Posts filed under ‘environment’

This week’s favorites

This is a test run. I don’t normally post only links, but let’s try it. Let me know how you like it.

Sharon, over at Casaubon’s Book, does a great job refuting this stupid article. Seriously, that bullshit pissed me off. But I’ll just refer you to Sharon’s post, because she does a much better job explaining why it’s bullshit than I ever will. But so that you have an idea, the original article, written by a “environmentalist” (note the sarcasm), has a field day quoting ‘studies’ and tries to argue that walking to the store creates more carbon than driving there.

“Driving a typical UK car for 3 miles [4.8km] adds about 0.9 kg [2lb] of CO2 to the atmosphere,” he said, a calculation based on the Government’s official fuel emission figures. “If you walked instead, it would use about 180 calories. You’d need about 100g of beef to replace those calories, resulting in 3.6kg of emissions, or four times as much as driving.”

What a loadacrap. I might have to return to this topic later because GRRRRRRRRR!!!!

On another, less pissed off, note, did you know that coin hoarding is bad for the environment? So stop collecting those pennies and put them back in circulation. Otherwise, you are creating the need for extra metal to maintain the coin circulation. Check out Green Living Tips, where Michael will explain it more accurately.

Siel, Green LA Girl, has detailed instructions on how to green your booze happy hour. Follow the links and have fun (responsibly, hehehe).

And finally, here is a recycling tip, courtesy of Amy Stodghill from Green Options.  If you are a hardcore recycler, and you want to get rid of your old VHS tapes, or CDs, or audio tapes or printer cartridges, you can use GreenDisk‘s Pack-IT service (In the US). Here is a list of what you can recycle this way. Yes there is a cost, $6,95 for a box under 20lbs. Peace of mind? Priceless.

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August 7, 2007 at 12:11 pm 9 comments

Recycling – I told you so!

recycled newsRemember how I said recycling greasy and dirty paper and plastic was worse than not recycling at all? Apparently, I am not the only one. This week, letsrecycle.com, a website that specializes in waste and recycling news of the UK, published a story that confirms it. Chase Plastics, a British recycling company, has called councils to stop collecting plastic film from households.

(Plastic film is a technical term that applies not only to plastic film wrap but all kinds of thin, soft plastics, like pretty much every kind of wrapper there is, from the toilet paper package to plastic bags)

According to Jessica Baker, representing the company, “kerbside collections should be restricted to plastic bottles only”.

“This would reduce the contamination of other materials, such as paper and aluminium, caused by food residues stuck to cling film and plastic trays. It would also make sorting plastics easier and solve problems at materials recycling facilities, where film “gums” the machinery. While councils appear to be in favor of dropping film, the difficulty lies in convincing a public which is calling for all materials to be recycled. The problem is getting the message across that it’s just as important to leave certain things out as it is to put them in. Plastic is inert in landfill, it’s material which decomposes that is causing problems”

So there you have it. I told you so. *Does a little goofy ‘I told you so’ dance*

Photo recycled from Flawka, on Flickr.

August 3, 2007 at 1:19 pm 3 comments

Warming up to tofu

tofu

Ok, so remember I said before I couldn’t stand tofu. Well, seems like things are looking up on the meat replacement front. I still can’t stand plain tofu. But it has been a learning curve. I have discovered that I can tolerate firm tofu if it’s nicely pressed and well seasoned. And by well seasoned, I mean with it’s natural flavor well disguised under a thick layer of sauce. It has to pressed though because it’s natural texture is pretty gross… IMHO anyway.

But then I tried smoked tofu. Which was actually good enough to swallow without any preparation and all… And I…. I… dare I say it… I LIKED IT! It was quite a revelation, actually. Normally I never buy anything that is pre-made, or pre-seasoned or pre-cooked or pre-anything. But this flavored tofu stuff might actually be a good thing!

And there are all these different flavors to try… Teryaki… Indian… Thai… Ah… a world of possibilities has just opened itself to me.

I admit that the crumbly kind still scares me a bit… But, we’ll get to that. Baby steps, it’s all about baby steps…

So if you excuse me, I gotta go eat my tofu now 😉

Tofu prepared by DeathByBokeh, on Flickr.

August 1, 2007 at 10:07 pm 6 comments

Trains Rule and Planes Drool

Night Train

Flying sucks. Big time. Not convinced? Check out my awesome new post at Celsias for 10 great reasons why you should take the train. And the environment is not one of them, haha. Go on, you won’t be sorry. Even though sometimes (but not always) it might be more expensive, it is totally worth it, especially for shorter trips.

When you consider your options don’t forget to factor in the time it gets you to get to the airport, that you have to be there 1 or 2 hours early, that you will wait 1 hour for luggage and that you will need another hour to get to where you are going from the other airport. And transport to and from the airport, whether it is a taxi or a shuttle will sometimes cost more than the ticket itself.

So think about it. Is it really worth the global warming you would be causing? But that’s enough spoilers…. Go and read my post 😀

Photo borrowed from Ned Lyttelton on Flickr.

July 31, 2007 at 1:21 pm 1 comment

Where is Organic Leather?

hmm...leather

Disclaimerthis post may be inappropriate to sensitive vegans/vegetarians. Viewer discretion is advised.

I know many of you will look down on me for being a leather wearing, beef eating, milk drinking sorry-ass excuse of an environmentalist. In my defense, I like cows and I think humans and cows should live in harmony. I am all for humanely, respectfully treated cows in small-scale organic farms. Only, I just think that we shouldn’t have as many cows as we have now. That’s why I only eat and drink organic dairy, as local as possible.

But what I really want to talk about is leather… Even though I could, conceivably, give up my leather jacket and my leather handbag, I have BIG issues with shoes made of anything other than leather. I just can’t… I’m sorry, but I can’t! You see, here is my embarrassing little secret… my feet stink 😀 Well, more accurately, they have a tendency to develop a more pungent odor if they can’t ‘breathe’. So I really can’t wear anything other than cow hides on my little ogre feet, under penalty of being persecuted for possessing biologic WMDs. TMI? Sorry 😀

So here is my question to you. There is a growing number of organic cows out there. Where is organic leather? I mean, it should exist, right? If the cows are certified organic, then the cow skin is, at least in theory, certified as well. So shouldn’t there be a separate market for organic cow skin and leather? Shouldn’t there be stylish organic leather shoes out there? Well, the answer to this seems to be both yes and no.

While Organic Leather does indeed exist, the only thing I could find is this. I mean, COME ON! I don’t know about you but I am not about to walk around dressed like a wannabe Pocahontas. All I want is a decent pair of shoes, and I would STRONGLY prefer they were made of organic leather, tanned without causing an small-scale environmental disaster.

I know it is possible, because I found these guys, who make awesome looking eco-friendly hand-bags. When I grow up, I gotta get me one of these. But those hand-bags! And I asked for shoes! If there are folks out there selling classy organic hand-bags, why aren’t they selling SHOES?

Is this really too much to ask? Isn’t there ANYONE out there who can provide me with what I want? And I’m SURE there are plenty of other stinky-footed environmentalists who would pay good money for this as well! Come on, you eco-preneurs out there! Please?

Future handbag by this guy on Flickr.

July 28, 2007 at 8:38 am 34 comments

Good news and bad news

Bad news first-  Looks like the Brits are all about globally warming us all with their outdoor patio heaters… If you ask me, this has got to be one of the most absurd inventions ever created by man. “It’s a heater… for outside!” I mean COME ON! Apparently, smokers need to stay warm.

What’s the good news you might ask? Well, if you look carefully at this article in Celsias,  you might notice that its written by a certain someone that you may or may not know as the Closet Environmentalist 😀 That’s right! I got a job!!!

But worry not, I will not neglect the Closet Environmentalist… (Or at least not anymore than its already been neglected :D). So first of all, take a good look at Celsias because it’s a great site, and I’ll be sure to let you know when you can read some fab new posts by yours truly over there 😉

July 26, 2007 at 2:14 pm 7 comments

Tip: Minimal Packaging Please

mail

So I just discovered The Worsted Witch blog, and digging through the archives found this really great suggestion I just had to share here. If you shop online but are frustrated by all the unnecessary bubble wrap and evil Styrofoam peanuts they stuff with your package and almost certain flood of catalogs and junk mail to follow, here is what to do. When placing your online order, you can leave a note saying something like this:

 

“Please use minimal and recycled packaging. Kindly do not include any catalogs, inserts, fliers, shrink-wrap, bubble wrap, packing confetti, plastic “pillows,” or Styrofoam peanuts. (You can use crumpled up newspaper if padding is necessary.) Please do not include me in any mailing lists or exchange lists you may have. Thank you! “

Thank you to The Worsted Witch for the original wording. I only wish I had used this when I was ordering my Diva Cup and my Reusable Bags stuff. Duh. But now I know better.

No guarantees they will actually listen to you, but there is always hope. And there is also a better chance that they will eventually respond to popular demand of eco-friendlier packaging.

If you still end up with foam peanuts lying around, Treehugger for example has suggested that they can be brought back to packaging stores. If there is a mailing service in your area, you could also take them the packing boxes, as well as the peanuts and bubble wrap. And if you are crafty, you can always use the peanuts to make a bean bag. Although I imagine that would be quite a stash of peanuts you would need 😉

Photo by Miskan on Flickr.

July 23, 2007 at 10:00 am 16 comments

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