Notes from NYU sustainability conference: Cafeteria Culture

As I mentioned in the “welcome back” post, there was so much awesome and inspiring stuff to take in at the the conference I attended over the weekend, I thought I ought get started on these posts! First up is an NYC public school cafeteria recycling program that engages and empowers the students to participate in reducing their school’s waste while imparting important lessons about mitigating environmental impact. This video is fun to watch and says it all:

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Recyclable Fashion: Sonic Fabric and Swimwear

Although I think a dress with a big red “O” on the bodice is a bit Hester Prynne-ish for me, the fabric it’s made of is pretty interesting. Sonic Fabric is made by recycling old cassette tapes and so far it has been utilized in umbrellas, dresses and ties (which you can find on sale here). The really crazy part is that you can run a tape head over the material and actually “hear” the fabric.

soniccloth

I also recently came across a swimwear company that uses recycled nylon (AKA regen) in their swimsuits.  The nylon recycling process eliminates some of the steps required to create virgin nylon, which in turn lowers the environmental impact.  Less waste in landfills, less greenhouse gas emissions, etc. From what I was able to find online, it sounds as though the only nylon being recycled currently is from used fishing nets, but it’s a start. And it got me thinking about what other sources of nylon might be recyclable. I did check the internet for any nylon tight recycling programs and did not find any such thing-perhaps because they are not completely made of nylon? Instead, I found mostly suggestions for using them in various craft projects, but there were a few clever ideas here.