5 Items That Reincarnate Plastic Bottles Into Outdoor Gear
By Jill K. Robinson
What's the most environmentally friendly approach to gear and clothing?
Hang on to what you have and repair your goods. When it's replacement time, choose items upcycled from plastic to help keep bottles, fabric and other detritus out of landfills and waterways.
Here are four items that source responsibly reincarnated plastic.
NORTON POINT collects plastic from the canals and coastlines of Haiti, then processes it into pellets and molds them into frames for The Tide Sunglasses. The company recovers one pound of plastic for every pair of glasses sold. $89, nortonpoint.com
HAMILTON PERKINS's Earth Bag Lite is a simple duffel made from 17.5 plastic bottles and lined with vinyl fabric recycled from billboards. It comes in six colors and has an outer pocket. $95, hamiltonperkins.com
COLUMBIA's OutDry Extreme Eco Jacket is the apparel industry's first waterproof, breathable rainwear made with no added perfluorochemicals. Each is made from 100-percent-recycled polyester, crafted from 21 plastic bottles. $199, columbia.com
In a partnership with Parley for the Oceans, ADIDAS incorporates plastic waste from beaches into the yarn used to create Ultraboost Parley Shoes, a cushioned and supportive option for runners. Each pair contains an average of 11 plastic bottles. $200, adidas.com
Crafted from pre- and postconsumer recycled cotton and upcycled plastic water bottles, the Hookline Short Sleeve Shirt from TOAD&CO offers men a super-soft, no-iron, lightweight outfitting solution. This classic plaid button-up packs down easily and suits hikers (its shoulder seams were designed for backpack compatibility) and, as the name suggests, anglers waiting for the fish to bite. $65, toadandco.com
Reposted with permission from our media associate SIERRA Magazine.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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