Going Green Blog

Convert trash and water to biofuel

What to do with all the 250 million tons of trash that arrives at U.S. landfills each year...bury it, burn it, extract the methane? These things are all being done at modern landfills, but a new partnership between Waste Management and Renmatix may allow garbage to be converted to sugars for producing biofuel. Renmatix is an innovative company with plenty of experience turning biomass into sugars. Its patented process uses super-heated water to breakdown biomass material into its most basic components which are then used to produce biofuel and other chemicals.
Trash Backwords mobile app

(Aug., 2012) Need help finding a place to toss your trash or want a more eco-friendly way to dispose of it? A new mobile app soon to be available for iPhone, Windows and Android-based devices will help you find out that type of information with a few clicks. Trash Backwards, an online hub promoting reuse and repurposing of trash, will release its mobile app later this year, according to its website. It will be available in the iPhone and Android markets and be compatible with pretty much any type of mobile phone or tablet. There’s also a web browser version to access the Trash Backwards database on any Internet-enabled computer.
Messy house in need of decluttering

Via: Flickr, user: FunnyBiz Labor Day is just around the corner and the long weekend makes it the perfect time to declutter the home and garage. Clutter has its way of creeping back into the house after a successful spring cleaning, which has a lot to do with booking a busy summer filled with camping trips, family reunions and vacations. Here are some tips to make this weekend your 2012 summer cleanup.
wimming cities boat

(2012) ‘Swimming Cities’ is a collaboration of artists joining forces to create an assemblage of huge boats made from repurposed junk. Everything from the boat motor to the frame of the boat is constructed from recycled parts and pieces of plain old garbage. The eclectic group of artists have constructed several other large-scale projects over the years. It all started with the construction of ‘Miss Rockaway Armada’, a 20-foot pontoon-like boat made entirely from salvaged materials. The vessel was launched on the Mississippi River starting in Minneapolis and traveled all the way down to New Orleans.
kids helping cleanup trash

It’s hard for kids to understand just how much waste is generated in the U.S. each year and how this waste is disposed of or recycled. You can tell a child that the U.S. produces 250 million tons of municipal solid waste per year, but do they really understand what that means? Maybe more important than helping kids understand the overall scale of waste management in America is teaching them how to properly dispose of various materials. It’s critical to teach kids what things go in the trash can, recycle bin, or compost pile, and what gets reused.
Futuristic trash bin designs

These aren’t your average trashcans! Believe it or not, trash and recycle bin design has come a long way. Although most of us probably still use the basic cylindrical waste basket design used for decades, there are plenty of other options out there. From recycle bins with full-fledge built-in computers to garbage cans with onboard vacuum cleaners, garbage bins now feature technology we would’ve never imagined 20 years ago. Here are some of the best examples of futuristic trash and recycle bins for 2012 and beyond…
$165 billion dollars worth of food is wasted in the U.S. each year

The average American throws out 23 lbs. of food waste each month, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Blog. This is 50-percent more than the 1970s. Not only is it wasteful, but it’s expensive. The NRDC points out that this amount of waste costs the average family of four as much as $190 per month! The statistics are staggering. Food Waste in America The amount of food wasted in America is quite astounding. The NRDC estimates as much as 40-percent of food in America goes straight from the farm to the trash can.
Garbage can racing in Germany

(2012) Did you think trash cans were used only to collect garbage? 60 competitors took to the streets of Hemeskeil, Germany this past weekend to take part in the Garbage Can World Cup (locally known as the Dustbins World Cup), a sort of ‘street luge’ using tricked out garbage cans rather than a board or sled. The racers came from all over Europe with hopes of taking home the coveted title of trash can champion. In the end, Norman Schaefer of Germany, the 2009 champion, took home the gold with a time of 21.1 seconds.
Luzinterruptus create colorfully-lit plastic bag art at Gewerbemuseum

Fill colorful plastic bags with air, toss ‘em in a dumpster and light ‘em up – now that’s my idea of art! An anonymous group of artists and photographers known as Luzinterruptus organized the installation several months ago in front of the Gewerbemuseum (English translation is ‘Museum of Applied Arts and Design’) in Switzerland. The purpose of the outdoor exhibit was to bring attention to the environmental issues associated with plastic bags.
Machine recycles paper into pencils

Sure, you could just throw old office paper into the recycle bin and have piece-of-mind, but why not turn office paper into brand new pencils? It sounds strange, but a new gadget claims to do just that. Feed it some paper, and it spits out a fresh, new pencil. Pretty cool! Chinese designers Chengzhu Ruan, Yuanyuan Liu, Xinwei Yuan and Chao Chen created the so-called P&P Office Waste Processor. The device isn’t in production yet, but it’s a viable product. After all, aren’t all pencils made from trees, the same thing paper is made out of?
Trashout app for reporting illegal dump sites in your neighborhood

Are you sick and tired of stumbling upon illegal dumping sites in your community? Most responsible citizens are. A cool new app available on iPhone and Android devices lets you report these illegal garbage dumps quickly and easily. The TrashOut app is free and easy-to-use. To report an illegal dumping site, you simply snap a photo of it with your smartphone, press a button for the size and type of trash, include a comment with the picture and submit the photo via the app. The image is then loaded into TrashOut’s TrashMap, which plots all reported illegal dumping sites on a map of your geographic area.
Household hazardous waste collection event in New Hampshire

Household hazardous waste collection event in New Hampshire. Image courtesy of UnionLeader.com.
justin gilpatrick falls asleep in dumpster

Photo of Justin Gilpatrick in the ambulance. Via: NY Daily News A 27-year old man from Portland, OR chose the wrong place to bed down after a booze-filled night. Justin Gilpatrick passed out in a cardboard recycling dumpster this past Friday instead of driving home drunk. He was smart for not driving home, but not so much for choosing a dumpster as a makeshift bed. A Waste Management truck picked up the dumpster at about 1 am Saturday morning with Gilpatrick sleeping inside.
Bathroom renovation, before and after

OK, maybe the before-and-after image is "slightly" exaggerated, but you get the point! When it comes to boosting the value of your home, a bathroom remodel is one of the top ways to get plenty of bang for your buck. In fact, a 2005 study published by Remodeling magazine stated the cost of a medium-sized bathroom remodel yields a 102 percent return on investment (ROI). So, done correctly, remodeling the bathroom is a great way to boost the value of a home. Here are some useful tips to help ensure your bathroom renovation gets done right.
Funny pics of people hauling trash and other junk

Hauling your own trash isn’t always a good idea but is a necessity at times, particularly in parts of the world lacking municipal trash hauling service like we have here in America. However, there’s a right way to do it, and a wrong way. We’ve compiled a great collection of images showcasing the wrong way to haul trash…enjoy!