Whatever It Is – We Are Against It…

September 29, 2009

Are there environmental Republicans?  Are there Republicans who are naturalists, conservationists, protectionists?  It seemed when I was growing up, that there were many who were about conserving resources, protecting national parks, not allowing business total control.  Perhaps they were –  the now extinct – Liberal Republican we read about in history books.  It seems these days, any discussion about environmental concerns, whether it be climate change, CO2 overload, pollution, off shore drilling, and any regulation forcing a company to clean up its act – is seen as Liberal, Democrat, and Environmentalist.  Where is the Republican that stands for these things? Is it just not allowed in the party?  Or is the peer pressure so intense that those individuals are fearful of non-exceptance?

I think the bigger question is – where is the Moderate Independent?  Where is the 35% of our country, and why is it so silent?  I have many Republican friends, and I purposefully stay away from hot button issues, simply because there is no discussion, the belief system is in place, and there is no room for sway.  My Democrat friends are equally locked in their belief systems.  Both are guilty of my new favorite line – “Whatever it is – we are against it”….  That doesn’t work very well when you have serious global concerns to contend with.


Plastic Recycling: The Ultimate Myth

September 18, 2009

We at Planet Protect – the Organic Sportswear Company – have been very busy as of late educating our customers about the myths of plastic recycling.  Here in the Northwest, we are avid if not dogmatic recyclers of materials.  However, the pervasive myth about curbside plastic recycling continues.  First off, as we have mentioned many times before, there is NO such thing as plastic recycling.  No milk jug has ever been made into a new milk jug, or water bottle or peanut butter jar.  Certain plastics are downgraded for yarns, car lot bumpers, park benches and other simple uses.  Billions of tons of plastic go into our landfills each year.  Some are now trying to make fuel from this waste – also not a great idea due to the toxicity and CO2 emissions.

The plastics industry has been insidiously cleaver in creating the myth of plastic recycling – putting little symbols on the bottom of their products with the little pointed arrows – which mean nothing.  All while lining the pockets of DC legislators willing to prevent any plastic manufacturer from having to use recycled products.  The “virgin” plastic industry spends millions to prevent this from ever happening.  Additionally, the EPA is heavily influenced by the American Plastics Council and American Chemistry.

The only real answer is to minimize the use of plastic, which is becoming more and more impossible.  Going into a grocery store is toxic experience of epic proportions.  Almost every item is in plastic these days.  You can’t even find paper bags to put your apples in any longer…

In the coming years, the toxicity of plastic will become more known and understood by consumers, and the plastic industry, will be forced to stop putting chemicals into everyday use items that leach into our food and water.  No tests are done by FDA either in case you are curious.

I recently found a great web site that sums up this recycling myth well: http://www.ecologycenter.org/ptf/misconceptions.html

Changing Minds: one t-shirt at a time

September 16, 2009

Planet Protect Sportswear recently participated in the Muddy Boot Organic Festival.  We had a phenomenal time selling clothes, talking about our oceans and environment, and raising some money for our charitable partners.  One thing about working the “green” shows, is that you typically talk to people who are in agreement with you, have similar opinions and want you to succeed. 

sea life 5I’ve done my fair share of shows where patrons scrutinize your mission, your intentions and deny that environmental issues exist.  Selling to these customers is satisfying in that you hopefully moved an opinion.  Which is becoming more and more challenging in our entrenched mindset society.  Both liberals and conservatives seem hell-bent on not excepting each others opinions and ideas.  So where is the moderate with the ability to compromise and negotiate.  Are we now a two-party, two ideal country?  Certainly hope not.

For Planet Protect, we have found a simple formula to help change minds – fashion.  Our designs seem to bring in, all groups of people, they are attracted to the colors, the simple application of graphic design and text, and are willing to listen.  And even more willing to buy.  I had one guy a couple of years ago – enter my booth at a Boat Show, he was wearing camouflage, had a beer ball cap on, and his first words were – “you some kind of tree hugger or something.”  My response was – “no, more like a dolphin hugger.”   Which made him laugh, and he immediately noted that so was his youngest daughter.  I told him about our mission and he ended up buying two shirts.  I never forgot that lesson, be funny, be accommodating, and mention our friend in need – the dolphin…

Cruise Ships: Banned in Hawaii

September 5, 2009

Here at Planet Protect – The Organic Sportswear Co., there isn’t much we like about Cruise Ships, they pollute, dump millions of gallons of raw sewage into the oceans daily, and are basically unregulated floating cities that promote extravagance and excess.  One place they should be completely banned is around the Hawaiian islands.  There is no reason to have them anywhere near the islands.  The State of Hawaii has is constantly battling these carriers. Do they really add that much to the economy?  At what point do we say environment is more important than tourist dollars?

Legislation should be drafted banning any ship that carries over 100 people from entering the Hawaiian eco-system and waterways – up to 100 miles.  And ships that enter the 3 mile boundary had better follow the rules or be summarily banned from re-entering with stiff fines for carriers.

Each ship is capable of producing as much diesel exhaust as 10,000 cars and trucks per day, are constantly dumping illegally – garbage, oily bilge waste water, and sewage, yet operate around the world in all ports of call with little regard to the surrounding oceans they pollute.  Once these floating and bloating ships hit the open sea, there isn’t much the international community can do to regulate them, and the cruise ship industry knows it.  We say don’t cruise, don’t spend your money supporting these massive producers of waste – it just isn’t worth it – and really… do you need to have a midnight buffet in your life?

Health Care:The Hardest Solution

September 4, 2009

Planet Protect Sportswear Blog: September 4Action 2

The health care debate is raging.  Its political, contested, manipulated, overly emotional and far from being resolved.  The left is demanding change, the right is fighting the left.  We at Planet Protect – the Organic Sportswear Company – are firmly on the side of health.  Healthy lifestyles, clean air, pure water, foods that don’t make you obese, companies that care and a public that gives a damn about such things.

You cannot have health care without an environment that supports health. Cancer rates are too high.  Why?  Almost everything we consume has some form of chemical that has either not been tested, or we are waiting to see if it harms us in the long run.  And if it does harm us, are we truly sure that particular chemical is to blame.  Its a clever shell game of introduce now, and hope it doesn’t hurt later.  Most all of us will be affected eventually – hope you have health insurance when it strikes.

We cannot have health if we fill our air with car exhaust, mill exhaust, processing plant emissions, and allow people to ingest smoking products (known to cause severe damage to human health).  Our Corporate Democracy is too focused on job retention and less on human protection.

As Washington wrestles with health care reform, eventually we will have to focus on health reform – from what we eat, to what we breath and everthing in between.  That’s a battle, I’m ready to be on the front lines for…