recycled plastic

Cleaning beaches with blockchain.

Almost 8 billion tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean each year. To help fight it, The Plastic Bank began offering people in developing countries incentives like basic necessities and mobile phone charging in exchange for recycling plastic. As the program grew in popularity, they needed a way to scale their incentive system in an accessible and economically-friendly way. That’s when they turned to IBM Blockchain. Learn how we worked together to help turn plastic into a currency for change.

See how they do it ->

theguardian.com
We could end up with 'as much plastic in our oceans as fish'

The head of Ocean Conservancy says a burgeoning middle class and low recycling rates could lead to not-even-remotely-acceptable levels of trash washed out to sea.

Yikes! How scary is that? Everybody can make little changes in their daily lives to reduce the amount of plastic they use. Here are a few tips that I’ve covered on the blog:

- What YOU can do to reduce the use of plastic, and that includes recycling, bringing reusable totes and produce bags to the store, drinking from a reusable water bottle, and participate in beach clean-ups!

- Avoid purchasing products that contain microplastics. Microplastic particles and microbeads are most often made of Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and Nylon. PE and PP are the most common found in cosmetics and bath products.

- Avoid releasing plastic balloons and lanterns

- Feature on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and what is being done about it

Wait kara told mon-el to “be a hero” in the finale and his big hero moment was saving.. himself? again? like he didn’t contribute to saving earth or fight his mother so..? where’s the hero journey? did he recycle plastic or something off camera? cause I honestly can’t recall.

Turning plastic waste into fuel

The plastic waste of the local Swindon, UK, population is being put to good use: Close to the town’s recycling facility works a company, aptly named Recycling Technologies, on turning plastic debris into a low sulphur hydrocarbon product with a high caloric value. 

This product is called Plaxx, and it comes in different variations - as feedstock for plastic manufacturers to use for new plastic production, as heavy fuel oil for both the shipping industry and large scale heat and energy sectors as well as a paraffin wax, which can be used as a coating, feedstock for moulding, but also for candles. 

Recycling Technologies has developed a thermal cracking process, which, after cleaning and sorting the raw plastic from metals, stones and glas and all non-recyclable plastic like packaging, pots, and films, cracks long carbon chains into shorter chains and gasifies the remaining material. This refined gas is then condensed into Plaxx. 

Annually, the RT7000 (the thermal cracking machine) can produce around 5000 tonnes of Plaxx from 7000 tonnes/year of material, with a throughout capacity of 1 tonnes/hour. 

4

Important message from Mermaid Kelly: Ariel is swimming by to encourage you to help protect her home. Even though she collects human “treasures”, other sea creatures and marine life become injured or even die because of human trash, including thousands of sea turtles, whales, and over one million seabirds each year. All of this trash can harm & entangle fish, sharks, and damages coral reefs. In the Pacific Ocean there is even a huge area called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” This is a large area filled with debris, approximately the size of Texas. The debris extend down 20 feet & contains 3.5 million tons of garbage. It is estimated to double size in the next 5 years. A marine biologist & ocean activist, Sylvia A. Earle once stated “If the ocean dies, we die.” Without the ocean, we can’t survive. Around 50% of the oxygen we breath comes from phytoplankton in the ocean. Many Ocean Activists have already taken action to preserve these creatures and our home, now it’s your turn! You can start taking the steps to helping all of the life in the ocean by using fewer plastic products, recycling, doing local beach/ river clean ups, support local organizations working to protect the ocean, influence change in your local community, but most importantly, educate yourself on the ocean & how to protect it.
This video is also up on my Mermaid Kelly YouTube channel as well! Feel free to share the message and video~
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/PY5tR8E8sZk

The Life Cycle of a Plastic Bottle

We’ve all been told that we should recycle plastic bottles and containers. But what actually happens to the plastic if we just throw it away? Here are the life cycles of three different plastic bottles.

Bottle One, like hundreds of millions of tons of its plastic brethren, ends up in a landfill. This huge dump expands each day, as more trash moves in and continues to take up space. 

As plastics sit there being compressed, rainwater flows through the waste and absorbs the water soluble compounds it contains, and some of those are highly toxic. Together they create a harmful stew called “leachate”, which can move into groundwater, soil, and streams, poisoning ecosystems and harming wildlife. It can take Bottle One an agonizing 1,000 years to decompose.

Bottle Two floats on a trickle that reaches a stream, a stream that flows into a river, and a river that reaches the ocean. After months lost at sea, it’s slowly drawn into a massive vortex, where trash accumulates - place known as “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” This is one of five plastic filled gyres in the worlds seas. 

Some animals mistake the brightly colored plastic bits for food. Plastic makes them feel full when they’re not, so they starve to death, passing the toxins from the plastic up the food chain, eventually to us.

Bottle Three, on the other hand, is recycled. It’s taken away on a truck to a plant, where it and its companions are squeezed flat and compressed into a block. The blocks are shredded into tiny pieces, which are washed and melted, so they become the raw materials that can be used again. Bottle Three is ready to be reborn, as something new.

So, what can you do? First - reduce your use of plastic altogether! And when you do find yourself needing to buy a bottle, don’t forget to recycle it. You’ll be doing Planet Earth a great, big favor.

From the TED-Ed Lesson What really happens to the plastic you throw away - Emma Bryce

Animation by Sharon Colman Graham

new au idea, needs a home:

2006: dean winchester serves his country in afghanistan. before he even really understands what being a soldier means, just a load of daddy issues and an attitude problem, he works on a fuel convoy in the triangle of death, and like so many veterans in the middle east he gets an up close and personal view of what it means to be dependent on foreign oil. when he gets home, he uses that smart engineering brain of his to get into tech development for clean energy. sam is all bleeding heart about it, but to dean it’s a continuation of the public service that encouraged him to put on the uniform in the first place. it’s making the world a better place - cleaner and safer for everyone else after him. he can’t even fucking recycle his plastic mountain dew bottles but he is completely dedicated to finding alternative energy solutions.

enter stage left………… hippie!conservationist!cas

Obvious Reskins are Obvious

Know what a reskin is? In game speak, it’s an item that already existed but has been recolored.

I’ve noticed several instances in which this has occurred in Barbie fashions as of late. The first release of the clothes was before the new body types. Now that new individual fashion packs are made universally for all body types, the clothes have been re-released, but in new colors. Check it out:

In the case of the new (pink) dress, there are no shoes! :O

This lovely red dress has two reskins:

We get a purple variant, as well as a blue and pink one with stars on the bodice instead of flowers. And again, each with no shoes.

Let’s not forget the sparkly polka dots!

Red has been replaced with yellow, as well as a new purse:

And black and purple is now…

Turquoise and pink! But I must admit, I love those colors. <3

Love this skirt; didn’t realize it was this skirt before the dress, which is what I own:

In fact, you can see it featured in my cover photo here on Tumblr.

And the polka dots from these pants made their way onto a dress:

And that dress with the striped and checked pattern has been seen elsewhere, too:

Wow, even those pants are a duplicate; not a reskin, an actual duplicate, featured in this pack:

That lovely python shirt pattern found a new home on a lovely Fashionista, too:

Let’s take it a step further, shall we? As shown above, the reskins aren’t limited to just single packs of clothes. Nope, even the dolls themselves are wearing recycled patterns. Behold these fashions, and then look at the doll:

See the daisy pattern? Oh, and the plaid pattern, which exists on a currently released doll:

Those dolls aren’t alone in this duplication.

Polka Dot Fun’s cute pattern is evident on an upcoming release:

Oh, and take a close look at those stripes, too:

Look familiar?

This cool shirt in a two-pack fashion set got reused on a Fashionista as well:

Slightly different pattern, but same concept/design.

And these are just the clones that have caught my eye and are blatantly obvious. I know there are more. I’ve already picked up two single fashion packs with the exact same dress style, but with different patterns. I didn’t realize the style was the same until I got the second one home and put it away. Oops.

So, there you have it. Mattel is releasing some awesome new things, but they’re also recycling patterns. Maybe they think people won’t notice. But I’ll notice! Oh, I assure you, I noticed. You’re talking about someone who notices when a pen is missing off her desk at work, AND which color it was since I have 10+ colors at any point on said desk due to color-coding everything.

That being said, I’m still excited for this year’s upcoming releases, as well as several in 2018! Come on, next year!

Creating functioning civilizations in your fiction

Let’s be frank: a lot of this section is likely to be left out of your novel. Why? Because the ins-and-outs of how a city or village functions on a very basic level isn’t really that enthralling. Here and there, a detail will peek through into your narrative, but whole chunks of these thoughts will be jotted down as notes and then left alone forever. 

So why does it matter?

Like so many other aspects of worldbuilding, you–the writer–knowing every tiny detail will help you create a full, vibrant world on the page. You might not actually outline the history of your city’s sewage systems (ahem. we can’t all be Victor Hugo.) but if you’ve thought about these logistics and answered them even in a brief note to yourself, then the parts of your civilization that you do see on the page will feel consistent and real in an important way. 

(There is also some inevitable overlap between these aspects and your culture, so some questions might lean in that direction. Let it be a jumping-off point for more contemplation as you create.)

If you’re not a freak of nature like me and don’t want to spend time making your world absurdly flawless and perfect, than feel free to skip this entry. (But, I mean, why are you even following this blog if that’s the case??) Onward!

  • Where did basic building materials come from, both currently and historically? 
  • How uniform or varied are the buildings and houses of your civilization (both in style and material)?
  • How has the climate affected building style?
  • How culturally ingrained are the visuals (the cityscape) of the civilization?
  • How tight or spread-out are the buildings and homes in relation to one another? Is that because of culture or landscape necessity?
  • How has the city/town/village adapted to developing technologies and systems?
  • How accessible is water? How is it collected and distributed?
  • What foods are grown/bred locally? What is imported? 
  • How is the harvest of food handled on a logistical level? How are its ethics and its importance viewed by society as a whole?
  • Where do people go to the bathroom? How is sewage disposed of or recycled?
  • Does everyday life produce trash, or are all things reusable or recyclable? 
  • Does plastic exist? If so, how ubiquitous is it?
  • How is trash handled and disposed of?
  • What is/are the city’s primary energy source(s)?
  • Do the people pay taxes? How else might city funds be raised?
  • Do they have a money system? 
    • Is it used only within their town, or across the country?
    • Is money balanced with bartering, or does one take precedent over the other?
    • How is value determined, especially in a barter system?
    • What is the money based on? (gold? Or some other precious metal? Or some other resource entirely?)
  • How willing are citizens to pay for non-necessities and how does that affect the local businesses?
  • How is construction handled? By large groups of people or small teams with big equipment? Or magic? 
  • How are children educated? Who oversees it, if anyone?
  • How important is education to the people and how is that reflected in the system, facilities, and schedule?
  • What purpose does the downtown or “hub” area primarily serve?
    • Socialization
      • Bonfire pit
      • Park
    • Commerce
      • Farmer’s Market or local market
      • Corporate high-rises
    • Entertainment
      • Clubs
      • Sports arena
      • Theatre
      • Casino
  • When people get sick, what do they do? Do they have healthcare choices or do they only have the one doctor or single hospital where they have to do if they need help? How is healthcare paid for?
  • How are injured or dying people transported?
  • What kind of law enforcement does the city have? How much power do they possess? How are they viewed by citizens?
  • Is there some sort of fire department? Is it a city branch or is it volunteers? How are they prepared to fight fires?
  • What natural disasters are common and how is the town prepared for them? What happens when they occur?
  • What popular entertainment venues are there? How are they funded and run? What is their reputation?
  • What different entertainment options are there for the rich and the poor, or whatever class system your town has?
  • How are classes separated within the city?
  • If magic exists in your world, how is its use controlled or maintained within urban areas?
  • What kind of transportation do people use, in general? How is the town equipped to handle it?
  • If traffic jams can happen, how do people deal with them? What steps has the city taken to ensure smooth traffic flow?
  • What is it like when you first leave the city or village?
    • Landscape?
    • Distance to neighboring town?
    • Development of roads beyond the city (and who maintains them)?
  • What might be the first thing a newcomer to the city notices upon entering? Will she have an easy or difficult time navigating the place if she’s never been there before?

Check out the rest of the Brainstorming Series!
Magic Systems, Part One
Magic Systems, Part Two
New Species
New Worlds
New Cultures
Map Making
Politics and Government
Belief Systems & Religion
Guilds, Factions, & Groups
War & Conflict
Science & Technology

Our top tips for reducing your waste...in style

1. Reduce the amount of plastic products you costume. Let’s start with the obvious…stop using plastic bags. No more excuses. Just stop. You can also start to switch out other plastics you have around the home, start with something simple like swapping your plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one.  


2. Do you drink coffee? Or tea? All of those empty, lonely, lipstick stained cups are going into landfill. It’s time that you invested in a reusable coffee cup and save the world one sip at a time. Most good cafes sell them, some even offer a discount on your coffee…that’s a double win for helping the environment and your bank account.


3. Recycle. Now you may be thinking…duh we already know this one BUT we’re not just talking about recycling your milk cartons and cereal boxes here. We’re taking it to the next level! Repurpose! How you ask? Start small…that jam jar you’re feeling great about because you just put it in the recycling bin. Take a break from patting yourself on the back. Take it out of the bin. Wash it. Repurpose and reuse it. Now you’ve got somewhere to put that open bag of nuts instead of using a plastic ziplock bag that you’re going to chuck out after one use. 

Things I'm going to do to reduce my plastic use

- reuse shopping bags/ buy cloth tote bags and keep them with me so when I go out I won’t need the plastic bags
- buy one of those menstrual cups
- stop buying plastic knick knacks I’m not gonna need in ten years
- bring my own mug if I’m going to go out and get coffee or something
- stop using plastic straws
- stop buying and using plastic waterbottles
- stay away from individually package foods, especially processed foods, the snacks and stuff. I’ll be a lot healthier if I don’t buy them and I won’t be putting that plastic bag somewhere on the earth where it shouldn’t be
- make my own soaps and stuff so u don’t need to keep buying bottles of things.
- invest in those biodegradable tooth brushes!
(if I think of more i'ma add to the list, also feel free to add to this list)

The Problem With Your Water Bottle

Climate change is not a hoax created by the Chinese. (I hope), we all know that. Climate related issues are becoming more and more urgent. Yep, know that too. They key point is however what we often DON’T know, is how to act, how (and if) we can make a difference. 

I am a strong believer that we can all make a difference with our daily choices and attitudes. It is key that governments take the right steps to protect our environment, and while it is our responsibility to push them to do this, we often cannot trust in the fact that this will happen as soon as it is needed. But we do have full control of our day-to-day routine. I am a bit of an sustainability nerd, and so are most of my friends. This means that I often circulate in-between people who are often aware and have the time to research into sustainability, letting this influence their daily choices. Because of this, I often forget that some things that are obvious to me, habits that I gave up years ago, might not be to other people, and that they are not fully aware of the environmental burden linked to their actions. No shame. There is lot of stuff I don’t know (so let’s commit to research more and more on how to be better to our planet yayy), and there is loads of stuff I do know, am fully aware of their impacts, but still haven’t managed to kick them out of my habits. But hey, in the end, it does affect us all, so it is important that we do talk with each other - understanding that not everyone has the same interests/time that we have, and that sadly, environmental education is lacking in schools and is often not being focused as enough of a priority in mainstream media - and take the time to explain the things we know and discuss solutions. 

Anyways, long story short, last week I had a discussion with one of my work colleagues as they were teasing me about me showing concern about chemicals in plastic bottles that can be damaging to human health. I then tried to go deeper in the issue trying to explain the problem with littering and plastic bottles. So I was asked “and what if I throw it into the recycling bin? What’s the problem with my water bottle then?”. After having a moment of shock, not even knowing what to respond to their genuine belief that once a plastic bottle is thrown into the bin that’s it - problem solved, I figured, well how can they think any different? It is that that we are taught to believe.

Well, so what is the problem with our plastic bottles?

Bisphanol A (BPA):

Let’s start with the health issues. BPA is a chemical used in most water bottles to make plastic hard and clear. It is also an endocrine disruptor, which means it’s shape can either cause your body to produce too much of a certain hormone or block it from producing a certain hormone. This can cause certain types of cancer, neurological difficulties, early puberty in girls, reduced fertility in women etc.

Polyvinyl chloride:

Is used to make plastic more flexible and is also an endocrine disrupting chemical. It causes reduced sperm count, testicular abnormality and tumours.

If this wasn’t enough to at least make you consider buying yourself a reusable water bottle, you should consider following things: 


Plastic water bottles are one of the most unsustainable inventions, like, ever. There are millions of gallons of water involved to make these bottles. You are basically wasting more water in producing water bottles than your water bottle can even fit. The huge amount of water needed for their production also further fuels inequalities. The huge environmental stress put in regions where water bottles are produced affects residents of these areas, especially farmers, who often face shortages. This then affects food production, affecting the farmer’s financial gains, but also food prices and food security in the region. To add to all of this, most water bottles are produced of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which requires huge amounts of fossil fuel to make and transport. Take any water bottle and fill 25% of it with water. That’s how much fossil fuel was needed to produce this single bottle. That’s a lot.


Only certain bottles can be recycled in certain places. Recycling is a business, which means, it will only occur if there is profit coming out of it. In other words, if you are not making sure you are buying plastic bottles which have been recycled, you are undermining the likelihood of investment in recycling occurring. Municipalities will often only make sure that the plastic bottles recycled are the ones whose recycled outcome are being bought by companies in the area. The other ones end in the landfill. On top of that, many plastic bottles are made of different kinds of plastic which not every region has the capacity to separate and recycle properly. To conclude, most plastic bottles you use will end up stagnant in landfills, leaching dangerous chemicals into the ground, infiltrating streets as litter and often ending up in rivers and being washed up into the ocean.

But what happens to plastic bottles once they end up in the ocean? They break into smaller bits called micro plastics. Let’s keep one thing in mind: plastic will never decay. And it very very often ends up in the ocean. There, because of the saline environment, it breaks in million tiny pieces called micro plastics. These pieces are so tiny that they easily pass through water filtration systems, and are basically therefore impossible to clean out of our oceans. Our whole ocean is basically turning into a huge plastic soup. This is a huge threat to aquatic life, as stated by the marine scientists Karen Lavenden Law and Richard Thompson: “(the) problems will only get worse unless drastic action is taken to curb the sale of disposable plastic products worldwide and dispel the idea that plastic waste can just be thrown away.” Since clean up of this plastic soup is basically impossible, the urgent action to be taken is the reduced consumption and the identification of the main polluters. 


Due to their small size, micro plastic are often ingested by habitants of the sea.  It is also important to know that micro plastic containing toxic PCB’s and the pesticide DDF become enhanced in contact with marine life. Also, take in consideration that these are being ingested by organisms which are in the end going to be ingested by us humans. Yummy?

Be aware that micro plastics are often purposely placed in exfoliators, soaps, creams and toothpaste for hygienic/cosmetic purposes (but there are enough alternatives which don’t require micro plastics!), and these have a even easier way to end up in the ocean: they just get washed down the sink, and due to their small size, escape any kind of filtering system.


The good thing about this issue and all the major problems linked to it is, it is so goddamn easy to avoid. Start the plastic diet with us. For the love of our planet, just do it.

-Vanessa

To Remove Bad Luck From All Areas Of Your Life

You will need:

  • A piece of paper
  • A blue pen and a red pen
  • A small plastic recyclable lidded container

Timing:

Right at the end of the waning moon cycle

The spell:

Write in blue all over both sides of the paper, in all directions, vertically, horizontally, and diagonally so that the words overlap, BAD LUCK BE GONE FOREVER, RETURN TO ME NEVER.

Draw a big red diagonal cross through both sides, saying:  “You are banned from my life, you troubled and strife, forever; return to me never.”

Fold the paper as small as possible and place it in the container, saying all the spell words. Add water and close the lid firmly.

Keep it in the freezer for a month.

After a month, dispose of it well away from your home in a recycling bin.


- “1001 Spells: The Complete Book of Spells For Every Purpose,” by Cassandra Eason