Saturday, March 29, 2008

P to the V to the C

So yesterday I was a little sarcastic and maybe a little arrogant. I want to apologize to Mr. whateverhisnameis from the Vinyl Institute for comparing his editorial theaterics to a schoolyard bully. I didn't mean it.

Well . . maybe I meant it a little bit.

But more importantly I never, and this is what I am truly apologizing for, explained what PVC was. I guess after having my desk fall on me, I was a little absent minded yesterday. You read that right. I recently started a position at a real non-profit, not one of those non-profits where if you took a three hour lunch at the bar downstairs no one would care, but the kind of non-profit that if the grants stop coming in the staff doesn't get paid but they all keep working anyway. Thats the kind of non-profit I now work for now. And I heard that actually happened to them a couple years ago. So anyway, yeah, my desk fell on me. Alright alright . . . full disclosure. I was standing on my desk and it fell and I fell off and then it fell on my leg. And now I don't want to talk about it anymore. I also don't want to talk about why my mac can't get hooked up to the server in my office. If you work at Apple, can you please call me? (I promise I wasn't part of that Green My Apple campaign . . . ok I'm lying I was totally part of that campaign but I really do love my mac and I really do want it to be greener, but I also want to actually use it at work!)

So . . . . .

PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride also known as vinyl

Things that are made out of PVC:
shower curtains
food containers
children's toys
that new car smell (hmmmmmm off gassing v.i.n.y.l.)

Other important things to know about PVC:
-- The manufacturing process is extremely hazardous. Just ask someone that lives near a plant. Like the people of Lake Charles, LA. A jury found one of the United States’ leading PVC manufacturers liable for “wanton and reckless disregard of public safety”, caused by one of the largest chemical spills in the nation’s history which contaminated the groundwater underneath the surrounding community.

-- In order to be 'useful' manufacturers have to include additives to the products they make out of polyvinyl chloride. So . . . you know that character in Charlie Brown that has the dust cloud around him all the time? Well . . that's basically us. Everyday. Because additives don't stay put. They come off when we touched them. Then they are on our hands, in our children's mouths, and on our clothes. All the time. hmmmmmmm that is s.c.a.r.y.

-- Dioxin. Sounds like a word that can win you a game of Scrabbel. Sounds like a word that could contaminate a town and increase the effects of global warming. Dioxin is what happens when you burn polyvinyl chloride. Dioxin is also known as a group of the most potent chemicals ever created. Now since you are reading my blog you are probably a very rational person and so you are probably asking yourself right now . . . why would anyone burn PVC? Very good grasshopper!

Communities all over the country are fighting plans to build incinerators in their city. And Mr. whatishisface from the Vinyl Institute is using his well crafted schoolyard bully tactics (like writing crazy editorials so when city council's google PVC they stumble upon his spell checked and corporate approved message on how 'green' it is) to scare parents, school teachers, and everyone else that lives in these towns into letting them build or not clean up whatever it is they want to build next door to their elementary school.

-- I mentioned, briefly and a little incoherently, about cradle to cradle yesterday. So the life cycle of products made out of PVC is extremely important to consider. They are made somewhere, a factory. They exist somewhere, your home. They sit for all eternity somewhere, the dump. Or more appropriately these days third world nations. I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. . . . . . I wish I had the capacity on this little blog of mine for it to be more interactive. It would be great if as you are reading this you could insert where you think I am going with this. Anyways .. . life cycle, cradle to cradle, landwaterair contamination. When your child is so done with last seasons my little pony and you throw it away in the garbage, it gets shipped off somewhere and it sits. And those additives we talked about earlier get time to marinate and sauce up the land and the soil and the water. Your water. So now not only has your daughter been chewing on my little pony (come on I've seen a child lick a restuarant wall, you know she was chewing on that pony) ingesting toxic chemicals but now she gets to go outside and play in the soil that also contains toxic chemicals. Life cycle. It's really about the lifecycle of products. It's the reduce in that slogan that is the most important not the recycle.

So . . . here is what I hope I explained today: PVC is bad. Corporate executives that lie are bad. Purchasing products with their lifecycle in mind is good.


PS. Seriously if you work at Apple, please help me figure out how to use my macbook on my server. Please. (charitable giving?)


Erica said...

So I should NOT make a dog agility course in my backyard out of PVC?

Renee Claire said...

hmmmm . . . probably not the best idea you've had.

Erica said...

Your Mom is the best idea I've had!