PlanetShoes is based in Massachusetts, and here’s a little news tidbit that makes me proud of our home state: State’s first hydrogen refueling facility powers up
PowerTap in Billerica is Massachusetts’ first hydrogen refueling station. Currently, there are about 60 hydrogen refueling stations in the country, and California has the most. As of April, there were 24 hydrogen stations in California and over 200 hydrogen-powered vehicles.
For up-to-date news on hydrogen vehicles, check out The Hydrogen Cars Now Blog!
Some of my favorite articles and blog posts in the eco-world this week:
Making new crayons out of old ones — Incredibly cool! Danny Seo has a great way to reuse old broken crayons. A great craft project or a gift for children.
Maternity clothes that are friendly AND economical! — Eco-friendly maternity clothes are still rare, but this blog post gives ideas on how to use your existing wardrobe throughout your pregnancy.
The Hayle Estuary Ecolodge — A place you can feel good vacationing at! The Hayle Estuary Ecolodge will include a restaurant, cafe, and a visitors center for bird watchers and eco-tourists! Check the link out for pix and more info.
The Greenest Laptops of 2008 — ENN has a list of 4 green laptops, with laptops from HP, Levono, Toshiba, and Apple. Looking to buy a new laptop? Now you can buy a “GREEN” one!
Mattress Recycling — A well-researched article on the state of mattress recycling. We have a long way to go. Mattresses can take up a lot of space in a landfill!
Agave as Biofuel? — Researchers are investigating producing ethanol out of agave. (Agave is what tequila is made from!)
How was PlanetShoes created?
www.PlanetShoes.com was created in 1999 by the same family who took over the Earth Shoes brand a few years earlier. The idea was to create a retail e-commerce site that focused on earth friendly products, primarily shoes. This may seem like a popular concept today but was ground breaking back in 1999.
What is the motto for PlanetShoes?
We don’t have an official motto but this would pretty well sum it up. “We promote an earth friendly lifestyle that benefits the environment and the people who live in it. We believe that being earth friendly means taking care of the environment, promoting health and wellness and being socially responsible.” It is a wide definition meant to be more than a goal or task but rather a way of thinking and living.
Tell the readers about the lovely eco shoe selection (brands) and a little bit about them?
We are proud of our eco brands and divide them into 3 categories.
We are proud of our eco brands and divide them into 3 categories.
These brands use a majority of recycled product and/or organic materials. They also could be recyclable or biodegradable. These companies also incorporate eco friendly practices within their corporate cultures
These brands directly support disadvantages people in giving back to humanity. That might include providing a large number of free shoes to people in need or provide employment where no employment would have been possible.
Health and Wellness:
These brands promote physical well being through improved posture, cardio improvement or by other means
What is the most popular selling eco shoe for both men and women?
Our most popular Eco/Health and Wellness brand is Earth Shoes which features Negative Heel Technology for proper posture and calorie burn. The video on the brand page explains the technology. The most popular shoes style in that brand is the lazer. It has the added feature of being ultra light weight and an excellent walking or travel shoe. The Lazer is for women and the Lazer K for men.
How/Why is sustainability important to PlanetShoes?
Sustainability is important to Planet Shoes for ever more obvious reasons. The natural resources of the planet are finite. If we are to support an enlarging world population then we need to take much better care of our home (planet earth) as well as taking better care of it’s inhabitants (all life including humans). There is no fast easy road to sustainability. It revolves around changing lifestyles one person at a time, each day at a time, every opportunity at a time.
What eco accomplishment is PlanetShoes most proud of?
Our eco accomplishments are many. Perhaps most importantly is as a resource to help people live better, more healthy lives while respecting the environment. Without more companies like Planet Shoes, there is no path to that goal. We also recently started our own blog at blog.planetshoes.com as a resource for eco-information.
PlanetShoes gives back 1% For The Planet what is the motivator for that? How does that affect your company?
We give to and promote organizations that believe as we do and help support people in a eco-logical lifestyle. We are in the process of creating a strong partnership with an organization called the CarbonFund.org. This organization helps offset the human/machine effects (carbon footprint) of transporting people and merchandise. Associations like these help us live what we say. Our customer want more than just words. They want deeds from a creditable company that go beyond marketing speak and into real action and real commitment. They want to know that by using Planet Shoes as a resource they are contributing to a goal and a lifestyle that is important to all of us.
Your a family owned business, how does that apply to green living and does it make for a stronger business ethic?
Being a private, family owned company allows us to do the right thing instead of the most profitable thing. We answer only to ourselves, our own conscience, belief, ethics and those of our customers. Being family owned allows us to pursue a cause as well as a business.
Not only is bamboo awesome for that adorable panda, but it’s great for humans, too! Here’s why:
– Bamboo shoots are YUMMY! You can find them in all sorts of Asian cuisine. Bamboo leaves are also used in zongzi, which you might be familiar with from your favorite dim sum restaurant!
– Bamboo is a low calorie source of potassium, and it’s also used to treat infections in Chinese medicine.
– Bamboo works GREAT for wood flooring! It looks great, it’s often cheaper than other hardwood floor options, AND it’s sustainable.
– According to a Treehugger article, bamboo can also be used to make bikes, paper, musical instruments, and toys.
– You can make clothes and shoes with bamboo. Some of our brands here at PlanetShoes use bamboo, such as Earth, El Naturalista, and more.
– ONE bamboo shoot can be used to make a Didgeridoo!
– In Chinese culture, bamboo is a sign of longevity due to its long life. In Indian culture, bamboo symbolizes friendship.
– Smock, a print shop in Syracuse, NY, created sustainable bamboo paper. Their bamboo paper is fertilizer and pesticide-free, and made in a socially-responsible way in Thailand.
– Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant ON THE PLANET!!!! It can grow as fast as 47 inches 24-hour period in a day! Wow!! Because it grows so fast, that’s what makes it more sustainable than things like tree products. Bamboo can restore itself for use in only 5 years. It also uses much less energy to harvest and produce than most wood.
Some of the most interesting articles and blog posts in the world o’ green this week:
Penguins wash up on tropical beaches — Penguins have been washing up on the beaches of Brazil. Many of the penguins are babies, possibly on the search for food as a result of over-fishing.
Brazil opens the first 100% organic clothing store — Sao Paulo, Brazil now has its own 100% organic clothes shop. The store is called Eden and all of their products are made with organic cotton and dyed with natural pigments. Eden opened last month.
California adopts a green building code — The building code calls for a 20% improvement in water use efficiency in residential AND commercial plumbing fixtures. It also targets a 50% increase in conservation for landscaping water use. All new constructions are to reduce energy use by 15%.
Reality TV show about organic farming to air — Actress Elizabeth Hurley is going to star in a reality TV show about her organic farm in the U.K. Hurley will be launching her own line of organic meat, called Hurley Meat.
Our love affair with bottled water — EarthEasy.com has an interesting article about how our culture became so bottled water obsessed. Did you know that tap water regularly beats out bottled water in blind taste tests? Hand me the reusable water bottle and show me to a faucet!
Pond scum as fuel?? — Can we use algae as fuel? Check out this fascinating article on CNN to learn more about it.
The World Shoe Association show was held in Las Vegas the last week of July. This is always an exciting time to reconnect with great brands and resources. It is also the first strong read for the Spring 2009 season. The two main trends for next spring are a continuation of “gothic” styles and the emergence of “tribal” fashion. Earth tones and ornamentation will be the strongest influences in spring styles.
PlanetShoes.com will be fashioning these trends into an exciting product offering focusing on earth friendly products, recycled materials and socially responsible brands. We look forward to offering unique brands and products throughout this fall and into next spring.
Barry Bresnick, Executive Vice President