Eat [and Drink] Less Plastic

Drink water from your tap. Drinking water is one of the biggest contributors to microplastic ingestion, but bottled water has about double the microplastic level of tap water, according to Mason, making it a poor choice for those who want to consume less plastic. Some bottled waters have also been found to have high levels of PFAS chemicals. Mason says that unless you know your tap water is unsafe, you should opt for that over anything in a plastic bottle.”

-Kevin Lorea, “How to Eat Less Plastic.” Consumer Reports. August 13, 2019.
  • Drink water from your tap.
  • Don’t heat food in plastic.
  • Avoid plastic food containers.
  • Eat more fresh food.
  • Minimize household dust.
  • Reducing plastic pollution is going to require government intervention.

Open question: Does microplastic pollution and its effects on hormones and reducing fertility an existentional threat to the human species?

Water in Your Gas Tank

“The findings…demonstrate a new way of separating hydrogen and oxygen gas from seawater via electricity. Existing water-splitting methods rely on highly purified water, which is a precious resource and costly to produce…But now that the basic recipe is figured out for electrolysis with seawater, the new method will open doors for increasing the availability of hydrogen fuel powered by solar or wind energy.

In the future, the technology could be used for purposes beyond generating energy. Since the process also produces breathable oxygen, divers or submarines could bring devices into the ocean and generate oxygen down below without having to surface for air.”

—Erin Garcia de Jesus, “Stanford researchers create hydrogen fuel from seawater.” Stanford News Service. March 18, 2019.

Besides being able to make air in places with water, such as Mars, it strikes me as an obvious way to store energy.

Map and Monitor the World’s Freshwater Supply

“[Google is] proud to showcase a new platform enabling all countries to freely measure and monitor when and where water is changing: UN’s Water-Related Ecosystems, or sdg661.app. Released last week in Nairobi at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), the app provides statistics for every country’s annual surface water (like lakes and rivers). It also shows changes from 1984 through 2018 through interactive maps, graphs and full-data downloads.”

—Brian Sullivan, “A newg app to map and monitor the world’s freshwater supply.” Blog.Google. March 21, 2019.