Hot answers tagged

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

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 ...


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 ...


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

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 is a market for human hair: Hair can be sold to people who create wigs or hair extensions. There is even an online calculator to determine the value of your hair. Apparently hair is a good animal repellent so some gardeners will gladly take it (altough others say there is no proof for the effectiveness). Hair is an organic material that can be ...


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 ...


8

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 similar except scrap aluminum containing Cu and Si will be segregated as much as possible, used for certain alloys. Copper scrap, being more valuable is separated ...


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 ...


7

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 various manifestations, but some individuals with it develop headaches, weakness, and/or rashes when exposed to direct sunlight or fluorescent lights, or even cool ...


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

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 may be better off using unbleached paper filters and composting them along with the grounds. I find that you can't put lots of coffee grounds through a ...


7

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.) However it will attract animals, dogs, cats, squirrels, mice, rats, bears, porcupines,chickadees, bluejays... A better solution: Mix it with oatmeal, or some ...


7

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 same business and another one are mentioned on this website. The similarity between glass and ceramic materials might mean there are ways to use them in a ...


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