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DREAMSCAPES Travel and Lifestyle Magazine

Winter 09

The Poop on Kopi Luwak Let Your Clothes Do Your Dirty Work

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Let Your Clothes Do Your irty D Work

Self-Cleaning Clothes, the Next Enviro-friendly Trend


With the news about our dwindling freshwater resources, eliminating the use of our precious water in our laundry will also make an impact on our environment. Imagine a world where clothes lines are back in style, except this time, you are hanging up dirty clothes and taken down clean clothes the next day without doing anything at all. Now imagine a world where dryers and washers no longer have a regular place in the household and detergent is a thing of the past. Wouldn’t life be easier without the hassle of sorting clothes before washing them? Sounds like a fantasy, doesn’t it? This fantasy will soon become a reality in a few years where doing your laundry won’t be part of your daily routine. In fact, your clothes will clean themselves! Thanks to nanotechnology, researchers from Australia and Hong Kong have been able to develop a fabric integrated with nanocrystals of the compound anatase titanium dioxide permanently. The compound titanium dioxide is naturally found in minerals anatase, along with minerals rutile and brookite. Titanium dioxide can be used in many ways. It is used in paints, plastics, papers, cosmetic and skin care products, food, medicine and most toothpaste. Titanium dioxide has strong UV light absorbing capabilities; hence, they are commonly used in sunscreen. It is also added to many other products for its sterilizing, deodorizing and antifouling properties. Titanium dioxide even has potential to detoxify wastewater! Currently, its cleaning powers are used as a coating to keep glass free of dirt and grime using UV light, otherwise known as self-cleaning glass, and as a deodorizer for kitty litter. Taking the cleaning concept one step further, scientists have taken advantage of titanium dioxide’s cleaning powers by turning them into nanocrystals and infusing them into fabrics to create self-cleaning clothes. These nanocrystals are so small, it is impossible to detect with a naked eye. It works by allowing these clothes to use light to break down dirt, stains and even micro-organisms. To activate the fabric’s cleaning properties, simply leave the fabric in sunlight or UV light. After about 20 hours, dirt and micro-organisms would have broken down completely, rendering the fabric completely clean! According to Dr. Daoud from Monash University, consumers can anticipate these fabrics on the market in as soon as two years. Once self-cleaning clothes are available to the public, it will save time, money, energy and water. The day has come where we don’t have to sigh when having to do laundry! In the meanwhile, we still have to do our laundry. Its environmental and financial impact is extensive when we put it into perspective. Just how much energy is put into doing our laundry? If you have a standard washer and

dryer, you can be using 1485 kWh per year. Energy efficient models washer and dryer use 680 kWh per year. Now, let’s put in the amount of water used to wash your clothes. A washing machine uses 225 litres of water per wash, resulting in 1800 litres of water used a month if you wash your clothes twice a week. With all that energy and water use, it will cost at least $496.41 a year on electricity and water alone. Adding detergent costs into the equation, it can cost more than $600 a year to wash clothes. Cost can vary greatly depending on how many loads of laundry you do. Not only will self-cleaning clothes eliminate laundry costs, but will also create a better environment. Detergent has always been a problem for the environment. They produce suds that provide cleaning power. These suds contain a surfactant which is harmful to marine life. Since detergents need additional energy and treatment to break them down, more pollution is produced. With the news about our dwindling freshwater resources, eliminating the use of our precious water in our laundry will also make an impact on our environment. Imagine how much water would be saved if everyone in North America are not using water to do their laundry! So you can imagine the positive impact self-cleaning clothes can have on both the financial and environmental situations. You not only save your wallet, but you’re making a positive impact on the world!

Reduce Your Laundry Bill in 4 Easy Ways Since self-cleaning clothes aren’t available as of yet, here are some tips to reduce your laundry costs and tart making an environmental impact today.

1

Choose ENERGY STAR appliances: they may cost a little more than standard models initially, but in the long run, its operating costs pays off in a few years. Also, choose frontload washers to save water and energy.

2

Choose coldwater laundry detergent: it saves energy resulting in a lower electricity bill and your clothes last longer when they’re washed cold.

3 4

Load the washer to full capacity: one large load of laundry uses less energy than smaller loads. Hang dry your clothes: Skip the dryer and hang your clothes dry.


the Poop on Kopi Luwak

The Most Expensive Coffee in the World

I

panema bourbon, Casi Cielo, Joya del Dia Blend … just when you thought you knew every blend of coffee, along comes a totally new one that you’d never expect. It is the most expensive coffee in the world, averaging to about US $50 - $75 a cup or US $500 a pound. You may think this delicacy is a little expensive but considering that only 1000 pounds of these beans are produced a year, it’s quite reasonable. If you’re really going to take coffee seriously, think of the “Kopi Luwak” coffee. The Kopi Luwak is a rare and special delicacy where the beans are literally pooped out, as in defecated, from an animal called the Asian Palm Civet found in Indonesia and the Philippines. These animals consume a diet of handpicked (or rather, pawpicked) berries of the highest quality. Thanks to the civet cat’s pickiness, its goodness passes onto the person on the rear end of this production process. These berries pass through their digestive systems where the bitterest parts of the berries are digested, leaving the leftovers unharmed and released back into nature, soon to become the shittiest coffee beans ever. Essentially, the best part of the coffee is left behind in clumps of poop, waiting for people to dig them out. Coffee lovers claim that the Kopi Luwak has a pleasantly rich, full-

bodied taste. It is, literally, good to the last “dropping”. According to University of Guelph’s food scientist Massimo Marcone, the enzymes in their stomach create the coffee’s flavor because it breaks down the proteins that make coffee bitter. Kopi Luwak is so rare that scam artists have begun passing fake versions as the real! Fake versions include beans digested by humans. These versions have not been scientifically tested safe for human consumption, nor pass the taste test from coffee enthusiasts. Experts suggest that buyers buy the Kopi Luwak beans in its unroasted state to avoid being scammed. Like the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the poop. If you’re aching to try this coffee but am worried about health issues, fear not, for the authentic Kopi Luwak coffee has been well tested to ensure its safety for human consumption. The beans are roasted to kill any bacteria present before they are grounded and lab results have actually proven that the roasted Kopi Luwak beans have lower bacteria levels than regular coffee. If you are serious about coffee, consider trying the Kopi Luwak. You might be pleasantly surprised.

The Legend of Cat Poop Coffee The owner of Funnel Mill Rare Coffee and Tea in Santa Monica, J.C. Ho, tells us the legend behind the Kopi Luwak. The Sumatra islands in Indonesia had a reputation of producing some of the best coffees around. When Indonesia was controlled by the Spanish, the Spanish decided on getting some of this coffee. The natives there decided to play a hoax on the Spanish by picking the droppings and making this coffee. To their surprise, the Spanish loved the coffee!


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