Sustainability Consciousness

18.10.2013 § Leave a comment

Sustainability awareness has prevailed for the last decade. Although actual results are hard to see and many people are still indifferent to the movement, people in general are behaving more carefully and improvements are being made. Agriculture’s IPM systems are one example of the shift.

In our textile industry’s new eco standard, the Sustainability Assessment for Commercial Furnishings Fabric (NSF/ANSI 336), natural fibers grown using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems can earn extra points. IPM systems try to keep a balance between pests and their natural enemies so as to reduce the use of pesticides to a minimum level. For instance, as opposed to preventative pesticide spraying, IPM control measures are only implemented when pests attack. In 2006 it was estimated that globally 20% of all cotton is grown on IPM-managed farms; and in the USA, IPM is a widely accepted practice, applying to approximately 70% of the total area where cotton is grown.


Many universities advertise IPM programs now, including Iowa State University, Michigan State University, and North Carolina State University. IPM system are not just used for cotton, but for all of agriculture. Here is an interesting article that appeared on IPM North Carolina website about the Lonnie Poole Golf Course passing strict sustainability standards and become a certified Audubon International Signature Golf Sanctuary.

golf course

The Lonnie Poole Golf Course
Photo by Roger Winstead

Since golf courses are not strictly necessity for survival (In fact, neither are textiles, although cotton may be a food source in the future.), how nice to know that people are concerned about the environment and human health — while still having fun!

Information source:
Kooistra, K.J., Pyburn, R., Termorshuizen, A.J. 2006. The sustainability of cotton. Consequences for man and environment, Science Shop Wageningen University & Research Centre. Report 223. ISBN: 90-6754-90-8585-000-2.

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