Would You Pay $60 for a Light Bulb Advertised to Last 20 Years? POLL

Phillips recently announced the introduction of its $60 LED light bulb, touted to last 20 years, a claim that is impossible to prove or disprove…at least for the next 20 years that is.

The award-winning 10 watt LED bulb produces the light equal a 60-watt incandescent and is rated to last 20-years at 4-hours/use a day.

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Smart Plastic Products

Occasionally I am asked if I am against all uses of plastic or if I think all plastic should be banned.  Of course not, the answer is no.

There are real and legitimate uses of plastic.  The problem is that unless plastics are reused and/or recycled they last forever.  As has been pointed out here on more than occasion, every piece of plastic that has ever been produced and hasn’t been recycled,  still exists!  Unless that plastic milk  jug you brought home is disposed of properly, it will likely last longer than the pyramids in Egypt!

Let’s use plastic materials to replace wood products in homes, for decks, fences, to build furniture, to manufacture flooring; there is an endless list of methods and material uses of the substance.  Just don’t use plastic for once ‘n done “single use” plastic bags, for toss away water bottles, clam shells to take donuts home that can easily put in a paper bag or box.

That having been said, I recently I came across a product that is clever in concept, cost effective, and has a legitimate use.  It’s called Bagster in a Bag made by Waste Management Services.

I came across the product when we were faced with all the flooding in Georgia and I thought this is a product with immediate value.

If you have ever had to rent a big dumpster you already know what a pain it is and how costly it can be.   The fact is, there are some jobs that are too small for a big dumpster and too big for your already existing trash containers. Bagster addresses both of these concerns and can be purchased at your local home improvement store for $29.95.  You don’t have to wait for a scheduled delivery or pickup and you can load up to 3,300 pounds of  your household junk, construction debris, or yard waste. The Bagster is said to have the strength of a steel dumpster at a fraction of the rental cost.

There is a fee to pick up the Bagster and you can fill multiple Bagsters and have them picked up at the same time. The Bagster is made out of plastic woven product similar to tarps.  There are filling do’s and don’ts … you can’t put your old refrigerator or toxic materials inside for collection, but if you have a small to medium size job that you want to tackle today, this is a plastic product you may want to consider.

WMS has a wonderful website full of information worth your review … check it out.  This company does more than talk about being green.

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TOXIC RIVERS … TOXIC WATER

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Photo: AFP/Manan Vatsyayan

One of the most precious resources we have on planet earth is water … clean drinkable water.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of the world’s surface is covered in water, most of it is salt water which humans cannot drink.  A mere 2.5% of the earth’s water is fresh water; drinkable if we don’t pollute it with chemicals, trash, animal waste, run offs from farms,pesticides, and human waste.  Polluted water kills fish and marine life.  Polluted water sickens and kills people, most often in countries too poor to have sewage systems to protect the populace.

Those children are floating in one of the most polluted rivers on earth.  This is a picture of Yamuna River in India.  According to the Mother Nature Network this is one of the 15 most polluted places on earth to live.

The Yamuna is the largest tributary of the Ganges River. Where it flows through Delhi, it’s estimated that 58 percent of the city’s waste gets dumped straight into the river. Millions of Indians still rely on these murky, sewage-filled waters for washing, waste disposal and drinking water.

We  take clean water for granted.  Did you know that many of the world’s people walk at least 3 hours to gain access to water?

Read  more:

  • Each day almost 10,000 children under the age of 5 in Third World countries die as a result of illnesses contracted by use of impure water.
  • Fresh water is either groundwater (0,5%), or readily accessible water in lakes, streams, rivers, etc. (0,01%).
  • Two thirds of the water used in a home is used in the bathroom.
  • To flush a toilet we use 2 to 7 gallons of water.
  • In a five-minute shower we use  25 to 50 gallons of water.
  • To brush your teeth you use 2 gallons of water.
To learn more about what you can do to use water in a more responsible way check out the EPA’s Water Pollution Education Toolbox.  This is an excellent source of information for you and your family.
There are lessons plans for teachers and parents who are home schooling their children.
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TARGET STORES TO ELIMINATE SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS – BRING YOUR OWN BAG IS THE NEW CHIC

It seems that the US is lagging behind most countries in the world when it comes to reducing or eliminating the unnecessary use of single use plastic bags.

China, Ireland, India, Bangladesh, Denmark, Canada, Belgium have all moved forward in this direction.  For more detailed information see “Trends from Around the World” at Reusable Bags.

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Which brings me to one of my favorite stores.   Target, or as “those in the know” like to say …Tar JAY is a terrfic trendy consumer friendly store.  It’s hard not to like the retailer’s red & white logo and that cool dog mascot. But sadly they mimic chains acoss the country that contributre mightly to plastic pollution on a daily basis.

Now enter Target Australia.  Guess what … they are eliminating single usage plastic bags!

One retailer is setting its own nationwide ban. Target Australia, not affiliated with Target Corporation US, said it will no longer offer single use plastic bags at its 283 stores in Australia as of June 1 this year. The stores will only offer reusable bags, for $1, or compostable bags, for 10 cents. Profits will go a children’s charity, the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.

Target estimates it gives out 100 million bags a year, and South Australia expects its ban will eliminate 400 million bags a year. All of Australia uses about 4 billion plastic bags annually.

Target Newsweek Ad

Now that you have read this, consider the following.

This announcement was made in May 2008!   So what’s our excuse for not following suit in the US? What, indeed!

Memo to the “suits” in Minneapolis, if Target Australia can accomplish this … what’s our excuse?  As an activist, consumer, and business woman who believes that there are realistic solutions to these environmental challenges  … you need to call me.    Green retailing is the future.  Will  you let your competitiors beat you to the punch?

Like  I said, ” Call me!”

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Plastics Industry Fights Against Reusable Bags

SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE!

The Canadian Plastics Industry conducted a  commission to study reusable bags and found problems with them.  Hmmm … anyone really surprised?  No? Me neither.

Here’s a portion of what the plastics industry in Canada found:


The Canadian Press (May 20,  2009)

TORONTO — The growing popularity of reusable grocery bags could pose a health risk to Canadians by increasing their exposure to dangerous bacteria, says a study commissioned by the plastics industry released Wednesday.

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association hired two independent labs to conduct what it said was the first study of so-called eco-friendly grocery bags in North America, and found 64 per cent of them were contaminated with some level of bacteria.

Forty per cent of the reusable bags tested had yeast or mould, and some had detectable levels of coliforms and fecal intestinal bacteria when there should have been none, said Dr. Richard Summerbell, who was commissioned to evaluate the lab findings.

Need I say that findings paid for by the Canadian Plastics Industry and used to discredit reusable bags is suspect at best?  Want more?

[...]

The study also warned of other potential health problems if the reusable bags are used to carry gym clothes or diapers in addition to groceries,  (say what?) which could lead to exposure to the superbug called community-acquired MRSA (methycillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

I don’t know about you, but it never occurred to me to use or consider using that same reusuable bag for groceries, dirty diapers, nasty gym shoes, or other nefarious and germ laden items.

This boys ‘n girls is junk science at its best … its paid for best.



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OK, WE’RE 100% DIGITAL. NOW WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH ALL THOSE OLD TV’S?

This blog is about plastic, but the longer we are involved in the green movement the more apparent our disposal of almost everything that we use has to be examined, discussed, & improved!

OK, we’re a 100% digital.  Now what?  In others words, what is going to happen to all of those “old” TV’s?  The truth is most of us are terrible at recycling and reusing ANYTHING . . . take plastic bags, for example.  It’s once and done.  Impact on the environment . . . say what?

So, how many TV’s are headed to the dump?  This is from a past article written in Popular Mechanics:TV'S IN DUMP

[...]

How many CRT televisions are out there? It’s hard to say. People don’t always dispose of old televisions. Many still work, but have been pushed into attics or closets by fresh-off-the-shelf HDTVs.

Environmental Protection Agency estimates on televisions are staggering. The EPA has sales figures back to 1980, and since then, 704.9 million CRT televisions have been sold in the U.S. An estimated 42.4 percent of those are still in use.

  • In 2008, the EPA estimates that 23.9 million tube TVs will be disposed of by Americans (that’s 711,029 tons of televisions).
  • Numbers for end-of-life TVs have been over 20 million per year since 2005, and are expected to go up to almost 25 million by 2010.
  • Compare this to 10 years ago, when the numbers were closer to 12 million sets disposed of per year.

Most of us rarely give a thought to the components that are used to manufacture the electronics we use. It’s probably time for us to grow up because our actions . . . or should I say our thoughtless actions have consequences! We need to give some thought as to the disposal of our old analog sets AND other electronics that no longer work from the switch to digital.

This is from Peachy Green:

Each cathode ray picture tube releases  three to eight pounds of lead into the environment as well as  mercury, cadmium and other toxic substances. So it is really important that you do the right thing with your old set.

If not disposed of properly, analog TV sets can dangerously contaminate air soil and groundwater.

Don’t let one of them be yours. Recycle instead. It’s easy and with so many TV sets being discarded, it can make a big difference to preserving the environment.

Don’t know where to go for the information about responsibly disposing of your old TV? Check out …  Earth911.com . . . it great!  Put your zip code in and the site will give you information about where to recycle in your area!

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WORLD OCEAN DAY CAME AND WENT WITH BARELY A MENTION IN THE MSM

Monday, June 8th 2009, was World Ocean Day.  Few in the MSM noticed.  Weren’t all these guys eco-friendly advocates just a few weeks ago?

It seems talk is cheap.  Big name media corporations, like Universal’s NBC & MSNBC, tied themselves to Earth Day recently.  They were shouting to the world, “See how green we are?”  To which I answer, “no you are not green! ”

Your on air personalities over at MSNBC’s Morning Joe continue to drink out of plastic containers while on the air!  This is green?  Come on, who are you kidding?  Not Me.

This is a  powerful and cogent video on plastic pollution just released to coincide with World Ocean Day.  The first 45 seconds lay it squarely on the line.

I find it impossible to believe that after looking at these pictures anyone would want to continue using plastic bags or bottles indiscriminately. Sorry for the mini rant.  I keep thinking about the astronomical numbers of bags and bottles that have been produced, just in the last hour.

That having been said, please click on the Ocean Keepers tab and consider purchasing your very own reusable reminder kit.  Part of the money will go to Ocean Keepers on-going effortto get the message out.

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KIRSTIE ALLEY PACKS ON THE LBS & TONS MORE PLASTIC IS DUMPED IN OUR OCEANS . . . AND THE CONNECTION?

Updated since Kirstie’s appearance on Oprah yesterday.  Please check out our new Diet and Life Style page … if you are looking for help loosing weight and keeping it off!

 

What’s so funny?

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Well not Kirstie’s weight gain or  thousands of tons of additional plastic contaminating our oceans and the environment every year.

I wrote about plastic pollution, Oprah’s weight gain, and New Year’s resolutions in January. You can read it here.  Now we faced with a similar dilemma.

American actress Kirstie Alley has revealed that her one desire right now is to lose 80 pounds so that she can wear a bikini again.

Alley, 58, said in an interview on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” on April 30 that she is ready to work out, and is sorry for the people she had let down.

Sadly, Kirstie ended up comparing herself to Valerie Bertinelli who has successfully kept the weight off.  Kirstie has made a classic mistake of comparing herself with someone who has a completely different body type.

Having once taught health and physical education as well as physiology of exercise I could do an entire column on diets and healthy life styles.  I won’t here, but let  me make a couple of points about weight gain before tying in our misuse of plastic to Kirstie’s increased girth.

For starters, when people say diets don’t work, I submit that it isn’t that diets don’t work. Diets, no matter how silly usually work.   If a person has lost the weight then the diet worked.  The problem is once the desired weight loss is achieved many/most people fall back into their old habits. Why?  They focused on the wrong  goal . . . they focused on the scale or a particular dress or suit size. Wrong goal!

The goal should never be just to reach a particular weight.  The goal should be to change your life style so the weight won’t return.  Changing your life style and changing habits takes time.  Researchers have found it may take up to 6-9 months to change a particular habit because of the way the pathways in our brains function If you recognize before you start that slipping up is NORMAL then  it is easier to forgive yourself if you slip back or forget.  This doesn’t make you a bad person.  Hear that Kristie?

If remembering to bring reusable bags when shopping is so difficult (and yes it is) changing the habits that packed on the pounds can be equally challenging. Remember, I said challenging… not impossible.  It takes commitment and a recognition that you will occasionally slip, but that’s part of the process.

I gave this advice to Oprah and I’m going to give this advice to Kirstie.  Ease up on yourself and start looking at ways to incorporate life style changes into your daily life. Those changes mean less food and more exercise . . . but you know that already.  Remember to focus on the right goal.

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DEAR OPRAH – THANKS FOR THE EARTH DAY SHOW

Dear Oprah:

Have you been reading my blog?

As one of millions of viewers that saw your Earth Day show about the impact of plastic in our oceans and in our environment last week, I thought. “is it just possible?”  I was thrilled to see many of the images and issues that people like me, in the Green Movement, have been trying to bring to the forefront were given attention on your show.

Millions of viewers now are aware of the Pacific Garbage Patch … and aware of the unintended consequences of the indiscriminate use and improper disposal of plastic bags, bottles, etc. Can I say WOW and thank you?

This one show will bring more attention to these issues than years of hard work by concerned organizations and blogging by people around world, including me. The “Oprah nod” means “saying no to plastic” is the real deal. This is a shot in the arm . . . a new beginning and the next logical step in a process to clean up our oceans and our environment.

On a personal note, my involvement came about because I couldn’t get those pictures of those birds and the plastic they had consumed out of my head. It was as if God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Save my birds.” You know better than I . . . once the universe hands you a task you are compelled to act. Once those pictures really sink into a person’s consciousness it is hard to stand by and do nothing.sml-plastic20stork

How can anyone forget the turtles, the trash on the beaches, and the trash in the stomachs of the other forms of marine life?  Fish, sharks, whales, dolphins, porpoise, pelicans, seagulls, etc.; the reefs that support so many forms of life . . . all are negatively impacted by our (unintentional) thoughtlessness.

Ironically, I recently placed your name on a list of people and corporations that I felt should to be contacted because of their ability to affect real change regarding these issues. Deidre Imus is also on the short list; as is  Publix Supermarkets, Home Depot, Coca Cola Corporation, Target, CVS, Pet Mart, and Walgreens.  Each one is on the list for valid reasons.

Why the list? Because once one begins really investigating plastic usage it becomes readily apparent that this is much more complicated than choosing to use less plastic. The truth is that plastic usage permeates almost every facet of out lives . . . its everywhere! It is everywhere! Effecting meaningful change on any level will require collaboration on many levels that include the consumer and corporations.

Today, an honest evaluation of how corporations are doing to reduce the use of plastic and or their re-cycling efforts will show a grade of D or F. Sorry, many are trying, but that’s the reality. There has been some forward movement, but the effort, for the most part has been perfunctory at best.

Some companies are offering re-usable bags for sale. Customers who shop at Publix can bring back some of their plastic for re-cycling, but boy does that program need improvement! That’s why Publix, Walgreens, and Home Depot are on the short list.

Ocean Keepers is committed  to showing businesses a cost effective, positive, consumer friendly, brand enhancing manner to meet the needs of the environment & consumers no longer willing to use plastic. We don’t need more government in our lives to tell us to behave in a responsible manner . . . to reduce the plastic usage.

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Now for  a shameless plug.

For us to have a measurable impact, one that is real and lasting, Ocean Keepers needs to be able get our message out. We’re here to facilitate the needs and interaction of consumers and corporations so we can reduce the amount of plastic in our lives.  This can be a win, win, win situation for all.

Please donate to this site.  We welcome monetary donations,  but your continued involvement in unnecessary plastic usage is also welcomed.  We’re  open to suggestions and  referrals . . . anything that helps us move forward.   There is so much to get accomplished.  The development of new educational videos for the site along with the development of resource materials, presentation materials, and so much very more requires the support of people who believe in this cause.

BTW, I’d be happy to come to Chicago and give your company a complete plastic usage evaluation.  I’d love to be able to give your company an “A”!  I’d also be happy to talk to your staff and show them some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned since I began using less plastic.   It does take some time and thought to change old habits, and integrate new routines into to a new life style.  Saying I’m going to use less plastic is one thing . . . doing it is something else!

Just a thought!

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OPRAH'S EARTH DAY SHOW – MUCH MORE THAN TALK – BRAVO!

Lots of people and corporations talk about Earth Day and do little else.

Over at MSNBC while they are talking  about “Green is Universal” their anchor people and morning on-air personalities sip out of plastic bottles and cups.

17th Annual Women in Entertainment Power 100 Breakfast

Today, Oprah aired a magnificent show that FOCUSED on many of the plastic topics I have been blogging about for months. In particular, she talked about the infamous garbage patch in the Pacific.

Go to her site at www.Oprah.com . . . NOW!  There are wonderful resources for you and your family to share.  The following resources are from her website.   You will also find money saving tips while going green,  tips about how to go green,  and where and how to re-cycle.

Related Resources
Here’s how we re-cycle diddley dot squat of our plastic trash.


Remember  . . . forget the paper or plastic!  When possible, bring your own re-usable bags when you shop.  The earth and our oceans will say “I Love You!”



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