Potpourri . . .
Nationally, 54.6% of aluminum cans are recycled. It takes as much energy
to make one can from virgin ore (bauxite) as it takes to make 20 from recycled
stock. That's a 95% savings in energy use. Recycling one can saves enough
energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for 3.5 hours.(The Garbage Times)
Close the Loop in the Courts
The Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund has asked the California Judicial Council
to force lawyers to use recycled paper to file cases in court. The Fund
says that, after the government, lawyers are the biggest consumers of paper.
The American Bar Association estimated that each lawyer in the United States
uses 1 ton of paper - the equivalent of 17 tress - every year. In California
alone, 300,000,000 (yes 8 zeroes) sheets of paper are filed in the courts
each year, says the Fund - enough to circle the planet twice. (New Scientist)
What's Eating Us?
"Excessive" protein intake has been implicated in the development
of osteoporosis, kidney disease and cancer. Women who consume meat daily
have almost four times as much chance of developing breast cancer as women
who eat little or no meat. (Robbins, Diet for a New America.)
More than 30% of all the paper in the United States is now being
collected and utilized as raw material to make recycled paper-products.
The housing industry used a significant portion of recycled paper in roofing
shingles, tar paper and insulation. Newsprint is most frequesntly recycled
into new newsprint or recycled paperboard, cereal boxes, corrugated containers
and tissue paper. One pound of paper can be recycled into four cereal boxes.
(The Garbage Times)
Bat Lore - Bat Facts
Instead of fighting crime in cartoons, real bats are actually on duty fighting
pests and disease. A single brown bat can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in one
hour. Bat poop (guano) is a rich fertilizer. Scientists have dis-covered
more than 1000 species of bacteria in guano, which produce enzymes that
break down organic material such as toxic spills and seafood waste. Unfortunately,
the leading cause of bat population decline is humans. (Conscious Consumer)
Yellow Pages, Yellow Pans
A Toronto-based company called Vernacare has come up with a way to recycle
phone books into egg-carton-like liners for hospital bed pans. The disposable
liners save plastic bed pans, which typically get tossed when the patient
leaves the hospital. More important, they're creating a needed market for
recycling phone books: one four-pound book makes 50 liners. Vernacare supplies
some 350 hospitals in the U.S. But new hospitals, especially "image-conscious"
ones have been slow to sign on. "It's ugly." admits RIchard Vosylius
of his product. "But think of what goes into it - does it really matter
what it looks like?" (Garbage Magazine)
Idle While Waiting?
Five minutes of idling, on the average, will cost 10 cents. Turn off your
car engine if stopping more than 30 seconds. Restarting uses less gasoline.
California is the second largest gasoline consumer in the world, using more
than 15 billion gallons of gas each year. We are only behind the rest of
the United States. If the USSR still existed, California would rank number
three. (California Energy Commission)
Eating the environment
Livestock production consumes more than half of all water used for all purposes
in the United States. 85percent of U.S. topsoil loss is directly associated
with livestock raising. It takes 55 square feet of Latin American land to
produce enough grazing area for a single beef patty. 90 percent of the beef
produced in Central America goes to the United States. One acre of trees
is spared each year by every individual who switches to a purely vegetarian
diet. (Robbins, Diet for a New America.)
Gee, I think they're related somehow....
The American people don't really accept the "environment vs. economy
dichotomy. According to a study by the Wirthlin Group of McLean VA, only
4% of those surveyed felt the environment should be sacrificed for economic
growth. 17% said economic growth should be sacrificed for environmental
quality, but 77% said a choice between the two is not necessary. (COPE
Could this work here?
The Greater Baton Rouge Zoo has created an innovative exhibit. Visitors
to the new display see egrets, muskrats, and other native wildlife going
about their business in a flourishing two-acre marsh. Yet few people realize
they are looking at a wastewater treatment facility. "We saw this as
a way to save money and build a new exhibit at the same time," say
zoo director George Felton. Built for $420,000, it will save the zoo more
than $150,000 a year in sewer-use fees, paying for itself in just three
years. The water is so free of contaminants, it exceeds the strict guideline
set the the EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Wildlife Conservation)
Lighten Your Load
On the average, each 100 pounds of needless weight in your car, will cost
up to one-half mile per gallon. Remove your luggage racks and other extra
weight in your car when just driving around town.
An EPA sutdy showed it takes householders a little more than
two minues a day to do their recycling. One dollar out of every $11 that
Americans spend for food goes for packaging. (Woman's Day)
Choices from Backpacker: The Best the Natural World Has To Offer.
- Best Reason for Mountineers to Stay in the United States: Colorado
has six times the mountainous area a Switzerland.
- Best Place to Watch the Northern Lights: Gates of the Arctic National
Park, Alaska, offer boundless unobstructed views to the north . . the lights
are visible an average of 243 nights a year.
- Best State to Listen for Loons: Minnesota... if you know what your
- Best and Scariest Whitewater: Grand Canyon's Crystal Rapid which flows
at 93,000 cubic feet per second.
- Best Candidate for a New National Park: Hells Canyon National Recreation
Area on the Idaho-Oregon border.
- Best Backcountry Spot to Watch the Sun Set: The rim of Boquillas Canyon,
Big Bend National Park, Texas.
- Best Place to Wear Your Raingear: Mount Olympus on Washington's Olympic
Peninsula, where it can rain more than 200 days per year.
- Best Thing to Remember in a Lighting Storm: Lighting can strike in
the same place twice.
- Best Place to Hear Your Echo: Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado.
- Best Place to See a Black Bear: Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
- Best Place to Fry an Egg on a Rock: Furnace Creek at the western edge
of Califronia's Death Valley, with North America's record for hottest (134°F).