Sustainability

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Self-sustaining energy, also known as sustainable energy, is energy that meets present needs without depleting natural resources for future generations. It focuses on preserving the environment while developing technology in ways that use renewable energy.

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  • What is hydroelectric energy?

    Q: What is hydroelectric energy?

    A: Hydroelectric energy converts the kinetic energy of flowing water into electricity using a turbine. Water flows through a channel, usually carefully regulated as part of a dam spillway, and it turns the blades of the turbine. As long as water continues to flow steadily, the turbine produces a steady stream of electricity. The U.S. Geological Survey Science School states that 19 percent of the world's electricity comes from hydroelectric energy.
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  • How do you dispose of a lithium-ion battery?

    Q: How do you dispose of a lithium-ion battery?

    A: Lithium-ion and other rechargeable batteries should be recycled so that any hazardous waste, including lead acid and nickel cadmium, can be removed from the waste cycle. Federal guidelines consider lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries to be non-hazardous.
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  • What can I do to help save the environment?

    Q: What can I do to help save the environment?

    A: Eliminate paper. Easing up on the use of paper and paper products will help with one of the biggest landfill culprits. Good places to start include replacing paper gift wrapping with fabric or used grocery bags, using glassware instead of paper plates, bringing reusable shopping bags for use at the store, and replacing paper towels with washable hand towels.
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  • How is coal used by humans?

    Q: How is coal used by humans?

    A: Humans use coal in many ways, including as a fuel and as a source of carbon. As a solid fuel, coal burns to provide heat from stoves, furnaces and boilers as well as energy to supply electrical generating plants. Metal refiners use coke, a solid residue from low-sulfur bituminous coal, in purifying metals in blast furnaces.
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  • What do trees provide?

    Q: What do trees provide?

    A: One of the most important things that trees give people is oxygen to breathe. Trees also give shade, house animals and muffle noise.
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  • Why should we recycle metals?

    Q: Why should we recycle metals?

    A: Recycling metals offers many benefits, including conserving natural resources, reducing emissions and creating new jobs. Forbes reports that recycling metals supported over 450,000 jobs in the United States as of 2011, generating over $90 billion annually.
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  • What would happen if people did not recycle?

    Q: What would happen if people did not recycle?

    A: Without recycling, Earth's natural resources would diminish even more quickly than they already do from human activity. Using items made from recycled material, such as paper, helps prevent deforestation. Recycling also reduces the amount of trash cluttering the planet.
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  • What is self-sustaining energy?

    Q: What is self-sustaining energy?

    A: Self-sustaining energy, also known as sustainable energy, is energy that meets present needs without depleting natural resources for future generations. It focuses on preserving the environment while developing technology in ways that use renewable energy.
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  • Q: How do you earn money by recycling?

    A: Depending on the recycling service, you can earn money for recycling by sending in recyclable materials to companies such as Essendant, TerraCycle and Mail In Mobile. Some companies only except certain items, and pay either in cash or in points, as in the case of TerraCycle's Points Program.
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  • Q: What is biomass fuel, and what it is used for?

    A: Biomass fuel is made from organic materials such as scrap lumber and forest debris (that would otherwise fill up landfills) in order to create a renewable and sustainable source of energy. It is used to generate electricity and heat, among other sources of power. It is a carbon neutral alternative to other fuels.
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  • Q: What was the average cost of solar panels in 2014?

    A: The average cost of solar panels in 2014 fluctuated from 70 to 73 cents per watt, according to Clean Technica. This price is half of what panels cost in 2008 and approximately 100 times lower than the average cost per panel in 1977.
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  • Q: Why is recycling important?

    A: Recycling is important for making the environment a cleaner place, conserving materials, saving energy and reducing the amount of garbage in landfills. One of the most important benefits of recycling is the impact it has on the Earth. Recycling different materials helps the environment by reducing the use of natural resources. For example, recycling paper goods reduces the number of trees cut down each year.
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  • Q: Where can you look up local facilities to recycle VCR tapes?

    A: To find local facilities that recycle VCR tapes, go to Earth911.com and click Recycle Search at the top of the home page. Type "video tapes" after Search For, your ZIP code after Near, then click Search; the website generates a list of local facilities and mail-in programs.
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  • What are some facts about wind energy?

    Q: What are some facts about wind energy?

    A: Wind turbines generate energy when their three long blades rotate in the wind, turning a generator to produce electricity. One large turbine generates enough energy for over 500 homes. The largest wind turbines are equal in size to a 20-story building, with blades that are nearly 200 feet long.
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  • Q: What are some ways to reuse or recycle soda pop tabs?

    A: Ways to reuse soda pop tabs include using tabs to make jewelry and hanging items with the tabs. Other ways of reusing soda pop tabs include participating in a charity collection or using soda tabs to emboss craft projects.
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  • Q: How much money do you get for recycling paper?

    A: Scrap paper prices in the United States in 2014 varied from $30 to $110 per megaton, according to Scrapmonster. The amount of money a person receives from recycling paper varies depending on the quantity, the type of paper and the market. These factors can determine how much paper is worth.
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  • Q: What are the pros and cons of clearcutting?

    A: Advantages of clearcutting include the ability to manage forests economically, the creation of sunny spaces for sun-loving plant species, and the development of forage habitats for deer, elk and wildlife. Disadvantages include the disruption of existing ecosystems, the unsightly appearance and increased risk of erosion.
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  • Q: How do restaurants recycle or dispose of the used vegetable oil?

    A: Options for restaurants recycling or disposing of used cooking oil include microfiltration for reuse on site or storing it in containers for pickup by recycling companies. The recycling companies then convert the waste cooking oil into biodiesel, hydraulic fluid or other products for reuse.
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  • Q: Why should the Everglades be saved?

    A: Jane Graham of the Huffington Post notes there are a number of reasons to save the Everglades, including the preservation of drinking water. She explains that the Everglades provide drinking water for over 7 million Americans, all of whom can be impacted by efforts to conserve the Everglades.
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  • Q: Why are fossil fuels non-renewable?

    A: Fossil fuels are non-renewable because they take millions of years to form. Fossil fuels make up most sources of non-renewable energy, and they were created millions of years ago as a result of marine creatures decaying under immense pressure and heat.
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  • Is wind power better than solar power for a home?

    Q: Is wind power better than solar power for a home?

    A: For home use, solar is usually easier to adopt than wind power since photovoltaic panels have no moving parts and require no special construction to install. Wind turbines must be mounted high enough to avoid interruptions in the wind, and may violate residential codes or generate noise complaints from neighbors.
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