I designed a very inexpensive and simple to use water level monitoring project. Using an inexpensive microcontroller and ultrasonic sensor, there are no moving parts. Installed in the top of a tank, it monitors the distance to the water, and knowing the height and radius of the tank, displays the number of liters (or gallons) left in the tank. You can display the output on a LCD, or transmit it over your home network to your PC.
With alcohol fuel, you can become energy independent, insulating yourself from fuel shortages and price hikes. Alcohol fuel is “liquid sunshine” and can’t be controlled by transnational corporations. You can produce alcohol for less than $1 a gallon, using a wide variety of plants and waste products, from algae to stale donuts. It’s a much better fuel than gasoline (burns cleaner, and allows awesome power increases, due to compression increases and timing advances), and you can use it in your car, right now. Do not confuse this with “gasohol”! You can even use alcohol to generate electricity. Alcohol fuel production can be ecologically sustainable, revitalizes farms and communities, and creates huge new opportunities for small-scale businesses. Its byproducts are clean and valuable. Alcohol has a proud history and a vital future.
Learn more at
Think for a moment about all the trash you produce in a day. If you’re like the average American, you generate 4.4 pounds of trash in just one 24 hour period. Instead of all that trash going into a landfill, help us ensure that more of it gets recycled and given a new life.
November 15 is America Recycles Day, and we’re working with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) to encourage the entire country to recycle more. Americans recycle just 35 percent of our waste, and we need YOU and your readers to help us change that.
Take the I Recycle pledge today, and tell us what you pledge to recycle more. You can make your pledge go even further through our America Recycles Day Thunderclap, which will post a synchronized message of support on the Facebook or Twitter accounts of all our supporters at the exact same time on America Recycles Day. All it takes is one click!
Help us make as big of an impact as possible with our recycling campaign. Here’s what else you can do:
· Share our America Recycles Day Thunderclap with your social media followers. The more people that spread the word, the more people we will reach.
· After you have signed the America Recycles Day pledge encourage your readers to do the same. Ten lucky people who take the pledge will win a park bench, made from recycled materials, of course!
· Direct your readers to IWantToBeRecycled.org to find the nearest recycling center near them. The website also contains facts on what materials can be recycled and what they can become in their new lives.
Thanks for supporting this important campaign!
Manager, Public Relations | The Advertising Council
815 Second Ave, 9th floor | New York, NY 10017
We have been involved with Bio Methane digestion for about a decade or so, and we were honored to work with Al Rutan, The Methane Man for several years before he died. By no means am I a methane guru, but I have friends who are. I’d like to introduce “The Complete Biogas Handbook“, by David William House.
Reviews by Experts
“Hoo BOY, is it complete! …So lots of the numbers you need are here, and many hard-won tips are shown from often bitter experience.… The book’s main value is in showing how to do things that have been glossed over or ignored in other books, such as burning methane in a gasoline engine. If biogas interests you enough to consider making a generator, this book is your next assignment.”
J. Baldwin, The Next Whole Earth Catalog
“This readable book provides a comprehensive survey of the theory and practice of biogas production. The author discusses the scientific terms used, the substances (such as manure and plant matter) which can produce biogas, and various types of biogas generators.”
Mother Earth News
“House… has written a thorough introduction not only to biogas plants but to the ancillary problems such as gas utilization, engine/generator interfacing, refrigeration, and similar topics.”
Alternative Sources of Energy
“…bringing together material of importance that has hitherto been spread far and wide.”
Steve Smyser, Organic Gardening
“I ordered your book several months ago and have been very excited to find one single source with so much great information in it. It is, without a doubt, the best book out there on small digesters! Bravo, sir! I am currently writing a fact-sheet on micro-digesters and their potential for sustainable farms in the U.S., and your book will be at the top of the recommended reading section.”
Rich Dana, an Energy Specialist working for the National Center for Appropriate Technology
Read more including free chapters at http://www.completebiogas.com/index.html
A few years ago I designed a online battery load calculator, but Trojan (one of our favorite off grid battery manufacturers) came out with a good configuration tool. This calculator is a tool to help you determine the model and quantity of Trojan batteries needed for your renewable energy or backup power system. The calculator recommends batteries based on your inputs and the results are ranked according to cycle life performance.
Check it out at http://www.batterysizingcalculator.com/
My name is Lloyd Godson (www.lloydgodson.com); the 2007 Australian
Geographic Adventurer of the Year for living underwater in my BioSUB. The BioSUB was the world’s first self-sufficient underwater habitat that utilised a plant based life support system. You can read an article about it which appeared in the Australian Geographic magazine here:
In 2010, I spent two weeks living underwater in the Atlantis by Sealife Aquarium in LEGOLAND Germany while setting a new Guinness World Records for generating the most electricity by human power underwater. I have also pedalled a human-powered submarine through the Greek Islands!
I am currently living in Port Macquarie, Australia and have started working on a new community-based adventure project titled ‘Sea Stars of STEM’. The aim of the project is to encourage young people from around the world to undertake Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) studies and careers.
The idea behind Sea Stars of STEM is to present school children with an exciting challenge (in this case to design and build an underwater habitat fit for a superhero) and guide them through it from concept to delivery with some industry support. I’ve found an amazing school here in Port Macquarie (Newman Senior Technical College) that has the facilities and capabilities to tackle the challenge with their students. They also happen to have a Marine Discovery Centre located onsite:
In order to help raise the funds I need to get things going, I have created a peerfunding campaign on StartSomeGood that I could really use your support on: http://startsomegood.com/superhero. So far I’ve raised $13, 642 of my $33,000 Tipping Point target. With just 21 days remaining, I urge you visit the link, watch the video and contribute toward my project in any of the following ways:
1. Pledge your support.
2. Share it with your network or with specific people that you believe would be interested in supporting this Community-based Science and Technology project.
3. Give me a shout out on your social media along with the link.
Thanks kindly for your help. If you would like any additional information please let me know and I would be happy to give you a call or answer any of your questions via email. Let the challenge begin!
M: +61 455 813 281
John Chapman (September 26, 1774 – March 11, 1845), often called Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, including the northern counties of present day West Virginia. He became an American legend while still alive, due to his kind, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. He was also a missionary for The New Church (Swedenborgian).
NEW REPORT: FOOD EXPIRATION DATE CONFUSION CAUSING UP TO 90% OF AMERICANS TO WASTE FOOD
NRDC & Harvard Reveal Costs of Mass Consumer Confusion; Offer New Plan for Commonsense Food Date Labeling
NEW YORK (September 18, 2013) – U.S. consumers and businesses needlessly trash billions of pounds of food every year as a result of America’s dizzying array of food expiration date labeling practices, which need to be standardized and clarified, according to a new report co-authored by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. One key finding from an industry-conducted survey: More than 90 percent of Americans may be prematurely toss food because they misinterpret food labels as indicators of food safety.
“Expiration dates are in need of some serious myth-busting because they’re leading us to waste money and throw out perfectly good food, along with all of the resources that went into growing it,” said Dana Gunders, NRDC staff scientist with the food and agriculture program. “Phrases like ‘sell by’, ’use by’, and ‘best before’ are poorly regulated, misinterpreted and leading to a false confidence in food safety. It is time for a well-intended but wildly ineffective food date labeling system to get a makeover.”
NRDC and Harvard Law’s study, The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America (http://www.nrdc.org/food/expiration-dates.asp) is a first-of-its-kind legal analysis of the tangle of loose federal and state laws related to date labels across all 50 states and presents recommendations for a new system for food date labeling. The report is a follow-up to NRDC’s 2012 Wasted (http://www.nrdc.org/food/wasted-food.asp) report, which revealed that Americans trash up to 40 percent of our food supply every year, equivalent to $165 billion.
For the vast majority of food products, manufacturers are free to determine date shelf life according to their own methods. The report finds that the confusion created by this range of poorly regulated and inconsistent labels leads to results that undermine the intent of the labeling, including:
* False Notions that Food is Unsafe – 91 percent of consumers occasionally throw food away based on the “sell by” date out of a mistaken concern for food safety even though none of the date labels actually indicate food is unsafe to eat;
* Consumer Confusion Costs – an estimated 20 percent of food wasted in U.K. households is due to misinterpretation of date labels. Extending the same estimate to the U.S., the average household of four is losing $275-455 per year on food needlessly trashed;
* Business Confusion Costs – an estimated $900 million worth of expired food is removed from the supply chain every year. While not all of this is due to confusion, a casual survey of grocery store workers found that even employees themselves do not distinguish between different kinds of dates;
* Mass Amounts of Wasted Food – The labeling system is one factor leading to an estimated 160 billion pounds of food trashed in the U.S. every year, making food waste the single largest contributor of solid waste in the nation’s landfills.
Two main categories of labeling exist for manufacturers: those intended to communicate among businesses and those for consumers. But they are not easily distinguishable from one another and neither is designed to indicate food’s safety. “Sell by” dates are a tool for stock control, suggesting when the grocery store should no longer sell products in order to ensure the products still have shelf life after consumers purchase them. They are not meant to communicate with consumers, nor do they indicate the food is bad on that date. “Best before” and “use by” dates are intended for consumers, but they are often just a manufacturer’s estimate of a date after which food will no longer be at peak quality; not an accurate date of spoiling or an indication that food is unsafe. Consumers have no way of knowing how these “sell by” and “use by” dates have been defined or calculated since state laws vary dramatically and companies set their own methods for determining the dates, none of which helps to improve public health and safety.
“We need a standardized, commonsense date labeling system that actually provides useful information to consumers, rather than the unreliable, inconsistent and piecemeal system we have today,” said Emily Broad Leib, lead author of the report and director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. “This comprehensive review provides a blueprint calling on the most influential date label enforcers – food industry actors and policymakers – to create and foster a better system that serves our health, pocketbooks and the environment.”
Use of expiration dates for food stem from consumer unease about food freshness mounting over the 20th century, as Americans left farms and lost their connection to the foods they consume. By 1975, a nationwide survey of shoppers showed 95% of respondents considered date labels to be the most useful consumer service for addressing freshness. The widespread concern prompted over 10 congressional bills introduced between 1973-1975 alone, to establish requirements for food dating. During that time, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report to Congress advocating a uniform national date labeling system to avoid confusion. Despite GAO’s prophetic advice, none of the legislative efforts gained enough momentum to become law. Instead, the 1970s began the piecemeal creation of today’s fractured American date labeling regime.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture have the power to regulate food labeling to ensure consumers are not misled, both agencies have failed to adequately exercise their authority. FDA does not require food companies to place any date labels on food products, leaving the information entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer. The only product for which a date is federally regulated is infant formula.
Food producers and retailers can begin to adopt the following recommended changes to date labels voluntarily but government steps, including legislation by Congress and more oversight by FDA and USDA, should be considered as well:
* Making “sell by” dates invisible to consumers, as they indicate business-to-business labeling information and are mistakenly interpreted as safety dates;
* Establishing a more uniform, easily understandable date label system that communicates clearly with consumers by 1) using consistent, unambiguous language; 2) clearly differentiating between safety- and quality-based dates; 3) predictably locating the date on package; 4) employing more transparent methods for selecting dates; and other changes to improve coherency;
* Increasing the use of safe handling instructions and “smart labels” that use technology to provide additional information on the product’s safety.
“The scale of food waste worldwide is one of the most emblematic examples of how humanity is needlessly running down its natural resources. This new report comes on the heels of one compiled by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which points out that 28 percent of the world’s farmland is being used to produce food that is not eaten–an area larger than China,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director. “Everyone, every business, every city, state and government should do something to tackle this wastage to help reduce the global Foodprint.”
* NRDC’s blog series on food waste: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dgunders/
* NRDC’s Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill report: http://www.nrdc.org/food/wasted-food.asp
* UNEP and the FAO launched the Think Eat Save: Reduce Your Foodprint campaign in January 2013-its partners include NRDC: http://www.thinkeatsave.org/.
Contact: Jackie Wei, email@example.com, 310-434-2325 or (cell) 347-874-8305
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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, a division of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, is an experiential teaching program of Harvard Law School that links law students with opportunities to serve clients and communities grappling with various food law and policy issues. The Clinic strives to increase access to healthy foods, prevent diet-related diseases, and assist small and sustainable farmers and producers in participating in local food markets. For more information, visit http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/foodpolicyinitiative/
“Edible Education” has now entered the mainstream. The Edible Schoolyard Project continues to flourish from one simple idea: all academic subjects from Kindergarten through 12th grade become more richly engaging when they are integrated with immersive experiences in kitchens and gardens. As young people are empowered to understand the deep connections between food and every other aspect of life, they develop a sense of global citizenship, a respect for the land, and a determination to nourish themselves and each other.
Cafeterias should become central to our students’ education – a place where they can experience and participate in the ritual of the table and exchange ideas. As part of our work, we are longtime advocates for a free and universal school lunch. This is a movement to truly care for our next generation. Thanks to our longstanding collaboration with Slow Food, our work holds great promise – now more than ever before!
Vice President, Slow Food International
Founder, The Edible Schoolyard Project