Puma’s Eco-Friendly Move to Greener Pastures

Image from CrispGreen.com

When you think of sustainable design and green products, odds are that the first thing to pop into your mind isn’t going to be shoes. They have a limited amount of use before they fall apart, most people don’t recycle them, and they aren’t typically created in the most environmentally sustainable processes. However, there’s one company that’s making large leaps in gaining a greener attitude where shoes are concerned: Puma!

In April 2010, Puma released their sustainable “Clever Little Bag,” a reusable, lower-impact alternative to the traditional shoe box. Not only do they use 65% less paper than an ordinary shoe box, but they also reduce diesel consumption in the manufacturing process by nearly 60% annually. It’s all a part of Puma’s effort to reduce their “paw print” over the next few years. By 2015, Puma hopes to achieve the following major milestones:

• 25% reduction of CO2, energy, water and waste in PUMA offices, stores, warehouses and direct supplier factories.
• Paperless office policy through a 75% reduction and offsetting initiatives for the remaining paper usage such as tree planting initiatives.
• 25% CO2 reduction through more efficient product transport solutions by our logistic partners.
• Begin collaborating with our strategic suppliers and logistic service providers to offset their own footprints in the long-term.
• Introduction of the PUMA Sustainability-Index (S-Index) standard that serves as a benchmark for sustainable products and communicates the products’ sustainable features to consumers.
• 50% of PUMA’s international collections will be manufactured according to the PUMA S-Index standard by 2015, using sustainable materials such as organic cotton, Cotton Made in Africa or recycled polyester as well as applying best practice production processes.

Next on the road to greener pastures for Puma? Compostable sneakers! It’s true; Puma hopes that in the near future they will be able to offer shoes that you can toss into your compost bin along with your coffee grounds and apple peels. They’re also doing research and development on recyclable sneakers. Either way, it’s about time that the shoe industry jumped on the green bandwagon, and many people are looking forward to the day when buying a new pair of shoes comes with less consumer guilt and a little more green satisfaction.

Water Conservation Through Energy Efficiency

 

 

Image from Sears.com

Think that taking shorter showers and using low-flow toilets are the easiest ways to conserve water this winter? Well, although those are some great steps in saving water and reducing your environmental footprint, there’s actually an even easier way to reduce your water consumption: reduce your energy consumption! Due to the fact that the average coal-fired  power plant uses up to 28,000 gallons of water to produce a single megawatt hour of electricity, simply reducing your electricity use can play a huge role in water savings over time.

Here are some simple tips that will help your reduce your energy consumption and, consequently, your water consumption this holiday season:

  1. Switch to LED lights! Whether you’re decorating around your house or stringing a line of sparkling lights up on your tree, LED lights are the way to go. Not only do they use 90% less electricity than traditional Christmas lights, but they also are longer lasting, more durable, and come in a vast variety of styles and colors, so you won’t miss your old lights at all.
  2. Limit the time your lighted displays are on. By turning on lights only when it is dark and by turning them off before bed, you can save a ton of energy this season. And if you’re having a hard time remembering to turn them off before bed, you can always use a Christmas light timer to do the work for you.
  3. Use a programmable thermostat to control heating. A programmable thermostat is a convenient way to ensure that your home is only heated when you deem it necessary. Keeping the temperature around 68 degrees when you’re awake and lowering it by around 10 degrees when you’re away or asleep can save a considerable amount of energy and water this winter.
  4. Unplug electronics when not in use. Even when you’re not using your electronics, by remaining plugged in they continue to drain small amounts of energy that add up over time. This energy use, called “vampire energy,” can be avoided by only plugging in equipment right before you use it and unplugging it when you’re done.
  5. When cooking that turkey or ham, keep the oven door shut! We know it’s tempting, but every time you open the oven to take a peek at your slowly baking food, the temperature of your oven drops drastically, causing it to have to expend more energy to maintain the correct heating level. Use your oven light and peek through the glass window instead to save energy this holiday.

The Benefits of Bamboo

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Bamboo is a beautiful addition to any room but many don’t know the benefits of this highly sustainable plant. The bamboo plant is sustainable, renewable, and versatile. A bamboo grove releases close to 35 percent more oxygen into the the atmosphere when compared to other trees and foliage. Bamboo has the ability to fully mature within seven years (compared to 30-50 years for a stand of trees). Bamboo also helps improve soil conditions and prevent erosion along the way. Bamboo is officially recognized as the world’s fastest growing plant and has a tensile strength comparable to steel. Bamboo is so fast-growing that it can yield 20 times more timber than trees on the same area. In addition to being a sustainable and renewable resource, it has great amounts of versatility. For centuries bamboo has been a resource for food, shelter, fuel, furniture, artisan products and clothing. Does this catch your interest? You can find array of bamboo products and much more at the online eco-boutique Olive & Myrtle. You may find just what you’re looking for to add that special touch to your kitchen or living room.

The Sustainable Cotton Project

Organic cotton is beneficial because it is grown without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers or any other chemicals. This makes a tremendous difference in the production of cotton, as it is typically one of the most chemical dependent crops. Non-organic cotton uses ten percent of all agricultural chemicals and 25% of insecticides on three percent of farm land.

One of the major forces helping the organic cotton industry is The Sustainable Cotton Project (SCP). The SCP focuses on the production and use of cotton, one of the most widely grown and chemical-intensive crops in the world. The Sustainable Cotton Project’s grower programs help move farmers through the changeover from chemically-dependent to more biological sound approaches. Composted manures and cover crops replace synthetic fertilizers; innovative weeding strategies are used instead of herbicides; beneficial insects and trap crops control insect pests; and alternatives to toxic defoliants prepare plants for harvest.

SunChips Introduces New Compostable Bag

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SunChips® and Frito Lay® are revolutionizing the packaging world with the introduction of the compostable bag. The 10.5 oz bags are now completely comprised of plant materials which enables it to fully decompose. According to SunChips® Healthier Planet Website, the package is designed to fully break down in just 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost bin or pile. To watch videos and learn more information about what SunChips® and Frito Lay® are doing for the environment, you can check it out here! Being green with SunChips has never been crunchier!

Chevy Volt Release Date: November, 2010

GM is committed to the November, 2010 release date of their electric car, Chevy Volt.

The Volt runs on electric motor power at all times, the gas engine is just a generator, making electricity to keep the batteries in a steady state of charge after 40 miles. The car is being designed to drive at least 40 miles on pure electricity stored in the battery from overnight home charging. After that the gas engine will kick in and allow the car to be driven up to 400 miles on a full tank (~8 gallons) of gas. GM has announced the car will get 230 MPG for the average city driver over time assuming nightly full recharges. We would love to test drive one of these during our morning commute! Learn more information at the GM website by clicking here.