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Old 01-06-2009, 08:28 PM   #53 (permalink)
12voltsolar's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Maine
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A4 - '01 Audi A4 Avant sport
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Hey Christ -

Thanks for starting this thread!

I just noticed it today - I hope that you are NOT still burning your trash in an open fire pit in your back yard! Unless you can properly burn waste you are releasing lots of toxins in the air. (yes Metro Shultz I see you mention the burn as well) There are loads of chemicals in even the most harmless looking thing like cardboard you think the bright colors on the printed boxes are chem. free!

Also the best solution to the shopping bag discussion is to sew up and bring your own bags. you could use the same material you mention from your quilt project. I live in the east-coast and whole foods and the Hannaford stores and my local independent shop all give a nickel off per bag but that is not important not using a new bag (reduce) is the best option there.

I agree reuse, repurpose or up cycle is the best option (Up-cycle is the fancy term for taking trash like cocoplast political campaign signs and making slick wheel skirts to sell to your pals!) However, recycling with all of it faults and added carbon foot print is still needed. For example I work for a us rope manufacturer and we are privately held so I can't share real numbers but we make MILE and MILE of Nylon life safety ropes, so as a conscious citizen I started a rope recycling program that gives folks options to dispose of their petro chemical based rope with out tossing it into the land fill (and god forbid a fire pit it'd STINK!!) - Now we encourage reuse first stuff like dog leash, horse halters, tie downs, rope rugs, kids swings, key chains and cool up cycled stuff from and the list of reuse goes on and on BUT it is not realistic or sustainable to reuse or repurpose all of the rope made by us and all of the other manufacturers that also make rope. Also because it is life safety it is imperative that a retired rope never get's use for life safety use rope is cheap compared to the hospital or worse! My hope is that all manufacturers will be help responsible for the stuff that they (we) make, the packaging that they use, the stuff that ends up in our houses, cars, landfills, drinking water and air. When a rope get recycled it is ground up and made in to plastic stuff like carp fuzz kids toys and even the keyboard that I wrote this diatribe on.
It is hard to beet the trinity when you practice all three Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I think ecomodding and ecodriving embodies all three.

check out the The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard if you have not already it is a simple little thing that can get us thinking.

I hope my comments don't sound mean spirited or judgmental the internet has a way of twisting best intentions sometimes oh and please stop burning your trash in an open fire, I'm a dad now and I've really learned that every action even small has impact like ripples from tossing a rock in a pond.

My favorite reuse tip - I put a solar hot water system on the house and I use the same sun to heat my water every time it rises...
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