“5 things you can do about climate change” – CNN, 6 May 2014

We here at Phinix are huge proponents of doing what you can at home to prevent any further impacts of climate change. The disastrous effects of global warming are stacking up, leading to higher temperatures and rising sea levels. More flooding, wildfires, and droughts are to be expected. Here are five things you can do to lend a helping hand to the environment.

Become Informed

Staying informed about what policy makers are doing and saying is paramount. If you stay educated on climate change, then you can make knowledgeable decisions when voting and electing politicians into office. It also wouldn’t hurt to know what the policy makers are discussing:

  • Lowering carbon dioxide levels—for example, establishing carbon taxes and carbon caps;
  • Changing the Earth’s response to the effects of climate change—for example, building seawalls to combat the rising sea levels; and
  • Adapting the Earth to counteract climate change—for example, changing our oceans to absorb more CO2.

Make Changes at Home

The EPA suggests you do the following to curb your greenhouse gas emissions, which will also save you money:

  • Change your five most-used light bulbs to products that have the EPA’s Energy Star label;
  • Heat and cool more efficiently, such as by using a programmable thermostat, changing air filters, and replacing old equipment with Energy Star products;
  • Seal and insulate your home;
  • Make use of recycling programs, and compost food and yard waste;
  • Reduce water waste;
  • Use green power, such as solar panels; and
  • Estimate how much greenhouse gas you emit with the EPA’s calculator.

Be Greener at the Office

You can also help out at the office. Here’s how:

  • Set computers and other office equipment to power down during periods when you’re not using them;
  • Use Energy Star equipment; and
  • Recycle and reuse whenever possible.

Reduce Emissions in Transit

You can reduce your emissions both in your daily and cross-country commutes:

  • Rely on public transportation, biking, walking, carpooling, or telecommuting instead of driving;
  • Use the EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide to help you make an informed choice about buying a car;
  • While driving, try to avoid hard accelerations, don’t spend more than 30 seconds idling, and go easy on the gas pedal and brakes; and
  • Make sure to regularly check your tire pressure.

When you’re traveling by plane, try these tricks:

  • Consider packing lighter because less fuel is consumed with less weight on the plane;
  • Fly during the day because night flights have a bigger impact on the climate; and
  • Buy carbon credits to compensate for the emissions on your flight.

Get Involved and Educate Others About the Bigger Picture

Though one person’s efforts might only have a small influence, involving and educating others will allow our impact to grow. Together, we can help to prevent any further damaging effects of climate change.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

May 13, 2014

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2014. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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“Sustainability Gone Postal” – Book By Dr. Subodh Das and Austin McKinney, 2nd Edition

Phinix LLC Publishes 2nd Edition of Sustainability Gone Postal!, a book based on our 15-part blog series inspired by the USPS “Go Green” Stamp Collection.

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Phinix LLC is pleased to announce the publication of the second edition of our book, Sustainability Gone Postal!, a short book based on our 15-Part blog series inspired by the United States Postal Service’s “Go Green” Stamp Collection.

This second edition has been completely re-imagined from the ground up. Each page features colorful designs and incredible images and illustrations bound in a beautiful glossy cover. This 15-Part volume describes practical, real-life tips for achieving a greener lifestyle. Each colorful chapter offers valuable insights from leading experts in ecology, environmentalism, and energy efficiency. Sustainability Gone Postal! addresses the following topics:

1. Local Produce Reuse Bags

2. Walking as Transportation

3. Recycling More Often

4. Using Public Transportation

5. Fixing Water Leaks

6. Bicycling as Transportation

7. Using Efficient Light Bulbs

8. Carpooling and Ride Sharing

9. Working with Compost

10. Planting Trees and Vegetation

11 . Controlling Your Thermostat Efficiently

12. Saving Electricity

13. Using “Natural” Power

14. Insulating Your Home

15. Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure

To learn more about our book, and order your copy, please visit: http://www.lulu.com/shop/subodh-das-and-austin-mckinney/sustainability-gone-postal/paperback/product-20665110.html

Please send your review and comments to skdas@phinix.net

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Austin McKinney

February 10, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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Phinix LLC Publishes Sustainability Gone Postal!, a book based on our 15-part blog series inspired by the USPS “Go Green” Stamp Collection

Phinix LLC is very happy to announce the publication of our new book, Sustainability Gone Postal!, a short book based on our 15-Part blog series inspired by the United States Postal Service’s “Go Green” Stamp Collection.

This 15-Part volume describes practical, real-life tips for achieving a greener lifestyle. Each colorful chapter offers valuable insights from leading experts in ecology, environmentalism, and energy efficiency. Sustainability Gone Postal! addresses the following topics:

  • Local Produce Reuse Bags
  • Walking as Transportation
  • Recycling More Often
  • Using Public Transportation
  • Fixing Water Leaks
  • Bicycling as Transportation
  • Using Efficient Light Bulbs
  • Carpooling and Ride Sharing
  • Working with Compost
  • Planting Trees and Vegetation
  • Controlling Your Thermostat Efficiently
  • Saving Electricity
  • Using “Natural” Power
  • Insulating Your Home
  • Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure

Following the launch of our book, we plan to develop a presentation and lecture materials to broad audiences interested in topics concerning ecology, sustainability, and green living.

To learn more about our book, and order your copy, please visit: http://www.lulu.com/shop/subodh-das-and-austin-mckinney/sustainability-gone-postal-a-blog-series-inspired-by-the-usps-go-green-stamp-collection/paperback/product-20591643.html?showPreview=true

Conceived, Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Austin McKinney.

January 7th, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net skdas@phinix.net

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Landfill Mining

Landfill mining and reclamation (LFMR) is a process whereby solid wastes, which have previously been land filled, are excavated and processed.

Processing involves a series of mechanical processing operations designed to recover one or more of the following: recyclable materials, a combustible fraction, soil, and landfill space. The combustible fraction can be used to generate electricity. LFMR can be used as a measure to remediate poorly designed or improperly operated landfills and to upgrade landfills that do not meet environmental and public health specifications. [World Resources Foundation, undated, http://www.enviroalternatives.com/landfill.html ] Though not widely practiced, LFMR has gradually been gaining acceptance since the 1980s.

In 1997, the EPA published an 8-page brochure on landfill reclamation that summarized potential benefits and drawbacks. [ http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/landfill/land-rcl.pdf ] Benefits include reducing pollution or the risk of pollution from substandard landfill or dump sites, reclaiming soil for use at the landfill (as a cover material) or offsite, extending the life of the landfill by reducing the volume of waste on-site and/or reducing the area of land the landfill occupies, recovering materials such as aluminum and ferrous metals, or producing energy at municipal waste-to-energy facilities. Drawbacks include the risks of uncovering hazardous wastes or releasing flammable gases such as methane or hydrogen sulfide. The EPA document includes representative case studies of LFMR projects in Collier County, Florida (starting in 1986), Edinburgh Landfill in New York (1990-1992), and the Frey Farm Landfill in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (1991-1996).

In October 1993, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation included landfill reclamation in that state’s solid waste management regulations. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection published a guidance document on the disturbance and use of old closed landfills or waste disposal areas in 2001 and updated it in 2009 and 2011. [ http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/quick_topics/publications/shw/solid_waste/Dump-Guidance-03Feb11.pdf ]

Typical equipment used in simple LFMR operations includes excavators, screens, and conveyors. Higher-tech LFMR operations recover additional materials and improve the purity of recovered materials, and therefore require more equipment than simple operations.

A LFMR project that has attracted a great deal of attention recently is being implemented at the landfill site of Remo Milieubeheer NV in Houthalen-Hechteren, Belgium. A waste-to-energy company, Advanced Plasma Power (APP), based in the United Kingdom, formed a joint venture with Group Machiels, a global waste management firm.

[ http://www.waste-management-world.com/index/display/article-display.articles.waste-management-world.waste-to-energy.2011.05.Plasma_Power_Goes_Large_at_Landfill_Mining_Project.QP129867.dcmp=rss.page=1.html ] The process to be used is called the “Gas plasma process,” a gasification and plasma conversion technology that converts the waste stream into a clean, hydrogen-rich syngas and a vitrified recyclate product called Plasmarok that can be used as a building material or replacement aggregate. According to APP, the process destroys harmful gases, leaving the high-quality syngas to be used to generate electricity.

As fossil fuels become increasingly scarce and more expensive, the first and most cost-effective response of the waste management system is likely to be to boost the rate of recycling, especially of metals and plastics, before they reach a landfill. This is because the process of landfilling materials degrades their purity and economic value. Increased mining of landfills may be a secondary effect, depending on the net energy balance of the LFMR process and the potential to generate electricity from combustible waste materials.

Stay tuned as we extend our thoughts to recovering valuable metallic products from landfills or ‘Urban Mining”.

Conceived, Developed and Written by Geoff Young, Dr. Subodh Das and Austin McKinney on February 10, 2012

All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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