Tag Archives: Sustainability

Organic Toilet Paper vs. non-Organic Toilet Paper and Recycled Toilet Paper

Not only foods are organic but also e.g. clothes, paper, toilet paper and much more. What is the difference between organic and non-organic toilet paper, and recycled paper? And why should you buy organic and recycled?

Organic toilet paper is produced by organic farmers. Recycled paper is many times made of recycled paper to save trees and made of other recycled materials. The organic paper is grown on organic soil and recycled paper made from recycled materials and paper. It is biodegradable which means it does not harm to the environment. It also protects your health as it does not contain chemical pesticides, chlorine, fertilizers or bleach. Using organic and recycled toilet paper is an optimal choise to keep good skin health and intimate hygiene, and improves total health for sensitive persons. But the best reason to switch to organic toilet paper is that you do not damage the environment and help to make the world a cleaner place. This also increases the demand and pushes manufacturers to produce environmental friendly paper.

Critics says that using organic paper does not solve the problem of disposal.

You may find organic paper a little bit more expensive than the classical bleached paper, but to our experiences you use less sheets becuase the texture is different. The recycled option is also cheaper than the organically produced paper. The color of the paper differs as you can see below.

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On the left: Recycled paper

On the right: Classical bleached paper

 

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a concept of ecological engineering and design and environmental designs, modeled from natural ecosystems to develop sustainable architecture and self-mantaining agricultural systems. The core for Permaculture is:

  • Care for the earth: Secure for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish
  • Care for the people: Secure for people to access those resources necessary for their existence
  • Return of surplus: Reinvesting surpluses back into the system to provide for the first two ethics. This includes returning waste back into the system to recycle into usefulness

The basic for Permaculture is to find synergy from the final design to harmonize and have full benefit for the community by combining landscape, spices and function. It is not about separating parts, it is about combining parts to its maximum efficiency so the whole part has a greater function, than the parts separated. The concept teaches us to build natural homes, grow organic foods, collect rain water, take care of waste and make lowest inpact on the environment. It is about working with the nature, integrate with the nature and construct ecosystems. It is also about leaving the nature in its own evolution. Permaculture is not a fixed principle and changes depending on location, climatic conditions and available resources to become a responsable consumer and build a holistic approach.

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Text inspiration from: wikipedia, Permaculture Institute, Permacultureprincples
Photo: sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net
diversity, stability, and the resilience of natural ecosystems – See more at: http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/permaculture_design_course#sthash.5zk51FYX.dpufconstuct
Permaculture teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more. – See more at: http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/permaculture_design_course#sthash.5zk51FYX.dpuf
Permaculture teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more. – See more at: http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/permaculture_design_course#sthash.5zk51FYX.dpuf

Energy Efficient Building

Energy efficient building solutions is a fast growing sector and new technology comes up every day. The standards varies from different areas, e.g. the german building standard can not be used to south italian building standards, because in Germany the standard has to fight cold temperatures, while in south Italy the standard has to fight warm temperatures. There are different solutions that may confuse the buyer, but all can be used in any region and here we shortly explain four of them:

Low Energy House is a building standard where design, material and technology is used to lower energy consumption and uses less energy from one or several sources. The standard varies but in Europe it refers to a house that uses half of the German or Swiss low-energy standards referred to below for space heating, normally in the range from 30 kWh/m²a to 20 kWh/m²a = 9,500 Btu/ft²/yr to 6,300 Btu/ft²/yr. Low-energy buildings typically use high levels of insulation, energy efficient windows, low levels of air infiltration and heat recovery ventilation to lower heating and cooling energy.

deepstone_house_w031209_6Example of a Low Energy House (Photo: e-architect.co.uk)

Passive House is a standard for energy efficient building, reducing ecological impact. It results in very low energy builiding  that require little energy for space heating or cooling. This standard is not limited to only residental building, it is also well adapted in construction of  public buildings, business facilities, schools, supermarkets to name few. The passive house standard is well developed in German speaking countries and Scandinavia. The Passive House standard is actually developed by a swedish and german collaboration.

The Passivhouse standard for central Europe requires that the building fulfills the following requirements:

  • The building must be designed to have an annual heating demand as calculated with the Passivhaus Planning Package of not more than 15 kwh/m² per year = 4746 btu/ft² per year, in heating and 15 kwh/m² per year cooling energy OR to be designed with a peak heat load of 10W/m²
  • Total energy source for electricity and etc., primary energy for heating, hot water and electricity must not be more than 120 kWh/m² per year = 3.79 × 104 btu/ft² per year.
  • The building must not leak more air than 0.6 times the house volume per hour = n50 ≤ 0.6 / hour at 50 Pa (N/m²) as tested

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A building based on the passive house concept in Darmstadt, Germany (photo: Wikipedia)

Zero Energy House is just what the name inteds, a building with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions. Depending of country and technology the house use the electrical grid for energy storage but some are independent of grid. This standard offers several options for producing and conserving energy and many ways of measuring energy.

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Example of Zero Energy House (Photo: zokazola.com – Stefan Behling)

Energy Plus House is the latest in energy efficient building (2013-09-28) and is a house that produces more energy from renewable energy sources than it consumes over an year. The house is a combination of microgeneration technology and low energy building technologies. This standard can be adapted to any kinds of construction as homes, offices, schools to name few…

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Prototype of Zero Energy structure in Germany (photo: Wikipedia)

 

Numbers and some definition sources: Wikipedia

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