Paper in all colors, shapes, and sizes for the holidays.

By, Uwe Paschen.
 The Holidays and all its paper. May it be the European Christmas or the Japanese New Years, paper will be sold in masses. May this be in form of Greeting Cards, Gift Wrapping Paper or simply paper bags and other papers used over the Year and especially this time of the year where we seem to used a great deal of it for all the New Years and Greeting Cards as well as for the Gift Wrapping and notes, chopping list and shopping paper bags. The list is in deed long and paper is just about any where and every where.
 Amazingly though, the discrepancy of Paper use is incredible through out the World. The USA being the top Paper Consumer on the Planet uses a mind blowing 333 Kg of paper per person and that include even those that can not yet walk nor read or write, yet per person, this compared to the Global average of 48 Kg per Person is incredible.
It gets better though.
 The Average paper used per person in Africa is only 0.5 Kg and in China it is 3.8 Kg per person, India uses 37 Kg per Person, however the paper consumption world wide is growing rather then decreasing even though the use of Computers and internet would have let one believe it would be the other way around. However, this does not seem to be the case, not even in Canada the country with the highest amount of Internet user per Capita.
 Now if we keep in mind that it takes 324 Litres of water, 4 Kwh and 114 Kg of Wood to produce a single Kg of Paper. It really makes you wonder how come this paper is so cheep, However it is not really, since we do not take into account the cost of waste management nor the cost of recycling or the environmental impact cost that this paper does generate.
 The production of each sheet of paper from Wood to paper need about 17 Wh in energy to be manufactured where as each sheet of recycled paper does require only 12 Wh in energy to be manufactured. This would and should already make some once choice easy.Sadly though it does not. http://www.id2.ca/downloads/eco-design-paper-facts.pdf
 Our paper consumption keeps going up each Year. In addition, requires today over 1040 Tons of wood Annually and Globally. North America alone does use 25% of all this with only 5% of the World’s population is quiet an achievement and certainly not one to be praised for. Now mind you the US is closely followed by Belgium and Japan when it comes to paper use and waste per person.
 This Holidays Season would be a great opportunity to change those habits of ours and make them more Eco Friendly. Easy enough to do by simply reducing, Reusing and Recycling Paper. At least that would be a starting point since only as little as 3% are being effectively Recycled today.
 And should you really feel up to it and save the environment, well then stop Wrapping Gifts with fancy gift wrap and go for the good old "news paper" instead. Similar for those greeting Cards, less colour or better yet, only Black and white print no colours at all would make a positive impact. Other then that use thinner paper rather then thicker paper, all those are things that would and will make a huge difference and a greater positive impact on the Eco System. 
 May you all have an Eco Friendly Holliday Season.
Graff to fund at the above link.

Plastic bags should it be, Yes please or no thanks?

By, Uwe Paschen.
 It is that time of the Year once again, where many of us go shopping for the Holiday’s festivities, may we be Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Atheist, Hindu or even Muslim, we all have great celebrations coming up in the next four to twelve weeks.
 From Hanukkah to the Chinese New Year it is the season of great celebrations for all around the Globe. Parties are being held, as well as family gatherings and community events.
 Now, one thing all this has in common is the shopping in supermarkets, Farmer Markets and stores to buy the Gifts, the food and the decorations for the festivities to come.
 This of course does require packaging, and transportation as well as means to get it all from the Stores back home and there comes in a handy little idem called the chopping Bag.
 Now, until 1957, we used to go shopping with our baskets and cloth bags or even little carts we dragged behind us. However, since 1957 we have discovered the plastic bag that made its début in the US and by 1960 had spread around the Globe like a wild bush fire. To the point that by the 1970th it could be fund almost any where on this planet and has been causing major problem ever since.
 Since we discard those "trow away bags" so easily, they can be fund not only on land fields but also along roads, in Rivers, in the Forest and even on mountain pics and in the Ocean. There they cause great harm and kill million of birds, animals and fish that are trapped in them and most of them suffocate. This is no easy way to die or be killed what so ever.
 We discard about 1.5 Million Tons of Plastic bags each Year and most of this around the Holidays shopping time. Keep in mind that it takes 220 Million litres of Oil to produce those bags every year and this is not counting the additional energy cost for transportation and recycling or land fields. There are 4 to 5 Trillion Plastic bags used every Year, enough to engulf the entire City of New York so you would not even be able to see the tallest buildings any longer. And this with just one Years plastic bags waste.
 North America accounts for 60% of all this plastic bags waste and Europe for 20% the rest is more or less divided around the World evenly with Africa having the lowest share of plastic bags being used of all continents.
 Now even though we have recycling facilities and program in some Nations, Fact is, unfortunately, that only 0.6% is being recycle, the remaining 99.4% end up in lad fields as well as in the Oceans ad Nature at large.
 We could do with out and go back to Shopping baskets, Cloth bags and little carts we can easily pull and taken just about any where, some of those are so compact and easy to fold that they fit in a bag. It may be time to Refuse plastic bags given out to us and to ask to use our own cloth bag in stead. Leading by example for a better future for all living creatures on Earth.
 These Holidays do think twice about using a plastic bag and with the New Year around the corner, it may be a great time for an Eco resolution, not to ever use plastic bags again. There are some great cloth bags and carts, that even look sharp and would get you some positive attention as well.
 Happy Eco Friendly Holliday’s.

See Sources below.
garbage for food.
Think twice about taking a plastic bag if your purchase is small and easy to carry.
Keep canvas bags in your home, office, and car so you always have them available when you go to the supermarket or other stores.
Ask your favorite stores to stop providing bags for free, or to offer a discount for not using the bags.
Encourage your local politicians to introduce legislation taxing or banning plastic bags.
Try to go at least one week without accumulating any new plastic bags. If every shopper took just one less bag each month, this could eliminate the waste of hundreds of millions of bags each year.


The Japanese Whale hunt continues!

By, Uwe Paschen.
 The Whale hunt and why it is still being practiced by Japan is more of a generation problem as well as a political one then a necessity or the will of the people at large here.

 The Mainichi Daily News Does insist that Japan has the Right to hunt Whales and that this has been part of Japans inherent culture.

Japan does hunt Whales annually for research and redistributes the meat after this "research" is concluded; at least this is the official version here in Japan and internationally. Among the Whales hunted, it does focus mainly on minke whales that are not endangered and fin whales  that are endangered.
Some Japanese do adamantly defend this right as part of their culture. These are however the early and late Baby boomer generations holding on to a practice that is long over due and for which there is no real need any longer either. Yet, Whaling is sponsored and maintained by the Government with Taxpayers money, or it could not even survive any longer as an industry.

The Younger generation does not eat Whale meat nor does it visit the few restaurants that still serve it or that are specialized in this type of food. However, the older generation does eat Whale meat, even if only seldom nowadays, they do defend their right to consume it.

Ironically if one goes back in History a little, It was Japan that was strongly opposed to Modern Whaling practices introduced by  the Norwegian in the in the Meiji era, Which were regarded as cruel and indiscriminate killing of Whales, Those Whales back then were still regarded as deities of the sea which helped the corral fish.

However, things started changing following the devastation of World War II, as food was scares and famines a constant threat to the Country. Whales being a cheep source of protein became the larger part of the post-war diet. Why the people defending this practice today do so in part because of a deep trauma lying in the past of their Youth or Infancy, called Hunger.

Now, why is it still going on even though it is not even self-sustainable any longer? The reasons are actually simple and more of sociological and demographical nature than a logical one. Japan is an aging Society just as most Industrial Societies are nowadays; the older part of the population outnumbers the Younger part by an increasing factor annually.

This rift is in part due to a falling birth rates, a lack or no net immigration as well as being blessed with the highest life expectancies in the world, at 81.25 years of age as of 2006 and a high population density. Making Japan the world's tenth most populated country in the World today.

This has an immense impact on Politics and Policies alike, since the Baby boomers outnumber the youth, the Youth does not even bother to vote any longer since their voice will just be berried by the Baby Boomers hold on Society. Why Whaling may still be practiced for some time, since it has little to do with common sense any longer and more with demographics.