Archive for June, 2009

Vacation Idea: National Forest Foundation

Summertime Rolls are here and we want to encourage you to get some wilderness bliss into your life by taking yourself and/or your family to one of America’s gorgeous national forests.  One top-notch tool to help you with all the planning needs is the National Forest Foudation website.   Not only are they extremely transparent about funding and their charter, but they have a dynamite Carbon Emissions Calculator, a state-by-state Locate A National Forest interactive map.

nff_logo

Take some time to poke around the website – especially under the Conserve and Connect headers – to find out about all sorts of great initiatives you can get involved in.  And don’t neglect planning a vacation or even weekend getaway to your nearest national forest – its a great getaway, your money supports keeping those forests maintained for the public, and aren’t you tired of Mickey Mouse, pink eye, and $7 ice cream cones already?

Peace…ecosumo

June 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm 1 comment

What Does the Recycling Symbol Mean – Part 4: Your .gov

.gov…  It’s the standard URL finale instead of .com or .net or .org when trying to learn about your local government.   And local government is typically who controls regulations and laws concerning recycling of all sort of disposable products, such as those disposable water bottles we’re fighting to eradicate from all forms of production, consumption, and waste.  Tip: be certain to type in the name of your city plus the .gov fixture IN THE GOOGLE SEARCH, not in the URL browser.  Why?  Because some cities use .us, org, or something else.  By using the search mechanism, your city/state government website will likely be in the top five search response.

Why do we bring this up?  Several reasons:

1. You want to know more about what you can and cannot recycle, but all you’ve got is a blue or yellow or green or red or whatever-color barrel with a recycling symbol on it.  Not very helpful.  The quickest place to either find that information or find contact information to some service that can answer those questions, is at your city/state .gov.

gov (2)

2. You want to know more about what your city /state PLANS to do about recycling efforts?  You’ll find details and contact information there for sure.

3. Last but not least – CONTACT INFORMATION!!!  You figure your city/state isn’t doing enough about recycling many types of common waste in appropriate manners?  Email them once a day.   Write them letters.  Call them.  And most importantly, spread that information around so that other people can write them regarding solutions as well.  You might even want to put a sign in your yard with that contact information and pre-written messaging to send.  Get your grass-roots on and find out what your .gov is doing about recycling.  The think global/act local mentality works, we just need to find ways to act.

Peace…ecosumo

June 25, 2009 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

Father’s Day: The Green Version

Shop For Pop was not a Dr. Seuss book, but damn wouldn’t that have been helpful each time Father’s Day and his b-day arise?  Ecosumo is thinking DON’T GET THE POOR GUY ANOTHER TIE!  JUST SAY NO!  Techie tools and electronic equipment…we won’t deny, those are crazy fun.  But since we live to heal and help the environment in all we do, we have a list of items for you to consider, all of which can be expedite shipped to your door by Saturday evening while he’s out back grilling T-bones.  Check out this list of gift ideas…

1. The Combover bag is a flawless practical, and stylish, addition to the on-the-go lifestyle.  Dad will want a sturdy sack with a crisp, clean style to stuff his goods into.

2. English Retreads Wallet: Handcrafted from reclaimed truck inner tubes, keeping more waste out of the landfills. One hundred percent vegan, the materials are an ecologically sound alternative to animal products.

wallet

3. Solar Juice Bag Daypacks: When he’s trying to hide from yard-work, he can climb into this.  Super large interior cargo area with room for his laptop, adjustable straps, and wicked solar panels are removable for remote use.

4. The Overlay: Let his sole be healed!  The Overaly slipper/shoe is made with felted wool uppers and lined in certified organic cotton knit. The shoe features coconut buttons, layered natural crepe outsole, and 100% post consumer paper pulp foot forms. The shoe is held together with water based cements.

overlay

5. Ecosumo reusable water bottle: Reusable water bottle good, disposable water bottles BAD! Tell him it conserves oil (more oil is wasted in making one disposable water bottle than when he tries to fix the car) – if that doesn’t excite him, well, maybe that’s a good thing.  But he’ll appreciate it, we swear!

6. Solio Magnesium: POWER!  The world’s most advanced hybrid charger. Solio Magnesium edition combines efficient solar panels and a high capacity battery to collect and store power.  It’ll help power up his cell phone when he’s lost for four hours and finally decides to call Mom for directions.

scissorbirdtee

7. Scissor Bird Shirt: Dad, sorry, you’re not Danzig and can’t just walk around all day without a shirt on.  Here’s something stylish and uber-comfortable to cover those hairy shoulders, YIKES!  Just kidding, Pop – we love you, man!

Peace … ecosumo.

June 17, 2009 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

What Does the Recycling Symbol Mean – Part 3: The Number 2

When  you see the #2 inside the recylcing symbol, it is telling you that the polymer type used to construct that container/vessel is High Density-Polyethylene (HDPE).  This means it is, along with those containers marked #1, one of the two most recycled container types.

Most plastics are capable of being recycled, but due to a very long laundry list of reasons, many recycling agencies are equipped only to work with a limited amount of polymer types.  The #2 polymer type is used in such containers and objects as: laundry detergent bottles, milk jugs, vehicle fuel tanks, plastic lumber, plastic pipes, folding tables, folding chairs, storage sheds, plastic bags…and more.

491px-Resin-identification-code-2-HDPE.svg

Generally, #2 is #2 because the intermolecular chains bonding the plastic are stronger than those in #1, it is harder, and can withstand greater temperatures.  If you want more on the techno-speak about HDPE as well as the modern global business parameters of the polymer, check out these articles: New Study Analysis and Resin Identification Code.

So, remember to call up or write to your local government representatives about what your local recycling agency actually handles.  You can find your local recycling agency by searching for the name of your city/state with the .gov affixed to the URL rather than a .com or .net.

More to come on #’s 3-7 in the polymer resin index.

Peace…ecosumo

June 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment

Dallas to Get First Ever City Block Designed for Complete Sustainability

Here is a great topic we found while reading about: the Re:Vision Dallas project.  You can check out the site dedicated to the entire project here: www.revision-dallas.com.  This is an amazing contest is about “…a diverse group of people focused on changing the urban landscape by re-imagining all the components that make up a city block. From energy to transportation to commerce to community, we believe that by finding innovative, healthy and sustainable ideas to help revitalize one urban block, we can create a blueprint for better cities everywhere.”

ecosumo is, to say the least, in love with the project.  This is not just a piecemeal city project to manage certain aspects of urban development to fall in line with eco-consciousness and sustainability.  Re:Vision is the complete package considering building materials, power generation, power supply, living environment, food supply, and so much more, all very necessary components for human living environments in a post-peak oil world.  Check ou the Re:Vision project to learn ideas about how your city can adopt such measures – having this project as a model will be tremendous for influencing future projects.

revisionwinner

June 7, 2009 at 11:50 am Leave a comment

What Does the Recycle Symbol Mean – Part 2

Okay, we had a great comment from Robyn recently regarding the topic of PET ( Polyethylene Terephthalate, a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food and other liquid containers; thermoforming applications; and engineering resins often in combination with glass fiber.)  The comment included this content that we’re going to begin writing about in this post:

“…I would like to talk about PET. This is often mentioned as a material that can be recycled and is used in lower priced “reuseable” warer bottles. However there are growing concerns and question about this material regarding it’s durability and how well it can be recycled or rather down cycled. Finally due to it not being very robust there is the potential for leaching to occur as well.”

recycling_Symbol_1

We did some research and came up with some information from sources that we consider to be responsible advocates about PET.  Below we’ve listed in bullet point form the facts we could dig up, especially those relevant to how PET plastics relate to the environment, recycling, and the human body.  After the list, we’ll discuss a little bit about our views on the topic.

  • When you see the 1 recycling symbol on your bottle, it means its made with PET.  It’s difficult to make a claim that PET is the #1 most recycled plastic product for many reasons – your local governments recycling programs, degradation of the polymer over time/recycling cycles, people’s habits of trashing PET products vs. recycling them, quality of recycling processes, and more.  However, in our reading we saw a trend that seems to verify that PET is easily and most often the most recycled plastic product.
  • PET makes a good gas and moisture barrier, as well as for alcohol and solvents.  Hence PET’s use in much bottling/containers.
  • Copolymers are introduced into the process of making PET bottles/containers due to the presence of acetaldehyde, which is a naturally forming compound in fruits.  When it forms in PET due to thermal degradation, especially as related to water products, the bottled water can get a fruity taste.
  • Antimony trioxide is used in the production of PET.  You can find details about the World Health Organization’s qualifications for health concerns related to leaching of Antimony trioxide here: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/antimonysum.pdf.  Essentially, the health concerns are negligible to human health.
  • Some recycling companies shred PET into small fragments, resulting in pure PET fragments (after processing), or “PET flakes”. PET flakes are used as the raw material for a range of products that would otherwise be made of polyester. Examples include polyester fibres (a base material for the production of clothing, pillows, carpets, etc), polyester sheets, strapping, or back into PET bottles.
  • In 2007, the statistics were that 85% of PET bottles were NOT recycled.
  • PET bottles don’t contain bisphenol A, according to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), a trade association for the PET plastic industry. Scientific research on the potential for PET bottles to leach harmful substance is limited.
  • There is likely to be more risk from reuse of PET bottles for bacterial infection.  Another great reason to NOT use disposable water bottles and get yourself a reusable water bottle and keep it clean!

petBottleZ

As you can see, there is a lot of information about PET out there.  We found a lot of detail about the process of making PET and the recyling process, but not a lot about its possible health effects on humans and the environment.  However, we know this – disposable water bottles = waste, waste in production, consumption, and trash.  One product we carry, the EcoNap bed for dogs, is made with IntelliSoft fibers which are made from a patented recycling process that turns PET plastic into soft, durable fibers.

We’ve done some homework on the topic of PET, but we know there are LOTS of other research and articles out there.  Please, get in touch with us using the comment system on this blog and let us know what you’ve found.  And big thanks to Robyn for raising this topic which is an important piece of the overal topic of what the recycling triangles really mean.

Our sources:

http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/articles/070726/26petplastic.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling_of_PET_Bottles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene_terephthalate#cite_note-5

http://www.who.int/en/

http://www.terrapass.com/blog/posts/how-to-decipher-the-recycling-numbers-on-plastic-stuff

http://www.westpawdesign.com/articles/what-is-intelliloft.html

June 4, 2009 at 12:56 pm 1 comment

If We Don’t Say So Ourselves…

That we’re feeling awesome because TheParentsWithStyle.com just wrote this about ecosumo:

“…One of our favorite shops online is ecosumo, a one-stop shop for all your baby needs. This green company is awesome and has the coolest selection of baby products. When I get online to place my order..I find myself wanting to order like 10 of everything from their site. A well put together site that is easy to order from is ideal when shopping for baby. Listed below are three of our favorite products that we will be using with our new baby.  Parents with Style highly recommends the products offered on ecosumo.com.   AWESOME SITE!!”(Read More)

tpwslogo

Hey, TPWS.com, we think you rule as well with your family-conscious blog and thanks so much for the kind words.   Our readers will be able to find you easily from now on under our Sites We Like category. Blog on!

Peace…ecosumo.

June 1, 2009 at 10:21 am Leave a comment


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