unconsumption:

I no longer drink soda/soft drinks (yes, I kicked my Diet Coke habit!), but still find this information from The New York Times’s Green Blog interesting:

Of all the materials that are commonly dropped in recycling bins, aluminum is by far the most valuable. New aluminum sells for almost $2,000 a metric ton, so recycling old cans would seem to be profitable. It takes about 75,000 cans to make a metric ton, so each one should be worth about 2.5 cents.
But recycling the cans turns out to be harder than it looks, because the basic soft drink or beer can is actually made of two kinds of aluminum. The bottom and sides are made from an aluminum sheet that is strong enough to be stamped into a round shape without tearing. For the top, which must be stiff enough to help the can retain its shape and withstand the bending force when it is opened, can makers blend aluminum with magnesium.
When the two parts of the can are melted down, the result is a blend that is suitable for neither purpose, according to Philip Martens, president and chief executive of Novelis, the largest American supplier of aluminum sheet. The solution today, he said, is to mix the recycled material with new aluminum to dilute the magnesium concentration and reduce the metal’s stiffness so it can be used for the can bodies. Or, more magnesium can be added so the material can be used for can tops. Last year Novelis used recycled aluminum for 39 percent of its input material.
Nationally, about 50 percent of aluminum cans are recycled. But Novelis would like to raise that to 80 percent by 2020.
One big reason for setting that goal is that making a can from virgin aluminum requires enough fuel to make 3.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity, which amounts to three to four hours of average household use. Using recycled cans brings the energy requirement down to about one-eighth of that. So raising the proportion of recycled material is environmentally advantageous. But to reach that 80 percent goal, Novelis will have to find a way around the alloy problem.

 More: Toward a Greener Soda Can - NYTimes.com

Great post.

unconsumption:

I no longer drink soda/soft drinks (yes, I kicked my Diet Coke habit!), but still find this information from The New York Times’s Green Blog interesting:

Of all the materials that are commonly dropped in recycling bins, aluminum is by far the most valuable. New aluminum sells for almost $2,000 a metric ton, so recycling old cans would seem to be profitable. It takes about 75,000 cans to make a metric ton, so each one should be worth about 2.5 cents.

But recycling the cans turns out to be harder than it looks, because the basic soft drink or beer can is actually made of two kinds of aluminum. The bottom and sides are made from an aluminum sheet that is strong enough to be stamped into a round shape without tearing. For the top, which must be stiff enough to help the can retain its shape and withstand the bending force when it is opened, can makers blend aluminum with magnesium.

When the two parts of the can are melted down, the result is a blend that is suitable for neither purpose, according to Philip Martens, president and chief executive of Novelis, the largest American supplier of aluminum sheet. The solution today, he said, is to mix the recycled material with new aluminum to dilute the magnesium concentration and reduce the metal’s stiffness so it can be used for the can bodies. Or, more magnesium can be added so the material can be used for can tops. Last year Novelis used recycled aluminum for 39 percent of its input material.

Nationally, about 50 percent of aluminum cans are recycled. But Novelis would like to raise that to 80 percent by 2020.

One big reason for setting that goal is that making a can from virgin aluminum requires enough fuel to make 3.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity, which amounts to three to four hours of average household use. Using recycled cans brings the energy requirement down to about one-eighth of that. So raising the proportion of recycled material is environmentally advantageous. But to reach that 80 percent goal, Novelis will have to find a way around the alloy problem.

 More: Toward a Greener Soda Can - NYTimes.com

Great post.

Despite the difference among the labels on the trash cans, there is hardly any difference between the trash inside. Why is it that people are reluctant to throw their trash into the trash cans accordingly? 

Bloomberg is definitely one of the most environmentally-conscious big corporations in the world! Check out the art installation (designed by manman) in their building! What a visually and emotionally striking art piece!

Have you ever noticed how many plastic wastes come with every shirt you buy? Too often, we take it for granted that shirts should come in the way that they are folded and wrapped, without noticing how much trash is thus created. Especially when the trash is plastic, it creates even more harmful impacts on our living environment than. Maybe we should start thinking in a different way: why do we need shirts wrapped in such a wasteful way? Maybe we could just take the shirt itself from stores, getting rid of all the wrappings. It’s time to reduce plastic waste and plastic pollution. And it can be started simply by noticing how much unneeded plastic use exists in your daily life, and then trying to reduce using it as much as possible. 

Nearly everything we consume or even interact with these days is made of plastic. The industry that produces plastic, largely represented by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), has an annual budget of over $120 million to protect its interests. But as the plague of plastic that wreaks havoc on our environment slowly gains the attention of policymakers, concerned citizens and the media, the makers of plastic resins and the companies that package their products have become increasingly aggressive about defending their respective bottom lines.

Taking tactics from Big Tobacco’s playbook, the industry engages in bully tactics, politician buys and wide-scale misinformation campaigns meant to confuse the public and turn truth to speculation. Big Plastic is big money and survives regulatory scrutiny by creating big spin.

Because of slashed budgets to regulatory agencies, little private-sector money for watchdogging industry, and a lazy mainstream press that simply regurgitates its claims, the petrochemical industry goes largely unchecked. Here are some of the biggest whoppers.

Photo Credit: NOAA Photo Library: fish1968 by LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA Corps.

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."

— Ansel Adams (via 122782)

(Source: fernsandmoss, via thegreenurbanist)

Columbus Circle Ads declare with pride that the ING NYC marathon used:

85,680 Energy Bars
11,410 Pounds of Ice
390 Tubes of petroleum jelly
67,995 Gallons of water
106 Official clocks
108,000 bags of nuts
46,560 pain relief tablets
57,059 salt tablets
829 pounds of coffee
2,300,000 drink cups
13,475 adhesive bandages
57,600 energy gel packets

Over 2 million cups- not to mention all the individual servings of nuts and energy bar- think of all the waste left behind.  Coming next year: a waste-less marathon from TrashPatch! Stay tuned…

Waste Free Holidays


Here are some more tips from TreeHugger.com for how to make this December waste free!  One of my favorite suggestions: “You’ll save five pounds of waste, 1,000 pounds of emissions if you forgo sending 50 cards or invites in a year. E-cards [like the one above] are a great solution to save paper, gas, emissions and money (you can find many online for free).”

The Great Debate: Real or Fake?

  VS 

As December is just days away and that time of the year approaches again, I thought I share this ecological comparison of real vs. fake holiday trees.  The consensus is clear: skip the plastic!

Looking for something to do on ‘Black Friday’ instead of braving the shopping crowds?


Thanksgiving weekend [and all weekends, but this one especially!] is a great time for giving back to those less fortunate.  FeedingAmerica.org is a great resource for finding food banks across America who are looking for volunteers.  Avoid the crowds and all that waste this “Black Friday” by giving instead of shopping!