Healthy oceans depend on a lot of factors – one of the most important being you and me. Our choices as consumers have a profound influence on the future of the marine environment, and believe it or not, can affect the smallest algae to the largest whale.
Unfortunately, the manufacturing consumer products typically comes with a big environmental price tag. A single t-shirt, for example, can use up to 700 gallons of water. Not to mention the host of chemical dyes and pesticides that are associated with a shirt’s manufacturing.
As an organization committed to minimizing our environmental impact, Pacific Whale Foundation has taken numerous steps to green its retail operations. One way that we are making a difference is by substituting traditional products, like 100% cotton t-shirts made in China, with items that are more environmentally friendly.
One of our top sellers is the women’s v-neck, sea turtle shirt. What makes this shirt stand out is that it is made from 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton. Bamboo is considered a rapidly renewable resource due to its short growing time. Bamboo also has no natural pests and can therefore be grown without the use of pesticides. Compared to traditional cotton, bamboo requires 1/3 less water. In addition, bamboo fibers contain a unique microbe called “bamboo kun”. The “bamboo kun” makes bamboo fibers naturally antibacterial, antifungal and odor resistant. Bamboo-based fabrics are lightweight, strong and soft to the touch, making them great additions to any wardrobe.
On the men’s side, we’re gearing up for the winter season with a new line of Eco-fleece sweatshirts. Eco-Fleece is a high-quality polyester fiber made from 100% certified recycled plastic PET bottles. Using recycled products instead of virgin materials prevents billions of plastic bottles from entering landfills. Reusing materials also reduces millions of barrels of oil and harmful emissions that would go into traditional production. Eco-fleece fibers are as strong as non-recycled fibers, but are made without depleting the Earth’s natural resources. Each Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Fleece sweatshirt is made with a single 20-oz water bottle that has been blended with cotton and polyester.
Our new child-proof line of dishware also makes use of recycled plastics. Created by Green Eats, a San Francisco-based company, this tabletop set is made from 100% recycled plastic. It is free of BPA, phthalates and melamine, meaning that your kids won’t be ingesting any harmful chemicals while eating off their plate. Compared to non-recycled plastic, every pound of recycled plastic used to make Green Eats dishes save enough energy to run a laptop computer for an entire month. Environmentally friendly, kid friendly, and pocketbook friendly.
While these products are all environmentally preferable, we realize that we still have a long way to go towards being completely sustainable. Nevertheless, we feel it is important to take the first steps towards inspiring “green” products and “green” consumers. To see our entire line of green products, visit the Pacific Whale Foundation Ocean Store.