The Science Behind Going Green

The Science Behind Going Green
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Hearing the words “eco friendly” has become commonplace, but are there any companies actually providing products that have the potential to better lives? Why should consumers and business owners take notice of a company whose main goal is to make the earth a less polluted place to live?

Hidden away behind a wall of lush green vegetation is a company which is helping rid industry, public spaces, and homes of polluted air, water, and diseased agriculture one place at a time; and it’s right here in Riviera Beach, Florida.  

Vice President of Business Development at RGF, Tony Julian, gave us a tour of the facility and explained the wonders of their eco vision. RGF is predominantly an environmental technology manufacturer, which was launched in 1985 by Ron Fink.

“Fink was in middle school when he discovered his love of nature and science,” Julian explains. “While undertaking a science fair project, he dug up rocks and showed that under UV lights, they contained various minerals, which in turn made them glow. Shortly after that fair his mother got a tap on the shoulder from the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) offering to pay her son’s future college tuition. After college Fink went on to the nuclear industry, but in time, he realized he wanted to focus on greener products. That’s when he started his own water and air treatment business.”

Later Fink would expand his business into air quality and, more recently, agriculture. RGF’s environmental products include air purifiers, water treatment systems, foods safety systems, and agriculture. The company’s anti-chemical ethos has led to a number of industries purchasing their products including the use of a proprietary technology utilizing UV light and advanced oxidation to purify air, food, and water.

A well-publicized example of utilizing one of RGF’s product was a sickness outbreak in a fast food chain. RGF responded by installing an air purification system and UV light food safety conveyor belts in all their restaurants around the country.

“This particular fast food company specializes in natural foods, so they were having trouble with spoilage and food safety issues because there were no preservatives or chemicals,” Julian explains. “We provided them with a variety of UV-light-based products which helped preserve the food using natural methods to prolong the shelf life.”

RGF prides itself on self-sufficiency with high-tech research labs and a large bustling factory floor equipped with instruments like a enormous laser cutter, 3D printer, and a graphics shop to produce anything from billboards to trade show booths. Exporting their American-made, eco-friendly products to 57 countries around the world has allowed RGF to grow internationally, with offices in China and Grand Cayman. Their products help companies in many ways from separating oil from water, water from waste (like in an oil spill), to air purifiers, which help stop the spread of illness.

Julian enthusiastically explains, “To prove its efficiency, we invented a sneeze simulator, which released a sneeze into a contained space so we could have measured it. We then added our air purification products to the same test space and 99 percent of the bacteria and viruses in the simulated sneeze were eliminated within three feet from the source. This purification system became very popular during the SARS outbreaks of the early 2000’s. We were installing hundreds of our systems in China—in their subways, buses, and train stations.”

This company really is a lifeline for numerous industries, not only helping purify polluted water and air, but also helping indoor agricultural operations with their element air division, which saves crops from mold and disease spoilage while controlling strong odors.

Their air purification system is not just for business owners, but home owners can have a smaller version installed too.

“Homes are so sealed up these days, especially in places like South Florida, where we have hurricane windows and rarely open the doors and windows for fresh air,” Julian explains. “Our homes have become a cocktail of chemicals and we’re not letting enough fresh air in. The pollutants are becoming concentrated inside and causing all sorts of health issues. It’s not just about cutting down on odors, but it’s about VOC (Volatile Organic Chemicals). We combat this by creating fresh air.”

The REME Halo or Plug in Plus systems can be fitted by your local HVAC contractor. Julian proudly exclaims, “The contractors are all onboard with us because we are the leader in air purification.”

When walking around the vast 106,000 square foot facility of RGF, there is a real feeling of positivity. Employees can escape for a break or hold a meeting in the green space of EnvisionLand. Feeling like one has just stepped into another world, resembling that of a Star Trek set, there is a pond stocked with Koi fish, peacocks happily chirping, and macaw parrots chatting away. Immediately a smile crosses your face and any pressure of the work day flies away into the fresh air. This company invests in their 150 member staff, as well as a green eco-friendly future.

Ron Fink wants his team to enjoy coming to work so that they are happy and productivity increases. On a normal day at the office, one may view the aquarium and waterfalls, work out at the fitness center, or eat a healthy lunch at the newly constructed restaurant. The company also has a superyacht, which can be used to entertain customers or employees. They often have family days and parties on site to encourage good comradery. RGF also supports a number of charities, some of which including The American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, and The Wounded Veterans Fund.

RGF also has an Electro-mechanical museum, which was set up by one of their researchers, who happened to have a collection of science memorabilia. A room filled with historical instruments and experiments mirrors that of RGF’s modern version of science; one of the highlights was a prop from the original Frankenstein movie.  

Sergei Schavelev, an engineer based in research and development, is a very smart and dedicated man, so much so that when his 3D printer arrived and it wasn’t up to his expectation he decided to make his own instead. This is not the only story of assertiveness or thinking outside of the box, there is a real feeling of invention, science, and passion in the air, which of course is not polluted.

Upon leaving the lush hidden grounds of this environmental space of genius, it’s satisfying to know that companies like RGF in South Florida offer scientific solutions for a non-toxic future, with a chance to live a healthier and non-polluted life.  •

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By: Danielle Macdonald on Jan 14, 2019
Tags: Environment, Winter 2019
Issue: Winter2019
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