Sustainability

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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: 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: Why do we need to recycle plastics?

    A: Recycling plastic is important because this material is used in the manufacturing of a wide variety of products, and an incredible amount of unused plastic already exists. Energy conservation is also a concern as a significantly lesser amount of energy is used when recycling plastic compared to normal production.
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  • Q: What are some reusable everyday items?

    A: Some reusable everyday items are Clementine orange crates, old t-shirts, coffee cans and bottle caps. You can use Clementine orange crates to make shelving for storage or displaying small items. Sew old t-shirts together to make a memory quilt, and paint old coffee cans and use them as gift boxes. Fasten bottle caps together with heavy string to create a wind chime.
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  • What are the pros and cons of using solar panels?

    Q: What are the pros and cons of using solar panels?

    A: Some of the benefits of using solar panels for energy generation include the fact that solar energy is a renewable resource, the abundance of solar energy that reaches the earth and reduced electric costs. Negatives of using solar panels include the expense of installing solar panels, the costs of storing solar energy and limited access to solar energy at night or during overcast periods.
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  • Q: What are the pros and cons of desalination?

    A: The pros of desalination are increased clean drinking water and the preservation of freshwater supplies, which are limited. The cons of desalination are the high energy costs of the process, the relatively high capital cost of desalination plants, and the potential environmental damage of the brine created during desalination.
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  • Q: What are some solutions to prevent depletion of the ozone layer?

    A: Solutions to prevent depletion of the ozone layer involve banning the use of chemicals that cause ozone depletion, such as chlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons. National laws and international treaties help accelerate the control of ozone-depleting substances.
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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 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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  • 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 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 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: How many types of solar panels exist?

    A: There are four types of solar panels commonly used: single silicon, multi-silicon, BIPV and solar thermal panels. Each offers benefits and disadvantages.
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