Monday, November 28, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
We've all heard that pollution negatively affects human health--and it makes sense. Things like smog are unnatural, clog your lung like black dust filling it from the inside.
However, efforts to regulate toxins in the air are always pushed back. The reason given for this is that "environmental safeguards will paralyze an economic recovery."
But a study done in 2011 done by the National Bureau of Economic Research makes a good care--that environmental standards can be beneficial for the economy, if you look at the effects of pollution on humans and how that affects their working ability.
The study shows the when the concentration of atmospheric ozone fall by 10 ppb (parts per billion) an agricultural worker's productivity will increase by 4.2%.
This reaches a logical conclusion: that "an investment in human health is an investment in the economy."
With the holidays coming around, everyone's going on mass decorating time. Christmas lights outside the house as well as inside; on the tree, around the living room, etc. The holiday time is one of the times where we use the most energy and it's because sometimes people never turn off their lights until it's time to take them down.
To save some energy and some money, make sure to turn off your lights when it's daytime--no one's going to notice them anyways and you save money. Turn them back on at night, when you can notice them and appreciate them.
iPhone Apps that Help:
This iPhone app decodes al those "green" labels to tell you which products actually help and are green, and which don't. It's called Eco-Labels and lets you know which eco-products are the real deal and which products are just putting it for the good reputation. It costs $0.99, but it is definitely super helpful when shopping!
Also, you can visit Greenchoices.org to get try the alternate version of this app.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Dr. Tom San Giovanni, orthopedic surgeon and president of Mendes Oil Trap Technologies, teamed up with one of his patients, Joe Mendes, who patented a system to clean up oil spills
They were motivated after the big BP spill last year during the summer that polluted the water, killing all sorts of wildlife, and "fouling thousands of miles of shoreline."
The Mendes Oil Trap is basically floating plastic crates, filled with oil-absorbing material made from recycled plastic bottles--they can be "deployed" to encircle an oil platform or a spill, and are chained together to protect the shoreline (like train cars). They are also designed so that they can be towed by boats.
This seems to be an easier method than the boom that was used previously to clean up the spill--boom is basically an oil containment device--orange inflatable floating lines designed to contain oil on the water's surface. Even experts say that boom works in a limited way as it can't contain oil in choppy waters. In the ocean, it contains maybe 10% of the oil.
They plan on researching and developing a little more to make the trap more commercially available and to convince big oil companies to invest in his traps as opposed to boom and chemical dispersants.
EcoTip: Buy a thermos in place of using a new water bottle everyday. Saves you the trouble of having to spend 2 to 3 bucks every time you run out of water bottles and saves the planet the trouble of plastic. I'm sure we've all seen the Brita commercial, that the U.S. produced enough water bottles to circle the globe 154 times--and none of these were recycled. Think of supply and demand: the more people use water bottles, the more they're going to be produced, which means that there's still a significant number of people who don't properly dispose of those water bottles.