Tag Archives: reuse

The facts about global warming, they tell their own story

Sometimes it helps to have the facts. They present their own story and make it easier for you to understand the problem.

Here are two sets of facts from the EPA’s 2012 Inventory on United States Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The first shows emissions by source:

  1. Energy – 87%
  2. Agriculture – 6.3%
  3. Industrial Process – 4.4%
  4. Waste (landfills) – 1.9%
  5. Solvents and other produces – 0.1%

 

Probably not what you expected. Our dominant method of creating energy is the problem. And that is through the use fossil fuels for electricity generation and transportation. To get global warming under control we need a massive shift in energy policy (i.e. clean energy).

That’s important but if you look at emissions by end user a different story emerges:

  1. Manufacturing – 30%
  2. Homes – 18%
  3. Personal Cars – 17%
  4. Business – 17%
  5. Farming – 8%
  6. Freight Trucks – 6%
  7. Airplanes – 2%

 

To understand this you need to keep in mind that it’s the person buying the product or driving the car that is ultimately responsible for the emission. That is what these numbers show and they are often overlooked. Which is sad because they convey what you can do, right now, to have an impact.

It is not about cars and electricity like most think. Although they still are important. Rather, it’s the stuff we buy (manufacturing) and our habits at home and at work that cover 2/3 of greenhouse gas emissions.

This is why I like the facts. They tell their own story. In this case, it’s that you – one person – can change your habits and have a huge impact on global warming.

 

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Don’t reuse floss – it’s gross

I have something terribly gross for you. Something so detestable you certainly won’t think of it like reusing a toothbrush. A bathroom act that asks you to wash and reuse. This despicable act is to reuse your floss.

Floss is different from a toothbrush or comb because it goes in your mouth. It is now infected with disease and should be immediately be thrown out. Do not even think of rinsing it off and using again. Definitely do not be place it next to the toothbrush that you will rinse off and use again.

Remember, the Earth has infinite resources and we should not worry about little things like floss. There is enough landfill space for billions of strings. We have enough room for the daily floss of 8 billion people and the 2.9 trillion pieces they could use each year.

So the next time you floss avoid reusing it. Make sure to throw it away and buy more at the store. It’s cheap and you can always grab some money off your money tree.

 

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The ‘dirty’ middle class

I propose a new way to think about the Great Recession in America. Instead of the middle class is dying, how about the dirty middle class is dying. The way of life where overconsumption and gas guzzling is more American than recycling or biking. If our energy supply can be both dirty and clean, why not our lifestyles?

Consider the average family spends 20% of their budget on transportation. That’s 10 weeks/year just to pay for car and gas. But what about the big gas guzzlers, the kind that cost $80 to fill-up. No one wants to pay $100 for gas but that is where we are headed. And yet there are plenty of them on the street. As those gas prices tick up I think they will slowly disappear and be replaced by bikes and EV’s.

Food is another area in slow decline. You might’ve heard that 69% of Americans are overweight or obese. That’s a lot of extra money spent on food, especially when times are tight. A new report shows our consumption of candy and processed foods has doubled in the last 30 years. What if a family were to save money by committing to healthy portion sizes, cutting out processed foods, and putting that savings towards college.

Last, think about the basic rule of disposable goods. They only work once and you have to buy more every week. Not only is this horrible for the environment but it costs a lot of money. Families could go broke following the jingles in commercials. And those who are pushing hard on – reduce, reuse, recycle – are again finding themselves with extra money to spend on family vacations.

After all, isn’t that what being in the middle class is about, family vacations? Being able to work, have fun, and save a little money for college or retirement. I thought so, but somehow that dream became owning an SUV, overeating, and buying something to throw out. But take solace in knowing that this dirty way of life is moving towards extinction. To be replaced by green families who ride bikes and have vegetable gardens.

It gives new meaning to the saying, there goes the neighborhood.

 

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Cardiff Surf Classic & Green Beach Fair – Oct. 27, 2012, 8am – 5pm

Cardiff, a city just north of San Diego, is hosting an event guaranteed to be fun. There will be multiple surf contests, a green expo, tarp surfing (see picture below), musical entertainment, and a demo of various DIY surf toys (handplanes, paipos, etc.).

 

The Cardiff Surf Classic & Green Beach Fair
Saturday, October 27
8am – 5pm
Cardiff Seaside Beach
Free, open to all

 

Tarp Surfing

 

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All about Zero Waste

The week in Zero Waste, starting with:

 

What Does ZeroWaste Mean?

To explain all this let’s start with what Zero Waste means. The concept isn’t about throwing things away, like most think, it’s about sustainability and recycling. We are all consumers and will continue to be, and the goal isn’t to get rid of consumption but to modify it. To create a system where everything we use ends up someplace other than a landfill.

 

Zero Waste: Stopping all that junk mail

Zero Waste: The recycled toothbrush

Zero Waste: The coffee maker

Zero Waste: Moving boxes – Recopack

 

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California pushes its citizens towards Zero Waste – new law asks for 75% reduction

California set a goal of a 50% reduction in 1989. In the last decade, most of the state has achieved that and surpassed it (the current statewide rate is 65%). Now, the government has upped the ante, asking for 75% by 2020.

 

London 2012 Olympics were planned as Zero Waste

Staging a One Planet Olympics in London would help achieve the first sustainable Games. Sustainability has been at the heart of the London 2012 Bid and Masterplan.

 

Why can’t mainstream media cannot 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.

You can do it, go Zero Waste!

Zero Waste: the recycled toothbrush

Here is another way to reduce your trash on your way to Zero Waste – the recycled toothbrush. It looks, acts, and feels like a normal toothbrush, but when you are done with it you replace the head instead of throwing the whole thing out. You can buy replacement heads in packs of 3, 6 and it comes in sensitive, soft, and medium bristle strength. They’re usually completely recyclable and made of recycled materials.

It’s a rather genius idea and I’m not sure why it hasn’t caught on already. I’ve been using mine for nearly 3 years (the same brush) and have switched out the head several times. Here is the brand I use:

 

Eco-Dent Terradent 31 Toothbrush

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*Enjoy Handplanes turns bodysurfing into art

*Enjoy handplanes set themselves apart in the bodysurfing industry by turning their creations into one-of-a-kind art. It is amazing, the creativity and beauty they put into these little planes, with everything from DIY craft to pure artist illustrations, simple coloring and classic lines.

Of course, one has to mention that all of these handplanes are made from recycled and reused material. They use old, trashed surfboards and environmentally responsible resin for glassing. Definitely a part of the Zero Waste mantra.

Take a look and you might just be tempted to buy one. You can also join the *Enjoy community by visiting their vibrant Facebook group.

 

**All these photos, and more, can be found on the *Enjoy Facebook Photos page

 

 

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California moves one step closer to Zero Waste – 75% reduction by 2020

We are getting better, but one can never rest on their laurels:

Garbage drops as CA’s recycling goal grows

Californians have slashed the amount of stuff they throw away each day, pushing per capita disposal rates down to a record low last year even though the economy picked up steam.

It’s a good showing — but residents aren’t doing nearly as well as they might have thought, and state officials are asking for help to dramatically boost waste reduction and recycling by 2020. That likely will result in a suite of new rules, programs and fees designed to improve reuse of materials and minimize the need for more landfills.

 

California set a goal of a 50% reduction in 1989. In the last decade, most of the state has achieved that and surpassed it (the current statewide rate is 65%). Now, the government has upped the ante, asking for 75% by 2020.

 

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London Olympics may be the greenest, most sustainable ever

With the opening ceremony of the London Olympics only days away, organizers prepare to celebrate what may be the one of the greenest Olympic Games to date.

For Olympic organizers, sustainability has been a major focus in planning the Games’ venues. Forbes notes that existing or temporary venues are utilized whenever possible. For permanent structures, “Each new venue was required to achieve a minimum 15 percent improvement against Building Regulations.”

The site of London’s Olympic Park has also been noted for its radical transformation. Once an industrial area along the River Lea, the site was previously contaminated by “heavy metals, hydrocarbons, arsenic and cyanide,” according to BBC News.

At the largest urban park built in Britain in over the century, officials planted 2,000 native trees and 300,00 wetland plants and restored five miles of the River Lea. 110 acres of land were also turned into “reed beds, wet woodlands, grassland and ponds” to encourage the return of wildlife, reported the Press Association.

While British officials originally planned to draw 20 percent of the London Olympics’ power from renewable sources, they fell short of that goal. The BioRegional and WWF-UK report explains that only nine percent of on-site energy will be renewable.

 

Source: Huffington Post Green - London Olympics: Green Games A Goal For Organizers

 

 

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Goodwill – a leader in recycling e-waste, creating green jobs

The following is a press release from Goodwill of Orange County, California. It discusses the great success the company has had managing e-waste and creating green jobs.

Check out your local Goodwill to see if they are also accepting e-waste, there is a good chance they are!

 

Turn Your E-Waste Into New Opportunities.

We all know those old TV sets, computers, printers and other electronic stuff (known as e-waste) can reek havoc on the planet if tossed into the landfill.

What you might not know is that, by donating it all to Goodwill’s E-waste Solutions program, you’ll be providing job training and green jobs to people with disabilities and other barriers–while helping to save the planet. That’s what we call turning your e-waste into a brand new opportunity.

Since 1924, Goodwill has pioneered our own “Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Renew” manifesto by creating a sustainable platform that provides jobs, revenue and a greener environment. We make it easy to be green by providing a safe and free service to the community, where we in turn are able to recycle computers, TVs and other electronics.

  • Reduce: By making recycling easy, we reduce the amount of toxic materials that would otherwise end up in our landfills
  • Reuse: We repair what we can and re-sell to bargain-driven families in the community who can’t afford the latest electronics
  • Repurpose: What we can’t repair, we disassemble and separate the metals that is in turn sold to reputable state recyclers

True to its mission of creating new opportunities, Goodwill of Orange County has been a ‘green’ business long before the term was coined.

 

All Orange County Goodwill Locations Accept E-waste at No Charge

As a California State Certified e-waste collector we’ll gladly accept all your electronics, working or not, at one of our Orange County donation centers. Tax receipts are provided. If your business has 20 e-waste items or more to donate, call us and we’ll pick them up — free of charge.

Click here to see what items we can accept and what items we cannot accept.

 

ViaOrange County E-Waste Solutions

 

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