WSJ on Carbon Footprints

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Jeffery Ball at the Wall Street Journal recently wrote an interesting article about the carbon footprint of six consumer products: a Prius, Timberland hiking boots, laundry detergent, a 1/2 gallon of organic milk, a 6-pack of Fat Tire beer and a Patagonia Talus jacket made with Polartec® Power Shield® fabric. The Talus creates a 66 pound carbon footprint. Check out the results of all 6 products: footprint1.

While Polartec has partnered with Patagonia to develop hundreds of garments with recylced fabric, the Talus is unfortunately not one of them. Essentially, the Talus is manufactured in Asia where recycled yarn is harder to find and more expensive to source. Both Polartec and Patagonia would have preferred for the Talus to be a recycled product but it was just too expensive to produce and keep the price point competitive.

The Talus is a good example of the cost-benefit analysis of going ‘green.’

Of course, carbon footprints are incredibly difficult to calculate. As Mr. Ball notes, “For instance, many products’ global-warming impact depends less on how they’re made than on how they’re used. That means the easiest way to cut carbon emissions may be to buy less of a product or use it in a way that’s less convenient.”

From that perspective, the Talus jacket (and all Polartec fabrics) last an incredibly long time, require very few washings, and no machine drying. Wear it indoors and you can keep your heating bills down! 🙂

Read the full WSJ story here.

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