Eco Living Articles of the Week

I found some time to catch up on some reading this week and wanted to share some interesting articles that I came across.  I have to take it as a good sign that I never seem to have a problem finding interesting things to share as it relates to eco-living.

Staring Out with Green Energy at Home (

An easy, short article that lays out five basic steps to starting down the path of Green Energy in your own home.  While not world shattering, it does provide an excellent place to start if you are new to the concepts of Green Energy.  And hopefully, even if you aren’t familiar with the idea and have already tackled some of the steps it will help you to start working on the next option.  You can read the full article here, and hopefully it encourages you to make some small changes at home as a first step.

Reusable Trash Bags (Fast Company)

Plastic lurks everywhere, and while you may be using reusable shopping bags and avoiding single use water bottles, have you given any thought to your trash bags.  The average household in the U.S. uses 100 trash bags over a year, which adds up to a truly staggering number nationally each year.  Now an Australian start-up called TOMbag has created a sturdy, reusable trash bag made from recycled water bottles.  You just fill them up and then empty them into your curbside trash bin.

Right now most trash bags end up in landfills and do not biodegrade, and while more sustainable options have been launched issues still remain.  Recycled plastic bags don’t decompose and compostable bags only break down in the environments provided by an industrial composting facility.  The idea for TOMbag emerged as the founders realized most municipalities don’t require trash to be in plastic bags, just contained within proper curbside bins.  The reusable bags they created are sturdy, thick and leakproof and currently come in two sizes for kitchens and bathrooms.  Most importantly they are washable and designed to provide a superior user experience when compared to traditional bags.

When the bag reaches its end life in a couple of years it can be sent back to the company to be recycled – creating a fully circular system.  A great solution to a problem “hiding” in plain sight.  You can read the full article here.

Making Coal Plants Beautiful (Fast Company)

Across Europe, energy giant Enel is converting its old polluting infrastructure into new centers for clean power.  Enel is in the process of shutting all of its coal power plants down over the next six years and is transforming some of the sites into renewable energy hubs.  Their stated goal is to create energy centers that are increasingly integrated with their local environment and reduce their impact on the landscape.

You can read the full article here.  In Spain, a massive former coal plant will be converted into Europe’s largest solar power plant.  While in Venice, a portion of the redesigned Enel complex there will be reborn as a center for sustainable innovation open to the public.  You have to admire the ability to not just pivot, but the attempt to inject “beauty” into the new outcome.

That’s all for this week.

The Free Range Viking

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