Preventing Oil Spills

May 31st, 2010
What can be Done to Prevent Future Oil Spills?

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has once more brought the issue of the dangers of offshore oil drilling, both to humans and to the environment in general, back into sharp focus. The effort to even stem the flow of oil from the sunken rig involved a number of different measures from the slightly strange – trying to mop up oil with tonnes of hair donated by barbers from all around the world- to massive and somewhat untested measures like the “top kill “procedure set into motion by BP on Wednesday May 26th, 2010.
Whatever the end result of the efforts, there will still be massive damage done to the ecosystems in the areas affected by the spill. Perhaps the hardest hit will be the delicate coastal areas around Louisiana which were only just beginning to bounce back from the damage Mother Nature inflicted upon them during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
However given that this far from the first devastating oil spill to wreak havoc on the world’s waters what else should be done to prevent these incidents from ever occurring at all?
Many environmentalists suggest that offshore drilling should be slowed and that companies like BP and Exxon should shift more of their focus to developing alternative energy sources. They encourage people to cut their own consumption of fossil fuels by driving less or trading in their older vehicles for more energy efficient models and taking advantage of the alternative energy supplies being offered by many local electricity companies.
As they have after previous oil spill accidents the US Government will of course launch inquiries into what went wrong in the Gulf of Mexico and it is also probable that once the finger pointing between the companies involved in the latest incident has died down they will no doubt make a great many promises about making greater efforts to be environmentally conscious (as they have in the past) However it may just be up to the man in street to help prevent another oil spill from occurring by consuming less fossil fuels in their everyday lives, reducing the need for offshore drilling at all.
To learn more about the devastation caused by an oil spill and how you can help visit Tip the Planet , a leading green wiki

Beyond Petroleum Spills?

May 31st, 2010
British Petroleum and the Environment

British Petroleum (BP) has once again been very much in the headlines recently as they struggled to contain an oil spill from a rig the company had been leasing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Early reports seemed to indicate that perhaps a lack of maintenance on the rig was a problem and it is true that the blowout preventer, a series of valves designed to shut off any oil leak did not function correctly, part of the reason that the flow of oil was so difficult to halt.
BP is currently the third largest global energy company and unfortunately in the past doesn’t have a flawless record. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident, in which 11 lives were lost when the rig exploded and ultimately sank into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, is not the first time the company has been involved in an oil spill. In Prudoe Bay, Alaska in 2006 the company had to halt operations when corrosion in offshoot pipelines caused over one million liters of oil to spill into Alaska’s North Slope.
That incident came unfortunately only a year after an explosion had rocked the company’s largest refinery in Texas, resulting in the deaths of 15 people and forcing a town to come to a practical halt for several days.
Despite a shakeup in 2007 under a new management team and several forays into alternative energy projects British Petroleum still takes a lot of heat from environmentalists. The company has been accused on many occasions of “greenwashing” – the practice of trying to look like one is making environmentally conscious efforts and innovations but failing.
BP have made some green gains however. They are now one of the largest generators of wind power in the world and have made large inroads into the solar power business. However, in the aftermath of yet another environmental disasdter they still have a long way to go.
To learn more about BP and its’ environmental record visit Tip the Planet, the internet’s fastest growing green wiki.

Making the Most of What You Don’t Want – Recycling and Freecycling

May 18th, 2010

Recycling is one of the easiest ways that everyone can do their part to help improve and preserve the health of the planet and although most people are aware of that fact they also often believe that they are too busy to spend much of their precious time making the extra effort to actively participate in recycling efforts. Recycling does not have to be time consuming and difficult though as these ideas from Tip the Planet, the green wiki, demonstrate:

Reusing and recycling your clothes to help the environment and others less fortunate than you is a great way to do your part for the planet with very little effort. Tip the Planet has dozens of tips for recycling clothing of all kinds: http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Clothes

Are you an avid DIYer? Home improvements are great but they generate a lot of waste that can not only clutter up your garage but impact the health of the environment around your home as well. Construction and gardening waste as well as leftover paints and cleaning products can and should be recycled: http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Building_Rubbish & http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Chemicals,_paints_and_oils

These days we all have a great many electronic items hanging around the house that we simply do not use anymore but we simply don’t know what to with them other than stuff them out of sight in a drawer or a cupboard. Recycling like items like old cell phones, the computer you upgraded from two years ago even the batteries you use in all those handheld devices not only helps save the planet but helps make your own home a little more organized as well. http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Electronic_items

Recycling starts at home but your good efforts should continue at work as well. There are plenty of opportunities to recycle in the workplace and even if it’s not your decision to start taking green business measures you can talk to your boss about implementing some environmentally conscious policies around the office. http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Recycling_tips_for_business

Freecycling groups are springing up all over the globe. Freecycling is a way for communities to give as well as to receive useful resources that benefit everyone. Thousands of people are working together to keep waste of the landfills and give a new lease on life to all kinds of items. http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Freecycle_tips

Have a recycling idea we haven’t mentioned here or a recycling project you think the world should know about? Submit your tips to Tip the Planet, the fastest growing green wiki on the internet

Nike goes Green

May 14th, 2010

Nike thinking Green ahead of the World Cup

When you think about companies who are doing their bit for the environment by creating “greener” clothing it is rather unlikely that sports attire giants Nike would be the first one to spring to mind. However in creating the soccer jerseys for a number of teams (including the USA) for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, which kicks off in South Africa in June, the firm is indeed making a significant contribution to the green movement.

The average soccer jersey is made from polyester, which as a petroleum based product is hardly a very eco-friendly material. The new Nike jerseys (which are also being sold to soccer fans for about $70 a pop) are made from recycled plastic water bottles gathered from landfills in Japan and Taiwan. According to the company it takes eight water bottles to make one soccer jersey and to do so requires 30% less energy than usual.

One of the problems with recycled clothing materials is actually convincing people to wear them in a world that still loves its leather. Will the fact that the Nike jerseys are going to be worn by some of the biggest soccer stars encourage people to give recycled fabrics a chance?

The members of the USA team may not be the biggest names in world soccer but one man who is – the very fashion conscious Cristiano Ronaldo aka the world’s most expensive soccer player – plays for Portugal, another team outfitted by Nike. So if it’s good enough for him.

Nike’s efforts are admirable but The 2010 World cup itself has come under serious fire from environmentalists since they estimate that the “carbon footprint” for this year’s tournament is estimated at 2.75 million tons of carbon dioxide, nine times higher than the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and more than twice as high as the Beijing Olympics. Emission levels are high because fans will have to fly between the host cities and because the nation uses coal for most of its electricity.

Have more green stories? Share your wisdom by submitting them to TipthePlanet, the most comprehensive green wiki on the internet.

Greening your Everyday Diet

May 12th, 2010

Eating and drinking better foods and beverages is great for our overall health of course, but did you realize that by doing so you may also be helping to make the planet a better place to live? TipthePlanet, the green wiki for people looking to educate themselves about the environment while picking up some great advice for greener living offers some great tips for eating and drinking to save the planet and trim your waistline at the same time:

The advantages of buying local produce http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Local_food

Why going organic is good idea for you and Mother Nature http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Organic_food_tips

Understanding Raw Food Diets http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Eat_raw

Ditch the fast food drive through and discover why you should be brown bagging it http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Make_your_own_lunch

Beer is for drinking right? Well, yes, but there are lots of other great uses it can be put to as well.http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Alternative_uses_for_beer

One of the best things about Tip the Planet is that not only can you learn from us but you can share your own wisdom as well. If you have a great green food tip why not share it with us?

7 Tips for a Green Wedding

May 11th, 2010

7 Easy Steps to a Greener Wedding from Tiptheplanet (www.tiptheplanet.com)

Want to add a little green as you plan the perfect white wedding? As the big season for brides approaches here are seven ways you can stage an event that is as eco-friendly as it is romantic:

Begin with the Invitations – If you must send paper invitations make sure you use recycled paper, but if you truly want to have an eco-friendly wedding why not go paperless? It’s a very unusual person these days that does not have an email address and there are dozens of free software programs that let even the most creatively challenged person come up with some beautiful looking “e-vitations”

Some couples are going a step further and setting up their very own wedding websites where their guests can RSVP, find accommodation if they are from out of town and view the gift registry all with just a few clicks of a mouse.

Choose a Green Gown – Well, probably not literally but you should be looking for eco-conscious materials when you are wedding dress shopping. Natural cottons, peace silk and even hemp are all great choices and a number of designers are incorporating them into their regular lines. Alternately you could do your bit for global recycling by purchasing a dress from your local thrift or consignment store.

Grow your own Wedding Flowers – Even those without a green thumb can cultivate blooms such as mums, dahlias, daisies, tulips, hyacinths, and miniature roses. All of these flowers are gorgeous and have the added green advantage of being replantable as well.

Make Your Own Green Centerpieces – Table décor can be eco-conscious as well. How about a small potted plant that guests can take home and plant after the occasion is over? Or if you want something that is truly unusual consider an Ecosphere – completely self-contained and self-sustaining miniature worlds enclosed in a recycled glass globe.

Set up Carpools – If your wedding and reception sites are not within walking distance of one another encourage your guests to carpool to save on gas. If you get some of them to travel together to the wedding in the first place you will be doing even more for the planet.

Recycle and Reduce Waste – Donate any leftover food to a local shelter or soup kitchen and take any flowers or other decorations to a hospital or retirement home so that they can brighten up someone else’s day as well.

Have more green wedding tips not included on this short list? Share your wisdom by submitting them to TipthePlanet, the most comprehensive green wiki on the internet.

Natural Remedies in the home

May 9th, 2010

Who knew that so many of our household items can be so useful, without needing to head out to buy a bunch of chemicals? Tiptheplanet (http://www.tiptheplanet.com) is a green wiki that aims to help people find natural solutions, and learn more about the environment. Here are some of our latest tips:

Vinegar can be used to Kills grass on walks and driveways and weeds, deter ants and fight dandruff (after shampooing, rinse with vinegar and 2 cups of warm water). http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Uses_for_vinegar

Using Chili and garlic as an insecticide – http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Make_your_own_insecticide_with_chillipepper_and_garlic!

Cleaning your shoes with a banana skin – http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Clean_leather_shoes_with_banana_skin

Use Tee Tree Oil as a disinfectant – http://www.tiptheplanet.com/index.php?title=Use_tea_tree_oil_as_disinfectant

If you have any of your own, please go to http://www.tiptheplanet.com and add your own, or find some more!

Home chemicals

May 14th, 2007
  • Be aware that many chemicals commonly used around the home are toxic. Select less toxic alternatives. Use non-toxic substitutes wherever possible.
  • Buy chemicals only in the amount you expect to use, and apply them only as directed. More is not better.
  • Take unwanted household chemicals to hazardous waste collection centers; do not pour them down the drain. Pouring chemicals down the drain may disrupt your septic system or else contaminate treatment plant sludge.
  • Never pour unwanted chemicals on the ground. Soil cannot purify most chemicals, and they may eventually contaminate runoff.
  • Use low-phosphate or phosphate-free detergents.
  • Use water-based products whenever possible.
  • Leftover household pesticide? Do not indiscriminately spray pesticides, either indoors or outdoors, where a pest problem has not been identified. Dispose of excess pesticides at hazardous waste collection centers.
  • See here for a vast list of non-toxic or less-toxic alternatives to hazardous household chemicals.
  • Look here for recipes to make your own non-toxic cleaning products – from all purpose cleaner to stain remover, bleach and wood floor polish.

Fire-preventer

May 8th, 2007

Here are some top fire-prevention tips

  • Fit smoke alarms on each level in your home. Keep them free from dust and test them once a week. Consider buying a 10-year alarm; otherwise change the batteries in your alarm every year.
  • Make a fire action plan so that everyone in your home knows how to escape if there is a fire.
  • Keep the exits form your home clear so that people can escape if there is a fire. Make sure that everyone in your home can easily find keys for doors and windows.
  • Take extra care in the kitchen – accidents while cooking account for over half of fires in homes. Never leave young children alone in the kitchen.
  • Take extra care when cooking with hot oil. Consider buying a deep-fat fryer which is controlled by a thermostat (if you don’t already have one).
  • Never leave lit candles in rooms that nobody is in or in rooms where children are on their own. Make sure candles are in secure holders on a surface that does not burn and are away from any materials that could burn.
  • Make sure cigarettes are stubbed out properly, disposed of carefully and never smoke in bed.
  • Get into the habit of closing doors at night. If you want to keep a child’s bedroom door open, close the doors to the lounge and kitchen, it may well help save their life if there is a fire.
  • Don’t overload electrical sockets. Remember one plug for one socket.
  • Keep matches and lighters where children cannot see or reach them.
  • Take special care when you are tired or when you’ve been drinking.
  • Don’t leave the TV or other electrical appliances on standby as this could cause a fire. Always switch it off and unplug when not in use.

Accidental snares

May 3rd, 2007

Always think about what your throwing away from more than just a pollution perspective… Those innocent looking soft plastic holders for soft drink cans and other products can entangle birds, fish, and small animals. Snip apart each ring before throwing it in the trash, or inquire whether they can be recycled locally.