Category Archives: #A-Z of environmental pollution

The Environmental A-Z…the letters X,Y,Z…Zero Waste Market Kyoto Japan…

 

Welcome to my Environmental A-Z…today it’s the letters X, Y and Z…I have been heartened to hear how many of you feel like I do that we need to take our own steps to avoid pollution and waste wherever we can…especially at this time of the year when waste is at its highest …I hope you all aimed for a sustainable Christmas or as near as damn it as possible even one change is a result multiplied…

Abraham Lincoln is correct we need to act now to create the future for our families that we want…but at the moment we can only dream of…

The best way to predict your future is to create it...Abraham Lincoln.

The A-Z of the environment and Climate Change… letters X, Y and Z…

I have reached the end of this series but I will be back in the New Year with another A-Z an A-Z of which will be revealed in the New Year…

X, Y, Z as with most A-Z’s the alphabet ran true to form with few examples and unfortunately, I could find nothing beginning with Y… except for economic yield and that was too in-depth for me…

Xerach…

Having its origin in a dry habitat…it includes the different stages in a xerarch succession that is limited by water availability… A xerarch succession of ecological communities originated in an extremely dry situation such as sand deserts, sand dunes, salt deserts, rock deserts etc.. .the correct order of succession levels in xerarch ARE bare rocks, crustose lichen stage, foliose lichen stage, moss stage, annual herb stage, perennial herb stage, shrub stage, tree forest and finally climax stage.

Xylophagous…

Xylophagous insects play a multifunctional and very important role in forest ecosystems. Some xylophagous insects develop either in dead trees and shrubs or in dead parts of still living woody plants. These are called saproxylic. A couple of decades ago they were not considered to play a significant functional role in the functioning of forest ecosystems. Now it is a well-known fact that this earlier opinion was fundamentally wrong and that undervaluation of their importance came simply from lack of knowledge of their importance. The saproxylic species play an important and irreplaceable role in the decomposition of dead woody plants.

After these insects have taken the first steps in the decomposition of wood, the chewed-up wood and their frass become available for other macros, and microscopic organisms. The saproxylic insects take part not only in the first part of the decomposition process but also in all successive stages. There are some species (flower beetles belonging to the dung beetle family for example) that feed in very decomposed wood. These species help to mix the wood compost into the soil. Further decomposition from this point becomes the duty of small arthropods such as springtails and mites, and even smaller microscopic organisms.

This is really interesting as most living things play an important role in our future and the existence of trees and forests…

Zero Waste…

Wouldn’t it be lovely to live in a world where there was a completely circular economy and zero waste…

It sounds like my dream is doable…I do hope I am around to see a completely circular economy because it CAN be done! Check this out and see how…I think it’s brilliant…

What do you think?

The Zero Waste Market opened near downtown Kyoto on July 31. As well as a wide range of fresh vegetables, it sells dry goods such as beans, nuts, flour, pasta and noodles, seasonings such as oil, vinegar and soy sauce, cleaning products like laundry detergent and powdered bleach and soap, personal care products like lip cream and shampoo, and natural wine. The range of products is part of the reason it calls itself Japan’s first zero-waste supermarket.

Its success and interest from customers and other retailers are pushing the company’s expansion plans along faster than it had expected, in a sign that Japan may be ready to relinquish its status as the second-highest per capita generator of plastic packaging waste…Wow, that is amazing…

Zero Emissions...

Zero-emission refers to an engine, motor, process, or other energy sources, that emit no waste products that pollute the environment or disrupt the climate.

I’ve seen the headlines and heard the promises by 2030 by 2050…Do I think that Greta Thunberg will get her demands met?… This objective has been ratified by Switzerland, the EU and many other countries, under the Paris Agreement…I wait and I won’t hold my breath but I also hope that it will happen it could but will it?

Net zero-emission means that all man-made greenhouse gas emissions must be removed from the atmosphere through reduction measures, thus reducing the Earth’s net climate balance, after removal via natural and artificial sink, to zero. This way humankind would be carbon neutral and global temperature would stabilise…

Zooplankton…

The zooplankton community is an important element of the aquatic food chain. These organisms serve as an intermediary species in the food chain, transferring energy from planktonic algae (primary producers) to the larger invertebrate predators and fish who in turn feed on them.

Zooplankton and other small marine creatures eat phytoplankton and then become food for fish, crustaceans, and other larger species. … Phytoplankton accounts for about half of the photosynthesis on the planet, making them one of the world’s most important producers of oxygen.

Temperature is considered the major factor shaping marine zooplankton dynamics, including distribution, abundance and phenology…thus increased temperatures mean that the plankton increases thus too much plankton due to excess nutrients in the water (known as eutrophication), which means that harmful algal blooms can result. These can decrease the sunlight and oxygen in the water, which can disrupt the natural ecosystem.

The End!

I hope you have enjoyed this environmental A-Z as much as I have…as always thank you for dropping by and reading this post I look forward to your comments…Carol xx

 

 

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 5th- 11th December 2021…Environmental A-Z, Music, Recipes and Free Wine Fountains…

My environmental A-Z…Christmas Music by Elvis and Simon & Garfunkel, Sausage  Rolls,
Mince Pies and my new recipe for sweet mincemeat plus after the Mistletoe comes the
Wine…Cheers!

I cannot believe we are now hurtling towards New Year …Have you made the puddings and cake, pickled your pickles all ready for the festive jolly on the 25th… Right now, there are
13 days until Christmas 2021! …Jeez, that crept up…

Welcome to my weekly roundup...This week last week has been a little warmer in the mornings and darker but the days have been warmer the chillies are ripening well and the bananas are plenteous …

What is in store for you then this week if you are catching up… if you are comfy and have your drink to sustain you then time to have a read and relax…

The week started with 6 of my favourite versions of Silent Night it is a beautiful Christmas Carol and there have been many lovely versions over the years…

I have posted a few different versions throughout the week and there will be another at the end of this post…

CarolCooks2… Silent Night my 6 favourite version…

It was followed by some Christmas trivia I mean who knew that tinsel used to be made from real silver or that Christmas Eve in Iceland is all about reading a book and eating chocolate a custom I could quite easily adopt…

Interestingly I heard of another one which I am happy to adopt as when talking to Mary she mentioned that she fried some Christmas cake with bacon…come on bacon makes everything taste better…

CarolCooks2…Christmas Trivia, Traditions and Devils on Horseback…

Wednesday was time for the environmental A-Z which although it generally has a serious side I have tried to incorporate a bit of Christmas cheer and there are some hints and tips on how we can make our Christmas a little more sustainable …

 

I think we can seriously cut down to prevent food waste at Christmas and New Year plus packaging waste…which if you are buying for kids can be horrendous and do they really need(not)want all the latest toys and games?… I think the time has come to limit that as much is hardly ever played with after it has been opened and kids should be encouraged to think about the environment …I never forget when we brought a subscription to a gibbon Project our grandkids loved it and asked so many questions it was lovely and not just on Christmas day they were able to follow the progress of their little gibbon baby until it was released back into the jungle and even then they could hear and read about the progress it was so lovely…How many questions do they ask about the latest electronic fad/game they just stick their nose in it and no one gets a word out of them…I much prefer interest plus equations and it keeps me from dozing off…

The Environmental A-Z…the letter W…Waste Prevention, Waste Management and Wood Dust/Smoke…

Thursday it was the reposting from Sally over at Smorgasbord Magazine of a seasonal post where Sally shared the nutritional benefits of an ingredient “Brussel Sprouts” and Carol Taylor incorporates it in a delicious recipe.

Thank you, Sally I know I needed a recap of just how good the Brussel Sprout is nutritionally for me and I think many of us are discovering that they are not the overcooked sprouts that our nans used to serve they have moved on and can take many strong flavours like chilli and bacon I mean bacon makes everything taste better…#Recommended read.

Please head over to Smorgasbord and have a read..the Brussel Sprout has had a resurgence and is now loved by many…

Smorgasbord Health – Christmas Cook From Scratch Rewind – Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Brussel Sprouts spicy and fried, Risotto Cakes and Au Gratin

Friday it was time for the recipes for sausage rolls, mince pies and my new recipe for sweet mincemeat…

There are many variations of both the sausage roll and the mince pie…here I give you a family recipe which was handed down to me but I also ring the changes with the pastry and how I decorate the tops either with puff pastry or with star shape or a lattice top they can be served with custard, cream or brandy butter whatever your loved tradition dictates…Last week when I tested my new mincemeat recipe we had custard… at Christmas I like mine eaten warm with nothing or some cheese or with cream…

CarolCooks2 in my kitchen…Mince Pies and Sausage Rolls…plus Silent Night with Simon & Garfunkel.

 Saturday Snippets…it was a natural progression following mistletoe with wine for the one-word prompt I hope you enjoy!

I enjoyed this one…Drunken Cheese had a lovely story of its history and I was fascinated as to the production of it…there was news of free wine fountains in Italy…music videos of which my choice was endless and who would have thought even a wine flavoured Kit -Kat well I sort of did as they have a green tea flavoured one here which is actually quite nice…

Saturday Snippets 11th December 2021…After the Mistletoe came the Wine!

Today’s version of  Silent Night is performed by Placido Domingo…

I hope you enjoy this version …

Thank you for joining me today I hope you have enjoyed the catchup…I look forward to your comments as always…Have an enjoyable Sunday, stay safe from this new virulent covid strain…I hope you will join me again next week I am always pleased to see you XX

The Environmental A-Z…the letter W…Waste Prevention, Waste Management and Wood Dust/Smoke…

 

Welcome to my Environmental A-Z…today it’s the letter W…I have been heartened to hear how many of you feel like I do that we need to take our own steps to avoid pollution and waste wherever we can…especially at this time of the year when waste is at its highest …Let’s all aim for a sustainable Christmas or as near as damn it as possible even one change is a result multiplied…

Abraham Lincoln is correct we need to act now to create the future for our families that we want…but at the moment we can only dream of…

The best way to predict your future is to create it...Abraham Lincoln.

The A-Z of the environment and Climate Change… letter W…

Waste Management…

Waste management (or waste disposal) includes the processes and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal…

The mismanagement of wastes results in deaths of wildlife and marine animals after eating rubbish food, soil and groundwater contamination with polluted water …

There are eight major categories of waste management, and each of them can be divided into numerous sub-categories. The categories include source reduction and reuse, animal feeding, recycling, composting, fermentation, landfills, incineration, and land application. Some of these methods like reduction and reuse can be started from the comfort of your homes.

Waste Prevention…

There is so much we can do in and around the home to prevent excess waste...It all starts from the minute we start shopping and if we shop wisely we can avoid taking waste home with us…we are already living with the results of waste management although using landfills is becoming less these days, thanks to the lack of space available and the strong presence of methane and other landfill gases, both of which can cause numerous contamination problems.

Landfills give rise to air and water pollution which severely affects the environment and can prove fatal to the lives of humans and animals. Many areas are reconsidering the use of landfills…which is why we have to do what we can and think about the impact the packaging on the products we buy is having on the environment especially at Christmas when food waste and packaging waste multiplies …for example:- Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage or about 1 million extra tons per week!

Much of the packaging that we dispose of over the festive season is made up of different types of materials which means it requires specialist equipment to recycle and many companies don’t have the facilities therefore much goes to landfill either in our own country or abroad and we know the consequences of that…Don’t we?

Wood Dust/Smoke…

Exposure to excessive amounts of wood dust may irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Workers may also experience shortness of breath, dryness and sore throat, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eye), and rhinitis (runny nose). Dermatitis is common and may be caused by the chemicals in the wood.

The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles, also called fine particulate matter or PM2. 5. These microscopic particles can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they may cause burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses, such as bronchitis.

Wind Energy…

An alternative source of energy and we do as a world need to be considering that…

The terms “wind energy” and “wind power” both describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity.

My favourite way of showing how much thought has gone into how something is powered this year was at “The “Earthshot Prize” awards that Prince William and Sir Michael Attenborough are promoting…Coldplay powered their performance using pedal power…impressive…

It shows that thinking outside the box does produce something that works and I’m sure some bright little spark can expand on the power of the pedal…sometimes simple is best…

Thank you for joining me today and as always I look forward to your comments…x

 

The Environmental A-Z…the letter V…#Vinyl Chloride, Vapor Intrusion and VOC’S…

Welcome to my Environmental A-Z…today it’s the letter V…I have been heartened to hear how many of you feel like I do that we need to take our own steps to avoid pollution and waste wherever we can…especially at this time year when it is at its highest …Let’s all aim for a sustainable Christmas or as near as damn it as possible even one change is a result multiplied…

Abraham Lincoln is correct we need to act now to create the future for our families that we want…but at the moment we can only dream of…

The best way to predict your future is to create it...Abraham Lincoln.

The A-Z of the environment and Climate Change… letter V …

Vinyl Chloride…

Exposure to this colourless gas occurs mainly in the workplace.

Breathing high levels of vinyl chloride for short periods of time can cause dizziness, sleepiness, unconsciousness, and at extremely high levels can cause death. Breathing vinyl chloride for long periods of time can result in permanent liver damage, immune reactions, nerve damage, and liver cancer.

Vinyl chloride is used primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC); PVC is used to make a variety of plastic products, including pipes, wire and cable coatings, and packaging materials. Vinyl chloride is also produced as a combustion product in tobacco smoke.

I don’t smoke my hubby does…HOWEVER he never ever smokes indoors whatever the weather a blizzard could be blowing and if he wanted a fag that badly he goes outside…I am certain that isn’t always the case I have friends who smoke indoors and it stinks…they are houses I don’t visit for that reason we always meet outside somewhere or my house where they smoke outside…

How are people exposed to vinyl chloride?

Workers at facilities where vinyl chloride is produced or used may be exposed primarily through inhalation. The general population may be exposed by inhaling contaminated air or tobacco smoke. In the environment, the highest levels of vinyl chloride are found in the air around factories that produce vinyl products. If a water supply is contaminated, vinyl chloride can enter household air when the water is used for showering, cooking, or laundry.

Jeez, are we safe anywhere apart from a sealed bunker with filtered air…

From Vinyl Chloride we get Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) is the most toxic plastic for our health and the environment. For more than 30 years, leading health, environmental justice, and health-impacted organizations across the country and world have been campaigning to phase out this poison plastic.

Fast forward to 2021…All current evidence supports the simple proposition that the use of PVC is problematic and that there are significant health issues at all stages in the lifecycle.
The majority of key components used in the manufacture of PVC are well
recognised for their toxicity and this is an inherent feature of PVC.

Vapor Intrusion…

Vapor-phase migration of volatile organic compounds or volatile inorganic compounds into occupied buildings from underlying contaminated groundwater or soil.

Vapor Intrusion commonly occurs when chemicals or petroleum-based products are spilt on the ground and emit vapors or gases that can rise into households and buildings. Other common products can give off vapor intrusion like gasoline, dry-cleaning solvents, paints, paint thinners, new carpeting, furniture, air fresheners, cleaning products, and dry cleaned clothing.

There are some health concerns when it comes to Vapor Intrusion including: 

  • Eye Irritation
  • Respiratory Irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

The severity of these symptoms will depend on the levels of chemicals found at a site and the length of the exposure. If someone is exposed to these vapors over a long period of time, the risk of cancer or chronic disease will dramatically increase.

Volatile organic compound (VOC)

Molecules containing carbon and differing proportions of other elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, fluorine and chlorine. With sunlight and heat, they form ground-level ozone.

Ground-level ozone is a colourless and highly irritating gas that forms just above the earth’s surface. It is called a “secondary” pollutant because it is produced when two primary pollutants react in sunlight and stagnant air. These two primary pollutants are nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Ozone at ground level is a harmful air pollutant, because of its effects on people and the environment, and it is the main ingredient in “smog.”

Smog is a type of air pollutant; the word “smog” is a combination of smoke and fog. Classic smog results from large amounts of coal burning in an area and is caused by a mixture of smoke and sulfur dioxide. …

An example of smog is a low-lying yellow or brown layer of air. Fog that has become mixed and polluted with smoke. … Ozone, a toxic gas that is not normally produced at lower atmospheric levels, is one of the primary pollutants created in this kind of smog.

Thank you for joining me today and as always I look forward to your comments…x

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…November 7th-13th 2021…Environmental A-Z, Sweet Potato Recipes, Music and Christmas Pudding Recipes…

My Environmental A-Z,  Sweet Potato, Christmas Pudding and Irish Cream Recipes, the best pasta in the world,  …Music by Bette Midler and more …Oh Yes, so much more!

I cannot believe we are nearly 2 weeks into November and coming up to 3 yrs of covid who would have thunk 2 years ago?

Welcome to my weekly roundup...Fig Newtons are still on hold I have been unable to get out to buy the cinnamon…but tomorrow we have to collect our Vaccine Passport which means I may be able to get some cinnamon and then Fig Newtons it will be…

The first post of the week was Part 2 of Christmas Treats and Trivia...I still can’t believe it is that time of the year again it just doesn’t feel like it but Christmas Puddings need to be made and this year I have made a few extra as gifts…

I have or we have collectively decided I am not making a fruit cake aka Christmas cake this year…I love Christmas cake however my waistline has expanded and I need to get some pounds of..begone…I am going to make something else instead, something that everyone loves which then means it is not down to me to eat it all as it is with the Christmas cake..unless of course, I make a Christmas cake for one…Mmmmm that’s a thought…Mini Christmas cakes it will be…

 

Christmas…Treats, Traditions and Trivia! Part 2…

November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month…

I love sweet potatoes with the purple ones being my absolute favourite…Hubby prefers the white potato…nutrient and vitamin wise surprisingly there is not much difference with potatoes it’s how you cook them or add to them…as I am watching what I eat my plate was noticeable last night for the absence of very nice crispy potatoes cooked in duck fat…Hubby and my son enjoyed them…sigh…my waistline said thank you…

CarolCooks2…In my Kitchen today…Sweet Potatoes…

The letter U was the subject of this week’s Environmental A-Z…Used Oil, UNESCO and Universal Waste…A comment by Jim of Bordens Blather fame...Take a bow Jim…made me think and speak to Mr Google…of course, it did…lol…

But when do we as the consumer see notices or receive notification of how best we can dispose and where locally of what we buy...My response was a mini-rant…sigh… When do you get the information when you purchase these oils and paints etc it should be clearly displayed how they should be disposed of and where local points of collection are stores and manufacturers are lazy it should not all be down to the consumer they have a duty of care for our planet as well…Nuff said for now…lol

The Environmental A-Z…the letter U…Used Oil, UNESCO, Universal Waste…

CarolCooks2 in my kitchen…

In this post, I was exploring the changes that Covid has meant to us in our kitchens and what we buy…

CarolCooks2…in my kitchen….What has changed and why…2021…

I am loving this series from Sally because I believe all of us at some time in our life need to increase our intake of a certain vitamin or nutrient…Sally has made it easy by breaking it down and she will also be giving us a shopping list to make it even easier…How good is that…This week it is Essential Fatty Acids…#recommended read

Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Six – #Essential Fatty Acids by Sally Cronin

Friday already…

How to cook a turkey I’m sure many of us have been there and many of us will be there…it can be pretty daunting the first time…like will it fit in the oven…will it be cooked, is it thawed so many things to consider to present the perfectly cooked turkey on Christmas Day.

Christmas…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…Part 3.

Saturday Snippets are often written on the fly…very rarely planned unless someone has given me a prompt word… in the last 4 weeks, they have followed a sort of theme…Soap, Water, Fire, Wind…would Earth be a natural progression and where to go from there?

I hope you enjoyed my foray into my prompt word “Wind” It was interesting to write…

Saturday Snippets 13th November 2021…Wind!

That’s all for today…I hope you have all had a fabulous weekend and if you are still reading this post I look forward to your comments as always…xxx

 

 

 

The Environmental A-Z…the letter U…Used Oil, UNESCO, Universal Waste…

Welcome to my Environmental A-Z…today it’s the letter U…I have been heartened to hear how many of you feel like I do that we need to take our own steps to avoid pollution wherever we can…I am hoping that COP26(Conference of the Parties) will make the difference we need.

Abraham Lincoln is correct we need to act now to create the future for our families that we want…but at the moment we can only dream of…

The best way to predict your future is to create it...Abraham Lincoln.

 

The A-Z of the environment and Climate Change… letter U…UNESCO, UNFCCC, Used Oil inc Household used Oil and Universal Waste…

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change…

What is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change? The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994. Today, it has near-universal membership. The 197 countries that have ratified the Convention are called Parties to the Convention.

For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority.

This year will be the 26th annual summit – giving it the name COP26(Conference of the Parties). With the UK as President, COP26  is taking place in Glasgow…I’m sure I am not the only one who is hoping that the talking will end and radical change to address Climate Change will take place…

In the run-up to COP26, the UK is working with every nation to reach an agreement on how to tackle climate change. World leaders will arrive in Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.

Not only is it a huge task but it is also not just yet another international summit. Most experts believe COP26 has a unique urgency…

Unesco…

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, Sciences and Culture. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

Used Oil…

Or waste oil…used oil as any oil that has been refined from crude oil or any synthetic oil that has been used and as a result of such use is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities. Simply put, used oil is exactly what its name implies—any petroleum-based or synthetic oil that has been used.

During normal use, impurities such as dirt, metal scrapings, water, or chemicals can get mixed in with the oil, so that in time the oil no longer performs well.

Once the oil has been used, it can be collected, recycled, and used over and over again. An estimated 380 million gallons of used oil are recycled each year. Recycled used oil can sometimes be used again for the same job or can take on a completely different task. For example, used motor oil can be re-refined and sold at the store as motor oil or processed for furnace fuel oil. Aluminium rolling oils also can be filtered on-site and used over again.

Household used oil…

This used cooking oil can be processed and repurposed into biofuel, animal feed ingredients, as well as several common household or commercial products such as paints, solvents, cleansers, lotions, plastics, tires and more. As the demand for yellow grease (processed UCO) grows, so does its inherent value.

The global used cooking oil market size was valued at $6,041.2 million in 2018 and is projected to reach $8,886.7 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 5.0% from 2019 to 2026. Used cooking oil is also known as waste vegetable oil.

I am banned from putting any oil down the waste pipe and I am happy to oblige hubby…I do have concerns however about what happens to the used oil …

I am trying to find out if there is a collection point near me…unsuccessfully at the moment, it seems there are randomly scattered collection points around with the aim of making bio-diesel but nothing nationwide…How is your used cooking oil disposed of???

Universal Waste…

Universal wastes are hazardous wastes that are widely produced by households and many
different types of businesses. Universal wastes include televisions, computers and other
electronic devices as well as batteries, fluorescent lamps, mercury thermostats, and other
mercury-containing equipment, among others.

What is not a universal waste?

Batteries. …Some batteries meet the above definition but are not universal waste. These
include spent lead-acid batteries that are being managed under the requirement of 40 CFR part
266 subpart G…batteries that are NOT waste because they have not been discarded and
batteries that are not hazardous waste.
Thank you for joining me today and as always I look forward to your comments…x