02 February 2017

My Quora activity

I love Quora.

in their own words:

Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge. A vast amount of the knowledge that would be valuable to many people is currently only available to a few — either locked in people’s heads, or only accessible to select groups. We want to connect the people who have knowledge to the people who need it, to bring together people with different perspectives so they can understand each other better, and to empower everyone to share their knowledge for the benefit of the rest of the world.
That's why I get involved in many conversations, and a lot of these come from people interests fall into the zerowaste or eco-conscious field.
I thought I'd share some of my answers.
Format: Question, followed by question details and my answer.

Obviously glass bottles are best but this is not an option for me for several reasons. I’m trying to get to zero waste a little bit at a time. I want to make the best choice for the time being.

As you’ve seen from many answers here it all depends on your local recycling.
However, where I live, and where we have excellent recycling offer the plastic bottle seems to be a better solution, because it is easier to wash.
Recycling facilities struggle with dirty, contaminated plastic.
Yes, after sorting, the plastic is pulverised, sterilised, melted and reformed into pellets, but it is plastic that’s most vulnerable when contaminated.
Now let me explain one thing, if you don’t wash the plastic it will still get recycled, but
  1. One dirty item can contaminate thousands of pounds of collected plastics,
  2. Plastic is so easily contaminated that even residue from a label can alter its chemistry and affect the quality of the recycled material,
  3. Contaminated recycled material has less market value, so the provider gets less money to spend on improvements.
Bottles and bags are usually PET or HDPE plastics. These need to be thoroughly washed given that they are very sensitive to contaminants.
From a personal point of view, it’s way easier to clean a bottle, than a bag.
I am a busy, working mum. I need a lot of milk, and I am very eco-conscious. But I understand the tough choices people are sometimes made to make, and even though I’m in a lucky situation where I get glass-bottled milk delivered to my door (not an option at your place?), if I had no other choice I would go for a plastic bottle rather than a bag. I’d just ensure they ARE recyclable and ideally sourced from recycled material.

I’m a keeper too.
And a collector on top of that, which is possibly the worst combination ever.
If I got two nice things of the same kind I would start a collection.
Until I had no time to sort it. There is no fun in having one if you can’t, every now and then, enjoy it. And I can’t because I’m a busy working mum now.
Did I throw it all away at once, upon realising?
No, I still kept it.
I’m not saying you should become a busy working mum, of course, even if it helps.
My problem was that I didn’t realise it’s all useless until I was snowed under. It became a burden. I had no space for more important things. Things I really needed in everyday life.
Do you have a life? Do you invite people over? Do. That way you will see if you have space to host a party without tripping over some old box full of memorabilia.
How you get rid of things is irrelevant, in my opinion, the end will be the same: they will be out of your life.
What is important, is getting the correct mindset. Stop the ADDICTION! Admit to yourself that you actually are addicted and you liked it. Probably still like it. And either deal with it yourself, if you know how to (lots of books to read out there) or get help. Family help, even.
Good luck.

I think that e-book readers are eco-friendly, as long as you use them for a long time and not replace every year with newer. I still have first generation Kindle, and it works well. Sure it doesn’t display colour, but standard books I used to read didn’t have images either.
Today I read mostly on my mobile, but when battery time might be an issue my good old Kindle is the way to go.
Now, why do I think it is eco-friendly if there're so many resources used to create it and energy needed to use it?
Please check my post for a long answer :)

If you have choice to purchase eco-friendly unique product or regular product. Which one will you buy?

If the regular would be cheaper and the price difference would not make any economic sense (situation, where you pay for a brand, but the quality is very close or the same), then obviously I’d chose the regular.
On the other hand, if the difference in quality was huge I’d go for the better, as long as it would make sense to my needs, regardless of the uniqueness of the product.
Now bear in mind that I am not your usual customer and I am not interested in showing off brands and such. I think for a lot of people status is much more important than to me, so they’d choose unique just to show off.
There is also aspect, which is very close to my heart and that’s the overall eco-friendliness of the sale.

If I knew that the unique product is more eco-friendly in itself but comes in square metres of bubble wrap, in a non-eco-friendly transport and its overall carbon footprint is huge compared to regular then quality and price would lose their appeal to me immediately.

There are many ideas that are already introduced at a smaller scale too, I'm thinking flats.
One is, of course, switching to less electricity consuming lights, but also making sure daylight is used to the maximum potential even through the introduction of fibreglass cables as a light source.
Waste water disposal and recycling is another idea. From reusing dirty dishwater to flush toilets to actually mounting a full recycling system.
And, of course, let's not forget my favourite green roofs. Not only local bees and insects will love them, but they are also providing a very good insulation without introducing harmful agents.

You’ve already had some brilliant answers on how tourism can raise awareness and improve the social and economic state of the local communities.
What nobody has mentioned yet is the missing education children from the major cities have no way of obtaining unless put in direct contact with nature.
And I’m not speaking of the aforementioned raising of the awareness about local birds and flowers.
I am talking about making it simple to understand and close to heart that whatever we do affects nature. Which only makes sense and can be absorbed if shown on real life examples. Children who can interact with live animals, plant their own trees in a new forest, observe wild ecosystems in their wholeness, have much higher chances of growing into eco-conscious adults.
It's one thing speaking of birds choking on plastic, or even seeing images of such on the internet. But if you understand that those birds were trying to feed their young, and if you can feel those young hearts flutter in your hand it's a much more powerful lesson. Lesson nobody can forget.
public domain image from Wikipedia Commons