OSOM: The World’s First Upcycled Socks

FeaturedOSOM: The World’s First Upcycled Socks

Did you know that the United States generates up to 21 billion pounds of textile waste that ends up in landfills every year? OSOM brand socks are aiming to reduce the amount of textile waste that goes to landfills by creating a premium sustainable, zero waste, zero water, upcycled pair of socks out of upcycled denim and other articles of clothing. OSOM socks are made from reprocessed denim and old clothes that would otherwise go to our landfills and remove the need for new fibers and materials to be made into socks.

Upcycling is a great process that both diverts waste from landfills and generates raw materials that replaces the virgin materials that would require more natural resources. The idea of Upcycling comes from the concept that items that would otherwise be viewed as waste can become a technical nutrient in a closed loop system where it circulates in a cycle of production, recovery and remanufactured.

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There is neither a toxic process nor toxic waste produced as a result of making the OSOM brand socks, and it is ethically produced in Guatemala. This product is one of the most sustainable options in socks available. OSOM socks rock and you can get your pair now by pledging $10 or more on their Kickstarter.

By Efrain Esparza, ESG Writer

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Recycled 3D Printing Filament from Everyday Plastic Waste

447030Additive manufacturing (AM) company, ALT LLC, has recently announced an Indiegogo Campaign in late December of this year to raise funds in order to produce high performance Recycled 3D Printing Filament made from everyday plastic waste. The company based out of Santa Barbara, CA operates a 3D Printing Service, providing design, fabrication and consultation services. ALT realized that, although AM offers many environmental benefits over standard manufacturing, they were still introducing virgin plastic into the waste stream in Santa Barbara. 

The company set out to create a new way to doing business by offering recycled and recyclable products to the 3D printing community. Their goal is to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills, waterways and ultimately, the ocean, by sourcing the plastic waste used to make their filament from local California waste collection facilities. ALT hopes their initiative will inspire other local engineering firms to adopt green practices.

ALT’s recycled 3D printing filament is produced in-house and made from a class of polymers called Polyolefins. This includes common plastics such as Polypropylene (PP), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) used to make plastic bags, milk jugs, bottle caps, and other short-lived products that are discarded within a year of manufacture. Polyolefins have excellent properties for use in many applications, which makes them the perfect material for 3D printing. High and low-density polyethylene are desirable due to their flexibility, toughness, ability to withstand high temperatures, and their resistance to impact, moisture and chemicals. Polypropylene is similar, but has a higher thermal resistance enabling it to withstand the heat of an autoclave. Together, polyolefins account for nearly half of the plastic being used on the planet today. While several companies use plastic water bottles to make PET 3D printing filament, ALT wants to tackle the plastic that makes up the largest amount waste and that rarely gets recycled. Supporting this campaign will help ALT produce their high-performance recycled 3D printing filaments and bring them to the market at an affordable price, which may help reduce waste and make an impact on the environment.

By Efrain Esparza, ESG Writer

LEDs Pave Way For Green, Energy Efficient Lighting For All

Lighting is an important component of the built environment at work and at home. Recent scholarly research into the health effects of ergonomic design have established a definitive link between improved lighting design and a 27 percent reduction in the incidence of headaches, which accounts for 0.7 percent of the overall cost of employee health insurance. This equals approximately $70 per employee annually, according to a study conducted by Heschong Mahone Group, Inc. The U.S. Green Building Council reports that lighting a home accounts for roughly five percent of its total energy usage—for the average U.S. family, that equates to around $110 each year.

While indoor lighting is one of the areas that may improve by incorporating best sustainable design practices into new building design through the use of openings, windows, and reflective surfaces; changing indoor lightbulbs is a quick and easy way to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at work and at home.

On January 1, 2014, in keeping with a law passed by Congress in 2007, the old familiar tungsten-filament 40 and 60-watt incandescent lightbulbs were no longer manufactured in the U.S. The reasoning for that was because those bulbs did not meet federal energy efficiency standards. The phase out of the traditional incandescent lightbulbs across the U.S. was great news for energy efficiency and the environment. National Geographic states that Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs or CFLs, and Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs, not only offer more efficiency but also more durability. The standard LED tends to last about five times more than CFLs and almost 60 times more than incandescent lightbulbs, according to Design Recycle, Inc.

The newest and latest technology in LEDs has presented consumers with the ability to not only program, but also adjust the individual hue, intensity, and even color some of the light bulbs emit. Most of these programmable LEDs can be linked together and are usually controlled by a mobile device. The LIfx™ LED programmable lightbulbs allow individuals to choose between millions of colors or 1,000 shades of white.

By Efrain Esparza, ESG Editor

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Meet Jerry, the DIT Internet Server

Recycling efforts have skyrocketed and new strategies on what can be recycled and how to best recycle those items have emerged. The conventional idea of recycling is to throw a plastic bottle or an aluminum can into a blue bin that gets hauled away once a week. As the recycling practice grows, we are finding more materials we can recycle by means of more advanced technology

Although efforts have increased, one of the considerably most harmful groups of materials is still not being treated as a priority. Electronics are not often recycled, and these are one of the most detrimental pieces to our environment. When computers are made, pieces and parts that contain plastic and heavy metals that contain toxins are used.

When these pieces and parts are thrown into the trash instead of being recycled, those toxins leak into the ground, which causes a myriad of problems. Toxins contaminate groundwater, which can cause heath issues.

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Jerry Do-It-Together (DIT) is a project that was started in Paris to try and avoid the repercussions of throwing electronics away instead of recycling them. A collaboration stemming from Hedera Technology and ENSCI, Jerry DIT strives to promote making internet servers out of easy-to-find parts as well as previously- used parts. The basic Jerry design can accomplish simple tasks like sending an SMS message, storing data and browsing. Options are also available to add a WI-FI component and a hard drive.

The Jerry DIT website includes manuals on how to make Jerry and a how-to video showing the process. Current hotspots include the United States, France and Africa. To find out more on how you can build your own Jerry, visit the website here.

By Kimberly Dallmann, ESG Writer

Watly Will Be Next?

Watly Will Be Next?

It is reported that in sub-Saharan Africa, roughly 39 percent of the population does not have access to clean water. Moreover, almost 600 million people live without electricity. Can you imagine life without clean water or electricity?

Watly, a Spanish-Italian start-up company, created what is called, “The Watly Machine.” This device can treat water, generate energy and provide internet access. The first prototype of The Watly was tested in Ghana, and the next set of machines will be distributed all over Africa, beginning with Nigeria and Sudan.

The Watly has three major service components: electricity, water treatment and Wi-Fi. Solar panels are what make these processes possible, converting solar energy into electricity. The water treatment component is a two-step process. First, water is passed through a graphene-based filter. According to scientists, graphene is hydrophobic. This means it repels water, but when it is perforated with small holes, it allows water to pass through, filtering contaminants. After it flows through graphene filters, the water is boiled and distilled. As for Wi-Fi, the solar-generated energy allows for anyone to have access within an 800-meter radius. The Watly also includes a charging station.

With rural, sub-Saharan Africa as the pilot region, some believe The Watly might have the ability to affect other countries.

By Kimberly Dallmann, ESG Writer

Energy Bill Rocks NRDC

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) are coming together to work out issues regarding a broad energy efficiency bill put out by the U.S. Senate, according to NRDC blogger, Kit Kennedy. This energy bill seeks to save money and decrease energy waste. While it could be beneficial, the NRDC thinks it could further damage the environment.

Since 1970, the NRDC has been committed to ensuring that all people have equal rights to water, air, and the wild. For now, the NRDC does not oppose the bill but cannot fully support it until improvements are made. The NRDC and NAM will work together to eliminate the anti-environmental practices illustrated in the bill.

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Marc Boom, NRDC blogger, notes that one part of the bill continues research that requires a harmful technique in order to extract methane hydrates. Another part completely dismisses a study that compiles data to determine carbon emissions from forest biomass.

With plans to expand clean energy and increase funding for renewable energy, this is the first energy bill passed in nearly a decade. The NRDC and NAM will strategize and come to an agreement on how energy can be saved without further damaging the environment.

By Kimberly Dallmann, ESG Writer