Scotland bans plastic-stemmed cotton swabs in bid to combat plastic pollution

October 17, 2019 by  
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Following backlash concerning plastic waste buildup in beaches and oceans, Scotland is now the first country in the United Kingdom to officially ban the manufacture, supply and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton swabs, commonly known by the brand name of Q-tips. Environmentalists and conservationists are hailing the change as wonderful news for wildlife and ecosystems. Before the new ban came into effect, several cosmetic giants already made the switch to manufacturing more biodegradable alternatives, like paper-stemmed versions. For instance, pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson made the switch two years ago. Related: The reusable LastSwab might just be the last ear swab you ever buy Speaking about the new legislation, Scottish environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham shared that she is “proud the Scottish government has become the first U.K. administration to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds. Single-use plastic products are not only wasteful but generate unnecessary litter that blights our beautiful beaches and green spaces while threatening our wildlife on land and at sea.” The Marine Conservation Society has indicated that plastic-stemmed cotton swabs have been pervasively littering coastal regions and damaging marine ecology, often disconcertingly found in the intestines of seabird, mammal, fish and turtle populations. In the U.K. alone, estimated consumption of the plastic-stemmed cotton buds is in excess of 1.8 million. Besides that, the journal Science Advances has cited that humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since the early 1950s. Sadly, plastic’s durability wreaks environmental havoc, and current recycling systems are not able to keep up with plastic pollution. Even the Ellen MacArthur Foundation , in partnership with the World Economic Forum, has reported that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, if plastic production rates continue. It is hoped that the new ban will promote more useful regulation to protect the environment while simultaneously affecting consumer behaviors so that the public is better informed about best practices where single-use plastic is concerned. Emma Burlow, Head of Circular Economy at Resource Futures, said that the ban is not only positive for the environment but also for both the economy and job creation. “Banning a product stimulates innovation and that leads to opportunity,” Burlow said. This new ban plays a huge role in the current struggle against ocean pollution, opening up further environmental action and reforms to the U.K.’s resource and waste management system. By 2020, the U.K. is also expected to ban single-use plastic drink straws and single-use plastic stirrers to curtail plastic waste. Via TreeHugger Image via Hans

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Scotland bans plastic-stemmed cotton swabs in bid to combat plastic pollution

Can vegan pet food be good for the planet and your pet?

December 20, 2018 by  
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Does your pup hover at your feet when the smell of bacon or steak wafts in his direction? It’s no surprise, considering the ingredients dogs are used to receiving and the evolution of the species. Every bag of food at the pet store promotes meat as its main ingredient. From chicken to lamb to bison, meat reigns supreme in the pet food world. Now it is coming to light that maybe it would benefit the planet and our pets if we moved to vegan food to fulfill their dietary needs. But is a plant-based diet both good for your pup and our Earth? Many companies are jumping into the plant-based pet food market. Celebrities are shining a light on the irony of providing shelter for animals and then feeding them animal-based foods. More and more people are beginning to question whether feeding meat-based foods is an unnecessary form of animal cannibalism. Does it make sense to rescue animals like rabbits in one effort and then raise them for slaughter in another? Related: A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for pets A potential issue with meat-based pet food is the consumption of meat in a world already stressed by the burdens that cattle and other livestock industries contribute to the planet. When you consider that animals drink water and also consume foods that require water to grow, the effects are staggering, and it explains why many vegans have chosen a meat-free diet. In addition to gouging water resources, animal production requires massive amounts of land. Opponents of the meat industry argue that all forms of fruits and vegetables produce more consumable food per acre and use significantly fewer resources. Some estimates report that eliminating meat from the pet food market could reduce the environmental impact by over 25 percent. Of course, there is also the ethical component in the mix. Ask any PETA member and they will scream out that raising animals entirely for the purpose of butcher is inhumane. Plus, there are well-documented issues about how these animals are treated during their short life cycles with little room to move, limited access to the outdoors and an inability to follow their instincts. Related: This sustainable dog house has a green roof and solar-powered fan to keep cool Many animals are already vegan . Think cows, hamsters and elephants, for starters. So we know that humans and some animals can survive without meat. But does that apply to our domestic friends, too? The question has been asked, “Is it healthy for animals to go vegan?” This is where science and veterinarians weigh in. In short, the answer is yes, cats and dogs can be perfectly healthy eating a vegan diet. Like humans, the key is acquiring the right nutritional balance. We associate meat with protein , but vegetables can fill that requirement just as well in many ways. There are exceptions, however. For example, some vets argue that cats and dogs do not absorb vitamin D from the sun and need to get it from their food. Specifically, dogs and humans can absorb D2 from foods, but cats need D3, only available in animal proteins. An inadequately balanced diet can result in a deficiency of minerals, nutrients, vitamins, amino proteins (especially taurine) and essential fatty acids. A shortage of these dietary needs can lead to irreversible medical issues. As the premium pet food market explodes, manufacturers are finding ways to make sure that food meets the nutritional needs of our pets. That means that many products spend time in a lab before being added to food. This food technology is not new. Scientists have worked toward meat substitutes in our food markets for many years. The advantage of transferring this technology over to animal products is that the consumer is a whole lot less picky. Where humans require a smell and texture similar to the meat variety, pets don’t care about tactile pleasure. That means that pet food produced with the help of a lab is faster and less expensive to make. It also means that scientists can carefully balance the nutrients in the food, even if the ingredients don’t provide them upfront. The bottom line is that pets need specific nutrients, regardless of what form they come in. These needs are well-backed by science, so everyone can agree that if the nutritional profile is being met, then it’s absolutely healthy for your pet to sustain a vegan-based diet. The problem is getting a guarantee that your pet food selection in fact meets those needs. Pet owners should not make the decision lightly. After all, modern day pets are members of the family, and we want to provide them the best care we can. When considering the switch to vegan pet food, there are several things to keep in mind. Make sure the food has been thoroughly tested through trials and has met the requirement outlined by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). Discuss the switch with your veterinarian; not only are they trained in animal diets, but they’ve seen the results of a poor diet and can guide you toward the best combination for your pet. Get a preliminary or baseline blood test for your pet, and take them back in for another test after six months. Never feed a vegan diet to puppies or kittens, or any animal that you plan to breed, as these groups have additional nutritional needs. While many see this as an opportunity to significantly reduce the carbon footprint from meat production and offer an alternative to the use of animals in animal food, others maintain the believe that there is no substitute for the real thing. Either way, the market is providing options for consumers on both sides of the aisle. Via Popular Science Images via Ish Ka , Mimzy and Shutterstock

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Can vegan pet food be good for the planet and your pet?

10 Reuse Ideas for CDs and DVDs

December 18, 2018 by  
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Making the switch to digitized music and movies can leave … The post 10 Reuse Ideas for CDs and DVDs appeared first on Earth911.com.

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10 Reuse Ideas for CDs and DVDs

10 All-Natural Makeup Brands to Fall in Love With

July 13, 2017 by  
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  If you’ve ever considered making the switch to natural or organic beauty products, you’ve no doubt experienced a bit of confusion as to what these terms truly mean. Though “eco-friendly” cosmetics have been increasing in popularity over the…

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10 All-Natural Makeup Brands to Fall in Love With

The Biggest Pros and Cons of Electric Vehicles

May 3, 2017 by  
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Electric vehicles (EVs) have made huge technological strides since they were first introduced, and they’re more popular than ever before. Yet some drivers are still hesitant to make the switch from traditional gas-powered cars, in large part…

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The Biggest Pros and Cons of Electric Vehicles

Do you work for a self-regulating psychopath?

June 4, 2016 by  
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Don’t believe the Michelin Man and Ronald McDonald. Corporate social responsibility is an oxymoron, and citizens are “asleep at the switch.”

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Do you work for a self-regulating psychopath?

10 simple lifestyle changes that can save you money

April 12, 2016 by  
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It’s never too late to take control of your personal finances . Whether you’re hoping to save up for a summer vacation or committed to making this year more financially successful than the last, learning frugality and how to save money are crucial to living a more comfortable and stable life. To help you get started, On Stride Financial created a handy infographic with 10 simple lifestyle tips on how to save, from reducing food waste to making the switch to non-branded foods. Keep reading for the full list. Read the rest of 10 simple lifestyle changes that can save you money

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10 simple lifestyle changes that can save you money

This modular cardboard cat house is the ultimate play space for kitty

April 12, 2016 by  
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Looking for a way to keep your cat occupied (a.k.a away from your couch arms)? Behold, the BOX KITTY , a modular transforming cat house that lets you design a castle for your cat. Made with a strong, chemical-free and recyclable cardboard , each segment attaches with removable tabs allowing for endless designs in a myriad of shapes and sizes. Great for crawling, hopping, and napping, this easy-to-construct play space gives kitty (or multiple kitties) a much needed place to exercise and call their own. We could see something like this being especially ‘purrrfect’ for anyone without access to outdoor space. The BOX KITTY is now crowd-funding on Indiegogo . + BOX KITTY

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This modular cardboard cat house is the ultimate play space for kitty

Popup LED Light Transforms into a Contemporary Deer Head with a Flip of the Switch

June 4, 2014 by  
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Those looking for a touch of whimsy in their next LED lamp fixture will love product designer Chen Bikovski’s Popup Deer Head light. Inspired by popup books, her origami-like lamp transforms from elegant wall art into a contemporary deer head with the simple flip of the switch. Fractured beams of light shoot through the edges of the lamp to mimic a pair of dramatic antlers. Constructed from folded aluminum and steel, this elegant lamp gives a classic and timeless feel that makes it adaptable to a multitude of environments. Want one of your own? There’s still time to nab a lamp at a discount price over on Bikovski’s Kickstarter ! + Popup Lighting Kickstarter The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chen bikovski , contemporary light , deer head lamp , green lighting , lamp , led lamp , led light , Light , origami lamp , popup lamp , popup lighting , reader submitted content

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Popup LED Light Transforms into a Contemporary Deer Head with a Flip of the Switch

Gorgeous Sustainably-Built Fall House Conforms to the Landscape in Big Sur

June 4, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Gorgeous Sustainably-Built Fall House Conforms to the Landscape in Big Sur Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , big sur , buck creek house , California , coastal home , eco design , eco vacation home , fall house , Fougeron , fougeron architects , Fougeron Architecture , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green roof , sustainable design , sustainable home , vacation home

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Gorgeous Sustainably-Built Fall House Conforms to the Landscape in Big Sur

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