Merida

Posts Tagged: eco friendly


23
Jul 10

5 Ways to Stop Junk Mail and Save the World

At Merida we believe that sustainability, beautiful design and happy healthy living all go hand-in-hand as demonstrated by our natural area rugs. Being eco-friendly is also something else – convenient.

“Convenient” you say? How many tips to the garbage can have you taken in your life to toss junk mail? If you add up all the junk mail you ever received and tossed it out at once, how many trash bags would you need to carry out?

Here are some staggering figures:

  • 70 hours = the time you waste per year dealing with junk mail
  • 100 million = the number of trees destroyed yearly to produce junk mail.
  • 9 million = junk mail produces more C02 than 9 million cars
  • 41 = the number of pounds of junk mail the average person receives per year
  • 1.5 = the number of pieces of actual mail the average person gets per week
  • 10.8 = the number of pieces of junk mail the average person gets per week

If the US Postal Service delivers junk mail at a 10:1 ratio to the mail I’m sending – why does the price of a first class stamp keep rising? Shouldn’t the burden of covering the rising costs of the Postal Service rest on the junk mailers disproportionately? Wouldn’t this do more to curb the practice and save the planet than making me pay more to send my mom a birthday card?

This post isn’t about Postal Service Reform so I’ll get to the point, which is learning how to stop junk mail, helping save the planet and uncluttering your life. Here are my five tips. I’ve done 1-4 and they take 15 minutes which seems like a small price to pay for putting an end to the train wreck listed above.

1. Hang up on the Yellow Pages. Do you even use the phone book with yellow pages that get’s dumped on your doorstep? Mine goes directly from my doorstep over the railing into the recycle bin. Stop getting them forced on you on your doorstep at www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/stop-yellow-pages

2. Fire junk mail at work: How much mail do you get for employees no longer at your company? There is a database at the Ecological Mail Coalition (www.ecologicalmail.org) that solves this. By entering ex employees’ names into their database you can stop this mail. Marketers run their mailing lists through the Ecological Mail Database to remove people who won’t get their marketing materials.

3. Give yourself some credit: There is no shortage of ways to apply for credit cards or get insurance quotes so why do you need to be bombarded with offers? Stop these and other financial offers which use your credit score to pre-screen by going to www.optoutprescreen.com. To me this is also a matter of privacy!

4. Shop Where You Want: We all enjoy a nice browsing a catalog from time-to-time but how many do you get unsolicited that you will never order from? Those random catalogs can be stopped at www.directmail.com/directory/mail_preference. After filling out their form, the only catalogs you will receive will be those you ask for such as from the vendors you purchase from.

5. Send in the troops: This is actually pretty cool. A non-profit company called 41Pounds.org will stop junk mail on your behalf for just over $8 per year and they give you a 100% guarantee. What’s more, they donate 1/3 of their proceeds to environmental causes and planting trees.  Let them fight junk mail for you at www.41pounds.org/signup/

I hope this gives you some real solutions for saving yourself time, eliminating clutter and helping to save the planet.  I urge you to share this link with your friends, family and even Facebook. For these steps to really make an impact on the planet we need to get lots of people to join in!


21
Jul 10

Inspired With Sustainability

I’m Bojan. At Merida I’m part of the marketing team where I work to create websites, technology tools also really anything else we need a hand with. I wanted to share with you the story behind one of those “other things” that inspired me.

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you probably know that we’re very passionate about sustainability. We strive to educate and inspire people outside our company and we also don’t overlook educating and inspiring our own employees.

The Sustainability Poster Mission

A month ago, Merida’s Director of Sustainability and frequent blog contributor, Zairo Cheibub asked me to create a simple poster that illustrates the fundamental problem we are facing with the environment – and the problem we are committed to helping solve.

Zairo, a former college professor and MIT student had put together a detailed document describing our environmental crisis. I immediately realized that the task of translating this into a simple poster was going to be a challenge though a necessary one to get the point across simply and effectively.

We worked together to finally boil the information down to just the key facts in chronological order so that people could more easily understand where we came from and better understand the problem with where we are going. We decided to place to poster (pictured below) in the lunchroom in our home office so that we could all learn and be inspired even while heating up leftover pasta.

Did The Poster Inspire?

I found that the process of creating this poster really inspired me and I hope it has the same impact on others. To me it illustrates that it has taken humans a handful of years to destroy something that took nature billions of years to create.

It also illustrates the negative impact oil and the petroleum industry has on the environment (something that the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf has really underscored.) The underlying message to me is that humankind needs to change its destructive ways; otherwise the living conditions on Earth will simply return to something uninhabitable.

I can tell you that it definitely opened my eyes. I knew that pollution was getting out of control but I didn’t realize that it was this bad and I work for a company dedicated to sustainable design!

If the global average temperature rises just 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit, ice caps will melt, and the coastal cities will flood! This is not your water-in-the-basement kind of flood; we’re talking about full-scale high-rise buildings under the water and that is very frightening.

Here is what I’ve personally been inspired to do:

  • From now on I’ll think twice before purchasing products that come in plastic containers.
  • I have stopped purchasing bottled water since tap water tastes fine where I live and is free.
  • I don’t use plastic grocery bags – I bring my reusable grocery bags shopping.
  • I’ve been riding my bicycle to work since I started working for Merida because my wife used our car but now that her new job is walking distance, I will continue to bike across Boston to work.

Best of all, I’m passionate about spreading the word and happy that I’m working for a company that is trying to make a difference. By creating the poster, writing this blog post, and by talking to my friends and family I’m making a difference.

Alone we can’t change much but we can inspire others to join us and that can change a lot. Please leave me a comment if you’ve found any of this inspiring or would like to share your own tips for how you’re trying to make a difference.


9
Jul 10

How to Reuse Our Sample Box

Quick show of hands, how many of you have received our new sample box? I hope you didn’t throw it out because if you did you missed a chance to be very hip and sustainable.

Maegan Fee our Creative Director created our new sample boxes as part of an overall branding update. While our brand has always stood for sustainability and great design its always evolving and improving on both fronts.

Our new sample box launched this year is just one more way we’re trying to remain dedicated to design and sustainability in all we do. Our sample boxes were created with cool patters on the inside and as Maegan shows you below, they can very easily be re-used to make a nice storage container or gift box.


8
Jul 10

Staying Cool With Wool Rugs

In Boston where our home offices are we’re having a heat wave. This has got us all thinking about ways to keep cool – with style of course and this got me thinking. What about wool?

We’ve said all along that wool like we use in our Sweater Rugs, Pure Rugs, and all of our designer wool rugs is a remarkable fiber with remarkable properties. Wool has been used for over 10,000 years and in very hot climates due to its temperature regulating properties and comfort. So what is it exactly that wool does to help keep us cool and warm?

A Little Wool History

Well for starters lets look at a little history to gain some perspective.  According to Wikipedia, the oldest known European wool textile from around 1500 BC was found preserved in a Danish Bog. Wool fibers from wild goats found in a prehistoric cave dating as far back as 34,000 BC suggest that wool fabrics were made even earlier.

Wool experts believe that ancient civilizations living in Mesopotamia cultivated sheep for food and clothing 10,000 years ago. Because sheep are herd animals, this created a mobile resource for basic human needs. The warmth of wool clothing and the mobility of sheep allowed people to spread civilization beyond the warm climate of the Mesopotamian Valley.

Why Wool Rugs Are Cool

Wool’s ability to regulate temperature, insulate and even cool come from two very cool characteristics. The first actually has to do with air. Still air pockets are one of the best insulators in nature. The natural crimp in wool fibers make them stand apart from each other creating millions of tiny air pockets. The impact of laying a wool rug on your floor is like laying incredibly efficient and safe insulation on your floors.

Wool rugs reduce heating and cooling energy requirements by preventing heat loss and preventing heat rising through the floor keeping your room cool and comfortable. If you use air conditioners you will appreciate the insulation on the floors as the cooled air sinks to the floor where you don’t want it warmed by heat rising from the floor.

The other unique feature of wool which helps cool you down is its ability to absorb moisture. Wool fibers are hygroscopic, meaning they readily absorb moisture. Wool can absorb up to 40% of its own weight in moisture and still remain dry. Wool is also not susceptible to mold due to its unique structure.

As they absorb moisture, wool fibers warm up reducing humidity and condensation in the room. Conversely as moisture evaporates back into the air it cools down. This process means less energy is required to heat and cool a room.

Conclusion

I think you’ll agree with me when I say wool is very cool and that is part of why we love working with it. With its amazing room temperature and moisture regulating properties we shouldn’t overlook wool’s most obvious feature however, its soft and gorgeous and makes fantastic looking, durable rugs. In future posts we’ll explore some of wool’s other amazing characteristics such as safety, sustainability and ease of designing textiles with it.

Explore Merida Wool Rugs

Wool Rugs on Sale at Merida Home

Tufted Wool Rugs

Woven Wool Rugs

Sweater Wool Rugs

Wool Carpet from The Pure Collection