Why Foam Bans Won’t Work–Recycle Instead!

The nation has clearly become divided when it comes to the issue of banning foam or not, as various cities around the country have started to ban polystyrene products, while other cities have instead decided to pursue recycling the material. There is a potential Arkansas foam ban floating around there in addition to a number of other states and cities.

The problem with polystyrene products is the fact that they last nearly five hundred years in landfills and they have started to accumulate in massive piles. The fact of the matter is there is a huge volume of this type of foam out there and too few areas are taking active measures to recycle the products. However, this has started to change in a variety of areas, which believe that they can recycle the foam, rather than simply banning the material altogether.

Many people want to ban foam, but the reality is it is not going to fix the problem. There are already huge landfills that have accumulated the materials and they are not going anywhere. However, if we developed ways to recycle these types of materials, we could then recycle the material that is occupying the landfills, which will be good for the environment and set us towards a better path.

Banning foam has a big impact on the community and businesses in general, due to the fact that a great deal of companies use these types of products. Every time you grab a cup of coffee or get a “to-go” box at a restaurant, you are eating out of a polystyrene based product.

The reason that this type of material is so desirable for businesses is due to the fact that it is incredibly cheap. Polystyrene is basically a material that is blown up to fill various molds that end up making all sorts of different products and you can truly get a massive amount of products for very cheap. This means that businesses save a lot of money going with polystyrene products, rather than some other material that is going to inevitably cost more money.

Some cities have made the bold move to focus a great deal of energy on developing recycling centers for polystyrene products and they are likely the pioneers that are going to inspire a lot of other cities to do the same thing. The state of Arkansas has been working hard to develop a foam recycling plan, but it has yet to take off with the majority of the population.

One of the most troubling things about the banning of foam is the fact that businesses are going to get slapped with much higher costs, which is inevitably going to trickle down to the customers, as they are going to have to pay higher prices as well. Arkansas has been doing many tests to recycle polystyrene products and have been working on plans to get the public excited about the process and so far they have been on the right path, but more work needs to still be done.

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Cenergistic: The Energy Stars

These days, people are more conscious of the amount of energy they use than ever before. One major way to conserve energy is to buy appliances, computer equipment, entertainment electronics, building support machinery such as HVAC systems, and many other electrically powered products that are certified to use less electricity. That certification is often labeled with a small ENERGY STAR label affixed to each device that complies with the lower energy consumption standards. Cenergistic, based in Dallas, Texas, is a major contributor to the ENERGY STAR approach to reduce energy consumption of all types, especially in buildings infrastructures.

In the past they have helped universities, schools, health care organizations, and churches to reinvest money, saved through energy conservation, back into the lives of their clients. Cenergistic has received numerous awards for the many successes they have achieved, including the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence award for helping thousands of their client’s buildings substantially reduce energy consumption. Cenergistic custom designs programs for each client without requiring them to install new equipment and with minimal extra effort by their workers. Cenergistic’s past accomplishments include:

  • Working with clients to reduce energy costs by more than 3 billion dollars over the last 25 years
  • Over 4,500 client buildings achieving ENERGY STAR certifications, since the year 2000
  • Promoted ENERGY STAR to millions of students in their clients’ many diverse locations

They take a whole-systems view, helping their clients optimize their internal processes, change some basic infrastructure, and implement behavior changes to achieve optimum energy savings and to maintain that level of reduced consumption. Besides all this, Cenergistic provides these CORE benefits:

  • Saving capital by reducing or eliminating new capital expenditures
  • Reducing costs of Operations and Maintenance by reducing labor costs and the cost of replacing consumables
  • Since the clients do not have to do capital investments, Cenergistic assumes all the risk
  • Helping the environment by conserving natural resources

Cenergistic helps all kinds of organizations reduce the amount of electricity, water, natural gas, and fuel oil their products and services consume. For nearly 30 years they have operated with a data-driven approach, using high technology tools and solutions to help clients with a single building or many buildings in multiple locations, in all regions with all types of climates.

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Custom Windows: Vinyl or Bust

I have certainly loved decorating my home over the past ten years we have lived in it. I love to decorate, from choosing decorative throw pillows for my couch to choosing serving platters for dinner parties. Decorating is the best way to show your friends and family your style and how you choose to express yourself in your home. One area of home décor, which I need work on is the more structural side of a home. When it comes to choosing garage doors, windows, or locks, I usually consult my husband.

In our family room we needed to replace one set of windows. The windows were pretty old when we first bought our home, but over the years they have continued to wear down.  Replacing your windows is almost easier and cheaper than having to constantly repair older windows in the home. The issue is choosing what kind of replacement windows will be the best in the long-term.

After much consultation between my husband, me and the window company; we decided to go with vinyl windows.

Vinyl windows are apparently the best windows for your home for several reasons. Vinyl windows require less maintenance, reduce utility bills, and protect your home from inclement weather elements. This was more than enough reasons to sell me on http://www.thompsoncreek.com/windows/custom-windows custom vinyl windows for my family room.

Turns out that vinyl windows really do live up to the reputation they have made for themselves in the window world. Unlike wood or aluminum windows, vinyl windows do not rot, pit, rust or require constant paint jobs. This makes them very desirable since they are built to last.

Additionally, vinyl windows are insulated well, which will protect your home by keeping the heat inside in the winter and the cool are inside in the summer. This in turn leads to lower monthly utility bills, which definitely is a plus. Insulation is key when it comes to windows and vinyl windows ensure your home is insulated http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20615311_21190340,00.html the best it can be.

I also would have to argue that our vinyl windows look aesthetically pleasing, which definitely adds to the décor of my home. They don’t look half bad with the existing window treatment in our family room. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised by the success of our window replacement process.

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What is the best method to eliminate bed bugs?

There are several ways to try and eliminate bed bugs. One initial way to try and eliminate bed bugs is a DIY method using bed bug powder. One of the more common bed bug powders is Diatomaceous Earth, which can be purchased at just about any supply store. Bed bug powder is an easy method because it does not require hiring a pest control company to come in and take over your home and it is cost-efficient compared to other methods.

Bed bug powder is non-toxic so it will cause no harm to you or other inhabitants of your home, but we definitely suggest not directly breathing in the powder. The point of bed bug powder is to dehydrate the bugs, which in turn causes them to die.

First you will spread the powder around a room and eventually when the bugs come into contact with the powder they will be covered in it, become dehydrated, and die. This solution is not an instantaneous one and definitely takes a couple of days, but at the same time the powder will remain effective until it no longer coats the applied areas.

If the powder does not work as an initial attempt to kill the bed bugs, thermal remediation also known as heat treatment is proven to be the most effective method. Heat treatment does require trained professionals to ensure that it is done properly and the usage of their heat treatment equipment. The equipment creates such high temperatures that the bed bugs and their eggs are guaranteed to be killed from the extreme heat. This method is very efficient, but definitely requires more preparation and is a little more costly than applying bed bug powder yourself.

When choosing a method to eliminate bed bugs it really is based off of personal preference, although the ultimate goal is the removal of the insects from your home.

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The future of food and farming will look a lot like our past

From FarmandDairy.com:

As winter’s icy hands again strangle most of the country, I toss another log in the stove and grab the stack of old newspapers, aging magazines and new books that has grown tall during winter travels.

The newspapers take little time. No trick to reading a two-weeks-old daily newspaper: headline … headline … recycling bin.

The magazines are more of a meander; they take more time, more wood and more naps.

Finally, near the bottom of the pile are two books I had hoped to read earlier; one purchased late last year by daughter, Mary Grace, the other sent by its author, a friend, a month ago.

A couple of cold Saturdays of popcorn munching and sentence-crunching take me through both.

Read more here

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The Green Side of Styrofoam Products

Foam cups, initially developed to minimize the spread of bacteria and food-borne pathogens, have many benefits. From better insulating a beverage to having less of an environmental impact than paper cups, foam cups http://www.homeforfoam.com/foam-101/types-foam-6 serve an important role in most of our daily lives.

In addition to protecting either the carbonation of a soft drink or the warmth of a hot drink, the increased insulation of foam cups decreases the amount of waste. For example, consumers often use two paper cups at a time or the addition of a cardboard sleeve with a paper cup to protect their hands and keep their beverages warm where a single foam cup would be sufficient.

Using two paper cups at a time produces twice the amount of solid waste by volume than that of a single foam cup, and five times as much by weight. Those restaurants and food service stores offering paper cups ultimately create double the amount of waste by not using foam cups.

In addition, from an environmental perspective, one should also consider the materials and energy used from producing paper cups versus foam cups. The emissions created from incinerating paper cups or disposing them in landfills exceeds the environmental repercussions http://1800recycling.com/2010/03/styrofoam-paper-cups of both making and disposing foam cups.

And lastly, when we compare foam-ware with comparison to permanent-ware, consider the energy usage, water and amount of chemical detergent we must use to wash all the reusable ceramic, glass or plastic cups.

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Joint Venture in the Works for Top US Energy Companies

The energy industry has been very interesting to watch lately with all of the new global developments. Many companies are moving forward in the energy industry with innovative ideas and ventures. It is exciting to see all of these new companies flourish and it is even more exciting to see these companies join forces to usher in a new era in the energy markets. There are companies that are really rising to the top in the energy sector, and it is great to see these companies bring in new developments in the world of energy.

Privately owned gas producer, Cunningham Energy based in West Virginia, is teaming up with BE Resources in a joint venture that is sure to create some positive market movement in the future. This joint venture is being created to acquire 425 acres of oil fields in West Virginia. This will not only prove to be financially rewarding for the companies involved in this joint venture, but it will also be rewarding for the individuals and local economies involved with the sale of this land. There is a lot of land to be purchased, and it is sure to bring somewhat of an economic boom to those who are living in these areas of West Virginia.

To comply with joint venture policies, these companies will have to release news each 30 days describing the new activities that are going on in the organization. This will help the general public to have more of an opinion of this newly formed joint venture. These regulations are in place to not only keep the joint venture in check, but to also give the general public an opportunity to create their own views upon what is taking place in their local community.

It seems as though this new joint venture is creating a lot of buzz in the local communities of West Virginia, and also in energy sector. Needless to say, this joint venture is moving forward with great momentum, and many great things are still yet to come. This joint venture will create new opportunities in the local communities of West Virginia, while also giving a breath of fresh air into the somewhat stale energy marketplace.

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Riverstone Will Raise Funds For New Energy Vehicles

Riverstone Holdings is setting up an energy debt fund to help combat the recent drop in oil prices. In fact, oil prices have dropped so much that the energy markets have completely closed up to new ventures. There is no way for people to confidently invest in new energy ventures unless those ventures are in new energy.

Riverstone Holdings has chosen to raise up to $7.5 billion to see if they can move the markets in a better direction. The fear of lowering oil prices is causing many energy companies to wonder if they need to move to renewable energy now before it is too late. There are oil fields closing or reducing their operations all over the world due to this drop in prices, and this could lead the world to renewable energy faster than expected.

As Riverstone looks to raise all this money, they are intent on making certain that they have options outside of watching their resources dry up with the lowest oil pries that we have seen in decades. Riverstone hopes to guide its partners in ways that will help all of them to improve their position in the market. There are many companies that must make changes if they want to survive this downturn in oil prices.

This is the first big initiative from a major energy company, and it will likely not be the last. There are many ways for companies to recover from these low prices. Everyone knows that the oil prices will trend upward again, but no one can guarantee that they will ever be as high as they once were. Energy companies are going to have to change their ways if they want to become solvent for many years to come.

When Riverstone Holdings takes in this credit, they will be able to help stabilize the energy markets. The energy markets are fluctuating every day, and this assistance will change the way that people approach the business of energy. New energy and renewable energy are going to become the new standards, but first credits like these must go through to assist faltering companies.

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Eliminating Bed Bugs before they become too Cozy

Bed bugs were the last visitor that I thought would ever spend a night or what turned out to be a couple nights in my home. I have always heard about bed bugs and thought about them on my first night at a hotel, but I never thought I would ever come into contact with them.

My husband surprised me and got a new mattress for our bed since I am constantly complaining about how uncomfortable our old mattress was.

He failed to mention that the mattress was used. I typically have nothing against used items, but when we both woke up with bed bugs all over our bodies; I had a little vengeance towards used items. Turns out that the former owner wasn’t the cleanliest, I am hoping that they didn’t know the mattress had bed bugs before they sold it to us.

When you have small children whose hobbies consist of crying, crying and even more crying, the last thing you additionally want is tiny red dots ALL over your body. Am I right or am I right?

In between itching my arms and legs, I decided to find out some information on bed bugs. Turns out that bed bugs tend to hide in small crevices like carpets or mattresses. This was certainly the case. Everything I read led me to believe that the best way to eliminate bed bugs was to have a professional termite and pest control company come and do it.

Since we caught the bed bugs early on, we decided to use the most basic form of bed bug treatment, which was thermal remediation. Essentially the terminators used a heat treatment that was so strong that the bed bugs and their eggs were eliminated.

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South Dakota Officials Plan To Frame New Rule to Stop Spread of Invasive Species

From: AustrianTribune.com:

It has been found that officials in South Dakota are trying hard to make some moves in order to slow the spread of invasive species in the waterways. As of now, the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission has proposed several regulations to prevent introduction of the invasive species and also to slow the spread of existing populations.

As per one of the suggested proposals, the conservation officers will have to remove the vegetation and all aquatic invasive species from a boat and trailer. The officer will also have to require all drain plugs and related devices be opened or removed from boats when being transported.

In another part of the plan, the department secretary will place restrictions on a body of water when an invasive species is found.

It has been informed that the GFP commission will finalize the proposal on March 5 or 6 during its meeting in Pierre after taking comments.

The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission has said it wants a strong strategy developed for protection against aquatic invasive species such as zebra mussels and quagga mussels spreading in South Dakota’s public waters.

According to one commissioner, Gary Jensen of Rapid City, the response might go as far as to require roadside inspections at the state borders of trailer boats being pulled into South Dakota.

The species could have been mistakenly carried by vegetation and water in boats that have been present in the infected water bodies.

Jensen called for GFP’s fisheries staff to study the topic in greater depth, including analysis of other states’ programs. The commission has finally agreed Thursday to give staff the directions.

The commission has even agreed with the fisheries staff’s recommendations to propose new aquatic invasive species regulations.

Read the full story here

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