Monday, May 20, 2013

You want to save the Planet? Compost.

After 5 years at wordpress I've decided to move my blog to blogger. This was my first post there. 

(Originally) Posted on by mrmolehill


Could I have chosen a more boring subject for my first ever blogpost? Maybe.

But this is important enough to, well, be important. I know that you have heard about Cfl's and French fry grease for fuel. But the truth is that Gasoline, For all its faults is pretty much the best thing going right now. Will that change in the future? Man, I hope so. But for about the last 40 or so years, we have been hearing about solar and wind being the future of energy. And while most technologies have gotten better and less expensive, Solar is still not the panacea it was promised to be.

Since solar cells were originally made from slag (waste) from the silicon chip industry,and chips are now being made more efficiently, the solar folks have to actually manufacture their own raw materials, Thus solar is now MORE expensive than ever. And if you live in a neighborhood with trees as I do, you may find that you have to cut some down in order to get full capacity from them. (I would have to cut down two. A huge live oak and a ficus tree.) According to one website that sells solar power systems, “Solar Power accounts for 0.001% of the electricity generated in this country.” and as I have looked at various sites I have yet to find one that says that their manufacturing plant is powered by Solar electricity.

Wind power is somewhat better. The problem with Wind is that in order for it to provide power for even a small community a Wind machine has to be Huge, And properly sited. There is saying in Germany that “wind machines don’t run on wind, they run on subsidies.” Or you can have the small backyard machine. You don’t need an Electrical Engineering degree to install one, But it helps. So if your city's building code allows it and your neighbors don’t complain about the noise and you get enough, but not Too Much Wind and the whole thing doesn’t come crashing down in a thunderstorm, Then you may be able to supplement your grid power.

Which brings me to the subject at hand. (you knew I would get there eventually, right?) As I keep hearing, The main problem is an excess of CO2. Carbon Dioxide. There is just too much of it. Now I am not going to go into the sources of it, Be it SUVs’, electrical power plants or moose farts. The fact remains it’s there and we need to get rid of it. Sure we should find ways to reduce emissions in the future but Hey, I want to get the dirt out of my house now, then I’ll worry about tracking more in, OK.

So what can we do, what can anyone do right now without a great outlay of cash, To help get rid of some of this gas? Well, plants and trees breathe it, right? But the real problem is that we are stripping away the fertile topsoil and replacing it with chemical fertilizers. So you Vegans are not off the hook yet either. We throw away garbage everyday that can be turned into the best plant food on the earth. We seal it in plastic bags and truck It to centralized locations to be buried and, when the hill is big enough, turned into a golf course or a nice sled run. Then we truck in more plastic bags filled with COMPOST.

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So why not stop wasting all that fuel and just make it yourself? It’s not hard, there are plenty of books on the subject, Although you can learn pretty much all you need to know in an article not much longer than this one. And those chemically fed plants? A plant that is not getting the proper Nutrients is not an efficient Co2 Processing machine. And compost is a much better and more balanced source of those nutrients than any chemist.

Chemical pesticides often kill natural adversaries of the bugs you are trying to get rid of. How many pounds of coffee grounds does the average coffee shop throw away each day? I’m sure you could get all you want just for the asking. Florists have dumpsters full of scrap plant material that they would much rather not have to pay to have hauled away. Recycled Plastic would make very good Compost bins. It just takes a little thought.