Recycling

JetBlue upcycling old uniforms

JetBlue's new uniforms_courtesy JetBlue

JetBlue switched to a new uniform last year, but found an eco-way to keep all the old, worn and never-worn crew uniforms out of landfills.

The solution: upcycling.

JetBlue joined up with Manhattan Portage, the company that first popularized and continues to make iconic New York City bicycle messenger bags and this week (just in time for Earth Day) rolled out the “JetBlue Uniform Bag Collection,” a line of five items made from unworn recycled uniforms and available online and in Manhattan Portage stores.

JetBlue Toiletry Case

JetBlue Toiletry Case

 

The toiletry case ($39) exteriors are made from JetBlue’s signature windowpane flight attendant shirts, the linings are made of scarves, and the handles are former neckties. The City Lights bag ($45) is made out of recycled pilot shirts, with intact pockets and pilot wings. The Sohobo bags ($89) were once all-weather jackets, the backpack ($109) is made from recycled JetBlue rain pants and all-weather vests have been turned into Europa bags ($115).

JetBlue Sohobo Bag

While the new line of upcycled bags puts unworn uniforms to good use, JetBlue also found a way to recycle the old uniforms crewmembers wore. In 2014, the airline donated 37,000 pounds of old uniforms, clothing and fabrics to a non-profit that planned to sell the material and use the proceeds to support a variety of programs in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Old fabrics from other airlines are also being upcycled.

Skyebags made from recycled aircraft leather donated by Delta Air Lines

Skyebags made from recycled aircraft leather donated by Delta Air Lines

Skyebags turns recycled aircraft leather from Delta Air Lines into wallets, toiletry bags and totes. Leather from replaced leather seats on Alaska Airlines is being reborn as carry-on bags in a line by Mariclaro. And while Looptworks has sold out of the totes it was making out of leather from old Southwest Airlines seats, its LUV line still has some duffle bags, toiletry cases and backpacks for sale.

(My story about JetBlue upcycling old uniforms first appeared on USA TODAY’s Today in the Sky blog in a slightly different format.)

Bye-Bye Burning Man & all that garbage

The Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert is wrapping up and more than 70,000 attendees are leaving Black Rock City – with their garbage.

There’s a recycling program at the festival, but all participants are required to remove their own trash and dispose of it elsewhere – in trash disposal stations in neighboring towns or perhaps in the giant trash bins set up at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

Burining Man

(Photo courtesy Reno-Tahoe International Airport)

Airports and airlines recycle some surprising stuff

For my At the Airport column in USATODAY.com this month I offered a fun round-up of items being recycled by airports and airlines in an effort to be help save the earth and, in some cases, to save some serious money.

You can read the full column, For airports and airlines, creative recyling  brings cost savings, on the USA TODAY website but  briefly, the list I included ranges from airports that recycle, reuse or re-purpose everything from old metal detectors, used de-icing fluid and concrete from old runways to creative partnerships between airports or airlines and local non-profits and green businesses. 

Two examples:

Jacksonville International Airport is working with the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on a project to turn tree clippings into food. The zoo needs a reliable year-round source of fresh “browse,” the natural vegetation eaten by many of the zoo’s large mammals. The grounds around the airport are full of browse-worthy trees and shrubs that could do with some regular clipping.  So browse harvested at the airport in the morning now becomes dinner for giraffe, elephants and great apes at the zoo;

And old seat covers from Delta and re-branded Northwest airplanes that could have ended up in a landfill somewhere were instead donated to Tierra Ideas, a small North Carolina company that is recycling the bags as messenger bags, laptop cases and other travel accessories with patterns that will very familiar to frequent fliers on those airlines.

A Delta spokesperson says so far Delta has donated about 5,873 pounds of fabric from an estimated 20,000 seat covers. “…Enough fabric to cover 92 of Delta’s 767-300ER aircraft.”

And – here’s something that didn’t fit in the column: On May 17th, Purdue University Airport, in West Lafayette, IN will be recyling this 737 aircraft.

“Shredding it,” is the term Betty Stansbury of Purdue University uses:

The aircraft is a 41 year old Boeing 737-200 donated to the University by United Airlines fifteen years ago for research and training purposes in Purdue’s  Aviation Technology Program. 

“The plane has reached the end of its useful life, and will be shredded starting on Monday May 17th. ….We use a large cutting device, called a shearer, to chew the plane into smaller pieces, which are placed in metal containers for transportation, melting and recycling.”

Lots of garbage at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

I prepared for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by spending the afternoon with garbage at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

First up:  an exhibit featuring  artwork by Dorothy Rissman made from trash she found on city streets, construction sites and beaches.

Dorothy Rissman - Snack Pack Dress

Dorothy Rissman - Reflector ball

Next: an introduction to the airport’s six pair of shiny new, computer-monitored trash compactors, set out for use by airlines.

(courtesy Sea-Tac Airport)

Sea-Tac Airport is incredibly enthusiastic about reducing waste and has won awards for the amount of trash it recycles and the wide range of things it recycles. For example, unsold food goes to food banks; spent cooking grease becomes bio-diesel fuel; and organic waste – including tons of coffee grounds, of course – gets composted.

Now the airport is turning its eco-eye on all the garbage that arrives on airplanes.

Instead of letting each airline take care of its own garbage, the airport bought a dozen computer-monitored giant compactors (six for trash; six for garbage) so that it can coordinate and monitor airplane trash.   Airlines that separate magazines, newspapers, soda cans and other recyclable items can get rid of that stuff for free.  And if they do a good job of helping the airport keep trash out of the landfills, airlines can get credit to help lower their annual bill.

Happy Earth Day!

Jacksonville Airport feeds zoo animals

Recycling is all the rage at airports these days.

Colored bins marked glass, paper and trash are lined up in most gate areas.

Used cooking oil from many food courts is transformed into fuel.

And at airports in Seattle and Portland, composted coffee grounds become part of the landscaping.

Now the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) has come up with a creative way to recycle yard waste and help animals.

The airport has teamed up with the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to provide tree clippings and shrubbery, called browse, [word of the day!] for the zoo’s animals.

Turns out that the airport grounds are an ideal source of the natural vegetation eaten by mammals such as giraffe, elephant, okapi and great apes.  The airport was having a hard time finding enough local ‘browse’ for its hungry critters, and the airport had plenty to spare.

Now, airport officials say, visitors to the giraffe and elephant exhibits, especially, will get to see the animals eating the browse collected that morning from airport property.

Nice!