I recently bought a green shirt. Yes, the color of the shirt is green, but in this case the “green” theme actually goes a bit further. It’s part of Under Armour’s UA Green line, which actually uses recycled materials. After a few test runs, I’m happy to report that recycled shirts feel exactly the same as regular shirts (at least in the case of Under Armour) and I definitely recommend giving them a look: check out the product line on their website. (I bought the Catalyst short-sleeve t-shirt.)
According to their website, 100% of each UA Green product (shirts, shorts, hats, pants, etc) is made from recycled material — primarily plastic bottles. The video below gives an overview of the process.
While doing research for one of my recent internships, I came across an interesting page from the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center. It includes a calculator that takes in a zip code, reads out energy sources for electricity in that area (e.g. gas, coal, nuclear), and calculates the emissions of electric vehicles in that area based on the grid.
One of the arguments against electric vehicles is that since electricity is powered by non-renewable sources, these cars aren’t reducing emissions. Put a different way, is an electric car that’s receiving electricity from a coal plant any cleaner than a Hummer? According to the Department of Energy, the answer is yes.
The calculator is also a cool way to see how energy sources are used in your area. There are some obvious conclusions, such as more coal being used for my parents’ house in Pennsylvania than in my current Massachusetts area. But there are some other things I wouldn’t have predicted, such as a higher-than-average percentage of biomass in New England, and Illinois using a higher percentage of coal than Pennsylvania. Some areas have a diverse range of sources, while others are more dependent (Purdue is almost entirely coal and nuclear). Click here to visit the calculator and try your own zip code.
I recently got a free sample of Bear Naked granola, and on the back of the package I noticed an interesting piece of information:
“Bear Naked is a proud partner with TerraCycle(TM) in an effort to rethink the way packaging impacts our planet. Please join us by returning this bag to us so it can be upcycled into cool gear. Visit http://www.bearnaked.com for more info.”
I took a look at their website, and they’ve got a pretty cool program going called the Bear Naked Sustainable Packaging Project. Bear Naked takes all of their bags back, then rewards you points based on the size of the bag. You can redeem the points (between 1 and 5 per bag) for items like t-shirts (36 points) and reusable grocery bags (30 points).
There’s also a system where your school or organization can collect the bags, and receive $0.02 per bag. Check out more at the company website. Besides all of the above, they make pretty good granola too!