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13 votes
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Is it better to put something potentially unrecyclable in the recycling bin or to put something recyclable in the waste bin?

It may depend on your local rules, but here it's certainly better to put a recyclable thing in the bin than a non-recyclable thing in the recycling. That is, if your council doesn't have any sorting ...
Nick C's user avatar
  • 783
12 votes
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What is the most sustainable way of making coffee?

I live off-grid, so I did a lot of study on this topic. All used coffee grounds make good fertilizer. Drip machines seem to use a lot of energy, and they seem to use it for a lot of time. They also ...
Maxfield Solar's user avatar
12 votes
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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
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11 votes
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Is using a menstrual cup better for the environment than using pads or tampons?

Yes, using a menstrual cup (such as DivaCup) is much better for the environment. I located a thesis paper written by a student at Dalhousie University for her BSc in Environmental Science and Gender ...
Nic's user avatar
  • 2,899
9 votes

How to properly dispose of bubble wrap envelopes?

1. Try to reuse Reuse is always better than recycling or disposal because 1) it saves energy that is used in the recycling process and 2) it saves energy and materials for manufacturing and ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
9 votes
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Are used "blister packs" recyclable?

​​Yes, blister packs are recyclable (for example with machines like this one) but chances are there's no recycling company in your area that will accept and recycle it unless you are able to separate ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
9 votes
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Can solid dog waste be safely added to a backyard composting heap?

You've hinted at the main concerns with putting poop in a compost pile. Will putting dog poop in the compost pile spread disease? This could happen either in the act of moving the dog poop, while ...
Jean-Paul Calderone's user avatar
8 votes

What is the most sustainable way of making coffee?

Your grinder may be less efficient than a commercial unit, and shipping beans rather than ground coffee may affect the bulk for shipping. If you use extra (hot) water in washing a permanent filter you ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 2,126
8 votes

How do plastic bags and other waste end up in the ocean?

There are many ways how plastic waste ends up in the sea. A non-complete list would include the following: Micro-plastics from our washing processes, they are in almost everything like shampoo, ...
Salt's user avatar
  • 929
8 votes
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Does transporting plastic offset the benefits of recycling it?

tl;dr: No, shipping plastic waste to China for recycling does not offset the benefits, as it reduces the net energy savings by 3% or less. Polyethylene, The most common plastic According to ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
8 votes

How do I get rid of numerous small pieces of charcoal?

You are talking about black gold that has a value of AU$40 per 25 litre bag in my area. I would suggest either selling it or putting it back into the soil. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,834
8 votes
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How do I dispose trash without using plastic bags?

Don't throw out water! Firstoff, you really need to not throw out liquids. Liquids should go down the sink, (unless they are non-water non-biological). Water based liquids are very heavy and add a ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
8 votes

Can I recycle greasy metal in the US?

Scrap metals are not cleaned, they are melted. For steel; Zn, Sn, Pb, and others vaporize or oxidize. The most problematic is Zn as the oxide in the slag can deteriorate the refractory. Aluminum is ...
blacksmith37's user avatar
7 votes

What to do with old, unused incandescent light bulbs

Please consider donating incandescent bulbs to a support group for diseases that can sensitize some people to light. One disease with fairly widespread support group chapters is Lupus. Lupus has ...
lemurmoon 's user avatar
7 votes

Can I compost vegetable oil?

Yes -- with caveats. It will decompose. Even motor oil will decompose. (Don't use this as a way of disposing the used stuff. It has lots of ungood things besides oil by the time it's used.) ...
Sherwood Botsford's user avatar
7 votes
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How can ceramics be recycled?

Recycling ceramics is possible, but it looks like it is still rare. This is an example of a business crushing bathroom porcelain into fine clay to then melt it again in a kiln and produce tiles. The ...
stragu's user avatar
  • 3,302
7 votes

How to encourage people to sort waste properly

Although quite old and aimed at more general recycling, a study by Porter et al. (1995) found that: prompts by group leaders reliably increased recycling, with verbal prompts more effective than ...
alice-the-fish's user avatar
7 votes
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Which materials dumped into landfills are the largest sources of methane?

The source of methane -- degradable organic carbon A 2006 report by the IPCC, Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Volume 5 -- Waste, includes six different categories of landfilled ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
6 votes
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Is there any harm in not sorting biowaste?

It depends a bit how your waste processing facility handles the 'mixed waste' stream. In the best case scenario they sort out everything and your biodegradable waste ends up where it belongs after all;...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
6 votes

What is the most sustainable way of making coffee?

Cold brew, which is essentially soaking the beans for 24 hours would only call for energy to roast the beans and to filter them. If you used a metal filter, there wouldn't be ongoing disposable costs, ...
MatthewMartin's user avatar
6 votes
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Recycling soda stream canisters in Australia?

SodaStream gas cylinders don't have anything in them except carbon dioxide. One way or the other that's going into the atmosphere — it's not getting reclaimed. Just bleed the CO₂ out of the top of ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,834
6 votes
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How do plastic bags and other waste end up in the ocean?

Carelessness, wind and rain. Humans are careless, so leave all manner of plastic outside in their yards. A gust of wind catches the plastic and blows it onto a nearby road. It rains, and the ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 2,834
6 votes

How can ceramics be recycled?

Use them to line the bottom of a pot for drainage. Line a walk way. Fill in a pot hole. Treat them like gravel.
paparazzo's user avatar
  • 384
6 votes
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Can I recycle greasy metal in the US?

Oh, that's really not a problem. Recycling metal involves pre-processing. They are concerned with contaminants like paint and plating getting into the batch. What they use to remove paint and ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Why is composting of food waste "better" than burning it?

Composting has many benefits beyond dealing with waste The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists several benefits of composting: Compost reduces and in some cases eliminates the need for ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 11.9k
5 votes

Using other peoples resources for basic living

It's reasonable to say that a lifestyle can still be sustainable even if not everybody could live that way. It's like filling a niche in an ecosystem. Obviously we can't all eat discarded/excess meals,...
Highly Irregular's user avatar
5 votes

Is it sustainable or necessary to use potable water to wash waste before recycling?

This is not a problem if you use a basin to wash dishes. As I soap dishes it goes in an empty basin in one half the sink. I rinse the dishes in the basin one at a time and put in rack. As I do so ...
Joez37's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes

Is it sustainable or necessary to use potable water to wash waste before recycling?

I have run into the same quandary. I resolved it by keeping a large bin in my sink that catches "grey water" or water already used for washing dishes and add a drop of biodegradable phosphate-free ...
Sciolence's user avatar
5 votes
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Can I compost vegetable oil?

You can compost vegetable oil but when doing aerobic composting the disadvantage is that oil will reduce the amount of air that can get in your compost heap. If you add too much oil and/or don't ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 14.5k
5 votes

Is there any eco-friendly option for condom?

There is something called Reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance (RISUG, see Wikipedia page for more details) which is alternative to a condom which is 100% eco friendly. In short, it a one ...
Shadow Wizard Love Zelda's user avatar

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