Homeschool World Forums     Home     Mall     Catalog     Articles     Contests     Events     Groups     Forum     Contact  
Homeschool World Forum Forum Index Homeschool World Forum
Read thousands of forum posts on topics such as homeschool law, getting started, curriculum, special needs, homeschool vs public school, and much, much more!
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Earth Day

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Homeschool World Forum Forum Index -> Science
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
4given
User


Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 735
Location: S.Indiana

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:37 am    Post subject: Earth Day Reply with quote

What are you doing to recognize Earth Day?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
4given
User


Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 735
Location: S.Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps everyone was out there DOING and left with no time to respond.

We pledged to continue doing what we are doing...

Recycling as many things as we can
Turning out lights and unplugging appliances, not in use
Never littering
Washing clothes in cold water
Keeping the thermostat set higher or lower to save energy

Also, we are always looking for new, doable ideas to improve. That's why I asked for your input.

Maybe I put this in the wrong forum? Off-Topic may have been more appropriate. Science just seemed right at the moment...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jazzy
User


Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We took some plastic water bottles to the Disney Store in exchange for a reusable Disney water bottle. I didn't make a big deal about it being "Earth Day" but we did discuss recycling and trying our best to be wise with resources.
_________________
www.successful-homeschooling.com!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
4given
User


Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 735
Location: S.Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool

Thanks for sharing!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lorelei Sieja
User


Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 61
Location: Kalamazoo, MI USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject: Sorry we missed your Earth Day post! Reply with quote

I was busy yesterday - but many places seem to be treating this as "earth week" instead of a day. I posted to my two blogs yesterday about the earth friendly cleaning products that I use in my home. I just use vinegar, baking soda, or a mixture of home-made laundry soap, vinegar, and water - for all the cleaning around my house. This gets everything clean, from soap scum, to mold or mildew, to red wine stains in the carpet. Really! I have saved so much in not buying expensive and toxic chemicals for cleaning my house, and I feel good about not filling up landfills with spray cans and plastic containers. I buy my products in bulk, and reuse small spray bottles. If you want to know more, you can check out my blog in the sig line. Otherwise, I didn't DO anything formal yesterday, but then I've got only a 2 yr old granddaughter with me. She's a little young for earth day. She does help us recycle plastic and glass, though.

Lorelei
_________________
Lorelei Sieja
www.raisingcreativechildren.com
Nurturing Creative Young Minds and Wiggly Bodies
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
4given
User


Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 735
Location: S.Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will definitely be checking out those blogs. I have been very curious about the homemade cleaners. We have currently been trying a diluted peroxide spray to clean/disinfect counters, etc. I would love to read about laundry detergent and more... when I have time.

We didn't make a big to-do about it, either. Just a little discussion, acknowledgment. We try to live every day, giving thought to this wonderful Earth that God has trusted us with.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Theodore
Moderator


Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't mean to be a killjoy, but...

Turning out lights doesn't save resources if it's only for short periods of time. While you save on energy, you burn the bulbs out faster and then there's the energy cost of disposing of old bulbs and producing new ones. Maybe things will be different once everyone has switched to LED lighting (the wave of the future, probably).

Washing clothes in hot water kills bugs (such as dust mites) better.

Recycling anything except metals costs more energy than it saves. This is especially true of paper and even the most advanced plastics. While you can certainly reuse things to save the production / disposal cost of new items, you shouldn't feel bad about throwing away the rest. Recycling can actually makes things worse once you factor in transportation costs and the fact that recycled items cost more to produce.

Just FYI, an acre of landfill can store about 100,000 tons of trash. The US population generates somewhat under 500,000,000 tons of trash per year. So that means we need 5000 acres per year, or a bit under 8 square miles per year. There are around 3,790,000 square miles in the US. So it takes about 1/4737 of the land in the US to store 100 years of trash. This assumes, of course, that none of the trash degrades on its own after 100 years, and that no new technology is developed (such as bacteria that can eat a plastic bag in 3 months, for instance).

Basically, I wouldn't worry too much - this all sounds very scary until you actually do the math. I'd personally be more worried about chemicals being dumped into the water supply from industrial plants or farmland runoff, those have the capacity to actually kill things.
_________________
Homeschool Articles - Events - Support Groups
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
4given
User


Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 735
Location: S.Indiana

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theodore wrote:
Don't mean to be a killjoy, but...


Laughing I wouldn't expect anything less from you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lily
User


Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 427

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We try to make every day Earth Day here. Very Happy

Wednesday we just drew awareness to what we already do in the home:

-Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones (our last pack of paper towels was bought over a year ago, and we're still using it)

-Minimize our trash by buying bulk/directly from suppliers (I bring our own bags and reusable containers to the farmer for produce and premade salad, our butcher wraps in thin paper, bread is in a biodegradable bag)

-Use biodegradable and/or safe cleaning supplies (Charlie's, Mrs. Meyers, or vinegar, baking soda and water)

-Opt for bar soap over liquid (less packaging, more compact, and my Burt's Bees Citrus Ginger bar smells really good!)

-Not run the AC or heat unless really necessary (we live in a subtropical climate)

-Turn off major electronics when not in use

-Unplug minor ones when not in use

-Try to keep the lights off during the day. We have enough natural sunlight in most rooms.

-Sharing goods with our neighbors and friends. We were all authorized about 600lbs of stuff to bring with us, which isn't a lot when making a major move. It's more economical to have a tight community to borrow from and lend to than to try to bring everything yourself.

-Walking nearly everywhere

-Recharging batteries

...and so on. We try to follow the steps in order: reducing our waste/purchases, then reusing what we can, and recycling the rest.


I had to look up a few things in your post, Theodore, because while they may have been true at one point in time, they are not anymore. You may want to take a look at this piece on energy myths: http://facilities.uoregon.edu/cps/energy/myths.html
or more particularly, this part:
Quote:
As a general rule, you should turn off the lights whenever you leave a room. It's just a good habit to develop. Turning off the lights reduces operating costs in two ways: it saves energy and reduces the number of lamp replacements.

But doesn't it take more energy to start up the light than it does to run the lamp for several minutes? No. It is true that fluorescent lamps draw an inrush current that is five times greater than the operating current. However, the initial surge of a rapid start lamp lasts for only 1/120th of a second. So, you have to turn the lamp off for only one second to save the same amount of energy used to start it up again.

But, doesn't the starting cathode erode each time the lamp is started? Yes. Cathode erosion is one factor that limits lamp life. While turning off the lights reduces the number of hours the lamp will burn, it extends the time between lamp replacements.

For example, a standard rapid-start fluorescent lamp operating continuously will burn for 38,000 hours or 4.3 years. If the same lamp burns only 12 hours per day, the number of operating hours drops to 30,000. However, the lamp will remain in service for 6.8 years. So, you cut operating energy in half and reduce lamp replacement costs by 30 percent.

It's not necessary to go through elaborate calculations each time you leave a room. As general rule of thumb, it's always better to turn off the light, even if you'll be gone only a minute or two. Make a habit of turning off the lights every time you leave.

Forty years ago, leaving the lights burning continuously may have been the best thing to do. However, a few things have changed since then. Fluorescent lamps are more durable, energy is several times more expensive, and fluorescents are used in more locations than ever before. If you want to save money on energy and lamp replacement, turn it off!



Washing clothes in hot water doesn't really kill much. It can, but there are more eco-friendly ways to get your clothes clean. Using the hot water kills some but mostly leaves the bugs in the wash to get onto the rest of the clothes. We use Tea Tree oil to kill dust mites and bacteria in the laundry, not to mention kill any fungus. With a family of sports freaks, I want to be sure their sweaty things get clean! It takes very little, you can use cold water, and it's biodegradable. Less energy, more accomplished.

Recycling is almost mandatory here. We have very small trash cans and large recycling ones. However, it is last step in the cycle, and as such we should be looking for ways to reduce our waste first. But here is a chart breaking down the cost of different materials to recycle. It's not that bad. And, the more recycled, the cheaper and more effective it gets. NYC went from being in the hole $40Bil to being +$20mil with their recycling program in two years. We now have continuous plants that simply recycle products over and over again.


I believe our society should strive to make as little an impact as possible on the environment. When we use too much, we throw too much out of balance. We use more land than we need, land that could be used for other things. I see no need to continue to dig large holes for our trash "because we can" and more of a responsibility to take charge of the earth and treat it in a way that minimizes risk to everyone.
_________________
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."
- M. Montessori
Proud non-member of the HSLDA
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
4given
User


Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 735
Location: S.Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooooh, Lily! Thanks for bringing your perspective to the conversation. I learned some new things. I especially enjoyed reading your conclusion paragraph as it gives words to my own thoughts.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lily
User


Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 427

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile I live on an island in the middle of the ocean. It's like its own little mini ecosystem and living here helped me to rethink my life. We don't have a chance to forget about the Earth or what we do - there's nowhere for our trash to go, nowhere to get clean water if we pollute our own, nowhere to get extra power if we use too much. There's only the land available to build on and eat from. Our stores have the basics, mail takes 3-6weeks. There's very little chance for 'impulse buys' or building up daily waste like newspapers or fast food or coffee containers. It's just not available to us, and as such I think we're more conscious about what we do buy. It's like going back in time 100 years. It really has been an amazing experience. On the flip, going into an American grocery store last month really blew my mind. I mean, I went to them constantly when we lived there but seeing the contrast, the amount of FOOD, in every form.....there is soooooo much in the States! I cannot believe I ever took those choices for granted and just bought whatever. (You should have seen my reaction to a mall later that week! Shocked )

It will definitely be harder when we go back. LOL..I think an American grocer might look at me funny if I handed him an empty egg carton and jar to put my honey in. Laughing And avoiding Target's One Spot...temptation awaits!
_________________
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."
- M. Montessori
Proud non-member of the HSLDA
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Theodore
Moderator


Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lily:

There is a big difference between fluorescent lighting and incandescents. The former -may- be more efficient to turn on and off; the latter is probably not. Even fluorescents have limits:

Quote:
For example, a standard rapid-start fluorescent lamp operating continuously will burn for 38,000 hours or 4.3 years. If the same lamp burns only 12 hours per day, the number of operating hours drops to 30,000. However, the lamp will remain in service for 6.8 years. So, you cut operating energy in half and reduce lamp replacement costs by 30 percent.


Doing the calculations, they're assuming a best-case scenario where you turn the lamp on and off only once per day, meaning a loss of 8,000 hours for 2500 on/off cycles. That's a loss of 3.2 hours for every on/off cycle, or about 1/10,000 of the life of the lamp. Most fluorescent lighting I've seen is in kitchens or basements and uses four lamps, not just one, so let's bring that from 1/10,000 to 1/2500. The bulbs uses in these sorts of lamps run you around $9 each (using a random Google search), so it's costing you about 1/4 of a cent for every cycle. Assuming 36 watts per bulb, that's a total of 144 watts. With an average US cost of 11 cents per kWh, that means running the lights costs about 1.6 cents per hour, meaning you break even around the 15-minute mark.

This ignores, of course, the additional cost of disposing of fluorescent bulbs, which are coated with small amounts of mercury and probably shouldn't be put in with the regular waste. It also assumes best-case scenario for the life of the lamps.

As for recycling - the only profitable sectors are metals (and I suppose, some reusables). Paper and plastic, as I said, can not be recycled efficiently, it simply costs too much and the refactored products tend to be of lower quality.

I'll concede the point on hot water vs cold water, I forgot that drying things at regular dryer temperatures will kill bugs as well - as long as you don't overstuff the dryer.

Quote:
I believe our society should strive to make as little an impact as possible on the environment. When we use too much, we throw too much out of balance. We use more land than we need, land that could be used for other things. I see no need to continue to dig large holes for our trash "because we can" and more of a responsibility to take charge of the earth and treat it in a way that minimizes risk to everyone.


I agree with the sentiment, but in point of fact, probably half the land in the US is already set aside as national, state, or local parks - and as a result of leaving these largely "untouched", huge forest fires produce more pollution every years than the entire population of the US does in dozens of years. It's not that I don't care, just that I think our time is best spent focused where it will do the most good, and I'd much rather see logging companies cutting firebreaks and clearing brush than support an inefficient and unprofitable paper recycling program while watching forests burn down.

The primary focus of environmentalism is, after all, to reduce pollution, not so much to do whatever sounds best on the surface. That's why I strongly reject any cap-and-trade policy, and support new technology development (such as LED lighting, air cars, electric cars based off laptop batteries, modern nuclear power plants, etc.) At home, of course, I buy very little, and keep my lights / computers turned off when I'm not using them, but when I do have to throw something out, I'm not going to feel bad about doing it. Smile
_________________
Homeschool Articles - Events - Support Groups
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Theodore
Moderator


Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting added note - a gallon of gasoline can produce somewhere around 20 kWh of electricity. That means that every gallon of gasoline you save is equivalent to not running those same 144 watts of lights for about 6 days. Or to put it another way, every additional gallon of gasoline you use negates 6 days of savings on your lights (plus the initial 15 minutes per on/off cycle to break even). If you turn the lights off for three hours more every day, for instance, you will offset one gallon of gasoline after 50 days.

All in all, it's better to drive a more efficient car.
_________________
Homeschool Articles - Events - Support Groups
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jazzy
User


Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lily wrote:
Smile I live on an island in the middle of the ocean. It's like its own little mini ecosystem and living here helped me to rethink my life. We don't have a chance to forget about the Earth or what we do - there's nowhere for our trash to go, nowhere to get clean water if we pollute our own, nowhere to get extra power if we use too much. There's only the land available to build on and eat from. Our stores have the basics, mail takes 3-6weeks. There's very little chance for 'impulse buys' or building up daily waste like newspapers or fast food or coffee containers. It's just not available to us, and as such I think we're more conscious about what we do buy. It's like going back in time 100 years. It really has been an amazing experience. On the flip, going into an American grocery store last month really blew my mind. I mean, I went to them constantly when we lived there but seeing the contrast, the amount of FOOD, in every form.....there is soooooo much in the States! I cannot believe I ever took those choices for granted and just bought whatever. (You should have seen my reaction to a mall later that week! Shocked )

It will definitely be harder when we go back. LOL..I think an American grocer might look at me funny if I handed him an empty egg carton and jar to put my honey in. Laughing And avoiding Target's One Spot...temptation awaits!


That is so interesting, Lily! I cannot even imagine it.

Thank you for sharing this and your tips above.
_________________
www.successful-homeschooling.com!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alicelewis11
User


Joined: 13 Mar 2014
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The essential center of environmentalism is, all things considered, to decrease contamination, less to do whatever sounds best on the surface. That is the reason I emphatically dismiss any top and-exchange approach, and backing new engineering improvement, (for example, LED lighting, air autos, electric autos based off smart phone batteries, current atomic force plants, and so forth.) At home, obviously, I purchase practically nothing, and keep my lights/ workstations turned off when I'm not utilizing them, yet when I do need to toss something out, I'm not going to feel awful about doing it
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Homeschool World Forum Forum Index -> Science All times are GMT - 6 Hours (CST)
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Homeschool World Terms of Use  •  Privacy Policy  •  Copyright ©1993-Now Home Life, Inc.