This is an interesting way to reuse a soda bottle and literally help brighten the day for poor villages in the Philippines.
“Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light), is a sustainable lighting project which aims to bring the eco-friendly Solar Bottle Bulb to disprivileged communities nationwide. Designed and developed by students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Solar Bottle Bulb is based on the principles of Appropriate Technologies – a concept that provides simple and easily replicable technologies that address basic needs in developing communities.”
Mathieu Young took some cool pictures of The Moonlight, which is a solar lantern built and designed for Cambodians by Kamworks in 2009. Over 70% of Cambodia has no public access to power grids and traditionally, kerosene lamps were used but can be very unhealthy and dangerous in the straw and wooden houses in Cambodia. The MoonLight is also very affordable and can be rented for less than $0.08/day. The features and benefits of the Moonlight listed below from Kamworks, shows basically no reason for anyone to ever use kerosene lamps in Cambodia again.
• Rain water proof
• Yellow cord
• Handy pole support
• Separate panel (allowing to keep lamp inside)
• Flexible useage
• Longlasting LEDs.
The MoonLight is a perfect alternative for traditional lights, reducing household spending. Field tests in Cambodia have shown that rural villagers find the MoonLight much better than a kerosene lamp:
• Payback time is less than 1 year compared to kerosene
• Much brighter light than a kerosene lamp
• No fire risk
• The Moonlight is not affected by the wind
To me first and foremost it means to be economical. I believe that quite frequently by being frugal you are also minimizing your environmental impact. By spending less you tend to be consuming less. You are purchasing less single-purpose items and instead are challenging yourself to utilize multi-purpose items.
I am not an authority on sustainability. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area I vividly remember learning about recycling, No Dumping Drains to Bay campaign and seeing photos of seagulls with six pack soda rings around their necks. Of course who could forget the “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down” campaign during the drought years! My philosophy is that I don’t want to lecture or guilt anyone into acting more environmentally responsible because it is ineffective if not internalize.
I do hope to present basic information that makes financial and logical sense. I recently had the opportunity to live outside of California and learned that there are many uniformed and uninterested populations. I am extremely grateful that the Bay Area is extremely progressive however the cause requires more than a small segment of practitioners to make a difference.
This is an avenue for me to reach an audience who shares the same commitment and hopefully those who are just exploring the topic for simple answers. My goal is to merely share with you topics I found thought provoking and tips that I found useful. The Internet and sustainability are two very daunting, especially when combined. This will also serve as my reference to keep the information I research straight and updated.
Most people are familiar with what is recyclable but often these NON-recyclable items end up in the bin. Each city’s recycling program varies in what they will accept. Almost all plastics are recyclable which is why you see that recycle triangle imprint. However, it is only valuable to the recycling center if there is a demand for that type of recycled plastic. With no buyer then there is no incentive to accept it for recycling. The system only works if the recycling plant is able to produce a quality product that manufacturers can utilize to produce quality products. Consumers won’t pay for inferior products so let’s support the use of recycled material by being responsible recyclers!
South San Francisco – 94080
Items NOT Recyclable (even if there is a recyclable symbol) – toss in trash!
Glass jar metal lids
Water, soda, milk, juice bottle caps
Aerosol can plastic caps
Clam-shell plastic boxes such as strawberries and takeout containers
Plastic shrink wrap around value/family packs of bottle water and soda
Pizza boxes or any soiled paper
Plastic coated drink boxes (aseptic tetra pak) such as juice boxes and broth/stock boxes
Freezer food boxes which contain a plastic coating (refrigerated food boxes are recyclable)
Why is it important?
Plastic bottle caps and clam-shell boxes are made of different types of plastic then plastic bottles which reduce the quality of plastic produced from recycled plastic bottles.
Paper and cardboard soiled with food or grease contaminates the recycled paper. The process involves water (oil and water don’t mix).
Extra Work – extra labor at recycling center to remove contaminates
Put a labeled container next to the recycling bin to collect these NON-Recyclable items.
Reduce consumption of single serve beverages! You are paying more for the packaging than the consumable product.
Replace broth/stock with chicken/beef base. Why pay a premium for water? Save money and packaging!!!
One 16 oz Organic Better Than Bouillon jar $6.89 Costco
76 – 8 ounce cans ≈ $29.18 Costco
19 – 1 quart aseptic tetra paks ≈ $34.17 Costco
You probably know that asbestos is dangerous. It can cause diseases such as mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer, and asbestosis, a debilitating disease that interferes with breathing.
You may have heard that asbestos is banned in the United States, but it isn’t. It is still being used in some kinds of flooring and roofing materials; in some automobile parts, such as brake pads; in some fireproof clothing; and in a number of other products. Should this be a concern?
Maybe. It is thought the danger is small, but small is not zero. And asbestos has been banned completely in many other countries. Why isn’t it banned in the U.S.?
Here’s the scoop: In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency drew up regulations asbestos under the Toxic Substances Control Act. However, two years later, a New Orleans circuit court of appeal overturned the regulations. As a result of the court’s decision, a ban on new uses of asbestos remained in effect, but old uses remained legal.
Asbestos is a mineral that breaks into small fibers when disturbed. The fibers are dangerous if ingested and more dangerous if breathed into the lungs. There are two primary kinds of asbestos, called serpentine and amphibole because of the shapes of the fibers. Amphibole asbestos has been banned globally since the 1980s. It is considered the more dangerous type of asbestos because, if you breathe it, it stays in your lungs longer and causes more damage.
However, serpentine asbestos, especially a form called “chrysotile,” is still in commercial use in the United States and some other countries.
So, asbestos isn’t just something found in the attics of old houses. It might be in a product made this year. Which products should be a concern?
Auto parts, especially brakes or clutch linings. Major U.S. automakers say they do not use asbestos in their parts. However, “aftermarket” suppliers of replacement parts sometimes do use asbestos. If you buy “off brand” parts to save on auto repairs, there could be asbestos in the brake pads and shoes, clutch linings, and other “friction” car parts. Don’t assume asbestos isn’t in auto parts just because it wasn’t listed on a label.
Asbestos in brake pads or other parts shouldn’t be a danger to drivers or passengers. However, auto shop workers and home mechanics do risk danger of exposure to asbestos. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has guidelines for minimizing the asbestos danger of working with car parts.
Construction materials such as roof shingles, floor tiles, cement pipes and boards, caulking compounds, and joint cements. The asbestos in these products is unlikely to break away and become airborne with regular, day-to-day use. If these products someday crumble from age or disaster, however, cleanup crews should take care not to breathe the dust.
Fireproof clothing and protective gear. First, if you aren’t a firefighter, stay away from fireproof clothing or fire protection gear. Especially as the clothing and gear become worn, fibers could break away and get into your lungs. If you are a firefighter, wear respirator masks with approved HEPA filters when fighting fires or training in fireproof clothing and gear.
If you do work with such products, please don’t be complacent just because you feel fine now, seek mesothelioma treatment. It can take many years for symptoms to develop after exposure to asbestos.