This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 25, 2007 3:17 PM. The previous post in this blog was Queen of SoWhat. The next post in this blog is All come to look for Amerika. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Your underwear is causing global warming

A fascinating piece in today's Times shows that, because it can be laundered with less energy, polyester is a more earth-friendly fabric for human garments than cotton. Plastic fantastic.

Comments (20)

I will give up my white cotton briefs when they pry my cold dead hands from around them.

And so much more comfortable as underwear, too!


Pshaw. Just wear kilts.

Good news: EarthFirst! thongs.

Naughty news: only Britney can save us.

Bad news: polyester can't be made without petroleum...


Cotton is also an incredibly water intense crop, which makes me wonder why they grow so much of it in Arizona. Several years ago, there was a study showing that converting cotton farms to suburban subdivisions saved tons of water.

Maybe it's time to switch to hemp? Ivy leaves?

Or bring back clotheslines (which are now banned in some ritzy communities)? Or just wash less often, putting up with a stain or two (though you might want to use discretion in following the practice of a former roommate who just turned his briefs inside out for the second day).

Anything is better than wearing polyester.

Are they taking into account the cost of treating all those fungal infections?

Cotton monoculture not only uses lots of water (see Aral Sea in central Asia, a huge environmental disaster directly related to cotton cultivation), it rapidly depletes soil nutrients and speeds soil salination. This means that eventually, after tons of chemical fertilizers have been applied repeatedly, speeding eutraphication of nearby fresh water sources in the process, the land will not be capable of producing much vegetation at all.

I don't know what kind of nutrient and water requirements hemp has, but it seems to me that intensive cultivation of it would have similar problems to intensive cotton cultivation.

As already noted, polyesther is a petroleum product....we all know the problems there.

As already noted, polyesther is a petroleum product....we all know the problems there.
But is that the only way to do, or just the current way because it is the least expensive? For example, one can make petroleum from coal like the Gremans did duing WWII. Or from waste as some are doing now.


Blueoregon had a recent post about buying used clothing because cheap "Target" clothes dont last, and it takes so much energy to create new ones...or something to that effect.
Although from my experience, they all last about the same whether they are from Nordstrom or Old Navy. The only difference is the label and the cost. And they're all made in South American sweatshops anyway. I wouldnt be surprised if some were made in the same sweatshops..

Ironically, many of the same faux greenies that HATE cotton farming, rice grown in California, and "franken-foods", ARE VERY EAGER TO SUPPORT ETHANOL MANDATES.

The only economical way to produce ethanol in the U.S. is with corn. Brazil is located on the equator, which provides them with more productive crop yields/choices (like sugar cane).

To the degree ethanol/corn production enjoys government subsidies, it will lead to a dramatic increase in the portion of available acreage planted in corn.
That means fewer acres planted in wheat, soybeans, and other grain and feed crops.

Who cares? Everybody who eats! The Mexican people are paying 250% higher prices for corn tortillas than 2 years ago (so they care!). The cost of most other proteins and grains will increase as corn production is converted to ethanol (and taken out of the food supply chain). Imagine how your personal budget would be impacted by $6/loaf wheat bread, $7/lb hamburger, and $5/gallon milk.

The "dead zone" at the mouth of the Mississippi (and other) rivers will grow larger, your automobile's MPG will decline by 20%, and Co2 emissions are more likely to increase than not (thanks largely to the filthy emissions produced by all those tractors/harvesters in the corn fields, plus the increase in fertilizer consumption). But most politicos from Randy Leonard's desk all the way to Washington D.C. will crow about how they are cleaning up our environment and working towards energy independence. The midwest corn lobby will laugh all the way to the bank. The auto manufacturers will find a way to leverage some new car sales out of the equation. Big Oil will even turn it to their advantage.

We'd be better off with a $10,000 tax credit for qualified hybrids/economy cars paid for with a $1-$2/gallon fuel tax.

The most pious Earth First wannabees would rather wear hemp underwear or utilikilts, saving the planet one veggie burger at a time.

Cotton: One of the more water and pesticide intensive crops around. Patagonia and a few others sell organic cotton clothing. The Targets of the world shipping clothing around the world which also causes green-house gassing. If in doubt read the label on clothing and buy local. Maybe Portland needs it's own made in Portland clothing district?

what's polyesther?

My Polyster panties are so Divine.

How about polyester underwear and clothing made from biodiesel?

oily whities, B100 boxers, soy slips...

green jeans?


How about bamboo for clothing?

"what's polyesther?"

A biblical parrot queen.

Save the most energy. Go commando.

A biblical parrot queen.

I love it!

Blackberries--we just have to figure out how to make fabric out of blackberry leaves (not the prickly parts). Blackberry underwear..hmmm.

Blackberries? Eeeeeww! How about cottonwood trees?

"I love trees. Because you can lie under them on a moonlit night, with the leaves gently blowing, and..." think about ways of making clothing out of them.

(please forgive me Joni Mitchell)
They weaved paradise, and put up a lifestyle shop.
With a green hotel, organic sushi cafe,
and an eco-roof on top.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They weaved paradise, and put up a clothing shop.

They took all the cars
And put them in a car museum
And they charged all the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They weaved paradise, and put up a clothing shop.

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that hybrid cotton seed
Give me disposable undies
Just let my cotton pajamas be.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They weaved paradise, and put up a clothing shop.

Late last night
I heard the
Screen door whack
And a busted punchline
made John Kerry defer to Barack.
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They weaved paradise, and put up a clothing shop.

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