Getting more out of recycled EPS






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Jeff Timm, Contributing Writer — Packaging Digest, 7/12/2013 12:44:04 PM





Densified EPS on pallet

Ban this, ban that…it seems plastics continue to take the brunt of recent activism to eliminate certain types of end-use applications from the planet. Bans seem to gain momentum when there is no viable existing solution that addresses what the advisories are attempting to eliminate. 

One could present a case that many of these bans would not occur if viable solutions existed. For example, the problem that initiated bans on plastic bottles would probably go away if recycle drop-off containers were present everywhere to more easily facilitate their recovery and collection, if the local recycle infrastructure would and could accept all plastic containers, if economically viable markets existed for recycled plastics and if consumers were not totally confused on the simple steps of how and what to recycle. 

Let’s take the real case of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), commonly referred to as Styrofoam. EPS used in packaging is an engineered solution to solve many packaging transport, safety and protection problems. EPS is a lightweight material, about 95 to 98 percent air, with good insulation properties. It is used in all types of products from drink cups that keep beverages hot or cold to packaging material. Its lightweight properties save fuel during shipping, protect goods from breakage and are low cost.

While the technology for recycling EPS is available, the bulkiness and lightweight nature of this packaging material is a hindrance to the recovery/recycle process. What if this problem could be addressed? Another area that needs to be addressed is that many recyclers and municipalities do not pick up EPS or any plastic except those that have the number 1 (PET) or 2 (HDPE) in the symbol with the chasing arrows on the plastic article. What if this, too, could be eliminated as a deterrent to EPS recovery/recycle?

There is significant demand for recycled EPS materials both in the U.S. and offshore, especially China. However, only a low 71 million pounds of EPS were recycled in 2010. The February 2013 Moore Recycling Associates Inc. Plastic Recycling Collection National Reach Study: 2012 Update found that 31.1 percent of the U.S. population has access to recycling programs for EPS foam foodservice articles and 12.2 percent has access to recycling of EPS packaging shapes. Both of these numbers are low when compared to 94.2 percent for HDPE bottles/jugs and jars with caps and 94.0 percent for PET bottles/jugs and jars with caps. 

Because of this limited access to EPS recycling, some businesses have a difficult time finding recycled EPS materials for their own raw materials. Recycled EPS foam has three potential uses: (1) mostly post-industrial in-house scrap and waste recycle put back into the process to combine with virgin EPS foam and (2) post-consumer recycled EPS to combine with virgin EPS or (3) used for non-EPS applications as an addition in virgin polystyrene and HIPS resin applications. 

Independent research by Wilson Jene Consulting, Pittsburgh, PA, explored finding potential sources of recycled EPS materials for consumption in the U.S. for the third use cited above. The U.S. market for PS resin is significantly larger (roughly a factor of 10 times larger) than the EPS foam market. Surprisingly, sources of recycled EPS are limited. The research found that although many EPS molders collect and use recycled EPS in their processes, the number of recyclers selling these types of materials is somewhat limited and many purchasers of these materials are located overseas. Holly Wilson-Jene says, “Knowing there are many non-foam plastic processors around the country that could utilize recycled EPS as a feedstock, these findings indicate that the demand might in fact be there if more of this material was available.” This sounds like a chicken and egg analogy. Wilson-Jene cites several reasons this material is in such high demand:

Recycled EPS is lower cost compared to virgin PS and is generally a high-quality feedstock with good physical properties. 

Because raw material costs can often represent 50 to 70 percent of the total cost of the manufactured product, the availability of a lower cost feedstock can enable manufacturers to be competitive in specific applications and markets. 

For some competitive markets and applications, the availability of a lower cost feedstock can help keep manufacturing located in the U.S.

So what is preventing this demand from being used? One of the reasons goes back to the earlier mentioned-EPS foam is 95 to 98 percent air. One cannot economically transport bulky foam from location A to location B. Or can one?

 

The solution is a process called densification, which can make EPS foam 50 to 90 times denser. Whereas a full 53-ft trailer load of loosely stacked EPS foam usually weighs approximately 2,000 pounds, compacted EPS foam that has been processed through a densifier can be shipped as a regular 40,000 lb full truck load (T/L) shipment.

 

Densification equipment can pay for itself often under two years in two ways:
1. Significant savings from reduced trash collection costs and landfill tipping costs; and
2. Revenue generated from the sale of the densified material and its further conversion for injection molding or extrusion processes. 

The big question remains: How can this demand for recycled EPS be filled? Over the last 20 years or so, significant advances in densification equipment and the installation of many units across the U.S. has occurred. Some units even run on the more accessible 120 volt AC current vs 240 volt current. A list of suppliers can be found at www.packagingdigest.com/densifiers.

Small mobile densification units have been fabricated by enterprising recyclers, utilizing existing smaller EPS densification equipment which is then mounted on a truck and accompanied by a power generation unit. This grass roots approach will gain momentum as densification equipment manufacturers pursue this opportunity and overcome the equipment challenges and support grows for local recycling drives or other types of innovative recycling activity. 

Some municipalities have used grants to install equipment that then generates a revenue stream for that municipality. Densification equipment is needed close to the source “locally” because of the lightweight nature of EPS foam and the high cost of transporting lightweight bulky materials. The densification process can be performed by the company generating the demand or through third party recyclers. The EPS foam recycling infrastructure is the “egg” in the previous analogy and EPS foam demand is the “chicken.” Which comes first?

Brand owners and retailers with significant EPS packaging materials should reconsider the possibilities as they face challenges of developing more sustainable operations and zero waste programs. Gut feelings suggest that consumers would embrace the ability to recycle EPS foam if there were readily available recycle outlets. And with a typical payback of two years or less for equipment, recycling EPS often makes financial sense. 

One way brand owners and retailers can accomplish this is by working together where retail stores are clustered together in a concise geographical area such as a mall complex to recycle waste EPS packaging materials. This could be accomplished by a recycling alliance, which would identify a site location within the area for a densifier operation managed by a recycler or brand owner. A second opportunity is for municipal recycling centers to develop an EPS recycling program using funding through grants and identifying marketplace demand for the recycled materials.

There are possibilities galore if we used our (recycled) resources more efficiently. There is a wave of change occurring in the plastic recycling market place. For example, non-bottle clear rigid plastic containers, plastic films/bags and larger non-packaging plastic parts are being added to recycle streams daily. Maybe now is the time to creatively identify more opportunities where recycled EPS can be added to this changing marketplace.

 

Jeff Timm is a Plastic Packaging & Adhesive Business Development Consultant, specializing in bioplastics and understanding of the cradle-to-cradle value chain to achieve sustainability goals. He is a frequent contributor to plastic and packaging journals as well as the bi-monthly Packaging Blog for www.adhesives.org, the web portal for the Adhesive & Sealant Council (ASC). He can be reached at Timm Consulting jeff@timmconsulting.net, www.linkedin.com/in/jefftimm, www.twitter.com/bioplasticman.

 

Moore Recycling Associates Inc., 707-935-3390
www.moorerecycling.com

Wilson Jene Consulting LLC, 412-513-9142
www.wilsonjeneconsulting.com

 

 

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Start Relaxing With A Stress Free Vacation Package

Start Relaxing With A Stress Free Vacation Package

We all need a vacation from time to time. Whether it’s a whirlwind trip around the world or a simple weekend away, unplugging and recharging are absolute musts in this fast-paced, always-on-the-go world. But how can a vacationer actually relax when there are so many details to contend with? Vacation packages can be the answer.

Vacation packages can be a little intimidating, however. Coming in all shapes, sizes and prices, packages are about as varied as they possibly could be. The sheer amount of choices available in packages can make a traveler’s head spin.

So, how does one find the best vacation packages? The answer is by following a few simple steps.

* Before shopping for packages, it’s very smart to decide a budget and destination or at least a few possible destinations first. If you don’t know where you want to go, you can’t find the best deal! Budget, too, is very important because you’ll want to shop packages within your range.

* Type of transportation. Do you want to go on a cruise? Fly? Drive? Packages can include a number of components, which can include rental cars, hotel lodging, food and more. Remember, when dealing with cruises, these typically are all-inclusive already. This means they include pretty much everything, including the lodging, food and entertainment in the main price. Extras like shopping excursions and so on might cost more, but the basics are all there.

* Details you want included in a package. Some travel agencies or travel sites that offer packages let customers tailor them to meet their needs. Package components can include such things as airfare, cruise costs, rental cars, food, entertainment and even sightseeing and guided tours. How much or how little is included in your package can be up to you. Sometimes it’s a good idea to shop package components separately and then included to see what the better deal is.

* Fine print. Make sure you understand any fine print included within a package. Is the package you’re booking nonrefundable? Is insurance included? Do you need to take care of any small details? Know what you’re buying before you click on the purchase button or sign on the dotted line.

* For those choosing cruises, it’s always good idea to check both directly with the cruise line and other routes of booking, such as travel agents or travel sites. Sometimes the cruise lines actually charge more to book directly with them. Odd, but true.

Vacation packages are a fantastic way to make sure all the details of a trip, or at least the ones that cause the most worry, are taken care of for you. They should also generally involve a price break. Since you’re paying for a lot at once, through one location, the pieces should come together and save you a little money.

Good packages take the worry of planning off the travelers and allow them to simply enjoy their time away. They can be as involved or as uninvolved as a traveler might want. No matter the destination, there’s likely to be a package trip available.

#1 Resource

Vacation and honeymoon packages.

http://www.honeymoonvacationmall.com

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Build Solar Panels At Home: How To Make A Solar Panel Easily?

Build Solar Panels At Home: How To Make A Solar Panel Easily?

 It is very simple to build solar panels at home. You can make your own solar panels very easily with very simple items. Below are various steps.

How To Make A Solar Panel Easily? – Here are 8 Simple Steps:  

1. Clean the copper flashing plate thoroughly. Use a sandpaper to remove any corrosion from it. Now cut it to size of your electric burner.

2. Now turn the burner on with the copper flashing on it. Heat it for as long as 30 minutes until a layer of think and black cupric oxide is formed.

3. Now let it cool until the cupric oxide layer begins to peel.

4. To build solar panels at home you must now try to scrub the copper flashing plate gently and thoroughly under running water to remove any traces of the oxide. But you must make sure that the red cuprous oxide is not scrubbed off.

5. Now cut another piece of copper flashing in the same size. Cut the tops of a 2 liter capacity wide mouthed plastic bottle or glass jar. Use the alligator clips to attach the two panels and place them inside the jar or the bottle in such a way that they fit along the curves and not touch each other.

6. Connect the cuprous oxide plate to the negative terminal and the copper plate to the positive terminal of the meter.

7. Fill the bottle with a solution of water and salt leaving the clips dry and high.

8. Now place this panelin the sun and see the results.

 Conclusion:

 Thus to build solar panels at home is not only easy but also very quick and safe. 

 

Also read Build a Solar Panel – What Are the Advantages of Doing it Yourself?

 

If you tired of paying monthly electric bill, simply visit http://www.solarpanelguides.net to download free solar energy report in order to find out little-known secrets on How To Make A Solar Panel.

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Simple Steps to Make Your Own Perfume

Simple Steps to Make Your Own Perfume

Did you ever think to make your own perfume? If no, then you need to know that it is very simple to make perfume at home on your own. You could make it for yourself, give as gift to your loved ones or even start your own business. It is possible to make perfumes at home using natural materials. It will even save your expenses of buying a perfume from outside. Perfumes are very expensive. In addition, it is a joyful experience to create your own perfume as well.

Different tastes for different people: People have different tastes regarding aroma and fragrance. Some choose a perfume to display their style or character. Some prefer sweet notes, others like warm fragrances. Some choose woody smells and others go in for floral and spicy tones. If you make your own perfume, you can control the fragrance depending on your liking and you can even brand them by your name.

Basic Equipment needed: You will need some basic equipment like glass bowls with covers, bottles for storing the perfume, test tubes and some clean jars that have lids. Glass is a good raw material to create perfumes, as it does not have a reaction with essential oils. Metals and plastics react with the oils and so they are not feasible. Every perfume will need completely clean and fresh containers. Apart from bowls and jars, you will need a funnel to fill the bottles, coffee filter paper or muslin to strain the infusions. You need a small pipette to add liquids in small quantities too.

Basic Formula: The basic formula to create a perfume is to combine 15% fragrance oil with 5% water and 75% spirit. You could use whisky, brandy, vodka or any alcoholic drinks for the spirit. Take extra care to put the fragrant oil, as it is the most significant part of perfume making. Even one excess drop could ruin your perfume concoction. You can buy these oils from the unlimited fragrance oils present in the market. This forms the basic formula to make your own perfume.

Adding plant oils unlike the ready made ones that make use of animal and plant oils creates homemade perfumes. These oils are not very expensive and are easily available in the market.

Notes in a perfume: When you are making your own perfume, remember that there are three kinds of notes – base note, middle note and the top note. These notes differ depending on the lasting effect of the scent on the skin. The base notes last as high as eight hours on the body. Normally cinnamon patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla and cedar wood are materials for making base note. Middle notes include geranium, ylang-ylang, bottle nutmeg and neroli. You create top notes by essential oils like lavender and bergamot. Then there is something known as a bridge note that binds the various scents together and creates the fragrance of the perfume. Lemongrass, litsea cubeba and lavender are a few examples of bridge note.

Procedure: When you are making the perfume, you will have to mix a few drops of all these oils together in a test tube to check the smell and add the alcohol. Just by sniffing, you cannot test the perfume. You will have to apply a small amount on your skin to find if there is any adverse effect or reaction on the skin. If it is all right, then you will have to place the test tube covered in a cool place for about two days and then mix with water. Then you have to pass this from a coffee filter. The last step to make your own perfume is to bottle your finished product in a spray bottle that is preferably dark in color.

G. Smitty is a writer who loves to discuss many topics ranging from make own perfume to professional basketball. Thanks for reading!

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From the record “a doll in pieces” *2006 Quito – Ecuador* (drum machine, distortions, EQ, delay, flanger, microphone, glass, plastic earthenware jars, metal plates and plastic bags) Photograph courtesy by: Andrés Gómez – Argentine
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Rapid Plastics – Injection Molding?S Basics

Rapid Plastics – Injection Molding?S Basics

Injection molding is a manufacturing technique for making parts from both thermoplastic and thermosetting plastic materials. Heated, fluid plastic is injected at high pressure into a plastic mold, which is the opposite of the desired product shape. Injection molding is widely used for manufacturing a variety of parts, from the smallest component to entire body panels of car.The process of injection molding can be described in four simple steps. These include Plasticizing, Injection, Chilling, and Ejection. Each of these steps is different from the other and the right procedure is required for the successful completion of the total process.

These steps can be discussed as follows:

Plasticizing
IT involves the conversion of the polymer material from its normal hard granular form at room temperatures, to the liquid which is necessary for injection at its correct melting temperature.

Injection
This is the stage during which this melt is introduced into a plastic mold to completely fill a cavity or cavities.

Chilling
It is the act of removing heat from the melt to convert it from a liquid consistency back to its original rigid state.

Ejection
The ejection phase is the last phase where the removal of the cooled, molded part from the plastic mold cavity is done.

Pelletized or powdered materials that are used in injection molding machines are mostly:

o Ethylene
o Polystyrene
o Polycarbonate
o Polypropylene
o Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS)
o Nylon

The use of these basic steps in sequence or as a cycle is the process of injection molding done to obtain or manufacture parts. Cycle time usually ranges from 10 to 100 seconds and are controlled by the cooling time of the melted plastic. The melted plastic comes from hard rapid prototype plastic pellets that are fed into the hopper of the injection-molding machine. The pellets or plastic powder is melted inside the machine and then forced into the mold through a nozzle by a long screw within a heated cylinder. It is the most common method of production, with some commonly made items including bottle caps and outdoor furniture. Injection molding typically is capable of tolerances.

Plastic molding applications are used in medical field like components for blood analyzer equipments, heart pump parts, orthopedic devices and custom knee braces. In automotive engineering it is used for mechanical levers, gears, gaskets and switches. It is also used for aerospace, automotive, avionics and computer components.

Rapid Prototyping – EMS USA provides rapid prototype services, such as Stereolithography (SLA), rapid tooling, and rapid manufacturing.

www.longxiang-ltd.com are a professional manufacturing company for precise plastic mould, plastic molding and rapid prototypes by CNC etc. in China. welcome to order.

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How To Travel Responsibly

How To Travel Responsibly

Responsible travel is a broad term but in essence, travelling responsibly means treating people in other countries with the same respect you would expect from others in your own community or country. The responsible traveller is interested in preserving cultures, communities, local way of life, wildlife, habitats and the environment as a whole in every region he or she travels to.

So how can someone interested in responsible travel help to minimise their travel footprint and help sustain local communities and environments? There are a number of steps an individual can take in this ever changing world where mass tourism has had such a destructive effect on the environment. One of the biggest concerns at present is carbon dioxide emissions and green house gases in general. By reducing the number of flights or taking alternative transport wherever possible, carbon emissions from planes can be reduced which will benefit your own community as well as others as there are no country boundaries where pollution is concerned.

Even before arriving at your destination, it is always advisable to research the area to gain a greater understanding of the local culture and customs through the internet, books, email or by phoning. Try to find hotels, businesses and schemes which are eco friendly. Also, by learning a few words of the local language or by using a phrase book, it will be easier to immerse yourself in the local culture and have a deeper experience than travelling with hordes of people from your own country.

Once you arrive at your destination, keep an open mind and try to experience the local culture without making comparisons with life back at home. Use local resources with care such as water and electricity which are in short supply in many regions of the world. Simple steps like switching off the tap while brushing your teeth or taking a shower instead of a bath can help save water. Switching off lights, mobile phone chargers, televisions and a whole host of modern electronic equipment can save electricity.

Respect the local culture and always obey the local laws even if you disagree with some of them. Follow dress codes to avoid offence and avoid the temptation to drink and drive just because you are on holiday. Never accept packages from strangers or recent acquaintances especially if you about to travel through an airport. Obeying local laws and customs on drinking and taking drugs is especially important as many travellers are tempted to drink heavily while on holiday causing havoc in the local community.

Many people want to support the local community by purchasing local produce and products and while this is beneficial in most cases, it’s essential to avoid purchasing animal skins or products produced from the slaughter of endangered species such as tigers, leopards, jaguars, elephants, rhinos, hippos, reptiles, birds and many other animals. The same applies to protected plant species. Many countries now have severe penalties for anyone importing illegal plants or animals. Whenever possible, buy locally grown produce and crafts from local family businesses or fair trade companies.

To minimise pollution and to have a better experience of the local community, walk or ride a bicycle whenever possible. Support the local infrastructure by using local buses and taxis. Use trains or boats instead of planes for longer journeys to minimise carbon emissions.

Finally, volunteering is a great way to give something back to the environment and help local communities through various educational and non-profit schemes. The benefits are not all one way as many volunteers gain new skills, achieve a better understanding of themselves, gain added confidence through social interaction and gain a greater sense of self-worth through helping others.

By travelling responsibly, you are more likely to have a richer more immersive experience with the knowledge that you have minimised your impact on the environment and in some cases, helped to improve some areas. With more communities and environments being threatened with pollution and extinction, to travel responsibly is not only essential but it may help to form part of the solution in preserving environments and wildlife for future generations.

Lalit Rastogi is editor of First Gap Year Travel & Best Travel Digital Camera sites. He has a background in photography, IT & travel. He completed his first gap year in 2003 and 2004.

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Innovative Plastics….a leader in Post Consumer Packaging for five decades, is proud to announce a new addition to our impressive line-up of thermoform & packaging technologies. The InViroPak….an Innovative ecological alternative….Because it’s Time!
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Making our skies eco-friendly with more carbon offsets and energy-efficient techniques

Making our skies eco-friendly with more carbon offsets and energy-efficient techniques

Does your environmentally-friendly conscience prevent you from enjoying your trip? If you’re worried about all the wasted energy and CO2 pollution taking place during travel, think again. Although we are a long way off from planes being powered solely by solar or wind energy, there are still ways to offset the negative effects of flying. The good news is that you can help make your trips as “unpolluted” as possible, from beginning to end, by following a few simple steps:

Try booking direct flights. They may be a bit more expensive but a giant energy saver since the most amount of fuel is utilized during takeoff and landing. Think of all the extra time you’ll be saving as well by avoiding layovers.

Chose airlines which make significant efforts towards green travel whether by utilizing newer, energy-saving airplanes or working towards cutting flight times.

Do your best to always pack light and remember to put the travel size toiletries into reusable containers instead of packages. When you have too many bags not only do you waste more time checking in during departure and at baggage claim upon arrival, but the extra weight on the plane engages the engines that much more, thereby causing it to utilize more fuel. Our goal is exactly the opposite.

Consider taking public transportation to and from the airport instead of your own car or taxi. A bus is like carpooling. It saves cash, pre-trip aggravation, and most importantly energy. It also gives you the opportunity to pass on your green-travel ideas.

Water is always a must so precisely for this reason plan to invest in a water bottle. It will come in handy during air travel. Ask the flight attendant to refill your bottle en-route instead of using plastic cups.

Forming a bond with your destinations and becoming loyal to them will ensure their future. Make plans to revisit your favorite places. Your support will help keep them just as they are.

At the end of each trip, think about ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Become a member of a tree-planting project, start investing in wind energy, purchase a carbon calculator, sponsor green activities and donate to eco-friendly causes. Impart useful information to your fellow tourists. There’s plenty of time before, during, and after your trip to discuss ways in which you’ve contributed to saving the environment. Set an example for others and this too will be a part of your carbon offset.

Caring about the environment does not have to impede your travel plans in any way. Now that your conscience is clear go ahead and book your next getaway. Plan ahead and make the right decisions before and during your trip and aim to reduce your carbon footprint afterwards. So relax, visit your favorite place, and spread your positive, eco-friendly influence all over.

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Envirocitizen.org is a comprehensive ecommerce website that combines robust commerce, content, and community.  We believe that we have created the most comprehensive site to date to make eco-friendly products, services, and information available to individuals who wish to live a green, more eco-friendly lifestyle.  Our site offers a very broad and diverse array of eco-friendly products as well as comprehensive, authoritative information and environmental education.  Additionally, users can enjoy the sense of community created by participating in our Forum.

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Growing Your Own Sprouts

Growing Your Own Sprouts

They’re not only good for you, but they taste good, too. Sprouts are also a great source of vitamins, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, andenzymes. A sprout is produced when a seed starts growing into a vegetable. Sprouts can grow from the seeds of vegetables, from grains such as buckwheat, and from beans. While Mung beans are perhaps the most common source of sprouts, you can also obtain good results from lentils, soybeans and chickpeas just to name a few.

Sprouts can be grown almost anywhere and the best part is you only need a few basic supplies to get started. By following a few simple steps, you can receive a continual supply of nutritious sprouts.

While there are several commercial products available to cultivate sprouts, here are some of the easiest methods to help you get started.

– Growing Sprouts in Flower Pots –

1. Start with a clean clay or plastic flower pot. Make sure there is a hole in the bottom of the pot to ensure good drainage. Then place a piece of cheesecloth or muslin in the bottom of the pot over the hole so that the seeds/beans cannot fall out.

2. Next, soak the seeds or beans overnight and then put them in the pot. Remove any that are broken or damaged. Cover the plant pot with a dish.

3. Once a day, hold the pot under running water for a few minutes. This is to soak the seeds/beans thoroughly.

4. Once the sprouts begin to show, remove the dish and cover the pot with a piece of clear plastic wrap to let in the light. Place the sprouting pot near a window that allows daylight but is not in direct sunlight.

– Growing the Sprouts in Trays –

1. Soak the seeds or beans overnight. Remove any that are broken or damaged before you begin the sprouting process.

2. Select a low, flat dish (like a pie plate) or tray. You can purchase growing trays wherever planting supplies are sold.

3. Next, spread out a 2-inch layer of soil and then sprinkle the soaked seeds or beans on top of the soil.

4. Cover the seeds/beans with four layers of damp newspaper.

5. Cover the top of the tray with clear plastic wrap.

6. When the sprouts start to lift the plastic cover, (usually about three days) remove the newspaper.

7. Place the tray in a window so that the light can turn the sprouts green. You will need a space to place the sprouting tray that receives daylight but is not in direct sunlight.

8. Because the thin layer of soil dries out quickly, water twice each day.

9. After about 8-10 days, you will have sprouts tall enough to harvest.

– Growing Sprouts in a Jar –

1. Soak the seeds, grains, or beans in lukewarm water overnight in a wide-mouth glass jar. Remove any that are broken or damaged before you begin the sprouting process. (Sprouting increases the seed volume. 4-tablespoons will be sufficient for a quart size container.)

2. In the morning, pour off the water in the jar and rinse the seeds/beans thoroughly.

3. Place a piece of cheesecloth or muslin over the mouth of the jar. Use a rubber band to hold the material securely in place. This makes rinsing easier.

4. To keep the sprouts constantly damp, repeat the rinsing 2-3 times a day. Remember to drain any excess water because the sprouts should not stand in water.

5. Keep the jar away from the light for the first few days.

6. When the seeds/beans begin to sprout, (usually about the forth day) move the jar into the light to activate the chlorophyll and turn the sprouts green.

– Harvesting and Storing the Sprouts –

Newly germinated grain, seed, and sprouts, increase in food value in the very first period of growth. Grains should be harvested and eaten from when they are six days old until they are 4-5 inches tall. To harvest, just take your kitchen scissors and cut what you need.

Sprouts from beans, peas, etc., are ready earlier and can be eaten when they are 3-6 days old, depending on the type of sprout. For spouts grown in no soil or in seed trays, you can harvest the green “grass” when it starts to grow. Sprouts, from grain sown in jars, are ready sooner and are edible even before they turn green. Seeds sown in soil take a little longer.

If necessary, wash the sprouts thoroughly to remove the seed coat. Sprouts need to be stored in the refrigerator once they are ready to eat. Put the sprouts in tight sealing bags, and they will remain flavorful and crisp for one to two weeks. Rinsing the sprouts daily under cold water can extend their life.

Sprouts may be frozen by blanching them over steam for three minutes and then cooling them in ice water. Drain them and pack into freezer containers.

By growing your own sprouts, you will save yourself money because it is less expensive to buy sprout seeds and grow and harvest the sprouts yourself than it is to buy the sprouts from a market. Sprouting at home takes only a few minutes a day, and can produce a good part of your daily requirements of the nutrients you need from fresh produce. The hassles are minor, the costs are low, and the freshness is wonderful.

Want to look at cheese pictures and pictures of cheese? Watch them at the Cheese Facts website.

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Almost 17 months! Jack Henry recently got another molar (so 12 teeth total), loves dancing, always is holding something in each hand (typically a ball), and loves to go to the park & go down the slide. He’s very good about saying “thank you”. The picky eating stage our Pediatrician has been warning me about has officially set in! He also loves to play with things that aren’t toys, ie. Colander, plastic jars, tops of sippy cups, plastic storage boxes, cardboard boxes, etc.

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This Is How You Grow Sprouts

This Is How You Grow Sprouts

Sprouts not only taste good, but they are also a great source of vitamins, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, and enzymes. A sprout is produced when a seed starts growing into a vegetable. Sprouts can grow from the seeds of vegetables, from grains such as buckwheat, and from beans. While Mung beans are perhaps the most common source of sprouts, you can also obtain good results from lentils, soybeans and chickpeas just to name a few.

Sprouts can be grown almost anywhere and the best part is you only need a few basic supplies to get started. By following a few simple steps, you can receive a continual supply of nutritious sprouts.

While there are several commercial products available to cultivate sprouts, here are three of the easiest methods to help you get started.

– Growing Sprouts in Flower Pots –

1. Start with a clean clay or plastic flower pot. Make sure there is a hole in the bottom of the pot to ensure good drainage. Then place a piece of cheesecloth or muslin in the bottom of the pot over the hole so that the seeds/beans cannot fall out.

2. Next, soak the seeds or beans overnight and then put them in the pot. Remove any that are broken or damaged. Cover the plant pot with a dish.

3. Once a day, hold the pot under running water for a few minutes. This is to soak the seeds/beans thoroughly.

4. Once the sprouts begin to show, remove the dish and cover the pot with a piece of clear plastic wrap to let in the light. Place the sprouting pot near a window that allows daylight but is not in direct sunlight.

– Growing the Sprouts in Trays –

1. Soak the seeds or beans overnight. Remove any that are broken or damaged before you begin the sprouting process.

2. Select a low, flat dish (like a pie plate) or tray. You can purchase growing trays wherever planting supplies are sold.

3. Next, spread out a 2-inch layer of soil and then sprinkle the soaked seeds or beans on top of the soil.

4. Cover the seeds/beans with four layers of damp newspaper.

5. Cover the top of the tray with clear plastic wrap.

6. When the sprouts start to lift the plastic cover, (usually about three days) remove the newspaper.

7. Place the tray in a window so that the light can turn the sprouts green. You will need a space to place the sprouting tray that receives daylight but is not in direct sunlight.

8. Because the thin layer of soil dries out quickly, water twice each day.

9. After about 8-10 days, you will have sprouts tall enough to harvest.

– Growing Sprouts in a Jar –

1. Soak the seeds, grains, or beans in lukewarm water overnight in a wide-mouth glass jar. Remove any that are broken or damaged before you begin the sprouting process. (Sprouting increases the seed volume. 4- tablespoons will be sufficient for a quart size container.)

2. In the morning, pour off the water in the jar and rinse the seeds/beans thoroughly.

3. Place a piece of cheesecloth or muslin over the mouth of the jar. Use a rubber band to hold the material securely in place. This makes rinsing easier.

4. To keep the sprouts constantly damp, repeat the rinsing 2-3 times a day. Remember to drain any excess water because the sprouts should not stand in water.

5. Keep the jar away from the light for the first few days.

6. When the seeds/beans begin to sprout, (usually about the forth day) move the jar into the light to activate the chlorophyll and turn the sprouts green.

– Harvesting and Storing the Sprouts –

Newly germinated grain, seed, and sprouts, increase in food value in the very first period of growth.

Grains should be harvested and eaten from when they are six days old until they are 4-5 inches tall.

To harvest, just take your kitchen scissors and cut what you need.

Sprouts from beans, peas, etc., are ready earlier and can be eaten when they are 3-6 days old, depending on the type of sprout. For spouts grown in no soil or in seed trays, you can harvest the green “grass” when it starts to grow. Sprouts, from grain sown in jars, are ready sooner and are
edible even before they turn green. Seeds sown in soil take a little longer.

If necessary, wash the sprouts thoroughly to remove the seed coat. Sprouts need to be stored in the refrigerator once they are ready to eat. Put the sprouts in tight sealing bags, and they will remain flavorful and crisp for one to two weeks. Rinsing the sprouts daily under cold water can extend their life.

Sprouts may be frozen by blanching them over steam for three minutes and then cooling them in ice water. Drain them and pack into freezer containers.

– Some of the Kinds of Seeds/Beans You Can Sprout –

The following list gives some of the popularly sprouted seeds/beans. It is not all inclusive as you can sprout almost any kind of seed. Remember that seeds soak up 2-3 times their dry volume in water and sprouts need at least six times the volume occupied by the seeds. So be sure that your container is large enough, and start with a minimal amount of seed in a container like a jar, until you determine the correct quantity that will grow to the sprout size you like, without being difficult to remove.

Your local garden shop or health food store will carry a line of seeds for sprouting. When purchasing seeds for sprouting, be certain that the seeds are intended for food and not for planting. This precaution is necessary because some seeds meant for planting have been treated with fungicides or insecticides to protect the young seedlings when planted in a field or garden.

Alfalfa – should be soaked for 6-12 hours. The seeds can be planted in the pots or jars and also in the flats with soil. 1-part seed gives 10-parts sprouts in approximately 5-6 days. Sprouts can be eaten after 3 days. When the root is 1-2 inches long, it will begin to develop tiny green leaves. At this stage, it needs to be eaten immediately so the plant will not switch to photosynthesis that exhausts the stored food in the seed.

Peas – when soaked in a glass jar, will grow sprouts in about 3 days. When the roots are 2-inches long, they are ready to eat. 1-part peas gives 2-parts sprouts.

Lentils – can be grown in either a glass jar or a plant pot and need to be soaked for 12-hours. The sprouts are ready in 3-4 days. Lentil sprouts are ready to be eaten when the root is 1-inch long. 1-part lentils gives 6-parts sprouts.

Barley, Oats, and Rye – should be soaked for 12-hours and then can either be grown as “grass” to harvest, or sprouts ready to eat after 3-4 days. The ideal length for eating is about 1/2-inch. 1-part seed gives 2-parts sprouts.

Soybeans – can be grown in a glass jar or a pot. They need to be soaked for 12-hours and sprouts are usually ready after 3-5 days. They are ready to eat when the root is 2-inches long. 1-part beans gives 4-parts sprouts.

Mung Beans – after soaking for 12-hours, these beans can be grown by any method. Mung beans are the most commonly grown sprouts and are usually ready to eat after 3-5 days. When the bright, white root grows from 1-2 inches long, they are ready to eat. 1-part beans gives 4-parts sprouts.

By growing your own sprouts, you will save yourself money because it is less expensive to buy sprout seeds and grow and harvest the sprouts yourself, than it is to buy the sprouts from a market.

Sprouting at home takes only a few minutes a day, and can produce a good part of your daily requirements of the nutrients you need from fresh produce. The hassles are minor, the costs are low, and the freshness is wonderful.

Travis Waack is an author and webmaster. You may view a collection of alternative health resources at http://alternative-health-info.com/nutrition.html

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Simple Steps To Green Your House

Simple Steps To Green Your House

The easiest way to go green is always the simplest way; reduce, reuse and recycle. All of us should know how to do them. Collect paper, plastic or tin and dump them at the recycle site. Reuse some of the old jars to store your cooking spices and reduce the amount of paper used while doing your home work. There is a lot more steps that can be done to go green and here is a few that might not come cross your mind.

I will start off first in the kitchen. Buy your kitchen needs in bulk. If you know you will be using them a lot, then getting them in bulk will use less packaging than buying them in smaller amounts. Do not rely on dishwashers to wash your plates. You cannot fully control the amount of water used and most water might be wasted. Wash the plates with your hands instead. Use natural detergent to wash your plates. You do not have to purchase natural detergent as you can make them yourself.

Then moving on to your living room. Use the sun to help warm up your living room. Put up window blinds around so you can adjust the amount of sunlight and heat entering your room. Use a sweater indoors if it is too cold. You save some energy by not using your heater/air-conditioner. Replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Now to your work area. When printing, be sure to set your printer to print on both sides of the paper. Opt to use a laptop rather than a desktop as your working computer. A laptop can do most computing jobs like a desktop computer but it uses less power. Consider using rechargeable batteries for your gadgets. Drink green coffee which are coffee beans that is grown without doing a lot of harm to nature. Do not forget to use reusable coffee filters too.

Hey, this is James Marny and if you’re interested in building your own solar panels to generate your own free green electricity, head on over to my <a target=”_new” rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’]);” href=”http://easygreenenergy.org/energy/earth4energy-review/”>Earth4Energy review</a>, the most popular guide on DIY green energy guide.

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