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Widely Available Low-VOC Paints

by nicholas •

At Metaefficient, we try to only feature products that are toxin-free. Take interior paint, for example — how can a paint be considered “efficient” if it leaks toxic substances into your home for months or even years? According to the EPA, VOC-laden paint is a primary contributor to unhealthy indoor air, and it can significant impact your health. As anyone …

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Nike’s “Trash Talk” Shoe Made With Manufacturing Waste

by Justin Thomas •

Steve Nash is the All-Star guard for the Phoenix Suns has forged a partnership with Nike to create the Nike Trash Talk, a basketball shoe made from manufacturing waste. The “waste” comes Nike’s own production facilities—scraps that would otherwise have been discarded. The Trash Talk is modeled after Steve Nash’s current shoe, the Nike Zoom BB II Low, and meets …

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Optimal: Making Manufacturing Processes Transparent: Patagonia

by Justin Thomas •

Patagonia is really a leader in effective, green manufacturing. Now the company is making its manufacturing processes as transparent as possible. Patagonia has created a web site called the Footprint Chronicles, where you can track the eco “footprint” of several pieces of Patagonian clothing. Also listed in the amount of waste and CO2 generated as the garments are produced — …

San Francisco To Ban Styrofoam

by Justin Thomas •

The city of San Francisco is planning on banning the use of Styrofoam, or more technically, polystyrene containers. The ban would take effect on June 1st, and would require city restaurants and government agencies to stop using polystyrene containers. See the details of the proposed law here. The new law was created because the manufacturing of the material involves polluting …

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“Indestructible” MP3 Player: Monolith Premium MX7000

by Justin Thomas •

Yes — manufacturers — make more devices like this one. The Monolith MP3 player is fused into a solid 1.5mm aluminium casing — not stuck together with glue or screws. It’s a unique manufacturing process pioneered by the manufacturer, Estar Laboratories. Testers have run the player over with a car, shot the player with a BB gun, thrown the player …

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Pachira Hemp Hiking Boot

by Justin Thomas •

This boot’s upper and laces are made of a blend of 50% hemp and 50% cotton for durability. The soles contain 40% recycled hospital gloves (or car tires in the black soled version) and the tongue padding and insole are recovered foam from upholstery manufacturing. The removable insole padding and tongue are 100% recycled foam (from seat cushion manufacturing).

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New Nike “Considered” Models

by Justin Thomas •

Nike has released four new “Considered” sneakers. This is good news, because the first round of sneakers were fairly unattractive. Nike produces these shoes using sustainable manufacturing practices (more details here). However, Nike has a history of maintaining questionable working conditions in its oversesas factories. More information on this issue can be found on the Responsible Shopper website. You can …

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Rubberwood: Renewable Timber

by Justin Thomas •

Rubberwood (also called Parawood in Thailand) is considered a renewable timber because it is only milled from rubber trees that have ceased to produce latex. After about 26-30 years, the latex yields from the tree become extremely low and the planters then fell the rubber trees and plant new ones. So, unlike other woods that are cut down for the …

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Nike Releases “Considered” Footwear Line

by Justin Thomas •

Nike has released a new line of footwear called “Considered”, which they claim is produced using sustainable manufacturing practices, quite different from the way most athletic shoes are currently made, and quite efficient if their claims are true. Some examples: 80% less solvents and glues used; simpler designs involving fewer production steps including less stitching; materials are sourced closer to …

Book Review: Natural Capitalism

by Justin Thomas •

Natural Capitalism is a book which dicusses similar ideas to those we present here at MetaEfficient. Written by Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, the book starts off by explaining the authors’ theory of “natural capitalism”, but then it really picks up and provides a fascinating and well-referenced examination of the vast inefficiences of …