Should gas pump nozzles have labels on them?

One of the best ways to remind people to turn out lights is to have a sticker on the switch that says, “Please turn off the lights.” It’s a key principle of social marketing: place a message where your target audience sees it at the precise time they can make the choice you’re requesting. It’s the same reason blunt messages and graphic images are placed on cigarette packages.

Gasoline consumption generates emissions that are endangering our climate, so should there be warning messages on gas pump nozzles? The municipality of West Vancouver thinks so, and has passed a resolution suggesting that labels like the ones shown here should be placed on every gas pump in Canada.

Gas pump warnings

Maybe it’s not a bad idea. Every litre of gas we consume adds 2.4 KG greenhouse gas emissions to our atmosphere. If a reminder when we’re fuelling up reminds us to try to burn less fuel, that would be a good thing.

An interesting idea, and this week’s Green idea. More information here.

Thanks to subscriber David Brown for the tip.

Check out straw bale gardens

Could straw bales be the next hot commodity? They’ve been used for home construction for some time, and are finding favour with more and more gardeners:

  • They can be used to create temporary and portable cold frames, to extend production into shoulder seasons, as shown in this picture clipped from this Facebook page
  • They can be ‘conditioned’: composted in the middle to become growing media themselves, providing a weed-free elevated garden, as shown in this picture clipped from this website
  • After harvest, they can be broken up and worked into the soil as organic matter

If you have poor soil, limited space or a bad back, or just enjoy experimenting, consider straw bale gardening. Learn how here. You can find straw bales at your local garden center or farm supply store.

Choose products with RSPO-certified palm oil

Palm oil is contained in everything from margarine to chocolate to lipstick to biofuels. It’s now the world’s most popular vegetable oil.

But palm oil hasRSPO Logo 2 a dark side: deforestation. Particularly in tropical countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, massive areas of forest have been (and continue to be) cleared to make way for ever more palm oil plantations.

So what can an eco-conscious consumer do?

  • First, read the label and if possible choose products made without palm oil (a challenge, but Reduce is always the best option)
  • Otherwise, look for products carrying the RSPO certified logo. It’s not a perfect certification, but it’s the best at present

Check out this site to see how some of the planet’s most popular consumer brands rate when it comes to the palm oil; check out this video to learn more about palm oil issues and impacts.