Greenliving weekly

By on August 26th, 2008

As an environmentally conscious person, I’m flawed.  I admit it.  I’m no “No Impact Man.”  He’s the guy who is trying, while living in Manhattan, to have absolutely no negative impact on the environment.  No air-conditioning, no purchasing new things, no washing machine.  I’ve even heard they don’t use toilet paper. (!)

I use toilet paper.  And I use A/C, although I keep my thermostat at 78.

There are some things, however, that I think I ought to be able to give up, but I just haven’t.

Number one on the list: soda cans.  My wife, my 14-year-old stepson and I all like to drink soda out of cans.  Diet Coke, Sprite Zero, and even Tropicana Lite Lemonade.  We tried buying the soda in bottles, but it tends to go flat before we use it up.  The cans alleviate this problem.

Of course, we recycle the cans.  And we’re not alone: according to The Aluminum Association, Americans recycled 54 billion aluminum cans last year, 2 billion more than in 2006.  Aluminum cans are recycled at a 53.6% rate, which sadly is thought to be a good percentage.  The aluminum can is 100% recyclable into new cans and the aluminum can be re-used indefinitely.

Still, recycling takes energy.  It must be more efficient to buy larger containers of liquids, right?  So we continue to feel that we are using lots more of this resource — aluminum — than we should. 

Maybe, after writing this little blurb, I will feel guilty enough to at least buy bigger bottles of the Lite Lemonade.  That doesn’t go flat.

I’ll keep you posted.

Anybody else want to reveal a guilty secret about some wasteful part of their lives they’re not willing to forego?

Make Current

By on August 26th, 2008

As an environmentally conscious person, I’m flawed.  I admit it.  I’m no “No Impact Man.”  He’s the guy who is trying, while living in Manhattan, to have absolutely no negative impact on the environment.  No air-conditioning, no purchasing new things, no washing machine.  I’ve even heard they don’t use toilet paper. (!)

I use toilet paper.  And I use A/C, although I keep my thermostat at 78.

There are some things, however, that I think I ought to be able to give up, but I just haven’t.

Number one on the list: soda cans.  My wife, my 14-year-old stepson and I all like to drink soda out of cans.  Diet Coke, Sprite Zero, and even Tropicana Lite Lemonade.  We tried buying the soda in bottles, but it tends to go flat before we use it up.  The cans alleviate this problem.

Of course, we recycle the cans.  And we’re not alone: according to The Aluminum Association, Americans recycled 54 billion aluminum cans last year, 2 billion more than in 2006.  Aluminum cans are recycled at a 53.6% rate, which sadly is thought to be a good percentage.  The aluminum can is 100% recyclable into new cans and the aluminum can be re-used indefinitely.

Still, recycling takes energy.  It must be more efficient to buy larger containers of liquids, right?  So we continue to feel that we are using lots more of this resource — aluminum — than we should. 

Maybe, after writing this little blurb, I will feel guilty enough to at least buy bigger bottles of the Lite Lemonade.  That doesn’t go flat.

I’ll keep you posted.

Anybody else want to reveal a guilty secret about some wasteful part of their lives they’re not willing to forego?

Make Current

By on August 1st, 2008

: With little fanfare, Health Canada published a report predicting an onslaught of health problems across the country due to our changing climate.

: How many wire hangers have you thrown out this month?

: Research is proving there is a connection between an increased risk of cancer and cell phone use. Oncologist specialists from around the world have made the following suggestions for lowering associated risks from cell phones. Better safe than sorry!

: Should we be worried about our cell phones? No conclusive evidence has been found but there are striking similarities between what’s going on in the cell phone industry and what happened with Big mobile casino Tobacco.

: “I think we shouldn”t wait 20 years to experiment on our children. That”s why we need to take precautions.” Dr. Devra Davis, Director, Center for Environmental Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

: Are our cell phones causing cancer? We are worried enough that that Larry King has scheduled a show tonight called “Cell Phone Danger” airing tonight on CNN.

: “Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer,” warned Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Have we reached the saturation point with our cell phones?

: When feeding baby, it’s not just the formula that’s important. You need to choose the right bottle as well. Recent studies are showing that plastic bottles may not be a good choice after all.

Make Current

By on July 26th, 2008

: The hot summer months are prime time for moths to start munching your clothes, rugs and other household fabrics. How can you protect your home from the ravages of moths without resorting to toxic moth balls?

: Are garden pests making you nostalgic for banned pesticides? There are plenty of natural solutions for getting rid of unwanted guests in your garden.

: While it may not be glamorous, composting is one of the simplest and most effective green activities.

: Those summer scrapes, bites and burns can be handled in a natural way. Experts from Whole Foods Markets put their suggestions together for handling summer mishaps.

: “For the bike commuter, the commute is the best part of the day. For the car commuter, the commute is often the worst part of the day.” International Bicycling Fund

Make Current

By on July 18th, 2008

: Could you adopt a lifestyle where you bought nothing and lived off the discards of other people? Freegans are doing just that and it’s easier than you think.

: When a new pair of shoes, a desk chair, or even an envelope are designed, often the creators try to imagine every conceivable use and situation it might encounter in its life. But, what about afterwards?

: Are you suffering from vacation envy as you see your plans vanishing due to skyrocketing prices for gas and airline tickets? Go on a staycation. Save money, avoid crowds, and arrive back at work relaxed and refreshed.

: Our children are putting at least five hours a day in front of electronic screens but only 15 minutes a day outside. Get the kids communing with nature with an outdoor sleepover party.

: Christie”s of London recently auctioned off one of Pete Townshend’s guitars for over $27,000. The money will donated to the U.S.A. based group Alliance for Sustainability to support their various ecological projects.

: Should our vitamins be treated like prescription drugs? Should prescription drug be fast tracked onto the market without clinical testing?

: For Canadians lucky enough to have one in their neighbourhood, Loblaw has become the place to shop for sensible green products and organic produce at reasonable prices.

Make Current