Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Contribute TODAY to POW to get a solar powered Luci Light for your adventures

Days are getting shorter, and temperatures will soon be getting cooler. It’s adventure season and whether it’s backpacking, peak-bagging or sitting around the campfire with your crew, POW wants to power your adventures with solar.

For a limited time only, become a POW member with a $20 or more contribution, and they’ll send you a packable solar-powered Luci Lantern to light your way this fall.

Luci Lights offer an easy way to light up the night on your adventures with up to twelve hours of battery life. We have limited quantities so don’t miss out on your opportunity to support POW and solar power your adventures this fall.

Please click here to contribute $20 or more and get yours today.

Remember, your contribution and membership directly helps in funding POW's advocacy work. As a member, you’ll receive the tools, education and opportunities needed to take action and become a part of this movement with us, as well as invites to VIP events and athlete meet-ups, discounts on POW gear, and more.

Thank you for your generous support.

Save the Sea with FOREO

FOREO is dedicated to creating solutions that keep consumers looking and feeling good. This year, the brand is extending that commitment to the world around us, by giving back to a cause that’s vital to everyone's well-being - the ocean. As part of the campaign, FOREOwill donate all net proceeds from the LUNA™ mini Special Edition sales to the FOREO Board of Ocean Conservation charity partners comprised of GreenWave and SEA LIFE Trust.  Donations will further raise the awareness and funds these organizations need to help protect and preserve our oceans.

The LUNA™ mini Special Edition provides the following unique and eco-friendly benefits:
·         LUNA™ mini Special edition is made of medical-grade silicone that is sustainable and has a low environmental impact
·         LUNA™ mini never requires replacement brush heads resulting in an absolute minimal output of landfills
·         Its energy-efficient integrated Li-ion battery lasts up to 300 uses per charge, lasting up to 6 months before needing to recharge
·         The device’s product packaging is made from 100% recyclable materials
·         Users of our LUNA™ skincare devices can actually save up to 40% water usage during cleansing treatments as the brush only needs a small amount of water and cleansing product during application

The LUNA™ mini “Save the Sea” Special Edition is available for $139 at participating retailers including Ask Derm, Barneys New York (in-store only), B-Glowing, Dermaglobe, Dermstore, Joyus, Sephora and foreo.com from June-September 2015.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Straight Outta Compton: The 686 Compton Snow Club is making a difference

By Snowboard Magazine

Compton doesn’t have the best reputation. For many of the kids that live there, it’s all they know and all they ever will know. Broken homes, drugs, violence, bad influences. The guys at 686 decided to make a difference in their neighborhood, partnering with the Boys & Girls Club to create the Compton Snow Club, which provides an outlet for at-risk youth to get outside and get an opportunity to experience something they otherwise wouldn’t be able to: snowboarding. With a portion of proceeds going directly to the area’s Boys & Girls Club, 686 is helping expose these kids to positive things in their lives. Read the accounts from 686 Team Rider Forest Bailey and Team Manager Patrick McCarthy about their experience with the Compton Snow Club — Jens Heig, Online Editor

“Last winter I headed down to California to hang out with 686 and Matix and be a part of the Compton Snow Club. It was one of the best days of my winter. It was so cool to take a bunch of fresh minds up to the mountain and get them stoked on snowboarding; something that’s brought me joy almost my entire life. There are a ton of bright young minds involved in the program, smart kids, some of which took right to boarding, and some that are more interested in creating, or photography. To see them all get stoked on snowboarding was fun, and realistically it’s just fun for them to get out of the city and into the mountains for one day. Some had never had that opportunity before, that’s a reality check. We are so lucky to be able to experience what we do as snowboarders. In my mind, it’s all about hoping the kids get inspired and learn that anything is possible and that there are a million different ways to live your life. I can’t wait for the next time i get to go down and hang with those kids again. I also hope to be able to continue spreading the idea of snowboarding to fresh minds in other areas through and extended version of the Compton Snow Club.”

“The Compton Snow Club was born to answer a simple question, ‘How can we give back to our local Compton neighborhood and expose the youth to the things that seemingly saved our lives – snowboarding, skateboarding and art?’
It started with a simple trip to the local Boys & Girls Club with Forest Bailey and myself. We took the kids skateboarding, did some artwork with them, showed them a few snowboard video parts and explained what we are all about. Their reactions to our interaction were inspiring. Seeing the kids lighting up with excitement during the day gave us a new vitality. I remember personally leaving from the first day with the kids thinking that was the most rewarding thing that I had done that year. At the end of that first session, I picked out my favorite kid and handed him my skateboard. It was a liberating feeling and I think everyone at 686 wanted to figure out more ways to give back.
Putting is simply, these kids are not from a good place – the streets of Compton are not a joke. Gang activity, social pressures and the absence of a lot of the standards many of us grew up with or have become accustomed to putting these youth at risk from day 1. Even though they live in this big beautiful city of L.A., most of these kids barely know life outside of a few local blocks that are filled with social traps carrying lifelong consequences. If we can expose them to things outside of their everyday life on the streets, and dreams of being a big shot rapper or basketball player (which in many cases eventually leaves them empty and still exposed to local social pressures at a young age) like snow and nature, we can possibly open their eyes to a world outside their ‘hood. Together we can help them think bigger and find their “way out.”
Take some time to give back if you can — that is what Compton Snow Club is all about. We have coach’s jackets, hoodies, shirts and hats available in our site and everything made from the sales of the product goes directly to help the boys and girls clubs of Compton, California. By working with the club weekly and taking them snowboarding when possible, I hope we can help at least one kid better themselves and those around them. If even just that happens, snowboarding has saved another life. For that, I am grateful.”

Monday, August 3, 2015

Americans from Coast to Coast Cheer Major Climate Action Announced Today by President Obama and the EPA

Story by Sierra Club
Today President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency took a major step in the fight against climate disruption by releasing the Clean Power Plan. Until today, there were no limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants could dump into our air, wreaking havoc on our health and our climate.
More often than not, the power plants spewing this dangerous carbon pollution have a disproportionately negative effect on low-income communities and communities of color already suffering from toxic pollution's worst effects, including heart attacks, asthma, and premature death.
Cleaning up carbon pollution will help protect public health: Coal pollution in the United States results in more than $100 billion annually in health costs and more than 12,000 emergency room visits per year. Polluters are putting their profits ahead of people and the environment, and it’s time for that to end.
Also important, by establishing carbon pollution protections, President Obama and the EPA are beginning the essential work of cleaning up and modernizing how we power our country. This creates jobs and boosts the economy. Several studies out recently show the positive economic impact possible with the Clean Power Plan.
Americans strongly support this climate action, with polls from this year showing that nearly 70 percent of Americans across party lines support the Clean Power Plan.
Regular Americans aren't just cheering this announcement -- they were the key to making it happen. In July,the Sierra Club announced the 200th U.S. coal plant retirement, and clean, renewable energy is at record levels. Grassroots advocacy made that happen and, as a result, the U.S. is leading the industrialized world in reducing carbon emissions. We are are on track to meet -- and even exceed -- the carbon reduction targets in the Clean Power Plan.
One of those hard-working advocates is Verena Owen, the volunteer leader of the Beyond Campaign and a long-time champion for clean air. Here's what she had to say about today's announcement:
"I am excited by how much the Clean Power Plan will benefit communities and families in the form of lower electricity bills, better health, increased clean energy, and more jobs," said Verena. "The American people overwhelmingly support these efforts. And to know how much work grassroots activists have put into getting this national climate action to happen -- it's thrilling to see yet again how much of a force the people can be when we work together."
This is the U.S. taking the lead on climate action, and with the international climate meetings happening this fall in Paris, it is a powerful example for other countries to follow. Already, it's bringing other nations to the table with strong plans of their own.
We applaud the EPA and the Obama administration for taking this strong step for people and the planet -- and I thank the thousands upon thousands of activists nationwide who have marched, rallied, protested, written letters, made calls, and so much more  to demand serious climate action from our leaders.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Op-ed: Utah's ski industry needs Clean Power Plan to survive | The Salt Lake Tribune

By Onno Wieringa and Peter Metcalf

Utah's unprecedented quality of life and world-renowned outdoor recreation are a huge part of what makes Utah Utah.
Unfortunately, climate change and poor air quality are forever altering the Utah we know and love. Fortunately, we have a historic opportunity to help improve air quality and combat climate change through the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce pollution from our country's electricity sector. The plan is critical to protecting Utah's outdoor industries, particularly the ski industry, which is under threat by the impacts of climate change.
Regardless of whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or not, you want this industry to thrive. Utah's ski industry alone provides 20,000 jobs and contributes $1.29 billion to Utah's economy. The Outdoor Industry Association reports that Utah's outdoor recreation brings $12 billion in consumer spending, $3.6 billion in wages and salaries and almost $900 million in direct state and local taxes. Despite being a major economic driver, the outdoor industry is competing for influence on Capitol Hill against powerful lobbying groups motivated to shut down the Clean Power Plan.
As representatives of Utah's outdoor industry, we view the Clean Power Plan as not only vital to our business future, but a doable, workable opportunity that will benefit Utah citizens and businesses. The reality is that the outdoor industry, particularly the ski industry, is feeling the impacts of climate change now and Utah needs the Clean Power Plan to help protect a primary contributor to our economy.
To Black Diamond Inc., which provides world-class gear to skiers and outdoor enthusiasts, the Clean Power Plan is a small step in the right direction. In fact, our industry has a business imperative to advocate for it. It is not idealism or political motivation to see this. It is mathematics and economics that illustrates Utah and Black Diamond will be in much more serious pain without the healthy, multi-billion dollar ski, outdoor and active outdoor related tourism industries in our state.
At Alta Ski Area, we're a founding member of the National Ski Areas Association Climate Challenge, a group of 30 ski areas committed to reducing emissions. Winter resorts like ours have had to up our accountability in the climate change arena to protect our business. But doing this doesn't break the bank or cost jobs. We have implemented common sense actions for increasing energy efficiency to cut emissions. These measures have been good for business — in fact, we see a financial return on every investment we make in energy efficiency.
While we may have different ideas about the best ways to power our future, there's no question that we can use energy more efficiently. Energy efficiency is a central part of the Clean Power Plan, and is so readily available it is almost comical. Just ask Rocky Mountain Power.
Its parent company, Pacifi Corp, has released its 2015 energy efficiency potential study, which identifies how much energy we can save over the next 20 years. The study clearly shows that energy efficiency is an affordable and reliable strategy to help achieve the pollution reduction targets under the Clean Power Plan. And considering that the residential and business sectors together account for about 40 percent of U.S. energy use, it makes sense to focus on how our homes, work places and industry can cut energy waste, save money and reduce pollution.
The Clean Power Plan is achievable, affordable and necessary. Let's embrace this opportunity and safeguard our state's outdoor culture.
Onno Wieringa has been president and general manager of Alta Ski area since 1988. Peter Metcalf is CEO and President of Black Diamond Inc.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Patagonia invests $1 million in Beyond Surface Technologies, a Swiss company aiming to eliminate chemicals in outerwear

Patagonia is upping its own environmental ante with a $1 million investment in Beyond Surface Technologies, a Swiss company that’s pushing petrochemicals out of the gear closet

ur ski jacket is full of petrochemicals. Ditto a fair amount of the other clothing in your closet that attains that magical, paradoxical state of being both waterproof and breathable when you’re hiking or biking up a steep ridge in a fierce storm.
Through decades of tweaks and improvements, material scientists and chemists have produced these miracle fabrics through a combination of membranes and finishes. High performance comes at an environmental cost, however, since these substances rely on petrochemical feed stocks. Plus, the use of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in finishes used to create durable water-repellent (DWR) exteriors—a key part of that waterproof-breathable magic that outerwear can attain—has an especially dark side: The chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a by-product of PFC production, and studies have shown it to cause developmental problems in lab animals. The toxin, which plays a role in many industrial applications, has made its way into the environment, and small amounts are found everywhere, from the blood of polar bears to the blood of most humans.
Today, nearly every major outdoor apparel brand uses PFC-based finishes for waterproof-breathable jackets and pants. The EPA has been working with chemical companies for years to phase out the DWR finish, known as C8, that produces the most PFOA. Most companies are moving to a different DWR, known as C6, but here’s the rub: This alternative falls short in terms of performance, and it still generates trace amounts of PFOA. Plus, it’s still reliant on petrochemical feedstocks.
As part of its larger mission to reduce the environmental impacts of its products and supply chain, Patagonia announced earlier this month that its venture arm,$20 Million and Change, has invested $1 million in Beyond Surface Technologies (BST), a Swiss startup that’s developing plant-based chemicals it believes can replace conventional PFC-based finishes.
BST was formed in 2008 by a group of textile industry veterans with a strong background in chemistry who wanted to produce waterproof-breathable textile finishes differently. “It dawned on me that it is a bit crazy what we were doing,” says BST director Mathias Foessel, referring to mainstream companies seeking alternative petro-based finishes. “We were developing products with inherent hazards, and then trying to find the best way to mitigate those risks or control those hazards.”
So BST started developing alternatives to the alternatives. “What if we eliminated the risks to begin with? Why not come up with [textile] finishes with lower hazards or no hazards? And then we can use crude oil for something more important.”
Five years in, BST has brought three different bio-based finishes to market that are already being used by a number of major brands, including Patagonia, Levi’s, Adidas, and Puma.
These finishes include the Midori Biosoft, which is designed for use on base layers;Midori Biolink, a natural acid-based finish for denim (replacing a conventional finish that contains formaldehyde, Foessel says); and Midori Evopel, which is the holy grail of textile finishes because it is designed for waterproof-breathable shell fabrics. 
BST is using a range of agricultural and algal products as feedstocks, with a focus on raw materials that have been approved to use in personal care products or food additives. “If it’s approved to rub into your skin or to eat, it should be okay to functionalize your textile with,” Foessel reasons. BST also avoids GMOs and plants that would compete with food crops. It is also using some waste products from the production of other bio-based chemicals, such as biodiesel. 
BST’s work is far from complete. Foessel says he’s confident that the Midori Biosoft and Biolink products are on par with the performance of their crude-based counterparts, but the current formulation for Evopel is a work in progress. For one, Evopel relies on a mix of crude- and bio-based feedstocks at this stage (Biosoft and Biolink are both 100 percent bio-based). For another, it’s not ready to go neck-and-neck with conventional waterproofing finishes.
“There is research needed to put it up a notch and increase performance,” he says of Evopel. “With PFCs used in sportswear and apparel, you have different classes of performance and expectations. We believe [Evopel] is not good enough yet.”
This is why that $1 million from Patagonia is well timed. 

Natural fibers have drawbacks not only in terms of performance but also the amount of water needed to produce them compared to synthetics.   Photo: Courtesy of Patagonia

The financial support from $20 Million and Change is also the first outside funding BST has accepted; until now, the founders have bootstrapped the firm. “We have turned down other investors who wanted to take a larger role [in BST], and we declined because we felt it was important to keep the freedom of being able to work and test what we want to, and even fail and come back and restart. That’s part of the fun,” Foessel says. “We have to be independent in our decision making. We have a high rate of failure, and if there was someone in the back room trying to veto ideas, we’d not have gotten here.”
Of course, even if BST succeeds in disrupting the crude-based textile finishes sector, most of the fabric its products will be used on will continue to be derived from crude (although many polyesters are made from recycled PET bottles). 
All consumer products have environmental impacts, and those impacts have to be viewed across the product’s entire lifecycle—natural fibers have drawbacks not only in terms of performance but also the amount of water needed to produce them compared to synthetics. Still, Foessel believes it may be possible to use the Biolink finish on base layers made from natural fibers and match the wicking performance of synthetics, though that would require innovations from other parts of the textile world. “We started at zero. We came with a strong passion. I think we need experts in other fields who can do the same [to put the performance of natural fibers on par with synthetics].”