Deadly Bags, Hospitals and Dads – What I Learned on My Vacation

Plane ride

Plane ride

I will keep this short as we just got back from a quick vacation to Vancouver and I am operating on about 3 hours of sleep.   As my son sat next to me on the plane, writing a journal about his vacation to Vancouver, I figured I should do the same.  However, writing about a whole vacation seemed like way too much trouble, so I have decided to just write about what I learned on my plane ride.

Since I now have the attention span of a fruit fly with ADD, I will write what I learned in bumper sticker format –

Dads Who Run Ruin The Planet

If you are ever driving along in your hybrid and see four guys running, roll down the window and shout “Planet Killers“.  Turns out a study at the University of Milan showed that the CO2 emissions from four men running was higher than the emissions from those 4 men riding in a hybrid car.   Women, with their lower body mass, emit less CO2, so this really is a guy thing.  (Scientific American, May 2011 pg 18)

Guns Don’t Kill People, Hospitals Kill People

Every year two million hospital acquired infections cause 100,000 deaths in the US.   That is more deaths than AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.   This is exactly why when I feel sick, I just head to the morgue, 0% of people who go to the morgue die from morgue acquired infections.   (Scientific American, May 2011 pg 24)

Forget Solar Power, I Want Sun Power

Solar power is what we have today – an new emerging technology to make power from the sun’s light.  Solar cells are still very inefficient, only converting about 10-15% of the light they receive into electricity.   I want true SUN POWER!  I want to capture all that sunny goodness and never worry about electricity again.  The sun bathes the earth in more energy in an hour than civilization uses in a year. Wow! (Scientific American, May 2011 pg 40)

We May Not Be Great at Making Energy, But We Are Experts At Wasting It

You know what is hard? Making energy.  You know what is insanely easy? Wasting energy.  Up to 60% of the energy generated in the US is wasted.  Yes, all that heat from cars and power plants is just lost energy.  On the bright side, at least we don’t waste 70%…yet. (Scientific American, May 2011 pg 42)

Cotton Bag Users AKA Planet Killers

As you can see from the above points, I basically just read Scientific American on the plane.  Well, that and cursing the person in front of me for throwing his seat back into my knees.  Between the reading and cursing, I did check my email and got maybe the most curious tidbit of information.

Last week we did a post on Plastic and Paper Bags being banned and this led to a Washington, DC based firm, that represents a plastic bag company, emailing us with some pro plastic information.  They made us aware of a recent study from the UK Government’s Environment Agency that found that a cotton bag must be used 131 times before the bag has a lower environmental impact than a single plastic bag. (Mother Nature Network).  We obviously just need to evolve into having pouches so we don’t need bags of any type!

There you have it – what I learned on my plane ride.  I will admit that my son’s essay was much better, but in my defense, it is hard to think when some guy’s chair is crushing your knees.

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