Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Life Cycle Analysis Allows For Making Informed Science-Based Decisions


When it comes to packaging, there are always trade-offs to be made. Our idealized view of the way in which eggs should be packed - for example as shown in the image on the right - or what may sound or feel right, is not always what does right for the environment. 

That’s where Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) can help - through allowing one to make informed science-based decisions. 

In the case described below, a LCA helped Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs make the decision as to whether paper or recycled plastic cartons are better for the environment. 

The $64K question

In a post on their website, Pete and Gerry's say, "A question that we get a lot usually goes like this: 'I love your eggs and your commitment to animal welfare and the environment, but why do you use plastic egg cartons? Isn’t that worse for the environment?'"

"It’s an excellent question," they continue. "We’ve all come to see plastic as bad. It’s derived from a non-renewable source (oil), it doesn’t decompose for a very long time, and these days, a lot of it is winding into the oceans. So it’s understandable that it has a bad reputation."

"On the other hand, the molded pulp cartons and the polystyrene foam cartons are not environmental home runs either, for many of the same reasons. So what’s a well-meaning person to do?"

Third party LCA study

To find the answer and Pete and Gerry's worked with a third-party to conduct a LCA of the options available on the market. In 2012 they hired Quantis, a Canadian research company specializing in the environmental impact of products, to do a complete comparative environmental life cycle assessment of egg cartons.
According to Pete and Gerry's, "Quantis looked across the raw material sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, and end of life/recycling aspects for RPET (our recycled PET clear package), virgin PET, Recycled Molded Pulp (RMP) and Polystyrene (commonly known as styrofoam). They scored that as a total Carbon/Climate Change footprint score based on all of those life stages. They also scored them on the basis of Human Health, Ecosystem Quality, and Resource Depletion measures."

Choice made based off real data

"We went with the most environmentally-friendly packaging based off real data," Pete and Gerry's explain.

"The RPET carton that we use was determined to be superior, or vastly superior, to both the Molded Pulp and Polystyrene as a whole, and across all of the individual life stages, with the one exception – it has a slightly higher manufacturing impact than recycled pulp. It is worth noting that the worst option was typically the PET plastic made from virgin plastic. That’s because of the high amount of fossil fuels required both as energy and raw material in its production. This is what large 2-liter soda bottles are made from (so think about that the next time you’re considering buying soda). We take the recycled material from those containers to make our cartons. The tri-fold PET also has an important consumer benefit in that it provides the best protection for the eggs while allowing you to see the unbroken eggs without opening the carton in the store."

"Once used, our cartons can then be placed right back in the recycling stream for another trip through the system. Paper pulp can also be recycled. Styrofoam all goes to the landfill to wait for the end of time."

Best possible solution for the time being

There you have it - what sounds or feels right does not always do right by the environment. As Pete and Gerry's conclude, "While we wish we could sell our eggs in wooden boxes or wicker baskets that were re-used over and over, we feel as though we’ve arrived at the best possible solution we can for the time being."

Bravo, Pete and Gerry's for not going with gut feel, and for taking the time and money to conduct a LCA to be able to make an informed science-based decision regarding the best packaging for your organic eggs! Looking forward to following you on your sustainability journey on Twitter!










Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Compostable Snack Bag Wins Bioplastics Innovation Award


At the start of #BioplasticsWeek 2018, the Plastics Industry Association Bioplastics Division on September 18 announced Danimer Scientific and PepsiCo as the joint winners of the 2018 Innovation in Bioplastics Award. The two companies developed the next generation of bio-based and compostable flexible packaging using Danimer 24365B & Danimer 01112 Resins. This new industrial compostable snack bag is said to have the right balance of sustainability, performance and cost. 

The annual Innovation in Bioplastics Award is an honor that goes to companies applying bioplastics to innovative, purposeful product design. “We are excited to honor Danimer and PepsiCo for their unique and creative application of bioplastics innovation,” said PLASTICS’ President & CEO, William R. Carteaux. “These innovations are a major contribution in progressing bioplastics forward as a competitive option in more applications across various industries. What an amazing way to kick off Bioplastics Week.”

The industrial compostable snack bag is comparable in feel, noise and performance to PepsiCo’s current bags and certified to be industrially compostable by TUV Austria. The new Danimer resins that are blends of biopolymers and mineral filler give the bag its white exterior and can be processed in blown film lines for improved economics.  The new bio-based structures are currently being piloted in a limited test in the US and Chile, with plans for a test in India later this year.

“We would like to thank the Plastics Industry Association for recognizing the work PepsiCo and our team are doing to create sustainable food packaging,” said Scott Tuten, chief marketing officer at Danimer Scientific. “As the industry becomes more environmentally conscious, we look forward to continuing our partnership with PepsiCo to develop quality, compostable and biodegradable plastic products for a wide variety of applications.”

Home Compostable Next

Danimer and PepsiCo are collaborating on a third-generation chip bag that is based on Danimer’s PHA technology and will be fully biodegradable in home-composting environments.

“PepsiCo and Danimer have a shared vision for a future of food packaging that is more sustainable without compromising food safety or quality,” said Garry Kohl, Senior Director R&D Global Packaging Innovation for Snacks & Foods at PepsiCo. “We are proud to be recognized for this work, which supports PepsiCo’s stated goal to make 100-percent of our packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.”

Bioplastics Week

The Innovation in Bioplastics Award is announced annually during PLASTICS’ Bioplastics Division’s Bioplastics Week. Bioplastics Week is a social media driven initiative created to increase bioplastics’ visibility and educate people about the many benefits they provide. Follow the conversation using #BioplasticsWeek.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

New Absolutely-Must-Visit Poster Print Shop And Gallery In San Francisco

If you’re going to San Francisco - or if you’re lucky enough to live there - the Haight Street Art Center (HSAC), a first-of-its-kind poster print shop and gallery that supports a collective of poster artists, is a must visit.

Dennis Larkins' incredible "Eyeconic" flies high above a wall of rock posters.
With 7,000 square feet of gallery exhibition space, HSAC is one of the largest galleries devoted to poster art in the United States. In addition to the print shop, the Center features community engagement facilities, including a classroom for teaching poster art techniques, a special events space, and a large gallery. Permanent and temporary exhibitions will be free of charge to the public, and the Center and its artists will sell silkscreen and offset prints.

Founded on a cooperative operational model, the HSAC features a state-of-the-art print shop to be managed by and for artists. The Center’s business model offers artists low overhead costs to improve the economics for creating and selling poster art. 

Exercising public art’s proven power to attract, inspire and connect, HSAC will serve not only the Lower Haight, but the city at large with educational programming for the San Francisco community: from students to seniors, apprentices to master artists, and the local residents to visitors.

The Art of Consciousness 

Mariusz Knorowski, Chief Curator at Poster Museum at Wilanów, Warsaw, Poland.
The inaugural exhibition, “The Art of Consciousness,” features more than 90 seminal works from 1965 to 1967. On display will be never-before-seen Family Dog original art from the “Big Five” of San Francisco rock poster art – Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson – whose vision inspired thousands of young people in San Francisco and provided the visual vocabulary for the vibrant community that formed in the Haight-Ashbury.

“It covers the evolution of poster art before the Summer of Love, from the Seed and Are We Next in 1965 through the psychedelic Avalon and Fillmore posters of the spring of 1967,” said Moonalice guitarist and poster philanthropist, Roger McNamee. “Check it out!”

The Art of Consciousness” runs through September. Entrance is free. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. 215 Haight St., San Francisco: https://haightstreetart.org

About Haight Street Art Center

The Haight Street Art Center (HSAC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit San Francisco arts collective established to promote poster art production and education. The Center’s community outreach relates to poster art history and cultural impact along with a deep commitment to extending San Francisco’s proud heritage of publicly accessible artwork—artwork created to celebrate, advocate, and connect people.

Left to Right: Roger McNamee, Jeremy Fish and Peter McQuaid at the Grand Opening of the HSAC.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

Celebration Of Poster Art At The Haight Street Art Center

Situated in the heart of Haight at 215 Haight Street, near the corner of Laguna, the Haight Street Art Center opened its doors to the public on Saturday 1 July with a Grand Opening that included activities for kids, printing demonstrations for adults, gallery tours, and a welcoming address from Mariusz Knorowski, Chief Curator at Poster Museum at Wilanów, the oldest poster museum in the world located in Warsaw, Poland.

Festivities began at 1pm with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the iconic Bronze Bunny, gatekeeper to San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood. 

A series of galleries displayed 90 posters from the breakthrough years of 1965-67 in the opening exhibit entitled “The Art of Consciousness," while artists demonstrated the silk screen process, enabling visitors to walk out with a freshly inked poster.

Celebration of poster art

The “Big Five” of poster art, who made San Francisco the epicenter of the genre are well represented: Stanley Mouse, Wes Wilson, Alton Kelly, Victor Moscoso and Rick Griffin. 

The purpose of the art center is to invigorate poster art by providing a print shop and gallery that dramatically lowers the cost of creating and selling poster art,” said Roger McNamee, the Moonalice lead singer and guitarist with a passion for poster art. “It also provides a platform so that the artists can form and manage a collective for mutual benefit."

When Moonalice started in 2007 as a ’60s-style San Francisco psychedelic roots band, one of the founding precepts was a freshly produced poster for every show. “We figured we’d play 30 or 40 shows a year,” said McNamee, adding, “And we’ve played 100 shows a year for 10 years.” There are now close to 1,000 Moonalice posters, many of which paper the walls as well as the stairwell between the floors at the art center.

Moonalice model

In the day of the Big Five, poster artists were paid around $500 for a poster plus a dozen copies. The promoter, or the band, got the copyright, which meant that if a design hit it big in the aftermarket, the income from all those concert posters sold in bookstores and record stores went to someone other than the artist.

This is in stark contrast to the Moonalice business model, which is to pay the artist more up front, plus allow the artist keeps the copyright. There are some 35 artists in the Moonalice stable, and they will be the first to benefit from the art center’s platform.

Living history museum

The building is part of a Spanish Revival complex put up by the Works Progress Administration in 1934 as San Francisco State Teachers College. It sits on a huge lot, most of which has been developed into market-rate housing by Wood Partners.


“This is like a living history museum on top of a museum,” said Peter McQuaid, executive director of the center, who will oversee a staff of four. “We want to return to the craftsmanship where the artists print the work themselves.”

The art center includes the original San Francisco State entrance on the southeast corner of Haight and Buchanan streets, and occupies the down-slope annex, its mid-block entrance marked by the Bronze Bunny sculpture by Jeremy Fish. The entry is on the gallery level, with the print shop above it fully outfitted with scanners, printers and racks of paper.

Opening exhibition

The opening exhibition, “The Art of Consciousness,” runs through September. Entrance is free. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. 215 Haight St., S.F. https://haightstreetart.org

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Celebrate The Summer Of Love With A Psychedelic Light Show And A Surrealistic Summer Solstice Jam!!!


Flowers will power the night this summer as the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park becomes the canvas for an elegant light art installation to honor San Francisco’s city-wide celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. 

Developed in partnership with San Francisco Recreation and Parks by Illuminate, the nonprofit arts group behind The Bay Lights, and Obscura Digital, a world-renowned creative studio specializing in large scale light-based art, the installation will use gobo projectors to transform the all-white landmark with a series of exquisitely illuminated scenes inspired by the rare tropical flowers within, and the legacy of San Francisco’s flower children.

“The Summer of Love was always about an energy – a spark – bringing love and light at a time when the world needed it,” said Ben Davis, Director of Illuminate. “We are bringing that light back to where it all began in Golden Gate Park fifty years later with an electrifying, contemporary tribute.”

“Obscura has done projections on iconic buildings around the world, and we’re thrilled to be using Golden Gate Park’s architectural crown jewel as our latest canvas, here in our hometown,” added Chris Lejeune, CEO of Obscura Digital.

Davis and the Obscura team promise a nightly spectacle of spinning flower mandalas, animated butterflies, and much, much more. The free public installation will be on view nightly from sundown until midnight throughout the summer, June 21 through October 21, 2017.

Surrealistic Summer Solstice Jam

The opening night on 21 June – which coincides with the Summer Solstice – will include a musical celebration from members of the best jam bands San Francisco has to offer, featuring most of the surviving band members of the great bands of 1967.

“The Surrealistic Summer Solstice Jam will combine the music of 1967 with an epic Illuminate and Obscura Digital light show on the Conservatory of Flowers! It will be the most monumental light show the city of San Francisco has ever seen! Dan Lebowitz is music director. The house band will include members of ALO, Moonalice, and other great SF musicians. Jack Casady, Lester Chambers, David Freiberg, Linda Imperial, RonKat, Norman Greenbaum, Barry Melton, Steve Kimock, Dave Getz, Peter Albin, Darby Gould, Joli Valenti, Melvin Seals, Paula Frazer, Leslie Grant, Mark Karan, Jay Lane, Jason Crosby, Steve Adams, Grahame Lesh, Alex Jordan, Greg Loiacono, Lech & Johnny ... and many others are scheduled to perform. The concert and light show are free … no tickets are required, and it's the longest day of the year,” explained Moonalice’s Roger McNamee.

There will be three free posters for those attending, by leading poster artists Alexandra Fisher, John Mavroudis and Darrin Brenner, members of the Haight Street Art Center collective.


"We're really excited to be a part of this thing," Roger continued. "It's part of the on-going Summer of Love Festivals in San Francisco. We encourage you to attend or to watch the live stream, because it'll be fun!" How much fun? This video from the Surrealistic Superjam SF Summer Of Love 50th Anniversary Concert earlier this year gives a taste of musical treats to come on 21 June!



Logistics

Folks with mobility challenges are encouraged to either be dropped off or park near the Nancy Pelosi and Bowling Green corner - or - park in the Music Parking lot under the De Young Museum. Public transportation is HIGHLY recommended!

The following items are not allowed at the event:
No Tents, Canopies, Tables, or other structures
No Unpermitted Vendors
No Coolers larger than 9”x12”
No Barbecues or cooking equipment
No Amplified Sound Equipment
No Generators
No Glass
No Backpacks larger than 9 x 12
Please take the public transportation to the event if possible:
The closest MUNI bus is 5 Fulton bus which runs until the event ends and beyond. You can catch the bus at Fulton Street and 6th Ave, and it is also the closest bus stop to the event.
For Bus Schedule: https://511.org/…/schedules-ag…/agency/363/schedules/route/5
Or Plan Your Travel with Public Transit: www.511.org
However, if you must drive, you can park at Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse Parking Lot, entrance at Fulton Street and 10th Ave:
Parking will available at the Music Concourse Parking Lot as it will be open late until 11 pm to accommodate parking for the event.

Cars can enter at Fulton Street and 10th or at Lincoln near the Academy of Science. Please note JFK Drive will be closed from 8th to Kezar Drive staring 5AM on Wednesday, June 21st, it will be one of the closest locations for parking.
For maps how to enter – please go to: http://goldengateparking.com/. Cost is a flat $17.
Street Closures -- starting 5AM Wednesday, June 21st until 9AM Thursday, June 22nd the following streets will be closed to vehicles traffic:
JFK Drive between Kezar Drive and 8th Ave
Nancy Pelosi Drive between JFK Drive and Bowling Green Drive
Arguello Street at Fulton Street (entrance into Golden Gate Park)
Surrealistic Summer Solstice Concert and Grand Lighting!
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)
date Outside of the Conservatory of Flowers
100 John F Kennedy Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
Organized by Conservatory of Flowers

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Any Song. Anywhere. Anytime. Six Years Of Live Broadcasts For Live-Streaming Pioneer Moonalice

Moonalice live broadcast on an iPad
Six years ago this week, San Fran psychedelic roots jam band Moonalice began live satellite broadcasts using HTML5. What began with iPads and iPhones streaming without an app has now extended to Android, PC, you name it. “The system is surprisingly inexpensive,” Moonalice front man and founder Roger McNamee commented at the time. “We paid a guy to write an HTML5 API and we found a carrier willing to provide bandwidth and storage at cost. The satellite system offers more bandwidth than alternatives at the same price.” 

Why the broadcasts? “People couldn’t have cared less about Moonalice, so we had to use technology just to get off the ground. We figured out Twitter, Facebook, live streaming. It’s not that nobody had ever done it, but nobody had ever been dependent on it the way we were. Instead of a manager or publicist, we spent money on technology and social media. Technology was a lot cheaper and we have built a whole community was around this,” Roger elaborated.

“Moonalice is more like a tribute to a style of show,” Roger explained. “That communal, artistic, very hippie-driven model we grew up with. Technology allowed us to do it. Before buying a ticket or an album, fans could listen to our music online and decide if they liked it. I don’t understand why younger bands aren’t aggressive around this. If your audience was 18-25, this would work 100 times better than it does for us.”

Poster by Chris Shaw
"The original decision to use HTML5 was economic: it was obvious from day one that native apps on iOS and Android would be more expensive and would leave us at the mercy of platform vendors who would never give us the time of day. The app market has been a train wreck for all but a few players, yet almost everyone still makes them," said Roger.

Fast forward to today. "How time flies ... this week is the 6th anniversary of MoonTunesTM  the HTML5 player that enables Moonalice to stream concerts live to PCs and smart phones,” Roger reminisced. “We have broadcast many hundreds of shows since then, including the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. Weather-permitting, we will broadcast today's show from the Good Old Days Festival in Pacific Grove at 1pm PT in HD on http://www.moonalice.com."

Moonalice was also the first band to broadcast all its shows via Facebook Live. Below is the first set from the band's show at Paciaifc Grove yesterday. The benefit of these live broadcasts on Facebook is not only that fans can make comments and communicate with each other during the broadcasts, but the reach is orders of magnitude higher than sharing via link or even an upload. How much larger? Moonalice's reach is regularly in the region of 300- 500K, which translates to a lot of very happy fans!


"Thanks to our amazing Moonalice team, MoonTunesTM remains the highest performance and lowest cost streaming platform on earth. Thanks to our fans, it has an enthusiastic following. We're proud of it," Roger concluded.

Any song. Anywhere. Anytime. Yesterday I watched the three Moonalice sets from the Good Old Days Festival in Pacific Grove, from a park, on the Interstate, and from my favorite Indian restaurant. Rock on, Moonalice!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Re-Live The Summer That Rocked The World

"The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll" reception last night at the de Young Museum saw Partner, Enthusiast, Sustaining, Supporting, and Contributor Members celebrating the 50th anniversary of the colorful counter culture that blossomed in San Francisco, as they enjoyed an exclusive first look at the exhibition before it opens to the public on Saturday 8 April. 

The experience immerses you in the sights, sounds, and cultural achievements of a summer that rocked the world. Turn back time as you enjoy music, film screenings, art-making, artist-led tours and more while helping celebrate the 50th anniversary of San Francisco's 1967 Summer of Love. Highlights include screen-printing demonstrations by poster art activists, live music from San Francisco Airship and a community-led Human Be-In(volved).

Photograph by Marc Margolis
Featuring a wide array of iconic rock posters, period photographs, interactive music and light shows, “out-of-this-world” clothing, and avant-garde films, this exhibition celebrates San Francisco’s rebellious and colorful counterculture that blossomed in the years surrounding the 1967 Summer of Love. This immersive experience explores, through a succession of themed galleries, the visual and material cultures of a generation searching for personal fulfillment and social change. Presenting key cultural artifacts of the time, San Francisco’s Summer of Love introduces and explores the events and experiences that today define this dynamic era.

“This show is incredible!!! It tells a wonderful story, including, art, music and clothing. The archives of the Haight Street Art Center and Center for Counterculture Studies are well represented," commented Roger McNamee of Bay Area psychedelic jam band Moonalice. "There are 25 or 26 pieces ... keep your eyes peeled!!!” 

Photograph by Marc Margolis
Check out the full program for opening day, and use the hashtag #SummerofLoveSF to share your thoughts and photos during the day via Twitter and Instagram, and watch out for a special Summer of Love geofilter on Snapchat.

All activities are free and open to the public. Pop-up tours require an exhibition ticket. Seats for ‘REVOLUTION’ and 'Berkeley in the Sixties' are free and offered on a first come, first served basis. Fees apply for admission to the special exhibition, ‘The Summer of Love Experience.’

The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll runs April 8th through August 20th at the de Young Museum. Tickets can be purchased at deyoungmuseum.org.

Venue: de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco , CA 94118