Archive for August, 2012

What Arsenal’s New Football Kit has in Common with an Eco Chair

August 24th, 2012

What Arsenal’s New Football Kit has in Common with an Eco Chair               

You won’t often read about football on this blog, but Arsenal’s new kit deserves a mention. Not for its eye catching design and garish colours but because it’s made from recycled materials and is their ‘most environmentally friendly to date’. The next time you see Arsenal’s players run onto the pitch each player will be wearing a kit made from 13 recycled plastic bottles – which we think deserves an extra round of applause. 

Arsenal has pots of cash to spend on the best, highest quality clothing materials around. So their decision to use eco textiles for their new football kit, which will be seen by millions of viewers around the world, reflects how far eco design has come. Rather than coarse and scratchy, Arsenal has chosen a material for their kit that’s just as breathable, comfortable to wear and durable as any artificial material – except it’s much kinder to our planet to produce.

Arsenal isn’t the only major brand to use eco textiles made from recycled materials. Safeways in the US is reported to be selling eco chairs made from recycled plastic bottles too (hence the title of this post). Recycled plastic is just one material that can be used to make eco chairs. So if Arsenal’s kit designers are reading this, here are some other materials that can be used to make eco chairs (and maybe even football kits): 

Eco leather – Stain and fire resistant, eco leather is made from recycled leather fibre and offcuts that would normally go from the tannery straight to landfill. As well as hard wearing, you can spill coffee, wine or fizzy drinks on it and then simply wipe it clean – making it the perfect material for a luxurious eco chair

Eco textiles – Eco chairs, cushions and curtains can be made from a wide variety of sustainably harvested textiles, such as wool, organic cotton and hemp. These materials can also be treated with vegetable inks which are less toxic and emit lower VOCs (volatile organic compound).

Wood – Sustainably harvested hardwood is one of the most common materials for eco chairs. When shopping around make sure to check for the FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) stamp of approval. The FSC label gives you the reassurance knowing that any trees chopped down to make eco chair will be replaced with new trees.

Plastic – Along with plastic bags and plastic bottles, lightweight yet durable eco chairs can be made from recycled polypropylene, which is the most environmentally friendly form of recycled plastic

How to Decorate Your Eco Table for an Eco Summer Party

August 13th, 2012

Looking out of the window right now, it’s difficult to believe that summer will ever arrive. But with a few months left, it’s worth getting preparations in order if you want to have a planet friendly eco birthday party. After all, if the worst comes to the worst, you can still have it indoors by covering your eco tables with a tablecloth made from eco textiles, like hemp, organic cotton or linen.

 If you’ve ever held a children’s birthday party before you’ll know how they can create masses of waste to be slung in plastic bags and dumped in our overflowing landfill sites. Even worse the party bags, balloons and toys are often made from plastic, which doesn’t degrade and will pollute our soils forever.

 So if you’d like to have an environmentally friendly party this summer, here are some ideas for how you can do it without sacrificing your eco consciousness:

Eco party ware – Paper plates and plastic cups might be quick to clean up but they’re not very kind to the planet. So consider getting some organic tableware made from sustainably harvested bamboo, palm leaf, sugarcane or natural wheat fibre. Along with being longer lasting and luxurious, these materials are biodegradable. So should you ever need to throw them away they won’t cause long-term damage to the planet.

Organic cutlery – Plastic knives and forks don’t have many positives: they’re difficult to eat with and aren’t biodegradable. They might save washing up time, but a more eco conscious option would be to set your eco table with eco friendly birch cutlery. You might need to spend an extra five minutes washing up, but they can be reused afterwards and are biodegradable, should you ever need to throw them away. 

Eco placemats – On your eco table, instead of plastic placemats, why not use placemats made from recycled materials like vinyl or palm leaf? You could also provide your guests with some spongy cork coasters to complete your eco table’s environmentally friendly credentials.

Eco party bags – Made from plastic and packed with plastic toys, traditional party bags must give environmentalists nightmares. Thankfully, there are greener materials that can be used for party bags, like luxurious cotton or paper. Instead of cheap plastic toys, which get thrown away after barely being played with, why not pack your bags with balsa wood toy planes, mini plywood jigsaws and other gifts made from sustainable harvested wood and painted with non-toxic natural dyes. 

Latex balloons – No party is complete without balloons. Thankfully you can still ensure your party goes off with a ‘bang’ by decorating the space around your eco table with brightly coloured balloons made from latex and tied with ribbons coloured with natural dyes.