Another Reason to Compost: Reducing Landfill Dependency

While many people compost to help their gardens thrive, composting minimizes the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. According the the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we dispose of more than 250 million tons of trash a year. Of those, only 34.1 percent of it was recycled or composted, a figure which could be much higher if we make an effort to lessen the burden on landfills

Landfills Are Filling Up

The number of usable landfills in the United States has sharply declined in the past few decades. In a 2005 report on municipal solid waste generation, the EPA noted that there were 7,924 landfills in 1988, yet only 1,654 in 2005. One of the most-notable landfill closures was Fresh Kills in New York. Once the world’s largest landfill, it was closed in 2001 after being filled with 53 years worth of garbage from the largest U.S. city, according to the Staten Island Advance.

While many landfills are closed when they are full, others are expanded. In Delaware, an expansion of the Cherry Island landfill was recently completed, adding 20.7 million cubic yards in capacity, as noted in a press release from Sevenson Environmental, the environmental remediation company that completed the expansion. The expansion “extended the life of the landfill by about 20 years,” according to the CEO of Sevenson Environmental, Michael Elia.

landfillThe EPA estimates that each American generates around 4.43 pounds of municipal solid waste per day. The agency defines municipal solid waste as any of the everyday items you routinely throw away, including everything from grass clippings and food scraps to clothing, newspapers, bottles and paint. Given the ever-growing U.S. population, we must look to alternative methods to dispose of waste instead of tossing everything in landfills.

Is Composting the Answer?

San Francisco residents have proven that composting can be the answer, especially when paired with recycling. A recent PBS interview with San Francisco mayor Ed Lee explained how the city has been able to divert more than 80 percent of their trash from landfills by legally requiring residents and businesses to compost and recycle. We could dramatically reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills each year if we adopted similar habits as a nation.

How It Works

The U.S. Composting Council defines compost as the resulting product of the controlled biological decomposition of organic matter. Produced by microorganisms that feed off of oxygen, the decomposing waste matter used in composting provides the ideal environment for these micronutrients to flourish and aid in the breakdown of waste to nutrient-rich organic matter. According to the U.S. Composting Council, composting is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Offers plants a variety of micro and macronutrients
  • Controls soil-borne pathogens that threaten plants
  • Balances pH of soil
  • Degrades environmental pollutants

For more information about composting and how you can get started go to:
http://www.blueplanetgreenliving.com/2011/07/22/the-complete-idiot%E2%80%99s-guide-to-composting-by-chris-mclaughlin/

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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.

Test Drive Results 2016 Chevrolet Volt Plugin Hybrid Electric Car

This version of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt plugin hybrid electric car is a take on looks and technology from the old Cadillac ELR. While the ELR had an amazing grill and leather dashboard, everything else was pretty much the same.

One of the cool things they did too was move the cup holders and charger in front of the back two seats. In the older Volt they had everything between both seats which didn’t enable a third seat option or an arm rest.
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Chevrolet estimates that Volt owners who charge regularly can expect to drive an estimated 1,000 miles or more between fill-ups, based on economy of a GM-estimated 102 MPGe (electric) and 41 combined mpg on gasoline power.
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Really though, one of the best parts of the 2016 model is going from around 26 mile all electric range to over 53 miles (rated by EPA).

That is around 90 percent of most trips in any given day!!

The new Volt has a rate of 53 miles of electric but in normal mode I got 60 Miles all Electric every time.  Tests showed closer to 60 miles in ECO driving Mode; many drivers will go months at a time

New look for the Volt – Much Better!
One of the noticeably new features of the Volt was its looks. New lines and contours makes this a real car. What I mean is it looks like a normal non eco car. That makes it noticeable to the guy on the utility line to a woman in a parking lot.

Chevrolet MyLink (recommended app download)
Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet MyLink organizes and integrates your technology so you can enjoy every ride. More information here:http://www.chevrolet.com/mylink/2016-volt.html.

ChargePoint (recommended app download)

ChargePoint is the largest and most connected network of EV charging stations around. With more than 33,000 EVSE places to charge from all major networks, the most real-time data and personalized features, our newest EV charging mobile app makes it easy to plug in wherever you go.

Awesome Review of C-MAX Energi Plugin Hybrid Electric Car

Awesome Review of C-MAX Energi Plugin Hybrid Electric Car on Answers.com

Folks, this is a fun and exciting car to drive. My wife loved the car, the kids loved the car and so did I.

Therefore, this car gets two thumbs up in the Green Living Guy household.  The main problem with the car was giving it back!! Seriously!

Ford announced back in 2012 that the new C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) would be able to go up to 550 miles on a single tank of gas. This news was met with skepticism until the test drive. The vehicle did exceed the range of both the Volt and the Prius plugin hybrid PHEV.

C-Max Energi

In addition, Ford guaranteed that in electric-only mode, the C-MAX Energi gets twice the range of the Prius plug-in. So while skeptical about the car’s purported fuel efficiency, after testing the C-MAX there is no question they are telling the truth.

Other Impressions
Here is what else impressed me about the car. The engine was not using all it’s gusto to go up hills. That is not the case with other popular hybrids. Basically, the C-MAX Energi packs a punch! In addition, the vehicle had an SUV feel to it even though it is a small car.

C-Max Energi Plugin hybrid Electric Car

Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar Team Up to Bring Automotive Battery Innovation to the U.S. Residential Solar Market

Exclusive collaboration marks entrance of Mercedes-Benz Energy products into U.S. market

Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar (NYSE: VSLR) announced an exclusive strategic collaboration to bring the Mercedes-Benz customizable home energy storage system to the U.S. The two companies will introduce a joint offering that will provide customers with the German engineering and performance of Mercedes-Benz batteries coupled with Vivint Solar’s expertise in designing, installing and servicing solar energy systems.

For Vivint Solar, which has a proven track record of installing solar energy systems in more than 100,000 homes across the U.S., this is the first collaboration to integrate batteries with its offering. This will also be Mercedes-Benz Energy’s first collaboration with a U.S. solar provider, bringing its premium, high-performance, road-tested technology for home use to the residential battery market. These storage systems are made to Mercedes-Benz quality standards and based on the same automotive-grade battery technology used in its electric and hybrid vehicles.

“As Mercedes-Benz electrifies its vehicle fleet, solar plus storage is essential to enable those vehicles to be powered by clean energy,” said Boris von Bormann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, LLC.

“With batteries featuring the best in automotive engineering from Mercedes-Benz, and high-quality solar energy systems from Vivint Solar, our solution allows customers to take the next step toward a sustainable energy future. The launch of our home battery system in Europe has been successful and we are thrilled to be working with Vivint Solar to bring a reliable and compelling solar plus storage offering to American homes.”

Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar (NYSE: VSLR) announced an exclusive strategic collaboration to bring the Mercedes-Benz customizable home energy storage system to the U.S. The two companies will introduce a joint offering that will provide customers with the German engineering and performance of Mercedes-Benz batteries coupled with Vivint Solar's expertise in designing, installing and servicing solar energy systems.
Source: Mercedes-Benz

With energy storage to complement rooftop solar, Vivint Solar customers will be able to have more control over the renewable energy they generate. In addition to providing a backup power source if the grid goes down, the new combined solution may help customers reduce energy costs. For instance, in areas with time-of-use electricity rates, customers can store excess solar energy produced by the system during the day in the batteries and then consume it during periods of peak energy usage in the evening and at night when electricity rates are typically higher.

With energy storage to complement rooftop solar, Vivint Solar customers will be able to have more control over the renewable energy they generate. In addition to providing a backup power source if the grid goes down, the new combined solution may help customers reduce energy costs. For instance, in areas with time-of-use electricity rates, customers can store excess solar energy produced by the system during the day in the batteries and then consume it during periods of peak energy usage in the evening and at night when electricity rates are typically higher.

Each energy storage system will consist of modular 2.5 kWh batteries that can be combined to create a system as large as 20 kWh, making it easy to scale and tailor energy storage systems to individual customer profiles. Vivint Solar will customize each system based on the customer’s individual energy consumption needs, providing consumers with an important tool to help them manage their energy costs while utilizing clean energy.

“The choice to work with Mercedes-Benz Energy, a world-class innovator in energy storage, was an easy one,” said David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar. “We believe their energy storage system is going to delight our customers and are impressed with their ambitious plans for the future. We look forward to bringing this innovative solution to consumers, beginning in our California markets, and to empowering greater renewable energy usage.”

“According to Parks Associates research, 79% of rooftop solar PV owners purchased their system to save money on electricity,” said Tom Kerber, director IoT strategy, at Parks Associates. “Adding storage is an obvious approach to improve the return on investment on a solar solution. Three-quarters of households view battery storage as an important addition to solar panels.”

With energy storage to complement rooftop solar, Vivint Solar customers will be able to have more control over the renewable energy they generate. In addition to providing a backup power source if the grid goes down, the new combined solution may help customers reduce energy costs. For instance, in areas with time-of-use electricity rates, customers can store excess solar energy produced by the system during the day in the batteries and then consume it during periods of peak energy usage in the evening and at night when electricity rates are typically higher.
California is the first U.S. market where Vivint Solar will exclusively offer this solution directly to homeowners. Beginning in Q2, new customers in California will be able to buy the offering outright or finance the purchase, either through one of the institutions Vivint Solar has relationships with or their preferred lender.


Sources: Mercedes-Benz Energy, visit vivintsolar.com/battery, Mercedes-Benz Energy, www.mercedes-benz.com/energy, May 18, 2017 – LEHI, Utah and SUNNYVALE, Calif.