To help with the environmental impact of the must-have cap and gowns for each graduate, whether students are finishing up kindergarten, high school, or college, some companies now provide recyclable caps and gowns for the ceremonies. Let’s face it, now many of us out there ever reuse those gowns. Most of the eco-friendly gowns that I found online are made from recyclable fabric, are environmentally friendly, and are bio-degradable within 15 years.
And since there is usually almost always a graduation party after the ceremony, there are several ways to have a green party. Instead of mailing out invitations, send out e-vites. They’re free, and you don’t have to worry about paying for postage. Try not to buy any paper products and use cloth napkins and real dishes. You might spend a little more time cleaning up, but you’re saving money and creating less of an impact on the environment.
Don’t forget to buy a gift if you’re not the one graduating. There are several eco-friendly gift ideas out there, from paper products and even some beauty products are made from sustainable materials. Don’t be afraid to do a little research to find the perfect gift that’s easier on the environment. Sometimes, you can even find jewelry that has been made from recycled antique glass. That’s sure to be an unforgettable gift!
Posted by Lindsay Page on May 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM0 comments
I like to think that I do my fair share of recycling since my recyclable are picked up on Fridays, and I always double-check items and rinse out plastic bottles before I put them into my bin, but I’ve never really given reuse much thought. So, I decided to search online for some great ideas.
I found a useful item on Wise Bread that talked about reusing paper. For example, did you know that you can shred papers to use as bedding for cage critters, such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and more? I’ve used newspaper as a liner for a bird cage, back when I was little and had parakeets, but I never thought about using it for other animal uses. You can even use shredded or torn paper as mulch in your yard, too.
Another neat idea is to use wrapping paper as art work, framing them in old picture frames or use the paper to decoupage an item that needs a bit dressing up. Another idea is using the paper to make a wreath or any other kind of décor that’d be easy to make with paper, like a collage of interesting facts in to hang on a bathroom wall. Or why not use newspaper to wrap presents for a unique look.
Another idea to reuse household items is using squeeze bottles (dish soap, ketchup, mustard bottles, etc.) to water plants that are hard to reach or to squirt out pancake batter. And we’ve all got a mountain of plastic shopping bags at home, so why not use an empty paper towel roll to store the bags in. Speaking of empty paper towel rolls, I actually use those in my boots at home. The rolls help keep the boots from folding down and keep your closet looking a bit tidier.
So, how do you reuse stuff you have lying around at home? I’d love to hear some new ideas that I could try at my house, not only for Earth Day but to do each and every day.
Posted by Lindsay Page on Apr 22, 2013 at 7:03 AM1 comments
According to a Waste & Recycling News article, Missouri State Attorney General Chris Koster has said that his office will get involved in the lawsuit against a Bridgeton landfill because of a request by the state Department of Natural Resources.
The Bridgeton landfill company has apologized for the foul odors that the area omits and said they are trying to install 40 new gas collection wells in order to help reduce the severity of the smells. The odors are so severe that some people claim that they cannot even go outside without getting a headache or getting sick to their stomachs.
"For St. Louisans who have not been directly exposed to the site, it is difficult to describe the effects this situation is having on local neighborhoods and businesses," Koster said. "While we have been assured by Republic Services that they have developed a remediation plan and are implementing that plan as expeditiously as possible, it is important that we ensure the corporation's promises are binding and enforceable in a court of law."
I have driven through areas with landfills nearby, and I know that the smells can be indescribable and completely nauseating, but I never thought about the state actually suing the company in order to deal with the odors. I think it’s nice to have that sort of authority and regulations in those areas, but I can’t help but wonder how those companies could avoid those odors in the first place. What do you think?
Posted by Lindsay Page on Apr 08, 2013 at 1:33 PM0 comments
According to an article on Huffington Post, since carbon emissions recording began in 1959, 2012 marks the second highest rise in emissions. Samples are taken from air samples near a volcano in Maua Loa, Hawaii each year. The results make it unlikely that expected global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees.
Some of the reasons for the drastic rise in emissions are thought to be from an increase in coal-burning power plants, burning of fossil fuels, and overall human activity. Some of the emissions research predicts that the current population trends will make the climate 2.5 to 4.5 degrees warmer within the next decades.
With all of the research that’s being done on the CO2 emissions and global climate change, do you feel like we can make a difference in global warming. I know I’ve read several blogs where some people consider this a lost cause and feel that it’s a natural phenomenon that we can’t change. Do you feel the same way?
Posted by Lindsay Page on Mar 06, 2013 at 9:53 AM1 comments
On Jan. 15, 2013, NCDC announced as part of its 2012 Global Climate Report that 2012 was the warmest La Niña year on record. While there are a variety of approaches for defining a La Niña or El Niño year, NCDC's criteria is defined as when the first three months of a calendar year meet the La Niña or El Niño threshold as defined by NOAA Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) Oceanic Niño Index (ONI).
Some of the highlights of the report include 2012 was the 10th warmest year since the beginning of temperature records in 1880. 2012 marked the 36th consecutive year with global temperatures reaching about the 20th century average. The global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.11°F per decade since 1880 and 0.28°F per decade since 1970.
Highlights for the U.S. include that 2012 was the warmest year since national records began in 1895. In Austria, the first half of 2012 was cooler than average, but then the last half of the year was warmer than average. Norway had its 45th warmest year since 1900.
So, how do you feel about these reports? The fact that 2012 experience such warm conditions shows that rising temperatures may soon be the norm each year. Do you feel that we could help battle global warming, or do you think that global warming is inevitable despite any actions we may take to help reduce or prevent it?
Posted by Lindsay Page on Feb 07, 2013 at 12:43 PM4 comments
Today, more than one billion people in the world suffer from hunger. The only sustainable solution to the problem of food scarcity is to increase food production in existing arable land. Improving irrigation in the developing world where such facilities are not available due to economic and topographic reasons can be an effective way to increase food production because proper irrigation can increase food productivity between two to five times that of normal production.
For areas where irrigation facilities have not reached farmers despite having a water source nearby, aQysta has developed an affordable and sustainable solution: Barsha Pumps. Barsha pumps are a hydro-powered irrigation system, a sustainable solution that does not use any external source of energy like fossil fuels or electricity and can be used to irrigate lands within 25 meters from a flowing water source. Farmers throughout Asia, Africa and South America have challenges irrigating despite being near a water supply.
Barsha pumps work on the spiral pumping principle – developed during ancient Egyptian times – but have never been applied on an industrial scale before. The kinetic energy of a river is used to rotate a water-wheel powered spiral, which pumps water by the alternating compression and decompression of air.
Barsha pumps are designed by optimizing the spiral pumping principle. They are crafted to be compact and easy to handle, with multiple spirals instead of one, which helps transport a greater volume of water. Modular design and only one moving part make Barsha pumps easier to standardize and maintain.
Apart from the product innovation, the business model in which we aim to implement the solution is also unique, involving local communities in manufacturing and maintenance of the irrigation systems which help to increase socio-economic prosperity in developing countries.
The major benefits of Barsha pumps are:
· Zero operating costs
· Two to five times greater agricultural productivity by providing year-round irrigation
· Return on investment for farmers within one year compared to approximately 10 years of diesel pumps
· Low maintenance due to only one moving part
· Zero Emissions: Barsha pumps produce zero emissions and replace fossil fuel pumps which produce 150-300 kg Co2 per hectare irrigated land per year.
Barsha pumps are about 1.5 meters in diameter and can pump water up to a height of 25 meters at a maximum flow rate of one liters/second. The pumps can be used as a stand-alone water pump to supply water to the field or can be combined with other complementary irrigation technologies like drip irrigation system and sprinkler irrigation system.
The target market for Barsha pumps are agricultural economies in Asia and Africa where more than 72 percent of world population live. In those regions, only 20-30 percent of the cultivable lands are irrigated and urbanization is increasing.
The primary market for aQysta is Nepal, a south Asian country where only 4.5 percent of land in the hilly area is irrigated year-round despite having more than 6,000 rivers across the country. More than 76 percent of the population in Nepal is dependent on agriculture, but most people do not have access to irrigation for topographic and economic reason. We have estimated a potential market of around 100,000 pumps in the country.
Currently aQysta is working with IDE Nepal to install Barsha pumps in six pilot locations in Nepal. The pilot project is expected to be finished by March 2013.
After Nepal, aQysta is planning to grow globally and have already received interest from countries like Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Mozambique, India and Ecuador.
Posted by Fred Henny, Satishkumar Sugavanam, Pratap Thapaprata on Dec 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM1 comments