Paying for the Subway with Cans…

Istanbul has come up with a new way to replenish their version of a metro card.
It is particularly aimed at those who are a little short of cash. A person can receive
money on their card simply by inserting a bottle or can into a special recycling
machine the city has set up. The Turkish economy is suffering and recycling is not
an idea that is popular. However, this will help alleviate two problems. The machine
will also have a device that will record the highest number of items by a particular
person and as a reward they will be given a small prize (theater tickets etc.) in addition
to their replenished card. The city plans on having 100 of these machines installed by
the end of 2018. This idea is extremely popular with college students who are often
challenged financially.

Geo-engineering and the Planet…

iron dustThe large-scale intervention by many countries in an attempt to counteract the effects of climate change has been given the term Geo-engineering. One area of concern is the removal of excess Carbon Dioxide. Roughly half of all emissions are removed naturally from the earth. To counteract some of the CO2 emissions a Canadian Village began dispersing 100 lbs of iron rich dust in the gulf of Alaska. Their hope was that it would encourage the growth of plankton a vital food for feeding salmon. The thought process behind this is that plankton growth is sustained by iron deposits usually produced from volcanic eruptions. There is great controversy over this method called iron seeding. Some fishermen report great spurts in salmon hauls while at the same time it is an attempt at absorbing some of the excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Whether it works or not it is obvious that new means of reducing our carbon footprint need to be explored.

New York and City Parks…

The City Council of New York is considering banning plastic bottle sales on all beaches, parks and golf courses. New York will be the third municipality following San Francisco andOpportunity bottles Concord, Maine to do so. This would also include soda and juices sold in plastic. The ban will not prohibit people from bringing in plastic bottles but the goal is to make it inconvenient. It is an attempt to make consumers aware of the damage plastic is doing to our environment and to relieve some of the strain it is putting on our landfills. Hope is that people will start using refillable bottles. Many colleges, government agencies and businesses have already adopted this policy. This is also an attempt to ensure that tap water is fit for drinking and at the same time send a message to manufacturers that these bottles are unnecessary. San Francisco has even set up refillable water stations at all concert and sports venues. Hope is that this proposal will be more successful then the previous attempt to put a surcharge on plastic bags.

Giving up Plastic for Lent…

Lent is the period when most Christians make some form of sacrifice 40 days before Listen-LentEaster as a show of penance. Plastic has become a major environmental problem by polluting rivers and streams, fouling beaches while killing fish and over clogging landfills. The Church of England has proposed what it feels may be a more sustainable way to invoke this practice of abstinence. Instead of abstaining from alcohol, sweets, tobacco, transgressions and swearing, it is suggesting an abstinence from synthetic fabrics, wet wipes, dental floss boxes and plastic bags. The church feels it is their duty to safeguard the integrity of creation. There exists in Europe an anti plastic sentiment as well as legislation to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic. Britain has committed to a 25 year plan to eliminate plastic and is seeking help by asking cafes and restaurants to avoid using plastic whenever possible. The action taken by the church, if successful, will be a stepping stone for making this practice a part of daily life.