Every country should be so lucky as to have Sweden’s problem: It doesn’t produce enough garbage.
As reported by Public Radio International (26.06.12), Sweden has a remarkably effective recycling program. Only 4 percent of the country’s waste ends up in landfills, with the other 96 percent being reused in some way. There is one problem with that, however: The country has incinerators that burn waste to create heat (a must-have in the region) and electricity. And too little waste means not enough fuel for those fires…
"Amid all the controversy over genetically-modified (GM) crops and their pesticides and herbicides decimating bee populations all around the world, biotechnology behemoth Monsanto has decided to buy out one of the major international firms devoted to studying and protecting bees. According to a company announcement, Beeologics handed over the reins to Monsanto back on September 28, 2011, which means the gene-manipulating giant will now be able to control the flow of information and products coming from Beeologics for colony collapse disorder (CCD)." Read More
“What is a zoo to do with its excess panda poo? Denver’s answer is to compress it into pucks and feed them to a syngas-powered hybrid-electric Tuk Tuk.
As anyone who’s been to a zoo can attest, those animals truly enjoy a good deuce. They do it constantly, typically producing more waste than the facility can reuse. Zoo’s often have to haul the excrement away for disposal in landfills—an expensive and inefficient option. But the Denver Zoo has spent nearly a decade working on an ingenious and local alternative to landfills—a 20-year-old motorized rickshaw, also known as a Tuk Tuk.”
Ingenuity can always think of a productive use for our waste.
Most mass-produced wrapping paper you find in stores is not recyclable and ends up in landfills. Instead, here’s a great chance to get creative! Wrap presents with old maps, the comics section ofa newspaper, or children’s artwork. Or use a scarf, attractive dish towel, bandana, or some other useful cloth item. If every family wrapped just three gifts this way, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
Buy Energy-Saving Holiday Lights
Now you can decorate your house with LED lights that use 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights, and can save your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season! LED lights are available at many major retailers, including Target, CostCo, and Ace Hardware.
Add Organic and Local Foods to Your Holiday Feast
Support local family farmers who grow sustainable meat and produce. Not only does it taste better, you’ll be doing your part for the planet too. Looking for an organic turkey or ham for Christmas dinner? Find out where to get local green products in your neighborhood.
Get a Pesticide-Free Tree
Demand is on the rise for Christmas trees that are not covered in chemicals; some growers use 40 different pesticides, as well as chemical colorants. The good news is that there are now a number of tree-farms that sell pesticide-free trees, so ask your local Christmas tree seller, or search for an organic tree farm near you.
Recycle Your Christmas Tree
Ninety-eight percent of Christmas trees were grown on farms, not in forests, so at least it’s not as if you’re cutting down an ancient tree. Each year, 10 million Christmas trees end up in the landfill. While your tree won’t fit in the recycling bin with your newspapers and bottles, you can recycle your tree: many cities offer programs to turn your tree to mulch or wood chips. Call (800) CLEANUP or visit www.earth911.org to find the tree-recycling program near you.
Recycle Your Old Cellphone
Getting a new cell phone for Christmas? Not sure what to do with the old one? Now, you can drop off that old phone at any Staples store, as part of the Sierra Club cell phone recycling program. Each year, 130 million cell phones are thrown out, weighing approximately 65,000 tons. Recycling your old phone prevents hazardous elements like mercury, cadmium and lead from ending up in our landfills. Find out more.
"The airline is using technology from LanzaTech and Swedish Biofuels that captures and chemically treats industrial waste from steel mills and turns it into ethanol that can be converted into biofuel (see the video below). Virgin claims that LanzaTech’s process has major potential—the technique could be retrofitted onto 65% of the world’s steel mills, which could produce around 15 billion gallons of jet fuel, or 19% of the current world aviation fuel demand."
Finding what cleansers are safe for the environment can be a headache.
My company is currently trying to get certified by a local Green agency, and to do so we need to review all of our cleaning supplies.
Cleansers end up going down the drain, so this agency require that all our cleaners are bio-degradable. We assumed that “Simple Green” was, well… “green”, and after reviewing their website you’d think the stuff was safe enough to make cocktails out of.
However, with a little research we learned that Green Clean has at least 8 chemicals of concern, including 2-butoxyethanol. You can download a pdf report on Green Clean from Women’s Voices for the Earth.
Green Clean does now have a “Naturals” line, which seems to be all-natural and biodegradable, but I’m not completely certain. (review from walletpop.com)
“In 14 and a half seconds, the sun provides as much energy to Earth as humanity uses in a day. In 112 hours – less than five days – it provides as much energy as is contained in all proven reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas on this planet. If humanity could capture one tenth of one percent of the solar energy striking the earth – one part in one thousand – we would have access to six times as much energy as we consume in all forms today, with almost no greenhouse gas emissions. At the current rate of energy consumption increase – about 1 percent per year – we will not be using that much energy for another 180 years.”—
“PepsiCo has developed the world’s first plastic bottle made of nothing but renewable, plant-based materials, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The bottle is made from corn husks, switch grass, and pine bark; but in the future, Pepsi hopes to use its food byproducts like orange and potato peels. Pepsi will start a pilot program with the bottles next year.”