Paying to Pollute

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 09/03/2009 - 16:09.

 Many times when you read about polluters, the motivation for  polluters is to save money - make more profit.  Water polluters do this by dumping toxins into storm drains, sewers, or watercourses.   Air polluters save money by discharging particulate and chemical pollution out their chimneys.

But one of the strange things about human behavior is how advertizing, combined with group behavior dynamics, is so forceful it has been able to mind-bend otherwise intelligent persons into annually PAYING to buy asphalt emulsion lip-stick for driveways.  And since the asphalt only hangs around for about a year before it washes off and finds its way into the local stream, what these otherwise intellingent people are doing, in essence, is paying cash to pollute their local waterway.
Why water shed/water quality advocates haven’t sponsored legislation to ban this insanity is an interesting question.
I have watched the same driveway slurp up a few hundred gallons of "driveway sealer" year in and year out.  I reported in 2007 here on Realneo about disappearing asphalt coat pollution.   Think we're making any difference?  Where are our Sustainablity Men?
If you have money to burn, and you must look at black asphalt rather than weathered gray asphalt, it would be much more environmentally positive if you ripped out your asphalt driveway,  and installed a pre-cast concrete waffle block driveway as shown here on Realneo


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I am innocent here

I have never been able to afford to have an asphalt or a cement driveway built.  I still have the original driveway that was here when we purchased our home in 1967.  The only thing we added to it is stones when we can afford a truckload.  I used to feel bad that I didn't have a nice driveway like most of my neighbors but now I feel good that I haven't contributed to the pollution in this way.  Who knew? 

My favorite paying to pollute is Christmas lights

Ever notice how the utility company sponsored news broadcasts feature 100s of hours of coverage of the best damn Christmas lights around town, for months around the holidays. A client in the utility industry once commented how astounding is the load from the electricity consumed during christmas light hours and days... big money maker... big polluter... astoundingly wasteful and unnecessary, all those lights and now massive PVC blow-ups, and fans... for what?

Now is the time to start thinking about how NEO may not fall into this trap again this year - at the individualy and community level. Some great thoughts on that come from an environmental site in Spain, Área de Cambio Climático de Ecologistas en Acción: "Christmas energy waste: lights that switch off the world", which points out:

According to the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (Instituto para la Diversificación y el Ahorro Energético), this year, Spain’s town halls will spend 30 million kWh in Christmas lights, which will cause the emission of more than 10 million kg of CO2 (carbon dioxide) which is the main cause of climate change. Ecologistas en Acción considers absolutely contradictory the fact that while “green aesthetic” operations are started, a clearly unsustainable culture of waste keeps being adopted in practice.

Consider the same for Ohio and NEO. And...

Furthermore, we must not forget that one of the main reasons for turning on the lights is to promote the consumption during Christmas. This consumption is framed within a model in which there are an excessive exploitation of resources and an unsustainable generation of waste.

If we are continuously asked to consume in our houses just the light we need, why not do the same in our cities?

The saddest thing is in America we are NOT continuously asked to consume in our houses just the light we need!

Disrupt IT

I received a sample of an acrylic alternative, they have no environmental warnings on acrylics.

Only problem is that it cost $90 for five gallons.