Archive for January, 2011

Double Packaging and the Subway Sandwich Problem

By Erica

So the other day I bought a new brand of bread (Oroweat?), and opened up the bread bag to discover another layer of plastic wrap.  While I am sure this is due to some theory about maintaining freshness, since all other breads get away with one layer of plastic I am sure Oroweat can too.  This goes for any product (often the case with candy), where you buy a plastic bag of something, only to open it up and find a lot more layers of plastic.  A very good example of this culprit is Subway.  You buy your sandwich, they wrap it in that white layer, and then another layer with the logo on it, throw it in a plastic big with like twenty napkins. BAD.

As we do not want to contribute anymore to the plastic garbage island in the middle of the Pacific, be plastic wrap conscious when purchasing products.  Suggestion for Subway: if people are eating in, put it on a non-disposable plate.

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Recycle Your Old Electronics!

by Liz

As I am slowly trying to pack up my stuff (I’m moving to England) I found a bunch of old electronics that I haven’t used for years.  I found the old family computer that still probably has Windows 95 on it and the Lemmings game.  So ya its old and big and just wasting space in my closet.  I also found 2 old cell phones and an MP3 player that looks like a beeper from the late 90’s. So what do I do with all this crap?

There are a couple of things you can do with your electronics.

1)      If it is still in good working condition why not donate it?  Most likely there are families in your community that cannot afford a computer, cell phone or a printer.  There are also non-profit organizations that could use computers.  If this option works for you then you should find a reuse center that will take your old computers and wipe the personal information and refurbish it.  They will then find a family or non-profit that is in need.  Here is a website that will help you find these centers in whichever country, province, state or city you are in : http://www.reuseitnetwork.org/index.htm

2)      If your electronics are broken and unusable then whatever you do don’t throw them out! They will end up in landfills when many of the various parts can be recycled.  So recycle it! Whole doing some research I realized how easy recycling electronics are!  Most people buy a lot of their electronics at Futureshop, so why not recycle them there?  Every Futureshop will take old electronics and recycle them.  (http://www.futureshop.ca/en-ca/futuregeneration/recycle.aspx) You are allowed to recycle only 2 products a day, but just come back the next day and recycle 2 more!  There are more places to recycle your electronics, just Google it with your city and many options will pop up!

So help a family or non-profit out or recycle!  It is better for the environment and you may just help a child do better at school.

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Laundry Update

by Liz

Remember that friend I mentioned who never really washed her jeans?  Well turns out she was not wrong to do so! Turns out wearing jeans for up to 15 months without washing them is fine and they won’t pose a health risk whatsoever! The only problem is the jeans might start to smell but apparently all you have to do is put them in the freezer for a bit and it takes away all of the odours.  So never washing your jeans is environmentally friendly and not as gross as you originally thought.

Read more about it here:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/no-harmful-bacteria-found-alberta-students-jeans-not-20110119-134012-256.html

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If you think that global warming does not exist you are coo coo..DON’T EAT THE POISONOUS SANDWICH

By Erica

To all those folks who continuously claim that global warming is a falsehood, listen to David Suzuki (my hero), when he gives this beauty global warming metaphor:

If you knew there was a 70% chance of a sandwich being poison..would you still eat it?

Most likely, you would not. Unless you have a death wish.  And the same goes for climate change, it may not be 100% proven, but do you really want to take that chance?  Large panels of scientists have proved over and over again that current changes in weather patterns are not just run of the mill changes, but quite out of the ordinary, and as well they have shown that at the rate we are releasing toxins into the atmosphere, paired with the rate we are chopping down trees, there is NO WAY our world will continue to hold up.  Occasionally a rogue scientist will claim this is all falsehood, but keep in mind that the oil industry, forestry, and other non-sustainable industries put lots of money towards “research” to prove otherwise.  Money is a great motivator to come up with new “findings”.  So people, whether or not you believe in climate change, there is no harm in being more sustainable, because really, do you want to risk biting that poisonous sandwich of global warming?? NO. So here are ten things David Suzuki suggests we can all do in our own homes to help!

  1. Reduce home energy use by 10%. (Turn those lights and computers off!)
  2. Choose energy-efficient home and appliances. (We can’t all afford an efficient dishwasher and microwave..in fact I can’t even afford a regular microwave.. but get those energy efficient light bulbs at least!)
  3. Don’t use pesticides. (Watch the movie ‘Bugs’ and you will see how cute they are)
  4. Eat meat free meals at least once a week. (Kraft dinner anyone?)
  5. Buy locally grown and produced food.  (Go to a Farmers Market… you won’t be able to say no to all the cute old farmers..well that is my problem anyways)
  6. Choose a fuel efficient vehicle.  (two feet and a heart beat)
  7. Walk, bike, carpool or take public transit one day a week (I am never bored by eavesdropping on teenagers’ conversations on the bus)
  8. Choose a home close to work or school (I would live in the university library if I could)
  9. Support alternative transportation (ride donkeys!)
  10. Learn more and share information with others (tell people about our blog! Haha)

 

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In the market for a new phone?

When I think of Nokia phones I think of the old big boxy ones that I used to play snake on in the early 2000’s.  Remember these ones?

Well turns out Nokia is the leader in eco friendly phones and their phones are a lot more up to date these days!  Turns out in the past 10 years the company has cut its environmental impact by 65%.  It also uses things like recycled material and biopaints to make their phones and offer eco-friendly services like apps on how to be more environmentally friendly.

So if you want to know more about it here is the link:

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/299339/nokia-leads-among-ecofriendly-mobile-devices

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What?! Keep your booze cold on vacay AND be sustainable..amazingness

By Erica

I was recently visiting the parents of my boyfriend who were about to head down to Dominican Republic for an all-inclusive vacation.  They had purchased quite possibly the biggest travel mugs I have ever seen (referred to as Bubba’s??), in what I originally thought was just for keeping their pina colada’s  cold while lounging in the sun.  Upon asking, though, I was informed that another use was to cut down on waste, because if you are drinking a lot at the resort, the resort gives you every drink in a plastic cup, which then gets tossed in the garbage.  So by using the bubba, not only are drinks cold, but plastic cups are not used, and plastic is the giant villain of the environment (have you heard of the extremely massive plastic garbage island floating out in the Pacific? And how you likely ingest plastic when ever you eat sea food?).  Anyways, it is a small measure, but if majority of people on vacations brought reusable beverage containers, think of all the evil plastic that we won’t be eating in our sushi.  So, tip of the day, if you are lucky enough to be on vacation, bring an insulated mug. Or in fact, on that note, use them in your every day life when you are having coffee.  We have all heard it a million times, but if we all do use travel mugs as much as possible, it will really help (just look at how many Tim Horton’s cups litter the ground).

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The Aflockalypse

By Liz

Over the past two weeks there has been a lot of talk about dead birds falling from the sky in Arkansas and then dead fish coming to the surface just down the road from the birds.  A buzz is going around that this is the beginning of the Apocalypse and to that I show you this cartoon I found.

Others are saying that it has something to do with the environment. Is it climate change?  I found a great article on Twitter from David Suzuki explaining why the birds and fish died and then talks about what humans are doing to animal and plant species and putting them close to extinction. It is a very interesting article.  Pay attention to the last paragraph especially!

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/science-matters/2011/01/aflockalypse-now-mass-animal-die-offs-and-the-ongoing-extinction-crisis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed:+DavidSuzukiFoundation-ScienceMatters+(David+Suzuki+Foundation+-+Science+Matters)&utm_content=Twitter

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