Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Bamboozled? Getting the facts on Bamboo Textiles

June 11, 2012

We’ve re-posted this from 2010 because it’s still a good primer on bamboo & it’s still a material that people have lots of questions about.

At Fairware we’ve had plenty of interest in apparel with bamboo content. In addition to being easy to care for, soft and silky, bamboo fibers have been loudly touted as the newest and greatest in eco-apparel.

But there are conflicting facts about the environmental attributes of bamboo textiles so we’ve taken a closer look. The following is based on our online research and we welcome your comments, input and suggestions.

Bamboo: The Plant

The premise that bamboo textiles are eco-friendly is largely based on the sustainability merits of the plant. Part of the grass family, bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth (giant kelp is second). Instead of taking centuries to mature, like hardwood, bamboo can be harvested after only 3 to 5 years.

Bamboo is also self-sustaining with an extensive root system that sends up new shoots each year. This substantially reduces the need for intense cultivation practices. The large root system also helps prevent soil erosion and improves the water-holding capacity of the watershed. With sufficient rainfall, bamboo crops don’t require irrigation. (more…)

Pine Beetle Wood – Innovative Uses

June 9, 2010

Flickr / vsmoothe

British Columbia’s Mountain Pine Beetle infestation is the largest Canada has seen. By 2016 it’s estimated that  65% of the marketable pine wood in the B.C. interior will have died as a result of the outbreak. And 40% of the interior’s forests are pine! Serious damage is being incurred by the forest industry and local communities as well as to the biodiversity and carbon storage capacity of the forests.

How the Beetles Work

Pine beetles lay eggs under the bark of mature lodgepole pines. The beetles introduce a bluestain fungus into the sapwood of the tree that prevents the tree from repelling and killing the attacking beetles with pitch flow. It also blocks water and nutrient translocation within the tree. The joint action of larval feeding and fungal colonization kills the host tree within a few weeks of successful attack (the fungus and feeding by the larvae girdles the tree cutting off the flow of water and nutrients).

The mountain pine beetle is a natural element of British Columbia’s interior pine forests. Normally, cold temperatures, forest fires and natural predators keep populations in check. However, an abundance of mature lodgepole pine combined with recent mild winters and uncharacteristically hot, dry summers have led to an unprecedented infestation.

Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd.

Recognizing a mandate under the government of BC’s Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan, the Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. (FII) is focused on developing new product uses and markets for Mountain Pine Beetle wood. We were thrilled when they approached Fairware for pine beetle wood USB drives. Engraved with the naturally wood logo, they were the perfect promotional item for the organization.

Interested in USB drives for your organization? We have an entire collection to choose from. Contact us about custom products like the beetle wood USB drives pictured below. Read more about great products we’ve done for other clients HERE.

Fairware at the Olympics: Vancouver House

March 22, 2010

During the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Fairware was featured in Vancouver House. The City of Vancouver set up the “House” to highlight the city’s Green Capital Initiative. The Vancouver Green Capital brand is at the heart of the creation of a robust, long-term economic strategy that will guide the City’s pursuit of economic opportunities around the world.

The exhibit included products and images from many innovative and sustainability-focused businesses in Vancouver. We were proud to be in such cool company – profiled along with Vancouver based businesses Fluevog Shoes and  Red Flag Designs.

We recently uploaded some photos of the exhibit to our Flickr site. You can view them HERE.

To learn more about the City of Vancouver’s Green Capital initiative, click HERE.

40th Anniversary of Earth Day

February 15, 2010

What is Earth Day celebrating?

Earth Day is held on April 22 each year and marks the birth of the modern environmental movement. On April 22, 1970 twenty million Americans took to the streets and public areas to participate in teach-ins and show their support for a healthy environment. The demonstration was spearheaded by Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin, and Denis Hayes, a Harvard University student.

Of great significance was the solidarity exhibited by varying groups and individuals that had previously been fighting for specific environmental causes (ranging from oil spills, to freeway construction, to the loss of wildlife) and the realization that they had shared values and great influence with a unified voice.

The 1970 demonstration has been credited with leading to the formation of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the introduction of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

jetalone / Flickr

My, has it grown…

In 1990 Earth Day went global with 200 million people in 141 countries participating. The event has been credited with contributing to the success of the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The global scope and profile of Earth Day in 1990 helped many heads of state feel the pressure to participate. It was also attributed to giving a boost to recycling efforts. (more…)

The high cost of cheap T-shirts

January 19, 2010

Photo: Johnnie Utah/Flickr

This post by Siel Ju originally appeared on the Mother Nature Network.

Learn how that $3 T-shirt could be creating water shortages, trade imbalances and environmental pollution.

In his book Ecological Intelligence, Daniel Goleman argues that even organic cotton T-shirts aren’t necessarily very eco-friendly, since they can still be shipped all around the world to be sewn together in sweatshop conditions before being chemically dyed in a polluting facility. Of course, conventionally grown cotton T-shirts still fare much worse under eco-scrutiny, especially those grown and made in China.

Just how ecologically damaging those “all-natural” T-shirts are has been laid bare, thanks to a feature article in the latest issue of Miller-McCune magazine. In “Can China Turn Cotton Green?” Chris Wood takes a close look at a study conducted by the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Winnipeg, Canada, that drew from an international network of experts to look at the cotton T-shirt manufacturing process.

Read the rest of this article on Mother Nature Network >

Entry for David Suzuki Foundation’s Climate Contest

December 3, 2009

We mentioned the David Suzuki Foundation’s (DSF) “Call the PM and David Suzuki calls you” contest in a previous post on our Top Picks for COP 15 News.

This video is Fairware‘s entry to the contest. It features Fairware business owners Denise Taschereau and Sarah White calling Prime Minister (PM) Stephen Harper to express their support for Canadian action on climate change at the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks.

View others phoning the PM on the DSF web site and upload a video of your own! The deadline for entries is December 6.

Climate Change: Top Picks for COP 15 News

November 24, 2009

Photo by Maltesen

With the United Nations Climate Change Conference less than 2 weeks away many of our favourite sites are buzzing with COP 15 campaigns, facts, stories and analysis.

Here is a shortlist of our top picks for online climate change news and action:

Treehugger

Treehugger has some great articles outlining the need-to-know facts about the upcoming climate talks. Check out this COP 15 crib sheet outlining the main stakeholders and issues up for debate. There’s also the COP 15 Pre-Game Coverage hub which features posts and the latest news leading up to the Copenhagen meeting.

Grist

Also check out Grist’s A Gristy Guide to the COP15 Climate Talks. Filled with lots of helpful information and entertaining articles, Grist will have staff posting directly from Copenhagen during the climate summit. (more…)

Green guides for your next meeting, event or conference

November 13, 2009

notebooks_rs

Have an event coming up? Whether it’s a small meeting or large conference you can be sure attendants will be taking note of your greening efforts (especially if they’re lacking).

Ensure you’re presenting your brand as progressive and responsible by taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of your event. There are simple ways to improve your promotions, venue, meeting materials, transportation and more – it just takes a little planning.

We’ve searched the net for quality resources to help you present your greenest event yet. View the guides, sites and articles below for ideas on reducing your event’s environmental footprint.

Guides

Green Meeting Guide, Environment Canada

It’s Easy Being Green! A Guide to Planning and Conducting Environmentally Aware Meetings and Events, USEPA

Green Meetings Report, Convention Industry Council

Green Meetings Policy, Natrional Recycling Coalition

Web Sites

Green Events Guide, Space Share

BlueGreen Meetings, Oceans Blue Foundation

Articles

How to Host a Sustainable, Carbon Neutral Conference or other Event, David Suzuki Foundation

American Green Meeting Standards (Draft Document), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Convention Industry Council (CIC)

Bottled Water: bad for the environment and your health

November 12, 2009

refillnotlandfill_rs

Lately at Fairware we’ve been taking a closer look at the bottled water industry. There are some shocking facts about this product as it relates to your health and the environment.

Contrary to the clean, fresh images in bottled water ads, there’s no conclusive evidence that it’s any safer than tap water. In fact, given lax labeling laws, it seems we know less about what’s actually in bottled water. Combine this with socio-economic concerns surrounding the privatization of potable resources, and like us, you’re probably wondering why bottled water has become so ubiquitous. (more…)


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