Did you know that the washing machine is one of the top consumers of hot water and thus one of the greatest energy hogs in the house? 70-90% of the energy that a washing machine uses comes from the hot water that we choose to use. When using hot water to wash clothes, it actually damages the fibers of the clothing and reduces the life of the clothing. Washing with hot water does not make clothing cleaner as most detergents are now formulated to work exactly the same way in cold water. Washing in cold water changes nothing but the amount of energy you are using. Isn’t that a relief? Next time you see your washing machine, set it to go Cold-Cold. It works!
For more easy conservation tips: http://voiceinwords.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/net-zero-easy-conservation/
It always bothers me that the egg cartons are sometimes made of foam. While at face value, this foam is not combining with our food and being consumed as with take out containers, it is eventually making it into our food supply. This continued cycle of making more and more Styrofoam is resulting in the plastic soup that has formed in our oceans and the plastic content that is now seen in water supplies and seafood all around the world. These foam egg cartons must go. But this is just the surface of our plastic and foam addiction; plastic is even found in micro-bead form in our cosmetics such as body wash, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. These plastics are also entering the food chain at all levels because of their size. In fact, our plastics problem does not end here. The average American uses a plastic bag for 12 minutes before it is discarded, and 500 of these are used per person in the United States alone. That means in the US alone, 150,000,000,000 plastic bags, that last almost forever in various forms in the environment, are discarded every year.
So what’s the green tip here? Today is more of a challenge than a tip. I challenge you to reuse the plastic bags that you shop for vegetables in, I challenge you to not forget to bring your reusable bags off of your car, and to go get them if you do forget. I challenge you to find out more about the cosmetics you use and ask questions about the ingredients they contain. Drop us a comment about some ingredient that you want to know about and I assure you that we will answer.
Posted by Sam Su | Posted in Everyday Toxics, Green Tips | Posted on Nov. 26, 2012
Spathiphyllum (Peace Lilies) & Ammonia
A lot of everyday cleaners contain ammonia and ammonia in the air is actually considered a particulate matter pollutant. Aside from cleaners, deodorant sprays, plug in air fresheners, and other freshening agents can contain ammonia. These particulate matter elements in the air can cause worsening of breathing problems such as asthma, as well as cause increased risk for heart disease and lung cancer.
While entirely getting rid of these things from the home is the ideal method of dealing with ammonia, sometimes the labels do not tell you all about the ingredients due to trade secrets. One very interesting plant can help you with ammonia. The peace lily (from genus Spathyphyllum) is able to remove acetone, ammonia, benzene, alcohols, and several other chemicals from the air. So take it easy, get a peace lily and let it grow in your house!
Indoor Air Quality: WHO
Caring for a peace lily
Posted by Sam Su | Posted in Reblogged | Posted on Nov. 25, 2012
Net-Zero Energy – Introduction | Voice In Words.
An account of how Net-Zero energy is being done today. This is just the introduction to the series being posted on the blog Voice in Words. Check it out!
Posted by Sam Su | Posted in Everyday Toxics, Green Tips | Posted on Jun. 19, 2012
Verno Green Tip #5 – Everyday Toxics, Safe Disposal of Drugs
Pharmaceutical drugs have not been considered to be environmental pollutants.
That’s right, Pharmaceutical drugs have not been considered to be environmental pollutants. This is only now beginning to change with research coming out in Europe that considers the effects of drugs on our water supply. These studies have found drugs of all kinds from antibiotics to cholesterol lowering drugs to even drugs used for chemotherapy in our water supply. Some of these drugs are suspected to come from not having been fully metabolized or broken down by the human body when a person takes a drug. The drug then ends up back in the environment and naturally gets into our water supply. No water treatment plants in the US currently even attempt to remove drugs from the water because it’s “not an issue.” However the research is showing otherwise and finally the US EPA is taking steps to do some research on the issue. Clearly this has been a problem that we have known about and simply sidestepped for a long period of time.
So if drugs are passing through our bodies and still winding up in our water supply, surely the drugs that we don’t use and just simply throw away are entering the water supply as well! So how do we dispose of these drugs so that we don’t end up collectively taking a cocktail of drugs from our water supply? Well the Drug Enforcement Agency is hosting Prescription Drug Take Back Days (http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html), but these days are far and few between. So what else can we do to prevent these drugs from entering the water supply? Well, there isn’t an answer. We have no way of preventing this, as the next best disposal method is to put the drugs with coffee grounds or cat litter and dispose of them in the trash. This will prevent other people from finding these drugs enticing and accidentally ingest a drug that was not meant for them.
So what else can we do? Ask your pharmacist about take back programs to dispose of drugs specifically in an environmentally friendly way. Some pharmacies are beginning to look at the possibility of starting such programs and if we as a people demand that it be done for the health and safety of our water supply I think companies will listen (Pharmacy edges towards medication returns)