Hot answers tagged

17

Apples, like practically all other organic waste, are ideal for composting. You can cover the apples with leaves, sawdust, other soil, etc., to prevent them being eaten by birds & insects and carried away from your compost pile. But in principle you need nothing but a little patience and soon your apples, whether windfallen, stormfallen or hand-picked, ...


17

TLDR; don't use them for lighting. Given that you could keep your incandescent bulbs for when your current energy-efficient (I will assume CCFL) bulbs need replacing, your choice boils down to: buy a new CCFL; or use an incandescent that has already been manufactured. This helpful analysis gives the embodied energy in a CCFL as 1.7 kWh. Let's assume that ...


15

Not an exact answer to what you're asking, but: Re-use them! Re-using is almost always better than recycling, since recycling isn't 'free' (it still takes energy). They take up little space, you can save them for years, you don't have to go to the post-office when you do need them, and it saves you some money!


13

No. First, if you throw things in the river, especially waste, you'll likely be cited for dumping and/or littering. Second, there are definite environmental concerns to doing so. Dog waste is quite unhealthy; there are definitely bad bacteria and potentially bad parasites in there. Dogs don't poop in rivers naturally; do not put it in there. Also, ...


12

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 facilities: if they deem the recycling to be 'contaminated', they'll send the whole load to the incinerator - whereas if you put it in the normal rubbish, it's ...


11

I know about two different studies that investigated which funeral method has the smallest environmental impact. I will base my answer on the most recent study and then shortly discuss the differences with the other one. Two studies In this report drawn up by the Dutch research institution TNO in 2011 two alternatives are mentioned that are have a lower ...


11

I use them in garden/indoor. Something like this... (source : google search)


11

Ironically, the better you are at reducing your waste, the less likely you are to succeed at replacing plastic bags for the irreducible portion. My mother throws out actual garbage twice a year - one small plastic bag such as the ones you get from grocery stores, every 6 months. While she always has a reusable shopping bag in her purse, she finds that ...


11

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 use disposable filters. Drip machines are kind of on the off-grid "blacklist". Percolators waste a lot of energy because they have to keep the water boiling ...


11

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 and Women Studies which compares the financial and environmental costs of various menstrual products. Here's the relevant part of the abstract: The ...


10

I have seen broken glass (± 1" (~25 mm) square pieces) used effectively as the drainage backfill around a residential foundation. The owner reported that it worked very well. An internet search shows other situations where the crushed glass is used as aggregate in construction, including some cases where the aesthetics are used to an advantage. See ...


10

If you're willing to put some effort in, then check out http://www.e-stewards.org/ to look for a third-party certified e-waste recycler. Otherwise, Best Buy accepts many electronics and accessories for recycling, free of charge. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Global-Promotions/Recycling-Electronics/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025 There are ...


10

Technical terms To partially understand the process of draining batteries it is important to know some technical parameters: voltage - Battery operated electric devices need certain minimal voltage level and current to work correctly. As a battery is being drained the voltage drops down. In some batteries the voltage goes down very slowly during most of ...


10

Some countries have introduced a tax on plastic shopping bags. For example, in Ireland the tax is 0.15 EURO (about 12p in English money or $0.20 in American money). Within a short space of time, shops offered customers a choice between: (1) free paper bags, or (2) heavy-duty reusable bags (usually made of cloth, but sometimes made from thick plastic) for 1 ...


10

The opther answers are all basically ok, but I want to add some details. The first issue is nutrients: By adding your leftovers to the river, you practically add fertilizer that can lead to algae blooms and, ultimately, eutrophication. Of course, fish also poop in the river, but they also eat from the river, so they don't add much nutrients. Soil ecosystems ...


9

I freeze bananas in a plastic container, which I wash and reuse. I also wash and reuse Ziploc-type plastic bags, which work equally well, but don't last quite as long. If your wife prefers aluminium, you can probably find an aluminium container (e.g. in an outdoor store), which should last you for several decades.


9

I disagree with the answers that say not to use it. It may in fact be an excellent idea to use it if: you live somewhere that requires your home to be heated in the winter you currently heat with electricity or with something less efficient than electricity The "wasted" energy from an incandescent bulb is wasted as heat. In the summer, this is really bad ...


9

Almost all of those components are reusable in a DIY electronics project. Save these things for reuse, but make sure you have a good organization system thought out or you will never be able to find the thing you saved when you actually need it: Capacitors Buttons Encoder Wheel The 7 Pin Connector Set The 4 Pin Connector Set The USB Cable The Wiring Not ...


9

​​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 the different materials yourself. Blister packs like the one you posted typically consist of plastic (usually PET or PVC) and aluminium. The problem with ...


9

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 the dog poop is fresh in the pile, or when you remove and spread the compost. Fresh poop is the most likely source of any disease issues. By using a tool and ...


9

"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/build systems that are overpowered. In 2019 it is possible to build a 'serious' desktop system that consumes very little power — provided you don't play the sort ...


8

In my experience, windfall apples can turn into serious slime unless you prepare them for composting by adding plenty of drier ingredients to the mix. Crushing them, and then adding dried fall leaves - shredded if possible - in a ratio of 1:3 or 4 would probably make some pretty decent compost, depending on how green they are. If you don't have any dried ...


8

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 transporting new or recycled envelopes. The most simply way of reuse would be to relabel and resend, but you can also reuse the envelopes for other purposes, for ...


8

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, peelings, cosmetics, etc., but also our clothes contain a lot of plastics which leaves the washing machines continuously. Next are ships, loosing load, leaving old ...


8

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 Wikipedia, polyethylene is the most common type of plastic. There are three main categories of polyethylene (also from Wikipedia): PET (polyethylene terephthalate), ...


8

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 for uses of charcoal as a soil amendment. You can collect (cool) charcoal in a plastic bag until you have a volume worth doing something serious with. Because ...


8

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 lot of mass to the waste stream. Water based liquids are particularly bad news when incinerating. Most trash will burn exothermically, meaning the ...


7

I've rebuilt two single-battery operated appliances in our home to a "battery juicer". I'll describe one of them here to explain the idea, the other one is remade in a similar way to this one. Both of them operate happily with half-drained batteries and I've reached the balance of incoming half-drained batteries and draining them almost totally in those ...


7

This only addresses part of your question, but this question could be answered with a whole book. Homebrewing Biodiesel I do want to clarify that biodiesel is not only a potential "industrial" reuse for used cooking oils. Used cooking oil can be processed into biodiesel by a modestly savvy do-it-yourselfer at home, with a simple processor that you ...


7

Tune your fridge. We keep ours just barely above freezing. Enough that if we get a package of hamburger out of the freezer it takes several days to thaw in the fridge. We don't throw much away -- about a 2 gallon compost bucket a week, and that includes all the peels. Plan your meals to use leftovers. We routinely make twice as much rice as that meal ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible