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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • Where can I recycle postage stamps?

    Q: Where can I recycle postage stamps?

    A: When they are still attached to envelopes, used stamps are recycled with paper. They are placed in recycling bins or delivered to local recycling facilities.
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  • Q: What are some companies that buy cardboard for recycling?

    A: Some companies that buy cardboard for recycling include Used Cardboard Boxes, Box Cycle and Miller Recycling Corporation. Used Cardboard Boxes and Box Cycle are nationwide, while Miller Recycling Corporation focuses on the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
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  • Q: What are some important things to recycle?

    A: Some important things to recycle are aluminum, plastic bottles and glass. Appliances and other objects that contain steel are also important to recycle because recycling steel saves energy and conserves natural resources.
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  • How do you make a wind turbine at home?

    Q: How do you make a wind turbine at home?

    A: To build your own wind turbine for generating electricity, first longitudinally cut 2 to 3 feet of PVC pipe into three sections. Cut one of the sections at a 60 degree angle, and cut the other two at 150 degree angles. These sections form the turbine blades.
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  • Q: What are some ways to recycle electronics?

    A: Electronics can be recycled by dropping them off at a local recycling center, having larger electronics picked up or by bringing it back to the manufacturer. Reusing or selling electronics is also a form of recycling.
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  • Q: Is used solar equipment a reliable option?

    A: Buying used solar equipment can be a reliable and inexpensive option, but the buyer should make a physical inspection before purchasing. Solar panels should be free of obvious damage such as cracks and condensation under the glass.
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  • Q: What are the disadvantages of recycling?

    A: Recycling is a means of protecting and saving the environment. While it does have many benefits, there are several disadvantages of recycling. For one, recycling is not always cost-effective. In certain cases, more than one factory needs to be established to process reusable products.
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  • Q: How do dumps in Washington state deal with garbage?

    A: In Washington State, municipal or private haulers pick up residential waste and take it to a transfer station. Trash is compacted into bricks and placed in shipping containers. Train cars transport the shipping containers which eventually end up in landfills both in and out of state.
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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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  • Q: Where can you find a price guide for recycling aluminum can tabs?

    A: Price guides for recycling aluminum can tabs are located on scrap metal recycling websites such as ScrapMSC.com and MetalPrices.com. Prices fluctuate regularly based on the region and metal market values. Many scrap dealers pay less than the aluminum market value, since they have recycling expenses as well.
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  • Q: How can you find information on biomass energy?

    A: The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Energy Information Administration both offer information about biomass energy on their websites. On EPA.gov, visitors find information about biomass energy in A Student’s Guide to Global Climate Change section, while EIA.gov offers the information in its Energy Kids section.
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  • Q: What organizations offer free trees to the public?

    A: The Arbor Day Foundation, MillionTreesNYC and TreePhilly are some organizations that offer free trees to the public. Free tree programs are available in many major cities throughout the United States via the local or city government.
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  • Q: Why is scarcity an economic problem?

    A: Scarcity is one of 51 concepts identified by the National Council on Economic Education. Scarcity is an economic problem because one of the main factors that drives economics is the relationship in supply versus demand; if something is in demand and also in short supply, it is more scarce and therefore garners a higher price.
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