Conscious Consumerism

Garbage: The Next Bridge Fuel

eco, environment, Supply chain, energyNick OgdenComment

If you are like me, a mid-twenties person, looking toward the future and seeing what we can achieve for energy creation that doesn't depend on fossil fuels. If you are like me you also know that that isn't such a simple thing. Currently, Elon Musk is getting all hyped up about his solar energy capturing, storing, and increased efficiency projects with SolarCity. Elon Musk, this generations Gandalf, telling big oil "YOU. SHALL. NOT. PASS!" *opens the Tesla app on his new IPhoneX and starts his car and revs the engine* (yes, Tesla's have an app, I've seen it and I nearly cried of jealousy). We also are seeing the rise of Tidal Energy, like that in the Bay of Fundy, where there has been lots of controversy about the lack of regulation and aquatic habitat disruption (but thats a whole other matter). Basically engineers have created a way to capture energy from changing tides, predominantly those that change frequently and with force, to turn an underwater turbine that then moves a shaft and creates energy through interesting feats math and physics. There are also those looking at capture energy from wind using massive turbines, nothing new we all know about those. But all of these energy sources have one thing in common, how do we store the energy once it is created? To that, I do not know. Electric Gandalf says make really really effiecient batteries and store it for when production isnt optimal. Others say kind of the same thing. I dont really know. What I do know is that there are those out there looking to create "bridge fuels" until the really smart people can give us an ultimate sustainable energy source. One of the many bridge fuels that has caught my eye is that of the plasma-gasification of garbage. 

Hold on. Yes, plasma-gasification is a real thing. No, I didn't just make this term up. But lets back up a little here.

Here in North America, and many other parts of the world, we have a real problem of over consumption and in turn an even bigger garbage problem.  We most likely throw away all the packaging of what we buy and most likely what ever we purchased (within a few uses); from there the garbage goes into a waste bin and the garbage truck takes it away. For most of us, thats all we know or really want to care to know. For me, I know that was the case up until a few years ago. After our garbage goes on a joy-ride in the back of a big truck it gets, more often then not, dumped into a lined pit, pressed, sealed, and then the process is continued until the pit is full and made into a park (or what ever else).

I love parks, I love sitting under a tree and taking a nap and hoping no one takes my wallet (just kidding, Halifax is pretty safe). Well under our backs, as we lay there napping or looking at the sky, the liner in the garbage pit has most likely ruptured and is slowly leaking toxic waste into our water tables and messing things up. With the handy use of a plasma torch, our problems are solved (sort of). 

So, here it comes. Our bridge fuel to end all bridge fuels: garbage. 

The plasma-gasification of garbage basically entails a few mane components: a receptacle for fuel (garbage), a fuel-to-gas-converter, a gas-refiner, a cooling system that creates steam and intern a steam turbine, and finally a "syngas" engine. The steam turbine and the syngas engine both create usable energy that consumers can use in their homes, power their electric cars, and play with (it would be cool if we could actually play with electricity, might just be me). So to sum this up, we would dig up our old land-fills, use the garbage for fuel to create energy, and then all is happy in the world. Not so. 

We are still burning something that creates emissions of some sort, we still aren't at sustainable energy creation yet. So what are the numbers?      

As we can see in this study done by lovely researchers at Columbia University, overall garbage is stacking up rather nicely with the exception of Nitrogen Oxides. But to counter this point, the amount of Nitrogen Oxides being produces in the extraction, shipping, refining, hauling, and burning of any other gaseous energy source is much more. Yes, there is still transportation being done to move the garbage but I would argue it is much less than that of fossil fuels.

To put this in perspective during the 2015 year in the United States alone 27% of total Green House Gas emissions were from the transportation sector, electricity 29%, and industry 21% of the 6,587 million metric tons of just CO2. If we used garbage as a fuel source to create energy then we would be saving literally millions of tons of emissions from entering the atmosphere every year. Having the source of this fuel located much closer the energy creation site would also cut emissions dramatically, no longer would we have to burn fuel to be able to burn fuel to create energy. 

I am not advocating that we stop fighting for more sustainable energy creation solutions but I am saying that this might be a band-aid solution that could tie us over until we can finally move to a future of closed system energy creation. With such companies as Fourth State and Pyrogenesis making great success in the plasma-gasification world, we can see that there are companies out there with the future in mind.  

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Dumb As A Smart Phone

environment, Supply chainNick OgdenComment

I have to admit, I get caught up in the wave after wave of glamorous new tech that hits the market month after month, and I find myself having to restrain from falling into this insidious trap. Tech manufacturers create devices that are no longer about standing the test of time and weathering until they physically stop working. All tech seems to now have an internal clock set for an 18 month window of operation, then when the clock strikes they slowly degrade forcing us to buy the latest gadget from our chosen manufacturer. This may be from new software updates that are meant for the operating systems of the new tech but are to advanced for our current outdated devices. It may be faulty hardware inside our devices that physically aren't meant to last. Most likely it is is our perception of our "old" tech compared to that of its newer, better, faster, sleeker successor: Technology Acceptance Model

The Technology Acceptance Model is a bases of calculating a users perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of a piece of tech. This measure can gives a basic understanding of a subjects perception of how their current tech compares to that of the latest model. Humans are prone to the "ooh a piece of candy" ideology, best shown in the popular TV show Family GuyWhat this demonstrates is our constant thirst for something new and sweet even though we have something that could satisfy this craving already. I fall down this rabbit whole all the time but I catch myself and ask, "do I really need this?".

This can be seen with the ongoing cycle of new smartphone releases and pandemic symbiosis to tech companies, like Apple. Apple has been at the forefront of innovative technology ever sense their inception, with the switch to 5 and 1/4 inch floppy disk in 1978 and their most recent switch to IPhones without headphone jackets as well as many others. This introduction of the Iphone 7 using the lightening bolt adapter and no headphone jack created market anger towards Apple because Apple was being Apple, innovative but annoying. Now with their latest innovation in the IPhone X with face recognition technology, VR capabilities and many other new advances they are throwing fistfuls of candy at consumers. 

With all this innovation comes massive amounts of waste and ecological degradation that Apple and other tech companies try not to let the mass market know about. May it be metal mining,  toxic chemicals or the immense dependants on plastic and petroleum products: all having massive implications on global ecosystem degradation. Sense the introduction of smart phones in 2007 we have seen 7.1 billion phones pass through our market. This has resulted in massive amounts of e-waste, much of which is not recyclable. Not only have we created a sea of waste we are also putting children to work mining minerals like gold, cobalt and aluminium. These children work night and day ripped from their parents, slaving to find trace amounts of these precious metals in such places like the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

In the Congo the mining of metals, primarily cobalt for smartphone batteries, is not only creating an environment of child slavery but also one of great violence and hostility. Due to the high demand for smart phones and intern cobalt for their batteries, mine owners are increasing hostility between one another over mineable land and available workers. This is not a suitable environment for anyone, much less children. Most of the worlds smart phones are consumed by the developed world, who often have strict laws around working conditions and environments for organizations. However, it is only recently that global leaders for human rights are starting to crack down on these clear violations of basic human rights. The UN, UNICEF and other human rights organizations do not have the person power to enforce laws and restrictions in all mining camps and other supply chain material sources violating human rights. It must come from the global consumer market to demand that the basic human rights of all those working not only in tech supply chains but all supply chains to have their rights fought for and protected.

Consumers are producers closest friends and worst enemies. If more people stand up and demand that all tech firms are transparent with their supply chains and material sourcing then producers will be forced to switch their unsustainable ways to those of sustainability and viability. If consumers demand that products last more than 18 months and the hardware recycled and replaceable, then producers will have to comply. 

At the end of the day its up to consumers to shape the future of our planet. It's up to you. 

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Thanks for reading! 

A Fashionable Protest of Fast Fashion

eco, apparel, fashionBridgette DeCosteComment

Every year, each North American sends 82 pounds of textile waste to landfills. On average we buy 64 items of clothing per year, up from just nine outfits in the 30’s. Clothing used to be good quality and cost more so people chose classic pieces they could pair easily and wear for years. Clothing today is poor quality and costs less so we buy and toss more than ever before. Sounding familiar? This new consumer behaviour is costing us big money and filling landfills. What do we do?

Build a capsule wardrobe! In a nutshell, a capsule wardrobe is a carefully curated selection of seasonally-appropriate, good-quality items of clothing that fit well, represent your style, and work together to create outfits for any occasion. Generally speaking, you don’t shop between seasons and you swap out items as needed- about four times a year. It’s also the coolest funnest way to protest the fast-fashion industry because you still get to shop! Ok well that makes it cool and fun to me anyway… It may seem regimented and time-consuming but I ask you: isn’t it worth the extra time if it means a closet full of clothing that makes you feel great?

Our short-term relationship with clothes means we never have to think of our wardrobe as a whole. We buy a new outfit for every occasion and barely pay attention to stuff like how comfortable it is, if it’s scratchy, layers well, or is a flattering cut. Has anyone else ever brought home a hat that’ll never see the light of day? As a result, most of us don’t feel great in our clothes and find our wardrobe doesn’t reflect our personal style. Too often we just default to the same three tops on repeat.

A capsule wardrobe is a solution to all of that and more! Have you ever chosen an outfit to influence the impression you make on a first date? A job interview? A bank meeting? Of course! We know the way we dress sends messages about who we are and how we expect to be treated and they aren’t limited to first dates and job interviews. It’s happening all the time and you might find you’re more comfortable confident in clothes you like, that fit well, and represent you. After all, how comfortable and confident can you really be while you’re wondering if you’re pulling off that hat?


Aside from the awesome personal benefits of a capsule wardrobe, you can feel good about living a little lighter on the world. That’s because you’ll be shopping less. A lot less. Down from the 64 items of the average North American, you’ll be picking up about 12 pieces a year. And no more hats of shame!

And there you have it: an easy way to dip your toe into conscious consumerism- and better clothes! Once you’ve got your style down and you’re loving this capsule wardrobe thing, why not buy the cashmere sweater that’s next on your list from an environmentally responsible brand?

If you’re loving this idea and you’d like to learn more you can check out this blog, this book, and this youtube channel for some really great capsule wardrobe content.

Supply Chain Sourcing 2: Xerox Is Our Bro

eco, Supply chainNick OgdenComment

When we first looked into printing services we kept asking the same question: "do you print on biodegradable papers using environmentally friendly inks?" Most of the companies we talked to could not give us a straight answer or direct us to their supplier's websites to do further research. Here at NO Standard we are not shy to doing a little digging and getting our digital hands dirty but having a company tell us to do all our own research about their suppliers put us off a little. This is a major pet-peeve of ours. If a company we are looking at to establish a professional relationship with can't answer or give us a very clear outline as to where to look to find the answers we are looking for about their products then that is a major problem. 


We looked around at the local, Halifax, print shops and luckily we found one that not only could answer most of our questions they also carried products we can use. BroMoc Print representatives answered our questions and even took the time to set up phone conversations to really hammer out the specifications that NO Standard Co. needs. Here at NO Standard Co. we don't try and make it hard to work with us, we want all the companies that supply our products to at least share in some of our mindsets and have knowledge of their product. BroMoc Print does just that. After a few questions from their rep and some solid details of what NO Standard Co. is looking for, they lined us up with Xerox printed stickers. 


If some of you don't know Xerox is not so secretly changing the face of toner printing and production. Their inks are engineered to be more environmentally safer then their competitors. They have triple bottom line standards; 4 Green Goals to make their products carbon neutral, less harmful to resource degradation, reduced use of toxic chemicals and heavy metals, and waste free production habits. Xerox is ISO 14001 certified creating green manufacturing facilities in all of their major production houses. Xerox is heavily decorated with green initiatives for their steps to creating more environmentally sustainable products and business models. Xerox is our bro with BroMoc. 

Lastly, NO Standard Co. is committed to continue sourcing products from companies that create open communication not only about their services but their suppliers as well. If any of our readers know a company or person that NO Standard Co. should team up with don't be shy to send us an email! 

Keep an eye out for our next blog post coming next Wednesday and don't forget to Subscribe! 


Supply Chain Sourcing: 1

eco, environment, apparelNick OgdenComment

Jerico is a Canadian apparel manufacturer that has kept all their production in Canada since 1987. Founded by two brothers and two sisters with a vision to create a product that is not only of the highest quality but also helps grow the Canadian economy. With this vision in mind Jerico was born. After the formation of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, between the United States, Canada, and Mexico; the Canadian apparel manufacturing sector plumited with the out-sourcing of cheap labor to Mexico. The founders of Jerico had to make a decision: shift production to Mexico to compete with market prices or become an industry leader and maintain their integrity, sustainability, and economic positive impact by keeping production in Canada. The later was chosen. Jerico is still a major player in the Canadian apparel industry and their vision stays true. 


Here at NO Standard Co. we are creating a brand of integrity with the vision of sustainable supply chains in mind. We are committed to only sources sustainable, fair trade, conscious products from companies with a like minded business approach. We use Jerico apparel because their vision is in line with ours. Our printing is done locally by Nick at Backstage Printing who only used water based dyes. This style of printing requires a higher attention to detail, alternative techniques, and ultimately a fantastically crafted product. Back Stage Printing does small batch printing utilizing efficient resource usage, cutting down on waste.  


Through the coming blog posts we will be sharing more insight into our product sourcing and company choices.  

We are also pleased to announce today that we will be featuring articles by Bridgette DeCoste on a wide range of topics. Stay tuned!  

Thanks for reading and don't forget to subscribe.  



Nick, owner and operator  




Welcome to NO Standard Co.

environment, eco, apparelNick OgdenComment

NO Standard Co. is a branded platform for consumers to learn about the impacts their choices make. We will be posting weekly blogs full of information focusing on one subject per week ranging from grocery store shopping lists to apparel purchase habits (new and used). 

NO Standard Co. is a simple brand dedicated to creating an open friendly atmosphere towards conscious consumerism. We are not looking to shame or single-out any other brand or the choices of consumers. We are a bold brand that is here to try and bring knowledge to the general consumer about their buying power. Every purchase we make has a ripple through the global ecosystem, may that be a positive or negative ripple is up to the good consumed. 

Starting the first week of September NO Standard Co. will have weekly blogs up ready to discuss topics and bring information together from around the world. 

Thank you so much for finding NO Standard Co. and we look forward to growing together.