Review: Maine-Made, Vegan Goodness by J&K’s Hempworks

Who knew hemp oil was such a wonder ingredient in skincare? Aside from being a do-it-all (have you ever had hempmilk?! There is no creamier non-dairy milk around, making it great for smoothies and coffee), renewable crop, the oil extracted from hemp seeds is a powerhouse for the skin.

For one, the fats, or lipids, in hemp oil are similar to those found in the skin, making it an ideal moisturizer for skin lacking in moisture. The oil is also rich in vitamins A and E, which makes it good at promoting scar-healing, preventing stretch marks on soon-to-be mama’s, and even helping those suffering from psoriasis due to the oil’s omegas content. Let’s just say this: hemp oil is amazing.

That’s where J&K’s Hempworks comes in! We just certified their entire line, and they were kind enough to send a care package of their hemp-based skincare products.

According to their website:

J&K’s Hempworks is a small, hemp-based business focusing on personal care products, lip balms and soaps . . . [and] an environmentally and socially conscious company seeking to educate consumers who may be somewhat apprehensive about hemp based products due to confusion about the differences between marijuana and hemp.

Handmade in Maine, J&K’s Hempworks provides a number of different vegan skincare options, ranging from lip balms and soaps to shaving helpers and lotion bars.

The lip balms, which come in a variety of flavors (we tried Colleen’s Classic and Sunburst, an orange flavor), are one of the best vegan lip balms available in terms of texture. So many vegan balms are either too waxy, where they just drag across your lips, or are too oily, where you probably could have saved your money and rubbed coconut oil on your mouth. These balms are the perfect balance between the two, making them a moisturizing, deliciously-scented, holy grail companion. Also, they’re beeswax free, which is why we mentioned them in one of our earlier Facebook posts (and why they’re Certified Vegan, of course)!

Another great option, especially with the warmer weather coming, are the lotion bars. The bars are solid and buttery, making them a great traveling companion. Body heat melts the oils and butters directly into your skin, where you then gently rub it in. No oily feeling like some lotions, as it absorbs almost instantly! Bonus plus: the lavender scent, I’m Laven It!, would be amazing for the outdoors, as the lavender essential oil will help keep pesky bugs at bay.

All the products we tried are great, let’s be honest. The best multi-purpose one, however, is the liquid soap (which we got in Cranberry)! Similar to Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps, the J&K’s liquid soaps can be used as hand soap, body wash, and even shampoo. The soap is high in moisturizing oils, which makes it a little less suds-y then traditional soaps, but in turn leaves your skin soft, moisturized, and smelling like fall. Plus, we love the art deco design on the bottle!

Thanks so much to J&K’s Hempworks for allowing us to try these amazing, Certified Vegan products! They made hemp-lovers of us, and we hope they do the same to you! Interested in supporting a new, small vegan company and trying out some of the line yourself? Use code VEGAN at checkout to save 15% of your order! We definitely recommend the products we tried, but there are many more to choose from, especially since they’re going to continue expanding their line!


WHAT THE HEALTH documentary

WHAT THE HEALTH is the groundbreaking follow-up film from the creators of the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy. The film exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick. You WILL NOT believe what you’ll learn.
www.whatthehealthfilm.com/
Check out the trailer here:


Review: Gluten-Free and HEAVENLY cookies by Maxine’s Heavenly

We understand that some of our lovely vegan friends have stricter diets than others, whether their sensitive stomachs can’t handle gluten very well or they have issues with refined sugar products. So, we are happy to introduce another gluten-free, (mostly) refined-sugar-free, and of course Certified Vegan brand of cookies into our family!

Maxine’s Heavenly has several GF/V flavors of your fav classic cookies. We were lucky enough to try all of them, and can say that, for a healthy cookie, they’re pretty darn good! The only downside is that they are a little crumbly, which isn’t a big deal unless you’re snacking on-the-go. Our favorites are the Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin cookies (for our nut-free folks) and the Almond Chocolate Chip! The Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies are even made using homemade peanut butter and are extra crunchy from added peanuts…what more can you ask for in a cookie? 

You can get the cookies off their website here: http://www.maxinesheavenly.com/order-now/ or through various locations in good ol’ sunny California (and a few in other states). They also have a “Cookie Club,” where a monthly delivery of baked goodness will arrive to keep your pantry full of cookies everyone can enjoy.

Along with ordering online, you can also read more about the cookies and the company, too!


Richmond Environmental Film Festival this week

The 2017 RVA Environmental Film Festival (EFF) is proud to announce that, with the support of Vegan Action as a sponsor, there will once again be no charge for admission to a spectacular showcase of over 20 films. Between February 6 and 18, these amazing documentaries will help raise awareness of environmental issues relevant to the Richmond region, our nation, and our planet.

There is a variety of films for both children (The Lorax and Planetary) and adults with titles like How to Let Go of the World and Love All of the Things Climate Can’t Change, Bag It, NY Times Critic Pick – The Messenger, Beautiful Swimmers Revisited, Catching the Sun, and Disney’s Oceans.

The award winning Catching the Sun takes viewers on a voyage across five oceans and to 50 different worldwide locations to hear environmentalists’ thoughts on solar energy.

Another compelling film is How to Let Go of the World and Love All of the Things Climate Can’t Change, produced by Oscar-nominated documentarian Josh Fox (Gasland).  It is described as a highly entertaining, imaginative, and often emotional road trip that reveals the effects of fossil fuels on the Earth — from superstorm Sandy to Greenland’s melting ice sheet to urban China’s toxic levels of air pollution to oil spills in Ecuador.

These are just two of the many films brought to Richmond for the public’s enjoyment and education which will take place at six locations in the Richmond metropolitan area. See complete film descriptions, locations, and times here.



Tis the Season for Cooking and Baking

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It’s that time of year for cooking and baking and trying new recipes.  Whether you are cooking for the vegans, vegetarians, or omnivores in your life, take the opportunity to show them how wonderful vegan food is.

Share vegan food with someone – a coworker, a family member, a neighbor, a crush – who has never tried a vegan dish or dessert and inspire them to incorporate more plant based foods.

We love Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Post Punk Kitchen.  Find the best recipes for every meal and every holiday!


Petcurean Releases “Endless Valley,” a Food for Vegan Dogs!

Listen up, woof-ers!

Petcurean, a family-owned Canadian company that creates premium-quality pet food recipes by making sure your companion animal’s health is put first, has released a vegan dog food! For all-veggie dogs to canines with sensitive stomachs or allergies, the “Endless Valley” food under the new GATHER line is now available as a perfect, animal-friendly option for your tail-wagging friends. Note that Endless Valley is formulated for adult and senior dogs, so if you have a veg-head puppy, we suggest seeking an alternative!

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Loving that we can see our logo on this beautiful bag!

Endless Valley contains certified organic pea protein and other pure and natural ingredients that are then crafted into a vegan certified (that’s us!) recipe for hungry canines. A plant-based diet can be a great option for dogs, their humans and the environment, and Endless Valley provides all of the essential amino acids and complementary ingredients that provide complete and balanced nutrition. Because the food is Certified Vegan, we at Vegan Action guarantee that Endless Valley does not contain any animal ingredients or animal byproducts, uses no animal ingredient or by-product in the manufacturing process, and has not been tested on animals in any way, shape or form!

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PomPom, Zoey Jane, Rex, and Paddycakes all lining up for some treats

Why pick a vegan dog food? Reasons can range from concerns about the environmental impact of using animals for food, the questionable contents of other dog foods, or dog friends with sensitivities to animal proteins (which is pretty common). A vegan diet for your four-legged friend can be a great solution to all of your worries. Vegan Action has four office dogs running about, all of whom have been eating plant-based for the majority of their lives, and all of whom are happy, healthy, and well-cared for. You can read more about feeding your dog a vegetarian or vegan diet by clicking this link!

Find out more about the Endless Valley dog food on Petcurean’s website, and be sure to check to see if any retailers near you can or already do carry it!


The Future of Dairy and the Environment

A Nielson report this year cited a 250 percent increase in almond milk sales in the last five years while the dairy industry lost more than $1 billion dollars! In addition the USDA reported that milk consumption has decreased by 37 percent since the 1970s.  This positive trend is attributed to an increase in consumers’ concern for animal welfare, health issues, and climate change. We know that our planet cannot sustain the demand for dairy that currently exists and surely will not in the future. The only thing that we can do as individuals is not consume dairy and meat products and encourage others to examine their carbon footprint!2



Recently Certified Products: July 20-July 27

Here we are for round three of our “Recently Certified” series. As we mentioned earlier, we’re going to start doing a weekly “round-up” of products we’ve certified! That way, you know what has the Certified Vegan logo, meets the standards, and know what cool, new things to keep an eye out for. And there are ALWAYS cool vegan things to keep an eye out for!

In the past week, we’ve certified:

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Sweet Anthem Handmade Perfumes line of perfumes, a gorgeous collection of small batch, handmade fragrances from the PNW that evoke scenes from your favorite literary classics. The story of Juliet, for example, stems from the Shakespearean play (of course!):

A starcross’d love encircled by balmy jasmine sambac flowers, orange blossoms and enchanting spices. Nips of fresh mango and a faintly glimmering sea shore lay the scene and fragrance in fair Verona.

The solid perfumes are beeswax-free and vegan as well, which are on-the-go people should be excited about. Try Phoebe (notes of lavender, maple sugar, and tobacco) and Emily (notes of almond, yuzu, and “honey”), two of our favorites.

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Rawpothecary‘s new “Probitonix” waters. The flavored waters are packed full of probiotics and delicious fruit flavors to keep you hydrated and your belly happy with over 2 BILLION vegan probiotics in each bottle. Check out Rawpothecary’s seed milks, cold-pressed juices, wellness shots and fiber-rich blends as well – all of their products are certified and perfect for a summer cleanse!

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Sayblee Darsale‘s handmade and natural hair care products for curls, kinks, coils and frizzy locs in need of some vegan TLC! The hair products also help to promote hair growth and suppress dandruff, another win-win for those of us with dry, itchy scalps or hair in need of stimulation. We bet the lime scent is also to die for. You can buy the haircare online for at-home use or get treated at Sayblee’s Hair Salon in Miami!

We’re excited about all of these and hope you are too!

Have any products you’d like to see certified? Email the company and tell them to get in touch with us!