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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    Ready to seriously unplastic my life. Not just single use. Thinking of inviting a group of folks locally to meet/discuss book/watch films and support each other to address this.
    Looking for UK resources online and books. Have read many and lately the 2minute solution.

    Can anyone recommend good resources beyond the single use coffee cups/straws/toothbrushes level?

    Organic veg box/dairy/meat and Sumawholefoods bulk/group buying still v heavy on the plasticpolythene wrapping....
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2018
    City to sea
    Clay drains, incl the much-discussed French drain. What to do for soil pipes? Good fall-pipes in galv steel. Could that be used for soil (@ correct diameter, of course)?
    Posted By: Nick ParsonsClay drains, incl the much-discussed French drain. What to do for soil pipes? Good fall-pipes in galv steel. Could that be used for soil (@ correct diameter, of course)?

    I did not think that Carol was considering the plumbing in the context of 'unplastic my life'. But having mentioned pipes IMO there is a good reason to use plastic pipes that will have a quoted life span between 50 and 100 years and potentially longer and in some cases longer than the non-plastic alternative. And AFAIK a plastic pipe has lower environmental impact for transport than any of its alternatives.

    Carol - if you google 'non plastic containers' you get a whole raft of (commercial) options most of whom have blurb about why their products are better than plastic.
    • CommentAuthorvord
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2018 edited
    I'm not keen on plastics and actively avoid buying things made of plastic. I don't think having to throw stuff out after a few years is especially 'green'. Though I would find it tricky to reply without prodding at a plastic keyboard.

    I have a 60 year old car that used almost no plastic in it's construction - just a tiny bit of Bakelite. They didn't use much plastic in my 400 year old house either. I've found most of the traditional materials in the house have lasted for quite a long time. Generally it is plastic paint or cement that killed the bits that needed to be replaced.

    Plastic is a modern invention, only the last 50 years or so. If you want to avoid it just research the materials they used 50 years ago. 50 years ago wasn't the dark ages. Lifestyle was similar, just with fewer electrical gadgets.
    • CommentAuthorselly
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2018
    Plastic is brilliant. We just have to make sure we make efforts to dispose/reuse it better. Its a wonderful material for a lot of applications
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2018 edited
    Totally agree with selly. Of course single-use and general throwaway tackiness. But well engineered plastics are great for our lives, for the environment too if you compare their lifecycle analyses with the alternatives'. If the machines - car or whatever - themselves get thrown away after a short life, that's not the plastics' fault.

    Even that doesn't matter, if only circular-economy recycling were the norm. Mining of all virgin materials should and could largely stop, if we recaptured nearly all of the raw materials currently in circulation, for re-use. Then it wouldn't matter if each use was short-life.

    Re-use recycling can't just mean what it does today - each re-use is as a progressively lower-grade raw material - e.g. unholy mixtures of different plastics which are only good for for making mud-coloured wood-substitute fence planks. Circular-economy recycling must mean re-purification of salvaged materials, into high quality feedstock which at present demands 'virgin' product direct from the ground via oil refinery/chemical works.

    That re-purification necessitates large energy input, to break exothermic chemical bonds. And that energy must come from renewable source itself of low or negative impact, which only future-promised kinds of solar can deliver on a large scale. Such energy source is effectively limitless and costless, limited only by attainable efficiency of conversion, solar intake to electic output - but obviously isn't here yet.

    So in the meantime all we can do is consciousness-raising gestures like agitating to ban single-use plastics (totally useful in its own right), and to boycot all plastics maybe (as a political gesture).
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2018 edited
    I now use 4x more paper straws than I did plastic ones, cause the kids chew and bend them til they stop being straw-ey. Carrying a couple of lengths of microbore copper pipe seems like overkill. They’re cutlery effectively, but hard to clean, so I don’t think the restaurants will maintain a stock of metal ones either. What to do?
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2018 edited
    Posted By: cjardWhat to do

    straws are the final ... straw !

    What's wrong with spoons ?

    New-born infants are tested for their ability to suck off of a spoon...
    It is called "extrusion reflex"

    Unfortunately, our industrial societies have too much of an extrusion reflex...


    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2018
    What's wrong with spoons ?

    You've never spent a grizzly Friday night in one then ?

    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2018
    ¿ qué ?

    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2018
    Local patois for that fine drinking establishment, Weatherspoons

    As in "I'll meet you in 'spoons for a jar or 3 at 5.00 pm" - favourite haunt of the city centre pigeon shouters and students on a Friday evening


    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2018
    Posted By: barneyLocal patois for that fine drinking establishment, Weatherspoons

    wow, would never have got that !
    Barney, I can only aspire to your level of culture LOL

    p.s. would never set foot in one...

    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2018
    LoL - nor me by choice, but occasionally I get invited along by a few dubious characters of my acquaintance

    The words "culture" and "weatherspoons" are rarely heard in the same sentence, TBH - unless it's someone swabbing the carpets for pathogens


    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2018
    I'm a big fan of WS (at least during the day): good cheap beer and no background musak.


    • CommentAuthordereke
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2018
    @cjard we have loads of stainless steel and 1 glass straw.
    They came with a little pipe cleaner type thing - easy to clean.

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