Sunday, July 20, 2014

USA Shoemaking

The Wall Street Journal had an article in their Marketplace section on Monday (July 14) about how shoemaking is getting a "foothold" in the US (get it?).  There might be a paywall and therefore a dead link, but the gist of it is that Merchant House International, who was part of the movement to offshore the US industry to Asian countries, is starting to shift some of its manufacturing back to the states.  Shoe manufacturing in the US accounts for about 2% of a 1.7 billion dollar market.  Why move back to the US?  A demoralized workforce ready to accept lower wages?  More right to work states ready to give manufacturers a huge break shouldered by American workers?  A little bit of this and many more reasons?  I'm skeptical that this shift benefits Americans even at the same time that I'm glad some shoe manufacturing is being re-developed - maybe Converse will come back and I can buy a new pair of Chucks and not feel like a traitor.

More than this, though, I feel like we should probably shift our focus towards technology manufacturing - don't get me wrong, Americans still need shoes, but we could be targeting manufacturing concerns that require skilled American workers who have a chance of elevating themselves to the middle class because the pay is better.

And, more than even this, I need more coffee.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Update on Venus swim bra

I just got a reply on an old post I did about the Venus swim bra

The commenter said the bras are actually made in Germany and India and they resell used items as new.  I plan on following up on this claim, but first I wanted to update on the bra itself.  

When I first tried it on, it seemed way too small for a DD size, but in the year or so since purchasing the bra I've lost some weight.  It now kind of fits ( I have the sizing problem where one breast is larger than the other) and I'm able to wear it without a cover-up.  Before, I would wear it for support but always underneath a swim shirt; now I can wear it by itself and not feel like I'm going to spill out all over the place.  

I still think Venus sizes them too small, though, and a DD is really D, if not a large C.  I will also update when I find out more about this claim that Venus does not actually manufacture their bras in the United States, slo stay tuned.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Give me the T-shirt!!!

So, this is the response from Sustainable UF:

Hi Michele,


Yes! We will still be doing the card punch program in the fall, so be sure to look for the sustainability hut around campus. We’ll also be rolling out some new programs and games as well, so make sure to ‘like’ Sustainable UF on Facebook if you haven’t already. We’ll be posting updates with locations, times and topics.


Thanks for your interest! We look forward to seeing you at the hut in the fall. J


Take care,





So, your gonna make me work for that t-shirt, huh, Allison?  Alright, I'll play your little Eco-hippie games.  This t-shirt better be amazing.

Save your undies

I forgot how many tons of used menstrual items get placed in our landfills per year but now we have panty liners to add to the mix!

This is what I call a panty liner.

Friday, May 30, 2014

I still want the T-shirt!!!

Letter I just emailed to

Are you doing this program again next year?  I only managed to get 3 of the 6 cards needed for the t-shirt!  I still want the t-shirt!  Thank you and have a good day.

 I am such a sucker for a free t-shirt!  Especially one from Sustainabilty@UF because they like to use American Apparel for some of their giveaways and I love me a soft, cotton, AA t-shirt.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Biodegradable Funereal Urn

A morbid idea for this Wednesday.  This biodegradable urn keeps the ashes separate from the seed (a pine tree, but any seed can be used) and the ash apparently helps encourage growth in the soil.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Nashville Bicycle

I am totally in line to win a frisbee from Nashville Bicycle, a bike rental in town, so cool!

Happy Earth Day!

I'm going to be blogging from the earth day festivities in Centennial Park in beautiful Nashville, TN!  Don't have enough phone juice to U-stream like I was hoping, but that's life.

Keep watching for updates!  I'll post on Facebook and the twitters.  Enjoy Earth Day however you plan to enjoy it!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Happy Gator Earth Day!

It's University of Florida Earth Day and, hey, here's University of Florida president, Bernie Machen, talking about sustainability (sorry he looks so small in the picture), and some other pictures of stuff I saw on the Plaza of Americas today on my way into work. Also, the Sustainability Hut was there but didn't have time to take their quiz to get a punchcard towards a t-shirt.

I even U-Streamed the event, in my effort to learn how to liveblog on U-stream, I updated Facebook with the update, but there were no viewers.  I have to start an aggressive campaign to get people to subscribe to the UF U-Stream channel (it doesn't exist, yet, but I'm going to start one).

As I was leaving, they were giving out an award to President Machen and his missus, as well as Sustainable UF coffee mugs stuffed with a rolled-up t-shirt to give to other helpers of the campus environment.  I want a coffee mug and a t-shirt, dammit!  I help the environment!  Whatever!

 The terrarium necklaces were the cutest!  They were little disposable plastic sauce containers strung through with colorful cotton string, containing a blog of wet soil that you could add small lichen and what-not to the thing.  One of the people who had organized the table had his terrarium necklace for over 3 weeks.  Pretty cool idea - it would be great for older kids, I think.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Earth Day 2014

Hello out there - i've been a bad blogger, and my apologies for not updating AE.  But, I have good news!  I'm going to be celebrating Earth Day 2014 with dear friends in, of all places, Nashville, TN.  The celebration takes place at Centennial Park, site of the Parthenon (which I've been to!), and I'm looking forward to seeing lots of hippies and eco-freaks.  I think I'm going to try live blogging the thing while I'm there - posting more often and uploading videos. Maybe I can connect with whatever social media stuff is happening there and help with on-the-ground reporting!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Maidenform has a lot of nerve

All manufacturers who claim to design their clothes stateside or, like in the case of Lacoste, in France, should be ashamed of themselves - while there is nothing wrong with coming up with inventive designs for clothing, there is everything wrong with not actually producing the items in the same country.

I had this revelation while looking through a new box of bras from Maidenform, a bitter sweet activity because, while I like their bras and underwear, I don't like the fact that they moved their manufacturing concerns overseas.  

That's why this photo is so enraging and ludicrous.  Incidentally, 1922 is the year my mother was born (RIP mom).

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Me Undies

Digg was giving out a coupon for 30% off Me Undies, a rather simple selection of men's and women's underwear and accessories.

I'm still on the lookout for US-made clothing items, especially underwear, and I've recounted my woes on this issue here and here (I'll update later with links, because mobile blogger is limited in things like hyper linking).

But Me Undies, at least the boy shorts I want to get, are made in Turkey. I'm still looking into this, so don't quote me.  When, oh when, will I find an online concern that sells American-made under garments?  

Incidentally, I just made another purchase from Maidenform and I've detailed my Eco-guilt on this company in the blog previously.  I just like their bras and underwear, even though it's made in China and they've closed up the factory in New Jersey.  One if these days I'm going to rant about the choices one has if they want to buy American-made undergarments.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tights from Walgreens made in USA

Just got a pair of tights on sale at Walgreens and was happily surprised that they are made here at home!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I really like what sustainable UF is doing right now with their new game strategy - if you play all six of the games you get a free t-shirt and I love free t-shirts! Today I guessed which packaged foods are better for you and I totally aced it!  Five more games to go!  Plus, I already got a spoon/fork to add to my collection!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Can converts

Have you all seen these?  They snap onto the top of a soda can so you can save the rest of the can and it won't go flat - I've been using them to save the rest of bags of dried beans.
This is actually something anyone can do with the top of a soda bottle - you learn so much on Facebook!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lipton and Rainforest Alliance

So I was looking at the back of this tea bag and noticed that Lipton (a Unilever company) is working with Rainforest Alliance and that 80% of the tea is be what?  It doesn't say!  I'm sure if I contacted the Lipton hotline the customer service rep from India would tell me in a patient-but-exasperated tone that it means that 80% of the tea is sustainably produced and fairly traded.

I'm a little dubious of Rainforest Alliance and thought, actually, that they were a radical environmentalist group.  Not that that matters, except in the crucial, street-cred, not-a-sellout type category.  And it seems that partnering with Unilever is either a really good move for the environment, or rainforest alliance is just as crooked as the next scammy, enviro-for-money escapade.  Will have to do more research.

Monday, January 06, 2014

This was invented for me

No rinse shampoo has ebtered my liife and changed it for the better - my friend and stylist, nancy, first turned me on to this stuff and I love the convenience and water-free nature of it.
It's used by NASA, people! Astronauts use this stuff - in SPACE!  Space, where travel makes water a precious commodity.  

I've ranted on this blog before about daily showers and how, unless you do manual labor or work in a coal mine, showering every day is a waste of water.  Believe you me, I love showers, baths, hot tubs and jacuzzis as much as the next person, but using water everyday to wash body parts that are mostly covered up in clothing is senseless to me.  That, of course, leaves open the question of cleaning certain body parts over others , but I'll leave that for a different discussion.