Going Green Blog

Agustin builds a helicopter out of trash

Agustin is just a humble shoemaker from Honduras with a dream. His dream is to build and fly a helicopter made from scrap bicycle parts, rebar, 2 x 4’s, and other discarded trash. His story is even more inspiring, considering he lives in extreme poverty, suffers from polio, and has been working on the helicopter since 1958.

In today's weird and flat-out bizarre news...a man in Aberdeen, Scotland spent a portion of his evening with his noggin stuck in a public garbage bin. He claims he was doing a little dumpster diving in search of his lost flat-cap, although a witness at scene stated he was in pursuit of a half-smoked cigarette butt a passerby had tossed in the bin...bad move either way!
San Jose California

Image via Wikimedia Commons; user: XAtsukex The City of San Jose, CA recently announced a partnership with Anaergia Services to construct a renewable energy facility at its wastewater treatment plant. The plant will extract biogas from sludge and convert it to heat and electricity.
Microbial sustainable kitchen design by Philips

The Microbial Kitchen by Philips Philips is at the cutting edge of futuristic and sustainable design for the home. Its Microbial Home system, winner of the 2011 red dot luminary design award, uses common household waste in ways you may have never thought possible. The Philips Microbial Home system is sort of an in-home ecosystem where, as Philips puts it, “each function’s output is another’s input.” In other words, waste gets reused or recycled instead of tossing it in the trash bin.
Masdar City sustainable design

An artist's rendering of Masdar City   Smack dab in the middle of the desert is the location of one of the world’s greenest cities. Masdar City is located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The city is actually still in the early stages of being developed, but several buildings are fully operational, including the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
Products made from bioplastic

Images via Wikimedia Commons Greenhouse gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide, are emissions released at landfills and wastewater treatment plants (you can read more about greenhouse gases here). A company called Newlight Technologies, LLC is taking potentially harmful greenhouse gases and using them for good – producing bioplastics from methane and CO2.
Dallas zero-waste initiative

Dallas, Texas is one of the biggest producers of garbage in the country, carting approximately 2.2 million tons of waste to landfills each year. City officials recently announced a “zero-waste plan” to try and recycle or reuse virtually all of the city’s municipal waste.
E-waste recycling from the USPS and MaxBack

The United States Postal Service (USPS) just announced a new partnership with MaxBack that will make it easier than ever for consumers to get rid of old electronic devices in an eco-friendly way. Not only is the USPS offering to ship the e-waste free of charge, but MaxBack will pay you for sending them your working or non-working electronic devices. The USPS is expanding upon a recycling program currently in place at 3,100 retailers across the country that will now allow consumers to make money for offloading old electronics. The USPS is working with MaxBack, an electronics recycling company focused on reducing e-waste in landfills.
Wilmington, Delaware skyline

The Wilmington, Delaware skyline. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons A new $35 million waste-to-energy facility will process wastewater and landfill gases to produce energy. It will be the first facility in the U.S. that captures two sources of biogas and converts it to both electricity and heat. It could be the model of other similar plants across the country.
Roll-off dumpster truck

If you’ve never rented a dumpster before, and you need one for a cleanout or home renovation, it’s important to know the legalities involved. In some cases, this means obtaining a permit from your local building permit office.
Plasma technology could be used to reduce waste by way of gasification

Plasma torches used in plasma gasification plants. Image courtesy of PyroGenesis Canada Inc. One of the newest and most innovative methods for handling municipal waste is a process called plasma gasification. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is. It’s also very expensive to build a plasma gasification facility, so that’s a major drawback. However, it’s probably the cleanest, most eco-friendly waste management option to date.
Rippl Mobile App from the Ocean Conservancy

A new mobile app launched this past weekend in conjunction with the annual International Coastal Cleanup to make it easier for people to make sustainable and eco-friendly choices while on-the-go. The app is a product of non-profit organization Ocean Conservancy, the organizer of the International Coastal Cleanup. Rippl, the name of the new app, provides customizable green living tips and a host of other features. It lets users set personal goals and sync their calendar with the app for a more personalized and user-friendly experience.
Waste Management CNG Garbage Truck

Neighborhood garbage trucks are typically not the most environmentally friendly vehicles, but that’s changing. Many cities are switching to waste haulers that use alternative fuels, such as Clean N’ Green (CNG), to improve emissions and save money on fuel costs.
Zen Robotics Recycling Robot System

Another example of how robots are taking over the world! Well, the world’s first robotic recycling system isn’t out to takeover humanity (…I don’t think), but it can help save it. Baetsen Recycling based in Son, the Netherlands has made plans to integrate a robotic recycling system created by the tech experts at ZenRobotics. It will no doubt be the most technologically advanced system of its kind.
Bokashicycle Food Pulverizer

There are food processors…and then there are food pulverizers! A Nevada-based company called Bokashicycle recently introduced its 3 HP Electric High Throughput Food Waste Pulverizer. This thing takes food scraps and shreds, pulverizes, and tears them into smaller pieces ideal for composting. It’s an innovative way to reduce the amount of food waste entering landfills.