Saturday, June 21, 2008

Things that make you go hmm - The Environment

Things that make you go 'hmm'.

Originally, the idea was to look at how much energy it takes to make and use a styrofoam cup versus a ceramic mug - especially once washing costs over the lifetime of the mug have been factored in. After doing some research, however, I found that at least two similar studies have already been done - first in 1994 and again in 2007. Shocking as it is to some environmentalists, both studies found that styrofoam cups use less energy over their 1-use lifetime than ceramic cups do over their 500 - 3000 use lifetime.

You can, of course, simply not wash your ceramic mug [1] but this is probably sub-optimal in the setting Joseph is working in (facilities management) so .. washing is going to be a factor.

Somehow we've got it stuck on our collective brain-housing group that disposable must always equal bad.

With disposables you know they're clean

[1] I had a staff sergeant instructor at COBOL school who had a precious ceramic mug. The mug had a horde of fornicating cartoon cows. He never washed the cup - claimed it washed all the taste out, and that coffee would kill any bacteria that accumulated overnight.

One of his fellow instructors played a horrible practical joke - they washed his cup. He was seriously out of sorts for the rest of the week - and by 'out of sorts' I mean fits of irrational anger that only nicotine addicts going cold turkey know about.

This was my first clue that people in IT have some serious quirks.
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