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Questions tagged [environmental-impact]

describes all effects (positive or negative) of the production, consumption and/or disposal of a product, service, policy, or project on the environment.

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Are shopping options in the following order of low->high environmental impact: local shop > local franchise > local chain > online market?

"Buy local". But how local? Is the sequence of goodness: local shop > local franchise > local chain > online market? When an item needs to be bought new not used, I think of buying online as ...
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Wood vs. plastic vs. metal furniture and other items, is the wood product generally most environmentally friendly?

Consider a bed or a chair, one made of wood, another of plastic, another of metal. All else being kept similar between the materials to the extent feasible, is the wood product generally the most ...
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I throw compostable food into trash — how much harm do I cause?

I live in a city that doesn't have composting facilities that ordinary citizens like myself could easily use. Although I recycle most of the plastic, metal, glass and paper I lay my hands on, getting ...
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Life-cycle assessment of software products?

I'm a software engineer, and lately I've been thinking whether it's possible to delineate the environmental impact of a software product - say a web service, a website, an app for your phone, etc. It ...
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What is the environmental impact of recycling beverage containers, by material?

I just read the article "Oregon Launches First Statewide Refillable Bottle System In U.S.". Discussing the environmental impact of this system, the article says: Until that facility [in Portland, ...
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2answers
137 views

What is an environmentally-conscious replacement for white yogurt?

I am looking for an environmentally conscious replacement for white yogurt. I do have a couple of ideas for foods that could work well, but I have very little clue if they are a better choice from the ...
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1answer
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What is the maximum sustainable population of the earth?

This question prompted by discussion regarding this answer to a question about vegetarianism. I recently came across a U.N. review of studies seeking to determine the earth's maximum sustainable ...
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1answer
119 views

Which type of BBQ grill has less of an environmental footprint, charcoal or propane or what?

Of course buying used vs. new makes a big difference, but in any case, if one is set on purchasing a BBQ grill, is there less environmental impact in the production & use of a charcoal vs. a ...
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What is the environmental impact of meal kit subscriptions (Blue Apron, etc)?

According to Wikipedia, a meal-kit is... ...a subscription service that sends customers pre-portioned food ingredients and recipes for them to prepare homecooked meals. Well-known examples include ...
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3answers
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Are the red worms suggested for vermicomposting considered an invasive species?

I'm considering vermicomposting as a next step to hot composting, and plan to release the red worms directly into my garden bed (using a worm bucket), but wanted to check before ordering a batch of ...
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1answer
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How sustainable is the use of materials such as slate, clam shells and wood for go stones and boards?

I should like to buy some attractive go equipment and am wondering which choices are ethically acceptable, whereby I imagine that sustainability of ecosystems is more or less the only significant ...
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Is delivery of mail to house doors by postal services more sustainable than picking up mail from a central location?

Today there exists more than one mail and parcel services to distribute deliveries. I wonder about sustainability effects, especially when you receive several deliveries a day. When everybody has to ...
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1answer
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Recycling soda stream cannisters in Australia?

My wife and I have a bunch of random broken things from our previous lives that we're trying to get rid of correctly. One of them is a few left over soda stream canisters. Many recycling centers in ...
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Use Ebooks or normal books? [duplicate]

Ebooks and normal paper books both contribute to environmental damage in some way. I want to know, which of those two contributes to less environmental damage, on average?
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1answer
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How can we all together clean up the vast plastic carpets in our oceans? [closed]

It is mind-boggling to me that there is still so much plastic out in our oceans, floating around for years and ever growing and nothing is being done about it. Governments should work together, ...
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1answer
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How much is the environmental benefit of organic food offset by its higher economic cost when purchased?

One thing that I do in my life is earn extra money just so I can afford organic food as much as possible. But in this higher-earning job (which is not organic farming and thus not sustainable ...
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When should I get rid of a product and buy a new more efficient/useful version?

When should I get rid of a product and buy a new more efficient/useful version? The existing product works okay for its primary use case so I don't want to throw it away or recycle it and then spend ...
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1answer
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How much soya is needed to produce a glass of cow's milk?

Producing soya beans is responsible for some significant amounts of deforestation in tropical areas and relying on soya introduces a demand for transportation in countries where soya is not grown. I ...
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1answer
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Why the eco-friendly soy ink is not abundent on the market?

From time to time I see on different papers "Printed with eco-friendly ink," so I assume that it is the soy-based ink. I have read a bit about it, and the opinions about soy-ink being eco-friendly are ...
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2answers
413 views

Relative merits of 'milkman' glass vs. 'supermarket' plastic milk bottles?

(A question with looking for answers from a UK perspective, preferably) Does anyone have any pointers to, or have the knowledge to answer, the question of the larger-scale environmental arguments ...
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1answer
135 views

Is heating with candles economically and/or ecologically worthwhile?

Considering my home doesn't have a heating system nor chimneys, I wonder if it's worthwhile to heat using only candles. There are multiple dimensions to consider: Does it cost less than electric ...
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2answers
185 views

Should I replace existing inefficient light bulbs?

Similar to this question (except that's about cars), if I can buy more efficient light bulbs than the ones I'm using right now, should I? Or is it better to wait until my current light bulbs expire, ...
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1answer
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PNG optimization for website and environment impact

PNG images can be optimized in different ways. Reducing PNG size for websites seems to be a good choice in order to reduce bandwidth usage and data transport (and reduce the impact on environment). ...
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190 views

Is there any eco-friendly option for condom?

I am from India and there is no availability of vegan condom. I am a hardcore practitioner of sustainable living and don't wanted to create waste with single-use condom which is definitely resulting ...
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2answers
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What is the real impact of the new Adidas collection made with recycled plastic bottles?

Adidas has a new collection made with recycled plastic bottles recovered from the oceans. I have been trying to find the real environmental impact of this collection but it has been difficult to ...
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What is the average net impact of a human on the sustainability of our habitat?

I've been writing an informal essay on the true cost of everything and as per the question asked at the end, I want to approximate the average human's impact on habitat destruction/human ...
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2answers
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Is it environmentally sensible to clean a paint roller?

I'm currently decorating a room and conscious of how much water it's taking to clean the paint out of a paint roller. At what point does the environmental cost of cleaning exceed the environmental ...
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What are the environmental consequences of shipping food across the Atlantic Ocean [closed]

For a given weight and volume of food requiring refrigeration, how much worse would US manufacturing need to be than Western European manufacturing to environmentally justify purchasing imported food? ...
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3answers
236 views

One single person's equal share in the world's resources

This question has been intriguing me quite some time. While regulating my own consumption of the world's resources, I keep on wondering: With the current world population, what would be each single ...
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6answers
147 views

Does responsible living leave more space to unresponsible living?

It looks to me that the efforts I'm doing to make my living more sustainable are worthless. Indeed, when some of us make efforts to lower energy consumption, doesn't it only leave harvestable ...
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1answer
121 views

Ecological wood-burning fireplace

We are in the process of choosing a fireplace for our house (which is being refurbished). Is it possible to have a wood-burning fireplace that doesn't cause any harmful emissions or contribute to smog ...
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2answers
88 views

Most sustainable type of cream container?

The grocery co-op where I shop offers local, organic cream from three different farms, which use three different types of recyclable containers (all roughly the same volume): Mini version of clear ...
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1answer
129 views

How environmentally friendly is palm oil with a certified organic label?

I'm trying to reduce my consumption of palm oil because palm oil production is responsible for deforestation, large forest fires and loss of biodiversity. The problem is that palm oil is present in ...
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1answer
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Should we leave all fossil fuels in the ground and not use them?

I get the feeling that there is such a strong backlash against fossil fuels that there is an irrational movement to purge them completely. Maybe because people are transferring their worries about ...
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3answers
645 views

Most environmentally friendly mode of transport

You often hear "Walk, it's better for the environment", but is that actually true? If I walk 5 miles instead of taking say a public bus, given that I now will need to replace the energy I spent ...
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2answers
514 views

If coffee pods are made of aluminium, what are the negative environmental effects?

The boss of Nespresso has called coffee pods an environmental disaster. One of my friends recently commented: Coffee pods are the environmental equivalent of beating baby seals to death. I'm ...
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2answers
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What to look for in a pair of sustainable shoes?

Let's limit ourselves to "casual sport" shoes (e.g., everyday trainers, casual, etc.) . I have been doing some research online, essentially along two different lines: sustainability, using http://...
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1answer
231 views

What is the environmental impact of toilet paper processed at a water treatment plant?

After toilet paper is flushed down a toilet and it goes to a water treatment plant, what happens next? Does it decompose, if so what gasses are released? Is the carbon sequestered in any significant ...
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How to choose a more sustainable vacation option?

Background In general, for a given transportation medium, modes of transport that are more densely populated are more efficient than those that are more sparsely populated. For example, it is not a ...
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Why don't toilets use saltwater?

My question is in the header. It would seem to be a major environmental benefit if toilets used saltwater in stead of potable fresh water, right?
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Any sustainability difference between anionic/cationic/nonionic detergents?

Are any of these three types of detergents more or less damaging to manufacture and/or use or dispose of than the others? I realise these are rather broad classes, but this is usually the only detail ...
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1answer
243 views

How did the people living on Easter Island go extinct?

According to a professor in this article on phys.org it's because the population exploded when they wiped out all the forests. What caused the population explosion? Was it the development of a new ...
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1answer
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What is palm oil mostly used for?

What percentage of total world production of palm oil is used for fuel, and what is used for food and cosmetics? I am asking this because there seems to be more awareness in the media of palm oil use ...
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3answers
136 views

What is the environmental cost of encrypting your communications?

I am concerned by people's privacy in the Internet age, and the security that communication software and services offer, which is why I try to promote encryption in different everyday activities (...
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3answers
2k views

Are plastic cups more environmental friendly than ceramic mugs?

Many years ago I read that plastic cups, like this: are more environmental friendly than ceramic mugs, like this: This is rather counter-intuitive. If I remember correctly, I believe the argument ...
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1answer
62 views

What is life cycle assessment best used for?

What is the best use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)? Can it be used for eco-products? Can it be used for products like phones and computers?
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1answer
245 views

How do the environmental impacts of sky lantern and firework displays compare?

http://theguardian.com/environment/ethicallivingblog/2009/jul/31/sky-lanterns and http://bbc.com/news/magazine-23129276 are critical about use of lanterns which float into the sky using hot air ...
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1answer
1k views

Which is the most sustainable type of pencil?

Which type of pencil is the most sustainable one? Wooden pencil Automatic (propelling) pencil/Clutch pencil The types I'm referring to: I've read related questions about comparing pens and ...
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2answers
297 views

Is buying online more sustainable than in local shop next door?

I was planning to buy a toy. I can buy it online and in local shop next door. Price is (including shipping in case of online shop) more or less the same. Is one more sustainable than the other?
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What is the impact of switching to smart metering?

Is there some way to estimate the environmental impact on overall carbon emissions of a community switching from normal to smart meters, with all the integrated solutions(monitoring, for instance)? I ...