Chicago (AFP) March 10, 2011
Nestled among the sleek coffee makers and colorful new blenders at a major housewares US trade show were a handful of products which aimed to prove that buying something new can actually make less waste.
There were the reusable water bottles and to-go coffee cups. Trendy portable bamboo cutlery and washable cloth sandwich bags. Concentrated cleaning supplies in a handy, reusable container ready to be filled with tap water.
Even a miniature, manual laundry machine.
But perhaps the biggest display of eco-friendly credentials was from Sodastream, an Israeli company that makes stylish countertop carbonation machines.
The sprawling stand included a cage filled with over 10,000 empty bottles and cans -- about what the average US family goes through in five years -- surrounded by screens showing the environmental damage they cause.
There are floating garbage islands in the world's oceans caused by some of the 340 billion bottles and cans which get dumped instead of recycled every year.
There are birds caught in oil slicks because of all the oil needed to make plastic bottles and transport them to and from the stores.
And there are the stinking smokestacks used to power the production of all those aluminum cans.
"Sodastream eliminates the bottles and cans from your life," said Kristin Harp, marketing manager for Sodastream's US operations. "This is really reducing the waste you would generate."
It contains a refillable carbonator that can make up to 130 liters (quarts) of soda by pumping carbon dioxide into a reusable plastic bottle filled with tap water.
The company -- which traces its roots back 1903 when it began making seltzer bottles for the summer houses of the English aristocracy -- also sells a line of over 100 different flavor syrups to turn the sparkling water into soda.
While such products can have an impact on the environment by changing consumer behavior, a significant number of companies are also working to reduce their carbon footprints -- and often their costs -- by incorporating more sustainable manufacturing practices.
That often involves incorporating recycled materials, cutting water and energy use at their plants, and reducing packaging and the amount of shipping needed.
There are toothbrushes made with recycled yogurt containers and sold in postage-paid envelopes so they can be sent back to be recycled. Squished sponges which expand with water. Cleaning cloths made from wood fiber.
Handi-Foil commands about 70 percent of the US market for aluminum cooking pans and recently switched almost its entire line of consumer products over to 100 percent recycled aluminum.
Since then, they've seen a six percent increase in sales even though the price had to be increased modestly, said Jim Oesterrvicher, senior vice-president of sales.
"The process will hopefully get better as people start recycling more," he said. "There isn't enough material."
One plastics recycler was on hand at the show's "Going Green" booth to talk to companies about how to incorporate recycled materials in their products and develop sustainability plans.
"A lot of times companies get overwhelmed," said Jeffrey Rosenholtz, director of sustainability at Florida's Nextlife.
"So we help business find low-hanging fruit."
One of the key consulting functions Nextlife offers is lifecycle analysis, a scientifically verifiable way to trace environmental impacts.
That will soon be critical for companies hoping to market themselves as eco-friendly, said Vicki Matranga, of the International Housewares Association.
"Greenwashing is such an issue these days that the federal government is about to get involved with federal trade commission rules on what can be said or how it can be said," she told AFP.
"In advance of that, companies are preparing their statements and trying to do their homework to make sure that what they say is verifiable."
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
Australian firm to open Malaysian rare earths plant
Sydney (AFP) March 10, 2011
An Australian mining company said Thursday it plans to finish building a huge rare earths processing plant in Malaysia late this year, in a possible challenge to China's stranglehold on the metals. The Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Kuantan is scheduled to begin producing rare earths, which are indispensable in making many high-tech products, in the third quarter of 2011, a Lynas s ... read more
How buying new translates into less waste|
Australian firm to open Malaysian rare earths plant
Made-for-Internet movie debuts on YouTube
Mideast unrest pushing up gem prices, say traders
InterSKY 4M Provides BLOS Comms For C4I Military Systems
LockMart Wins Role On Navy C4ISR Services Contract
ONR Moves A Modular Space Communications Asset Into Unmanned Aircraft For Marines
Northrop Grumman Next-Gen FBCB2 System Approved For Fielding
Indian Space Agency To Now Launch Three Satellites In April
New Dawn Arrives At Spaceport
ISRO Likley To Launch Resourcesat-2 In April
United Launch Alliance Launches Second OTV Mission
Complementary Technology Could Provide Solution To Our GPS Vulnerability
Coalition To Save Our GPS Launched
Garmin Announces The G1000H For Helicopters
New Marine And Coastal Geospatial Data Available
Budget airlines open up Asia's skies to the masses
Private jet makers eye China's billionaires
Cathay Pacific orders 27 Airbus and Boeing planes
EU sets CO2 limit for airlines
NIST Electromechanical Circuit Sets Record Beating Microscopic Drum
New Generation Of Optical Integrated Devices For Future Quantum Computers
JQI Physicists Demonstrate Coveted Spin-Orbit Coupling In Atomic Gases
New MIT Developments In Quantum Computing
OSI Geospatial to supply New Zealand navy
NASA And Other Satellites Keeping Busy With This Week's Severe Weather
Can Bhuvan Give Google Earth A Run For Its Money
NASA Warns Ice Melt Speeding Up
China cleaning up 'jeans capital'
Environmental Impact Of Animal Waste
Protecting Ecosystems, Pollution Remediation Goals Of Research
Battle on paradise Philippine island
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|