Can Recycling be Fun?

November 11, 2009 by Rick
Volkswagon is working on an arcade game that accepts recycled bottles. Injinuity and innovation at work to solve trash and recycling issues.

Is Your Flower Pot Half Full? part 1

September 13, 2009 by Rick

Ray Kurzweil gave this presentation about the exponential effect of technology on the advancement of science and the standard of living. Listening to this you get a feel for where we have come from and where we could be going with the current and future advancements at hand. Definitely a glass half full presentation.

If you really want to get your hopes up read this story or listen to this recent NPR report. It states that scientists at MIT have developed a new, more environmentally friendly way to make batteries. Their approach employs an unusual component: genetically engineered viruses. These new batteries have the same energy capacity as other lithium batteries of the same size and show potential to develop even more powerful batteries. They can be made in water at room temperature without organic solvents or pollutants. Exxon owns the patents on nanotubes and buckminsterfullerene . I hope there is no conflict of interest with them on MIT developing major energy saving devices too quickly?

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

June 9, 2009 by Rick

Hillsborough, Polk, Pasco, Pinellas, Lee and Palm Beach county citizens should feel good about their leadership in developing Energy-from-Waste (EfW) programs also known as waste-to-energy (WTE). Each Floridian produces 1 ton of recoverable waste per year. That 1 ton of waste is converted to the equivalent of 1 barrel of oil or 1/4 ton of coal. The county government leaders in the 1980's made these plants possible in response to Federal programs requiring recycling and by using the corresponding grants to get them started. The citizen response to curbside recycling and bulk recycling by local farms and businesses have made these programs overwhelmingly successful and models for similar action around the world. We hear about China opening a new dirty coal fired plant every week but what gets little press is they are contracting 130 Energy-from-Waste plants for the future. China is far ahead of the US  with their National Geographic Greendex Score.

With more cooperation from our global, federal, state and county leaders there is plenty of room to displace more coal fired power companies growth with Energy-from-Waste (EfW) programs. Bone up on the facts so you can throw your support behind the right people and the right programs. Florida utilities and coal producers around the country are lobbying hard for more coal fired plants. Check out this climate change update from Al Gore on TED TALKS.

 

Fact Sheet

Quick facts from Covanta's web site - It All Adds Up

250 million tons of municipal solid waste processed to date is equivalent to:

  • the annual amount of waste landfilled in the U.S.
  • over 30 million garbage trucks full of waste, that if placed end to end, would circle the earth over 4 times.
  • If landfilled, the waste would have buried the National Mall from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, completely covering the Washington Monument.

Annually, Covanta facilities process:

  • enough MSW to fill 18 Empire State Buildings

250 million tons of greenhouse gases avoided is equivalent to:

  • planting 6 billion trees
  • pulling more than 41 million cars off the road for a year
  • the growth of a forest the size of Minnesota in a year
  • offsetting the use of 49 coal power plants for one year

Annually, Covanta facilities offset:

  • nearly 16 million tons of greenhouse gases

250 million tons of municipal solid waste converted into electricity powers:

  • over 11 million homes for a year

Annually, Covanta processes enough MSW to power:

  • over 1,000,000 homes
  • all the homes in a city the size of Philadelphia and suburbs

In processing 250 million tons of waste, Covanta has recycled over 5 million tons of metal, enough to build 60 Golden Gate bridges.

Annually, Covanta facilities recycle:

  • 360,000 tons of metal, enough to build 275,000 hybrid cars

 

The Hillsborough County site produces enough electricity to power 100,000 homes. They cleanly burn and convert 12,000 tons of waste per day. Hillsborough County is adding a third incinerator at this site on Faulkinburg Road to greatly increase energy output and further reduce the demand for new coal fired plant expansion.


Compost Happens

May 2, 2009 by Rick

As Felder Says, " Rule #1 Stop throwing that stuff away. Rule #2 Pile it up."

Or, you can get real elaborate if you compost your table scraps too and don't want the critters digging in your pile. 

Take a look at this fancy ECOmposter at COSTCO It looks like an easy way to get into compost production. It is 32 inches in diameter and one of the practical rules is that the pile needs to be 3 foot by 3 foot by 3 foot to build enough heat to effectively compost. Maybe the black color, patented air tubes and shape do give the ECOmposter the ability to heat up and work quickly as they claim. You would have to have it nearly full and the stand that allows you to spin it is included at that price only when you purchase it from Costco. It would be difficult to manage for some folks without the stand. Will it keep the racoons out of your food scraps? I have seen some smart and toothy racoons and would like to know if anyone has an ECOmposter and can declare it bandito proof and an efficient tool. Costco's 100% satisfaction gauranteed return policy is another reason it is one of my favorite stores.

picture of a racoon

Image from CathCat

The U of F Cooperative Extension Service in your county has information and workshops on composting that will enlighten you about these natural happenings.


Green Roof and Green Wall Links

April 26, 2009 by Rick

A digital magazine on Green Roof and Green Wall installations and the industry that is making them happen.

Maybe you will get some green ideas that cut some solar heat from a wall or window on your home or you might get inspired to do great things.

http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/greenroofs/lam_2009winter/#/0

 

 


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Categories: Environmental Awareness Education
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Environmental Awareness at Epcot

April 14, 2009 by Rick

Epcot Floral

The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is always a hit every spring as gardeners from around the world are amazed by the floral displays. Throughout the years the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association members and Florida Master Gardeners have volunteered at demonstrations set up for Flower Festival visitors. Nearly 1 million Florida Gardeners visit the Festival each spring and learn how to beautify their home landscape using the latest environmentally friendly practices and products.

Welcome Sign

Volunteers greet interested folks who want to learn ways to cut down on waste and save water and energy using the methods and products on display in the demonstrations.

 

RU Wasteful Mailbox RU Wasteful House

RU Wasteful Sign Look for the Leak

We had the most questions from homeowners in central Florida looking for alternatives the St. Augustine grass featured at the R. U. Wasteful residence along with other good Florida plants planted in the wrong place.

The display at the adjacent I.M. Green residence featured turf alternatives like Beach Sunflower and many plants that require low amounts of water to thrive in Florida. It also featured Empire Zoysia turf that can survive without irrigation after establishment.

IM Green Sign IM Green Mailbox

Pesticide Use Drought Tolerant Bulbine at Epcot Demonstration

Compost Bin Compost Sign

Harvest Rainwater Rain Guage Sign

Rain Guage Rainbarrel

Water Saving Demo at Epcot Drip Irrigation Roses Epcot

Rainbird Watersaving Demo at Epcot 09

Rainbird staffs a booth demonstrating the proper way to set up and use efficient irrigation systems with timers, nozzles, drip emitters and rain shutoff devices. There is still plenty of time to get to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival before it ends June 1.


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Categories: Turf Substitute | Design | Drip Irrigation | Environmental Awareness Education | Florida Friendly Landscape | Turf Substitute
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The Edison Green Fest Starts March 26th

March 12, 2009 by Rick

Edison GreenFest


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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping
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Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

February 26, 2009 by Rick

For the 11th year, FNGLA will participate in the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival with an all-new concept and theme: Green Gardening for the family.  Focusing on two typical households, the garden will focus on two “families”: the I.B. Green household and the R.U. Wasteful family and the common practices of each.  
 hannah

The “Green” family will showcase the concepts of “Right Plant, Right Place,” composting, water conservation, gardening for consumption and will include an area focusing on bio-fuel plants while the “Wasteful” family will highlight some commonly found non-green practices such as improper use of plant material, excess recyclable waste not being recycled and the like.  This new, cutting-edge, contemporary theme showcases FNGLA as a leader in the green sustainability movement bringing easy-to-implement green practices, focused on plants.

Opening Day is March 18 of the 10½ week festival ending on June 1. We will be volunteering along with other Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Associate members to share the wealth of knowledge available to go "Green"


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Categories: 9 Principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping | Container Gardening | Design | Drip Irrigation | Florida Friendly Landscape
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Welcome to our Florida Friendly Plants Blog

January 19, 2009 by Rick

We plan to share through numerous posts our enthusiasm and experience as long-time Florida gardeners and horticulturists. Our hope is that your gardening efforts will be successful and enjoyable.  We’ll share ways to make your yards and patios beautiful while following the University of Florida's Nine Principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping:

 

1) Right Plant, Right Place: Plants selected to suit a specific site will require minimal amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides.

 

2) Water Efficiently: Irrigate only when your lawn needs water. Efficient watering is the key to a healthy yard and conservation of limited resources.

 

3) Fertilize Appropriately: Less is often best. Over-use of fertilizers can be hazardous to your yard and the environment.

 

4) Mulch: Maintain two to three inches of mulch to help retain soil moisture, prevent erosion and suppress weeds.

 

5) Attract Wildlife: Plants in your yard that provide food, water and shelter can conserve Florida’s diverse wildlife.

 

6) Manage Yard Pests Responsibly: Unwise use of pesticides can harm people, pets, beneficial organisms and the environment.

 

7) Recycle: Grass clippings, leaves and yard trimmings composted and recycled on site provide nutrients to the soil and reduce waste disposal.

 

8) Reduce Storm water Runoff: Water running off your yard can carry pollutants, such as fertilizer, pesticides, soil and debris that can harm water quality. Reduction of this runoff will help prevent pollution.

 

9) Protect the Waterfront: Waterfront property, whether on a river, stream, pond, bay or beach, is very fragile and should be carefully protected to maintain freshwater and marine ecosystems.

 

More details can be found here: http://fyn.ifas.ufl.edu/homeowners/nine_principles.htm

 

 
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


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