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Something confuses me. Lately, and maybe I am misunderstanding here. It appears the president is advocating more green power, more energy efficient cars and so on. This confuses me because in this I have yet to see or hear the same attention and support for food production or organic farms. Factory farming is not good for the environment, so why the lack of attention? Also does clean green energy include nuclear power? How is that good for the environment? What am I missing here?

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It is all money. I am totally for conservation, but they are getting crazy with all the mandates. Some of the technology is not ready but they are forcing it (like ethanol) and beginning to suffer "forseen but ignored" side effects.

 

It is all about HYPE & MONEY!

 

And NOTICE.... the powers that be aren't doing it! I read that Obama keeps the thermostat at the White House near 80 degrees & staffers/reporters feel like suffocating at times. Notice the cars they drive (security, but.....). Al Gore is a huge hypocrit in al this. His house & private jet flying alone show his lack of sincerity... but he is making some big dough.

 

Shameful $$$$$ seeking. Business ideas & inspirations are great! Earning good money is great (& envious)... but FALSE representations & using gov't mandating is like selling SNAKE OIL on the prairie.

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It is all money. I am totally for conservation, but they are getting crazy with all the mandates. Some of the technology is not ready but they are forcing it (like ethanol) and beginning to suffer "forseen but ignored" side effects.

 

It is all about HYPE & MONEY!

 

And NOTICE.... the powers that be aren't doing it! I read that Obama keeps the thermostat at the White House near 80 degrees & staffers/reporters feel like suffocating at times. Notice the cars they drive (security, but.....). Al Gore is a huge hypocrit in al this. His house & private jet flying alone show his lack of sincerity... but he is making some big dough.

 

Shameful $$$$$ seeking. Business ideas & inspirations are great! Earning good money is great (& envious)... but FALSE representations & using gov't mandating is like selling SNAKE OIL on the prairie.

 

Sounds to me like Obama's air conditioning at 80 is walking the walk. Is that just me? Not to mention the White House garden? Is that not what so many of us here do... good food for our kids and our planet? As for ethanol, here in Ga we are moving forward with cellulosic methanol with our stimulus money. It is better for the environment and the technology *is* here. And best of all, the fuel will be Georgia grown, not bought from terrorists.

 

As for the OP's question, I think ADM and other huge farm corporations have the money to keep Washington quiet. I think eventually it will become an issue. One step at a time. So far, so good, in my humble opinion.

 

Margaret

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hypocrisy aside, the part that gets really interesting is when you start researching the environmental impact of green methods.

 

earth friendly tote bags? harboring bad bacteria and making people sick, so be sure to disinfect them.

recycling trucks --polluting the atmosphere to recycle stuff.

best ways to recycle spent solar batteries, panels, and other stuff?

 

so many recycling efforts chew up more energy than they save. It takes less energy to make new paper than recycle paper.

 

what was that gardening bill that came in during the aftermath of the CPSIA lead bill?

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hypocrisy aside, the part that gets really interesting is when you start researching the environmental impact of green methods.

 

earth friendly tote bags? harboring bad bacteria and making people sick, so be sure to disinfect them.

recycling trucks --polluting the atmosphere to recycle stuff.

best ways to recycle spent solar batteries, panels, and other stuff?

 

so many recycling efforts chew up more energy than they save. It takes less energy to make new paper than recycle paper.

 

what was that gardening bill that came in during the aftermath of the CPSIA lead bill?

 

Gosh! I guess it's just better to do nothing! I'm totally convinced now! What a total dupe I've been:ohmy: An aside--I am just as tired of Al Gore as everyone else. I'm not going to defend him. I never elected him spokesperson of the environmental movement any more than Republicans elected Rush Limbaugh as head of their party. They are both extremist wackos.

 

I see now that I was wrong about the thermostat on the White House. Can I you tell I live in the South? My thermometer is on 80 right now and I thought that was a good thing ;)

 

Margaret

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Found this article debunking the myth that it takes more energy to recycle than manufacture new:

http://www.slate.com/id/2190164/

 

" But study after study has debunked this assertion, and the Environmental Protection Agency claims that producing recycled paper requires 40 percent less energy than making paper from virgin wood, or about 10.6 fewer gigajoules per ton of finished product. That may sound dramatic, but it's peanuts compared with the energy savings associated with recycling other common materials. Manufacturing a ton of recycled aluminum cans, for example, requires 218 fewer gigajoules per ton than using virgin ores, while the figure for polyethylene bottles is 55.9 gigajoules."

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We do not use the air conditioner, unless it is 100 or something like that. I grew up without it, and didn't realize it existed until I was grown. My husband has adjusted, he grew up with the air conditioner. In the winter we keep the heat between 58 and 62 then don't turn it on until it is below 50, and wear long sleeves, a sweater if necessary. We live in the south too.

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Gosh! I guess it's just better to do nothing! I'm totally convinced now! What a total dupe I've been:ohmy:

 

hey -- there's actually quite a bit of PLUS in literally doing almost nothing. It can be a wash in several areas. It costs a LOT to recycle vs dispose. The economic benefits that could have been pursued in lieu of recycling efforts are being lost.

even here:

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2004/09/64900

They admit that tangibly, Nova Scotia's program costs 18 million MORE per year than disposal. Then they try to inflate the "value" the same way they do housewife "savings."

even the "jobs" factor: it takes more people to work a recycling plant than a landfill. No wonder recycled stuff costs so much more.

 

Reducing and reusing are great ideas, whether we have an environmental problem or not. Recycling --esp at the household level-- still has quite a ways to go before/if it starts tipping the economic/ environmental impact balance.

 

Found this article debunking the myth that it takes more energy to recycle than manufacture new:

http://www.slate.com/id/2190164/

 

 

hm. they phrased that article very carefully. :)

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Recycling isn't about energy usage, it's about saving landfill space and reducing the burn-rate of natural resources (like forests).

In Germany recycling technology is in the next stage (mostly mechanized and specialized only in profitable and efficient recycling: metals, glass, and paper) and the new emphasis is on reducing waste. That's somewhere that America greatly lags. The amount of trash produced by households here is astonishing! And everything I buy comes in 10 layers of plastic, Styrofoam, and cardboard -- or at least it seems that way to me.

Of course the ideal is to design things so that they can be recycled efficiently and compost the rest.

 

And organic farming isn't being promoted because a lot of commercial farms make good money with conventional farming and don't want a change to the status quo. Ever heard of milk dumping?

 

I'm a bit of a libertarian. I say: out with quotas and subventions. Farmers should produce things people want to buy. Obama was right about the arugula, by the way...

 

I don't believe in subventions for green products, either. Instead, they should instate a true carbon tax. That would make most "green" energy sources cheaper than oil overnight. Then people could pick the technology that they like the best, instead of what is in fashion.

 

But I'm one of those crazy people who believes in a simplified tax system...

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I'm not sure if they are incorrect in "inflating" the value, as you say. It seems like a pretty sound accounting of costs, and the area is happy to continue doing it. I believe that there are so many unaccounted costs to things like that, just as the article described on the second page. Kudos to them!!

 

no, it's by the same company that gives the inflated values of what housewives are worth. They are including "savings" that wouldn't necessarily have been spent to begin with. That's not an honest assessment of the REAL cost benefit analysis. There's no way I'm "saving" $80K+ a year as a housewife, cuz we wouldn't be spending that to begin with. Same kinda crappy feel-good accounting here:

 

"The report is by GPI Atlantic (the "GPI" stands for Genuine Progress Index), a research group that has spent a decade developing tools for quantifying hard-to-measure realities such as the value of volunteerism, household work or air quality."

 

there's a REASON those things are "hard to measure."

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Personally, we do the best we can not due to any president or president wanna be. We don't give a hoot if the planet is warming or cooling (as it affects our choices). We don't care about cost (to some extent as we're not unlimitedly wealthy). Instead, I WANT clean air, clean water, pristine wilderness, etc., and that affects my choices for my household.

 

Our house in the winter is kept around 62 degrees. In the summer it's 82 degrees. I buy recycled whenever I can and try to be careful to only buy things in recyclable containers. We have chickens, cats, and dogs for various food wastes and compost what they don't eat along with some paper products. Our "garbage" waste tends to be one or two Walmart sized bags every other week or so. We grow a bit of our own food and hunt (from our farm) for deer instead of using a lot of beef. We have updated appliances and windows.

 

I wish we had the money to set up with home solar or home wind power...

 

It is not more expensive (energy-wise) to recycle than it is to make new - esp when one considers the destruction of the planet to continually get new.

 

I wish the powers that be would practice what they preach, but that doesn't change what I choose to do... and I hope they continue development into renewable resources.

 

And...I'll admit I have one major weakness... we love to travel. I don't plan to change that... but even when traveling, we try to make choices that are the best we can - because I want a clean planet.

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and that is the biggest debatable issue in the whole discussion.

 

Actually, I wasn't meaning global warming if that's what you thought. I was talking merely about using up pristine natural resources in general... from metal mining to rain forests and everything in between.

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Also does clean green energy include nuclear power? How is that good for the environment? What am I missing here?

 

I would love to hear more about this if anyone here knows. My understanding is that nuclear power is clean in some ways: low carbon emissions, things like that. Some argue it is also the only way that most of the Western world has any hope of becoming energy independent. Also, despite the horrifying images we all have of nuclear plant disasters, I think the overall safety record is quite good. And the methods of storing the waste products has really improved.

 

Then there's also the possibility of nuclear fusion reactors (instead of fission). See: http://www.iter.org/default.aspx

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I'd be for nuclear if they could find a way to properly dispose of the waste (and not just bunker it).

 

talk to the sugar lobbyists -- the price of sugar is so high to import, which makes HFCS a cheaper option

There's also big import quotas on sugar cane ethanol, which is much more efficient than corn.

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Sounds to me like Obama's air conditioning at 80 is walking the walk. Is that just me?

 

Margaret

 

NO... heating at 80. He has only been through the winter up there.

 

added later... sorry Margaret... I didn't see the reply from others to later. Just wanted ot clarify my misleading sentence.

Edited by Dirtroad
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I get so tired of the TREE argument. WE have more trees today than in many, many decades. My great uncle is amazed at how much farm land & pasture land is all timber to day than from his childhood (70-80 years ago).

 

I don't care for 500 pigs being raised in a barn & feed grain, etc. However, there are tradeoffs. If everyone wants to start raising your own crops and animals for food.... then you better start buying land, cutting down trees, and planting grasses & veges. I mean grow the feed for the animals too. Either way, the environmentalist will find FAULT.

 

As for recycle. We do so b/c it is economical. I can cut down on costs for disposal. However, from experience... the more a product is recycled, the quality of the fiber, etc is diminished. There is a trade off. And, if it is so much EASIER & requires less resources...why it the stuff always so outrageously expensive.

 

The market will buy the organic or recyled if it is economically viable. But they have never been able to do this & be competitive... so they lobby goverment & media and FORCE MANDATES. Sink or swim or call the government with a scary statisitic that the Earth is dying to get your product out front.

 

BTW... it is none of my business what Zambia or Luxemburg do with their land. They have their own laws and systems. Be a good example & be responsible... but don' t go telling your neighbors how they should do things.

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I would have a hard time eating an animal that I raised. My brother does chickens sometimes. He has also done a cow, and a pig. My sil and niece were upset, these animals had names. I tried to explain when she got the animals it was food to feed her family. I have friends who have done this too. It was not because of desire for better meat, just cheap meat for their families. When I was a kid, yes we did our own chickens. We also grew our own vegetables. We relied on the grocery store so much less than we do today. I no longer know any dairy farmers to get milk from. Most farms around here have turned into subdivisions.

We do what we can when we can, but we know we could do better.

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I would have a hard time eating an animal that I raised.

 

I love that statement. I have a 16 year old potbellied pig. I couldn't imagine feeding/fattening up old Wilbur!

 

I think most people hop on the "it sounds great" bandwagon of organic & environmental ideas ... but never stop to think what it means. Conservation is smart & practical. However, much of the GREEN issue involves arguments are emotion- led, "rah-rah" agreements, and spend little time thinking it through.

 

I saw a man advocating only buying "in season produce" to save the environment b/c no jets or ships would be needed to bring goods from Peru or Chili.... have he considered the consequences of that statement at all. How is the growing season in North Dakota for winter veges? Thank goodness we can fly up apples & tomatos. What about the farmers and their livelihoods? He also advocated living with special water pumping sytems and solar panels. GREAT if you live way out with lots of space... but not so good in areas that get huge amts of rainfall/cloud cover (very inconsistent - even with good batteries, etc) or areas with much congestion & crowding.

 

Did you see the graduate student with the super environmental house? It was one room & she has to shower at another persons house. Does she use a chamber pot or run next door? Awful, third world standards. She had a cooler & no fridge. How can I handle 3 kids and a hubby living by these suggested great ideas? I loved that she used salvaged materials... but come on, I am not living in a box.

 

If they enjoys this, I think it is great for THEM. But I get tired of folks in this mindset trying to MANDATE this life for me. I grow some veges... but am not interested in row crops & milking my own cow. No thanks.

 

 

Oh yeah... can't have the cow or a sheep... they pass too much gas and are destroying the environment too!

Edited by Dirtroad
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I would have a hard time eating an animal that I raised. My brother does chickens sometimes. He has also done a cow, and a pig. My sil and niece were upset, these animals had names.

 

Our pigs have been named Pork Chop, Bacon, Sausage, Porky & Babe. Our steers were named T-Bone and Sir Loin. I think we've gone through all of Santa's reindeer with the fall hunt... my boys have fun coming up with names. We don't name the chickens though - too difficult to tell them apart. :)

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I get so tired of the TREE argument. WE have more trees today than in many, many decades. My great uncle is amazed at how much farm land & pasture land is all timber to day than from his childhood (70-80 years ago).

 

Where we live older folks are surprised at how much farmland now grows houses...

 

 

As for recycle... if it is so much EASIER & requires less resources...why it the stuff always so outrageously expensive.

 

I imagine this is mainly due to start up costs but I won't discount the cost of a current fad and the "because they can" factor... it doesn't mean it's wrong to buy it when feasible.

 

 

BTW... it is none of my business what Zambia or Luxemburg do with their land. They have their own laws and systems. Be a good example & be responsible... but don' t go telling your neighbors how they should do things.

 

I doubt any one of us could influence much with our own government, much less someone else's. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't share the benefits of trying to care for our planet in a responsible way hoping that others will decide they care too. As I said before, my main motive is that I WANT clean air and clean water - along with pristine places to visit. My motives are somewhat selfish I suppose, but there you go.

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Actually, I wasn't meaning global warming if that's what you thought. I was talking merely about using up pristine natural resources in general... from metal mining to rain forests and everything in between.

 

 

I wasn't meaning just global climate change either :)

yes, I would add in the alleged "using up" of "pristine" natural resources.

 

 

Where we live older folks are surprised at how much farmland now grows houses...

===========

However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't share the benefits of trying to care for our planet in a responsible way hoping that others will decide they care too. As I said before, my main motive is that I WANT clean air and clean water - along with pristine places to visit. My motives are somewhat selfish I suppose, but there you go.

 

 

actually, I think i remember hearing that trees aren't the major source --it has more to do w/ grass and lots of smaller plants. Our P&Z board recently denied a LANDSCAPING business to set up shop on a piece of land that wasn't [and isn't!] being used because "they" don't want "those type" of businesses on the highway --they want WalMarts and Tanger Outlet Centers. Concrete. i was pissed.

 

I do think that there is also debate on just HOW one must be caring for the planet in a "responsible" way. One of the big benefits of Objectivism is that we ALL tend to want to act in our own self-interest [as opposed to plain selfishness]. Most everyone does want the BEST air, the BEST hospitals, the BEST schools, the BEST parks, and the BEST available resources. Our country has an amazing record for giving tons of money to charity, voluntarily. But if you think your method is "the best" then there will need to be a more convincing argument made. If indeed you [general you] can make an argument THAT convincing, then no legal mandates would be necessary.

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I do use reusable bags so could you link a study on this? I assume you would not put this out there unless you have proof.

 

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/05/greenwash-watch-plastic-bags.php

 

This'll give some info.

The study will be mis-used quite a bit.

 

I like Chico Bags http://www.chicobag.com/ because they fold up so small I can carry a few in my purse. I just toss them in the wash with a load of laundry when they need it.

 

My husband uses the grocery store bags when he goes shopping. We keep them in the car all the time.

 

So keep using the reusable bags; just be careful with meat.

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The 80 setting was heat in the winter not summer. On Earth Day he used 9000 gallons of jet fuel to give 1 speach. There are more examples of this sort of thing. He is an environmental hypocrite, I had no idea. He is like a snake in the grass as they say.

 

:iagree:It's criminal, what's going on. For those who just don't see it yet, you are in for some big surprises. Buckle up.

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http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/05/greenwash-watch-plastic-bags.php

 

This'll give some info.

The study will be mis-used quite a bit.

 

 

"mis-used"? That's like saying studies to wash your hands for public safety will be "mis-used" lol!

 

yeah --just wash them.

be sure to use a disinfectant.

That's now another environmental impact.

THAT was my only point -- that each "green" thing we do may have variables that negate how "green" and "responsible" the use of that is.

 

and it's not just meat:

 

"The main risk is food poisoning," Dr. Richard Summerbell, research director at Toronto-based Sporometrics and former chief of medical mycology for the Ontario Ministry of Health, stated in a news release. Dr. Summerbell evaluated the study results.

 

"But other significant risks include skin infections such as bacterial boils, allergic reactions, triggering of asthma attacks, and ear infections," he stated.

 

The study found that 64% of the reusable bags tested were contaminated with some level of bacteria and close to 30% had elevated bacterial counts higher than what's considered safe for drinking water.

 

Further, 40% of the bags had yeast or mold, and some of the bags had an unacceptable presence of coliforms, faecal intestinal bacteria, when there should have been 0.

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Our pigs have been named Pork Chop, Bacon, Sausage, Porky & Babe. Our steers were named T-Bone and Sir Loin. I think we've gone through all of Santa's reindeer with the fall hunt... my boys have fun coming up with names. We don't name the chickens though - too difficult to tell them apart. :)

 

When our first calf was born, my husband and I assisted in the birth. I said, "Honey, he's so precious!" DH says, "You can call him Juicy or you can call him Tender, but you can't call him Precious!" LOL!

 

We have named all our freezer animals and treat them with love and respect while they are in our care. They live great lives! And then go on to feed my family. It's part of life and healthy to know how it all works instead of compartmentalizing. The cute little farm pig named Wilbur is the same pork you buy at the store and our kids should know this and learn to accept it. Raising generations of people who think animals are "family" is how we get groups like PETA in the first place. My 5 year old helps with butchering the rabbits and the chickens. No nightmares here, she was taught that people are people and animals are animals. If you want to eat meat, an animal has to be butchered. That's life. Kids CAN deal with it and have for thousands of years. The way things are now is just wierd! (She loves fresh rabbit pot pie.)

 

BTW: We are city people all our lives. We decided to live a more simple life and moved to a farm in our 40's with the family. Anybody can learn.

Edited by katemary63
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Oh. Okay. Since I only use my bags for dry products (boxed cereals and such) and have a lined thermal bag that I use for meat (which I purchase at our local farmer's market and is packaged much better than the flimsy grocery store wrap) that is wiped out with disinfectant after each use and then allowed to air dry upside down over my kitchen sink, I think we are probably safe. Interesting report though. Can't say it is all that convincing that using reusable totes is not still the better way to go, but interesting nonetheless.

 

ETA: I have a couple of bags that I only use for my produce from the farmer's market as well. Since all the vendors at the farmer's market do use plastic bags (which does not thrill me, but I can't change it) and those little plastic bags go into my large fabric tote, I think I am safe there as well.

Edited by Kelli in TN
Thought of something else
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When our first calf was born, my husband and I assisted in the birth. I said, "Honey, he's so precious!" DH says, "You can call him Juicy or you can call him Tender, but you can't call him Precious!" LOL!

 

We have named all our freezer animals and treat them with love and respect while they are in our care. They live great lives! And then go on to feed my family. It's part of life and healthy to know how it all works instead of compartmentalizing. The cute little farm pig named Wilbur is the same pork you buy at the store and our kids should know this and learn to accept it. Raising generations of people who think animals are "family" is how we get groups like PETA in the first place. My 5 year old helps with butchering the rabbits and the chickens. No nightmares here, she was taught that people are people and animals are animals. If you want to eat meat, an animal has to be butchered. That's life. Kids CAN deal with it and have for thousands of years. The way things are now is just wierd! (She loves fresh rabbit pot pie.)

 

BTW: We are city people all our lives. We decided to live a more simple life and moved to a farm in our 40's with the family. Anybody can learn.

 

:iagree: Great post! I grew up showing livestock (steers mostly) in 4-H. My first one was hard to let go. Daddy has us out in the barn with them and we helped load them up. Next ones weren't so bad. We had cattle & chickens at times (great difficulty with neighbors dogs & Mom gave it up). Daddy tried pigs once, but we teased him that the pigs were smarter. Every day (or so it seemed) we would see them running out through the pasture. They always found ways to escape. After those were fed & slaughtered, he never tried it again.

 

I love the name TENDER... hilarious.

 

However, being tender hearted with animals and being off the farm for many years now, I can see the first animal to go to the packing house being like my first show steer. When we (one day) move & get to do more small farm living, the kids will be right there with us... it is a part of life. We do not believe in shielding them from birth or death. They go to funerals and wakes with us. I am shocked that so few children are there.... when it is their aunt, uncle, or even grandparent. Kind of scary.

 

Now my potbellied pig is another matter. She is like a dog... not a market hog.

Edited by Dirtroad
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From the article in Wired--While recycling programs cost more than dumping trash into a big hole, a new study finds that the sparsely populated Canadian province is actually saving money by reducing its waste. When all the costs and benefits of those programs are measured, and depending on what factors are taken into account, the report (.pdf) says that Nova Scotia saves anywhere from $25 million to $125 million every year.

 

I'm not sure if they are incorrect in "inflating" the value, as you say. It seems like a pretty sound accounting of costs, and the area is happy to continue doing it. I believe that there are so many unaccounted costs to things like that, just as the article described on the second page. Kudos to them!!

 

This isn't referring to recycling though, it says "by reducing its waste", right? The original question was about which is cheaper: recycling or making new. The above quote is about not having the waste to begin with.

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Oh. Okay. Since I only use my bags for dry products (boxed cereals and such) and have a lined thermal bag that I use for meat (which I purchase at our local farmer's market and is packaged much better than the flimsy grocery store wrap) that is wiped out with disinfectant after each use and then allowed to air dry upside down over my kitchen sink, I think we are probably safe. Interesting report though. Can't say it is all that convincing that using reusable totes is not still the better way to go, but interesting nonetheless.

 

ETA: I have a couple of bags that I only use for my produce from the farmer's market as well. Since all the vendors at the farmer's market do use plastic bags (which does not thrill me, but I can't change it) and those little plastic bags go into my large fabric tote, I think I am safe there as well.

 

 

I wasn't the one that performed the study, but I can see a few things that even you may still want to be aware of:

 

If your totes touch any other surface at the store, then they are going to be picking up that bacteria on the outside of your bags, and you are bringing that into your house. Plastic bags tend to be thrown away or used as trash bags. Not all the studies revolved around germs and bacteria coming from FOOD, but that those bacteria can contaminate the next round of food or set off allergies for household members.

 

a lot would also depend on how one was disinfecting the bags --most people are going to use bleach. Even if you are using an earth-friendly disinfectant, you start getting into energy consumption surrounding that particular aspect.

 

I think a lot of the safety concerns can be avoided by simply printing some safety instructions on the bags until more people are used to caring for their bags properly. I think more than getting "mis-used" these studies are going to be under-reported, which will make the situation worse.

 

I tend to get bags from thrift stores --not quite so pretty or compact, but it's the ultimate in re-using. :)

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I'm not worried about bacteria in my grocery bags, but then I'm not a germaphobe. I also don't use anti-bacterial soap or purell. I'm rarely sick, btw. And this is the first winter I can remember when my kids weren't either. I realize the point of posting the article about unhealthy grocery bags is to prove that environmental choices have a hidden 'cost'. I sit on the board of our local Keep 'our county' Beautiful committee. We have saved our county over $100,000 since implementing a recycling program a few years ago. We don't do funky accounting here in our program... we're too low budget to hire the firm that skews stay at home moms' wages ;). Just so you know, recycling for me is very, very hard. I live in the country and have to drive to take my recycling- and before you say "a-ha! you drive to recycle thereby negating the benefits", I combine trips. I feel everything I keep out of the landfill is something nice I do for my great grandchildren. I'm not perfect (I also take a plane ride about once a year), but I try. I used to tell myself that home recycling didn't matter... I was wrong. Everyting matters. And even if you don't believe in global warming, surely we can all agree that clean air and clean water are important.

 

Margaret

P.S. regarding more trees: please read this article about longleaf pine forests in Georgia. There is a difference between Pine Plantations (rows upon rows of planted pine trees that are all over Georgia) and these wonderful, old growth ecosystems:

http://www.berry.edu/academics/science/longleaf/Why_Longleaf.asp

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I'm not worried about bacteria in my grocery bags, but then I'm not a germaphobe. I also don't use anti-bacterial soap or purell. I'm rarely sick, btw. And this is the first winter I can remember when my kids weren't either. I realize the point of posting the article about unhealthy grocery bags is to prove that environmental choices have a hidden 'cost'. I sit on the board of our local Keep 'our county' Beautiful committee. We have saved our county over $100,000 since implementing a recycling program a few years ago. We don't do funky accounting here in our program... we're too low budget to hire the firm that skews stay at home moms' wages ;). Just so you know, recycling for me is very, very hard. I live in the country and have to drive to take my recycling- and before you say "a-ha! you drive to recycle thereby negating the benefits", I combine trips. I feel everything I keep out of the landfill is something nice I do for my great grandchildren. I'm not perfect (I also take a plane ride about once a year), but I try. I used to tell myself that home recycling didn't matter... I was wrong. Everyting matters. And even if you don't believe in global warming, surely we can all agree that clean air and clean water are important.

 

Margaret

P.S. regarding more trees: please read this article about longleaf pine forests in Georgia. There is a difference between Pine Plantations (rows upon rows of planted pine trees that are all over Georgia) and these wonderful, old growth ecosystems:

http://www.berry.edu/academics/science/longleaf/Why_Longleaf.asp

 

I think i can 100% agree w/ this post. :D

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Something confuses me. Lately, and maybe I am misunderstanding here. It appears the president is advocating more green power, more energy efficient cars and so on. This confuses me because in this I have yet to see or hear the same attention and support for food production or organic farms. Factory farming is not good for the environment, so why the lack of attention? Also does clean green energy include nuclear power? How is that good for the environment? What am I missing here?

 

I refuse to "go green" I think it's all a money making scheme. I also don't recycle and I run my air conditioning while sitting under a blanket with all of the lights in my house on. ;)

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I refuse to "go green" I think it's all a money making scheme. I also don't recycle and I run my air conditioning while sitting under a blanket with all of the lights in my house on. ;)

 

Right, because no one's making money by supplying you with all that power. ;)

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Right, because no one's making money by supplying you with all that power. ;)

 

I am not following you. There is a huge difference between a money making scam for re-usable grocery bags and earth friendly paint, diapers, cars etc., and a utility supplying power. I have no problem paying for air-conditioning, but I would have a major problem with the government forcing me to use recyclable grocery bags.

 

It's my husband that is making the money, he is a lineman for a utility. And, believe me, people want their air conditioning and power and heat more than they say because when their power is out, it's him they call. A lot. And not very nicely.

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I am not following you. There is a huge difference between a money making scam for re-usable grocery bags and earth friendly paint, diapers, cars etc., and a utility supplying power. I have no problem paying for air-conditioning, but I would have a major problem with the government forcing me to use recyclable grocery bags.

 

It's my husband that is making the money, he is a lineman for a utility. And, believe me, people want their air conditioning and power and heat more than they say because when their power is out, it's him they call. A lot. And not very nicely.

I will admit that I absolutely want my air conditioning, yes ma'am!!!! In fact I keep it kind of cold in the house in the winter time to save money just so I can justify the extra expense in July, August and September!!!! I don't keep it cold enough to need a blanket and we do turn lights out because we are cheap.

 

I do like my tote bags though. I can fit twice as much (or more) in a tote bag than the bagger puts in a plastic bag and my totes have never broken and left me chasing cans of tomato sauce across my driveway. Today I did not carry enough totes and the bagger at Wal-Mart put one tank top in a plastic bag, one pair of flip flops in another and two bottles of shampoo in another.

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If your totes touch any other surface at the store, then they are going to be picking up that bacteria on the outside of your bags, and you are bringing that into your house.

The bottom of your purse can pick up the same bacteria. I still carry a purse. I guess I am just not quite afraid enough of germs to let it freak my out to that extent.

 

 

 

 

 

a lot would also depend on how one was disinfecting the bags --most people are going to use bleach. Even if you are using an earth-friendly disinfectant, you start getting into energy consumption surrounding that particular aspect.

I do use an "earth friendly" disinfectant and sure there is energy consumption involved. But since my goal is to prevent bags in trees and bags from breaking and causing humorous and yet frustrating scrambles to catch the rolling cans taking off across my driveway, I am still meeting my personal goals in using sturdy, reusable totes.

 

I prefer the totes for a variety of reasons. I don't look down on plastic bag users and if folks want to think I am using totes because I have bought into a money making scheme, whatever.

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I'm not worried about bacteria in my grocery bags, but then I'm not a germaphobe. I also don't use anti-bacterial soap or purell. I'm rarely sick, btw. And this is the first winter I can remember when my kids weren't either. I realize the point of posting the article about unhealthy grocery bags is to prove that environmental choices have a hidden 'cost'. I sit on the board of our local Keep 'our county' Beautiful committee. We have saved our county over $100,000 since implementing a recycling program a few years ago. We don't do funky accounting here in our program... we're too low budget to hire the firm that skews stay at home moms' wages ;). Just so you know, recycling for me is very, very hard. I live in the country and have to drive to take my recycling- and before you say "a-ha! you drive to recycle thereby negating the benefits", I combine trips. I feel everything I keep out of the landfill is something nice I do for my great grandchildren. I'm not perfect (I also take a plane ride about once a year), but I try. I used to tell myself that home recycling didn't matter... I was wrong. Everyting matters. And even if you don't believe in global warming, surely we can all agree that clean air and clean water are important.

 

Margaret

P.S. regarding more trees: please read this article about longleaf pine forests in Georgia. There is a difference between Pine Plantations (rows upon rows of planted pine trees that are all over Georgia) and these wonderful, old growth ecosystems:

http://www.berry.edu/academics/science/longleaf/Why_Longleaf.asp

 

I'm 100% in agreement with you... I'm definitely not a germophobe and love all those studies that show the cleaner a place is, the sicker the people that live there are (in general, of course). It's a good back-up for my lack of desire to do housecleaning. We are extremely rarely sick... even when everyone else around us is spreading the germs...

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The bottom of your purse can pick up the same bacteria. I still carry a purse. I guess I am just not quite afraid enough of germs to let it freak my out to that extent.

 

i'm too lazy to carry a purse :D

 

I'm 100% in agreement with you... I'm definitely not a germophobe and love all those studies that show the cleaner a place is, the sicker the people that live there are (in general, of course). It's a good back-up for my lack of desire to do housecleaning. We are extremely rarely sick... even when everyone else around us is spreading the germs...

 

me too!

 

The studies would obviously be more applicable to those who are already prone to allergies. ;)

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Woah. Lots of ground covered in such a short question.

 

A discussion like this has a way of sending me reeling. There is so much I wish I knew, so much to understand, and so many layers and layers of history, highhandedness, and hypocrisy that I am overwhelmed before I even wade in.

 

So, rather than stutter along in my own words, I'll mostly rely on linked articles. I would like to add, however, since this thread went off on a plastic bag vs. reusable bag bent, that the study which found so much wrong with reusable bags was sponsored by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. I would venture to bet that clothing, carpeting, and the family cat harbor as many bacteria as Mr. Sporometrics discovered in reusable bags. Nothing like throwing the baby out with the bath water!

 

So this:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/world/europe/31iht-bags.4.9650382.html?_r=1

 

 

This:

 

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975-4,00.html

 

And this (including the embedded link to the full article):

 

http://www.ifpri.org/pubs/speeches/20090306jvbtaas.asp

 

 

 

These are just the tippy tips of the iceberg, for sure. :confused:

Edited by Doran
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