Greener for Polar Bears

Polar Bear Garage Sale donates 30% of profits to support the preservation of polar bears in the wild.  Our blog advocates for polar bears and reports the latest news from science on the pressing threats to polar bear survival. Beyond this, PBGS seeks--for the sake of polar bears and everybody else--in the daily operation of our business, to help the planet heal.  We are focused on green materials, green processes, and green products.  Our mission is commerce in pursuit of a healthier planet.

Our Green Shirts for Polar Bears are made from certified 100% organic cotton.  Green isn’t just their color.                                                         Why does organic matter?                                                                                                                                                                                         Toxic synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are already globally dispersed: these are among the made-made chemicals with which polar bears and other Arctic marine mammals are heavily contaminated.  Further south, the same hazardous agrochemicals have poisoned millions of field workers, contaminated livestock, fouled the air, polluted water supplies, and meant death for “non target” animals including birds, fish, and bees.  
Conventionally farmed cotton is among the world’s most chemically treated crops.  Worldwide, conventional cotton farming in 2015 is expected to introduce 7.5 million metric tons of fertilizer to the earth.  The same fields will be blanketed with an array of other toxic chemicals including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, defoliants, and poisons for rodents.  
The good news is that we can say no to these practices, this rain of poisons, by choosing cotton that’s certified 100% organic.  Organic cotton, grown free of toxic chemicals, is better for people, better for polar bears, and better for the planet.
Our Green Shirts for Polar Bears are printed (in a US plant powered by wind) with water-based ink.
What difference does the ink make?
T-shirts--unfortunately even some t-shirts made of organic cotton--are ordinarily printed with plastisol inks.  Plastisol, which can feel like a coat of rubber on the front of your t-shirt, is made from the petrochemical PVC, whose processing is notorious for toxic pollution.  (According to the Center for Health, Environment, & Justice, PVC processing facilities in the US have “poisoned workers and fenceline neighbors, polluted the air, contaminated drinking water supplies, and even wiped entire communities off the map.”)  Each year, the manufacture of PVC in the US releases into the atmosphere hundreds of thousands of pounds of known mutagens and carcinogens, among them vinyl chloride and dioxin. 
PVC-based plastisol inks contain phthalates--chemical plasticizers linked to liver, kidney, and lung damage; known to have adverse effects on human reproductive health; and classed as “probable human carcinogens” by the EPA.
After printing, plastisol inks--right under our noses--continue to leach phthalates into the air we breathe.
Green Shirts for Polar Bears will help you breathe easier, knowing you’ve said no to petrochemical pollution, and you’re not wearing noxious ink on your chest.  You’re wearing the important message that polar bears can still be saved--and it’s printed with eco-friendly water-based ink.
Our Polar Bear Protector collars and leashes are handmade in the US of planet-friendly green hemp.

Why hemp?                                                                                                                                                                                                               Many of the leashes and collars sold for our pets are made of nylon, a synthetic polymer derived from petroleum.  Hemp, in contrast, is a natural fiber, a sustainable crop--a greener choice for you and your excellent dog.  Hemp, like organic cotton, is grown without adding toxic chemicals to our air, soil, or water.  Less poison is better for polar bears and everybody else, better for the earth.

Our No-Tech Robots for Polar Bears are one-of-a-kind assemblages constructed almost exclusively from cast off materials, spent parts, the remains of devices obsolete or beyond repair.                                                                                                                                                          These engaging and distinctive little personalities add retro-future flair to your desktop, hold a memo for you--and redirect technological and industrial debris--otherwise destined for landfills already choking with waste--into useful new life.  No-Tech Robots for Polar Bears literally embody the goals of reclaiming, repurposing and reinventing to reduce our burgeoning accumulation of waste--and they look good doing it.

Our hang tags are printed for us by Greenerprinter on uncoated paper, 100% recycled stock, 100% post-consumer use--because our planet, to keep breathing, needs its trees.                                                                                                                                                                                Only climate change represents a greater threat than toxic pollution to polar bear survival--and trees, absorbing the greenhouse gas CO2 while pouring out oxygen, are warriors against climate change.

Our packaging, supplied by EcoEnclose, is as green as it gets.                                                                                                    

  • Our shipping cartons are made of 100% recycled material: 95% post-consumer content and 5% post-industrial.  
  • We keep fill material to the minimum necessary to protect your purchase; when we do use fill, it’s (US-made) expandable paper GreenWrap.
  • The poly mailer bags we use for our t-shirts are the only ones on the market made of 100% recycled material, combining post-consumer and post-industrial content. They’re designed for re-use, with a second adhesive strip to enable resealing--and they’re fully recyclable.
  • We use biodegradable packing tape.

Global warming and toxic pollution--the two greatest threats to the survival of polar bears--are the unintended consequences of human action.  Intentional human action can help the planet heal.  We can carry on greener.

For a more detailed version of this page, specifying sources for all facts, see Greener for Polar Bears Extended Play.