America's use of paper is excessive, and I am always amazed at the amount of paper my family recycles. Paper production causes deforestation and contributes to global warming. We need to be more thoughtful about our paper usage.
Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) has been deemed the "missing greenhouse gas", because it is not covered by the Kyoto Protocol, yet it is 17,000 times stronger than carbon dioxide! NF3 used to be produced in tiny amounts, but the boom in flat-screen TVs has changed that. According to the Guardian:
Manufacturers use a greenhouse gas called nitrogen trifluoride to make the televisions, and as the sets have become more popular, annual production of the gas has risen to about 4,000 tonnes...Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Prather and a colleague, Juno Hsu, state that this year's production of the gas is equivalent to 67m tonnes of carbon dioxide, meaning it has "a potential greenhouse impact larger than that of the industrialised nations' emissions of PFCs or SF6, or even that of the world's largest coal-fired power plants".
Now, I have another good reason to convince my hubby we should hang on to our old TV besides the cost of a flat-screen. Until our TV breaks, there is no reason to upgrade. Via: The Guardian and The Grist
This slideshow was created by Vishal Mody, a public school teacher from Chicago, warning us about the dangers of plastic bags. From the ocean to the savannah, plastic bags are wrecking havoc on our planet. Just last week, LA banned plastic bags(starting in 2010), following San Francisco's lead. We've featured a lot of great reusable bags on Really Natural; this is an important, simple step you can take to reducing your impact on the environment. Remember, reusable bags aren't just for the grocery store or farmers' market, but they should be used at every store.
The Flip and Tumble bad is both eco-friendly and fashionable. We received one, and have really started to use it for our quick trip shopping over the past few weeks. It collapses into a ball, and best of all doesn't look like other reusable bags.
bag size = 12" x 14" x 5" = large enough for 3 half gallons of milk and then some
ball size = 3" in diameter = the size of a peach
weight capacity = 25 lbs. = strong enough for a bowling ball or two
material = ripstop nylon
plastic bags spared = 1,000+
at the end of the bags useful life = more landfill. instead send it back, they'll recycle it.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a common flame retardant used in electronics, furniture, clothing (including children's pajamas), etc. PBDEs widespread usage has caused the chemical to build up in human bodies and the environment. Previous studies have found the flame retardant present in mother's breastmilk, now it has reached high levels in peregrine falcon eggs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The eggs of peregrine falcons living in California's big cities contain some of the highest levels ever found in wildlife of a flame retardant used in consumer products, a new study has found.
It's a good thing that a California law that bans certain types of PBDEs goes into effect this year. You do have choices as a consumer for avoiding some PBDEs, such as the Aloe Dream Mate Pillow by Natura or organic kids' pajamas. PBDEs may become the DDT of our times, now that it is reaching the birds higher up in the food chain. We should all be concerned, as Americans have the highest level of PBDEs in their bodies than any other people in the world.