March 28th, 2014

Foam of contention: dealing with polystyrene wastes

640px-A_squirrel_and_his_styrofoam_cups

By Michelle Rose Rubio

 

Expanded polystyrene (also known as EPS foam, polystyrene or Styrofoam) is a popular plastic for the packaging of food items, electric and electronic goods, furniture and more due to its excellent insulating and protective properties, as well as a being a production material in its own right for such items as disposable cups, trays, cutlery and cartons.

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October 29th, 2013

Things that go bump in the bin?

melon brain

By Joe Hudson

 
This Halloween, scores of children will once again drag their parents out into the chilly October air to spook their obliging neighbours into handing over sugary treats. Costumes, sweets and decorations are all considered necessities for this single evening of enforced spookiness – and then typically end up in the bin. For a green-minded parent (or child), are there ways to avoid being haunted by horrible waste without making Halloween a ghastly chore?

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August 30th, 2013

Playing chicken with the climate: why environmentalists should go veggie

Bypass Burger

by Francis Vergunst

 

You’ve heard it from the Greens, you’ve heard it from your friends, you’ve probably even heard it from your grandma… and now you’re hearing it from the government too. What’s the big deal? Do we really need to eat less meat – or none at all? I would argue that becoming vegetarian could be the most effective action you take against climate change. Consider the following.

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July 5th, 2013

Trash talk

Dictionary discard2

by Steve Watson

 

The literate and waste conscious Isonomia reader will no doubt be familiar with just how very differently waste gets talked about in different quarters. At one extreme there is a growing community of ecologically minded individuals committed to seeing all waste as a ‘resource’, with the very admittance of the category of ‘waste’ seen as part of the environmental problem. At the other, the Daily Mail tends to class recycling as just another type of ‘rubbish’. The vocabulary different people use to categorise the same basic stuff has a dramatic effect on how they view it, and to understand how this has come about we need to delve deep into the linguistic landfill on which modern English is built.

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June 21st, 2013

A nation of spongers?

Treading water – the UK has yet to get serious about water footprinting

by Alex Massie

 

It may seem unlikely given our much-discussed damp climate, but the UK is in fact one of the biggest importers of water, per capita, in the world. Our sponge-like tendency is not just due to our thirst for French mineral water. Water is ‘embodied’ in almost every single thing that we import: food, energy, and products alike.

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