Why We Need Bugs

Fun fact: humans cannot survive without bugs. Yep, those things that creep into your sleeping bags and go splat on your windshield are vital to the health and survival of our ecosystem. The honey bee is a simple example of why bugs are critical to human life: They pollinate plants that produce crops. Without bees, there’s no pollination, without pollination there’s no crop… you get the idea. Bees are just one of thousands of insects that are pulling more than their tiny weight. That’s why we love bugs (from a distance). Here are some of the reasons why:

Bugs add an estimated $57 billion to the US economy.

According to the Cornell Chronicle, insects are a primary food source for fish, birds, and mammals, and they do a heck of a job at keeping things clean. The study found that “native insects are food for the wildlife supporting a $50 billion recreation industry and provide more than $4.5 billion worth in pest control. They also provide crop pollination valued at $3 billion and clean up grazing lands, saving ranchers some $380 million a year.” Well, that sure puts our yearly savings to shame!

michel-bosma-119350-unsplash_Infeed

Bugs make great models.

When engineers need to create a spacesuit for Mars, or create a damage resistant car, they look to nature. In this TedTalk, Robert Full explains how examining cockroaches can inform how robots learn to stabilize on rough terrain, walk upside down, do gymnastic maneuvers in air, and run into walls without harming themselves. Way cool.

 

Bugs are highly civilized.

In a human world that can seem increasing more separatist, some insect societies are a shining example of teamwork. Take ants. Ants live in colonies that will grow and flourish for decades. In this TedTalk, Deborah Gordon explores how ants successfully collaborate, delegate, and even multitask – all without language, memory or visible leadership. Understanding these complex systems can help humans better understand our own complex systems from the human brain to high speed computer networks.

 

Bugs are delicious and nutritious.

In Mexico, you can buy a bag full of fried grasshoppers. In Japanese cuisine, bamboo caterpillars are a celebrated appetizer. And in Sardinia and Corsica, Casu Marzu is cheese that’s inhabited by live maggots, and (apparently) it’s divine. Listen to this TedTalk by Marcel Dicke on why insect delicacies are nutritional and eco-friendly additions to our daily diets. Mmmm.

 

Bugs are beautiful.

There’s inspiration all around, but sometimes it’s the little things that can be the most delightful – seeing the twilight dance of fireflies, watching a spider make its masterpiece, listening to the flight of the bumblebee… Bugs just bein’ bugs are some of Mother Nature’s finest works of art. Whether you capture the magic with your fancy human contraptions or just soak in the moment, pause for a moment to witness the beauty of bugs.

 

Bugs are buddies.

Like even our best friends, bugs can really be a pain in the neck sometimes. When ants invade your hammock or gnats keep you awake (and don’t even get us started on mosquitos), bugs can be a real buzz kill. Luckily, we’ve found a way to coexist: Our Toad&Co Debug styles featuring Insect Shield® Technology. Our Debug styles have a bug deterring fiber woven into the fabric, creating an odorless, non-lethal repellent that’s safe for humans and furry friends alike (and a billion times more pleasant than DEET or Citronella). Now we can appreciate bugs without being their lunch.

S18-Day_03-Toad_Hiking _203 (002)_inblog

Ending Apparel Waste with The Renewal Workshop

 

Like it or not, we all have to wear clothes. As an apparel company, we’re committed to making clothing as responsibly as possible – from the beginning to end. That’s why we’ve partnered with The Renewal Workshop to keep Toad&Co clothing out of the landfill and in the market as long as possible.

They say, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” and the Renewal Workshop has taken that adage and applied it to business. In warehouses across the country, apparel is piling up because it’s been returned, slightly damaged, or over-produced. Most unused clothing eventually ends up in a landfill, contributing to the 14 million tons of apparel and textiles that get tossed each year. But like we said, The Renewal Workshop is working to turn that trash into treasure.

In a state-of-the-art facility in upstate Oregon, the folks at the Workshop are taking our slightly damaged, excess and returned clothing and turning it into wonderful, fabulous, and renewed clothing. Here’s how it works: We send them Toad&Co clothing that, for whatever reason, we can’t resell. The clothes get sorted into two camps: clothing that can be renewed or clothing that can be upcycled into new fabrics. It’s cleaned in a zero-waste Tersus washing machine that uses CO2 to get deep into the fibers of the garment. There’s no water wasted, all byproducts are captured and reused and it will never, ever shrink your sweaters.

The rips and tears are fixed, buttons are sewn back on and broken zippers are replaced. The renewed clothing is co-branded, packaged with recycled paper, and made ready for resale on the Renewal Workshop website. Good as new, but far better for the planet. Treasure, indeed.

To find renewed Toad&Co clothing, visit RenewalWorkshop.com and search for Toad&Co products by gender. When you buy renewed clothing, you can trust that you’ve done something great for the planet and the apparel industry. Extending the life of a garment means less water, less carbon and less waste in a landfill. Together we can change the apparel industry from a linear one to a circular one. Together, we are a force.