Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Retail
September 30th, 2014
6:59
 

Ethical fabrics are textiles that are manufactured with sustainable production, respect for the environment and elimination of animal cruelty.

Ethical fabric isn’t restricted to hemp and bamboo. An innovative range of sportswear is now being made out of old coffee grinds.

S.Café® is breaking ground in the most unusual way – making fabric out of coffee grounds! The process is very similar to that used to turn bamboo into a viscose-like material. The resultant fabric is soft, light, flexible and breathable and can also be used to produce an outer shell that is water resistant. It’s impregnated with ‘activated’ carbon, derived from coconut, which makes it UV-resistant, wicks water away, keeps the wearer cool and binds to sweat to eliminate unpleasant odors.

blog coffee grounds

So, how would you like your S.Café® pants, with cream and sugar?

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September 29th, 2014
5:23
 

…seems like it’s time for humans to take a cue from them!  Soft bamboo shoots, stems, and leaves are the major food source of the giant panda of China, the red panda of Nepal and the bamboo lemurs of Madagascar.   You’ll often see bamboo in the mix of plants that people give as gifts.  Beautiful to the eye, and yummy in a panda’s tummy, but did you know of the incredible impact of this plant as a highly renewable and eco-friendly material with infinite uses?

A bit of background: Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth.  Bamboo species are found in diverse climates, from cold mountains to hot tropical regions.  Unlike all trees, individual bamboo stems, or culms, emerge from the ground at their full diameter and grow to their full height in a single growing season of three to four months.  A brief life span means culms are ready for harvest and suitable for use in construction within about three to seven years. (Source: Wikipedia  Click the link for more info about bamboo ecology, uses, and history.)

Here is an expansive look at what bamboo can be part of:  Products Made from Bamboo From bamboo beer to bicycles, wind turbine blades, bedsheets, helmets, bathtubs, it is all possible with bamboo!    Lots of great links and discussions on their site.  And check out the video on: Bamboo Renewable Energy.   How will you incorporate bamboo in your contribution to a Smarter Planet?

Bamboo is the main food of the giant panda, making up 99% of its diet.

Bamboo is the main food of the giant panda, making up 99% of its diet.

 

See if ‘a plant life’ is awaiting you: http://www.guaduabamboo.com/partners/

Fun Fact:  There’s actually an American Bamboo Society which was formed in 1979 that has chapters across the U.S.: Promoting the Beauty and Utility of Bamboo… Your source for all things Bamboo, Bamboo Societies, Bamboo Growers and Bamboo Products.  They hold an annual conference and have a bi-monthly Magazine and annual Journal.  Take a look at their site and be inspired!bimonthly Magazine and annual Journal.

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September 23rd, 2014
5:55
 

I became a coffee drinker after consuming just a single espresso following an Argentine Tango performance; I was a member of the audience, not a performer, in case you wondered (or worried, if you’ve read any of my previous posts about my lack of innate grace on the floor).  The purpose of my acquiring a love for coffee is unclear to this day… be that as it may, I am doing my bit to support the coffee growing industry.

However, I hate being wasteful & throwing out coffee grounds, so I have found a variety of “useful” things to do with them.  Don’t ask – some have been utter failures!  But,  I do try to re-purpose things, wherever I can…  This use of part of the coffee industry’s “waste material” fascinates me – and I do hope that a market will build.  I have to do some checking around our local stores to see if I can find this product anywhere. 

What uneaten part of your next meal could be transmuted to a great new taste sensation?  Give it some thought, create a useable & palatable dish, try it out on your friends and take it to market yourself.  Bon appetit!

Read the story and…

 

EAT your coffee!

(then click on the pic below to check out the coffee flour website…)

Coffee Flour

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September 18th, 2014
6:31
 

An Icelandic tannery, Atlantic Leather is taking perch, salmon, wolffish and cod skin, a by-product of the fisheries industry and turning it into leather for luxury fashion.

The fish leather produced at Atlantic Leather is environmentally friendly, in two different ways:

  1. it is a by-product of the fisheries industry, utilizing raw material that would not otherwise be used
  2. the production process makes use of renewable hydro and geothermal energy

From shoes…..

blog fish leather

to clothing….. blog fish leather2

to accessories…..     blog fish leather3

 

to wall covering, this very durable, yet flexible product is an innovation whose time has come!

blog fish leather4

The next time you go shopping for clothes or decor, you might want to check out this new product.

This idea grew out of someone’s imagination and with some innovative thinking, turned into a thriving business.  Do you have any eco-friendly ideas that you’d like to see come to fruition?

 

 

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September 11th, 2014
6:20
 

There has been a lot of discussion about eco-friendly packaging.  Part of the challenge is making it durable enough for transport, safe enough that it won’t affect the contents, and bio-degradable or otherwise recyclable.  Kind of a tall order, isn’t it?  Plus you want any package to be reasonably attractive to catch a buyer’s eye and make them drool over your product from the outside, before they actually use it, right?

Here are some notes from various sources about the ways that packaging is becoming more ‘green’- and the why’s behind this trend.  Maybe you have some ideas of your own that you can bring to market and make a contribution in helping to cut down on landfill…links for the companies are within each article – perhaps your new career lies with one of these corporations!

“Consumers are increasingly expecting eco-friendly packaging, says SIG Combibloc, as it sets ‘ambitious targets’ to reduce its environmental impact”

EcoShield, an environmentally friendly moisture barrier paper

“Pack The Future 2014” Award goes to Promens

Cartons are most eco-friendly packaging

AstraPouch introduces 750ml soft packaging solution

Promoting Eco-friendly Physical Distribution and Packaging

The eco-container by Murata Packaging Co., Ltd.

The eco-container by Murata Packaging Co., Ltd.

 

And here’s an article about packaging problems you’ll want to avoid repeating…

Good product, bad package: top sustainable packaging mistakes

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