A brothel in Berlin "has begun offering discounts to customers who pedal bicycles to
the door. 'It's very difficult to find parking around here, and
this option is better for our environment,' said Thomas Goetz, who owns
the brothel Maison d'Envie, or House of Desire."
Glass recycling has been available only to those dedicated enough to haul it to one of the few drop off recycling centers in the region. A new venture, Ripple Glass, will soon place recycling bins around the city, with the goal of having "95 percent of residents...be within a five-minute drive" of a recycling location (including one around the corner from my house - Yay!). The collected glass will go to Owens Corning to be made into fiberglass insulation. More details in the KC Star, or at Ripple's site.
Early in my career as an environmental activist I found the idea of litter as an environmental issue laughable and misguided. What can I say -- it's far from the only thing I was wrong about when I was young. Here's a few bits of butt information from the New YorkTimes:
Keep America Beautiful and the Ocean Conservancy estimate that butts are at least 28% of all items littered nationwide
Butts are not biodegradable [and] can release can release toxic chemicals including nicotine, benzene and cadmium
[R]ecent experiments had shown that one butt has enough poisons to kill half the minnows in a liter of water — a standard laboratory test for toxins — in 96 hours
"The headquarters state of America's oil industry spewed 670 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2003, enough that Texas would rank seventh in the world if it were its own country, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The amount is more than that of California and Pennsylvania — the second- and third-ranking states — combined."
Early results from a £12 million (US $24.6 million) four-year study funded by the European Union showed that food grown organically has significantly higher levels of anti-oxidants — 20% - 40% higher in organic grains and vegetables, 50% - 80% higher in organic milk. They also found higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron and zinc. The study was reported widely in the British media (see the BBC and the Times Online), where they Food Standards Agency (FSA) has insisted for years that organic food is merely a lifestyle choice.
Note that aside from the health effects from eating it, food grown organically prevents a wide range of environmental damage that is caused when food is grown conventionally.
A study has shown that many laser printers emit tiny particles that can be breathed in, and may cause damage to the lungs.
a printer operates in an indoor environment, the concentration of
ultra-fine particles would be of the same order of magnitude as if
there was secondhand smoke in a similar environment," said author Lidia
Morawska, director of the International Laboratory for Air Quality and
Health at Queensland University of Technology in an interview from
"Even very small concentrations can be related to health hazards," she said.
"The building had 62 laser printers. Of 42 different models found,
34 models were manufactured by HP, five by Ricoh, two by Toshiba and
one by Canon.
After testing all of the printers at a distance of about 2 feet, the
researchers divided them into four different categories. Twenty-three
models fell in the non-emitter category, four in the low category, two
in the medium category and thirteen in the high category.
The study showed that particle levels increased five-fold during working hours.
According to this article
from the San Francisco Chronicle, HP has been working with scientists
to understand the problem for two years. The article includes the full
list of printers tested and a link to the complete study.
Gardeners use the USDA's Hardiness Zones to identify plants that will thrive in their area. The current USDA map was last updated in 1990. The Arbor Day Foundation used weather station data to update the map to reflect current temperature and frost data. The first map shows the amount of change, the second shows the updated Zone map. Visit the Arbor Day Foundation's site for a flash version that shows the changes, or read the press release.
The Environmental Working Group reviewed the contents and claims of 783 sunscreen products, and learned that many fail to protect from more-damaging UVA rays, contain ingredients with known or suspected health effects, and may break down in the sun in a matter of minutes.
Of the 783 sunscreen products, only 17 of the 783 products were listed as most safe and effective, though the report recommends a total of 128 acceptable products. 37 products were rated so badly that they should be avoided. Read the summary and see the top 17 recommended products here.
The thoughts of Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf Should I be worried that the top Google result (update: in October of 1994) for Relentlessly Optimistic is to the former Iraqi Information Minister?
That's somewhat offset by the fact that the #3 link is to Sponge Bob Square Pants.