Environmental Tips

Reply Sun 30 Jan, 2011 05:51 pm
I don't know if anyone else started a thread just to exchange environmental tips, but, I thought I would anyway.
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Reply Sun 30 Jan, 2011 05:52 pm
From the Care2 website:

If every American family replaced one regular toilet paper roll with recycled paper, we would save 420,000 trees, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. But many people won’t pay extra for recycled brands, particularly if they don’t think it works as well.

We’re here to confirm that it does work, and there’s not much difference between recycled brands. However, you will have to sacrifice some softness and quality if you are used to the premium stuff.

Experiential Test Results

The NRDC lists 17 brands of 100-percent recycled toilet paper. The group only compares the environmental qualities of the brands, but we wanted to put recycled toilet paper to real-world tests. My wife and I have been using three brands of recycled toilet paper, alongside two types of regular toilet paper with virgin fiber.

In blind tests, neither of us could tell any difference between three widely available recycled brands — Whole Foods 365, Seventh Generation and Natural Value. However, all the brands were softer and performed better than a cheaper generic brand, Valu Time. On the other hand, none of the other brands could stand up to the premium-priced toilet paper, “squeezably soft” Charmin.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/regular-vs-recycled-toilet-paper.html#ixzz1CZ7lcGky
Reply Sun 30 Jan, 2011 06:06 pm
I don't think Duane Reade sells recycled tp. But I promise to buy a 16 roller if and when I see it at my nearest grocery store or Duane Reade. And I never buy the cheap sandpapery stuff!
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Reply Sun 30 Jan, 2011 06:18 pm
I don't know about using recycled TP, but we sure could use a lot less of it.

I don't mean to get all Sheryl Crow here, but I cannot believe how much (women in particular) use.

I'll be in the restroom, and the woman next to me will urninate, nothing else. Then I'll here this "roll roll roll - pause - roll roll roll - pause - roll roll"
You can just tell she's now holding this big wad of bunched up paper to wipe off perhaps a quarter teaspoon of liquid.

Same thing with paper towels. Women wash their hands, then usually grab no less than 3, ususally 4 or 5 paper towels. Then they do this quick wipe wipe, and most of the paper never comes near water.
As impossible as it may be to believe, ONE paper tower WILL dry your hands. The towel will be completely wet, but your hands will be dry (especially if you had shaken your hands once or twice in the sink before taking a paper towel

I think a lot of waste is because we are just not mindful of what we are doing.

Ok, here's an environmental tip.

Your kitchen can be clean and disenfected by using just a vinegar and water solution.
Spray your countertops and let sit a few minutes before wiping. Spray the sinks after having raw meat in them.

After you sweep your floor, spray spots that have spots of food or dirt that has dried, and let that soak in while you fill a bucket with water and some more vinegar.
Use the same to clean mirrors and glass.
Add to laundry as the rinse fills up, instead of fabric softener.

If house smells musty, spary in the air instead of fabreeze.
No, your house won't smell like vinegar, the smell goes away in a minute.

For that minute, deal with it.

Use baking soda and vinegar to clean your toilets.

And for heavens sake, stop wasting stuff. Use both sides of a piece of paper. Use envelopes you get in the mail to write your lists or notes. If you use a paper towel, squeeze it out to sop up more.

I totally do not feel guilty for not using cloth towels to clean, since I'm careful how much paper product I use.

I use paper plates made out of sugar cane fiber. I buy them in bulk from Amazon. If I eat off of one, and it's not too dirty, I wipe it off and use again. Same thing with paper cups. One lasts me all day. Since I'm the only one using it, it might last me 2.

You never heard of rinsing something off/out?

It drives me crazy when I see someone do something like throw out a paper cup, only to immediately take another one, and refill it.

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Reply Sun 30 Jan, 2011 06:19 pm
We have installed solar powered security lighting that operates on a movement sensor for our frony door.the light is a low voltage LED shedding enough light to see keyholes doorhandles and steps.

Our 1 kw solar energy generation panels have saved us a LOT of money.

Water from our laundry is piped onto our back lawn during summer although since we changed to a front load wash machine there is very little water going down the pipe.

All our paper glass and plastic is picked up from our door by the recycleman.

All our organic kitchen and garden waste is composted. We have chickens that assist with the breakdown. After a period of time the waste is fed into a muulcher to break sticks etc down. once a year we top up our vegetable beds with rich organic compost.

We grow what vegetables and fruit we can saving on food miles and production water. I read recently it takes 70 litres of water (roughly 10 gall) of water to grow one Apple.

plastic shopping bags are a thing of the past in our home as well. we have about a dozen reusable shopping bags some in the car (in case we forget).

The back of any mailouts that is not printed are used as notepaper.
Reply Mon 31 Jan, 2011 04:35 pm
Actually, "70 liters is equal to 18.49 gallons (US)" (from a conversion site).

Aside from that, though, we recycle cans, glass jars, paper, plastic, etc. also, and we compost during the year when it's not frozen. Used Bounce sheets have a million uses, as does Avon Bubble Bath, which I got for Christmas.

Unlike Chai, I reuse my toilet paper, whether it be recycled already or not Smile

And I trade/swap my books, and use the library, so I never buy new. Actually, I buy a lot of used things, and actually have some used toilet paper for sale or trade.

Don't run the water while brushing your teeth or washing your face.

By the way, Chai, I pulled a chai the other day - I threw an olive pit out the car window. Thankfully, I didn't see it causing any accidents, though.

dadpad - when I was in camp one year, the neighbour's chickens had a heyday with our scraps... boy, they'll eat just about anything. She told me to even put the egg shells in there - apparently they're good for them.
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Reply Mon 31 Jan, 2011 11:36 pm
Where I live, many people keep chickens. Restaurants and deli counters are a good source of lettuce that is no longer appealing to humans that chickens love.

Mame's post made me realize that buying clothes at thrift shops is recycling. I had one pair of wool slacks until last fall that I bought on sale at the LLBean outlet for $11 in 2002. They are unlined and are actually a little cold to wear. While toying with whether I could afford some napped cotton pants from LLBean, I stopped by a thrift and picked up two pair of tailored, lined wool pants, one black and the other grey, for $5 each.
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Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 12:52 am
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Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 09:53 am
Does anyone know if it is still profitable to hold "paper drives?"

When I was growing up, our church held one or two a year. That was back when Detroit had three papers. Families would save their newspapers for about a month prior to the drive, either tying them in bundles with the hemp rope that everyone used or putting the papers in brown papers bags, and would take them to the church on the appointed Saturday, filling a truck.

I was wondering if municipalities would make money from just collecting paper separately from the trash or if such a collection is no longer profitable. Or, here where trash collection is a commercial rather than a municipal enterprise, would it interfere with the businesses that pick up trash?
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Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2011 09:07 pm
The month of February is dedicated to living without plastics:

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Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 05:54 am
We produce a lot of waste. In 2008 alone, Americans generated 250 million tons of trash, and though about a third of that was recycled, a lot went into landfills or was incinerated. Our culture is centered around disposability, and only we have the power to change that.

Take stock of the disposable, overly-packaged, and single-use products that you use, and then look for reusable alternatives. Not sure where to start? Here are more than two dozen items that many people use . . . and can easily live without.

25 Wasteful Things You Can Live Without:

Tin foil — Use an oven-safe pot or dish with a lid.
Plastic wrap — Instead, use a container with a lid.
Disposable cleaning cloths, dusters, etc. — Use a microfiber cloth that can be washed.
Paper towels — Use a tea towel, instead.
Disposable pens — Buy a good pen that only needs the ink well changed.
Plastic cutlery — Use the metal stuff.
Paper plates — Washing dishes may be an effort, but it’s worth it.
Paper or plastic single-use grocery bags — Get a few reusable bags.
Packaged fruits and vegetables — Produce does not need to be packaged.
Individually wrapped snacks — Snacks travel better anyway in a hard container.
Disposable razors — Invest in a razor that only needs the blades changed.
Juice boxes — Put juice in a reusable container (not plastic).
Electric pencil sharpeners — Use the hand-crank version of days gone by.
Disposable diapers — Cloth diapers aren’t that much more difficult to use.
Disposable cloths — Fabric cloths can be washed regularly to avoid bacterial or viral build-up.
Plastic cups — Stick to reusable cups.
Bottled water — Install a water filter on your tap or pick up a water jug with a filter.
Non-rechargeable batteries — Make the investment for rechargeable batteries and you’ll save money in the long run.
Electric can openers — Use a little muscle.
Single-serving pudding or yogurt cups — Buy a large container of yogurt or make your own pudding, and send it in a reusable container.
Antibacterial wipes — If you must, use a gel hand sanitizer.
Disposable table cloths — Spills are a reality of life; just clean them up as they happen.
Facial tissues — Unless you have a bad cold, a handkerchief will work just fine.
Paper billing — Switch to e-billing for your bank statement, credit card bill, utility bill, etc.
Plasticized sticky notes — Use the original paper sticky notes; they can be recycled when you’re done with them.

Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 05:57 am
We have some regular customers who ask for plastic bags because:

They use a walker.
They ride a bike.
They're walking.

Really? These are their excuses when they live in a community which sponsors sew-ins to make reuseable shopping bags that travel from store to store in a use-as-need system? So many of these bags fold up small enough to allow them to be carried in a pocket.
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