Virgin Atlantic Recycled PET Amenity Kits: Lipstick On A Monkey Or Genuine Jubbling?

Virgin Atlantic rPET Amenity Kits

“These [amenity] kits not only look great but also have a better sustainability profile.”
Paul Sands
head of product and service for Virgin Atlantic

In the Business Green article, “Virgin Atlantic: Taking recycling to 33,000ft,” Virgin Atlantic is taking a step in the sustainable direction by offering amenity kits made out of recycled PET (rPET) on their domestic UK flights. The amenity kits [which hold toiletries, headphones and related items] will be made out of recycled plastic bottles and distributed to Upper Class and Premium Economy customers.

The move is partially in response to environmental opposition to Virgin Atlantic’s decision to start the domestic UK flights. The short inter-UK flights are considered energy inefficient due to the frequent and high fuel consuming take-offs and landings; especially when compared to existing rail options between the routes that will create less emissions.

So what do you think: are the recycled PET amenity kits lipstick on a monkey or an example of some good Jubbling? OOOH OOOH AAAH AAAH! [Business Green]

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When Going Green Made People Feel Green: The Eco Dry Toilets That Stunk.

Waterless Eco-Toilet from SEI (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtzecosan/)Jubbling has had a little eco-reflux lately. That’s why stories like the one about the Daxing Ecological Community stand out. It was built in the mid-2000’s and one of the featured ideas implemented in this drought plagued community was a waterless eco-toilet designed by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).

The way the eco-toilet worked was targeted weewee would go down one drain and the solid stuff would be caught, saw-dusted and flipped down another drain into a holding tank in the basement. The tank would be emptied 2 or 3 times per month and the collected poo-business could be turned into fertilizer. In theory, the waterless eco-toilet sounded like a great idea.

But the problems with the toilets were almost immediate. Residents were overwhelmed with an ammonia smell that their bathroom fans couldn’t expel fast enough. And the smell from the unsealed poo-poo holding tanks in the basement raised the stink level to a point that some refused to eat in their apartments – they ate meals on their balcony. 15% of the households also reported gynecological problems stemming from the dispersal of sawdust.

SEI sent in experts who called the builders “irresponsible” and sealed the holding tanks and made improvements to the fans. But these were temporary fixes and the residents were still not happy until flushing toilets were installed in 2009.

Rarely would I be asked or able to offer my expert opinion on any topic but I could’ve helped the Daxing Ecological Community on this one. In 1976, my family stayed at an eco mini-community in the countryside of Japan. It was designed around sustainability and one of its flagship ideas was waterless toilets that used natural gas to incinerate solids. The smell of fried dookie wafted through our cabin and it’s an odor you smell once and never forget. For us kids, crap-cooking was at first kind of neat. But by day three, the novelty had worn off and we were all anxious to get out of there.

So idea people, please don’t mess with the toilet much. There are so many other ways to reduce water use – eco’ing up the toilet should probably be last on the list. [Guardian]

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Read About Perlick’s Refrigerated Beauty Drawers For Your Bathroom. Decided To Kick My Own Nuts!

Perlick Refrigerated Beauty DrawerFrom the “I hope it’s not real” category comes a refrigerated drawer for your bathroom that’ll store and keep your assorted beauty products cool. It’s built by the Perlick Corporation and according to the Robb Report:

“The 15-inch drawers provide a solution for storing organic and eco-friendly personal-care items”

Just when I thought the Perlick refrigerated beauty drawer couldn’t be the worst idea ever, the Robb Report goes even further by sucking up to the eco-friendly crowd with their description. Thankfully, they didn’t describe the Perlick shitter-fridge as Jubbling. [Gizmodo]

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No-Mix Vacuum Toilet Had Me At “Uses 90% Less Water.” The Other Features Sound Like Hot Gas.

No-Mix Vacuum Toilet   Nanyang Technical UniversityFor some reason, a good Jubblingified idea can get lost in a bunch of eco-crap. In this case, the crap is literal and the good idea is the No-Mix Vacuum Toilet. Developed by Assistant Professor Wang Jing-Yuan and 4 other researchers from Nanyang Technical University, the No-Mix Vacuum Toilet can process our dirty business with 90% less water by using airplane toilet like suction. It then separates the solids from the liquids and the captured goods are then processed further (from the Inhabitat article):

“The No-Mix Vacuum Toilet then diverts the liquid waste to a processing facility where components [are] used for fertilizers — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium can be recovered. Meanwhile all solid waste is sent to a bioreactor where it will be digested to release bio-gas which contains methane. The gas can then be converted to electricity and used to fuel power plants or fuel cells.”

The ultimate aim of the No-Mix Vacuum Toilet team is to separate, capture and convert everything flushed into useful resources.No Mix Vacuum ToiletI’d buy a Vacuum Toilet and I do expect that my kids will try to drop a solid in the liquid section. Kids do that kind of stuff… so do adults. That’ll pass. What I don’t want to see is a toilet that uses 90% less water being delayed because we don’t have the infrastructure in place to process the poo and pee separately. It’s a great goal to have but it shouldn’t be all or none.

So please bring the No-Mix Vacuum Toilet to market asap so we can start conserving water. In the interim, we’ll just call it the No-Mix Vacuum Toilet. When we figure out how to separate #2 from #1, we can drop the strikethru and bring “No-Mix” back to the party. [Inhabitat]

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Bi-Weekly Garbage Pickup May Be The Key To Reduce Waste And Drive Up Recycling Rates

Waste Management in Portland.Great article in the NY Times, “Cities Get So Close to Recycling Ideal, They Can Smell It,” about the success of waste handling programs in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. What stood out most was the City of Portland’s switch to bi-weekly garbage pickups and how it has increased recycling rates. Yes, more people are putting their garbage in the recycle bin because they produce trash beyond the twice-a-month pickup. But overall, 44% less waste is being deposited in the landfill thanks to the program.

Sanford and Son Salvage TruckThe bi-weekly trash pickup is a simple solution that’ll definitely motivate people to recycle more. We tried to get that type of garbage service where we live and it’s just not available. So now, about once a month, I load up my car with one 32 gallon trash can and head to the dump. It’s my stinky, flying-bug infested, Sanford & Son’ish monthly date with the dump that is propelled by cheap and guided by Jubbling. [NY Times]

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Ando’s Nurscal Instantaneous Deodorizer Machine Kind Of Stinks. (Video)

Say hello to Ando’s Nurscal. The Nurscal Instantaneous Deodorizer Machine was built by a joint team from industry and a chemical engineering group from Kanto Gakuin University to suck up the odors associated with diaper changes. The team built a model for hospital use and a home version. Both models use mesopore activated charcoal which has larger pores to absorb a wider range of odors compared to store bought charcoal.

Seeing an opportunity, a joint team made up of experts in Jubbling and an eleven year old kid have developed a competing product. Less about absorption and more about prevention, our crack team created and tested a lower cost odor-fighting alternative that is already available on the market and attaches to your nose. We call it the Clothespin (v2.0). [DigInfo via Gizmodo]

Clothespin v 2.0

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