If you’re planning your fall garden this month why not add a compost pile to the mix? Composting is a natural way to dispose of organic waste by breaking down organic material and transforming it into a nutrient rich soil additive, known as compost. Compost is a great, eco-friendly fertilizer for your garden. It loosens heavy clay so plants can thrive and helps sandy soil hold onto nutrients and moisture. Compost also encourages beneficial microorganisms that help your plants grow strong and healthy.
Upcycling is a growing trend in DIY crafting that takes an item or material that is past its useful life and transforms it into a new creation, usually with a higher value. Upcycling is a good way to reduce waste by reclaiming objects or pieces of objects and turning them into a product that gives the parts renewed value. Here are a few fun projects that you can try yourself with everyday household items:
Leonardo da Vinci is best known for painting the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper”. But he was more than a gifted artist, he was also an engineer and a scientist. Much of his scientific studies were dedicated to understanding the movement and characteristics of water which culminated in his published work, Water Theory: On the origin and fate of water. Ahead of his time, in his water theory da Vinci came close to defining the hydrological cycle, pointing out that water passes through major river systems multiple times, equaling sums much greater than the volumes contained in the world’s oceans.
In true artistic fashion, da Vinci was able to sum up the importance of water with his famous quote, “Water is the driving force of all nature.”
According to reports from the Ocean Conservancy, there were more than 10 million pounds of trash littering our coasts last year. The nation’s coastlines were covered in an array of items: cigarettes, food wrappers and containers, plastic bottles and bags, caps, lids, eating utensils, straws and stirrers, glass bottles, cans and paper bags, mattresses, even kitchen sinks!
Trash littering the coast can eventually end up in our oceans, affecting the wildlife we care about and the ecosystems that they depend on. But we can do something about it. Pledge to fight trash today and follow some of the simple tips below to do your part for a better tomorrow.
Infographic courtesy of Prevention.com
Summer is in full swing, and the longer days and warm temps make now the perfect time to throw an outdoor soiree, whether a small patio gathering or an all-out block party. As you can probably guess, though, these kinds of events often produce a lot of waste — each year Americans toss out enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times, says the Clean Air Council.
All but 4% of the trash produced in Sweden bypasses the landfill and is either recycled or used as fuel in their waste-to-energy programs. Sweden is able to generate 20% of the energy they need to heat the country and also provide electricity for 250,000 homes. They’re so successful in their recycling and waste-to-energy programs, they’re actually running out of trash.
Sweden has begun to import tons of trash from neighboring countries in order to gather burnable waste so they can incinerate it and create energy. Countries like Norway are paying them to take their waste, since it’s more expensive for the Norwegians to burn the trash in their own country and they lack recycling programs.
Waste-to-energy initiatives have been introduced in Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, and Lithuania. In the USA, 67% of our waste ends up in landfills. Hopefully someday, we can follow in the eco-friendly footsteps of our European friends.
The U.N. recently released a report extolling the virtues of edible insects as an environmentally responsible alternative to meat as a source of protein and other nutrients. With their high fat, protein, fiber, and mineral contents, edible insects certainly pack a healthy punch! What’s even better is that the cost to our environment to raise insects for consumption is far less than the impact of raising large livestock for meat.
Honey bees are super pollinators and have an enormous impact on the environment. Since the mid 2000’s their numbers have been declining rapidly. Scientist are unable to explain their disappearance but one thing is for certain, the absence of bees would leave much of the world’s food supply in question. Without pollinating insect life, fruits, vegetables, and field crops would be obsolete causing extreme hardship for the farm and food industry and leaving their future, and our survival, in question.
Follow these steps to reduce your ‘plastic footprint’ and help keep plastics out of the marine environment:
- Use cloth bags for shopping and metal/glass reusable bottles instead of plastic
- Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag, sandwich bag or snack bag
- Bring your travel mug with you to the coffee shop
- Go digital and buy your music and movies online
- Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills
- Volunteer at a beach cleanup (check Surfrider Foundation Chapters to find one near you)
- Recycle. But if you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), the most commonly recycled plastics. Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam