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Posts Tagged ‘Holidays’

I count on Emilio Estevez to appropriately deliver the weight of all bad news:

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Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home), industrial water purification (biofilm removal), and reduced water pumping costs.

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for coal, biosolids, sugar beets, dairy waste, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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Christmas Global Warning

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Image found here.

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home), industrial water purification (biofilm removal), and reduced water pumping costs.

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, dairy waste, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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SpiroFlo shares the far-reaching effects that environmental technologies need to consider.

Whenever the holidays roll around, I like to look up all the awkward green approaches, but this last 4th of July, I noticed that the fun is gone. While I’ve previously noted that being green often coincides with my tendency to be a cheapskate, I’ve found the approaches to a green Thanksgiving—save the ultimate horror of tofurky—are rather dull.

NOfurky

Do you really need a reminder that it’s environmentally friendly to eat all your leftovers, or is the family cook threatening to kill you if you don’t eat turkey sandwiches for a week the main motivation?

Exactly. I welcome thee, Turkey Sandwich Apocalypse.

So again, what happened to all the fun green holiday ideas?

One of the big problems is that people started to think through what the complete process costs the environment. Suddenly wasting an entire morning on a green project that’s not all that impactful doesn’t seem so worthwhile (and that’s before signing up for the grind of the afternoon/evening meal with your extended family).

So sorry, Mother Earth, I’ve got a Mother-in-Law to deal with first.

Let’s go bigger: Given that we work on environmental issues, we get to hear how everyone and their mom has the greatest green idea ever!!!!! Until, you know, you actually start to work it through.

So, for example, Harry has an idea to reuse Chain Store X’s trash as an alternative fuel. He believes the store should give it to him for free, and that this process will solve landfill issue while displacing fossil fuels with a cleaner, energy-efficient fuel. In addition, Harry will create jobs and make gobs of money while making Mother Earth happy with his trash-to-fuel process.

Sounds great, until you start looking at the complete process. Once this happens, Harry will find that:

  1. Chain Store X will not give him their trash for free because, a) they don’t want to be held responsible for what some crazy unknown entity will do with their stuff (and the PR havoc that could cause); and b) once something has economic value it is no longer simply trash.
  2. Even if Harry can convince Chain Store X to give him their trash, he discovers that in order to go pick up enough trash, he has to get a fleet of gas guzzling dump trucks to route to his facility that runs on fossil fuels. He searches for alternatives but discovers that there are no economically viable energy sources—at least not any that are reliable and scalable enough—and that he doesn’t have nearly enough access to capital to develop his own. In calculating the carbon footprint of his facilities and transportation, Harry realizes that he’s essentially undoing the good he’s creating with his process.
  3. Harry again debates using his own super trash fuel for the above issues, but discovers that scaling the fuel starts to mess with supply and demand, that suddenly his fuel isn’t profitable at this level, and that no venture capitalist is willing to back his growth with the abysmal track record of cleantech startups that have blazed the same trails and burned up with the same mistakes.
  4. Finally, Harry discovers that his process creates a nasty byproduct that can’t be used anywhere. In addition, even the landfills won’t take this byproduct because it’s so toxic, so his great, clean fuel has created a series of problems that he didn’t know about until the process is already in motion, leaving him with a business model that no longer applies.

And so on and so on.

This kind of example sounds ridiculous, but corn ethanol facilities ran on fossil fuels (and that’s before they got into the associated water waste from such an inefficient process that created an unusable bounty of ugly byproduct).

However, more than likely, Harry will never get past complaining about the unfairness of big oil, greedy venture capitalists, and the monopolistic tendencies of the energy world. At best, he will turn a blind eye to the inefficiency he creates with his old, beat-up, alt-fuel pickup truck that runs for four days at a time without breaking down.

The reality is that you can make an alternative fuel from just about anything, but it’s a matter of:

  • How efficient the fuel is
  • How it scales to larger use
  • How economically viable it is to build/maintain the process/end-user device; and
  • How bad you’ll stink driving down the road

(The last one seems to apply the least to the “creative fuel” drivers I’ve met.)

So maybe this isn’t the thankful post I should be writing this time of year, but I’ve just seen a hundred too many cutesy environmental technology ideas that never really go anywhere while wasting a lot of time, money, and credibility. In the meantime, viable (yet in-progress) technologies get nitpicked by the very environmental crowd that will never support them anyway.

If you find the perfect technology, let me know. You should find it alongside a perfect relationship and an alternate reality where the Chicago Cubs finally win the World Series.

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Okay, okay, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for… just not in this post. Have a great Turkey Day / mediocre Tofurky Day!

 

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home), industrial water purification (biofilm removal), and reduced water pumping costs.

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, dairy waste, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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9-11 cross

“9/11 A day to remember that extraordinary heroes are often disguised as ordinary people and that spirit and soul are unbreakable.”

-Stacey Alcorn

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Image/quote credit: LifeChange International

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home), industrial water purification (biofilm removal), and reduced water pumping costs.

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, dairy waste, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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What kind of a masochistic hot dog pours condiments on himself?

What kind of a masochistic hot dog pours condiments on himself?

I’ve been a bad blogger.

Typically this means I’ve been good at the rest of my marketing responsibilities—visiting various parts of the world, working trade shows, keeping up with customers, farting around on our Twitter—but if there’s one thing that pulls me back to blogging, it’s seeing what environmental abomination has come around to blight another holiday (I still shudder over tofurkey).

Last July 4th, it was environmentally friendly fireworks and safer armor-piercing bullets, but this year, it seems like the fun is gone. Maybe it’s that there are genuine concerns—like air pollution, setting your neighbor’s lawn on fire (more fun when you’re the irresponsible kid rather than the neighbor, FYI), and triggering PTSD—but recent searches for a green Fourth of July turned up the same ol’ approaches—using some bad pun about being red, white, and blue AND green. Bleh.

At most, I’ve found dull articles on making vegan snacks. No thanks. I’m going to stick with being slightly appalled when I can’t figure out the mystery meat texture of the fifth hot dog I eat today.

Because America. That’s why.

So I’m going to have to resort to old safeties: patriotic songs from 80s wrestlers (why somebody thought it’d be a good idea to screech “America” for the last minute of this song I’ll never know):

Have a great Independence Day, all. Be safe; pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

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Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home), industrial water purification (biofilm removal), and reduced water pumping costs.

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, dairy waste, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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Valentine's Donut: Skip this, mumbling something about calories.

Valentine’s Donut: Skip this, mumbling something about calories.

SpiroFlo uses another holiday to show how being cheap can be rephrased as green values.

Ah, yes, Valentine’s Day.

Call it an opportunity to rage or buy into corporate and societal expectations. Call it a chance to hear “I like you, but I’m not ‘in like’ with you.” Me, I call it an opportunity to show how green values can line up with being cheap:

  1. Don’t you dare buy a card. $4 for an impersonal message on a murdered tree? Nay, I say! Go with an e-card that you can customize and email with minimal carbon impact. Be sure to break up with your significant other if you find it printed out later. Hang onto your memories in your memory, dear.
  2. Insist on only buying fair trade, eco-friendly chocolate. Make your standards so high that no chocolate will suffice, and insist that as you didn’t want your lover to bear that burden of guilt, no chocolate was the only way to remain principled.
  3. Get local flowers. Do not invest in the sham that is overpriced flowers; do not enable the environmental impact of delivering flowers across state lines. Note that I didn’t even say “buy” local flowers. Just step over into your neighbor’s yard and snip off a few bloomed delights. If caught by said neighbor, insist that it is your duty to share the beauty of earth and spout off something about corporate greed.
  4. Keep date night inside: Of course you’re not going to be wasteful by dressing up and driving out to an overpriced dinner you booked months in advance. Instead you will respect the environment by staying in your home with all the lights and heat turned off. Maybe you’ll even venture again into your neighbor’s yard to “share the beauty of earth” by sneaking fistfuls of (up until recently) planted vegetables back to your room.
  5. And finally: Don’t be single. Living and commuting by yourself? Your carbon footprint is bigger than it should be. This means that if you are married, you can consider it enough of a Valentine’s Day gift to bless earth with your living situation, and smugly judge all those single people who clearly just hate the environment.

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Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home), industrial water purification (biofilm removal), and reduced water pumping costs.

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, dairy waste, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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Ecotech Systems shares how most of the world differs from the US on its view of coal.

It’s Christmas. That means it’s time for some bad kids to get a lump of coal from Saint Nick, but depending on what part of the world you live in, that “gift” can have a very different value.

Coal_anthraciteIn the United States, it’s tough to find a politician—red or blue—who’ll back the coal industry, but elsewhere in the world, that’s not the case. It’s not a matter of them not getting it either. The world is largely moving towards cleaner standards (though I’ve seen data that suggests that China today is polluting at an equivalent rate of where the US was in the 1970s), yet outside of the States, coal is still viewed as a valuable energy resource.

Senator Joe Manchin (D) noted in a recent interview that, worldwide, 80 billion tonnes of coal will be mined in 2014. Of that, the U.S. will only produce one. Despite being in decline, in 2012, Australia still exported A$48 billion in coal. Other large exporters include Canada, Columbia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Russia, and Indonesia (who is now the largest coal exporter in the world).

Coal demand is also expected to increase by 1.2 tonnes over the next five years, with 80% coming from China. By 2030, they’re set to double their current demand and India continues to rise as well. Apart from renewable energy, coal is the fastest growing fuel.

All of this cuts against the American notion that coal power is a dying energy resource. Maybe we need to get some more kids on the naughty list…

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Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home), industrial water purification (biofilm removal), and reduced water pumping costs.

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, dairy waste, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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