EcNow Tech, in partnership with Mirel Plastics, has developed a new compostable bag for the marketplace. The bags have excellent properties at a very affordable price for a BPI certified, compostable bag. The bags come in sizes from 2 gallon up to 96 gallons and have been proven to compost in industrial compost conditions.
Allied Waste recently conducted a compost study in their Corvallis Industrial compost facility and approved the bags. The bags are one of three bags approved by Allied Waste. Soon to follow will be Cedar Grove and the City of San Francisco.
I was in the store a couple of Saturdays ago when a father came in to purchase some Land Ark wood treatment. He had his cute little six year old daughter by his side. We discussed how the Land Ark products are a very pure and natural product. The father looked at me with a smile and said as he applied the product to a chair in the garage his daughter came out and asked if she could help. He said in the past the the answer would have been no as he wouldn’t want to expose her to harmful chemicals and solvents. The father happily handed his daughter a paint brush and they enjoyed finishing the chair together. Afterwards he said a simple wash of her hands under water removed the oils and her hands smelled great for the rest of the day. He can’t imagine using any other products after the positive experience.
In July of 2010 the EcNow Tech Team reached a major milestone with key partners in the Da Vinci Days organization, local volunteers, OSU Campus Recycling and Allied Waste. The three day Da Vinci Days festival in Corvallis, Oregon converted their food court to compostable products, staffed collection bins with volunteers and enabled a dramatic reduction in landfill waste at the event.
Some excerpts from the Report by Andrea Norris (OSU Campus Recycling)
the entire document can be viewed at: http://recycle.oregonstate.edu/resources/da.Vinci.Days.2010.Waste.Initiative.Report.pdf
We had 31 waste stations for attendees.
• 7 were staffed by volunteers during most of the
event (all but after dark).
• 24 stations were unstaffed, located away from
the food court.
• Vendors were provided with their own trash and
recycling receptacles that were unstaffed.
• Each full, staffed station
had 4 bins: compost,
trash, and beer cups.
We diverted (recycled and composted) an entire ton
of material (2,004 lbs) from the landfill!
• We diverted (recycled and composted) 27 cubic yds
from the landfill - equal to 4.5 standard dumpsters!
From 2009 to 2010, the festival cut landfill-bound
trash in half, from 6,820 to 3,375 lbs.
• Taking into account festival attendance, our per capita
trash was reduced by 43% from 2009 to 2010.
In total we diverted 64% of festival waste, by volume.
• Trash, recycling and compost were divided roughly in
thirds, by volume.
Yes! It is the most common application of cork flooring today. Because kitchens are higher traffic areas, you will need to follow cleaning regimens more strictly, and refurbish the finish more frequently.
Is cork flooring suitable for a bathroom?
Yes, but you will need to take extra precautions. Floating floors are not recommended- only the tile should be used. After installation it is important to caulk the perimeter of the room prior to installing molding or baseboard. This will prevent spills from damaging the sub-floor or walls.
Are cork floors affected by changes in moisture and temperature?
Just like other wood floors, cork is subject to expansion and contraction in response to climatic changes. As a rule, cork flooring is more stable than wood flooring. Wood floors expand across the grain, concentrating it in one direction. Cork expands/contracts in all directions and with proper acclimation, installation and maintenance expansion and contraction will be less noticeable with a cork floor.
Is it possible to install a cork floor over radiant heat?
Yes. Cork is a natural insulator and will slightly affect the transmission of heat. The floor may take longer to warm up, but will hold the heat more efficiently. Only a floating floor system should be used, and the surface temperature of the floor should never exceed 85 degrees. It is important to follow installation guidelines.
Will my children/pets damage my cork floors?
Cork floors are coated with a finish that can be scratched by toys and pet claws. Only you can know how actively your floors are used. Because cork is resilient and will move away from pressure, the surface will be less subject to abrasion than a similarly treated hardwood floor. Just like any other flooring material, cork can be punctured by sharp objects.
Today’s purse strings may be tighter, but folks still dine out regularly. The key is where they’re dining. According to the National Restaurant Association, 62 percent of consumers are more likely to spend their dollars in a restaurant they know is green. Lucky for eco-conscious diners, “green” is no longer a buzzword for many of San Diego’s restaurateurs; it’s simply the way they do business.
“That going green is too expensive is an old notion. It’s a relic from 10 or 20 years ago, from a time when things weren’t as available; when expertise wasn’t there; when systems weren’t there,” he says. “When people say it’s too expensive in any conversation, I challenge them, and our team challenges them respectively. In terms of this issue, standing still is actually the most expensive thing.”
Today I had a customer and friend contact me to have some custom Land Ark stain color matched for a project he was working on. After mixing all natural pigments (no toxic metals or chemicals) in with the base wood treamant oil (made from sunflower oil, tung oil and citrus solvents) I delivered the stain to the project.
The customer removed the lid and couldn’t believe how great the smell was (citrus) instead of the nasty petrochemical soup most stains are made from nowadays. I told him about my projects and how nice it is to not have a headache after working with the stain. He tried it out on some test boards and beamed with the match and the fact that he was going to have a good time finishing his wood.
Today I sat in the afternoon sun, enjoying a beverage in my adirondack chair which still smelled like the citrus solvent. Once per year I have to re-apply some of the natural wood oil and the chair can sit out in the wet Oregon environment with no problems. I have a bunch of home projects lined up and can’t wait to use more of the natural stain. I will never touch another petrochemical stain as the results are better with natural oil/stain and you don’t have to worry about polluting your home with harmful solvents.
This week EcNow Tech started up our first production run of locally produced tasting spoons for a local restaurant. This component was chosen as a good manufacturing start-up component and is needed to replace a product which is a great example of extreme waste.
Check out the path of the existing petroleum based tasting spoon: Oil pumped from the ground and shipped a long distance to be refined. Refined oil shipped and converted to polymer pellets. The pellets are shipped overseas to be converted to tasting spoons and shipped back across the ocean to a distribution center. From the distribution center the product is shipped via truck to regional centers and finally delivered to the restaurant. The customer at the restaurant requests a sample of ice cream or gelato and literally uses the product for 5-10 seconds before placing it in a waste receptable where it is transferred to a landfill to sit for thousands of years.
The new plant based tasting spoon starts its life as a plant grown in the mid-west and is also polymerized in the mid-west and shipped to EcNow Tech in Corvallis Oregon as pellets. The material is formed into tasting spoons where it is delivered 1 mile via car (bicycle someday) to the restaurant. After a 5 second life the spoon is placed in a compostable bag and delivered to the compost facility where it will break down to humus in 30-60 days.
The EcNow Tech team is dedicated to the elimination of petroleum based products and delivering truly green solutions for our community and region. Stay tuned for our next innovative products and processes!
A few weeks ago a local high school senior stopped into the Earth Smart Store and wanted to discuss how we could work together to improve the rate of composting in the community and reduce waste. We agreed that a study was in order to gather data to begin the process which someday will lead to large scale collection and composting of plant based products.
Today three students and I met with our local waste company to discuss the study. Understandably the local waste company believes that home collection of compostable products can not occur in the near future because of the challenge for most consumers to differentiate between petroleum and plant based products. Many of the products look identical and there hasn’t been sufficient education to enable a wide scale implementation of home composting of plant based products.
The students recommended painting a compost bin to make it stand out as different and place compostable products on the receptable to show what can be placed in the bin. They will start at the local high school, working with their peers and educate them on the products which are plant based and can be collected. The goal is send information home to families then expand the collection program to other area schools and to area neighborhoods.
It was agreed that this would be an excellent program to pass on from class to class at the local high shool as the first study will undoubtedly lead to other important steps on the road to wide scale use and collection of compostable, plant based products. I applaud the students who said, “We’ll get this started then pass it on to the next group of kids who want to improve our community.” I’m honored to be a part of the effort and working alongside such talented and great kids!