Potty Talk, Olympic Fireworks, Car Batteries and Cell Phones – It’s a wRAP, October 29, 2010

One of our Climate Papas  brought this recent news item to our attention and we wanted to share it with you and get your take! Earlier this week the Sri Lankan delegation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked the IOC to look into the environmental impact of the traditional “opening and closing” fireworks extravaganza. A proposed replacement for the fireworks would be laser light shows. Fireworks have been part of Olympic ceremonies for decades but the IOC has altered “tradition” in the past.  The traditional release of white doves at ceremonies, dating back to Greek times, was “canceled”  after the 1988 Seoul Olympics when the doves flew too close to the Olympic flame and were literally roasted alive. Now that’s a ghoulish Halloween story! Check in with the kids in your life. What do they think about fireworks at the Olympics?

As a hybrid driver, what happens to the hybrid battery when it dies has always been a sore point for me. This week Toyota took a step towards relieving some of that angst and moved towards the “sustainability direction.” Toyota announced a new

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program which they are piloting in Japan whereby they will  recycle their nickel-metal-hybrid batteries. Until now, these batteries were destroyed and the nickel in them reused for stainless-steel production – exiting the automotive industry. By recycling the nickel, Toyota will be capable of using the material for the same products it was originally intended for: batteries. This is an example of a closed loop system, one that will hopefully make its way to all countries where the Toyota hybrids and their batteries are sold.

A special treat for our UK Mamas and Papas, or any of you planning a visit London over the next few months. Make sure to catch the London Futures climate change photography display at the Museum of London. The exhibit’s creators, Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones take familiar London views and digitally transform them to show what the city might look like in the age of global warming. The pictures take on topics like food scarcity and rising sea levels and show us graphically how Londoners may need to innovate and adapt in order to survive.

Okay, we are finally  getting to the “potty talk.” Kimberly-Clark, one of the world’s largest producers of toilet paper just announced it is going to change the “veritable” toilet paper roll. In fact the roll is going “bye bye.” Scott Natural Tube Free toilet paper is being tested on the market, and you guessed it’s tubeless. According to Kimberly Clark, the 17 billion toilet paper tubes produced annually in the USA account for 160 million pounds of trash and could stretch more than a million miles placed end-to-end. “Most consumers toss, rather than recycle, used tubes,” says Doug Daniels, brand manager at Kimberly-Clark. “We found a way to bring innovation to a category as mature as bath tissue,” he says. He won’t disclose the tubeless technology used but says it’s a special winding process. A similar process is used on tissue the company sells to businesses but not to consumers. “It’s a positive example of how companies are seeking creative ways to reduce environmental impact,” says Darby Hoover of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

While we are on the topic of recycling, check out our Video Peak of the Week and find out what happens or not to your used cell phone. Also, in Climate Mama News, we join the Green Moms “Carnival of the Dead” and ask how you would be buried if there were no more forests, and therefore no more wood for coffins? For a more “hands on look” at Green Burials and how you might “recycle” your body, check out the entire post at the Crunchy Chicken!

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