Colgate-Palmolive responded to my inquiry today through this blog site. Apparently, my email address did not come through with the inquiry. The Afta bottle is recyclable. Thank you to the Customer Service Department for responding.
Archive for May 2nd, 2011
Here are some startling and downright scary facts from dirtworks.net and peoplepoweredmachine.com about the amount of pollution produced by our gas powered lawn toys, such as mowers, snow blowers, leaf-blowers, and weed-wackers.
- According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), gas powered lawn mowers represent 5% of U.S. Air Pollution.
- One hour of mowing is the equivalent of driving 350 miles in terms of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- One gas mower spews 87 lbs. of the greenhouse gas CO2, and 54 lbs. of other pollutants into the air every year.
- Over 17 million gallons of gas are spilled each year refueling lawn and garden equipment – more oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
- Each year, Americans use 800 million gallons of gasoline keeping their yards tidy.
- Garden equipment engines, which have had unregulated emissions until very recently, emit high levels of carbon monoxide, VOC’s and NOx producing up to 5% of the nation’s air pollution and a good deal more in metropolitan areas.
- According to the EPA, a traditional gas powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars each being driven 12,000 miles (emphasis added).
To me, the other factor is the annoying and likely unhealthy noise pollution that is generated from these high-powered machines. There are times during the summer where you cannot carry on a normal conversation in the house, if our windows are open when a riding mower is operating next door.
Below is some data about the not-so-green aspects of leaf blowers from ecocycle.org:
A 2000 report by the California EPA determined that the average residential leaf blower produces 145 times more hydrocarbons, 7.5 times more carbon monoxide, and 11 times more particulate matter in one hour than a 1999-2000 light duty vehicle driven at 30 mph, getting 15 miles to the gallon. The hydrocarbon emissions produced from one-half hour of residential leaf blower operation are equal to the emissions produced from driving 2200 miles, comparable to a round trip from Denver to San Diego. Commercial leaf blowers with more horse power are even more polluting.
Snow blowers present mush the same problem for those of use in northern latitudes, unless you are like me and you prefer to torture your back all winter – forced exercise I call it, but I doubt sure my back would agree.
Starting this year, the EPA is requiring gasoline engine for such lawn equipment to be more fuel efficient, quieter, and cleaner. This is good news, but it is long, long overdue. In the interim, while you are waiting for your current gas powered lawn toy to wear out, here are some suggestions for helping curtail the pollution.
- Do not mow the lawn as often.
- Use an old-fashioned push mower instead of a gas powered one. Same for hand trimmers instead of gas powered weed-wackers.
- Use a shovel for light snows instead of your snowblower.
- Rake the leaves and enjoy the fall weather.
- Keep your equipment tuned and maintained so it runs more efficiently.
- Operate the equipment during those times of the day that have the least impact on air pollution and ozone rates.
- Switch to electric powered equipment.
- Landscape your yard in a manner so that it requires less mowing.
I found out through Twitter that Osama bin Laden had been killed, and had time to watch the live speech President Obama gave about the death of a mass murderer. I thought it was a good speech — I especially liked that he mentioned that the United States is not and never has been at war against Islam — but it left me feeling conflicted. I didn’t want to go out and shoot off fireworks or dance around in joy. If this had happened nine years ago, before we had a chance to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, maybe I would feel like celebrating. The fact remains that more than 3,000 people died on Sept. 11, 2001, and thousands of soldiers and hundreds of thousands in the Middle East have died in a battle against a nebulous enemy: terror.
A few things do make me glad: that U.S. troops were the ones to kill bin Laden, and none were injured doing so; that this might bring closure to the families of those who died on Sept. 11; it might make soldiers feel that their sacrifices have been worthwhile. Shallowly, I am also glad this might boost Obama’s re-election chances, because despite all of former President George Bush’s blustering about being tough on terror, bin Laden was brought down on Obama’s watch. It will be difficult to question his national security credentials in the run-up to 2012.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not sad at all that bin Laden is dead. And if this were the actual end of anything, on either our side or the terrorists’, I would be at the head of the parade. We could certainly use a bit of good news right now. But it feels like a hollow victory.