I love the idea of re-purposing discarded trash into art and functional pieces, just as Oxyd Factory has done with junked automobiles. The idea of repurposing and upcycling is a common topic here on The Chic Ecologist, primarily because I love the creativity and reduced environmental impact born out of the transformation. You may have seen other recycled automobile tables and even recycled aircraft furniture here, but I was really drawn to the uniqueness of Oxyd Factory designs.
Fair Trade is a term you are beginning to see much more as the eco-friendly movement grows. Fair Trade Designs embodies this ideal with their great sustainable items, each with their own background story of the artisans who create them.
Vetiver Root Place Mats – Hand woven from cotton and vetiver root and tied together with vetiver tassels. Vetiver is a fragrant easily renewable and naturally aromatic root indigenous to India and Indonesia. The soothing, herbal scent covers kitchen smells and also makes great drawer liners. Because of its deep growing & tightly meshed root system, vetiver is also used by conservation and community development projects to stop erosion in deforested areas. The mats are hand made in a fair trade village cooperative in Java, Indonesia.
This product comes from Zen-Zen, a Fair Trade Federation member. That means everyone they employ, including their subcontractors, gets a fair living wage and has good working conditions › Continue reading
A pair of green entrepreneurs have come up with a great easy kit to grow your own fresh sustainable mushrooms at home. Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora came up with the idea during their last semester at UC Berkeley and turned it into a full fledged sucessfull sustainable business: Back to the Roots.
Using the recycled coffee grounds from Peet’s Coffee and Tea houses around the San Francisco bay area as a growing medium, they came up with a full circle pearl oyster mushroom growing kit. Providing a way to grow your own fresh produce in the home while utilizing a waste product (used coffee grounds) they further complete the circle by selling their mushroom/coffee ground compost ‘waste product’ as a premium soil amendment.
Here are some of the stories running around the green web this week.
Glass2 is produced with 99% recycled glass with no resin and can be worked on by stone and glass fabricators.
Staybull Flooring salvages waste wood from lumber mills around the world in more than 20 wood species. The discarded strips are binded using solvent-free and VOC-free adhesives, then milled and finished with a VOC-free ceramic finish for a strong detailed mosaic looking flooring. Pricing can start at $4.50 sqft and can do double duty by also reducing labor costs and construction waste.
Just outside Los Angeles, a 3-GW wind farm project is on track to be operational by next year. Able to power 600,000 Southern California homes, the Alta Vista Wind Energy Center located in the foothills of the Mojave Desert just north of Los Angeles will have the first phase up and running by next year with full completion in about 10 years.
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If you love magazines and catalogs, and haven’t transitioned over to a Kindle or e-reader, then you may be interested to hear about how paper manufacturers and magazines are staying eco-friendly. Or not. While some contain 10-15% recycled content and FSC certified paper, most still use 100% virgin paper.
One company stands out in this arena, and is the only paper company in the country capable of doing 85-100% recycled content Mechanical Coated Paper (aka the glossy paper in magazines and catalogs) domestically. Everything else is from overseas, its carbon footprint adding unneeded impact. Not only that, Futuremark has stepped up in other arenas including:
- Providing post recycling remnants to an agricultural supply company that sells 30,000 tons of it a year to farmers rather then dumping them into a landfill.
- Partnering with the City of Chicago and its schools to collect paper and textbooks, paying schools, faith and civic groups, etc, for what they collect.
Many of us have spoken up by signing up for junk mail reducing lists, but for those who still enjoy the occasional catalog or subscribe to print magazines, publishers need to know that this is a concern of their readers.
A while back, we had a piece introducing the Mirimichi, the first American golf course to be declared a certified Audubon International Classic Sanctuary. An eco-friendly golf course, backed up by the good name of a popular celebrity. There are of course other golf courses that hold the distinction of being considered as eco-friendly in one way or another across the United States and internationally, and an eco-friendly golf course would strike anybody as a great idea, but what about all those people who want to play but don’t intend to fly to Tennessee or the few select locations that boast their connection to the environment? It can’t be expected that every game be played at a location that meets some picky qualifications, and it needn’t be so.
Biodegradable golf balls and tees made from recycled material give people the ability to at least make an individual effort towards the same ends. With tees that biodegrade within a year or so, and aren’t made of wood, an individual effort can be made to the preservation of trees. And balls that quickly biodegrade in water, instead of leading to the deaths of sea-animals that mistake them for something a little more edible, go a long way to the preservation of marine wildlife. What follows than are a few resources for the avid golfer to upgrade his/her collection: › Continue reading
We have profiled several companies making bags from recycled materials here. You have bags from recycled juice boxes, recycled firehoses, and recycled bags, but here is a new twist I didn’t see coming- bags made from recycled (or repurposed) airline seat covers.
Its crazy to think of all the things that eventually get thrown away, and believe me, airline seat covers were not on my radar. So far, Delta has donated 5,873 pounds of fabric from an estimated 20,000 aircraft seat covers to Tierra Ideas for their varied bag creations. Incorporating recycled bicycle and tractor innertubes and an auto seat belt as the shoulder strap, these bags are truly › Continue reading
With the weather improving (I’ll take 65 degrees any day!) and it finally feeling like Spring, girls are dusting off their sundresses and flip flops to match. If you are looking for that perfect pair of flip flops, make sure you try on the unique I Used To Be A Ricebag collection from BC Footwear. They are made with love and stamped with approval, featuring an imprint that says “I Used To Be A Ricebag” surrounding a recycle symbol. It’s another type of reusable bag that will definitely gain you a lot of compliments.
The eco-friendly shoe, just like the title says, is handmade from used rice, detergent and various other storage bags. Previously intended to end up in a landfill somewhere, these bags can now show off their unique colors and patterns walking down the street. They feature a cushioned insole and rubber sole and fit true to size. BC makes two types of these chic sandals, the Danke Ricebag and the Earthquake Ricebag. › Continue reading
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