Man’s New Best Friend

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Christmas Cactus, photographed by: Thomas Jewel

A fan, desk, chair and an English Ivy plant.

Many people go outside for a refreshing boost, but others bring the outdoors inside. What benefits do house plants provide?

While green thumbs easily jump upon owning another plant, others grudgingly decline killing more greenery.

From its benefits, owning a house plant may hopefully change the non-green thumbs views and patience.

People understand plants’ importance; they give flowers, they refresh the air and they provide fruit.

Plants naturally live outside, but three reasons why those delightful life-forms should be inside include:

  1. Purifies the air

People exhale carbon dioxide, which plants breathe; then plants exhale oxygen. During this gas exchange, plants filter the air, removing toxins and other harmful compounds. The plant’s roots release the filtered byproducts into the dirt it’s nestled in, creating nutrient rich soil.  Also, air becomes stagnant and flat inside rooms; plants create more oxygen, which freshens up the air.

  1. Moistens the air

Plants hydrate the air through transpiration. More water in the air reduces risks in dry skin, sore throats and colds. Moist air means refilling the humidifier less during the dryer seasons.

  1. Psychology and Health Benefits

Rooming with various “indoor” plants comes with multiple positive side-effects, including: decreasing blood pressure, easing anxiety, lowering stress, improving memory and concentration; reducing headaches, fatigue and sickness from flu-like symptoms.

Probable indoor plants listed: peace lily, golden pothos, English ivy, chrysanthemum, gerbera daisy, mother-in-law’s tongue, bamboo palm, azalea, red-edge dracaena, snake plant, philodendron and spider plant.

Although the long list provides numerous examples, many other suitable indoor plants exist.

To think a little plant could improve air quality, basic health, peoples’ psyche and a home’s color variation verses owning multiple energy-burning devices. House plants can be beneficial while promoting the inner green thumb.

Now, disobey Mom and bring the outdoors inside for a change.

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Kissing an indoor plant by: Thomas Jewel

For further information check out these links:

https://www.bayeradvanced.com/articles/5-benefits-of-houseplants

http://www.treehugger.com/health/5-health-benefits-houseplants.html

http://www.healthline.com/health/importance-plants-home#Moods5

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Aztecs and Aquaponics

Modern cultivation looks for answers from the Aztecs.

Aquaponics, a self-sustaining water system, grows crops and raises fish. The Aztecs created this cultivation process around 1000 AD.

Aztecs performed the process using floating rafts in canals and lakes, called “chinampas”.

How does old Aztec farming effect the modern world? Believe it or not, this could be the future of agriculture.

Aquaponics grows crops without dirt and less water; the cool trick, the fish grow in the water used to feed the plants!

Crops need three things to grow, and dirt isn’t one. Plants obviously need sun for photosynthesis, to grow. The second being nutrients, plants can’t make food from nothing. The third being water, water equals life!

Aquaponics utilizes plants’ three needs more efficiently than regular farming, other than sunlight.

As previously mentioned, plants don’t need dirt, just the nutrients found in it. Aquaponics uses nutrient rich water; the enriched water comes from waste produced by the fish growing within the system.

Red worms and bacteria (in another tank) break down these byproducts into usable nutrients for plants. Once the plants take all the nutrients, the water circulates back to the fish. The plants filter the water as they extract nutrients, providing clean water for the fish.

Picture from: The Aquaponic Source

Since aquaponics evades harsh fertilizers and acres of land, the environment can be more at ease.

Traditional farming wastes more water; water can’t be reused because of soil absorption. Versus aquaponics, which recycles the water, moving from the plants to the fish tank, then pumped back for plant use.  Ultimately reducing water waste.

Over longer periods of time (which can be shorter in hotter/dryer climates) water  loss occurs through evaporation and transpiration (water leaving through plants’ pores). Although water will need to be added, its efficiency still stands greater than conventual farming.

Aquaponics becomes a self-sustaining ecosystem with the fish, plants and bacteria depending upon one another to survive. This satisfies mans’ needs while helping the environment.

It just goes to show, maybe looking toward the past isn’t such a bad idea.

 

For more information check out these links:

https://www.theaquaponicsource.com/what-is-aquaponics/

http://www.growingpower.org/education/what-we-grow/aquaponics/

https://www.milkwood.net/2014/01/20/aquaponics-a-brief-history/

 

 

Carbon to Concrete

 

Most environmental concerns are with the air that we breath and all the floating CO2 emissions in it. Heavy traffic, coal power plants and factories produce CO2 emissions. As the years go by more and more people are concerned with the CO2 buildup within our atmosphere.

CO2 emissions not only fill the air we breathe but eat away the ozone while turning up the temperature in humanity’s bubble (Earth).

Why hasn’t humanity done a thing about this crisis? Who will stop or at least hinder this atmospheric problem before it worsens?

Lucky for mankind, one group of people are working hard to tackle the issue of CO2 emissions. The name of the group happens to be a company named, Calera Corp.

Calera Corp., addressed humanity’s problem, and found a way to channel this problem into something useful. Building materials, hits the list of necessities for an expanding society. “Concrete is the most popular building material in the world,” Shara Tonn of Wired Magazine wrote. With a progressing civilization like ours concrete grows more in demand.

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Downtown Tucson, AZ : By Thomas Jewel

Calera Corp. discovered how to convert CO2 into concrete. Remarkable, a company turns flexible gas into a solid slab of concrete?

Calera Corp. gained the genius concept from the process of coral forming. Oceans naturally suck up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, once the carbon dioxide enters the water it dissolves into carbonate.

The coral combines calcium with carbonate (called calcium carbonate) to form its skeleton, a sturdy structure for the coral to live in/on.

Calera Corp. learned to mimic this process to create concrete. “Calera’s process removes CO2 from emitting sources by converting the gas into a solid form of calcium carbonate,” Calera Corp. wrote. Calcium carbonate, a powder, mixes with the cement batch to create the concrete.

Thanks to Calera Corp. the planet can last a little longer while supporting the growth of society. Another achievement in the balance between man and environment, thanks to Calera Corp.

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Thatcher, AZ : By Thomas Jewel 

 

 

If you would like to learn more about Calera Corporation, visit their site: http://www.calera.com/beneficial-reuse-of-co2/science.html

You can also visit Wired Magazine to learn more about the Calera process:

https://www.wired.com/2015/09/think-like-tree-new-kind-eco-friendly-concrete-inspired-coral/

Birth of the Machine

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By Thomas Jewel

One thing about society’s focus, it’s shifting, instead of looking only at the green growing in bank accounts people, industries and governments are refocusing on maintaining the green of this world. Whether through green energy from big wind turbines of the Midwest or the electric cars filling the streets, the green mindset has definitely arrived!

The point of this blog will be to educate readers and spot light the newest things pertaining to the green mindset. Some may ask, “Why should we know about things going green?” First things first, it’s crucial for individuals to understand things going on around them. Second, not only do things pertaining to the word green effect only plants or animals. Even though it may seem that this world’s health has minimal effect upon mankind, its roots are in everything. Just some of effects range from agricultural health to even a company’s stock value. ‘Green Machine’(this blog) desires to feed peoples’ understanding of green achievements while promoting awareness of the importance of maintaining our world. Each post will attempt to reach this goal by introducing green tech, architecture, foods, laws, lifestyles and anything that promotes keeping our little blue planet from turning brown. The purpose of the blog isn’t to convince its audience to avoid shaving legs or skipping showers to conserve resources, but if readers feel the need go right ahead. As previously stated, the purpose of the ‘Green Machine’ will be to present any new things effecting green tech, law, architecture and etc.

Every week expect a new post covering a green event, achievement or discovery. There will definitely be plenty of opinions and views shared in each post with the covered topic. Worry not for there will be plenty of actual facts and sources so the readers may draw their own conclusion of the posted topics. This will be an exciting new beginning for the ‘Green Machine’ and hopefully for all the readers interested about the things going green!