March 29th, 2012
Producing compost on a commercial scale, such as that made by companies like Scott Environmental Group, is a highly controlled process, and Scott Environmental Group is highly experienced in getting the mix exactly right. It’s quite different producing it in your own backyard, but there are still a few best practices to bear in mind that will help you achieve better results. These include:
- Shredding ingredients, especially brown or carbon rich ingredients like hay, paper, cardboard and straw. Doing this increases the surface area and allows moisture and air to be distributed more evenly.
- Use the correct balance of compost materials. Getting the right balance of green and brown materials will ensure your compost has plenty of nitrogen and carbon, feeding the microorganisms which break down the materials.
- Get plenty of oxygen into your mix. The bacteria need air to survive, and will begin to die off once they have used up all the available air in your compost heap. Turning the mixture frequently will ensure there is plenty of oxygen so the bacteria can do their job. Checking the temperature will let you know when the bacteria levels are dropping, as the temperature will begin to fall.
- Keep your compost moist to get it working efficiently. This can be a bit of an art, as it needs to be moist without being too soggy. If you think you have made your compost mixture too wet, then simply add some more dry brown materials such as old leaves, to help soak up the excess.
If you want to make compost regularly, then think about investing in a compost tumbler. The manufacturers claim the finished compost will be ready in just three short weeks, which is much the same as results achieved by commercial companies like Scott Environmental Group. This is unlikely, but there are still several advantages to using a tumbler. One of the most obvious is the ease of turning the compost pile, as it can be a lot of hard work turning and establish compost pile, and this often deters people from doing it frequently enough.
It might take a bit of practice to get the mix exactly right, but it is possible to produce good quality compost similar to that produced by Scott Environmental Group.
May 3rd, 2011
It’s a tough time to be a dog; there’s a threat, but I don’t know who to go after! When our master is threatened, we defend…often by attacking the threat. But if the environment is our master, as we instinctively feel the need to protect it, does that mean we should be attacking man? Our best friend? The provider of bones and chew toys? I’m so conflicted!
The LEED movement is all about protection. We canines all understand the natural instinct to protect – don’t humans? Don’t they know that sustainable development is one of the most important ways that we can protect the environment?
The goal of LEED principles is to create and employ integrated designs that:
- Optimizes energy performance.
- Conserves water, both indoors and outdoors.
- Improves environmental quality indoors.
- Makes use of daylighting and low-emitting materials.
- Protect indoor air quality during construction.
- Reduces environmental impact of materials.
It doesn’t hurt that LEED buildings can be a much more profitable investment. Several studies have found that rental office spaces that meet LEED standards generate higher rents and occupancy rates, as well as higher sale prices and lower capitalization rates. People care about that kind of thing.
But dogs care about the environment. LEED principles are driven by a respect for the environment in which we live – and which we affect every day.
C’mon, humans! Get your act together. Defend your master, your best friend – the natural environment – and go after those who don’t promote environmentally friendly building practices! I offer growling lessons,
April 5th, 2011
Humans don’t make sense; I was sitting on my nice quiet street when city engineers started taking out these chemical-laden spray cans. I thought there was about to be some kind of attack – those things are dangerous! But they just marked the gas and electrical lines before getting to work. So let’s get this straight: they spray toxic chemicals in the air and on the ground? And people are ok with this?
Dogs have long known about something that humans are just beginning to catch on to: Eco-Spraying™. This “new” technique involves the use of organic lot marking sprays. They’re probably going to try to take credit for it, but we’ve been using the Eco-Spraying™ technique for centuries; college kids catch on pretty quickly, but they seem to forget once they get to be full-grown. We just mark our territories and boundaries organically; everyone understands and no toxins are involved.
If I had thumbs, I’d be emailing city officials about this; we can provide a 100 percent organic solution to any marking problem, and this might be just the opportunity we need to boost the local canine economy. Putting dogs with good noses to work and saving our people friends from toxins – it’s a win-win. All we need is a good drink of water and some bones waiting for us after a long day’s work.
March 14th, 2011
Human beings; we love them, but they’re a bit lazy. And wasteful. Instead of eating bones, they throw them away! Instead of using leather shoes as chew toys, they just put them on their paws. But the biggest waste? Waste. They flush 104 gallons of water right down the tubes every day. Someone has to help these people, so I’ve been working on a new environmentally-friendly plumbing solution that I hope will be incorporated into new home designs.
Indoor park space. It’s genius; humans flush and waste. With indoor park space, conveniently equipped with scoop bags and refuse containers, they can stoop and scoop.
Now where there are humans, there are the potentials for mess-ups. Early designs have demonstrated issues around water and energy use for sustainability, water drainage, and damage to drywall. Perhaps the biggest stumbling block is the general laissez-faire attitude about picking up this type of waste.
We’re starting new trials: we’ll install artificial turf with newspapered areas for wet human waste. Hopefully, this will encourage them. Maybe if we provide treats also? We’re also looking into eco-friendly Febreeze-type air fresheners for the anticipated odor-control issues.
It’s time to move forward with environmentally friendly plumbing alternatives; all this waste is just wasteful!
February 27th, 2011
Life in the dog house is good. We’ve got everything we need for a comfortable life: a bed, a roof, and, if we’re lucky, a nice meaty bone. My work as a LEED expert has exposed me to the trend away from small, compact spaces and towards sprawling suburbs and McMansions. Homes for the masses – separate homes on their own lots, with their own driveway, two cars, and a little scrap of lawn. We traded efficiency for another bathroom or a bigger kitchen. Home sweet home….
Now dogs, on the other hand. Not only do we save resources and energy by relieving ourselves out of doors and eschewing mass-produced, commercial dog foods by rooting through the trash, we also leave a much smaller carbon paw print with our homes. The average house puts out 27,300 pounds of CO2. A dog house? Zero. That’s right. Check this out:
- 12 square feet.
- No electrical power.
- No heating system
- Dirt-to-floor cooling.
- No plumbing system or running water.
If it was good enough for Snoopy, it’s good enough for you? Life in the doghouse is good!
John Fitzhenry, K9
Aurora, ON, L4G 6K8
Toll Free: 1-888-366-6074