Archives for March 2010

Jubbling Movie



HOMESTAR Energy Efficiency Starts Cash For Caulkers Program

HOMESTAR and HomestarrunnerHOMESTAR was initiated by President Obama in November 2009 to encourage and incentivize the acceptance of energy efficient products and services in order to “jumpstart” the US economy. HOMESTAR is targeted towards middle class families and its latest addition, “Cash-for-Caulkers” was setup to reward homeowners for improving their home’s energy efficiency. Cash-for-Caulkers is drawn from the same family as Cash-for-Clunkers and is based on the same Jubbling principles of reducing energy consumption and in turn, reducing our need for oil. HOMESTAR’s hope is that by participating in the Cash-for-Caulkers program, homeowners can save $200-500 per year in energy costs, increase the value of their homes and help create needed jobs for installers and government oversight.

Here are the basics: []

  • $1,000 – $1,500 Silver Star Rebates: Consumers looking to have simple upgrades performed in their homes would be eligible for 50% rebates up to $1,000 – $1,500 for doing any of a straightforward set of upgrades, including: insulation, duct sealing, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, roofing and doors.
  • $3000 Gold Star Rebates: Consumers interested in more comprehensive energy retrofits would be eligible for a $3,000 rebate for a whole home energy audit and subsequent retrofit tailored to achieve a 20% energy savings in their homes.
  • Oversight to Ensure Quality Installations: Independent quality assurance providers would conduct field audits after work is completed to ensure proper installation so consumers receive energy savings from their upgrades.
  • Support for financing: The program would include support to State and local governments to provide financing options for consumers seeking to make efficiency investments in their homes.
  • We don’t want to be left behind at Jubbling and that is why we put together a few ideas for future consideration by HOMESTAR and actually put it in a letter. HOMESTAR sure likes the money references so we’ll stick with that theme for now:

    Jubbling suggestions for future HOMESTAR programs

    But no matter how you approach it, the federal government is going to have some oversight which translates to red tape, bureaucracy and dampens the Jubbling. So instead of giving them ideas to use on us, now might be a great opportunity for us to pass some ideas to the government on ways they can cut back and be more Jubbling. We’ll start with Air Force One. That whole flyover of Manhattan thing is a perfect example of unnecessary waste. Maybe we should ground Air Force One and President Obama could tell foreign leaders to come over here if they want to meet with him or they could just Skype each other. If they do decide to fly here, security shouldn’t be an issue because most people in the US wouldn’t recognize these world leaders anyway. But back to HOMESTAR.

    I am very interested in how Cash-for-Caulkers works out and how future HOMESTAR programs perform. I am a little skeptical but ultimately, my hope is that they are successful because their intentions are Jubbling.


    The Green Silence Shoe From Brooks Running: Jubbling, yes. Something Your Brother Releases In Your Room To Chase You Out, maybe.

    The Green Silence from Brooks Running
    The name is a little cheesy but the shoe is definitely Jubbling. The Green Silence from Brooks Running is sustainably built from recycled and biodegradable materials. Here is the breakdown:

    • BioMoGo, the world’s first-ever biodegradable midsole for running shoes
    • 75% of the shoe’s materials are post-consumer recycled
    • Biodegradable insole and collar foams
    • Laces, gillies, and reinforced webbing are 100% post-consumer recycled
    • Water-based adhesives are used throughout
    • All dyes and colorants are non-toxic
    • Packaging is 100% post-consumer recycled

    According to Brooks Running, The Green Silence requires “half as many parts” while achieving its overall goal of being a competitive running shoe. I wish Brooks Running would’ve contacted me prior to the shoe’s release because “The Green Silence” just isn’t cutting it. Maybe “The Green Assassin” or the “The Footprint Zero” would’ve been better name choices.[Brooks Running]


    Is Composting Worth The Stink?

    composting-landfillAccording to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Loss Project, food waste is approximately 25.9 million tons per year. That translates to a lot of happy seagulls and rats. And if the seagulls and rats could, they would piece together a nice “Thank you” letter out of our garbage and encourage us to keep up the good waste and to avoid composting.

    I’d like to think my motivation to start composting in 2006 was noble and not anti rat or seagull. My goal was to compost for simple garden use and to keep organic food waste out of a landfill. But at the time, my garden was not completed and landfills were starting to use the methane created from food waste to generate electricity. So why even bother composting? What I discovered is that composting is like a Jubbling Mason-Dixon line and when it’s crossed, a new found commitment to Jubbling follows. Using clotheslines, searching for locally grown produce and re-discovering mass transit come easier when compared to the daily turning and weekly filling of your plant based Port-a-Potty.

    In addition to activating the Jubbling, compost activates your garden as a natural re-generator when it’s mixed in with your soil. From Let it rot! by Stu Campbell:

    Nutrient are released at the rate your plants need them. In early spring, as your plants are slowly starting their growth, the micro-organisms in compost are slowly releasing nutrients. As the weather warms up and your plants begin rapid growth, the micro-organisms also work faster, releasing more food for your plants. Isn’t nature wonderful?

    Simple Composting Guidelines
    Composting is not just about throwing rotting fruits and vegetable in a bin; there are some rules to follow. Most rules are common sense while following others could mean the difference between producing a natural fertilizer or creating a 24/7 turd factory.

    1. No Meat – None. Some sites say it’s ok to add rinsed egg shells but I would avoid them too.
    2. No Animal Waste – Animals eat meat. Also, don’t listen to your kids when they find a dead mouse and want you to put it in the compost bin.
    3. Add Dirt – Dirt allows the contents of your bin to thicken; it’s like flour to gravy.
    4. Green Yard Waste – Grass clippings, leaves etc. Like dirt, green yard waste thickens the mix in your bin
    5. Shredded Paper – Shredded paper does not mat down easily so it’s ideal for letting your compost aerate and decompose quicker.
    6. Spin/Turnover Often – Getting air into the mix is very important. While you are spinning your compost bin or turning over the tray, you’ll be thankful that you stuck to rule #1.

    Compost Setup Options
    Composting can be started in a variety of ways. Here are some options to consider:

    1. Shovel Method – aka Trench Composting. Definitely the cheapest and easiest way to compost. Bury your compost under 8″ of dirt in your current or future garden and allow 2 months for your plant based kitchen waste to decompose.
    2. Bin Compost System – Imagine 2/3 bins side by side holding plant waste at different stages of decomposition.Composting Options That’s the bin system and in comes in multiple configurations. Side-by-side bins has you moving the contents from bin to bin as the plant material breaks down and becomes compost. Moving the materials in this fashion allows the compost to aerate which aides the composting process. Another bin composter uses gravity to move the compost through the stages.
    3. Tumbler Compost System – Tumblers are top loading composters that you can crank, turn or roll to spin/aerate your compost. Tumbler models are very popular thanks to their ease of use and ability to contain odors.
    4. Vermicompost – Vermicompost utilizes worms, preferably red wigglers, to breakdown food waste and organic materials. The compost is known to be richer in nutrients than other forms of compost but vermicompost is limited by climate and needs to stay in a temperature range of 50 – 86 degrees. That is why vermicompost is ideal for indoor use but good luck pitching that to anyone but your kids.
    5. Indoor Compost Solutions – Some indoor composting solutions go against the rules and allow meat and dairy products to be composted. They do this with the aide of a compost activator that must be added to each batch. Models include the Bokashi Compost Kit ($75) and the Nature Mill Indoor Composter ($399). Both claim to be odor free and the Bokashi system requires you to drain liquid from your batch periodically.

    What to do with your compost
    You’ve successfully produced your first batch of compost, patted yourself on the back and now what do you do with it? An easy first choice would be to put it in your garden but if you don’t have a garden, use it in a planter or give your compost to a friend/neighbor with a garden. And if you don’t have any friends and can’t stand your neighbors, dig a hole by a tree somewhere and bury the compost. Congratulations – you not only prevented food waste from entering the landfill but you also just made a new friend.

    Yes, the landfill rats and seagulls are also feeding on items you can not normally compost like meat and dairy based products but in reality, the vast majority of food waste in our dump is compostable. So with a little effort and commitment, composting could help reduce this waste and hopefully lead to more Jubbling.

    Online resources about composting:
    How to
    VegWeb’s Composting Guide
    Composter’s Review – includes “kid” friendly RolyPig composter.

    Let it rot! – Stu Campbell