Archive for May, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Can Paper Bags Substitute Plastic Bags?


Can Paper Bags Substitute Plastic Bags?

Bags hold an important place in our lives. They are sometimes referred to as the best personal carriers. They are made of various stuffs like cotton, synthetic, leather and so. But when it comes to general usage like for shopping, the names of two types of bags viz. plastic made and paper made bags come to our intellect. Both are fine, but the question is, which one is the best suited to our requirements. Lets discuss the peculiarities related with the two.

You might be thinking that paper bags are not as durable as those made of plastic. Also, we see that the latter are more commonly used than the former one. But, do you know plastic is a stuff which is really hazardous to the environment. It takes thousands of year to decompose. If burnt, it emits poisonous gases which again pollutes the environment. If buried in the ground, it makes the soil infertile. If thrown in the sea, it pollutes the sea water and proves to be a threat for the life of the sea creatures. One can imagine, how hazardous is plastic to our planet.

This perilous nature of plastic had forced the governments of many cities of the world to put a ban on the use of poly-bags, which are a major source of plastic pollution. Few cities of the world in which these polythene carriers are either completely or partially banned include San Francisco, New York, Texas, Germany, Dhaka, China, Kenya and Ireland to name a few. Even the government of Delhi had issued guidelines against the use of polythene. However, later on the government changed its decision to completely ban the polythene, due to some reasons. Government suggested the manufacturers to set up the recycling units on the basis of “polluter pays principles”. But the government has not completely given up the plan to ban these polythene carriers, it is in the pipeline.

In this context, paper bags are the best option. No doubt, they are unconventional, but they are eco-friendly and easy to recycle. Nowadays, there are various types of paper made bags available in the market. They are not only good looking, but also have ample of space to carry goods and are quite durable. The handmade paper bags available nowadays are designed to suit specific requirements which include carrying gifts, carrying wine, shopping etc. There is a separate bag to serve each purpose. Although, multipurpose bags are also made from paper. They are proving to be the best substitute for plastic or polythene carriers in the modern context.

Now, as we have told you every significant fact related to plastic and paper bags, It’s upon you which one to choose. The hazardous and non-disposable polythene, or the environment friendly and elegant paper bags.

For more information on paper bags, paper baskets, miscellaneous paper products and other handicraft items, you may visit the following sites:
http://www.handmade-paper-products.com/
http://online-handicrafts-center.blogspot.com/

Electric car's Technology

PostHeaderIcon Recycle, Reuse and Reduce – A Quiz For Families Who Want to Recycle Cans


Recycle, Reuse and Reduce – A Quiz For Families Who Want to Recycle Cans

Does you family recycle aluminum cans? Do they do it to get a little extra cash or because it is the responsible thing to do? How much do they, and you, know about what happens to the can after the soda is gone? Here is a quick true and false quiz on recycling. It will only take 2 or 3 minutes to find out what you know and what you need to know about the importance of families recycling.

Circle the answer for each of the 6 questions. Now test the other members of the family.

1. In the time it takes you to read this question, 50,000 12-ounce aluminum cans are made.

                  True or False

2. When you recycle one aluminum can you save enough energy to equal a half gallon of gasoline?

                  True or False

3. There is no limit to the amount of times aluminum can be recycled.

                  True or False

4. We use over 80,000,000,000 (billion!) cans a year.

                  True or False

5. At one time, aluminum was more valuable than gold.

                  True or False

6. More aluminum goes into beverage cans than any other product.

                  True or False

Surprise! All of the answers are true.

Did you know that for every $10 spent buying things $1 or 10% goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging, and that includes aluminum cans, represents 65% of household trash. Wow. What a waste of money and resources. We can do better than that.

Our family is making a special effort to Recycle, Reuse and Reduce. Will you join us in helping to protecting our earth and natural resources? Maybe your family could put up a special box to save aluminum cans for the recycling center.

(c) Judy H. Wright http://www.ArtichokePress.com You have permission to reprint this article in your blog, ezine or offline magazine as long as you keep the content and contact information intact. Thank You.

Artichoke Press is the home site of Judy H. Wright, family relationship coach and author. If your organization would like to schedule Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer, for a workshop please call 406.549.9813.

You are also invited to visit our blog at http://www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you.

Thanks for joining our community of caring parents, family members,coaches, teachers and mentors who want to help raise a generation of responsible adults.

Star News Of monsanto Seeds


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PostHeaderIcon Save the Environment: Help by Recycling Cans


Save the Environment: Help by Recycling Cans

I like walking. Whenever I can I leave the car at home and walk. I walk to the shops, to the library, and many other places as well. Every day I see used aluminum drinks cans dropped on pathways and in hedgerows. If people want to dispose of them this way at least drop them where they can easily be picked up by someone else, and not in a hedgerow or other difficult spot where it is easy to be scratched and prickled by thorns.

Many people have a twinge of conscience about the environment and what we can do voluntarily to help save it. Recycling cans is what we can do easily. All you need do is separate them from the rest of the rubbish and either take them to a recycling centre or leave them in your “recyclables” bin, to be collected by, in our case, the local council.

The one thing we must not do is put them in landfill, because they don’t biodegradable.

Instead of throwing away empty aluminum cans away here are four ways to reuse them.

1. Used ring pull cans could be used as a miniature vase for a flower or two.

2. Rinse out used cans and use them in the garden shed for storing small items such as nails and washers.

3. You could use an old can to practice your putting. Take it to the office and put it on the floor any time you want to practice your putting.

4. Rather than leave your pens and biros scattered all around the house why not put them all together in a used can.

This is just four ideas of what to do with used empty cans. You might well be able to think up many more ideas for recycling cans.

Philip Woodrow is a part time author who writes on a variety of issues of personal interest including: Help save the environment and Recycling cans

GLOBAL'S WARMING

PostHeaderIcon The Resource Matrix Part 1 of 4


The Resource Matrix Part 1 of 4

“The Resource Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

In my last water efficiency article (Water-Efficiency: Why Most Advice You’ve Read is Absolutely Inefficient), we began a slow turn away from lighting with a discussion of the 80/20 Rule and how your little positive behavioral changes with water aren’t even a drop in the bucket when your other positive behavioral changes – making homemade pizza – evaporate the entire year’s ocean of benefits in a few tasty bites.

In a four-part series, we talk about a resource besides energy: water.

  1. Today, we begin far above this “turn off the porch lights and take short, icy showers” efficiency thing to show you how we got to where we are now both in fuels and in other resources.
  2. Next week, we introduce the resource called water, its parallels with fossil fuels, and its role in global warming.
  3. The following week, we continue going with the flow of water, when we show the parallel between the current hot Oil Wars and in the future cold Water Wars.
  4. And in the final week, we tie together the articles in a symphony of three movements, showing you how all the elements hold the Resource Matrix in place and how, like Neo in the movie, you can break the code that creates the graphical user interface and see the illusion for what it really is. (At least, my version of it, anyway.)

Ready to take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit-hole goes?

We start with one of the most boring subjects known to college students, one birthed out of the Enlightenment when extremely titled, idly rich, powdery wig-headed fancy foppish men dressed like women and walked in high heels and squealed like school girls:

Economics: it’s totally insane

Economics is described as the science of allocating scarce resources. Since it’s the study of human behavior, it’s a social science rather than a physical science.

And although any individual’s behavior may not be predictable, individuals as a group can be. Kinda like the weather: you don’t know much about a single raindrop’s effect but you can track the overall storm and predict what’s next.

Economics likes to fool itself that it can predict behavior based on the assumption that people make rational choices. Understand what people think and you understand what choices people will make.

It unfortunately leaves out the other part of being human: human behavior based on emotions.

And emotions weigh heavily in how we interact with each other, especially in exchanges of value.

Maximizing returns:
“I want your goodies for nothing”

Economics recognizes that people are motivated by self-interest to maximize their benefits at the lowest cost.

On an individual basis, this can turn into a “win-lose” proposition:

  • I want to acquire the best stuff for the cheapest terms
  • I want to dispose of the lousiest stuff for the greatest terms

In short, you want diamonds and gold for nothing and they want to give you useless junk for a king’s ransom.

May the Force be with you:
getting diamonds and gold for nothing:

Economics comes out of 18th century political economy, which studied production, buying and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government. Political economy itself comes out of moral philosophy.

This moral philosophy apparently had room for colonialism, which comes pretty close to getting your diamonds and gold for nothing: forcibly take over a country and use its people to extract its resources to be reallocated to your bank account. And make sure nobody but you has any say in the matter.

Social good in the equation:

A few people didn’t see the morality in this philosophy. Enter the lousy, meddling individual do-gooders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mohandas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Upton Sinclair, and many others who messed with the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd.

And some of the individuals do-gooders formed their own organizations like the Sierra Club and Greenpeace.

They all worked to increase awareness that there are alternatives to being forced to give away your diamonds and gold for nothing while having no say in the matter, and worked to change deals from “win-lose” to “win-win.”

The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd, who could only lose in the change to “win-win,” found their salvation in the late 1800s with the rise of modern psychology (the scientific study of mental functions and behavior). Applied to politics, it’s called propaganda. Applied to spirituality, it’s called religion. Applied to commerce, it’s called marketing and advertising.

All these applications are forms of hypnotism, and are based on the proven principle that if you repeat anything enough times, including a falsehood, your audience will grow to believe it and then to defend it as the truth.

The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd used economics to hypnotically declare for 250 years that fossil fuels, the air, and water were without cost. They called them “free goods.”

And they used force (”Oh yeah, and what the hell are you going to do about it?”) to declare that pollution had no consequences.

What’s an Oxymoron?
“Free Good” in economics

The free good is a term used in economics to describe a good that is not scarce. A free good is available in as great a quantity as desired with zero opportunity cost to society.

Earlier schools of economic thought proposed that free goods were resources that are so abundant in nature that there is enough for everyone to have as much as they want. Examples in textbooks (even in the 1980s) included fresh water and the air that we breathe. However, these are now regarded as common goods because competition for them is rivalrous.

In short, there is no free lunch.

An additional moral philosophy:
“There’s a sucker born every minute”
becomes
“How can I help you help me?”

The “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd continues to rise early and work late to craft their “win-lose” deals every day.

Yet, out of those rising early and working late, a small radical fringe discovered the curious fact that if you don’t beat a dog bloody every time you see it, it’s less likely to bite your hand off, and it even might go out and hunt down a squirrel for your evening stew.

Their moral philosophy became a hybrid offshoot.

The Hybrids still want your goodies, but they are willing to help you get your goodies with less pain and damage to yourself so you’ll be willing to come back to them and hand over more of your goodies.

Both use the same mind-numbing hypnotic slogans: “We care about you.”

The difference is the Hybrids actually do some of those same things that someone who cares about you would do. Even if they don’t actually give a hoot about you. Contrast that to the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd, who merely sends you more hynoptic slogans when they want your goodies.

Where Do You Want to Go Today?
Everywhere but here

We’ve all awaken to the shocking realizations that:

  • finite energy resources will run out
  • actions have consequences, and the consequences of our actions are already visible, rather scary, and quite irreversible, and
  • the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd hasn’t been telling the truth

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, you could just pop some soma and totally trip out.

But the cowardly old world we’re experiencing has quickly turned into a total bummer of a bad trip, man. Down with the Establishment and praise the Collective.

We’re all in this together, or
Toss the lousy, greedy bastards overboard

The decades of the Do-Gooders increasing our awareness of possible “win-win” possibilities and of the Hybrids backing their “we care about you” lip service with actual service has brought us to another realization:

There’s a price to everything, and if I don’t pay the price, someone else will, and somehow, some way, on some sunny day, they’re going to get even and make me pay.

And this has been an important change in the understanding of energy efficiency and global warming: the environment has a limited capacity within our human-lifetime periods to absorb civilization’s byproducts and transform them into resources. It usually needs geologic time to turn dead trees and critters into oil and gas. In the meantime, the trash piles up in the streets.

The solution: create less trash.

Thanks to the Do-Gooders, we have greater awareness or our actions and the desire to change, and have the Hybrids offering ways to change.

And the result is a shift of power away from the “I want your goodies for nothing” crowd. It’s now Power to the People.

But wait, there’s more …
to the Resource Matrix

Just because you know about fossil fuels, their finite amounts, their polluting, warming effects on the environment, and alternatives offered by the Hybrids – even if you have done your part to the best of your ability to reduce, reuse, and recycle — you haven’t escaped the Resource Matrix.

Energy to power our lives is one component of the Resource Matrix. And it’s the most visible in discussions of global warming and being resourceful. But there’s more:

Coming Attractions!

In the next three articles, we will talk about concepts concerning the resource that makes up 75% of the planet and 75% of your body:

Water.

You’ll learn that, although 75% of the planet is water, only 3% of water is potable (can be consumed), and of that 3%, only a small fraction is available, and of that small fraction, only a small fraction is potable, because the rest is polluted for hundreds of years to come.

You’ll learn how the actions of an illiterate, lice-infested, foul-mouthed peasant on the other side of the globe affects you where you are.

You’ll learn how, unlike oil, water is transferred invisibly from poor to rich by sleight of hand, like paying your utility bill through your online bank account.

You’ll learn how poor water decisions, rather than fossil fuel’s atmospheric effects described in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, leads to those drybeds of the formerly humongous Aral Sea and along the Amazon.

You’ll learn how to measure the global water impact of any nation, city, corporation, even yourself – to the nearest gallon or liter.

You’ll learn the little changes you can make – the water equivalent of “change your incandescent lightbulbs to compact fluorescent lamps” – and still be able to take your wastefully long showers.

And all of this is for one purpose:

To help you see the Resource Matrix, everywhere, all around you.

And now I would like to offer you free access to powerful info on energy efficiency that’s easy to read and cuts through all this “green” information clutter — so you can literally start making positive changes today.

You can access it now by going to: http://www.a19.com/pub/articles/

From Cinnamon Alvarez: Founder, A19 — woman-owned green manufacturer of hand-made ceramic lighting fixtures

Clean Green Engine Fox News

PostHeaderIcon Residential Solid Waste Removal


Residential Solid Waste Removal

Residential solid trash, also called urban solid waste and municipal solid garbage, is refuse that normally comes from households. It is either in solid or semisolid form. There are five general categories of solid garbage that include:

1) Biodegradable waste: food and kitchen
2) Recyclable material: paper, glass, bottles, cans, metals, and certain plastics.
3) Stagnant rubbish : construction, dirt, rocks, and debris.
4) Assorted waste: clothing, plastics,etc.
5) Household hazardous waste: toxic such as paints, chemicals, light bulbs, spray cans, fertilizer and pesticide containers, batteries,etc.

Cities and towns generally contracts out solid garbage removal services. They will submit bids, assess each bid, and recommend a company. The rubbish company will bill the city or town. These companies are privately owned so if a person has a lot of waste after a project such as home renovation, they can hire a garbage removal company to remove the refuse.

Because of environmental regulations and a growing demand for a cleaner environment, junk companies are now performing the following services:

Recycling Programs: Curbside recycling is usually available to all residential customers. Customers will separate their recyclables according to paper and plastics for curbside pick up. Depending on the contract, this is normally done every two weeks. There can be special recycling programs such as Christmas tree recycling. The trees are then made into mulch. Other special programs a town or city can offer are Spring and Fall Clean Ups. They are designed to encourage residents to get rid of large amounts of garbage.

Hazardous Materials: Every year, millions of people accumulate such hazardous waste products as batteries, paints and stains, cleansers and polishes, motor oil, antifreeze, pesticides and herbicides,etc. These are dangerous to the environment, people, and animals. A rubbish removal service is trained to remove these products safely and responsibly. They will sort and categorize the hazardous materials before storing them in containment units. The contracted hazardous waste hauler packs the items in drums and sends them to hazardous rubbish incinerator or other treatment facility for proper disposal. Some materials, such as used motor oil, lead-acid batteries and antifreeze, are recycled.

Compost Services: Many cities and towns offer a compost service. They will provide compost bins for people to place such items as kitchen food garbage, newspaper, and other items that can be composted. A contracted junk removal company will pick up the compost left on residential curb sides.

Energy Recovery Plants: Plants that convert rubbish to energy are popping up all over the country. These plants burn garbage to heat water which produces steam in much the same way power plants burn coal, oil, natural gas, or wood. The steam can cause a turbine to produce electricity. Junk removal companies that have energy recovery plants in their area will make use of these services.

Special Handling waste Removal Services: Cities and towns will have a contracted service to remove large items such as tires, air conditioners, household appliances, and construction debris. Tires are sent to a recycling or recovery facility and household appliances, after chlorofluorocarbon gas removal, are taken to recycling stations.

Individual Contracted waste Removal Services: There are situations where a person has too much waste to be removed by a city or town removal service. They will then enlist the services of a private company. They are trained and certified to dispose of waste, compost, and recycle residential goods. For a nominal fee, a company will come to your home and remove all of your excess trash.

Because of growing environmental concerns, most companies dispose of waste in ways that will have the least environmental impact. You will feel good knowing that you are doing your part to protect and conserve the environment.

It is important for individuals to be mindful of what is in the trash. That way, the environment can be better protected. If you are looking for a junk removal and rubbish company located in the GTA please visit us at: Garbage Removal Toronto.

Flashlight by Good Green Technologies

PostHeaderIcon Green Reuse Tip It


Green Reuse Tip It

It is good practice to reuse as much as you can. It will prevent waste and for plastic items help keep them out of dumps!

Items you can Reuse at least once:

* water bottles. as long as you keep them clean, you can reuse them several times. It will save you money just to refill the bottle with tap. refrigerate it and you are good to go.

* newspaper. you can use old newspapers to clean your windows and mirrors, as shelf liners and more. reusing newspapers can really help save on paper purchases, thus saving trees!

* donate or free-cycle. items like clothes, toys, books…almost anything can be donated or given away instead of tossed. just make sure it is clean and in decent condition.

* make compost. use your unused natural food items to make compost.

* batteries. stop buying one time use batteries and only purchase rechargeable ones.

* refillable. buy condiments, shampoos and the like in large containers and refill smaller user-friendly container for it. This will help you buy less bottles and use less plastic!

* bags. stop using paper and plastic bags. buy canvas bags and reuse them over and over again.

* paper. any time your printer messes up or you make an error when using paper, let your kids use it to color on. or, you can use it as scrap.

* clothing. use old socks, t-shits and cloth materials as rags, to clean the car or to dust with.

* egg cartons. these can be reused for arts and crafts, paint holders, taco items, or even to organize jewelry or small items.

* plastic milk jugs. these can be used for pots for plants or even to water them.

* cardboard boxes. go to a fun place with your kids that has a hill and have a summer sledding competition! cut large squares and use the cardboard as your “sleigh.”

As you can see, there are many many ways that you can reuse items you use everyday. Be creative and brainstorm about how you can make the most of everything and be a good steward to God’s planet!

Copyright © Green Christian Network, All Rights Reserved

About the Author: Cindy Taylor is a Christian stay at home Mom who love the Lord and cares about God’s planet. You can see her passion and writing at her website, Green Christian Network (http://greenchristiannetwork.com).

AT&T Tech ChannelFor Green Computing

PostHeaderIcon Flashlight by Good Green Technologies


Flashlight by Good Green Technologies

Too Expensive to Be Green?

Really? Seriously? Is it still too expensive to be green? I am a little surprised when people say that cannot do anything to be green because the products are too expensive. This may have been the case eons ago but not anymore. People now say going green is too expensive as an excuse in my opinion. Granted, I am not able to afford solar panels on my roof just yet but that does not mean I am not green or trying to be green in my own ways.

Here are some simple things that you can do now to start you off in the right direction without too much money out of pocket. Keep in mind, that while you will spend money at first, the payback is well worth it for you and the environment.

One of the first things I did to start my own green movement at home was to buy canvas bags for the grocery store. They were $1.00 each and I bought 10 of them. I always leave them in my car so no matter what store I go to I bring a bag with me. Each time I visit the grocery store I get 5 cents back for each bag that I bring.

So each week when I grocery shop I get 50 cents back. Each week that adds up quickly and before you know it, I have made my $10.00 back and am no longer a slave to the plastic bags. U.S. consumers use approximately 100 billion plastic bags annually which require an estimated 12 million barrels to produce! Just think, the majority of these bags are used just once from for less than 30 minutes and then they go into our landfills or end up in our oceans where they are a serious threat to wildlife.

The second green thing I did was change my water bottle habits. I have to admit, this one was hard for me until I did the math and it was at that moment I went to Target to buy a water filter and ordered my CamelBak Better Bottle.

The funny thing is that people are so quick to complain about the cost of gas but have you ever complained about the cost of the water bottles at the grocery store? I paid $10.00 for my bottle and $30 for my water filter and I have never once gone back to the store to buy my 12 pack of water for $6.00. And to think, a 12 pack of water bottles was finished in one week or less! I really don’t like when people say they reuse their plastic water bottles…. Do you know the bacteria that are on the bottles and the plastic leaching that occurs? Please do yourself and the environment a favor and buy a BPA Free water bottle today!

How many of us use paper napkins each day for lunch and dinner? Time to save a tree! Even napkins made from recycled materials are not as innocent as they may seem since they too wind up in landfills. A family of 4 can easily go through 84 paper napkins a week and if you think of each paper napkin costing 2 cents – well that adds up quickly over the course of a week, month, and a year. Cloth napkins can be used several times before tossing them into the laundry. With a family of four, laundry is done quite a bit so go ahead and make the switch.

Finally, do you wash all loads of laundry in cold water? Did you know that if you washed all of your clothes in cold water your clothes would last longer? Not only that, but you would save on your electrical bill. Unless you are washing baby diapers or grease stains, cold water is the way to go. 85-90 percent of the energy needed to wash your clothes in a machine is used to warm the water. Only 10-15 percent actually goes into the washer. The next time you need to buy laundry detergent, look for the detergents that are specially made for cold water.

And of course, we all know about the light bulbs and such but these were a couple other reminders of what you can do today to start saving money and you can be proud of yourself for going green! Remember, it is cool to be green!

Leah LaBrece
http://www.earthkits.com

 

PostHeaderIcon Our Family’s: The 3 R’s – Our Commitment to Do More


Our Family’s: The 3 R’s – Our Commitment to Do More

So How You Do’ing? In the spirit of recycling, I thought I would use those famous words from Friends character Joey. I have shared with you in other articles ideas that my family are using to cut our carbon footprint on this precious Earth that we call home.

Reducing is always a challenge, because it goes in the face of our societal values of having more and doing more, but it is the highest form of recycling.

Re-using is something that has been natural for me through out my life. It may be challenging at times to creatively transform old household items into new uses, but this has become one of the staples of our family’s efforts to be more environmentally friendly…and save money.

Recycling has become the catch phrase for the 3 R’s, but is strictly speaking altering one thing into another. It is important that we recycle as much as we possibly can, because making consumables from recycled goods is always cheaper and better for the environment than making them from raw materials. But we should recognise too that recycling should only be used after we have reduced and re-used. For our children and their futures, we must use all the arsenal of tools embodied in the 3 R’s: reducing wherever we can, re-using everything that we possibly can, and recycling every item that our councils and recycling centres will accept.

Today I am wanted to look at those things that my family could do better:

1) Reducing excess packaging. I think this might be the most challenging to tackle; partly because a great deal of it is beyond our control. We are, I admit, large consumers of electronics (blame techie husband). Have you ever noticed how much packaging goes into one tiny piece of plastic? A memory stick that is one inch by two will most often come in a plastic (non-recyclable) package with a large cardboard inset and an information packet. I recognise that this is an anti-theft device, but aren’t there other alternatives? What about putting such items behind the counter? The other side of that is that the packaging contributes to the cost of that piece of plastic and metal. Of course, this is an issue that will require a concreted effort from consumer and most likely government intervention to address. What I can do for now is to choose to purchase my fruit and vegetables loose. I am also hoping this will cut down on both spending and waste by purchasing only what we need.

2) I am going to remember to use those little switches on the power plugs. As I mentioned, being American we do not have such things. It has been hard for me change a lifetime of habits. But with my husband’s help, I am going to use these magic little buttons more often.

3) We are going to replace all batteries with rechargeable ones. About half of our batteries are rechargeable; mostly the ones in our keyboards and mousse. But over the coming weeks, we will replace all batteries with rechargeable ones…since these are particularly toxic waste in our landfills.

4) I am going to use less water when washing dishes. I have this habit of running the water to rinse dishes as I go. The new plan is to wash everything and sit it on the counter until I am done. Then use the same pan to rinse the dishes in cold water.

5) I am going to have a spring clean out. I may be doing pretty well at re-using but I could help others to do better by donating all the stuff I am not using to Freecycle, the Islington Swap Xchange, or my local Mind shop. This will make my husband very happy as he has been complaining about my daughter’s toys for a while now.

So what can you do better? Remember though this is not about being perfect, but the little things that we can realistically do and continue to do. The things that may seem so small that you don’t think they will make a difference: things that if we all did would make a huge difference. I invite you all to share your list with me.

Terri O’Neale is the mother of six; ranging in age from 3 to 22. She has been both a working and stay-at-home mother at various times in her life. She was also a single mother for almost five years, before re-marrying the love of her life at the age of forty. Obviously, she has a life-time of training in raising a family on a tight budget. In addition to these real life experiences, she possesses a bachelors degree in health education and a minored in environmental management in her masters programme.

Terri feels strongly that this is one of the most challenging times in history for the family, but she also believes that families with the will and resolve to address the pressing issues of saving money, becoming greener, leading healthier lifestyles and spending more time with one another can endure these challenging times and come out victorious in the end.

Through Frugal Family articles, blogs, videos and social networking, she helps modern families rediscover some lost art forms such as cooking, sewing, and gardening. The goal is not to go back in time or become fanatical, but to help all families find simple and effective ways that fit into their lifestyle to make moderate changes with huge impacts. For more information, check out her blog http://frugalfam.wordpress.com/.

Green with Pure Water Technology

PostHeaderIcon A Carbon Footprint is Impacted by Fugitive Refrigerant Gas Emissions


A Carbon Footprint is Impacted by Fugitive Refrigerant Gas Emissions

The United States and a host of other foreign countries are focusing on fugitive emission tracking for certain industries. The goal is to identify the amount of substances that are emitted into the atmosphere when a refrigerant gas leak occurs. This will give government officials at the EPA a better understanding of the amount of greenhouse gases harming the environment each year and contributing to global warming due to the ineffective management of refrigerant gases.

Fugitive emission takes place when an unexpected leak of a hazardous substance occurs in a system and the discharge is not contained in a vent, stack, or duct. This may be caused by a component failure, poor servicing, or a breakdown in some industrial process. When a system containing refrigerant leaks, these high global warming potential substances cause damage to the atmosphere. Certain refrigerant gases are not broken down in the atmosphere and end up entering the stratosphere and destroying the protective ozone layer over time.

Across the U.S. economy, refrigerant gases or fugitive emissions equal over 300K tons of carbon dioxide each year. Other countries have similar or worse outputs. Many environmental regulations, such as The Montreal and Kyoto Protocols, exist to reduce the escape of harmful substances, like refrigerants, into the atmosphere over time. There are additional goals to reduce the potential for global warming in the near future and to improve air quality in the long term by reducing the emissions refrigerant gases.

A select few refrigerant gases have multiple detrimental effects on the environment. Not only are they ozone depleting substances but they are also chemicals with a high global warming potential (GWP) which places them into the category of greenhouse gases which lead to global climate change. For many reasons, it is important to effectively monitor, track, and report refrigerant gas usage.

The EPA has finalized its rules pertaining to any fugitive emission occurrence, whether through evaporation or a leak. The regulations apply to several industries, including existing and newly constructed facilities with systems using refrigerant gas in their workplace heating and cooling systems. Other industries are industrial chemical manufacturing, electric services, pulp and paper mills, and petroleum refinancing.

Tracking fugitive refrigerant gases is required by facilities owning or operating HVAC-R systems or by manufacturers who produce them. The EPA has identified a number of dangerous compounds, among them chloroflurocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, methyl bromide, halons, methyl chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride.

A particular concern for fugitive emission problems is with refrigerant gas, because it contains chloroflurocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons, two primary contributors to the weakening of the ozone layer and the increase in greenhouse gas volumes. Furthermore, refrigerant gas is used across many industries in refrigeration and cooling units, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and fire protection systems.

When a fugitive emission occurs, businesses are required to track the refrigerant leak rates and report annul refrigerant usage it to the EPA. One of the primary emissions scopes, fugitive refrigerant gas emissions are an integral part of an organizations carbon management requirements. Of the utmost importance is the determination of the HVAC-R system that is leaking and the capturing of the service event detail related to fixing the leak. Systems containing refrigerant gases must be inspected by EPA certified technicians and all service events must be logged when refrigerants are handled.

The new fugitive emission regulations provide a more standardized approach to thresholds identified by the U.S. Clean Air Act at the direction of the EPA. These include continuous monitoring, tracking of leaks, and reporting of leak repair, and containment.

Web applications and specialized tools can increase an organization’s efficiencies related to HVAC-R system maintenance, improve accuracy of refrigerant inventories thus saving money, and turn manual processes into a centralized, automated work flow. Development firms who specialize in the area. They ensure compliance and reduce the likelihood of substantial fines.

Daniel Stouffer, Product Manager at Verisae, has more information about fugitive emissions management. Refrigerant Tracker makes it easy to monitor, manage, and report refrigerant gas usage across multiple locations. Learn more at: http://www.Refrigerant-Tracker.com

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PostHeaderIcon The Holy Reduction Grail


The Holy Reduction Grail

The hard truth is that we all need to reduce. Reduce the amount of money we spend. Reduce the amount of food we eat…and our waistlines. And reduce the amount of stuff we throw away. In fact new we look at the 3 R’s of reduce, reuse, recycle, they are actually in that order for a reason. It is a hierarchy for a reason and reduce is the Holy Grail. Put in its simplest terms reduce means that we use less of the earth’s resources and in any environmental scheme should be our first priority.

That said, it is also the hardest to accomplish. When I thought about all the things we do to be greener, the number of examples of reducing stumped me. I suppose the most obvious example of our efforts to reduce was the decision some months ago, not to purchase an automobile. My husband has the use of a company van, but even that is rarely used. The difficulty comes when we want to go anywhere as a family. The work van has only one bucket seat in the front that fits three people. Obviously this presents difficulties. Even on our Saturday shopping trips with my mother-in-law, I end up sitting in the back of van; a solution that is both dangerous and illegal for the children. About a year ago, when I was working full-time, we were seriously considering buying a vehicle. But in the end, we thought the expense was too much when you consider not just payments, but insurance, road tax, maintenance and gas. Instead, we signed up for StreetCar; a car rental scheme that you pay a monthly fee to join and an hourly or daily rate only when you need to use a car or van. Looking back, that was one of the best decisions we have made both for the environment and family finances.

The other obvious example I found of reduction was our decision a year ago to switch to bags for life. We now have a stack of them beneath our kitchen sink and faithfully use them for our Saturday shops. But I do admit to occasionally forgetting them when just running out to grab something quickly. When this happens though, we make certain to re-use (we’ll talk more about that tomorrow) any plastic bags we get for outings or for small bin liners. Did you know that in the UK alone 100,000 TONNES of plastic bags are thrown away each year; that is the equivalent of 70,000 cars? So if there is one thing, I can encourage you to do, it is purchase bags for life. My store sells the sturdy plastic ones for about forty pence, the jute ones are about a pound, and the pretty cloth ones are about three pounds with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. Or it is very simple to make your own if you sew.

Speaking of which, sewing and mending our clothes is another excellent way of reducing. My boys from my husband to my sons are always wearing holes in their jeans on the inside thighs. Before the economic downturn, I admit we were likely to just toss them out and purchase new ones. But since I have not been working, we have instead taken them to the drycleaners and had them patched. The cost of the repairs is less than the cost of purchasing new (although I am committed to mending them myself from now on…a further savings). And we have reduced in a very small way the demand for jeans.

Of course, as I sit at my desk in my bedroom I am witnessing another reduction…the daylight streaming in through the open curtains. One of the first things I do each morning is open the curtains and the blinds. By using natural light when and where possible, we are reducing the amount of electricity that we consume and that the power grids must generate. We are also of course saving money on our bills. My husband is a genius at this; going around and turning off and unplugging everything he can each night before bed. I admit though that being American this whole switch on the plug thing still gets me and I often forget to do that, but I am improving. Of course, another example was turning down our thermostat during the winter and wearing heavier layers of clothes instead. In fact, I can think of only a couple of days this winter when we turned our heat on before night fall at all.

These are just a few ideas of ways that our family is reducing. There are many other things that we and you can do to cut back on the things we consume and help save our earth’s precious resources. On Friday as I said, we will do a mini-inventory and I will commit to new ideas on how our family can better live the 3 R’s reduce, re-use, recycle. I will be especially focusing on reducing since this is the most important of the R’s.

Terri O’Neale is the mother of six; ranging in age from 3 to 22. She has been both a working and stay-at-home mother at various times in her life. She was also a single mother for almost five years, before re-marrying the love of her life at the age of forty. Obviously, she has a life-time of training in raising a family on a tight budget. In addition to these real life experiences, she possesses a bachelors degree in health education and a minored in environmental management in her masters programme.

Terri feels strongly that this is one of the most challenging times in history for the family, but she also believes that families with the will and resolve to address the pressing issues of saving money, becoming greener, leading healthier lifestyles and spending more time with one another can endure these challenging times and come out victorious in the end.

Through Frugal Family articles, blogs, videos and social networking, she helps modern families rediscover some lost art forms such as cooking, sewing, and gardening. The goal is not to go back in time or become fanatical, but to help all families find simple and effective ways that fit into their lifestyle to make moderate changes with huge impacts. For more information, check out her blog http://frugalfam.wordpress.com/.

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