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Arty pegs & washing-480x480.jpgNext week (17-23 June 2013) sees the 10th Anniversary of National Recycle Week (organised by WRAP) using the theme of 'recycling at home and away'.

The UK has become more adept at recycling over the last 25 years but there is still scope for improvement, especially as we produce 20 times more plastic today than 50 years ago. As a nation we currently recycle 32% of all plastics but the target set by DEFRA is 57% by 2017!

Plastic is light, durable, versatile in shape and colour and can be used for almost any application from packaging to construction, automation to fleeces. But recycling plastic is essential because, unlike other commonly used products, it doesn't biodegrade and can take decades, even centuries, to break down in landfill.

Fortunately, environmentally-conscious companies such as Easy-Do Products, use recycled plastic to manufacture 'new' products that keep used plastic out of landfill and reduce the need to create more plastic thus saving energy and natural resources. Products like the EcoForce Recycled Clothes Peg do the job just as well, if not better than alternatives made from virgin materials, but don't harm the environment. What's more, hanging out laundry to dry is free and eco-friendly  compared to an energy-guzzling tumble drier which emits 1.5kg of CO2 with every cycle.

Daniel Neumann of EcoForce explains: "It seems ludicrous that so many general everyday items are manufactured from virgin materials at great cost to our environment when in so many instances it is entirely unnecessary.

"We are dedicated to supplying a range of affordable, usable everyday products that work, manufactured from high quality recycled materials,that provide a more sustainable alternative to what is currently on the shelves and help you run a greener home without it costing the earth."

www.ecoforce.co.uk

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peg pic.jpgWriter Janina Mathewson explains the rules of wearing something that has been loved before, and how a girl on a budget can avoid growing weary of the nearly new...

Sometimes in our lives we find it hard to stretch to a new pair of jeans. Sometimes we find it hard to stretch to a replacement pair of three pound sneakers. Sometimes we're startled awake by the realisation that we don't own a single piece of clothing that's newer than three years old and that we have more hand me downs than clothes we've actually bought!

Once you start accruing hand me down clothes it can be difficult to stop. There are two reasons for this. The first is because if you're going through a time where you know you may not be able to have a decent shop for a while, you start losing the ability to turn down free things. Someone might offer you a dress in just not at all your colour, and you'll take it because you're not sure when you're going to manage to buy a dress yourself. The second reason is that once people realise that you're open to receiving their leftovers, they start running them all by you before they take them to the charity shop.

Friends' leftovers

This is obviously lovely; it's splendid to be able to sit back and reflect on the fact that your friends won't let you go completely naked, but there is a difficulty to be overcome. Because when you're trying to choose something to wear, you want something that feels like you. Something that shows the most and best of you. And it's really hard to achieve that with a wardrobe stocked with other people's leavings.

This is easiest combated with the smaller items. Your skirts and shirts and cardies. In this case, it's like mixing paint - you think yellow is too jaunty? Mix in some blue for a vintage pea-green. Think that shirt is a bit too prim and businessy for you? Chuck an old belt over it and wear it with a chunky necklace.

Dresses and such like are harder, as they're kind of like a full outfit, but choice of boots and jackets can do a lot. It' s all in what you do with it.

Choose different boots


Yes, there will be some things that will always feel a little strange; like those boots you have to wear more than you want to because they're the only footwear you own that keep out water, but you can still have a strong effect on the overall look. And if nothing else, you'll learn more about what you don't like to wear, for when your ship comes in and you can foist the whole lot off on someone else.

Follow Janina on Twitter @J9andIf

Via Shiny Style

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The champagne has been drunk, the chocolate has been hidden (or eaten) and we find ourselves back at work. It's January and a whole new year full of potential and opportunity is ahead. If you're like us chances are you've set yourself a goal or two for the coming twelve months, whether it is to lose weight, stop smoking or simply be better at what you already do well.

Most New Year's resolutions revolve around improving yourself and adding value to your own existence - often with a fast return on investment. Sound familiar? How about doing things a bit differently this year and set some goals that can - and will - have an impact on the environment and nature?

Below are a few of our ideas for green resolutions for 2013 - and we'd love for you to share yours with us too!

Shop till you drop - but bring your own reusable bags

We're not here to tell you how to spend your money. But you can make a big difference to the environment by saying no to plastic bags and bringing your own reusable shopping bags with you.

Buy less bottled water

Producing the bottles that your natural French or Caribbean water comes in requires a lot of oil, so it goes without saying that the fewer that are produced the less the waste. After all we're not so good at recycling PET bottles in this country... yet. And if you look more closely, most bottled water brands is someone's tap water somewhere. instead invest in a refillable water bottle to bring with you.

Ditch your car and go carbon zero

OK, this might not be feasible if you live far away from where you work, but swapping the way you get to the office can and will help the environment. Invest in a bike or walk where possible/ If not choose public transport. The less cars on the road the better!

Eat less meat

Many of you may be meat free already, but if you are discerning carnivore, make 2013 the year where you become even more selective. A good way to cut back is to introduce meat free Mondays (coined by the a certain Sir Paul McCartney and others). Eating less meat will result in greater carbon savings, is likely to improve your health and help towards the continuing battle of ending animal suffering around the world.

Recycle, recycle, recycle!

Recycling schemes vary from place to place, but knowing what and how to recycle should be as normal as breathing. If you already have multiple bins, each with a different purpose then you're doing a great job! But if your rubbish goes into one big evil bin, changes ought to be made. Read up on what your local area offers recycling wise and if it's not enough, contact your local MP and voice your concern.

[Image by epSos.de]

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OK so it's not the whole stadium... The recycled plastic bottles will be used in the linings of the seats in the new Maracanã Stadium, which will host the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Rio.

One of the main sponsors to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, soft-drink company Coca-Cola has launched a new sustainability project to collect and recycle plastic PET bottles. To date 100 recycling points have been set up in Rio, which they hope will generate lots of recycled bottles - as well as get people excited about the football event.

A major drive behind this campaign is Coca-Cola's pledge to reduce the environmental footprint of the World Cup and boost the culture of recycling.

Take a look at Coca-Cola's video for the project here.

Levi's goes green with WasteLess denim

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We like it when big companies do their bit for the environment and make their products more sustainable - of course in an ideal world all companies would operate as green as possible...

Green is definitely the new black over at jeans giant Levi's, which has revealed its waste

Each pair of Levi's waste

Speaking at the preview last week, global president of the Levi's brand James Curleigh said: "From the beginning, we have designed our products with purpose and intent. By adding value to waste, we hope to change the way people think about recycling, ultimately incentivising them to do more of it."

"This collection proves that you don't have to sacrifice quality, comfort or style to give an end a new beginning."

The brand expect to put some 3.5 million recycled bottles into the waste

"With this collection, we're doing our own small part by taking waste and making something new from it," added Curleigh.

"We don't just want to reduce our impact on the environment, we want to leave it better than we found it. We are committed to making products in ways that are good for people and better for our planet."

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[via ShinyStyle.tv and Brandish.tv]

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In April this year, UK retail chain Marks & Spencer launched a shwopping campaign, fronted by long time ethical campaigner Joanna Lumley, urging its customers to bring in and donate any unwanted items of clothing.

And now M&S is able to show the first tangible results of this shwopping session, the Shwop Coat, which is made entirely from donated wool.

The coat is better value for the environment, and at £89 it is half the cost it would normally have been had it been made from virgin wool. That's a win win for both environment and consumers!

The coat will go on sale in selected M&S stores across the UK and online from 10 October.

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Weddings can be very hard on the environment, what with all the flowers, ribbons and printed invites that go with making it a memorable day.

If you want to enjoy your wedding with the satisfaction that you're not making the environment and flowers suffer unnecessary, how about choosing to have your wedding flowers made from recycled materials?

Crafty and creative Tennessee artist Lauren Karnitz makes plastic flowers from materials most of us throw away: milk cartons, straws, medicine bottles and sweetie wrappers. Crafts roses, peonies, magnolias, sunflowers and other flowers, Karnitz have been working in the wedding flowers business for around two years, helping out brides with their bouquets, corsages and wedding cake flowers. And they prove to be relatively affordable as well!

Prices range from $45 for boutonnières and corsages, while flowers from cakes range between $150 to $450 per cake depending on the size and design.

Now that's a wedding bouquet that will last forever...

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All images: Lauren Karnitz

This article first appeared on Bridalwave.tv

This is a great piece of environmental awareness art! Rubbish Duck appeared on our radar this morning as Camden Lock Market shared a spotted photo on Facebook. Making its way down the Regent's Canal, Rubbish Duck 'symbolises the disregard towards the local environment' while drawing 'attention to a larger problem plastic pollution causes globally'.

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The brainchild of Ferdinand Povel and Essi Salonen, Rubbish Duck was created using 2,000 plastic bottles picked up from the Thames and Regent's Canal and has been floating on the canal since July.

The project works closely with environmental charity Thames21, which organises clean up events of waterways. The bottles for Rubbish Duck were collected with the help of these clean ups and the participating volunteers.

London's canals and rivers are fantastic public spaces, and it is a shame to see all the rubbish floating there at all times. It is great that someone has made the effort to visualise the sheer volume of the environmental nastiness that is threatening local wildlife through art, and in such a fitting form: the bath ducky.

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We keep a watchful eye on the big (bad) companies of the world to see what they are up to when it comes to innovation and sustainability. And luckily these days, many of them are actually working on rather pioneering projects and products.

The latest global company to showcase how their products are high up on the sustainability chart is Nike. And because I have a soft spot for forward-thinking and green architecture I quite like this project.

Sportswear giant Nike has collaborated with design firm Miniwiz to build The Feather Pavilion, a structure made from high-tech transparent thread 'bricks' created by recycled PET bottles. The structure intends to reflect how the new Flyknit footwear collection is lightweight, viable and cutting-edge.

The recycled pavilion will be on display until 6 October as part of the Beijing Design Week 2012.

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[via PSFK]

A cardboard bicycle? Love it!

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We love coming across projects that when you first hear what they are all about you say, 'surely that can't be done'. This is exactly what we thought when we heard about Izhar Gafni's Cardboard Bicycle Project.

Drawing inspiration from a cardboard canoe (yeah we're with you: HOW DOES THAT WORK?? Cardboard + water = disaster right?), Izhar made a cardboard bike from scratch using origami techniques. It is capable of sustaining up to 485 pounds, that's over 200 kilos!

And the best thing: it only cost about $9 or £5.50 to make!!

Take a look at the making of in this video:

Izhar cardboard bike project from Giora Kariv on Vimeo.

starbucks-recycling-laundry-detergent.jpgPersonally I have a love-hate relationship with Starbucks. It's not anywhere close my top ten places to go get my coffee fix, yet each Yuletide I return like an addict to get my Eggnog Latte...

Whether you're a Starbucks fan or not, it is an interesting company to follow as it's no longer just about coffee. Among its digital innovations, the brand is also keen to show off its eco credentials. The coffee giant's latest sustainability project is to recycle food waste as 'ingredients' for cleaning products.

Contributing to the almost 1.3 billion tons of waste that end up on landfills every year, Starbucks is hoping to combat this by working with biorefinery scientists to turn food waste - mostly coffee grounds - into ingredients that make plastics, laundry detergents and other product we all use every day.

Carol S. K. Lin, Ph.D., who led the biorefinery research team at the City University of Hong Kong says of the initiative:

Our new process addresses the food waste problem by turning Starbucks' trash into treasure -- detergent ingredients and bio-plastics that can be incorporated into other useful products. The strategy reduces the environmental burden of food waste, produces a potential income from this waste and is a sustainable solution.

The project will first take place in Hong Kong. There is no news so far when it will reach the European continent.

[via PSFK] [Image]

What do you do with the off cuts from all of your elite swimsuits? Well if you're Speedo you turn them into eye-catching ball gowns, obviously.

The swimwear company, best known for kitting out competition swimmers across the world, has teamed up with sustainable designers, From Somewhere, to create this colourful ball gown made of surplus fabric from Speedo's Fastskin 3 range.

It's actually the second time the company has collaborated with From Somewhere, the first time being when swimming governing body FINA outlawed textile swimsuits and Speedo was left with a load of stock on its hands that it wasn't able to sell.

This time the collaboration sees a special edition version of its latest Fastskin3 elite swimsuit, made using off cuts from various international swimming teams including those from the USA, Great Britain, Australia Germany, Spain, Japan, Canada, Netherlands and Israel.

Though in some ways the ball gown - known as the Unity dress - is about as diametrically opposed to a swimsuit as you can get, clearly this one has been influenced by water with its long figure hugging design making the model look a little like a colourful mermaid.

Says From Somewhere's Orsola de Castro: "I think our dress speaks about water, and water is life. It's about the environment, and preserving water which should be a priority for all humankind."

She adds: "We wanted to really concentrate on the idea of having a traditional evening gown that totally mimics sportswear design techniques. The sewing, finishes and details were constructed as if the dress would also have to withstand swimming, which presented an exciting challenge."

From Somewhere


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Drinks giant Coca-Cola has partnered with will.i.am to launch new eco label Ekocycle, which will feature stylish products made from recycled waste.

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Aimed at young people, Ekocycle (first part is Coke spelled backwards - subliminal advertising?), the label will offer products from bikes to handbags to everyday household items.

Apart from being backed by producer and artist will.i.am, the label will also partner with other well-known designers, such as Beats by Dr Dre. Each product will have a logo that shows how many recycled cans or bottles were used to make it.

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It is a good thing that a big bottle producing - and so wasting - company like Coca-Cola is doing something to offset the damage their products are having on the environment.

We're sure the world will find this 'dope' will.i.am, but will the young consumers Ekocycle is aimed at be able to afford the products? The headphones cost around £225 ($349)...

Take a look at the Ekocycle commercial here. Nice plug for his new song too.

We love our Macs, iPhones and iPads and wouldn't really want to live without them - even if Apple has decided to pull out of green-tech programme EPAT. But our eco minds are always on the look-out to find accessories to our Apple gadgets that are made with sustainability in mind, and not with badly produced plastic things shipped from far, far away. As we await the official announcement of the iPhone 5, here are some of our favourite Apple accessories we've come across lately - and a novel idea of how to upcycle an old iMac...

Apple pulls out of green-tech programme EPEAT

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As one of the many Apple fan girls and fan boys out there, it is rather disappointing that the tech giant has pulled out of the EPEAT certification program that highlights which consumer tech products are notable for their environmental friendliness.

EPEAT is backed by the US government and rewards manufacturers whose products are easily recyclable and energy efficient. Apple's former ideas man, the late Steve Jobs, was always quick to mention the company's eco-aware strengths, so it is unfortunate that it has now decided to opt out. Could the rush to be the best and the most lusted after brand in the tech world be making Apple choose iconic status over the environment? According to TechDigest, Apple has cited a change in design direction as the cause, most apparent in its new Retina MacBook.

EPEAT requires any device to be easily recyclable, but the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display is near impossible to dismantle without damaging the parts that could be recycled.

Commenting on Apple's decision, Robert Frisbee, EPEAT CEO, said: "They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements."

"They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don't want their products measured by this standard anymore."

This saddens me Apple... Mostly because I love you so much.

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