Going Green Blog

Teamwork poster

Decluttering your home prior to putting it on the market is one of the best ways to increase its value and help it sell more quickly. A 2012 survey of real estate professionals across the country showed that cleaning and decluttering is the most effective way to increase the value of a home.
Pierre-Augusta Renoir painting found in a dumpster

Image courtesy of The History Blog What one woman nearly tossed into the garbage may turn out to be a lost painting by Pierre-Augusta Renoir valued at up to $100,000. The painting was sold as part of a small lot at a Virginia flea market to an un-named woman who bought it because she liked the Paul Bunyon doll and plastic cow included in the small box of “junk”. I’d say it was $7 well spent!
Internation Coastal Cleanup Event at Lake Eerie

(2012) On Saturday Sept. 15th, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will host its annual Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) in several locations along the southeast shoreline. The event is held every year in September.
Toys from trash

Remember the old Lincoln Logs, erector sets and Legos you played with as a kid? Ron Aarons, a LEED-certified architect and loving grandfather, certainly does. He has created his own version of these all-time classic children’s toys, but with a unique twist. His “toys” are made exclusively from recyclable materials.
Trash to liquid process produces biofuel

Augusta, Maine may soon be the first city in the U.S. to build a trash-to-liquid plant for turning garbage into liquid fuel, primarily biodiesel. The ground-breaking facility would be situated near the Hatch Hill landfill. Is this the future of municipal waste handling in the U.S.?
Arava Leela Mohana Reddy holds three strips of flexible lithium-ion battery material and one piece of silicon scrap (left)

Arava Leela Mohana Reddy holds 3 strips of flexible lithium-ion battery material and one piece of silicon scrap (left) Waste silicon, an element used in virtually any type of electronic device, can now be transformed into paper-thin, bendable batteries. A team of researchers at Rice University and Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium discovered a way to reuse old silicon to produce lithium-ion batteries with 10 times more lithium that traditional batteries.

Images courtesy of Greening Forward and The Energy Recovery Council There’s been a shift in recent years from traditional coal and nuclear power plants to more sustainable alternatives like waste-to-energy (WTE) plants. Are these “greener” facilities actually producing cleaner emissions compared to traditional power plants?
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.
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.