Category Archives: Recycling

Bioengineering

I’m glad to have stumbled upon this photo posted by DPWH Secretary Mark Villar in his Facebook page in July. The photo showed segment of Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEX). According to Sec. Villar, coco net and vertiber grass are being utilized in the 11-km segment of TPLEX to prevent soil erosion. The photo also carries hashtags #BuildBuildBuild and #Bioengineering.

DPWH Sec. Mark Villar photo

According to Wikipedia, bioengineering means the application of principles of biology and the tools of engineering to create usable, tangible, economically-viable products.

Sun-dried coconut halves

In 2012, I (with other bloggers) was able to observe how coco net are made — from drying coconut halves to decorticating the husks, twining the fibers, and finally weaving the net – during a tour at the green social enterprises in Las Piñas organized by the Villar Foundation. 

Decorticating machine separates coco fibers from coconut husk

Twining and weaving nets from coconut husks is just one of the social enterprises of the foundation. The other livelihood projects include handloom weaving, house waste composting, vermin composting, producing hollow blocks from trash, and crafting baskets from water hyacinths.

Worker separates fiber for twining

The development of these livelihood projects was an offshoot of an endeavor to clean and revive the Las Pinas-Zapote River.

The husks not thrown on the river were left on the sidewalks and the city had to spend more to haul the garbage. Trash collectors failed to collect sacks of coconut husk so they end up polluting the river.

Twining the coconut fibers to create ropes

To address the growing problem with coconut husks that were left on the sidewalks, Mrs. (now Senator) Cynthia Villar , managing director of the Villar Foundation, initiated and met with experts from Bicol University for the Coco Coir technology.

Twines are weaved in the loom to create nets

Dr. Justino Arboleda, an agricultural engineer, designed the machinery to make the coco-net. Coco Coir Enterprise utilizes coconut husk and convert them into coco net.

Finished coco nets are used for slope protection and control soil erosion. Coco nets are being used by Las Piñas City and private developers.

Congratulations, Sec. Villar for supporting #bioengineering techniques to complete government projects under the #BuildBuildBuild program. This sure saves a lot of government fundings.

The Solar Solution

The rainy season is here and although we don’t want the typhoons (and since we can never stop them), it are to be expected. When strong typhoons hit, the living suffers the consequences. We get damaged buildings, infrastructures, farmlands, and homes. We experience floods in the cities. And worse, we lose water and energy supply.

We can never prevent a typhoon from coming, but we can always prevent a blackout from happening. How? Through using solar energy.

Why Should We Consider Investing in Solar Energy?

How To Use Solar Energy?

Converting the power of the sun as energy is made possible by using photovoltaic solar panels.

The Misconceptions

In a household, the first thing that comes in mind when we talk about solar energy is: it’s expensive and we don’t have a huge space to put the solar panels on.

Yes, solar panels can be a huge expense in the beginning but it is a good investment that will help you save in the years to come. Plus, since it is gaining popularity to a number of people, there are already cheaper options available.

You don’t need to have a farm to put your solar panels on. Installing them on your roof is the best place where you can put them.

And the myth that solar panels will be useless during the rainy season or at night because there is “no sun” is just not true. Solar panels can also store produced yet unused energy for later use.

The Benefits

Besides being a clean and green source of energy, your source of power is also unlimited, unlike the traditional electricity which uses fossil fuels, coals, or natural gas.

Having one in your own household lets you in control of your own bills and your own energy usage. This will also result in less electricity loss since your power need not be exported from big power plants to several houses. Your energy will come directly from your solar panels into your house.

Alternative Energy Sources in the Philippines

Did you know that there exist housing options in the country that offers solar-powered homes in a solar-powered subdivision? And it is a low-cost home that people can actually afford! Visit the site of Imperial Homes Corporation to know more about it.

Recently, Emma Imperial, the Group Chair and CEO of Imperial Homes had a drink ‘On the House’ where she talked about how she got interested in the solar power business, how she started, and maybe also shared a secret tip for the aspiring entrepreneurs from the late Henry Sy himself. Check out their discussion to discover how the mind of a successful salesperson works.

Besides solar energy, there are several other sources for renewable energy in the country. Since the Philippines is an archipelago with a tropical climate, it has the capacity of generating energy from its natural resources.

  • Hydroelectric Power – This is sourcing the energy from a moving body of water such as through dams or waterfalls. Several hydroelectric power plants already exist in our country giving power to 13 provinces.
  • Geothermal Power – This makes use of the heat from underneath the Earth and converts it to energy. Seven provinces make use of this as their primary energy source.
  • Wind Energy – Strong wind current can also give off energy. There are already four operation wind power plants in the Philippines.
  • Biomass Energy – This is using natural resources such as rice husks, coconut husks in boiling water, which later on will produce steam that will drive the generator. Metro Manila and five other provinces in the Philippines have biomass power plants.

The Philippines has long been using renewable energy in some areas but it is only recently that it gets the attention and recognition it deserves. What’s important now is to know, understand, and to spread out the information that we do have options when it comes to sourcing energies. And these alternatives we have are also environmental friendly.

‘On the House’ is a series by Lamudi where big bosses do small talks. Catch them on YouTube, or listen to their podcasts on Apple Podcast and Spotify, and learn more about life and the likes.

How Janitorial Businesses Can Save Money

reclaimed textiles

Owning a janitorial business offers many benefits. It allows a person to have a flexible schedule since most cleaning jobs are done in the evening, at night, or on the weekends. It does not require a person to invest a lot of money to get it started. It is something that can be done by just one person, or the business can be expanded to a point where the owner no longer has to do any cleaning because they have employees. Here are some tips on how owners of janitorial businesses can save money.

Does your business offer the use of natural cleaning products? At first glance, this may seem like a more expensive option. However, the reality is that this is often a less expensive option. When you use products like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon, you are using products that are very inexpensive and are available right at a local grocery store. The fact that you offer natural cleaning products is likely going to be appealing to many of your clients, especially ones who are more health conscious. You simply have to look at the natural cleaning product options that are available, compare costs, and then add this as an option when advertising your services.

Another way to save money is to purchase the items that you use regularly in bulk. Instead of buying individual bottles of cleaning supplies, purchase them in gallons. When you buy rags and mops, do not just buy a few at a time. Purchasing cleaning cloths wholesale is going to save you a lot of money. Check out local thrift stores and see about reusing cheap towels and other items that they have available.

Planning ahead and mapping out where cleaning jobs need to be done can save you money in gas and labor if you have employees who work with your business. For example, many janitorial businesses offer housecleaning services. Try to organize the houses in a way that allows you or your employees to clean houses that are close to each other at the same time. This will reduce expenses.