With fast fashion and quick turnover key commercial ingredients of today’s garment and apparel industry, excess textile production is prompting the sector to gravitate towards more recycling and re-use of materials, to conserve energy, increase sustainability and lower raw material costs. (more…)
This is a guest post from Tom Szaky, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of TerraCycle, which provides free waste collection, and then turns that waste into sustainable products. View our previous post about TerraCycle here: http://mantrameds.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/terracycle-outsmart-waste/
Widely quoted estimates suggest that 90% of the ‘stuff’ we buy is discarded within 6 months of purchase. What’s worse is that 10% of this “stuff” ends up going to some type of waste-to-energy facility, while the remaining 90% of America’s waste ends up in a landfill.
With over 360 million Americans and counting producing on average about 4 pounds of waste a day, it is clear that our recycling systems need to be expanded to accept a wider range of materials, and fast. Worse yet, even commonly recyclable packaging formats such as PET and HDPE plastic bottles are only recycled at an estimated (and paltry) 25%.
Only 30% of people in the Southern region of the United States had curbside recycling collection in 2008. Eighty-four percent of people in the Northeast had curbside recycling. The South also has the most landfill facilities – 726, in contrast with 134 in the northeast. [EPA]
MantraMeds posted an entry on June 1st with a great resource for finding your local recycling centers – check it out here: Recycling Center Search Engine.
Fact courtesy of Busch Systems – like them on Facebook
Making recycling make sense
Variation in recycling programs, unclear labeling, and inaccurate recyclability claims make proper recycling a challenge. The How2Recycle Label was created to provide consistent and transparent on-package recycling information to consumers.
We created a special version of the label for plastic bags and films that are accepted primarily at retail stores with plastic bags. For more information, see plasticbagrecycling.org.
People who are interested in a career improving their community might be interested in a masters degree in human services from an online school.
Courtesy of Earth 911
We all know recycling is good for the environment, but many don’t realize the ways recycling can positively impact their own community. These days, there are more than just moral incentives for communities to establish recycling options and encourage participation.
Here are five ways the benefits of recycling can hit close to home:
1. Creates Green Jobs
Recycling has become a major industry that reaches far beyond your average curbside pickup program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2010 employment in green goods and services accounted for 3.1 million jobs in the United States. The green job potential grows exponentially the more communities invest in their own recycling efforts.
It’s easy to associate green jobs with what we see most often, such as curbside collection services, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot to do with recycling that goes on behind the scenes.
Once a recyclable material is collected, it usually requires processing to transform it into a valuable material that can be reused. From there, those refined materials get manufactured into new products made from recycled material.
None of these steps can take place without businesses and employees to collect, transport, process and manufacture recovered materials. When put in the context of the numerous types of materials collected, such as glass, plastics, paper and metal, it is easy to see how the potential for green jobs adds up.
Pepper – the Eco Friendly Dog
By Gia Machlin
This is Part I of a two-part post on how consumers can use Eco Labels to distinguish the green from the greenwash.
After years of making fun of dog owners in the city, I became one myself: a city dweller with a canine friend. Meet Pepper. Of course now I think having a dog in the city is the best thing since sliced bread, but I still feel somewhat ridiculous picking up after Pepper does her business on the sidewalk. Luckily we have those tidy little poop bags to help us out and keep the mess to a minimum. I realize that using an old newspaper is probably more eco friendly, and I may just switch to that, but as I was getting used to this dog walking concept, using the bags just seemed much less disgusting.
So I walked into the pet store and asked for biodegradable poop bags, and the clerk pointed me to some bags hanging in a display case. On the packaging, there was a picture of the earth with some recycling arrows around it and the words “earth friendly.” If I didn’t happen to be in the sustainability field, I might have taken this information at face value and bought the bags. But I didn’t recognize the symbol as representing a reputable eco-label and I looked further. Nowhere on the packaging did the product claim to be biodegradable, compostable, or made of renewable materials. In fact, the bags were, as far as I could tell, no different than any other plastic poop bag. But I’m sure the manufacturer fooled a few customers into believing their product was “greener” than the next. How is this possible?
It’s possible, because there is very little regulation around what companies can claim as “green,” “eco friendly,” or “earth friendly.” Not that there isn’t any regulation – in 1992 the Federal Trade Commission came out with the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims also known as the “Green Guide“. This regulation has been updated several times, and in October 2010 the FTC proposed major updates to this section of the Federal Register (the proposed updates have yet to be finalized). So this is all good, and the FTC has started to enforce these rules, but the rules are new, and in some cases unclear, and the door is still open for all the “greenwashers” and their claims for now.
So, as a consumer, knowing that the door is still open for marketers to make all kinds of green claims, how do you know what’s green? Well the first thing to know is that nothing is truly “green.” Everything we buy has some kind of environmental footprint. A product’s footprint is calculated using many factors: the material used to make it, the energy used to manufacture it, the gasoline used to transport it, the electricity needed to operate it, and the waste created when ultimatelydisposing of it. But a product can be “greener” than another. (The most environmentally friendly option is not to buy anything new at all and reuse what’s already out there!) So how do we know what’s “greener?” Currently, we at EcoPlum believe the best option is to buy products that have are made of recycled materials, have been certified green by independent organizations or that have earned a reputable eco-label.
Now, how do you know which Eco-Label is reputable? That’s the topic of Part II of this post. But, for now, here is a list of eco-labels we have found be run by independent non-profit or government third parties that appear to have no vested interest in the products or companies they certify.
[Note: the EcoPlum Online Boutique carries only eco friendly products that have been certified green, have a third party eco-label, or are made of recycled/upcycled materials.]
Gia is the President and CEO of EcoPlum, Where it Pays to Buy Green®. EcoPlum is the green shopping rewards site with eco friendly products and green living ideas that makes it fun, easy and rewarding to go green. Under its loyalty program, buying green at EcoPlum online earns EcoChipz rewards points, good for coupons in its shop or donations to environmental causes.
MantraMeds scrubs AND Earthspun Apparel tees are made from a blend of cotton & recycled polyester that comes from recycled plastic or rPET.
MantraMeds & Earthspun Apparel had a wonderful day at MUSC’s Earth Day festival! Here are some pictures of other vendors who were there with us.
MantraMeds Sustainable Medical Apparel & Earthspun Apparel tees
MUSC Earth Day festival
Wonderful coordinator for the event
Had a great talk w/ these guys about Earthspun Apparel's spinner in Kings Mountain who uses solar panels
The local animal shelter brought around some adorable kittens and dogs.
Yoga House - new studio in Charleston
We even had some live music
Dirty Jobs event at Kite Hill is another RecycleMania success.
by KATE RIPLEY
This article originally appeared in The Tiger on March 9, 2012
As part of RecycleMania, Clemson Recycling Services and CLEMSONLiVE hosted the university’s first ever “Clemson Dirty Jobs” event. Although Mike Rowe and his Discovery Channel television crew were not present to capture the action, 23 students helped make this waste audit possible, producing a total recycling rate of 85 percent.
Last week, Feb. 27-March 2, three teams made up of Clemson students from all walks of life met at the Kite Hill recycling center to do a dirty job: sort trash and save recyclable materials from the landfill. These three teams represented Students for Environmental Action (SEA), the Environmental Engineering graduate program, and the rowing and volleyball teams. Students geared up with haz-mat suits and gloves to tackle more than 1,800 pounds of waste.
Read more at: http://thetigernews.com/news.php?aid=7598&sid=1
Just in case you missed it, America Recycles Day published their winning video contest entries from 2011 today. The top two entries were raps about recycling! Check out these as well as the other entries at http://www.youtube.com/americarecyclesday.
Click image below to view the winning video OR go to the URL beneath the image
Winning video: http://youtu.be/PkPIjeq5aWg
Solid Green, a student group at Clemson University that promotes sustainability, is hosting Dirty Jobs – an event dedicated educating students about recycling on Clemson’s campus. Students who participate will receive a “Peace, Love, Recycling” recycled earthspun t-shirt! Get involved at your alma mater to help support groups like this one.
Clemson University’s RecycleMania 2012 Video Entry is finally here!!!
Click the image below or the URL beneath the image to view Clemson’s entry
Click this link to view the video for Clemson University: http://youtu.be/rEe2JgfjCmk
Mexico City, the world’s seventh largest city, will close the world’s largest garbage dump by the end of 2012, instead turning trash from the city and surrounding area’s 20 million residents into renewable energy and reusable materials, according to Mayor Marcelo Ebrand.
Read full article at: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/7rBLnD/www.organicauthority.com/blog/organic/organic-food/largest-garbage-dump-in-the-world-will-turn-trash-into-renewable-resources/
The MantraMeds team from South Carolina are Clemson University alumni, and we couldn’t be more proud of our alma matter for participating in RecycleMania this spring!
via Clemson Recycles: Get excited about Recyclemania! We have some great ideas brewing like a Recycled Art Contest, Movie Screening and Recycling Competitions. Learn about upcoming events here or at CU Recycling’s website : http://www.clemson.edu/facilities/recycling/index.html
Follow Clemson Recycles on Facebook!
We at MantraMeds ask you to encourage your alma matter to sign up for RecycleMania! Registration is open until January 20, 2012
Written by Abbie Stutzer
Perhaps 2011 was filled with a lot of ho-hums and not so many ho, ho, hos. However, one brilliantly bright spot of 2011 was the increasing popularity of DIY culture. Making do with odds and ends has – and will most likely continue to be – a fine, emerging art. Celebrate the resurgence (and help the movement gain popularity) of the do-it-yourself atmosphere and celebrate 2012 at home with your best buds and loved ones at a DIY New Year’s Eve Party. After all, who really wants to drive to an overblown, booze-infused party that’s way overpriced (and probably has a carbon footprint the size of Montana)?
Drink up Sustainably
Toast to a healthy and sustainable New Year by serving eco wine, beer and herb-infused cocktails. The following articles contain information about sustainable wine and winter cocktails. Also, learn about the joys of champagne, the beverage that pretty much owns New Year’s Eve.
Read all tips at: http://www.organicauthority.com/eco-chic-table/throw-a-diy-new-years-eve-party-at-home.html
City Council passes ban unanimously; bill now goes to mayor
By VANESSA HO, SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF
Updated 03:42 p.m., Monday, December 19, 2011
Buh-bye, plastic bags. Photo: Getty Images.
Ready to bring your reusable bags everywhere?
The Seattle City Council passed a broad ban on plastic bags Monday, outlawing them not just in grocery stores, but in department stores, clothing stores, convenience stores, home-improvement stores, food trucks and farmers markets.
The bill goes further than bans in other cities, which have largely banished plastic only groceries and sometimes drug stores. Customers in Seattle will still be able to get paper bags from retailers, but for a 5-cent fee.
Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Plastic-bags-banned-in-Seattle-2412950.php#ixzz1h6FvxxHF
Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Plastic-bags-banned-in-Seattle-2412950.php#ixzz1h6FrJh00
RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over a 10-week period, schools report recycling and trash data which are then ranked according to who collects the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables,the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate. With each week’s reports and rankings, participating schools watch how their results fluctuate against other schools and use this to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.
Whether the goal is to win the national award or simply get students excited about reducing waste, RecycleMania is a winner for all colleges involved!
Registration is live!
Registration is open for the 2012 RecyleMania Tournament. Schools are encouraged to register early, but must complete the process by January 20, 2012.
The official dates for the 2012 tournament have been set! Preseason practice weeks will run January 22 to February 4. The official competition will kick-off on February 5 and extend 8 weeks to March 31!
We at MantraMeds want you to encourage your alma matter to join the competition! Read more at: http://www.recyclemaniacs.org/index.htm
This is Jessica – a MantraMeds Insider. She signed up for our Insider Program and received this FREE pair of sustainable scrubs. All she had to do was give us her feedback on the style & fit. Thank you for sending in the cute picture!
So, what is the Mantrameds Insider Program?
If you love our product the way we think you will, you’ll pass on the word! It’s pretty simple. The program is our way of saying thanks and asking for your help at the same time.
As a Mantrameds Insider you will enjoy the following benefits:
- 30% Personal Use Discount
- Personalized Welcome Packet
- Free Scrub Top or Bottom Annually
- “Scrub Love” Cards To Introduce Your Friends To Mantrameds At A 30% Discount – (Recipients must be a new customer to be eligible)
- Participation in the Product Design And Review Process
- Ability To Host Your Own Income Generating Scrub Sale
- Fun SWAG for you and your friends
- Advanced ordering for new styles and colors
Sounds great, what do I need to do?
1. Apply here now http://www.mantrameds.com/insider-signup
2. Get Approved
3. Receive your Welcome Package
4. Enjoy the Benefits.
If you want to know the Guidelines Read moreInsider Program Guidelines
As a Mantrameds Insider you will have the privilege of all the Insider benefits listed above. Currently to establish a group of Insiders we are inviting individuals to join until the program is full. Insider status can be kept indefinitely but it must be earned yearly. We don’t ask for much, keeping Insider status only requires your participation and brand support. Privilege does come with some responsibly but we do make responsibility fun. We only ask you to use the tools we give you and interact with your community and ours. That’s it give things away and help us spread the word about our brand and products, how cool is that for responsibility!
The Insider Program is currently limited annually. The number of eligible Insiders per state is based on state population.
The Insider Program Coordinator will review ever Insiders participation yearly. Keeping active status as and insider will be up to you and based on what you give away and how you interact with the brand and community via the program coordinator, social media, surveys, etc.
Apply here nowhttp://www.mantrameds.com/insider-signup
Peace, love, iPod
Shanthini Naidoo | 04 December, 2011 02:06
Hippie-ism started to fade like a bad tie-dye at the tail end of last century. Then we focused on making money quickly. It was cool to own stocks and bonds, to build empires in grey suits and to have stress-related heart attacks. Now hipsters, ancestors of the hippie, are everywhere. The Bohemian has woken up from a 30-year slumber. But this time, dreadlocks and mind-evolving drugs are not a prerequisite.
From the soccer mom to the socialite, we all carry a bit of the inner hippie and the world is a better place for it.
Find your inner hippie! Are you a food hippie, an activist, a benevolent boho, a nomad, or (our personal favorite) a shopper hippie? Read full article: http://www.timeslive.co.za/lifestyle/2011/12/04/peace-love-ipod
Like the t-shirt above? It’s made of recycled X-ray film & recycled cotton – Check out Earthspun Apparel on Facebook!
Last day to enjoy our week-long extension of Cyber Monday! Buy some sustainable scrubs for the green nurse in your life! These make great Christmas presents!
CYBER MONDAY IS ALL WEEK LONG on MantraMeds Market!
FOR EVERY $75 YOU SPEND GET $25 OFF
Go to: http://www.mantramedsmarket.com/
Patagonia: Don’t Buy Our Jackets
Patagonia (PDF)/Promo image
Not content with encouraging potential buyers to check out eBay for pre-loved products or resoling their shoes before purchasing new ones, outdoor clothier Patagonia recently took the audacious step of telling their customers simply to not to buy their jackets.
During the recent Black Friday, (America’s mad buying frenzy that somehow denotes an “official” start to Christmas shopping), Patagonia placed an advert in the New York Times, requesting of readers; “Don’t Buy This Jacket.”
We ask you to buy less and to reflect before you spend a dime on this jacket or anything else. [...] Don’t buy what you don’t need. [R]eimagine a world where we take only what nature can replace.
Read full article here: http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/patagonia-dont-buy-our-jackets.html
One Clothing Company Removed 82,527 Pounds of Trash from Waterways
Living / Sustainable Fashion
December 1, 2011
© United By Blue
Last year when we wrote about United By Blue, a clothing and jewelry retail company that puts the ocean first, the company was just a tiny start-up getting its sea legs. But now it has proven itself as a sustainably-minded company that makes a serious difference. It has already removed 82,527 pounds of trash from the ocean as of this writing.
The company accomplishes this fantastic task by removing one pound of trash from oceans and waterways worldwide for every product sold, through company-organized cleanups.
This article is brought to you by The Daily Green – a consumer’s guide to green from GoodHousekeeping.com
Whether it’s holiday time, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s or Father’s Day, or a green wedding, look here to find ideas for unique green gifts.
The Daily Green’s gift guide features the season’s best green gifts — including many unique items made by independent artisans that you can’t find in any shopping mall. Even if you’ve only got a few dollars to spend, you’ll find incredible green gifts for under $20 that you can be proud to give. And, because we know less is more, we’ve highlighted creative ways to give without giving stuff at all.
Go to the link below to find some creative guides to green gifting!
Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/green-gifts#ixzz1fO3OyFWS