Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chemicals And Consumers Recycling Earth Day Memories

An Earth Day documentary caused me to recycle my earth day memories 40 years ago, which turned out to be about chemicals and consumers.

We have forgotten some of what it was like back then. For those who weren’t around or who weren’t aware, here’s a picture to imagine.

Get a hose about fire hose size and turn it on. It takes a couple of people to hold the hose and direct it so maybe a few colleagues can help. This hose is for a mega size job because the spray produces opaque clouds about 4’ to 6’ high.

You are on a mission to get every nook and crannie, so make rather large circles with the hose and get this opaque cloud of chemicals everywhere. I’m not sure what exactly was the target. Perhaps it was some pesky invisible flying thingies.

But wait, there’s more. You’re out doing your job just about the time a bunch of school kids are eating lunch. It’s a nice day, so they’re outside eating on picnic tables. You’re out there, too, with your huge hose swinging it around trying to get every little creature that may ever be a bother.

Even though it’s pesky creatures that you’re after, the kids are there. That doesn’t stop you, oh no. The chemical companies that have created this toxic brew probably haven’t tested in on humans, but no worry. No one seems to have fallen over dead from a spray yet.

So spray on. Spray over and around the kids.

As you move to the swimming pool, do the same thing. Oh, there are people swimming in that pool. No worries. No one seems to have fallen over dead from a spray yet. So spray right on and over them because it’s those pesky little rascals you’re after.

Finally, when the bald eagle was down to its last dying breath, someone decided to do something about it.

Unless you are able to remember back to those scenes, Earth Day may have seemed like some cause that some weird radical decided to put together to start a revolution or something like that.

Or, maybe we were so wrapped up in getting and having ‘stuff’ and it being as convenient as it could possibly be that we didn’t even notice. Why I had conveniently forgotten some of those things myself. Maybe that’s a good thing.

I do remember having to step into a foot bath on our way out to the pool. Whatever was in that footbath it was strong enough to kill something by merely stepping into it and stepping out as you walked toward the pool. Transdermal wasn’t as common a word as it is now.

Earth Day really is about how we share the earth we live on and in celebration, here are some facts I’ve turned up from The Green Guide, The Footprint Network, The Mayo Clinic and the Earth Day site.

If everyone lived like us Americans, we would need 5, count them, five planets to accommodate us.

It takes 1,799 gallons of water to bring 1 pound of beef to our table where it takes 468 gallons for 1 pound of chicken.

It takes 2,900 gallons to produce 1 pair of blue jeans.

2.5% of the earth’s water is fresh water, and with most of that frozen. So, we’re left with 1% to divvy up between agriculture, industry, energy generation and drinking water. Guess which takes the most.

The average American uses about 100 gallons a day, more than 15 times the water used in developing countries.

Consuming 8 cups of water a day, generally replaces the water that you have lost via sweating, breathing and other through regular (hopefully) body functions.

The Institute of Medicine advises that men drink about 13 cups of water a day and women should drink about 9 cups of water a day.

Plastic bottles labeled #4, #2 and #5 are found to not transmit harmful chemicals into your food and drink.

Here’s a great video that talks about bottled water, another curious phenomena. This video will shine a light and provide an insight that isn’t usually discussed explaining some reasons for the addiction to drinking water from plastic bottles.

Not everything you put in your recycle can to be picked up by the city is recycled.

Plastic can be made from some plants like potatoes, corn and sugar cane through a process that creates PLA (polylactic acid) polymers.

Thirst is not a measure of how much water to drink. When you are thirsty, you are already somewhere around 2-3% dehydrated. Drinking water should be done throughout the day whether or not you’re thirsty.

Earth Day will soon be 40 years old, While it’s fun to celebrate Earth Day, shouldn’t Earth Day everyday?

So, did you ever wonder why it takes so much water to make a pair of jeans? Click here to find out why. Want to increase your consumer I.Q. and learn how to arrive at your most brilliant solution without pollution.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Drinking Water Aging Delivery Systems

Drinking water delivery systems have been quietly aging and go totally unnoticed until one bursts. Then we take note of the water gushing geysers into the air as we pass by, and even then we don’t give it much thought.

Some of these drinking water, or tap water, delivery systems are as old as the light bulb! Hard to imagine. But that’s nothing. There are some drinking or tap water delivery systems as old as the Civil War! Now, that’s somethin’.

Today, the water and sewer pipes are so old and have ignored by all of us for so long, they are rupturing, causing damage to property and compromising our drinking water.

We’re used to paying pretty small price to get water to our homes. We certainly expect water to come out of the tap when we turn it on.

We also want our water to be clean and be able to provide safe drinking water.

Here’s something I often think about as I watch people tending to their lawns. Does drinking water come to mind as a weed, who dares to poke its head between the blades, gets annihilated with one quick spritz from the hose in one hand and the container in the other?

But I digress.

Because drinking water sustains us and it seems the time has come that we are going to have to pay attention to the way it is delivered to us.

At Eco Living Greenstyle, we have been following a series of Toxic Waters by New York Times. You can read more about the age of our delivery systems for drinking and tap water and what it is going to cost to upgrade from 1861 to 2010.

Stopping weeds from invading our lawns isn't the only way we pollute our drinking water.  Textiles that we use in our home and fabric we drape our bodies in carry a hefty price tag on our drinking water.  Click here to find out more about which fabrics are better for our health.