Re: Contaminated recycling loads
2008-12-06 11:45:58 UTC
Its tough to get all individuals in the community to follow good recycling procedure, even if they are aware of what that might be. As an alternative, I have often wondered about the technical/economic feasibility of installing an industrial scale cleaning operation at a re-cycling site. That way messy cans could be cleaned and recycled even if citizens are not cooperating. I imagine there is already some process to remove the labels and glue from cans, could it be stepped up a bit to zap out food as well?
Green Design Institute
2008-12-02 23:27:18 UTC
I thought the list might like to know of this resource. The life cycle assessment software might be especially useful.
Green Design Institute [pdf] http://gdi.ce.cmu.edu/
The Green Design Institute is a "major interdisciplinary education and research effort to make an impact on environmental quality through green design." The primary goal of the Institute is to form partnerships with industry, government, and other foundations in order to develop processes that "can improve environmental quality and product quality while enhancing economic development." Located at Carnegie Mellon, the Institute involves faculty, students, and other partners in their efforts to develop practical pollution prevention technologies and lower costs by recycling scarce resources, using fewer raw materials, and creating better products. Visitors to the site may wish to begin by reading the "About Us" section to learn a bit more about the Institute. After getting acquainted with the goals of the Institute, visitors to should visit the "Research" section to learn a bit about on-going projects on sustainable infrastructure, energy and environment, life cycle assessment, and environment. Perhaps the most useful section of the site can be found by clicking on "Education". Here, a link to eiolca.net can be found, which is economic input-output life cycle assessment software. The model allows users to estimate the overall environmental impacts of producing commodities or services in the United States. In addition, courses and course materials on environmental issues are available here. The single phrase below is the copyright notice to be used when reproducing any portion of this report, in any format.
>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2008. http://scout.wisc.edu/
Children Influencing Parents
2008-11-25 14:20:31 UTC
Recent discussion on this list has focused on whether school programs for children can influence the environmental behaviors of the parents. This is part of a larger question about the influence of children on their parents. If you think of a family as a system, each member of the system exerts some influence on the other.
A general examination of children's influences on parents is summarized here:
The phenomenology of children's influence on parents Jan De Mol a and Ann Buysse b a Child Psychologist, Ghent University, Department of Psychology, Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.
b University Professor and Relationship Researcher, Ghent University, Department of Psychology, Belgium
Copyright Journal compilation (c) 2008
The Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice
ABSTRACT Starting from the core systemic premise that humans influence each other, this paper focuses on child influences in the bidirectional parent-child relationship. Following a co-constructionist approach on bidirectionality, meaning constructions of children and their parents concerning child influences are explored. The authors used in-depth interviews separately with children and their parents. Phenomenological analysis shows similarities and differences in children's and parents' thinking. Both stress the difficulty and existential dimension of the subject and refer to this influence as mainly unintentional. In particular, children disentangle influence from power. Children focus on the responsiveness of their parents. Parents emphasize the overwhelming effects on their personal development. The importance of making room for constructive child influences in family therapy is acknowledged. That is just one of many family systems articles on the mutual parent/child influence system. Advertisers assume that children can influence their parents' purchasing decisions and design many advertisements with that in mind.
The article below deals with childrens' influence on parental food purchasing habits.
Food for thought: parents' perspectives of child influence
Author(s): Jason J. Turner, James Kelly, Kirsty McKenna
British Food Journal 2006 Volume: 108 Issue: 3 Page:181 - 191
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
This item from a marketing newsletter describes how Toyota motors targets a kids website to influence them to get their parents to buy Toyotas.
There are other marketing articles in a similar vein:
How Kids "Trick" Their Parents.(children influencing parents' purchasing)(Brief Article) http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-54882021.html.
Perhaps closer in spirit to the list's interests are public health campaigns which use school based programs with children to influence parental health behaviors. Finally there is this discussion of a framework for how children might influence parents on environmental issues.
Students as catalysts of environmental change: a framework for researching intergenerational influence through environmental education
Reprinted from Environmental Education Research (1998) 4(3), pp. 285-298
Authors: Roy Ballantyne a; Sharon Connell b; John Fien c
Affiliations: a Queensland University, Australia b Queensland University and Griffith University, Australia c Griffith University, Australia
DOI: 10.1080/13504620600942972 journal Environmental Education Research, Volume 12, Issue 3 & 4 July 2006 , pages 413 - 427
Many environmental problems are desperately in need of attention. Educating both adults and young people is seen as part of the solution to such problems. Given this situation, and the already considerable investment in environmental education in schools, the notion of encouraging students to initiate environmental discussions with adults at home and in the community seems attractive and worthy of investigation. To this end, this paper critically reviews education and social science literature concerning intergenerational influence. An approach is outlined to guide future efforts in research and programme development aimed at encouraging students' to act as catalysts of environmental communication and learning beyond school boundaries. view references (115)
Greenspace and Health
2008-11-17 13:45:43 UTC
This little news item might be handy when you are faced with someone who argues there are more important things than focusing on the environment. This research about green space could help those concerned with health care and social justice to see the value of preserving a more natural world. More information can be found at
LONDON (Reuters) - Equal access to parks, playing fields and forests greatly narrows health gaps between the rich and poor, and governments should do more to promote and invest in green areas, researchers said on Friday. Earlier studies have linked living near green space to improved health, but the findings published in The Lancet show some of the impacts are bigger than thought, said Dr. Richard Mitchell, who led the study. "The size of the difference in the health gap is surprising and represented a much bigger effect than I had been expecting," Mitchell, a researcher at the University of Glasgow, said in a telephone interview. "So the key message is green spaces are another tool for governments to combat this health gap between rich and poor." Promoting outdoor recreation and boosting health can in the long run save on health care spending, he added. Parkland and open space make a difference, Mitchell said, by helping people get rid of stress and allowing more physical activity -- both of which reduce risk of heart disease. "This is the first time we have demonstrated that aspects of the physical environment can have an impact in such a good way," he said. "It is a combination of exercise and restoration." Mitchell and colleagues looked at the health effects of parks, playing fields and forests by dividing England into five sectors based on the amount of adjacent green areas and then comparing death rates between rich and poor. In the greenest areas, the health gap between the richest and poorest people, as measured by death rates was about half as big as that in the least green areas.
Everything is Connected
2008-11-07 12:55:24 UTC
I am posting this as another thought provoker, a reminder of how complexly interwoven our social systems are. The issue is when, if ever, does pursuit of public health goals wind up undermining sustainable practices? What are the tradeoffs that make sense? Two examples might help stimulate thinking.
Last fall after 2 people were sickened by Salmonella linked to raw almonds, the USDA decided to act. As of September 1, 2007, all almonds are now pasteurized or sprayed with the poison propylene oxide (PPO) to kill salmonella and other bacteria. The FDA decided that the pasteurized almonds could be labeled as raw. The Almond Board of California, which generally represents large commercial almond producers fell in line with the process. Typically smaller farms and dairies that have the least resources to sustain operations in the face of expensive, government mandated processes are the most affected by such mandates. Big commercial producers can just shrug and pass the cost of these additional production steps on to the consumer. For organic farms, these mandates are often a death sentence. Nutritional purists argue that the pasteurized nuts have less nutritional value than the truly raw ones. And it would seem to me that adding another poison (I really know nothing about how toxic PPO is) to the processing stream of a food is not without risk. It appears one possible (unintended) result of these and other regulations is a de facto government elimination of organic foods as a viable food choice for consumers.
I know I recently saw a story about the efforts of an agricultural region in Europe to retain its rural character and open spaces in the face of development pressure. The story reported on the impact of the European Economic Union's rules about pasteurization and other processing of dairy and farm products on the traditional practices of local producers. This was leading an increased concentration of food production in the hands of large growers/distributors, a growing need for shifting to a more cash driven economy, and the disruption of the web of local relationships that small local producers tend to maintain. The threat to local farms was increasing the pressure to sell out to the developers. The list might consider if the regs make the population noticeably safer, and if so, is the additional safety worth the losses?
Re: Best practices resources for residential consumption reduction
2008-11-07 12:53:55 UTC
This is just a thought, but I wonder if the companies/organizations related to each of your interests might have useful tips. For example water districts are likely to have experience in campaigns to conserve water. Companies that make and market indoor composting equipment might have some good information about that activity. It would be in their interest to find ways to motivate people to adopt composting so they can expand their sales volume. The feds have an extensive array of information about employee telecommuting at http://www.telework.gov/ You might try the US D. of Agriculture's county extension service for good tips and advice on promoting locally grown food. I know most states at least have listings of local farmer's markets, but I am not sure if they have anything useful beyond that.
County Supported Business Recycling
2008-11-07 12:53:39 UTC
In the 1990's the Montgomery County, Maryland, county council resolved to recycle 50% of the county's solid waste. To support this effort they developed a Business Recycling Program.? The program has developed a 101 page recycling guide for businesses. For more info and a link to the guide.?
Montgomery County SORRT Program
101 Monroe Street ? 6th floor
? Rockville, MD ? 20850 ?
? www.montgomerycountymd.gov/recycling ?
Another PR Problem for Supporters of Sustainability
2008-10-22 14:59:38 UTC
I've not seen the report, but it seems to give folks another excuse to ignore acting responsibly.
******** Jolly green giant hypocrites: Tree huggers leave the biggest carbon footprint
I'm not the only one who comes down hard on the tree-hugging hypocrites of the silly "green" movement. According to research published in the UK's left-leaning Guardian newspaper, the "greenies" who are most likely to recycle their garbage, start compost heaps in their yard, and go to great lengths to make their homes more energy efficient are THE SAME people who are most likely to take frequent, long-haul flights abroad. Oh, and just in case you need me to spell it out for you, those long trips by jet airplanes spew many times the amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere than the feeble home-made "greening" efforts could ever hope to off-set.
Stuart Barr, the leader of this hilarious research out of Exeter University concluded that, "Green living is largely something of a myth. There is a middle class environmentalism where being green is part of the desired image. But another part of the desired image is to fly off skiing twice a year." Some of these "do as I say, not as I do" hypocrites even said they DESERVED to fly as much as they want as a - get this - reward for their planet-conscious behavior! These people are parodies of themselves. I have no intention of taking political, social, or ethical direction from hypocrites such as these - and neither should you. **snip**
William Campbell Douglass II, M.D. Copyright (c)2008 by www.douglassreport.com, L.L.C.
Assorted Resources on US Urban Green Issues.
2008-09-27 19:55:04 UTC
This is from the Internet Scout Report, sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries
====== In The News ====
18. Amidst a "green" movement, one Chicagoan lives a particularly green and sustainable lifestyle Chicago's greenest person?
http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/green/chi-greenest-pers on- 0923_qsep23,0,6678000.story
Portland Number One Sustainable City-Again
City of Chicago Climate Action [pdf]
SustainLane's 2008 US City Rankings
United States Environmental Protection Agency: Personal Emissions Calculator
ConsumerReports: Saving on energy costs
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/home-garden/resource-center/saving-on - energy-costs-10-07/overview/energy-ov.htm
It's not easy going green, but a number of American cities are ramping up their efforts to provide incentives for the construction of environmentally friendly buildings, 'green' roofs, and other policy steps that will hopefully reduce their total carbon footprint. This week, the SustainLane group released their listing of the "greenest" and most sustainable U.S. cities. The results were not terribly surprising, as Portland, Oregon took the top spot for the second year in a row, though some might be interested to learn that Chicago (which was better known in the 20th century for its industrial grit) came out quite well in the rankings, coming in at number four on the list. On a related note, the Chicago Tribune also set out this week to find the "greenest" Chicagoan around. After looking high and low, they came across one Ken Dunn, who resides in the tweedy and diverse community of Hyde Park. Dunn rides his bicycle year round (no small feat during a Chicago winter), heats his very modest apartment with a wood furnace, and also air-dries his clothes. Where the average American produces around 44000 pounds of carbon dioxide, Dunn's total for the year is a mere 3800 pounds. Dunn remains fairly low-key about the recent news, and commented, "Much of our country had a very frugal attitude in the late '40s, when I was first aware of household practices, and I've been trying to stay true to that." [KMG] The first link will take visitors to a Chicago Tribune article from this Tuesday which reports a bit more on Kevin Dunn. The second link leads to a piece from Oregon Public Broadcasting which talks about Portland's recent first place finish in the annual SustainLane sustainable city rankings. Moving on, the third link will whisk users away to the city of Chicago's official climate action plan, complete with a "Climate Change 101" overview and helpful tips for residents and others. The fourth link leads to a complete list of the annual sustainable city rankings from SustainLane. For those who are interested in knowing about their own personal or household greenhouse gas emissions, the fifth link can help interested parties do just that. The last link leads users to a helpful set of recommendations on how to save on household energy costs, provided courtesy of Consumer Reports. [KMG]
A Distorted View of Things
2008-09-08 11:28:19 UTC
Power company enlists kids to be "climate cops"
If the tree-hugging, save-the-planet zealots have their way, the idiocy of global warming will not only be a matter of unquestionable scientific fact, the policies that "protect" the earth from global warming will be a matter of law - and those laws will be enforced with an iron rigidity. If you want a chilling preview of what the future may look like if the environmentalist nut jobs gain the control they seek, get a load of this story from Great Britain. A new Web campaign by a British power company seeks to enlist kids as "Climate Cops" to actively keep watch over their parents and neighbors, and keep track of any "energy crimes" they commit. Kids policing their parents? It's a Stalinist dream come true. The site lures kids aged seven to 11 in with games, badges, and cartoons, and then actually prompts the children to investigate family and friends, and then, according to the website, "build your 'Climate Crime Case File' and report back to your family to make sure they don't commit those crimes (or else)!" The "crimes" that this new legion of planet-loving Communist Youth are supposed to report on include using the wrong light bulbs (heaven forbid!), leaving the water running too long, and - you'll love these - putting hot food in the refrigerator (theoretically because it will require the fridge to have to run longer to cool this food down), and running the clothes dryer on a sunny day! Coming soon to your neighborhood - government mandated clotheslines! (Don't laugh; it could be closer than you think if a certain senator is elected this November!) I know what you're thinking: "Calm down, Dr. D! This is just an innocent attempt by the power company to get kids involved in being a little more environmentally conscious - you're making too much of this." Well, I don't think so. I'm not the only one to see the disturbing similarities between this "Climate Cops" campaign and the way the communists encouraged children to report their parents for "crimes against the state." Thankfully, some Brit bloggers have been waging their own grass-roots online campaign against this power company's website. The author of the EU Referendum blog wrote that the kids were being turned into a "network of spies and informers."
>From a list serve on alternative medicine, authored by a "Dr. Douglas." Note his leap from the program's intent which is to have kids remind their parents of things they could do better to having kids turn their parents in to the some sort of state energy police. It seems so bizarre I could not resist passing it along.
I've long contended that neo-fascists of the 21st century come not from the right of the political spectrum, but the left. The left has already promoted their own version of Orwell's "Thought Police" with the "political correctness" movement; so it's not a major leap for the left to want to indoctrinate the young and create their own "little league Gestapo" to enforce their whacked-out environmentalist agenda. At the end of the day, the environmentalist agenda is less about saving the planet and more about grabbing as much government power and control as possible. And in this case, they're starting with the children. But there could be a backlash - I went to the npower Climate Cops website after hearing about this story - and it wasn't working. So maybe folks in Britain can again dare to put warm leftovers in the fridge without fear of reprisal!
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