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6 Super simple ways to use less plastic

6 Super simple ways to use less plastic

man in plasticPlastic is probably one of the most harmful materials we can use. It does not biodegrade naturally, or even if it does – it can take up to 1000 years! So if you consider yourself to be an eco-friendly family, you will certainly find these six tips very useful. All of them will help you at least reduce the plastic at  home, and be one step closer to a healthier, greener lifestyle. AND, it will have a beneficial impact on the environment. 

1. Switch to reusable water bottles

22 Billion plastic water bottles end up in landfills every year!

During the warm season, experts recommend drinking around 2 liters of water every day — the fact is  – we need to drink pure water, and we need to drink a lot of it.

Some of us have clean tap water (but we highly recommend considering a good filter system). Instead of buying water in plastic bottles, use reusable stainless steel or glass bottles instead. This will not only reduce the amount of garbage but also save you a significant deal of money too! Save money, stay hydrated and help the environment — can’t lose, right?

Green Divas tote bag2. Remember your reusable shopping bags!

When traveling or just simply going to a store for casual grocery shopping do not forget to bring your reusable shopping bag. Once you develop the habit, which can take time for some of us.

Admit it, there are some very cool designs too. Ultimately it means less plastic in landfills, up in trees and worst of all in our oceans. So, skip those ugly plastic bags and let your style fly with your beautiful reusable shopping bags instead. 

3. Buy local food and groceries with less plastic packaging

Instead of buying that cucumber wrapped in plastic and the many items layered in plastic packaging in supermarkets, try choosing more locally produced food instead. It not only supports the local farmers and producers, but also gives us a chance to enjoy more organic, fresh and seasonal food too! 

4. Invest in naturally made toys

Most kids’ toys are made with a variety of different plastics. More people are choosing toys made with natural products like wood and natural textiles — for the safety of their children as well as the environmental impact. 

How about all those cheap plastic toys that are almost disposable. Like the beach toys that often get tossed away at the end of the summer or vacation season. Please try to find higher-quality toys that may cost a couple of extra dollars, but will not get tossed into the landfill as quickly (and will likely be healthier for your child as well). 

One great way to save on better quality toys is online coupons, and especially these JCPenney ones! Along with these discount codes from Chameleonjohn, you won’t feel bad of investing a bit more for  great quality toys your kids will love for longer.

5. Use reusable food containerslunch bags

Reusable food containers are the perfect solution for families who love to travel. Instead of packing your sandwiches and other snacks in plastic bags, neatly place them in individual food containers. This way each member of the family will have his personal lunch/meal bag or box, and can put their own favorite yummy food and snacks. Ditch all those plastic baggies!

6. Bring your own reusable travel mug to the coffee shop

And finally, for all you coffee junkies, please consider bringing your own reusable mug to the coffee shop. You’ll be saving the landfills from literally tons of useless plastic. Think about it!

What are your tricks reducing plastic use in your world? 

This post is sponsored by Chameleonjohn

The post 6 Super simple ways to use less plastic appeared first on The Green Divas.

Source: GreenDivas News

Sitka, Alaska Still Waits on First Bulk Water Export

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City favors contract extension with company that missed $US 1 million payment deadline.

Blue Lake Sitka Alaska bulk water export Circle of Blue

Photo courtesy of Flickr / Creative Commons user thedamian
The Alaska Department of Natural Resources granted the city of Sitka a permit to export more than 9 billion gallons of water per year from Blue Lake. Alaska Bulk Water Inc. has a contract with the city for most of the rights. Click image to enlarge.

By Brett Walton
Circle of Blue

Alaska Bulk Water Inc., the company with exclusive rights to export 8.7 billion gallons (27,007 acre-feet) of water from Sitka’s Blue Lake, missed a December 8 deadline to pay the city $US 1 million, which was required under its contract. After a 45-day grace period expired in late January, the company still has not made the payment.

Sitka municipal administrator Mark Gorman told Circle of Blue that the city is reviewing its options.

“We could extend the deadline for 30 days, which I have the authority to do,” Gorman said. “Or we could say that the contract is not viable and go to the street to find another contractor. We’re leaning toward the extension.”

Terry Trapp, CEO of Alaska Bulk Water Inc., told Circle of Blue that the company will get the money “as quickly as possible to Sitka” by tapping into “one of the other companies that we own.” He would not elaborate.

The attempt to pioneer bulk water sales from Alaska in tanker ships, talked about for decades without success, will not be easy. Yet despite the missed deadlines, exports moved closer to reality in 2015 than ever before. Alaska Bulk Water Inc. (ABWI) spent $US 1.5 million to build a floating pipeline and an offshore loading facility in Sitka’s Silver Bay. On top of that, ABWI has already paid Sitka $US 1.35 million in non-refundable down payments. If the company begins selling water, the money is a credit. If no water is exported, Sitka keeps the money.

Significant Hurdles Remain

Though they are closer, regular bulk water shipments are probably not imminent. There are two primary obstacles. One is cost. Sitka is charging one penny per gallon for its water ($US 3,258 per acre-foot), which is significantly more than the cost of tap water. That does not take into account the expense of chartering and operating a tanker. For this reason, Trapp said that he is in talks with commercial customers who put a premium on the water. He mentioned a beer bottler and a petroleum company in Mexico, but would not disclose names.

Second is infrastructure. ABWI built the loading facilities in Sitka this summer, but similar structures are not usually available on the receiving end. A city or business would need pipes to unload the tanker and a storage facility to hold the water.

“We’re still a little ways away from selling water,” Gorman mused. “We’re going to get there but the market and offloading infrastructure in other regions is not there yet.”

Still, interest in Sitka’s product remains strong. Garry White, the director of Gary Paxton Industrial Park, which oversees the city’s bulk water facilities, told Circle of Blue that a number of groups have inquired about additional export contracts. ABWI’s contract gives it exclusive bulk export rights for Blue Lake.

On October 1, for instance, Sitka hosted representatives from the Amel Group, an investment firm based in Ontario, Canada. Sitka’s water also caught the eye of U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn, whose state is mired in a long drought. On October 5, the California congresswoman hosted a meeting with water districts and port officials in the Los Angeles area to learn about ABWI’s enterprise.

Interest is strong enough that Sitka is looking to increase its export rights. On December 8, the city assembly voted to pursue bulk water export permits for water from Green Lake, a reservoir southeast of downtown. Green Lake, a hydropower facility built on the Vodopad River, began operation in 1979. Permits would come from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, which will assess whether surplus water is available.

Long History But No Exports

Sitka is repeating a process it began nearly two decades ago, after the Alaska Legislature authorized bulk water exports in 1992. Sitka received the state’s first export permit in September 1996. Ten years later, on November 9, 2006, Sitka entered into a bulk water export agreement with True Alaska Bottling, a forerunner of ABWI. States and provinces surrounding the Great Lakes have since moved to block the export of water outside of the basin, but Alaska remains committed to the idea of export.

Though no water has yet been shipped, Gorman said that he foresees ABWI as a long-term partner.

“Alaska Bulk Water has in good faith put money forward and infrastructure in the ground,” Gorman said. “I don’t see many companies that know the market and the infrastructure like Alaska Bulk Water.”

As for the future, Gorman’s outlook is much the same as his forebears in Sitka’s government who have championed bulk water sales for more than two decades. He feels as if water exports are a matter of time.

“Looking down the pike, we think that water is highly marketable,” Gorman added. “Whether that happens in the next year or the next decade, I don’t know.”

The post Sitka, Alaska Still Waits on First Bulk Water Export appeared first on Circle of Blue WaterNews.

Source: Water News

Source: Water Industry News

The Stream, February 4: Canada’s Oil Sands Development In Doubt

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The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

The future of the water-intensive, polluting development of oil sands in Alberta is in question amid a global slump in oil prices. Iraq plans to repair and maintain the Mosul Dam. The world’s largest offshore wind farm is slated for the coast of the United Kingdom, while a watchdog group called on the UK’s water utilities to help customers who have trouble paying their bills. Farming sturgeon for caviar is taking off in southern Japan. The Flint water crisis is not only the subject of a U.S. Congressional inquiry, but could also derail a proposed federal energy law.

“I never thought this could happen in America, [in a state] surrounded by fresh water of the Great Lakes.” –U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence, of Michigan, during a Congressional oversight hearing Wednesday investigating the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint. Other lawmakers from Michigan threatened to derail a new energy bill if provisions for aid to Flint were not included. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

1.2 gigawatts Expected capacity of the Hornsea wind project to be built off the United Kingdom’s Yorkshire coast, making it the world’s largest offshore wind farm. Guardian

30 percent Increase, from 2015 levels, Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture plans to make in its fishery production. Supplies of mountain water in the region are supporting a growing sturgeon industry, which produces caviar. Bloomberg


Science, Studies, And Reports

One in eight water customers in England and Wales are having difficulty paying their water bills, according to research by the Consumer Council for Water, a UK watchdog organization based in Birmingham. The organization urged water companies to do more to make customers aware of assistance programs that could help them afford water service. Independent

On the Radar

On The Radar

A sharp drop in oil prices over the past 18 months has left the future of Canada’s oil sands production in doubt. The water-intensive development of the oil sands in Alberta has left more than 180 square kilometers of toxic tailings ponds. Yale Environment 360

Iraq announced that it is hiring an Italian company to rehabilitate and maintain the Mosul Dam. The dam has long been subject to structural deficiencies, and U.S. officials have repeatedly warned that it could collapse and devastate surrounding cities. Agence France-Presse

The post The Stream, February 4: Canada’s Oil Sands Development In Doubt appeared first on Circle of Blue WaterNews.

Source: Water News

Source: Water Industry News

NSF International Publishes Consumer Guide to Certified Water Filtration Devices for Lead Reduction

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – NSF International has published an easy-to-use consumer guide to water filters that have been tested and certified by NSF International to reduce lead in drinking water. This guide also explains the NSF standards and the process by which NSF International verifies a filter’s ability to reduce… Read More
Source: NSF New feed

Source: Water Industry News