Do those flash shoes and flash toys represent an environmental hazard? How should they be disposed of safely? [more inside]
There are a lot of olive trees on my university campus. I'd like to harvest some of the olives--do I have to worry about environmental contaminants? [more inside]
Trying to get some info so I can try keep using Evernote and Trello at work. I'm having to deal with what seems quite ridiculous at work. Apparently something bad might come in through Evernote because it's a cloud and clouds aren't good. Could my cloudy Evernote 'pollute' the network somehow? Are these sorts of cloudy apps really such a super serious concern that all big corporate companies ban their use? We were told that this was the case at 'really big recognizable company'. (I do know about downloading attachments etc) [more inside]
There's the remnant of a plastic shopping bag caught in a tree in my backyard. It bothers me. It's about 20 feet (maybe 25 feet) off the ground. It's not visible in summer, but very visible in winter. Here are a couple of photos. The bag is circled in red. [more inside]
How far do I need to be from a highway/parkway to no longer hear it? I hope to use this information to look at a map and find the nearest place that will be quiet in the middle of the night, to record sound. Local road noise or the occasional passing car is not a concern, just highways and parkways that will be busy all night.
We are thinking about starting a family, but are concerned that our house is too near the highway and some other industry for a potential infant. How do we figure out if it is so bad that we should definitely move first? [more inside]
Oysters were a common food stuff for the poor in victorian london. They grew in the thames and were so cheap that there were riots amongst the poor demanding to be fed something other than oyster or salmon. My question is, how far up the Thames will Oysters grow? I've heard anecdotes of oysters at Hampton Court palace? Can this be true? [more inside]
I am heading to Beijing this month where the air pollution is notoriously apalling. Yesterday the air quality index reached a level which was double the level at which Salt Lake City doctors recently declared as a healthy emergency. Earlier this year it reached a level which was double that again. Does anyone have any tips about how to deal with this? Is there any evidence those face masks actually help? Any other contraptions or medication that help ward off the effects? I certainly won't be jogging outside.
Where can we find a N95 respirator mask for a small infant, and how else can we protect a baby from very polluted air? [more inside]
For years I've noticed a weird smell when driving south on I-5 in Seattle, just south of the West Seattle Bridge. It's precisely the smell I've always associated with worn brake pads– since there are a number of small manufacturing businesses along that stretch, I've just assumed one of them was making something stinky. Well, now I live on Beacon Hill a few hundred yards from that spot, and we smell it ALL THE TIME. What is that smell, and could it be a health issue? Thanks!
The company located next my house sprays noxious paint fumes into the air and my yard. Despite years of trying to get them to stop, they haven't. What are the next steps to take? [more inside]
Looking around at houses for sale in a high-traffic area (NYC suburbs). I-95 runs through all of the towns. What's the minimum distance I'd want the property to be from 95, in order to grow an edible vegetable garden (in raised beds)?
Do you know of any good resources providing data on how industrialization, urban expansion and / or hunting affects wildlife populations and ecosystems in the United States? Also interested in how conservation efforts do or do not produce a stabilizing effect. [more inside]
Is there a place (or places) on the internet where people post either 1) their complaints towards noise problems that local noise regulations somehow could not mitigate or 2) their experiences of, say, calling 311 only to find the noise stopped by the time a police responds? Mainly, I am looking for real people rants (letters, stories, etc) that are already in public, that demonstrates the limits to existing noise regulation systems. [more inside]
Looking for information about birds in Asia that were discovered making nests out of pieces of hardare, because there were no trees left. [more inside]
For the past three years, my wife has been sick. constant respiratory issues that have grown into asthma and whatnot. We have been dealing with it for sometime, and it dawned on us, that it started right around when we moved into our current house ( I know, we are a bit dense). [more inside]
How can I keep my cats calm during very, VERY noisy construction outside our apartment. [more inside]
Ozone-free air purifier for apartment on busy street? [more inside]
Help me (please) soundproof our new home against the trains that run right behind our house. Materials, strategies, tips: all are appreciated. [more inside]
We just got back soil test results for our new garden, and the lead levels are unfortunately pretty high (around 800 ppm). Now what? [more inside]
Looking for examples of environmental (in)justice in Mexico, Cuba, and/or northern South America. [more inside]
Is city rainwater "dirtier" than country rainwater? [more inside]
Dear mefites, I've got an unavoidable carbon-heavy trip ahead of me, and am feeling terribly guilty about it. I'm against carbon offsetting for companies on the whole, and am wary about it on the individual level. People excusing polluting by saying "hey, I'm planting trees" is silly. However, three of us can't avoid taking three flights and a ferry trip next year, and would like to put some money towards a project that will reduce more carbon than we are responsible for. So, what to do? [more inside]
I'm considering moving in the next few months to a fairly busy avenue in Berkeley - Ashby Avenue, between Adeline Street and Telegraph Avenue. It has two lanes of traffic - one each way - and averages about 19,000 cars a day. I'm worried after reading a few articles - including Black Lung Lofts in the LA Weekly, the Children's Health Study (skimmed it, but couldn't decipher it all) they refer to and others - that living there might have bad long-term effects on my young son's health. Should I be worried? [more inside]
What are some great environmental documentary films and/or series? [more inside]
What are the odds that I'll see the northern lights? [more inside]
How can I weigh the exercise benefits gained from walking against the damage caused by breathing exhaust? I like walking along busy city streets for miles, and I don't want to switch to quieter/duller residential roads, but I'm wondering if I should. [more inside]
Help me visualize CO2 pollution. When we say we're spewing "tons of carbon" into the air, what does that look like? What does it mean when you measure a gas in tons? If I magically compressed a ton of carbon that's in the air to a density of, say, the graphite in pencil lead, what are the dimensions of that brick of carbon?
What is the best air filtration/purification system for a 1 bedroom apt. in Brooklyn? [more inside]
Why are all these trucks honking in downtown Los Angeles? FOR HOURS. [more inside]
Will my new Himalayan salt block lamp really clean the air? [more inside]
Is the Ottawa river good for swimming in? [more inside]
Does anyone remember the name of a children's book that was a cautionary tale against air pollution? I remember it being a soft cover book w/ that was short and wide. Pictures of factory(s) and people getting and wearing gas masks (as well as dogs)! I can't remember the ending but hopefully my description suffices.
When a candle is burnt indoors, what happens to the wax? An amount of smoke equivalent to the mass of the candle is released as it's burnt (?)--does this manage to escape the house, or does most of it stay in the room and coat the walls, floors, ceiling, etc.?
How do I get people in my neighborhood to stop honking? [more inside]
We have a street lamp in front of our house that seems inordinately bright. We currently have cardboard in our windows to keep the light out so we can sleep at night. [more inside]
As an inveterate L.A. bike commuter (not to mention recently losing a close family member to cancer), this article made me wonder what sort of tests I should be having to measure the impact of particulate air pollution on my body. Recommendations? And how often? (I'm biking 30 miles a day in rush-hour traffic, year-round.)
What can I do to legally stop exploratory natural gas drilling within 1000 feet of my neighborhood? [more inside]
I have mild asthma. My wife and I live in California's Central Valley, and are considering moving to a place that's within 500 feet of Interstate 5. Would living so close to a busy freeway in the valley all but guarantee that our four month-old son develops asthma? [more inside]
Which makes more sense environmentally, heating with our waste paper or recycling it? [more inside]
Where can I learn more about professional (or semi-professional) equipment for testing the levels of indoor air toxins like carbon monoxide, radon, mold, VOCs, etc.? Here's a Talk of the Nation show that addresses the need, if it helps.
How to verify and report potential illegal hazardous waste dumping? [more inside]
I'm taking a road trip through the southwest, and I'd like to see places with an interesting backstory or that show you "behind the scenes." I'm interested in places with political, economic, environmental, or industrial significance. Can you recommend some? [more inside]
I am trying to organize a short camping trip with a friend. We would like to go somewhere in Southeastern Missouri, Southern Illinois or Southwestern Kentucky where there is little to no light pollution. Our plan is to spend some time photographing the stars, particularly the band of the Milky Way that's visible here on Earth when skies are clear. [more inside]
How do I clean the outside of windows on my third-floor apartment? [more inside]
Blogger is polluting my webstats. Hivemind, please hope me. [more inside]
Where I grew up in a suburb of LA, a coppery/iron-like smell, reminiscent of pennies or blood, would always waft unpleasantly through the air after it rained. I could never locate its source. Has anyone else had this experience, and what causes this?
How come there is no smoke or cooking flesh smell coming from crematoriums? [more inside]
I just rented workspace/artspace which is directly downwind of the huge coal-fired power plant. (Didn't realize it until after I signed the lease). Short of moving, what steps can I take to minimize the negative health effects of the situation.
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