Toilet to Tap: Just Another Way to Drink Water that Once Touched Poop?

Josh figured he could save time by going directly to the source.

Josh here.

Despite the fact that California Governor Jerry Brown declared an end to the drought in the dry state, and that the California Department of Water Resources describes water levels as “normal,” I think we can safely assume that California will be back in a drought before you can say ” indirect potable reuse.” Outside California (I try to pretend there are no parts of the world outside California, but the internet, books, television, and movies keep insisting otherwise), drought conditions seem to be rampant. Like in Texas, Europe, and China. Was it always like this?

I want to do my part to conserve water, really I do. But I’ve recently discovered the sport of slip and fly, and I’m getting quite good at it. In another few weeks, I’ll be ready to compete at nationals. Based on my height and weight, I’ll need to fly 600 feet and land in a regulation size glass of water. Until then, I’m going to be wasting a whole lot of water getting ready. In order to assuage my guilt, I’m moving to a county that has found a way to conserve water on my behalf: Orange County, California.

The OC has manned up (never thought I’d say that) and decided to recycle sewage water with the new Groundwater Replenishment System, despite the fact that the majority of people still don’t support these “toilet-to-tap” systems. I guess people don’t like the idea that their drinking water once had poop in it. Well, aquagermaphobes, I’m sorry to say that water and poop have been paired since the invention of water and poop.

Here’s the thing: all terrestrial surface water (lakes, rivers, oceans) serve as toilets for every marine animal living in them as well as land-dwelling animals that come to drink and bathe in them. Humans can drink groundwater, rainwater, or snow melt, all of which have been purified somehow by the earth (see the image below for an explanation how). But the basic truth is, at some point, that water most likely had poop in it.

This image is thanks to science.nasa.gov.

The purification process utilized by the Groundwater Replenishment System is super safe. Probably even safer than our dear earth’s unregulated cleanliness standards, and those haven’t seemed to bother human society for thousands of years. So, to all you people who think toilet to tap sounds gross, get over it.

If you’re interested in more Lazy But Righteous thoughts on toilets and water conservation (a favorite topic), click here and here.

Do Your Good Deed for the Day: Follow Us on Twitter!

The Lazy But Righteous team is learning to tweet!

Lazy But Righteous team here.

After literal tons* of fan mail begging us to increase our presence on the internet, we’ve decided to start a Twitter account. You may notice our fancy new widget on the left side of our home page?

We’re too lazy (and self-conscious) to actively seek followers, but we’re not quite righteous enough not to care how many followers we have. So, currently at 2 followers, we’re stuck somewhere between indignant and embarrassed.

We don’t promise much, as a general rule, but we can promise you that our tweets will be relatively infrequent and mostly nonoffensive. And sometimes, you might even find them useful or interesting! What have you got to lose?! Way less than us, we’d wager. We used our office building as collaterol on the loan we took out to make the twitter account.

What we’re trying to say is: PLEASE FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!

*literal tons = 0.0 lbs.

A Victory for the Lazy, Righteous People of Europe!

Big SqueakDr. Squeak here.

We at Lazy But Righteous applaud McDonald’s decision to serve sustainable fish in their establishments in Europe. Can you imagine, guilt free Filet-O-Fishies? Read all about it in this New York Times article.

Now, McD’s, you just need to do the same for us lazy but righteous over here in the USA.

Read more LBR thoughts on about sustainable fish here.

 

Green Search Engines: Could You Google Without Google?

I tried to google using a dictionary, but it was even worse than Yahoo.

Dr. Squeak here.

Remember the Yahoo ads from the “Do you Yahoo?” campaign? I genuinely enjoyed them. Even more than certain Geico commercials. I never switched to Yahoo over Google as my primary search engine though. It’s just… not Google.

But now, I’ve finally found a reason to google without Google: green search engines. I found three different ones (yes, I googled them). They’re a bit rough around the edges, but that’s how you know they’re really green! Besides, putting up with an imperfect layout seems a small compromise for such a painless way to help the earth. Here’s a breakdown:

Blackle: Powered by Google, it’s my first choice for layout and results. They claim that a black screen uses less energy, thus saving resources–supposedly over 2.5 million watt hours thus far (though this number is under dispute). The energy saving calculation feels a bit ambiguous, so it’s not my number one choice for impact.

Ecosia: Despite having a name that sounds like an ecologically-related memory disorder, Ecosia generates real money for protection of the rainforest—$334,000 has been donated to the World Wildlife Fund so far. The search is powered by Yahoo and Bing, which, as I mentioned above, ain’t no Google.

Treehoo!: Treehoo! calls itself the first green search engine. Since its inception in 2008, the organization has helped plant over 10,000 trees to help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (which, according to a recent article in the NYTimes, may just kill us after all). I love the simplicity—planting trees is nothing but a good thing—though the layout leaves a bit to be desired.

Pick one and make it your homepage. It’s so simple!

The Laziest Possible Way to be Green: Sleep More

Leon fell asleep while writing this post.

Leon here.

Experts say we should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night. I like to get 9ish to 11ish hours, and up to 12 if I’m feeling especially ambitious. It’s not because I’m lazy (despite what my ex-girlfriend says), or depressed (despite what my mom says). It’s because I’m extremely green. Honestly, I’d love to be out there exercising and getting brunch with the rest of you losers, but I just care too much about this crazy blue marble we call Earth.

We all know that getting sufficient sleep is good for you–if you somehow weren’t aware of this, check out this recent article in the New York Times. Sleep helps you stay focused, lose weight, be happy and beautiful. Whatever. It takes a true genius like myself to recognize that it’s greener also. It means using less electricity, and less heat or air conditioning (if you’re good at remembering to turn them down). It also likely means eating less food AND getting more nutrients out of the food that you do eat. And, if you’re happier and healthier, you’re probably making the world a better place just with your sparkling presence. I know I am.

Here are some resources for natural tips to help you get more and better sleep:

Simple sleep tips from the New York Times

8 natural remedies that may help you sleep, from Health.com

Today Show bit on foods that hinder/help sleep — a little annoying but surprisingly informative

A Wikibook on Lucid Dreaming — for spicing up your time between the sheets

Summertime and the Shopping’s Easy, Thanks to Better World Shopper

Vana is testing out organic summer face masks. We don't know why. We didn't ask her to.

Vana here.

It’s almost summer, which here in Los Angeles means verdant greens turning to crispy browns, and cool breezes replaced by stagnant heat rippling off the sidewalks. Well-informed ladies (and particularly well-informed gents) know that it also means hightailing it to the nearest newsstand to buy every fashion magazine on the rack. Yes, even Allure. Why? For the summer cosmetic recommendations, of course! After the magazines, I rush to the drug store to load up on the recommended depilatories, exfoliants, lotions, cremes, and snake oils. This all makes me feel like I’m in control of my life–with way less work than my old standby, bulimia.

Now that I write for Lazy But Righteous, I’ve realized that not all summer beauty products are created equal. Some use less-than-desirable ingredients, or test products on fluffy little animals. To avoid patronizing companies with yucky records, I’ve added some light summer reading on ethical companies to my list. Nothing too crazy, though. The sun makes my brain shrink like a California Raisin.

My new favorite tell-me-what-to-buy resource is Better World Shopper, a website/book that lists companies on a scale of ethicalness, assessing human rights, environmental record, animal protection, community involvement, and social justice. Thanks to Better World Shopper, I know that Aveda is A-Okay, while Olay is No Way.

If you’re a real tree hugger, you can make your own cosmetics. That’s too hippy dippy for me, but I do enjoy the occasional homemade oatmeal face mask. Click here and here for a few different types to try.

I listed a few other resources on ethical cosmetics in a previous post also.

Happy summer beautification!

Fight AIDS Without Making Any Real Effort At All

Big SqueakDr. Squeak here.

Wanna do something for the fight against AIDS, but don’t wanna donate money, or even time really? Click on the image below to watch a short video and find out what you can do to fight AIDS in less than 60 seconds.

It’s a cartoon, so you know it’ll be funny.

Cheap, Green Vacation Part 1: The Lazy Little Engine That Could

Josh admiring the view on his recent train ride down the California coast.

Josh here.

We Californians think that we are very progressive (guilty as charged!). But when it comes to public transportation, both existence and utilization, we fall somewhere between the dark side of the moon and the Wild West. Maybe it’s because we are geographically spread out. Or because we prioritize aesthetic beauty, and train tracks are just ugly. Or perhaps because we don’t like to mingle with the common folk like they do in Pinko Europe (maybe that’s just me—I have sensitive skin).

Given our supposed concern for the environment, any excuse is ridiculous. So, in an effort to undertake actions that justify my pretentious, judgmental attitude, I am taking the train. The Amtrak Surfliner to be exact. In fact, I’m on the train right now.

Taking the train is truly a lazy but righteous activity. It’s downright luxurious. You can sleep the whole time, and it’s often cheaper than driving. I’m going to start planning weekend trips based entirely on train routes. The train itself could be the best part of the trip—especially if you’re going with old friends that you’ve kinda outgrown, but you feel guilty abandoning because they’ve all been giving you a hard time about losing touch because you write for some stupid blog now.

How Josh kept himself busy on the Amtrak Surfliner.

Here are some helpful resources, just in time for summer:

Official Amtrak site

Vacations by Rail

USA Today: How to Plan a Train Vacation

Plastic Forks are Gross, and Other Green Office Insults

Another late night dinner in the office for Dr. Squeak

Dr. Squeak here.

When it comes to disposable eatware, I run a tight ship. Lazy But Righteous has a strict no paper plate/plastic utensil policy. If one of my writers or office slaves brings in disposable eating implements, they get a week in the Resocialization Hole–a closet with a TV that run Meg Ryan films on loop 24 hours per day. Offenders either emerge quirky and lovable, or I’m cleaning brains off the walls.

I’m not a complete sadist though, I do help my staff by providing them with real plates, utensils, glasses, and mugs. But I understand that not every office is like Lazy But Righteous. Some don’t provide non-disposable eating implements. Even more ridiculous, some purchase disposable implements for staff/office use. Why plastic cups would be more appropriate at a meeting than genuine glasses is entirely beyond me.

Sure, individuals could bring in their own plates and forks if they want. But if it isn’t part of an office’s culture, some staff members might feel pressured to use disposable plates/silverware so as not to stand out and attract ridicule. After all, no one wants to be THAT GUY. For these well-intentioned cowards, I propose that we start a pretentious judgment campaign against disposable eatware. When you’re at a meeting and someone offers you water in a plastic cup, tell them you think it’s gauche. When an office manager orders plastic forks for the office cupboard, leave nasty Post-its all over his/her computer. When a coworker takes a seat next to you at the break table with a heaping paper plate and a plastic water bottle, slap it all the floor, spit on the mess, and leave.

Or, better yet, just convince your office that they’ll save money in the long run by buying reusable dishes and utensils, or by creating incentives for staff to bring in their own. Though my other solution sounds like more fun.

Here are a few resources for other ways to green your office:

LA Times Blog, Emerald City, with great green office tips

Treehugger, How to Go Green: At Work

Office Depot Guide to Buying Green

The Secret Goldfish Baking Co: The Answer to My Laziest of Prayers

LOTR Wednesdays at Casa de Somnus

Leon here.

I love bread. But often, after a standard weekday of watching an entire trilogy back to back to back to back, I’m just too exhausted to drive the two blocks to the nearest supermarket, scour the aisles for a loaf of my liking, and then purchase said loaf. My greatest wish is a bakery that delivers bread right to my front door. The bread should be organic, ethical, and locally produced by two of the greatest people you could ever hope to meet.

Well Fish Mother F**king Fish (…I got my wish), thanks to The Secret Goldfish Baking Co. 

Leon picking up his Secret Goldfish loaf.

The Secret Goldfish has recently opened its doors to the Los Angeles community, with everything from sandwich loaves to cookies to quick breads–like a sweet Zucchini Bread that’ll make you wanna offer your first-born cub for seconds (hey, you’ve got like, six more cubs anyway, right?). The ingredients are more earth friendly than the hemp-infested Greenpeace canvasser who stands outside of the yoga studio next door to my favorite GameStop.

If you’re not in Los Angeles, then I feel sorry for you for so many reasons. But you can still Like The Secret Goldfish on Facebook.