Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mr. Green Jeans

From Time Magazine

Green Jeans: Levi's Makes Its Denim With Less Water

Alexander Ho for TIME
Back in 2007, Levi's did a cradle-to-grave assessment of the resources required for its famous 501 denim and found out something surprising: its jeans were practically made of water. The San Francisco-based company discovered that over the lifetime of its jeans, from the cotton fields needed to make the fabric to consumers' tossing their dirty dungarees in the washing machine, each pair used up 3,480 L of water, which is the equivalent of running a garden hose for 106 minutes.

There wasn't much Levi's could change about cotton farming or consumer hygiene, but company executives realized they could use ozone processing to reduce the amount of washing needed to soften jeans before they're sold — i.e., the wash in stonewashed. The result is Levi's Water‹Less jeans, a new line that hits stores in January. On average, the jeans, which will cost the same as conventional ones, use 28% less water in the finishing process. Multiply that by the more than 1.5 million pairs of Water‹Less jeans Levi's expects to sell this spring and the savings add up to approximately 16 million L of water. "It took a different way of thinking, but the results are kind of amazing," says Carl Chiara, director of special projects at Levi's. (See photos of the world of blue jeans.)

Fashion may seem low impact — after all, consumers don't use electricity or burn gasoline when they put on their khakis — but growing cotton and other fibers involves a lot of water and fertilizer, and a great deal of energy is needed to manufacture, ship and, eventually, wash and maintain the clothes that wind up in your hamper. Some 25% of the world's pesticides, for example, is used to grow cotton, and on average, 15% to 20% of the fabric that goes into producing clothing ends up as scraps.

One way to shrink fashion's environmental impact is through efficiency initiatives that reduce the need for water, pesticides and energy in the manufacture of clothes — just as Levi's has done with its new line. Using natural dyes rather than harsh chemicals can also cut down on the pollutants from prêt-à-porter. (Are $300 jeans financially viable?)

Some fashion pioneers are trying to push the boundaries of sustainability further by purposefully designing clothes that leave little to no waste. This involves techniques like creating a scrap-free pattern that fits together like a puzzle. But the overall look still has to be attractive. "The waste can't be more important than the aesthetics," says Timo Rissanen, an assistant professor of fashion design and sustainability at New York City's Parsons the New School for Design. "It should still be about designing beautiful things."

For now, however, zero waste is on the margins of design, and efficiency improvements like Levi's Water‹Less jeans are barely a drop in the bucket. That's why the most dedicated followers of sustainable fashion might want to limit the amount of clothing they buy — and make sure those choices last a long time. "It's easy to confuse needs with wants," says Rissanen. "I do believe in buying less and buying better." That may be the greenest design of all.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Endings and Beginnings

Today marks the end of an era.  It is Allen Hardison's last day as the Executive Director of the Coastal Environmental Partnership.  Retirement begins, along with a well deserved rest for a job well done.

While one phase ends another begins.  More time for life with his beautiful bride, more time for aquatic therapy (aka boat time) and more time to smell the flowers he plants.

Thank you Allen for all you have done to make this world a better place.  I hope you dance!

My Friend

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Perils of Plastic

 Aquarium of the Bay Launches Perils of Plastic Initiative

image description
Aquarium of the Bay Launches “Perils of Plastics” Initiative

San Francisco, CA, July 18, 2011 -- Today, Aquarium of the Bay launched a multi-prong effort to address the “Perils of Plastics,” through a new temporary exhibition as well as major organizational changes to combat the global issue.  

The Aquarium’s effort includes: 

  • A temporary multi-media exhibition entitled “The Perils of Plastics” which combines whimsical features with hard-hitting facts and a strong do-it-yourself element to raise awareness and personal action
  • The removal of all plastic drinking bottles from retail areas of the 60,000 square foot facility that sees up to 600,000 visitors a year
  • The installation of a state-of-the-art water filling station, where people can fill up their reusable bottles.  The station features a digital screen, which calculates the number of plastic bottles saved – since installing the station on July 9, Aquarium visitors have saved over 800 plastic bottles.
  • Naturalist-led demonstrations and discussions to help provide ideas on how and why to use plastics carefully, including Albatross bolus dissections
  • A voluntary “Plastics Pledge,” encouraging visitors to pick up one piece of plastic each day
 “Plastics make up 90% of all trash floating in the world’s oceans, and two million plastic drink bottles are consumed in the U.S. every five minutes,” said John Frawley, President and CEO of Aquarium of the Bay and its partner, The Bay Institute.  “This exhibition underscores the need to manage plastics more aggressively at every level.”

“We show the gruesome effects of plastic on wildlife, but also stress simple ways we can keep plastic out of our ocean,” said Christina J. Slager, Director of Animal Care and Exhibits. “I really like ‘Mr. Fluffy,’” said Slager, gesturing towards a troll-sized sculpture made of hundreds of white shopping bags. “The exhibit is made from simple components that could easily be recreated for children,” she said, watching a young visitor make a water ‘gyre’ inside an hourglass made out of two soda bottles.   The interactive display mimics the currents that create the Pacific plastics gyre, a floating mass of plastic garbage larger than the state of Texas.

About Aquarium of the Bay
Aquarium of the Bay is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit marine nature center affiliated with The Bay Institute.  The Aquarium is dedicated to inspiring conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed, from the Sierra to the sea. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco. Additional information on Aquarium of the Bay is available at www.aquariumofthebay.org, and on The Bay Institute at www.bay.org

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Retirement Luncheon

With the days winding down, 3 more, before Allen retires, the crew here got together and had a luncheon for him today.

We're going to miss you Allen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Goodwill Goes Green


GOODWILL GOES GREEN


The Goodwill Goes Green program is part of a national initiative by Goodwill Industries International and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor*.

The program is designed to help people with barriers to employment through training and job search assistance in the energy conservation and renewable energy fields.

Participants in the Goodwill Goes Green program gain the skills and knowledge required to expand their career opportunities in the green jobs marketplace.

For more information or questions, please contact us at greenjobs@austingoodwill.org.

*This training program is 90% funded by a $1,000,000 grant from the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

Goodwill Industries® provides equal opportunity programs. Accommodations are available upon request for persons with disabilities.
Goodwill Industries of Central Texas

Monday, July 25, 2011

MillerCoors Reduces Waste

From Mother Nature Network

 

MillerCoors commits to reducing waste to landfill

MillerCoors believes waste is simply a resource out of place and they are committed to finding ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle whatever and whenever they can.


MillerCoors believes waste is simply a resource out of place and they are committed to finding ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle whatever and whenever they can.  In 2009, they exceeded their 2015 goal for waste reduction by eliminating 20 percent of the amount of waste sent to landfill.
 
More than 99% of all brewery waste – including glass, paperboard, plastics, metals and byproducts - is recycled or reused at MillerCoors.  For example, leftover barley malt – or spent grain – is sold to local farms for animal feed while brewers’ yeast is sold to food companies for use in canned soups, gravies, frozen entrees and pet food.  Some byproducts are used to fertilize hay fields on site, among others.
 
Three MillerCoors breweries – in Trenton, Ohio, Shenandoah, Virginia, and Irwindale, California – have achieved zero waste to landfill and currently are not sending any waste to the landfill.
 
At the Trenton, Ohio brewery, the key to zero waste to landfill success was making it about the people involved and their commitment and buy-in.
 
Denise Quinn, Tenton Brewery VP and Plant Manager, explains the key was asking key questions such as, “How can we make it [recycling] easy for the employees? How can we make it simple? How can we make it something that they can be proud of and look at what they’ve done with regards to the communities that they work and live in?”
 
Dave Klante, MillerCoors Vice President of Engineering & Packaging says the zero waste to landfill campaign is about employee involvement and engagement.
 
“It is really a culture change,” Klante says.
 
The content above was provided by MillerCoors

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What Can you Do With Empty Plastic Bottles?

Recycle Guys
Today on , they showed us things u can do w/ your empty drink bottles. Wubbzy's alternative was shooting them into outer space.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Boat made of 100% trash

From Mother Nature Network

Boat made of 100% trash sets sail in Taiwan

Built completely from plastic bottles and other recycled materials, the boat set sail to raise awareness about the marine environment.


 
Polli-Boat sailing from Taiwan TRASHY VOYAGE: The trimaran, named the "Polli-Boat," had as its main flotation system a series of interlocking plastic bricks made from plastic bottles with strengthened polyethylene terephthalate, the most common plastic in use today.
TAIPEI - A boat built completely from plastic bottles and other recycled materials, including old advertising banners, set sail in Taiwan to raise awareness about the marine environment.
 
The trimaran, named the "Polli-Boat," had as its main flotation system a series of interlocking plastic bricks made from plastic bottles with strengthened polyethylene terephthalate, the most common plastic in use today.
 
The 3-foot boat has a flotation pontoon made from the 804 plastic bricks whose hexagonal shape allows them to lock together, withstanding the pressure of sailing. Used advertising banners are the sails.
 
"The concept of the Polli-Boat is using 100 percent trash," said Arthur Huang, the founder and managing director of Miniwiz Sustainable Energy Development Ltd, which made the boat.
 
"It's being propelled only by renewable resources — obviously sailing, that's using wind. The other is solar energy with six modules of soft solar panels."
 
Each panel is capable of generating 72 watts, which powers an electric motor that propels the boat when there is no wind.
 
The boat set sail on Wednesday, World Ocean Day, in a ceremony accompanied by an eco-friendly creative boat competition held at the dock. It will tour around Taiwan for educational purposes.
 
Sponsored by the National Geographic Channel in Taiwan, ten designs were selected out of nearly 200 entries to compete for the most innovative boat built from recycled materials.
 
One boat was shaped like the endangered black-faced spoonbill to promote wetlands protection, while another was designed to look like a floating city to raise awareness of rising sea levels.
 
(Reporting by Christine Lu, editing by Elaine Lies)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Recycling Lessons

From the Recycle Guys
Attention teachers! Take a look at these recycling education resources from the Waste Watch Recycle Zone.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Green Exercise


RE3.org
Here's an incentive to work-out longer and harder: every stride you take on these retrofitted elliptical machines generates electricity that goes back into the power grid.
the Green System

The benefits are many. "It's not meant to make you money, but it will definitely offset electricity," says Amber Maechler, marketing and communications director for SportsArt Fitness, which also makes a treadmill that uses less energy than traditional units, as well as a line of self-generating ellipticals and cycles requiring no outside power. "Plus, members are going to feel good about generating energy, and club owners are going to be sending an amazing message and using it to motivate members to work out longer and harder. Places of high use are where you're really going to see the benefits."

Manufacturers vary in the ways they communicate how much energy their people-powered

Photo of a thermal-imaging camera capturing the amount of wasted energy generated by an elliptical user before the machine is retrofitted with ReRev equipment
A thermal-imaging camera captures the amount of wasted energy generated by an elliptical user before the machine is retrofitted with ReRev equipment. (Photo courtesy of ReRev)
This much is clear: The concept is catching on. One obvious indication of that is the Energy Civil War, held between the University of Oregon and Oregon State

It's no surprise that manufacturers in this market segment report the greatest buy-in at college recreation centers, where there already exists an environmentally aware user base. But the concept is making strides in other facilities, too, including health clubs and municipal recreation centers. And it holds great promise for high schools (where calculating energy savings and converting kinetic energy could become part of math and science curriculums) and military bases (where power is at a premium in some remote locations).

"People are ready for the idea now, and it has legs," says SportsArt Fitness product manager Bob Baumgartner, who has been involved with the Green System since its inception. And if facility operators can give exercisers additional incentives to work out — essentially helping the environment while helping themselves — the message behind that idea holds even more juice. "We understand that we just can't put something like this in the club and have people realize the impact they're making," Maechler says, adding that SportsArt Fitness plans a major promotional and branding campaign for the Green System's early adopters. "Facility owners are not just buying a new piece of equipment; they're buying into a new marketing message."

Manufacturer-driven technology that details how much power facility users generate individually and collectively on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis make it easy to engage in competitions with facilities on the other side of town or on the other side of the country, as well as create new fundraising and educational opportunities. Predicts Harr, "This is going to make equipment even more of a fitness product than it was in the first place."

The result of combining fitness with sustainability — "two really positive industries," as Harr puts it — has not happened without growing pains. Consider the debate over the role batteries should play in the conversion of kinetic energy into AC power. While The Green Revolution wires exercise bikes into a central battery that can store energy, other manufacturers eschew batteries, citing efficiency, cost, size and disposal issues.
Besides, adds Baumgartner, the process of converting people power into facility power is already complicated enough. The Green System, which does not require batteries, is in the process of gaining UL approval. "We still have a long way to go in some respects," he says. "We're working through the approval process, and that's a challenge. We understand what it takes to get UL approval for a fitness product, but to get approval for a product that actually produces power and sends it back to the grid requires a whole other set of compliances."
Harr says all of the effort involved with helping create a new product category has been worth it. In fact, he doesn't see an alternative. "With humanity growing by leaps and bounds and emerging markets doing what they're doing without even a full rebound in our economy, we will run out of power," Harr says. "It was so easy for so long to just drill a hole in the ground and have an abundant source of energy at our fingertips. I don't want to see our standard of living decline because we didn't think about the future. Is ReRev solving any great problem? Absolutely not. But it's starting a discussion."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ReRevThe Green RevolutionPlugOut Fitnessformerly known as Resource Fitness

Monday, July 18, 2011

Executive Director Steps Into Retirement

Allen Hardison, Executive Director of the Coastal Environmental Partnership, will retire at the end of this month. 

He is pictured here with members of our Board of Directors at the July Board meeting.  Thank you for all you do Allen.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Green Zoo

Recycle Guys
 
Find out what the in Asheboro is doing to protect our environment!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Green Tour de France

2011 Tour de France

Going green, the Tour has a “Waste Zone” before and after every feed zone.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Please Don't Trash the Beach

Recycle Guys
When you're at the beach this summer, remember to take ur trash with u! Let these Flickr photos be an encouragement!
 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Green Summer Crafts

From the Recycle Guys

When u and your kids find it too hot to play outside, stay indoors & create a piece of art from things around the house!
 

Home Electronics Disposal

There was an error in this gadget