Archive for December, 2010

Turn It Off Kids

By Liz

Since I went so hardcore in my last post by telling people to give up (or cut down on) beef I will tone it down.  There are many little things we can all do that will reduce our energy consumption, and they are pretty easy to do.  You may have heard of these before but maybe you still don’t do it?  Anyway the most obvious way to save energy (and money!) is to turn off the lights when you are not in the room.  Easy peasy.  Another easy thing to do is when you are not charging your computer or phone, unplug the charger.  Even though the chargers are not being used, energy is still going through them.  An additional thing you can do is to switch to energy saving light bulbs.  They are a little more expensive but they last longer so are worth it in the end.  I also don’t think the regular old bulbs are sold much anymore.  So these are three easy tips to save energy and money and there really isn’t an excuse not to do these things.

Here is a video basically saying the same thing:

Check out other ways you can Flick Off at www.flickoff.org

Advertisements

Leave a comment »

My Beef with Beef

By Liz

Over the past couple of years I heard that beef isn’t good for the environment.  I didn’t know much about it and since I really like a hamburger every now and then I didn’t really look into it.  I have now looked into it.  Turns out it really IS bad for the environment.  There are three main reasons as to why beef is bad.  The first is that their farts release a boat load of methane gas.  Methane gas is a big contributor to the greenhouse effect which is the main cause of the rising temperature of the earth.  So cows cause global warming.  Secondly, it is widely accepted that producing one pound of beef requires the use of 2,500 gallons or 9463 litres of water.  Water is not as renewable as we once thought so not eating beef would save a lot of water.  The next reason why beef is bad is that people are eating more and more of it meaning there are more and more cows which means they need more land to graze.  More and more trees are being cut down for this.  If they are not being cut down they are putting more and more cows onto lots, not allowing them to graze and pumping them with antibiotics.  These antibiotics then are in the beef we eat making us immune to some antibiotics.  I don’t know about you but I had bronchitis once and without antibiotics I would probably still be coughing.

I am not asking everyone to become a vegetarian but maybe to at least cut down on their beef consumption.  For me I love to make tacos.  So instead of using ground beef I now use ground chicken.  Also beef is very high in cholesterol so hey you are doing your body a favour too!

Comments (1) »

My Love/Hate Relationship with Toilets

By Erica

If you have ever travelled to a place in the world where a clean toilet with a reasonable seat and some sort of post pee clean up device is available (ie. Toilet paper), then you understand when I say that man do I love a good, shiny, Canadian toilet (even though squat toilets are a great thigh work out).  But Canada has to be one of the worst countries I have been (other than of course USA, king of consumption) for water saving during the good ol’ flush. Yes, using a pail of water to flush a toilet, like in South East Asia, may seem old fashioned, but is actually much more forward than Canada in the sustainability movement of saving H20. However, us lazy North Americans find this tedious.  This brings us to the second option, commonly seen in Europe, of the ‘pee flush’ and ‘poo flush’ option when you flush. For those of you not familiar, there is a button on the top for flushing liquids, which uses way less water than the button for flushing ‘solids’.  I was very happy when this new toilet trend started to become visible in Canadian washrooms, primarily at my university campus.  However, this glowing feeling of knowing I was saving water every time I went for a number 1 soon disappeared as the on-campus maintenance staff went around and disabled the pee flush option on the majority of the toilets.  Apparently, despite the fact that we are all adults who have had the brains to get as far as university, many folks could still not comprehend two options when flushing the toilet, and continuously pressed the liquid button for solids, leaving a mess for the janitorial staff. I guess I should not be surprised, as a friend recently told me that someone had done the pleasant deed of dropping a deuce in a urinal in the mens room.  If you are so crude in your bathroom habits that you poop in the urinal, than I guess a two flush system may just be too much.  However, in any situation where there is change, EDUCATE THE PEOPLE. So, yes it is sad we have reached university but still can’t figure out the toilet, but make a sign on how to use, don’t just disable the water saving option. That is moving backwards, not forwards. We live in a country where our toilets are the shit (pun intended), so lets keep it up, and lead the trend in North America with fabulous water saving toilets, which really, people, are not that hard to use.

A water efficient toilet saves money and THE WORLD. BOOYA!

Leave a comment »

The Two TP’s..well technically one is a PT

By Erica

Toilet Paper and Paper Towel.  Flushing away the lives of trees by the millions (or throwing in the garbage in the case of paper towel…or if you are from a culture that puts toilet paper in the garbage).  Let’s start with the easier of the two: paper towel.  I could state the obvious way to make paper towel more sustainable, which is just don’t buy it. Cut up old towels and use them as rags, launder and reuse them when you are done.  However, based on personal experience, then you have gross rags sitting around in your house until next time you do laundry, and the gross rags are mixing in with your nice clean clothes.  So my solution is to buy that paper towel where each paper towel slice is half of what they used to be.  Generally, unless you have created a massive spill, you only need that half slice to get the job done.  On that note, avoid the impulse to pull off a huge wad of slices because that is what you subconsciously do (this also goes for Kleenex, you only need one piece to get the bogies out, and if you are worried about your hands getting germy, you should be washing them post-blowing anyways!).  In the movies, actors always use a million pieces of Kleenex during a crying episode, which drives me nuts, because when you consider how many takes they do, that is a lot of wasted Kleenex on fake tears.

Now for toilet paper.  A certain friend who shall remain nameless (just in case anyone other than Liz ever reads this blog) uses so much toilet paper that she consistently clogs the toilet with it.  Germs can go through ten or more layers of toilet paper, so unless you take your roll, cut off ten slices, make them into a stack, and wipe that way, it is pretty hard to avoid germs.  But, similar to Kleenex, since you are washing your hands after anyways (I HOPE), you only need the bare minimum.  My recommendation: two slices when you pee, more when you poo, but do it in small amounts so that you do not over use. (Example: take three slices..job still not done? Take another two slices..still not done? Take a couple more).  May sound unhygienic, but as long as you are soaping up after, this will cut down your TP consumption massively..think about how much less TP you will use across your lifetime!! Enough to make a difference..that’s how much.

Leave a comment »