Recycled Wallpaper

Wallpaper for commercial applications must be a hardy, sturdy product to withstand daily wear and tear. LSI Wallcovering is making wallcovering waves with the market’s first ever recycled vinyl wallcovering for commercial applications, which is also stylish enough for high-end applications. The manufacturer launched its recycling program Second Look last year and will premier the fruits of this endeavor in three new collections”Versa, Cirqa, and Plexus—this Spring at contract furnishings tradeshow NeoCon World’s Trade Fair. Composed of 20 percent recycled content and a minimum of 10 percent post-consumer content, Second Look meets the U.S. Green Building Council’s criteria for LEED certification. A low VOC, Type II, 20-ounce wallcovering, it uses water-based inks, can be installed with water-based adhesives, and is also available with Permavent, a hi-tech feature that allows walls to breathe. Have vinyl wallcovering from a recent renovation job? LSI accepts used vinyl wallcovering from any manufacturer, which can be sent to its factory for recycling.

What’s Your Poison

-In 2001, the UN FAO and World Health Organisation estimated that developing countries spend US$3 billion annually on pesticides. However, one-third of these pesticides did not meet internationally accepted quality standards. Developing countries are used as a dumping ground for hazardous chemicals, many of which are banned throughout much of the rest of the world because of the serious threats they pose to human health and the natural environment. Cambodia is one such country.

-Pesticides are toxic by design. Every year, pesticides are estimated to cause tens of millions of cases of accidental poisoning. Many of these poisoning cases are in the developing world where awareness of the dangers is lacking. Symptoms of pesticide poisoning can range from short-term headaches and nausea to convulsions, unconsciousness or death. Longer-term effects include damage to nervous systems, respiratory and skin diseases, cancers and birth defects. What’s Your Poison? highlights the shocking evidence between pesticides and damage to human health.

EJF’s work to raise awareness of the human health impact of endosulfan and the publication of End of the Road for Endosulfan led to the Cambodian Government announcing a ban on the import, sale and use of this dangerous pesticide. Find out why endosulfan is so dangerous to human health: [Read EJF’s report End of the Road for Endosulfan]

-Cotton uses nearly 10% of the world’s pesticides, and of this, 25% of the world’s insecticides. The consequences for human health and the environment are well known, particularly in the developing world where pesticides are not subject to stringent regulation and where public awareness of the risks are limited. There has been a slow response from producers, traders and retailers to developing and promoting organic cotton production that can sustain environment and rural communities.

Japan calls for 50% reduction in emissions by 2050

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, unveiled ambitious plans the other day to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050 that would include the world’s biggest emitters, the US and China.

“There is only one earth, and there are no national boundaries for the air,” said Mr Abe, who will put the proposals up for discussion at next month’s G8 summit in Germany.

“Even the most outstanding strategy would be meaningless unless all people living on earth participate in it. If the framework required economic growth to be sacrificed, we cannot expect many countries to participate.

We must create a new framework which moves beyond the Kyoto protocol, in which the entire world will participate in emissions reduction.”

The 1997 protocol commits industrialised nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5% from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. The US withdrew from the agreement, however, and has said it will continue to oppose any proposals that it believes will harm its economy.

Discussion on a post-Kyoto agreement is expected to dominate talks at the G8 meeting, with countries divided on whether they should be bound by mandatory numerical targets, an approach favoured by the EU.

Japan, which will host next year’s summit, is concerned that an insistence on numerical targets will discourage the US from signing up any agreement, particularly if other big emitters, such as India and China, continue to be exempted.

Today officials in Tokyo were quick to stress that Mr Abe’s “Cool Earth 50” proposals were part of a non-binding “vision” for dealing with climate change.

“When we talk about 2050 … we do not have sufficient scientific knowledge to be concrete and precise in identifying a goal,” Koji Tsuruoka, the director general of global issues at the foreign ministry, told reporters.

“It is going to be a vision that could be shared as a target that could be accepted … by all the countries of the world.”

Earlier this week the Japanese foreign minister, Taro Aso, said that persuading China, India and developing economies to do more to cut emissions was more important than establishing targets.

“I think opinion is divided on whether it is easier to participate by setting a numerical target or whether it is easier without it,” he said. “We need to make sure that major emitter nations will take part.”

The British foreign minister, Margaret Beckett, said on a visit to Tokyo this week that it was unlikely the G8 countries would agree to numerical targets in Germany and made a point of praising the US and China for recent attempts to reduce their carbon footprint.

Japan, meanwhile, appears likely to fall short of its Kyoto target of a 6% reduction. Despite improvements in energy efficiency, its greenhouse gas emissions as of March last year were 14% higher than in 1990.

Clean Water Initiative

The US had a record number of beach closures and health advisories last year, the most in 15 years since research organizations have been monitoring them. -The Clean Water initiative is primarily focused on protecting water quality in coastal watersheds and in the near-shore marine environment. Consequently, the Surfrider Foundation advocates for strong water quality regulations, adequate marine recreational water quality monitoring, reporting and posting, reduction of polluted discharges into the ocean and education regarding personal responsibility for the reduction water pollution. They also support smart land use planning to ensure that coastal environmental resources are protected and healthy watersheds are maintained.

Join the Surfrider Foundation and help make a difference

Recycled Flatware Wall Clock

What was once the top of a pot and a few forks and spoons, now is a fun recycled wall clock. Find inspiration while seeing everyday objects in unusual places.Find at Mixt Goods

New Eco Friendly Fabrics

There are some new threads in town and it’s exciting to see them on catwalks and sidewalks — organic and sustainable fibers are the only way to go, whether we fashion our own clothes or buy off the rack.

#bamboo – one of the most sustainable fibers made. It can grow like wildfire, without pesticides or fertilizers. Formed from the pulp of the plant, this softy has wonderful anti-bacterial properties, wicking away sweat to keep us dry, we stay cool in summer and warm in winter. The folks at alternative consumer put together this list for us.

#hemp – one of the most durable natural fibers on the planet, and versatile. It requires no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, is harvested and processed by hand, and produces 2-3 times more fiber per acre than cotton.

# ingeo – a versatile, man-made fiber rom renewable corn.

# jute – a glossy fiber from a plant. Most often used to make: sacks, rope, twine.

# lyocell – from wood-pulp, 100% biodegradable. Look for garments manufactured in US or Europe if you have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities , ref: here.

# nettle – a coarse, wild herb that’s naturally moth-repellent.

# organic cotton – uses no harmful chemicals; supports biodiversity, healthy ecosystems, improves soil quality and often uses less water than conventionally grown cotton. It has a longer growth cycle, requires more skill and costs more than conventionally-grown cotton – but it’s worth it. Organic cotton farming practices are so much healthier for farmers and the planet & organic cotton feels fantastic on our bodies!

# organic linen – extremely durable, made from the flax plant, grown without pesticides or herbicides.

# polar fleece, Polartec and POP – made from recycled soda pop bottles.

# ramie – from a plant, native to eastern Asia. 3 to 5 times stronger than cotton, it’s extremely absorbent and dries quickly, and has been cultivated for the past 6000 years, is often mistaken for linen.

# sasawashi – a blend of Japanese paper and kumazasa herb, resembles linen. Has anti allergen & anti bacterial properties.

# seacell – contains Lyocell. A cellulose- (the natural polymer that makes up the living cells of all vegetation) and seaweed-based fiber, with anti bacterial properties.

# silk – look for cruelty-free silk which allows wild and semi-wild wilkworms to emerge from their cocoons before the silk is harvested, rather than killing them.

# soy – from the residue of soybeans from tofu manufacturing, soy proteins are woven into a light, cashmere-like material that drapes softly over your body and has a bit of stretch.

# Tencel – a brand name for a type of Lyocell, extracted from sustainably harvested wood pulp; lightweight and wrinkle-resistant. Look for garments made in US and Europe if you have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

eco friendly reminders: DWH —

Donate your pre-loved threads, Wash in eco-friendly cleansers and Hang-dry as you hang with your friends or plants.

Ecofriendly Skateboarding

This week TreeHuggerTV teams up with with Comet Skateboards and learns how a sustainable skateboard company is bringing kids from different hoods together for one unified purpose. Comet uses sustainably harvested bamboo and non-toxic resins to make its hip pin-striped topped skateboards and their manufacturing plant uses a 10KW solar panel array to fuel the process. Comet is also a place based company and is dedicated to making a positive impact on its community as well as the environment. In addition to raising funds for a sustainably designed skate park in downtown Oakland CA, Comet has collaborated with local skaters to put on Hood Games. Hood Games 4 brought together a truly remarkable gathering of the skateboarders, parents, and friends for a full day of music, art, and of course – ecofriendly skateboarding!

Refuse to Buy Uzbekistan Cotton

White Gold – The True Cost of Cotton

Love your new shirt – know how the cotton was grown?

Over two thirds of the world’s cotton – used in the clothes we all wear – is grown in developing countries and the former Soviet Union.

Valued at US$35 billion a year, global cotton production should be improving lives but this “white gold” all too often brings misery to millions.

Forced child labour, heavy pesticide use and environmental degradation are all rife in cotton production, but most people are still in the dark about the full story behind the clothes we wear and how they are produced.

Unless you have made a positive choice and are wearing certified organic or fairly traded cotton, you won’t know it from the label.

The Environmental Justice Foundation is leading an international campaign to end human rights and environmental abuses in cotton production, and to promote organic and fairly traded cotton.

Read the reports, watch the award-winning short film and then TAKE ACTION so you can Pick Your Cotton Carefully.

Watch "White Gold – The True Cost of Cotton"

EJF Campaigns:

* to raise public awareness of the conditions under which cotton is produced

* to press retailers to ensure they only sell “clean cotton”

* for an EU regulation on forced child labour, and for cotton products
to show the country of origin of the cotton on the label


Free the Beach

The struggle to preserve public access to the beach is spreading across the nation from California to Connecticut and from Florida to the Great Lakes. California’s beaches belong to all the people. The wealthy rich prick beachfront enclave of Malibu and media mogul David Geffen nevertheless filed suit to cut off the people’sright to reach the beach. A Newport Beach city councilmember opposes improvements to a public beach because “with grass we usually get Mexicans coming in there early in the morning and they claim it as theirs and it becomes their personal, private grounds all day.” People of color and low-income people suffer first and worst from the efforts to privatize public beaches. While eighty percent of the 34 million people of California live within an hour of the coast, disproportionately White and wealthy homeowners stand to benefit from the privatization of this public good, while communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately denied the benefit of coastal access.

Beaches are not a luxury. Beaches are a public space that provide a different set of rhythms to renew public life. Beaches are a democratic commons that bring people together as equals. People swim and splash in the waves, “people watch,” surf, wile away the afternoon under an umbrella, scamper between tide pools, or gaze off into the sunset. Public access to the beach is integral to democracy and equality. Rio de Janeiro, like Los Angeles, is marked by some of the greatest disparities between wealth and poverty in the world. Yet Rio’s famous beaches are open to all, rich and poor, Black and White. The beach in Rio is the great equalizer. California’s world famous beaches must also remain public for all, not the exclusive province of the rich and famous. The Connecticut Supreme Court has recognized the First Amendment right of non-residents to use a public beach against efforts by the city of Greenwhich to restrict access to its residents. A New Jersey appellate court has recognized the right of public access to reach the beach at a private club under the public trust doctrine. A Michigan court, however, has recently limited public access to the beach along Lake Michigan. In Florida, 60% of the “public” beaches are now “private.”

In order to make a difference before it gets to late The center For the law and Public Justice along with the Surfrider foundation have put together a “Free the Beach” campaign. For more information go to

Fashioning An Ethical Fashion Industry

We found the following information on London is such an ethical fashion centre now, with every main street store trying to be more organic and ecologically pure than the next. As evidenced by this week’s series of programmes on “Is Green the New Black?”, the ethical fashion industry is making great strides in developing public awareness of fashion that is responsibly made. A number of organisations have sprung up to provide support and networking opportunities for producers. Others want to put pressure on businesses to provide good working conditions. The Ethical Fashion Forum gives training and information to businesses and individuals interested in the social and environmental aspects of the fashion business. Labour Behind the Label is a campaign fighting for better working conditions for garment workers and encouraging consumers to ask for clothes which are responsibly made. One of its aims is to encourage retailers to guarantee that all clothes sold in their shops are produced under fair conditions, including the right to a living wage, the right to organise, and safe and healthy working conditions.
Fashioning an Ethical Industry is an educational project aimed at fashion college students and tutors. Its admirable goal is to equip students to play an active role in raising standards in the companies they will be working for. They hope to make the teaching of social responsibility issues a key part of all fashion-related education courses. Their very accessible and interesting website provides a global overview of the garment industry, raises awareness of current practices and and explains all the hot issues. The fact is that consumers have power: the more that we demand that the clothes we buy are made under decent conditions the more likely it is that retailers will respond. The more people ask questions the more retailers will feel that they need to pay attention to the issues. For example: refuse to buy Uzbekistan cotton, pick your cotton carefully.

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