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 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • Q: How Do You Recycle Paper Books?

    A: Recycle paper books by depositing them at recycling centers or donating them to charitable organizations and libraries. Some centers may require you to remove the spines of hardcover books because of the stiff composition of the glue on the spine.
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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: Is Styrofoam Biodegradable?

    A: While many things eventually break down after a number of years, Styrofoam is one of the few things that does not biodegrade. Tinfoil also does not biodegrade, while aluminum cans take up to 250 years to completely break down, and sanitary pads last up to 800 years.
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  • Q: How Much Energy Does Recycling Aluminum Save?

    A: Aluminum recycling uses about 90 to 95 percent less energy than creating aluminum metal from bauxite ore. For example, the same energy required to produce a single can from ore produces about 20 cans through recycling.
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  • Q: How Do You Make Biodiesel at Home?

    A: Make biodiesel at home using vegetable oil, methanol and sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye. While biodiesel is not toxic, some of the inputs and intermediate products of biodiesel production are toxic or dangerous to handle. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including gloves, respirators and eye protection.
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  • Q: What Are Some Examples of Recyclable Plastics?

    A: Some examples of recyclable plastics include peanut butter jars, toys, milk bottles, plumbing material, food bags, medicine bottles, plastic cling wraps, stadium cups and syrup containers. Others include detergent bottles, margarine containers, garment bags and plastic bottle caps.
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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: How Is Solar Energy Gathered?

    A: As of 2015, there are two types of solar energy collection in common use. The first type of solar power uses photovoltaic cells to create energy by collecting light from the sun. The second type of solar energy focuses the light from a large area onto one point to boil a liquid.
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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: What Are Some Ways to Recycle a Television in Denver?

    A: Both the local Denver city government and the Blue Star Recyclers company offer electronics recycling in Denver and accept televisions as a part of their recycling programs. Recycling fees are charged by both the city and Blue Star Recyclers for most electronics, including televisions.
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  • Q: Why Is Recycling Important?

    A: Recycling is important for making the environment a cleaner place, conserving materials, saving energy and reducing the amount of garbage in landfills. One of the most important benefits of recycling is the impact it has on the Earth. Recycling different materials helps the environment by reducing the use of natural resources. For example, recycling paper goods reduces the number of trees cut down each year.
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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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  • 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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