Archives for the month of: September, 2013

For all you that live in Sydney, Australia try check this out! Permaculture is a great way of reducing your waste in the home

Advertisements

La Paz Group

Thank you, Sarah:

As a member of the science and technology select committee I am delighted to have secured and be participating in an inquiry into public understanding of climate change.

As we have interviewed expert witnesses and considered a range of written evidence, one thing has struck me in particular. While there is an ongoing public discussion on climate change that needs more scientific input and greater participation, a clear development in recent years has been the rise in the numbers of people prepared to do something about climate change.

View original post 674 more words

20130920-130420.jpg

This got sent to me by one of our fellow enviro helpers! And I loved it! Totally sums up any environmental movement here in Australia!

Is this what it’s like where you live??

-M

Bibra_Lake

Ok, so I don’t really like doing this but hey were all here to make a difference aren’t we?

In the area where I study we have a chain of wetlands that provide rich biodiversity and culture to the region. In recent years however the wetland have been under pressure from urbanisation ( you know the way we live at all).

Bibra Lake and North Lake are worst effected. The climate of Perth has really dried since ive moved here and the ability to fill the lake on a yearly basis have been difficult, However this year there is an abundance of wildlife and its fantastic! Picture this the tall green trees, the green grass, tall wetland reed feeding the baby swans and plethora of bird life. It truly is remarkable! For year we have also been fighting the constrution of a massive freeway through the area. I personally remember going to Protests at the ages of 8 in regards to Stopping the dreaded ROE8!

Despite massive outcry from the public the Environmental Protection Authority has ignored their own previous reports and thousands of community submissions by approving the Roe Highway to be built! Right through one of Perth’s most important wetland ecosystems.

This will mean the loss of Carnabys Cockatoos, Quenda, Obloong Turtle, Our state emblem  – the Black Swan, Wild Flowers, the local environmental education centre and the social location for thousands of visitors to relax in and unwind from the pressures of day to day life.

black swan quenda oblong turtle

So I guess what Im asking is that you help me! we need 2000 signitures on our latest pettition to send to the government we need your help and this is your chance to make a massive difference. Please help me as its a very important cause

STOP ROE8

Thankyou!

Hello out there! To all my viewers; from Norway to Malaysia. I hope your all still out there making a difference. Because every little step counts. 

So I was at work yesterday (hmm lets not go there considering its not the most eco friendly place) when taking out the rubbish toward the end of my shift I was outraged at how much polystyrene was left from just one days stock. I personally didn’t know enough about the stuff. How is it made? Is it sustainable? What effect did it have on the environment?

So I set out looking and to say I was horrified by what I saw is an understatement for the centurary!

Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic made from the styrene monomer ( or what you and I know it as: Styrofoam) Polystyrene is a light-weight material, about 95% air, with very good insulation properties and is used in all types of products from cups that keep your coffees that boiling hot or to keep those summer cool drinks cold OR that packaging material that keep your computers safe during shipping.

All plastics (including the ones used to make polystyrene)  are derived from crude oil  which is a non-renewable fossil fuel. Just incase you’ve forgotten; Fossil fuels are formed from the decomposition of organisms over millions of years. They are considered non-renewable because our rate of fossil fuel extraction far outweighs the rate in which they are generated. The burning of fossil fuels to make plastic products releases carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas. Air and water pollution is also generated from the energy-intensive process of fossil fuel extraction. Did you know that there was 57 Chemicals where pumped into the atmosphere to keep that coffee of your warm? No? well neither did I so don’t worry too much. 

But the shock doesn’t stop there. The ever continuous list of health ramifications is unbelievable. Acute health problems effecting generally irritation of the skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal effects. Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system showing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, and weakness, and can cause minor effects on kidney function and blood. Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Keeping this in mind that we are also using the 5th largest creator of hazardous waste. But whats worse is you know when you get a burger from the local deli and its in that foam box… but by the time it get home its cold so we chuck it in the microwave? This is one of the worst thing we can do because the chemicals leach out of the foam and contaminate the food.. But we still eat the food don’t we? Yeah because we don’t see that its been contaminated with chemicals so we ingest them and increasing or risk of serious health and reproductive issues.

The hole in the Ozone Layer has over the years been a frightening issue in Australia; where I live, and dramatically increased the levels of concern about the environment. For all you that don’t know what the ozone layer is (don’t be ashamed it might not be a major concern where you live). The Ozone Layer is as it sounds a layer in the Atmosphere (duh you all say) but it has such a vital role. The main role of the Ozone Layer is that it is the part of the atmosphere for reducing and absorbing much of the earths UV rays. See its got a pretty fundamental role (especially where I live, without it almost everybody here would develop skin cancer and thats a whole other problem in itself). However some of the gases that we would put in our fridges and Air-cons have caused a massive hole to form…. (heres for that massively long word that none of us will remember) ChloroFluro Carbons also known as CFC’s (see thats much easier to say). So they banished them and replaced the CFC gas (with an equally as complicated name) Hydro ChloroFluro Carbons or HCFC’s. But a study in 1992 by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, discovered that HCFCs are three to five times more destructive to the ozone layer than previously believed! AND WE USE THESE TO MAKE POLYSTYRENE!!!!!

It doesn’t get any better sadly. Polystyrene non- degradable, and uses significant amount of the land allocated to landfill. Because it is composed of around 95% air polystyrene is highly mobile and escapes from garbage bins and landfill. It tends to flake, with small pieces of litter travelling long distances and harming wildlife upon ingestion. When a banana peel is exposed to light and air it takes 3-5 weeks to decompose. It is not known how long it takes a Polystyrene cup to decompose. Despite this last year there was enough polystyrene  cups are used in America each year to circle the world 426 times . And back in 2006/2007 here in Australia we produced 33,000 Tonnes of Polystyrene!

 

So now that I have finished ranting on about how Polystyrene is the worst thing we could possibly use I hope I haven’t scared you all away. Because there is something that YOU and I can do! 
1. Reduce packing – do we really need all these packing nuts to hold a usb?
2. Use Alternatives- compressed paper is a much better alternative. Using recycled Paper and cardboard we can still achieve the same “protective” result
3. Recycle what we need to use. Speak to your local council about the program they have for recycling! You’ll be surprised 
4. Tell the developers we don’t want it!  Simple as that! WE hold the ability to drive the market! not them!
 
Let me know what you think! Tell me whats going on in your area! Id love to know!
 
Until continue to make a difference!

– M

 

 

Hi all!

hopefully you have all read my last post on the issue of ewaste in our consumer driven society.  While I was researching i cam across this website (What Happens to old Mobile Phones? )that I believed that you would all find beneficial. It provided so much information at such a simplistic level. Check it out and I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have

– M

Hope you guys get as much out of this video as i did! Truly the easiest way to learn about such a complex issue! Make sure you check out their website to continue to reduce your waste impact on the world. – M

As I am sure most of you know that two days ago Apple released their latest iPhone; the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c, and ill be completely honest with you I wanted one, not because there is anything wrong with the iPhone5 that I have, it is just not as new as it once was. The slim sleeker finish, the bright vibrant colours of the new outer body, the fingerprint scanner wow I could go on and on. But before I went on anymore I paused, wow I have been overcome with the method behind what all these large companies want, I have been brainwashed into a consumer driven life! I am helping the cause that I am trying to stop.

Waste of all types leaves a tremendous mark on the environment, however since the turn of the industrial revolution ewaste has shown to be an ever increasing problem that currently sees no nearby end.

Ewaste is defined as waste that encompasses all old electrical appliances either in a state of disrepair or simply obsolete. Including everything from fridges and microwaves to mobile phones and computers.

So I set out. I spoke on social media. Calling for people’s input asking them how many phones they had gone through in their life. I was amazed! Before I tell to the amount id just like to clarify that these figures show a rough proportion of the population. Ranging from ages 10-75 through different religions/races/demographics. I asked 175 people via social media (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram) and a random people that were willing to answer when i walked up to on the streets and asked them a short survey in regards to their own personal usage when it came to mobile phones.

The average person from the survey that I personally conducted resulted in an average of 6 phones per person! 6 PHONES! thats pretty damn crazy to believe when you remember that the first phone only came out 40years ago.

So what happens to all these phones we use.  The United States alone threw away 150 million old phones in 2010. We would all like to trick our selves into believing that when we get a new phone we recycle the old one. you know to those mobile muster centres? hands up who actully does that? yeah like I thought not all that many of us. Even phone Manufacturing giant Nokia has discovered through recent surveys that as a society only 9% of us actually recycle our mobiles.  Containing hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, brominated flame retardants and arsenic our disregard for mobile phones being the fastest growing type of manufactured garbage in the world.

In what we life to think far far away, in  impoverished places like Agbogbloshie, Ghana; Delhi, India; and Guiyu, China, children pile e-waste into giant mountains and burn it so they can extract the metals — copper wires, gold and silver threads — inside, which they sell to recycling merchants for only a few dollars.

Children around the age of 6,  smash computer batteries with mallets to recover cadmium, toxic flecks of which cover their hands and feet as they work; Their mothers  spend their days bent over baths of hot lead, “cooking” circuit boards so they can remove slivers of gold inside. This is only the start of the human ramifications that our obsessive spending is resulting in. Scientists agree that exposure poses serious health risks, especially to pregnant women and children. The World Health Organization reports that even a low level of exposure to lead, cadmium and mercury (all of which can be found in old phones) can cause irreversible neurological damage and threaten the development of a child.

remeber all those hazadous chemicals I mentioned back up there (ill help you out a bit they were lead, mercury, cadmium, brominated flame retardants and arsenic) what do you think i will happen if we dont properly recycle them… imagine this, imagine the chemicals seeping into the ground; combining with the water. That water has the ability to grow your food, the wheat crop that prodcues your bread, or the grass to feed the cow for your meat. But wait a second dont we eat these things, so does that mean that we are eating these chemicals too? Yeah your right.  SimplyThis is called toxic burden build up. This causes all sorts of massive nurological deformities, cancers and magnified effects in infants.

Just so you don’t panic and think that we have no hope and all else will fail wait! There are alternatives! Some phone business have models that could be beneficial to producers, users and the rest of us. For example, manufacturers could sell products complete with prearranged recycling service or subscriptions that made it possible, for example, for phone user to exchange old units for new ones rather than throwing them away. Under a product service system model, companies recycle old units and repurpose core components. Xerox uses a similar model for its photocopiers, without impact on sales or profits. There is always something that we can do to stop the nightmares of what will come!

I have hopefully attached a video (technology isn’t my strong point if you haven’t already guessed). When I stumbled across it I thought it was the most amazing message of hope that we as the consumer have! The correct disposal of ewaste is of vital to being able to achieve a sustainable future. It is us consumers we need to demand better end-of-life options for our high-tech trash; if manufacturers and government fall down on the job.

La Paz Group

What happens to obsolete computer or the animal skins from meat factories?

The majority of people couldn’t answer whether these items are recycled or landfilled. A recent article in The Hindu gives some insight into what happens to these items in Bholakpur, a small area of Hyderabad, and it is a surprisingly important industry. Much of what might be considered trash in the Hyderabad area plays an important role in in the community being recycled by families, and resold on the secondary market.

Once inside (Bholakpur), the animal skins go to one of the 200 skin processing units and the plastic and iron scrap to one of the 500-odd plastic or 300-odd iron scrap dealers. There it is sorted and either cleaned up and resold, or ground, melted and transformed into raw material for industrial use. Thus giving new life to waste and also earning a living for the people…

View original post 238 more words

hi all!
Long time no speak! I’m sorry about that. I’ve been inundated with questions sent in by you guys and I’ve been researching things about them. I’ll post my answer by the end of the week

But before then I have a massive question for you? How many phone are in your house? One per person? Two? Three? Send me a message, private or comment bellow! You’ll find out why i ask in my next post!

till then keep making a difference