MARCH/APRIL 2019

 

The Evolution Hoodie: Made from Recycled Coffee Grounds

Coalatree designs eco-minded gear and apparel for the adventurer in everyone, from athletes and photographers to your average city folks and weekend warriors. It’s their passion to bring elements of the outdoors and the city life together. Whether you’re summiting the tallest peaks or lounging around town with friends, their products are practical, stylish, and functional. Being ready for anything is what they’re all about.

But, a hoodie made from recycled coffee grounds and plastic bottles?  It's true! Spent coffee grounds are collected from local shops, processed to separate the oils, and finally are ground into nano-sized particles. These particles are mixed with melted plastic bottles and spun into the threads that eventually become the Evolution Hoodie!  The folks at Coalatree work hard to bring you the most innovative technology that supports a healthy you and a healthy planet. By utilizing discarded materials like coffee grounds and plastic bottles, they’re keeping our waste streams small and making our impact big!

THE EVOLUTION HOODIE:

REVOLUTIONARY SUSTAINABILITY
The Evolution Hoodie features a hidden zippered pouch to securely stash your valuables, plus two organizer pockets and a hanging loop for keys. Keep your goods safe so you can explore the streets of a new city worry-free!

PICK-POCKET PROOF
The Evolution Hoodie features a hidden zippered pouch to securely stash your valuables, plus two organizer pockets and a hanging loop for keys. Keep your goods safe so you can explore the streets of a new city worry-free!

QUICK DRY
The Evolution Hoodie is designed to be worn on-the-go. The material is constructed with small, microscopic pores which increase its surface area. This means moisture is spread throughout the hoodie and the drying process is accelerated!  Dries up to twice as fast as traditional hoodies

ODOR CONTROL
Play hard and stay worry-free! Coffee is a naturally odor-absorbing material and by weaving the grounds into the fibers, odors are trapped as you sweat. Because the grounds are embedded into the fabric, this feature is permanent and will never wash out!  Traps 3x more odors than traditional hoodies

UV PROTECTION
Keep your skin healthy from the sand to the slopes! The tiny pores in the fabric trap and block UV rays, turning the Evolution Hoodie into a chemical-free shield.  Nearly 6x more effective at blocking UV rays than traditional hoodies.

 

$62 + shipping.  Support them on kickstarter.  As of today, they have over $263,000 pledged.  Their initial $50,000 goal has been far surpassed by the nearly 3,000 backers.  Kickstarter fundraising ends 4/18.

As if this wasn’t enough of a reason to love this company, each year they use surplus fabric to create warm blankets for the homeless in their hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah. They also partner with local organizations to maintain the hiking and biking trails we frequent and to protect the integrity of our watersheds.  www.coalatree.com

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Recycle Your Toothbrush, You Could Win a Playground for a Children’s Hospital

TerraCycle® earlier this month announced a national recycling initiative with Colgate-Palmolive (“Colgate”), CVS® and the Starlight Children’s Foundation that calls upon CVS customers to recycle their used toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes and floss containers to help win a playground for a children’s hospital.

Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every three months and starting on March 22, CVS customers are invited to shop their local retailer to replace and recycle their used oral care for a great cause.

After replacing your toothbrush, simply visit the CVS promotion website at www.cvs.com, and download a free shipping label and ship your oral care waste to TerraCycle for easy recycling. The state that collects the most waste will win a new playground, made from the recycled materials, that will be awarded to a Starlight Children’s Foundation member hospital.

“By teaming up with Colgate, CVS and the Starlight Foundation, this initiative enables consumers to divert oral care waste from landfills as well as educate communities about a free, easy recycling solution for these common items,” said Tom Szaky, CEO, TerraCycle. “We are proud to partner with these forward thinking companies to offer consumers a way to give back to the communities they live in and bring joy to its youngest citizens.”

Concluding on June 22, each unit ("unit" defined as 0.02 lbs of used, post-consumer oral care products and packaging) of oral care waste that is sent to TerraCycle for recycling earns the participating states one (1) ‘Playground Credit’ towards winning the grand prize playground made from recycled oral care waste that has been cleaned, processed, and remolded. The state with the most Playground Credits will be named the winner and a playground made from the recycled oral care waste will be placed on the premises of a Starlight Children’s Foundation member hospital in the state that earned the most points.

The Colgate Oral Care Recycling Program is an ongoing activity, open to any individual, family, school or community group. To learn more about the program, please visit http://www.terracycle.com.

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Top 10 Sustainable Places to Stay Around the World

Travel is not just about seeing the wonders of the earth but understanding our impact upon it. With increasing frequency, people are looking to make the shift from "tourist" to "conscious traveler" by finding ways to maximize positive impacts on the locations they visit. Making thoughtful choices about how, when, and where you go on a vacation can make a significant difference. So, this Earth Day, Expedia® analyzed its global bank of over eight million traveler reviews from last year to find the key hot spots for eco-travelers.

Delving deep into sentiment, the global data showed the 10 best places to stay around the world, as reviewed by Expedia travelers. From boutiques with beehives and resorts with rainwater recycling, to grand urban retreats with solar cell power, many of these amazing places show that luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. Additionally, Expedia highlighted the top countries with the best reviewed eco-conscious accommodations, with the USA topping the charts.

Top 10 eco-friendly stays on Expedia according to travelers:

1. Sandos Caracol Eco Resort – Playa del Carmen, Mexico 

Situated between dense jungle and the blue of the Mexican Caribbean coast, this Rainforest Alliance-certified destination is among the highest-rated by travellers for the multitude of positive impacts it offers. 

  • Extensive policies governing waste management, resource consumption and natural conservation
  • Opportunities for guests to engage in ecologically sustainable practices: eco-tours, cruelty-free animal interactions and beach meditation
  • A commitment to the community, reflected in celebrations of local indigenous culture, on-site markets that support local artisans, and local partnerships to improve area schools

2. Nomad Hotel Roissy CDG – Paris, France 

Located five minutes by car from Charles de Gaulle airport, the Nomad Hotel Roissy CDG boasts Scandinavian-inspired design, tech-enabled customisable room layouts and a mission to "to reduce the ecological impact of these buildings to a minimum, at every stage of life, from design to operation"—making it the perfect accommodation for digital nomads with green leanings.

  • Rigorous standards for creation/loss of heat and a low total annual energy consumption, supported by green (living) exterior cladding, solar panels, air handling units
  • Proactive efforts to neutralize water impact through use of rainwater collectors
  • Use of sustainable materials, including PEFC wood, carpets made from recycled fishing nets, recycled stone and glass shower units

3.  Siloso Beach Resort – Singapore 

Just off Singapore's south coast lies Sentosa Island, a haven whose southwest coast is the home to the Siloso Beach Resort. Steps from the sandy beaches of the South China Sea, this award-winning eco-resort has taken special care to integrate the surrounding habitat into its design by prioritising open spaces and preserving established natural features like mature trees and flowing springs. The result? A uniquely organic take on a luxurious beach resort experience.

  • 200 original trees preserved (and 450 planted) on-site; landscape pool fed by underground waters and built according to natural terrain formation
  • 72% of the resort is open-air—and activities including cycle tours, hikes and other eco-adventures
  • Operations keep ecological impacts top-of-mind, emphasising locally-sourced foods, limited use of plastics, and reduced energy consumption

4.  Habitat Suites – Austin, TX, USA 

Habitat Suites, a sustainable gem in the heart of Texas' most progressive city, boasts a 30-year track record of forward-thinking environmental stewardship. Habitat Suites has been a charter member of the Green Hotels Association since 1991—and won an Austin Green Business Leader Gold Award in 2018.

  • Widespread use of alternative energy, including solar panels, solar thermal and electric vehicle charging 
  • On-premises organic fruit and herb gardens; clean, local and organic food options
  • Use of plant-based, zero harsh chemical detergents for cleaning; bio-safe guest shampoos and detergents; hypoallergenic suites that include live potted plants and windows that open for access to fresh air

5.  Pakasai Resort – Krabi, Thailand

Spa treatments, boxing and cooking classes plus plenty of space for lounging by the pool—the Pakasai Resort delivers on everything you'd expect from a tropical Thai resort, then sweetens the deal with an impressive list of sustainability efforts. "Krabi's Greenest Resort" was the first in the area to win an ASEAN Green Hotel Award (2014). 

  • Resource conservation efforts include rainwater capture and greywater recycling, energy efficient lighting, biogas production and reduction of plastic use
  • Careful attention given to reducing carbon emissions through waste minimization program and collaboration with the local community and local organizations
  • Guests are encouraged to make their stay even greener by joining the #GreeningPakasai campaign, which incentivises visitors to make low-carbon choices around food, transportation, linen services and local activities

6.  PARKROYAL on Pickering – Singapore

With 15,000 square metres of greenery and a cutting-edge design, the PARKROYAL is equally impressive in what it does and doesn't do. This LEED-certified masterpiece saves 32.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools' worth of water annually and could power an estimated 680 households with the energy saved by its conservation efforts.

  • Highly regulated resource consumption through employment of light, motion, and rain sensors
  • Solar cells and rainwater collection mean zero-energy maintenance of the 15,000 m2 sky gardens
  • Thoughtful construction processes reduced concrete (and associated waste and energy expenditure) use by more than 80%

7.  The Green House – Bournemouth, UK 

Equally suitable for weddings, self-care weekends and romantic getaways, every detail of this eco-hotel has been designed to help guests feel great while doing good. That ethos touches every facet of The Green House, from the building's renewable energy production and Forest Stewardship certified, UK-crafted furnishings to the on-site restaurant's adherence to local sourcing and high animal welfare standards—the company car even runs on bio-fuel from the kitchen's old cooking oil!

  • The use of earth-friendly cleaning products and efforts toward energy conservation
  • Staff are trained in the ethos of sustainability and are encouraged to find new ways to improve the Green House's efforts
  • Environmental efforts extend to the exterior grounds, including bird and bat boxes (to provide a safe place for breeding) and rooftop beehives that produce honey

8.  Listel Hotel – Vancouver, BC, Canada

The Listel Hotel dedicates itself to both environmental responsibility and the arts. The hotel provides a location to elevate local and international artists—including a gallery dedicated to First Nations artists from the Northwest Coast—while participating in the city of Vancouver's "Corporate Climate Leader" program, setting an example for sustainable tourism efforts across the globe.

  • Responsible food practices including membership in Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program and a commitment to offering local and sustainable food and wine
  • Conservation efforts including 20 solar panels, a state-of-the-art heat capture program (reducing the hotel's natural gas use by 30%) and water reduction and air quality programs
  • Adherence to a 100% Zero Waste policy since August 2011

9.  Hotel Verde – Cape Town, South Africa

"Sustainable by design, stylish by nature" is the modest motto of Cape Town's Hotel Verde. The first hotel in Africa to offer 100% carbon-neutral accommodation and conferencing, the Cape Town Verde has earned an extensive list of international accolades (LEED Platinum certification and a 6-star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa) for its extensive adherence to sustainable practices.

  • Restoration of the surrounding wetlands now supports indigenous water-wise vegetation and a healthy population of Cape honeybees—as well as an ecotrail, outdoor gym, and eco-pool for visitor use, plus on-site edible food gardens and aquaponics
  • Energy efficiencies include photovoltaic panels on the roof and north-facing facades, wind turbines, energy-generating gym equipment and geothermal heat
  • Commitment to social responsibility through sustainable procurement practices, waste management and community involvement

10.  Sherwood Queenstown – Queenstown, New Zealand

Sustainability and connection with nature are behind every detail you'll encounter at the Sherwood Queenstown, a boutique hotel perched on three acres of alpine hillside overlooking Lake Wakatipu. The Sherwood operates based on the belief that "a simple respect for nature lies at the heart of any sustainable practice". The hotel's orchards and kitchen garden supply its award-winning restaurant; most rooms offer sweeping mountain or lake views, and all are outfitted with South Island wool blankets and locally-sourced beverages. Mornings start with optional yoga sessions, followed by hiking, mountain biking, skiing or snowboarding.

  • A focus on materiality selection that integrates the building with the landscape, while employing upcycled fixtures, fittings and furnishings
  • Conscious choices about energy generation—the Sherwood is one of the largest private solar installs in New Zealand and currently generates enough electricity to return surplus to the grid
  • Selection of food, wine, beer, spirits, and other consumable products that are local, natural, healthy, ethical, seasonal and sustainable in their production and use.

Sustainable travel is the perfect opportunity to show Mother Earth and fellow inhabitants how much you care. Ready to book your eco-friendly hotel? Just visit https://www.expedia.com/earthday or download the Expedia app, which is available to download for free on iOS in the App Store and on Android devices through Google Play.

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Tea Soda: Organic Tea Company Debuts New Line

If you are already a fan of award-winning organic teas from Teatulia, get ready for some great new products this year that will really surprise you...The Denver-based tea company is poised to create even more customer demand as it launches Tea Soda, its first ready-to-drink line.

Tea Sodas feature real brewed tea, fruit, herbs and just the right amount of sparkle. The 100% organic and ethically-sourced effervescent drinks were originally introduced at Teatulia’s Denver-based Tea Bar and have been best sellers from the start.

“The overwhelmingly positive reactions we got at Tea Bar told us we were onto something big with Tea Soda,” said Linda Appel Lipsius, CEO and Co-Founder of Teatulia. “Lightly sweetened with cane sugar, Tea Sodas deliver pure refreshment and are a great alternative to natural soda, sparkling water and even energy drinks. We chose cans because they are infinitely recyclable and in line with the commitment to minimal waste packaging we’ve always had with our hot teas. Tea Sodas are spot-on trend with what today’s consumer is looking for.” 

Teatulia’s Organic Tea Sodas are served in 12-ounce sleek cans, designed with bright, eye-catching colors.  They come in four distinctive flavor combinations:

• Organic Green Tea Soda: Green Tea, peach, blackberry, lime and cilantro. Caffeinated
• Organic Black Tea Soda: Black Tea, pineapple, peach, lime and cucumber. Caffeinated
Organic Lemongrass Tea Soda: Lemongrass Tea, wild berry, lime and lavender. Naturally Caffeine Free
Organic Mint Tea Soda: Mint Tea and hibiscus lemonade. Naturally Caffeine Free

We tried them all….the most popular in our “test-kitchen” was the Organic Mint Tea Soda, followed closely by the Organic Black Tea Soda.  Each had a unique and refreshing taste, resulting in comments like “wow”, “delicious”, “love this”, and “so refreshing”. 

To learn more, visit www.teatulia.com

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Going Green: Homes with Solar Panels Sell for 4.1% More

More than 80 percent of home buyers say energy-efficient features are important[i], a truth that's reflected by data showing homes with solar energy systems fetch higher prices.

A new Zillow® analysis shows homes with solar-energy systems sold for 4.1 percent more on average than others nationwide in the past year[ii]. The sale premium varies by market – 5.4 percent in New York, 4.4 percent in San Francisco and 3.6 percent in Los Angeles, for example.

Zillow is highlighting a green initiative that helps inform homeowners and buyers about their own solar potential by putting a Sun Number on more than 84 million homes nationwide. The Sun Number provides a sense of each home's solar-energy potential and the energy savings that comes with it.

Creating the Sun Number is more complicated than simply looking at how many sunny days a city sees each year. Sun Number, the company that produces its namesake metric that's displayed on Zillow, measures the roof of each home and calculates the pitch, orientation and size of each roof plane. It determines the amount of sun that hits every square meter of the home's roof -- taking into account factors like trees or taller buildings that might block sunlight. Finally, it adds in local factors like the cost of electricity and solar, and the local weather conditions, to compute a Sun Number somewhere between 0 and 100. The higher the score, the more suitable for solar that house is.

While certain markets' solar energy potential seems obvious -- good in Phoenix, not as good in Seattle -- the Sun Number shows far more nuance. Zillow analyzed more than 500 metro areas and, while the top 10 are largely communities in the Southwest, it doesn't take long to find potential surprises. San Jose (90) tied with Phoenix and Yumafor eighth. San Francisco checks in well ahead of sunny San Diego and Tampa at a more-than respectable 87, especially given its reputation for fog. Nationally, the median Sun Number is 78.

"Energy conservation isn't only good for the environment, it can also translate into big savings on electricity bills as well as help to reduce the strain on the electrical grid," said Zillow senior economist Sarah Mikhitarian. "The Sun Number provides a starting point for potential energy savings, but speaking with a local expert can help homeowners decide whether it pencils out. Homes with solar-energy systems often sell for more than comparable homes without solar power. This premium is largely reflective of the future energy cost savings associated with system."

Currently there are enough solar-electricity systems installed in the U.S. to power 12.3 million homes[iii]. And that number is likely to grow as California is requiring that all new homes have solar power starting next year[iv].

Regardless of whether your home is suitable for solar, there are, of course, ways to make it more energy-efficient. Upgrading windows and appliances can go a long way toward lowering electric bills and cutting carbon pollution, and there are often government incentives to help offset the costs of those projects.

[i] Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018 
[ii] Based on homes sold between March 1, 2018 and Feb. 28, 2019 that included any variants of the following key words in the listing description: solar panel, solar collector, solar cell, solar battery, solar energy, solar power, solar electricity, photovoltaic, PV panel, and PV system. 
[iii] https://www.seia.org/us-solar-market-insight 
[iv] https://www.ocregister.com/2018/12/05/california-officially-adopts-solar-requirement-for-new-homes-built-in-2020-or-later/

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Green Plumbing Tips from Rooter Hero

Leading California-based home service company Rooter Hero is giving area homeowners advice for how they can "go green" for Earth Day and every day.

Earth Day serves as a reminder for Californians and those across the country about the effect their actions have on our planet. As the discussion about humans' impact on the environment grows in volume, Rooter Hero founder and CEO John Akhoian wants to remind homeowners of the steps they can take to make their homes more environmentally friendly.

"We can have a real positive influence on slowing the degradation of the environment if we all just take some simple measures, like recycling and minimizing our waste," Akhoian said. "People are more conscious than ever of how their actions affect our planet, and Earth Day provides a good time to evaluate our lives and see where we can make changes."

Akhoian recommends homeowners consider the following to lower their environmental impact and improve their local community:

Don't flush prescription medications – Flushing medicine circulates those medications into the water supply, affecting the quality of a community's drinking water.

Be mindful of storm drains – Contrary to common misconception, storm drains do not flow into the sewer system. Motor oil, car cleaners and other chemicals dumped into storm drains eventually find their way to local streams and waterways.

Consider more efficient appliances – Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and what was an efficient dishwasher or washing machine 10 years ago might be considered a water and energy hog today. Upgrading to more efficient appliances can lower utility bills while also decreasing consumption.

Consider tankless water heaters – Traditional water heaters store dozens of gallons of water that they keep hot at all times. On the other hand, tankless water heaters heat water as it's used, cutting back on both energy and water use. The average life expectancy of a tankless water heater is 5-10 years longer than traditional storage water heaters, and they are about a quarter of the size of their conventional counterparts. That means they are made with fewer raw materials and last longer than tank water heaters.

"We all share this planet, and it's our responsibility to preserve it for our children and grandchildren," Akhoian said. "Doing something as basic as properly disposing of motor oil, for instance, can go a long way toward keeping harmful substances out of the water we use to drink and cook with. This Earth Day, I want to challenge homeowners across the state of California to consider ways they can lower their environmental impact."

Since 2011, Rooter Hero has been committed to providing the best in plumbing and drain services. With more than 90 years of plumbing heritage, the Rooter Hero team prides themselves on creating a memorable experience for each customer. The company provides solutions for both residential and commercial needs and offers 24/7 emergency service. Now operating in 12 convenient locations throughout California and Arizona, Rooter Hero is offering extended Service Hero options such as HVAC service and installation in select areas. For more information, please visit https://rooterhero.com/ 

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