DYK

POLITICAL POWER OF LOBBYING

40% of all political donations come from the banking sector.
Next biggest donor is from the healthcare monopolies.
(Source: MSNBC)

RECYCLING:

Reduce & reuse first, but when all else fails, recycle

  • Five recycled PET two liter plastic bottles make enough fiberfill to stuff a ski jacket (designboom.com)
  • Currently only about 3.5% of all plastics generated is recycled, compared to 34% of paper, 22% of glass and 30% of metals (designboom.com)
  • You could watch TV for 6 hours on the the electricity saved from recycling 1 tin can.  Soda cans take 80-100 years to biodegrade.  You can recycle them many times.
  • 1 ton of recycled paper saves: 380 gallons of oil, 700 gallons of water and 25 trees
  • There is an island of plastic in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas.  It’s called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  You can’t see it from space because the satellite doesn’t pick up plastic.
  • Excellent source of more recycling info:  (littercleanup)

CO2/GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

  • Burning one gallon of gasoline/petrol adds nearly 20 pounds of CO2 to the atmosphere (slate.com)
  • When a car is idling, its fuel consumption rate can be double the rate at steady cruising speeds

United States: 54,600 lbs
Germany: 27,700 lbs
Sweden: 14,600 lbs
Mexico: 10,600 lbs
Kenya: 400 lbs

  • Methane is a far rarer and more fleeting greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but, ton for ton, it traps 25 times as much heat.  The good new is unlike carbon dioxide, which can remain in the atmosphere a century or more, methane persists in the air for about 10 years. So aggressively reining in emissions now would mean that far less of the gas would be warming the earth in a decade or so (New York Times)

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

  • Consumer Reports’ chart shows a 42-inch plasma running yearly costs similar to an efficient 25-cubic-foot refrigerator. In fact, it’s possible the EU will set energy standards for TVs that will effectively ban large plasma screens altogether (ask Umbra)

ELECTRICITY

  • Two-thirds of all the electricity used in the residential sector of the United States powers lights and appliances.  Electricity generation in the US emits more than 1.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year (Whole Living)
  • Appliances alone account for 17% of domestic  electricity use (energy.gov).  Refrigerators, washers and dryers to the consumption list.
  • US Average 11,000 kWh per year or about 900kWh per month  (energy.gov).  Your electricity bill should show you how much you are using monthly, often with a month by month, year on year comparison.  It’s important to compare months (ie July this year to last) as your usage changes depending on the time of year.  For people in hot climates, electricity consumption tops out in the hottest months as A/C is one of the biggest users.
  • Energysavers.gov can help you calculate the energy usage of your appliance.

WATER

  • 80% of the earth’s surface is water.  97% of that is ocean or seas and 2% is frozen leaving a mere 1% of the earth’s water suitable for drinking (epa.gov)

IDLING

  • Once an engine has warmed up, there’s no point idling engine for more than 10 seconds. After that, it causes more pollution by running than by stopping and starting up again.  (mass.gov)  I’m not recommending turning off your car in traffic, but when you’re at the drive through at the bank, it’s certainly worth it.
  • Many people think that idling is better for the car than turning off your engine and restarting it.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Fleet managers of companies with strict anti-idling policies report that they do not replace starters in their vehicles more frequently than vehicles that are left running for extended periods. More damage occurs to engines that are left idling over long periods of time. (mass.gov)
  • For a list of idling laws in the United States see: epa.gov

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