Sustainability

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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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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 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: Why do we need to conserve water?

    A: Water conservation is important because only a tiny fraction of the world's water supply is both freshwater and readily available for human use. Increasing pressure on freshwater supplies has led to the depletion of underground aquifers, leaving some areas of the world without the water necessary to sustain human and animal populations. Conservation reduces waste and allows natural reservoirs to build back up faster than they are depleted.
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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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  • How do you reduce the amount of residential trash you produce?

    Q: How do you reduce the amount of residential trash you produce?

    A: To reduce the amount of residential trash you produce, reduce the use of paper towels, create a compost bin, reuse packaging material, buy recycled materials, and indulge in freecycling. Also, cut down on giving excessively wrapped gifts during special occasions.
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  • Q: What kind of barrels can you use for trash burning?

    A: The material of choice for an effective reduced-smoke burn barrel is steel. You should only use a burn barrel in accordance with local laws; many states specifically prohibit home burning of trash, while others have strict regulations concerning the materials that can be burned.
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  • Q: What are biodegradable boxes made of?

    A: Biodegradable boxes and containers are usually composed of organic material such as paper and cardboard and bio-based or starch-based plastics derived from corn, soy, sugarcane or potatoes. Some inorganic materials have also been deemed biodegradable; thermal-based plastic film, for instance, breaks down when exposed to high temperatures.
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  • Q: What are some examples of biomass?

    A: Examples of biomass include landfill gas, wood, crops, garbage and alcohol fuels. Biomass is renewable energy that comes from plants and animals.
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  • How does wave power work?

    Q: How does wave power work?

    A: Wave power refers to power or energy harnessed from the waves in a body of water, most commonly the ocean. This energy is difficult to harness, so wave power stations are rare.
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  • Where can you sell scrap metal to recyclers in the United States?

    Q: Where can you sell scrap metal to recyclers in the United States?

    A: Many companies such as Metalico, Capital Scrap Metal LLC and Sims Metal Management will buy and recycle scrap metal in the United States. Companies like these make a living from properly disposing of scrap metal and things like junk cars and trucks.
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  • Q: How does solar power work?

    A: According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, solar power can involve generating current directly from the action of ultraviolet radiation on treated silicon using the sun's heat to boil water and drive an electric turbine with steam. Small-scale solar power installations, such as those on a private residence, usually use photovoltaic cells. Industrial-scale solar power plants tend to use solar thermal technology to create power.
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  • Q: What are some types of biomass fuel?

    A: The four main types of biomass fuels are wood and agricultural products, solid waste, landfill gas, and alcohol fuels. Biomass fuels make use of the energy imparted by the sun and stored in its organic matter.
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  • Q: What are some marine sanitation devices with minimal environmental impact?

    A: Type III marine sanitation devices offer the least environmental impact of all marine sanitation devices. Types I and II also reduce the environmental impact of sewage by treating the waste before it is discharged.
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  • Q: What are some tips for going green?

    A: Tips for going green include turning off electronics when not in use, adjusting refrigerator settings and eating foods grown using sustainable methods. Automotive tips include choosing a more fuel-efficient vehicle, inflating tires properly and removing excess weight from the trunk. Carpooling or riding a bike reduces the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air.
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