When is Green Technology Most Useful?


It’s a term that’s being bandied about regularly these days, and if you want to be perceived asdoing your bit for the environment, it goes without saying that you must be interested in allthings green as well. Green technology is all the rage today – if you’re not going green, you’reviewed as a villain by many. However, no matter how much you invest in green technology, it isuseless if you don’t change habits that have been ingrained in you from childhood and over thecourse of your life. Green technology is useful only when:

You utilize it efficiently: If you’ve invested in a solar panel yet insist on using your oldwater heater, if you’ve installed energy efficient appliances yet hold on to your oldrefrigerator and stove because they’re still in good working condition, or if your home isnaturally insulated/aired yet you insist on using air conditioners and heating units, thenyou’re not using green technology efficiently. Green technology works only when youoptimize its use and minimize your overall energy usage.You minimize waste: There’re no significant gains to be realized when you replace allthe lights in your home with CFL bulbs, yet fail to switch them off when you don’t needto use them. Minimizing energy costs is all well and good, but it’s still a waste whenyou use energy unnecessarily, even if you’re expending just the minimum. So when youinvest in and install green technology, ensure that you don’t use much more energythan you need – shut your computer down when you’re not going to be using it for afew hours; remove charging units from the socket and switch off the main when you’redone charging your devices, and use the main switch to turn the TV off instead of justpointing your remote at it.You adopt greener habits: You may have just bought a hybrid car, but that doesn’tmean you have to drive it even to the store around the corner. Walk when you caninstead of taking your car, use the stairs even if your building is green and has energy-efficient elevators, avoid smoking to safeguard your health and the environment, andtry to minimize the effect of your carbon footprint as much as possible.


For green technology to be successful and sustainable, we have to change our way of life andadopt new habits, habits which may seem like drops in the ocean, but which have a significantrole to play in determining the future of our planet.

This guest post is contributed by Cathy Thomas, she writes on the topic of Computer Technician OnlineDegrees . She welcomes your comments at her email id: cathy83.thomas<@>gmail<.>com.

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Greenwashing

Everywhere we go recently it seems as though there is a brand new eco-friendly “green” versions of old products.  I have mentioned a few of these silly things like the 57 watt light bulb as a new energy efficient version of the 60 watt.

I have been coming across even more ludicrous examples, many of them outright lies.  Often you can see the absurdity just by looking at the contradictions in the advertising.  Phrases like “eco-friendly” and “contains mercury and lead” should not be on the same product.

I came across a good example the other day with a can of lithium grease.  The can is green of course and is pitched as a bio-based biodegradable lubricant.  If the warnings about calling poison control if ingested aren’t enough there is always the fact that Lithium is a metal and thus can not bio-degrade…ever.

This trend is a problem because in addition to claiming dangerous products are safe, overall the public believes things are changing for the better when in reality the packaging is just different. Consumers look around and things look like companies are being less wasteful but in the end it is just a marketing illusion.

Sky Farms

Sky farms – The new Green farm?

Sky farms are quite literally multilevel agricultural farms, much like
skyscrapers. These sky farms are springing up all over the world, and the
economics of sky farming are already showing positive results. Sky farming
is basically a form of hydroponic farming. It includes significant potential for
organic farming, and major improvements in water usage efficiency. Sky farms
to involve some logistics and infrastructure, notably provision of in-house water
management systems and electrical services, but these are actually far more
economic than traditional agricultural systems.

Sky farm basics

Sky farms are essentially high-rise buildings. They’re designed to achieve
maximum efficiency in the growth and harvesting of agricultural products of all
kinds.  They’ve already shown significant potential for commercial production.
Many growers are particularly interested in the fact that sky farms also provide
enclosed spaces, which naturally provide significant protection against the
elements, weeds, droughts and insect and fungal pests.

Sky farms and agricultural issues

Because sky farms provide a lot of vertical and cubic space, they can overcome
the limitations of the “two-dimensional” traditional farming environment. It’s
possible that the sky farms may be the solution to the increasing problems
of conflicting land use where urban land is displacing agricultural land and
agricultural land is destroying natural habitat and ecology.

The appalling condition of rural land around the world is a major issue
currently being raised at government and international levels regarding the
sustainability of future food production. Sky farms have the potential to
completely eliminate this problem. Theoretically they can grow more food in
far less space than traditional farming.

The economics of traditional rural land use can also be drastically improved by
sky farming. The fact is that it takes extraordinary amounts of water and soil to
produce basic agricultural products. That situation is definitely not sustainable,
and far more efficient means of food production are desperately required.

Because of the quasi-hydroponic nature of sky farming, water usage can be
improved by up to 200%. Soil degradation can be drastically decreased, due to
the fact that sky farm plants use significantly less soil in their growth media.

Organic growers concerned about the possibility of contamination and cross
pollination of their crops with genetically modified organisms have also
expressed interest in sky farms, which provide enclosed growing habitats for
their products. Sky farming could in fact be a particularly useful method of
ensuring agricultural and botanic genetic lines.

The future of sky farming

The big winners in sky farming will be farmers, consumers and the
environment. Sky farms have so far shown themselves to be very easy to
manage, logistically simpler to operate in terms of crop management, and to
have the potential for significant flexibility in choice of commercial crops.

It may be strange for a while for farmers when they realize that instead
of using a backhoe they’ll have to call an electrician, but the cost savings
and peace of mind may be the greatest breakthrough for farmers since the
Agricultural Revolution.

Sky farming is a very much more efficient, profitable approach to a serious
food supply situation which traditional commercial farming has so far shown
itself to be completely unable to address.

Clean water is good for your health

As you may or may not know a contributing factor to the fall of the Roman Empire was the widespread use of lead water pipes and eating utensils…

Reverse osmosis Water Filter by Blue Gold for Life

5092010

We sell a water filtration system that is amazing. It is a three stage reverse osmosis system that does a great job of taking out the poisons and minerals out of the water.  We actually tested the water against bottled water and found the filtered water to be cleaner in several cases.

This system is of great benefit particularly here in southern California because we live in a desert and have our water pumped in from far far away and it is infused with chemicals along the way to kill any serious bacteria.  The water is also very hard, causing mineral deposits to build up very quickly in water systems and also in our body’s own waste filtration systems.

Also bottled water is not a reliable or cost effective alternative.  According to the NRDC “An estimated 25% of bottled water is just tap water–sometimes further treated sometimes not”.  Plus think of the millions of tons of plastic used and discarded every year in bottling water.  We tend to also think that plastic bottles are inert and harmless when in fact water bottles release VOCs and other chemical as the soft plastic deteriorates.

How to install the system yoursel

Natural Gas to hydrates for transport and back to gas

A while back I wrote a post HERE and HERE on collecting natural gas hydrates from the sea floor.  I was not really in favor of the idea because of the possible/probable dangers.  For good or bad like drilling at 5000ft for oil, extracting these frozen naturals gasses is going to happen so might as well examine the effects..

One of the often cited problems with natural gas as an energy source is that they are hard to safety transport over long distances because of the volatile and hazardous properties of the fuels.  A proposed solution is to turn the fuel back into a solid by freezing and applying pressure like at the bottom of the ocean where fuels like methane are in a solid and thus more stable state.

My concern in using this method of freezing and unfreezing is how much energy will be needed to convert a gas like methane into a solid.  The melting point of methane is about -297 F(162.5C) so an extremely cold environment would be need to convert and keep methane as a solid.  The other problem is that natural gas is another limited resource so putting lots of energy into collecting it is not a good long term energy strategy.

However, just like coal and oil, we will take natural gas as long as we can get it and so having a viable fuel transportation strategy is an important development.

Free and Easy Recycling, Reuse it

Freecycling: How We Can All Save Items From Landfill

Although many people have never heard of the organization, Freecycle is one of the best ideas to come along in quite a while, especially for people who are doing their best to live frugally and save the Earth’s resources. Located at http://www.freecycle.org, this group encourages its members to share items they plan to discard with someone else rather than sending it to the dump. Any objects that still have some life left in them and are safe for use may be offered to the group through an email list. Each Freecycle group has one or more moderators who help with organization, administration, and enforcement of the rules.

Freecycle participants have been known to offer the following useful objects which can be easily restored to a useful state:

• Chairs, Couches and Loveseats

• Dining Room Tables, Coffee Tables and End Tables

• Bookcases and Desks

• Baby Furniture such as Changing Tables and Bureaus

• Beds and Mattresses

• Entertainment Centers

Because most people are considering throwing furniture away because it has been damaged in some way or is no longer stylish, these are minor issues for creative, crafty folks. Chairs, couches, and loveseats, for example, may be stained or torn, but some slipcovers can take care of these problems quickly and easily. As long as the furniture obtained through Freecycle is structurally intact, it can be as inviting when restored as new furnishings would be. Just think of how clean and modern these old cast-offs will look when covered in bright, cheerful stretch slipcovers!

Tables offered by Freecycle members may have some chips, water stains, scratched surfaces, or loose joints, but most can be handily repaired. Afterwards, a beautiful tablecloth can hide any lingering evidence of damage. If the problems are not severe, wooden furniture may be sanded down and repainted. Stenciling can also hide a multitude of problems and is a fun way to change the look of any table.

Bookcases and desks may be restored or distressed by adding more damage. If an antique look matches the décor of your room, just use an ice pick and hammer to add more damage. Follow this with a new coat of stain, and neighbors will swear that you paid a big price for an antique while you actually saved several trees from being destroyed and some space in the local landfill.

Freecycle is very careful about allowing its members to give away baby items, and different areas have a variety of rules. It is important to the members of this conscientious group that all items recycled have never been recalled or damaged in such a way as to sacrifice safety. It is possible, however, to pick up some great finds for a baby’s room. By adding a few decals or stickers, these can be cute and trendy.

Freecycle is certainly the organization for people wishing to do all they can to support recycling efforts. By working together, this group is making a real impact all over the world.

This was a guest post from Caroline Smith.

Savor your shrimp as it may be your last, Oil is the new seaweed

I have been wanting to write about the disaster in the Gulf Of Mexico but whenever I tried to learn about the impacts of the oil, the more irritated I got.

So now that I am in a more objective emotional state of mind I will try to asses the future term impacts.  This is just the start as ridiculous amounts of poison gasses liquid, and solids will be pumping into the ocean for several more months.

The oil we see washing ashore and being burnt up on top of the water is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak. What is coming out of the bottom of the gulf is a diverse mixture of petroleum with different densities and thus buoyancy.  The vast majority is under the surface mingling with the fishes and shrimp.

Dispersants makes even more oil go underwater but is necessary to protect the coastlines. Either way most of the oil will collect in The Gulf and then the ocean currants will take it around the world, first the North Atlantic, then the South Atlantic, and then on to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Pacific.

The politics surrounding this event are also very disconcerting. This was not a completely unanticipated event.  There has always been the possibility that offshore rigs can be compromised. It is unfortunate that is takes a real disaster to wake people up.

The best shrimp came from the Bayou but I believe those days may already be over.

The Mississippi Meets the oil

Geothermal energy waste into lithium batteries

Most geothermal energy plants inject water deep into the ground where the earth’s heat energy turns it into steam used to generate electricity.

The wastewater from this process is full of elements that are not abundant on the surface and that includes lithium.  Without going too far into battery technology lithium batteries last four times as long as conventional ones and can deliver a lot of energy quickly.  The latter feature is extremely useful for electronics and hybrid cars.  The 150 MPG cars you hear about are made with lithium-ion batteries.

This is a great example of a change needed at the demand level.  Energizer makes them but  the cost makes them a rare purchase despite the advantages.  A synergistic relationship between battery makers and geothermal energy producers is very important. The educated consumer will buy them but needs to realize that you get what you pay for and 99 cent batteries last only hours.

Supermodels for a good cause, 350.org

350.org

A friend of mine made this video and I think it is a good way to get people’s attention…clearly we need a new approach to get people to take climate change seriously.

The production was done very well and  Bill O’Reilly doesn’t like it so that’s a good sign.

General Electric doesn’t have a very high opinion of the consumer

GE,

I’m disappointed.

I work in a hardware store and we have three basic types of lightbulbs for general use,

Incandescent:  The original Thomas Edison invention, they use 3% of the electricity to produce light and the rest of the electricity produces heat.  Essentially it is a very small fire.

Compact Flourescent (the spiral bulbs) :   A smaller version of the long straight flourescent lights most frequently used in supermarkets, they use about half the electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent. Unfortunately they contain mercury and in a perfect world would be thrown out at a hazardous waste dump.

L.E.D (Light emitting Diode):  An old technology redone is our modern age, they can use 4 watts of electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent 60 watt.  They also last five times as long as anything else.  They cost way too much right now.

So to come up with an “energy efficient” bulb, GE reduced Edison’s 60 watt bulbs to 57  to respond to California’s demand that they waste less electricity.

light-bulb ge 75 watt

bravo

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