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LCA is a method for quantifying the impacts of a product, process, or service over its entire supply chain. Carbon, energy and water footprinting are well-known subsets of LCA.

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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 ...
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0answers
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When should I get rid of a product and buy a new more efficient/useful version?

When should I get rid of a product and buy a new more efficient/useful version? The existing product works okay for its primary use case so I don't want to throw it away or recycle it and then spend ...
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2answers
154 views

More sustainable pick-me-up: can of coke or cup of tea/coffee?

Question: which has a greater embodied energy: a cup of tea/coffee or a can of Coke (or Pepsi, or other caffeinated soft drink) -- or maybe some other stimulating drink? I have made some estimates of ...
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Are renewables sustainable? [closed]

Wind and solar require steel, which is made with coal and/or natural gas to create using the Bessemer process, BOS, and other standard steelmaking practices. How do you get around this?
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1answer
766 views

What are the carbon emissions from the manufacture of the hybrid components of a Prius?

For simplicity, I will assume that the manufacture of a Prius is essentially the same process as that of a non-hybrid ICE, plus the extra environmental impact required for the hybrid components (...
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1answer
667 views

Environmental impact of using paper towels for hand drying

At work, I have noticed a staggering level of paper towel usage and it's disheartening to see it getting wasted, even though hand dryers are installed in all rest rooms. I plan to propose reducing the ...
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3answers
2k views

Are plastic cups more environmental friendly than ceramic mugs?

Many years ago I read that plastic cups, like this: are more environmental friendly than ceramic mugs, like this: This is rather counter-intuitive. If I remember correctly, I believe the argument ...
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1answer
55 views

What is life cycle assessment best used for?

What is the best use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)? Can it be used for eco-products? Can it be used for products like phones and computers?
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1answer
924 views

Which is the most sustainable type of pencil?

Which type of pencil is the most sustainable one? Wooden pencil Automatic (propelling) pencil/Clutch pencil The types I'm referring to: I've read related questions about comparing pens and ...
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1answer
708 views

What is the scrap value of wind renewables?

What is the scrap value of the materials in a typical wind turbine - the entire unit? Take a typical 1.5 MW turbine, just the raw material value, no labor or overhead cost. As I understand high ...
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2answers
482 views

What is more sustainable, using a mechanical pencil or a pen?

I was considering to use the same device for writing from now on and I was considering two alternatives: a mechanical pencil or some kind of refillable pen. Which of these two options is more ...
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1answer
924 views

Environmental impact of toner versus ink cartridges?

I'm trying to decide what type of printer to buy. I've read a number of posts on the web where people claim that laser printers are more durable than ink-jet printers. Some people say this is because ...
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3answers
733 views

Is an electric shaver more sustainable than water-based shaving ? And how to determine so for one's context?

I have tried both, a low-cost electric shaver and a medium-cost regular razor for water-based shaving. Water and Electricity, are both, equally important factors to be considered for sustainable ...
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1answer
65 views

Is there an “energy returned on materials invested” index for energy sources?

We already try to measure how much energy is invested (EROEI) in the production of energy, but I have a hard time finding numbers on the materials invested. For example: What is the total energy a ...
7
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1answer
75 views

What is the carbon footprint of energy transfer across power lines?

I've been doing some reading up on the full cycle carbon footprint of energy production and consumption, and realising there's a lot of aspects that are frequently overlooked. One of these I'm ...
7
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2answers
139 views

Whole-of-life impact of liquid soap vs solid bars of soap

My wife recently replaced the soap dish in our kitchen (and the soap on it) with a liquid soap dispenser. Within about a week, we've used about half the bottle of liquid soap, whereas solid bars of ...
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3answers
321 views

Best way to dry hands

In our office toilets at work we have paper towels and a hand dryer. Is it better for the environment to use the towels or the dryer?
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3answers
143 views

How do you identify what is sustainable without reverting to lists and other people's ideas?

This question is important because all too often we understand what is sustainable only if we are told. This approach demands marketing of ideas, and it takes time for ideas to disperse. I want to ...
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1answer
2k views

Are “eco-friendly” pens and pencils actually more sustainable than the conventional models?

There are a number of "eco-friendly" pens and pencils on the market advertising recycled content and other "green" features, but are they really as good as they look? Many standard wooden pencils use ...
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3answers
2k views

Which solar power technology has the highest energy return on investment (EROI aka EROEI)?

Which solar-electric technology had the highest EROEI? Energy Returned On (Energy) Invested, also known as EROI and as EROEI, has become something of a fashionable metric *but see footnote. It is ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Sustainability of LED production?

Not all LEDs are the same. Standard LEDs use various combinations of indium, gallium, arsenic, silicon, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and a couple other elements. Most of these need to be mined from the ...
6
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1answer
44 views

How to measure the embodied energy of a regulation. Is data available?

Is there sufficient data to measure the energy spent managing regulation on both sides (energy spent on compliance, enforcement, permit application processing, and the like)? Are there tools ...
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5answers
256 views

What are freely available tools or databases for Lifecycle Assesment?

Often, a Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) can be useful to judge the ecological and social impact of a product or procedure. What tools to produce an LCA are freely available? Especially of interest would ...
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4answers
118 views

Buying used or self-assembly furnitures when expecting to move frequently

Given the following conditions: One expects to have to move multiple times One would like to keep the furniture Is it possible to make a generalization as to which is more sustainable: Buying used ...
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2answers
72 views

When to buy new, when to keep the old?

How can I calculate if it makes sense from a resource-conservation perspective to purchase a new, more energy efficient appliance, and when it makes sense to use an old appliance until it is beyond ...
16
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1answer
138 views

Long-term sustainability concerns of compact flourescent vs incandescent light bulbs

There is a strong movement to push people away from using incandescent lightbulbs in favor of compact flourescent bulbs in order to save energy, but the pollution profiles of these bulbs are very ...
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5answers
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Which is more sustainable: aluminium can, plastic bottle or glass bottle?

I was wondering which drink container is the most sustainable one, when looking at the big picture (complete life cycle analysis). So far, I can see the few following points: Transport: plastic and ...
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2answers
64 views

Minimum amount of time to use a consumer electronic?

I have read that the total embodied energy cost of consumer electronics (e.g. computers, smart phones, digital cameras, etc.) identifies these devices as products of an unsustainable energy economy. ...
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1answer
395 views

Do small portable solar chargers generate more energy than it costs to produce them?

I know large solar panels generate more energy than is needed to manufacture them, but what about small portable solar chargers for mobile phone or radio? I've read somewhere that their efficiency is ...
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1answer
1k views

How to determine whether hybrid cars are really more sustainable than traditional cars?

I purchased a Prius many years ago, but many of my friends have put forth claims that the batteries are very toxic and thus I may in fact be creating more harm than good in using a hybrid and that ...