Thu.Nov 07, 2019

How to Bird on Crutches

10,000 Birds

Clearly, it is easier said than done. And after three decades of walking on crutches, I still do not know how to answer the title question.

2019 229

Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act Symposium in Journal of Economic Perspectives

Environmental Economics

The most recent issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives features a three-article symposium on the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.

2019 130

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The possibilities of pallets and pallet wood

Green (Living) Review

also packing crates and similar by Michael Smith (Veshengro) There was a time when shipping pallets (not so much as to packing crates and such) were – supposedly – to be returned (not that that always happened) and then, not so long ago, like so many other things, pallets became “disposables” in that they were no longer being taken back (especially not for deposit return) by the companies. This means that today, unless someone takes pity on them they end up at best being burned (for energy and heat) but mostly in landfill. The wood, while often so-called softwood (pine, spruce, etc.) in Europe, though in the USA much more in the way of hardwoods including oak, maple and others, is a valuable resource for the recycler working with wood. And do not be fooled by the word “softwood” as the heat treatment that the wood has to be, in Europe generally, subjected to can turn the “pine” wood into a rather hard material. If something can be made from wooden boards it can be made from pallet boards. I know of people who have furnished (almost) their entire home with things made from pallets, made by themselves, and of several enterprises making lovely furniture from pallets wood and other “waste” wood used, often combined. Rustic furniture, including and especially small items, such as small wall shelves and other such, made from pallet wood can be very decorative indeed and today, with shabby chic being very much in vogue, are also something that people want to buy. So it is not just something that one can make to furnish a home cheaply but also something that can generate an income. At the same time the wood is kept out of the waste stream and is neither burned nor buried in a hole in the ground and thus the carbon stored in this wood will remained locked up in there for a while longer. There are quite a number of companies that sell similar (small) items of home furnishings, made in places such as India, and others, from “reclaimed” wood, sold at a relatively high price, which can easily be made in an hour or two from pallet wood even by the not overly skilled person. With a little more time and effort invested in the work those items are also, as said previously, saleable and any entrepreneur-minded person could start a little business doing it. Ideas aplenty, if own ones are lacking, are to be found online at Pinterest and other places. The greatest challenge to using pallet wood is the breaking-up of them into usable parts especially as the so-called Euro-Pallets nowadays no longer have the batten runners but wooden, often press-wood, blocks. But even those blocks, the ones from solid wood and not so much those from pressed wood (sawdust), can be made into something, though the batten runners were much more useful. However, those blocks make the breaking-up of pallets somewhat more of a challenge than the old traditional battens, but it can be done, though at times not as easily as with the older style. For the batten-style, still in use in the USA and elsewhere outside the EU, tools have been designed that make the breaking-up of pallets quite easy. With the blocks those tools are, generally, not going to work, and hence it is back to the old tool, the crowbar (prybar) and hammer, and it means that there might be breakages. Also, some Euro-Pallets have riveted over nails at some areas which means that sometimes only short boards can be reclaimed. That, however, should not stop us from reclaiming the wood for use and reuse. For projects in the garden pallets more often than not do not (even) have to be broken up and can make great fences, for instance, internal and external, and there are many ways to use them for this. You do not even need many posts if done the right way. When it comes to making other things out of pallet wood, such as items of (small) furniture, etc., then boards are needed to be reclaimed and then we have to accept that some are shorter than others, that some may get damaged (some already may be due to the load the pallet carried or the handling it received), and so on. That should not deter us to do it, however. To waste this material just would not do, in my opinion. Pallet wood is a valuable resource in many ways. While the old style pallet, with the battens, in a way, was better for the recycler, the Euro-Pallet found all over Europe now still can be used and even the blocks, unless they are press-wood, are usable. Pencil/pen holders are just one example. It just takes a different approach to disassembling them, that is all, and, alas, there are no nice battens to reuse. But so be it. The wood of those pallets is still a valuable resource far too good to be wasted and the possibilities for the wood of all kinds of pallets (and wooden packing cases and crates) are almost legion. © 2019

2019 181

Going Green: How to Make Your Los Angeles Property More Eco-Friendly

Green Prophet

What if we all treated our homes like its own environment, a little biosphere. Would we be kinder to the planet? Many people from across the globe are becoming more aware of the environment we live in and what we can do to help save the planet.

5 Tech Investments That Are a Must For Your Startup

Green Prophet

Artificial Intelligence is used in this biodome to grow bio-organic food with zero waste using the Eddy robot by flux. For startups everywhere, there a few tech tools that simply aren’t negotiable; these are must-haves for your success in business.

2019 56