Tag Archives: solar

The Wicked Green: 8 Tips to be Green in 2017

By Emma Brown
Creative Marketing at Bootstrap Compost, Inc.

Every year in early January, folks across the world make resolutions of all sorts: exercise more, eat healthier, spend more time with family and friends, call that aunt you barely know. If you’re looking for some ideas to set your sights on this year, look no further! Here are 8 tips that will make your life a little more sustainable in the coming year.

  1. Buy less, and buy more often: unless you’re buying for a large family or a big meal, chances are you can get away with buying fewer ingredients. The trick here is to shop more often. That way, you always have the freshest produce, and you’re less likely to waste food (50% of all produce in the United States is thrown away!)
  2. Buy locally: if and when you can, buy from local growers. It’s a no-brainer that your items will be fresher and more nutritious! You’ll also be supporting your own community and leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Just think, an average meal travels 1500+ miles from farm to plate! And don’t forget, buying locally applies to art and music, too.
  3. Grow your own: if you have any sort of green thumb, try growing your own herbs and veggies this year. Basil, mint, garlic, and tomatoes are all easy plants to take care of, and you can grow them in a variety of spaces. See our Twitter hashtag #BSCgrows or read our “Bootstrap Grows” blog posts for tips and tricks!

    unnamed-2

    Meet Tom, my tomato plant. This guy was grown in a 5-gallon bucket on my back porch. Shoot me a comment and I can tell you more!

  4. Walk, bike, or take public transit: do what you can to reduce your dependence on your own motor vehicle. Did you know that one gallon of gasoline produces ~20 pounds of carbon dioxide? So ask yourself, do you need to drive to the grocery store for milk, or can you walk there? Do you live in a city with public transport options? Some companies offer incentives for using public transport – explore what your employer has to offer. Or hop on your bike and get a workout in! Just please, wear a helmet.
  5. Ditch the gym membership: we all join with great intentions, but unless you use it regularly and you just CAN’T stand running in the cold (personally, I’m in this boat), you can save time, money, and energy by exercising outside near your home or work.
  6. Only print what you need to: we live in a digital age, and frequently there’s no reason for printed materials anymore. Do you need a hard statement of your credit card bill mailed to you? Do you need to print directions to your child’s basketball game? If the answer is no, do yourself (and the planet) a favor and save these items to your computer or cell phone. You’ll save ink, trees, and water too!
  7. Compost: Whether you want to try out a worm bin, build a compost pile in your back yard, or sign up for a subscription service, give composting a try! Your trash will smell way less, you reduce your contribution to landfills – methane emitting powerhouses, and in return, you’ll get a great soil amendment at the end of the process.

    peace-love

    Wishing you peace, love & compost in 2017

  8. Consider alternative energyif you own your home, check out your options for alternative energy! Federal tax credits and state incentives offer price breaks for installing solar panels, and you can sleep easier knowing that you aren’t relying on an archaic, heavily polluting technology. Massachusetts and other states also allow you to subscribe to programs that source local and renewable energy to your home.

Bootstrap co-founder Igor couldn’t help but chime in: “Carry a reusable bag, replace your incandescent bulbs to CFLs and LEDs, and use your own water bottle!” So there you have it, folks. A list of easy ways to be a more eco-sustainable you this upcoming year!

What are your suggestions? What will you try, or what doesn’t work for you? Please share ideas, questions, comments, seedlings, and the like!

Also, the first enzyme to be discovered was amylase, which catalyses the hydrolysis of starch into sugars. In humans, it’s found in the saliva and is responsible for the beginning the chemical process of digestion.

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The BiG Stink: On a Power Trip (or just trippin’?)

By Faith Miller
Operations Manager at Bootstrap Compost, Inc.

This week “The Big Stink” is all about power. Where’s it coming from? Who’s got it? Who wants it?

On February 9th, the Supreme Court ruled to temporarily block implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. To be clear, the Supreme Court has not rejected the Clean Power Plan (CPP); it has merely voted that the EPA cannot enforce regulations until justices decide new rules are legal. The Clean Power Plan has multiple objectives but the regulation currently on the hotseat requires states to reduce emissions from power plants by 32% of 2005 levels by 2030. The EPA outlines several strategies to achieve the cuts such as improving efficiency of existing coal-fired plants, shifting electricity generation away from coal toward natural gas, nuclear power, and renewables, and boosting end-use efficiency by consumers to meet regulations.

coal power plant

But does the EPA have the authority to coerce states into overhauling their electricity systems? It’s up for debate. The CPP has become the most contentious and heavily litigated environmental regulation ever. Currently 27 states, utility companies, coal companies and numerous other sectors have launched more than 15 separate cases against the regulations.

“The legal circus surrounding CPP may be getting serious press but it masks that all the hoopla ultimately doesn’t matter.”

Arguments against the CPP have three main flavors. One is all about legal lingo. The current version of the Clean Air Act contains two 1990 provisions (one from the House and one from the Senate) that have conflicting language over whether the EPA can regulate toxic emissions from a “source category”- in this case power plants – that is already covered in another section of the law. Basically, no regulation double dipping.  Another argument is termed “fenceline problem.” Detractors contend the EPA cannot assume states will expand clean energy to meet emission targets because renewables are beyond the “fenceline” of power plants over which the EPA has authority. The final argument is that emissions targets place undue economic hardship on states.

The legal circus surrounding CPP may be getting serious press but it masks that all the hoopla doesn’t matter. The rhetoric that America is thumbing its nose at the international community and the Paris Agreement is overblown. The passing of Justice Scalia and the appointment of a new justice is unimportant. It is irrelevant that not one remaining Republican presidential candidate supports climate change mitigation.


Why don’t all these headlining issues matter? Because a
shift away from coal is already happening. Emissions from fossil fuel powered plants dropped 18% between 2005 and 2015 and coal accounted for a record low of 29% of power generation in 2015. Not even free-falling oil prices prevented a record $328.9 billion global investment in clean energy last year. Twelve states along with several cities are not waiting for a ruling and have already begun to move forward with new regulations.

So does the EPA have power to apply CPP? Do states have the power to manage their own emissions? Beats me. What I do know is money talks and people are putting their coin behind clean energy at unprecedented rates. No matter which way the court rules, change is on the horizon and people are powering it by voting with their dollars.