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Backpacker Magazine – March 2008

Green Gear Report Card 2008

The first industry-wide survey about which gear manufacturers are positively impacting the environment

by: Berne Broudy

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Do you speak green?
Eco-jargon can confuse more than it clarifies. We decode six common terms describing green fabrics and certifications.


Bamboo
Grows like a weed and can be made into rayon. No third-party certification exists to ensure that farming it doesn't pollute or require deforestation.


Bluesign
This European standard certifies a material or process as eco-friendly, taking into account every factor in its creation, including air and water emissions, workers' health, and resource management. Patagonia, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and Schoeller all use some Bluesign processes.


Cocona
A product of discarded coconut shells that's converted into a wicking, anti-odor, UV-blocking agent and infused into cotton and synthetic fabrics. The jury is still out on performance.


ISO 14000
This three-part environmental management protocol evaluates and reports on a company's greenhouse emissions.


LEED
This stringent certification is awarded to companies that show leadership in energy and environmental design. LEED Gold-certified buildings have features such as passive ventilation and low-impact materials like recycled wood.


 

PET
This acronym is shorthand for polyethlyne terephthalate. It's a polyester whose properties allow it to be recycled; a popular version is made from used soda bottles.



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READERS COMMENTS

nathan
Nov 24, 2012

Going green is alive and well in today's ecological aware society. Having a laptop case that is well built to satisfy the needs of consumers is of great importance as well. As a photographer, I require a bag that I can hold my camera gear as well as my laptop. Going green with a laptop case may pose some challenges, avoid nylon and going with cotton or hemp material may be the start, if they are available. http://www.electronicluggage.com/

Jerry
Jul 15, 2008

Having tents and other gear made in China is not Green!

Dan
May 19, 2008

Osprey Packs can be found at this address: http://www.ospreypacks.com/

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