Archive for Trash

BioChar: The New Approach to Carbon Sequestration.

Coal, a fossil fuel, emits foul and harmful gasses into our atmosphere, and with a lack of political support for clean coal, a new alternative is here, biochar. Biochar is a newfound way of trapping carbon with so called “green coal”. Biomass waste we would never think of using, such as peanut shells actually release carbon when it decomposes. However, by burning the remains in a process known as pyrolysis, what’s left over is biochar or green coal. South American societies began this process and dug back this green coal in the ground in order to lock in carbon instead of allowing it to widen the hole in the ozone layer. If this process is applied efficiently and effectively, scientists agree that billion of tons of carbons could be sequestered in soil instead of being released into our atmosphere. Carbon sequestration can be an effective approach to runaway global warming. This new green coal is proved to be more effective than nature’s natural approach to the problem. While trees or plants lock in the carbon for only 15-20 years, biochar could possibly lock in carbon for possibly 100 years. Along with its obvious benefits, the nutrients brought back into the soil could also spur the industrial agriculture sector, signifying a thumbs up from not only farmers, but those attempting to combat climatecharcoal_d change.

-Nicholas Chan

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From Brownfields to Greenfields.

P1010195Brownfields are abandoned once industrialized locations that suffer from pollution and deserted heavy factory industries. Unfortunately, as hazardous as these locations might sound, the poor make up a large population in these dreadful lands.

A newly proposed green movement actually advocates a full sweep of a green revolution into these neighborhoods. With the combination of reducing poverty and protecting the environment, a switch to a greener life-style can actually be what those in poverty need. With greener jobs and a switch to new forms of alternative energy, these brownfield dumps can be the starting point for the domestic transition to a greener world.

Not only is equality and the economic status change to a richer community, but the abandoned locations can make as great wind farms, solar power sites, nuclear power plants that give the poor jobs and incorporate them into the policy making process that opts for the green movement. Is it a coincidence that both “eco” show up in both economy and ecosystem? The two are both dependent on each other and luckily, we’ve found our starting point in the revolution.

-Nicholas Chan

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Gifts wrapped in Green

        

Christmas is mostly about giving, no matter how big or small your gifts may be, it’s the thoughts that count. Usually the gift isn’t enough, so we gorged our gifts in pretty wrapping paper and fancy bows. But in reality, how much carbon dioxide does your Christmas wrapping output? The answer is once again, a lot. However there are fancy alternatives to Christmas wrapping paper just lying around your house, waiting to be discovered. Here are a few suggestions:

1: Newspapers: Now there’s nothing better than wrapping paper that makes you laugh. Yes folks, wrap your gifts with the comic pages and on the bright side if your gift isn’t really what the person desired, at least they’ll have a comic to laugh at. How about those unused newspapers? Collect those and with a few crayons, you’ll have one snazzy looking wrapping paper.  

2: Fabric; Have you tried wrapping something but gotten the wrapping paper torn and had to start over? Annoying isn’t it? Well if you wrapped with fabric, you wouldn’t have this problem. Just look around your house and scavenge for some unused fabric, you can even be creative and make fancy patterns with it!

3: Jars and Cans: Here’s an odd way to give your gifts in. If you have a gift small enough, why not put it in an old jar or coffee can. After that you can decorate it with bows or wrap it up with fabric. Plus, the person receiving your gift can reuse the can or jar that you gave them, so essentially, it’s a win-win.

Although these suggestions might be a little bit funky and odd, the person receiving your gifts will definitely see your intentions to go green and that’s the best gift anyone can give.

~Phil Pham

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The end

                 

               We’ve all heard about 2012 and how the earth will end. Some of us believe that theory, and lots of us don’t. Personally I don’t believe in that either, but I know if we don’t act upon saving the earth from destruction, we are all going to die. We can prevent this by cleaning up the earth and maintaining its good state. Many people all around the earth help to make our earth a better place. Some of the things they do are cleaning the ocean, sea and etc. These are big things that people commit to do, but we can also make a difference, starting from your home. There are things we do in our homes that contribute to messing up the Erath, but there are also things we could do to make the Earth greener, like recycling. Instead of putting plastic, cans, and papers in the same trash, we can separate them into their categories, so in that way we can save energy. Doing this things gradually lead to much more effective ways of cleaning the Earth. There are some places in this world that have been a victim of not cleaning up the Earth. Africa is one of the victims because they have gone through poverty war and still are. Above all these horrible things that happen to Africa, they still have hope. We have all we need to help our Earth, so if we don’t do anything it’ll be shameful that, as a leading country we aren’t be doing our job.

Eghosa Okundaye

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Reuse

The great inventor Edison once said: “All you need to create something is an idea and a pile of junk.” When we think pile of junk we usually think of a junkyard or some similar place that contains a variety of scrap materials. However, junk may also be classified as just trash.

A great man once said “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” If we use this trash for good things instead of just throwing it away in a land fill and harming our planet, we might be able to invent things with our “pile of junk.” We should be able to do things with our trash- not just throw it away. Especially when the trash is something such as metal, plastic or paper, it is painful to see it thrown away and not reused. Materials such as these can be reused again.

We can use this pile of junk and instead of wasting it, we can use it for something useful. So, let us get away from our old lives of  squandering and move toward a new stage… A stage of conserving.

-Flaviu Delczeg

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The Necessity of Innovation

A great inventor by  the name of Thomas Edison said: “To invent all you need is an idea and a pile of junk.” Now I never knew ole Tommy personally, but I think most of us can learn from his inspiration. He was saying that to invent, one needs a plan and materials. If we take this quote literally, if we use a pile of junk, then we can invent things. 

Let us think about all of the waste that we trash on an everyday basis. Let us think about the materials that we trash. Scrap metal, elements of metal, nonmetal, and metalloid classifications, and paper, glass, and plastic which can be reused into something new or recycled.

If we stop throwing away our things and instead recycle we can be the fuel of innovation that keeps the machine of our world going towards success. And for the things that we do throw away, we can increase more jobs and have some people gather up still useable materials in junkyards and dumps and help science.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Let us, as people transform our trash and waste that we throw away into recycled goods that we can call treasure later.

– Flaviu Delczeg

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Cleaning Up Our Mess

Our world today has been turned around to something different. We are using are world as trash and we seem to not care at all, well not all of us. We often seem to forget that we live in this world that we are using as a trash can, and we need to protect her. There are organizations that help recycle plastics, cans, papers, and etc., such as the Indiana Recycling Coalition, The Illinois Recycling Association, Kansas Recycling Association, and Association of Ohio Recyclers. These organizations are working hard to make our community a better and world efficient place to live in. There are things we can do to help protect our, for example, making a trash can, just for recycling papers. By doing that we could save a lot of trees. According to an article, every ton of papers saves at least seventeen trees. Recycling can also reduce the green house effect, which lowers the need to manufacture paper, plastic, metals and glass, and by doing that it will save the energy needed to manufacture new products. Recycling products, such as plastic bottles, paper, and glass bottles, makes our environment cleaner, and healthier.

Eghosa Okundaye

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Garbage is… Good?

garbageScientists in Singapore and Switzerland are claiming that garbage is the answer to the growing energy crisis and reducing carbon emissions. New research has shown how replacing gasoline with biofuel from processed waste could cut global carbon emissions by 80%. While it’s true that biofuels from crops would require an increase in crop production (which has been proven to have severe environmental costs), second-generation biofuels may be the key to reducing carbon emissions.

Second-generation biofuels are produced from crop and forest residues, as well as from non-food crops, thus taking away the environmental harms. Concerns for the impacts of first-generation have increased the interest in developing biofuels from non-food biomass. With any luck, second-generation biofuels could avoid many of the concerns facing first-generation biofuels and potentially offer greater cost reduction potential in the longer term.

            So what’s the link to garbage? One study team found that 82.93 billion liters of cellulosic ethanol could be produced from the world’s landfill waste. If we substitute gasoline with the resulting biofuel, global carbon emissions could be cut by figures ranging from 29.2% to 86.1% for every unit of energy produced. No doubt, advancements in technology are sure to increase these numbers.

 

~Almayra Porrata-Doria

Sources:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929100654.htm

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What an E-Waste!

Electronic waste, or E-Waste, is a serious issue that’s overlooked by many. However, as the concern grows smaller, the problem grows bigger. E-Waste is the process of loose discarded electronic devices. This waste is slowly shifting away from the United States, but is being shipped to developing countries such as Sub-Saharan Africa and even all the way to China. This is a serious health concern because it is polluting the earth with electronic equipment that contains lead and mercury.

In order for countries to successfully deal with the issue, programs like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must promote the ideas of keeping electronics as long as possible and then recycle their cell phones and re-use scraps from computers. Setting up city-wide electronic waste recycling programs are just small steps in dealing with a huge problem. Along with reducing and effectively dealing with E-Waste in the United States, following guidelines found in the Basel and Bamako Conventions in order to end the abuse of sending E-Waste to many parts of Africa.

As the United States grows as a technologically dependent nation, what we do with the remains needs to be dealt with in a professional and logical manner. Safely disposing E-Waste is dangerous in itself, so by just preventing the problem and cutting off the problem at its source, we can prevent large amounts of hazardous electronic waste from being shipped to all parts of the world.

-Nicholas Chan

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Jeans Consuming Gallons of Water!

jeansWe all love jeans. We have plain jeans, designer jeans, jean purses, jean jackets, jean hats and etc. I am pretty sure you get the point. According to a Cotton Inc. survey, the average American owns 8.3 pairs of jeans and the average American teenager owns 11 pairs of jeans. Owning that many jeans is a little excessive but hey, when you love jeans, you love jeans. Now this may seem irrelevant to know how many jeans and average person owns but I bet you didn’t know that it takes 1,800 gallons of water just to grow enough cotton for one pair of jeans. Now I am not say stop buying jeans because it would save water, after all, jeans are much apart of America, like apple pie and McDonalds. But instead, we should put our old jeans to use. By donating your unused jeans to your local Goodwill it will reduce our water consumption. Not only will our environment thank you but so will the person you helped get a new pair of jeans. Also, if many people donate their jeans then Goodwill will have a good variety of jeans, so you could shop there and get so nice pair of jeans cheaper then you would if you went to West Oaks mall, Aeropostale, or any other place that sells jeans. Imagine how much water it takes to make a shirt, shoes, or even our food–check out how much water it takes to grow all of our food. We all need to make a conscious effort to watch what we buy for its water footprint. And it’s not just the US, though–many countries around the world have alarmingly high water footprints, too. So keep your eyes open when you’re shopping around–we’re wasting way too much water.

-Christina Williamson

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