How green are you? Page 2

  • Pike 16 Jan 2007 10:29:17 13,459 posts
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    Pac-man ate my wife wrote:
    Secondly I'm not sure where you got the 'three times as much' figure but many farmers are currently paid to NOT grow crops due to our mental farming policies. Surely it's better that the land is turned over and used productively than sitting fallow.

    I can't find the source right now, but if IIRC, it was an article by or referencing Norman Borlaug.

    I also fail to see what the insane and wasteful CAP has to do with organic vs normal farming methods.
  • markh 16 Jan 2007 10:30:03 3,599 posts
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    Nexus 6 wrote:


    reduce number of available car park spaces and so on...

    this really annoys me..

    i'm all for people using public transport, and i do when it's convenient.

    But we have reduced car parking at our office which means that every morning i have to struggle for somewhere to park at work.

    My car journey takes me 25-35mins depending on traffic. The bus would take at least 1hr 15mins and that's assuming buses actually turn up.

    I'm all for people using public transport, but not supplying enough car parking is just silly (the council have also turned down a request to extend the car park).

    Anyway, not a dig at you, just a case of things possibly going too far!!
  • Shrimp 16 Jan 2007 10:31:01 1,081 posts
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    Green-ish. We recycle/compost a reasonable amount of stuff, save electricy in various ways, don't drive or fly much. The last partly due to circumstances really. Also we avoid things that are clearly destructive, like eating endangered species off tropical hardwood tables.

    I'd be interested to know where this figure of organic crops producing 3 times more "toxins" than non-organic. I realise organic is less efficient of course.

    If green is the new red, is Pike the new Joe McCarthy? :D

    Just because there exist mystical hippy environmentalists doesn't discredit the argument - there's at least THREE TIMES as much bullshit bad science being flung around by the anti-environmentalists.

    Edit: Just seen your wiki link, Pike....

    Edited by Shrimp at 10:32:28 16-01-2007
  • JimJam 16 Jan 2007 10:31:23 769 posts
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    markh wrote:
    How do those veg boxes work? Can you get them delivered when it's best for you?

    With Abel & Cole, you just put delivery instructions on your profile on the website. They leave ours outside the back door, as they deliver at about 5:30am round our way.

    We also get organic meat from a farmers collective. Tastes so much better than the standard supermarket fare, and doesn't shrink when you cook it.

    We have a single small(ish) engined car, I cycle to work when I can, and the missus gets the train. We also recycle paper/cardboard/plastic/glass/tin.

    Unfortunately we put our daughter in disposable nappies, so that probably cancels out all the good stuff.
  • Nexus_6 16 Jan 2007 10:39:09 4,898 posts
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    markh wrote:
    Nexus 6 wrote:


    reduce number of available car park spaces and so on...

    this really annoys me..

    i'm all for people using public transport, and i do when it's convenient.

    But we have reduced car parking at our office which means that every morning i have to struggle for somewhere to park at work.

    My car journey takes me 25-35mins depending on traffic. The bus would take at least 1hr 15mins and that's assuming buses actually turn up.

    I'm all for people using public transport, but not supplying enough car parking is just silly (the council have also turned down a request to extend the car park).

    Anyway, not a dig at you, just a case of things possibly going too far!!

    yep, i know what you mean. it is the one thing on the list i wrote that always when mentioning it i feel kind of stupid.

    the thinking behind this is obvious of course but not always right, i think. provide less spaces, less people drive to work, more people cycle (!) or get a bus or train.

    obviously it can work that way if it happens that the workers live near great transport links etc, but not so good for someone who now has to swim to work for instance, such as yourself!

    incidentally, it is not up to the architect usually to push this sort of thing through. client will indicate how many spaces they think they can accomodate (ie how few they will accept and still be able to market the building to tenants etc) and then we design for that, possibly speak to the planning department and see how any they would look for (based on locality/transport links etc)

    so its not often in our powers. but i see totally where you are coming from on this. :-)
  • Goban 16 Jan 2007 10:41:02 10,071 posts
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    JimJam wrote:
    Unfortunately we put our daughter in disposable nappies, so that probably cancels out all the good stuff.

    The only problem with disposable nappies is the whole landfill issue.

    On the plus side they take no more energy to produce and use than re-usable ones. They are also completely biodegradable. Try and buy ones made by Procter & Gamble as they recycle more of their waste than the others, even the test nappies from other manufacturers.
  • SirScratchalot 16 Jan 2007 10:41:40 7,921 posts
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    Pac-man ate my wife wrote:
    Pike wrote:
    SirScratchalot wrote:
    What really irks me is bio-grown food actually. Foods that can grow without toxins are usually breeds that produce vast amounts of toxins on their own.


    And of course "organically" grown crops use three times as much farmland as regular crops. Something that their peoponents usually tend to ignore.

    Firstly any toxins produced by organically produced food are unlikely to have a wider impact on the surrounding environment, unlike man-made chemicals and fertilizers. So it's really what you consider more impactful.

    Secondly I'm not sure where you got the 'three times as much' figure but many farmers are currently paid to NOT grow crops due to our mental farming policies. Surely it's better that the land is turned over and used productively than sitting fallow.

    EDIT: I'm not one of these airy-fairy hippies who believe that organic food is somehow magically better for you. I choose organic food for the environmental impact. Growing up in the countryside where, as a kid, our local stream was made toxic due to a farmer carelessly handling chemicals on his farm I've seen the damage they can do.

    Edited by Pac-man ate my wife at 10:10:25 16-01-2007

    Yeah, but you will eat those toxins, they don't wash of.
    It's not exactly in the marketing is all.
  • caligari 16 Jan 2007 10:43:06 17,945 posts
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    I don't have a car so I have to catch the damn bus everywhere. It's 'greener', but oh so tiresome. :)
  • markh 16 Jan 2007 10:43:31 3,599 posts
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    Nexus 6 wrote:

    yep, i know what you mean. it is the one thing on the list i wrote that always when mentioning it i feel kind of stupid.

    the thinking behind this is obvious of course but not always right, i think. provide less spaces, less people drive to work, more people cycle (!) or get a bus or train.

    obviously it can work that way if it happens that the workers live near great transport links etc, but not so good for someone who now has to swim to work for instance, such as yourself!

    incidentally, it is not up to the architect usually to push this sort of thing through. client will indicate how many spaces they think they can accomodate (ie how few they will accept and still be able to market the building to tenants etc) and then we design for that, possibly speak to the planning department and see how any they would look for (based on locality/transport links etc)

    so its not often in our powers. but i see totally where you are coming from on this. :-)

    yeah, i work in building services (i'm an electrical engineer) so know how difficult things can be with client reqeusts/stupid regulations etc!

    Just thought i'd have a moan, that's all!
  • Goban 16 Jan 2007 10:44:19 10,071 posts
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    On the subject of toxins of food.

    Recent tests on baby food found that Heinz products had less toxins in them than the Organic varieties.
  • Shrimp 16 Jan 2007 10:48:59 1,081 posts
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    Interesting - I'd like to see the source. "Toxins" needs defining as well.

    The other thing that makes me laugh in a slightly despairing way is when people buy organic food (for environmental reasons) that's been air-freighted from the other side of the world.
  • Nexus_6 16 Jan 2007 10:51:54 4,898 posts
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    Bill Door wrote:
    Nexus 6 wrote:


    reduce number of available car park spaces and so on...

    There was a great letter in the local paper about this just before Christmas. A chap in a Victorian terraced house received a 7am phone call from the police asking him to move his car as the cement mixer couldn't get down the street to the building site at the end where they were building 6 double bedroomed flats with no provision for parking. Before the addition of a potential 12 new cars that the flats could bring, he had to move his car two streets down to find a parking space O_o



    well, i quoted the reduction of car parking spaces for an office development. planning authorities will generally specify the maximum number of spaces designed for city center office blocks or similar, where they will (as far as glasgow city council is concerned) have a predetermined rate for the minimum number of spaces they will permit for residential, usually a percentage of the number of houses being made.

    for example, i am working on 2 projects currently - an office building in city center, and residential flats and town houses.

    in the office development planners are happy that we have provided only 6 spaces (1 per floor for a fairly small building on a very small site) and any more spaces would be an issue. on the residential, same city etc, problems were caused by us having to provide 125% car parking provision. ie if there were 100 houses, 125 spaces would be required. this rate is based on locale, proximity to transport links, size of site etc.

    all residential must comply with this figure, where office development need not. interestingly, some councils now wish for smaller numbers of parking from devs to force people onto the street with their parking thereby increasing the number of meters used and increasing revenue as a result!

    also, developers that cram on to tight sites will often be hit with a mandatory payment to be made in lieu (sp?) of providing amenity space. if not enough public space is provided on the dev, they have to pay a substantial amount to the council based on numbers of flats/area etc. this money is then earmarked for improvinf public realm/environmental issues in the area. my client got whacked for about 185grand recently....

    Edited by Nexus 6 at 10:53:38 16-01-2007
  • Goban 16 Jan 2007 10:52:00 10,071 posts
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    Shrimp wrote:
    Interesting - I'd like to see the source. "Toxins" needs defining as well.

    The other thing that makes me laugh in a slightly despairing way is when people buy organic food (for environmental reasons) that's been air-freighted from the other side of the world.

    I'll need to ask my wife for the source, she's a bio-technologist so is very aware of how poor some research can be.

    The air freight Organic food thing just makes me want to bang those silly fuckers heads together :)
  • Nexus_6 16 Jan 2007 10:54:35 4,898 posts
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    Goban wrote:
    Shrimp wrote:
    Interesting - I'd like to see the source. "Toxins" needs defining as well.

    The other thing that makes me laugh in a slightly despairing way is when people buy organic food (for environmental reasons) that's been air-freighted from the other side of the world.

    I'll need to ask my wife for the source, she's a bio-technologist so is very aware of how poor some research can be.

    The air freight Organic food thing just makes me want to bang those silly fuckers heads together :)

    lol, yeah i boycott the youngs fish products now as they fly their british caught shellfish to indonesia or something to be shelled then back to britain!
  • Shrimp 16 Jan 2007 10:58:27 1,081 posts
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    Goban wrote:
    I'll need to ask my wife for the source, she's a bio-technologist so is very aware of how poor some research can be.

    Cheers fella - I am honestly interested, so please don't forget to post it!

    The other stupid thing is green roofs (or so I read somewhere): sure they absorb carbon etc, but in order to reinforce a building enough to support one the cost in concrete, steel, etc, totally negates any benefit.

    Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19225820.500-how-green-is-your-roof.html

    (hmm.. actually that's just a letter, with no sources or references. Ah well, worth being sceptical anyway.)
  • Nexus_6 16 Jan 2007 11:02:22 4,898 posts
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    Shrimp wrote:
    Goban wrote:
    I'll need to ask my wife for the source, she's a bio-technologist so is very aware of how poor some research can be.

    Cheers fella - I am honestly interested, so please don't forget to post it!

    The other stupid thing is green roofs (or so I read somewhere): sure they absorb carbon etc, but in order to reinforce a building enough to support one the cost in concrete, steel, etc, totally negates any benefit.

    Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19225820.500-how-green-is-your-roof.html

    (hmm.. actually that's just a letter, with no sources or references. Ah well, worth being sceptical anyway.)

    if the roof is going to be trafficed anyway, i wont require that much extra capacity. even if grass roofs are used to offset the impact of some of the plant that goes on a roof its a good thing i think.
  • Goban 16 Jan 2007 11:13:22 10,071 posts
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    Shrimp wrote:
    Cheers fella - I am honestly interested, so please don't forget to post it!

    It was research done by the Food Standards Agency. That should make it fairly easy to track down.
  • brains 16 Jan 2007 11:16:16 491 posts
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    On the issue of reducing parking spaces to force people onto public transport or cycling; I would love to be able to cycle into my office, as I have timed the journey and on most days cycling would take no longer (or possibly be quicker when traffic is really bad) than driving. Unfortunately, my office has woeful provision for bicycle storage, with about 8 racks outside the office (a 19 storey tower block!) which sometimes get vandalised despite the security people being about 40 feet away. Taking the bike inside is a no no...

    I regularly cycle to work when I am working on site as I travel round to schools and I can normally stick the bike somewhere secure.

    Until I get somewhere safe and dry to put my bike when I go to the office, I will continue to drive and fight for a parking space.
  • Psychotext 16 Jan 2007 11:17:46 66,688 posts
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    I don't use lights. I simply sit in the glow of a hundred LEDs from my on standby equipment...

    What?
  • Nexus_6 16 Jan 2007 11:18:49 4,898 posts
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    brains wrote:
    On the issue of reducing parking spaces to force people onto public transport or cycling; I would love to be able to cycle into my office, as I have timed the journey and on most days cycling would take no longer (or possibly be quicker when traffic is really bad) than driving. Unfortunately, my office has woeful provision for bicycle storage, with about 8 racks outside the office (a 19 storey tower block!) which sometimes get vandalised despite the security people being about 40 feet away. Taking the bike inside is a no no...

    I regularly cycle to work when I am working on site as I travel round to schools and I can normally stick the bike somewhere secure.

    Until I get somewhere safe and dry to put my bike when I go to the office, I will continue to drive and fight for a parking space.

    yeah, i know exactly what you mean. thats why we are trying to get a good sized rack/room in place in the garage area to store the bikes, then follow that up with shower facilities on each floor.
  • Shrimp 16 Jan 2007 11:23:27 1,081 posts
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    Nexus 6 wrote:

    if the roof is going to be trafficed anyway, i wont require that much extra capacity. even if grass roofs are used to offset the impact of some of the plant that goes on a roof its a good thing i think.

    Ah, ok. Good point. They do look cool as well :)

    Goban - I assume you mean from here: http://www.food.gov.uk/science/surveillance/

    Not having much luck finding anything, and other tentative stuff from other links seems to suggest the toxins are heavy metals or PCBs/dioxins, which I wouldn't have thought could have a causal link with organic-ness.
  • pjmaybe 16 Jan 2007 11:26:03 70,666 posts
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    Pretty green.

    Recycle all the stuff that goes in the green bin.

    Drive a reasonably non petrol-guzzler car

    Compost stuff.

    Um...the gadget thing. Yeah that's a bit bad really. There's probably enough harmful material in my games collection to really bugger the planet up, I mean I bought both Driver 3 and Worms: Forts under siege


    Peej
  • espy 16 Jan 2007 11:59:11 840 posts
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    You can't not recycle in Germany :D We sort our trash and recycle practically all of it, except compost, because our building hasn't got a container for that. I never use plastic bags from supermarkets or shops, because I always have a nice screenprinted cotton vinyl bag on me for all carrying duties :D

    I sold my car last year, and seeing that I live very close to whereever I need to go, I always walk or go by bike. When we do need a car for local stuff (moving the PA or going to Ikea), we use a car sharing service. Very cool. When you need a van, you take a van, when you need a Smart, you take a Smart. Plus: no insurance, no inspections, no taxes. It's great! When I travel long distances through Germany, I go by train or share rides with people who do the same trip by car. Usually cheaper than trains, too.

    We have switched to a renewable energy supplier, but for the life of me, I can't get used to low energy lightbulbs, their weak, cold light drives me nuts. Maybe I shouldn't be buying the cheap ones :D We haven't got TVs anymore, and no more CRTs either, just laptops. The fridge is second hand, but has a high energy efficiency rating, as does the washing machine. That helps too. The GDR oven from 1974 doesn't help though :(
  • THFourteen 16 Jan 2007 12:11:40 53,527 posts
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    We recycle.

    I don't have a car, public transport only - although i understand that i'm lucky living in London with decent links

    I always go around switching lights off after my housemate when he's not in the room.

    And i wear a jumper before turning the heating up if i'm cold.

    my main fault is leaving my computer on 24/7 (monitor off tho), and leaving my stuff plugged in/in standby mode quite often.
  • Deleted user 16 January 2007 13:22:40
    Ever since watchin 'Cars' I couldn't give a monkeys about the environment and I want a 6 litre gas guzzling sports car; a bit like 'Lightening Mqueen'.
  • JimJam 16 Jan 2007 13:41:53 769 posts
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    Goban wrote:
    On the plus side they take no more energy to produce and use than re-usable ones. They are also completely biodegradable. Try and buy ones made by Procter & Gamble as they recycle more of their waste than the others, even the test nappies from other manufacturers.

    We use Pampers, which I think are Proctor & Gamble. I thought they took about 80 years to degrade ! That's what our NCT hippy told us when trying to persuade us to use terry nappies. We thought about it until...well, until our daughter had her first enormous black shit !
  • Goban 16 Jan 2007 13:47:52 10,071 posts
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    JimJam wrote:
    We use Pampers, which I think are Proctor & Gamble. I thought they took about 80 years to degrade ! That's what our NCT hippy told us when trying to persuade us to use terry nappies. We thought about it until...well, until our daughter had her first enormous black shit !

    So long as you put them in biodegradable bags. At least they degrade now which is far better than they used to be. 80 years isn't that long really.
  • Dirtbox 16 Jan 2007 20:55:57 91,337 posts
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    Post deleted
  • SirScratchalot 16 Jan 2007 21:05:23 7,921 posts
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    Shrimp wrote:
    Interesting - I'd like to see the source. "Toxins" needs defining as well.

    The other thing that makes me laugh in a slightly despairing way is when people buy organic food (for environmental reasons) that's been air-freighted from the other side of the world.

    My source would be university (difficult translation here) foodstuff biochemistry classes. Got quite a few comparisons of crops with toxins ranging up to cyanocarbons but obviously in very small amounts since even the most blithered hippie would notice customers dying instantly.
  • Deleted user 16 January 2007 21:44:23
    I use public transport to get to work. Have solar panel on the house, use recycling.

    Fairly green, runs in the family.
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