Archive for Efficiency

Water Woes

With the recent floods in the United States, we can see that water prices, water shortages, and disaster flooding are problems being dealt with all around the international community. Currently countries like Bolivia, have failing water pipes and the water sector is being privatized which is driving prices for water. It is suggested that the United Nations pay for the upgrade of the water system. They are an international organization that specializes in helping countries that are in need. Multiple countries are a part of the U.N and they are mostly all developed countries. They have the obligation to chip in pay help out a country in need. The water pipes should all be fixed and even privatized like in United States. Because there is a shortage of water, first fixing pipes and allowing the Bolivian government to deal with it will allow for it to be a prosperous industry in the future. A shortage of water in Saudi Arabia will cause water wars in the Middle East that will spillover into the oil industry. This will affect investors and drive up oil costs as well as create conflict in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is a corner stone country that is integral to the international community. A shortage of water will affect the economy of the country because it is so heavily reliant on oil and with water wars, the country will eventually crumble. Humans don’t prepare for floods with urbanization because the soil from land is capable of absorbing the water, but building the streets will prevent that from happening. To reduce these effects, we can reduce urbanization, improve sewage/drainage systems, and prepare for flooding disasters.

-Nicholas Chan

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Renewable Portfolio Standards

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An RPS is a regulation or incentive that promotes the use of alternative energy such as wind, solar, geothermal, or biomass. The RPS system forces electricity and utility companies to produce usually 20% of their energy from renewable energy sources. Not only do companies gain profit from the 20% switch, but customers are happier as well as the environment for a small shift in a brighter future.

The use of private market implementation ensures success and efficiency that produces energy as the lowest possible price that competes with cheaper fossil fuels. The United States still trails behind large countries like Britain, Italy, and even Belgium. With the annual extensions of PTC’s or production tax credits, the RPS system is more reliable because its mandated and obligated nature forced upon electric companies.

Not only would the fossil fuel market be allowed to stay afloat ensuring strong relations with huge importers such as Russia and Saudi Arabia, but our world is bound to last a bit longer and the satisfaction of a greener energy source in our homes makes us not feel as bad when we flick on that light switch. Finally, the light bulb has lit up, a new idea and new found transition backed with potential and support.

-Nicholas Chan

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Aluminum is Greener than Plastic: The Evolution of the Water Bottle

When is the last time that you drank from a water bottle? When is the last time that you recycled a water bottle?

In today’s society, efficiency and cost-effectiveness has taken precedence over environmental concerns: a person would rather throw a plastic bottle into the trash than walk an extra ten feet to the nearest recycling bin.

According to a National Geographic Kids article on Feb. 14, 2008, approx. “for every six water bottles we use, only one makes it to the recycling bin. The rest are sent to landfills. Or, even worse, they end up as trash on the land and in rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Plastic bottles take many hundreds of years to disintegrate.”

So where is the disconnect? Why are people choosing to deliberately pollute the environment when they could simply recycle their bottles?

Because it is not convenient.

GreenBottle™, an aluminum water bottle corporation, is working to make environmentally-friendly acts coincide with “conveniency.” On their website, they provide excellent information on the importance of the green movement, and allow schools to raise funds for their programs through selling these environmentally-friendly bottles. Varying in shape, size, design, and even species (for humans and dogs!), these bottles are an perfect way to recycle, while having a mobile container of the drink you like.

– Cameron Clark

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When you were a child, you most likely heard your parents talk to you alot about cleaning up after yourself when you eat, play, or do anything that may be messy. Alot of officials haven’t been listening to their parents. In the age of rapid modernization and “Empire”, the aim of most countries is to gain hegemony or global influence through economical means. They choose to go about their goals by building more to strengthen their economies, but they find it unnecessary to analyze their methods and the effects of them. This is exact problem that Dubai finds itself in at the moment. While their skyline is one of the most beautiful of the middle eastern area, the ground is a whole different story. The challenge of water is evolving to much more than just a problem: due to the recent growth much of their water has been tainted by waste and unfortunately the water treatments plants in the area don’t have the energy to clean all of it up. To respond to this problem, Dubai has decided to increase its erudition in nuclear energy. This venture seeks to solve the problem of desalination, and the lack of energy for the new buildings. It’s necessary to clean up after yourself, and, in fact, plan out clean up before you begin your endeavor.

-Jesse Anyalebechi

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Clean Up After Yourself

When you were a child, you most likely heard your parents talk to you alot about cleaning up after yourself when you eat, play, or do anything that may be messy. Alot of officials haven’t been listening to their parents. In the age of rapid modernization and “Empire”, the aim of most countries is to gain hegemony or global influence through economical means. They choose to go about their goals by building more to strengthen their economies, but they find it unnecessary to analyze their methods and the effects of them. This is exact problem that Dubai finds itself in at the moment. While their skyline is one of the most beautiful of the middle eastern area, the ground is a whole different story. The challenge of water is evolving to much more than just a problem: due to the recent growth much of their water has been tainted by waste and unfortunately the water treatments plants in the area don’t have the energy to clean all of it up. To respond to this problem, Dubai has decided to increase its erudition in nuclear energy. This venture seeks to solve the problem of desalination, and the lack of energy for the new buildings. It’s necessary to clean up after yourself, and, in fact, plan out clean up before you begin your endeavor.

Jesse Anyalebechi

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Energy Incentives

So I’ve been hearing alot of stuff about incentives and what not for being more energy effecient. I don’t like this concept honestly, well it’s not that I don’t like the concept. It’s that I really dislike the assumptions that this concept is based from. An incentive is “something that incites or tends to incite to action or greater effort, as a reward offered for increased productivity.” There are two possible assumptions that could lead to energy incentives. One, people don’t give a rat’s ass about the environment and the only way they would is if they’d be gaining some sort of “instant” gratification (When I say instant I mean instant noodle type of instant, except on a larger scale, which, I guess, makes it even less instant. But anyway) The problem I have with this assumption is that it makes people look very very selfish and to be honest, I do think we are quite selfish but that doesn’t give us a reason to exemplify it. Two, smart incentives that are carefully planned out can help not only the environment but other things. I also agree with this, incentives like the ones for homeowners can help the housing market as well as the environment, because as people begin to buy houses and make them more energy effecient they increase the value of the homes, increase the sales of energy appliance creators, which can bring more jobs to the renewable energy industry, and help economy growth all together. So go buy a house and fill it with energy effecient lightbulbs. 🙂 The Earth, she is calling.

Jesse Anyalebechi

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Green Driving Tips

All of us that can drive love it; especially when you drive 100 mph down the street and riding down hills. But now that you are trying to go green, you don’t know exactly what you should do. But anyways here are some tips to green cargo green while driving your car:

  • Drive at 55mph. It might be painful, but you lose 10% fuel efficiency, so keep your speed down when you can.
  • If you stop your car for more than two minutes, you should turn your car off. It leads to fuel efficiency of 19%. An example would be if you are a parent or friend waiting for somebody to finish doing what they are doing at the school or work or whatever. Instead of waiting for 5 minutes with the car on, turn it off.
  • You should accelerate and hit the brakes at the next light so much. Accelerating less aggressively and slowing down moderately for stops can increase your fuel efficiency by over 30%.
  • Traffic lights are aimed for efficient traffic flow, so if you maintain a constant speed and will hit more green lights.
  • Change your plugs regularly, keep your engine tuned up, and your filters clean. Empty your car of any extra items you’ve been hauling around to lighten your load.
  • Find co-workers, friends or family to carpool with.
  • A tire’s roll resistance alone uses 20% of your fuel consumption. To save gas and drive smart, purchase quality, top of the line tires.  It may cost you more out of pocket but they will perform better and save you more in the long run.

You can also find ways that see if you’re wasting gas by installing a fuel saving application like MyMPG on your iPhone. If you have an iPhone it is good to install this application or others like it because it lets you know if you are wasting gas. Driving smart is really just common sense. If you really need to drive, then drive smart and save green. If you can walk, ride a bike, or use public transportation, do so. You’ll be helping the earth even more. Well until next time.

~Christine Umeh

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