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Students study sustainability with Safeway

BY DSN STAFF

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway has partnered with the Go Green Initiative, an organization that supports environmental stewardship among schools, families, governments and businesses, to launch the first annual Go Green Glogster Earth Day contest.

Students will be asked to investigate the sustainability of the food, water, or energy system in their community, and express their findings through videos, podcasts, blogs, music and photos compiled in a "Glog." For the food system, students will examine the availability of locally grown and organic food in their neighborhood; food safety procedures at their local grocer; and the impact that higher fuel prices will have on the price of food where they live. Safeway is providing an organic garden to a winning school; a full-service, all natural BBQ for a winning class; and five $100 dollar cash prizes to winning students.

"Safeway has worked very hard to bring more sustainable food choices to the communities we serve," Safeway VP sustainability Christy Consler said. "Our sourcing team works to provide locally grown, natural, and organic choices throughout our retail outlets, and our consumer brands provide a wide variety of healthy, affordable, and more environmentally responsible food choices for families."

The Go Green Glogster Earth Day contest runs from March 23 to April 22. For more information on entering, click here.

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Cool Gear rolls out new products

BY DSN STAFF

PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Cool Gear has expanded its line of hydration products with three new items.

Cool Gear said its Pure Squeeze line features a 26-oz. squeezable water filtration bottle with a replaceable carbon filter that reduces the taste and smell of chlorine for up to 100 gallons of water. The BPA-free bottle also includes a pull-up sipper with a clear, protective cover.

Also new to the portfolio is the glass bottle with silicone sleeve, a 20-oz. straight-wall glass bottle with a colorful cut-out silicone sleeve cover, and a Tritan cap with silicone stopper and finger loop.

Lastly, the company has launched its exclusive Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution printed glass bottle. The 20-oz. straight-wall glass bottle features a blue-swirl print. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to WHOI, the company said.

"Adding new products to our hydration category provides consumers with an array of options in hopes to lessen plastic bottle waste and encourage the use of reusable containers," Cool Gear International founder and CEO Donna Roth said. "Our innovative products focus on functionality and style, which both meet the needs of our consumers’ busy, on-the-go lifestyle."

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Consumers set to spend more this spring, Deloitte says

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Consumers this spring are planning to spend the same or more at retail than last year, according to the latest Deloitte survey.

In its 2012 Spring Consumer Pulse survey, Deloitte found that more than two-thirds of consumers surveyed (67%) said they plan to spend the same or more, a 9% increase from 2011, with many of them feeling slightly better about the economy than this time last year (57% versus 52% last year).

When it comes to where these respondents plan to shop, almost two-thirds (65%) said they’re shopping more online to get the best product or price, an increase of 13 percentage points from 2010. Deloitte also noted a boost in social networking and mobile activity, as 46% of smartphone owners indicated they have used phones to research product prices online — an increase of 10 percentage points from 2011 — while 45% of respondents said they’re interacting with retailers through social networking sites, the research firm said.

Despite these sentiments, inflation remains a top concern, Deloitte said. When asked what might cause them to hold back spending in the months ahead, 76% said higher prices generally, followed by higher energy costs (69%) and higher medical bills (44%). Similarly, 80% said they expected to spend more on food this year, while 52% agreed that new spring merchandise seems to have higher prices.

The 2012 Spring Consumer Pulse survey was conducted between March 5 and 7 and included a nationally representative sample of 1,000 consumers.

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