We Earthlings: Modernize Your Toilet To Save Water

May 26, 2020 by  
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We Earthlings: Modernize Your Toilet To Save Water

We Earthlings: Modernize Your Toilet To Save Water

May 26, 2020 by  
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If all toilets in the United States were upgraded to … The post We Earthlings: Modernize Your Toilet To Save Water appeared first on Earth911.com.

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We Earthlings: Modernize Your Toilet To Save Water

How to safely dispose contaminated gloves, masks, wipes and more

April 16, 2020 by  
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Our new normal, the novel coronavirus pandemic, has caused society to take up more rigorous hygiene regimens. Unfortunately, personal protective equipment like masks and gloves quickly become contaminated, and they shouldn’t be tossed carelessly — especially not littered in parking lots, where they are destined to end up harming the environment. Because the pathogen causing COVID-19 can survive for hours or even days on different surfaces, observing appropriate disposal protocol is crucial. So, here are some recommendations, which are both safer for public health and better for our planet, on what to do with used gloves, masks, disinfectants, wipes, paper towels and more. Gloves Those who venture out shopping for essentials during this pandemic are often sporting disposable gloves. But wearing the same gloves from place to place or using your phone while wearing gloves just spreads germs. It’s important to regularly change gloves if you are wearing them. Wondering about proper methods to remove contaminated gloves from your hands? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers an illustrative tutorial page. After safely removing your gloves, you can dispose of them in a trash can. Do not be the person that throws them on the ground! Of course, the Waste Advantage Magazine recommends bagging used gloves before throwing them away for safe disposal. Some gloves can normally be recycled, but during the pandemic, it is best to throw gloves away to keep everyone safe. To reduce waste, you can also simply wash your hands with hot, soapy water after running an errand. If you visit multiple stores, wash your hands after each one. Masks Another prevalent countermeasure against COVID-19’s spread is wearing masks, for which the World Health Organization (WHO) offers downloadable tutorials. WHO recommends to “discard [the single-use mask] immediately in a closed bin.” Related: Discarded face masks now threatening wildlife habitats Traditionally, masks are supposed to be discarded frequently. But with the current shortages, many people are making their own with cotton and/or wearing the same mask for long periods of time. If you have paper masks, they should be carefully removed and thrown out after each use. They cannot safely be reused or recycled. N95 masks should be reserved for medical staff only. If you do have N95 masks, check with your state’s public health department, your city’s health department or local hospitals for donating procedures. Have a cloth mask? The CDC offers advice on how to make, wear and wash cloth masks. After each wear, wash cloth masks in a washing machine before reuse. Hot water and regular laundry detergent should do the trick at cleaning these masks, and you can also add color-safe bleach as an extra precaution. Disinfectants, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer Household cleaning products and hand sanitizers are being used much more than usual. So what should you do with all of the packaging? Packaging can be appropriately discarded in either recycle bins or trash cans, depending on the labels. Related: How to properly and safely dispose of these 10 items in your home As for sponges and scouring pads, those should be thrown in the trash. For containers of specialty cleaners, like oven cleaner, check with your local waste management company for advice on how to safely dispose of these items. According to Earth911 , it is important to read the labels of cleaning items for specific disposal instructions. “For example, many antibacterial cleaning products contain triclosan, which could contribute to the antibiotic resistance of bacteria, so it should not be poured down your drain.” Wipes Despite marketing’s ploy to pass off the ever-popular wipe as ‘flushable,’ it isn’t. Many municipal plumbing systems were not designed to handle flushed wipes. While many people stocked up on wipes after the toilet paper supply ran dry, disinfectant wipes have also flown off the shelves. But Green Matters warns against flushing both ‘flushable’ and disinfectant wipes. “The only thing (besides bodily fluids) that you should be flushing down the toilet is all that toilet paper you stocked up on.” RecycleNow also explains, “Baby wipes, cosmetic wipes, bathroom cleaning wipes and moist toilet tissues are not recyclable and are not flushable, either, even though some labels say they are. They should always be placed in your rubbish bin.” Paper towels and other paper products Many paper products are labeled as ‘made from recycled materials .’ Accordingly, many consumers believe paper towels and napkins can be chucked into recycling bins. However, Business Insider cautions otherwise. Why? Soiled paper towels and napkins ruin whole batches of recyclables. Besides, if you purchased recycled paper towels, their “fibers are too short to be used again,” meaning they can’t be recycled, even if they are clean. If you used paper towels with chemical cleaners or if they are greasy, they should go into the trash. If you are sick, the trash can is again the best place for used paper products. Otherwise, paper products that are not chlorine-bleached can be composted . Images via Inhabitat, Unsplash and Pixabay

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We Earthlings: Do You Use Too Much Toilet Paper?

March 24, 2020 by  
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As the new coronavirus sweeps the United States, many Americans … The post We Earthlings: Do You Use Too Much Toilet Paper? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Adding Composting Toilets to the Sanitation Mix

August 1, 2019 by  
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Using the toilet is not something we usually give a … The post Adding Composting Toilets to the Sanitation Mix appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Adding Composting Toilets to the Sanitation Mix

The environmental problem with toilet paper and what to use instead

March 1, 2019 by  
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Having access to soft, fluffy toilet paper is one of those modern conveniences that makes life in the 21st century that much easier. But did you know that using this luxury could be doing more damage to the environment than driving a large, gas-guzzling SUV? On average, every American uses three rolls of  toilet paper  each week (28 pounds per year), meaning that just 4 percent of the world’s population is responsible for 20 percent of total tissue consumption. This is destroying forests and impacting climate change in a significant way. “The Issue with Tissue” A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council titled “The Issue with Tissue” said that many toilet paper manufacturers like Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Georgia Pacific use wood pulp from Canadian forests and zero recycled content when making their at-home toilet paper. “Most Americans probably do not know that the toilet paper they flush away comes from ancient forests, but clear-cutting those forests is costing the planet a great deal,” Anthony Swift, director of the NRDC’s Canada Project, said in a news release. “Maintaining the Canadian boreal forest is vital to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change .” What is toilet paper made of? Companies use different ingredients to make tissue products, but the typical main ingredient is paper pulp. It can come from a variety of sources, like post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled content or wheat straw and bamboo . However, the most common source of paper pulp by far is wood, AKA virgin fiber, because it has never been used in another product. Virgin fiber is “environmentally destructive” according to the NRDC. The two types of virgin pulp are softwood and hardwood, with softwood coming from spruce and other coniferous trees and hardwood coming from deciduous trees. Spruce and other coniferous trees are found in places like the southeastern U.S. and the Canadian boreal, and they produce long fibers that strengthen the tissue. Related: Evaporative off-grid toilets don’t need plumbing, water or electricity Without getting too scientific, making pulp from virgin fiber requires a mill that makes logs into wood chips, plus an energy-intensive chemical process to separate the wood fibers. To whiten the pulp, it also has to go through a chemical bleaching process. Making toilet paper from 100 percent virgin fiber “generates three times as much carbon as products made from other types of pulp,” according to the NRDC report. Manufacturing a single roll of toilet paper also uses 37 gallons of water , and transporting the paper can waste loads of gas. Sustainability scores The NRDC report gave “sustainability-based scores” for different at-home toilet paper brands. Because they use zero recycled content in their products, brands like Charmin Ultra, Quilted Northern, Kirkland, Up & Up Soft and Strong and Angel Soft received an “F.” Scott 1000, Scott Comfort Plus, Cottonelle Ultra and Trader Joe’s Super Soft Bath Tissue received a “D.” Brands that scored an “A” because they use recycled paper include 365 Everyday Value 100% Recycled, Earth’s First, Natural Value, Green Forest, Seventh Generation and Trader Joe’s Bath Tissue. The report concluded that when it comes to using sustainable components, Procter & Gamble was the worst paper company in the U.S. P&G has yet to comment on the report. A Georgia-Pacific spokesperson said that the company does use recovered fiber in addition to virgin wood, and a Kimberly-Clark spokesperson said the company’s goal is to cut the virgin pulp content in its products in half by 2025. Eco-friendly alternatives Who Gives A Crap This company began with crowdfunding back in 2012, and it has been growing ever since. It offers  eco-friendly toilet paper made from 100 percent recycled paper as well as no added inks, dyes or scents. Who Gives A Crap claims its 3-ply is as “soft as unicorn kisses and as strong as 1,000 ponies,” and you can buy it in bulk at just $1 per jumbo roll, which is 400 sheets. This company also donates 50 percent of profits to help improve sanitation and build toilets in developing countries. Family cloth This might be an option that is out of most people’s comfort zone , but in the spirit of cloth diapers comes family cloth —  wiping with fabric swatches , which are then placed in a wet-dry bag and laundered so they can be reused . Bidet attachment For some reason, Americans haven’t fallen in love with alternatives like bidets as many Europeans have. This is unfortunate, because bidets have amazing environmental benefits. Plus, they are great for personal hygiene. Related: How to upgrade your toilet with a handheld bidet sprayer If you aren’t familiar with a bidet attachment, it is a fixture that you add to your toilet seat. It will wash your bum and genitalia with water after you use the toilet. You can greatly reduce the need for toilet paper in your house by adding a bidet attachment to your toilet. If everyone in America reduced their toilet paper use by just one roll per week, it would save thousands of trees and have a significant environmental impact. Images via Shutterstock

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The environmental problem with toilet paper and what to use instead

Napkins and Tissues Made From Sugar Cane, Not Trees

October 1, 2018 by  
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No trees were harmed in the making of this toilet … The post Napkins and Tissues Made From Sugar Cane, Not Trees appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Napkins and Tissues Made From Sugar Cane, Not Trees

8 Water-saving solutions for your home

April 8, 2015 by  
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The drought in California is breaking records , and recent data suggests that the state may have just one year of water left . Local agencies have taken on a number of large-scale projects to ensure that the water keeps on flowing through farms and households, using everything from desalination plants to make seawater drinkable to massive water reuse and reclamation endeavors. But there’s plenty that the average person can do at home—from harvesting rainwater to retrofitting bathrooms—that can help to conserve water and make it through drier years to come. Read on for our top 8 water-saving ideas, whether you’re in the heart of the drought or beyond. Read the rest of 8 Water-saving solutions for your home Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bath , bathroom hack , Bottled Water , California , Certification , desalination , dropcountr , Drought , Dual Flush Toilet , environmental protection agency , epa , faucet , graywater , groundwater , hot water , native plants , Nestlé , plumbing , rain barrel , rain garden , raingarden , rainwater collection , recirculation pump , retrofit , reuse , runoff , showers , smart phone app , stormwater , tankless hot water heater , toilet , turn off taps , Waste , water efficiency , water hero , water recycling , water relaimation , water saving , water sense , watersense

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8 Drought-busting ideas for your home

March 25, 2015 by  
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The drought in California is breaking records , and recent data suggests that the state may have just one year of water left . Local agencies have taken on a number of large-scale projects to ensure that the water keeps on flowing through farms and households, using everything from desalination plants to make seawater drinkable to massive water reuse and reclamation endeavors. But there’s plenty that the average person can do at home—from harvesting rainwater to retrofitting bathrooms—that can help to conserve water and make it through drier years to come. Read on for our top 8 water-saving ideas, whether you’re in the heart of the drought or beyond. Read the rest of 8 Drought-busting ideas for your home Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bath , bathroom hack , Bottled Water , California , Certification , desalination , dropcountr , Drought , Dual Flush Toilet , environmental protection agency , epa , faucet , graywater , groundwater , hot water , native plants , Nestlé , plumbing , rain barrel , rain garden , raingarden , rainwater collection , recirculation pump , retrofit , reuse , runoff , showers , smart phone app , stormwater , tankless hot water heater , toilet , turn off taps , Waste , water efficiency , water hero , water recycling , water relaimation , water saving , water sense , watersense

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Nature Loo’s Composting Toilet Puts More Distance Between You and Your (Icky) Poo Box

October 30, 2013 by  
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Composting toilets present a very green way of disposing and reusing your poop as a natural fertilizer, but they haven’t been widely implemented. Most people don’t want to sit on top of a box of poop or even see it, and they certainly don’t want to touch it . To remedy this coprophobia , an Australian company named Nature Loo came up with a simple design that puts more distance between you and your waste receptacle. Instead of having a compost chamber just beneath your porcelain throne, Nature Loo’s system installs an additional space up to four feet below the bathroom floor. Read the rest of Nature Loo’s Composting Toilet Puts More Distance Between You and Your (Icky) Poo Box Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: box of poop , Compost your poop , composting , composting chamber , composting toilet , DIY , fertilizer , human waste fertilizer , long distance toilet , natural fertilizer , Nature Loo , reusing your poop        

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