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    The Future of Cleaning the Ocean

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    The ocean is a beautiful place that houses a lot of the world’s wildlife and crucial to our everyday lives. Unfortunately, our ocean has long been a victim of pollution and waste. Plastics and microplastics are major contaminants in the ocean. Animals mistake plastic and other waste as food and this ocean trash takes a long time to break down. When they do, they release toxic chemicals into the ocean.

    Improper waste removal is another culprit of our polluted oceans and communities. For example, cooking oil can cause a lot of damage if it isn’t properly disposed. Tossing it down the sink can ruin local sewage. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cites many other awful side effects like forming toxic products and clogging water treatment plants.

    There are many ways to combat ocean pollution at home. We can look for creative ways to reuse packaging instead of throwing it away. If we’re able to, we can try to go zero-waste (or, as zero-waste as possible!) to minimize the garbage we produce.

    Slowing and eventually stopping the flow of trash into the ocean makes a big difference. However, there’s still much to do about the waste already floating in the ocean. Many inventors have come up with inventive ways to tackle our ocean’s trash problem. Florida Panhandle rounded up a list of amazing ways we’re cleaning the ocean.

    Take a look at their infographic below to learn more.

    ocean-cleanup

    How to Compost at Home

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    Nearly 25% of all solid waste in U.S. households come from the kitchen. Composting allows you to reuse some of those kitchen scraps and transform them into healthy soil feeder for your plants and garden. 

    Starting a compost pile is a great at-home project, especially now that we are all spending more time at home. You can fully customize your compost pile or bin to meet your home’s needs. If you live in an apartment with no yard, an indoor vermicomposting bin may be for you. If you do have a yard with extra space or access to a community garden, you can set up a compost pile in six easy steps! 

    Below, we’ll walk you through how to set up a compost pile and detail what materials you can use in your compost, and which you should skip. 

    Compost this, not that 

    Even dirt can be picky about its food. While tossing scraps into a compost pile is a great alternative to the trash can, not every piece of waste in your kitchen should head in that direction. 

    There are two types of ingredients that make for great compost: browns and greens. Brown ingredients are those that are rich in carbon whereas green ingredients are those that are rich in nitrogen. You’ll want a greater ratio of browns to greens in your compost (3:1). 

    If you aren’t careful with what you compost, a rotten egg smell may appear. This is a sign that decomposition is being slowed down. Even worse, if you add diseased plants and weeds you run the risk of poisoning your compost and the future plants and yard you sprinkle it on. 

    Our free printable details what you can and can’t compost. Follow this link to print this at home and hang it above your compost bin in your kitchen. 

    compost at home

    Brown compost materials:

    • Dead leaves
    • Egg shells
    • Shredded newspaper
    • Branches and twigs 

    Green compost materials:

    • Loose tea and tea bags
    • Fruits
    • Veggies
    • Old flowers
    • Coffee grounds and filters

    Materials to avoid

    • Cooking oils
    • Diseased plants and weeds
    • Meat and dairy
    • Citrus fruit peels
    • Coal or charcoal ash

    Setting up an outdoor compost pile  

    While you can compost indoors, the most popular way to compost is by setting up an outdoor pile. This keeps all the smells and decomposition out of your home and in the outdoors! 

    Start an outdoor compost pile today with these simple steps: 

    Decide where to put your compost pile: 

    Whether you plan to set up your compost pile in your own yard or in a community garden, you’ll want to choose a spot that gets natural shade. Bonus points if you can find a space that is close to a water source so you can easily add moisture to your pile with a hose. 

    You can start your compost pile directly on the earth or build a compost bin using pallets to contain it. There are also compost tumblers available for purchase. 

    Collect your scraps: 

    In order to have organic materials to add to your compost, you’ll need to collect your scraps over a series of days or weeks. Set up a small compost bin, similar to a trash can, with a lid in your home to save your scraps in. Don’t keep this inside for more than 5-7 days or it may start to smell! 

    Add brown and green layers: 

    Once you’ve collected your scraps, you’ll need to organize them into brown and green layers. Most of your kitchen scraps will be green layers, whereas brown layers are traditionally made up of things you find in your yard such as leaves and sticks. 

    Start with your brown layer first. Remember that your carbon-to-nitrogen ratio should be 3:1, so your brown layers should be 3x every green layer. Begin layering your compost materials. 

    Use water in your compost: 

    Another ingredient for a thriving compost is water! You’ll want to add moisture to your pile but you don’t want to make your pile soggy, so just a few hose sprays should do. A soggy pile can slow down decomposition and start to smell like rotten eggs. 

    Aerate your compost: 

    Every four to seven days you’ll want to turn your pile to aerate your compost. You can do this easily with a shovel, or a compost tumbler lets you turn it. After a few weeks of aeration your compost should begin to feel warm and steamy–this is a sign that decomposition is taking place! 

    Use your compost as soil feeder

    Once your compost has been decomposing for two to four months, it should be ready for use! Most of the organic material should be broken down into a crumbly and earthy smelling compost that looks like topsoil. Now it’s time to sprinkle it on your yard as soil feeder or in nearby pots and plants to help them grow! 

    For even more ways to compost at home and ideas for how to use your compost check out out this visual from The Zebra below! 

    how-to-compost-at-home

    10 Eco-Friendly Ways to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

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    Eco-Friendly Ways to Keep Your Home Cool

    Summertime is here, and you’re ready for sun and fun.  Wait — was that an audible groan from the “Great, here comes the insane AC bills” crowd? It’s not amusing when you see your utility bills creep upward, and all that energy use doesn’t do the planet any favors. 

    What are some Eco-friendly ways you can keep your home cool this summer? Here are ten ideas that will help you save money and the planet without getting too steamy. 

     

    Eco-Friendly Ways to Keep Your Home Cool

    Install Ceiling Fans

    Have you ever uttered an audible “ahh” when the breeze picks up on a sultry summer day? Everyone has. Ceiling fans keep the air circulating in your home if you get the right variety.

    In general, the bigger, the better when it comes to blades. That’s because these devices only work if you can feel the air on your skin. Otherwise, the motor heats the room a negligible amount. 

     

    Hang Blackout Curtains

    If you’ve returned to working outside the home, sunlight streams through uncovered windows all day. This solar heat makes your air conditioner run double duty to keep your pet goldfish comfortable. Buy blackout curtains for the windows that receive the most sunlight and close them before you leave each morning to save money and the planet.

     

    Apply Reflective Film

    Maybe you plan to continue working from home, and you don’t want your office to resemble a cave. Reflective window tinting lets you see out while preventing miscreants from viewing your home’s interior — meaning they can’t case your joint to scope out your new cache of equipment. As a bonus, this substance helps prevent fading and sun damage to furniture, fabrics and flooring. 

     

    Go for Awnings

    If you have windows that receive full sun for most of the day, even the best protective coatings won’t mitigate the entire solar effect. However, you can install awnings over these windows to cut down on the glare. Another option? You can build that wraparound porch of your dreams and include a roof that keeps the glass shaded. 

     

    Plant Some Shade 

    Another way to cool your home naturally is to plant bushes or trees for shades, but you must do so strategically. Safety experts recommend keeping shrubbery near your home trimmed to no higher than two to three feet to deter thieves who seek cover to break-in. You can plant shade trees, but cut the bottom seven feet of branches as they grow to keep miscreants from climbing to a second-story window. 

     

    Insulate Your Attic

    Attics are known for getting hot— heat rises, after all. Temperatures are considered dangerous, though, once they rise above 90 degrees. It is very likely that on a hot day, your attic will be 90 degrees or higher, so installing insulation in your attic can help make your attic safer to enter. Insulation keeps out excess heat, as well as cold. It costs relatively little to install, plus, you’ll also save money on your winter heating bills. Talk about a win-win. 

     

    Close Windows During the Day 

    Maybe you think, “If I leave the windows open, the breeze will blow through. On temperate days with low humidity, this trick works. However, if you live in a humid area or the thermometer tops 90 degrees, you are letting all that ickiness in, which then taxes your AC unit when you get home. Instead, keep your windows closed, as it will keep the inside of your home somewhat temperate like a cave. 

     

    Cook Outdoors

    Running the oven and even using the stove can heat your kitchen quickly. If you have a smaller apartment, it could raise the temperature of your indoors significantly. Since summer is the grilling season, take your cooking outside. You don’t have to eat a burger if you’re a vegan — you can make a grilled romaine salad with the help of propane.

     

    Dehumidify the Air 

    If you live in a coastal region, you know the meaning of the saying, “It’s not the heat — it’s the humidity.” A dehumidifier sucks excess water out of the air, making you feel several degrees cooler. As a bonus, these devices help to combat mold and mildew growth making this one of the most effective Eco-friendly ways to keep your home cool.

     

    Add a Gentle Mist 

    On the other hand, if you live in the desert southwest, you see mister systems on outdoor patios everywhere for a good reason. When the outdoor air is plain old hot, water does the trick to cool you. Installing such a system on your patio can make barbecues much more comfortable. For indoor use, a small aromatherapy diffuser can provide a refreshing mist. 

     

    Keep Your Home Cool the Eco-Friendly Way This Summer

    If you want to keep your home cool without running up giant energy bills and destroying the planet, look no further than these ten tips. You’ll breeze through your summer while barely breaking a sweat.

    10 Ways to Lower Your Energy Use While Working from Home

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    how to lower energy use

    Working from home is a great way to use less energy daily. No commute, no food waste after going out to lunch and less time spent getting ready in the morning. However, remote work can still use a significant amount of energy, even if you never leave your home office for the majority of the day.

    From being aware of phantom power to hanging your laundry on a clothesline, here are ten ways to lower your energy use while working from home. 

     

    Shorten Your Morning Routine

    Most people tend to work better if they prepare for working at home in the same way they would for going into the office. While wearing your pajamas all day might be tempting, odds are it won’t help your productivity.

    However, if you aren’t required to be in any meetings, you can spend less time getting ready. Your hair dryer alone uses 1440 watts of power. In comparison, your computer only uses around 92.

     

    Prep Your Meals

    Meal prep not only saves you time and money, but it’s also energy efficient. Cutting down on the amount of time you use the oven saves electricity, and can lead to a lower energy bill. By planning meals in advance, you’ll have enough food for the week and use less power.

     

    Unplug Unnecessary Devices

    Devices and appliances that are always plugged in use more power than we may think. Household electronics account for 25% of total energy usage in the average American household. Televisions, stereos, microwaves and air conditioners continue to draw power when they’re off. To save energy, only plug in necessary devices during the day and leave the rest unplugged.

     

    Open the Windows

    Lower Your Energy Use - windows

    Depending on your local climate, opening the windows can be an excellent way to regulate temperature and purify stale indoor air. Inside air quality can be surprisingly unhealthy, where average Americans spend 90% of their lives. Weather- and temperature-dependent, opening the windows may be an easy way to see a lower electric bill.

     

    Work More Efficiently

    If your work schedule allows, boosting productivity may save you money. Unless you have a certain number of hours required in your daily schedule, increasing efficiency results in less time spent on the computer, which saves energy. If you rely on high-quality internet, working during certain hours may cut down on your electricity bills, too.

     

    Use Energy Savers

    Check out energy-saving apps, use sleep mode when possible and turn off devices when they’re not in use. Be aware that screensavers often use energy, and you may need to adjust some settings so that your computer powers off instead of continuing to drain energy.

     

    Turn Down the Thermostat

    Studies show you can save 6% of your energy bill by turning down the thermostat by one degree. If you live in an environment with different seasons, wear a warm sweater during the colder months and set up space fans during the hotter ones. If your work from home employment doesn’t require a dress code, dressing for your climate can be an easy way to save energy. 

     

    Air Dry Your Clothes

    Lower Your Energy Use - clothes

    Air drying your clothes is a fantastic way to reduce energy use. If you work from home, you may have a little extra time to set up a new system.

    Whether you opt for an outside clothesline or an indoor clothes rack, there are several options available to fit your needs. If you commit to only running the dryer for necessities, you may be surprised how much money you’ll save.

     

    Run a Full Load of Laundry

    On the topic of laundry, be efficient with each load. If you work from home, you’re probably less inclined to wash one pair of pants for an important networking event or a company meeting. Remote work may allow you more time to plan when you do laundry and structure your schedule accordingly. Running a full load not only reduces energy use but also saves water, making it eco-friendly. 

     

    Invest in a Smart Power Strip

    If you have a home office setup, you may already use a power strip to connect all of your devices. Investing in a smart power strip that’s programmed to lower power based on usage might be a great idea to save energy that you don’t even realize you’re losing.

     

    Making Remote Work Eco-Friendly

    Working from home is a great way to save energy, lower transportation costs and reduce pollution. Taking a few extra steps towards decreasing energy use at home can save money on utility bills, too. With a few easy changes, you can lower your power usage without needing to make any major investments.

    Small Garden Design Ideas

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    small garden designs

    Small gardens might be compact but they’re also cozy and inspiring. You can make the most of your available outdoor space with nothing more than some minor small garden design tricks. Tiny patios, backyards, and balconies can be creatively transformed into lush-green leisure retreats and modern plant growing areas. 

    Discover some visionary ideas on how to design your own mini paradise and allow it to become the favorite part of your home! Whether you plan on cultivating edibles, growing flowers and herbs, or shrubs and trees, your limited garden capacity should not be an issue. 

    In this article, we have gathered and listed some creative design ideas & solutions for small gardens that would freshen up and improve your outdoor space:

     

    Choose a Purpose

    Before you start rearranging your open garden, you need to consider its potential. Make sure to evaluate its area coverage and mind available environmental conditions. Factors like sunlight, humidity, heat, airflow, and seasonal changes in the local climate are vital not only when choosing the greenery for your mini garden. They also need to be taken into account in regards to the type of outdoor space you want to create and maintain.

     

    Leisure

    small garden design

    Small leisure areas surely spice up your life, because you basically have a hideaway spot surrounded by nature at your own house/apartment. It’s a place where you can relax, chill, read a book and just have a break after a stressful day. You can also spend quality time with your family or invite your friends over for a hangout. Make the most of a tiny outdoor space by adding the entertainment factor in it. 

    Such a leisure design includes furniture like lounges, benches, hammocks, as well as homey decorations, vertical garden installments, evergreen crops, potted plants, vine walls taking minimum space. To make it even better, you can introduce certain activity amusements into the concept.

     

    Food Growing

    If your general idea is to grow your own food, do not hesitate to freely use the open area as a farming ground. A lot of edibles could develop perfectly healthy in a pot. Just make sure you provide the greens with enough water, heat, nutrition, and lighting – and your garden would thrive

    There are many ways to make a mini home-grown plantation work, without overcrowding and suffocating the plants. In fact, tiny balconies and compact backyards are the perfect set up for an impressive fruit or vegetable garden. Considering the small available space, you can start growing edibles in vertical containers, arrange your pots on shelves or situate them on the window sills to cultivate herbs and berries.

     

    How to Design a Small Garden Beautifully?

    small garden design ideas

    It’s safe to say that small gardens come with lots of advantages. They can unleash your creative spirit, inspire new arrangements, and the best part is tiny spaces are simply low maintenance.

    The possibilities for an impressive design are endless. The furniture, plant choice, and decor enhancement are playing a big role in setting up the vibe of the place. Make sure to decorate the open area depending on the style goal you have set for your garden.

    Here are a few tips and tricks to make the task easier and make the most of your outdoor space:

     

    Think Vertically

    One of the most efficient ways to increase the capacity of your garden is to vertically implement shelves and ornaments on the nearby walls or fence panels. Optimal usage of vertical space ensures you would be able to enjoy lush surroundings and furnish your outdoor retreat without unnecessary area restriction.

    The setting up of a vertical garden requires level shelving, smart usage of initial wall structures, or sometimes installment of vertical grow modules. With such decorative implementations, small pots, containers, and baskets could easily be stored on the wall or hang down from a shade ceiling.

    Another vertical strategy encourages pot planting of climbing plants, situated under a bare balcony railing or yard fence. Such greens would get attached to the railed structure and would keep on growing alongside it, freeing up a lot of space in your garden and granting you some partial privacy.

    living wall

    Living walls of vines or trellises are also an amazing addition to any residential garden. These impressive textured plantings could freshen up any limited space and are perfect to cover-up old or cracked facades, as well as shabby outdated structures. Their modern and minimalist look makes an urban outdoor space homey and cozy, as it implies a sense of comfort and gives out a close-to-nature vibe. Make sure to set a good base for the plants to climb. For superb end results, the whole facade should be covered by climbing panels.

     

    Keep the Furniture Along the Perimeter

    Designing your outdoor area into a hangout location requires a few simple things. First, you have to keep the central parts of the garden clear, in order to have enough space for group entertainment. With that in mind, all furniture and greenery should be situated along the perimeter.

    Arrangement of the furniture has an enormous impact on how the outdoor area is perceived. Objects of interest like grills, hammocks, dining spots, games, toys, pet houses, armchairs, and benches should be located at the edges of your garden. Place them against walls and railings, or simply put them alongside in between greenery.

    In case your space is awfully limited, try to look for alternative furnishings like half-sized tables and foldable chairs. Another solution is zoning the garden out, separating it into tiny different sections. It’s easy to maintain a spacing illusion thanks to various decor options like rugs and plant ornaments. You can also achieve it if by placing light-colored furniture next to a brick wall or paved area.

     

    Use the Corners

    Optimization of garden space stands for utilizing the full lot potential. In order to do that, you have to apply the corner strategy of furniture placement. In simple words – situating the outdoor items on the edges of your garden. It not only creates more space in the central area but also visibility makes your yard or balcony look bigger.

    The corner of an urban garden is a real gem. There are many amazing possibilities to transform it:

    • Turn it into a plant paradise. Corners work great with plant displays, shelves, and modules. You can create a green paradise that would improve your mood and leave your guests speechless;
    • Create a cozy pet retreat. Your pet would love to have their own kennel space, where it can chill and play with all its toys;
    • Make it a grill space. Utilize your corner by making it a fun place to hang out and make BBQ;
    • Situate corner seating and a dining table. Such a seating efficiently saves a lot of space and is very popular amongst interior enthusiasts who work on projects for small packed places;
    • Place a bench, sofa or armchair. Turn your garden corner into a place of relaxation, you can further decorate with cushions, lanterns, and blankets.

     

    Get Creative with the Seating Places

    Every private urban garden needs at least one zone for dining, entertainment or chill out. All these sectors always require relevant lounge and seat options, so why not get creative? We have a few seating ideas that could significantly improve the environment of your patio, yard or terrace.

    Extra seats are always a plus, especially when you have guests. One of the best ways to always be ready to accommodate more people is investing in foldable chairs or stack up seating. Another option is to buy big floor cushions that could be piled up when you do not use them. They are easy to store as they do not take much space.

     

    Plant in Pots

    potted plant

    A great garden does not always include ground planting or a lawn. Thanks to planters, concrete beds, and pots, it’s easy to maintain a lush healthy outdoor area at home. Almost every small and medium-sized plant could be cultivated and grown on your own balcony or deck (flowers, herbs, edibles, vines, trees, and shrubs). 

    As most small gardens have free space issues, vertical installations are here to save the day. Consider placing your potted greenery on a ladder or windowsill to showcase them, or just mount some shelves on the walls to arrange them. With vertical placements, you can get as creative as you wish! 

    How the Air is Getting Cleaner with People on Lockdown

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    air is getting cleaner

    It’s been pretty clear for some time that humans have been doing more harm to this planet than any other species. With the technological advances and our fast-paced lives, transportation has become a necessity of this era but also a huge factor contributing to pollution.

    If we look at the first immediate consequences of the Covid19 pandemic, we’ll see that the air is getting cleaner, and so is the planet.

     

    Why the Quality of Air Matters

    According to the Health Effects Institute (HEI), the report of State of Global Air 2019 declared that air pollution is the fifth leading cause of deaths worldwide and it is no surprise that road transport has taken the lead in being its highest contributor. 

    As people remain at home with reduced mobility, air quality keeps improving and finding a way back to normality. Strict global lockdowns result in reduced dependency on transport, less fuel combustion and drastic decrease in greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere.

    If this situation lasts, we might experience an atmosphere as clean, or at least nearly as clean as the one that our forefathers used to live in.

    People in every corner of the world continue to feel the ripples of the pandemic. Urban life has practically come to a standstill. Many roads that were once too busy to drive have now turned into empty vessels.

    Work from home policies have diminished the need for public transport and transit systems, at the same time proving that there are ways for businesses to operate effectively and with reduced impact on the environment.

    It may be a strong nudge which we needed to realize that our daily practices require a change. 

     

    The Sky over the Dirtiest Cities Clearing Up

    Many places around the globe are showing massive improvements in terms of lessening the levels of air pollutants. Wuhan, China, the alleged source of the novel coronavirus, saw a 49% decrease in air pollution. In South Korea, Seoul, the reduction was 54%.

    India’s capital New Delhi can see clear skies after many years, with a drastic 60% drop in air pollution. Other major cities around the world like Los Angeles showed reduction by 31% in the month of March while London showed 50% reductions in nitrogen dioxide (N02) during their lock-down period.

    Another uplifting fact for the environmentally-conscious is that this decrease in air pollution has led to 11% rise in ozone layer levels that haven’t been seen in decades. These results come from researchers around the San Francisco Bay Area after analysis of the ozone layer. Similar improvement in the ozone seems to occur in other countries too.

    According to the study done by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, people who are exposed to a particulate matter of air pollution called PM2.5, produced from the exhaust of transport and industries, are at higher risk of contracting Covid19. This means that places with high levels of air pollution are more prone to the disease than cleaner areas.

    It is a major eye opener for all of us that if we want to control this global pandemic and prevent similar outbreaks in the future, we need to take stringent protective measures.

     

    The Next Steps Towards Healthier Living

    Now the question that emerges is what will happen after the pandemic is over. Will we go back to the same old practices? Will governments make efforts to keep the levels of pollution low? Can the environment still flourish with human activity?

    Such issues should be addressed soon. Policy makers should find ways to implement cleaner transport solutions with minimum fuel consumption as well as look towards more eco-friendly solutions like renewable power sources

    On our part, we can opt for simple options like walking, riding bicycles or electric scooters, switching to hybrid or electric cars or carpooling. There are many options to lower our carbon footprint individually. If we combine our efforts with responsible policies on a global level, sustainable living may become a reality and our future generations may get the healthy environment that they deserve.

    Waste To Energy Technologies in 2020

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    waste to energy

    The worldwide waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies market is expected to grow by 6.54% by 2025. WTE can be described as a process of using organic waste material into heat or electricity, which is used to power vehicles while saving the environment at the same time. 

    The primary reason that WTE technology is so popular is the fact that it converts solid waste substances – including paper and plastic – into energy, cost-effectively and sustainably. 

    Improper waste removal negatively impacts the environment and has made it difficult for nations to meet the goals and objectives for sustainable urban living. Not only this, but high waste production also increases our dependence on non-fossil fuel energy sources is another leading factor responsible for the emergence of the WTE market. 

    If you are an environmental enthusiast, here are the top 10 waste-to-energy technology trends that you should watch. 

     

    Top 10 Waste-To-Energy Technology Trends 2020

    Dominance Of Thermal-Based WTE

    Mass burn combustion facilities have existed for decades and their demand is still high. Thermal WTE technologies dominate the market and expected to maintain position moving forward. In 2013, thermal-based waste-to-energy technologies accounted for 88.2% of total market revenue. The primary reason is the massive amount of waste generated each month.

    Development in gasification and incineration technologies has made it possible to operate large-scale thermal combustion facilities while minimizing polluting emissions. The straightforward process makes the technology highly appropriate for producing energy. With over 100 facilities in the US and many more in Asia and Europe, thermal-based combustion is the top choice for companies. For example, the University of New Hemisphere recently launched the EcoLine waste-to-energy facility.

     

    Threats From Renewable Energy Sources 

    Well established renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro form a barrier to the development of WTE plants. Furthermore, the cost of setting up thermal waste-to-energy facilities is much higher. As such, it discourages new participants.

    The primary thermal technologies are direct combustion, pyrolysis, plasma arc gasification, and conventional gasification. The cost varies for each facility based on the differences in the technology and the requirement of a unique design, features, equipment, and site space. Apart from this, other factors influence the cost of construction. 

     

    High Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) 

    All kinds of environmental pollution caused by the growing population and commercial activities in urban areas contribute to high municipal solid waste (MSW) driving the waste-to-energy market.

    According to international environmental experts, thermal-based conversion of waste to energy will lead the growing economies, especially in Asia Pacific region were ecological protection concerns are more serious.

    Factors such as heightened economic development, construction, and industrialization also support the production of municipal solid waste and influence the demand for thermal-based waste-to-energy technologies.  

     

    Emergence Of Biological Technologies

    Biological technologies convert waste to energy in more Eco-friendly way compared to thermal based ones. The market segment for biological techniques is growing at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 9.7% in the last six years.

    Considering this background, biological technologies are more appreciated by environmental experts, and the segment is likely to penetrate the market. 

     

    Asia-Pacific To Rule The Market

    The amount of solid waste generation globally will increase to ten billion metric tons within the next ten years. Out of this, almost 25% of waste is estimated to be produced by the Asia-Pacific region only.

    As mentioned earlier, the primary cause of high waste material production is high consumption by households, rising urban population, and industrialization activities making Asia-Pacific dominate the market.  

     

    Advancements In Globalization 

    Environmental pollution keeps growing at an unprecedented rate in both developing and developed countries.

    Globalization and foreign direct investment have spurred the growth of transnational economic activities, including travel and tourism – two sectors that generate tonnes of waste. To make these industries sustainable, there’s need to leverage advanced waste to energy technologies.

    Some of the leading names in the global waste-to-energy market include C&E Environmental Protection Holding Ltd., Foster Wheeler A.G., Suez Environment S.A., Babock & Wilcox Co., and Veolia Environment. All have improvised their operational processes with the help of technologies. Such innovative technologies enables them to reduce installation costs and achieve operational efficiency.

     

    Upcoming Utility-Scale Plants 

    Most of the utility-scale plants are based in the US, China, Europe, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, and India. In 2013, Europe accounted for a total of 47.6% of the total market revenue and labelled as the most prominent regional market.

    Other than high industrial waste, a driving factor was the EU Waste Legislation. The characteristics on which local markets are identified is the adoption of waste-to-energy technology by countries such as the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany. 

     

    Hydrothermal Carbonization Waste-To-Energy Technology

    Geothermal conversion of liquid waste is relatively a slow process, but upcoming waste-to-energy technologies. Emerging technology is Hydrothermal Carbonization (HTC) specially designed for transformation of wet biomass feedstock through heat. Acid at high pressure is used as a catalyst to speed up the process and stimulate the generation of hydro-char. 

    The significant benefit is its low processing time while the conditions and circumstances in which this process is executed are similar to older ones. The properties of hydro-char are identical to that of fossil fuels, and this technology produces the same amount of energy. The best thing about this waste-to-energy conversion technology is that it is not dependent on any kind of energy input. 

     

    Emergence Of Dendro Liquid Energy (DLE) 

    Experts consider Dendro Liquid Energy (DLE) four times more efficient in generating electricity than anaerobic digestion (AD). 

    It’s an innovation in the global waste-to-energy technologies market because it produces zero waste. Additionally, zero-emission discharge makes the plant facilities contaminated and unfit for operations. With the adoption of this zero-waste technology innovation in Germany, market participants expect better opportunities in the future. 

     

    Incineration as a waste-to-energy technology

    Incineration is the oldest and well-known technique for treating and processing municipal solid waste. However, this waste-to-energy technology is not without limitations. It’s biggest drawback is the high cost of operation and maintenance, making it unfit for waste-to-energy conversion activities. There were 700 incinerators in 1930 in the US. 

    But the number decreased to only 265 by 1996 due to the technical problems caused by air emissions. Furthermore, the emissions pose a threat to human health. Continuous exposure can cause severe respiratory problems and lung diseases. 

    Ignorance and high-cost perception by the public inhibits the grow of this technology in the waste-to-energy market.

    However, with the advancement of technologies, plant owners can adopt standard operating procedures for washing the flue gas stream. It is considered a significant improvement in environmental sustainability. 

     

    Growing Environmental Issues

    Waste incinerator technological interference disrupts the waste management and the entire waste stream. Instead of preventing waste generation, these systems continuously produce waste and inhibit waste prevention practices. The pollutants if trapped in the system, need particular landfills for proper disposal. 

    If the machine handler attempts to recover the energy, heat exchanges would be required which operates at even higher temperatures and stimulate greater dioxin production. This intervention is against all the five waste management principles (e.g. reuse, recycle, reduce, waste minimization, and landfill). Environmental experts consider it a costly mechanism that creates fewer jobs compared to conventional recycling-based businesses. 

     

    Negative Impact On Human Health 

    While there are several advantages that humans can achieve from waste-to-energy, drawbacks abound. First, the incineration systems release several kinds of pollutants damaging to both humans and marine life. 

    While new waste incineration systems are extremely expensive, they cannot control the emission of toxic metals and acidic gases completely. 

    The most harmful Persistent Organic Pollutant (POPs) is dioxin which can cause malignant growth, neurological syndromes, reproductive issues, lung diseases, and thyroid damage. 

    According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), incinerators are the most significant source of dioxin. The toxins can affect different people in different ways:

    According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), incinerators are the most significant source of dioxin. The toxins can affect different people in different ways:

    1. By consuming the food or beverages from the street stalls that have been contaminated by the air pollutants.
    2. People who work in the plant or live are more vulnerable to inhale the air polluted by the waste incinerators.
    3. By eating a fish or any marine animal affected with pollutants. Waste incinerators have failed to eliminate the need for a landfill as they also produce ash and toxic residues which need to be dumped off properly.

     

    Financial Impacts

    In all the developed economies, more than half of the total waste-to-energy technology investment is used for control systems that reduce harmful emissions such as cadmium, dioxins, lead, mercury, and other volatile organic compounds. A single incinerator of 2000 MT capacity can cost up to $500 million.

    Another factor that makes the combustion process uneconomical and polluting is the need for adding auxiliary fuel to convert massive amounts of garbage. On average, developing countries produce trash with a calorific value of 800 Cal per kg, which is not enough. Combustion technologies work perfectly with a minimum calorific value of 2500 Cal/kg fuel.

     

    Conclusion

    It is increasingly essential to adopt alternative methods like waste-to-energy technologies for the appropriate disposal of garbage and converting it into something useful like electricity or heat. We are in dire need of low-cost solutions, but it shouldn’t be based on compromising human health and environment safety.

    How to Live Zero-Waste During the Coronavirus

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    zero waste lifestyle

    While recycling is undoubtedly good for the planet, it isn’t enough to keep it clean. We create too much plastic to recycle it quickly enough. 

    A staggering 91% of plastic in the world isn’t recycled because the mass production of the material is so fast that we don’t have enough time to handle it.

    That’s why we need to start leading zero-waste lives.

     

    What’s the Zero-Waste Movement?

    Even blaming large corporations for the current state of the planet is easy, we have to take a look in the mirror and realize that we’re partially to blame for it. You see, around 45% of waste dumped in landfills consists of food, packaging, and containers.

    Although recycling is a noble cause, most households are not particularly good at it. Research suggests that around 25% of recycled items end up in the bin where they don’t belong. Instead of recycling, you should try producing as little waste as possible.

    The zero-waste movement requires people to use little to no plastic and wrappers to create little to no garbage. You need to follow the “five R’s of zero-waste” if you want to do your part and keep the planet clean. 

    The five R’s are:

    • Refuse to purchase things in needless packaging
    • Reduce the purchase of things you don’t really need
    • Reuse old clothing, buy used goods, and use green products
    • Rot or compost organic material and grow plants at your home
    • Recycle as much as possible, no matter how much energy it takes

     

    Can the Zero-Waste Movement Survive the Crisis?

    Zero-waste lifestyle enthusiasts that have been paying attention to the news probably noticed that numerous media outlets have been questioning whether the movement can survive this or not. Needless to say, many were less than optimistic about the movement’s chances.

    With so much news about communities and services shutting down zero-waste programs, one has to wonder: can the zero-waste movement survive the outbreak?

    Health and safety should be your top priority but you can still make an effort to make your life waste-free — even during the coronavirus.

     

    How to Maintain a Zero-Waste Lifestyle in Quarantine

    Here are a few ways you can do to keep your life free of waste in the following months.

     

    Start Using Reusable Face Masks

    The CDC recommends wearing a medical mask to cover your nose and mouth during the outbreak. But that doesn’t mean you strictly need to use disposable masks. Get a reusable, cloth face mask to save needless waste. Just make sure to properly sanitize the mask every time you remove it.

     

    Try Biodegradable Nitrile Gloves

    Of course, you need to get your hands on (and in) some gloves. The problem is that most disposable gloves aren’t biodegradable. That’s why you should try and get some biodegradable nitrile gloves. As this infographic shows us, nitrile gloves can 20% biodegrade within 6 months and completely within 5 years.

     

    Ditch Take Out and Start Cooking

    All of us like to have some snacks now and then or order some Chinese. But during the current period, at least, you should forgo take-outs and start cooking your own meals. Not only will this help you create less package and food waste but it will also allow you to finally clean up your diet.  

     

    Use Up What You Have Stashed

    We’ve all seen that panic-shopping can lead to unnecessary food shortages. Avoid shopping for the first week, use up what you have to stay both responsible and waste-free. As the World Health Organization advises, see what you have stashed, plan out your meals, and only then, go shopping.

     

    Let Your Diet Become More Plant-Based

    When you finally go out shopping, be careful about your food choices. Switching to a more plant-based diet will help you fight off seasonal viruses, stay fit, and healthy. In China, people have already started eating more plant-based meals, due to links between meat and viral diseases.

     

    Buy the Largest Size Packages

    There are times when you won’t have a choice but to buy something packed in plastic. When this happens, bulk shopping is a great way to reduce package waste. Why buy two or three small bags of flour when you can buy a large bag? Buy large packages to reduce the overall amount of packaging.

     

    Don’t Forget About Package Free Shopping

    Package-free shopping can also stay a part of your lifestyle during the COVID-19 outbreak. Most stores offer milk and vegetables in returnable bottles and jars. Some stores even allow their employees to scoop products rice, nuts, and cereal and put them in reusable bags for you.   

     

    Use Eco-friendly Products to Clean Your Home

    The coronavirus has made some people revert to more traditional hygiene and cleaning products. Although using eco-friendly surface cleaners, soaps, and wipes is not as popular as it was before the outbreak, there’s no reason not to use them. They are just as effective as traditional cleaning products.

     

    Make Your Own Zero-Waste Wet Wipes

    Speaking of sanitation, many people are buying single-use wet wipes like crazy. While wet-wipes can be extremely useful around the house, you can create your reusable version. All you need are three ingredients – soap, olive oil, and tea tree oil – and you create zero-waste wipes in no time.

     

    Stay Connected and In-Touch

    As you probably know, crisis communication is extremely important during this period. Make sure to keep up with the groups and people within the movement. Don’t be afraid to ask for tips or share some of your own with other members. Support is everything we have during hard times.

     

    Keep Your Life Waste-Free at All Times

    Admittedly, avoiding plastic altogether can be almost impossible at times. You just need to make an effort to avoid plastic as much as possible, take care of yourself to the best of your abilities, and wait for things to get better. Maybe it’s time to start an eco-friendly career or even to launch your own product or service that will help a zero-waste movement, especially at this challenging time for us.

    Once everything is back to normal, you can show the members of your community that leading a waste-free lifestyle is possible, even during the hardest times.

    Get Involved for Earth Day, April 22

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    Earth Day

    Earth Day is this Wednesday, April 22nd.

    If you’re looking for some ways you can take part in the environmental day of celebration, consider some of these simple outdoor – and indoor – activities you can do to live more sustainably.

    Whether you’re looking for something to do by yourself, with your family, or with your whole community, these ideas will have you covered.

     

    Get Into the Earth Day Spirit

    earth day kids

    What’s Earth Day all about, really? Check out these links to learn how it all got started. And share the knowledge with your children while you’re at it!

     

    Plant a Tree

    tree planting

    … or plant anything! It’s the perfect time of year to get your garden prepped, and make your own environment a bit greener.

    Consider some of these eco friendly gardening tips that may give you some inspiration for taking care of your yard this year:

     

    Green Your Household

    homemade cleaning products

    In the event the weather doesn’t make Earth Day optimal for tree planting or gardening, there are lots of indoor activities you can tackle to make your household more eco-friendly.

    Between spring cleaning, home renovations, and cooking, there is lots to keep busy with while keeping the environment in mind.

    Spring Cleaning

     

    Home Improvements

     

    Cooking with Eco Friendly Recipes

     

    Take Part in Local Environmental Events

    earth day event

    Most communities have Earth Day events taking place on or around the 22nd. Whether it’s a concert, festival, or just a group doing a community clean-up, nothing beats getting out and getting involved with like-minded people.

    To get connected with your local organizers, either ask around at your community center, or check out websites like EventBrite to see what’s taking place near you.

    And if you’re an environmental event organizer, check out EventBrite’s nonprofit event page to set up your own event.

     

    Looking for More?

    If you’re still looking for more eco-friendly Earth Day projects, check out this guide of 50 ways you can help the planet — it covers everything from going vegetarian once a week (or more!), to cutting down on water consumption, to taking care of your yard.

    And of course, if you’re interested in regular green living tips, be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

    Hopefully these tips have inspired you to take steps this Earth Day to living more sustainably. If you have any ideas you want to share with us, tweet us @greenerideal and let us know!

    WATCH: How Earth Day Began

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    For those of us who were born after 1970, Earth Day has always been a reality.

    But if you weren’t around to see its movement begin, you might wonder how it all got started.

    This video highlights some of the most important facts about how Earth Day began, and gives credit to the great people who put it all into place and got the world to “wake up and pay attention to the most important challenge the human species faces.

    (No, that quote isn’t attributed to Al Gore – it was Gaylord Nelson!)

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