Login

EarthTalk

Where do I dispose of dead batteries?

Dear EarthTalk: Can I throw my old disposable batteries in the trash or is there a way to recycle them? —  Jennifer Brandstrom, Chicago

Wasteful to run the tap until the water is hot

Running the water to wait for it to get hot is a huge waste of water. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a leading non-profit green group, upwards of 10 percent of all the hot water drawn for showering in a typical single-family home is wasted waiting for hot water to arrive.

Are there green options in mattresses?

Dear EarthTalk: I’m in the market for a new mattress after two decades on “old faithful” and I figure it’s a good time to go green. What are the options out there these days for eco-friendly mattresses?

Betsey Langdon

Chicago

 

Is particle board still unhealthy?

Dear EarthTalk: I recently read about the toxic dangers of particle board. I still am using the same laminate on particle board bedroom furniture that I bought new 30 years ago. Do you think it’s still harmful to my health after all this time, and is there any way to make it less unhealthy?

Jane Woodard

Via e-mail

 

Elephant trophies — again!

Dear EarthTalk: Now President Donald Trump is going to allow the importing of elephant “trophies” after all! Where do things stand overall now in the fight to protect endangered species, especially as wildlife now also face threats from climate change?

Mark Harrison

Sumter, S.C.

 

The last straws?

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the deal with some restaurants no longer offering straws to their customers? What’s so bad about sipping your drink through a straw anyway?

Jeffrey Edwards

Seattle, Wash.

 

Environment at risk under current administrationm

Dear EarthTalk: Now Trump is going to allow the importing of elephant “trophies” after all! Where do things stand overall now in the fight to protect endangered species, especially as wildlife now also face threats from climate change?

Mark Harrison

Sumter, S.C.

 

What will the summit do?

Dear EarthTalk: How did the Global Climate Action Summit coming up later this year in San Francisco come about and what do organizers hope to accomplish?

Jamie Smith

San Jose, Calif.

 

Declogging drains — the safe way

Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard that the chemicals we use to unclog backed-up drains are harmful to our health and the environment. Can you suggest safer alternative products or methods?

Amy Smith

Rome, N.Y.

 

Talk about ‘intentional communities’

Dear EarthTalk: What are so-called “intentional communities”? And are there any in the U.S. that are sustainability-focused?

Elissa McNeal

Washington, D.C.