Let’s cut out on toxic styrofoam! (why and how)

A couple of years ago, I had my worst experience with Styrofoam. I was travelling from Islamabad to Karachi (its a 24 hour journey by bus) with my parents. We bought some rice from a famous restaurant at I guess 9:00 am. That particular restaurant opened at 9:00 am. Well, we had no idea. We chose to take our food in Styrofoam boxes for convenience. When I opened the box at noon, I observed that they just heated the already packed food from yesterday. Till night, the Styrofoam became moist and started breaking from every where. It was a very uncomfortable situation. I could also spot pieces of foam in the rice. Well, we did ate that but the thought of taking in toxic plastic still haunts me!!

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Like always, there is a very good and informative info-graphic at the end of this post…

Why avoid Styrofoam?

Styrofoam is the trade name of polystyrene foam. In United States, polystyrene is the 6th largest source of hazardous waste. Polystyrene is composed of styrene and benzene, both of which are known human carcinogens. Therefore, heating food in Styrofoam must be strictly avoided as it leads to release of harmful chemicals into food.

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Moreover, the process of generation of this polymer is energy intensive.

How can I reduce my consumption of styrofoam?


We can take some measures at personal level to avoid the use of these toxic polymers, which include:
1- Avoid buying meat products and other products using Styrofoam. For instance, meat can be bought directly from butcher.
2- Bringing your own containers for takeout food from restaurants (something we know but never do!).
3- Using reusable dishes instead of disposable Styrofoam cups, plates, and boxes.

How can I reuse waste Styrofoam?

There are several ways through which we can reuse Styrofoam for home items. Some of these methods include using it as filler for beanbag chairs and pillows, making models, packaging, making a palette for paints, and insulation.

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A little comeback post + explanation for my followers

Assalam, hi, anneyonhaseyo, konnichiwa and sawatdikap! So..Umm..I don’t know where to begin…I have so much to say and I don’t know if anybody cares about it or not…but I thought I should offer my explanation for not posting anything in a while by writing a post for the coming year. So, first of all happy new year! May God help you in achieving all your rightful aims and wishes!

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Where to begin?? I think I should first thank the people who followed me during my hibernation period 😛 @christiannamony @lauramariewriter @Pakbazaar @softkittypurpurpur

Here are few of the things I did last year;

  1. I graduated (well almost since we didn’t have a graduation ceremony)
  2. Maybe I am sharing this for the first time but I am competing for a gold medal in bachelors (though I cant say something for sure because my competitor and I have same CGPA I think…She is a very good friend of mine and is also a blogger @meena114)
  3. I actually prepared and presented a dissertation. Working in lab was amazing. Love chemistry (I also follow chemistry lovers on facebook :-D) The routine was quite hectic during the thesis!
  4. I did not read any novels.
  5. I made many new friends.
  6. I learned how to party in a chemistry lab :-D.
  7. I learned that sealing the lid of soft drink bottles with parafilm can help keeping the drink fresh :-D. One of my most favorite things in lab.parafilm-pm996-wrap-4-wide-125-ft-roll-0672040
  8. In this year, I shifted from American and Indian shows to Thai dramas and then to Korean dramas and other thingies. I love Korean culture because its a little bit similar to Pakistani culture.
  9. I tried to learn some Thai and Korean. Hmm, I think I can do some basic stuff.
  10. I have also started reading webtoons!
  11. I cooked for others and became head home cleaner :-P. giphy (1).gif
  12. Ah..This list wont end!
  13. Oh, how can I forget I took admission in the same university as before for doing M. Phil in Environmental Sciences (chemistry)
  14. and that for the first I found a world famous celebrity with the same birth day/month/year as mine. As you may have guessed I was super excited and the testing for similar personality began!Charlotte-from-the-princess-and-the-frog-excited.gifI was also going to mention the goals I have for 2018, but I think the readers might get bored.
    So, that’s all. Thank you, xiexie, khop kun kha and gumabsabneida for reading this post!

P.S: Reading subtitles has ruined my english. These days I say things like “Don’t remember. Long ago.” Huh! Also, I feel like a kid today. I know its a very childish post.

Recycling Plastic Bottles Into Gorgeous Outfits

This particular thing caught my attention when I saw a dress Emma Watson wore for Met Gala 2016 which was made of fibers from recycled plastic bottles. By wearing this dress she made a statement that fashion can be done with sustainability.

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Here is how the dress was made. Click here for a clearer info-graphic.

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Many brands have made products from recycled plastic bottles. These include Nike, Patagonia, Re?think, etc.

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Here is an infograph explaining how this is done.

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In general the process goes as follows:

  1.  Post-consumer PET bottles are collected at communities and recycling centers.
  2. Bottles are baled and brought to a processing facility, where they are sorted by type (PET, HDPE, LDPE, etc.) and color.
  3. The PET bottles are then stripped of their labels and caps and washed to remove any adhesives and other possible contaminants.
  4. Then, the bottles are crushed and chopped into flakes.
  5. The flakes are then fed into an extruder, filtered, and spun through spinnerets to produce recycled PET fiber.
  6. The fiber is crimped, cut, drawn, and stretched into required lengths for baling. Baled fiber can be processed into fabric for a variety of textile products.

References:

https://www.pall.com/pdfs/Fuels-and-Chemicals/IFJ0213.pdf

http://eco-age.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Emma-Watson_Met-Gala-Infographic.pdf

Here’s How Your Brain “Sees” A Business or Blog’s Logo -Infographic

Ever wanted to know what goes through your brain when you see a new business logo in your mind…? Well check out the infographic below!

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Source: Here’s How Your Brain “Sees” A Business or Blog’s Logo -Infographic (For Book, Beauty, Writing Bloggers & More)

Super Easy Potato fritters (Aloo ke pakoray) Recipe

I can express myself in English normally, but when it comes to recipes, I have to look (more specifically google) the names of ingredients in English from Urdu. Pakoras are a very famous South Asian dish. Especially in Ramdan they are considered an essential snack for Iftar. So, here goes my mom’s recipe for making potato fritters.

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Ingredients

2 medium sized potatoes (pealed and sliced into circular slices)

1 cup gram flour

1 teaspoon heaped of red chilli powder*

2 or 3 pinches of carom seeds/ ajwain

2 green chilli

Some Coriander leaves (chop into smaller pieces)

1 pinch of baking powder (sodium bicarbonate soda)

2/3 teaspoon of salt (heaped)*

*Note: If you are using a 5 ml teaspoon than there is no need of heaping, you can add leveled teaspoon. Also the salt and red chilli powder can be adjusted according to your taste. If you taste the batter you’ll know how much of these ingredients are required.

 

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Methodology

  1. First of all add all ingredient into gram flour and add a little water to form a slurry. The slurry should not be very thick or thin. Just a small amount of water will be required.
  2. Now, take a utensil or pot in which the pakoras are to be deep fried.
  3. Take a potato slice, dip it in the slurry you have made to make a cover over it, and add to the pot for deep frying.
  4. Add as much slices in the same manner that the utensil can hold.
  5. Remember that the flame should be high while adding slices, then you can turn it to medium.
  6. Deep fry until the skin becomes nearly dark brown (see the picture).
  7. Now, serve with chat masala or ketchup.

Easy, Quick and Delicious Russian Salad

I love recipes that are simple and require no fancy ingredients. So, I made Russian salad by following this recipe for breaking fast. I would have posted some pics of my salad, but didn’t got the chance to do so.

My salad looked something like this.

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Ingredients

1 cup carrots (boiled)

1 cup potatoes (boiled)

½ cup of peas (boiled)

2 cucumbers

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp. castor sugar

½ tsp black pepper

4 tbsp. mayonnaise (heaped)

2 tbsp. cream

1 egg boiled

Methodology

  1. Cut carrot into cubes and boil them. After they are boiled measure 1 cup of them.
  2. Similarly boil potatoes and peas. When boiled cut the potato into cubes. Measure 1 cup of them.
  3. Add all these boiled vegetables and cucumbers (cut into cubes) in bowl.
  4. Add sugar, pepper, cream, mayonnaise, and salt in it and mix.
  5. Use the boiled egg slices to decorate.
  6. You can also use salad leaves for garnishing.

Enjoy your yummy salad.

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*You can also add apples if you like. I think fruits makes salads a lot more fun. You may use methods to present the salad in a better way. I mean you can try something like this.

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Original recipe was by Shereen Anwar

Kitchen Composting-Reducing Carbon Pollution

I deliberately delayed sharing this method with you. Why? Well, I thought I should compost first and then disseminate information about kitchen composting. I know how we environmentalist are said to only TALK about environment. We are accused for not taking actions to protect environment by ourselves. Well, I did mix some of my kitchen waste into soil last night. So, I am legally allowed to talk about it :-D.

If you want to combat climate change, opt kitchen composting.

How-to-Compost-Poster

Your  compost should ideally have 50% brown and 50% green content.

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For further info visit:

https://www.recyclenow.com/reduce/home-composting

How to Detect Plastics in Your Food?

Although there are many ways to check plastics in your food (Such as checking physical properties, using microscope, etc.), the most practical way i guess is flame testing. Precaution in such testing is inevitable as certain polyvinyl chloride compounds liberate a small amount of chlorine when heated. Hence, all flame testing should be performed within a well ventilated room. The type of plastic can be identified using visual and odor clues (Table 1).

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