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Redefining Clean


*Photo Credit: Vierdrie

I just read an article on the great debate on phosphate free dish detergent on the Mother Nature Network. Phosphate detergents which leave sparkling clean dishes have been banned in a few states and it’s catching speed. While the article was fairly unbiased the comments were furious to down right spiteful.

Phosphates get into our water supplies, lakes, and rivers. Unfortunately they contribute to algae blooms with suffocate fish, basically chocking eco systems.

The reason people are so angry is that these products are apparently not working as they should. The main anger coming from people with dishwashers. White films, rings, unacceptable residue. Although many people said they experienced no problems when hand washing or soaking before washing. One person took the chance to snap at the commentor who preferred hand washing:

“Yeah, well maybe you should get rid of the clothes washer too since you have so much free time at home.”

I’ve never seen such spite in the organic and environmentally friendly community. Anyone who has done any research knows that it’s the hot water that’s the main ingredient for clean. There are also many DIY options for dish detergent that are safe and even cheaper.

It’s kind of depressing that we’ve been tricked into thinking only chemicals will do. Tricked into thinking that only if something is brilliantly bright or sparkling it is clean. We’ve become spoiled.

And while having the perfect dishes from the dishwasher would be nice, I’d rather protect my health and the environment until companies can do better.

-Heather

Pilots Contest

Pilot knows everything about the environment

Pilot knows everything about the environment

Pilot’s Contest

Kaitlyn’s adorable new puppy Arial from Toronto knows all about wasting-not! Image

Drowning in a Sea… of Litter?


*Picture Credit: GlennPeb

Walking down a sidewalk, you’ll lose count of the pieces of garbage you’ll see strewn about. If there happens to be a ditch lining the sidewalk, well, let’s just say I hope you don’t fall in – you’d drown in a swamp of soft drink cups, grocery bags, cigarette butts and lighters, chocolate bar wrappers, and plastic bottles.

Although littering is incredibly common, seeing someone actually do it right in front of me is painful to watch. Just the other day I was waiting for the bus with an acquaintance who was sipping from a soft drink cup. As the bus pulled up, he set his half finished cup on the sidewalk and hopped on. Speechless, I stared at the cup until I realized I had to get on the bus before the doors shut. I just couldn’t believe that even sensible, intelligent people would litter. I thought about it, and I’ve concluded it’s not because they want to litter, it’s because it just doesn’t cross their mind that they are, to say it politely, “pooping” in their own bed.

Not only does litter look plain old disgusting, it can be dangerous to people, animals, and nature as well. Respect and pride for the city one lives in – as well as for nature and the environment – is a factor in littering as well, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Oftentimes I’ve been a pack mule of sorts for friends, lugging around their garbage or recyclables until I find a proper bin; it would otherwise just end up on the ground. According to curelitter.ca, most litter occurs within 5m of a waste receptacle – apparently ten steps or so is just too far for most people to carry that cigarette butt or foam cup. I think it’s up to the people who take notice (and offense), then, to speak up and let people know what’s what.

I hear the weather’s looking good this weekend; care to join me for a warm spring stroll? I’ll bring the bags and litter grabbers.

-Phil

Making the Playoffs Green


Photo Credit: Aklepsteen

The NHL Playoffs are finally here and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m prepared for two months of eyeing TV schedules, forcing myself to stay up late, cursing my bandwidth when attempting to stream games, and moaning over the lack of success of my hockey pool.

As wild as all that sounds, I know that I’ve got a responsibility to celebrate the most joyous time of the year in a safe and healthy way.

First of all, if I’m going to be drinking refreshments and eating snacks with most of the games I watch, I better make sure what I’m putting into my body is as harmless as a Toronto Maple Leafs powerplay (I say that with endearing bitterness of fan, of course). Popcorn can be a very healthy snack – if I lay off the salt and butter, of course – and so can carrot and celery sticks. I’m not going to name any names, but there are a few goaltenders who could probably benefit from eating carrots this off-season, if you know what I mean.

As for my beer consumption – I think that with every new playoff round, I’ll introduce myself to a new local beer; heck, for the Stanley Cup Finals I’ll try two. So for those bars showing hockey and carrying a variety of local beer… You shall have my patronage!

When it comes to travling to these jam-packed-with-fans bars, I’ll be forgoing the car ride and taking good ol’ public transportation. Not only is this reducing my own carbon emissions, this way I don’t have to worry about finding and paying for parking. And, if my team manages to win a game in overtime, say, I can safely indulge in that celebratory extra beer.

All in all, I have a feeling these playoffs are going to be a good time – health-, environmental-, and hockey-wise. If everyone does their part, maybe we can even manage to cancel out the riots from last year. In any case… Go Leafs go!

-Phil