Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How to Recycle A Used CFL Bulb

They last a long time, but not forever. Compact Flourescent bulbs contain mercury and need to be disposed of properly. Disposing them improperly will lead to more environmental hazzards than you want to be responsible for.

Your best bet is to see if you have a municipal recycling center in your area that will take them off your hands. I am lucky enough to have one in my area that will take the bulbs and other hazzardous products back and handle them properly. You can also return them to IKEA if you bought them there, but most retailers do not yet have programs. You can help to get them started by calling store management.

Most of all remember not to simply toss them in with the rest of your trash.

Read this article over at Lighter footstep that will get you thinking.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What Are Twinkie's Made Of?

One of America's favorite snack cakes isn't made with the ingredients you would expect. Turns out rocks, yes rocks are pretty high on the ingredients list.
Five ingredients come from rocks.

This got my attention. However, it only got worse when I discovered that the ingredients come from phosphate mines in Idaho, gypsum mines in Oklahoma, and oil fields in China. Okay, so now I was wondering if I was watching a real news story—come to find out, I was.

The Twinkie, which was created during the Depression, contains thirty-nine ingredients. One of those ingredients is a preservative, sorbic acid. Sorbic acid is an ingredient I see on many packages, and I have never thought twice about it. But author Steve Ettlinger did. He found that sorbic acid is actually derived from natural gas.

If that isn’t shocking enough, he goes on to talk about other ingredients like cellulose gum, Polysorbate 60, and calcium sulfate. Apparently, these ingredients are also used in sheet rock, shampoo, and rocket fuel. No wonder Twinkies make kids run around like crazy and have even been used as a defense for murder!

Mr Ettlinger also found that the vitamins, artificial colors, and flavorings in Twinkies come from petroleum.

I started to wonder how this tasty treat made from gas and rocks can be so light and airy. In comes Mr. Ettlinger again. Apparently, it’s limestone that makes Twinkies light. And that tasty cream center—it’s got to be milk, right? No. It’s made of shortening; there is absolutely no cream in the cream.

I have to say I was curious to know what Hostess, the makers of the Twinkie, thought about Mr. Ettlinger’s claims. Well, here’s the quote that ran in my newscast:

Deconstructing the Twinkie is like trying to deconstruct the universe. We think the millions of people … would agree that Twinkies just taste great.—David Leavitt, Vice President Snack Marketing at Hostess

Read the whole eye-opening article at Divine Caroline

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Food Danger Alerts

This useful online search tool from the Center For Science In The Public Interest allows you to search for food problems by food type, pathogen or state. Find out what's wrong with the food in your neighborhood now, you can't be too cautious these days.

The Outbreak Alert Database

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tomorrow Today - Electricity Vendors

Mouna Andraos has created the Power Cart for the 2007 Conflux Festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It's a portable street vending cart (complete with umbrella for shade) that can charge your gadgets with solar and crank power.

via Craft

Food's Future

An intersting look at where farming is headed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Is Carbon Offsetting Cheating?

Watch this video to understand the situation

As the saying goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. So goes the running argument about whether offsetting your carbon footprint is a useful contribution to our eco-system or just another futile exercise in pretending to be doing good by spending your all-mighty dollar.

It’s in the headlines: NewsCorp and Yahoo have been some of the more vocal companies offsetting their footprints. While Yahoo is quite honest that their plan is for the future, they are very hesitant to point out what they are doing to actually reduce their footprint at this very moment.

The wisecracking people of Cheat Neutral have gone ahead and pointed out the true irony in Offsetting. They’re comparing it to cheating on your girlfriend or spouse and then sending her flowers, chocolates and jewelry.

We here at Green Steam feel that you would be better off saving your money for a more expensive hybrid car or a solar rooftop than purchasing carbon credits. The one thing we really never liked about this scheme, was that the offset companies were often 'using' the money to accomplish something you could never verify or see the results of. Things like handing out compact fluorescent bulbs in South Africa or building a hydroelectric plant in India seemed to be the priorities. Why not fix things here, maybe because someone would be watching and the results would be measurable?

via Eco-chick

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Did You Know?

An 18-hole golf course uses enough water daily to supply more than 2000 families....