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This week our company founder Vincent Cobb sat down with FearLess Revolution founder Alex Bogusky to discuss society’s addiction to disposable items, the Reusables Revolution and our company’s unorthodox mission to inspire our customers to buy fewer things over all.
In 2010, the same year Alex was named “Creative Director of the Decade” by Adweek magazine, he decided to pursue his life-long interest in social responsibility, leaving his job at Crispin Porter + Bogusky to create The FearLess Revolution. Together with his wife Ana, Rob Schuham, and a ‘band of insurgents,” he’s leading a “new consumer revolution” focused on safer products, better design, and innovation.
Among the many projects under the FearLess Revolution umbrella, they produce a weekly live webcast out of Boulder, Colorado. Past guests include co-founder of Threadless Jake Nickell, Patagonia CEO Casey Sheahan and industrial ecologist and GoodGuide founder Dara O'Rourke.
In this week’s segment, Vince and Alex touched on a subject we’ve been reporting on for years – the plague of cheap reusables. Seemingly an inexpensive solution to the abundance of disposable items in our culture, these poorly made products are more likely to sit in your closet or cupboard unused or fall apart with only a handful of uses than they are to really replace use-and-toss items. Whether you call them cheap reusables or expensive disposables these products, including 99 cent shopping bags and giveaway plastic water bottles, are not a viable solution to the disposables problem.
Our solution, of course, is to invest in a handful of high-quality reusables from a company you trust – and to actually use them. To encourage this, as discussed on FearLess Revolution, we carefully choose products that are sustainably made, built to last and great looking to boot.
If you missed the live broadcast you can catch the video here.
This Thursday, March 31st, our company founder Vincent Cobb will be a guest on Alex Bogusky's FearLess Revolution. Past guests have included the co-founder of Threadless, the people behind the Bag It documentary, and Patagonia CEO Casey Sheahan.
Tune in Thursday 12pm MT (2pm ET) to see what Vince has to say about the Reusables Revolution, the problem with society's addiction to disposables, cheap reusables and more. You can even participate in a live chat or tweet your questions to @FearLessForce during the broadcast.
We look forward to your questions and comments!
On a recent two-day trip, one of our staffers used the 11" x 10" mesh drawstring bags in lieu of large zip-top plastic bags to pack toiletries, kids toys and other items that might otherwise roll around inside luggage. The small stuff sack made an ideal holder for hair accessories.
Because the bags are mesh, she just strung them up in the shower which allowed any wet items inside (shampoo bottles, razors, toothbrushes, etc) to drip dry. For even smaller items she wanted to keep dry or separate from the rest, she used reusable snack bags.
For more waste-free travel ideas, check out our Gift for the Traveler!
Congratulations, you switched from disposable to reusable bags, reusing and upcycling the few you still end up with. Doesn't it feel nice to not have plastic bag monsters jumping out at you from underneath the sink? But wait - now you're being attacked by reusble bag piles from inside the closet!
Hopefully by now we've convinced you to say no to those cheap reusables every grocery store is pushing for 99 cents and to instead use a handful of high-quality reusable bags to do your shopping. But even the most careful shopper probably has a few bags that never seem to leave the house or car. What can you do to keep those from ending up in your recycling bin? Donate them!
Bags for the People accepts reusable bags (and other fabric), and repurposes or redisctributes them to those in need - because greener living shouldn't come with a price tag. Bags for the People also offers sewing workshops for kids and seniors, offering creative solutions to waste and economic disadvantage. Check out their site for more info on how to donate.
For more clever ways to put your extra bags to use, check out this post from TreeHugger.
Still buying bottled water? Check out how your brand stacks up. According to a study by the Environmental Working Group, there are some questions you should ask before shelling out up to 1,900 times more for bottled water than tap water.
According to their study, among the ten top-selling brands, nine (Aquafina, Dasani, Crystal Geyser and 6 of 7 Nestle brands) don't answer at least one of those questions.
Why are these companies so hush-hush about something as simple as water?
"Bottled water companies enjoying this massive commercial success may suspect that their customers would turn away if they knew that most of them draw their product from municipal tap water (BMC 2010, Food and Water Watch 2010), or that the plastics used to make the bottles can be laced with chemical additives that leach into the water (EWG 2008)." - EWG Bottled Water Score Card
With Canada's Bottled Water Free Day just around the corner (March 10th) this is a great time to take the pledge to say NO to bottled water. Filter your own tap water at home, or use a filtering bottle - you'll save money and resources in the process.
This week we were happy to donate a few boxes of reusable lunch items and eco-friendly cleaning products to Pick Up America, a a non-profit and eco-adventure of young people walking across the country, picking up trash, and educating communities about zero waste.
They're always looking for donations to sustain their efforts, volunteers and people to spread the word about what they do so check out their site to see how you can help!
Looking for an eco-friendly Valentine's Day gift that will give your loved ones warm and fuzzies over and over again? 4alloutdoors found something in our store that does the trick!
Climate of Change is a rich and inspiring documentary that takes us around the world to find the ordinary people taking action in the fight to save our environment. With beautiful narration written by British poet Simon Armitage and mellifluously voiced by Tilda Swinton (Chronicles of Narnia, I AM LOVE), the film seamlessly explores how teenagers in India, villagers in Papua New Guinea and Africa, self-described “hillbillies” in Appalachia and a PR expert in London are harnessing their global thinking to act locally within their respective communities.
In what Variety calls “half eco-docu, half art…social-action cinema with a twist,” director Brian Hill and his cinematographers create a real sense of ambiance in each of the countries and communities they visit. Conversations with West Virginians are punctuated by footage of mountaintops surrounding their homes being dynamited; Papua New Guineans talk among the giant trees being decimated by commercial logging and a visit to the Global Seed Vault built in the Norwegian permafrost in Svalbard, Norway is nothing short of ethereal.
Watch the film instantly on Netflix or pick it up online. Leave us a comment about the trailer below and one of you will win your own copy care of New Video Group. (Be sure to enter your email address so we can contact you if you win!) We'll choose a winner next week - Feb. 10th.