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The Lifecycle of Materials in Green Energy

Promoting Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility

As the world increasingly adopts green energy systems, it is important to understand the lifecycle of the materials used in these technologies. From solar panels to wind turbines and batteries, responsible management and recycling of these materials are crucial for reducing waste and promoting a sustainable energy future. This article explores the environmental impact of green energy materials, their recycling potential, and the challenges involved.

Lowering Carbon Emissions for a Greener World To combat climate change, a holistic approach is needed. By focusing on energy efficiency, transitioning to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, promoting electric vehicles, and implementing carbon pricing mechanisms, we can effectively lower carbon emissions. These collective efforts from individuals, businesses, and governments play a vital role in mitigating the greenhouse gas effect.

Environmental Impacts of Green Energy Materials While green energy technologies offer cleaner alternatives, their production and disposal have environmental implications. The extraction of materials like rare earth minerals and the manufacturing processes for solar panels and wind turbines can contribute to land degradation, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Addressing these concerns is essential for a truly sustainable energy transition.

Recycling and Reuse: Closing the Loop Fortunately, many green energy materials can be recycled and repurposed, reducing the need for virgin resources and minimizing waste. Solar panels, lithium batteries, and carbon fiber from wind turbines can undergo recycling processes to recover valuable components. These recycled materials can be utilized in the production of new products, reducing the environmental impact associated with their manufacturing.

Overcoming Challenges and Promoting Responsible Management Recycling carbon fiber, in particular, poses unique challenges due to its complex nature. However, innovative recycling technologies are being developed to maximize its recovery and reuse. Proper disposal methods and waste management practices are vital to prevent soil and water contamination while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. Government support and industry collaboration are crucial in driving sustainable solutions and advancing closed-loop systems.

Understanding the lifecycle of materials used in green energy systems is essential for building a sustainable future. By adopting energy-efficient practices, transitioning to renewable sources, and implementing responsible waste management, we can minimize the environmental impact of green energy technologies. Through recycling and repurposing, we can reduce waste, conserve resources, and contribute to a more sustainable and greener world. Let’s embrace these practices to ensure a cleaner and brighter future for generations to come.

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Struggles of being Eco friendly, cool or not cool?

Deciding to be eco friendly takes work. These last few months, I’ve made a conscious effort to be as eco friendly as possible. Also working diligently to enlighten close friends on the practice. My circle of friends consists of a small group. From outdoor manly men to “GQ” creative “manscaped” men. Finding a gentle, non-intrusive way of communicating my eco message takes some finesse and massaging. Finding the right balance to intrigue my friends vs. turning them off from the message is the key to success. Some early feedback from my group of friends especially the guys have been, “so you’re going to be one of those guys?”. Of course, this is done in a more jovial tone. We’ve always given each other a hard time when someone from our group has a new hobby or tries to adopt a new trend. All part of our social behavior as “tough” guys.

 A few things I’m experimenting with currently, are buying simple but effective items that almost everyone can use daily. Two examples of this are reusable tumblers (pic) and reusable straws (pic). I’ve realized over the last few months my exposure to plastic straws and plastic bottles are the two largest non eco friendly things in my routine. If you live an active lifestyle, like me there’s a good chance you have similar habits. I’d buy a 12 pack of water bottles to take to the beach or out on the boat for the day. As you can imagine this can result in quite a bit of personal waste daily. Also, I found out that dining out regularly plastic straws are freely given out with little thought on their  eco impact. Overcoming these bad habits can be challenging and educating friend and family may not appear cool and may be even more difficult. But If they see you’re making the effort, it might influence them to be more aware of their habits. It’s these little changes that ultimately will create the wave of change needed for future generations.

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5 Eco resolutions to make an impact in 2019

As we enter a new year, many will partake in renewing New Year resolutions. For most, these resolutions might be to lose weight, stop smoking, consume less alcohol or spend more time with family. In 2019, mine will be focused on making changes to my personal use of single use paper and plastic.

Over the last few months, I’ve become more enlightened to the increasing stress that single use products put on our ecosystem. With companies like 4Ocean and Parley working hard to remove ocean plastic, I felt compelled as an individual to assist in reducing my use of these items. One person making simple changes may not seem like much, but if we can multiply this by 10, 100 or 1000 people by sharing this practice, we can make a significant impact for our future.

Below are 5 practices, I believe to be simple but extremely impactful in reducing ocean plastic. 

1.       Stop using paper towels and use cotton hand towels around the home. Not only do these single use paper towels create unnecessary waste by using them, but through their life cycle create a single use waste trail. They’re packaged in single use plastic and ship in single use corrugated boxes to a distributor or retailer.

2.       Use Tupperware or Pyrex for food storage and transport verses plastic storage bags. Finding a way to eliminate single use plastic storage bag consumption with multiuse storage containers may be one of the most important eco friendly practices on the list.

3.       If dining out, ask for no straw or stir to be used in your drink order. Ask for a metal spoon or stir if you intend to mix in any artificial sweetener. If you think about the number of straws distributed in this manner, the numbers are dizzying. In almost every drink sold you receive at least one straw. If you get a refill there could be two or more in one sitting. All which end up in the trash. If you’re like many and absolutely need to use a straw, there are quite a few companies now offering eco friendly multiuse straw options. One in particular is Current Straw, they make a stainless steel reusable straw which can easily be transported in the supplied bamboo sleeve.

4.       One common practice is the consumption of single serve bottled water. Almost every city in the US offers safe drinking water. Still many consumers opt to purchase single serving “Spring” water from their local grocery store. While researching data on plastic water bottles I stumbled upon an Interesting article written for Business Insider in 2011 on the bottled water industry. While we understand this is a personal preference, most likely due to the taste of their city water source. We suggest a slightly more eco friendly option of buying water in bulk containers. This along with the use of a multiuse stainless steel water bottle (pictured below) reduces single serving plastic consumption significantly. This is a welcome new trend emerging in the last 12 months. 

5.       Lastly, and it’s a big one. Use multiuse shopping bags made from burlap or other ecofriendly material for groceries or trips to dept. stores. For this step, you’ll want to make sure you keep one or two of these bags close by, in the car glove box or back seat pocket works best.

In summary, some of these simple changes may seem challenging to remember every time. as we’re presented with single serve plastic and paper quite often in our daily lives. But if we can share and encourage these simple ecofriendly habits, we can make great progress towards reducing the problems future generations face with plastic pollution.

This blog only covers 5 simple eco-friendly changes and we love feedback, so if you have more ideas you’d like to bring to light and contribute, please feel  free to comment below. 

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Adidas Parley running the show in 2019!

Adidas Ultraboost Laceless Parley

Many Adidas fans are probably aware by now Adidas has announced they’ll be moving completely away from virgin plastic by 2024. While many eco warriors might question why it would take till 2024, most don’t realize the scope of work required to make such a transition. There’s a balance that needs to be maintained while executing such a large-scale transition. With their recent partnership with Parley and introduction of several popular Adidas brands (Ultra Boost, Deerupt, Terrex, Adizero, Alpha Bounce, and most recent NMD-R1) it’s apparent they’re moving swiftly in the transition. They’ve even begun converting apparel to the recycled ocean plastic by Parley, more on this in future blogs.

As a conscious consumer, I’ve begun the transition to more ecofriendly brands and products and in my last blog covered the Costa “Untangled” sunglass series, Compelled by the quality of the sunglasses, I decided to look a comparable brand of shoes. My second most important fashion item next to sunglasses.  Most people who know me well, can confirm both sunglass and kicks (shoes in general) have been my kryptonite. I buy way more than I need and outpace my girlfriend by 8 pairs to 1 over the last 22 years. When I became aware of the Adidas Parley partnership and saw the first few series of shoes using the recycled ocean plastic, I loved the concept but not the initial product offerings. It wasn’t until recently that I found a few pair that I really liked the shape of and color options. The two pair I’ll be reviewing today, Ultra Boost Laceless and NMD-R1

are both made with Parley material and are constructed of woven Primeknit. Nike first introduced me to the knit sock design (Flyknit) and I really loved my first pair made with this flexible shoe material.

Now when I saw there was an Adidas/Parley Primeknit (lace less) shoe that caught my attention I had to purchase a few pair to try out.

I purchased these primarily for cardio on a treadmill and lifting and was more than exited to give them a go and see how they performed. My initial impression upon unboxing both pairs I could tell quickly I preferred the design and construction of the Ultra Boost over the NMD-R1. The Ultraboost Primeknit weave had a much firmer construction vs. the NMD-R1 as well the sole of the NMD-R1 vs. Ultraboost just doesn’t look to be as well made and may not wear well over time.

I really wanted to love both pairs but after trying both on and evaluating comfort and quality I decided to return the NMD-R1 and purchase another pair of the Ultraboost.
I have to say the Ultraboost Laceless are a well-designed pair of running shoes, cardio sessions I see no arch fatigue or shin pain. I’ve been wearing them for a few weeks now and even during intense leg training sessions they offer a solid stable base for squatting. I’m extremely optimistic about the future if more legacy brands like Adidas adopt the use of recycled materials. From my experience in just the two brands I’ve explored, both offer fashionable, top quality products in the eco friendly sector. The more popular this category becomes we’ll see larger brands take notice of this emerging eco friendly trend. Hopefully, we’ll see more tier 1 brands partnering with Parley in 2019 across more categories?

You can to lean more on Adidas commitment to sustainability in the link below:

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Costa’s “Untangled” series are they worth the price?


Costa Pescador sunglasses with side skirt and box, part of the "Untangled" eco-friendly series
Costa Pescador sunglasses with side skirt and box

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys spending time outdoors and can appreciate a quality pair of sunglasses, these might just be for you. Costa Del Mar recently partnered with Bureo and launched their “Untangled” series of optics.  Introduced in summer 2018 the “Untangled” series is Costa’s first step in exploring eco friendly materials. I’d like to commend Costa on being one of the first major sunglass brands to explore more eco friendly materials. The eco friendly concept of re-purposing used or discarded commercial fishing nets is a great idea. This series features 4 different styles of optics, Pescador (one reviewed), Victoria, Baffin, and Caldera. To learn more about Costa’s “Untangle-our-ocean” initiative you visit can the link below to lean more:

First I’d like to say no compensation has been paid by Costa for this blog review. I’m a sunglass junkie and the “Untangled” eco friendly message is one that spoke to me. I’ve had several pairs of Costa sunglasses over the years and enjoy their quality, mostly used for light fishing and boating their polarized lenses are top quality. Being a sunglass “connoisseur” I bought my first pair of Oakley Blades back in middle school and would estimate I’ve owned more than 50 different pair of glasses over the last 20 years. 

Mostly active lifestyle brands such as Oakley, Dragon Alliance, Spy, Revo, & Costa Del Mar, to fashion brands like GucciPrada, Ray Ban, and Chrome Hearths. I’ve always appreciated a nice pair of shades and have noticed the quality in craftmanship decline with some brands these last few years. I’m a big fan of Spy Optics and love their Happy Lenses which haven’t been as resilient to scratches as the 580’s. But still I enjoy the crisp clear view from behind their Happy Lenses.

To be fair, I wanted to wait a few months so I would have a chance to see how the Costa’s performed when I boated, fished and bicycled with them. I do quite a bit of leisure boating but wanted to put them to the test while being more active. While they weren’t the most affordable pair of Costa glasses I’ve purchased the messaging on the “Untangled” series is on I wanted to support.

  1. My initial impression upon unboxing, the appearance of the Pescador look similar to a 90’s style Ray Ban but with the recycled material and a detailed routed rim. They’re lightweight yet feel fairly solid. One concern I had upon checking the fit was the lack of rigidity in the ear arms, this may be due to the use of recycled materials vs. virgin plastic. This may be an issue with wear over time and might need to be addressed by Costa. Maybe inserting an aluminum core to reinforce and allow forming if needed. As you can see I have a large cranium and need a solid ear arm to wrap and add grip for my noggin. To resolve this issue I purchased a pair of Cablez for $14.99 to make sure they didn’t slip off my face while bending over attempting to land that 16lb snapper.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In Costa defense they did attempt to combat this potential issue by inserting a form of rubber composite in the tail end of the ear arms and nose area.
  2. 580 Lenses, can’t say enough about these lenses. Crystal clear polarized lenses that so far haven’t had any issues with scratching. I’m a sunglasses junkie and notoriously drop and scratch glasses after only a few weeks. I’m guessing the Cablez lanyard will keep these scratch free for longer than my typical pair.
  3. Blackout side skirts, I know these are an additional option but if there’s one area that needs to be improved it would be here. As I grow older I look for glasses that give greater coverage and this pair looked promising. I’ve been wearing Spy Optics for years and absolutely loved their Touring model (whitewall color) because of the coverage. The Costa side skirts are made from some type of material that feels like a dense crape fabric with a wire frame. After only a few weeks of wearing them in humid Florida weather and a few fishing days they’re already showing signs of separating at the seams, and exposing the wire. If these were made of a textured hard recycled plastic it would definitely improve the lifespan. One thing to note as well these side skirts don’t come as a standard with the glasses and boast a pretty hefty upgrade cost of $50.

Summary – I really appreciate Costa’s progressive thinking by partnering with Bureo with this eco friendly net recycling concept. Be on the lookout for more progressive moves across different industries. One thing I think would be good for Costa to implement with this initiative is actual data on fisheries net waste and how often fisheries replace nets. It would also be great info if Costa were to track how many pounds of netting equal X amount of “Untangled” sunglasses. Also, what portion if any of the sale they contribute to technology to improve this this type of waste recycling? There are new materials available today that weren’t available in the past which are more eco friendly, could these materials be options vs. current netting material? The Costa “Untangled” collection definitely comes with a premium price tag (like many eco friendly products), there should be some opportunity to invest some of the resources into developing netting with some of the new more eco friendly materials