J500 Media and the Environment

Disgusting ways to save the environment by bobbygrace
March 1, 2008, 1:11 pm
Filed under: Waste + Recycling | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Photo Credit: Doranan

Using compact fluorescents is an easy way to save money and reduce energy use. Turning off your lights when out of the room is a simple action that makes a big difference. Bringing canvas bags to the grocery store is gratifying on a personal level. Biking around town reduces carbon emissions and is a great workout. Eating organic food is a tasty, pesticide free alternative. Buying clothes made from organic cotton is fashionable and smart.

Using a composting toilet?

Protecting the environment can be smart, cool, fashionable, gratifying, and so on. But there are some efforts that are just downright gross. Lets look at a few.

You know the phrase: if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down. Water usage is a grave problem. In Kansas here, the fossil water in the Ogallala aquifer is draining at alarmingly high rates and not being replaced quickly enough to match consumption. One thing you can do to reduce water consumption is to not flushing your toilet after you… uh, urinate and instead saving that flush for more, uh, solid waste. There are not a lot of people on the fence on this; you either swear by it or hate it.

Composting should be relatively easy, but nobody wants to go outside to dump their organic waste, especially when it’s cold. People who compost tend to have another bin indoors for organic waste that is regularly dumped. Where I live, we seal the compost bin because it smells so bad. Everyone cowers when it is opened. And then there is the worms…

Of course, composting is a good way to ease waste flow, reduce the need for landfills, and make great soils. Did you know landfills are so airtight that organic matter will not break down inside? Check out the Radiolab act “The Greatest Hits of Airtight Garbage” for some fun examples.

Ever try hanging your clothes out to dry? There is legal prevention on a local level to prevent individuals from doing “unsightly things” like hanging wet clothes out to dry. However unsightly, this is great way to reduce energy and water usage.

The list goes on from here and I encourage you to include more examples in the comments. On a whole though, I think there is a greater number of attractive ways to help the environment than disgusting ones. Disregarding the environment usually means more trash, contaminated food, and pollution. Caring for the environment means less of these things. Getting dirty in your garden is much different than dirtying up your water supply.

Bobby Grace

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Excellent analysis!
I can honestly say nothing grosses me out more than thinking of drinking up the pesticides, solvents, pharmaceuticals, and more that end up in our drinking water. Remember the article we read about the vanilla spike in the Puget Sound after the holidays? Or did you hear about the male fish in the Potomac (the main water source for the DC metro area) hatching eggs?
Here’s info on our water supply. Drink up.
Simran Sethi

Comment by j500

Your post was an enjoyable read. I think you hit on a strong point: That there are more attractive ways of “saving” the environment than un-attractive ways. I think people oftentimes miss that fact. As such, there should be no excuse for integrating at least a few of the attractive ways into our regimen.

I see no point in sacrificing all our civilized traits as long as we are making it up somewhere else.

J.J. De Simone

Comment by jjdesimone

I don’t know, that compost can smell really bad…

I wanted to start a compost at my parent’s house when I was still living there, but my Mom objected because she said it would smell bad. She’s right, but if I told her what was in her water, I’m sure she would think twice.

Bobby Grace

Comment by bobbygrace

I don’t know, that compost can smell really bad…

I wanted to start a compost at my parent’s house when I was still living there, but my Mom objected because she said it would smell bad. She’s right, but if I told her what was in her water, I’m sure she would be much more grossed out.

Bobby Grace

Comment by bobbygrace

great toilet post! people dont appreciate toilets this day. some people even want to stop using toilets because and just do their thing in the nature. i think technology should provide more solutions to water saving.

Comment by toilet00

The composting toilets, while environmentally friendly are a bit gross. I have grown to love the ease of flushing and forgetting and would want to avoid removing and reusing my waste.

Comment by Carl

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