Sustainable Living

Sustainable living can, in my opinion*, be divided into a few categories;

Although my tips may be common sense to some (hopefully most!), to others, new to wanting to live better, hopefully this is helpful and enlightening information! It never hurts to be reminded either :)

That’s why I made these full-of-facts pages!

Earth Day action items

Decoding the Rule of Sustainability:

Reduce: SAVES energy and REDUCES emissions, pollution and waste. Heroism.

Re-use: Status Quo when it comes to saving the planet. You’re helping by not wasting more resources! Awesome.

Recycle: Costs money, USES energy and resources. This is your last resort. Band-Aid.

*Blogging is subjective. I believe 100% in living by the tips on this page in order to live greener and help save the planet. Don’t waste your time providing me some scientific research that “proves” that the above is not valid, please. If you have great tips for sustainability and eco-awareness, of course, leave me a comment!!

3 thoughts on “Sustainable Living

  1. Hi Anna….a while back I read excerpts from a book I found insightful on being eco impactful took a more in depth analysis of what seems to be the obvious choices. An example given was the issue of cloth vs disposable diapers being sensitive to local conditions. Disposable being more eco friendly in an area where water was more scarce and landfills having less negative impact. This always comes to mind while using water to rinse off my recyclables. Just read a 600 page book on water’s impact on civilizations historically and how it will be more critical for the long term since there are no alternatives to water as there are to fossil fuels.

    Didn’t note the name of the book and couldn’t find it with the bits of info I had. Any suggestions on reads that gives us more insight on the how to evaluate the net effect of our eco driven decisions. My gut feels is ethanol is only a feel good choice since one doesn’t consider all the fuel and transportation costs off growing corn and getting the final product to market. Even Brazil which is the most productive for use of ethanol creates air pollution burning off sugar cane fields.

    Keep up the good work making the impact of our decisions top of mind.

    Like

    1. Great questions.

      Personally I don’t believe that disposable items are ever more eco-friendly than reusable ones. Yes, it takes water to wash but the water used by residents in America is a fraction compared to what is used by industry and agriculture. (An example being that producing 1 lb of beef uses as much water as 25 full bathtubs). We will never know for sure the amounts of water used by the fossil fuel industry, simply because they’ll never disclose it. Fracking and refining takes enormous amounts of fresh water and what about the groundwater effected by pipeline leaks (occurs several times a month!). Just like we use reusable underwear, towels and pajamas, we should use reusable diapers.

      Disposable diapers are made of petroleum products and never bio-degrades in landfill. There are no areas where landfill has little impact. Trash in landfill is responsible for about 20% of methane emissions in the USA, a greenhouse gas 100 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon. Reducing landfill is key to limiting climate change. As for diapers, a kid will use about 3000 disposables a year vs. maybe 30-40 washable ones; made of mostly hemp or cotton, safer for baby’s bum leading to less rash, less creams used, less jars. A bonus with cloth is supporting the small businesses that sew the diapers here in USA too! Big brand disposable diapers are made by ginormous unethical corporations.

      Don’t over wash the recyclables, I agree water should not be wasted on that. Glass jars and metal cans are normally very easy to rinse, again plastic is what takes “washing” and plastic cannot be recycled. Plastic is always down-cycled, meaning it becomes a lower grade product each time it’s “recycled”, until unusable. The key is to try to never bring plastic into a home in the first place. A water bottle thrown in the recycling bin is NOT an eco-friendly measure.

      Personally I have great hopes for water supply in the far future. We can turn saltwater into fresh water it just takes so much energy it’s never been realistic. But as energy is obtained from the sun with giant solar fields instead of from fossil fuel, we can definitely do it. Salt being a byproduct we can also use with benefits, as mining for salt is not eco-friendly either. (Imagine with all the pipelines we already have, how efficiently we can transport that water around the country when lines are not needed for oil!)

      It’s important for us to invest in and investigate bio-fuels. They will be needed in a transition to electric power in planes, ships etc. Byproducts from other production and algae are probably the best ones to look into. I agree growing a crop for ethanol is not ultimate and would never have happened without the government incentives pumped into the corn industry. Still, ethanol does keep the engines cleaner, burns cleaner and has no leakage problems in nature as oil does. The byproduct of ethanol is livestock feed, so at least it all gets used. Once we’ve stopped this crazy addiction to beef, the corn ethanol becomes even less eco-friendly than now, and should be phased out.

      Spread the word! Thanks for posting that comment.

      Like

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