This is just a quick blog on some exciting additions to the Living Building Challenge’s list of products with Declare labels. A “Declare label” put simply is essentially a ‘nutrition label’ that details what exactly goes into the making of a product, where it is made, and what to do with it at the end of its useful life.
Originally, when William and I first officially decided to pursue full Living Building Challenge certification, their Declare page didn’t have too much going on. Mostly office chairs and carpet tiles, really.
But now….there are products with Declare labels that we could actually use listed in their database! And not only could we use them, you probably could too! Which is so, so wonderful. If you would like to look at the current database on your own, you can go here: Declare – International Living Future Institute (living-future.org)
I, however, am only going to briefly mention to you a few of the particular products we find both exciting and applicable to our home’s design.
The first few I’ll mention are Owens Corning’s Foamglas Insulation and Verduren’s liquid linoleum floor. We are considering using these products for our foundation systems for our mulch basin and composting toilet tank enclosures. Both the Verduren flooring and the foamglas insulation are Red List free and have the potential to be recycled. The Verduren flooring is more recyclable than the insulation admittedly. But still. It’s cool. Just the fact that some manufacturers are willing to be open about what exactly goes into their products and where they are made is a step forward in a wide-spread recognition of both our footprints and handprints. Of course, additional independent research is always encouraged.
William and I want t-shirts with our Sustaining Tree name and logo on them. Mostly for ourselves. Because we are egotistical and vain and want to wear our endeavor literally on our tummies. But, if you feel like purchasing a shirt for yourself and modeling our tree on your tummy, then we figured we might as well make that option available to you!
However, being us…the perhaps extreme idealists that we are…we want our shirts to be as environmentally and socially and internationally and community friendly as possible. I didn’t quite realize how tough that is to do…
We are deciding to go through Printful (a print on demand service) for our shirts for three main reasons:
~ I don’t want to bulk order a bunch of t-shirts with trees on the tummy to have them just sit around the house waiting to be ordered. William and I very well may be the only ones who want trees on our tummies, and having so many unwanted, unworn, t-shirts laying around seems like a waste…of a lot of things.
~ If you do happen to want a tree on your tummy, I don’t want to go through the hassle of mailing it to you. The post office is a 15 to 20 minute drive away (depends if I have to stop to save a turtle crossing the road) and I don’t feel like doing that. I’m lazy. Sorry.
~ Printful claims to be taking a turn to the sustainability side of our consumer culture. They are attempting to widen their eco-friendly merchandise options and make their methods also just a bit more earth conscious. Their more obviously sustainable options are their ‘recycled t-shirts’- made from recycled cotton scraps and upcycled polyester rPET (essentially, fabric made from water bottles…)! A less obvious sustainable option, the one focused on in this blog, is Bella + Canvas. Bella + Canvas is one of their avenues for more ‘green’ oriented t-shirts.