Sustainability

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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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  • 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 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 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 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 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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  • Q: Why is sustainability important?

    A: Sustainability is important because it ensures people have water and resources, and adopting its practices protects the environment and human health. The doctrine of sustainability aims to maintain the conditions in which nature and humans can survive by appropriately utilizing the natural components of the environment.
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  • Q: What are some good reasons to recycle?

    A: Reasons to recycle include reduced energy consumption, job creation, reduced pollution, economic growth and the conservation of natural resources. Reduced use of natural resources also results in greater preservation of wildlife habitats.
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  • Q: What are some global warming slogans?

    A: Global warming slogans are catchy ways of delivering messages about the environment. Common themes include reducing carbon use, using less-polluting forms of transportation, and leaving the Earth in a better state for future inhabitants.
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  • Q: What items are biodegradable?

    A: Any item that can be broken down into organic compounds by nature is considered biodegradable, including paper, fruits, vegetables and other food products. Generally speaking, all items listed as biodegradable must be mineral-based, animal-based or plant-based
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  • Q: Why should more renewable energy sources be used?

    A: Renewable energy sources should be used more because they are more reliable and have a substantially lower impact on the environment than nonrenewable energy sources. Common renewable energy sources include solar power, wind power, hydropower and geothermal power.
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  • Q: How do I determine the size of my water footprint?

    A: Calculate the size of your water footprint by recording all activities that directly or indirectly lead to water consumption. Use a reference table to convert different activities to cubic units of water usage a year. Alternatively, use a preset water footprint calculator, such as the one available from GRACE Communications Foundation, that completes the conversions automatically and calculates the final total.
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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 ethanol used?

    A: Ethanol is used in a wide range of household products including mouthwash and hairspray. It is most popularly known as the alcohol in alcoholic beverages. Ethanol is also increasingly being used as a fuel for transportation.
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  • What is the food chain in the tropical rainforest?

    Q: What is the food chain in the tropical rainforest?

    A: Although the species involved vary greatly, most tropical rainforest food chains follow the same general pattern of producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers and decomposers. These food chains all begin with green plants that manufacture their own food through the process of photosynthesis. Called producers, these green plants serve as food for primary consumers, also known as herbivores. Carnivores, or secondary consumers, eat the primary consumers. Organisms called decomposers consume the secondary consumers after they die, which recycles the nutrients back into the soil, where plants can use them to begin the cycle again.
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  • Q: What is a self-sustaining ecosystem?

    A: A self-sustaining ecosystem is an ecosystem that does not need to make any exchange or have contact with an outside or adjoining ecosystem. These are most commonly seen as bottle ecosystems or glass jar/dome ecosystems. These glass jar ecosystems are often given as gifts.
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  • Can you recycle books?

    Q: Can you recycle books?

    A: Books can be recycled; however, many recycling centers request hardcover book spines be removed beforehand. Contact local recycling centers for book-specific preparation requirements and restrictions.
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  • Q: Why are fossil fuels non-renewable?

    A: Fossil fuels are non-renewable because they take millions of years to form. Fossil fuels make up most sources of non-renewable energy, and they were created millions of years ago as a result of marine creatures decaying under immense pressure and heat.
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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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