Is shopping in an eco-way friendly for the rich or poor? We care, we try and have found it challenging to shop in a responsible way with limited finances. It appears that to be green the differential plays a part primarily because of the specialist manufacturing processes that drive the cost up. Without going on about the philosophical side of things the only option is to save, keep kit for longer, maintain the kit you have, keep checking out the second-hand sites mentioned in these environmental pages and be dogged in your search for equipment and clothing that's ethical. This aside what kind of search do you need to do to find that green gear?
You need to check out the companies, you need to look at their ratings. For this go to: Ethical Consumer-Sports & Outdoor Gear Guide and Rankabrand and you need to check out individual lines because companies tend to introduce green products as a statement of intent as opposed to manufacturing all products in an ethical way. For example, Fjällräven offer their excellent eco shell jackets amid an array of products that do not meet the same environmental standard. So, you've got to search across the board. In addition, you have to judge the company's efforts also because often you are forced to purchase a product because of its features and performance. Purchasing a rucksack is an ideal example. In our camp we recently purchased an Osprey Kestrel 68 and although not billed as an environmentally friendly sack we had to consider the next best thing, which was the company's internal culture and its measures to becoming green. So, don't beat yourself up for not being whiter than white because the industry is far from being green overall. It's tough!
Let's take a look at more brands and companies some of which are a repeat of what's on the main page of this section although presented in a different context.
Organic & Recycled
Companies like 'Beyond Surface Technologies' are creating a new wave of products that are less chemically dependent.
We have Vaude, Deuter, Osprey, Kelty, and Patagonia Backpacks the design of which may not essentially be an environmental pack but do come from a company with an awareness who are say bluesign associated such as Deuter or Vaude. Osprey of course do a recycled sack but is not for backpacking.
Unless you want to carry 2.5 KG in weight from the Vaude Zelt Blue One 2P or waxed canvass then there isn't a great deal in the tent department apart from maybe second hand from ebay, preloved, freeexchange, gumtree, craigslist or freecycle. Perhaps Nemo who utilize recycle materials in their design are an option or QUECHUA Quickhiker Ultralight 2 Hiking Tent which has 50% of its flysheet recycled - see 2nd link here and Sierra Designs might also meet your social responsibility needs.
Are you OK with vegan products? Cool.... because there are some great boots out there although pretty expensive if on a budget. Go to: Vegetarian Shoes or Ethical Wares. The design of the former is more appealing. Our advice is to save for the former and make your purchase count.
Recycled or damaged goods offer: www.tauntonleisure.com/recycled/f197
It takes 25 two litre drink bottles to make a fleece. Bearing this in mind it's worth shopping around and considering recycled gear that enables us to tread lightly.
It's more than acceptable to consider companies acting with a concience and with care such as Craghoppers who support the preservation of mountain Gorrila populations as part of their Gorrila Hope project.
What about water? What about companies using less of it in the production of their apparel? Surprisingly Levi's is doing just that. In additon Deuter Enviro Loft is Bluesign acredited and uses minimum water in its sleeping bags and the North Face are seeking to reduce water usage in its manufacturing processes.
Don't just bin it pass it on..... If you have a tent that can't sell give it to these guys at Withintent or these guys at Gift Your Gear or these guys at Recycled Outdoor Gear or these guys at GreenPeak a local charity. It takes a few moments.
We've got recycled camping mugs from REI
Teko socks made from 100% natural Merino Wool
The Compact Solio for your mobile or camera
The Powerpot generating electricity from your brew.
Let's Not Forget About
CHARITY....Cool Gear, Gifted Gear, Doing Good Gear & Going Cheap Gear!
More to come.....
Some New-Found Reports
Check this encouraging report out from Jack Wolfskin. It features most of what you would recommend we consider in creating an environmentally friendly product. It appears there is no Green Washing here either. http://jack-wolfskin.co.uk/PortalData/1/Resources/cr/planet/environmental_report_2011_2012_UK__.pdf