A carbon emissions tax is a huge long-shot in today’s political climate, but that’s not deterring former congressman Bob Inglis.
Girls just want to have fun. Or at least they don’t want to have as many babies as before. This is true in places like the United States, where a Western lifestyle has changed behavior, but also in other parts of the world where women are becoming more empowered and making the decision to have fewer children. Thus, the population around the world is aging.
This will present some challenges for economic growth, but the article explains that efficiencies could save us there.
More importantly, population explosion is one of the biggest challenges we have for the environment, so this trend could actually be a very good thing.
There are all sorts of opinions on the Keystone Pipeline. Many environmentalists are very much opposed, while many people concerned with weaning ourselves off of Mid East oil are in favor of it, even with all the new oil American is producing through fracking. The Arkansas oil spill complicates the issue of course.
Here’s T. Boone Pickens discussing natural gas, oil and the pipeline.
Here’s a new kind of hybrid car that might just start another revolution in car design.
Hybrids and plug-in hybrids offer incredible potential, and we’re seeing progress with hydrogen fuel cells as well. But with compressed air you have a novel approach that produces ZERO emissions when in that mode. That’s pretty impressive. Expect to hear much more about this, as it’s also much more practical than things like the AIRpod, which relies totally on compressed air but doesn’t have the size and range of this hybrid.
If we are going to make it as a society, we are going to have to make some tough, potentially gross decisions. One of those decisions centers around the toilet. A standard toilet in the average American household uses five gallons of water per flush and is flushed four times per day per person; that comes out to an average of 30 thousand gallons of water per year for a family of four.
If you want to reduce the water used by your toilet, you have four options.
Option 1: Get a low flow toilet.
There are a variety of low flow toilets on the market, and they way better than you think. Sure, some of them may have flushing problems for bigger “loads,” but with a little research, you can find the right one for you. Additionally, many of these models use different amounts of water for solid and liquid waste.
Option 2: Try to flush half as often.
If you have a standard toilet you would be saving around 15,000 gallons. With a low flow toilet, you would save around 5,000 additional gallons per year.
Option 3: Flush only for solid waste:
Option 4: Compost that crap!
If you want to almost completely eliminate the water that passes through your toilet each year, you could consider a composting toilet. With a composting toilet you take what normally passes through your toilet and simply bury it, or even use it to fertilize your flowers. Contrary to what you may think, composting toilets can be rater sophisticated and do not smell if properly maintained (as with any toilet). However, it is entirely understandable if you don’t want to go quite that far. However, if you are interested in this option, you could check it out here .
However you choose to save water, just be sure it works for you. Good luck!
If you are reading this blog, chances are pretty good you are concerned with the environment. Unfortunately, many of us don’t do as much as we can as far as conservation goes. Most typically, this is because we either don’t know what we could do, or we think measures are overly difficult or expensive. These inhibitions are not completely unfounded. Installing solar panels can be quite expensive, and gray water systems can be quite an ordeal. There are a plethora of simple changes that we each can make that are simple, inexpensive, and can positively impact the environment. This is the first of a series of articles that provide you with such solutions.
Today’s topic is reducing or eliminating unneeded lighting. In less sophisticated circles, this is known as ‘turning off the freaking lights when you leave the room.” I know I may sound like your parents when you were a kid, but I am going to put you on the spot. Are there any unneeded lights on in your house right now? If you are anything like me, the answer is probably yes. However, if you have more than just a few lights on, don’t feel too bad. Energy use is often overlooked because, unlike physical waste, it does not sit around our house until we take it out. In the United States, approximately 50 percent of electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants. These plants emit sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, and heavy metals (including mercury).
Turning off unneeded lights is simple and free. In fact, it is better than free; it can save you money. It is simply a matter of changing habits. While the exact level of energy conservation depends on the type of bulbs you are currently using, your region, and the size of your dwelling, it is a reliable rule that if you are not using a light, you should turn it off.
If the environmental benefits are not enough to entice you, energy conservation through lighting can be a very frugal option. A very nice breakdown can be found here. Using natural lighting may also have health benefits. Many people find transitioning to natural light from artificial calming. This calming effect may be caused by renewed exposure to full spectrum lighting, which is very difficult to recreate via artificial light sources.
The hardest thing about turning off lights is breaking bad habits. Here are a few tips to help you change your behavior and save money.
I hope you found these suggestions helpful. Check out the site next week for your next Simple Way to be a little more green.
As a company, Google has a bunch of issues. They have absurdly terrible customer service and treat their affiliates like crap.
But they treat their employees well, and they are also one of the companies leading the charge in carbon emissions and sustainability.
Read the entire article. Other companies may not have the resources to do everything Google is trying, but they can set a great example when it comes to cost-effective solutions for responsible companies.
To those unfamiliar with lake ecology, a fish does not seem like the kind of thing that could endanger the Great Lakes; however, Asian Carp are doing just that. The set of species known collectively as Asian Carp were brought to North America in the 1970s for aquacultural and sewage treatment purposes. As with many such experiments, the introduction did not go according to plan. Since introduction, Asian Carp have spread the entire length of the Mississippi River, to a number of its tributaries, and now threaten to take hold in the Great Lakes. In 2007, the species were declared invasive by the United States Department of the Interior and are now being monitored by other United States and Canadian agencies.
The two primary aspects that make Asian Carp so dangerous to their non-native ecosystems are their mobility and diet. The Asian Carp’s ability to leap out of the water give them a distinct advantage when it comes to expanding territory. This ability allows them to not only leap over natural barriers, but also man-made ones. In 2010, Asian Carp penetrated an underwater electric fence that was put in place to keep them from spreading from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. They have also injured recreational boaters as flying fish collide with passengers on fast boats.
Without their appetite, the spread of these fish would not be of such great concern. Asian carp are veracious eaters, and their food of choice are the plankton that are at the base of the food chain. Asian Carp can grow to be 80 to 100 pounds and consume 40 percent of their body weight each day. This, in turn, is harmful to less aggressive native species, namely smaller fish and the young of larger fish.
Luckily, biologist report that most invasive species fail to take hold. We may be at an advantage against the Asian Carp since they have been detected before establishing a reproducing population. While not completely successful, the electric barrier between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan has contributed significantly to their containment. Those who enjoy fishing are being encouraged to focus their efforts on Asian Carp. The fish are reported to have a good taste and produce a substantial amount of meat. Food and Water Watch, which as traditionally been very critical of the fishing industry, also backs focusing on the Asian Carp as a food source.
More information on this issue is available through the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee
Algae looks pretty disgusting in the old swimming pool pictured above, but the power of algae is now being harnessed by those hoping to exploit it as a powerful biofuel. Fortune has an interesting article about a huge new biofuel farm in New Mexico.
A ton of money has been plowed into the green space as venture capitalists try to capitalize on the desire for clean energy and renewable fuels. Read the rest of the article to get more information on this project. It will be fascinating to see if this project becomes economically viable. In an era where fracking is lowering the costs of natural gas and increasing oil output in the United States, it will be more difficult for projects like this to make money without subsidies.
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There are tons of things in our society that suck up tons of energy. Just think of casinos and all the opulence, including the massive fountain you see above in front of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Of course it’s a beautiful attraction, but we definitely generate some juice to power all of those fountains and lights.
The fiscal cliff discussions, unfortunately, aren’t being used to advance conservation or green power, but there is a push to get a consensus regarding online poker, which at least doesn’t fuel the construction of new, power sucking fountains.
The American Gaming Association is using the fiscal cliff as its inroad to present a new bill to Congress. The bill would make it legal to play online poker in US. At the same time, the bill would also prohibit other types of online gambling, such as states allowing online gambling for table games and slot machines. According to president and CEO Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. from the American Gaming Association, the passing of the bill can boost state revenues.
The next logical step is for states to legalize the sale of lottery tickets and scratch-off tickets online.
The opposition of the passing of the online poker bill seems to be the state lottery representatives. Several states are sending representative to Washington D.C. to oppose the passing of the bill. The opposition is also on the state level.
While six states, including Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, have had failed online gambling proposal, other states are pushing to pass the bill as a way to boost their local economies. Advocates of the bill believe that state-by-state economic progress contributes to the overall boost of the American economy.
Another concern the opposition has for selling online lottery tickets or permitting online gambling in the US is that the integrity of the game can come into question.
The Reid-Kyl Bill, which proposes federal regulation of Native American tribe gambling options by the Commerce Department, proposed a 15-month waiting period for online poker and other online gambling options in the US to begin. Others argue that if a modified version of the bill passes it can open the door to online poker and gambling as early as January 2013.
State lotteries are a legalized form of gambling. Foreign countries have legal online gambling. If the new bill passes Congresses, it can soon be legal to gamble online in the good old United States of America.