Green News: Giving recycling a whole new meaning

For everything you do, there’s a green choice that’s good for you AND the environment. Here, you’ll find information about how people, companies and organizations are embracing “Green Technology” and discovering environmentally responsible alternatives to older technology.

Even entire towns can reach for energy independence.

The entrance signs call it “Bio-Town USA,” and it’s home to 533 people. The real name, “Reynolds, Ind.,” seems to be secondary.

So far, much of what this pig and cow town wants to do is only a plan on the books, but progress is being made. More than 100 of the town’s vehicles are already flex-fuel vehicles. Unfortunately, the local gas station has been unable to make the costly conversion to flex-fuel (ethanol), so purchases must be made elsewhere.

But the dream continues. The town hopes to draw its electricity from pig and cow manure, as well as human waste. Eventually, they could make their own renewable natural gas with the methane from the waste of those same pigs, cows and people.

With federal and state assistance, this could turn out to be the little town that could. Maybe they’ll get some help from Indiana Sen. Richard Luger (R), who says cellulosic ethanol (produced from forage crops, sawdust and more) is the way to go.

A Pacific group that includes the Solomon Islands is examining a biodiesel fuel made from coconuts ( And in other parts of the world, the list of possibilities includes the production of biodiesel from hemp, kukui nuts (a winning Science Fair project), sugar cane and palm oil.

Announced in June 2006, a fuels initiative is being piloted in Scotland, where farmers will use biosolids (treated sewage sludge) as a fertilizer to grow wheat and oilseed. The crops will then be converted into bioethanol and biodiesel. This makes “recycling” take on a whole new meaning!

From the July 26-Aug. 1, 2006, issue

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