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7
votes
3answers
353 views

One single person's equal share in the world's resources

This question has been intriguing me quite some time. While regulating my own consumption of the world's resources, I keep on wondering: With the current world population, what would be each single ...
7
votes
1answer
304 views

Sustainability of waste incineration vs biofuel/biogas?

Should I encourage my neighbors to send their food waste to a biogas plant instead of the current incineration facility? I have Googled around and it does not seem like it is clear that it is better ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

Is the Air Conditioner water clean and hygienic if I want to collect and reuse the water?

I'm actually unaware about how an Air Conditioner (A/C) works. In our office, our A/C's residue (?) pipe is coming out to the toilet floor, and when the A/C is used there tiny droplets come out ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

Would it be possible to process bamboo for fabric at home?

I have been using bamboo socks and t-shirts, and I have read online about the fact that two main disadvantages of the industrial production of bamboo are: 1) Some companies process the bamboo ...
6
votes
3answers
175 views

For the exactly same income, does a person pollute more when living in a big city or in a small town?

I had a recent argument with a coworker (we are both engineers) that the amount of pollution generated by a person increases with the person's income (we both agreed on that)... but my coworker ...
6
votes
1answer
644 views

Types and quantities of air pollutants by fuel, per kWh, for electricity generation?

An often repeated claim is that transitioning from coal to natural gas reduces air pollution... but what pollutants? and by how much? how is the potential reduction calculated? While natural gas (...
6
votes
2answers
189 views

Recycling paper at home

What are, in your opinion or according to your direct experience, the easiest and most convenient way to recycle and re-use paper at home?
6
votes
3answers
113 views

How does cold weather affect electric vehicles?

I live in Madison, Wisconsin, US where our winters are cold -- for January and February, the average low is around -10C, with extremes regularly dipping below -20C. I currently have a 20-year old car....
6
votes
2answers
125 views

How much of a reduction of carbon emissions can be achieved if a diesel bus is switched out for electric?

My city council has pledged to try and be carbon neutral by 2030 as part of the Global Covenant of Mayors and are investigating ways to achieve that. I'd like to bring forth an idea to replace our ...
6
votes
2answers
216 views

How much could the US reduce its electricity demand if people moved from Texas back to Ohio?

I have a theory that I am trying to develop empirical support for. I believe that the migration of people from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt has caused an increase in overall electricity usage and ...
6
votes
1answer
122 views

How does transportation cost depend on food?

Given that two foods requiring refrigeration have the same weight and volume and are being shipped from one location to another via the same method, how does the environmental impact of that ...
6
votes
1answer
399 views

Solar UPS with Priority of Power Sources

I would like to add solar to my energy mix. For context, my grid supply is unstable. Currently I have a UPS which switches to Batteries when grid goes down. I have been researching products which can ...
5
votes
4answers
636 views

What will be the effect of PET-eating bacteria in society?

In a very recent paper scientists talk about the discovery of a bacterium ("Ideonella sakaiensis") which can "eat" PET, one of the most common types of plastic. I was wondering what effect this ...
5
votes
1answer
916 views

What are the five most widely used consumer products made of recycled plastic?

By most widely used I mean in terms of sales annually (worldwide). With consumer products I follow the definition found on the BusinessDictionary, referring to merchandise or other item of common or ...
5
votes
2answers
88 views

Sustainability of wood pellet sources for biomass boiler

We're considering a biomass boiler for our guesthouse (1820 vintage with corresponding energy issues). The opportunity to reduce gas usage and the economics of the RHI scheme in the UK (a sort-of ...
5
votes
1answer
619 views

Does a building need an equator-facing roof to take advantage of Solar PV systems?

Does a building need an equator-facing roof to take advantage of Solar PV systems? That is, in the Northern hemisphere, do I need a south-facing roof? And, conversely, in the Southern hemisphere, do I ...
5
votes
4answers
165 views

Will bitcoin help us to decentralise our communities and help us live a more sustainably

From a little bit of research on bitcoin, I have discovered that they remove the centralised middle man from individuals transactions ie. a Bank, PayPal, ect.. and make it easier to transfer money ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

What is palm oil mostly used for?

What percentage of total world production of palm oil is used for fuel, and what is used for food and cosmetics? I am asking this because there seems to be more awareness in the media of palm oil use ...
4
votes
3answers
257 views

Is interest sustainable? [closed]

Organisations such as JAK and Rentevrij argue that economic interest is fundamentally unsustainable, because it requires perpetual exponential economic growth, something impossible in a finite ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

I'm in England, and want to move to a time-of-use electricity tariff, how do I get an appropriate meter fitted?

I'm in England, and currently on a single-price electricity tariff, that's measured by a (very) old-style electricity meter (mine says "property of Eastern Electricity Board" on it, so it's well over ...
3
votes
3answers
278 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
80 views

Is there a “break even point” or life cycle analysis directory or calculator that's kept up to date?

I've seen plenty of one-time calculations dedicated to one specific thing (usually plastic vs metal straws, or reusable vs disposable cups) but don't know of any organizations or even blogs that ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

How can we all together clean up the vast plastic carpets in our oceans? [closed]

It is mind-boggling to me that there is still so much plastic out in our oceans, floating around for years and ever growing and nothing is being done about it. Governments should work together, ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Hyper carbon accumulator(s) for backyards

I am curious, what people could do with a small piece of land like their home backyard (say originally it is a regular lawn smaller than 20m^2, in temperate continental climate (so pretty harsh)) to ...
2
votes
1answer
763 views

How much energy does it take to store 1 Terabyte of data in the cloud?

Some time ago I saw a documentary/infotainment program on television where they said that on average storing 1TB of data in the cloud costs 41 kWh of electricity per year. There was no further ...
2
votes
0answers
72 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, ...
21
votes
5answers
251 views

Does a compost pile for food scraps need some kind of starter material?

When starting a compost pile from scratch for kitchen food scraps, do I need some kind of starter material? For example, should I take any material from an established composting pile to seed it with ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Does waste in public recycle bins (almost) always get recycled?

Dumping recyclable cups (when you forgot your own, or it's dirty) in the public recycle bins seems like an easy decision. But, I've noticed that the recycle bins at places like Starbucks are ...
17
votes
2answers
260 views

Are Tetra Pak tomatoes more sustainable than tinned?

Lots of UK supermarkets have recently started selling chopped tomatoes in Tetra Paks, rather than the tins they were always in. My first thought was that this was environmentally bad - given recycling ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Are incandescent light bulbs recyclable?

Can standard incandescent (i.e., non-energy-efficient) light bulbs be recycled? If so, what is the best way to recycle them?
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Shall I boil water with a water boiler (cooker) or with a pot?

I know that when making tea it uses less energy when heating the water when using a water boiler(cooker), than when using an electrical plate. A water boiler is directly heating the water, while a ...
15
votes
2answers
318 views

Should I replace existing inefficient light bulbs?

Similar to this question (except that's about cars), if I can buy more efficient light bulbs than the ones I'm using right now, should I? Or is it better to wait until my current light bulbs expire, ...
15
votes
1answer
485 views

How can I use my balcony compost during winter?

My balcony compost tends to freeze and stop working during winter time because I live in Quebec and we get an average of -13°C. Is there anything I can do to prolong my composting season?
15
votes
1answer
393 views

What percentage of plastic drinking bottles is recycled after use, worldwide?

I often hear that, although plastic bottles can be recycled quite efficiently, only a percentage of them gets effectively recycled. I have heard about shipments to Africa to pile them up without a ...
15
votes
5answers
6k views

Can you recycle single serve coffee pods like K-Cups?

Are they recyclable at all? can you pull them apart and recycle parts of them? Are there recyclable alternatives? Many offices including mine are using these to brew coffee in the USA. I personally ...
14
votes
1answer
13k views

How to recycle paper with ink on it?

In my work and study, I have a lot of printouts - many of which re drafts and redrafts. Is there are a way to recycle printed paper (standard printer paper) without using harsh chemicals and minimal ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

How many times do you need to use a cheap re-usable bag to offset its impact?

An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal argues that many re-usable grocery bags are made using more oil than old-fashioned "single-use" plastic grocery bags. This makes sense, as quite a bit more ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

How to get rid of greenfly in roses and grapes without toxic chemicals?

We lost all our roses last summer, due to greenfly. The only solution we have so far found was highly toxic. Are the more sustainable alternatives?
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “reduce reuse recycle” actually mean?

What does the slogan/sticker "reduce reuse recycle" mean? Some people seem to use it as a list of options, others as a hierarchy. But the symbol is of a cycle, so is the order really important?
12
votes
2answers
219 views

What's the most sustainable way of disposing with a used battery?

We are advised by our various governments that the most environmentally-friendly way to dispose of a battery is to give it in to a designated battery recycling plant. But could the process of doing ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

How to get rid of fruit fly infestation in worm composting bin?

My worm composting bin is infested with fruit flies. What can be done to get rid of the flies?
11
votes
1answer
211 views

How can I build an effective rotary composter?

I have a fenced in back yard and I am thinking about building a rotary composter. What is a good and proven design? (I would like it to be big enough for a 4 person house)
10
votes
1answer
545 views

Composting used white shredded paper

I happen to have a lot of white used paper (with black ink on it, either from a printer or a pen), and also a very wet compost bin (I guess it's because my soil is heavy clay and the drainage is quite ...
10
votes
1answer
187 views

Concrete vs asphalt: which is better in terms of sustainability?

According to this jolly article, concrete is just as recyclable as asphalt, easy to maintain, requires almost no maintenance, etc, when it comes to pavement. I realize the guys who wrote the article ...
10
votes
1answer
152 views

Solution To Cat Litter

I have a cat that is fixed and fully de-clawed. It is strictly an inside cat only and never goes outside. I buy regular cat litter from the store frequently. I would like to find an alternative. I ...
10
votes
9answers
15k views

What sustainable packaging can be used for meat in the freezer?

When my family purchases meat from the supermarket, it comes on a non-recyclable plastic foam tray with plastic cling wrap over the top. We can improve on this by purchasing meat elsewhere. However, ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

What species of mycorrhizal fungus do well with apple trees?

In Mycelium Running, Paul Stamets talks about inoculating seedlings with mycorrhizal funguses. He shows a side by side of young Maple saplings, one with and one with out showing the immense ...
9
votes
1answer
416 views

How much of the emitted CO2 is human caused

Looking at the atmospheric CO2 concentration measurements, e.g. from Mauna Loa, the table there says that the increase of CO2 concentration in the year 2012 was 2.66 ppm/yr. How many percent of this ...
9
votes
1answer
704 views

How much is the world population expected to grow in the next decades?

What does science say about the expected growth of the human population in the next decades?
9
votes
2answers
164 views

Compost yourself or let the city handle the organic waste?

From a sustainability perspective. Is it better to let the city handle the organic waste or compost yourself locally when possible? I'd suspect city's larger scale organic waste management facilities ...

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