5 Terrible Things That Happen When You Don’t Recycle

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, America produces over 258 million tons of waste every year ― which is close to a ton of trash per American citizen. The EPA believes as much as 75 percent of that waste to be recyclable or reusable, but instead of properly disposing of unwanted goods, many Americans choose to carelessly toss anything and everything into the garbage can. The results of this behavior are quickly becoming disastrous, impacting not only natural environments but also urban areas and human livelihoods. Here are a few ways failing to recycle negatively impacts the world around us.

1. Landfill Growth
Nearly all of America’s trash goes into landfills, which are essentially gigantic midden heaps that are eventually covered with soil and potentially used for urban development. The positive idea behind landfills is that trash will eventually decompose and settle, turning into fertile land. The problem is that much of our waste is not biodegradable; plastics require between 10 and 1,000 years to begin breaking down, and even then, the chemicals used in them can leach into groundwater and destroy surrounding environments.


2. Marine Pollution

Not all garbage is safely tucked into a landfill. At least 10 percent of all plastics created have found their way into the oceans, creating enormous gyres where the non-biodegradable waste is more plentiful than plankton. Most of the pollution comes from poor waste management on land, but some is dumped by unscrupulous ocean liners. The plastics wreak havoc on marine environments, as animals ingest or become entangled in the waste.

3. Incineration

For many, burning trash seems a viable solution to land and water pollution. However, incineration might be even more disastrous than landfills. For one, many products and packaging materials are made using toxic chemicals that are released into the air during the burning process. For another, glass as well as many plastics do not burn except at exceedingly high temperatures, which requires excessive amounts of fuel ― which itself releases dangerous emissions. Studies have found that air pollution causes all sorts of terrible diseases, from chronic asthma and cancer to birth defects.

4. Resource Waste

It isn’t just the items or materials themselves that are wasted when you throw something away; all the effort and energy used to create those items are also squandered. Between 2.5 and 4 percent of U.S. energy consumption is devoted to the manufacturing of plastic and plastic products; what’s more, at least 24 gallons of water is used to create just one pound of plastic, and about 2.5 million plastic bottles are produced every hour. Those resources could be diverted to more beneficial endeavors if everyone recycled more.

5. Economic Trouble

Though it might seem an economic advantage to create disposable goods that must be repurchased, pollution actually hinders economic advancement in notable ways. For example, many beaches experience lower tourism because the sand and water is covered in trash; fishing and shipping industries have reportedly suffered losses of $365 million and $279 million thanks to debris-clogged waterways. Less trash is almost synonymous with more profit for much of the economy.

How to Reduce Trash the Right Way

Though some waste is inevitable, it is possible to drastically reduce the amount of trash you personally produce. For example, one woman committed to a minimal-plastic lifestyle and managed to produce less than 16 ounces of waste over a two-year period. Not everyone has the luxury of avoiding plastic and packaging so thoroughly, but there are a number of effective ways you can increase your recycling efforts.

• First, you should strive to reduce the amount of purchases you make. This doesn’t necessarily mean becoming minimalist; instead, you should merely consider investing in a few well-designed and manufactured products rather than many cheap and disposable ones.

• Next, you should research what objects around your home can be reused. In fact, most things can find new life, and many charities gladly pick up or take in items you don’t want to sell. Some of these items will directly improve the lives of the needy, but others, especially valuables like digital devices on up to larger items like broken-down cars or boats, can be refurbished and sold for funds to benefit charities.

• Finally, you should learn more about recycling services in your area. Not all cities have the resources to recycle all types of materials. Instead of tossing any paper, plastic, or glass good in the recycling bin, you might need to find facilities designed to recycle specific goods. Items that are improperly recycled are likely to end up as pollution.

The E-Waste Problem and How to Help created by Digital Doc

3 Ways to Make Your Home a Little Greener

greenlivingguy.com3 Ways to Make Your Home a Little Greener

Climate change and going green are two of the hottest topics on everyone’s mind. Going green can mean quite a few things for different people. It can begin with transportation, diet, or changing the cleaning supplies you use. Today we want to discuss how we can make you’re a bit greener and change your impact on the planet.

Look to Your Roof

Green roofs are very popular amongst city dwellers. Land can be harder to come by, making growing a garden that much more difficult. And we need to have as much green space as possible to help create more oxygen, reduce urban heat issues, and provide affordable sustainable food sources for families in our communities. It’s important to pay attention to the weight of your green roof. Some soils, not to mention watering them, can create very heavy gardens on the roof. You also want to be aware of creating drainages to allow for safe run off. 


You also should decide if you wish to create a food garden or grass garden. Certain types of plants will be heavier than others and there are tons of different kinds of grass seed types available on the market. With so many options, we are confident you can find a green roof to fit your lifestyle!

Shorter Showers

This is one tip that bears repeating over and over, even though it’s one of the most popular tips out there. Baths take a lot of water and showers are a little more efficient in terms of water usage. But, you should still take the time to get in and out as fast as possible. An average shower runs around 8 minutes long, which is quite wasteful. Here are a few tips on how to cut down on shower time:

· Don’t turn on the shower until you are ready to get in

· Use a non toxic soap, shampoo and conditioner. So many toxins in typical brands

Meyer’s is a non toxic soap

· Save any shaving for the bathroom sink

· Wash and get out, no standing around under the water

· Swap out your shower head for a more efficient model

Change Your Lighting

Lighting is easily an area to go green in. Changing your lighting will reduce your electric bill and your impact on the planet. Additionally, changing out the materials can lessen the use of toxic materials to create them. Here are a few ways you can change the lighting in your home to reflect a greener lifestyle:

· Change your light bulbs to Light Emitting Diodes (LED) 

· Purchase lamps that are made from wood or recycled materials

· Unplug your power adaptors when your lighting fixture is not in use

· Install skylights designed to filter in sunlight to light your home

· Install dimmers to minimize electric usage for lighting

Lighting is easily an area to go green in. Changing your lighting will reduce your electric bill and your impact on the planet. Additionally, changing out the materials can lessen the use of toxic materials to create them. Here are a few ways you can change the lighting in your home to reflect a greener lifestyle:

Going green can sound like a daunting task, but really, it’s one of the more simplest moves we can make. And given our ecological state, it’s one thing we should do. Even if you only go green in one area of your life, it still makes all the difference. Do what you can, when you can!

Swedish town of Värnamo goes electric with Volvo Electric Hybrid Buses

Electric hybrid bus getting charged
“It’s impressive and really gratifying that Värnamo has now decided to lead the way and create a sustainable public transport system based on our hybrid buses. Electrically powered buses are the future for both large cities and small towns,” says Martin Spjern, Key Account Manager Nordic at Volvo Buses.

Volvo Buses has received an order for four Volvo Electric Hybrid buses from the city of Värnamo in southern Sweden. With this move, all public transport in this city of just over 19,000 people will be with electrified buses as of autumn 2017, making Värnamo unique among all Swedish cities.
Electrification of Värnamo’s bus services will contribute to more appealing public transport and a better urban environment, with less noise and better air quality. At the same time, the buses will operate more frequently and accessibility will improve, not least with construction of an all-new bus lane. The aim is to quadruple the number of journeys by public transport over a three-year period. 

The Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid operates quietly on electricity and without any exhaust gases for about 70 per cent of its route. Charging the batteries at the charging station takes three to four minutes with the help of a system known as opportunity charging. Compared with a corresponding diesel-powered bus, the electric hybrid uses about 60 per cent less energy all told. The buses operating in Värnamo will run on renewable electricity and renewable HVO fuel, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 90 per cent.
The four electric hybrid buses and their ABB charging station will be delivered as a turnkey solution, with Volvo assuming responsibility for maintenance of the buses and their batteries at a fixed monthly cost. 

Volvo’s electric hybrids and electric buses are already in service in cities such as Gothenburg, Stockholm, Hamburg, Luxemburg and Curitiba.
– See more at: 1/18/17 http://www.volvogroup.com/en-en/news/2017/jan/swedish-town-of-varnamo-goes-electric-with-volvo-electric-hybrid-buses.html

Finding Impactful Ways to Fight Food Waste Epidemic

New AAEA member research on how people react to real-life solutions

The United Stated Department of Agriculture estimates between 30 and 40 percent of the country’s food supply is wasted. In fact, in 2015 U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the first-ever national food waste goal; hoping to reduce food waste by 50 percent before 2030.

There are several efforts in place to curb food waste, including composting and campaigns to show the impact of throwing food away. But are they working?

Danyi Qi and Brian Roe of The Ohio State University recently conducted an experiment in which people got free lunch in a cafeteria setting and were given different information about if, or how, leftover food would be handled.

        Roe, who leads the Ohio State Food Waste Collaborative, says this is a critical issue that “people can rally around, but there isn’t one set way to combat the problem.

        “(The country) is moving forward with a lot of good ways to reduce food waste,” Roe said, “but what ways are working in harmony and which are working in conflict?”

        What happens when people know if food is being composted? How does guilt play a role in food waste? Those questions and more are analyzed in a paper by Qi and Roe titled “Foodservice Composting Crowds out Consumer Food Waste Reduction Behavior in a Dining Experiment.”

        This research will be presented during an AAEA session at the Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) 2017 Annual Meeting, in Chicago, January 6-8. If you are interested in setting up an interview with the authors, please contact Jay Saunders in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 20 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit www.aaea.org.

Trees & The Environment: Why Life Depends On Them

You’ve now heard it here folks! 20 million new trees would provide us with 260 million tons of oxygen and remove 10 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. 

Did you know that an average sized tree produces enough oxygen to keep a family of 4 breathing for 1 year? 

Furthermore, trees in the landscape can help us relax, reduce stress and lower heart rates. 

There is a lot more info about trees and the the environment in the infographic.

Thanks to Capital Garden Services out of Dublin for this. A place of other greats like my favorite band U2!