18

Warranties Keep an eye out for products that have long warranties. When the warranty is short you can expect a short average time until failure. Parts Look for products that have generic parts, especially when the part is expected to fail sooner than the rest of the device. One good example I can think of is cordless landline phones by Panasonic that use ...


12

Bamboo Pros Bamboo is a perennial grass. You don't need to put annual effort and energy into it's cultivation. You don't need to disturb the soil, so the soil ecosystem stays intact. NO Soil Erosion! Bamboo suppresses the growth of other plants (weeds) around it so it requires NO Herbicides. Bamboo is VERY hardy against pests and diseases so it requires ...


10

I think this is a great example of how sustainability really is multi-faceted. LED lighting may be great from an energy consumption standpoint, and not as good with respect to finite material usage. Energy Use vs Material Supply I think it's important, however, to apply some weighting to the different factors. I don't believe we're yet at a critical ...


9

Yes - but not in the way you describe. First of all, planned obsolescence refers broadly to intentionally designing a product so that it will have an artificially short life-span, which can include less-nefarious tactics such as using cheaper manufacturing processes that make repairs more difficult. What you are referring to is programmed obsolescence: ...


9

Summary The 4 metals currently extracted (in combination with other materials (eg "salt") or as ions in an extraction process are the only ones commercially viable at present, and may be the only ones readily able to be extracted for the forseeable future. The "big 4" are - Sodium Magnesium Calcium Potassium, Energy considerations make the ...


8

First of all, in many products BPA has not been replaced at all. It is still present in many types of food packaging, especially in canned foods. AFAIK the main exception is baby bottles which are required to be BPA free in the US, Canada and the EU. France is also an exception as it is the only EU-country where BPA is banned for all food packaging. Second,...


7

One of the key considerations here is how much time the appliance will spend turned on. If an old CRT TV is hardly used, then the environmental footprint of continuing to use it is very low, even if it uses 5 times as much electricity as an LCD one. Secondly, the way the electricity is generated makes a substantial difference. If renewable energy is used to ...


7

I've worked in screen printing using water-based inks, and all we did there was a settling tank and cloth filters. By cloth, I mean we printed t shirts and used scrap t shirts to make the filters - just wrap 3-4 layers of t shirts around a screen printing screen and that's the filter (6-8 layers of cloth, one layer of ~0.5mm mesh). We had effectively a split ...


6

No. Sometimes yes, but often enough no - so that looking at whether a brand is 'luxury' or 'supermarket' is not a good replacement for looking at the actual sustainability of the product. I can't cite a single, unified source, but when I read independent test reports of a variety of products, price or the fact there's a recognised brand is a poor indicator ...


5

You can use scrubbers to remove NO2 (or better NOX) and SO2 from exhaust gas emissions. Scrubbers are used in large industrial facilities, power plants, and large ships to clean-up the exhaust gas emissions -- mainly in order to comply with emission thresholds. They are not applied in small-scale combustion facilities such as cars or residential heating ...


4

Seawater is no more a sustainable source of minerals than mining is. They're both depleting a finite resource, insofar as the minerals in the sea come from rock erosion anyway. There's a small difference in that some of the minerals in the sea come from waste from human activities. But in those cases, mining landfill sites or doing mineral extraction at ...


4

An award should be made with a logo. It could be given by a committee to a product and it would entitle the producer to put that logo on that product. In my country (Hungary) there was a similar award in the '80s, named "forum of excellent products". It had a triangle like logo.


4

The table on this Conservatree.org webpage explains that Processed Chlorine Free (PCF) means it's Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) plus it has recycled content. So all the PCF papers you found are also TCF. Conservatree.org also has listings for recycled and PCF paper products, including this relatively large list of toilet paper for consumer usage (US and ...


4

Measuring impact I've yet to see a meaningful metric that relates directly to materials, other than the EROEI (Energy Returned On Energy Invested); and there's discussion about whether or not EROEI is at all a useful measure: its probably not that useful, since once it's over 1.0, it's completely subsumed into the economics. The same would be true of a more ...


4

In France they're trying to build a site referencing planned-obsolescence products: http://www.halteobsolescence.org/ . Maybe we could build the same or help them go worldwide (at least by translating it). I asked them if they had an English version, and will update when they answer. The principle of this site is that users can alert if a product is fragile,...


4

From a wearing standpoint: Bamboo is extremely stretchy - if the garment you are looking at is made of bamboo, you need to consider if you are expecting any support; because from my experience there is no support. For example: leggings - comfort is great, softness is great but they are not "snappy". I am in fact amazed at how form fitting this fabric can ...


3

In the USA the Daimler/Mercedes "Smart" Fortwo car is the obvious choice, rated at 41mpg on the highway. Those look silly but are quite safe and very fuel efficient, as well and being ridiculously easy to park. In parts of Europe it's legal to park them across a roadside car parking space (so you can get two cars into one spot). The efficiency is all-round ...


3

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 at the latest, total emissions from a hybrid Prius beat emissions from a standard Corolla. Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) specific components The HEV ...


3

The United States Federal Trade Commission reports that many "bamboo" fabrics are simply rayon that had been produced using bamboo as a raw source material. This appears to be the prevalent method of producing fabrics from bamboo, and several companies in the USA have been penalized for false advertising as a result of claims they made regarding "bamboo" ...


3

Lobbying for legislation is the best way. Barring a few conscious ones, producers are generally interested in money, and with such a huge population and market, they will always find customers who do not care about environment. However, once a legislation is in place that protects the environment, they have no option than to follow it or get fined (=lose a ...


2

(Consider this answer a draft till I do aome more searching) Regarding Distillation, the most efficient sea-water distillation plants need 23-27 kWh/m³, a small scale batch system will probably be far worse. Distillation plants are also pretty expensive. You mentioned a few option that might work, that is centrifuge, sand bed or coal filter. I suggeste ...


2

I haven't seen a comprehensive list. In fact all the sea mineral products I've seen on the net are for home gardening. ag-usa has a list of four home gardening mineral products they say make up the market. seamazing offers a similar product. Sounds like this list will grow, along with the sea mineral products offered. I wouldn't rush to the conclusion, ...


2

You are trying to separate the paint from the water. This is difficult since the paint particles are very very small. (sub micron). You may be able to do this with ceramic filters, but I suspect that the filters will clog so fast, that instead of shipping off 2000 kg of water, you will ship off 2000 kg of filters. Why not evaporate the water? Put a batch ...


2

Re "...the higher price of prestigious brands is usually dictated by costs such as craftsmanship, design and marketing...", I have to disagree, at least as a general rule. Perhaps more is spent on marketing to convince the gullible that say a Cadillac Escalade is more "prestigious" than the virtually identical Chevy Tahoe, but will it really last longer or ...


2

Propane releases 59 kg CO2/GJ, which works out to ~0.06 g/BTU. On a 70000 BTU grill, that's 4000 g, or 4 kg, or 8.8 lbs CO2 per hour. Natural gas releases 49 kg CO2/GJ, or about ~0.05 g/BTU, or 3500 g, or 7.7 lbs CO2 per hour. There's are a lot of variation in types of charcoal due to different binders used, but consensus it's that about double natural gas....


2

Great question, difficult to answer. There's a great deal of variation in the CO2 footprint of manufactured goods. So we can compare many different goods, I suggest we use Kg CO2 per £1000 cost of product. To get an idea of the range of footprints here are a few datapoints:- Vehicles 720 Kg CO2 per £1000 So a £4000 car has a manufacturing CO2 footprint of ...


1

Just found a patent for this: https://www.google.com/patents/US20070154374 Method for removing sulfur dioxide and other acid gases, mercury, and nitrogen oxides from a gas stream with the optional production of ammonia based fertilizers


1

There are a bunch of different materials called alum. The most common, is potassium aluminum sulfate. KAl(SO4)2 * 12 H2O The material is very soluble in hot water, and melts at 92.5 C (less than boiling point for water.) Because of it's general solubility, I don't know if the stones sold are pure alum. You may want to add some form of filler that would ...


1

I had bamboo pillowcases before, they are very soft but not very durable. So I have to disagree with the con No 2 in Sempie's post. I do know that bamboo fabric need more water to produce, which increases overall environmental impact. However, since bamboo grows really fast, I am not aware of any producer heavily using fertilizer, which is a pro comparing ...


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