Posts Tagged ‘nature’

On October first around 6 in the evening I went outside. I noticed they were spraying again. Same old, same old but what shocked me was that in less than an hour. Nine planes dumped that poison on us and I have it all on tape. Enjoy watching me and my family getting poisoned.




This is a closed group and if you would like to join please email the group or let me know.
We relish in our work by a passionate belief that we all are responsible to protect animals. Our goal is to educate the public about the issues that affect animals and therefore inspire the public to take action on these issues whether it’s in their own community, through signing petitions, making calls to proper officials, passing out leaflets in their neighborhoods, joining occupy movements, boycotting and so on. We strongly believe that animals are not property and they are not our slaves. Animals have souls and are capable of feeling the same pain we feel, they belong on this Earth for their own purposes not ours. Anyone who does not feel the same should probably not join this group.

We hope to impact the world by bringing to light the issues about cruelty, exploitation and neglect of our companion and wild animals, what the laws and legislation are, what we, as responsible, humane adults and pet owners, can do to change these issues.“One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and become worthier of sharing this planet with them”. ~Martin Luther King

Composting in the Escuela Barreales.

Composting (Photo credit: Wikipedia) | library | Humanure
Handbook | Chapter 3 : /Compost Miracles/
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Compost microorganisms not only convert organic material into humus, but
they also degrade toxic chemicals into simpler, benign, organic
molecules. These chemicals include gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, oil,
grease, wood preservatives, PCBs, coal gasification wastes, refinery
wastes, insecticides, herbicides, TNT, and other explosives.^59

In one experiment in which compost piles were laced with insecticides
and herbicides, the insecticide (carbofuran) was completely degraded,
and the herbicide (triazine) was 98.6% degraded after 50 days of
composting. Soil contaminated with diesel fuel and gasoline was
composted, and after 70 days in the compost pile, the total petroleum
hydrocarbons were reduced approximately 93%.^60
Soil contaminated with Dicamba herbicide at a level of 3,000 parts per
million showed no detectable levels of the toxic contaminant after only
50 days of composting. In the absence of composting, this biodegradation
process normally takes years.

Compost also seems to bind lead in soils, making it less likely to be
absorbed by living things. One researcher fed lead-contaminated soil to
rats, either with compost added, or without. The soil to which compost
had been added showed no toxic effects, whereas the soil without compost
did exhibit some toxic effects.^61 Compost seems
to strongly bind metals and prevent their uptake by both plants and
animals, thereby preventing transfer of metals from contaminated soil
into the food chain.^62 Plants grown in lead
contaminated soil with ten percent compost showed a reduction in lead
uptake of 82.6%, compared to plants grown in soil with no compost.^63

Fungi in compost produce a substance that breaks down petroleum, thereby
making it available as food for bacteria.^64 One
man who composted a batch of sawdust contaminated with diesel oil said,
“/We did tests on the compost, and we couldn’t even find the oil!/” The
compost had apparently “eaten” it all.^65 Fungi
also produce enzymes that can be used to replace chlorine in the
paper-making process. Researchers in Ireland have discovered that fungi
gathered from compost heaps can provide a cheap and organic alternative
to toxic chemicals.^66

Compost has been used in recent years to degrade other toxic chemicals
as well. For example, chlorophenol contaminated soil was composted with
peat, sawdust, and other organic matter, and after 25 months, the
chlorophenol was reduced in [table of microorganisms that remove
metals]concentration by 98.73%. Freon contamination was reduced by 94%,
PCPs by up to 98%, and TCE by 89-99% in other compost trials.^67
Some of this degradation is due to the efforts of
fungi at lower (mesophilic) temperatures.^68

Some bacteria even have an appetite for uranium. Derek Lovley, a
microbiologist, has been working with a strain of bacteria that normally
lives 650 feet under the Earth’s surface. These microorganisms will eat,
then excrete, uranium. The chemically altered uranium excreta becomes
water insoluble as a result of the microbial digestion process, and can
consequently be removed from the water it was contaminating (see Table

An Austrian farmer claims that the microorganisms he introduces into his
fields have prevented his crops from being contaminated by the radiation
from Chernobyl, the ill-fated Russian nuclear power plant, which
contaminated his neighbor’s fields. Sigfried Lubke sprays his green
manure crops with compost-type microorganisms just before plowing them
under. This practice has produced a soil rich in humus and teeming with
microscopic life. After the Chernobyl disaster, crops from fields in
Lubke’s farming area were banned from sale due to high amounts of
radioactive cesium contamination. However, when officials tested Lubke’s
crops, no trace of cesium could be found. The officials made repeated
tests because they couldn’t believe that one farm showed no radioactive
contamination while the surrounding farms did. Lubke surmises that the
humus just “ate up” the cesium.^70

Compost is also able to decontaminate soil polluted with TNT from
munitions plants. The microorganisms in the compost digest the
hydrocarbons in TNT and convert them into carbon dioxide, water, and
simple organic molecules. The method of choice for eliminating
contaminated soil has thus far been incineration. However, composting
costs far less, and yields a material that is valuable (compost), as
opposed to incineration, which yields an ash that must itself be
disposed of as toxic waste. When the Umatilla Army Depot in Hermiston,
Oregon, a Superfund site, composted 15,000 tons of contaminated soil
instead of incinerating it, it saved approximately $2.6 million.
Although the Umatilla soil was heavily contaminated with TNT and RDX
(Royal Demolition Explosives), no explosives could be detected after
composting, and the soil was restored to “/a better condition than
before it was contaminated/.” ^71 Similar results
have been obtained at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina,
the Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant, the US Naval Submarine Base in
Bangor, Washington, Fort Riley in Kansas, and the Hawthorne Army Depot
in Nevada.^72

The US Army Corps of Engineers estimates that we would save $200 million
if composting, instead of incineration, were used to clean up the
remaining US munitions sites. The ability of compost to bioremediate
toxic chemicals is particularly meaningful when one considers that in
the US there are currently 1.5 million underground storage tanks leaking
a wide variety of materials into soil, as well as 25,000 Department of
Defense sites in need of remediation. In fact, it is estimated that the
remediation costs for America’s most polluted sites using standard
technology may reach $750 billion, while in Europe the costs could reach
$300 to $400 billion.

[diagram of vapor phase compost biofilter]As promising as compost
bioremediation appears, however, it cannot heal all wounds. Heavily
chlorinated chemicals show considerable resistance to microbiological
biodegradability. Apparently, there are even some things a fungus will
spit out.^73 On the other hand, some success has
been shown in the bioremediation of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in
composting trials conducted by Michigan State University researchers in
1996. In the best case, PCB loss was in the 40% range. Despite the
chlorinated nature of the PCBs, researchers still managed to get quite a
few microorganisms to choke the stuff down.^74


Compost can control odors. Biological filtration systems, called
“biofilters,” are used at large-scale composting facilities where
exhaust gases are filtered for odor control. The biofilters are composed
of layers of organic material such as wood chips, peat, soil, and
compost through which the air is drawn in order to remove any
contaminants. The microorganisms in the organic material eat the
contaminants and convert them into carbon dioxide and water (see Figures
3.8 and 3.9).

In Rockland County, New York, one such biofiltration system can process
82,000 cubic feet of air a minute, and guarantee no detectable odor at
or beyond the site property line. Another facility in Portland, Oregon,
uses biofilters to remediate aerosol cans prior to disposal. After such
remediation, the cans are no longer considered hazardous, and can be
disposed of more readily. In this case, a $47,000 savings in hazardous
waste disposal costs was realized over a period of 18 months. Vapor
Phase Biofilters can maintain a consistent Volatile Organic Compound
removal efficiency of 99.6%, which isn’t bad for a bunch of
microorganisms.^75 After a year or two, the
biofilter is recharged with new organic material, and the old stuff is
simply composted or applied to the land.

Compost is also now used to filter stormwater runoff (see Figure 3.10).
Compost Stormwater Filters use compost to filter out heavy metals, oil,
grease, pesticides, sediment, and fertilizers from stormwater runoff.
Such filters can remove over 90% of all solids, 82% to 98% of heavy
metals, and 85% of oil and grease, while filtering up to eight cubic
feet per second. These Compost Stormwater Filters prevent stormwater
contamination from polluting our natural waterways.^76

[diagram of a biofilter]


The composting process can destroy many plant pathogens. Because of
this, diseased plant material should be thermophilically composted
rather than returned to the land where reinoculation of the disease
could occur. The beneficial microorganisms in thermophilic compost
directly compete with, inhibit, or kill organisms that cause diseases in
plants. Plant pathogens are also eaten by micro-arthropods, such as
mites and springtails, which are found in compost.^77

Compost microorganisms can produce antibiotics which suppress plant
diseases. Compost added to soil can also activate disease resistance
genes in plants, preparing them for a better defense against plant
pathogens. Systemic Acquired Resistance caused by compost in soils
allows plants to resist the effects of diseases such as /Anthracnose/
and /Pythium/ root rot in cucumbers. Experiments have shown that when
only some of the roots of a plant are in compost amended soil, while the
other roots are in diseased soil, the entire plant can still acquire
resistance to the disease.^78 Researchers have
shown that compost combats chili wilt (/Phytophthora/) in test plots of
chili peppers, and suppresses ashy stem blight in beans, /Rhizoctonia/
root rot in black-eyed peas,^79 /Fusarium
oxysporum/ in potted plants, and gummy stem blight and damping off
diseases in squash.^80 It is now recognized that
the control of root rots with composts can be as effective as synthetic
fungicides such as methyl bromide. Only a small percentage of compost
microorganisms can, however, induce disease resistance in plants, which
again emphasizes the importance of biodiversity in compost.

[diagram of compost stormwater filter]

Studies in 1968 by researcher Harry Hoitink indicated that compost
inhibited the growth of disease-causing microorganisms in greenhouses by
adding beneficial microorganisms to the soil. In 1987, he and a team of
scientists took out a patent for compost that could reduce or suppress
plant diseases caused by three deadly microorganisms: /Phytophtora/,
/Pythium/, and /Fusarium/. Growers who used this compost in their
planting soil reduced their crop losses from 25-75% to 1% without
applying fungicides. The studies suggested that sterile soils could
provide optimum breeding conditions for plant disease microorganisms,
while a rich diversity of microorganisms in soil, such as that found in
compost, would render the soil unfit for the proliferation of disease

In fact, compost /tea/ has also been demonstrated to have
disease-reducing properties in plants. Compost tea is made by soaking
mature (but not overly-mature) compost in water for three to twelve
days. The tea is then filtered and sprayed on plants undiluted, thereby
coating the leaves with live bacteria colonies. When sprayed on red pine
seedlings, for example, blight was significantly reduced in severity.^82
Powdery mildew (/Uncinula necator/) on grapes was
very successfully suppressed by compost tea made from cattle manure
compost.^83 “/Compost teas can be sprayed on
crops to coat leaf surfaces and actually occupy the infection sites that
could be colonized by disease pathogens,” states one researcher, who
adds, “There are a limited number of places on a plant that a disease
pathogen can infect, and if those spaces are occupied by beneficial
bacteria and fungi, the crop will be resistant to infection./” ^84

Besides helping to control soil diseases, compost attracts earthworms,
aids plants in producing growth stimulators, and helps control parasitic
nematodes.^85 Compost “biopesticides” are now
becoming increasingly effective alternatives to chemical bug killers.
These “designer composts” are made by adding certain pest-fighting
microorganisms to compost, yielding a compost with a specific
pest-killing capacity. Biopesticides must be registered with the US EPA
and undergo the same testing as chemical pesticides to determine their
effectiveness and degree of public safety.^86

Finally, composting destroys weed seeds. Researchers observed that after
three days in compost at 55°C (131°F), all of the seeds of the eight
weed species studied were dead.^87


Dead animals of all species and sizes can be recycled by composting. Of
the 7.3 billion chickens, ducks, and turkeys raised in the US each year,
about 37 million die from disease and other natural causes before
they’re marketed.^88 The dead birds can simply be
composted. The composting process not only converts the carcasses to
humus which can be returned directly to the farmer’s fields, but it also
destroys the pathogens and parasites that may have killed the birds in
the first place. It is preferable to compost diseased animals on the
farm where they originated rather than transport them elsewhere and risk
spreading the disease. A temperature of 55°C maintained for at least
three consecutive days maximizes pathogen control.

Composting is considered a simple, economic, environmentally sound, and
effective method of managing animal mortalities. Carcasses are buried
in, well, a compost pile. The composting process ranges from several
days for small birds to six or more months for mature cattle. Generally,
the total time required ranges from two to twelve months depending on
the size of the animal and other factors such as ambient air temperature
(time of year). The rotting carcasses are never buried in the ground
where they may pollute groundwater, as is typical when composting is not
used. Animal mortality recycling can be accomplished without odors,
flies, or scavenging birds or animals.

Originally developed to recycle dead chickens, the animal carcasses that
are now composted include full-grown pigs, cattle, and horses, as well
as fish, sheep, calves, and other animals. The biological process of
composting dead animals is identical to the process of composting any
organic material. The carcasses provide nitrogen and moisture, while
materials such as sawdust, straw, corn stalks, and paper provide carbon
and bulk for air impregnation. The composting can be done in temporary
three-sided bins made of straw or hay bales. A layer of absorbent
organic material is used to cover the bottom of the bin, acting as a
sponge for excess liquids. Large animals are placed back down in the
compost, with their abdominal and thoracic cavities opened, and covered
with organic material (sawmill sawdust has been shown to be one of the
most effective organic materials with which to compost dead animals).
After filling the bin with properly prepared animal mortalities, the top
is covered with clean organic material that acts as a biofilter for odor
control. Although large bones may remain after the composting process,
they are easily broken when applied to the soil.^89

Backyard composters can also make use of this technique. When a small
animal has died and the carcass needs to be recycled, simply dig a hole
in the top center of the compost pile, deposit the carcass, bury it over
with the compost, and cover it all with a clean layer of organic
material such as straw, weeds, or hay. You will never see the carcass
again. This is also a good way to deal with fish, meat scraps, milk
products, and other organic materials that may otherwise be attractive
to nuisance animals. However, one should have thermophilic compost in
order to do this, and one can greatly increase the likelihood of his or
her backyard compost being thermophilic by adding the nitrogen and
moisture that humanure provides.

I keep some ducks and chickens on my homestead, and occasionally one of
them dies. A little poking around in the compost pile to create a
depression in the top, and a plop of the carcass into the hole, and
another creature is on the road to reincarnation. We’ve also used this
technique regularly for recycling other smaller animal carcasses such as
mice, baby chicks, and baby rabbits. After I collect earthworms from my
compost pile to go fishing at the local pond, I filet the catch and put
it in the freezer for winter consumption. The fish remains go straight
into the compost, buried in the same manner as any other animal
mortality. We have five outdoor cats, and they wouldn’t be caught dead
digging around in thermophilic humanure compost looking for a bite to
eat. Nor would our dog – and dogs will eat anything, but not when buried
in thermophilic compost.


Can you use dog manure in your compost? I can honestly say that I’ve
never tried it, as I do not have a source of dog manure for
experimentation (my dog is a free-roaming outdoor dog, and he leaves his
scat somewhere out of sight). Numerous people have written to ask me
whether pet manures can go into their household compost pile, and I have
responded that I don’t know from experience. So I’ve recommended that
pet manures be collected in their own separate little compost bins with
cover materials such as hay, grass clippings, leaves, weeds, or straw,
and perhaps occasionally watered a bit to provide moisture. A double bin
system will allow the manures to be collected for quite some time in one
bin, then aged for quite some time while the second bin is being filled.
What size bin? About the size of a large garbage can, although a larger
mass may be necessary in order to spark a thermophilic reaction.

On the other hand, this may be entirely too much bother for most pet
owners who are also composters, and you may just want to put pet and
human manures into one compost bin. This would certainly be the simpler
method. The idea of composting dog manure has been endorsed by J. I.
Rodale in the Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening. He states, “/Dog manure
can be used in the compost heap; in fact it is the richest in
phosphorous if the dogs are fed with proper care and given their share
of bones./” He advises the use of cover materials similar to the ones I
mentioned above, and recommends that the compost bin be made dog-proof,
which can be done with straw bales, chicken wire, boards, or fencing.


Composting is a solution for junk mail, too. A pilot composting project
was started in 1997 in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas, where 800 tons of
undeliverable bulk mail are generated annually. The mail was ground in a
tub grinder, covered with wood chips so it wouldn’t blow away, then
mixed with zoo manure, sheep entrails, and discarded fruits and
vegetables. The entire works was kept moist and thoroughly mixed. The
result – a finished compost “/as good as any other compost commercially
available./” It grew a nice bunch of tomatoes, too.^90

What about newspapers in backyard compost? Yes, newspaper will compost,
but there are some concerns about newsprint. For one, the glossy pages
are covered with a clay that retards composting. For another, the inks
can be petroleum-based solvents or oils with pigments containing toxic
substances such as chromium, lead and cadmium in both black and colored
inks. Pigment for newspaper ink still comes from benzene, toluene,
naphthalene, and other benzene ring hydrocarbons which may be quite
harmful to human health if accumulated in the food chain. Fortunately,
quite a few newspapers today are using soy-based inks instead of
petroleum-based inks. If you really want to know about the type of ink
in your newspaper, call your newspaper office and ask them. Otherwise,
keep the glossy paper or colored pages in your compost to a minimum.
Remember, ideally, compost is being made to use for producing human
food. One should try to keep the contaminants out of it, if possible.^91

Wood’s End Laboratory in Maine did some research on composting ground up
telephone books and newsprint, which had been used as bedding for dairy
cattle. The ink in the paper contained common cancer-causing chemicals,
but after composting it with dairy cow manure, the dangerous chemicals
were reduced by 98%.^92 So it appears that if
you’re using shredded newspaper for bedding under livestock, you
/should/ compost it, if for no other reason than to eliminate some of
the toxic elements from the newsprint. It’ll probably make acceptable
compost too, especially if layered with garbage, manure, and other
organic materials.

What about things like sanitary napkins and disposable diapers? Sure,
they’ll compost, but they’ll leave strips of plastic throughout your
finished compost which are quite unsightly. Of course, that’s OK if you
don’t mind picking the strips of plastic out of your compost. Otherwise,
use cloth diapers and washable cloth menstrual pads instead.

Toilet paper composts, too. So do the cardboard tubes in the center of
the rolls. Unbleached, recycled toilet paper is ideal. Or you can use
the old fashioned toilet paper, otherwise known as corncobs. Popcorn
cobs work best, they’re softer. Corncobs don’t compost very readily
though, so you have a good excuse not to use them. There are other
things that don’t compost well: eggshells, bones, hair, and woody stems,
to name a few. We throw our eggshells back to our chickens, or into the
woodstove. Bones go into the woodstove, or to the cats or dog. Hair goes
out to the birds for nests, if not into the compost pile.

Compost professionals have almost fanatically seized upon the idea that
wood chips are good for making compost. Nowadays, when novice composters
want to begin making compost, the first thing they want to know is where
they can get wood chips. In fact, wood chips do NOT compost very well at
all, unless ground into fine particles, as in sawdust. Even compost
professionals admit that they have to screen out their wood chips
/after/ the compost is finished because they didn’t decompose. They
insist on using them anyway, because they break up the compost
consistency and maintain air spaces in their large masses of organic
material. However, a home composter should avoid wood chips and use
other bulking materials that degrade more quickly, such as hay, straw,
sawdust, and weeds.

Finally, never put woody stemmed plants, such as tree saplings, on your
compost pile. I hired a young lad to clear some brush for me one summer
and he innocently put the small saplings on my compost pile without me
knowing it. Later, I found them networked through the pile like iron
reinforcing rods. I’ll bet the lad’s ears were itching that day – I sure
had some nasty things to say about him. Fortunately, only Gomer, the
compost pile, heard me.

/Source: The Humanure Handbook. Jenkins Publishing, PO Box 607, Grove
City, PA 16127. To order, phone: 1-800-639-4099. /

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Handbook | Chapter 3 : /Compost Miracles/

Reflections on 50 Years of Burning in The Nature Conservancy | Cool Green Science: The Conservation Blog of The Nature Conservancy.