Join the Movement this Earth Day

Written By: Rebecca Mleziva, Business Development Specialist

Earth Day was first celebrated in the United States on April 22, 1970—49 years ago. But: why and how did this start?

How Environmental Concerns Founded Earth Day

During the late 1960s, mainstream America was holding anti-war marches, singing the Beatles, and watching as the first man walked on the moon. People cruised around in their ‘muscle cars’ without any concern for the negative environmental impact these had. This generation was not troubled with environmental issues—until 1969—when the largest oil spill in history occurred in Santa Barbara, CA, sparking major environmental concerns.

Gaylord Nelson, a former US Senator in Wisconsin, founded Earth Day after witnessing the severe damages from the oil spill—upsetting marine mammals, fish, and birds to damaging beaches, coastlines and islands throughout southern California.

Earth Day LogoSenator Nelson used the anti-war movement ‘energy’ to force air and water pollution topics onto national political agendas. As a result the ‘National Teach-in on the Environment’ was formed and gained national attention, helping to educate and assemble people across America to demand that Congress act on protecting the environment.

In spring of 1970, over 20 million Americans celebrated their love of the Earth by holding rallies in public parks, on streets and in auditoriums nationwide. People from all walks of life organized protests against environmental degradation: oil spills, pollution from power plants and toxic waste from factories. Pollution was not only affecting the environment, but wildlife was going extinct suddenly and the forests were depleting quickly. The first Earth Day was successful in uniting so many different people, with different views, to fight for one cause—our planet.

By the end of 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was established, consolidating many environmental responsibilities under one agency.

Today, Earth Day is celebrated by more than 1 billion people across 193 countries. It is a day to not only increase awareness of what we all can do to protect our plants, animals and environment, but also to take action.

 

5 Steps to Make a Difference on Earth Day

This Earth Day, join in the movement to make a difference for our planet with these simple activities.

  1. Invest in Reusable Containers
    • Replace plastic bags and single use coffee cups. Not only will this save money in the long run, but it keeps non-degradable plastic out of our landfills.
  2. Keep the Keys on the Counter
    • Instead of driving, use alternative methods of transportation such as walking, biking or public transportation. These are a few good ways we can lower car emissions.
  3. Fix the Leak
    • Maybe it’s the kitchen faucet that drips or the shower handle that leaks. Taking steps to reduce the amount of water we use
      saves energy required to gather, clean,
      and deliver water.
  4. Start Composting
    • Reduce the amount of organic waste that goes into your landfill. Start backyard composting—in a GEOBIN Composter. Deposit your household kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and yard waste in the composter.
  5. Enjoy Nature Around You
    • Whether it is going on a hike or visiting your local park, take some time to look at the world around you, reminding yourself why it is worth saving.

 

 

Earth Day may only last 24 hours, but if we take the time to change just one of our daily habits, imagine the positive long-lasting impact this could have on the world around us.

Why Every Municipality Should Have a Backyard Composting Program

By: William G. Handlos, PE

With the average landfill tipping fee rising to over $50 per ton, and with pickup and hauling costs rising every year, a low-cost backyard composting program just makes sense. About one-third of household waste is currently recycled, but very little of the recyclables are food scraps. In fact, 20% of all waste that goes into the landfill is food scraps.

This presents a tremendous opportunity for municipalities to save money – while doing the right thing. Whether tipping fees, hauling equipment or labor costs are tax-funded or privately billed to the homeowner – constituents can see a reduction in their annual costs, while producing nutrient-rich compost for their gardens.

Elected Officials, Solid Waste & Recycling Coordinators, and Public Works Directors all could benefit from a program facilitated by free or subsidized compost bins disseminated to homeowners.

If you are reading this blog, check with your municipality to see what the elected officials are doing to save residents money through municipality-organized backyard composting programs.

Share the below video with your municipal professionals and elected officials.

GEOBIN Backyard Municipality Program

When Life Gives You Lemons, Feed Your Compost Pile

Written By: Katie Bocskor, Digital Marketing Manager for MyGreenGloves


Summertime Lemonade Stands

When you think summertime, what adventures, activities and memories come to mind?

I think of bike rides and lemonade stands. Summer is my favorite time of year and has been since I was a kid. As I reminisce about my childhood, I think about sitting in the driveway with my three sisters and selling lemonade to the people passing by. I bet you remember your childhood lemonade stands, as you are probably now helping your children with theirs.

Lemonade stands can teach a child so many things: from how to make lemonade, to running a small business, to sales, communication and teamwork—so why not teach children about food waste and the benefits of composting as well?!


Benefits of Citrus Peels are Too Good to Throw Away—Compost Them!

Did you know that in the U.S. alone, about 150,000 tons of food is thrown out every day?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fruits and vegetables are the most tossed out items, followed by dairy and meat.

The rotting food waste releases dangerous methane gas into the air, adversely affecting the environment. (Reference Article)

 

So how can you help reduce food waste going into the landfills? Compost It!

Note: If you have a vermicomposting, there are some worms that prefer not to eat citrus, but if you have a traditional compost pile you can throw the citrus peels in without worry!

Composting lemon peels, and other citrus fruit is a simple and easy way to reduce food waste. Even though citrus fruits are very acidic, there are great benefits to adding them to your compost pile, such as:

  1. The strong scent will deter pests and animals.
  2. The chemical oils break down quickly, so there is no threat to friendly insects.
  3. Citrus peels bring in phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium—which helps maintain a nutritious pile.  (Citrus peels fall into the ‘green’ part of your pile.)

For composting, your pile should consist of the following combinations:

  • Air + Water + Carbon + Nitrogen = Compost
  • 1 Part Greens + 3 Parts Brown + Water

 

 


Helpful Tips on Composting Citrus Peels

  1. Cut the peels into small pieces to speed up the composting process.
  2. If your pile acidity increases, add more grass clippings to maintain a healthy compost mixture.
  3. Keep your compost pile hot by actively turning your piles every few weeks.(This will keep mold from growing on your citrus peels.)

 

 

For more composting tips, download our ‘Guide to Backyard Composting’.
To order your GEOBIN Composter, visit our website: www.geobin123.com.

So remember, when life give you lemons, make some lemonade — then feed your compost.

Backyard Composting Meets Raised Bed Square Foot Gardening

Backyard composting growth is exploding as residents of all ages become aware of how much compostable materials are unnecessarily entering our landfills. 30 to 50% of the residential waste stream is made up of compostable materials—food scraps, newspaper, dried plants, grass clippings and other yard waste, leaves and even cardboard. Many of us are doing our part by recycling glass, plastic and cardboard each week in our community containers, but only a small number of us are composting. The burden of all the compostables being thrown in the trash causes the premature closing of landfills and drives up tipping fee costs for private and public waste haulers. New landfills are expensive, unpopular with neighboring communities and claim valuable land.

Landfill effluent gas is a natural byproduct of decomposition of organic materials in landfills, and roughly 50% of that gas is methane. According to the EPA, municipal solid waste landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 15.4% of these emissions in 2015.

Another benefit of backyard composting is that residents are rewarded with nutrient-rich compost that came from his or her own kitchen scraps and yard waste. That compost is ideal for planting beds and vegetable gardens.

An easy way to get started with backyard gardening is by building raised gardens, or raised square foot gardens. Such gardens are as their name implies—raised off the ground by several inches to several feet.  Novice and master gardeners alike understand the benefits of raised square foot gardening, and appreciate the increased organization and yields of their plots. Many prefer raised garden beds due to poor soils in their area and the ability to decrease effort in creating and maintaining the garden. They are typically laid right over lawn without rototilling, so are fast and easy to set up.

Typically, potting soil with roughly 1/3 blended compost mix is utilized to promote good root growth. The nutrient-rich compost feeds the plants and promotes soil microbes that aid in plant growth. Residents can reduce their cost by incorporating their own compost, made in their own backyard using their own compostable materials. The compost can also be added to the surface of the garden to help retain water, inhibit weed growth, and protect tender root systems from the sun. The eco-cycle of reusing your own waste materials to create healthy plants and vegetables is easy to manage in your very own backyard compost bin and raised garden.

Amazon offers both a square foot raised bed garden kit and an industry-leading backyard compost bin.

Let’s get gardening!

Earth Day is April 22nd! Why Not Start Composting?

Did you know that Earth Day is an annual Worldwide celebration that started in 1970?

Each year various events are held to show support, create awareness and educate on environmental protection. Composting is just one of the many topics discussed at Earth Day events.

Why? Because each year, the average U.S. household generates 650 lbs of compostable materials. By composting kitchen scraps, yard waste and grass clippings, you can reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill by as much as 25%.

If you are just getting started with composting this Earth Day, here are some tips:

Put it in the Bin:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Food Scraps
  • Plants
  • Grass Clippings
  • Garden / Yard Waste
  • Manure
  • Cardboard / Newspaper
  • Leaves
  • Coffee Grounds / Filters
  • Ashes

 What not to compost:

  • Bones
  • Meat Scraps
  • Dairy
  • Twigs / Branches
  • Seafood
  • Oil / Grease / Lard / Fats
  • Tissues
  • Containers
  • Pet Waste / Cat Litter
  • Anything Treated with Pesticides
  • Coal / Charcoal

Winning Combination:

  • Air + Water + Carbon + Nitrogen = Compost
  • 1 Part Green + 3 Parts Brown + Water

Compost is typically ready in 2 months!

You can also download our ‘Guide to Backyard Composting’, for more information.

Composting is a great way to give back to the Earth!

Easter: the Perfect Time to Start Building a Stronger Compost with Eggshells.

With the Easter holiday approaching, many people are planning on celebrating time with family and friends, which includes typical Easter fare and the requisite brightly colored eggs.

Do you ever wonder what happens to all those colorful eggshells each year? The majority of them end up as waste. But, eggshells have a number of attributes and qualities that can serve other purposes, and thus save them from the landfill. If treated properly, with natural dyes, eggshells can be composted and used in the garden, as both a supplement and a pest deterrent.

Coloring Your Eggs Naturally:

Dyeing eggs naturally is simple and most of the ingredients may already be in your cupboards. Adding the colors with natural dyes is important, as it avoids putting unwanted substances into your garden, and thus into your diet.

Vinegar, a mild acid that will not weaken eggshells, is the main ingredient that allows the color to absorb into your eggs. When combining vinegar with colored water, the mixture colors the outside of your eggs. To color your water naturally, you can use turmeric, paprika, onions, oranges, beets, raspberries and grapes. Below is a list of ingredients that will help you get started:

Colored Easter Eggs

Yellow: Turmeric, Carrots, Chamomile, Oranges
Orange: Paprika, Yellow Onions
Red/Pink: Beets, Cranberry Juice, Red Grapes
Blue: Blueberries, Red Cabbage
Brown: Coffee/Tea Grounds, Dill Seed
Green: Red Onions, Yellow Apples
Lavender: Grape Juice

You can find full instructions online at ‘Better Homes & Gardens’.

Composting Your Colored Eggs:

Eggshells are an important nutrient for your compost. They add calcium into the soil, which helps build strong plants. These nutrients will also help with preventing ‘blossom end rot’ in tomatoes, squash, peppers and other fruiting vegetables. Eggshells can help prevent slugs, snails and other insects from getting into your garden and can also deter deer.

Be aware that dirty eggshells can attract unwanted pests and animals, so be sure to wash out your shells in warm water and leave to dry, before adding them to your compost pile. This will also help with eliminating Salmonella bacteria from entering your garden. If desired, you can bake eggshells in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350-degrees to remove the bacteria without eliminating the calcium, although most bacteria is killed naturally at the temperatures reached during the composting process.

 

Compost Eggshells in a GEOBINCrushing or grinding eggshells is not a requirement for your compost, but it does help speed up the compost process, as the smaller pieces will break down faster. Using a coffee grinder will get the smallest, most effective size pieces, but a blender or any other method of crushing them can also work.

Using natural dyes can be a fun way to color your Easter eggs this year as well as provide a nutrient boost to your compost and protection from unwanted guests.  Even if you don’t color your eggs, help minimize waste by recycling your eggshells and add all the nutrients they contain to your garden.

 

Purchase a GEOBIN Composting System today >>

Presto to Showcase its GEOBIN® for Municipal Backyard Compost Programs at the U.S. Composting Council’s Annual Conference

Presto announces it will feature its’ GEOBIN® Composting System at this year’s ‘COMPOST 2016’ tradeshow. Product Manager, Ross Haddock, will be at booth (#513) to answer questions about the GEOBIN composter and its role in the municipal backyard compost programs.

Stop by booth #513 to see how the GEOBIN® can help your municipality

Stop by booth #513 to see how the GEOBIN® can help your municipality

Find out how your municipality can start saving money and reducing landfill waste. Stop by and register for a FREE Municipal Composting Kit.

Key features that make the GEOBIN popular across the country include:

  • Most economical compost bin available (Tiered pricing system available)
  • Compact packaging requires minimal storage in your warehouse/low shipping costs
    -(80 bins/pallet)
  • One of the largest capacities (216 gallon—30 cubic ft.) in the marketplace
  • Adjustable sizing is perfectly suited for any sized yard
Composting made easy with the GEOBIN® Compost System

Composting made easy with the GEOBIN® Compost System

The U.S. Composting Council’s ‘COMPOST 2016’ is the largest composting conference in the world for the organic management industry. Industry leaders travel far-and-wide to discuss all things organic, solve challenges related to the collection of organics and much more. If you’re interested to learn about the latest equipment or strategies used by municipalities across the globe—you need to be in Jacksonville!

Free Compost Kit Helps Municipalities Launch Backyard Composting Programs

The GEOBIN® Municipal Compost Program Guide

The GEOBIN® Municipal Compost Program Guide shows how the GEOBIN® can save municipalities money

To reduce overflowing landfills and the rising costs of waste management tipping fees, more public works professionals are starting to adopt municipal backyard composting programs. For the busy public works manager, researching the best program for their community can be a big undertaking.

The GEOBIN® Compost System can help. To see how, one Municipal Backyard Composting Kit is offered free to waste management professionals around the country starting today. Each kit includes:

  • One GEOBIN® Compost Bin
  • The 1-2-3 Composting Guide – Shows municipalities how easy it is to set up a backyard compost program.
  • Access to the ComPost Municipal News E-Newsletter – Includes best practices and money saving tips from program managers from around the country.
  • A Cost Savings Spreadsheet – Helps municipalities determine their cost savings by starting a backyard composting program.

To receive the Municipal Backyard Composting Kit by mail, public works professionals should visit www.GEOBIN123.com or call at 800-548-3424. Bulk pricing programs available. Contact us today and see how a backyard composting program can help your community.

Five Ways to Cut Your Food Waste Over the Holiday Season

Five Ways to cut your Food Waste Over the Holiday Season

Fight food waste this holiday season

Minimize your Food Waste with these Tips

The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is filled with copious amounts of eggnog, time spent with family and food—a lot of food. It should come as no surprise to anyone, during this time, household waste increases significantly. Here are five simple steps that will help you reduce your organic waste, while also supporting your local community. Continue reading

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