Innovative and Sustainable Scrubs and Apparel

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Just-style management briefing: Closing the loop on recycled textiles

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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…)

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Hospital-Acquired Infections

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.[1] 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…)


Sustainable Textiles Possible from Slime, Study Says

Atsuko NegishiNews Release

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…)


Eco Etiquette: How Do I Store Produce Without Plastic?

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?

-Raina

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 pollutionneedless oil consumptionendocrine-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.

(more…)


Weekend Challenge

Cool People Care

Weekend Challenge: Get Out, Get Creative

A new study links being outdoors and increased creativity.

Creativity

Got any plans for this weekend? We understand it may be scorching in your neck of the woods as summer heats up, but getting outside will not only reconnect you with nature. It’ll also make you more creative.

Check it out: a recent study showed that hikers became 50% more creative after they spent four days cruising around a trail. Getting away from gadgets and walls can have serious brain benefits.

You don’t have to hike all weekend, of course. Our guess is that spending just an hour or so outside, whether you’re camping, walking, or throwing a Frisbee will help clear your mind, breather easier, and maybe even refocus. Give it a shot.

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=8ccdfc0dc22f10c6f14890677&id=22076c58db#

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Curbside Recycling – North vs. South

ECOFACT:

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


Costco, REI, Microsoft make recycling easy with new label

Published June 05, 2012
Costco, REI, Microsoft make recycling easy with new label

Another label is coming to popcorn, yogurt and other products, but instead of adding to the visual noise caused by some confusing labels, this one is designed to give plain and simple recycling information.

The How2Recycle label, created by nonprofit GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition(SPC), will pop up on 10 companies’ products throughout the summer and into 2013. The label explains the recyclability of each component of the package, clearly stating the material each part is made from and adding special instructions if needed.

“When consumers think about sustainability, they think about recyclability, so having that transparent communication is really important,” said Anne Bedarf, SPC’s senior manager.

The standard recycling symbol means a material is widely recycled, while the symbol with a slash through it means the material isn’t recycled. The addition of the phrase “check locally” means the material is recycled in limited areas. The label with the phrase “store drop-off” is for plastic bags, wraps or films that are accepted at many grocery and retail stores.

The How2Recycle label is already being used on two Seventh Generation products — a limited edition 180 oz. detergent bottle and new 22 oz. pre-wash spray — and more than 50 products at outdoor gear company REI.SPC's new recycling label

Both companies are members of the SPC, and fellow members ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG), Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) will join them in using the label on Orville Redenbacher popcorn, Kirkland Signature brand products and computer accessories.

The label will also crop up on fellow SPC member products, including General Mills’ (NYSE: GIS) Yoplait yogurt fridge pack, Esteé Lauder Companies’ (NYSE: EL) Aveda Outer Peace Acne Pads, and Sealed Air’s (NYSE: SEE) Fill-Air Inflatable packaging, and will also be found on Ampac’s No. 2 Pouch and goods at BJ’s Wholesale Club (NYSE: BJ).

Consumers appreciate labels

Transparency was one impetus behind the birth of the label, which started as discussions among SPC members in 2007 about greenwashing in brand labels. Concerned companies asked the SPC to research material and recycling labels, which ultimately led to the SPC asking its members to develop their own ideas for what an informative recycling label should look like.

The SPC took those ideas and spent much of 2010 speaking with governments, trade associations, recyclers and the Federal Trade Commission to get input before rolling out the How2Recycle label.

The label is partially based on the On-Pack Recycling Label in the United Kingdom, which also breaks down each packaging component and declares how commonly it’s recycled.

Bedarf said studies of the U.K. label found consumers appreciate that companies are clear about the recyclability of their packaging, even if the materials can’t be recycled.

Danielle Peacock, an SPC project associate, said the same thing is happening here.

“U.S. consumers are also finding that just knowing that the company is making an effort means a lot to them,” she said. “They think highly of the company just for using it.”