Zero Waste Lifestyle

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My daughter recently asked me if I knew anything about “zero waste living”.  I had to admit that I’d heard of it, but really didn’t know what it entailed.  So, I decided to look into it and relay my findings to all of you.

Zero waste is living without any waste at all.  So, this means that you don’t buy your toothpaste, you make it.  When you get coffee out you bring a mug with you and have that filled instead of a coffee cup.  You need to think about bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones, buying loose vegetables instead of ones in plastic bags.  Another great thing that is easy to do is to by your own steel straw and keep it with you just in case you end up going out for a drink, that way you can limit the amount of plastic straws you use.  By the way, you can also do this by bringing your own silverware with you if you end up in a fast-food restaurant.

The list of things that you have to think about is fairly long, and from what information I’ve found, it can take a while to get to zero waste.  There is a steep hill of learning to climb, to say the least.  A lot of it seems to be pretty time-consuming, and as an aside, the loophole of using “recyclable” plastic, can be more than confusing, since as I’ve come to know, much of what we “recycle”, doesn’t actually get recycled.  (The cost of recycling is going up all the time, and many of the countries that took recycling are not taking it anymore.)

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So, in my case, I could not go to zero waste, since many of the products at my local grocery store are packaged in non-recyclable plastic, from bread to vegetables, and many products in between. I don’t have the option of buying those items loose, since I’ve never even seen loose mushrooms, they are always packaged in the stores that I’ve been in.

That being said, there are a lot of other things that we can do to bring our waste down.  I almost always bring a bag with me when I shop, so I don’t have plastic bags.  If I do end up with them, I reuse them for as long as I can.  If I’ve forgotten a bag, I will often just put whatever is was that I’ve bought into my purse if it fits.  I also have quite a few net bags that I put my loose produce in – fruit and the vegetables that are sold loose.

While trying to live by creating zero waste is an admirable goal, I’ve found that the way we package food products, along with most of the other things that we buy, it seems to be a difficult task.  However, I absolutely advocate doing what you can in your daily life to create as little waste as you can.  After all, we have turned much of this world into a garbage dump, and What do you think about going zero waste?  I’ve left a few links below for you to check out if you’re interested.

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https://www.motherearthliving.com/healthy-home/zero-waste-living-zmfz15jfhou

http://time.com/5218046/how-to-live-zero-waste/

 

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Duplin County, North Carolina

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I’ve been letting you know about the health problems associated with eating the typical American diet. However, the problems with our form of food goes far beyond what we eat, it also includes environmental and various health issues that can be caused by not ingesting this food, but by living close to where the “products” are “grown” and “harvested”.  The easiest place in which to find information regarding these issues is in Duplin County, North Carolina.

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There are more hogs in Duplin County than there are people.  Actually, the ratio is about 39:1. That’s a lot of hogs.  Along with the number of animals, you must also include the urine and manure that is produced.  With the increased number of animals, comes the corresponding increase in waste.  So, where does this waste go?  The answer to that is lagoons that are supposed to be leak-proof, but of course that isn’t true.  There is a lot of seepage that than pollutes waterways and groundwater.    Then there is the smell, and the fact that hog waste is blown into the air via large sprayers.  These are often turned on at times when the nearby residents would be home, and outside.  The contaminants cause various health problems including raising blood pressure, neurobehavior, pulmonary function and cause cancer.

I have been writing about the hazards of the typical American diet for a few posts now.  Since I’ve been trying to get the information out, I’ve been told that it’s a person’s “right” to eat what they want.  But my question is, is it your “right” to cause disease to the communities surrounding these operations?  Is it your right to cause environmental damage to other parts of the country and the world?  (Beef production is the leading cause of Rainforest destruction).

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I urge you to watch What the Health, and other documentaries such as Conspiracy, and/or Earthlings.  Look up slaughterhouses on YouTube.  Go to https://nutritionfacts.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwhYLLBRBIEiwAtFeEDxfxzh95HU6_cCsX_9ORP2BQ7kEiuA_Awxx9PMYoIKo2kJOXAFcl5BoCDcAQAvD_BwE  I beg you to educate yourself on what your diet is doing not only to you personally, but to other people and the environment.  Get healthy, eat well and live a happy life!

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http://observer.com/2017/05/pig-waste-factory-farming-north-carolina/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141028-hog-farms-waste-pollution-methane-north-carolina-environment/

http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/statter.html

http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2016/03/hog-waste-threatens-north-carolinas-rural-poor

http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/UNC-Report.pdf

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/18/duplin-county-life-under-the-waste-sprayer/

http://www.technicianonline.com/news/article_334b5bdc-b4f3-11e5-b31f-af277c4f3939.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is Science Important?

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This past weekend there was a march in Washington, D.C., along with other marches around the world in support of science.  We actually needed a march to support science.  I still can’t wrap my head around that fact.  The marches were in support of evidence, fact-based and peer-reviewed science.  This is needed since the administration in Washington is against both science and peer-viewed research.  Research needs to be peer-reviewed, since anyone could claim to be a scientist, publish a “study” and claim anything.  We already can see that happening, so it needs to be stopped.  Science is actually one subject that can be proved correct.  Just because someone doesn’t like what is scientifically proven doesn’t mean that they have the ability to claim it is false.

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For those people who think that we don’t need science, do you like using your technology?  Phones, laptops, t.v., all are science-based.  Should funding be cut, so will your technology.  How about “cutting-edge” health care?  All those new life-saving surgeries are based on science.  Do you like your new medicines?  Those too come from science. If funds are cut so will your health, since there will be less money spent on keeping you healthy.  Science is life-saving.  It affects all of us in every part of our lives.  Support science, your life may very well depend on it.

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Let’s Think About It – Fracking and You

Fracking is the process of breaking apart rock to access the natural gas and oil that is trapped within the rock. This process has led to many heated debates. I wanted to look at the issues this topic brings up and have a reasonable discussion regarding them.

The companies that produce this oil and gas are not required to publish exactly what chemicals they use to frack. Not only are they not required to disclose these chemical that they are pushing deep into the ground at a high pressure, but some of the chemicals that we have discovered they are using are known toxins. These include: benzene, toluene, xylene and ethyllbenzene. To begin with, benzene is linked to cancer and aplastic anaemia among other illnesses. http://www.who.int/ipcs/features/benzene.pdf
Toluene has been linked to problems with the brain (inability to think clearly); speech issues, and hearing loss among other illness. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=159&tid=29
Xylene has been linked to nervous system disorders. http://www.businessinsider.com/scary-chemicals-used-in-hydraulic-fracking-2012-3#btex-compounds-2
Ethylbenzene has been linked to developmental problems with infants both in utero and after birth and illnesses of the nervous system. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=66
These are just a few of the chemicals that have contaminated the drinking water around fracking sites. There are other problems with fracking one of which is the release of methane. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/epa-moves-to-count-methane-emissions-from-fracking/
This is a serious issue, as it is one of the forces driving global warming.

Related to this issue, of course, are the people who can light their water from their drains on fire. There is a video of this imbedded here http://8020vision.com/2011/04/17/congress-releases-report-on-toxic-chemicals-used-in-fracking/
I suggest that you read the article and watch the video.

Another point that I would like to make is the amount of water that is used to frack. According to http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/05/fracking-water-america-drought-oil-gas 97 billion gallons of water have been used to frack all the wells in the U.S. Three-fourths of these wells have been drilled in areas of extreme drought. This article has wonderful charts and graphs and maps that you can look at, so I’m just going to tell you to look at the article for all the detailed information. This point is extremely important when you look at where the droughts are, and where fracking has been happening.

My final point is related to fracking and earthquakes. There is now scientific evidence that fracking is indeed causing earthquakes. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/research/induced/
Not only that, but there is fracking going on near the San Andreas Fault http://ecowatch.com/2013/08/13/fracking-californias-san-andreas-fault/
Now, I don’t live anywhere near California, however if I did I would be very concerned.

If you would like to read more about fracking and the affect that it has on people who live near the wells, this article would be helpful reading. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/14/fracking-hell-live-next-shale-gas-well-texas-us

I’m sure that I’ve missed some points, however all the information you might need should be included in the many references I’ve given. Let me know what you think about what I’ve written.