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.

Stop Littering Now Please! Stoplittering.com explains why and how!

Here is the thing. I do recycle religiously. My family knows this. Yet I’m not the main advocate here. It’s stoplittering.com

His website is selling the rights to a litter-free society. 

To symbolize and implement this enterprise we are selling stuff with our logo. By purchasing these items you will become authorized* to exercise your prerogative to pick up one or more pieces of litter a day. And, by actually engaging this prerogative, you are, in effect, voting for a clean society and helping to stigmatize littering. And you won’t feel like you’re the weird one for picking up litter at the bus stop since you won’t be the only one doing it.*products not actually required to exercise said authority.

What got me intetested was their campaign about 

JUST SAY NO TO STRAWS! 

FYI, their Green Living Guy support was the awesome bamboo shirt they sent.  Get ready to check out on my Instagram @greenlivingguy soon enough!!

Besides that I received no other compensation for this post folks. 


http://thelastplasticstraw.org/

Is an important resource and their strength, product lines and involvement in this issue is extremely important. 

As I wrote about in 2016 regarding plastic waste:

From drones to filters to artificial islands, innovators are working to reduce the threat thousands of tons of trash pose to marine ecosystems.

Located on the southern tip of the Pacific island chain of Hawaii, Kamilo Beach is an isolated stretch of black volcanic shoreline in the middle of nowhere. Just a few hundred yards from shore, humpback whales rise up from the depths, colorful fish fill the reefs and rare sea turtles swim in to nest on the beach.


Photo courtesy of Honolulu Civil Beat

But even in this remote place, garbage washes ashore each day. “We find a lot of toothbrushes and combs, plastic bottles and caps, over and over again,” says Megan Lamson, a marine biologist working for a local non-governmental organization, the Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund. (Source: Anja Krieger @anjakrieger)

In response to the growing anti-plastic movement, the paper drinking straw made a comeback in 2007 to meet the needs of zoos, aquariums and theme parks where plastic straws could kill animals if ingested. These new paper straws were crafted with the highest quality in mind, becoming much more durable than the first generation of paper straws. The earth conscious product soon took off among both restaurants and consumers, and is growing increasingly popular because of worldwide green initiatives.

Americans use approximately 500 million plastic straws per day, making them one of the top 10 debris items that pollute our oceans, beaches and marine life. Paper straws, which are biodegradable and decomposable, offer an earth friendly alternative to the harmful plastic straw. However, trusting that your paper straw won’t get soggy, deteriorate or bleed ink into your drink is another concern that most don’t consider.

Some plastic gets trucked to landfills, some to illegal dumping grounds and left to scatter, more is just recklessly discarded joining tons of the toxic stuff already cluttering our waterways. The latest research unmistakably proves that plastic waste toxins are being fed right back to us. It’s time to start producing less plastic trash – for our own health’s sake.


So as Stoplittering.com quotes:

“If I criticize somebody, it’s because I have higher hopes for the world, something good to replace the bad. I’m not saying what the Beat Generation says: ‘Go away because I’m not involved.’ I’m here, and I’m involved.” ~Mort Sahl

Illustrated Guides to Reducing Home Plastic Use

Got an email from the Green Living Editor for Fix’s lifestyle blog. They’ve recently published an illustrated article on reducing plastic use in your home that you may enjoy. The article includes guides to the types of hazardous daily plastics and how long those plastics may stick around.

Here is ONLY a segment. 

Carry Your Own Reusable Water Container or Coffee Cup with You

Here’s where we give you permission to buy yourself a little gift. By purchasing a stainless steel (the aluminum ones are lined with plastic) or glass water bottle and/or an insulated or ceramic coffee cup, you’ll easily avoid plastic on a daily basis. Buy the most beautiful one that you can find.

Bring Your Own Eating Utensils
My mind can’t even wrap itself around all the plastic knives, forks, and spoons that are tossed into the garbage can every day, much less every month or year. Keep a set of personal cutlery in your car or purse in a cloth bag. Tuck a stainless steel straw in there, too.

For the entire story on Fix.com!

Life of plastics

Before The Flood pre Game Interview With Director Fisher Stevens Too With Full Video!

Leonardo DiCaprio takes us with Fisher Stevens to Inconvenient Truth 2.0. What a wake up movie this is. 

Before the Flood was directed by Fisher Stevens (The Cove and my favorite Undefeated) captures a three-year personal journey alongside Academy Award-winning actor and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio. 

Throughout the movie Leonardo interviews individuals from every facet of society; in both developing and developed nations. Each person provides their own unique, impassioned and pragmatic views on what must be done today and in the future to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.

Uncovering the impact of climate change … DiCaprio in Indonesia in Before the Flood. Photograph: RatPac Documentary Films
Uncovering the impact of climate change … DiCaprio in Indonesia in Before the Flood. Photograph: RatPac Documentary Films

As Business Insider adds,

You have to admit, it doesn’t sound like must-watch TV: a National Geographic Channel documentary about climate change starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Mixing together the science of our damaged planet and the guy who fought the bear in the movie “The Revenant” seems like a bit of an odd choice.


But the combination works. 

DiCaprio steps into the role of science journalist, interviewing researchers, innovators, and people living in parts of the world where severe impacts of climate change are already being felt. The film trades in charts and jargon for stunning images of climate catastrophes already underway.

“Before the Flood” is so powerful because it presents climate change as it a really is: a global threat that links together people separated by class and geography.


Or as Director Fisher Stevens said to the Green Living Guy,”It was meant to wake people the F&@&!@’k UP!” 

What I respect the most about this movie is that Fisher Stevens has now joined in the idea that climate change movies need to occur more regularly. He’s 100 percent correct.

Building upon his movie Racing Extinction, Fisher wanted to continue filming movies like this that ignite that inner understanding of the need to take care of this earth. This type of an environmental movie is exactly what’s needed in our world today.

Like a lawyer developing the real evidence and case about climate change, and truthfully discovers we must do things NOW! to literally prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.  Like really folks. We are this close to bad stuff. Watch the movie!

They even got Trent Resnor and Atticus to write the music. Resnor even wrote the song “A Minute To Breathe”, which is his newest piece in a while that we’ve heard from his voice on the mic. 

As Resnor recently said in Billboard:

Reznor: When I saw it, it was something we felt we needed to be involved with — the fact that the country’s even debating about the science of this seems absurd and we related to it and wanted to help in some small way. We also thought it would be an opportunity to work with some people that we respected and could collaborate with so we reached out to Gustavo and Mogwai. We showed them the film and we didn’t talk about what scenes we’d be scoring; we just started to collaboratively write some music we felt like might be in the same wheelhouse for this film.

However, the Guardian really sums up this movie well. It examines our fossil-fuel addiction, including emerging powerhouses such as India who now resent the idea of being denied the energy-consumption prosperity that the US has already enjoyed. The answer seems to be, of course, enforcing the 2015 Paris agreement, developing wind and solar power – although revisionist arguments for nuclear are not touched upon – and also a carbon tax. A shift in public opinion has to be achieved to change the political classes’ opinion: DiCaprio concludes with a ruminative walk-and-talk interview with President Obama ….A serious, substantial piece of work!

For every use of #BeforeTheFlood across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram between October 24 – November 18, 21st Century Fox and National Geographic will together donate $1 to Pristine Seas and $1 to the Wildlife Conservation Society, up to $50,000 to each organization.

➡ Get the soundtrack on iTunes: http://apple.co/2e6e9dq

➡ Discover your climate impact: http://carbotax.org/

➡ Learn more & take action: http://on.natgeo.com/2eWxnkW

Act Now with the hashtag #BeforeTheFlood

About Before the Flood:

Get More National Geographic:

Official Site: http://bit.ly/NatGeoOfficialSite

Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBNatGeo

Twitter: http://bit.ly/NatGeoTwitter

Instagram: http://bit.ly/NatGeoInsta

Sources: Fisher Stevens, National Geographic