,because drought is a big problem in the U.S. Thirty-six states are facing water shortages; the entire state of California is in drought. The San Antonio area of Texas has suffered from drought since the 1990s. Even parts of western Canada are experiencing water shortage, and water scarcity in Mexico is a big problem. Water shortages may be the norm in the future. By 2030 the global water demand will be 40 percent more than today’s...

3 months 1 day ago
Sappi Fine Paper North America (SFPNA), a subsidiary of Sappi Limited, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, believes in certification. The goal of SFPNA, an integrated pulp and paper producer with state-of-the-art pulp mills, is for 65 percent of its fiber across all operations to be certified by 2016. It recognizes all of the major third-party certification schemes, including the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI), and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). 
Chain of custody certification tracks pulp and paper products...

3 months 3 weeks ago
Ikea has announced its new palm oil policy. The global home furnishing company committed to sourcing palm oil that is grown and processed sustainably. The goal is to source 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil from segregated sources. Ikea will work with its suppliers and stakeholders to ensure the chain of custody for the palm oil used in its products and that standards are continuously improved. 
By December 2015, all palm oil used in home furnishing or food products will come from either certified segregated sources or be replaced by a more sustainable material.  Ikea requires its palm oil suppliers to...

4 months 2 days ago
Fast foods may not be the best for health, but some are really good for the environment. A report by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) features Yum! Brands which owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. The company has over 40,000 restaurants. Green buildings are an important part of the company’s environmental policy. It has 20 LEED certified buildings all over the world. Yum! Brands' goal is for all of its new company-owned restaurants to be LEED certifiable buildings by 2015.
The report interviewed Jonathan Balas, Senior Manager of Global Sustainability on Yum! Brands’ LEED strategy. “Green buildings are a core component...