Potpourri . . .

Can Can-do
Nationally, 54.6% of aluminum cans are recycled. It takes as much energy to make one can from virgin ore (bauxite) as it takes to make 20 from recycled stock. That's a 95% savings in energy use. Recycling one can saves enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for 3.5 hours.(The Garbage Times)
Close the Loop in the Courts
The Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund has asked the California Judicial Council to force lawyers to use recycled paper to file cases in court. The Fund says that, after the government, lawyers are the biggest consumers of paper. The American Bar Association estimated that each lawyer in the United States uses 1 ton of paper - the equivalent of 17 tress - every year. In California alone, 300,000,000 (yes 8 zeroes) sheets of paper are filed in the courts each year, says the Fund - enough to circle the planet twice. (New Scientist)

What's Eating Us?
"Excessive" protein intake has been implicated in the development of osteoporosis, kidney disease and cancer. Women who consume meat daily have almost four times as much chance of developing breast cancer as women who eat little or no meat. (Robbins, Diet for a New America.)
More than 30% of all the paper in the United States is now being collected and utilized as raw material to make recycled paper-products. The housing industry used a significant portion of recycled paper in roofing shingles, tar paper and insulation. Newsprint is most frequesntly recycled into new newsprint or recycled paperboard, cereal boxes, corrugated containers and tissue paper. One pound of paper can be recycled into four cereal boxes. (The Garbage Times)

Bat Lore - Bat Facts
Instead of fighting crime in cartoons, real bats are actually on duty fighting pests and disease. A single brown bat can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in one hour. Bat poop (guano) is a rich fertilizer. Scientists have dis-covered more than 1000 species of bacteria in guano, which produce enzymes that break down organic material such as toxic spills and seafood waste. Unfortunately, the leading cause of bat population decline is humans. (Conscious Consumer)
Yellow Pages, Yellow Pans
A Toronto-based company called Vernacare has come up with a way to recycle phone books into egg-carton-like liners for hospital bed pans. The disposable liners save plastic bed pans, which typically get tossed when the patient leaves the hospital. More important, they're creating a needed market for recycling phone books: one four-pound book makes 50 liners. Vernacare supplies some 350 hospitals in the U.S. But new hospitals, especially "image-conscious" ones have been slow to sign on. "It's ugly." admits RIchard Vosylius of his product. "But think of what goes into it - does it really matter what it looks like?" (Garbage Magazine)

Idle While Waiting?
Five minutes of idling, on the average, will cost 10 cents. Turn off your car engine if stopping more than 30 seconds. Restarting uses less gasoline. California is the second largest gasoline consumer in the world, using more than 15 billion gallons of gas each year. We are only behind the rest of the United States. If the USSR still existed, California would rank number three. (California Energy Commission)
Eating the environment
Livestock production consumes more than half of all water used for all purposes in the United States. 85percent of U.S. topsoil loss is directly associated with livestock raising. It takes 55 square feet of Latin American land to produce enough grazing area for a single beef patty. 90 percent of the beef produced in Central America goes to the United States. One acre of trees is spared each year by every individual who switches to a purely vegetarian diet. (Robbins, Diet for a New America.)

Gee, I think they're related somehow....
The American people don't really accept the "environment vs. economy dichotomy. According to a study by the Wirthlin Group of McLean VA, only 4% of those surveyed felt the environment should be sacrificed for economic growth. 17% said economic growth should be sacrificed for environmental quality, but 77% said a choice between the two is not necessary. (COPE Newsletter)

Could this work here?
The Greater Baton Rouge Zoo has created an innovative exhibit. Visitors to the new display see egrets, muskrats, and other native wildlife going about their business in a flourishing two-acre marsh. Yet few people realize they are looking at a wastewater treatment facility. "We saw this as a way to save money and build a new exhibit at the same time," say zoo director George Felton. Built for $420,000, it will save the zoo more than $150,000 a year in sewer-use fees, paying for itself in just three years. The water is so free of contaminants, it exceeds the strict guideline set the the EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Wildlife Conservation)

Lighten Your Load
On the average, each 100 pounds of needless weight in your car, will cost up to one-half mile per gallon. Remove your luggage racks and other extra weight in your car when just driving around town.
An EPA sutdy showed it takes householders a little more than two minues a day to do their recycling. One dollar out of every $11 that Americans spend for food goes for packaging. (Woman's Day)

Choices from Backpacker: The Best the Natural World Has To Offer.