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E-Waste Phones Home

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Author: the Inkslinger

My wife and I got our first cell phone about eight years ago. Her commute in those days was a long one over lonely back roads and with another big bad Vermont winter coming and a toddler now often in the back seat, it seemed like a wise choice. So we got the cheapo plan, a bare bones phone and 500 free minutes of which we used maybe ten a month for quick can-you-pick-up-some-milk-on-the-way-home calls.

Four years later, a hinge on the phone snapped, and I went to Verizon to get it fixed. The phone guy kinda laughed and said they don’t really fix them. Every two years, it seems, we could get a free new phone and the old one would get thrown out. Who knew? But that’s how it works. Except that it really doesn’t work for a whole lot of reasons that are outlined in this great new video from INFORM.

It is completely crazy that we live so disposably. That it’s cheaper to replace things than to fix them. That we simply throw away so much without thinking about it. Profligacy has replaced frugality, and that may not even be the deepest sadness. What, after all, are all these phones are made from and what happens when that stuff gets tossed into our soil, air and water. Watch the video then let’s figure out a better way to go.

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Weird Wire

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Author: the Inkslinger

The night is coming. The veil that separates the world of the living from the realm of the dead now grows thin. Spirits gather and soon will cross this dark divide to fill shadowy streets and abandoned yards with visions of the ghastly, the ghostly, and the ghoulish. Can’t wait! But while we do, here’s some news of the strange and the weird to mark the world’s spookiest holiday and the one of the its oldest pagan traditions…

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is back in the news with word that the feds want to study this maelstrom of muck with an eye toward a possible clean-up. Those familiar with the incredibly disconcerting and wholly freakish twice-Texas-sized patch of floating trash, however, say that not only is cleanup pretty much impossible even conducting basic research is likely to prove vexing. How about we just take the zillions of dollars and man-hours we might spend here and devote them to preventing garbage from entering ocean ecosystems in the first place?

Halloween marks the boundary between summer and winter, or light and dark, an important annual milestone given the impact we’ve learned light can have on human health. Indeed studies have shown that people who work out-of-sync with natural day-night cycles are at risk for all kinds of maladies from depression to breast cancer. The impact is so great that the World Health Organization will declare in December that shift work is a “probable carcinogen.” In other words, the graveyard shift could actually put you there. I think it’s time to shift our 24/7 economy back to something a little more civilized.

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Getting Trashed

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Author: the Inkslinger

As White Rhino said upon it's forwarding, this guest post is almost poetry of a sort. Eco-haiku, anyone?

I have on my bedroom wall an old print from my Mother's 1925 house showing Hercules trying to hold up the world. Sometimes that is how I feel after my walk in the woods and down our dirt road. I pick up bottles and cans as I go and pile them every so often. A neighbor told me since I go to that bother he will take them to the dump.

My angst is over the trash, old metal beds, ,jugs used for target practice that I find deep in the woods.

When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn??

Kim in NH

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Periscope Up…

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Author: the Inkslinger

Midweek arrives. Time for a scan of the distant horizon to spot approaching signs and incoming indications. Must peer out into the virtual firmament and across the murky ether that separates tomorrow from today to see what may soon come this way. Is the periscope predictive? Perhaps. Even the biggest of changes starts with the smallest of whispers. But not every whisper becomes a shout. We can only listen, watch, and wait, and navigate the waters immediately ahead to the best of our ability and on the course that the persicope at present says will steer us closer to truth and how to act upon it. The view may change. The course may need correction. But for now, this is what the eyepiece sees…

San Francisco’s got a brand new bag. And it better be biodegradable. Definitely an idea to get to-go and carry elsewhere.

To bee or not to bee, that is the question. The other question is whether or not genetically modifed crops are what’s causing them all to bee gone.

Low impact!? What about no impact? Let’s hope it won’t come to that or this, that we’ll find a way to do sustainably rather than do completely without, but an interesting experiment in possibilities nonetheless.

Oops! They did it again! Reticent [insert type] industry cites [insert bogus self-sponsored study] and says [insert latest necessary good idea] will cost way too much to do. [Insert type] industry is soon proven [insert adverb] wrong by [insert organization name] which found [insert actual facts]. Bet you won’t find that on any label…

Wait a minute… I thought soap was supposed to be clean! Guess it depends on what’s inside. (Go here for the source of all the suds.)

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Round and Round We Go

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Author: the Inkslinger

The sun is out. The week is young. The news is in. Here’s the scoop on weird pollution, gold medals, landfills nowhere near any, and more.

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