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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 are reforestation projects?

    Q: What are reforestation projects?

    A: Reforestation projects refer to the restocking of depleted forests and woodlands to counteract the effects of deforestation. Reforestation rebuilds ecosystems and animal habitats, mitigates pollution and global warming, replenishes soil nutrients, stops erosion, and provides timber for industrial and commercial use. Organizations involved in reforestation projects also use local labor to plant new trees, creating jobs and improving the quality of life of local communities.
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  • Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of recycling metals?

    A: The advantages of recycling metals are that it is landfill-friendly, environmentally conservative and a bolster to the economy. The disadvantages of recycling metals are uncertain results, job requirements and toxic byproducts. Though recycling is a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional waste management, it is still an imperfect process.
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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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  • Q: What is the purpose of prairie restoration?

    A: Prairie restoration is an ecological way of restoring prairie land that disappeared because of farming, industry and commerce. The purpose of restoring prairie land is to conserve and enrich the Earth’s top soil. Prairie restoration also prevents erosion and allows the soil to absorb excess water from heavy rainfalls.
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  • Q: How long should 100 gallons of propane last?

    A: Propane usage depends on the nature of use, such as appliances, furnaces and fireplaces, as well as the climate. Each gallon of propane provides 91,547 British thermal units, or BTUs. Appliances can vary a great deal from about 25,000 BTUs per hour to more than 400,000 BTU per hour.
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  • Q: What are some threats to savannas?

    A: Threats to savannas include mining, hunting and poaching. Wind-farm development is another major threat to the savannas as it destroys natural resources.
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  • Q: How should cardboard boxes be prepared for recycling?

    A: Before bringing cardboard boxes to a recycling center, all noncardboard packing materials should be removed, the box should be flattened or broken down and the cardboard should be dry and uncontaminated by food waste. Wet cardboard can clog the machinery that is used at recycling centers, and it should instead be trashed to prevent contamination of other pieces in the recycling load. Cardboard items that have absorbed food oils or grease, such as pizza boxes, should also be trashed rather than recycled.
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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 does LEED certification entail?

    A: Attaining LEED certification for a commercial building requires registering with the U.S. Green Building Council, applying for credits and working with the council for certification. Because there are several levels of LEED certification, organizations have the option of appealing decisions.
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  • What is the definition of non-biodegradable?

    Q: What is the definition of non-biodegradable?

    A: The term non-biodegradable describes substances that do not break down to a natural, environmentally safe condition over time by biological processes. In other words, non-biodegradable materials do not decay.
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  • Q: Can concrete be recycled?

    A: Concrete can be recycled by breaking up or crushing the concrete for use in other concrete applications. Recycled concrete uses include bulk fill, road construction, bank protection, filler in drainage structures and aggregates to produce new concrete.
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  • Q: What are some of the benefits of energy independence?

    A: Two of the benefits of energy independence are improved economic stability and increased national security. Energy independence makes the U.S. economy more stable since energy prices are unlikely to experience the extreme fluctuations seen when political unrest and unpredictable events occur in unstable energy-producing regions.
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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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