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BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogIn an increasingly environmentally aware world, much debate has been raised about what the most eco-conscious materials are. While natural materials are the most eco-friendly over the long haul, there is also great concern about the stripping of natural resources with which to make those products. Wood can be and is, however, still the most eco-conscious choice, when used responsibility. Here are 4 reasons why wood is still the best eco-conscious choice for home building projects. Biodegradable Most plastics are not actually biodegradable, but will eventually decompose. However, based on the type of plastic, this can take anywhere from 5-10 years to 100 years or longer to occur. A piece of scrap wood is fully biodegradable and will be reabsorbed by the earth in anywhere from just a few months to a few years depending on conditions. Sustainable resource Resources only become stripped when they are not replaced or replanted. Sustainable harvesting involves replanting at the same - or greater - rates than resources are being consumed. While trees that produce hardwoods may take 100 years or more to mature, other woods like bamboo and pine can be regrown in just a few years, providing a limitless and sustainable supply of resources. No toxic waste The creation and processing of plastics requires a number of chemicals that can produce a great deal of potentially toxic waste. Wood is an organic substance that creates organic waste and is therefore far better for the environment. In addition, the chemicals used to process plastic can remain on even the finished product. In today's energy conscious homes, tight seals on windows and doors keep chemical fumes from plastic products trapped tightly inside, creating a toxic zone inside your own home. Upcycling There is almost no limit to the number of times wood can be used again and again. With a little sanding, old furniture can be repainted or pieces from one item of furniture turned into a completely different item of furniture. Old wood pallets and crates like those offered by Acme Case Co Pty Ltd can become chic statement pieces, dressers can become bathroom vanities and armoires can become beautiful TV cabinets. Once most plastic products become old, scratched, broken, stained or worn out, they generally just have to be thrown away because they often can't be repaired or restored. When the same thing happens to wood, however, it often just increases its character and value. While new uses for recycled plastics are constantly being developed to keep them out of landfills and oceans, plastic bags, bottles and other items have still become an environmental menace. In spite of a few companies that have made headlines for their unethical harvesting of natural resources, wood still remains one of the most eco-conscious choices you can make for everything from furniture to building materials.
Technology often has a nostalgic link to the era in which it was in vogue. However, just because a piece of tech is found to be behind the times by modern standards, this does not mean that its usefulness has vanished. Sometimes it is when an old piece of tech has lost its appeal that someone discovers a new purpose for it. Then, that which was believed to be condemned to the shelves at the rear of the storeroom gets a new purpose—and sometimes new popularity. Old technology can give life to new and innovative ideas. Here are a few of those innovations to consider. That Old Transistor Radio While the younger generation is busy with their iPods and MP4 players, the older generation remembers the days when hand-held transistor radios were all the rage. Despite being less popular today, many might be shocked to learn that blind people still use transistor radios to help them to navigate screen changes on other electronic devices. Since the radio provides an audible change in the static hum of AM frequency channels when the screen of a nearby electronic device has changed, this can be used to help a blind person know that something has taken place on a screen they cannot read. Some blind people have successfully used this method to navigate the use of drum machines and other previously inaccessible electronic devices. All Those Unused Monitors Often people buy new computer gear and stick their old monitors in the garage or at the back of their closet. Before long they realize they have a slew of old monitors. Removing the monitors from their base makes it possible to arrange the monitors in a vertical, homemade frame. The more monitors you have, the more you can use to make a multiple screen video display. With enough video cards to drive their use, a person can finally have that multiple display they always wanted for watching television or running their home security system through. Sometimes, a broken monitor is just a simple repair away from being incredibly useful. Research what the problem might be online, or contact a service like Contec Direct to see if it’s worth the trouble. Phone Cameras If you are the type to have a bunch of old cell and smartphones laying around in a box, it might be time to put their on-board cameras to work. Instead of spending a fortune on new cameras for your home security system, simply making use of these older cameras is one way to outfit your home with 360-degree monitoring. One perk is that old phones, even when they aren’t connected to a phone network anymore, can still connect to your WiFi network. You can have a home security system without having to run wires to every corner of your house! The Old Bulky Television Many people have an old broken television they are no longer using. Many of the older televisions are bulky and served as a place where the family gathered around on movie night. Now broken, it is okay to wait until the television has had time to drain its power and start gutting out its insides. With the inside empty, the display box with the glass screen front can be used for displaying some other scene or object of your choice. You could even completely gut it, and plant some flowers inside for a contemporary urban art piece! Old tech is all around us. Some of this tech may still have a lot of useful functions. With a little creative thought and hard work, you would be surprised what can be made out of your collection of outdated technology.