Sustainability

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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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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: 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: 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 Does Renewable Mean?

    A: If something is renewable, it is capable of being replaced through sound management practices or by natural ecological cycles. It is not used up like a finite resource.
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  • Q: What Is a Biodigester ?

    A: A biodigester is an anaerobic digestion system which breaks down organic waste including compost, manure or sewage waste. Biodigesters produce methane gas as a by-product of the decomposition process that can be used for fuel.
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  • Q: What Are Some Examples of a Self-Sufficient Home?

    A: Self-sufficient homes, such as HOUS.E+, do not rely on outside sources for water, energy or waste removal. Geothermal or solar energy and rainwater are often used as resources in self-sufficient homes.
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  • Q: Why Is Nuclear Power Good?

    A: Since nuclear energy does not depend on fossil fuels, it offers benefits including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fluctuating oil or gas prices. As of 2014, the worldwide fleet of nuclear reactors reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 2 billion metric tons each year.
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  • Q: What Are Some Pros and Cons of Using Nuclear Power?

    A: Nuclear power is a known energy source, it has low carbon dioxide emissions, and it is relatively low cost; however it still has an environmental impact, produces radioactive waste and has the potential for nuclear accidents. Another pro of using nuclear power is that it is considered a somewhat sustainable resource but the con being that the cost invested to build nuclear power plants could be focused towards wind, solar or geothermal energy sources.
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  • Q: What Are Some Ways Kids Can Help Conserve Energy?

    A: One way kids can conserve energy is by using appliances, such as dishwashers and dryers, during off-peak hours when energy rates are lower. Kids can also conserve energy by taking short showers rather than baths and by turning off lights when they leave a room.
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  • Q: Why Would You Want a Homemade Wind Generator?

    A: A benefit of a homemade wind generator is the ability to make one's own electricity. This is especially useful for remote locations, those wanting to save on electric bills, individuals wanting to live off-grid or people living in locations where the power frequently goes out.
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  • Q: How Does Recycling Save Money?

    A: Recycling saves money by reducing the costs of production during manufacturing through the use of already gathered raw materials. This reduction comes from reduced shipping costs, savings in disposal space and savings in the amount of energy required to mine or manufacture new raw materials for use.
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  • Q: What Are Some Free or Cost-Effective Ways to Recycle Alkaline Batteries?

    A: One free way to recycle alkaline batteries includes dropping them off at a household hazardous waste collection event hosted by cities and counties. Some cities also have dedicated household hazardous waste locations that accept alkaline batteries all year.
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