What can I do against pollution? Share your Ideas!


#24

Do they recommend couples should take cold showers together? I assume Singapore isn’t keen to increase it’s population :slight_smile:


#25
  1. Obviously, it’s easier to endure the cold when you can share another person’s body heat. :smile:
  2. Didn’t scientists already decide cold showers, rather than reducing libido, actually have the opposite effect? (Cue Lord Baden-Powell turning in his grave. :ghost:)
  3. The main benefit is saving water, but processing water also uses energy.

#26

Recently went vegan after watching Earthlings. Doing splendidly so far!


#27

Nice idea for a thread. I’d agree with most of the OPs suggestions, although some of them are excessively stoic for my taste.

  • Meat per se is not a problem, nor is a vegan diet saintly. This is a pretty complicated issue, but it boils down to this: an entirely vegan human population would inevitably be dependent on fossil fuels and artificial fertilizers, because animals (on a mixed farm) are a critical part of the soil-management strategy. They eat things that humans can’t eat and recycle them back into the food web; at the same time, their natural foraging behaviours improve the soil structure.

The problem comes when you let economists decide how farms ought to be run. The current system, which separates animals and vegetables, is about the most inefficient system you can possibly imagine. The people who dreamed this up don’t have the brains to realise that just because a feedlot can accomodate lots more animals than a pasture, those animals still have the same ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ and therefore have the same ecological footprint. If you don’t allow the animals to manage their own food and poop, you have to do it. With machines, fossil fuels, etc etc.

If you want to starve the international food conglomerates of cash (which is a very worthy aim) just buy from small local mixed-produce organic farms. There are more of them popping up all the time, prices are falling, and quality is improving.

  • Heat pumps in general are pretty efficient. I measured my aircon with a 7’C temperature difference in a very poorly-insulated room. It averages ~500W, implying a cooling capacity of ~2kW. That’s a pretty good result.

  • I have cold showers when the weather is hot and hot showers when it’s cold. You can buy solar heaters for about US$1000 … if you have the roof space for them. It’s a disgrace that building companies aren’t compelled to install these (entire roof area) as standard.


#28

Which just goes to show, you can’t assume something works until you’ve done the experiment. Empirical evidence, people, that’s what we need!

I assume this critically-important study was published in the Annals of Improbable Research?

Completely OT factoid: did you know that some scientists took it into their heads to observe people (ie., two of the scientists) having sex in an MRI machine? They were Dutch, IIRC, which probably explains a lot, although oddly they weren’t drunk or high at the time.


#29

Great point about the meat-crop relationship.

Also, apart from the lack of solar heaters on apartment buildings, construction companies/air-con producers should also be forced/stimulated to come up with systems that are more efficient than what we usually have in apartment buildings today, individual air-cons fighting each other with poor air flow preventing the heat from getting away from the building efficiently.


#30

Theres been some experiments to radiate heat directly into space by infra-red; which I thought was pretty cool.


#31

Enjoy Aloe Vera.


#32

Just saw an Aloe Vera plant in front of someone’s house today, it was blooming, nice blossoms. Will totally get some plants for my balcony. :slight_smile:


#33

Put insulation in the buildings for one thing. That would use less electricity. Though I guess you can only do that if you own the apartment.


#34

The best thing one can do is try to commute as much as possible. If commuting is not possible try to have your friends or workmates ride with you.
When buying electronic products it is best to research and read reviews to see if the products your are buying are certified as “Green”.


#35

I hate to say it and would probably come around and bite me, but gas prices have to go up for people to drop their scooters and commute.

For me, scooter is just too damn convenient and cheap compared to commuting. If I regularly commute to and from work 5 days a week and do some errand running on the weekends. I fill my tank up 90NT for the week.

90NT is approximately 4-6 rides on the MRT or bus which accounts for 2-3 days.

Most people on scooters will probably think the same way and also think that scooter takes me directly to my destination in which sometimes are a little far from MRT stations.

One may argue, Gogoro is the answer. However, with the higher market price and the monthly battery fee, things can add up and you’re still spending more on the batteries than gas.


#36

Not an expert on this, but I think the price for fuel or food does not necessarily reflect the “full price” you pay. If you factor in things like medical bills, damage to the environment, and so on, you might get a much higher price tag. Of course, it’s impossible to calculate all of it.

My reason for keeping motor scooter in the garage most of the time is more selfish. I just can’t stand breathing those exhaust fumes anymore, even now, with newer scooters polluting the air less.


#37

The average Taiwanese doesn’t think like that. They think option one costs so much NTD, and option two costs more, so they will pick option one even though it may damage their health (which they either don’t care about or they don’t know about)


#38

Dude, people TOTALLY care about their health! They avoid the really dangerous stuff, like drinking cold water or being exposed to the sun. Get your priorities straight.

One of our buildings on campus simply shuts down the power from 12:10pm to 1:10pm. I guess that helps prevent pollution. Friggin pain in the arse when you don’t know it’s going to happen and you’ve scheduled a make-up class at that time. “So it’s 34 degrees out and I’m using a computer with a projector for a lecture class and now I have no air conditioning and no computer … OK, this is going to go well.”

For scooters: I suspect parking is the main way to limit scooter use. Charge for parking, and enforce parking laws (ha!). Make driving a scooter enough of a hassle to tip the cost/benefit balance towards public transit or UBike or whatever. But I guess that doesn’t really answer the question of “What can I do?”

Don’t other countries have laws about retailers being required to take back their packaging? Who knows, maybe Taiwan has that kind of law.


#39

I think Taiwan Beer and the Rice Wine bottles with the red label on them are all reused.

I’ve gone to bars or bought some bottles from the convenient store and have noticed that the bottle had a lot of scratches on it. It didn’t really bother me, but it might some people.

In lieu of the above scooter posts, this post easily answers the OP question, drink more (Taiwan) beer


#40

Yeah, I think it’s nice that (some) glass bottles do actually get reused (as opposed to recycled). That used to happen with milk in England; now, not so much. Awesome system with electric vehicles delivering full bottles and picking up empties. I worked as a milkman for a year or so when I was a teenager. Hard work, but good fun. :grandpa: Those days are long gone: electric vehicles now replaced with diesel tankers and supermarkets, and reusable glass replaced by tetrapaks. That’s progress for you.

I can’t understand why manufacturers can’t just agree to standardize on certain shapes and sizes for glass jars and bottles. A selection of a dozen or so should cover most applications just fine. They could then be easily re-used, which I’m sure manufacturers would benefit from because glass jars ain’t cheap.

lostinasia: in theory European manufacturers are supposed to provide for end-of-life recycling of IT-type goods. I’ve seen very little evidence of this actually happening.


#41

In the states, I know that a electronics chain, Best Buy, had recycling bins for electronics, batteries, plastic bags and pretty anything that could be recycled placed outside of their stores. I recycled so many of my old CDs, iPods and other random electronics stuff there.

Not sure if it could actually be recycled, but at least it’s better than Taiwan where it seems like no electronics can be recycled.

Anyone ever heard of a place that actually recycles electronics?


#42

YES!

I can understand why manufacturers can’t agree (because they don’t give an F about the environment). But I can’t understand why the government does not demand a standardization of some kind (well, the people have to demand that to get the government rolling, I guess), not just for glass and bottles, but for all consumer product packing material. It should be made easy for consumer to tell what type of plastic or paper or glass they have in hand and where to dispose it. Why not use a number system or something like that. 5 ~ 10 categories, every product has a number on it and every public trash bin has numbers too to make it easy to dispose and sort the trash. Producers should be forced to put those numbers on every product, if they want to do business in Taiwan. Also, there should be stricter regulation regarding wasteful packaging design and design that uses different and difficult to separate materials.


#43

Perhaps under the heading of ‘things I can do’, writing to manufacturers and government standards organisations would be a start. A common standard would benefit manufacturers enormously. Standards often do. It just needs someone to make the first push.