Patagonia used 10,000,000 plastic bottles to make its new Black Hole bags

The iconic brand is on a mission to go 100% recycled
Photo: Patagonia

Did you know that the clothing industry pumps more carbon into the air—roughly 1.2 billion tons—than all international airplane flights combined? The creation of materials used throughout the clothing and apparel industry, whether natural or synthetic, is a carbon-intensive process, and one most often powered by coal-fired power plants. Using recycled materials can prevent an enormous amount of carbon from ending up in the atmosphere. And that's why Patagonia is on a mission to completely eliminate virgin materials from its manufacturing.

Blue sky guilt

Good weather in the age of new normals
On the way to the Missouri (photo: Chad Shmukler).

We’ve all heard stories about people who walked away from a horrific plane crash, or who came down off the mountain when their companions didn’t, or who returned home from Iraq or Afghanistan when so many of their fellow patriots made the ultimate sacrifice. Sadly, some of them end up suffering from “survivor’s guilt,” which the psychologist and writer Diana Rabb once described as “something that people experience when they’ve survived a life-threatening situation and others might not have.” It seems they can’t help but ask “Why me?

On fire

Decades of fire suppression and climate change have turned parts of the West into a tinder box
Photo: Phil Roeder / cc2.0

We had just topped Tincup Pass headed east toward Star Valley and, eventually, the Wyoming Range to chase cutthroats, when I noticed a thin, wispy line of smoke rising from the crest of the Caribou Range to our north.

As we rounded a bend in Highway 34, full-on flames appeared high atop the mountain. A lodgepole appeared to be fully engulfed in flame—it burned furiously amid the sea of green along the slope. The night before, the wind kicked up and it rained a bit, but lightning lit up the evening sky at a steady clip.

Prospecting 101

Finding treasure on the water
Photo: Jeremy Clark

South of Old Faithful, a tiny stream runs beneath the Grand Loop Road—thousands of tourists drive over the little bridge every single summer day.

A trail generally follows the stream on its gentle course to Shoshone Lake. If you walk the trail, you might occasionally see a tiny brook trout finning in a deep, dark corner of the creek. More likely, if you’re not an angler and staring keenly through polarized lenses through clear water isn’t really your thing, you might notice a fish dart for cover as your shadow crosses the stream.

Trump administration's flagrant attacks on public lands, clean air and clean water continue

New actions at BLM and EPA are just the latest in a 3-year long assault
A grizzly bear fishes for salmon in a Bristol Bay river (photo: Pat Clayton / FishEyeGuy Photography).

Despite the fact that the Trump administration’s attacks on clean air, clean water, wilderness and public lands have been virtually relentless, they are most often buried beneath an avalanche of breathless news coverage about other topics which, by and large, serve to distract most of us from issues of enormous significance. This past week, however, two actions which represent the latest in the administration’s sweeping, ongoing efforts to rollback environmental regulations and open up more lands to fossil fuel extraction and mining briefly leapt to the forefront of the news cycle.