All Questions

5
votes
1answer
100 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)...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

Why do some people say that biofuels are renewable energy source if producing biofuels requires nitrogen fertilizers?

Why do some people say that biofuels are renewable energy source if producing biofuels requires nitrogen fertilizers that are produced from natural gas (and energy output of biofuels is less than that ...
3
votes
4answers
227 views

Are trees more productive than wind turbines?

Tree farm assumptions: 250,000 square meters (m2) tree farm A 1 ton tree contains 1 MWh of energy Each tree takes 10 m2 of space Total energy for this farm is thus 25 GWh Wind farm assumptions: 5 ...
29
votes
8answers
9k views

How do I find an eco-friendly laptop?

I am looking to replace my laptop. Being in a conscious path of my own, I want to choose a laptop which is a product of good and sustainable procedures. I am saying good because most popular brands ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

If water gets on solar panel connector from cleaning or rain will it cause problems?

I have a solar array with 8 panels. There is a slight gap between each panel. At 2 locations string MC4 connectors are placed between the gaps. My question is if water gets on this connector (and not ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

What is the minimum indoor CO2 concentration that is achievable using houseplants?

CO2 concentration is linked to health risks and even our ability to think well. Meanwhile, houseplants decrease CO2 concentration when they receive enough sunlight. However, both houseplant studies ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

What is the energy payback time of portable solar panels, in hours?

I'm interested in knowing the typical energy pay-back time of a solar photovoltaic panel, in terms of hours operating under an ideal scenario. Energy pay-back time (EPBT) is usually quoted in terms ...
2
votes
2answers
429 views

How to dispose of coated paper take-out container

I have a paper-based take-out container from a restaurant take-home meal: The inside is lined with some waterproof coating. I can't tell if it is wax or plastic. "Please recycle this container", it ...
1
vote
1answer
16 views

What is the typical embodied energy of a solar photovoltaic panel?

What is the typical embodied energy of a solar photovoltaic panel, in terms of nominal power output or panel area? The ideal answer would be in kWh/WP, but kWh/m2 would also be acceptable. I ...
8
votes
2answers
192 views

Working in Information Technology at sustainable companies

Which are the companies fighting the good fight when it comes to sustainability, that have a large IT branch? I know about Tesla Motors, and I know that many NGOs also have IT needs, but I've yet ...
10
votes
5answers
6k views

Domestic flywheel energy storage: how close are we?

I've done some web searches, but I don't see anything very current on how close we are to having a home energy storage flywheel system that's comparable in price and performance to a battery system. ...
29
votes
5answers
954 views

Estimating the cost of solar panels and return time?

I'm interested in installing a solar array on my property, and am trying to find tools that can help me do a cost analysis so I can optimize my budget and see how long it will take to balance the ...
-1
votes
0answers
20 views

cider vinegar does it keep gnats flies away

i have out a glass jar of apple cider vinegar and they still come how do i keep the pests out and away. this only attracts them and some get into the compost even sticky traps are the same some still ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Leak proof water bottles?

I'm trying to find a leak-proof reusable water bottle and have had a lot of difficulty with this task. So far, the best I've been able to do as far as strictly the leak-proof issue is a Nalgeen water ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Recycling : paper, plastic or aluminum, which one to choose, if only one?

Supposing I can focus only on one type of material to recycle, choosing from paper (card board etc), aluminum (can etc) or plastic (water bottle etc), then which choice of material will help the ...
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Most sustainable type of cream container?

The grocery co-op where I shop offers local, organic cream from three different farms, which use three different types of recyclable containers (all roughly the same volume): Mini version of clear ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

With current technology, how much CO2 is emitted when making renewable power plants?

In order to make a solar panel or a wind turbine, a few basic inputs are required: labor energy water raw materials Given the current abundance of renewable resources, I assume that the first three ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

How to make extracts and fragrances from fragrant plants like Sage

I'm looking to try using more natural products/solutions in our day to day life and some things that I am considering are fragrances, soaps and essences (food). I have read that Sage plants are edible ...
4
votes
1answer
54 views

Plastic incineration vs discarding considerations

Firstly, let me say, I am not pro-either. I just hear about people trying to save the environment (and putting an end to bad municipal 'dump site' behaviour) by rather burning their trash. This is ...
13
votes
2answers
442 views

How difficult is it to build your own dry, self-composting toilet?

I live in the country and have space on the north-side of my house where it doesn't get too hot in the summer. I think this could be a good place to implant a water-less or dry toilet. I read here ...
-1
votes
0answers
35 views

Livestock production costs

Can anyone please point me to some resource that would detail land/energy/crops/cost requirements for raising livestock as opposed to raising crops? One staunch meat eater claims that if everyone ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Palm oil usage statistics

Can someone point me to a resource that would detail what is palm oil being used for, preferably with some % indicators? A staunch meat eater has been boldly proclaiming that being vegetarian or ...
30
votes
5answers
538 views

Reading on paper vs. screen

I was wondering if there are any numbers comparing the sustainability of reading conventional paper vs. reading on screens. Standard LCD screens emit light while you are reading. Power consumption ...
0
votes
3answers
51 views

Any succesful initiatives for packaging material reuse?

I find that we are having more and more things delivered as opposed to buying in stores. This winter a few cardboard boxes with 10kg of oranges, several books, and just this week a fridge. I was ...
2
votes
2answers
129 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

What information is lost when converting other air pollution into CO2e?

I'm struggling to explain the most important aspects of air pollution in a concise way. I understand CO2 is the biggest issue and long-term driver of global warming, but beyond that I'm lost. News ...
6
votes
3answers
175 views

Laptops vs desktops

I've often wondered whether it's more environmentally friendly to use a desktop or a laptop. To compare purely the electricity usage, I can of course calculate how long I leave my computer turned on, ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Objective Index of environmental impact of consumer goods and food

I often hear arguments from people around me, about the environmental impact of certain consumer behaviours like: eating meat using plastic bags travelling via car instead of plane and many others. ...
3
votes
2answers
34 views

Should the CO2 footprint of employment factor into purchasing decisions of consumer goods?

If my employer pays me £80 per day, and I can estimate the CO2 footprint of doing my job, compared not working, is around 15Kg CO2e. So my earnings have a footprint equivalent to 180g CO2e per £. (...
4
votes
1answer
37 views

Seaweed snacks without lots of packaging

My kids like seaweed snacks but there’s so much packaging. Alternatively I can buy crackers or raisins in large packages, reducing both the cost and packaging (plus if the package is cardboard it’s ...
4
votes
2answers
77 views

Is it possible to make homemade bone meal?

Like many people, we eat some meat, and the resulting bones need to be dealt with after the hens have finished cleaning them or they have been used for stock. I have been burying some bones but am ...
12
votes
4answers
555 views

What is the definition of “sustainable”?

An exchange in the comments on this question got me thinking: what is the standard definition for sustainable? Does it include such things as: Geographic extent Time frame Economics Other factors?
2
votes
2answers
83 views

Does a short-term shut down of a coal plant cause more CO2 emissions than keeping it running?

According to this article from Reuters, it takes up to eight hours for a coal plant to reach maximum generation. This means that four up to eight hours after it starts up, the plant is burning coal at ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

To what extent do CO2 emissions from motor vehicles vary?

Do the CO2 emissions from petrol / gas vehicles vary depending on driving style? Are emissions a function of the engine type or the fuel efficiency? If a motor car is rated at 105 g/km, but it is ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

How to sell shredded plastic in the UK?

I would like to purchase a shredding machine in order to shred plastic myself, I was wondering if there were any standards I'd need to watch out for and where I could find businesses willing to ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Are there examples of (more) sustainable scientific conferences?

Scientists frequently speak out about the dangers of climate change, and I'm sure there are many scientists who make concious choices for their own lives with a view towards sustainability. But are ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Uses for Sycamore tree bark?

I live near a number of parks which have very large Sycamore trees. In winter these trees naturally shed their bark. The bark tends to pile up at the bottom of the tree until, I assume, the park ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Will I damage batteries by charging them directly with solar outputs?

I recently picked up a few cheap, mini photovoltaics. I'm planning to wire three in parallel for a 2V, 900mA max output. I'm not well versed in battery mechanisms, and I was wondering if I would ...
4
votes
1answer
58 views

How to encourage people to sort waste properly

We have put a fair amount of effort into reducing the impact of our staff canteen in our office. One part of this is introducing separate food waste and recyclables bins. However many canteen users ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

Research on consumer behavior and waste management

I am teaching a class on waste management to students who are primarily environmental management masters students. For one of the sessions I plan to discuss the role of consumer/waste generator ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

I have got some lights for hydroponic growing, they run from the UK mains but have small clover shaped connectors - what are these called?

I just got a load of LED grow light tubes - they have mains connectors that use clover shaped plugs -- very much like a lot of laptop chargers use, but just a bit smaller. There is no label on the ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

What are the root and aboveground dimensions of a cotton plant at its largest?

I'm experimenting with optimal cotton growing techniques using the least amount of water required and plan on growing a cotton plant in simulated field conditions. That said, I need a large enough ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

With two 50W panels best to wire in series or parallel?

Charge controller (Renogy Wanderer 10A PWM) can handle the combined voltage when wired in series. From the spec sheet, it has a max PV input voltage of 50VDC. Panels connect to a charge controller ...
3
votes
4answers
125 views

Is there a scientific consensus whether lifestyle or amount of human population the biggest problem

When discussing with a colleague about ecology yesterday, we had agreed on the following premise : Before industrial age, world population was low, and the environment was not significantly damaged ...
1
vote
2answers
41 views

What are the concrete impact of not recycling textile?

Examples: CO2e emitted, harm to the ecosystem, resources depleted, cost to the economy, etc. Context: I have a piece of clothing that is broken that I want to get rid of, and I want to know if it's ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Can goats eat Australian pine ( Casuarina Equisetifolia )?

I have a lot oF Australian pine growing in my backyard and was wondering if it’s okay for goats to browse on the needles and pine cones?
23
votes
5answers
7k views

Why don't toilets use saltwater?

My question is in the header. It would seem to be a major environmental benefit if toilets used saltwater in stead of potable fresh water, right?
16
votes
9answers
28k views

What are the pros and cons of electric motors vs. internal combustion engines?

What are the pros and cons of electric motors, compared to internal combustion engines, from a sustainability perspective? Are electric motors better for the economy, more efficient, or more ...
2
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
194 views

How much CO2 is emitted after 1 hectare of woodland gets burnt in a wildfire?

Wildfires are getting more and more common due to dryer and hotter summer seasons. I'm interested in the impact of wildfires in terms of CO2 contribution in the atmosphere. I'd like to get a gross ...

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