Wednesday, 15 August 2007


If you look carefully there are some encouraging signs. Some buses and mail vans in New York are running on electric power. Buses in Washington run on LPG. The Sedalia Democrat newspaper is printed on recycled paper using ink made from soya. There were boards on energy efficient lightbulbs, demonstrations of Ethanol fuelled cars and reducing energy wastage at the Missouri State Fair. Rising gas prices are making people look at which cars are the most fuel efficient and there was an article on this is USA Today.

It is only the start however and there are two areas which can be improved. Firstly there are many sprinklers and hoses for watering plants which is fine but you need to use them at dusk not in the middle of the day. This means the water does not evaporate but sinks into the soil and is available for the plant roots. It also stops minerals such as calcium being dragged to the surface through capillary action making the soil less fertile.

Secondly the use of polystyrene/ Styrofoam especially in restaurants. In one sit down restaurant the meal was on a polystyrene plate with a plastic cover. It might keep your ice cubes colder than cardboard for a longer period but you are increasing the US reliance on overseas oil which has political as well as economic outcomes and increases landfill.

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