Back to Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - April 17, 2008)
Waste not, want not
In human silence we continued our hike along the Appalachian Trail. Except for the
occasional plane overhead and boot tracks pressed deep into the softened trail
below, there were few signs of civilization.
|Photo by Rick Tremmel
|A fallen tree in the forest
... provider of new life.
I pondered what it might be like to live in a remote village unexposed to the
If one walked a similar path, but had never seen an airport, or moving sidewalks,
or baggage handlers or armed security guards, how would one process the existence
of huge, noisy, silver birds swooping above? We all see the world through different
lenses based on the knowledge and experiences we own.
A cumbersome, rotting tree slumbered crossways on a narrow path. Ferns sprouted
along her lengthy ribs of decomposing bark. Insect excavations created gaping holes
and nutrient rich wood pulp pyramids upon the moist ground underneath. Thick groves
of pink and white mountain laurel stretched toward the new found, bright light.
In a different time a giant stood here firm against the cruel winds, withstanding
rains, lightning and the burden of snow-laden branches. To some the tree is simply
an impediment upon a path on a long journey. To others shes a fallen soldier
... now provider of life, a renewable source of energy. We all see the world
through different lenses. How do you view your world?
As Floridians demand a new vision for the future, Florida politicians are jumping
on the green wagon. Taking baby steps forward, Florida legislators are
testing fertile new ground.
In February, the newest and largest solar power facility in sunny Florida was
switched on at Rothenbach Park in Sarasota County. Business Wire &
Environmental Experts said in a press release, The array, the second-largest
in the Southeast, consists of 1,200 solar photovoltaic panels mounted at ground
level, covering more than 28,000 square feet, or about half the size of a football
field. The solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, producing 250 kilowatts
of clean energy, enough energy to power 55 average homes. Operating them prevents
the release of more than 654,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each
year, says FPL. Governor Charlie Crist joined Florida Power & Light President
Armando Olivera for the dedication ceremony of FPLs Sunshine Energy Solar
I am thankful for the leadership of the Sarasota County government and
Florida Power and Light in partnering to provide alternative methods of powering
our homes and businesses, Crist said. The economic future of our state
is linked to our maintaining its natural beauty and this solar power facility is an
excellent example that other communities can work to achieve.
In March, Sanford was the first municipality in North America to adopt the MaxWest
gasification system as an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly
way to dispose of biosolids. MaxWest Environmental Systems of Houston developed the
gasification system, which converts sludge from the municipal wastewater treatment
system into renewable, green energy.
Heres how it works: the end product of a sewer plant, wastewater sludge,
also called biosolids, will be gasified in the enclosed primary gasifier to produce
syngas. In a continuous integrated process, the syngas will be oxidized in an
enclosed thermal oxidizer to produce renewable thermal energy. For Sanford, the
thermal energy will replace natural gas to power a new dryer.
What once was considered wasted space or wasted byproduct is being reviewed as
renewable sources of energy. Viewing our world through different lenses our
perceptions are changing. What may have seemed an impediment along a path is now
realistically becoming a solution for our visions toward a brighter future. Waste
not, want not ... back to nature.
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.