• Patagonia Men’s Classic Retro Cardigan (fleece made from recycled plastic soda bottles) |$175
• L. L. Bean Men’s Knife Edge Fleece Jacket | $79
Oil makes plastic, including 40 billion plastic soda bottles made in the US each year. About two-thirds of these bottles end up in landfills. For more than a decade, Patagonia has made fleece clothing from post-consumer recycled soda bottles. Patagonia estimates that companies making clothing using recycled bottles have saved enough petroleum to power a city the size of Atlanta for a year.
• Unisex organic cotton long johns for kids by rawganique.com | $36
• Lands’ End cotton long johns for kids | $19.50
Hard to believe that soft cotton pjs come at the expense of clean water, healthy food, and pure air. Conventionally-grown cotton is heavily loaded with pesticides. The finished clothing is often dyed with toxic chemicals and dipped in formaldehyde. Organic cotton avoids the need for synthetic fertilizers that end up in groundwater (and can kill a river).
• Womens’ Alexis vegan dress shoe | $87
• Lumani leather dress shoe | $114.95
This is a tricky one. The seemingly green choice in this case, the vegan shoe, is made from a synthetic material such as plastic. It’s clear that the leather shoe involved cows, which emit polluting gas, and also pollute groundwater with their waste. But if the vegan shoe involved oil somewhere in its history, leather might just be the green way to go.