Monday, October 27, 2008

Quilting Green

Here's an unusal post for with controversy! Now let me first say...I try to live as green as I can feasibly afford. I recycle, compost, organically garden, reuse, repurpose (see my Fiber Friday post from 10/17) and conserve. We keep our heat in the winter in our house at 59 & bundle up.....what I am saying is that we are not the frivilous kind.

I think my annoyance is the marketing world's affect on folks.

I have been chatting with the Quiltsy Team about cotton batting and that it is of late being seen as not being "green". This just floors me. It is an annually renewable resource (quicker than bamboo reproduces) and creates tons of jobs in the US. From the farmer, ginner, spinner, weaver and the companies that produce all the equipment that makes those activities possible...not to mention the USDA that certifies the cotton into grades for usage....who knows who else I am forgetting in that revenue/job stream..? BUT my point is how is cotton not a green alternative?

The only answer so far is chemicals used to culitvate the cotton to increase yeild. I suppose my best argument to that is corn. Corn is the GREEN fuel, right? Corn producers are using the comparable pesticides and genetically engineered seed to increase production. So maybe the definition of green is the alternatives....corn is greener than oil, so it is green, no matter what chemicals are used to harvest the maximum is still greener than the alternative. HMMM...maybe I can buy that as an answer.... plastic bottle batting is greener than cotton and that makes it green & cotton not green....maybe....(but it makes me wonder about the footprint of each alternative's processing...)

But I digress...cotton batting is not from a man made resource, and it is available in "organic" form for those that so choose.

I do not dislike any of the "greenER" alternatives, but I DO believe they are deceptive. There is a new batting being unveiled this week at market made from recycled plastic bottles. I immediately said YAY! I decided to check it out. I went to their website on the product.

it says (note the quotes): "Each pound of Dream Green Batting keeps 10 plastic bottles out of our landfills." comes the marketing part. KEEPS??? Are the makers of the batting dumpster diving to keep the plastic bottles out of the landfills? Or are they using the bottles already separated by consumers to be recycled into something? Isn't it misleading and possibly irresponsible to say they are keeping bottles out of the landfill if they are using consumer separated bottles....those bottles would have been made into something anyway.

NOW, don't get me wrong...I am ecstatic they have found a way to use bottles and soybeans and bamboo to make usable quality batting. I just am not proud of the way they make cotton out to be....well, polyester. Also, if you read the description of the Dream Green, that's what this batting is...polyester.

I am rambling, I know. But I think that we as consumers really should THINK about what the marketers tell us and process that information through a filter. It's just wonderful to have recycled products to choose from, it would be wonderful if they could be promoted with integrity.

I think this is mental backlash from the political process *wink*. but dont get me started on that....


RagamuffinQuilts said...

All good points! Thanks for sharing - it's something we should all look at closer.

Election - ya, right, don't me get started either. ;-)

love2ragquilt said...

Very interesting. I agree with you. I have heard about this green batting and those that have seen it say it is the color green too which seems wierd to me. I would like to see and touch it.

Vintage Sew and So said...

Great post. I agree with you 100%, people need to look beyond the marketing ploys of theses company's.

FabricsNQuilts said...


here's an online game show "Do you know green?"