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Our single-use items aren’t helping the fight against climate change but there are easy hacks to reduce and reuse.

Climate Lab is produced by the University of California in partnership with Vox. Hosted by conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan, the videos explore the surprising elements of our lives that contribute to climate change and the groundbreaking work being done to fight back. Featuring conversations with experts, scientists, thought leaders and activists, the series demystifies topics like nuclear power, food waste and online shopping to make them more approachable and actionable for those who want to do their part. Sanjayan is an alum of UC Santa Cruz, a Visiting Researcher at UCLA and the CEO of Conservation International.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Amazon sells A LOT of brands of paper ware that is compostable and even biodegradable. Bamboo! elephant poop products (paper etc). Glass straws, silicon straws, etc etc. SO MANY WAYS.

  2. Am i thr only one who keeps the bags or napkins, ketchup packages and everything else in case i need them later on? I dont throw them away

  3. I agree: reduce is the most important of them all (then reuse and finally recycle). Here in Barcelona, most supermarkets and shops are charging a small extra fee for every plastic bag you use. I feel like it's a great idea since that makes people consider if it's worth paying for something they're going to use for so little time. I believe it's beginning to take root as I'm seeing more and more reusable cloth bags.

  4. Ever since I started paying more attention to how my food is packaged, i realized how terrible the grocery section is. Who the hell needs individually shrink wrapped sweet potatoes???

  5. In Germany (where I'm from) there are three different kinds of bottle
    – Einwegflasche (single use plastic bottle, you have to pay a deposit of €0,25 per bottle (which is legally required) and every supermarket has a machine where you can put in Einwegflachen and get your €0,25 back. They will be molten down and used for either new Einwegflaschen or something else)
    – Plastik-Mehrwegflasche (reusable plastic bottle, you usually have to pay a deposit too, but it's not legally required and is usually less than for Einwegflaschen. Mehrwegflaschen will be refilled up to 25 times and will be molten down when they're worn out. They're often sold in crates of usually 12 bottles (can be up to 24 for smaller bottles)
    – Glas-Mehrwegflasche (reusable glass bottle, will be refilled up to 50 times before melting down, otherwise like plastic Mehrwegflaschen)

    Fun Fact: If a single use plastic bottle is bigger than 3 liters (slightly more than 100 oz) then it's exempt from the deposit rules so occasionally you see a 3,1 Liter bottle but the beverages in those are usually cheap and taste bad.

  6. How do you know that water bottle filler doesn't have lead? Our current "lead free" standard still allows some ammount of lead in the "wetted surface" with no regulation for the lead beneath the surface. Lead is present in brass fittings because they use lead to lubricate the cutting machines, but they don't have to use lead, it's just cheaper too. Because of this, I cannot trust public water sources. We don't know what kind of pipes are used, what kind of fittings are used (fittings before the current "lead free" standard are still out there), nothing. I read about a brand new building that was built to current standards and as soon as they turned the water on the lead readings were high. Why? Because of the infrastructure outside of the building. Additionally, stationary water absorbs the most lead. They reduced the levels by running the water non-stop for 3 days straight.

  7. How do you know that water bottle filler doesn't have lead? Our current "lead free" standard still allows some ammount of lead in the "wetted surface" with no regulation for the lead beneath the surface. Lead is present in brass fittings because they use lead to lubricate the cutting machines, but they don't have to use lead, it's just cheaper too. Because of this, I cannot trust public water sources. We don't know what kind of pipes are used, what kind of fittings are used (fittings before the current "lead free" standard are still out there), nothing. I read about a brand new building that was built to current standards and as soon as they turned the water on the lead readings were high. Why? Because of the infrastructure outside of the building. Additionally, stationary water absorbs the most lead. They reduced the levels by running the water non-stop for 3 days straight.

  8. How do you know that water bottle filler doesn't have lead? Our current "lead free" standard still allows some ammount of lead in the "wetted surface" with no regulation for the lead beneath the surface. Lead is present in brass fittings because they use lead to lubricate the cutting machines, but they don't have to use lead, it's just cheaper too. Because of this, I cannot trust public water sources. We don't know what kind of pipes are used, what kind of fittings are used (fittings before the current "lead free" standard are still out there), nothing. I read about a brand new building that was built to current standards and as soon as they turned the water on the lead readings were high. Why? Because of the infrastructure outside of the building. Additionally, stationary water absorbs the most lead. They reduced the levels by running the water non-stop for 3 days straight.

  9. I asked MacD why they keep giving me the sauce packets why I ask them not to. They said their staff were trained to do it. When I asked they if that meant I would keep getting something I didn't want, they didn't reply.

  10. People are just lazy AF. I see people throw trash on the ground when a trash can is feet away and in the trash can are recyclables when there is recycling bin next to the trash can.

  11. In Finland we have this thing that when we return bottles we get money for it. I think it’ll encourage a ton of people to recycle water bottles and cans if other countries started using that method.

  12. I applaud this video however the fact is most people will choose convenience over conservation. Yes there can be major cultural shifts but ideally we should factor these externalities into the pricing. There should be tax differences based on how much garbage your business contributes.

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