Author Archive

Patagonia’s “Footprint Chronicles”

Alex Steffen from Worldchanging wrote yesterday about an interesting site from Patagonia called “The Footprint Chronicles” that traces back the manufacturing process and environmental impact of five of their products.

It’s an encouraging example of corporate transparency (Patagonia has long been at the forefront of sustainable business), and an instructive look at just how many different communities are affected by a single piece of apparel destined for the overdeveloped world. I encourage you to check it out.

– Adam

November 9, 2007 at 5:47 pm 1 comment

Trashy update

TrashbagHere are the contents of my portable trashbag so far:

  • plastic wrapper for organic Udon noodles
  • Cardboard coffee sleeve (the woman at Think Coffee put it on my glass bottle before I had the chance to turn it down)
  • Plastic egg carton
  • Plastic wrapper for Trader Joe’s organic pepper jack cheese
  • Tom’s of Maine toothpaste tube (does anybody know if you can recycle these?)
  • Band-aid wrapper
  • Four tea bag wrappers (from the batch of Kombucha I brewed Monday)
  • ATM receipt dated 12/16/06 (??)
  • Plastic yogurt container
  • Muffin wrapper (these last two are from things I got at last night’s trash tour. I’m not sure if I need to be carrying them around since, technically, I rescued the items they packaged from the trash. But I am anyways.)
  • Scrap from the top of a mailing envelope (now that I think of it, this could go in the recycling)
  • Ziploc bag with 2 apple cores, clementine peel, and a pear core (for the worms)

That’s it so far. As you can tell, it’s mostly plastic packaging and therefore pretty light.

– Adam

November 7, 2007 at 6:59 pm 2 comments

Adam’s Footprint Forward Goals

The past year for me has been a continual adventure in footprint-shrinking. Every week, I learn a little bit more about what contributes to my planetary impact, and I’ve begun to realize that living in anĀ  environmentally-responsible way isn’t nearly as hard as I thought, once you make the commitment to do it. Some of the biggest steps I’ve taken so far:

  • I convinced my roommates to sign up for a CSA (community supported agriculture), giving us a bounty of fresh local veggies every week.
  • I quit flying in airplanes after I got back from India this summer. When I go home to Denver for winter break, it’ll be on a train with a bunch of my friends.
  • I carry around a glass bottle and a plastic container wherever I go, in case I want to pack up some leftovers.
  • I set up a worm bin in my backyard (relocated to my room for the winter) where we compost a portion of our food scraps.
  • I dry my clothes on a clothes line, also in my yard, instead of using the dryer.

But there’s always more impact to reduce, and this week gives me an opportunity to experiment with some more extreme ideas that I haven’t incorporated into my daily life. I’ve already started showering by candlelight, and found that it makes the shower really relaxing. I’ll be trying as hard as I can to unplug, cutting down on the amount of time I spend on the computer and listening to music, and making an effort to only turn on the lights in my house that have CFLs in them (I know, they all should at this point… I’m working on it).

The biggest change for the week will be reviving an experiment that I tried earlier this year of carrying around all the trash I create, with the logic that by feeling personally responsible for it, I’ll have an incentive to create less of it. Hence, I’ll be cutting down on buying food in plastic packaging, recycling all the paper scraps that find their way to me, and composting all of my food waste (I’m certainly not gonna want to be stuck with rotting apple cores all week). I’ll let you know in the next few days how it’s going.

– Adam

November 4, 2007 at 4:51 pm 1 comment

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October 7, 2007 at 6:20 pm 1 comment