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....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Washing Clothes With Your Bike

This pedal powered washing machine from the Cyclean company allows you to get fit while washing your clothes. Now this is what I call environmentally friendly, the ultimate green washing machine.

Visit the Cyclean website for more information

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sculpting With Recycled Paper

Rachael DiRenna does amazing things with recycled paper.
Visit her website

Avocados Can Prevent Mouth Cancer

Creamy rich avocados may help prevent mouth cancer and reduce the growth of pre-cancerous cells, a new research has revealed. Scientists at the Ohio State University, who recently carried out a study, have claimed that extracts from Hass avocados could kill oral cancer cells as well as arrest their growth.

The researchers believe the fruit works because of its high level of phytochemical, plant compounds thought to have health-protecting qualities, and often found in dark coloured fruits and vegetables. “We think these phytochemicals either stop the growth of pre-cancerous cells in the body or they kill the pre-cancerous cells without affecting normal cells,” the lead author of the study, Steven Ambrosio, was quoted as saying.

Avocados are also full of beneficial antioxidants, including vitamin C, folate, vitamin E and unsaturated fats. They are naturally sodium-free, contain no trans fats and low in unsaturated fat, making them a healthy addition to a diet. Ambrosio said more research was needed into the benefits of avocados and other fruits on cancer cells.

Read the whole article over at the Times of India

Monday, September 10, 2007

Toxic Popcorn

Finding the humor in all this makes the world a little less scary.
via Miniature Brainwave

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Is Wi-Fi Killing Us?

People should avoid using Wi-Fi wherever possible because of the risks it may pose to health, the German government has said.

Its surprise ruling – the most damning made by any government on the fast-growing technology – will shake the industry and British ministers, and vindicates the questions that The Independent on Sunday has been raising over the past four months.

And Germany's official radiation protection body also advises its citizens to use landlines instead of mobile phones, and warns of "electrosmog" from a wide range of other everyday products, from baby monitors to electric blankets.

This stinks...I love wi-fi.

Read the whole article at The Independent
via Miniature Brainwave

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Water Conservation

This video shows you how to convert your toilet into a combination toilet/sink. Now the water you use to wash your hands will be diverted into the toilet tank for a second use. I believe you can also buy something like this at the retail level if you are worried about the top blending in with the rest of your toilet.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Irony Of Al Gore

From The Drudge Report:
Fri Sep 07 2007 07:48:23 ET


As former Vice President Al Gore waits to hear if he has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless effort on climate change, a new video will air this weekend capturing Gore on a fuel-guzzling private jet!

FOXNEWS host Sean Hannity is set to unleash the damning video this Sunday night, network sources reveal.

Did You Know ?

“Did you know it takes one 15- to 20-year-old tree to make enough paper for only 700 grocery bags? Bring cloth bags when you shop, and if you forget, put your purchases in as few bags as possible.”
Thanks for the tip Groovy Green

Trees Cause Global Warming

This just in...from FOX News! Science will have totally lost everyone's respect with headilines like this. I have always been wary of all these studies my mom would tell me about from her news watching, "They say peas stop cancer", "Now they say peas are bad for you". I guess the media can find a study that can be interpreted to say whatever they are interested in promoting.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Hand Sanitizer Can Harm Your Children

The same thing you use to keep your children safe from harm can seriously harm them. If your child ingests even a small amount, this could make them seriously ill. Hand sanitizers are formulated with alcohol, which can have a very adverse effect on your little one's well being. Some hand sanitizers contain as much as 62% alcohol, meaning your child has ingested something that is approximately 120 proof. Poison control centers will sugest you take your child to an emergency room immediately. Be very careful about where you leave that little bottle.

Smoking Teeth = Poison Gas

According to the video, mercury fillings are releasing mercury vapor inside your mouth for around 60 years after you get them. The mercury fillings are doing this at a level at approximately 1000 times the acceptable level. This is crazy, I am considering ripping my teeth out with a pair of pliers. The lesson learned here:
via Miniature Brainwave

Don't We Have Scientists On This?

We have been trying to save the greenback cutthroat trout in Colorado, but the effort hasn't been going so well. Turns out we have been using the wrong fish to do the job. Oy Vey!
A 20-year government effort to restore the population of an endangered native trout in Colorado has made little progress because biologists have been stocking some of the waterways with the wrong fish, a new study says.

Advances in genetic testing helped biologist discover the error, which was called a potential black eye, but they said there is still hope for restoring the greenback cutthroat trout.

Read all about it

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What Else Is In My Popcorn?

I have received a ton of questions concerning diacetyl in microwave popcorn today. This prompted me to look at the label of the Orville Redenbacher's Movie Theater Butter flavor package I have on my desk. Besides hiding who knows what under the listing of 'Natural and Artificial flavors' on the label, there is more bad news. First off, what the heck does this mean, CONTAINS:MILK, but on the ingredients listing no where does it say milk? Second, they add color to it, why, I remember popping corn with the hot air machine and the color was just fine. What is this color? Is it quinolone yellow or sunset yellow, the two colors from the post below which cause all sorts of problems? Third, and last, but not least, is the presence of TBHQ an additive to preserve freshness, TBHQ has it own problems, it causes renal and bladder cancer, precursors to stomach tumors and damage to DNA.

From Wikipedia
In high doses, it has some negative health effects on lab animals, such as precursors to stomach tumors and damage to DNA.[1] A number of studies have shown that prolonged exposure to TBHQ may induce carcinogenity.[

From Diet Studies
" 3-tert-Butyl-4-hydroxyanisole and tert-butyl-hydroquinone (TBHQ) are antioxidants known to promote renal and bladder carcinogenesis [cancer] in the rat, although the mechanisms of these effects are unclear....Because some chemicals may induce carcinogenesis by a mechanism involving cytotoxicity followed by sustained regenerative hyperplasia, our results suggest that the toxicity of GSH conjugates of TBHQ to kidney and bladder may contribute to the promoting effect of 3-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole and TBHQ in these tissues. "

I will never eat this crap again, I wonder if I can return the unused popcorn I have.

Which Brands Of Popcorn Do Not Contain Diacetyl

This is the hot question of the moment. It is probably best to assume that all brands currently on the shelf contain diacetyl. Due to the shady food labelling practices espoused by the FDA, we don't really know. The flavor is covered under the 'natural and artificial flavors' heading on the label. Make your own microwave popcorn with the instructions found here or go get yourself a good old-fashioned air popper.

Death By Popcorn

The deaths linked to the use of diacetyl in microwave popcorn were originally all linked to factory workers. 'Popcorn lung' is what they called the deadly disorder acquired by the factory workers. All that seems to have changed today, as doctors diagnose a patient who was exposed to microwave popcorn fumes several times a day with the affliction.
Consumers, not just factory workers, may be in danger from fumes from buttery flavoring in microwave popcorn, according to a warning letter to federal regulators from a doctor at a leading lung research hospital.

A pulmonary specialist at Denver's National Jewish Medical and Research Center has written to federal agencies to say doctors there believe they have the first case of a consumer who developed lung disease from the fumes of microwaving popcorn several times a day for years.

"We cannot be sure that this patient's exposure to butter flavored microwave popcorn from daily heavy preparation has caused his lung disease," cautioned Dr. Cecile Rose. "However, we have no other plausible explanation."

...the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association issued a statement Tuesday recommending that its members reduce "to the extent possible" the amount of diacetyl in butter flavorings they make.
How about NO diacetyl flavor industry?

The full article over at Yahoo Health

Food Poisoning

I had seen a news program once that made a correlation between processed foods and behavioral problems in children. It took place at a 'last-in-line' school for kids that were violent and disruptive in the classroom environment. These kids were supposed to be hopeless and warehoused there to separate them from the 'kids who want to learn'. The leaders of the school thought that these kids could be productive members of society and sought out the root of their behavioral problems. The administrators felt that the sweeteners, colorings and other additives in school lunches and snacks may have been factors that contributed to the children's unruliness and began a new nutritional program that included mostly organic foods with no added colors, flavors and other 'stuff'. Lo and behold, the children almost immediately began to calm down and their attention problems disappeared.

Read those food labels and eat your way to a better life.

Now an English watchdog group is announcing similiar findings after a scientific study and the food industry there is about to be turned upside down. Here is a quote from the article over at The Daily Mail that broke the story:
She said the reaction to the artificial chemicals could be "horrendous in terms of mood swings with crying, screaming, inability to sleep".

She added: "There can also be physical reactions such as difficulty in breathing and skin rashes".

The additives may help explain the rise in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children.

Some 359,000 prescriptions for ADHD prevention drugs are issued each year, up 90-fold since the early 1990s.

Critics of food additives believe this disruptive behaviour can be cured by a return to natural food, rather than drugs.

Read the eye opening article at the Daily Mail

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Interesting Idea

The water from your umbrella waters the plant, pretty cool, no?
Check it out at kyouei design

Chemical Free Fridge Cleaning

I used to hate cleaning the fridge, mostly due to the fact that I was never comfortable with using cleaning products near my food. That all changed the day my mom gave me a Euro Shark steam cleaner. Using a steam cleaner is quick and easy, the stuff stuck inside the draws and the walls pretty much melts away and then you just sponge it down. There is the additional benefit of feeling like the steam is sterilizing as you go. On top of how well it works, you will find yourself only using a cup or two of water to get the job done instead of the recommended sink full of warm soapy water.

You will find a hundred and one uses for your steam cleaner. I use it to clean tile floors, the barbeque and more. It will even help you recycle. A friend was throwing out a pretty nasty fishing tackle box and I saved it from the landfill. After 15 minutes with the steamer, it usable again.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Coke Made From Animals?

I am continually freaked out by what is in our food. A while back I was telling you about an article I read that claimed there was animal content in Coca Cola. Well, I came across this article again and wanted to turn you all onto it. I don't know if these scans were doctored or if the article is inaccurate, but if this is true I need to find a good ice tea recipe. The offending line in the scan below being: "Natural Flavor from Animal And Plant Sources"

Get over to Rense.com and see larger scans and read the whole article

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Happy Birthday

Greensteam is one month old today!

Bee Breakthroughs

A report will soon be issued about the research done with regards to Colony Collapse Disorder, the thing that is killing the bees. While they have not said much at this time, the researchers are pointing to a new virus found in the bees.
Researchers at Penn State, the USDA and Columbia University have had a research paper accepted by Science magazine that outlines the first published information on a possible cause of Colony Collapse Disorder … commonly known as CCD. But Science and for the most part the researchers are being tight-lipped about what’s in that paper. The secrecy surrounding this research has been extraordinary and some of the activities of the researchers has left us scratching our heads.

One of the scientists let on a few weeks ago in a small farming magazine that what they had found was a virus, or viruses … supposedly previously unknown in honey bees, or at least in U.S. honey bees. Moreover, it was hinted that there were at least two points of entry into the U.S. for these bee-killing agents. Or maybe they aren’t bee-killers, but simply a way that other bee-killers can gain a foothold and make life miserable for bees, and their keepers. Early reports did indicate that bees from alleged CCD infested hives were full of fungus, bacteria and all manner of other pathogens.
Read all about it over at the Daily Green

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Bathroom Humor Pt. 2

Victoria, Canada is trying to figure out what to do with the poop they currently just flush into the ocean. Mr. Floatie is here to encorage Canadian's to make 'Poo Power', turning their poop into electricity. Sounds good to me.
Mr. Floatie even has his own website

Q: What Is This?

A: A half-pound of plastic junk tossed aside by people found in the gullet of an albatross.
Read more about this at oceanslive.org