Things You Should Never Buy

June 7, 2008

This is a list from http://www.greenopolis.com of the things that you should never, EVER buy.

The original list can be found here:
http://greenopolis.com/myopolis/blogs/recyclemania/things-you-should-never-buy

Styrofoam Cups – Styrofoam isn’t biodegradable . . it stays in that landfill forever! Instead, buy cups that are recyclable or just buy your own reusable on-the-go mug.

Paper Towels – A waste all over the map. It’s money that you don’t have to spend, and trees that don’t have to be cut down. Buy reusable and washable hand and dish towels instead.

Incandescent light bulbs – They’re inefficient and waste energy in the form of heat. Try buying compact fluorescent light bulbs, which might cost a little more upfront, but last longer and can end up saving you $30 to $36 over the life of each bulb.

Conventional Household Cleaners – These products can contain hazardous ingredients such as organic solvents and petroleum-based chemicals that can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your indoor environment, positing a particular danger for children. The average American household has 3 to 10 of hazardous matter in the home.Instead, look for nontoxic, vegetable-based, biodegradable cleaners or make your own green cleaning products.

Plastic Utensils – They aren’t biodegradable and not recyclable in most areas.
Instead try using compostable food service items. Companies such as Biocorp make cutlery from plant materials such as corn starch and cellulose or carry your own utensils and food containers.

Disposable Batteries – Batteries contain heavy metals that can leach into the environment. Instead invest in rechargeable batteries and an electric- or solar-powered battery charger.

Bleached Coffee Filters – Dioxins, chemicals formed during the chlorine bleaching process, contaminate groundwater and air and are linked to cancer in humans and animals. Look for unbleached paper filters or use reusable filters such as washable cloth filters.

Industrially Raised Beef – Industrial cattle operations are energy-intensive, rely on antibiotics and an unnatural corn diet, and generate polluted runoff and large quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas. Limit your intake of beef and choose meat from sustainably raised, grass-fed cows.

Hair Conditioner – Many hair conditioners contain ingredients like sodium benzoate, benzyl alcohol and tocopheryl acetate that can be toxic or potentially carcinogenic. Try using natural oils like olive, safflower or jojoba instead.

Chemical Pesticides and Herbicides – American households use 80 million pounds of pesticides each year. The EPA found at least one pesticide in almost every water and fish sample from streams and in more than one-half of shallow wells sampled in agricultural and urban areas. These chemicals pose threats to animals and people, especially children. Buy organic pest controllers such as diatomaceous earth.
Plant native plants and practice integrated pest management and plant flowers and herbs that act as natural pesticides.

Excessively Packaged Food and Other Products – Excess packaging wastes resources and costs you much more. Around 33% of trash in the average American household comes from packaging. Buy products with minimal or reusable packaging or buy in bulk and use your own containers when shopping.

Cling/Saran/ Plastic Wrap – Many people don’t realize that cling wrap may be made with PVC. #3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride) leaches toxins when heated or microwaved and it is an environmental problem throughout its lifecycle. Instead store things in reusable containers.

Beauty/Body Care with Phthalates and Parabens – Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals linked to birth defects that are used in many cosmetic products, from nail polish to deodorant. Parabens are preservatives used in many cosmetics that have been linked to breast cancer though more research is needed. Phthalates are not listed on product labels and can only be detected in laboratory tests. To be safe, choose products from companies that have signed on to the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.

High Octane Gas than You Need – Only one car in ten manufactured since 1982 requires high-octane gasoline. High-octane gas releases more hazardous pollutants into the air, and may be bad for your car. Instead, buy the lowest-octane gas your car requires as listed in your owner’s manual. You can also try making your next car purchase a hybrid. Or ditch the car and take public transportation, ride a bike, or walk.

Teak and mahogany – Every year, 27 million acres of tropical rainforest (an area the size of Ohio) are destroyed. Rainforests cover 6% of Earth’s surface and are home to over half of the world’s wild plant, animal, and insect species. The Amazon rainforest produces 40 percent of the world’s oxygen.Look for Forest Stewardship Council certified wood. Try to reuse wood, and buy furniture and other products made from used or salvaged wood.

Farm Raised Salmon – Several studies, including one performed by researchers at Indiana University, have found that PCB’s and other environmental toxins are present at higher levels in farm raised salmon than wild salmon. Pregnant women, women of child-bearing ages, and children should be very careful when choosing fish due to high levels of environmental toxins including mercury found in many fish.

Anything Made with PVC – Polyvinyl chloride, used in everything from shower curtains to residential siding to toys and upholstery, sometimes contains phthalates (to make the plastic softer) that act as endocrine disruptor’s, which interfere with normal hormonal development. Buy products made with natural fabrics and sustainably harvested woods instead.

High VOC Paints and Finishes – Volatile organic compounds or VOCs can cause health problems from dizziness to lung and kidney damage and are infamous for polluting both indoor and outdoor air. VOCs are found in products including paints as well as finishes used for wood, such a stains or varnishes. There are now a wide array of low or no-VOC paints on the market. Look for paints certified by Green Seal, or look for natural paints made by green businesses.

Rayon – Developed and manufactured b y DuPont as the world’s first synthetic fiber, it is made by from liquefied wood pulp. Unfortunately, turning wood into rayon is wasteful and dirty, because lots of water and chemicals are needed to extract usable fibers from trees. Only about a third of the pulp obtained from a tree will end up in finished rayon thread. The resulting fabrics usually require dry cleaning, which is an environmental concern as well as an added expense and inconvenience.

Much of the our rayon sold comes from developing countries, such as Indonesia, where environmental and labor laws are weak and poorly enforced. There is mounting evidence that rayon clothing manufacturing contributes to significant forest destruction and pollution in other countries.

Peace and love

Justin

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Doomed? Not…Yet…*Gulp*

January 17, 2008

I found this stuff on Digg.com. It’s a list of 10 possible ways our way of life could be altered or destroyed at any given moment. Pretty scary stuff. Enjoy, and be afraid. Very afraid.

1. Particle Accelerators

Physicists have long theorized that particle accelerators could destroy the earth. When electric fields are used to accelerate protons they could collide at speed fast enough to create black holes or bits of altered matter. These small black holes would slowly engulf our planet. The pieces of altered matter, called strangeletes, would destroy any ordinary matter they came in contact with, eventually annihilating the entire planet. Although most scientists assure that none of the particle accelerators being used at the present are strong enough to bring about these events they are unsure of the abilities of the newest accelerator being built. Currently, over two-thousand physicists from thirty-four countries, universities and laboratories are aiding in the construction of The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) located near Geneva, Switzerland. It is scheduled to begin experimentation in May 2008. It is hoped that if black holes are produced they will be small enough to evaporate, but only time will tell.

2. Rogue Black Holes

Although the concept of black holes was conceived in 1915 by Einstein (some may argue earlier) they were not accepted as fact until Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose proved their existence in 1970. From this point on black holes have been looked at with a sense of awe and fear; a place from which nothing can escape, not even light. Even scarier is the fact that our galaxy is full of collapsed stars waiting to turn into black holes, some astronomers estimate there are as many as 10 million. Luckily, most black holes are in orbit around other astronomical masses. However, if one of these black holes was able to pull itself away from orbit and head towards earth we would be clueless since they are almost impossible to see. The black hole wouldn’t even have to come very close to earth to wreak havoc, if it even entered our solar system it would distort all planetary orbits causing extreme climate changes, and even expel some planets from the system.

3. Gamma-Ray Burst

Gamma-ray bursts are extremely powerful, estimated to have 10 quadrillion times more energy than our sun. They are created by the collision of two collapsed stars. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to visualize collapsed stars making it even more difficult to predict the location of a gamma-ray burst. A burst 1,000 light years from the earth (further away than most of our stars) would create an explosion as bright as our sun and bring a hasty destruction to earth. Although our atmosphere and the ozone would provide protection at first it would soon be cooked away by the radiation. UV rays would kill the photosynthetic plankton in the ocean, which provide most of the earth’s oxygen. At least one burst can be seen each day when watching our sky with gamma-ray vision; it can’t be too long before there is one closer to home.

4. Omega Point

This term describes the ultimate maximum level of complexity-consciousness. Philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin believed that the universe is continuously working towards this point. The socialization of humankind, including creating more complex forms of communication and information exchange, increases the collective consciousness of the human race. Just as human beings can self-reflect, one day too the universe will hit the critical Omega Point and the collective consciousness of humankind will be able to reflect upon itself. This divine center of consciousness will draw together the entire universe and end the world as we know it.

5. Bubble Nucleation

According to the leading cosmological model the universe began as a false vacuum of empty space filled with energy. This incredibly unstable, high-energy state went through the process of bubble nucleation to reach a more stable, lower-energy state. This huge release of energy caused the expansion of the universe. We would like to think that the world we now live in is a stable true vacuum but it is possible that although the universe is at a lower energy level now than it was before, we are living in another false vacuum which could collapse at any moment. If a low energy bubble nucleates in our false vacuum it would expand at the speed of light, once again changing the universe.

6. Divine Intervention

As with all end of the world theories it’s impossible to know if divine intervention is a feasible end of the world scenario. Despite its lack of scientific evidence it gains validity through strong support. Christians look to the Book of Revelation, Jews to the Book of Daniel, and Muslims believe that the coming of Mahdi will bring the end. All have a similar story, a divine force will intervene in the world to bring our history to an end and start a new moral order. Even non-believers have something to worry about since some doomsday groups decide to take these matters into their own hands. For example, the Aum Shinri Kyo sect that released Sarin nerve gas into a Tokyo subway station in 1995, killing 12 and injuring more than 5,000. Imagine what would happen if these groups got their hands on more powerful weapons.

7. Solar Activity (Super-Flares and Decreased Activity)

The sun emits solar flares, also known as coronal mass ejections, towards earth frequently. These flares are large magnetic outbursts which contain high-speed subatomic particles. Luckily, earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protect us from the consequences of these potentially lethal flares. However, evidence has been found that sun-like stars far from our solar system can briefly increase in brightness by 20 times. It is hypothesized that these increases are caused by super-flares, which are millions of times more powerful than the common solar flare. If our sun were to emit one of these super-flares it would literally fry the earth. On the other hand, if our sun’s activity were to decrease by a mere 1% (which has been known to happen to many sun-like stars) we would be flung back into another ice age.

8. Aliens Attack the Earth

The chance of encountering intelligent extraterrestrial life becomes greater every day. As of January 8, 2008, 217 planets have been discovered outside of our solar system and 2-3 new ones are found each month. Famous astronomer Carl Sagan believed there to be billions upon billions of planets in the universe. With such high numbers it is hard, if not impossible, to believe that there is no intelligent life in the universe besides human and that an alien invasion and destruction of Earth is impossible. It is theorized that it would not be a conflict between humans and aliens that would cause lead to our end but that the aliens would exploit Earth for her resources or merely disrupt the planet by mistake.

9. Global War

Although, tensions between world groups wax and wane causing the public to frequently go from worrying about a global war to forgetting about it, global war is a constant threat. It is believed that there are at least 20,000 active nuclear weapons in the world. A malicious use of these weapons or even an accidental nuclear exchange or misfire could be disastrous for the planet. Even more worrisome should be the treat of biological warfare. Using killer germs is cheap, they are also easy to produce and conceal. Even scarier, they can become impossible to control.

10. Ecosystem Collapse

Our biodiversity is vanishing. At least 30,000 new species become extinct each year, a higher rate than ever before in history. Every single organism on the planet is integrally intertwined with the life of others. To make our life easier in the here and now we are slashing and burning forests, slaughtering animals, transporting organisms from their original ecosystem to others, and introducing synthetic materials into the environment, just to name a few. We are already upsetting the checks and balances of the global ecosystem but have not yet seen a devastating consequence such as the extinction of pollinating insects leading to widespread crop failure and the eventual starvation of humans. Ecologist use the imagery of a “marginal tree,” that once cut will throw our planet into chaos to explain the unpredictability of a cataclysmic ecological collapse.

I DID NOT WRITE THIS! THIS IS ENTIRELY COPY AND PASTED!! If you want to the article in the exact same way, but with pictures, go here.

Kinda scary isn’t it? Oh well…we all gotta die sometime, don’t we? But it really brings up a really spiritual question. If a person didn’t believe in God, or a divine being, how would they react? How would you react? Would you try to find God in your time of need? Or would you mock those who, in your view, wasted their lives? Interesting…

Peace and love

Justin