Compost Is The Future

By: Elaine Hirsch

Thank you again for providing an interesting article on composting.  In my town is seems to be that everyone wants to go green by composting.  I mean to go green is many steps each day.  To go green is all about composting!!

Compost is the Future

More people are becoming conscious of their impact on the environment and the demand for environmentally-friendly products has been on a steady rise. A major concern is whether items will biodegrade completely within 90 days, or if they will remain in a sturdy plastic form in landfills for decades or hundreds of years. According to MBA Online, the most innovative companies quickly shift to cater to consumer demand. Innovative companies have stepped up to fill in demand as global awareness of pollution has become prominent.

One exciting product that has been created is a compostable cell phone. Cell phones have become a large problem in landfills because they often have toxic chemicals in them and they don’t break down safely. Furthermore, with a growing majority of people owning several cellphones, the amount of processing chips and batteries thrown away continues to increase. Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Samsung have all released eco-friendly phones. Samsung’s biodegradable phone is reported to be biodegradable, with 80% of the input materials coming from recyclable materials. Furthermore, the product’s packaging was made with environmental sustainability in mind. 

Not to be left behind, Fujitsu created a compostable computer mouse in early 2011. Fujitsu said that switching to their compostable mouse saves over 60,000kg of plastic per year in composting.

One of the most common places to find compostable materials is among kitchenware. From silverware to cups to bowls, there has been a hot competition to create the most biodegradable form of kitchenware. Some Earth-conscious restaurants switched from standard items that need to be washed to the compostable sort in order to save water. Picnickers and hikers are also hearty consumers of biodegradable materials. Since some of the cups and bowls can handle food or drink as hot as around 200-220 Fahrenheit and can be microwaved, their usage extends across the board into any application where you would require tableware.

Companies as familiar as the office supply store Staples created lines of compostable eating utensils and bowls. Their Sustainable Earth line is simple but covers the things needed for a potluck, company dinner, or outing. Branch has a line called WASARA that features Japanese elegance in single-use tableware. Made of sugar cane, bamboo, and reed pulp, they offer an unusual beauty and attention to detail not often found in single-use ware.

One thing that must be taken into consideration is that compostable items typically cost more than their traditional relatives; however, since they are capable of breaking down and not harming the environment, many people find the additional cost a very small price to pay. Another is that items will fully break down in 30 days in a commercial composter, but it takes about 90 days in a home compost pile. If it is necessary to process large amounts of compostable material, it’s preferable to do it by a commercial composting facility.

Sending as little as possible to landfills and being conscious of what we consume and how is the best way to help the Earth. Compostable items make it easy to transition from things like standard cell phones to an eco-friendly model, or a new computer mouse. Quality is not lost by being biodegradable. More cities are getting on board with municipal composting and it seems like composting will become a regular part of life for more and more people as time goes by, to everyone’s benefit.

Advertisements

Green Living Guy TV Segment on Recycling

Anyone who knows The Green Living Guy appreciates my love for recycling!  This video I did with NYC Media shows you what’s up!  I give you some tricks you actually might not have known. So please check this one out.

Yet here’s some of the content (not completely but mostly) from the segment about the facts on why!!!

Did you know that Americans create 254 million tons of waste each year, and that $7 billion worth of that waste is recyclable material which ends up in landfills because of improper disposal? Do you remember when we were told not to recycle the caps to plastic bottles? Many people still think it’s not good to do that, yet, it’s actually one of the most common recycling mistakes we make nowadays.

120F0CE0-E5B2-419F-86CB-9CCC44652215
Shoutout to Little Darling Productions for taking this photo for me!  What a professional crew  OMG!

There are many things we can do to better our recycling efforts, and one of the first steps to doing something better is to understand what you’re doing incorrectly.

Thank you.

IMG_0494

How to Recycle Old Technology with Help from Staples

According to a recent survey conducted by Staples and Survey Monkey, nearly 80% of respondents have old technology sitting around and the majority (51%) don’t know where to recycle it.

Here is the survey presentation for everyone to check out but here are some of the questions asked.  I think it’s important to show the questions because it can “start the conversation” at your place.

1. Do you have old technology sitting around? If so, how many pieces?
2. Do general consumers recycle their tech currently?
3. Do they know why it’s important to do so?
4. Do they know where to drop off their devices for recycling?

Start thinking about these questions img_0176-1folks!! It’s appropriate to use Staples and recycle your electronics! Like yesterday!

As mentioned in a previous story, recyclers will also receive a Staples® eCash card when they trade in their eligible technology in store or online. Technology with no trade-in value will still be recycled responsibly at no charge to the guests, despite the brand or condition of the devices. They will even recycle items not purchased at Staples for FREE!

EPA Stats on eWaste in America

“Already, the United States generates almost 2.5 million tons of electronic waste per year – and that number will only grow. Used electronics have materials in them that can be recovered and recycled, reducing the economic costs and environmental impacts of securing and processing new materials for new products,” said EPA Administrator Lisa. P. Jackson.

“The SMM Electronics Challenge will help us ensure that we are doing all we can to repurpose or safely dispose of the cell phones, computers and other devices we use every day – all while helping to build a robust market for electronics recycling in the United States.”

image

As the volume of used electronics continues to grow in the U.S. and the world, so has the importance of safely managing and recycling used electronics. Electronics are made of valuable resources such as precious metals, copper, plastic and glass – all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling or reusing these electronics conserves these materials and prevents greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution.

What is extremely important here folks!
image

Let’s Regroup Folks! What’s Exciting here is that Staples makes it easy and accessible to recycle electronics that you can use toward cash. If not, no worries, they will recycle it for you.  Then  no computers end up in landfills!!

More Clarity as to Why It Matters:

1. According to the USEPA, in 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash and recycled and composted about 87 million tons of this material.

image

2. Staples has collected more than 26 million pounds of customer e-waste annually that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.

3. Recycling electronics also prevents valuable materials from going into the waste stream. A long-term approach towards electronics stewardship is necessary both at work and at home.

You see, Staples is here to help every day with their FREE technology recycling program. People can bring in their old computers, cell phones, computer monitors and more to any Staples location and Staples will responsibly recycle the old tech for FREE.

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

Economics of forest biomass raise hurdles for rural development

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The use of residual forest biomass for rural development faces significant economic hurdles that make it unlikely to be a source of jobs in the near future, according to an analysis by economists at Oregon State University.

In a model of the forest industry, researchers in the College of Forestry combined an evaluation of costs for collecting, transporting and processing biomass with the potential locations of regional processing facilities in western Oregon. Each location was chosen because it is adjacent to an existing or recently-closed wood product operation such as a sawmill or plywood manufacturing plant.
Biomass
The study, published in Forest Policy and Economics, focused on biomass generated during timber harvesting operations. Biomass consists of branches and treetops that are generally left in the woods or burned. In some highly accessible locations, these residues are ground up or chipped and used to make a product known as “hog fuel.”

“There’s a lot of interest in focusing on the use of biomass to meet multiple objectives, one of which is support for rural communities,” said Mindy Crandall, who led the research as a doctoral student at Oregon State and is an assistant professor at the University of Maine.
“We thought this might provide some support for that idea,” she said. “But from a strictly market feasibility perspective, it isn’t all that likely that these facilities will be located in remote, struggling rural communities without targeted subsidies or support.”
While researchers don’t dismiss the possibility of reducing costs by increasing the efficiency of biomass operations, the future feasibility of such development may depend on public investments and the creation of new markets. And while the study considered the possibility of generating biomass from restoration or thinning operations on federal forestlands, it concluded that the additional supply does little to change the economic feasibility of processing facilities.
It would take changes in technology from transportation to processing as well as the development of new value-added products — such as aviation fuel and industrial chemicals — to improve the economic feasibility of biomass, scientists say.
The study may be the first to combine a model of biomass operations with specific locations for regional processing facilities where the material could be processed and stored. Researchers identified 65 likely locations in western Oregon for such facilities, which they call “depots.”
The cost of harvesting, chipping and loading biomass at timber harvesting sites comes to about $37.50 per dry ton, researchers estimated. Operating costs of a regional depot — including labor, fuel, maintenance, electricity and supplies — would add another $11 per dry ton. These estimates do not include transportation and depot construction.
“The actual levels of these costs that operators experience will be really critical to feasibility,” added Crandall.
Researchers have explored the potential for biomass to be used to make aviation fuel, said John Sessions, an OSU professor of forestry who did not take part in this analysis. Sessions has studied the use of forest harvest residues to produce aviation fuel in a project led by Washington State University. While it is technically possible, the economic feasibility of making aviation fuel from biomass would depend on generating income from co-products as well. The first commercial airline flight using aviation fuel made from forest harvest residues was flown by Alaska Airlines last month from Seattle to Washington, D.C., said Sessions, using residues from this project.
Other efficiencies in biomass processing and transportation could improve economic feasibility, added Sessions. They include reducing its moisture content and increasing its density to reduce trucking costs. The scale of processing facilities could be adjusted to minimize the cost per ton.
Crandall and her colleagues estimated that a depot operating three shifts per day and producing 75,000 dry tons per year would create about 19 jobs.
They also considered the possibility that an increase in material from federal forests would make a difference, but transportation costs would rise because such lands tend to be remote from likely depots.

“Just like with real estate, it’s ‘location, location, location’ that matters here, and national forest lands are not uniformly distributed across the landscape,” said Darius Adams, co-author on the paper. “They are frequently in less accessible areas, and it would cost more to transport material.”
The potential for biomass, the researchers said, will likely depend on the ability to achieve other aims in addition to generating biomass as a product: wildfire risk reduction, forest restoration, energy and rural economic stimulus.
Support for the research came from the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance led by Washington State funded through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Source: OSU College of Forestry: For a century, the College of Forestry has been a world class center of teaching, learning and research. It offers graduate and https://flic.kr/p/Q6rVzw, 12-28-16 undergraduate degree programs in sustaining ecosystems, managing forests and manufacturing wood products; conducts basic and applied research on the nature and use of forests; and operates 14,000 acres of college forests.