October 25, 2005 | General


BioCycle October 2005, Vol. 46, No. 10, p. 4

LAST WEEK, newspaper headlines reported from the White House that President Bush wants his staff to cut down on fuel use and help solve the burdens of hurricane-caused oil shortages by car pooling more, taking the bus, walking when they could, etc. According to one account, “here was the most powerful man in the world rejecting his longtime position that conservation measures are not effective and offering to turn the White House into a model of Green Living.”
But there was lots of skepticism – people who strongly believe in the virtues of conservation but maintain that to achieve meaningful change in world energy consumption, we need to make green be sexy, hip, fashionable. And that will take some doing!
We wondered if we might make a start here at BioCycle by coming up with some new slogans like … “Savin’ Oil at The Compost Hop” or “It’s Easy – Makin’ BioDeezy.” An editor suggested a name change for the magazine to “BioSEXie, All The Dirt (Humus) That’s Fit To Print.” Noted a veteran analyst of what it takes to rev up a movement: “It has to be grassroots driven, and you need to allow people to participate in fun, creative ways. Businesses, political leaders and conservationists must spawn a wide range of options. The oilman in Texas may not want to give up his S.U.V., so perhaps he could earn free tickets by composting instead.” Observed another: “Technology is conservation’s only hope when it comes to being cool, but technology rarely inspires a movement. The only way to sex up something as unsexy as conservation is to connect it with sex.”
We will ponder that challenge of how to apply sexual innuendo to our world of composting, organics recycling and renewable energy (there is always The Joy of Microbial Sex for starters). However, we prefer to be more direct – highlighting the excitement, energy and innovation contained in what we think are sexy solutions to global environmental, energy and public health challenges. Nowhere is this more apparent than BioCycle’s upcoming Southeast Conference, November 13-16, 2005 in Charlotte, North Carolina (see pages 15-17 for preconference workshops and full agenda). The conference theme, Putting Solutions Into Action, is highlighted in the presentations and tours. Opening speakers will present organics recycling opportunities and green energy ideas that work best in agriculture, what we know and need to know about protecting public health while maximizing resource recovery, and how to integrate biorefining concepts into our manufacturing operations. Other sessions highlight successful alternatives for storm water management, food residuals composting, energy recovery from composting systems and odor control. Preconference workshops on November 13th will cover: How to involve project stakeholders and build strong public relationships; Best ways to increase compost revenues and markets; and Expanding production and utilization of compost tea in agriculture.
Beginning on page 34 of this issue, Southeast Solutions are cited – North Carolina State University’s Environmentally Superior Technologies to manage large volumes of swine waste; How compost is saving growers $200 or more per acre as they stop using methyl bromide, Duke University’s research trial to restore wetlands with compost; and a University of Florida study to improve tree growth with MSW compost; Start-up companies that show what it takes to succeed in the recycling industry; and Improving quality of life in center cities as community gardens flourish.
Make plans now to be part of the action in Charlotte. Solutions and more will be our collective rewards from the technical sessions, exhibits and overall exchange of quality information that captures the spirit and conservation accomplishments of what we’re all about. – J.G.

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