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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  • 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 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 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 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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  • 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 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 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 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: 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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  • 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: 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 ocean thermal energy conversion?

    A: Ocean thermal energy conversion is a technology that captures energy from the ocean’s natural thermal gradient. The captured energy powers a turbine generator that produces electricity.
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  • Q: How is solar energy used today?

    A: Solar energy is used in a number of ways, such as powering homes, businesses, cities and cars. Solar energy is gaining more popularity because people are becoming more and more aware of its advantages as the technology improves and the price of fossil fuels increases.
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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 is FSC-certified paper?

    A: Forest Stewardship Council paper is certified to be composed of virgin tree fibers. The organization strives to promote responsible and sustainable forestry around the world. FSC-certified paper is manufactured with the environment in mind, and it sets certain standards before the appropriate label is allowed.
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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: 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 the LEED Green Building Rating System operate?

    A: When a building incorporates energy-efficient and other green designs into its architecture and consists of enough prerequisites and credits to earn points, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System certification works by providing independent, third-party verification of a building's high performance in key areas. Certification ratings include certified, silver, gold and platinum.
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  • Q: How do you recycle bronze?

    A: To recycle bronze, take bronze scrap metal to your local recycling center, where technicians can melt it in a smelter for reuse. Bronze can be recycled perpetually with no adverse effects on its composition. Bronze is a copper alloy and is widely recycled to produce secondary copper. Scrap bronze is collected from post-consumer waste, such as construction materials, demolition waste, end-of-life vehicles and electronic equipment. It is also collected from processing residues, such as drosses, fines and slag.
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