Tag Archives: low-carbon

Don’t wash your hands with hot water – use cold water to save energy and water

More on saving water, from the N.Y. Times:

In its medical literature, the Food and Drug Administration states that hot water comfortable enough for washing hands is not hot enough to kill bacteria, but is more effective than cold water because it removes oils from the hand that can harbor bacteria.

But in a 2005 report in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine…(subjects) were instructed to wash and rinse with soap for 25 seconds using water with temperatures ranging from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees, the various temperatures had “no effect on transient or resident bacterial reduction.”

 

How does this save water? There is no need to run the faucet until the hot water comes, avoiding all that wasted water, and by using cold water you save the energy needed to heat the water.

I’ve long thought that washing my hands with soap and cold water does the job. The same for washing dishes. Strange that for most of my life I thought hot water was absolutely necessary. I looked on the CDC and Mayo Clinic websites and found nothing. One says use cold or warm water and the other says nothing at all.

This means that switching over to cold water with soap is a reasonable step if you’re looking to conserve water and energy. Of course, you can still use warm water, but I find I don’t really need it. In the end, my goal is to live a Zero Waste, low-carbon lifestyle and this is one small step in that direction.

 

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On why mainstream media is unable to write about sustainability

I am often frustrated by the lack of depth in articles about sustainability. It’s as if all writers and “experts” are recycling the same content. We all feel this impending sense of climactic doom and want to make changes, but then we are fed the same tips we already know. I think I’ve discovered why this is happening.

It’s because the next steps are unknown, a vast unexplored area of low-carbon living. Heretofore, those pioneering this lifestyle ended up far off the grid, eschewing normal lives. Where are the pioneers looking for ways to be low-carbon while driving a car in a city?

I am one and there are not many of us. It takes a bold, rather radical, person to examine ones own lifestyle. To make changes considered gross, unsanitary, or socially weird. Which makes me the perfect person for such explorations because I have a strange lack of mindfulness for society at large and gross things (does that also make a sociopath?).

That also explains why those already with fame and a voice are struggling with these next steps. Al Gore comes to mind as the great voice of global warming, but his encore, the solution to the problem never appeared. This is nothing against the man, he did the world a great service, he is a champion of causes, he invests in green businesses, but he is probably not a radical pioneer of solutions.

I like to think of it as the Christopher Columbus problem. In 1492, there were plenty of great sailors and adventurous men, but very few willing to go beyond the horizon. I think we are at the same point now. Everyone wants to be green, some even desperately so, but who is willing to go beyond the horizon?

Not many, I suppose, and that’s the way it has always been. The world moves forward thanks to those crazy thinkers, like Albert Einstein, who have the right mindset, motivation, and skills to do so. They will be the ones pioneering the low-carbon lifestyle and showing the way for the rest of us.

We probably won’t find those folks in the mainstream media or in our celebrity roster. Instead, they will be found on the fringes writing on a blog. Talking about crazy things like an all farmers market diet or living zero waste. Sharing tips like how to drink coffee or making your own sunscreen. All that we crazies ask of you, the reader, is to show your support. Let us know what you need help on, comment with your experiences, and email us your questions (steve [at] 1X57.com).

 

Here’s to the crazy ones: