Why is Desalination Bad for the Environment?

Desalination

DesalinationDesalination is a water (usually seawater) treatment process, which separates salts from the seawater to produce potable drinking water. There is a high consumption of energy during the production process. Salt water is channeled into the treatment plant that produces a stream of pure water and another stream of high concentrated brine.

The issue of water shortage is internationally recognized as a crisis due to the increased drought in different regions. While the concern is being addressed as a matter of importance, there are questions that require answers taking into consideration the negative impact of desalination methods. The most common desalination methods are reverse osmosis (RO) and thermal processes. Reverse osmosis is widely accepted in Europe due to its lower energy consumption compared to thermal alternatives.

Desalination and energyDue to high population growth rate, industrialization, and urbanization, freshwater sources are being over-exploited. Therefore, the use of desalted water has been an alternative to address the issue of drinking water scarcity. However, the large-scale desalination is energy intensive. Additionally, the environmental impacts are critical given the huge amount of emissions released from fossil fuel combustion in the desalination plants. There is also the issue of brine discharge into the oceans, which is extremely concentrated with salts and chemicals derived from the treatment processes. The brine and those chemicals pose danger to marine animals.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) and its Impacts

Reverse osmosis is a desalination process that uses a fine membrane to filter out particles present in water. It not only removes the salt but also removes heavy metals and harmful microorganism in water. The traditional RO systems have been using fossil fuels to provide energy, which causes severe negative impacts on the environment. The release of greenhouse gases and the intensive energy consumption has been a threat to the environment. Even though it is an effective method to provide clean and pure drinking water, the use of fossil fuels remains a global concern.

The negative impacts can be minimized through the use of renewable sources of energy. Renewable energy provides a sustainable approach to increasing supply of clean water without degrading the environment. Places such as Asia and North Africa are the most hit by freshwater scarcity, but they have a high potential of the wind and solar energy to power desalination plants. If effectively utilized in desalination processes such as reverse osmosis, the freshwater shortage can be addressed in a more sustainable manner.

Desalination waterWhile RO technology has been in the market for quite some time, there are more innovations expected in order to meet the new demands for environmentally friendly productions. Globally, RO technology is now u. The technology is driven towards achieving energy efficiencies in reverse osmosis water production.

According to a research analysis in 2008, the major impacts of reverse osmosis were associated with the water intake, discharge of concentrated brine, and emission of greenhouse gas. Impingement and entrainment of marine animals such as fish were also a concern. Fish are trapped and transported to the RO plant, which are then killed during the filtration processes. However, a few practices and technologies have been identified to help in reducing such impacts. Some of the new changes include the water intake volume reduction, intake timing, intake placement, and intake location. Also, new screens are being designed.

Solar Powered RO Systems

Solar energy can be used either directly or indirectly in the reverse osmosis desalination process. The major disadvantage of using solar energy is the low production rate, especially where large scale RO water production is required. However, Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) can provide an effective option to power RO systems in large scale desalination plants. Areas such as Asia have a high potential of solar energy that can facilitate energy production needed to offset the startling drinking water deficit.

global water

Health Impacts of Reverse Osmosis Water

Reverse osmosis uses a membrane to filter out molecules large than water. The particles of harmful contaminants are also removed, making the water safe for domestic and industrial use. For the patients who should not drink mineral water, RO water is their best alternative. It is free from microorganisms that cause diseases, and therefore suitable for cancer patients with low immune strength. More importantly, reverse osmosis water has no heavy metal traces. However, reverse osmosis has its own disadvantages too. During the filtering process, many of the essential minerals are removed from the water.

Which Regulations Cover the Provisions of Welfare in Your Office?

Health and safety

Health and safetyWelfare, health, and safety are the major aspects of workplace regulations, which apply to most workstations excluding construction sites, underground mining sites, and in/on ship working environments. It is the duty of an employer to ensure safety, welfare, and health of the employees at work. Individuals who manage the non-domestic premises have an obligation towards those who do not work there but use the premises. The regulations are intended to look after the health and safety of the people in the workstation by ensuring adequate safety facilities are provided for the individuals at work.

The regulations also apply to any office, even if it is one person who works from it. This is because clients and other guests are likely to visit the office, and therefore the regulations ensure their safety, welfare, and health needs are met. The big part of the regulations requires a suitable workplace for all people including those with disabilities. Therefore, the welfare provisions in any office should include the following;

Appropriately designed ventilations

ventilations in an officeAn office should be well ventilated so that fresh and clean air can circulate properly. The air should be drawn from an uncontaminated outdoor environment. It is a duty for the office owner to ensure that ventilation system is installed taking into considerations the situation of the outside environment. This means the freshening vents should face away from smoke chimneys and any other air pollutant outlets, as well as ensuring that humid air is driven away from the indoor space to create a sense of freshness.

Well-controlled indoor temperature

office and temperatureThis is very important to ensure a comfortable working environment is maintained. The environmental elements such as humidity can influence your personal comfort in the office. Depending on the kind of task you are doing, a suitable thermal environment may differ from time to time. According to workplace regulations, if your office duties involve more sitting than walking around, the ideal temperature should be at least 16 degrees Celsius. When you are in active duties, regulating the indoor temperatures to at least 13 degrees Celsius is recommended.

The seating comfort

office and sittingAccording to office health and welfare experts, people who work in offices are likely to suffer from neck-related pains and back pains due to prolonged sitting. That is why they recommend every office to have suitable seats that can provide adequate support for the lower back and neck. For a contemporary office setting, ergonomic office chairs are the best pick to ensure safety and health of your workers. These chairs come with backrest, footrest, and armrest to enhance the comfort of the user.

Sanitary and washing facilities

It is a requirement by workplace regulations to have sufficient and suitable sanitary and washing facilities located at easily accessible places. The rooms and the facilities themselves should be kept clean, lit, and well ventilated. If possible, the washing facilities should have adequate and functional cold and hot (warm) water, clean towels, and soap. Depending on the type of work that is done in your office, showers can also be provided. Apparently, it is a requirement to have separate facilities for ladies and gents if there are many people working from the same office. Otherwise, the facilities should be located in different rooms with lockable doors and for use by one individual at a time.

Safe drinking water

The workplace regulations require every office to have a sufficient supply of safe drinking water, either with clean cups or upward drinking jets. There should be refillable enclosed jugs whereby no one can access water directly from the main supply. It is the duty of the office management to refill the jugs on a daily basis unless the office uses water dispenser containers. However, water dispensing system is required as an additional source of drinking water.

Workplace maintenance

The office equipment, devices, and systems should be well-maintained to enhance safety, health, and welfare of the workers. For instance, regular inspections in the ventilation systems ensure proper air circulation into the rooms is maintained. Those devices that can risk the health of the workers should be assessed properly and faulty parts fixed immediately. If the office has installed safety equipment, they should be examined often to ensure they stay functional. Lastly, it is a requirement to monitor the condition of the building to ensure that it is stable and safe for use.

Where the Bacteria Live Most in Your Kitchen

kitchen cleaning

bacteria in the kitchenWhen a kitchen appears clean, it does not mean it is safe. There are many areas where bacteria can reside; on the countertops, in the refrigerators, in the garbage disposals, and on other surfaces. However, did you know that kitchen sinks and drains are some of the areas where bacteria inhabit most? According to a recent study on domestic health, gunk and food materials that buildup in the pipes under your sink attracts bacteria.

Cleaning and disinfecting the pipes is highly recommended, though, the two are different things. Cleaning removes food residues, creams, dirt, and some bacteria. However, cleaning has been found to spread bacteria to other surfaces around the kitchen. That is why disinfecting is quite important. Disinfectants and sanitizers kill disease-causing organisms, and are available as sprays, liquids, and wipes. There are also homemade disinfectants that work well.

kitchen cleaningIf you have old pipes that are connected to a local sewage plant, water is not enough to clean them. In such cases, bleaches such as chlorine are the best to clean and disinfect the drains and dissolve clogs. You can do this once in every month by pouring 12 ounces of bleach directly into the drain, but the bleach should not be allowed to settle in a stainless steel bowl of your sink. After about 6 to 8 hours, flush the pipes thoroughly with water. But, you should not use bleaches to clean the pipes if you have cleaned your sink using products containing ammonia.

There are other environmentally friendly cleaning products such as baking soda and vinegar. If the sink is producing some bad odor, pour half-cup of baking soda and then add half-cup of white vinegar. Close the drain and wait for about 5 minutes. Pour a few cups of boiling water into the drain. Baking soda is best for scouring while vinegar disinfects, leaving your sink drains clean and bacteria free.

Kitchen Sinks

Now you have known how to clean and maintain your sink and the pipes. Below are 4 types of sinks based on materials used to make them.

Types of kitchen sinks

Stainless steel sinks

Stainless steel sinksThese are the most popular sinks, taking more than 60% of all sinks on the market. Stainless steel is relatively cheaper compared to other materials, except the expensive designer brands such as Blanco. The material is versatile, and therefore the sinks are available in a range of installation types. Stainless steel is categorized in terms of the gauge; low gauge is heavier while higher gauge is lighter. The gauge falls within 15 – 24, and most of the residential sinks are normally between 18 and 22. The thickness of the stainless steel sheet ranges from 0.048 inches to 0.030 inches. Even though they are said to be durable, they can scratch easily compared to other materials.

Cast iron sinks

Cast iron sinksThis is one of the oldest materials used to make kitchen sinks but remains popular even today. It has a glossy and bright enamel coating that makes it more appealing. They are made of cast iron and are highly durable.  The porcelain layer used on the finishing prevents iron from rusting, as well as resisting scratches and stains. It is imperative to note that the finish is a melted glass that is fused to the cast iron material. The finish offers ease of cleaning and does not show spots of dried water. However, cast iron sinks are heavier than the stainless steel sinks. This makes it difficult during installation, especially the under-mount sinks that need an additional support to hold the sink firmly under the counter.

Composite sinks

These are quartz or granite composite sinks. They are made using a mixture of crushed quartz or granite and resin fillers. The combination makes the material aesthetically attractive, and also highly durable. Both the quartz or granite composite sinks are highly resistant to stains and scratches. Many homeowners like granite composite, though both varieties are rosy and long lasting.

Fireclay

These are made of ceramic clay, which is molded into a sink shape and then allowed to dry at high temperatures for a period of 30 to 40 hours. Once it dries, a porcelain enamel coat is applied and the sink is placed in a tunnel kiln at extreme temperatures for a period of 15 to 20 hours. The process helps to fuse the enamel and the clay, as well as increasing the overall strength of the materials. That is why they are said to be more durable compared to iron cast sinks. However, the fireclay is not permanent and the coat may chip from a bang of a dropped object like glass.

Where does all the Human Waste Go?

sewage treatment

Human WasteSeveral decades ago, many cities did not have sewage systems. That means all the stuff you usually flush down in toilets would be thrown on the streets, which can cause high pollution in the environment. It is no surprise to find some urban areas, especially in developing countries, without sewage treatments. So, where does the human waste go after flushing a toilet? It is simple. The waste is directed to a nearby river, which is a big concern when it comes to environmental conservation and public hygiene.

A sewage system is a great investment that should be a priority in all cities. Given the constant increase in human population, there is tons of human waste generated on daily basis. With a sewage treatment facility, managing that enormous waste is easier and efficient. Therefore, let us look at how a sewage treatment system works.

sewage system

Sewage treatment can be broken down into two classes; storm sewers and sanitary sewers. Storm sewers are less polluted because they contain materials that are washed away by surface runoff. Sometimes, treatment may be done to remove substances like vehicle oil. On the other hand, sanitary sewers contain human waste and other rotten substances. The treatment process involves three stages, which are explained below.

Primary sewage treatment

sewage treatmentBasically, your house is connected to a sewer through pipes. Once people flush the toilet, the waste flows through the pipes and released into a treatment plant. Here, it goes through a series of filters. The large pieces are filtered out during this stage, but there are several filters that eliminate pieces depending on their sizes. Once the sewage is separated into liquid and sludge, the solid stuff may be taken to a landfill.

Secondary sewage treatment

This stage gets rid of nasty odors and bacteria from the water and sludge. It normally uses the bacteria to feed on the available organic compounds and nutrients. Water, inorganic salts, and carbon dioxide are left behind. The fundamental treatment of the sludge is known as digestion whereby it is ‘eaten’ up by the bacteria. The sludge is pumped into digesters (usually concrete digesters) containing bacteria, which feed on it to release methane. Any remaining water is drained, and then the dry sludge can be used as fertilizer.

Tertiary sewage treatment

This is the third or last treatment stage that gets rid of all stuff from the water. The water is cleaned thoroughly through a series of chemical treatments to restore a normal taste and odor. Phosphates and nitrates are usually the most harmful chemicals left, and therefore rotifers and algae are used to absorb the chemicals. The water is sterilized and then released into water sources.

Now you have understood the basic sewage treatment, but some of you might be asking if the type of toilet may affect the level of sanitation in their homes. Alright, there are many types of toilets on the market. Basically, an ideal toilet should be able to flush all the waste without wasting water.

Let us look at a few tips to help you when buying a new toilet;

Toilet bowl shapes

Toilets come in two types of bowl shapes; elongated and round front. The elongated models have more options that offer a comfortable seat and usually require a bigger space. If you have a limited space, the round front toilets can be your better option.

Toilet design

The three basic designs include one piece, two piece, and wall mount. One piece models are typically expensive, though they are attractive and easy to clean. Two piece models are the most common, but they come in a variety of prices to choose from. Wall mount toilets are less popular, and their cost is also high. They have an advantage because you can clean the area under the toilet.

Toilet height

A standard toilet height is usually 15 feet from the ground level to the top of the toilet seat. The majority of people prefer the standard height, but there are other toilets with different height to suit the needs of various people. For instance, a person with a disability may prefer a toilet height of 17 feet. In other words, the choice of a toilet may depend on an individual comfort height.

One flush/two flush

The toilet designs have improved significantly over the years. With the traditional low flush toilets, you had to flush twice in order to get the stuff washed down. One flush toilet means it has enough pressure to get rid of the waste with a single flush. The dual flush toilets are more improved options because they have additional features to save water. A full flush uses about 1.6 gallons while a partial flush uses about 0.8 gallons of water.

What are the Riskiest Areas of the Body to Apply Deep Massage?

neck or back massage therapy

deep massageAs the demand for natural therapies continues to escalate, massage treatment has become one of the top picks for many people. Due to its long history, several modern medical practitioners have endorsed it as an effective procedure to cure and prevent various health disorders. It is now popular around the world, and even education facilities have been established in different places to train people with interest in massage therapy career.

However, anything that has its own advantages must have a few shortcomings that cannot be overlooked. These drawbacks are not only based on negatives of massage therapy, but also on the way different masseuses do it. And the fundamental concern among patients is the “pressure issue”. Generally, massage involves shallow and deep treatment. Some areas require shallow massage while others need deep tissue massaging for better results.

massage pressureBut people are different when it comes to massage pressure. The pressure that is comfortable for you may be totally bleak in another person. The same differences apply to body parts. The pressure that works well on the back might be dreadful on the lower legs. Also, pressure tolerance can change with time. The pressure that feels good today could be disastrous after a week.

So, what can we deduce in regard to this? A good massage therapy should be done professionally. The massage therapist should talk to the patient about pressure in order to know whether or not it is too deep. Also, the therapist must show respect by respecting the patient’s preferences and paying attention to those areas that require less pressure for comfort purposes or more pressure for full satisfaction. But, almost every part of the body can be delicate if not handled with care.

Alright, let’s get back to the core subject “the riskiest body parts that don’t deserve deep massage”.

Neck and the upper part of the back are the most known riskiest areas to apply deep massage therapy. Based on massage therapy experts, people with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure can lead to health complications after a massage therapy. Though massage therapy is so good for people, medical experts have been cautioning massage therapists about the risks associated with massaging clients with such specific disorders.

Patients with high blood pressure can be affected by the pressure exerted during a neck or back massage, which could potentially trigger the release of blood clots into the circulation system. High blood pressure is a disease that causes plaques to build up in the blood vessels (usually arteries). So, the blood clots can be transported to highly sensitive organs such as brain or heart, which can lead to stroke or heart attack.

neck or back massage therapyPatients with profound vein thrombosis (DVT) may be at risk of health problems after neck or back massage therapy. This is a condition that causes the development of blood clots in the veins. According to clinical studies, people with DVT may not be aware they have the condition. During a massage therapy, the pressure exerted may trigger the release of blood clots, which could be transported to the lungs. The clots are highly harmful to the overall respiratory system.

Another ruinous impact of massage is the potential of nerve damage, especially during a deep tissue massage. The procedure requires pressure deeper beyond the skin layer so that the connective tissues and muscles are well manipulated. If the patient and therapist do not communicate about pressure, too much pressure can lead to temporary nerve damage. According to experts, nerve damage can potentially occur in any part of the body except in the feet areas.

As much as we recommend a communicate massage therapy (between the therapist and the client), proper training on massage therapy is also required. Many therapists who have been trained to work with patients under certain medical treatments are the best choice. They understand the areas that require deep and shallow massage therapy depending on the condition of a patient.

What about feet massage therapy?

This is a common question as many people prefer feet massaging even if it means doing it on daily basis. Of course, it is nice to relax after a long day standing up and walking around. There is an array of health benefits, whether you go for a traditional therapeutic methods or aromatherapy which involves the use of feet massage experts and products. As mentioned earlier, it is one of the safest areas to get deep massage therapy. However, you need to read the advice below from professional massage therapists. Or, simply you can choose a foot massager to purchase.

Advice from Experts

There are some medical conditions that may deter you from massage therapy before consulting your medical doctor. These include fractured bones, cancer, blood clots, burns, lesions, arthritis, skin rashes, osteoporosis, and certain skin infections. If you have any these disorders, it is highly advisable to consult your physician before receiving massage therapy.

New Generation Thermostats and Their Impact on Our Lives

use of smart thermostats

use of smart thermostatsAccording to a research carried out last year, the use of smart thermostats has been escalating among homeowners since 2014. They are ‘clever’ gadgets that represent the modern trend in controlling home heating, which in turn help lower the energy consumption. A home with smart thermostat means that the temperature of the house can be adjusted and monitored from any device such smartphone, tablet, or a computer connected to the Internet.

A traditional thermostat allows you to control space temperature using a control panel. A Wi-Fi thermostat (smart thermostat) offers a more effective and user-friendly control over your house’s heating using three fundamental components. The first component is plugged directly into the boiler and can communicate to the second component – thermostat – wirelessly. The third component is an application, which can be downloaded to any smart device such as a smartphone. The user can control the thermostat through the app remotely, and thus allow you to adjust your home heating from anywhere.

Apart from the basic structure of the smart thermostat, there are newer models with advanced features such as ‘learning’ ability to monitor your daily schedules. They can detect when your smartphone is around the house, or even sense while you are at a distance on your way going home. So, depending on how it is programmed, it will start controlling the heating so that you can find a suitable temperature when you reach home. The technology is quite interesting, and every homeowner should consider having a smart thermostat.

Benefits of Wi-Fi Thermostats

Benefits of Wi-Fi ThermostatsAccording to a study on domestic energy consumption, nearly half of home’s energy is consumed through heating and cooling. Homeowners with thermostats use less energy in heating and cooling because they can control temperature, and thus reduce energy wastage when heating or cooling is not required. Interestingly, those who have smart thermostats use the least energy in heating and cooling.

A Wi-Fi thermostat provides both control and automation. They can be controlled from anywhere using a device connected to the internet, meaning you have control over your house’s climate and temperature. This automated and remote-enabled control can save you a significant amount of money on your energy bill. Moreover, it enables more than just climate and temperature automation.

So, there are several advantages to owning one;

Offers a more organized temperature control

Sometimes, you might leave the AC running. If you have a smart thermostat, you will comfortably switch off by a few taps on your smartphone. The new models can learn your schedules, and then the thermostat handles the raising and dropping of temperature without your intervention. They can as well learn your preference, and therefore manage the home’s climate on its own.

Ability to monitor your home

A Wi-Fi thermostat will be your ‘house observer’ while not in at home. You have an app on your mobile device, which allows you to see the home’s temperature conditions. In case the system is turned on and there is no one in the house, you can just turn it off in order to save energy. For those who just bought new homes, a smart thermostat will help you to oversee the home while you are away.

Adjust home’s temperature remotely

It doesn’t matter where you are in order to control your home’s climate. Whether you are coming from work or you just landed at the airport and you want to get a suitable climate when you reach home. With a smartphone at hand, you can just control the thermostat.

Get alerts via emails

The new smart thermostats support email notification whenever there is a change in temperature in your home. The thermostat detects your temperature preference, and you will get alerts in the event of temperature rising or falling in your home. Interestingly, you will be notified when the thermostat is disconnected from the network, probably due to power supply failure.

Save energy

One of the most reasons to have a smart thermostat is to save a few bucks on your cooling and heating bills. New thermostats come with energy saving settings, which learn your habits and preferences. This means your home’s climate is controlled automatically, hence helping to control energy consumption.

Easy to use

Smart thermostats are programmable, and the recent models have sizeable screens and well-designed mobile apps. You can navigate the apps easily and make settings that you need. The touch screen on the gadget is also user-friendly.

Analyze energy consumption

The newest smart thermostats can read the energy consumption and prepare a simple report for that. This is interesting because you can learn the best habit that can achieve a low energy usage over time. Another attractive feature is the energy efficient settings that allow you to save more on energy!

How Should We Increase Water Pressure in the Shower?

Clean the showerhead

Water Pressure in the ShowerAccording to various professional interior designers, the best-recommended method to improve shower pressure in your bathroom is by installing ideal showerheads. There are many types of showerheads with contemporary features that help to save water, as well as offering a perfect bathing experience. However, there are those individuals who have just relocated to new homes, and perhaps, they are not in a position to squander more money in renovating their bathrooms.

If you are in that situation or you just lack enough cash to replace your current showerheads, there are alternative solutions to boost water pressure in your shower. It is worth noting, replacing showerheads is not an expensive project compared to overhauling the entire water piping system. During the research for this article, we gathered a few DIY ways to improve water pressure in homes. But, we also advise people to seek assistance from expert shower installers or plumbers to offer professional assistance.

Therefore, here are the 6 ways;

Remove showerhead aerators

Showerhead aerators are typically small units installed to control shower flow by adding air into the water. Though various types of showerheads work differently, basically the aerators may cause low water pressure issue. That is why many homeowners prefer removing the aerators when pressure decreases. Depending on the model of your showerheads, removing and adding back an aerator is a simple task. You can also refer to the manufacturer’s manual so that you can locate where it is positioned.

Clean the showerhead

Clean the showerheadThe components of your showerhead can be clogged by debris, which can reduce water pressure. Some sediments such as salts (from hard water) or grime can accumulate in the showerhead holes over time. And cleaning them is quite simple as long as you have the right tools to do it. However, avoid using abrasive substances that can scratch your showerhead. You can use a pin to de-clog the holes or soak the showerhead in some vinegar solution for a few hours. It is also advisable to inspect the showerheads regularly in order to prevent such sediment buildups.

Remove the flow regulator

Basically, water flow regulators are fitted in almost all modern showerheads in order to conserve water and energy. In some states, it is a requirement by federal regulations to have flow regulators in all showerheads. Even though most recent showerheads will provide a relaxing shower experience, there are a few that do not provide the ideal pressure you may want. So, removing the flow regulator will improve shower pressure instantly. You just need to locate the regulator, and then remove it. If you cannot spot its location, read some posts online about how to remove a showerhead flow regulator.

Repair water leakages

Water leakages may be a major cause of low-pressure shower, especially if they are on the main bathroom water supply pipe. The repair work can be done by a professional plumber, unless you have the right tools and skills to fix the problem. The most common water leakages that can interrupt the shower pressure occur behind a shower wall. This is something you can examine and fix on your own. Also, check if there are inappropriately wrapped or damaged Teflon tapes.

Replace showerheads

As mentioned earlier, replacing showerheads is cheaper than refurbishing the entire plumbing system. For many homeowners, replacing showerheads is the quickest and easiest way to improve shower pressure. You can browse different types of showerheads and pick the best model with the effective features you want. There are also high-pressure showerheads which can be screwed into place within minutes. According to interior designers, it is wise to choose a style of showerheads that compliments with the rest of your bathroom environment.

Adjust the central shut-off valve

Last but not least, you can check the shut-off valve when the water pressure is low. If it is open half-way, probably it is the cause of low shower pressure. So, turn it all the way. It will also save you a few bucks that could have been used to pay a plumber. A few homeowners do not remember to check their main shut-off valves when water pressure is low. Therefore, it is advisable to check it before you consider replacing showerheads or calling in a plumber.

In conclusion, you do not need to rely on a single method. If one does not work, try the next until you achieve a better water pressure. In case all of them fail to work, you can now think of hiring a professional plumber to assess and fix the problem.

How Much Waste Produced Each Year in the World?

waste in world

waste in worldAccording to a report published last year, global waste volume generation increased from 20,955.5 to 22,072.1 million tons between 2015 and 2016. The estimations on the report indicate that industrial waste takes up the biggest percentage of the overall waste generation, with about 15,790 million tons. The others include municipal solid waste, construction and demolition, and waste electrical/electronic equipment. The Asia-Pacific and Europe produced the highest volume of industrial waste followed by United Sates, Middle East, and Africa.

The increasing rate of waste generation is influenced by high economic development, high level of industrialization, public habits, and climatic conditions. Basically, if the economic development and urbanization continue to increase, more volume of waste will be produced. The income level and urbanization are much correlated, meaning that the increase in living standards and disposable incomes, more goods will be consumed. So, high consumption of goods leads to the high generation of waste. The report shows that urban residents produced twice as much as the rural residents.

Two Main Sources of Waste

Industrial waste

waste in the worldThis is waste generated during energy, chemical, agriculture, or metallurgy productions. Industrial manufacture of rubber, petrochemicals, plastic, and pharmaceuticals generate huge wastes. Also, industries producing fabricated metal, ferrous and non-ferrous materials release waste. Other waste sources include the cement industries, textile, and pulp & paper factories. Even the manufacturers of tobacco, food & beverages and health products usually produce a significant amount of waste.

Municipal solid waste

This is the waste generated in urban areas including commercial and residential settings. Most of the solid waste from these areas includes food materials from restaurants, hotels, food cafes, and residential areas among others. However, the hazardous waste is not included in the municipal solid waste as it is handled differently before reaching the landfills or dumpsites.

Domestic Waste Management

Domestic waste management is an important issue for every urban area. The absence of a functional waste disposal system poses risks of disease to the residents of a city, which may have negative economic impacts over time. There are various ways through which domestic waste can be managed. These include; use of landfills, incineration, recycling, and use of garbage disposals.

Landfill waste disposal

Using a modern landfill is more efficient compared to a simple dumpsite. Landfills allow a controlled fashion of handling waste materials, and therefore the quality of groundwater and soil is preserved. Lighter waste materials are put in the bottom because the majority of them contain toxic chemical compounds. Every time new waste is added to the landfill, a layer of soil is applied to cover the waste. The idea is backed up by hopes that the waste will break down before the barrier between the groundwater and the landfill breaks. For the sanitary landfill to stay ‘healthy’, the wastewater should be treated and toxic gases recovered. However, sanitary landfills have a drawback – it consumes a huge piece of land, as well as damaging the ecological balance.

Incineration waste disposal

waste typesIncineration is usually used where there is a limited space to construct a landfill. Even areas where land is highly valuable (prime land) to build a landfill, incinerators are seen as the better alternatives to dispose solid wastes. It helps in reducing the bulkiness of waste, but it does not eliminate the waste entirely. For instance, toxic heavy metals cannot be eliminated completely through burning, as the ash containing traces of heavy metals will be left all over the environment.

Material-recovery

This is basically recycling to a new level where the waste is sorted by material and reprocessed. The project is typically daunting and expensive, but nowadays there is an advanced technology to help in sorting the waste. For instance, many developed countries are using automated robots to sort the waste without direct human involvement. The recovered materials are sold while others are reprocessed to make new products. This keeps the system running sustainably and economically beneficial to the government.

Garbage disposals

Garbage disposals are domestic appliances used for disposing of waste food materials. They grind the waste and then water is added to flash the materials down into the drain pipes. There are two basic types of garbage disposals; continuous feed and batch feed. Continuous feed models are easy and simple to use. Once the switch is turned over, you can comfortably start cleaning the dishes as the waste drops down into the disposal. It is important to note that, this type of disposal can cause injuries if you insert fingers while it is running.

On the other hand, batch feed disposal is designed to counter the limitation of the continuous feed model. It can only work if the magnetic lid cover is put on, and thus eliminating the potential injuries if someone inserts fingers to remove something that dropped accidentally.

In conclusion, the enormous waste generation globally is a critical concern. As much as technology and innovations are being identified to address the issue, homeowners with garbage disposals can play a major role to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills. More importantly, the liquid waste generated by the garbage disposal is transported to sewage treatment plants where it can be processed to produce methane and organic fertilizers.

How Do You Get Rid of Old Ammunition – How to Store

old ammunition

old ammunitionMany people (firearm holders in this case) realize that they are piling up old or corroded ammunition, which they won’t want to risk shooting. Sometimes, they notice some of the bullets are already damaged due to poor storage conditions, and now they start thinking how to eliminate them.  No one would want to stockpile bad ammo. Many want to get rid of them.

Regardless of what kind of advice you get from friends and relatives, disposing of bad ammo should be done taking into consideration the legal procedures and environmental protection.

Bad Ammunition Storage

If you were to store bad ammunition, perhaps you have just a few ones that don’t require a huge space in your house. As a responsible gun owner, you need to understand the significance of using proper gun safes. Gun safes are not only meant for storing guns, but also for keeping your ammo appropriately. Also, you should note that bullets contain harmful chemicals including lead, a very hazardous heavy metal. Leaving the bullets exposed to the environment can cause serious soil pollution.

Gun safes provide a better way to keep weapons and ammo away from unwanted people. There are many different types of gun safes that offer a varied degree of protection levels and storage capacity.

Handgun and pistol safes

These have a compact design that can fit easily underneath your bed. Since handguns are used for quick protection against intrusion, you can place the gun safe in a nightstand drawer for easy access. If you have a few damaged or bad bullets, you can choose to store them in the gun safe. This is the safest place to prevent young ones from accessing them.

Rifle and shotgun safes

Old Ammunition storageThese are designed to hold large weapons, and they are heavier than their handgun counterparts. They have advanced features such as several layers of fire insulating material, high-gauge steel construction, internal compartments for ammunition, and compartments for pistols. There are also bolt locks to ensure the firearms and ammo stay secure throughout.

Environmental Concerns about Disposing Bad/Old Ammunition

Those individuals with a few rounds they want to get rid of, there are methods that are not recommended by environmentalists. As mentioned earlier, the best approach to dispose ammunition is through storing them in a gun safe. However, what if they are too many to store in a gun safe? Alright, that will be covered later in this article.

It is not safe to bury damaged ammo at the back of your backyard. Burying a few bullets may seem safe, but there are some negative environmental impacts associated. Even though lead exists naturally in the soil, the concentration is not as high as in the bullet. What if someone else moves into the home and decides to grow some vegetables on top of your ammunition landfill? According to various studies, most vegetables tend to absorb heavy metals that may find their way into human bodies through food.

Disabling old ammunition is another method many firearm owners use, however, it is not recommended. Environmentalists have found that bullets thrown into the trash after disabling contain high concentrations of lead. Whichever method used to disable the bullets, there are traces of lead that are left behind.

How to Get Rid of Bad Ammunition Appropriately

Old Ammunition storeIf you have got a large batch of damaged ammunition, you need a more appropriate method of eliminating them rather than burying or disabling and throwing to the environment. You should call a professional who can advise or dispose your stockpile of ammo.

Local law enforcement

If your immediate neighbor is a cop, you can request the person to take care of your damaged bullets. Or else, call a local police station and ask them to come and collect them. Not all police departments handle the bad or damaged rounds, so you need to enquire first.

Hazardous waste facility

If you cannot reach the police department at the moment, consider calling the nearest hazardous waste facility. However, they might not be able to allow dumping of ammo into the hazardous waste landfills but they will provide advice.

In case you have a larger quantity of bad ammo, you can inquire from a local indoor shooting range to see if they can take a few off your hands. In order to continue advocating for a cleaner and healthy environment, it is wiser to dispose your ammo in a safer manner. You can check your state laws so that you can be sure of what you do.

Does it Really Help to Drink Cold White Wine before Bed?

white wine

Drink Cold White Wine before BedUnless nights are quite chilly, drinking a glass of cold white wine before bed can be a healthy plan. There are many ways to get resveratrol through diet, and several studies have confirmed that. An earlier study in 2012 indicated that drinking wine later in the day can reduce your cravings for snacks in the evening. As reported by various clinical studies, snacking is one of the common ways to boost weight gain. They tend to interrupt metabolic conditions, forcing the body to digest food instead of taking a break.

When your body is actively digesting and absorbing food, it creates a wave rhythm that denies you a good sleep. When more calories are being added to your body during the night, you are likely to stay awake for several hours. Sleep disruptions have also been linked to excessive eating, which stimulates prolonged digestion process until late at night. This means you are taking in more calories than the recommended amount per 24 hours. So, reducing your hunger with a glass of cold white wine in the evening can be the best way to eliminate snacking!

Health Benefits of Cold White Wine

Natural resveratrol

white wineThe functions of resveratrol are similar to phytoalexin, which is an antimicrobial and antioxidant compound that is produced by plants (including berries used to make wine) naturally to protect them from adverse environmental elements and infections. If the compound is consumed by humans, the antioxidants and antimicrobial properties offer different health benefits such as preventing obesity, diabetes, and blood clots.

Control blood sugar level

As reported by various natural health institutes, people suffering from diabetes type 2 should drink white wine to help in controlling blood sugar level. It improves insulin resistance, and hence reducing the excess amount of glucose in the blood.

Improves skin looks

Resveratrol contains anti-aging properties derived from the release of SIRT1, a compound that slows aging and increases cell metabolic reactions. As the overall body goes to rest for the night, giving it a boost with a glass of wine can improve the overall relaxation and moods, as well as enhancing your skin texture.

Improved heart health

Based on studies on health benefits of resveratrol, white wine has been severally linked to increasing heart health. Alongside improving heart health, white wine also strengthens bones same way as workouts. Another study has also shown that drinking a glass of white wine in the evening is good to relax the exhausted mind.

Reduces risk of cancer

Various reports show that drinking white wine helps to suppress the activity of aromatase, an enzyme known for causing cancer. The same report indicates that many people who drink a glass of white wine reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. Also, men who drink about 4 to 7 glasses of white wine are not likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Keep Your Wine in Wine Coolers to Preserve Quality

The above benefits are interesting to every wine lover out there. If you are a wine fanatic, perhaps you store a few bottles in your house. However, many people have issues with the quality of their wines. Remember, how and where you keep your wine determines its quality once it stays for a few days. So, you need to look for a wine cooler.

Several homes have wine coolers, as long as there are wine drinkers around. Wine coolers chill your wine to the preferred temperature. Some of the coolers are portable, meaning you can just put it anywhere. If you are a starter, it is worth noting that wine coolers can store your wine at the appropriate condition for a long very long time. They have an array of advantages due to their advanced features that are not found in the ordinary refrigerators.

There are also environmentally-friendly designed coolers with thermoelectric medium cooling features to help in saving on energy bills. This is also a significant benefit towards environmental protection. With the wine coolers, there is neither use of harmful chemicals nor release of emissions in the cooling process.

For those that do not prefer drinking wine, there are other ways to consume resveratrol. After all, white wine is made of berries, grapes, or apples. These plants release those essential antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds, which can help your body to burn calories, increase energy production, and other many health benefits.