Posts Tagged With: sustainable

Bamboo Sushi

Do you like sushi? When you go out to a sushi restaurant, do you ever consider where the fish came from, how it was caught, and what chain of events led it to your plate? If you’re the average consumer, probably not, but Bamboo Sushi CEO & Founder Kristofor Lofgren is aiming to change that!

Lofgren was planning a career in environmental law when he happened upon a failing sushi business. Seeing it as an opportunity for reinvention, he bought out the partners and created Bamboo Sushi, a restaurant modeled on sustainability. Unlike many restaurants that have hopped on the green train only to add an inconclusive pledge at the bottom of the menu, Bamboo Sushi has been designed completely around a web of eco-friendliness. This doesn’t come too soon- in 2010, the United Nations calculated that approximately 85% of the world’s fisheries were either overfished or at their limits. In addition, current commercial fishing methods create enormous wastes of life- for every 1 lb of fish that’s kept, 5 lbs are thrown back, including dead dolphins, whales, birds, sharks and sea turtles. Then, 20-45% of the seafood that makes it to gigantic storage facilities becomes inedible because of improper storage and transportation. Such enormous carelessness comes at huge costs- current rates of overfishing, combined with climate change, pollution and habitat destruction will make our oceans entirely devoid of fish by 2048.

Lofgren is fighting overfishing by changing the consumer’s expectations of fish- he wants eaters to know that sustainably caught, healthy fish feels better and tastes better. All of the fish served at Bamboo Sushi come from plentiful populations and are caught selectively, avoiding ecosystem harm. Bamboo Sushi follows the recommendations of institutions such as the Marine Stewardship Council and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which advise fish consumption decisions based on each species’ capacity. Lofgren also extends his sustainable intentions to other aspects of the dining experience, including using local, grass-fed, free-range, antibiotic-free meats; 100% renewable energy; reusable teak chopsticks; double-flush toilets; biodegradable to-go containers; composting and more. Further, he uses a portion of the restaurant’s proceeds to support protected marine areas where fishing isn’t allowed, such as the 405,000 acre Berry Islands Marine Reserve in the Bahamas.

As for any nay-sayers who doubt Bamboo Sushi’s implements are cost-effective, the restaurant is doing quite well! They’ve expanded with a 2nd location and were voted one of the country’s best 10 sushi restaurants by Bon Appetit Magazine. Perhaps that proves Lofgren’s point: eating with a conscience is better!

For more information on sushi’s effects on the planet, watch The Story of Sushi (below):

Also, check out Seafood Watch Recommendations for your region of the country!

Categories: Bamboo Sushi, Oregon | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Rayne Oakes

Summer Rayne Oakes is an environmental scientist-turned-model who has cleverly merged the two fields in an attempt to make the fashion industry more sustainable. As a graduate of Cornell University, Udall and PERC Scholar and National Wildlife Federation Fellow, Summer’s passion has always been the environment. After working in aquatic systems, mine reclamation, and waste management, however, she realized it would be hard to achieve the broader level policy changes she was hoping for. She had an epiphany that she could use her natural modeling attributes to bring sustainability to a trade that otherwise was very powerful and very wasteful: fashion.

Summer moved to New York City and branded herself as an “eco-model”. She only takes jobs that have a green counterpart and often consults on set on ways the product can be more sustainable. She has become a type of “go-to person” on greening the fashion business and has published a sustainable fashion book called “Style, Naturally”. She also founded a sustainability innovation firm (SRO, LLC) to advise clients outside of her modeling projects and she created a sustainable sourcing website (Source4Style) to give designers easier access to “greener” materials. Summer’s strategy is to increase awareness in people that normally wouldn’t think of the environment and show them the benefits of changing their practices.

Summer believes that her generation (I guess that means mine too?) is going to solve our disastrous environmental problems, especially by challenging traditional practices like fashion to be more mindful of its effect on the world. She wants everyone to see that environmental catastrophes are not far-off and must be dealt with in our lifetimes (she has even created a short film called “eXtinction” that demonstrates all of the devastation experienced in one woman’s lifetime from birth to death). What I like most about Summer is that she demonstrates that we can all be models of sustainability, wherever our workplace, whatever we do. We can all be voices of change. Thank you Summer!

Categories: New York, Summer Rayne Oakes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Earthtec

Earthtec is an outdoor clothing company based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Their mission is to “combat wastefulness with resourcefulness ” by using recycled plastic bottle material in their fabrics. Annually, 150 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills. These bottles take 450 years to decompose. Meanwhile, more petroleum is extracted in order to make polyester products, eventually contributing to even larger landfills. Both polyester and plastic, however, commonly contain the same material (PET). So, Earthtec’s CEO Dennis Randall decided to use discarded plastic bottles to make “recycled” polyester, thus bypassing the need for newly created PET.

About 12 plastic bottles on average go into each garment. The plastic is cleaned, shredded, melted and made into polyester yarn. In return, approximately a gallon of gasoline is saved for each pound of yard. Earthtec also makes other clothing materials sustainable. They use organic cotton, which avoids the large amount of agricultural chemicals, heavy water usage, and ecological harm that are involved in traditional cotton production. They also use organic wool, which protects sheep from synthetic hormones, synthetic pesticides and genetically modified food as well as promotes ecological harmony and general livestock health. Because of their recycled, sustainable clothing along with their shortened chain of production (development, knitting, dyeing, and finishing are all done by Earthtec, lessening their carbon footprint), Earthtec calls their apparel “clothing with a conscience”.

Earthtec, a self-proclaimed earth-loving company, has also tried to further demonstrate its commitment to sustainability by using green building techniques in the design of its store and setting up recycling bins in its local community. I really like that Earthtec is tackling the problem of our growing, seemingly indefinite mounds of waste. While we need to reduce our impact overall, companies like Earthtec are finding innovative solutions to deal with our remaining trash. Now, if only we could find a use for all those plastic bags laying in landfills…

Categories: Earthtec, New Hampshire | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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