Today is Earth Day—and it’s no joke. Proposed by peace activists and sanctioned at the United Nations in 1970, it was the idea that spawned the modern-day environmentalism movement as we know it. Now purportedly the largest secular holiday in the world, Earth Day gives hundreds of millions of people around the globe a good reason to take a moment and assess how they interact with their surroundings.
In honor of this momentous occasion, we pulled five eco-friendly items that will help you do your part year-round—and juxtaposed them with photos taken over the weekend in and around Olympic National Forest, one of North America’s largest temperate rain forests and just a stone’s throw from our hometown of Seattle.
Keep reading to learn about recycled-bottle board shorts, headphones that actually improve hearing, and more.
1. Keep It All Good in the Hood. Humanitarian principles are woven through every aspect of husband-and-wife-founded Threads 4 Thought. Ethical manufacturing, low water consumption, organic cotton and recycled polyester all play important roles—and a portion of every sale is donated to notable charities like the International Rescue Committee and the Natural Resource Defense Council.
[Shop: Threads 4 Thought Hoodie | All Threads 4 Thought]
2. Turn Bottles into Board Shorts. Twin brothers Alex and Michael Faherty quit their day jobs to form Faherty—clothes focused on unwavering craftsmanship and premium materials that are ethically sourced and environmentally sound. Their soft and lightweight swimsuit fabric, for example, is made using melted-down plastic bottles. Look for their mobile beach house—a traveling store comprised of recycled barn wood, solar panels and a sunroof—touring a town near you this summer.
[Shop: Faherty ‘Classic’ Board Shorts | All Faherty]
3. Leave a Smaller Footprint. The next best thing to being barefoot, Nike ‘Free’ technology is based on eight years of research into the biomechanics of shoeless running, yielding a flexible and near-weightless sole. ‘Flyknit,’ the brand’s snug, sock-like upper, is not only comfortable—its precise construction technique eliminates the need for excess material, resulting in little to no waste during production. (For more eco-friendly footwear, check out TOMS and Civic Duty.)
[Shop: Nike ‘Free Flyknit 3.0′ Running Shoe | All Nike]
4. Go Green (and Blue). For every item purchased, Philadelphia-based United By Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways. And while a lot of bandwagon brands pay lip service these days by tossing a few bucks at the environment here and there, these guys really get their hands dirty (and wet). UBB organizes, coordinates, and participates in community clean-ups all over the country—more than 100 so far, in 21 states. So buy a bag, and sign up to help here.
[Shop: United By Blue Duffel Bag | All United By Blue]
5. Reclaim Wood, Restore Hearing. Remnants of cherry, zebra, ebony and beech wood reclaimed from furniture and flooring manufacturers give LSTN headphones a rich, natural sound—something more people than ever can enjoy, thanks to the brand’s noble mission. To date, LSTN has restored hearing to more than 15,000 people in the USA, Peru, Uganda and Kenya, through its partnership with Starkey Hearing Foundation.
[Shop: LSTN Headphones]
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We’re proud to say we do our best to keep things green here at Nordstrom, too.
This past year:
• By recycling, we kept about 4,000 tons of waste out of landfills each month.
• Our customers helped us save more than 4,620 miles of paper, just by asking for an e-receipt.
• By making our trucks more efficient, we eliminated 7.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide.
• Our restaurants and coffee shops composted about 500-600 tons of organics every month.