Americans generate more than 250 million tons of trash every year, which amounts to more than 1,600 pounds per person annually. We recycle or compost just over a third of it. Most of the rest goes to landfills, with all their environmental problems. What are alternatives to landfills?
Basically, we can either bury it or burn it. Nowadays, burning it means using waste-to-energy (WTE) technology. Continue reading →
Making your home more sustainable may seem an expensive and disruptive task. It doesn’t have to be. As Vincent Van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”.
And so it is with starting a sustainable home. Take what you have right now, and just . . . start.
It needn’t be complicated, as these five simple ideas will show you: Continue reading →
Contributed by Megan Ray Nichols
It’s no secret that the US military takes up a huge chunk of the federal budget. Its spending results in arguably the most technologically advanced military on the planet.
In this vein, the military has begun investigating ways to make its operations more sustainable and shrink its massive carbon footprint. No other green energy efforts have had this magnitude of resources before.
Why would the military want to invest in renewable energy Continue reading →
So you have strands of Christmas lights that don’t work anymore. Or maybe they’re so tangled you can’t put them up anywhere. Or maybe you’ve finally replaced your strings of large incandescent lights that use so much electricity. How do you dispose of Christmas lights you can’t use anymore?
Several years ago, I wrote a post on recycling Christmas lights. I had to take it down because so many of the links went dead. Much has changed since then, so it seems a good time to take another look. Continue reading →
Each year, Americans throw away 63 million tons of food. American households account for 27 million tons of it, or about 43% of the total. We eat more, and waste more, at Christmas and other holidays than at other times of the year.
I can remember when children were told to eat everything on their plates—think of the starving children in China! People have started to make fun of statements like that. But think of the starving children in your own community.
Do your TV stations conduct holiday food drives? Food waste is a major scandal worldwide. At a time when we focus so much attention on giving, it’s a shame to waste food while our neighbors have trouble getting enough. Continue reading →
Two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria, hit Puerto Rico in September 2017. It would be nearly impossible to restore Puerto Rico’s power grid to what it was before the storms. And undesirable. Puerto Rico needs an up-to-date electrical system that takes advantage of solar power and other renewable energy.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) managed to restore electric power to 70% of its customers the weekend after Irma’s visit.
Then came Maria, which destroyed most of the infrastructure Irma had left standing.
PREPA was already in trouble long before that disastrous September. Its mostly oil-fired power plants are, on average, twice as old as most American plants—44 years vs 18 years. Oil became so expensive that PREPA filed for bankruptcy in July 2017. It declared its infrastructure “degraded and unsafe.” Continue reading →