Posts Tagged ‘water bottles’

Water Bottles from China

November 30, 2010

Flickr / jeremylim

We recently had the opportunity to provide support to our local Tedx event here in Vancouver – by creating custom branded glass water bottles for the participants. They’re cool, they’re useful, and… they’re from China (as noted by @kimli on Delicious Juice Dot Com).

It’s the classic conundrum we face everyday in our business – working on sustainability within a global supply chain (more on our Code of Conduct in dealing with our supply chain at the end of the post).

Our key challenge in sourcing is facing diminishing capacity in local manufacturing. Drink-ware is especially prone to this. For example, we have yet to find a stainless steel water bottle made in North America, there are plenty of plastic bottles made here, just no stainless.

And guess what one of our top selling products is? Yup, stainless water bottles. That said, we’ve never looked for a domestic glass bottle supplier… but thanks to @kimli we will now (we’re always looking for local suppliers to help bring to market).

With drink-ware our main aim is to  get folks to kick the disposable habit (a bad habit as noted in Annie Leonard’s The Story of Bottled Water).  While we keep working on the supply side of things, we’re work with our clients to get folks out of single serve water.

Take Tedx Vancouver for example, last year FIJI water sponsored the event, and had their product out for grabs. From what I heard organizers got grief about it (refer back to the Story of Bottled Water if you’re still wondering why).

In making products to change behavior, cool helps – if people like the product, they use it  (we thought we’d do glass because it’s unique and different, just like Tedx even though rumor has it that glass has a bigger footprint than steel).

flickr / jeremylin

But I do want to dispel a key myth out there regarding the enviro-impacts of shipping product around the world. A lot of people we talk to assume there must be more emissions getting product from China than getting product from say… Toronto. Being in Vancouver, a port city, allows us to receive product by ocean freight vs. product being trucked across the country. And ocean freight is about 5.5x LESS environmental impact (in terms of efficiency) than the trucks that haul our goods across Canada. Here’s that concept applied to a bottle of wine from our friends at World Changing.

In short, sourcing products is tough and getting more local is an Idea Worth Spreading for sure. Check out our pals @locobc to check out their efforts to promote all things local. Interested in the standards we use in working with our supply chain? Check our Code of Conduct out or check out the work of the Fair Labor Association.

We got great feedback on the bottles – although I’m not sure we’d recommend glass for a venue with concrete floors in the future! Thanks to @kimli for keeping us on our toes.

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…)

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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