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(for main index see Restoration of the Planet, our Home )



of the
Global Community Assessment Centre ( GCAC )
for discussion and joint action
on issues of local and global concerns

and for the restoration of the planet, our home

GCAC offers services to the Global Community.

1.     Introduction
2.     GCAC Objectives
3.     Theory, measurement, valuation and management of Sustainable Development and the Scale of Values and measurement of the Gross Environmental Sustainable Development Index (GESDI)

3.5.5   Waste Management in the Home
A.    Practicing the 4 Rs
   A.1    Reduce/reject
   A.2    Re-use
   A.3    Recycle
   A.4    Repairs
B.    Handling of household hazardous wastes and products
C.     Disposal of oven cleaners, sink drain cleaners, bleaches, toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, and other acid and alkali products
D.   Disposal of spot removers, carpet and furniture cleaners, floor and furniture polishes, glues, paint and solvents
E.    Disposal of barbecue starter fluid, lighter fluid, gasoline, furnace and motor oil
F.   Disposal of prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs
G.    Disposal of garden pesticides
H.    Disposal of all other products
Section 3.5.5   Assessment Scoring

3.5.6   Water Management in the Home
Section 3.5.6    Assessment Scoring

3.5.7    The Home Transportation System
Section 3.5.7    Assessment Scoring

3.5.8    Shopping Habits
Section 3.5.8    Assessment Scoring




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3.5.5   Waste Management in the Home

Environmental pollution is an integral part of human activities which, in turn, have an impact upon environmental quality. We, as individuals and as part of a community, have control over some of the things and actions that can improve environmental quality: driving smaller automobiles and keeping them in good conditions; reducing solid wastes by practicing the 4 Rs; joining other people in the community to attempt solving environmental issues; and organizing a local project. We are all expected to reduce solid wastes, re-use, recycle or recover more of our waste. The amount of garbage produced per capita in Canada is increasing steadily. More than 55% of all solid waste collected in Canada is household garbage, and at least one-third of that is packaging. We are running out of places to put it, and landfill sites are becoming increasingly expensive. Incineration to reduce garbage volumes is creating air pollution, health risks, and the problem of disposal of toxic ash.

Landfills and dumps are home to hazardous substances which leak out and contaminate soil, lakes, groundwater, and rivers. Recycling is only a partial solution. We need to find more ways to reduce waste, eliminate waste before it has been created instead of afterward. It is the preventive approach that should be our ultimate goal.

Some environmental tips about consumer products and packaging: buy materials or product that

*    minimize packaging material where food safety is not compromised;
*    are recyclable material;
*    do not contain toxins when recycled, incinerated, or disposed in landfills; and
*    look around your home, office, school or shopping area and see how you can apply the 4 Rs.

The true costs of packaging include the environmental ones:

*    the resources and energy used during manufacture, transportation and disposal;
*    the pollution created during the manufacturing process; and
*    the litter and waste created and the associated problems in landfill sites.
 

A.    Practicing the 4 Rs

Practicing the 4 Rs should always be part of our way of life: reduce/reject, re-use, recycle, and repair.

A.1    Reduce/reject

Reduce the amount of hazardous and toxic materials or products to do a particular job, and use other more environmentally friendly products and materials; buy only the amounts you need. Select products with minimal packaging.

____1.    Do you always buy less than you really need?
____2.    Do you avoid overpackaged products (blister packs, single-serving sizes, microwaveables, aerosol cans, etc.)?
____3.    Do you try repairing or refinishing items that no longer work properly or are worn?
____4.    Do you buy products that are well made and durable?
____5.    Do you completely use up the products you have before you buy more (do not throw unused portions away)?
____6.    For large items like power tools, could you rent or share with a neighbour or friend instead of buying them?
____7.    Have you cancelled  your name from the list of people receiving newspapers and magazines, etc. especially if you do not have time to read them?
____8.    Do you reject polystyrene and disposable items (plates, napkins, paper towels, cutlery, etc.)?
____9.    Do you use cloth diapers?
____10.    Do you choose the disposable pads or tampons with the least packaging?
____11.    Do you use re-usable pads or tampons?
____12.    Do you receive junk mail, and have you contacted the Canadian Direct Marketing Association to stop your name from being sold to mailing list companies?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

A.2        Re-use

Re-use materials and products instead of throwing them away as garbage; give leftovers to friends and neighbors to use. Use an item again for the same or different purpose.

____1.    Do you try to be creative in finding further uses for things instead of just discarding them?
____2.    Do you empty glass jars and plastic containers to store bulk food, workshop articles, and odds and ends?
____3.    Do you take back plastic shopping bags to supermarket for reuse, or use them as garbage bags, or use them to store articles you wish to protect from dust and moisture?
____4.    Do you use cardboard boxes and paper bags to store things, or save them for packing for your next move?
____5.    Do you use cans to sort and store small household and workshop items, as indoor plant pots, and to protect garden plants from insects?
____6.    Do you store away used wrapping paper, string, rubber bands and bag ties?
____7.    Do you donate unwanted household items such as clothing, children's toys, plastic bags, half-cans of paints, furniture, etc. (they can be donated to religious or social service groups for use or sale)?
____8.    Do you donate books and magazines to hospitals, senior citizens'residences, schools, day-care centres?
____9.    Do you refuse plastic bags when shopping and take your own cloth or string bag or a backpack?
____10.    Do you reuse those plastic items that you cannot avoid (bread bags, yogurt containers, etc.)?
____11.    Do you buy returnable, refillable, and recyclable containers?
____12.    Do you buy clothes that can be washed at home (the solvents used in dry cleaning are hazardous)?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

A.3    Recycle

Recycle materials and products. Participate in oil recovery and take your waste oil (engine oil, hydraulic and gear oils, automatic transmission fluid) to a service station or rural bulk fuel agency for recycling.

Separate from your garbage all packaging materials which can be recycled through curb side collection or a recycling depot.

____1.    Have you contacted environmental groups in your area to find out more about the recycling programs and collection services in your community (motor oil, newspapers, glass and cans are recycled in many communities)?
____2.    Do you belong to a club or organization involved in recycling?
____3.    Do you buy products made of recycled materials (paper towels, etc.) and produced without chlorine?
____4.    Do you buy recyclable items and throw them in a special pile where they will be properly dispose of?
____5.    Do you use recycling services wherever possible?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

A.4        Repairs

Repair materials whenever possible instead of disposing of it.

____1.    Before buying an item, do you ask yourself whether it is likely to breakdown or be damaged and, if it can be repaired at a reasonable price (a cheap wristwatch that cannot be repaired, etc.)?
____2.    Do you repair tour clothes, or have a tailor or alteration service do it for you?
____3.    Do you update clothing with do-it-yourself natural dyes?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

B.        Handling of household hazardous wastes and products

Hazardous wastes and hazardous products are commonly found in our homes. Hazardous materials are defined and federally regulated under the Hazardous Products Act administered by Consumer & Corporate Affairs. Because of their chemical composition, they require careful management and special treatment. Otherwise, they are a potential hazard to life, health or the environment. Those products are classified in four hazard categories:

1)    Corrosive (such as acids)                        2)    Toxic (poisonous to humans)
3)    Reactive (explosive or produces deadly vapours)
4)    Flammable

Many communities do not have proper disposal facilities, thus making it impossible for individuals to dispose safely of hazardous wastes. Using hazardous materials and products require taking special health precautions such as wearing rubber gloves to prevent skin contact, ventilating the work area, avoiding mixing with other chemicals to prevent skin contact, ventilating the work area, avoiding mixing with other chemicals and not inhaling the fumes. If hazardous wastes are not disposed of properly, they end up in the regular garbage, poured down the drain or buried, which cause environmental damage and are potential health hazards to everyone. The best solution is to avoid using these harmful products and, if you must, to buy only what you need for the job.

____1.    Do you take advantage of your community services about hazardous waste collection days?
____2.    Do you ask Material Safety Data Sheets available from manufacturers for products containing hazardous ingredients?
____3.    Do you store hazardous products in their original containers (so that the handling and disposal instructions on labels can be followed, the number of hazardous containers is not increased)?
____4.    Do you store hazardous products in properly closed containers, in well ventilated areas, and in places where children and pets cannot get at them?
____5.    Do you store bleaches far away enough in properly closed containers, in well ventilated areas, and in places where children and pets cannot get at them?
____6.    Do you make sure not to use any empty hazardous product containers to store any other materials?
____7.    Do you donate any unwanted, leftover or hazardous household products (other than medicine and pesticides), paint, etc. to a friend, relative or neighbour who could make use of them?
____8.    Do you wear gloves, eye goggles when working with new wood that has been pressure-treated with chemical preservatives ( wash your clothes separately afterwards, and dispose of the sawdust and leftover wood at a hazardous waste depot, not to the environment; also, wear a dust mask)?
____9.    Do you wear rubber gloves, eye goggles and a respirator while using products containing hazardous chemicals?
____10.    Do you reject products that display hazard symbols (they are not only potentially harmful to you, but also to the environment)?
____11.    Do you write to manufacturers and ask them to provide alternative, less hazardous products for home use?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

C.    Disposal of oven cleaners, sink drain cleaners, bleaches, toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, and other acid and alkali products

These products are toxic and corrosive. Take them to a collection center in your community. If no collection center, then rinse containers, and use up rinse water, and pour down drain with plenty of water; then wrap empty containers and discard in garbage. Aerosol cans should not be put in the garbage if not completely empty.

____1.    Do you try to use these products completely, or pass them to other people?
____2.    Do you seal leftover waste portions in the original containers and store in a cool, dry area safely out of reach of children and pets (until they can be taken to a household hazardous waste depot for treatment)?
____3.    Do you seal empty containers and dispose of them with ordinary garbage (never reuse them to store other materials)?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

D.    Disposal of spot removers, carpet and furniture cleaners, floor and furniture polishes, glues, paint and solvents

____1.    Do you try to use these products completely, or pass them to other people?
____2.    Do you seal tightly leftover portions, place them in plastic (recycled) bags, and dispose of them at a proper waste disposal depot or safely store them until your community has a hazardous waste collection day?
____3.    Do you allow thinners and solvents to sit in a well-sealed jar until particles settle (pour off the clear liquid and re-use. Remaining contaminants should be taken to a hazardous waste depot)?
____4.    Do you seal empty containers and dispose of them with your ordinary garbage (never reuse them to store other materials)?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

E.    Disposal of barbecue starter fluid, lighter fluid, gasoline, furnace and motor oil

These products can be flammable, reactive, toxic, and/or corrosive. They should not be poured down the drain or placed in the garbage. Take the products to a proper collection center, or, if not already empty, give them to a neighbour to use up. Recycle wastes if possible.

____1.    Do you pass to your local pharmacy prescription medicine leftovers?
____2.    Do you make sure never to flush leftovers down the toilet for those of you with septic tank system (do not flush antibiotics down the toilet as they can destroy the bacteria required in the tanks; crush pills or capsules and mixe them with other garbage)?
____3.    Do you dispose of completely empty medicine containers with your ordinary garbage?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5


 

F.    Disposal of prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs
 

These drugs are toxic. Rinse empty containers and use up rinse water, and pour down drain with plenty of water, then discard them properly in the garbage. It is always better to pass leftovers to your local pharmacist.

____1.    Do you pass to your local pharmacy prescription medicine leftovers?
____2.    Do you make sure never to flush leftovers down the toilet for those of you with septic tank system (do not flush antibiotics down the toilet as they can destroy the bacteria required in the tanks; crush pills or capsules and mixe them with other garbage)?
____3.    Do you dispose of completely empty medicine containers with your ordinary garbage?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

G.    Disposal of garden pesticides

These products are toxic and corrosive. They should not be poured down the drain. Discard empty containers properly in the garbage or, better, take them to a proper collection center.

____1.    Do you call the environment department for instructions to dispose of the pesticides?
____2.    Do you make sure never to dump unwanted pesticides onto the ground in your yard or elsewhere, or into streams, rivers, or lakes?
____3.    Do you make sure never to re-use empty containers for other purposes?
____4.    Do you seal tightly empty containers and dispose of them with your ordinary garbage?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

H.        Disposal of all other products

____1.    Do you take liquids, oils, herbicides, pesticides and other chemical wastes to sanitary landfill sites for proper disposal?
____2.    Do youmake sure never to pour hazardous household products down the toilet?
____3.    Do you make sure never to burn any household (hazardous) products down in fireplaces or backyard fires?
____4.    Do you make sure never to burn, crush or puncture any aerosol containers (they can explode)?
____5.    Do you dispose of aerosol containers at a hazardous waste depot?
____6.    Do you save batteries used in flashlights, radios, watches, clocks, calculators and toys, and store them in a sealed container for disposal at a hazardous waste depot?
____7.    If you do have a household hazardous waste depot in your community, do you take the following materials to the depot:

*paint        *varnishes        *stains        *paint thinner and stripper        *glues
*car batteries        *pesticides(fungicides, herbicides, insecticides)        *aerosol containers
*wood preservatives        *acids        *lighter fluid        *oven cleaner        *drain cleaner
*turpentine        *solvents        *transmission fluids        *anti-freeze        *moth balls
*photographic chemicals        *fiberglass resins        *epoxy resins        *disinfectants
*window cleaners        *pool chemicals        *old pharmaceutical prescriptions
 

____8.    Do you make sure never to store broken glass and other sharp items in plastic bags for garbage collection?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5


 


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Section 3.5.5 Assessment Scoring


Section Assessment Scoring
Waste Management in the Home

I(normalized) =  0.220



In this assessment, the values used for I(normalized) are the same as those obtained and described in section 2.3 The Mathematical Model. The two tables in The Scale of Values obtained from the survey, guess-estimated and standard give all normalized values in their last columns. Although most values were not given here, they were obtained a few years ago by evaluating each impact as shown in section 2.3 under Impact equation example: Forestry. It is obvious now that one has to keep updating these impact equation calculations every year as the world is changing very fast. Their calculations are a very powerful educational tool and should be used in school to educate students in thinking globally and in terms of interactions and their multidimensional effects within themselves and on all four major interacting quality systems. To become responsible in sustaining Earth has to start at early stage in someone's life and calculating impact equations would be one of their first steps.
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

A.    Practicing the 4 Rs
   A.1    Reduce/reject
   A.2    Re-use
   A.3    Recycle
   A.4    Repairs

Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

B.    Handling of household hazardous wastes and products

Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

C.     Disposal of oven cleaners, sink drain cleaners, bleaches, toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, and other acid and alkali products

Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

D.   Disposal of spot removers, carpet and furniture cleaners, floor and furniture polishes, glues, paint and solvents

Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

E.    Disposal of barbecue starter fluid, lighter fluid, gasoline, furnace and motor oil

Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

F.   Disposal of prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs

Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

G.    Disposal of garden pesticides

Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

H.    Disposal of all other products

Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                              Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

Section Rating        =        Sub-section % total        x        0.220
                                                            8

                                     =       GESDI     for this section

This value of GESDI is then added to the values in the other sections of this assessment report. The total value for GESDI is the GESDI for the home and the community it belongs to.
 


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3.5.6   Water Management in the Home

For centuries we have found it necessary to control water so as to have it where we wanted it. Despite our efforts, some areas still suffer from drought, and some from flood, due partly to the nature variability of climate to change fast than it used to, and this is now impacting on the availability and distribution of water. Our fresh water sources are already being used and yet, the world population is expected to almost double by 2050. This increase in population and the increase of pollutants in our drinking water sources have created conflicts which will only become more and more serious in the near future. The policy of privatization and full-cost pricing of water in a city such as in Canada or the U.S.A. sound appropriate as there is plenty of help to the poor who has a need to drink water. Is this policy appropriate in other countries where drinking water sources are rare, sometimes non-existant, and sometimes were polluted by transnational corporations from our industrialized world  and which companies became rich by mining or manufacturing products in those countries. Should anyone be allowed to control our freshwater resources? Is freshwater a 'human right' or is it a 'human need'? Should water resources be privatized and commodified for profit? Should privatization be under the condition that there is plenty of help to the poor in a community? Or should water be declared a 'human right' in the Earth Charter of The Global Community organization? Is it no true that water is just as important to an individual as the air we breathe? This World Congress is about finding universal values that are very important to the survival of life on Earth. Should people in a Third World country have different Human Rights than others? One of the very important  Global Community concepts of this World Congress is about asking everyone to be a responsible human being. If we are all responsible in the management of Earth than everyone should have the right to breathe clean air and drink fresh water. Noone individual (an 'individual' was defined in the Vision of earth in Year 2024 as being either a person, a corporation, a NGO, a local community, businesses, a nation or a government) should be allowed to control and profit from a basic Human Right such as drinking water. Noone individual should be allowed to pollute Earth. Even tough this may look like an impossible task we still have to find in our heart and mind what is right and show the direction to take and propose the concepts to The Global Community.

Water in the home comes from either spring water, a deep well, a river or a city reservoir, and is never 'pure'. If water was untreated, it would contain man-made contaminants, minerals, gases, salts, and microorganisms, which would cause unacceptable taste or health risks. Hazardous compounds present in water are mercury, lead, agricultural chemicals, arsenic, organochlorine compounds formed by the chlorine added to municipal water to destroy microorganisms, industrial pollutants, solvents, pesticide, fertilizer, and other contaminants. Our body absorbs equally these contaminants through drinking water or while bathing. City water is regulated for health hazards and does not contain dangerous bacterial contamination. It may contain chemical contaminants from industrial discharge or hazardous waste disposal, vinyl chloride from P.V.C. plastic pipe.

Most people take for granted the water we use to wash the car, to water the lawn, cook and flush our wastes away, to shower, do half-loads of laundry, run the water while brushing our teeth, and ignore a dripping tap, and dump down the drain motor oil, solvents, paints, cleaners. We treat oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams more like parts of our sewer system them our life-support system. We are being made use to this behavior from childhood while watching television. We often see commercials on TV showing a person washing an automobile or spraying a lawn wastefully and without care. There is also too much violence shown on television and in cinemas. We think it is right, our right to be as we are. The entire television networks and film makers and producers over the world should be re-educated in what is right and what is not. They should be responsible and be made accountable for the counter-educating commercials and products they are advertising on their networks. What the school system is doing in educating children is being negated by the television networks. It is counter-productive and, at the end, the costs hit the taxpayers at home, one way or the other. The Polluter-pays Principle should apply to television networks and film making industry. They may use Human Rights for their defence but they should pay all the costs of the impacts of their advertisings and mindless production. They create behavioral patterns in the general population from childhood and they should be billed big time.

Groundwater is also a natural resource. The main interest in groundwater resources has been as a supply of safe, potable, readily available water for drinking purposes and for industrial water supplies. Yet groundwater resources, just as are surface freshwater resources, are taken for granted, abused, and undervalued. Groundwater may transport contaminants from a land based facility resulting in impacts upon our drinking water, fish habitat (and therefore our food chain), wetlands, streams, and lakes. There is little information about toxicity, persistence, and mobility of toxic chemicals in a groundwater system. It is hard to calculate the impact equation for groundwater pollution. The application of the national classification system for contaminated sites prepared by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment requires a knowledge of the adverse impacts on humans or the environment from these contaminated materials. The absence of this information makes it impossible to classify a site. Groundwater can be unfit for human consumption because of contamination which may be due to leaking from gasoline storage tanks, pipes, process equipment, tailing ponds, septic tanks or feedlots, landfills or from accidental spills, pesticides and fertilizers from farmland, or from contaminants in rain, snow, or atmospheric fallout.

As individuals, we can make changes in our ways of using water and dispose of wastes, both inside our homes and outdoors, and find ways to conserve and protect our water supplies. Water conservation is a means to ensure that there will be enough water for future generations.

Good quality of water supplies to satisfy our lifestyle carries a price tag defined here:

P(water)    =   P(storing)    +   P(distributing)    +   P(treatment)    +   P(maintaining and operating)    +    P(e,h)

where P(e,h) is the term representing the associated environmental and health price tags i.e. the impacts on the environment and our health.

The costs of obtaining, storing, heating, distributing water are steadily increasing, and so are the environmental and health impacts associated with those costs. The costs for treating wastewater to make it suitable to return to river systems are equally increasing and many communities now charge residents an extra fee for treating wastewater. Consumption rates vary largely from one community to another, and between urban and rural areas. Some communities have been forced to restrict water consumption for short periods of time.

Overwatering is an important environmental concern because the water washes fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides off residential lawns into street drains that lead to rivers and creeks.

Overusing and wasting water will force a city to expand its water treatment plants, pump stations, water pipes, and storage reservoirs, and force us to produce and use more energy which leads to environmental problems as the pumping, treatment, delivery, and heating of water use energy.

____1.    Do you use a water flow-reducer attachment in your sink faucets and shower heads to reduce water use and wastage?
____2.    Have leaks been repaired around taps and faucets (one leak can waste several thousand liters of water per year)?
____3.    Do you make sure not to run water continuously when hand-washing dishes, or cleaning fruit and vegetables (wash them in a partially filled sink, then rinse)?
____4.    Do you make sure your automatic dishwasher has a ful load before using it, and do you use the energy saver or shortest cycle (a load requires 35 litres, or 8 gallons of water)?
____5.    Do you boil vegetables using just enough water to cover them and using a tightly fitting lid?
____6.    Do you keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator, instead of running the tap continuously?
____7.    Do you turn the water off while you are actually brushing your teeth and do you use water from a mug for rinsing?
____8.    Do you use energy-efficient shower-heads and turn-off the water while you are soaping and shampooing, and then rinse off quickly ( a shower uses about 18 litres/minute; for a 4 minutes shower each day, and in a month time the differences are:

*    conventional shower head: water cost of $15.75/35 m3        =    $0.97;
*    low-flow shower head    =    $0.48.

A $10.00 low-flow shower head is paid back in one year, and in less time when you consider energy savings and the environment, too)?
____9.    Do you make sure not to overfill the tub for bathing (one quarter should be enough)?
____10.    Do you reduce water use in the toilet by about 20% by placing two weighted 2 litres plastic bottles filled with water in your toilet tank (each conventional flush requires 20 litres, or 4 gallons, of water; with bottles, it takes 8 litres, or 1.8 gallons, per flush; based on 16 flushes per day and a water cost of $0.45/m3, the yearly savings are about $20.00)?
____11.    Is the spring water holding tank or water well properly constructed with complete concrete liner and a tight cover (the water is susceptible to bacteria from poor maintenance or decaying vegetation; they should be tested regularly for bacteria and organic compounds; the source of this water is shallow groundwater which is vulnerable to septic tanks and hazardous waste seepage)?

____12.    Do you make sure that the water drawn from a deep waterwell does not contain radon gas (there may be radon gas if the well is drilled in radioactive bedrock; there may be dissolved minerals if the well is in limestone formations; there may also be PCB contamination from deep well submersible pumps manufactured before 1978)?
____13.    Do you change daily your 'counter-top activated filter' connected to the cold water?
____14.    Do you run your water tap for 2 to 3 minutes before drawing drinking water or cooking water if the tap has not been used  for more than four hours (copper pipes release lead and copper into water)?
____15.    Have copper pipes beem installed with mechanical fittings (soldered ones emit lead)?
____16.    Do you use low flush toilet (they use about 13 litres or less per flush)?
____17.    Do you check regularly for toilet tank leaks into the toilet bowl)?
____18.    Do you flush your toilet only when really necessary?
____19.    Do you make sure never to flush garbage in your toilet (paper tissues, diapers, cigarette butts, dental floss, plastic tampon holders, condoms, etc. can create problems at sewage treatment plants)?
____20.    Is your water heater meter periodically check to see if there are any leakage (record a reading late in the evening and again early morning; a tap leaking at one drop per second wastes 795 litres/month, or 175 gal/month)?
____21.    Do you wash only full loads of laundry in your washing machine (a clothe washer uses 30-60 litres/cycle, or 7-13 gal/cycle)?
____22.    Do you set the adjustable water level indicator to use only as much water in your washing machine as is really necessary?
____23.    Do you use the shortest cycle possible for washing clothes?
____24.    Do you use cold water rather than hot for washing clothes?
____25.    Do you wash your vehicle only when absolutely necessary?
____26.    Do you talk to your alderman to have everyone using water meters in their homes?
____27.    Do you help eliminate the problem of phosphates by choosing products without them (phosphates contribute to algae growth in lakes and rivers; as the algae dies, the water becomes depleted in oxygen and life cannot be sustained)?
____28.    Before dumping something down the drain, do you ask yourself if you want that substance in your drinking water or food?
____29.    When a drain is clogged, do you try first a plunger or plumber's helper, or use a 'snake' to break up the blockage (a mild chemical reaction might work: pour 50 ml (1/4 cup) of baking soda down the drain; pour 125 ml (1/2 cup) of vinegar in the drain)?
____30.    Do you avoid using water (for lawn and garden watering, etc.) during peak periods during the day?
____31.    Do you use a low-flow faucet aerator on most bathroom sink faucets (they cut down the flow from 11 to 13 litres/minute in conventional faucets, to 7 litres/minute or less)?
____32.    Do you use cold water to wash your hands?
____33.    Do you water the lawn for less than half hour (every half hour takes 500 litres of water)?
____34.    Do you scape food scraps from the dishes first when washing dishes by hand (do not pre-rinse, and soak pots and pans before washing)?
____35.    While watering the lawn, do you move your sprinkler around to ensure that the entire lawn receives water?
____36.    Do you waste water by sprinkling the street and sidewalk?
____37.    Do you use time control water attachments to turn off sprinklers?
____38.    Do you water your lawn in the early morning when the weather is cool and widless (this will reduce water loss due to evaporation)?
____39.    Do you avoid sprinkling your lawn with a fine spray as this increases evaporation?
____40.    Do you cut your grass no less than 11/2 inches high (to shade the grass roots and protect them from drying out)?
____41.    Do you delay watering in spring to help the grass grow a strong, deep root system?
____42.    For mature trees, do you use a root feeder and water for 2-3 hours (place the root feeder into the ground at several locations where rain naturally drips from the lowest branches)?
____43.    For shrubs and small trees, have you removed the grass that is within one foot of the base of the plant (the bare soil will form a saucer around the plant that will prevent the water from running off)?
____44.    For watering your garden and flower beds, do you apply no more than 1/2 inch of water twice a week, do you always check the soil prior to watering (if the top 2 inches are moist, you need not watering), do you use soaker (perforated) hoses with the perforations facing the ground (soaker hoses apply water directly to the roots and protect leaves from fungus and their diseases caused by over-watering)?
 
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5


 


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Section 3.5.6 Assessment Scoring


Section Assessment Scoring
Water Management in the Home

I(normalized) =  0.150



In this assessment, the values used for I(normalized) are the same as those obtained and described in section 2.3 The Mathematical Model. The two tables in The Scale of Values obtained from the survey, guess-estimated and standard give all normalized values in their last columns. Although most values were not given here, they were obtained a few years ago by evaluating each impact as shown in section 2.3 under Impact equation example: Forestry. It is obvious now that one has to keep updating these impact equation calculations every year as the world is changing very fast. Their calculations are a very powerful educational tool and should be used in school to educate students in thinking globally and in terms of interactions and their multidimensional effects within themselves and on all four major interacting quality systems. To become responsible in sustaining Earth has to start at early stage in someone's life and calculating impact equations would be one of their first steps.
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

Section Rating        =        Sub-section % total        x        0.150
                                                            1

                                     =       GESDI     for this section

This value of GESDI is then added to the values in the other sections of this assessment report. The total value for GESDI is the GESDI for the home and the community it belongs to.
 


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3.5.7    The Home Transportation System

The disavantages of driving include accidents, air pollution, congestion, noise, oil pollution, energy consumption and consumption of land and other natural resources for the production of vehicles and infrastructures. Vehicles contribute to the emission of air pollutants which are carried across borders (e.g. NOx) or contribute to global pollution (CO2). The most important air pollutants emitted from vehicles include CO, Pb, VOCs, NOx, particulate matter, and CO2. They cause health problems (irritation of respiratory, eye systems; mutagenic or carcinogenic action; acute toxic systemic effects; adverse effects on defence mechanisms against infections) and environmental damage (loss of agricultural productivity; forest damage; material soiling; acidification of soil and water). Noise disturbance is an increasingly common nuisance, especially in density built-up residential areas.

Low cost solutions of problems arising from driving vehicles:

*    local authorities should purchase quiet, low-pollution vehicles;
*    inspection and maintenance programs;
*    enforcement of noise standards;
*    appropriate land use and building design;
*    creation of buffer zones;
*    pricing measures: parking fees, supplementary licenses, extra fuel taxes, electronic road pricing;
*    improvement of public transport;
*    'environment' tax on fuel;
*    enforcement of emission standards;
*    education: the behavior of drivers could be improved by information programs emphasizing the relationships between driving habits, fuel consumption, air and noise pollution, and safety; and
*    promoting certain engine and fuel system modifications, altenative fuels.

High speed increases the potential for collisions and increases fuel consumption. Vehicles operate with greater efficiency at moderate, steady speeds. Challenge yourself and reduce your fuel consumption by recording your values and verifying that you can save money using better habits.

The automobile, which in past three generations of use has become an outstanding hallmark in our culture and economy, is unquestionably the largest single source of environmental catastrophy. Despite the poisoned air, crowed highways, and thousands of acres of over-crowed parking lots which strangle most urban centres, the number of motor vehicles continue to rise at a staggering rate.

Government programs have been rigorously setting pollutant standards in order that the air surrounding us will be protected sufficiently to ensure clean air. Each year motor vehicles emit and dump millions of kilograms of pollutants into the atmosphere. The dominant pollutants are carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide, particulates, and lead. Cars are the main source of materials for photochemical reactions which cause smog.

A major problem in controlling vehicle emissions is that control systems deteriorate with use. Vehicles which meet standards after a short period of use are no longer able to maintain these standards after a short period of use. Legislation therefore should require not only that manufacturers produce cars sufficiently well-equipped with control devices, but also that owners maintain those control devices so that they continue to function within the standards set by the government.

____1.    Are you concerned about protecting the atmosphere from vehicle emissions?
____2.    Do you comply with all federal, provincial and local air quality?
____3.    Do you know where to get your vehicle inspected for emissions?
____4.    Would you approach local authorities and help them develop a program to implement strict standards to reduce pollutants such as ozone, acid rain, nitrates, and peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN)?
____5.    Would you be interested to increase the use of: ridersharing, cycling, public transit, vanpools, high occupancy vehicle lanes?
____6.    Do you turn off your automobile engine when sitting and waiting?
____7.    Do you avoid idling your engine for more than 30 seconds?
____8.    Do you drive at moderate speeds (most cars use about 10% less fuel when they are driven at 90 km/hour rather than 100 km/hour)?
____9.    Do you avoid carrying excessive weight in the trunk?
____10.    Do you plan your travelling time by combining several errants to reduce your total mileage?
____11.    Do you use public transit as often as possible?
____12.    Do you use car or van pools instead of driving alone?
____13.    Do you walk or bicycle to work and back if it is possible?
____14.    Do you make sure to have your vehicle regularly and properly serviced according to the schedule recommended by its manufacturer, and according to your driving habits (a well-tuned engine can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%)?
____15.    Do you keep your tires properly inflated at the pressures recommended by your vehicle manufacturer (tire drag increases fuel consumption by 4 to 8%; proper tire pressure reduces road friction and extend the life of your tires)?
____16.    Do you have your vehicle's wheel alignment periodically checked and maintained?
____17.    Do you check your tire pressure at least twice a month?
____18.    If you change the oil in your vehicle yourself, do you make sure to collect it in a sturdy container and take it to a gas station or garage that accepts waste oil (used oil contains heavy metals and is a hazardous waste)?
____19.    Do you take unwanted or leftover antifreeze to a gas station or garage that acceots it (antifreeze is poisonous to fish, pets, wildlife, and people)?
____20.    Do you use your vehicle as a last resort?
____21.    Would you purchase an energy efficient car or switch to an alternative, cleaner burning fuel such as propane?
____22.    Do you avoid traffic jams by planning your route ahead of time?
____23.    Do you anticipate stops and avoid 'jack-rabbit' starts to save gas and reduce wear on brakes and tires?
____24.    Do you have proper driving techniques (sudden acceleration and frequent hard braking both increase the car's output of pollutants)?
____25.    Do you use a steady pressure on the gas pedal (on the highway it is better not to use cruise control)?
____26.    Do you leave enough space between your car and the car ahead of you  so that you have room to manoeuvre and you will not have to use brakes?
____27.    Do you accelerate quickly and smoothly (the more quickly you reach up to cruising speed, the more quickly you will reach the most eficient operating range between 50 to 70 km/hour)?
____28.    Do you use premium multigrade or synthetic oil to reduce engine friction (they will save you fuel to 3%)?
____29.    Do you insist from your City Council Representatives to reduce vehicular emissions and thus improve air quality by:

*    increasing use of public transit;
*    approving cleaner fuel strategies;
*    increasing car-pooling, walking and cycling;
*    providing drivers high-occupancy vehicle lanes;
*    improving bus services and decreasing bus fares;
*    replacing bus fleet with cleaner-burning, electronically controlled units;
*    monitoring of fuel efficiency and maintenance checks on low-performing vehicles; and
*    purchasing of premium quality low sulphur-content fuel.
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5


 


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Section 3.5.7    Assessment Scoring


Section Assessment Scoring
The home transportation system

I(normalized) =  0.240



In this assessment, the values used for I(normalized) are the same as those obtained and described in section 2.3 The Mathematical Model. The two tables in The Scale of Values obtained from the survey, guess-estimated and standard give all normalized values in their last columns. Although most values were not given here, they were obtained a few years ago by evaluating each impact as shown in section 2.3 under Impact equation example: Forestry. It is obvious now that one has to keep updating these impact equation calculations every year as the world is changing very fast. Their calculations are a very powerful educational tool and should be used in school to educate students in thinking globally and in terms of interactions and their multidimensional effects within themselves and on all four major interacting quality systems. To become responsible in sustaining Earth has to start at early stage in someone's life and calculating impact equations would be one of their first steps.
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

Section Rating        =        Sub-section % total        x        0.240
                                                            1

                                     =       GESDI     for this section

This value of GESDI is then added to the values in the other sections of this assessment report. The total value for GESDI is the GESDI for the home and the community it belongs to.
 


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3.5.8    Shopping Habits

Environmentally friendly consumer products and building materials will not add harmfull substances to our air, water, soil, or our bodies; they do not contain hazardous chemicals; they are recyclable and offer minimal packaging; and they are bio-degradable after use. Instead of buying and keeping hazardous and poisonous chemicals and storing them around your home, replace them with environmentally friendly products.

While shopping choose items with minimal packaging and shop with reusable cotton or synthetic material bags. Look for unpackaged bulk goods where possible. Buy durable multiuse items instead of single use disposable items.

____1.    Do you reject excessively packaged and hazardous goods and do you tell the retailer and manufacturer why you are doing so?
____2.    Do you study the labels on products to help you buy non-hazardous or least-hazardous products?
____3.    Do you buy only those environmentally hazardous products you really need and buy in quantities you will be able to use up comletely?
____4.    Do you buy products with the 'EcoLogo' symbol, the words 'Environmental Choice' on them (they are certified by Environment Canada)?
____5.    Do you buy beverages in returnable or recyclable containers?
____6.    Do you buy long-storable products in bulk, rather than in overpackaged smaller sizes?
____7.    Do you buy old-fashioned cloth diapers (disposable diapers add to the volume of garbage and their manufacture requires large quantities of trees)?
____8.    Do you buy unbleached paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, coffee filters, tissues, etc.; coloured paper products have been dyed with potentially harmful chemicals; white paper products are produced by a bleaching process and may contain trace amounts of dioxins)?
____9.    Do you buy recycled stationary and writing paper as well as products printed on paper with recycled  fibre content?
____10.    Do you take the buyer-beware attitude while shopping  and ask more questions  about the environmental impact of the products you are buying and their packaging?
____11.    Do you speak up and regularly make your views about environmentally safe products known to store managers?
____12.    Do you write letters to the presidents of companies letting them know how you feel about their products?
____13.    Do you encourage environmental protection by helping to create a demand for environmentally-friendly products?
____14.    Do you make energy efficiency a top priority when you choose new appliances and machines (by avoiding models and products that waste energy, and by choosing efficient alternatives, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in energy costs)?
____15.    Would you choose to buy a product made in a local factory or store and, thus, lower energy costs for transportation?
____16.    Would you support a company that has installed energy-savings measures?
____17.    Would you choose hand-powered tools rather than electric or gasoline powered ones?
____18.    Do you plan shopping trips so as to minimize the energy use to get there and back, i.e. on the fuel consumed by transportation?
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5


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Section 3.5.8    Assessment Scoring


Section Assessment Scoring
Shopping Habits

I(normalized) =  0.180



In this assessment, the values used for I(normalized) are the same as those obtained and described in section 2.3 The Mathematical Model. The two tables in The Scale of Values obtained from the survey, guess-estimated and standard give all normalized values in their last columns. Although most values were not given here, they were obtained a few years ago by evaluating each impact as shown in section 2.3 under Impact equation example: Forestry. It is obvious now that one has to keep updating these impact equation calculations every year as the world is changing very fast. Their calculations are a very powerful educational tool and should be used in school to educate students in thinking globally and in terms of interactions and their multidimensional effects within themselves and on all four major interacting quality systems. To become responsible in sustaining Earth has to start at early stage in someone's life and calculating impact equations would be one of their first steps.
 
Sub-section %    =    Total number of points for the subsection     x     100%
                           Total number of questions for the sub-section               5

Section Rating        =        Sub-section % total        x        0.180
                                                            1

                                     =       GESDI     for this section

This value of GESDI is then added to the values in the other sections of this assessment report. The total value for GESDI is the GESDI for the home and the community it belongs to.
 


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