TAG: Toxic

Algae Threatens Manatees

Manatees_swimming

Despite being lovingly referred to as the “sea cow”, manatees are aquatic relatives of elephants. Like them, manatees are herbivores, subsisting primarily on marine and freshwater plants. One of the ways in which they contribute to the balance of their ecosystem is by cutting and spreading the seeds of sea-grasses to promote optimal growth, much like birds and squirrels cultivate plants through seed distribution on land. Along with vast portions of sea-grass, manatees eat seaweeds. Specifically,  algae – and lots of it. This is fine when ingesting the green, stringy algae commonly found on the surface of pond water. However,… read more

Phosphate Free Products

Phosphate Free Products

Phosphates have been a major ingredient in cleaning items for some time, and their use has been scrutinized and forbidden in some cleaners. It comes from many sources, like runoff from rain, agricultural and water system industries and from using cleansers that contain phosphates, and all of this adds to the accumulation in water supplies. Phosphates have been used in many cleaners like dishwashing and laundry detergents. They reportedly can make soaps work better by assisting in dirt and grease removal, helping to prevent spots and keeping dirt particles from attaching to surfaces. Though they are helpful for cleaning, in… read more

Coffee Grounds Making Fires Eco Friendly

Friendly Fires

What could be more romantic than a cozy fire? A crackling fireplace has long been embedded in our ideal of a home. The only downside to this woodsy comfort is the numerous pollutants released when the lumber is burned. One of these pollutants is carbon monoxide. Among many things, carbon monoxide can contribute to the development of cancer. It has no odor or color, which makes it hard for people to detect until they have been harmfully affected by it. But for those who still wish to benefit from fire’s warmth and whimsy, there are other ways to go about it…. read more

Turning Sewage into Paper

applied-clean-tech-recycled-toilet-paper-560x420

Can you imagine writing something on sewage? An Israeli researcher, Dr. Refael Aharon of Applied CleanTech, has developed a new system that is capable of turning stinking sewage into scentless paper. So how is sewage turned to paper? Domestic waste water contains solid substances in the form of food leftovers, used toilet paper and fiber from clothes as they are laundered. These solid substances contain cellulose which can be used for paper production after drying. Treatment of the solids currently found in waste water is a challenging and expensive activity for the effluent management industry. Dr. Aharon’s system can reduce solids… read more

Ethically Manufactured Gadgets

Ethical Electronics

With huge global demand for electronic gadgets especially mobile phones, the need for the minerals to build these electronic devices has sky-rocketed. But have we really considered where and how these minerals are produced? A report last year in Business Week uncovered how tin, a vital element in the production of our favorite gadgets, is mined under horrendous conditions for the workers. The article brought to light an horrific story which has been ignored up to now in the headlong rush to acquire the latest mobile technology. Not just tin, but many other component minerals are mined in Indonesia, where mining is a hazardous… read more

Government Indifference

chemicals-in-ocean

Government institutions are meant to be at the forefront in the fight to protect the environment from attack. This means that government is expected to at least refrain from activity which would be seen and proven to have adverse effects on environmental media. When government fails to do so, this constitutes a grave injustice. A prime example is a situation that has ensued in the United States. A host of environmental groups in the United States have filed a lawsuit against the government asserting that it has failed to regulate military drills involving the sinking of old ships in the… read more

The Truth About Bamboo

Bamboo textiles

Have you ever bought a piece of clothing because on the tag it had the words “100% percent bamboo fiber”? These are often advertised as eco-friendly products from a sustainable resource. While bamboo (a member of the grass family that can grow up to or more than a yard per day), may be renewable, the process used to make bamboo textiles is not. The most common way is ‘cooking’ leaves and shoots in a harsh chemical process that involves soaking them in carbon disulfide, otherwise known as caustic soda, or lye. This process is toxic not only to the earth,… read more

Disposing of Chemicals

Harmful household chemicals

Hazardous chemical waste is more prevalent than one may think.  Look around your home and see how many of these items you may have.  The items include: paints, polishes, batteries, thinners, gasoline, anti-freeze, motor oil, transmission, brake and steering fluids, thermometers, fluorescent bulbs, fertilizers, solvents, pesticides, and herbicides.  So, how do you go about disposing of these harmful chemicals? Hazardous waste should be taken to a disposal facility because they contain chemicals that are a danger to human health and the environment.  Do not simply pour any chemicals down the drain.  Sewage treatment plants will not extract any of the… read more

Cleaning With Vinegar

White vinegar cleans naturally

Cleaning is not the most fun thing to do, especially in the bathroom.  But, at the end of the day it still has to get done. Allow me to help you clean your place up a little with a simple eco-friendly, budget-friendly solution – white vinegar. Vinegar is a natural organic bi-product of fruits, vegetables and grains.  That makes it a safe and natural cleaning product.  It doesn’t contain any harmful toxic chemicals and takes a life time to go bad.  Vinegar’s acidic properties make it a great household cleaner.  Vinegar has been used for generations as a stain remover,… read more

Hidden Toxins in our Homes

Houseplants reduce toxins in the home

Home. As popular comedian George Carlin once said, “Home is just a place for your stuff.” This is true in a sense. But home is also, as the common saying goes “a person’s castle”. A place to eat, sleep, and dance about looking ridiculous. If home is a castle, and a place for our stuff, it should be safe and comfortable. And while locks on the doors might make it feel safe, most of us don’t know that inside our castles the air is most likely to contain four to five times the legal limit for outdoor pollutants and toxic… read more