How Sports Are Influencing Sustainable Practices (Triple Pundit Post)

Teaming up with Transitioning to Green, we sat down with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Portland Timbers, and San Diego Padres to talk sustainability in the world of sports. We are so inspired by these teams and their dedication to their communities and to building sustainable organizations.

Check out our latest article with Triple Pundit on what we learned: Continue reading

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Your Support Brought Home the Gold

NCW Eco-Excellence Awards


Thanks to your support, our kids backpack took home the gold in the Accessories for Kids category at the 2015 Eco-Excellence Awards! We are honored to be recognized alongside companies like TOMS Shoes, The Beauty Box, and The Honest Company for producing sustainably responsible products. You can take a peek at all of the winners on NCW’s website.


Kids Bakcpack (1)

We promised you that if we won, one lucky voter would take home the winning product. The results are in:

Congratulations @TedJFoster for winning our kids backpack!

And a big thanks to you for your support. We couldn’t have done it without you!

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Our New Favorite Go-To for Gifts (+ 5 of our favorite buys)


UpcyclePost logoThere is a new site on the map that we are chomping at the bit to share. UpcyclePost provides a platform for members of the growing upcycling community to share and sell their work. Founders Mark Howe and Rich Lancaster have a clear vision: to change the way we view commerce and build a less wasteful society. At UpcyclePost, “our mission is to create an inspired, collaborative community that promotes sustainability.” Music to our ears!

We are lucky enough to be a featured vendor on UpcyclePost, where we can share our mission and our bags with a vast community of like-minded makers and consumers. From old t-shirts and records to science flasks, you won’t believe all of the products the UpcylePost community produces.

We gathered five of our favorite products from the site. Let us know if we missed a product you love!

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Here’s Why We’re Fired Up About The Green Sports Alliance Summit

We just returned from the Green Sports Alliance (GSA) Summit and couldn’t be more excited about what we learned. The GSA really delivered this year with their lineup of speakers, the events, and the content. We were able to tour Soldier Field, interact with several industry leaders, and hold meaningful conversations about sustainable business practices and the work we’re doing helping teams reduce their trash to landfills.

Though we have a long list of takeaways, here are six reasons why we’re fired up after attending the Summit:

1. Prince Ea’s “Dear Future Generations


Rapper and activist Prince Ea presented to GSA Summit attendees at Soldier Field and all we have to say is, “WOW”. His passion is contagious and we were so inspired by his call-to-action. If you haven’t seen his apology “Dear Future Generations”, stop what you’re doing and have a quick listen.

Prince Ea warned, “If we don’t all work together to save the environment, we will be equally extinct.” He also encouraged us to Stand for Trees and take care of our planet; to stop making excuses and make a change. He boldly stated, “When the rivers are all dried up and trees cut down, man will then realize he will not be able to eat money.”

Shawn Heinrichs also presented at the Soldier Field event alongside Prince Ea, where he revealed the trailer for his new documentary, Racing Extinction. Heinrichs is a marine conservationist, among a slew of other things, and his film exposes the two worlds driving extinction of species. We can’t wait to see it.

2. The focus on women in the industry

The GSA was asked to make women a more integral part of the Summit and they delivered. This year, our very own Della Simpson was chosen as a moderator for the Women, Sports & the Environment Symposium to discuss how women are championing a sustainable future through the use of sports. The session was full of good conversation and we loved the focus on bringing younger individuals on board to help drive sustainable change throughout organizations across the sports industry. While we loved having a session dedicated to the amazing women in this field, we hope that next year, the Women’s Symposium will be an even more integral part of the entire Summit.

3. Disney’s “Environmentality”

On average, Disneyland recycles 81 million sheets of paper per year. That’s enough to build a trail from Disneyland Resort to Walt Disney World Resort and back, twice. This was just one of the nuggets Beth Stevens, one of the keynote speakers at the Summit, shared about The Walt Disney Company’s sustainability efforts. She spoke to the fact that sustainability and social responsibility are ingrained in the way Disney does business. We also learned that the company calls their sustainability efforts an “environmentality”, a mindset that roots back to Walt Disney himself. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Disney’s sustainability practices going forward.

4. The stacked lineup of athlete speakers

We loved all of the engagement from athletes at this year’s event. Seeing well-known athletes like Andrew Ference from the Edmonton Oilers or Caroline Gleich, a big mountain and powder skier, stand up and speak about sustainability issues was really inspiring. We loved hearing former NFL player Will Witherspoon’s share stories of Shire Gate Farm, his sustainable cattle farm, and Ference’s Carbon Neutral Challenge for his fellow NHL players. We also enjoyed listening to Gleich about her involvement in several organizations driving climate change, including Protect Our Winters, whose mission is to unite and actively engage the global snow sports community to lead the fight against climate change. We believe that the public support and encouragement from athletes across sports arenas, from hockey to skiing, racing and surfing, will help our community reach a much more widespread audience, and we couldn’t be more fired up about it.

5. The “Champions of Game Day Food” report

During the Summit, the GSA launched their latest Champions of Game Day Food report. The report highlights 20 stadiums that are adopting sustainable food practices and offering healthier food to fans. This includes suggestions for menu planning, sourcing local fare, using compostable utensils and equipment, and reducing food waste. Teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Padres, Cleveland Browns, and Boston Red Sox participated in the study as featured case studies. We love that the GSA is using its leadership to bring together these teams and provide a framework for other venues who are looking to do something similar.
We should also mention that the GSA also released their Greener Cleaning Playbook, which highlights sustainable cleaning practices for sports stadiums. We learned that each year, six billion pounds of chemicals are used in the commercial cleaning industry alone. We hope that the GSA’s playbook will help not only the sports industry, but also other commercial organizations, adopt more sustainable cleaning practices.

6. The Yankees hitting one out of the park

YankeeStadium_DannyWild(Courtesy of Danny Wild)

Though announced in early June, we were excited to see Doug Behar and the Yankees presented with the GSA Environmental Leadership Award at the Summit. They have done amazing work green initiatives at Yankee Stadium, including neutralizing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their natural gas consumption, committing to 100% recycled paper products and eliminating paper operations and maintenance manuals, and diverting roughly 80% of trash to landfills through their recycling and composting program. We were thrilled to see their efforts recognized with the award. Congrats, Yankees!

Thanks for a great summit, GSA. We are already looking forward to next year’s event!



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3 Ways to Retire Your Old American Flag (and a few fun facts)

flag sparkler

Can you believe that the Fourth of July is just around the corner?

In between planning a festive weekend full of BBQs, fireworks, and lake activities (at least for those of us here in the land of 10,000 lakes), we found ourselves wondering: What happens to American flags when they reach the end of their life?

We did some digging and found that there are several appropriate way to dispose of (and recycle!) the American flag.

But first, a few facts about the nation’s flag that we learned along the way:

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5 Reasons to Get Excited About the 2015 Green Sports Alliance Summit

This year’s Green Sports Alliance (GSA) Summit is just around the corner and we could not be more excited for this year’s event. The annual gathering, which is taking place in Chicago from June 29-July 1 this year, brings more than 800 industry stakeholders together to share ideas, spark conversations, and promote sustainable business practices within the sports industry.

Since 2012, we’ve partnered with the GSA to provide conference bags made from repurposed materials for their attendees, and we love having the opportunity to connect with members of the sports community to talk fan engagement and sustainability.

Whether this is your first time hearing of the GSA Summit or you’re a veteran attendee, here are five reasons why we are excited to be attending this year’s event:

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Eco Excellence Awards: We need your help!

We are excited to announce that we are a finalist for the 2015 Eco-Excellence Awards™! The Eco-Excellence awards are the only ones to recognize excellence in the world of sustainability and social responsibility.

Not one, but three of our products are in the running and we need your help to take home the prize! To help us bring home the gold, we’re sweetening the deal:

Cast a vote for our products below and you could win one of the products for yourself!

To enter:

  1. Head over to NCW’s voting page and cast your vote for one (or all!) of our products
  2. Send us a note by posting on our Facebook page (/relanbag) or tweeting us at @relanbag to let us know which products you voted for
  3. If we win in any one of the categories, we will select a lucky winner to take home a product they voted for!

Cast your vote now!



Now, let us introduce you to the products in the running:

Wicked Purse: Accessories for Mom

Flower and Red Wicked

Our beloved “Wicked” purse is made from upcycled vinyl billboards and banners and lined with repurposed fabric.  Each purse is one-of-a-kind so you never have to worry about being out and seeing someone carrying your same bag.  With this purse, we are doing our part to keep part of the over 600,000 tons of vinyl that is discarded each year out of our landfills.

The Wicked Purse was selected as a finalist in the Fashion Category under the Accessories for Mom section.


Messenger Bag: Accessories for Dad

Messenger Bag

Our “Saddle Bag” reflects the old Western-style messenger bag with rounded corners and additional pockets. The external slash pocket is handy for quickly stashing papers and the inside zippered pocket keeps valuables safe. The bag is created using repurposed vinyl, has an adjustable shoulder or cross body strap and double clip closure. Great for carrying all of your business and personal items, and looking fashionable and eco-friendly at the same time.  With this messenger bag you can help reduce the carbon footprint of vinyl, a hard to recycle material.

Our messenger bag was selected as a finalist in Fashion Category under the Accessories for Dad section.


Backpack: Kids Accessories

Kids Bakcpack (1)

This simple, durable, and versatile backpack is perfect for all your carrying needs. With adjustable shoulder straps and velcro closure you can carry all of the kids school supplier easily in this one bag.  Coolest part is no one else at school will have the same bag and they can teach their friends and teachers about upcycling!  Created with upcycled vinyl.  Not only can your kids learn about upcycling, but they can do their part to make our planet a little better and cleaner place to live by keeping this vinyl out of our landfills.

Our backpack was selected as a finalist in Fashion Category under the Accessories for Kids section.


Voting starts today and we need your help to take the award home. Visit the NCW’s voting page to cast your vote now and help us bring home the title!

About NCW Magazine:

NCW Magazine is the leading lifestyle publication that addresses the needs of the modern family. Beautiful photography, thought-provoking editorial content, and a clear focus on ecologically and socially responsible consumer values makes NCW Magazine an unmatched destination for everything modern, sustainable and beautifully crafted. The #1 resource for parents who want to make better choices for themselves and the people they love the most, without sacrificing the things they like the most. From design in Copenhagen to fashion in New York, to lifestyle and well-being around the globe, NCW Magazine offers a global look at parenting in the modern world.

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