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Levi’s is Using Hemp in Their New Line of Sustainable Clothing

Mayukh Saha, Truth Theory
Waking Times

December marked a historic moment in the United States with the hemp legalization. No wonder the industry is now flourishing. It has been estimated that the industry might go up and stand at a value of about $13.03 billion by the year 2026. You might have already come across hemp-derived products in the market, but now Levi Strauss & Co. is capturing a part of the fashion world by using hemp for sustainable clothing.

Levi’s is a denim icon and many people will swear by its name. But to keep up with its goodwill, as well as do something for our planet, Levi’s is going for sustainable clothing. While you might think that cotton is a harmless product, the water requirement of cotton is huge, almost 2,655 liters of fresh water, just for cultivation. With processing and finally using it in garments, it takes about 3,781 liters of fresh water. These are data that has been collected from the Stockholm Environmental Institute. Using alternatives like hemp can cut down the water use by 2/3rd.

So, in March, Levi’s collaborated with the Outerknown label, to introduce a jacket and a pair of jeans made out of 69% cotton and 31% hemp blend which gives the pure cotton fuel. The cannabis plant uses a lot less chemicals and water than cotton but is a bit difficult to manage too. While cotton is derived from the puffy bud found on top of the plant, indicating its softness, hemp fibers are taken from the trunk. It’s coarse and stiff, according to Paul Dillinger, the head of Levi’s global product innovation. It can be converted into a sturdy rope easily but for clothes – it just doesn’t seem like the ideal material.

But Levi’s knows how to mix and match ideas and come up with a working solution. Dillinger observed the growth trajectory of cotton demand and compared it with the fresh water requirement in both cotton processing and cultivation. It was pretty apparent that alternatives had to be found. Hemp was not in his mind, until the company discovered a cutting-edge research that was being conducted in Europe in places where hemp was legalized. Details of the breakthrough or the partners involved were not revealed by the company but within three years, the final product was in their hands, ready to be integrated into their clothing.

If cottonized-hemp can be integrated completely with the products of the industry, it can make way for a revolution. But Dillinger does not want people to get their hopes too high for now. This process is still in a novice state, and overnight revolution will not be possible. More research should be conducted before a shift can be made. It’s more likely that hemp will become another natural cotton alternative rather than a replacement of the versatile cotton.

Dillinger does not believe it will be a fad either. Generally, when people go for a sustainable product, they have to sacrifice some quality which the non-sustainable product boasted of. Oftentimes, they would make that sacrifice out of ‘choice’ or because it’s ‘cute’. But for cottonized-hemp, such a sacrifice would be unnecessary. According to Dillinger, customers won’t be able to spot a proper difference from pure cotton. Once proper research is done, he believes that within 5 years, such a product and the revolution is possible.

If it really turns out the way Dillinger hopes it would, we can save up a lot of freshwater. With the planet’s depleting resources requiring rapid preservation, this can be a massive development. Kudos to Levi’s, if they can make this work.

*This article (Levi’s Is Using Hemp In Their New Line Of Sustainable Clothing) was originally posted at Truth Theory and is re-posted here with permission.**

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Planet Earth

Melted Remains of Hiroshima Litter Japans Beaches

If you take a close look at the beaches of Motoujina Peninsula in Japan, you’ll find the sand is littered with tiny glass beads strangely shaped like teardrops as if they’ve been blasted down from the skies.

It might come as no surprise that these unusual objects are the relics of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in the dying days of World War Two. As reported in the journal Anthropocene, these pieces of debris – dubbed “Hiroshimaites” – are essentially the remains of the city that were blasted into the skies, cooked in an atomic cloud, and later rained down.

While sifting through the sands of Hiroshima Bay and Miyajima Island, geologist Mario Wannier started to notice these glassy flecks and set out on a journey to discover how exactly they were created. In the samples of sand he and his team collected, they found the spheroids and other unusual particles accounted for up to 2.5 percent of all of the grains.

This assortment of glassy particles was discovered in beach sands near Hiroshima. (c) Anthropocene, Volume 25, March 2019

This assortment of glassy particles was discovered in beach sands near Hiroshima. (c) Anthropocene, Volume 25, March 2019

Although most unusual, the teeny structures did remind Wannier of other sediment samples he had analyzed that date to the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, better known as that time an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million ago. Whatever forged the structures, it must have been an unbelievably epic amount of energy – and since they were found just miles outside the epicenter of nuclear explosions that occurred just 74 years ago, the source of that energy was obvious.

On the morning of August 6, 1945, the US dropped “Little Boy” on the city of Hiroshima, marking just the second ever detonation of an A-bomb and the first nuclear weapon ever used in warfare. Over 70 percent of the city was destroyed in the blink of an eye, along with at least 70,000 people who died instantly. An estimated 200,000+ more died in the following years due to injuries and radiation.

“This was the worst manmade event ever, by far,” Wannier said in a statement. “In the surprise of finding these particles, the big question for me was: You have a city, and a minute later you have no city. There was the question of: ‘Where is the city ­­– where is the material?’ It is a trove to have discovered these particles. It is an incredible story.”

The wrecked framework of the Museum of Science and Industry in Hiroshima, Japan. Everett Historical/Shutterstock

The wrecked framework of the Museum of Science and Industry in Hiroshima, Japan. Everett Historical/Shutterstock

A deeper analysis of the Hiroshimaites showed a wide variety in the chemical composition, including concentrations of aluminum, silicon, and calcium. However, some were composed purely of just iron and steel, or even concrete, marble, stainless steel, and rubber.

“Some of these look similar to what we have from meteorite impacts, but the composition is quite different,” explained co-author Rudy Wenk, a professor of mineralogy at UC Berkeley. “There were quite unusual shapes. There was some pure iron and steel. Some of these had the composition of building materials.”

Understandably, the research team concluded that only an atomic explosion could have kicked up such a strange composition.

Next, the team hopes their research will encourage further tests on the samples to see if any samples carry radioactive elements. They’d also like to travel to Nagasaki, the Japanese city hit by the US’s Fat Man atomic bomb three days later, to see if similar structures can be found.

Tom Hale
IFLScience

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Despite International Ban, Iceland Plans to Kill 2,000 Whales by 2023

Mandy Froelich, Truth Theory
Waking Times

In February 2019, Icelandic authorities announced their plan to kill more than 2,000 whales over a five-year period. Because the global demand for whale meat is declining, the trade is considered to be inhumane, and the conservation argument has flaws, environmentalists are enraged by the development.

Every year until the year 2023, whalers will be authorized to harpoon 209 fin whales and 217 minke whales in Icelandic waters. The move was approved, despite falling public support for whaling in Iceland.

The nation’s fisheries minister, Kristjan Thor Juliusson, claims the numbers are sustainable and based on “the latest scientific research.” In a statement, the government cited the economic benefits of whaling, as well as official figures revealing how populations of the once endangered fin whale are reviving. “During the most recent count in 2015, their population in the central North Atlantic was estimated at 37,000, or triple the number from 1987,” the statement reads.

But activists and conservationists disagree. The Icelandic Environmental Association, specifically, criticized the research on which the Fisheries Ministry based its quotas. And, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), an organization dedicated to protecting whales around the world, said whaling is no longer beneficial to the country’s economy.

“This is a country that’s embraced whale watching and has a different relationship with whales now,” said WDC spokesman Chris Butler-Stroud. “The reality is, the whale meat that’s being consumed there is mostly by tourists, unfortunately. … If it was down to local consumption, this probably would be dead in the water.”

Last year, Iceland was the center of a controversy after two rare blue/fin whale hybrids and at least a dozen pregnant females were killed in its waters. Activists believed change would finally occur, as a result. But, no such luck. “The Icelandic government’s decision to continue to kill whales – amongst the most peaceful and intelligent beings on the planet – is morally repugnant as well as economically bankrupt,” said Vanessa Williams-Grey, a campaigner for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) placed a ban on commercial whaling. Despite being a member of the IWC, Iceland has continued to hunt whales with its own quotas. Japan also a loophole that allows killing whales for scientific purposes to bypass the International Whaling Commission ban.

“It is well known that overexploitation by the whaling industry led toserious declines in many of the world’s populations of whales. … Many are now in the process of recovering, although not all,” says the IWC website.

About the Author

Mandy Froelich is an RHN, plant-based chef, freelance writer with 6+ years of experience, Reiki master therapist, world traveler and enthusiast of everything to do with animal rights, sustainability, cannabis and conscious living. I share healthy recipes at Bloom for Life and cannabis-infused treats at My Stoned Kitchen.Read More stories by Amanda Froelich

**This article (Despite International Ban, Iceland Plans to Kill 2,000 Whales by 2023) was originally featured at Truth Theory and is re-posted here with permission.**

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They discover plastic bags in the deepest place in the ocean

An underwater trip to the deepest place on the planet showed some unnatural results.

plastic bags in the deepest place in the ocean

On board a bathyscaphe (submersible), the businessman Victor Vescovo descended 10,927 meters to reach the abysmal depth of the Marianas Trench, in the Pacific Ocean.

He managed to break the record of the deepest dive made by a human being by a few meters; surpassing that obtained by the oceanographer Don Walsh in 1960 (10,916 m) and the most recent by filmmaker James Cameron in 2012 (10,908 m).

After spending four hours making observations from the specially prepared submersible, Vescovo and his team found several species, from arthropods with long legs and antennae to translucent “sea pigs”, similar to a sea cucumber.

plastic bags in the deepest place in the ocean

However, the most shocking was finding plastic objects such as bags and candy wrappers. “It was very disappointing to see the obvious human pollution in the deepest point of the ocean,” said the businessman when interviewed by Reuters.

Previous studies on samples collected in the Mariana Trench have shown that the amphipods called hirondellea gigas had microplastics in their entrails. But not only that, also radiocarbon.

The amphids that scan the dark depths feed on organic matter that rushes there. By eating the remains of animals that were exposed to the nuclear test activity of the Cold War, the bodies of the amphipods were infused with radiocarbon – the carbon-14 isotope or “carbon bomb” -.

Although it seems incredible, man’s pollution has reached more than 11,000 meters deep, where it also puts at risk the life that inhabits it.

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