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Misses his big brother :(
Sun 29th Apr '07 6:12AM
4597 Posts
Spanners's Avatar
Member Since
7th Apr '03
So it still suprises me how unwilling a lot of people are to recycle. Even in my office where we have paper, plastic and metal recycling bins right next to the normal ones people still actively avoid the recycling.
It's getting easier and easier to recycle these days with national council initiatives to collect various forms of recyclable waste straight from our homes. All we need to do is sort out or plastics, papers, metals and glasses and we can make a very real difference to the environment. The attitude of "it's easier not to bother recycling" just isn't acceptable anymore.

So here's some news:

1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.
1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 3 hours.
70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials.

And this energy saving only refers to refining and processing, when you also factor in extracting and transporting the raw materials it becomes much greater. Plus you have less forests need to be chopped down, less quarries need to be dug, less oil tankers need to travel the oceans endangering our wildlife...

Also I've heard from several people about the idea that recycling paper is more harmful than creating it new. This is completely and utterly false! In terms of energy it's more economical by up to 70%, plus reduced pillaging of our forests and the lower levels of chemicals and bleaches needed to process mean that it's seriously better for the environment than new paper.
See the 'Common Myths About Recycled Paper' here - http://www.conservatree.com/paper/PaperTypes/RecyBrochure.shtml

More info here

Emo Squid
sanctus, sanctus, sanctus
Mon 30th Apr '07 9:30AM
624 Posts
Emo Squid's Avatar
Member Since
23rd Feb '07
It's the so called 'paperless office' thing that bugs me. Not the idea of having a true paperless office, that would be quite marvellous, but the fact that so much paper could be saved if people acually used email systems and programs like Outlook properly. I get so many printed emails containing no more than a couple of likes of text shoved in my pigeon hole every week.

Landy Dirtlady
Mon 30th Apr '07 10:33PM
579 Posts
Gertrude's Avatar
Member Since
12th Oct '05

Emo Squid was bold enough to comment:
It's the so called 'paperless office' thing that bugs me.

I used to work for a company that designed paperless filing systems (basically ruddy great scanners, as far as I could tell), and they were more overwhelmed by paper than any office I've ever seen. The situation was not helped by the refusal to acknowledge the need for filing cabinets, so instead we had mountains of cardboard boxes in which we filed stacks and stacks of paper that would one day be unnecessary when the management saw fit to implement their own technology in their own office and free us from the chaos. Never happened. Emo Squid, I join you in head bashing frustration.

Misses his big brother :(
Mon 7th May '07 10:46AM
4597 Posts
Spanners's Avatar
Member Since
7th Apr '03
We're actually getting much better at the 'paperless office' idea at the beeb. Lots of people have notes put in their email signatures saying 'Think of the planet, please don't print out this email unless really necessary' or something to that effect and one of our new corporate screensavers says 'if this computer is not in usethen please turn it off'. Seems to be working to a point.

Misses his big brother :(
Sat 20th Sep '08 1:36PM
4597 Posts
Spanners's Avatar
Member Since
7th Apr '03
Bit of a cross post from futurefootprint.co.uk but I thought you guys might have some thoughts on it...

A couple of years ago I was in South Africa spending a month on safari learning to be a field guide. It was a fantastic experience but very hard work. We were up at 5.30 am every day for a quick cup of coffee before heading out into the bush to learn the the trade of the guide. Lessons would end at about 6pm giving us time for a shower and some dinner before flaking out in front of the camp fire.
In all this time we had a single day off two weeks in. A group of had hired a car to go and explore some of the local sights - we had heard wonderful things about the local waterfalls and beautiful forest trails where we could see even more wildlife.
Now of course at most of these locations there were groups of tradespeople selling local arts and crafts. The stalls would be lined up at the side of the road or the end of the car park and they would be flogging everything from oranges to Springbok-skin hats.
The most beautiful spot we saw that day was a huge lush valley with a massive waterfall at the opposite side - it wasn't on our map as a particular tourist spot but as we came out of a road tunnel the land opened up to the side of us revealing this breathtaking landscape and we had to stop for a look and a couple of photographs. The locals had realised that many tourists would be doing a similar thing and had set up camp on the edge of the drop into the valley.
Just as we were taking our snaps and perusing the craftwork on offer one of the tradesmen stood up, grabbed the plastic bottle from which he'd been drinking and hurled it over the edge into the valley. I was quite shocked by this particularly since it was a local (who clearly used this valley as his main income) doing this horrible act of littering. I then walked over to the edge of the valley and looked down to see a whole stream of litter descending from the edge down and out of sight under the vegetation at the bottom of the valley. There were literally hundreds of plastic bottles and bags (which will not degrade for at least 500 years) scattered all the way down and I was close to tears thinking about how much this was hurting all the wildlife which, before these people arrived, were living in paradise.
I saw similar things in Morocco - mostly plastic bags that you would see in their thousands lining the roads, caught in bushes etc. but, although terrible, this seemed more a case of negligence than the active destruction I saw in South Africa.

As I understand it there are three main reasons behind this sort of pollution in less developed countries:
Education - many simply do not realise the damage they are doing
Lack of waste disposal services, particularly in more rural areas
Plastics are a relatively new product in many places and people are used to their waste being bio-degradable so still treat it all the same.
Damn it makes me sad

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