The Eco-bedding

The environmental bed

The researches in the context of the transnational educational partnership-project have shown that the global agriculture is contributing with a substantial part to the over exploitation and pollution of the drinking water world-wide. A major part has the cotton-production, which additionally is mainly produced in areas with a shortage of drinking water. The usage of animal products, such as down represents likewise a huge problem for us: On the one hand because the production of animal products has a major part of the encumbrance of water, on the other hand, the problems of animal husbandry are inextricable and we would like to support the idea of not using animal products.

The most spread alternatives on the market are products made from polyester (synthetic substance). But also this carries a number of problems with itself: First of all, these products are based on the resource oil/ petroleum. Additionally, the production process needs a lot of energy, uses a remarkably big amount of water and produces a lot of co2. Furthermore, polyester is not an ideal product as a bed cover for its characteristics with respect to the transportation of moisture.
Some producers already changed their production by using recycled polyester (made from used plastic bottles) which is improving the impact on the environment at least.

materialienenglisch

Fibers of Viscose represent an interesting alternative product. Viscose has very good characteristics with respect to the transportation of moisture and therefore is very suitable for bed covers. Additionally, there are modern ways of production, already in use on a large industrial scale in Austria. They have a positive environmental usage of water and energy could be reduced on a minimal level. The fibers are sold under the label “Tencel” and are increasingly used for beds. A current “life-circle study” has shown, that these Austrian tencel-products are very environmental friendly and even show positive effects on the climate. Also, the usage of water is reduced to a minimum.
Therefore we classify this product as the best choice for bed covers and pillows. At this point, the product is mainly sold in combination with cotton. Consequently, we compared the different kinds of production of cotton and their influences on the usage of water as well as the ecosystems in the producing countries. The small rural production of cotton, especially following ecological standards, shows the best environmental and water balance. But also conventional small farms normally use little pesticides and do not water the plants artificial, but with rainwater.

During our researches, we discovered the project “Cotton made in Africa” of the “Aid by Trade-Foundation”, which was set up by the “Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer technische Zusammenarbeit” (GIZ) (German Society for Technical Cooperation) in cooperation with numerous companies of the textile industry. Cotton made in Africa guarantees small-scale-farming in African countries. More than 270.000 farmers participate in this project and are profiting additionally of the social as well as educational projects and the minimum standards of the initiative. However, the standards of fair trade or of controlled ecological cultivation are not fulfilled.
But also ecologically produced cotton neither guarantees small-farming, nor does it meets the standards of fair trade criteria, but the observance of ecological cultivation is the focus.

Our conclusion: Ecological cotton, produced by small farms, sold under the conditions of fair trade, would be the ideal choice.*

Unfortunately, the determined optimal standards of production on the market are connected to an unjustifiable input and expenses. We made an analysis of the market of products with a price up to 100 Euro. We summarized our conclusion the following table, which is comparing and evaluating the products in regard to their characteristics.**

Bettwarenvergleichtabelle2englisch
Based on the table, we decided to purchase the following products:

    • Badenia “Trendline Steppbett Tencel”
    • f.a.n. “Cotton made in Africa Tencel”
    • Badenia “Irisette Tencel”The final production of the bed cover and the pillow of these products takes place in Germany.

*The product “Catona” of the ecological mail order house “allnatura” used ecological cotton from fair trade, the price is noticeably over the sighted price of a maximum of 100 Euro. Furthermore 100 % cotton is used, which we do not consider to be the best mix of materials, as also ecologically produced cotton is often an encumbrance for the water resources. Additionally, the artificial watering following Eco-criteria (kbA) does not demand any standards. Beyond all that, allnatura does not identify the origin of the cotton.

**The table does not claim to be scientific of “objective”, but summarizes the intermediate results of our Partnership. It is not a (scientific) evaluation of products as other big foundations and institutions carry out.

Open Cola selfmade

The big Cola-Producers like Coca-Cola (R) and Pepsi Cola (R) are hardly criticized for their practices concerning human rights, labour rights and ecological impact. The offensive strategies are conquering traditional markets all over the world. Coca-Cola is criticised as well on health issues, because it contains a lot of sugar. The Coca-Cola Company is the worlds biggest soft-drink seller. With it’s franchising-system they only produce the syrup of the Cola and sell it to local franchise-companies who exclusively produce and distribute it in their region. The local franchisers mix and bottle the syrup with local water-sources. The franchise companies are selling as well a couple of other Cola-products like Fanta and Sprite or table-waters like Apollinaris etc. Of these, beverages bearing the trademark “Coca-Cola” accounted for approximately 78% of the company’s total gallon sales. The recipe of “coke” his kept strictly secret and since the global success a lot of companies tried to copy it.
The main competitor of Coca Cola is the Pepsi Cola (R) Company “PepsiCo”. PepsiCo is the second biggest food and beverages producer and seller in the world after Nestlé (R)

Open Cola on the other hand is a brand of open-source cola, where the instructions for making it are freely available and modifiable. Anybody can make the drink, and anyone can modify and improve the recipe. You can use the Open Cola recipe to make your own home-made Cola with an own flavouring. The drink can be distributed licence-free if you mind the rules of the GNU General Public License.

Open Cola can easily be produced by everyone. We produced Open Cola in our association and offered the final product on a anniversary celebration of our Project-network “KuBiZ”. The reactions have been controversial but mostly very positive about the taste of the Open Cola. Especially the possibility to design your own Cola with the right amount of ingredients and with know origin of the ingredients was mentioned very positive. In combination with our home carbonation system we could use local tab-water. As well we tried to use organic flavours and fair-trade organic sugar for the production. The syrup for the Cola can be produced in bigger amounts and stored space-saving in the fridge.

Here is the way of Open Cola production we choose:

Step 1:  Preparing the 7X (Top SeekrutTM) flavoring formulaOpenCola_Ingredients

3.50 ml     orange oil
1.00 ml     lemon oil
1.00 ml     nutmeg oil
1.25 ml     cassia oil
0.25 ml     coriander oil
0.25 ml     neroli oil
2.75 ml     lime oil
0.25 ml     lavender oil
10.0 g     gum arabic
3.00 ml     water

Mix the oils together in a cup*. Add gum arabic (natural!), mix it with a spoon or a hand-mixer.
Add water and mix it well. Use the mixer for 4-5 minutes. You can also transfer to a blender for this step. Can be kept in a sealed glass jar in the fridge or at room temperature.
Please note that this mixture will separate. The Gum Arabic is essential to this part of the recipe, as you are mixing oil and water.The ready-mixed flavours can be stored in a closed glas in the fridge.

* Oils: Can cause skin irritation. If oils come in contact with skin, wash with soap and water.

Step 2: Preparing the Syrup-concentrate

2.00 tsp.     7X formula
3.50 tsp.     75% phosphoric acid or citric acid*
2.28 l         water
2.36 kg     plain granulated white table sugar
0.50 tsp.     caffeine (optional)**
30.0 ml     caramel color
Mix it In a 5 l container

Take 5 ml of the 7X formula
add the 75% phosphoric or citric acid
Add the water, then the sugar.
While mixing, add the caffeine, if desired.
Make sure the caffeine is completely dissolved.
Then add the caramel color. Mix thoroughly.
The concentrate is ready!

* 75% Phosphoric Acid: Due to its acidity, this product is corrosive to the eyes and skin. Handle with gloved hands, and use extreme caution. If comes in contact with the eyes or skin, immediately flush with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Get medical attention. Rinse any spills on clothing or other surfaces thoroughly. Store in a secure area. Do not store more than 50.0 ml.
** It‘s best not to store caffeine in any amount. Caffeine can kill people in relatively small doses. The median lethal dose for an adult human is around 10 grams, or approximately one third of an ounce

Step 3: Preparing the Cola-Drink

To finish the drink, take one part of the syrup and add 5-8 parts (home-)carbonated water.

Further information…

….is available on the wikipedia-website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCola_(drink)

Slide shows and presentations used during the meetings