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globalbriefs


News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.


Thrifty Threads Levi’s Latest Sustainable Moves


World record holder and Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt will soon model Puma boots that are “made for rotting,” and when the next Levi Strauss collection arrives, their new jingle will be, “These jeans are made of garbage.” Crushed brown and green half-liter plastic bottles will be on display at retail store dis- plays, of which the equivalent of eight, or 20 percent, are blended into each pair of Waste<Less jeans.


Nike and Gap have their own sustainability programs, and Patagonia has long supported a small ecosystem of Earth-friendly suppliers. But as the biggest maker of jeans in the world, with sales of $4.8 billion in 2011, Levi’s efforts command the most attention. Levi joined the Better Cotton Initiative, a group of companies that work with local nongovernmental organi- zations in Pakistan, India, Brazil and Mali to teach farmers how to grow cotton with less water. Last year marked the first cotton harvest given this effort and Levi has blended its share into more than 5 million pairs of jeans. With cotton prices on the rise and pressure from activist groups such as BSR, an environmental organiza- tion that works with businesses, large clothing manufac- turers are starting to adopt more sustainable practices.


Source: Business Week


Cool Tool New Calculations for Polar Ice


A new report from the University of Washington, in Seattle, published in the journal Science on polar ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, works to rec- oncile differences between sometimes- conflicting research studies. Scientists compiled 20 years of data to determine how much ice is being lost and sea


levels have increased as the global climate warms.


Past studies have shown a range of ice losses, from zero to catastrophic. When the data was synthesized and analyzed holistically, it became clear that the ice sheets are losing three times as much ice each year as they did in the 1990s—in the middle of previous estimates.


Ice sheets are one of several main drivers of rising sea levels. Other factors, which account for 80 percent of the increase, include the melting of glaciers on land and the expansion of the sea itself as the atmosphere heats up. The melting of polar sea ice has no direct effect on sea levels because the ice is already in the water. Glaciologist and co-author Ian Joughin told The Christian Science Monitor, “The melting needs monitoring to further understand the ice sheet processes leading to the change.”


Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses. ~Alphonse Karr


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