TAG: Renewable resources

Paper Waste and What We Can Do About It

Paper waste

With the influx of heightened technology, long gone are the days where you have to constantly tote around a pen and pencil to jot down important details. Almost everything you could possibly need to write down can be done on a device, whether on your phone or mobile invention of choice. From calendars to reminder notes, you can just enter information to look at later. Not to mention the availability of online books, magazine subscriptions and virtual offices, most things that were once on paper are now additionally, or exclusively, online. Despite these technological conveniences, paper still remains a mass… read more

Solar Powered Cookout

Solar Powered Cookout

Teaching kids about renewable resources doesn’t always have to be a lecture or a lesson on paper. For example, all ages can appreciate a sun-cooked food festival, and the solar process makes for good dinner conversation. Getting outside and providing some hands-on explanation of how the sun’s energy can be applied is useful, teaches self-reliance and sustainability, and is fun for kids. Campfires and hot dog roasts are a rite of passage in some childhood circles. Instead of building a fire, build a solar hot dog cooker. Host an activity and have kids bring their own cardboard box. Gather a… read more

What Is The Rarest Precious Metal?

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It’s no secret that we’re running out of non-renewable resources. Everything from oil reserves to natural gas will be used up in the next 1oo years, making the need to develop alternative energy sources a necessity rather than a novelty. But what about precious metals? How rare are they, and which is the rarest? Michael Stevens of Vsauce takes us on a short journey to answer that very question. Check it out:

These Playgrounds Generate Electricity at Recess

These Playgrounds Generate Electricity at Recess

Playgrounds with merry-go-rounds that can convert the energy of playing children into electricity to light up their lives are making a difference in Ghana, thanks to the efforts of a nonprofit called Empowered Playgrounds. In places with poor access to power, such as rural Ghana, schoolchildren have plenty of energy to play, but little to none for lighting their after school studying and other home activities. But a former VP of Engineering at ExxonMobil Research, Ben Markham, is helping to make their home lives and their education quite a bit brighter, in the form of merry-go-rounds that can generate electricity… read more

Living Buildings: Responsible Design

Living Buildings: Responsible Design

The construction industry has progressed a great deal in environmentally conscious building efforts. Taking green structures to a higher level with heightened expectations of what a building can do though, are living buildings. Living buildings are exactly that – buildings that have whole systems implanted to practically run themselves. Buildings are considered living if they are able to efficiently create and sustain their own necessities, like energy and water. Renewable resources and on-site conservation techniques are employed to allow the building to function without an excess of energy consumption. One example of an inclusive living building is the Bullitt Center in… read more

Plastic Alternatives

Plastic Alternatives

Bioplastics are a topic up for debate. While some think it a better choice than conventional plastics, some critics say that it is an unnecessary use of a portion of the food supply which is already strained considering the vast populations that are food insecure. Massive plastic consumption and pre-packaged convenience comes at a high price. Pollution that does not biodegrade and toxic by-products from manufacturing processes being just a few issues. While some innovations seek to create compounds that can be used like plastics, but made smarter with renewable resources, some of these up and coming products still have questionable… read more

Congress Still an Obstacle

Congress Still An Obstacle

Amidst all the attention surrounding the upcoming presidential election, it seems as though Congress has been exempt from criticism surrounding the environment. This could be in part due to the extremely low public approval ratings of Congress which contribute to apathy, and the recognition of certain powerful members of Congress being unwilling to do anything about the environment. For whatever reasons, Congress has been flying under the radar as of late, which is frequently a bad thing. As expected, members of Congress took this opportunity to get controversial measures passed, especially through the House of Representatives. Led by U.S. Representative… read more

Money Talks, Walks & Works

Money Talks, Walks & Works

Unfortunately, money has a significant impact in politics and policy. However, this is not a new claim, nor is it surprising. Ever since Citizens United passed, money in politics has been accepted, though not without backlash. Last year, a piece of legislation was brought up in the California senate which aimed to allow non-property owning residents to buy-in to distributed renewable energy programs in their territories. Current California law allows for property owners, i.e. homeowners, to add renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, onto their homes. Further, homeowners can apply for government loans and tax credits to help fund… read more

A Forgotten Energy Resource

A Forgotten Energy Resource

In a perfect world, perpetual motion and subsequent perpetual energy would exist and be fully utilized. There would be no energy crises, because the energy would flow forever. Obviously, this doesn’t and can’t exist, but a “forgotten” energy resource could come close to those results. On August 30th, President Obama signed an executive order to increase the use of combined heat and power (CHP) 50% by 2020, adding 40 gigawatts of energy to the current amount. Combined heat and power, or cogeneration, is a method of energy conservation, capturing by-product heat from electricity generation and other industrial processes to be used… read more