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smokey the bear

I have been super obsessed with trash lately. I think about it with every piece of garbage I throw out. Most of the thoughts I have revolve around, could I have I recycled that, if not, why? I feel that everything we make should be able to be recycled and if you can’t recycle it, don’t make it. Let me also emphasize that means if you can recycle it without releasing deadly toxins into the air, water or land.

I am no saint, I don’t want to have to clean my yogurt container, aluminum foil, plastic everything ever really. I do it, but I do not enjoy the process. I think it has to do with America and its not very user friendly local recycling processes.  There is no national recycling marketing machine out there educating us on what we can and can not recycle throughout our lives. We are not given the tools, for example, recycling bins clearly labeled on what should be contained within them. It is not second nature and could be quite easily.  I learned many things about fire prevention from Smokey the Bear. The Ad Council is a powerful tool to get some recycling PSAs out there.

Another thing is there are no real negative consequences for people who are not recycling, nor are there positive ones for people who do. We all enjoy a little positive reinforcement now and again. There are laws in America against littering in public places, but not for littering in define places. That seems ignorant. We should not be able to litter anywhere. Landfills are a disaster.

I did a little research on garbage decomposition to get myself more motivated. Here is what I came up with.

Glass…most forms of glass will never decompose or biodegrade ever. There is this glass, Obsidian, that dates back to the Cretaceous (Latin for “chalky”) geologic period and system from circa 145.5 ± 4 to 65.5 ± 0.3 million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows on the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the Cenozoic era.  For those who don’t want to do the math, that means about 36 million to 65 million year old glass. That’s crazy, some poor dinosaur foot cutting glass. I said it. :]

The good thing about glass is how simple it is to recycle. Virgin glass is primarily made of sand, lime and soda. A glass manufacturer’s boiler must run at about 2192 degrees Fahrenheit (1200 degrees Celsius) to melt the sand, soda, and lime into glass. Making glass from recycled glass uses 32% less energy than making virgin glass because it melts at a much lower temperature. This process is to shatter the glass into small fragments called “cullet”. You then melt that down to make new glass. Products made from recycled glass save on the extraction of raw materials and produce approximately 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than virgin glass. Point, recycle your glass don’t just throw it out.

I think I’ll stop with glass for today, maybe we’ll catch up with plastic bottles and bags at a later date.

Recycle, Reuse.

-Cara

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E.ON Energy Champions is a eco, flash game where you collect the recycling dropped from above by the selfish, lazy, littering workers and place them in the correct recycling bins before your carbon footprint becomes enormous.

It’s a fun one.

-Cara

With that said…

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth via e-mail, a gift from me to you.

You’re Welcome. :]

-Cara

Bio Pets

I have written about BioBags before in my 100th post, concerning some composting ideas I had.  I really think their concept is a good one, but I have still not actually tried them. :) Anyway, I came across these Biobag Dog Waste Bags and BioBag Cat Pan Liners and thought they sound like great ideas.

I don’t have a dog, but live in NYC where everyone has to pick up after their dogs. I always think about how many plastic bags these people must go through, just to throw away dog poo. This bag is a great idea. It would also be a great idea in New York City to have by every other garbage can be a compost can. Just for dog owners to throw their dog poo in, instead of throwing it into the regular garbage cans. Then the Parks Department could compost the dog poo and use it as fertilizer in all the City Parks. You’re welcome New York City Department of Parks and Recreation! :)

Here’s some info about the Biobag Dog Waste Bags from the BioBag’s site:

BioBag Dog holds the distinction of being the first biodegradable and compostable “plastic” pooper bag in the world.

[When] pet owners put 100% biodegradable dog waste into plastic bags that can take over 100 years to decompose. (I read on another site that BioBags will degrade within 45 days.)

BioBag dog pooper bags are to help divert all naturally biodegradable waste from entering our landfills.

The best solution for disposal of pet waste has always been to separate it from the bag or paper and flush it down the toilet. Using BioBags…the waste and the bag can be thrown in your backyard compost, where both items can decompose naturally; the waste and bag can be buried, where micro-organisms will quickly eat both; the waste and bag can be set at curbside with other yard waste where communities collect biodegradable waste for composting. Please check with your community for disposal options.

I think the cat liners are another great idea for people who use them. I myself do not as I have scoopable litter and then the litter pan itself gets clean out fully. I guess a bag would make it easier to clean…we will think about it.

Here’s some info about the BioBag Cat Pan Liners from the BioBag’s site:

Cat waste should not be composted, as its composition can be quite toxic (What? Toxic…I had no idea. :P). Cat waste should always be scooped from the litter box and then put in your trash. There are a number of new biodegradable cat litters on the market. We also do not recommend flushing it down the toilet because cat poop may endanger sea otters.

Using these biodegradable cat pan liners to dispose of the remaining biodegradable litter makes good environmental sense.

Biodegradable cat pan liners are non-allergenic. Cats can be allergic to plastic and other known allergens. Allergies usually build up over time from constant contact with the allergen. Calicos, Tortiseshells, Black cats and Siamese cats are more prone to allergies than other breeds.

If you suspect your cat has an allergy (red, itchy rashes), consult your veterinarian to determine the source. It is best to use hard-fired ceramic bowls, instead of molded plastic, for serving your cat food. Using a biodegradable cat litter made naturally from renewable grain crops may protect your cat from certain chemicals. Using BioBag non-allergenic liners is an environmentally safe way to further protect your pet.

Eco-pets rule!

-Cara

History of the Eco-Shopping Game (according to their site):

The Eco-Shopping game is a game local to the North Central Texas region and was originally created by TXU Electric and Gas in 1997. The purpose of the game is to help educate the consumer on three aspects of product packaging:

  1. recyclability of the package,
  2. reducing the amount of packaging waste going into the landfill by buying products with less packaging, and
  3. giving preference to a packaging made with recycled content materials.

Click Here to Get to the Game Link

It reminds me of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, with the talking bull, Longhorn Larry. I found it on timetorecycle.com. There are three different games in one. My favorite is the one where you separate your recyclables from trash before the garbage truck comes. :) I can’t get enough of it.

Fun stuff.

-Cara

Today’s game is World Without Oil. I am beyond excited to come up with a plan of what to do in the first 32 weeks of a global oil crisis. I don’t know what medium I will use yet, but I love to think and come up with solutions, especially in a virtual world, so bring it.

According to the WWO site, “World Without Oil concluded on June 1, 2007. [They are] no longer publishing links to in-game stories on the WWO site (unless they’re really good). But everyone is welcome to sign up as a Netizen Hero and to participate in “WWO Lives,” [their] ongoing blog about all matters WWO.”

The cool thing is they say they will link to good in-game stories from the WWO Lives blog. That means only the superstar stories will make it on the site, which is a still a competition, and who doesn’t like a little healthy competition.

I’m in.

-Cara

Consumer Consequences

Consumer Consequences is the name of the game and it is super fresh. First off, I love the diversity of the character traits selection. I chose to be a short haired, medium complexion woman with an eye patch and parrot. I like the animation and how the information is collected. You start out with one world and depending on your answers it starts accumulating points. The more resources you use the more worlds it will take to support your lifestyle.

It is the most fun carbon calculator I’ve ever played.

Good times.

-Cara

It is recipe day and today’s recipe is a dessert, a first here at The Day After An Inconvenient Truth. It is a chocolate, rice crispy ice cream pie, because summer is just around the corner.

What You Need

1/2 cup organic chocolate syrup

1/3 cup organic semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups organic crispy rice cereal

1 quart {4 cups) of your favorite organic ice cream

(F.Y.I. – The links to organic products are just suggestions of products I have used and recommend, but you can use any organic brand.)

What to Do

Butter a 9 inch pie pan

Mix the chocolate syrup semi-sweet chocolate chips in a pan over medium heat and stir until smooth. Remove and set aside 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture and put it in a small bowl. Add cereal to remaining chocolate mixture, stirring until well coated. Let it cool slightly.

Then using the back of spoon, press mixture evenly on bottom and up sides of prepared pie plate to form crust. Place the pan in freezer 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is firm. Spread one-half of ice cream into crust; spoon chocolate sauce over the first layer. Then top with scoops of the remaining ice cream. Cover and return to freezer until serving time. Drizzle with additional chocolate syrup just before serving.

You have no idea how good this is on a hot day.

Enjoy.

-Cara


Reason 85 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

Clog up your arteries on a diet loaded with saturated animal fat and cholesterol year after year and you risk having a heart attack or stroke. You can opt to avert these afflictions with an expensive, though now-routine, operation known as angioplasty. Performed with a balloon-tipped catheter, it works to flatten plaque against artery walls, thus opening up passageways for blood to flow. A whole-foods vegan diet, along with regular exercise, can have the same effect.

I collected some stats on drink consumption from, The Good Stuff guide, produced in 2004 by the Worldwatch Institute that I thought might be of interest to people.

  • People in the U.S. consume more packaged drinks per capita than in any other country—about 350 aluminum cans per person per year, compared to 103 in Sweden, 88 in the United Kingdom, and 14 in France. [Go France!]
  • Making 1 million tons of aluminum cans from virgin materials requires 5 million tons of bauxite ore and the energy equivalent of 32 million barrels of crude oil. Recycling the cans, in comparison, saves all of the bauxite and more than 75 percent of the energy, and avoids about 75 percent of the pollutants.
  • Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a laptop computer for 4 hours.
  • Making 1 million tons of plastic bottles from virgin materials (petroleum and other fossil fuels) generates an estimated 732,000 tons of climate-altering greenhouse gases.

Again I say, that’s crazy!

Eco-Cycle Media did a piece called, Zero Waste Systems that gives you an idea of how messed up our production/consumption/recycling system is right now. Then they wrap it up with some simple solutions you can do to reverse this doomed process.

Zero Waste!

-Cara

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Reason 75 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Okinawa has the healthiest and longest-lived people in the world, boasting the highest percentage of people who live to be a hundred years old. The super-seniors who inhabit the island tend to retain their mental keenness, and few need to live in nursing homes. Not surprisingly, they eat very little food of animal origin, according to a 25-year study on the island. Genes could take some of the credit, although today’s old folks are projected to outlive their children who have adopted Western eating habits.

Since Friday was my 100th post, we missed the weekly shopping entry, so thank you Monday, for picking up Friday’s slack.

Sometimes I commit sins against green. It is true I still sin. One example of said sinning is my desire to dry the counters with clean, pristine, white, recycled [:)] paper towels. I have a sponge for the counters, but it always seems to get dirty so fast, that I can’t bear to “clean” anything with it. Thus, the paper towel dilemma.

I decided to research this issue of mine and find a solution. Here is what I will try, the European Sponge Cloth. I think it might be a winner. I will let you know, and if anyone reading this has tried it, please review as I am curious.

Second sin…composting. I’ve done tons of research on composting…for whatever reasons, I will not get into now. Nevertheless, with all I know of what makes what type of compost, and what to do to keep out the bugs, how to make it not smell, plenty of room on my fire escape, food byproducts everyday, plants that need to be re-potted and fed…I still don’t compost. What I will do is buy these BioBags [100% biodegradable and 100% compostable bags and films made from the material, Mater-Bi. All of our products contain GMO free starch, biodegradable polymer and other renewable resources. No polyethylene is used in the production process. BioBag products meet ASTM D6400 specifications and California SB 1749 requirements.] and line this old wooden wine box

and compost away. Again, I’ll let you know…

And last but not least, to begin to make up for all the paper and whatever else I have done, I will give to The Arbor Day Foundation’s, Rain Forest Rescue Program.

I like having “to-do” lists.

-Cara

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Reason 66 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
The meat industry doesn’t treat the causes of its problems, only the symptoms. When it imprisons massive numbers of animals in cramped stress-inducing cages, it provides the perfect breeding ground for deadly bacteria, which later infect the meat. Technologies to kill meat pathogens are now very big business. We have acidic-solution carcass misting, alkaline-solution sprays, steam/vacuum technology, high-temperature carcass washes, steam pasteurization, and chlorine applications, etc., ad nauseam. Some bug-fighting methods, such as food irradiation and sprays of antidotal viruses and probiotic bacteria, pose risks in themselves. And in the end, the meat still isn’t safe

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