Thursday, March 19, 2009

Green Collar Working

To me, one of the best things about working with wool as a medium is that it is an exemplar of the old "reduce, reuse, recycle" theme of renewable resources. Beginning with the sheep, everything about wool is recyclable, yarn to fabric to rugs. One often hears that civilization was carried forward by the horse, but I think that was made possible by the humble sheep. The sheep is the original "green worker."

Just yesterday we got the Brown Sheep Company spring 2009 newsletter. Once again, Brown Sheep is on the forefront in eco-responsible processing. They have been recycling their washing water for some time now, reclaiming about 90% of the water and 85% of the heat. Mitchell, Nebraska, just a few miles from the Scott's Bluff Monument (and the town of Scott's Bluff) is an incredibly dry place and by saving this much water they were doing a great thing for the eco-system.

Now they have added two new filtration processes to reclaim 18,000 of the 20,000 gallons of water they use daily for dyeing their gorgeous yarns. They are also able to retain the heat as well they use much less energy to keep the water hot for the dyeing. As they say in their newsletter, "Being a good steward of creation is one of our core values and we re pleased to bring you a quality product that does just that."

We value their committment and use their wonderful products in our weavings as much as we can. Here at Tres Hermanas we have reduced our overall carbon footprint from 9.2 to 2.7. We hope to do even better this year by putting in at least one transom window in the studio to add to the air circulation.

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

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