Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What Does Convenience Cost?

Disposable dishes have been around since the introduction of the Dixie cup in 1907. Dixie Cup is
more of a genericized trademark now and used as a description of any small paper cup. It was first called "Health Kup", until 1919 when it was named after a line of dolls made by Alfred Schindler's Dixie Doll Company in New York.

This new fad of disposable cups and dishes instead of a washable, reusable type spurred on a whole line of products targeted at convenience.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Industrial Waste and Pollution

Industrial waste is the waste produced by industrial activity and includes any material that is rendered
useless during any manufacturing process. Factories, mills, and mining operations contribute to industrial waste.

The world was introduced to industrial waste during the Industrial Revolution which happened between about 1760 and 1830. Some examples of industrial waste are chemical solvents, paints, sandpaper, paper products, industrial by-products, metals, and other general wastes.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Playing The Numbers Game

When we were in high school and asked the question, “When am I ever going to use this again?”, we heard that we would need that math somewhere in our lives...but who would have thought it would be for recycling? Numbers, triangles, densities...what do all of these mean? Well, it’s not really math, and not as difficult as it sounds.                     

All recyclable plastic has a triangle on it, usually on the bottom of the container, with a number in it.  This number refers to the type, or density, of the plastic used in the container.  Some of these are safer to use than others and more environmentally friendly as well.  Once we learn what each is and what it does we can not only know how to dispose of them, but also decide whether we want to choose a different container to cook in or alternate type of packaging for food.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's Your Carbon Footprint?

The amount of carbon dioxide or other carbon compounds released into the atmosphere by the activities of an individual, company, country, etc. refers to its “Carbon Footprint.”
The carbon footprint is 54 percent of humanity's overall Ecological Footprint and its most rapidly growing component.

The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems. It is a standardized measure of demand for natural capital that may be contrasted with the planet's ecological capacity to regenerate.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Natural Resource Conservation

The conservation of natural resources encourages the wise use of the Earth's resources. The term "conservation" came into use in the late 19th century and referred to the management of such valuable natural resources as timber, fish, game, topsoil, pastureland, and minerals. It also speaks to the preservation of forests, wildlife, parkland, wilderness, and watershed areas.

Local government agencies and municipalities have conservation committees, conservation commissions, and other councils in place to help with these efforts.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Paper or Plastic...Does it Matter?

“Paper or plastic?” used to be as common of a question in grocery stores as “Would you like help carrying your bags to your car?” Now, incidentally, rarely are either of these questions uttered in stores today.

Plastic grocery bags were introduced in the 1970s and gained immediate popularity. This veritable success story has a track record that any inventor would more than envy. Since its introduction four decades ago, this product has gone from “unheard of” to “unbelievably popular”. Now accounting for about four out of every five bags handed out in grocery stores, the plastic grocery bag as a product is an amazing success.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Risky Business

The handling and disposal of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) have become quite a conundrum over the past couple decades. Items that used to be thrown into the trash, poured down the drain, or dumped in the grass have been proven to pose a health threat when disposed of improperly.

“According to federal and Indiana statutes the term "hazardous waste" means a solid waste, or combination of solid waste that, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics may:  cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible, illness; or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed.”