Archive for ‘April 2011’

April 27, 2011

The Purpose – where I start – is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it’s reuse. -Issey Miyake-

What we are living with is the result of human choices and it can be changed by making better, wiser choices.
-Robert Redford-

April 27, 2011

4 Principles in Recycling

  1. Reduction is the first step.  When you purchase items at the store think about all the packaging used in each product.  A cereal box has a box and an inner bag.  Buying in bulk allows more space to be filled within that bag and therefore less trash to be consumed.
  2. Next, each item made can be reused as another item.  For instance, a milk jug can be used to store drinking water or even, after cutting off the top, it can be used as a planter.  Each time you can reuse an item, you minimize the amount of trash going into landfills and allow less energy to be used to produce more goods.
  3. Then, items that have been reused can also be recycled.  All items cannot be recycled.  What can be recycled depends on the market and the recycling programs within your area.  Usually, however plastic soda bottles and milk jugs, green and clear glass, cardboard, newspaper, and aluminum cans are recycled.  There are some places that recycle magazines, tin cans, and a myriad of other things.  Many grocery stores take recycled plastic and paper bags.
  4. Lastly, buy recycled items.  Without a consumer demand for recycled items, there is too much supply left in stockyards.  The more recycled items that are purchased by consumers, the lower the prices will go.  Buying recycled items is the most important part of the cycle.  Without people to produce such items, companies do not have enough money to keep recycling factories open.

(Source: http://www.afn.org/~afn21661/The%204%20R1.htm)

April 27, 2011

Facts on America

Each year Americans alone throw away 18 billion disposable diapers.  In perspective, this is enough to extend from the earth to the moon and back 7 times. In 2 weeks, Americans throw enough glass bottles and jars out to fill the New York Trade Center’s twin towers. Americans go through on average 2.5 million plastic bottles per hour.

58% of U.S. newspapers are recycled. 500,000 trees could be saved from being cut down if every family in the United States recycled their newspaper.

Ford Motor Company indicates that 75% of every vehicle is recyclable.

Dishwashers use about 11 gallons of water.  Hand washed dishes use up approximately 16 gallons. Taking a bath, half full of water, uses around 20 gallons of water.  However, an average length shower only uses about 13 gallons. Americans normally use about 70 gallons of water each day.

(source: http://www.afn.org/~afn21661/Facts.htm)

April 27, 2011

Do You Know?

  • The garbage in a landfill stays for a for about 30 years. 
  • In 1995 over 200 of the world landfills were full.
  • Each person throws away approximately four pounds of garbage every day.
  • One bus carries as many people as 40 cars!
  • More than 1/3 of all energy is used by people at home
  • Most families throw away about 88 pounds of plastic every year
  • We each use about 12,000 gallons of water every year
  • 1/3 of all water is used to flush the toilet.
  • The 500 million automobiles on earth burn an average of 2 gallons of fuel a day.
  • Each gallon of fuel releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air.
  • Approximately 5 million tons of oil produced in the world each ear ends up in the ocean.
  • The energy we save when we recycle one glass bottle is enough to light a traditional light bulb for four hours
  • For every 2000 pounds of paper (1 ton) recycled, we save 7,000 gallons of water free from chemicals.
  • Recycled paper requires 64% less energy than making paper from virgin wood pulp, and can save many trees
  • Here is an example of the water we use everyday:3-7 gallons for toilet,
    25-30 gallons for tub,
    50-70 gallons for a 10 minute shower,
    1 washing machine load uses 25-40 gallons,
    1 dishwasher load uses 9-12 gallons
  • Here is an example of how long it takes some things take to break down:plastics take 500 years,
    aluminum cans take 500 years,
    organic materials, take 6 months,
    cotton, rags, paper take 6 months.
  • Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees
  • The amount of wood and paper we throw away is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years
  • Earth is 2/3 water. but all the fresh water streams only represent one hundredth of one percent.
  • 14 billion pounds of trash is dumped into the ocean every year
  • It takes 90% less energy to recycle aluminum cans than to make new ones
  • 5 billion aluminum cans are used each year
  • 84 percent of all household waste can be recycled.
  • Computers pose an environmental threat because much of the material that makes them up is hazardous. A typical monitor contains 4-5 pounds of lead.
  • Each year billions of used batteries are thrown away in the United States. This constitutes 88% of the mercury and 54% of the cadmium deposited into our landfills
  • Approximately only 10 percent of every landfill can be cleaned up.
  • Ivory comes from dead elephants, its best not to buy it.
  • Fur coats often come from endangered animals, it’s best not to buy them.
  • One gallon of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of water. so dispose of properly!

(Source from: Planet Pals)

April 27, 2011

“The phrase ‘conquest of nature’ is certainly one of the most objectionable and misleading expressions of Western languages. It reflects the illusion that all natural forces can be entirely controlled, and it expresses the criminal conceit that nature is to be considered primarily as a source of raw materials and energy for human purposes.”

From A God Within by René Dubos

April 10, 2011

What you can do to reduce global warming?

There are ways to make contribution to reduce global warming. Burning fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and global warming. You can help to reduce the demand for fossil fuels, which in turn reduces global warming, by using energy more wisely. Here are 10 simple actions you can take to help reduce global warming.

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans. If there isn’t a recycling program at your workplace, school, or in your community, ask about starting one. By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

2. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning

Adding insulation to your walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home.Turn down the heat while you’re sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

3. Change a light bulb

Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30 over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat.If every U.S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road.

4. Drive less and drive smart 

Less driving means fewer emissions. Besides saving gasoline, walking and biking are great forms of exercise. Explore your community mass transit system, and check out options for carpooling to work or school.When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently. For example, keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget, it also keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

5. Buy energy-efficient products

When it’s time to buy a new car, choose one that offers good gas mileage. Home appliances now come in a range of energy-efficient models, and compact florescent bulbs are designed to provide more natural-looking light while using far less energy than standard light bulbs.Avoid products that come with excess packaging, especially molded plastic and other packaging that can’t be recycled. If you reduce your household garbage by 10 percent, you can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

6. Use less hot water

Set your water heater at 120 degrees to save energy, and wrap it in an insulating blanket if it is more than 5 years old. Buy low-flow showerheads to save hot water and about 350 pounds of carbon dioxide yearly. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water to reduce your use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. That change alone can save at least 500 pounds of carbon dioxide annually in most households. Use the energy-saving settings on your dishwasher and let the dishes air-dry.

7. Use the “Off” switch

Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as much light as you need. And remember to turn off your television, video player, stereo and computer when you’re not using them.It’s also a good idea to turn off the water when you’re not using it. While brushing your teeth, shampooing the dog or washing your car, turn off the water until you actually need it for rinsing. You’ll reduce your water bill and help to conserve a vital resource.

8. Plant a tree

If you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. They are an integral part of the natural atmospheric exchange cycle here on Earth, but there are too few of them to fully counter the increases in carbon dioxide caused by automobile traffic, manufacturing and other human activities. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.

9. Get a report card from you utility company

Many utility companies provide free home energy audits to help consumers identify areas in their homes that may not be energy efficient. In addition, many utility companies offer rebate programs to help pay for the cost of energy-efficient upgrades.

10. Encourage others to conserve

Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment. These 10 steps will take you a long way toward reducing your energy use and your monthly budget. And less energy use means less dependence on the fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.
April 9, 2011

Welcoming you to a green world!