Exercise is great for the body, but with the right adjustments, we can off-set the waste we produce in powering our TVs and Mp3 players that help satiate our need for a distraction from the fact that we’re working out, as well as the tools we use for the work out itself (i.e. treadmills). That’s how we normally think of waste anyways. Another form of overlooked waste is something much closer and far more vital to most aerobic workouts, namely, what we’re wearing.
A company that’s been heralded as a champion for the cause of athletic footwear with a less noticeable carbon footprint is none other than the local Brooks Sports, inc. Amongst their line up of shoes is one that would catch the eye of any avid environmentalist, the Green Silence. Like similar companies going eco with their shoes such as the New Balance eco shoe and biodegradable Simple brand shoes, these shoes are tapping the athletic market. The shoes, consisting of over 75% post-consumer recycled material, also boast a biodegradable insole and collar foams. For a more detailed listing of features, go here.
With so much trash and waste in the world, it’s great to see individuals like Ori Ben-Zvi turning into something beautiful and useful.
Materials are collected from dumpsters, renovations works and the streets of Tel Aviv, Israel with the intention of urban gathering and reclaiming.
Offering sustainable furniture and accessories from recycled materials with environmentally conscious finishes, Our focus is on generating high quality design with good craftsmanship made solely of recycled and reclaimed materials.
Seattle is a pretty green city, both in vegetation and environmental awareness (although the lack of public transportation situation is mind boggling), so it is only fitting that one of the most recognizable entertainment icons is getting a green revamp. The Paramount Theater near the heart of downtown Seattle is in the process of a green upgrade, starting with the signature marque sign.
The newly replicated sign will be approximately 90% more energy efficient. Currently The Paramount vertical sign has 1,932 incandescent bulbs using 11 watts per bulb, driven by several large mechanical chasers. The replacement consists of .75 watt LED bulbs with electrical chasers gaining the largest energy efficiency increase. Magnetic transformers will be replaced with Ventex High Power Factor (HPF) electronic transformers to power the neon portions of the sign. These units will save up to 66% of the energy currently being consumed by the neon lights.
I get so many requests, tips and emails every week (more than I could possibly write about or feature) that it would be a shame for me to withhold them from my readers. Here are some of my favorites from the last week including sustainable gift wrap, eco-friendly soaps and recycled fire hose bags. Enjoy!
Living Ethos – Sustainable Gift Wrap
LivingEthos produces sustainable gift wraps for any occasion. I am a big fan of this site, especially the design and overall look- their products look very cool too. Founded by a former solar energy marketing mom, LivingEthos is a solution to a wasteful disposable gift wrap problem. Designed to be easy to use, sturdy enough to last for decades and look “so stylish that my not-so-green family and friends wouldn’t roll their eyes at the sight of it,” I think she was successful.
We believe that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice style to simplify your life and make eco conscious choices. Our job: bring clever, hip (not hippy), planet-friendly solutions to everyday life.
These are more than your run of the mill drawstring bags, each gift wrap is made from cotton (with plans to source organic cotton in the future), 100% recycled polyester and are colored using formaldehyde-free and AZO-free dyes. The attention to detail even goes so far as:
• Drawstring grosgrain ribbon creates a decorative gathered top
• All inside seams are finished
• Bottom gusset helps our gift bags sit up straight
• Finished buttonhole edges to eliminate fraying
Soap Hope – Eco Friendly and Skin Friendly Soaps
Although not the best designed website, this book shouldn’t be judged by its cover since all the soaps they carry are hand selected to ensure that it is truly 100% all-natural and cruelty-free. Soap Hope carries brands like Indigo Wild (goat’s milk bars are great for eczema, psoriasis and acne!), Hugo Naturals, A Wild Soap Bar, Pangea Organics and Fraiche.
Not only do they carry amazing soaps, they also use environmentally sustainable business practices to cut costs. Shipping in reused locally-donated and clean cardboard boxes, dubbed the “Ugly Box”, they are broken down to fit each order so that each box gets another round or two of use before being recycled. All unnecessary packaging material is cut out to reduce shipping costs and waste.
In addition, Soap Hope operates under the paradigm of “Good Returns,” which means they invest 100% of yearly profits in micro lending funds for women entrepreneurs around the world.
Feuerwear – Recycled Fire Hose Bags
Constructed of recycled firehose, truck tarpaulin and safety seat belts, this gear is HOT. Feuerwear has bags, belts and wallets all made from fire fighting gear saved from the landfill. The designs are all very unique since they incorporate the natural coloring of the hose, printed numbers and identifying marks, so you will always get an one-of-a-kind original item.
They also just teamed up with notorious Berlin street artist El Bocho to create a line of limited edition works, check them out before they are all gone!
If you have any tips, suggestions or faves, send them to me! Just click on the Contribute tab above and it might make it’s way onto the homepage!
New Balance is breaking into the green shoe arena, and we aren’t talking colors. The just released ME070 and WE070 are made from recycled and sustainable materials, designed and developed with a real focus on eliminating waste. Boston-based New Balance is in the process of creating a new eco-preferred collection within it’s Outdoor category, of which the 70 will be the introductory model.
Billed as “part of a larger, corporate-wide sustainability initiative to operate our business in an environmentally sensitive manner,” the New Balance 70s are just the tip of the toe. Developed for eco-fashionable consumers, the New Balance 70 features a new eco-friendly construction with seventy-five percent of the upper components consisting of “environmentally preferred materials.” The laces, webbing, rand, quarter, tongue and saddle incorporate recycled polyester; the foxing and the tip of the shoe are synthetics made with fewer solvents than traditional materials. Rice husks filler in the outsole reduces the amount of rubber needed, thus reducing the amount of petroleum used. Water-based adhesives (rather than solvent-based) are used to join the upper and the sole unit and no paper stuffing or paper wrapping are used in the packaging of 70.
I was lucky enough to be one of the few to test out this new shoe before it hit the market. The first impression of the stylish burnt-orange model (MT070PB) I received in the model was › Continue reading
I have always been intrigued by the many creative materials used for recycled content bags, especially things like juice boxes. I recently purchased a recycled fire hose bag which I have been delighted with, and I have several recycled cotton, plastic and vinyl bags for shopping and such, but UrthBags has taken the cake with their creative reuse and recycled materials.
With everything from bright and colorful recycled juice box clutches, to understated but exotic coconut & sea shell bags, UrthBags utilize just about anything that our society produces plenty of. Recycled Newspaper, Magazine, and Telephone Book Bags are formed into purses, messenger bags, tote bags, diaper bags and more.
They were kind enough to send me a juice box bag so I could get a closer look at the quality and composition of their products, and I must say it was impressive. They really take the reuse and recycling idea seriously as the bag was packaged and delivered in a re-used box (plus one for practicing what you preach!) The bag was woven together in a tight and sturdy pattern exploding with color. It had a feel similar to a vinyl or soft plastic, but did not appear ‘cheap’ or ‘flimsy’, rather the opposite- it was of exceptional quality. My girlfriend quickly snatched it from me to become her new traveling makeup bag.
There has been a lot of news about the Car Allowance Rebate System or ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program, but the real question is will this benefit the environment? Conceived as a two-birds-with-one-stone program to boost our economy and remove older polluting cars from our roads, but is it working? The real answer is that we don’t know yet.
The original program developed by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and Senator Susan M. Collins, Republican of Maine, required bigger improvements in MPG to qualify. Luckily it seems “the good judgment of the American people” has proved to exceed even the original requirements.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the average mileage of new vehicles purchased through the program is 9.6 miles per gallon higher than for the vehicles traded in for scrap. Buyers of new cars and trucks that get 10 mpg better than their trade-ins get the $4,500 rebate. People whose cars get between 4 mpg and 10 mpg better fuel efficiency qualify for a smaller $3,500 rebate.
We should stop and recognize, however, that Miles Per Gallon (MPG) is not a very good indicator of actual fuel efficiency, especially at higher numbers. Look at the table below, and you can see that if you traded a car that got 40 mpg in for one that got 50 mpg, you would qualify for the higher rebate, however, it would be less efficient (less of an environmental impact) than moving from a 20 mpg car to a 25 mpg car.
Vintage planes are like vintage automobiles, they have a certain class and distinct style about them. Some people like them, and some people love them. I personally love all the polished aluminum, patterned rivets and sleek forms of the aircraft from the past- back when you used to wear a suit on the plane and they used to fly to places like Havana.
MotoArt brings that feeling right into to your living room, bedroom or office with their vintage aircraft furniture. Sourced from actual pieces of aircraft history, each design incorporates a meticulously cleaned and polished piece of and truly unique vintage plane. More than recycled or reused, these pieces are re-fashioned to accentuate their beauty and design.
Most pieces are modernized into desks, beds and office components- a meld of vintage technology with modern technology into a wondrous work of art. If automotive is more your thing, you may want to check out these vintage car furniture designs.
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