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Thread: What are you doing to help the environment?

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    Exclamation What are you doing to help the environment?



    Just a question to see what (if anything) some of the JREF members are doing to lessen the burden on the environment. I'm not talking about the easy answers like "I recycle my can's"...are there any members here that truly work hard at trying to ensure that we (humans) don't trash the world to the point where it becomes uninhabitable?

    Me?

    1. I make it a point to correct and educate others when I see them doing something that is dangerous or irresponsable.

    2. I also installed a solar panel on my home to help heat my water.

    3. I installed an extra water tank on my home so that I can use "gray" water for my toilets and for watering my yard.

    4. I consolidate my trips so that I use less gasoline, or sometimes I try to walk depending upon how far I need to go! (work is quite far from home)

    there are other things that I do, but I am curious if anyone else is doing anything or are my efforts being made in vain?

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    I'm glad you asked that, CC1.
    After so much talk about env. issues, it is quite easy to become insensitive about them.
    Our threshold of awareness will always go down after so many repeated exposures.

    I just read in the papers that within 10yrs from now, the atmospheric temp. might very well go up by 2 degrees, wich will trigger a natural disaster.
    Possibly many coastal cities of the world, below 50m elevation, will get inundated with water from the melting icecap.

    What do I do to prevent this? other than standard (required) recycling:

    1. alert the driver if the car seems to be on idle for any extened period

    2. grow green plants to make up for CO2 increase (experiments)

    3. remind my children if they are doing their job as "environment watch."

    4. recycle printouts after use

    5. study ways to convert organic trash into edibles; I grow water snails that can make wonderful livestock feed. :)
    Z: The fish in the water are happy.
    H: How do you know ? You're not fish.
    Z: How do you know I don't ? You're not me.
    H: True I am not you, and I cannot know. Likewise, I know you're not, therefore I know you don't.
    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay.

    --Zhuangzi

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    Michael Crichton's new book is supposed to discuss the ennvironment. Anyone read it yet? I've heard good reviews about it.
    link
    "People say common sense will fix things, but sense has not always been common."
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    I recycle alot (cans, plastic, paper), I make attempts to conserve energy by making sure lights and other electrical products are turned off when not in use, and I either walk or use public transportation.

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    I don't leave water running in the bathroom, I turn off all unnessecery lights, and I recycle. Cans, newspapers, you name it.
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    I recycle!!!
    I sort out my trash:
    Paper recycling,
    glass recycling
    and kitchen-garbage....

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    1. I avoid using a car as much as I can (don't have and don't want to buy one, but sometimes use a rental one for sightseeing in areas where public transports are not good)
    2. I avoid using too much water at home (eg. prefer showers to baths).
    3. I try to do my best to recycle the rubbish
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    1. I pee outdoors when I'm drunk (saving water)
    2. I also grow green plants... in a dark closet... it's a sensitive plant..
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    Well...

    I have never owned a car and plan on never buying one. (Unless it runs on hydrogen cells, FYI.) Like everyone else, I do my best to recycle...

    BUT,

    The environment is a complex issue, which goes way beyond our personal use. For example, when you buy product X from company A, do you know everything that corporation is doing? I don't and most other people certainly don't, especially when it comes to indirect support. For example, Kraft foods used to owned by Phillip Morris and Co., who supported a variety of unsound practices. What about altoids? I know vegetarians who buy them, but do they know that altoids are made from by-products of the beef industry? Incidently, the beef industry is one of the most environmentally unfriendly industries in the world. Everything is tied into the environment, from politics to religion. To be honest, I've lost most hope, although that doesn't stop me from trying. But hey, perhaps thing have to get worse before they get better. Maybe a lack of resources will teach people to learn how to share in the face of extinction.
    Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.

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    You are right, Mad Pierrot, animal agriculture is the most environmentally unfriendly industry in the world (read John Robbins book "Diet for a New America" to get all the stats).

    While these statistics apply to America, still it will be the same anywhere else. It still takes 16lb of grain/soy to produce 1lb beef, it still uses 3 times more fossil fuels to produce a meat diet and the burning of those fuels is the #1 cause of global warming. Livestock production uses over half the water used for all purposes in the US and it still pollutes waterways and contributes to world hunger. Then there's the destruction of the rainforest in S.America.

    In which case, it totally depends on our personal use. If each of us stops or even cuts back meat consumption we are doing a huge amount to save the planet - and also solve the problem of world hunger since 70% of the grain produced in the US is fed to farm animals.

    I read recently that Japan and America are entering into a trade agreement with regard to beef. That's not good news for Japanese people's health. Besides all the garbage the American Livestock Industry pump into their animals, then there is the issue of mad cow disease .... which is very much covered up but alive and well in the US.

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    If each of us stops or even cuts back meat consumption we are doing a huge amount to save the planet - and also solve the problem of world hunger since 70% of the grain produced in the US is fed to farm animals.
    I'm going to have to disagree with you here. Unless the sun suddently explodes, the planet doesn't need to be saved, for one. Humanity might be happily walking towards exctinction (and maybe taking a few species with us) but the planet could care less about who or what goes extinct.

    I read recently that Japan and America are entering into a trade agreement with regard to beef. That's not good news for Japanese people's health.
    Why is that? Beef is no more harmful to the common health of Japan then salt. In regards to B.S.E., there have already been cases of it reported in cattle raised in Japan. (It's just been mostly covered up by the media.)


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    In addition to recycling at home, I recycle at work.
    Consistantly turn the lights off.

    Speaking of recycling...I think the government should crack down on all the AOL "1000 free hours" discs. Can you imagine how many of those non-biodegradable disc, that are buried in our landfills?

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    No, I can't really. I think it's an unimaginable number... something a bit beyond existance.. infinity+2 if you will.

    I've gotten two of those discs and hardly anyone in Sweden uses AOL.. and why would we? it's America OnLine :P

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    I try to buy local/German food, cloths and stuff to avoid long (intercontinental ) transportation; e.g. socalled bio-meat, where you know the animals by their name (joke); but we live in the countryside, where it's easy to check the way of the meat
    we (my wife and me) cultivate vegetable and fruits in our own garden without using chemicals just biological stuff - well it's sometimes much work, but you know what you get; put organic waste on the compost heap and use it to menure (?) the patches
    organize seminars and workshops for gardeners: special topic: using of
    rainwater
    I am a landscape architect - my profession is combining design and ecology (difficult, because "ecology" never can be amortized - it's a question of ideology) - also try to have a paper free office
    all issues of cc1 of course

    but ... I'm not hardcore eco! and I'm not vegetarian!

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    Not a whole lot. We recycle and I don't drive so I either get a ride or walk. And I don't litter.

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    Not a damn thing.

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    there's three of us that take one car to work.
    i think it's crazy how the government try to make us use public transport and force us out of cars when buses chuck out crazy amounts of diesel smog.
    the local authority that i work for, their rubbish carts are run on LPG (liquid petroleum gas) to help the environment and i don't see why buses can't do that as fares are constantly rising.
    i must admit, where i work is very env. friendly...they recycle everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedMac
    No, I can't really. I think it's an unimaginable number... something a bit beyond existance.. infinity+2 if you will.

    I've gotten two of those discs and hardly anyone in Sweden uses AOL.. and why would we? it's America OnLine :P
    I've heard it called Ay? Oh hell!
    My company isn't environmentally friendly, but then I drive a lorry for a living.
    Just wait for the supervolcano under Yellowstone to blow. That will make our pollution look like a walk in the park. Way of the dinosaurs here we come.

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    as we all do in germany:

    I recycle
    I put stuff like bones or grass etc on a place in the garden so it gets nice earth to use
    We drive cars that use less gas per mile
    We use bycycles

    hm.
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    I often think its a waste of time, me being only one person and thinking its not going to effect me directly, but i still pick up after myself and try to get others to do the same. Im quite happy to walk or get a bus too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    Just wait for the supervolcano under Yellowstone to blow. That will make our pollution look like a walk in the park. Way of the dinosaurs here we come.
    Well now... thats something new...
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    I take the bus for the daily commute, never idle my car, support environmentally-friendly politics (let's go Kyoto), recycle, etc. However, there is one problem: I am a huge motorsports nut. Speed, exhaust, burning rubber... yummy. F1, MotoGP, WRC. I love it all. This doesn't fit with my attitude towards the environment. So I drive a Civic Hatchback to be responsible, and a Suzuki SVS(sportbike) to be irresponsible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexico
    1. alert the driver if the car seems to be on idle for any extened period
    Just the other week, I took this principle one step further and actually timed a parked jeep that was on idle. After the 3-min upper limit after which the law here requires there be a hefty fine, I started looking for the driver who was not to be found. I hesitated whether I should just let myself in and turn the engine off, but didn't as it would be technically considered a break-in into another's private property. So I started taking down the number plate for reporting at which point the driver appeared. I gave her my civil warning and the fact that I shall report again if she repeats offense. I think (hope) she got the seriousness of my message.

    As for how I am going to deal with the huge number of taxi drivers' casually idling away as they burn natural gas, puffing out CO2 into the atmosphere, I still have to think real hard how to keep myself from burning out repeating the same verbal message to a seemingly infitite number of violators.

    On meat consumption: I take every chance I get to point out the negativity of meat which consumes at least 5 times the amount of vegetable protein to have the meat on the table. Although the impact is less great, fish consumption works the same not to mention the toxic waste that permeates into the flesh of fish. The bigger, older the fish, the greater the concentration of toxic elements and chemicals per bite. Eating less fish is far safer. I foresee a number of generations of fish having to die out without being eaten; after several generations of fish and plankton precipitates to the botton of the ocean in some calcium deposit and locked away chemically, we may gradually see cleaner fish to eat. Right now, pregnant women are warned not to eat more than one serving of tuna, swordfish, sharks, or whales.

    What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish
    Quote Originally Posted by US EPA/FDA Warning
    What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish

    3. "Is there methylmercury in all fish and shellfish ?"

    Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of methylmercury. However, larger fish that have lived longer have the highest levels of methylmercury because they've had more time to accumulate it. These large fish (swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish) pose the greatest risk. Other types of fish and shellfish may be eaten in the amounts recommended by FDA and EPA.
    Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish
    FDA Consumer:Mercury In Fish:Cause For Concern ?
    NRDC: Mercury contamination in fish
    Last edited by lexico; 29-09-05 at 18:14.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acquiredtarget
    Michael Crichton's new book is supposed to discuss the ennvironment. Anyone read it yet? I've heard good reviews about it.
    link
    Michael Crichton's book has been largely rejected by the scientific community, let alone environmentalists. No wonder, as he disputes the claims of global warming and depicts environmentalists as a hapless bunch.

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    Have any of you picked up Lester Brown's book called Plan B? It is a pretty good read and definitely serves as an eye opener!

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    I bought it when he was a guest lecturer at my college, but haven't gotten around to reading it. I only glanced through the first few pages, but from what I've seen, it is pretty nice.

    I also enjoyed Paul and Anne Ehlich's One With Nineveh when I was first starting learning about environmental issues. And EO Wilson's The Diversity of Life was also good.

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