Green graduation: Gowns now recycle or biodegrade

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) - Printing commencement programs on recycled paper is no longer enough for the most eco-friendly colleges - this spring, graduation gowns are going green as well.

Several academic apparel makers are offering green options. Some are disposable gowns that decompose quickly in soil, and other gowns can be reused or recycled because they're made of recycled plastic bottles.

The new products are an alternative to the polyester gowns millions of graduates buy each year then throw away or stuff in their closets. Manufacturers say the new gowns are bit softer and more breathable than the traditional gowns but otherwise, grads won't be able to tell the difference.

Abbie Tumbleson, a senior at New Hampshire's Franklin Pierce University, says her gown feels a bit lighter but appears well-made.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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