Pirelli: a story with an interesting beginning

Pirelli is a brand which is known primarily for its connection to tyres, sport, and motor-sports in particular (it's currently the Formula 1 sponsor and the official tyre supplier for the world superbike championships). Something that many people – racing fans included – may not know about the tyre giant is that Pirelli originally began as a company which made not only tyres but different kinds of elastic rubber products. Read the rest of this entry »

Goose jacket: a garment to be abolished?

Did you really think goose feathers that fill our duvets and jackets were born on the trees as the leaves? And as the autumn leaves they fall? In the major part of Europe, goose feathers are taken in the illegality of a practice that is unfortunately widespread in all the EU, the first responsible for the absence of controls.

The geese are plucked from goose when animals are still alive: a terrible suffering that is repeated several times until the animal dies or is unable to produce feathers of “quality”.

The practice is extremely violent: 2 minutes to hand plucking a goose adult and get about 200 grams of feathers. Animals are plucked for the first time when they are only eight weeks old: they are still chicks and feathers are softer.

They are hanged by the neck, with tied legs, and plucking began while writhing and screaming in pain. At about eight months of life, when the quality of the feathers begins to suffer, most of the geese are killed and their meat sold.

How to avoid this cruelty? First of all is important to choose only brand that assure no illegal treatments are done by their industries: Moncler is one of those brands.

Once chosen that, the next question is to ask ourselves if the “real down” is really synonymous of quality products. Most of the European brands do not always use high-quality feathers for their products. In any case, apart from the quality of the foam (that varies according to the level of the plumage maturation), there are products that can offer a comfort of same level.

To be of good quality, is important to tests products according on two variables: “Thermal Resistance” (as the product keeps you warm) and “evaporative resistance” (transpiration).

Going back to the goose feather plucking, the already said Moncler has been called into question, the official press release is clear: “Moncler uses only high quality feather, purchased from suppliers contractually obliged to ensure compliance of principles for the protection of animals, as reported by Code of Ethics. Feather suppliers of the company are all based in Italy, France and North America.

To buy genuin, high quality and legal goose feather filled-in products, is also important to choose the right vendor: websites selling Moncler down jackets online such as Fabbriboutiques and Harvey Nichols are the safest bet.

Waste to Profit

How you can get energy and money from recycling.

There are several ways that Humans get energy from various recycling practices. In some cases energy is saved because it is easier to re-melt a refined product to make new, like in the case of metal or glass. In other cases, changing practices can recycle waste heat and generate power from it that would otherwise be lost.

Recycling in itself saves energy. There is less spent on extraction of raw materials, refining those materials, and transporting of them too. Glass, metal, paper fiber, and even pure plastic melts can be much easier to reform into new products then it would be to create those products from start to finish. A recycled aluminum can takes five percent of the power as one made from raw bauxite ore does. In this way humans ‘get’ energy for other things because less is expended in making new things. Other metals have similar savings, although not as dramatic. Lead and zinc save 60%, steel saves 62-74% and copper saves 85%. Recycling plastic saves 90% in power, and reduces the 10% of 2 millions barrels of oil a day that are consumed in making new plastics. Glass saves 33% on energy to make plus reduces energy used in transporting raw materials. Paper that is recycled saves 60% on the consumption.

There are forms of recycling that applies to energy itself too. One of these is waste heat recovery. This process takes heat produced that would typically be considered a waste and a hazard and turns it into a way to generate electricity through steam generation. Many recycling and production plants also use waste heat recovery methods. A variation of this is waste heat recovery from air conditioning that actually works to store heat for release in the winter. This heat is stored in the ground and can be accessed using a heat pump in the winter. One should also be aware of Combined Heat and power which generates both heat and electrical power from the same fuel. Such a system generates power on site and provides thermal energy for heating as well. This can be combined with waste heat recovery also in order to generate more electricity as needed.

One other method needs to be mentioned here: the Recovered Energy System. This system attempts to recycle every bit of waste fed into it, including heat, into new products, including energy. It can be run without other recycling methods or with them, as needed.

How it works is by turning waste fed into it into a clean combustible gas. This gas is used to create electricity as part of a gas and steam turbine system or it can be turned into ethanol which may be blended to gasoline or used on its own as engine fuel. There is heat created in this process and it is treated with waste heat recovery methods. With it electricity is made, superheated steam is created, the boiler is maintained, and the gas is distilled. This method seeks to recover every chemical in a form that can be commercially marketed.