50 SIMPLE THINGS
50 simple things you can do to cut carbon, from Earth Guardians: http://www.earthguardians.org/50simplethings/
Batteries should never be thrown away with your trash. California has it right. On their website, they list local and national resources:
Wherever you are, search for your nearest Battery Recycling location. Most of them will charge a small fee. If you live in Pittsburgh, PA, you can go to: Batteries Plus Bulbs ($.70 per pound as of 4.6.16) Construction Junction ($.25 per battery as of 4.6.16). Other places exist, but they might not take Alkaline if you use these. But the bottom line is, DO NOT PUT BATTERIES IN THE TRASH!! Bad stuff happens. Look it up for yourself and watch this video: DNews.
BIODEGRADABLE DOES NOT MEAN COMPOSTABLE
Basic explanation: Compostable is safe, Biodegradable is not. Links below for descriptions and the science behind it!
CLOTHING MADE OUT OF PLASTIC: GOOD OR BAD?
Is clothing made out of discarded plastic good or bad? At first glance, it seems like a great idea: take used and trashed plastic from the land and sea, remake it into wearable clothing! However, what happens when you wash the clothing? Do tiny micro polymers/plastic pieces float back into our waters as the clothing degrades? Yes. Yes they do. It's scary to think, that you could be consuming your own clothing. And that your earth mindedness -buying clothing made out of discarded plastic- is actually contributing to the pollution of our oceans, rivers, and streams.
Avoiding any type of clothing that has been made from recycled & trashed plastic, and polymers, is very tough, as these materials run throughout the textile system. What you can do is be more aware of what you buy and research your clothing. You can also stick with items that have been created using 100% natural and biodegradable materials and dyes, repair your clothing, and buy used.
Here are a few links to discuss the topic further, but by no means the end all be all of this subject:
BBC (Science Education!!): http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/ocr_gateway/carbon_chemistry/designer_polymersrev1.shtml
The Vaquita "The Panda of the Sea" [less than 30(!!) exist as of this posting (1.13.18)]
An Extremely Rare porpoise, lives strictly in the Gulf of California...Find info through the links below:
Do you think a politician is lying to you? Jump onto factcheck.org to seek your answers, clear you mind, and ask your own question. From their website: "Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding".
FOOD WASTE & LOSS
Junk snail mail is one of the many contributors of landfill waste, and household annoyances. Some pieces do get recycled, but a good portion of it has plastic in it. Therefore it cannot be put into paper recycling (note this!). There isn’t any point to it. Have you ever responded to an unsolicited random offer in the post? I Haven’t! Let’s junk the junk mail! To stop junk mail, and only get the mail you want, there are a few ways to go about it.
- First, optoutprescreen.com will let you stop for 5 years, or permanently, credit offers associated with the major credit reporting companies.
- DMAchoice.thedma.org will let you manage direct mailings from businesses (note: there might be a hidden price here, be alert!).
- Direct mail, will also get you removed from similar lists.
- You can be removed from the yellow pages, or phone directories via (registration required).
- And if you receive mail that doesn’t say your name, but instead says “current resident” or some other generic statement, put in big bold letters on the mail; “RETURN TO SENDER”, and drop it back in the post box.
However, through my own experiences, the very best method to be removed from any mailing list -as the references above will not cover everything- is to call the company who is sending you the unwanted mail, as soon as you get the mail, and ask to be removed from their list permanently. This has been the most successful method for me by far. As of this writing, i typically get 3-5 pieces of mail a week; DVD’s and bills. In the big picture, that’s still a lot, but its waaaay smaller than what I used to get 5 years ago. Take it one piece at a time, pick up the phone, and junk the junk mail!
The articles and information on this topic (plus the disasters that are a result: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Japan...) are comprehensive, but, the backing for nuclear power comes from all sides, as does the opposition. I'll pass on one article, from the Huffington Post Here. From there, you can make a journey and decide for yourself. I suggest searching the contaminated places, where they store the by-products, and the 24,000 years it will take for the effects of any accident/result/by-product to wear off. Chernobyl is an example of how massive an area nuclear disasters can affect. Check out what is happening
RIGHT NOW at the Chernobyl site without any human interaction for 30 years. The quarantine area is so large that nature has essentially been allowed to roam freely with no human interaction. While this is a warning against nuclear power, it is also hopeful that nature seems able to rebuild itself in the wake of our mistakes.
Nuclear: Turkey Point is a bad idea
Turkey Point in Florida currently houses two nuclear reactors run by Florida Power and Light (FPL). These reactors are polluting (and have been for a long time) Biscayne Bay (next to Biscayne National Park), local drinking water, and wildlife. This a prime example of why answers cannot be found in anything nuclear. But, make your own decision.
Haze and pollution, lifelong health problems, deforestation, destruction of endangered species and protected lands.
This is what palm oil is. Oh, and it’s also used in the snack foods we shouldn’t be eating - name any brand of snack food, if you’ve eaten them, you’ve eaten palm oil.
The production of palm oil in Southeast Asia and tropical rainforests is wreaking havoc on the environment, animals, and our health. And it appears that, until lately, no one has been doing a thing about it.
It’s a profitable business, so why should there be any change? Read the articles below (and look around for yourself) to develop your own opinion:
The World Wildlife Fund: http://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/which-everyday-products-contain-palm-oil
Deforestation Education: http://www.deforestationeducation.com/products-that-contain-palm-oil.php
Keep an eye out for anything with palm oil in it, as it is everywhere, and at times mislabeled. If you can’t locate the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSP) label - more info on that through a link above - do not purchase it.
*An added tip: simply avoid pre-package food and items.
RECYCLING: GOOD OR BAD?
I'm on the fence about recycling. It's a good thing, but reducing is the way to go. A lot of recycling doesn't get recycled, for many reasons: it’s soiled, it’s not actually recyclable, it doesn’t make it into the recycling bin. Here is an article that I find interesting exploring the subject further:
Shoes are not trash! Donate lightly worn pairs, or reuse gnarly old ones! Below are a few links to get you started:
TRASH: IN THE OCEAN
The amount of trash created by humans which has ended up in the Ocean, is incalculable. The only thing that can be done is to estimate this astronomical amount. The only facts (from my research) that are present are: It exists, there is a lot of it, and it’s breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces. These pieces are difficult to locate, and they can be ingested by sea life, which then can be ingested by humans and other animals.
If you’ve ever heard anything about trash in the ocean, you’ve heard of the ‘Pacific Garbage Patch’. This is said to spread across the Pacific Ocean where the North Pacific Gyre (a swirling body of water created by intersecting air currents, Earth’s rotation and land mass -- read more on Gyre’s here: http://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/ocean-gyre/ ) is located, in which the largest collection of trash (to the best of my knowledge) from humans is present in the Ocean. However, the size of the patch, where it can been seen from, and the objects within, have all been debated. As I’ve never been out there, I can only tell you the information that is present to us all. It’s a large swirling area of water that has large pieces of Marine debris, and a collection of almost anything we humans have produced and discarded floating in it (and sunk to the bottom), as well as (and the more dangerous portion of trash in the ocean) tiny pieces of plastic and other debris that has been/and continues to be, broken down to even small and smaller pieces.
This type of litter in the ocean doesn’t just happen in the Pacific, nor does it just happen in the ocean alone. It occurs in almost every body of water on the planet. And we are the cause...but we can make a positive difference! First we must STOP trashing the water to begin with. If we don’t stop doing that, then the oceans and waterways across the globe will never be free of trash. And the problems we face, will only get worse.
As long as you do your part by being mindful of what you use, produce, and discard, and help to educate others… we might just have a chance to eliminate all pollution from our water!
Given all of that, YOU have to make the decisions and acknowledge there is a problem for yourself. To assist you with that, I’ve attached a few links below for more information:
Read into the North Pacific Gyre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecosystem_of_the_North_Pacific_Subtropical_Gyre
Debunking some possible myths on the size and visibility of the great garbage patch: http://www.snopes.com/great-pacific-garbage-patch/
Is the Garbage Patch getting bigger?: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/04/great-pacific-garbage-patch-ocean-plastic-trash
A different take on the same info in the above link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/10/05/great-pacific-garbage-patch-is-a-myth-warn-experts-as-survey-sho/
An article highlighting the disastrous effects of Marine Plastic Pollution: http://www.cleanwater.org/problem-marine-plastic-pollution
Pollution of Streams by Trash: http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Oc-Po/Pollution-of-Streams-by-Garbage-and-Trash.html
More on Marine Trash: http://www.oceanhealthindex.org/news/Making_Least_Most_Marine_Trash
The myth of an ‘island of trash in the pacific’: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_next_20/2016/09/the_great_pacific_garbage_patch_was_the_myth_we_needed_to_save_our_oceans.html
Wikipedia on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch
National Geographic: http://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/
Wikipedia on Ocean Gyre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_gyre
When you get right down to it, if you see a piece of trash anywhere besides a garbage can, pick it up! Or alert someone who can. Together we can make a cleaner world for all of us to live in, and for generations to come!
No explanation needed from me. From the site: "We believe that stories about important issues can and should be great stories — stories for everyone, stories that connect us and sometimes even change the world."
Something everyone needs. Upworthy.com.