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15 votes

Are plastic cups more environmental friendly than ceramic mugs?

It's correct that the production of 1 ceramic mug requires much more material and energy than the production of 1 plastic cup, but this isn't a fair comparison. Plastic cups are generally used once or ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
12 votes
Accepted

Is it more environmentally friendly to use laptops or desktop PCs?

"To compare purely the electricity usage ... Desktops are clearly worse for the environment in this respect." — That certainly used to be the case, and still often is, but only because people buy/...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,844
12 votes

Are plastic cups more environmental friendly than ceramic mugs?

You've pictured a disposable plastic cup. If you assume that you can use it a few times, then you might consider that you get through one a day. A ceramic cup lasts until you drop it. The cup in your ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 2,126
6 votes
Accepted

What is life cycle assessment best used for?

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is about assessing the environmental impacts of a product, process or service over it's full life cycle, so from production, usage and disposal. This assessment includes ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes

What is an environmentally-conscious replacement for white yogurt?

Diversify In a paper unearthed recently by our friend LShaver question, a key point is that the worst identified menace today is Biodiversity loss, beyond Nitrogen cycle disruption, and way beyond ...
J. Chomel's user avatar
  • 1,417
5 votes
Accepted

Environmental impact of using paper towels for hand drying

I was able to find several different news articles discussing this topic: "Paper towels least green way of drying hands, study finds" - The Guardian "Electric Hand Dryers vs. Paper Towels" - Slate "...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
5 votes

Environmental impact of toner versus ink cartridges?

The question seems to be asking only about the environmental impact of the cartridges, so I probably shouldn't talk about how a laser printers use 100 times more power while they are printing, but ...
Scott Tramposch's user avatar
4 votes

How do you identify what is sustainable without reverting to lists and other people's ideas?

The issue with answering this question is that there are inherent assumptions in how one creates a boundary for answering. For example, Voreno's answer suggests comparing two similar products in ...
Jennifer Rae Pierce's user avatar
4 votes

Environmental impact of toner versus ink cartridges?

Inkjets are the Hummer of printers If you care about the environment, give that inkjet printer to the next person you can find for whom your gift/sale will prevent them from buying a new inkjet. ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

What is the most commonly available eco-friendly writing instrument?

From least damage to most: Wooden pencils. Provided the manufacturer is eco-friendly and uses wood from properly managed forests and non-toxic paints. Faber-Castell (just chosen because I happen to ...
user8242's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What is the energy and greenhouse gas footprint of Skysource/Skywater water generator?

There's a little bit of information on their FAQ: Energy ranges from less than .4KWH/Liter to over kWh depending upon climatic conditions. And that's just as they've written it. The upper limit is ...
410 gone's user avatar
  • 14.7k
3 votes

Is it more environmentally friendly to use laptops or desktop PCs?

To add some numbers to the discussion, I found a white paper from Fujitsu about a desktop (2018) production energy usage: 6.8 GJ or 450 kg CO2 equivalent use phase energy usage: 9.2 GJ or 30 - 500 ...
cbeleites unhappy with SX's user avatar
3 votes

More sustainable pick-me-up: can of coke or cup of tea/coffee?

TL;DR -- The best option, per liter, is tea. Soda is about twice as "bad," and coffee is two times worse than that. To compare the environmental impact of various beverages we need to perform a life-...
LShaver's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

What are the carbon emissions from the manufacture of the hybrid components of a Prius?

Update. In my original answer I inadvertently divided at one point when I should have multiplied -- I found the mistake thanks to comments from Frank and THelper. So here's a new tl;dr: By mile 4,000 ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
3 votes

What are freely available tools or databases for Lifecycle Assesment?

Various places with free LCA info/DBs seem to exist, but among them at least one I'm aware is large-scale and with a lot of free elements - plus relatively convenient: OpenLCA is a Software combining ...
FlorianH's user avatar
  • 141
2 votes

What is more sustainable, using a mechanical pencil or a pen?

There are two primary issues here, carbon and plastics. I would expect carbon emissions to be higher for ink, but not significantly. Transport/logistics/retail would be similar for both products and ...
Abhi Beckert's user avatar
2 votes

How to determine whether hybrid cars are really more sustainable than traditional cars?

I find the site CarbonCounter.com, developed by MIT, useful in approaching this question. You can play around with some of the assumptions on e.g electricity supply, battery manufacture emissions and ...
andyyy's user avatar
  • 183
2 votes

More sustainable pick-me-up: can of coke or cup of tea/coffee?

Sustainability isn’t just about energy. It also involves other pollutants and water usage. Tea uses 100 times the volume you drink to be produced. [1] And according to this [2] it takes 65 times ...
Thomas Bjelkeman's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Is there a recent life cycle analysis for cloth diaper and for disposable diaper?

There are several life cycle analyses, but none of them very recent: This webpage links to a report on life cycle analysis done by the UK Environment Agency, originally in 2005 and updated in 2008. ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
2 votes

how to normalize all the LCA impacts?

For normalization you always calculate relative to some reference value. Your reference value is in kg CO2e, so I take it you are calculating global warming potential (greenhouse gases). If a ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
1 vote

After how many litres does Soda Stream get more sustainable than bottled sparkling water

A very rough calculation. Weigh an individual empty bottle that originally contained bottled water. You get a measure for how much materials went into manufacturing it. Weigh the SodaStream machine. ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 5,089
1 vote

Should I purchase new tins or plastic refills for chocolate powder?

In cases like this we do what is called an LCA. This looks at a few areas, production Transportation as well as end of life. While I do not have an exact case study for this application, I have one ...
Djohn's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote

Life cycle analysis comparing natural gas and propane prior to combustion?

In addition to the excellent answer by @LShaver, other things to consider are: Delivery of gas to the premises My experience is that there is only one reticulated gas main in residential areas and ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 3,507
1 vote

Life cycle analysis comparing natural gas and propane prior to combustion?

According to Wikipedia: Propane is produced as a by-product of two other processes, natural gas processing and petroleum refining. The amount from petroleum refining is minimal. The U.S. Energy ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
1 vote

Is it more environmentally friendly to use laptops or desktop PCs?

Since a few years have passed, I think my original question has a better answer: mini PCs are better than either laptops or desktops. These are as low-power as laptops, or lower, while avoiding the ...
user2596667's user avatar
1 vote

Is it more environmentally friendly to use laptops or desktop PCs?

Desktops hands down: Materials used Aside from form factor, almost all of the components of a laptop could be plugged into a desktop and function as is. With that in mind however, laptop components ...
Bobson's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote

What is the most commonly available eco-friendly writing instrument?

Hmm. Opinion only, based on their use. Based on the amount of time I can use them, not counting losing them. Fountain pens. The rubber bladder ones that you could refill from an inkwell. A ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
1 vote

Discretionary Carbon Footprint vs. Per-capita footprint

I found one study, The role of trade in the greenhouse gas footprints of EU diets, which performs a comparative analysis of consumption-based emissions vs. production-based emissions. It had something ...
Nic's user avatar
  • 2,899
1 vote

Life-cycle assessment of software products?

Easy. If the software product is used by few, the environmental impact comes from your development and testing machines. Use low-power machines, as few as them as possible. Don't over-invest into ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 5,089

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