Monday, November 24, 2014

The Garbage Disposal Controversy

While remodeling your kitchen, you install a $200 under-the-sink garbage disposal. Finally, the last twist of the wrench. A big job but well worth it….it’s done. You turn it on to make sure it works and doesn’t leak. Perfect. Now you’re ready… not use it. Not use it? What? 

The controversy spiraling around the use of garbage disposals for food scraps vs throwing it in the trash to be buried in the landfill has many facets and can get pretty heated.

Food Recycling, Revisited

With a stocked, or semi-stocked, pantry in your home, you probably have a handful of items that you just keep pushing out of the way to get to the cans or boxes that you want. Maybe these items were supposed to go into a recipe that you never made, or perhaps you bought too many and ended up with some you weren’t going to use.

Many of us have extra non-perishable food items in our homes that we could easily part with and don’t think much of it, but with a 16% hunger rate in Northern Indiana alone, we hold a veritable goldmine!

Food donation centers and events have been around for as many years as any of us can remember. We don’t seem to be closing the gap, however, on hunger. In fact, the hunger rate is actually rising.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

What Does It Mean To Be Sustainable?

In a world more specifically focused on conservation, preservation, and recycling, the term "sustainability" usually comes up in conversation.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.

Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Grasping at Straws

When deciding how to dispose of things into the trash or as recycling, we usually turn things over and all around to find the triangle with a number inside of it denoting a recyclable item. But does everything that is recyclable have the number in a triangle? I used to think so. Which probably means that many more people probably think so too.

You’ll rarely, if ever, find a recycling symbol on plastic utensils or a drinking straw, but “plastic utensils are usually made of polyethylene terephthalate (plastic No. 1) or polystyrene (plastic No. 6). Drinking straws are usually made from polypropylene (plastic No. 5).”

Sunday, November 9, 2014

What Job Could Be More Dangerous…..?

According to TIME magazine, Refuse and Recyclable Material Collector ranks #6 on the 2012 Top 10 most Dangerous Jobs list. This is actually an improvement over previous years, where it held as high as the #4 position in the list of Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs. ranked Sanitation Workers as the #7 most dangerous in the world and listed it before such jobs as Search & Rescue, Linemen & Power Workers, Firefighters, Police Officers, and Roofers.

Think these rankings can’t possibly be true? Statistically, waste collection ranks high on these lists due to caustic chemicals; inhaling dust, smoke and fumes; broken glass; medical waste; objects falling from an overloaded container; and, most dangerous of all, traffic accidents involving drivers who have left their trucks.