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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14
votes
6answers
1k views

Are there any more sustainable alternatives to conventional commercial toothpaste?

Are there any sustainable (and useful) alternatives to toothpaste? I've tried so far this kind of tooth tabs and I'm also aware of the existence of tooth powder but I haven't tried it yet. I liked ...
23
votes
8answers
22k views

Palm oil vs coconut oil, which has the smallest ecological impact?

There is a valid fuss and concern about palm oil for a few reasons. To myself the main concern is the destruction of ecology and habitat for species in the countries which are increasingly producing ...
14
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3answers
3k 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 ...
10
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1answer
1k views

How bad are nylon and polyester clothing for the environment?

A few weeks ago I heard a news story about new research that found that polyester clothing is more of an environmental concern than previously thought. The reason for this is that each time you wash ...
15
votes
3answers
427 views

Should I dry my hands with paper towels or a dryer?

In our office toilets, we have paper towels and a hand dryer. Is it better for the environment to use the towels or the dryer to dry hands?
6
votes
1answer
293 views

What is current best practice for setting up recycling?

I'm interested in public policy as regards recycling. I recently read an interesting Atlantic article on single-stream recycling, which noted that single-stream certainly makes it as easy as possible ...
16
votes
2answers
429 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?
13
votes
2answers
229 views

What is the environmental impact of replacing a vehicle?

I'm currently driving a Suzuki SX4 2008. It gets (supposedly) 30 MPG (9.4 l/100km) on highways, though I suspect it's much lower now because of the beating I have given the poor car and lack of ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

Paper packaging once a day or plastic every second day?

I buy a lot of cottage cheese. There are two kinds of packagings available: paper wrappings, which I buy one piece a day plastic bag, of which one pack is enough for two days Assuming that I can't ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

Pros and cons of bamboo clothing compared to cotton?

I've read that clothes made from bamboo fibers require about 1/3 the amount of water compared to cotton. Also bamboo grows much faster than cotton and it requires little or no herbicides or fertilizer....
22
votes
2answers
389 views

Local greenhouse/hothouse vegetables vs. remote naturally-grown vegetables

I've often wondered what is ecologically better: A tomato from the region grown in a (heated) greenhouse/hothouse A tomato from several thousand km away grown naturally Ceteris paribus, are there ...
12
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2answers
761 views

Which consumes more carbon dioxide: a fully grown forest or a newly planted one that is growing?

I was talking to some friends and one of them claims that it is more efficient to combat global warming by cutting the trees and replanting them because a growing forest consumes more CO2. (Firstly, a ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Environmental impact of toner versus ink cartridges?

I'm trying to decide what type of printer to buy. I've read a number of posts on the web where people claim that laser printers are more durable than ink-jet printers. Some people say this is because ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I support the recycling, but not the new production of aluminum?

While the initial production of aluminum is a waste-intensive, energy-intensive process that has negative environmental and social impact through deforestation and contamination of waterways, aluminum ...
7
votes
1answer
146 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the IPAT identity, and does it still matter?

A few years ago, the IPAT identity was all the rage when talking about the aggregate human impact on the global ecosystem. What is the IPAT identity exactly, and is it still relevant, or has it been ...
7
votes
3answers
352 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

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, ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

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, ...
15
votes
2answers
316 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, ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Is gasoline or Diesel refining less sustainable, per energy output?

Inspired by my own answer here, I'm wondering what the actual numbers are regarding gasoline and Diesel fuel refining. I have read (don't remember where) that refining of Diesel fuel is less ...
8
votes
2answers
277 views

Additional load of using kitchen sink waste disposal units on municipal wastewater treatment

Organic (in the generally-from-an-organism sense of the word) waste can be difficult to dispose of from dwellings with no outdoor space for composting, and (in New Zealand, at least) it is not ...
6
votes
1answer
173 views

How can I change my computing hardware and software for greater sustainability?

I currently use Mac OS X on a Retina Macbook Pro. Apple is known to be quite a green company, in terms of its hardware and the power required to manufacture, sell, and market it. But I think I can do ...
5
votes
1answer
360 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
176 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 ...