All Questions

2
votes
0answers
19 views

Solar cell phone charger a sustainable choice?

So I bought this handy and mobile solar charger for my cell phone. I wonder if it's a sustainable buy and looking for a report or similar that compares the production cost(carbon dioxide and resources)...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Are shopping options in the following order of low->high environmental impact: local shop > local franchise > local chain > online market?

"Buy local". But how local? Is the sequence of goodness: local shop > local franchise > local chain > online market? When an item needs to be bought new not used, I think of buying online as ...
3
votes
0answers
10 views

Wood vs. plastic vs. metal furniture and other items, is the wood product generally most environmentally friendly?

Consider a bed or a chair, one made of wood, another of plastic, another of metal. All else being kept similar between the materials to the extent feasible, is the wood product generally the most ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Are there currently any solar panels that are produced/built entirely with solar power/energy?

The closely related Are there types of solar panels that can be made completely locally and independent of fossil fuels? Suggests that it is possible to make solar cells without fossil fuels. I ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

Which is best for dealing with food waste — composting or a biogas digester?

Let's say I have the option to send my food scraps to either a composting site, or a biogas digester. Both are industrial scale, following best practices. The output from each is high quality and ...
2
votes
1answer
27 views

Does human activity result in a net increase or decrease in co2?

Human activities cause about 10% of total co2 emissions. However, humans cultivate about half of the earths land surface. These plants potentially cause photosynthesis and lower atmospheric co2. Do ...
2
votes
3answers
71 views

How big a garden to feed one person?

In know this will vary by soil and growing season. But say you have a 4-6 month growing season and there is farming in the area so soil must be OK. A small green house for like lettuce and herbs. ...
5
votes
0answers
33 views

UK - would there be any problem with keeping bees on a plot if the neighbours have horses

I am looking to get into beekeeping. I have a plot of land ~20x50m that I would like to put some hives on. There are multiple nearby fields with horses - minimum distance ~ 50m to nearest such field. ...
6
votes
3answers
58 views

How can ceramics be recycled?

How can ceramics be recycled? Does the answer vary greatly depending on glaze or other factors, and if so, how can those factors be determined (i.e. how can I tell if a glaze contains lead or not)? ...
3
votes
1answer
26 views

What can be used to power an incinerator that produces electricity?

What can and cannot be sent to an incinerator plant (Virginia) for producing electricity from heat? Can there be anything other than plastics, metals, and paper products in the bin?
2
votes
1answer
30 views

How can I easily tell which plastics are Biodegradable? [duplicate]

How can I easily tell which plastics are Biodegradable and which are not?
3
votes
1answer
23 views

Are foam netting sleeves recyclable?

I am wondering if foam netting sleeves that are often used to protect glass bottles in transport (see picture) can be recycled in a soft plastic stream? (like RedCycle in Australia)
2
votes
1answer
17 views

What percentage of waste food is turned into electricity and/or biogas?

Food waste is a big problem in the U.S. and (presumably) many other parts of the world as well. From Scientific American: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Loss Project, we ...
2
votes
2answers
37 views

What are the advantages of a purpose build Tiny House versus a RV trailer versus a Mobile Home?

I have a friend who has made a very nice mobile Tiny House. The reports I've read on the prices of these make them pretty dear. In many places for zoning reasons they have to still be nominally ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Which measure of solar irradiance is needed to calculate the energy output of PV systems?

According to "E = A * r * H * PR" global formula to estimate energy generated, the solar irradiance value is needed. I have Horizontal irradiance, Tilted irradiance, and Normal irradiance values but ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

Can an internal greenhouse improve the thermal resistance of a glass panel wall?

I've noticed that most thermally efficient constructions limit the use of windows due to glass' low R-value. According to this, one is forced to choose between well-lit spaces or thermally efficient ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

I throw compostable food into trash — how much harm do I cause?

I live in a city that doesn't have composting facilities that ordinary citizens like myself could easily use. Although I recycle most of the plastic, metal, glass and paper I lay my hands on, getting ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Life-cycle assessment of software products?

I'm a software engineer, and lately I've been thinking whether it's possible to delineate the environmental impact of a software product - say a web service, a website, an app for your phone, etc. It ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Carbon footprint of soy milk versus cow's milk

I am wondering about a specific carbon footprint comparison (i.e. total global warming potential per litre) between soy milk and cow's milk. This would of course depend on where and how they are ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

What is the environmental impact of recycling beverage containers, by material?

I just read the article "Oregon Launches First Statewide Refillable Bottle System In U.S.". Discussing the environmental impact of this system, the article says: Until that facility [in Portland, ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Why is recycling (or trash collection) not a government subsidized or ran project? [closed]

The government (specifically the US, and by governemnt I mean local, state, and federal) is responsible for many public works, social welfare programs, and public safety projects that span locally to ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

What are crisp packets made from?

What are crisp packets made from, specifically Tyrrells or Walkers. I am doing a school project on single use plastic crisp packets. I am finding it difficult to find information online.
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Is Polyacrylamide a material used to make microbeads?

I found a face scrub that states Polyacrylamide as an ingredient. Should I avoid it because Polyacrylamide is used to make the microbeads?
1
vote
1answer
133 views

How many Kilowatt hours of heat does a 4000 sq-feet McDonalds emit on a typical day?

If I recycle the waste heat emitted by a Mcdonald's, can a well-placed Mcdonald's take the place of a community heating boiler?
7
votes
1answer
60 views

Paper plates vs plastic plates in the landfill

I avoid using disposable plates as much as possible, but there are situations where that's not an option, such as at company events. And in those situations, I'm sometimes faced with deciding between ...
6
votes
0answers
26 views

Freezing Ice Pops Sustainably

When storing ice pops for retail customers, I need to package them in a freezer-safe ,clear wrapping. I would like for it to be compostable, but apparently the compostable cellophane options are not ...
14
votes
1answer
65 views

Reuse or “dollar vote”?

I'm a big fan of reusing and if I really need to buy something, I buy it used. For example, I've been using second hand or refurbished phones for many years. However, while that is good for the ...
2
votes
2answers
36 views

How do greenhouses affect pesticide use?

Is the environmental impact of pesticide use on greenhouse crops substantially different from the impact of pesticide use in open-air crops? I imagine that, at least in theory, a greenhouse should ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

How much increase in GHG emissions is caused by Amazon Prime?

From Wikipedia: Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service offered by Amazon that gives users access to free two-day delivery (one-day in some areas) [...] and other benefits for a monthly or ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Solar charging an e-bike's lithium battery while riding

I would like to know what parts I would need to charge a 36V lithium battery for an ebike? I want to charge the battery while riding the bike for greater range.
6
votes
1answer
26 views

Composting toilet v/s urine-diverting dry toilet (UDDT)

An UDDT seems to be the most environmentally friendly alternative, but for some contexts, a composting toilet might seem preferable (like rentals, or camping sites where people don't always remember ...
4
votes
3answers
70 views

Impact of ash from barbecue on compost heap

I wonder of the impact ash (probably combined with still existing coal) might have to compost. I know that coal is used to clean water and air. But does it improve compost or does it reduce activities ...
5
votes
4answers
94 views

Alternatives to bottled water in the UK

I live in Devon, and tap water in my household does not taste consistently. When I moved in my current property, the neighbours warned me that they had been buying bottled water since 20 years, ...
3
votes
2answers
46 views

Re-usable packaging options for cheese?

I have a vision for a model of grocery store that would buy food in bulk and package on-site into packaging which is 100% reusable or truly compostable (unlike many types of so-called "compostable ...
6
votes
0answers
61 views

Are any large restaurant chains pursuing better alternatives to recyclable packaging?

Yesterday Kraft Foods announced that by 2025 all of its packaging will be recyclable. (Note that while they include "reusable" and "compostable" in the announcement, they talk almost exclusively about ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

European energy production figures and graphs

I'm interested in the breakdown of energy production by individual EU country. For the EU I found this site, it's good, but it does not offer the kind of breakdown I'm interested in - I'd like to see ...
3
votes
2answers
37 views

What sort of pellet mill can be used for biofuels?

I'm thinking that it would be useful to have a pellet mill at home to turn biowaste into fuel pellets. It would be nice to turn sawdust and wood shavings into fuel pellets as well but that I think is ...
6
votes
2answers
137 views

What is an environmentally-conscious replacement for white yogurt?

I am looking for an environmentally conscious replacement for white yogurt. I do have a couple of ideas for foods that could work well, but I have very little clue if they are a better choice from the ...
5
votes
1answer
38 views

How to calculate the estimated production by solar PV panels?

I know what is the irradiance in my region, therefore I know what is the maximum expected production when the solar panels are placed optimally (interestingly, the two links provide different optimal ...
8
votes
1answer
64 views

What is the maximum sustainable population of the earth?

This question prompted by discussion regarding this answer to a question about vegetarianism. I recently came across a U.N. review of studies seeking to determine the earth's maximum sustainable ...
3
votes
2answers
100 views

Differences in efficiency between oven, toaster oven, and stove?

Wondering how efficient different cooking methods are (for the sake of example, assume a dish in a cast iron pot heated by stovetop vs. oven). Stove seems to use less energy than an oven (as the ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Which type of BBQ grill has less of an environmental footprint, charcoal or propane or what?

Of course buying used vs. new makes a big difference, but in any case, if one is set on purchasing a BBQ grill, is there less environmental impact in the production & use of a charcoal vs. a ...
6
votes
2answers
259 views

Can Earth sustain 100% vegetarian population

I'm not asking what will happen if everyone in the world suddenly turned to vegetarian. In an ideal world with current population, can everyone follow a vegetarian diet (except for people who may need ...
4
votes
0answers
51 views

A more useful metric for greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets?

A useful metric for vehicle efficiency is miles per gallon, kilometers per liter, or liters per 100 km. The amount of gasoline used by a given vehicle can easily be understood and compared. Energy ...
5
votes
2answers
82 views

Alternatives to concrete for a flat roof

I am from India and planning to build a house with as little cement, steel and sand as possible. I am looking to keep the temperature inside the home to be minimal since temperature will touch around ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

Why do island nations generate so much garbage?

THelper's excellent answer to the question "What is current best practice for setting up recycling?" includes a chart showing that New Zealand sends nearly 100% of its garbage to landfills. In a ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

How do I setup a relevant waste biodegradation experiment?

Every here and there I hear sayings like "plastic is bad, because it only degrades in hundreds/thousands/gazillion years, while paper is much better because it degrades fast" which are followed by ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Should storm windows be left open in the summer to reduce hothouse heat gain?

During the summer is it more desirable to have storm windows open, partially open, or closed? I have old wooden, single-pane windows with aluminum storm windows and I have installed energy film on ...
4
votes
1answer
30 views

Large-scale test data on LED, CFL, and incandescent brightness and longevity

A google search for "comparing LED, CFL, and, incandescent brightness" returns hundreds of charts showing what equivalent wattage of LEDs and CFLs are to match an incandescent bulb. This is fine for ...
4
votes
3answers
59 views

Any problem with storing compost in a sealed container for several weeks? Alternatives?

I live in a second floor apartment with a small balcony. In my kitchen I have a small vented container where I place kitchen scraps as I'm preparing food -- like this: About once a week when this ...

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