Sustainability

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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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Q: What are some ways to recycle wooden pallets?

    A: Turn recycled wooden pallets into bookshelves, rustic-styled patio furniture or unique vertical planters. Recycled wooden pallets are often available free of charge or for a nominal fee.
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  • Q: What are some ways to reuse Styrofoam?

    A: A great way to repurpose Styrofoam cups and trays is to use them for arts and crafts. Styrofoam pellets are convenient as a substitute for rocks on the bottom of flower pots to provide aeration and better drainage.
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  • Q: What kinds of rewards does Recyclebank have?

    A: Recyclebank offers rewards in the form of credits at its online store, One Twine, or as discounts and deals on a wide variety of items and services with other retailers. One Twine carries environmentally friendly, sustainable products like cleaning supplies, cookware, clothing and hygiene products. The store offers a wide array of products, all of which are made from recycled and/or sustainable materials. Discounts to other retailers and services include deals on flower delivery, groceries, restaurants and magazine subscriptions.
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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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  • Where can you find free plans to build a wood gasifier?

    Q: Where can you find free plans to build a wood gasifier?

    A: The website build-a-gasifier.com has many free, downloadable plans for building a gasifier and gasifier. This site also has information on the history of gasification and uses for this process.
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  • Q: Which country recycles the most?

    A: As of 2015, Switzerland recycles more than any other country in the world. A Yale University study ranked countries according to factors that represent the results of each nation's dedication to recycling.
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  • Q: What are some advantages of tidal energy?

    A: Some of the advantages of using tidal energy are that it is predictable, it is eco-friendly, it is effective even at low speeds, it is renewable and it is an efficient energy source. Tidal energy is basically harnessed from water bodies that experience tides.
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  • Q: What does renewable mean?

    A: If something is renewable, it is capable of being replaced through sound management practices or by natural ecological cycles. It is not used up like a finite resource.
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  • Q: How many people regularly recycle?

    A: A 2007 Harris poll showed that only 30 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 30 recycle regularly. People throughout the world recycle for a number of reasons, but not everyone has jumped on the recycling bandwagon.
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  • Q: How does renewable energy work?

    A: According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, renewable energy comes from either sources that cannot be depleted or from sources that can replenish themselves on a human time scale. The former category includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power, and an example of the latter is biofuel.
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  • Q: What is the advantage of using solar generators over fuel generators?

    A: The most notable advantages of solar generators over fuel generators are: solar energy is renewable, it has no adverse environmental effects as compared to fuel power, and it is a free resource. The only costs incurred with solar power are the initial investment and maintenance costs.
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  • Q: How do you make a homemade compost bin?

    A: To create a simple home compost bin, use either wire mesh or snow fencing material to create a holding unit. Approximately 10 feet of wire mesh yields a bin 3 feet in diameter, while 13 feet of snow fence creates a 3-square-foot bin.
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  • Q: What is a solar chimney?

    A: A solar chimney is a passive solar ventilation system that allows cool air into a building while pushing hot air out. During the day, solar energy heats the air within the chimney, causing an updraft. The suction created at the base of the chimney then ventilates the building.
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