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EarthTalk

Toilet paper without tubes — too good to be true?

Dear EarthTalk: Does the Scott brand’s “tube-free” toilet paper really save much paper or is it just another form of corporate greenwashing?

Matt Potamki

Milwaukee, Wis.

 

Your coffee habit may contribute to deforestation

Dear EarthTalk: I drink a lot of coffee and I’m wondering how bad this is for the environment? And how I can make sure I’m feeding my three-cup-a-day habit in the greenest way possible?

Denny Mahon

Worcester, Mass.

 

Taming of the wild leaf blower: consider using an old-fashioned rake

Dear EarthTalk: When will those gasoline driven leaf blowers that gardeners use be outlawed? The noise and toxic fumes they emit can’t be good for us. 

— Judy, via email

 

Too late to fix the problem of plastics waste in our oceans?

Dear EarthTalk: What are we doing about getting rid of all the plastic floating in the ocean and forming giant gyres far from land?

Jake Johnson

Merrimack, NH

 

Are there reasons not to use antibacterial wipes?

Dear EarthTalk: A friend recently told me that when her family stopped using hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes all the time, they stopped getting sick so much. Is there any research backing up this theory, or is it just a “new” wives tale?

Betsey Edger

via e-mail

 

Monarch butterflies close to extinction

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that the Monarch Butterfly is on the brink of extinction? How did we let that happen?

Alex Degeneres

Cincinnati, Ohio

 

Environmentalists won a lawsuit forcing the federal government to decide by 2019 whether or not to list the once abundant Monarch butterfly as an endangered species. 

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