Monday, March 10

Week 8 Recap

We were visited by Emily, who was a former employee of American Apparel working as their Environmental Programs Representative. While there, she dealt with such issues as waste diversion, energy, and transportation. It was an informal conversation with her, and she answered as many questions as could from Ecocouncil. 

She talked a lot about the process of how shirts are made. From cotton plant, to yarn spinning, and fabric cutting and dyeing. American Apparel doesn't grow cotton plants, Emily did talk about the extra parts of the plant being pressed to make cotton seed oil for food. Because a lot of cotton is laden with pesticides, she recommended against eating anything with cotton seed oil. The dye process of making shirts the most energy intensive and expensive process of shirt making because of the heat involved. 

Emily did have a few recommendations for us to consider. Anyone interested in textile should read the Global Organic Textile Standard, it is fast becoming regular reading in the industry. Regenerative Materials are becoming a bigger and bigger issue in the industry, and will only become bigger. This means reusing industrial waste [ie the trimmings from cutting shirts] as well as the more common practicer people have taken by re-designing commercial waste [ie turning a coke bottle into a planter]. Two companies told us about two companies that are doing two interesting things in green, Sustainable Solutions Incorporated and Rana Creek. Finally, she recommended a few magazines we might be interested in, Permaculture Magazine and Ecologist.

Two updates from student projects that are well worth noting. Narbeh looked at computer usage at Art Center, and found that we are not doing the bare minimum to conserve energy. The computers have slow start up times and settings on the computers are not geared towards efficiency [ie screen savers and sleep modes]. He talked to a few companies, explaining our situation, and the quickest solution they recommended is simply putting computers to sleep when not in use. This is something we could implement at pretty much zero cost. Narbeh is going to continue researching into this and keep us posted.

John talked to the AV Department, and it will be quite easy to have an outdoor screening, all we need is to have an instructor check out the equipment. To add to this, William found out a screening of King Corn would cost us $295 [we'd get to keep the DVD afterwards though].

Thanks to Emily for coming by, and for everyone else for finding out the information.  Final note, I have Emily's talk in .mov format, and would like to shrink it down [and edit] before posting online. Can anyone help me with this?

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