Blankets from bottles – talk about a home run for the environment and for a local Manchester charity.
Portsmouth-based sustainable apparel manufacturer EARTHTEC will be converting all of the recycled bottles collected at next Thursday’s New Hampshire Fisher Cats/Erie SeaWolves game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium to blankets which will be donated to New Horizons for New Hampshire, Inc.
This initiative will be part of “Green Scene Night” at the ballpark, a collaborative effort between the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Public Service of New Hampshire, EARTHTEC, the Student Conservation Association and WTPL. “Green Scene” is a popular Public Service of New Hampshire sponsored radio segment that covers a variety of environmental topics on the “New Hampshire Today Show With Jack Heath.”
“It’s one thing to have PSAs on a video board encouraging people to take action, but it’s quite another to engage over 5,000 people in a fun and collaborative way,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director Steve Boucher. “What better feeling than to know that the empty bottle you’re throwing away is going to be used to create a product that will provide warmth to the homeless this fall and winter?”
Turning recyclables into clothing is nothing new for EARTHTEC which develops apparel from cutting-edge recycled or renewable fabrics like recycled PET (plastic water bottles), organic cotton, and natural wool. Their EARTH 360 Program is designed to capture plastic bottles and other #1 plastic at sporting events, concerts, conferences, schools, etc. to then process them into flake, then fiber, then yarn, then fabric, and finally back into apparel and accessories. With extensive experience in the garment industry, the EARTHTEC team is innovating with the combination of emerging textiles, fresh designs, and smart manufacturing techniques.
“We’re very pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate to people the very real value of taking items that would typically be discarded and turning them into something very useful,” said EARTHTEC CEO Dennis Randall. “This isn’t just good for the environment, it also stimulates the economy and creates jobs.”
In an evening that will feature music from “green” artists on the public address system and scenes from movies about the environment on the video board, fans will be encouraged to throw their plastic bottles into special EARTHTEC containers or hand their recyclables to a team of Student Conservation Association volunteers. Fisher Cats officials estimate that on an average game night, approximately 1,000-1,500 plastic bottles are thrown away.
“This is an incredibly exciting night for us and we’re pleased to do our part to reduce waste and encourage recycling,” said Fisher Cats President Rick Brenner. “To the best of my knowledge, this might be one of the first attempts to turn recyclable items collected at a stadium and turn them into products that directly impact a local community. Hopefully, this will turn into a tradition and grow each and every year.”
Public Service of New Hampshire Economic and Community Development Manager Pat McDermott will not only be hosting 25 clients at the event, he’ll also have the honor of throwing out the first pitch – appropriately enough, a baseball fashioned of rolled up EARTHTEC socks.
“The Fisher Cats and our other partners have really gone all out to make this a truly ‘green’ night,” McDermott said. “It’s these little touches that will hopefully resonate and stick with folks so that they’ll understand that recycling and energy efficiency aren’t a one night thing, but a lifestyle choice that benefits all.”
At the conclusion of the game, EARTHTEC will collect and transport all of the recyclables which will then ultimately be turned over in the form of blankets to the New Horizons staff. New Horizons is an adult homeless shelter, a soup kitchen and a food pantry and also operates Angie’s, a homelike residence for women experiencing homelessness.
“These blankets are welcomed and will definitely come in handy for our clients,” said New Horizons for New Hampshire, Inc. Executive Director Charlie Sherman. “We thank all of the ‘Green Scene Night’ partners in advance for their generosity and commend them for their commitment to the community.”
For tickets to “Green Scene Night,” visit www.nhfishercats.com.