Archive for the recycling Category

Noon Solar Releases Solar Messenger Bags

Posted in clean energy, ethical consumerism, green energy, recycling, solar, sustainability on November 26, 2007 by theseep

While these aren’t the first solar backpack/messenger bag offerings, the new offerings from Noon Solar are the most stylish that I’ve seen so far. They are constructed of “Bavarian sourced, chrome-free, naturally tanned and dyed, full-grain cowhide leather and naturally dyed hemp cotton blend.” Sorry for the vegans in the crowd, but Voltaic has a solar backpack and messenger bag offering made of recycled PET as a more eco-friendly but not quite so chic option. Then again, when have I ever been into chic?  Both Noon’s and Voltaic’s designs integrate a battery and charger into the bag, allowing you to charge your various gadgets on the fly with nothing but photons from the skies.  Either would be an expensive but relatively environmentally conscious and useful holiday present!

via Engadget

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Vegfalia Hits 300,000 Miles, Last 4,000 Without Petrol

Posted in alternative fuel, biodiesel, clean energy, conservation, ethical consumerism, green energy, recycling, sustainability, transportation on November 12, 2007 by theseep

We’ve just passed a fantastic milestone in any vehicle – the 300,000 mile mark.  Although the Vegfalia has only run 1% of these miles on biodiesel and veggie oil thus far, we’re hoping for many more miles out of her. In today’s disposable society, conservation is still the easiest and best way to protect our resources, and taking care of and preserving an older vehicle can still be more eco-friendly than getting a new one when you factor in the energy and materials required to build it. Granted, driving around a poorly-tuned 1975 smoke belcher isn’t what we’re talking about and at that point you could probably upgrade to something more efficient. Don’t forget, if you have a favorite vintage frame that you’re still in love with keeping alive, you can always consider converting it to electric.

The Pope Wants You to Recycle and Preserve the Earth!

Posted in conservation, politics, recycling, sustainability on April 28, 2007 by theseep


Well, I hate to say I told you so, Reverend Robertson and the other evangelicals with a right-wing Christian stranglehold on middle America, but the Pope, yes the terrestrial right hand of the Catholic God himself, believes in global warming! At a Vatican conference on Climate Change on Thursday, Pope Benedict said that we need to “respect creation” while “focusing on the needs of sustainable development”. It seems that common sense, reason, and forward thinking are indeed characteristics that some branches of religion can still possess.
In case you haven’t heard, the majority of American evangelical ministers have come out publicly against our scientifically confirmed global energy and environmental crises. They cite various reasons for this stance, including the inherent distrust of the scientific process, the concern that putting our energy towards environmentalism is “taking our focus away from god”, plus the brilliant concept that since the apocalypse is coming, it doesn’t really matter what we do to the planet!
I still really cannot fathom how supposedly free-thinking Americans can buy into these evangelical brain-sucker schemes. All you have to do is a minuscule amount of research and it becomes painfully obvious how backwards some of these ministries are. Have you seen the movie Jesus Camp? Wow. Frightening to say the least.
While I am not religious in the least, ascribing to the “science as god” theory of the universe, and firmly convinced that all religions are simply varied attempts at explaining the world’s and human existence, where we go when we die, and building moral frameworks, I am elated that we are seeing some sort of environmental leadership from the Catholic Church.
If we can get the followers of the silver diviner who was convicted of fraud then found golden tablets with scripture in the hills of upstate NY, reading them with “magic glasses” (which he lost then had to use “seeing stones” in a magic hat) to step up towards environmental stewardship, we might make some progress with the conservative religious side of our country!

via treehugger and the Guardian

Home Biodiesel Production now in the Black!

Posted in biodiesel, ethical consumerism, green energy, recycling, sustainability on April 17, 2007 by theseep

Well, after 1 1/2 years, we’ve made 540 gallons of biodiesel in our appleseed processor and driven somewhere north of 13,000 miles on this renewable, CO2 neutral fuel. We’ve spent $1670 to build the processor, wash tank, storage tank/fueling station, a small shed to house it all, and the methanol and KOH needed for the process. With the current batch of homebrew B100, our total cost per gallon will be $3.09, now under the market price for dino-diesel. From here on out, the basic costs will be around $1.00/gallon for biodiesel and $0.25/gallon for filtering used vegetable oil. We currently have a Jetta TDI at 43mpg and by next month we’ll have the ’87 Westy Syncro TD Vanagon running biodiesel with a vegetable oil conversion getting an estimated 28-30mpg. Assuming that we drive a combined 15,000 mi/yr and take into consideration mileage, we’ll spend $269 on biofuel as opposed to $1394 for fossil fuel, saving $1125, reducing our cost by 80%, negating the CO2 emissions, and no longer require foreign or domestic petroleum. Granted, it takes time to do all this, but now that I have the process fairly wired, it takes less than 3 hours for a batch of 30 gallons.

I officially consider our biodiesel experiment a success! At the very least, we’ve broken even, decreased our fossil fuel use, and learned a ton. Plus, from here on out we’ll be saving money as well as being part of the solution not the problem.

Seek out biofuel options in your area!

Treehugger.com’s Go Green Guides

Posted in conservation, ethical consumerism, green energy, recycling, sustainability on January 7, 2007 by theseep


One of my favorite eco-blogs of course is Treehugger.com and I just noticed that they built a new “Go Green Guide” section! They break it down into the following sections:

Go treehuggers go.

graphic is from a t-shirt available at the American made and sweatshop-free bant-shirts.com

What You Can Do About Global Warming!

Posted in biodiesel, conservation, ethical consumerism, green energy, politics, recycling, solar, sustainability on January 4, 2007 by theseep


A few months ago I started an info page with basic tips on how to decrease your Carbon footprint and contribute to lessening global warming.
It will be the basis for our “solution library” where it will be easy to find resources to help you along in lessening your impact and starting to help the solution. I think the biggest things that we can all do right now is improve our own habits, spread awareness, and educate yourself, your family and your friends about our global energy crisis and our climate crisis. As more people realize where humanity stands, on the brink of a fall from grace, they will instigate change, they will pressure our government to take the necessary actions to save our economy, or civilization, and our planet.

Do it. Do it. (Not a Nike “do it. “, like Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Starsky and Hutch.)
photo credit: Betty Slaughter

Lack of Airline Recycling – As if Flying Isn’t Bad Enough!

Posted in recycling on December 19, 2006 by theseep

Treehugger posted a synopsis of a NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) report that has come up with some incredible numbers on the waste that airlines produce.
“. . Airlines in the U.S. throw away enough aluminum cans every year to build 58 new 747s. . . The airline industry threw out 9,000 tons of plastic in 2004, and enough newspapers and magazines to bury a football field more than 230 feet deep. . . Each passenger today leaves behind 1.3 pounds of trash, . . Seventy five percent of which is recycleable.”
Wow. On our flight back from our family holiday trip (at least it was CO2 offset), we noticed the Delta flight attendants neatly stacking the plastic trays and cups on their cart. We asked excitedly, “Do you recycle those?” Dissapointingly they said, “Sometimes an individual flight attendant will take them off the plane and recycle them, but the company doesn’t do it and we usually don’t have access to reycling in airports.”
Making a mental note recently, it is true that many if not most airports don’t have any recycling containers avaliable. Why is this? And why don’t airlines recycle? I propose a grassroots airline recycling effort. When you fly, write a letter to the airline requesting recycling and when you are on the plane, offer to the flight attendants to take the recycling off of the plane for them.
We recycled a whole bag of plastic! only 8,999.999 tons to go!
Form Letter:

To: ________ Airlines

Re: Recycling

To Whom It May Concern:

I was on a recent flight with your airline and was quite surprised to find that despite the large amount of plastic and aluminum waste that we as passengers generated, there was no recycling of this waste at all. I am writing to encourage your company to begin a recycling program with passenger waste which could save thousands of tons of landfill per year and thousands of dollars in disposal costs for your company.

The National Resource Defense Council recently released a report on airline waste which you can see at http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressReleases/061212.asp which details how much is thrown away per year by the industry. It also discusses the cost savings to airlines when they undertake recycling as part of their waste disposal operations. In Oakland, CA they have begun recycling and costs from one airline have dropped from $7,700/month to $2,500 and another airline is saving $1,300/month.

This proposal is not only an environmentally conscious and ethical choice, but a financial and cost-saving choice for your company. Please consider an aggressive recycling program for your airline to minimize your waste and maximize your profits.

Thank you,

Your Name