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…)
Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are defined as infections not present and without evidence of incubation at the time of admission to a healthcare setting. As a better reflection of the diverse healthcare settings currently available to patients, the term healthcare-associated infections replaced old ones such as nosocomial, hospital-acquired or hospital-onset infections. Within hours after admission, a patient’s flora begins to acquire characteristics of the surrounding bacterial pool. Most infections that become clinically evident after 48 hours of hospitalization are considered hospital-acquired. Infections that occur after the patient is discharged from the hospital can be considered healthcare-associated if the organisms were acquired during the hospital stay. (more…)
Spalding Hospital sits on Boston Harbor in Charlestown. (Photo: Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
In an effort to stabalize energy costs hospitals nationwide are investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Host Steve Curwood checks out the innovative design of the new Spaulding hospital with John Messervy Director of Capital and Facilities Planning for Partners’ HealthCare. (more…)
University of Guelph researcher Atsuko Negishi is investigating a novel and unlikely source of natural fibres that may one day lessen our dependence on petroleum: hagfish slime.
The textile industry needs an affordable, sustainable alternative to oil-based polymers, and a recent study shows that hagfish slime protein threads have the potential to be spun and woven into novel biomaterials.
Hagfishes are an ancient group of eel-like, bottom-dwelling animals that have remained relatively unchanged for more than 300 million years. When threatened, hagfishes secrete a gelatinous slime containing mucous and tens of thousands of protein threads. These threads belong to the “intermediate filament” family of proteins, and they have remarkable mechanical properties that rival those of spider silks. (more…)
Walmart, Nike, Target, JC Penney, Levi’s and fellow members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition have unveiled the group’s index for measuring the environmental impact of apparel products across the supply chain.
The Higg Index is an indicator-based tool for apparel that allows clothing manufacturers and brands to evaluate material types, products, facilities and processes based on a range of environmental and product design choices.
This 1.0 version of the index was developed for apparel products and measures environmental outcomes in water use and quality; energy and greenhouse gas; waste; and chemicals and toxicity.
Future releases of the index, slated for 2013, will include footwear products and social and labor impact areas, the coalition said. The index eventually will be expanded to include quantitative data and metrics and feature an improved scoring method.
The current version of the Higg Index asks practice-based, qualitative questions to gauge environmental sustainability performance. It’s based on the Eco Index and Nike’s Apparel Environmental Design Tool. However, the Higg Index has been significantly enhanced through the pilot testing period, the coalition said.
The tool includes a Materials Sustainability Index, a cradle-to-gate assessment tool to give designers and the global supply chain information on the environmental sustainability of materials.
A group of 30 manufacturers and retailers launched theSustainable Apparel Coalition last year to improve the environmental and social performance of the apparel and footwear industry, from water consumption and chemical use to waste and embedded energy in products.
Last month, Nike partnered with Random Hacks of Kindness in the Open Challenge for Sustainable Materials, an initiative that asks apparel designers and developers to use sustainable materials listed on the Nike Sustainable Materials Index.
Here at MantraMeds, our scrubs are made from recycled plastic but we like to emphasize that making our planet a more sustainable place means practicing all 3 R’s: Reducing, Reusing & Recycling. Here is a great article from HuffPost Green on reducing use of plastic on all your fresh summer produce!
I started shopping at my farmers market this summer. I’ve noticed people putting fruits and vegetables directly in their totes, without taking the plastic bags some vendors offer. But how do you keep produce fresh in the fridge without the plastic?
Not long ago, I asked myself that same question. I had recently invested in a large set of organic cotton reusable produce bags, and while I was feeling mighty proud of myself each time I ventured out to the market (look how eco-friendly I am! Who needs those wasteful plastic produce bags?), the scene in my fridge a few days later was less than pretty.
Stored in plastic, fruits and vegetables would have normally stayed fresh for at least a week. But left in my new reusable bags, all my beautiful produce fast turned into a wilted, spoiled mess. (Even the “crisper” bin seemed to do just the opposite, no matter what the setting.)
I’ve written before about the enormous environmental implications of wasted food; needless to say, my cloth produce bags were not coming close to offsetting the yearly 34 million tons of food waste to which I was now contributing.
But obviously, there were reasons to avoid the plastic bags, too (wildlife-destroying pollution, needless oil consumption, endocrine-disrupting chemicals). They also didn’t seem necessary: After all, plastic produce bags only came into being in the 1960s; plastic grocery bags, a decade later. There had to be a way to keep my fruits and veggies fresh without them.
Enter Beth Terry. As author of the blog My Plastic-free Life and the recently released book Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, Terry knows how to keep everything from persimmons to parsnips fresh with nary a plastic bag in sight: She’s lived plastic free (and not just in the produce department) since 2007.
Terry’s storage methods come largely from Ecology Center Farmers’ Markets in Berkeley, CA, which createdthis guide on how to store more than 60 kinds of fruits and vegetables. But being the plastic-free pro that she is, Terry of course had some suggestions to add. With her help, I’ve created a condensed version for you that includes her input, below.
*Note: While the Ecology Center guide occasionally calls for paper products, Terry tries to limit these; she opts for cloth bags or plastic-free reusable containers instead. (“While plastic is truly problematic, all single-use disposable bags and wrappers have an environmental footprint,” she says.) She suggests a variety of different bags and containers on her site.
Why not escape this record-setting July heat by taking a tour of your local brewery!? The Daily Green brings us this great slideshow highlighting the top ten eco-friendly breweries!
Go to the following link or click on the image below to “develop (yet another) iron-clad excuse to drink a cool beer… ‘I’m not just drinking, I’m saving the Earth!’” http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/latest/organic-brewery-0625?click=main_sr
Green power: The fine folks of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. allow anyone visiting their Website to see their on-site power consumption whenever they like. Over 10,000 solar panels and four co-generation fuel cells allow Sierra Nevada to power nearly their entire facility in an eco-friendly way. So feel no guilt, Mr. Thoughtful Drinker—your beverage of choice was made with the awesome power of the sun.
One of our MantraMeds Insiders took our sustainable medical scrubs to Panama on a medical mission. His team performed routine dentistry for people in need while there. He wrote us:
The scrubs were great thanks so much. I was in Penonome, Panama for 2 weeks doing dental work in poor communities. I appreciate you getting me the scrubs so quickly and exchanging sizes, ya’ll made it really easy. They were the best looking scrubs in Panama.
Find out more about the MantraMeds Insider Program here: http://mantrameds.wordpress.com/insider-program/
Sign up to become an Insider here: http://www.mantrameds.com/insider-signup
Green Lessons Our Moms Taught Us
Read full article on Earth911: http://earth911.com/news/2012/05/08/green-lessons-our-moms-taught-us/
by Alexis Petru05/08/12
Moms teach their children a variety of lessons as they grow up – from how to tie their shoes to the importance of spending quality time with loved ones. As we get ready to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, Earth911 couldn’t help but realize that many of the values our moms imparted are actually very eco-friendly – whether Mom was an enthusiastic eco-advocate or not. From finding new uses for scraps others might have thrown away to encouraging us to stand up for our beliefs, here are five green lessons our moms taught us.
1. Family and friends are more important than material possessions
You know your mom would like nothing more than to spend some quality time with her kids this Mother’s Day – and would prefer this gift of time over flowers, jewelry and other store-bought presents.
This is just one of the values mothers pass down to their children that happen to be very green: Spending time with your loved ones is more important than buying the hottest new car, latest designer outfit or just-released electronic gadget.
Of course, prioritizing your friends and family and living green doesn’t mean quitting your job and avoiding new purchases altogether. But what’s better for the Earth – and your family – is to buy only items you need and think carefully about each purchase, opting for high-quality goods that will last for a long time. Remember, the first “R” of the famous “three R’s” is to reduce: When you reduce your unnecessary purchases, you end up consuming fewer resources and disposing of less waste.
In fact, this philosophy of buying only the necessities and abstaining from impulse shopping has freed up time for two eco-moms, Béa Johnson whose family strives to lead a zero-waste lifestyle and Meg Hourihanwho is spending the year trying to avoid new purchases.
“Now that we’re not burdened by stuff, we have more time do things we truly enjoy. I have more time to play with my kids,” Johnson told Earth911 last year.
Ask Yourself: Could You Go A Year Without New Stuff?
2. Nothing beats a home-cooked meal
No matter how old you are or how many Michelin-rated restaurants you’ve eaten in, there’s nothing quite like the comfort and warmth of your mom’s best homemade meal.
And while Mom may have whipped up home-cooked meals to save the family money or to promote better health, it turns out that home cooking is a great way to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
By steering clear of takeout lunches and frozen dinners, you’re cutting down on food packaging, including many materials which cannot be easily recycled through local collection programs – such as polystyrene foam clamshell containers or frozen food packaged in plastic bags. You can further reduce your waste when cooking for yourself by buying in bulk to avoid packaging or choosing products packaged in materials that are recycled in your community.
Cooking from scratch also gives you more control over the meal’s ingredients, so you can pick organic, free-range and local choices to reduce your environmental impact.
Get Cooking: 5 Kitchen Staples You Can Make Yourself
3. Stand up for what you believe in
Mothers don’t just impart important values to their children; they also remind their kids to actively pursue their principles and defend their beliefs when they are challenged.
If sustainability is your passion, there are plenty of things you can do in your local community, school or workplace to make a difference and make your mama proud.
To prevent usable items from ending up in the landfill, organize a citywide garage sale or bicycle repair and recycling program in your community. You can also start a food scraps composting program at your school or a recycling program at your office or apartment complex. Or volunteer your time weeding and tending plants at your local community garden or picking up litter at a local beach cleanup event.
Get Inspired: How One Man Started A Recycling Program
Read full article on Earth911: http://earth911.com/news/2012/05/08/green-lessons-our-moms-taught-us/
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.
How to Store Vegetables & Fruit Without Plastic
So you’ve got all these great fruits and vegetables and now we’re going to help you keep them at their freshest with these tips. These tips are from the Berkley Farmer’s Market which is a Zero Waste market! Here is a printable PDF of their original tip sheet. In the works here at Washington’s Green Grocer is a switch from plastic bags (although we use as few as we can get away with, while still keeping your produce from getting battered on it’s way to you) to only recyclable paper and reuseable cloth bags!
HOW TO STORE VEGETABLES WITHOUT PLASTIC
Artichokes‐ place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.
Asparagus‐ place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)
Avocados‐ place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening‐ place an apple in the bag with them.
Arugula‐ arugula, like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.
Basil‐ is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside‐left out on a cool counter.
Beans, shelling‐ open container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away
Beets‐ cut the tops off to keep beets firm, (be sure to keep the greens!)by leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.
Beet greens‐ place in an airtight container with a little moisture.
Broccoli‐ place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.
Clemson Recycles’ Picture Green 2012 Art Show was a hit!
See our entry about the great article from the Tiger here http://mantrameds.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/clemson-pictures-a-green-world-sustainable-art-exhibition-encourages-recycling-materials/
This is Red, by Jena Heaton. He was a performance art piece (marionette) made out of red bull cans.
These are upcycled art pieces by Kevin Anderson
Recycle Action by Sierra Kramer
The lovely Kate Ripley, coordinator of this event
Solid Green table featuring 100% Recycled X-Ray Gray shirts by Earthspun Apparel!
Clemson pictures a green world:
Sustainable art exhibition encourages recycling materials.
Find original article here: http://thetigernews.com/news.php?aid=7639&sid=1
by KATE RIPLEY
This article originally appeared in The Tiger on March 30, 2012
Where does recycling go after it’s thrown into the bin? On Thursday, April 5, recycled cans, newspaper and bottles will reappear in the form of artistic masterpieces at the Picture Green 2012 Sustainable Art Exhibition. Local and student artists will showcase artwork made with a sustainable or nature theme and made from recycled materials.
From 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. in the Hendrix Center’s David Peebles Room, students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to check out artwork crafted from everyday materials, like soda cans, milk bottles, metal tins and more. Works include life-size sculptures, paintings, jewelry and musical instruments, all made by local and student artists.
A judge from The Arts Center, a local, nonprofit community arts center in Clemson devoted to making art education accessible to the community, will critique the works. The first-place winner will receive a generous gift certificate to a local art supply store, and second- and third-place artists will win Solid Green gift packages. Attendees can enter a raffle to win hand-crafted jewelry made from natural and precious stones.
Participants will not be selling their work during the exhibition; however, attendees can make arrangements to sell their pieces at a later time. The idea of Picture Green started in 2009 when Julia Fielding, a former Clemson undergraduate and MBA student, met with her professors to create a sustainable event for the arts. In past years, professors and other speakers were asked to present talks concerning “green” issues such as renewable energy, sustainable business development and green building. Films promoting and discussing sustainable topics were also screened in McKissick Theater.
This year, Picture Green will be associated with the nationwide recycling competition RecycleMania. Clemson Recycling Services will celebrate the University’s results and hope to inspire more Tigers to reduce their impact on society. RecycleMania has been a success this year, as Recycling Services has promoted the competition through various service events and activities. These events include the No Impact Man screening in McKissick Theatre followed by a discussion on sustainability. Various student groups also volunteered to perform a waste audit on a few buildings on campus.
Julie Conard, a senior architecture major and art minor, is excited to be a participant in the exhibition.
“So many of our art and design projects are about issues of sustainability,” Conard said. “I am excited to participate in RecycleMania’s art show because it not only gives me the chance to show my work publicly, but it also allows us as artists to partner with SolidGreen, who are working to achieve the vision of our pieces.”
For more information, visit the Clemson Recycles Facebook page or http://www.clemson.edu/facilities/recycling.
CRA’s 22nd Annual Conference and Trade Show
“Recycling on the Rise”
March 19-23, Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC
The CRA is pleased to present our 22nd Annual Conference and Trade Show “Recycling on the Rise” to be held March 19-23, 2012 at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. You will find this theme throughout the conference program, as we explore new strategies, new materials, new opportunities and new horizons.
Join us for the Southeast’s premier recycling conference at the hotel that defined Southern Hospitality.
Earthspun Apparel will be at Recycling on the Rise in Asheville this week. Stop in and see our kewl recycled tees!
St. Patty’s day may be over, but our St. Patty’s Day Sale is still going strong! All Jade scrubs on sale through March 31st. Go to http://www.mantramedsmarket.com/st-patricksday/
MantraMeds Sustainable Medical Apparel believes going Green should not just be about consumer items. It’s about a lifestyle, a full commitment to sustainability. Now that spring is here, it’s time to spruce up your yard. Take Laura Ruby’s advice in from this Youtube interview.
Waylon talks with Laura about 10 green things we can do with our backyards for spring:
Click the image above or go to: http://youtu.be/pf463UrZ2bY
Laura gives tips on how to make your outdoor spaces not just beautiful, but useful as well. While lawns are very popular in the U.S., they use tremendous resources to maintain in most areas without much return on the investment. Laura explains ways for homeowners as well as renters to enjoy gardening and reap the benefits of digging in the dirt.
Laura Ruby is an avid foodie enthusiast, sniffing out fresh, local and yummy food wherever she goes. She worked as the Garden Coordinator for the Growe Foundation for the past three and a half years installing gardens and teaching garden curriculum at Boulder Valley elementary schools. She is also the founder and owner of YummyYards, an edible landscaping company, working to co-create more functioning, self-sufficient landscapes, and is a co-facilitator and teacher at the Lyons Permaculture Design Course at the Farmette. When not teaching about growing food, you can usually find her in a garden somewhere. -Kate Bartolotta
THE JADE BECKY TOP & SHAY PANT ALONG WITH ALL OTHER JADE MANTRAMEDS SCRUBS ARE ON SALE THE MONTH OF MARCH AT http://www.mantramedsmarket.com/st-patricksday/
The MantraMeds website has some exciting new features to make shopping online that much easier. With additions like a new fit guide and videos of our model sporting each scrub, you’ll feel like you’re in a store trying our scrubs on!
Every top and bottom on the MantraMeds shop site now has a video of our models turning around in the scrubs. Now you can see how these garments move! Go to www.mantramedsmarket.com to see our sustainable scrubs in motion!
Clemson students are working to reduce their carbon footprint during tailgating activities at Clemson athletic events. And they want others to join the movement.
The tailgating culture at Clemson is huge. Families and friends gather around the trunk of their cars sharing food, playing games and sporting orange — it’s the image of the traditional Clemson football season. But behind this image, a Creative Inquiry team made up of civil engineers and architecture majors saw a problem. Thousands of cars make their way to Death Valley, trash litters the parking lot and football fans end up consuming a lot more energy than they realize. These students saw the problem and found a solution: trailgating.
The concept of “trailgating” is to reduce the carbon footprint of Clemson students and fans while maintaining the traditions associated with school pride and sporting events. During last season’s homecoming game against Boston College, the Creative Inquiry (undergraduate research) team introduced their sustainable and sufficient trailgate. It is a foldout trailer, transported by bike, that includes everything a Clemson tailgater needs — a cooler, grill, table and chairs. But it uses no gas, wastes little energy and takes up a lot less space in the parking lot. The team is currently designing a larger unit to accommodate up to six families.
Carlie Metzger, a member of the Creative Inquiry team, said, “We are trying to encourage Clemson students, alumni and fans to tailgate in a more sustainable manner.”
Said Metzger, “People don’t realize that when everyone starts living sustainably, the impact can be huge.”
From Mother Nature Network’s Josh Lew (via HuffPost Green)
In 2010, Vancouver set a high standard forenvironmentally friendly Olympics with sustainability initiatives launched in conjunction with the Winter Games. Now, London’s Olympic organizers have an ambitious plan to host the “first truly sustainable” games later this year. That’s a bold goal, considering all the other tasks and issues that go with being the host of the world’s highest-profile sporting event. Most athletes will have a few minutes or even a few seconds in the spotlight this summer, but London will be on camera for nearly three weeks, with the user-friendliness of its venues, basic services for visitors and event security under the media microscope.
Some of the planned green features, like a giant wind turbine, have already been scrapped, and the unforgiving British media have brought the environmental commitment of the games’ organizers into question. However, green-minded London visitors will be able to appreciate the green features that are definitely going to be a part of the 2012 Olympic experience.
Read full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/london-olympics-2012-sustainable-games_n_1343099.html?ref=green&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009
From Earth911′s Alexis Petru:
With April’s tax deadline quickly approaching, don’t forget that many purchases you made last year to benefit the environment and your wallet may also qualify for a tax break. Whether you bought a plug-in hybrid, made home energy efficiency retrofits or donated to an environmental charity, check out Earth911’s guide to 2011’s green tax incentives.
List and captions courtesy of Earth911
View full slideshow at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/05/green-tax-write-offs_n_1321319.html?ref=green&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009
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