Oil spills have always been a great concern, particularly when it comes to cleaning them up. Up until recently, it was detergents, which of course come with loads of chemicals that were the only way in cleaning up serious oil spills.
Later that detergent soap has to be rinsed out, and although it cleaned up the oil spill, it unknowingly and unavoidably added more chemicals into the environment. Additionally, these dispersants and surfactants (the technical name for a normal detergent soap) mingle with the water and are virtually impossible to separate. Furthermore, the chemicals will either react to the changes in the pH, or the sunlight and can cause other types of reactions.
In turn, this can cause harm to the plants and animals in their own way. Thereby, soap is not solving the problem of oil spill in a complete way.
But not anymore, with the introduction of "magnetic soap for oil spills". This is the first of its kind introduced by researchers at Bristol University in the United Kingdom. In this new soap, iron rich salts are dissolved in water that contained charged particles like chloride and bromide ions. The magnetic soap is then added onto the surface of the oil spill, absorbing and cleaning up the oil from the water.
A magnetic-like field is active in the soap which easily attracts and removes the soap contents completely from the water. As a result, this leaves no trace of the magnetic soap itself in the water, thereby keeping it clean.
Although it is yet to be introduced at a larger scale for domestic use, this innovation would be of great help in industrial, and especially in aquatic, oil spills where the animals affected can be cleaned thoroughly without the added side effects (like that of a normal soap.)
With continuous and advanced research and studies we can expect such innovations to be put to use for the greater good of our planet.continue...
Many individuals and families strive to make their homes a safe haven that's completely free of pollutants and harmful toxins. From keeping the home clean and sanitary to preparing organic, healthy meals, many families today are advocates of healthy living. However, one concerning aspect of sustaining a healthy home is the type of household cleaners that are used around the house.
Unlike traditional cleaning solutions, natural household cleaners help to provide a healthier and more environmentally friendly alternative to using toxic, chemically-based solvents found in most soaps, disinfectants, detergents, and other household cleaning products. These popular, yet potential harmful cleaners carry chemicals that might affect the home in unimaginable ways.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air quality in the average American household is over 100 times higher in pollutants than outdoor air. This is primarily due to common home cleaning products. Many of these household cleaning products pose immediate risks for concern, such as respiratory problems, skin irritation, watery or burning eyes, and potentially poisoning. Some extremely potent household cleaners can even warrant long-term health issues and mysterious chronic ailments such as hormonal disruption, brain damage, and even cancer.
In addition to the health concerns of popular cleaning products, once these chemical cleaners are washed down drains and into drainage sewers, many harmful toxins fail to break-down. As a result, these chemicals are drained into bodies of water where they can carry serious detriment to wildlife and the surrounding natural environment.
The U.S. Geological Survey conducted a research study in May of 2002 to analyze the amount of contaminants found in stream water samples across the country. The researchers of the study found “persistent detergent metabolites in 69% of all streams tested." Adding to that alarming statistic, 63% of the stream water samples contained disinfectants.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. If common consumers continue to use these chemically-based cleaning solvents, these numbers will rise even further, causing even more harm to the environment.
Opting to use organic household cleaners is without question the best way to minimize the infection toxins and chemicals have in our homes and throughout the environment. The first step toward healthier cleaning alternatives is taking the time to read product labels careful, research the chemicals used in certain solvents, and make efforts to only use organic cleaners.continue...
The average household waste for a family of four is estimated by the U.S. EPA to be around 16 pounds per day. Of this waste, 75%-85% goes to the landfill or is incinerated and only a small portion is recycled and composted.
While you may not have the time or ability to compost and recycle everything around the house, you can make a positive impact simply by reducing the amount of waste which you generate every day. Over time small changes can make a big difference.
Plastic, while very useful, plastic has its drawbacks. One of the biggest is its lack of bio-degradability. Considering that plastic forms the majority of landfill waste, reducing it is very important. Using the following items can help you easily reduce your plastic waste.
The amount of useful paper that is thrown out is astounding. By reducing the amount of paper that you use, not only will you lower landfill waste, you help to preserve forests and reduce pollution created during the manufacturing process. A few easy tips to reduce your paper waste:
Around 30 million pounds of good food is thrown out in the United Sates each year. Take these steps to waste less food.
While most hazardous materials have to be discarded, you can reduce the amount of dangerous waste by taking the following steps:
A large part of landfill waste is unnecessary. By following these easy tips you can reduce the waste your family creates. Over time the small changes that you make will create a significant difference in the world that future generations inherit.
This article was contributed by the cleanly, eco-friendly house sitters at SanFranciscoHouseSitters.org. Personally known as Tyler & Paloma, these individuals provide no-trace, eco-friendly house sitting services in San Francisco.continue...
Eco friendly luggage can be beneficial for shoppers, but also for luggage manufacturers. Consumers can benefit by using luggage that has been created using environment friendly practices, in addition to luggage manufacturers that want to contribute to green causes and eco friendly processes.
The manufacturing process of traditional luggage can produce a lot of chemicals that can have an impact on the air we breathe and the marine life. To learn more and see options of quality eco friendly luggage sets, read on!
In essence, the materials used in eco friendly luggage sets are those that do not harm the environment when the bags are disposed. This means that the possible waste resulted from creating eco friendly luggage is reduced to a minimum. Often times, reusable materials can be the best to use. Safe materials for people and the environment can be the ones that are non-corrosive, non-toxic and non-allergenic.
For example, the use of plastic is not recommended, because the quantity of waste that is generated by them is huge. Plastic bags are usually of a lower quality and can easily become damaged. Eco friendly luggage can be great for travel, but also for shopping.
Eco friendly luggage can be made of non-woven polypropylene, which is a one hundred percent recyclable material, but the products can also be made from different recycled materials. If you have to transport food and drinks in the bags, you can do it safely, as they can store them quite well. The temperature of the drinks can be maintained because of the insulation.
Even if the materials used are different than the ones of regular luggage, they can be durable and very strong. An eco friendly bag can be used many times before disposal. According to studies, a green bag can be used more the 350 times before it has to be disposed. The products can be quite stylish and suit any preference and they can be more affordable. You can find large versions that are more than enough for your needs, as they can have much space for anything you may want to carry inside them. The products are multifaceted and they can have different sizes, shapes and forms.
One of the best brands in the industry for eco friendly luggage is Patagonia. Patagonia, which offers an array of awesome solutions for travelers, has the Freewheeler and the MLC Wheelie. The Freewheeler is not very cheap though. Plus Packaging Inc. is another manufacturer. It produces eco friendly products, bags and packaging. Jay Peak 32" Wheeled Duffle from the company called Timberland is a durable product, made from polyester, which can resist to rough weather conditions.
The normal durability of the typical eco friendly luggage set is typically just a few years, but it depends on how much it is used. Because the impact of regular bags on the environment, which means one trillion plastic bags are disposed yearly, eco friendly products can be very helpful for lowering the damage to the environment.
The demand for eco friendly luggage is increasing today. Discount luggage stores can benefit from providing these environment friendly products to their customers, as they are cheap and people can consider them great alternatives to regular products. Eco friendly luggage can be cheap, useful and stylish. Companies in the industry can use their logos on the products and be proud of them, because they represent and promote a better environment.continue...
Most people ring in the New Year with a party. We stay up late, drink champagne, and kiss our honeys as soon as the ball drops. We reminisce about the year that has past and vow to do things better in the coming year. Over forty percent of American's also make at least one New Year's Resolution.
Do you know what the most common New Year's Resolutions are? They include losing weight, eating better, saving money, and recycling. It's true! Most people focus on improving their health, finances, and environment in the year to come. So what does all of this have to do with reusable snack bags? Well, we are here to tell you that something as small and simple as a reusable snack bag can help you keep with all three of these New Year's Resolutions.
Reusable snack bags are a great tool to help you improve your diet. With reusable snack bags, you are no longer trapped by prepackaged, processed, junk food snacks. Add a reusable snack bag to your purse or lunch bag and fill it up with the healthy foods that you want to eat. Nuts, trail mix, fresh fruits, whole-wheat crackers, and even small pre-portioned treats are the perfect candidates for your new reusable snack bags. Avoid the temptation of binging on junk food and stick to the healthy foods that you have packed up at home.
Every year the average family spends almost $100 on disposable bags. That is not even taking into account all of the plastic ware, paper napkins, and paper bags that you toss out each week. Reusable snack bags are affordable. They cost a few dollars up front however, every time that you use your snack bag, you will be saving money, since they last for years they pay you back.
Each year elementary schools throw out nearly 20,000 bags at lunchtime. A huge portion of that garbage is zip-lock bags, snack bags, and paper waste. By purchasing eco-friendly reusable snack bag products, you do your part to protect our fragile environment. Use your own reusable snack bags and buy a matching set for your kids. Make it a habit to wash and pack your reusable snack bags together at the end of each day. You can make a fun family tradition and keep trash out of our landfills.
This year set yourself up for success by making just a small change and use several organic, easy to clean reusable snack and sandwich bags and be one of the few that hasn't given up on your new years resolutions by valentines day.continue...
Gasoline is a very vital product that is used to run cars, trucks, boats and other machines that have motors like motorized saws and lawnmowers. However, gasoline contains chemical compounds that may pose a threat to humans and the environment.
Gasoline should never be disposed of by pouring it on the ground, into a sewer, a drainage system, stream or any other water body. Such actions are harmful to the environment as they may cause fire explosions and environmental pollution. Improper disposal may also attract fines and heavy penalties.
Gasoline can cause water, land and air pollution if it is not properly disposed or recycled. The product contains very harmful chemicals that may cause illnesses in people and animals if it is ingested by drinking contaminated water. The gases that are released by the product can also cause air pollution. If such polluted air is inhaled it can cause breathing disorders like asthma and emphysema. The gases are responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer which is the cause of global warming.
To keep people and the environment safe from such toxic chemicals it is important to ensure that after use, the product is taken to a place where proper gasoline recycling procedures are followed.
Unless it is contaminated with other substances, gasoline remains usable under most circumstances. However, as it ages, it tends to lose some of its ability to ignite engines. It may cause sluggish behavior or even temporary failure of an engine. If it is stored for long, it can be contaminated by water, rust particles and even dirt. This makes it gummy or varnished. Such gasoline can only be used after reconditioning.
To recondition gasoline, pour the old gasoline into a different container using a funnel that is lined with a coffee filter or two layers of thin cloth. This helps in removing foreign particles from the product. The filtered gasoline should be mixed with new gasoline in the ratio of 1:5.
In many cases, gasoline recycling can be conducted by professional companies who have the systems in place. Additionally, some specialized centers are created to provide gasoline fuel disposal and recycling services for people to bring by their unwanted fuel.
Gasoline fuel purification is also a great solution to ensure gas is properly recycled. One of the most common challenges during this process is removing water from gasoline.
To remove water from gasoline, pour the gasoline into a transparent container. Because the water is heavier, it will settle at the bottom. Carefully pour the gasoline into a different gas can leaving the water in the container. Such water should not be poured down the sink, drain or on the ground. Instead, it should be poured into a box that is lined with plastic and has absorbent material like sand. Once the water dries up the box, plastic and sand should be thrown in a trash can.
There are various local government waste agencies and recycling centers that have the correct tools for recycling gasoline hence ensuring that it is reused or disposed off safely. There are also many local auto stores or hardware stores that have gasoline recycling programs. Here, old gasoline is used to make new products hence protecting the environment from pollution.
Proper recycling and disposal of gasoline is very important as it significantly reduces the depletion of raw materials that are obtained through mining excavations that may be detrimental to the environment. It is also cost effective.continue...
It is rather unfortunate that oil spills have become a common occurrence in many parts of the planet. The majority of oil spills are accidental, and no one can thus predict precisely how, when, and where they will occur.
Oil spills are just as likely to happen on land or in water, in any kind of weather, and at any time of the day or night. The best strategy to avoid the potential damage to our health and the environment is to develop realistic strategies defining various practical ways in which future oil spills can be prevented.
Having well-defined strategies beforehand is also the only way we can ensure we adopt the best approach to contain and control oil spills after they occur, and be able to mount a rapid response that is well-organized. You will always be able to respond in a quick and coordinated manner if you have prepared adequate response measures well ahead of time.
Although oil spill prevention and containment measures may be implemented differently in many geographical areas and respects, the following 4 major elements should constitute any steps taken to prevent and deal with oil spills:
Whether for oil spill containtment in New Orlreans or oil clean up in Philadelphia, a contingency plan may at first glance appear complicated due to the many details it provides regarding the many necessary steps needed to prevent and counter such disasters.
The steps highlighted above adequately cover many different oil spill scenarios while addressing the various distinct situations that may inevitably arise during or after such an unfortunate event. Regardless of its complexity, the actions stipulated above should be quite easy to implement and follow.continue...
Global warming is looming and is continuously surging to become one of the world’s biggest environmental threats. Regardless of other factors which are responsible for this thriller, bad fuel is partly to blame.
With the rise in technology, more automobiles are produced, which means that more fuel is needed. Unless this fuel is clean, then our environment is in trouble. Therefore, we should utilize the available hydrocarbon resources efficiently in an eco-friendly manner which minimizes the release of carbon dioxide and carbon into our environment but we should lay our focus more on using clean fuels.
What exactly do we mean by clean fuels? These are fuels which upon their combustion in engines, the resultant output is energy (clean) and there is no presence of water and debris. In essence, this constitutes clean fuels such as liquefied petroleum, blends like gasohol and natural gas, among others that tend to produce no pollution. They are often regarded as vital substitutes for the fossil fuels.
Biofuels is one of the best alternatives to fossil fuels. These fuels include mostly bioethanol and biodiesel, they are currently available in the market and they are quite compatible with many sedans.
These fuels are produced from plants and recycled products of the food chain. The advantage of using biofuels as one of the ways to curb climate change, is that materials used to make them are naturally available. Besides that, this is a renewable form of energy.
Actually, with the rising concerns on the effects of the fossil fuels on our environment, we need to embrace the use of clean fuels. With this hi-tech world, hydrogen has also been tapped to produce clean fuel source. Hydrogen fuel is not yet common but it is slowly gaining popularity.
Hydrogen is naturally available in our environment and it is in galore basing the fact that 70% of the earth is covered with water. Hydrogen has a lot of clean energy held in elemental form. When burnt, hydrogen fuels produce just the required energy and water. There is no carbon which is always detrimental to our environment released.
Do you know that electricity is part of clean fuels? Electricity is a clean source of fuel as it is obtained through hydro-power generation process. The final products of electricity is usually heat, light and energy. It is not associated with any output that compromises the quality of the environment. Electric cars uses rechargeable batteries. Electric cars don’t emit either carbon or carbon dioxide which are the major culprits when it comes to climate change.
Have you ever thought of nuclear energy as a clean source of fuel? Nuclear energy is produced through fission of radioactive elements like uranium. It forms a reliable, cheap and environmentally friendly fuel source. Unlike coal and other fossil fuels, it produces no carbon at all or any of the GHGs (Green House Gases) hence it is a sustainable fuel source which allows us to live in a clean environment.
Apart from utilizing these clean fuels to maintain a sustainable environment, we also have to look at services to keep fuel tanks clean. Fuel storage tanks should be cleaned regularly so that it does not compromise the quality of fuel. Poor quality fuels may lead to release of GHGs into the environment.
Keeping our environment pollution-free and curbing the climate change can be attained with proper utilization of clean fuels. It is a challenge implementing the use of these fuels, because fossil fuels are readily available and requires little or no technology to harness them. However, we should embrace the use clean fuels for cleaner environment.continue...
Creating an eco-friendly home offers many advantages. Not only does an eco-friendly home environment play a role in living healthier and more cost-efficiently, but it also transpires to community sustainability.
Establishing an eco-friendly household is not as hard as most people think, but you must be ready to embrace change and new ideas. Here are five tips on how you can make your home eco-friendly:
It is high time that you get to know environment- friendly products such as reusable snack bags, DIY paper towels, bamboo reusable towels and even compostable waste bags. These products in addition to cutting down on waste considerably, ensures that you live an eco-friendly lifestyle both at home and away.
For instance, eco-friendly reusable snack bags are the most common today in lunch packing. They have eliminated the use of plastic bags which are the worst pollutants as they are thrown away after every use and that they do not decompose. Reusable snack bags also reflect eco-friendly lifestyle away from home whether at school or at work. It is always good to be take care of the surrounding and these reusable eco-friendly snack bags will help you achieve that.
You may consider getting a couple eco-friendly snack bags: one for yourself to use at work or on the go, and one for your kid! Creative reusable snack bags, such as those produced by Eco Lunch Gear can not only inspire creative ways of making your kids eat healthy but it also make them have an enjoyable and fun experience while taking lunch. At the very least, these eco-friendly reusable snack bags are highly practical and effective at saving money in the long run.
Solar panels have become the cheapest, most reliable and environmental friendly source of energy. If you are thinking of getting one now, then you have a brilliant idea. Go ahead! Solar energy is pure and can heat water pretty much easier. As an added advantage, energy can be transferred to a battery so that it will be used in the future.
Similarly, you can use eco-friendly light bulbs that help in saving energy. Are you afraid of using these light bulbs because of brightness issue? Most people fear or rather are reluctant to use these bulbs due to claims that they are not that bright. Far from it though. The reality is that these bulbs light brightly without necessarily consuming a lot of energy. It is high time you try out and be ready to be surprised.
Creating a compost pile is one of the ways of creating an eco-friendly household. It is actually an easy way of reusing goods and includes composting organic substances provided that they do not reduce the oxygen content. Examples of organic materials include grass, leaves, hay and some food products. When these products are decayed, the end product is fertile and can be used in gardens.
While composting, you need to be careful not to compost bones or meat, diseased plants and perennial seeds as they attract pests. Also note that sawdust can be put on the compost once it has been proved to be clean and that it is fit for the purpose.
Recycling is yet another popular technique of creating an eco-friendly household. It is the process whereby waste management facilities collect items such as bottles, tin cans, paper and cardboards. You definitely need an all-time healthy environment. It is high time you act by contacting your nearest waste management facility to be briefed on what to do with these recyclable items. In some instances, though rare, waste materials can be converted into their original form. It is expensive though.
What matters however, is for you to understand the importance of recycling and work hand in hand with waste management facilities in creating a healthy environment. Give them those materials that can be recycled so that they recycle them.
As a way of conserving energy, installing skylights on roofs is recommended. There is solar energy at day time and so why not put it into use? Besides, it is absolutely free! It will allow natural light into the room making the almost impossible possible. I mean lighting even the darkest rooms. It is high time you take a step to install skylights and experience the difference. You will actually save a lot of money.
Creating an eco-friendly household all begin from you. Provided you are willing or rather you understand its importance, it is possible to achieve this. If only you get to know these five tips, then you are good to go. Always have in mind that where there is a will, there is a way. It all starts from you!continue...
The Ancient Chinese Feng Shui is a philosophy which promotes health and prosperity in persons who follow its principles by creating equilibrium between the natural environment and a person’s home or general household. Among some of the important tips to be followed for a clean eco-friendly household (based on the Feng Shui philosophy) are noted below.
Most cleaning products are manufactured using toxic chemicals for their bleaching effect. Replace these toxic cleaning products with environmentally friendly and healthy cleaning products. It is advisable to purchase eco-friendly detergents for dish-washing and cleaning. Some of the best alternatives include white vinegar which can be used for toilet cleaning and baking soda for laundry cleaning.
Opening of windows and doors will let in fresh air into your house while getting rid of pollutants. This creates a cool atmosphere and provides your home with clean air for breathing. Breathing of clean air will immensely benefit your lungs and promote good breathing to you and your family.
Lighten your house and shed light in the dark places. Encourage maximum penetration of light into your house and also by use of artificial lighting to brighten up your household. Natural day light promotes good health to you and your pets. This will help you avoid the health problems and depression which may arise from living in poorly lit environments. It is also advisable to plant healthy flowers and plants in corners to make them lively.
Air fresheners and laundry products have chemical compounds which activate air pollution when used and thus are not environmentally friendly. Avoid using them and make use of eco-friendly products. Healthier garments and laundered items are free from smell. Air-dry your sheets after laundry too.
100% ccertified organic cotton is far superior to polyester. Therefore use cotton products and clothing whenever possible. From basic clothing items to more unique products like Eco Lunch Gear's eco-friendly snack bags, cotton fabric is long-lasting and soft on skin. Try to use only 100% certified organic cotton products as most cotton is contaminated by the pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that they are exposed to during growth.
The brightly colored toilet papers and towels are composed of chemical dyes such as aniline. These chemical dyes are chemical toxins which are usually partially absorbed by your skin when they fade. Find better alternatives like eco-friendly reusable napkins and recycled toilet paper for use by your households. Use toilet paper which is not bleached using chlorine and is unscented. Use products with no dyes too.
It is a kind choice to use household products made from recycled materials. These products are eco-friendly and will not harm the environment when produced, used or when disposed. Use recycled products helps in the conservation of the environment by reducing pollution and emission of the harmful greenhouse gases which are also harmful to the planet. Feng Shui principals, when applied to your home space will create a desired and eco-friendly atmosphere.
Do you have any Feng Shui tips to create a more clean, eco-friendly living environment? Please share your ideas in the comments below.continue...
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