Introducing Earth Saving Tech

Archive for November, 2009

Can Paper Bags Substitute Plastic Bags?

by earth guide on Nov.07, 2009, under Green News


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/


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The move reflects the tough times experienced by solar energy equipment makers worldwide as supply far exceeded demand over the past year. Recession and a big reduction in solar subsidies in Spain - once a booming market - are key …

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Electronics Recycling

by earth guide on Nov.07, 2009, under Green News


Electronics Recycling

Society’s technological advancements have grown significantly over the years. Electronics devices such as telephones, cell phones, radios, CD and DVD players, televisions, and computers are products that are used in every household. These items are just a few of the many electronic devices that can cause serious environmental damage due to their toxic components. Electronics that are in need of disposal are referred to as e-waste, or electronic waste. Because of the advancement of electronic products, there has been a growing concern about the hazards of electronic waste. Some of these concerns include: improper disposal of toxic materials, health and safety concerns for people disposing of these items, as well as dangers to the soil and water supply. For instance, electronics are made using a considerable amount of toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, aluminum, zinc, copper, and plastics which can all leak poisonous material in the ground and water. These environmental concerns have resulted in the establishment of electronic recycling facilities and industries who take old electronics such as computers for the purpose of recycling and safe disposal.

Electronics containing materials such as metals, plastic, are valuable to the recycling companies. Disposing of electronics through a recycling company will result in fewer electronic devices going into landfills and lower carbon emissions.

Recovering Raw Materials: Recycling electronics involves recovering raw materials from the electronic equipment. Materials such as steel, copper, wires, aluminum, brass, plastics, glass,etc., are extracted and sold to smelters so they can create raw materials. Depending on the type of metal being extracted, they can be processed and used in products required by such businesses as the steel, construction and cement industry. Plastics and wood can be used as fuel to provide heat to industrial furnaces which converts to steam. Metals such as copper are sold to metal refineries.

Plastics: Plastics from such items as computers, computer mice, and keyboards, are sent through shredding processes and machine sorted. They are then sent to other recyclers for further processing.

Larger Electronics: Items such as televisions and computer monitors are dismantled by hand. The leaded glass cathode ray tubes are removed and disposed of safely. Plastics, copper, and circuit boards are removed, separated, and processed.

Hazardous Items: Toxic items are removed from electronic devices and disposed of safely. Toxic substance can include leaded glass, rechargeable batteries, non-rechargeable batteries (i.e.alkaline, lead acid, cell batteries) mercury in lamps and switches, parts containing polychlorinated biphenyls, as well as ink and toner cartridges. The remaining non toxic materials are processed and the recyclable materials are recovered. The materials are shredded and separated according to type. For instance, they can be divided into such materials as steel, copper, aluminum, and plastic.

Refurbished Electronics: There are now many companies that acquire used computers, repair and update them, and resell them at a much lower price. This is a great way to keep electronics out of landfills and make technology more affordable.

Donate Your Computer: If you are getting rid of your old computer because of a recent upgrade, consider donating it to charity. Many schools and non profit organisations are in need of computers. There are companies and businesses that will take your computer, refurbish it, and donate it to a needy cause. Make sure your computer is wiped clean of all information before donating it. Donating your computer helps the community and the environment.

We are fast becoming a technology dependent society. When it comes to protecting and conserving our environment, we have to adapt and change our technological practices to ensure a sustainable future. Recycling electronics is a great way help the planet.

Know that repairing a computer or laptop repair Toronto is not cheap, but it can be cheaper than having to replace the computer. If you run into these situations, you will need to hire a onsite computer repair service Toronto.

Green Racing Car

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The Pine Beetle in Canada

by earth guide on Nov.06, 2009, under Green News


The Pine Beetle in Canada

For some time now, the extremely destructive Pine Beetle ( Dendroctonus ponderosae ) is ravaging huge areas of Canada’s forestlands and its destruction is so virulent, that it is leaving massive and easily visible scars across otherwise green foliage landscapes. In numerous areas where the pine beetle is active, various solutions for its eradication have been tried and some of these in themselves, are so toxic in nature that they would normally be classed as being a larger risk than the beetle they are attempting to destroy.

These beetles have an average life span of about one year and generally, their eggs are laid through the bark of a tree where they develop into larvae that stay under the bark all through the winter months. During the spring the larvae continue to feed under the bark and then they will change into pupae during the months of June and July. During the rest of the summer and into fall, the new adult pine beetles leave the infested tree through emergence holes they create and after drying themselves in the warm sunshine, they take off to mate and commence a new cycle by laying the next generation’s eggs under the bark of new trees. 

During the time they remain under the bark of a tree, they are known to transmit a fungus type substance that stains the sapwood of the tree a blue colour. Other than discoloration, this blue colouring appears to have no adverse affects on the actual structural integrity of the tree. However, we must not forget that the damage has already been done and like a rolling snowball, it gather momentum and range of spread with each summer that comes. These beetles prefer mature trees such as lodge pole pines which are considered mature after eighty years of growth and in the Province of British Columbia, current statistics show that there are three times more mature lodge pole pines than they had over ninety years ago. Hot and dry summers make the trees more stressed and thus more susceptible to attack and infestation by this ravenous little creature. Trees which have been attacked will turn red roughly one year after the infestation and then, between one and two years later the affected trees will turn grey and all of their needles will fall off.

Another interesting fact about these little guys is they do not like it too cold! Their eggs, larvae and pupae are very susceptible to very cold temperatures and if these temperatures remain below minus 35 Celsius for a prolonged period of maybe a week, then this will kill off the eggs, larvae, pupae and generally sizeable portions of the beetle population in that area of cold weather. This being said, unless we suddenly enter the start of a new ice age all across Canada, these sporadic cold spells are unfortunately not enough to rid us of this continually spreading plague of destruction.   Yes, there are action plans prepared and in place and yes, the Canadian Ministry of Forests and Range are really trying to get to grips with finding a solution to this costly problem but to date, the efforts and methodology being used has had little or no effect on the overall problem.

The good news is that an answer to this massive problem does exist and better still, it is an answer, which consists of no chemicals, no toxins, no poisons and no danger to either the forest or to the people who would apply the solution. This answer can be found right now in the form of a golden all natural organic fluid formulated around a cedar oil base. This fluid can totally eradicate the pine beetle and a few other nasty insects at the same time. It is not cheap but then again it is not as expensive as some of the other treatment that have been tried. It is non hazardous and will not harm the environment in any way and it is here and available right now. Unfortunately, for now it appears that here it must stay as the Ministry of Forests and Range are continuing their quest with what they feel they know best. Maybe someday, hopefully soon, they will realize that we can defeat this natural pest by using a totally natural substance.

Bob Littlejohn MBA BSc

   

BBC World News America

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Journalism Development

by earth guide on Nov.06, 2009, under Green News


Journalism Development

The impression created by the media over years has been held with mixed feelings. Whereas some media corporate world are known to have positively helped transform societies politically, economically, culturally and technologically; some other have only torn the world apart through negative reporting that supports aggressive confrontation, glorifying terror activities to make eye-catching headlines with selfishly money motive.

Similarly, the aggressive, corrupt and oppressive groups and individuals (religiously, politically or economically) have been glorified in the way that sustains situation that steadily extinct some societies.

Their content hardly provided or suggested solutions to alarm-triggering headlines. And much of the media activities have lacked an element of social responsibility that is tangible to give a voice to the voiceless and direct transformative opportunities to the poor, disabled and other disadvantaged groups

Journaling is a key communication tool. All organisms by nature communicate either verbally or non-verbally, yet attempting to make sense of whatever cues that are exchanged or evaluated.

True, we tend to be evaluative of one another whilst trying to figure out what intentions the other party could have towards you. The aim can be to help measure up the relationship that possibly could be developed, whether health or not.

Of course, in certain encounters some people could be threatened, suspicious, lack confidence, defensively withdraw or get on well in a healthy and rewarding relationship. This, indeed, is how communities can influence attitudes and behavior towards one another. That way, we could manage, control and direct directs and behavior. What a powerful tool a pen can be!

But success through journaling it self needs a period of training and practical experience, such that we can communicate to effectively make or unmake relationships or evolve life through the aspects of observing, reading and listening to words and actions of others and things.

The primary motivators to writing is the element of having an opinion yet unique. As part of research steps, one would be required to publish a final report or summarized article from the investigations, results and analyses carried out. Other researchers or students would want to review literature about statements pending investigation. From their successes, investigators either get awards or promotion.

Through practical experience, some people make careers out of their abilities and skills to communicate effectively as writers, as advertising agents, as interpreters and, as counselors or therapists.

Secondary employment too could be provided by journalism like driving, distribution, sale or retailing, legal advising et cetera. Eventually, those associated to it could become social icons or global media giants.

On the other hand, journaling could have important health benefits as stress reliever. By writing about one’s traumatic experience, sufferer could drop so much mental toxins off him or her.

And, at the same time it would help improve on analytical and problem-solving skills crucial in successful dealing with the ever emerging challenges encountered in day-to-day life.

From the natural or ecological sense, journaling or communication significantly help to connect different elements of the eco-system -through the principles of interconnectivity and interdependence.

And through media, we can help improve the dangerous global situations as nuclear conflicts, to make the world a better place for everyone to live in. But this would only be so if we formed a common objective in solidarity to it (non-violence) under the principle of conscious non-violence through tolerance and respect for divergent views.

Waiswa Jacob
Situation Health Analyst
DISHMA-CONSULT
P.O. BOX 8885
KAMPALA-UGANDA
Tel. +256774336277 or +256754890614
http://www.situationhealthanalysis.blogspot.com

 

Green Roof

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Danish Goes ‘Green’ Island

by earth guide on Nov.05, 2009, under Green News


Danish Goes ‘Green’ Island

Development Vs Rainforest Tropical

I few weeks ago I came across an article about the deforestation situation of all the tropical rainforests. It talked about the main causes this beautiful places, origin to thousands of different life forms, are being damaged by people in so many different ways, among others: subsistence agriculture, colonization, tourism, and civilization development (savetherainforest). This latter caught my attention the most, because last week I went to my teak farm, and I got to see with my own eyes how a highway development affects our rainforest and trees so badly.

My teak farm is located about 1 hour drive from Panama City, it is located in the Colon province, home of Colon City (second biggest city in our country, Panama). Last year the government decided to build a long overdue highway connecting both cities (of course I am all for improving the quality of life of my countrymen) but I can not agree with the amount of deforestation that took place in order to build this highway.

Hundred of acres deforested in order to make way for four lanes that will bring better days to a lot of people, no doubt; but also brought a lot of disorder and chaos to a well established eco system that has being here long before us, and will continue to be here for (hopefully) thousands or millions of years after every single one of us has left this world.

Since development of cities is inevitable, specially today where commerce since to grow exponentially, cities expand rapidly, and the whole world seems to be at everybody s fingertips, we need better way of transport and communication, but could we also be more interested in both preserving and saving tropical rainforests and trees? The answer is a big OF COURSE! I would have loved to see our government promoting the planting of trees in different areas of our country in order to make up for the ones lost during the development of this highway, or during the construction of so many other infrastructures around the country. Also having more people come forward and speak up as energetic and belligerent they are about so many other problems we have on this planet. Maybe all we need are more ways to let people know about this, get them involved.

Since so much rainforest is lost every year, roughly about twice the size of the state of FLORIDA, this has become a problem for every single one of us earthlings, I think we need to get the word out, raise awareness and get people involved! Tropical Rainforest account for only 2% of land surface but through photosynthesis of trees they take massive amounts of CO2 emissions and make air clean and breathable again for every one of us. SO WE ALL NEED OUR RAINFOREST AND MORE TREES!!

Pax Sanchez
isachosan@gmail.com

http://savetheplanetandrainforest.wordpress.com

 
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What to Do for Earth Day?

by earth guide on Nov.05, 2009, under Green News


What to Do for Earth Day?

There are definitely countless reasons why people should be celebrating Earth Day. One very important reason might be the mere fact that the world has still continued to exist despite the many challenges that it is experiencing nowadays. Perhaps each individual should find that gratitude in their hearts so that they would be able to realize that the world needs all of us. Nonetheless, there must be a lot of individuals around the world who have found that gratitude in their hearts because there a lot of people getting involved in the Earth Day celebration. This celebration has already been observed globally regardless of race, religion, or status. This only shows that individual difference can be set aside to pursue a common goal- and that is environmental preservation.

Various activities and programs have been prepared for the Earth Day celebration. However, it cannot be denied that most people are busy with their own daily activities such that they wouldn’t find time to participate in actual celebrations. In order to address this concern, if people couldn’t make it to the celebration, the celebration is brought to them instead. This can be done through the advances in communication and information. Numerous Earth Day activities are made available through the worldwide web. These activities are made available for anyone to participate in at any time that they would prefer to. One of these activities is the Earth Day games which are specifically designed to incorporate environmental awareness into the games. Another activity is the various Earth Day crafts, which are craft lessons and procedures that make use of environmentally friendly materials. Earth Day coloring pages are another of the different activities which encourage the development of the art skills of an individual through the application of colors into different figures or illustrations. There are also different Earth Day songs and poems that one can download from the web. For individuals who are fund of social networking, there are Earth Day graphics that can be used as personal greetings or frontpages of personal profiles. Finally, there are Earth Day recipes that can be found in the web which are actually healthy yet savvy as well.

Surely, the possibilities of enjoying and celebrating Earth Day are countless. What is important is that the message is taken across every individual even for just this one special day in a year. It provides information and awareness in ways that could easily be grasped by any individual, all for the purpose of preserving mother Earth.

Axel Meierhoefer is a published author, educator, coach, consultant, and the founder of AMC LLC. His motto is” Helping others help themselves achieve success”. You want to learn how to achieve success faster, realize your goals, learn how to reach your dreams, then take actions. Come visit us at http://www.ecoconsciouspioneers.com or send an email to AM@Meierhoefer.net Don’t delay!

10 Tips Of Green At Home

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The Queen of Re-Use

by earth guide on Nov.04, 2009, under Green News


The Queen of Re-Use

If I gave my family questionable marks on its efforts to reduce, I admit that when it comes to re-using I am the Queen. When I was a teenager there was a song, ‘I was country, when country wasn’t cool.’ Well, I was re-using back when it was called hand-me-downs and everyone looked down on you for wearing them. Honestly though, I can remember being about five and having a distant second cousin visit. She had brought a bag of clothes that had been her daughter’s, who had died. That may sound morbid, but I think my smiles and thanks for the ‘new’ clothes may have helped to let go of not only the clothes, but a bit of her grief as well.

If you were to look in my three year old’s playroom, most of the toys you would see have been given to her second-hand from friends, purchased at charity shops or even salvaged from the bin…including her wonderful Little Tikes kitchen centre.

But my re-using does not stop there, if you open my kitchen cabinets you will see stacks of old containers that once held spread, cottage cheese or something else. With the exception of the air-tight sealing bowls that my husband uses to transport his food to work each day, we do not purchase or use Tupperware, Serv-rite or any other type of plastic wear. And those plastic containers that once housed my produce such as strawberries, blueberries and peaches are now being re-used as pots for my spring seedlings. I also have a cabinet full of sauce jars that I am looking for ideas on how best to re-use. I have already filled several with nuts, bolts, nails and the like. But even after getting organised myself, I just can’t bring myself to throw these into the recycle bag when I know that they are perfectly re-usable as they are. As I mentioned yesterday, I re-use the few plastic bags we get from quick trips to the corner store for bin liners in the bathrooms.

I have even taken to re-using my daughter’s Fruit Shoot bottles by refilling them with concentrate fruit and water. Of course, a tad of a warning on this one: do not freeze plastic bottles as it can cause a cancer causing chemical to leach into the drinks. So I always replace the bottles after a few uses just to be safe. But then they can go into the recycle bag (but that is tomorrow’s topic).

Even dinner last night was re-used food; better known as left-overs. Anyone that reads my blog knows I have dozens (hundreds?) of ideas for re-using food as soups, smoothies, casseroles, stir-fries or just re-heated and served. I call this creative cooking and make it a staple of not only our family’s diet, but of my blog as well: offering recipes to my readers.

I think one of the most beautiful examples of re-using is the folk-art form of quilting. Not only can worn-out old clothes be turned into colourful quilts, but they can tell a story: our history. I have also heard of people braiding old cloth to make rugs as well. Last year at the Green Show, I bought my daughter the cutest little purse made from old plastic juice boxes by a women’s cooperative in the developing world.

Thinking back to my own childhood and the used toys and clothes that I was blessed to enjoy, I am glad that it has become the ‘cool’ thing to re-use. Not only do these items still have good life left in them, but they remind us that we, ourselves, re-use life’s lessons to improve our world. So next time before you toss that item into the bin or even the recycle bag, stop and ask yourself could it be re-used instead: perhaps that wine bottle would look nice on a table with a candle or a few flowers or could that old t-shirt be cut into squares and used instead of paper towels or how about making puppets with old and mismatched socks. The ideas are limitless…I hope you will share your favourites with me as well.

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/.


Mike Pandey to head IFFI jury for environmental films

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What do the Olympics mean for Rio's environment? | MNN - Mother …

A spotlight on the city could mean a cleaner place for residents and visitors.

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Analysis for Cleanliness

by earth guide on Nov.03, 2009, under Green News


Analysis for Cleanliness

You cannot control that which you do not measure.

In more and more industries, the exact knowledge of particle contamination is gaining in importance. Contamination of materials in dimensions of a few micrometers was mainly of concern for the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries. However, not only manufacturers of circuit board components, but also traditional car parts suppliers face new demands on particle recognition and contamination source identification.

Cleanliness for the automotive parts manufacturers has become a huge topic in today’s ever challenging continuous improvement world. The need to define, measure and control the levels of particulate contamination on product is the new norm for suppliers and automotive OEM’s.

Cleanliness directly relates to product warranties, reliability, performance and safety issues. It has long been known that a dirty product gives us poor quality and low life expectancy. The dirtier the transmission from new, the less time it will last.

It is crucial now to identify particles and their source so that effective elimination can be achieved. Residual contamination consists of particles that persist on the component’s surface after the final step in manufacturing. Such contaminants are introduced via parts from suppliers or arise during processing. After vehicle assembly, the contaminant particles can cause severe damage, loss of function or reduce the lifetime of the product.

Cleanliness is defined as the contamination level of a component surface. Common measures to quantify the cleanliness are mass of the contaminants as well as number, size of the dirt particles. In general, the customer will specify contamination limits. The supplier then has to maintain these levels and document them regularly by means of contamination analysis.

The analysis of the contamination has to be proven to not affect the result and to be effective in evaluating all the contamination present. Methods of extraction and evaluation are specified in the international standard ISO 16232. Particular attention must be paid to the extraction method to ensure no contributing factors are introduced to the evaluation. There are different methods of counting the resulting extracted particles but by far the most accurate, repeatable and cost effective is automated microscope analysis. The microscope with software can scan the filter membrane; sort the particles by size class and even determine basic material composition (metal, non-metal, fiber). Once the data is gathered a custom report can be generated based on the customer requirements.

For more information on cleanliness analysis, visit http://www.onclean.com

Chris Trower is the President of Onclean Labs Inc, an Ontario based lab specializing in third party cleanliness analysis testing.


Utilities Slash Solar Incentive Programs - Green Inc. Blog …

Solar panels may be getting cheaper, but utilities like Xcel Energy and Austin Energy are cutting their rebates.


Solar winds triggered by magnetic fields

Scientists have long speculated on the source of solar winds. The Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS), on board the Japanese-UK-US Hinode satellite, is now generating unprecedented observations enabling scientists to provide …


Europe's Plan to Draw Solar Power From the Sahara Moves Ahead …

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Regen Reverb Solar Powered iPod Dock | Geeky Gadgets

The Regen Reverb Solar Powered iPod Dock stands a massive 3 feet tall, and it can apparently pump out 60 watts of power, and can play your favourite tunes for up to 12 hours.


Environment » Blog Archive » What solar shakeout? U.S. and China …

When California’s SunPower and China’s Suntech strode onstage at an industry conference last week, onlookers braced themselves for a bit of sabre-rattling, or at least an animated debate about two global superpowers’ role in solar

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The Queen of Re-Use: not just hand me downs

by earth guide on Nov.02, 2009, under Green News


The Queen of Re-Use: not just hand me downs

If I gave my family questionable marks on its efforts to reduce, I admit that when it comes to re-using I am the Queen. When I was a teenager there was a song, ‘I was country, when country wasn’t cool.’ Well, I was re-using back when it was called hand-me-downs and everyone looked down on you for wearing them. Honestly though, I can remember being about five and having a distant second cousin visit. She had brought a bag of clothes that had been her daughter’s, who had died. That may sound morbid, but I think my smiles and thanks for the ‘new’ clothes may have helped to let go of not only the clothes, but a bit of her grief as well.

If you were to look in my three year old’s playroom, most of the toys you would see have been given to her second-hand from friends, purchased at charity shops or even salvaged from the bin…including her wonderful Little Tikes kitchen centre.

But my re-using does not stop there, if you open my kitchen cabinets you will see stacks of old containers that once held spread, cottage cheese or something else. With the exception of the air-tight sealing bowls that my husband uses to transport his food to work each day, we do not purchase or use Tupperware, Serv-rite or any other type of plastic wear. And those plastic containers that once housed my produce such as strawberries, blueberries and peaches are now being re-used as pots for my spring seedlings. I also have a cabinet full of sauce jars that I am looking for ideas on how best to re-use. I have already filled several with nuts, bolts, nails and the like. But even after getting organised myself, I just can’t bring myself to throw these into the recycle bag when I know that they are perfectly re-usable as they are. As I mentioned yesterday, I re-use the few plastic bags we get from quick trips to the corner store for bin liners in the bathrooms.

I have even taken to re-using my daughter’s Fruit Shoot bottles by refilling them with concentrate fruit and water. Of course, a tad of a warning on this one: do not freeze plastic bottles as it can cause a cancer causing chemical to leach into the drinks. So I always replace the bottles after a few uses just to be safe. But then they can go into the recycle bag (but that is tomorrow’s topic).

Even dinner last night was re-used food; better known as left-overs. Anyone that reads my blog knows I have dozens (hundreds?) of ideas for re-using food as soups, smoothies, casseroles, stir-fries or just re-heated and served. I call this creative cooking and make it a staple of not only our family’s diet, but of my blog as well: offering recipes to my readers.

I think one of the most beautiful examples of re-using is the folk-art form of quilting. Not only can worn-out old clothes be turned into colourful quilts, but they can tell a story: our history. I have also heard of people braiding old cloth to make rugs as well. Last year at the Green Show, I bought my daughter the cutest little purse made from old plastic juice boxes by a women’s cooperative in the developing world.

Thinking back to my own childhood and the used toys and clothes that I was blessed to enjoy, I am glad that it has become the ‘cool’ thing to re-use. Not only do these items still have good life left in them, but they remind us that we, ourselves, re-use life’s lessons to improve our world. So next time before you toss that item into the bin or even the recycle bag, stop and ask yourself could it be re-used instead: perhaps that wine bottle would look nice on a table with a candle or a few flowers or could that old t-shirt be cut into squares and used instead of paper towels or how about making puppets with old and mismatched socks. The ideas are limitless…I hope you will share your favourites with me as well.

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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Water Efficiency - The Resource Matrix Part 4 of 4 - The Illusions Behind Water Shortages

by earth guide on Nov.01, 2009, under Green News


Water Efficiency - The Resource Matrix Part 4 of 4 - The Illusions Behind Water Shortages

The Resource Matrix IV: Layers

A new-age freak grinned at me last Friday and shared her relevation, “Everything’s energy. And everything’s connected. Don’t you get it, man?”

But you know, she’s right.

Otherwise, how would you explain melting polar ice and island nations disappearing under rising ocean levels? Randomness just doesn’t cut it as a solid excuse anymore.

A couple of years ago, some determined energy interests utilized hired hypnotic practitioners (several US senators and climate scientists) to declare to the public that there is no global warming. Early on, they tried introduce confusion into the debate with their term, “climate change,” which suggested that the environment changes randomly and there’s no proof that global warming is a serious trend.

Unfortunately for them, their efforts didn’t work, and ironically “climate change” is another term for “global warming.”

Have broken through that layer of illusion, the Do-Gooders (concerned scientists and environmental groups) and the Hybrids (for-profit companies that actually do some of those same things that someone who cares about you would do, rather than merely say, “We care about you,” which all companies say) have helped us gain greater awareness and provided with the means to change:

  • “Global warming is real, and here’s a CFL lightbulb and more info.”
  • “Water shortage is real, and it has nothing to do with long showers.”

Today, in our final article of The Resource Matrix, we peel back layer after layer to get to the core and break the code that sends the whole system crashing down like a ton of bricks. And what you find will surprise — even shock you!

Let’s begin with the first layer:

Layer 1:
the illusion that non-sustainable costs less than sustainable

We began The Resource Matrix by explaining that economics comes out of 18th century political economy, and that political economy itself comes out of moral philosophy, and this moral philosophy apparently had room for colonialism, a fancy term for the answer to the eternal question: “How can I get that for free?”

Within economics and its moral background is the concept of the “free good:” 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.

To sustain the illusion that products that pollute the air and water are cheaper than those that don’t create a mess, the scroundels just pay the referees fat sacks of hush money. “What foul? Play ball!”

Layer 2:
the illusion of separation

The next layer we peel away is the seeming “illusion of separation.” The grinning new-age freaky girl has it right again: “Everything’s connected.”

Global warming is not a fossil fuel issue. It’s a consumption issue that involves insane water policies that dictate growing cotton in the Egyptian desert, installing the world’s highest-shooting fountain in the desert city of Phoenix, Arizona to run 12 hours out of every 24, draining rivers to grow rice for exports, polluting the same rivers in India that people drink from with toxic chemicals used for dyeing cotton and wondering why nearly every single person in town died. And on and on ad nauseum.

Layer 3:
it’s up to government and industry to bring change

In the commercial marketplace, you vote with your feet. If you’re sitting in a movie theater and the film sucks, you stand up because you can’t take it any longer. And walk out. Just remember who the lousy director or actor was so you’re not doomed to repeat your history of lousy film choices.

If we leave it to government and industry to form a partnership to solve water usage issues, it will be virtual warfare, as we described in our last article (The Resource Matrix part 3 of 4: the coming cold water waters):

In this game, you start as leader of a country which has certain industries, a growing population, and dwindling water resources. Your objective is to maintain or enhance the lifestyle of your people by shifting water use to other countries in order to prevent internal strife and your eventual overthrow and death by coup d’etat.

And as you read, this game has no winners. It’s not sustainable.

Rather than blindly obeying the on-screen instructions (”Please pick a COUNTRY, PLAYER NAME, and Press the START button to begin now.”), it’s best never to press the START button at all.

Instead of giving your power over to the Government/Industry Gamers, vote with your feet.

Like doing business with those who conduct themselves in line with your own beliefs (cruelty-free products manufacturer, member of your own religious faith), you can make certain individual decisions consciously.

In certain cases, you make conscious decisions that consciously support certain businesses:

  • retailers (and the manufacturers) of compact fluorescent bulbs
  • shade-grown coffee
  • cruelty-free health and beauty products

In certain cases, you make conscious decisions that unconsciously reduce support for certain businesses:

  • using daylight instead of manufactured light sources reduces coal production and its polluting effects, in addition to saving energy

How about water? What choices do you have? Here’s possible near-future scenes:

Online resumes now include diet preferences as an indicator of personal water footprint and employment site search tools include diet as a filter.

Business headlines: “Demand for beef-free Hindu programmers causes short squeeze in software development market - low-waterfoot print computer geeks ask for, get 25% more than meat-eating peers” and “All-vegan employee company Sustainatrix International goes public in huge stock offering - market value of $150 billion confirms validity of sustainability in capital and financial modeling”

The Matrix and Vanilla Sky:
Not what it seems

In The Matrix, Morpheus explains that “the 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.”

In the 2001 Tom Cruise psychological thriller Vanilla Sky, built layer upon layer of seeming reality, Cruise’s handsome character enjoys the charmed rich life, then gets into an accident that mars his face, over which he needs to wear a mask. Eventually distraught, he goes out drinking, and ends up literally in the gutter to sleep it off.

He wakes to continue his life in an sequence of odd experiences. Finally remembering some repressed memories, he gets help and peels back one layer of the illusion: all his “experiences” since landing in the gutter have been a dream.

Trying to cope with his shattered worldview, he peels back another layer: worse, he’s been “dead” for 150 years and in a state of suspended animation.

And yet, the movie itself is not what it seems. Vanilla Sky was a Hollywood idle rich American kid adaptation of the 1997 Spanish original entitled Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) and also co-starred Penelope Cruz in her same role.

I introduced this four-part series by explaining that:

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 take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

I’ve shown you how deep the rabbit hole goes, and now you can wake in your bed and choose to continue to live like Tom Cruise, or you can break the code.

To break the code that creates the graphical user interface and see the illusion for what it really is, you need only do one thing, as repeated by Tom Cruise’s alarm clock each morning in Vanilla Sky:

Open your eyes.

And see the Resource Matrix, everywhere, all around you.

Thanks for letting us keep you updated . . .

To your green, brighter future,

Cinnamon Alvarez,
A19

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

News Of Green Cafeteria

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