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25

I was curious about which trees absorb the most CO2 and Googled for this a while back. I found that there are several websites that list trees that are good in absorbing carbon, e.g. this website and this website. Both sites list trees like: Pine (Ponderosa, red, white and Hispaniolan pines) Oake (Scarlet, Red and Virginia Live Oak) Douglas fir Bald ...


19

Basic chemistry here. Plants consume carbon dioxide and water to produce glucose. They then polymerize the glucose to create cellulose. In general, the amount of biomass that a tree produces is dependent on its net carbon uptake. If all you are trying to do is ensure that you take some CO2 out of the air, you want to plant fast-growing trees, ideally ...


14

Behaviour can be sustainable and polluting at the same time, if these conditions are met (all examples taken from wastewater): The natural environment you are polluting is at all able to destroy the pollutants (usually, but not always, biological pathways): Taking a dump in a river may be okay, since your feces will be biodegradable. Other, industrial ...


12

There is a conflict of interest between gardening requirements and stormwater requirements: Stormwater barrels should be kept empty, garden barrels should be kept full. Though a rain barrel or tank could make a useful water retention device, it loses its value as a stormwater load-reduction mechanism when you retain the water for gardening or other ...


11

Linseed oil can be used for varnish. It is obtained by pressing seeds of the flax plant, which sounds more sustainable that anything petroleum-derived. Note: It's worth mentioning the safety aspect of using linseed oil. A pile of rags with linseed oil on can spontaneously combust, thanks to the linseed oil reacting with oxygen and producing heat that (...


10

Short Answer First of all, let me say that I love rain barrels, and have them installed at both homes I've owned (both older homes that are already fully landscaped). I think rain barrels are great water saving devices, and can provide some buffer against run-off. They're also cheap and easy to install, and can often repurpose existing containers. ...


10

Quick summary: The city and the country both have positives and negatives in pollution production... the data here suggests perhaps the urban core produces slightly less pollution (depending upon how you score follow-on effects)... But both areas fall far far short of the exurbs, where people combine the negatives of both the city and the country for ...


9

Dangers Most of plastic materials when burning in a conventional fire decompose to toxic substances which have bad health effect on many living organisms including humans. Many of the substances are carcinogenic. The dangerous substances are mainly: dioxins furans styrenes some plastics can produce extremely and acutely toxic hydrogen cyanide carbon ...


8

Trees absorb carbon dioxide to grow and build biomass. If you want to absorb much CO2 you need a tree that grows fast at your local conditions - consult with your gardener about that. Note that this will not solve problems with other pollutants, and will only put a rather symbolic dent into wordwide CO2 emissions.


7

Part of the problem here is what you call "clean." I am in the camp that says "there's no such thing as clean coal technology." I would however like to explain what the problem and disagreement is. Clean coal technology usually refers to technology to convert coal into heat or electricity in such a way that carbon dioxide can be captured and no coal tar ...


7

"No" is a pretty safe answer in general to the question "Can a behaviour be polluting while still being sustainable?", just from any reasonable definitions of "pollution" and "sustainable". But let's look at some corner cases. For example, broadly speaking, CO2 is both a local and a global pollutant. But. If anthropogenic CO2 emissions were only 1-2% of ...


7

You should not burn plastic. Besides the environmental impact, you're wasting resources. You should recycle plastic - here is how that's done: 1. The plastic is sorted Sorting and grouping plastic materials according to resin type is an important first step in the recycling process because contamination can render a batch of material un-reusable. The ...


7

CO2 Don't have time to fully address this now, but here's an interesting plot of results from Boston, USA: As you can see from this graph, CO2 levels can vary quite a bit over time simply within one city. You can see a seasonal amplitude of +/- ~12 ppm that's due to plant photosynthesis speeding up (reducing CO2) in summer, and slowing down (allowing ...


7

To encourage people to not use of purchase cars develop a public transportation system that is easily accessible by the to public and caters to the needs of the public so that people will use it. Additionally, the energy source for the public transport system must be electricity. Anything that is combustible, even bio fuels, will maintain a certain level of ...


7

You are talking about black gold that has a value of AU$40 per 25 litre bag in my area. I would suggest either selling it or putting it back into the soil. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar for uses of charcoal as a soil amendment. You can collect (cool) charcoal in a plastic bag until you have a volume worth doing something serious with. Because ...


7

A forest of old trees sequesters more carbon per year than a forest with the same quantity of young trees. When I first saw this question I thought I knew the answer -- trees grow faster when they're young, therefore they sequester carbon at a higher rate. When I went looking for the data to back this up, I found that this is still a somewhat controversial ...


6

I know that in the past PBDEs were used as flame retardant in all kinds of products like clothing, computer monitor casings, couches, but also in foam mattrasses, including memory foam. I suspect manufacturers stopped using them after it became known that PBDEs accumulate in human bodies and may cause cancer. Also, PBDEs have been banned in the EU in 2004 ...


6

"To compare purely the electricity usage ... Desktops are clearly worse for the environment in this respect." — That certainly used to be the case, and still often is, but only because people buy/build systems that are overpowered. In 2019 it is possible to build a 'serious' desktop system that consumes very little power — provided you don't play the sort ...


5

This has become too long for a comment. One can imagine a similar question like this: "Heffingbourne has a problem with all sorts of rubbish being disposed in lakes, forests and the town centre. How can we solve this problem sustainably?" I think the question has very little to do with sustainability. Answers to this hypothetical question are of course "...


5

Commercial/ Factory designs have been replacing the power transmission of "lubricated chains" and "gear mechanisms" with high performance "Timing Belts" made of special polymer composited with steel fibre etc. One of our family was extensively involved in such redesigns/ solutions in all possible industries beyond automotive that you can think of (hydro ...


5

The factory will pollute much more than can be undone by planting trees (up to a reasonable number). Any approach that reduces the pollution of the factory will be more effective than planting trees as counter-measure. It is true, however, that, say, a forest around the factory would help clean the air and absorb much of the pollution, so that planting ...


5

There are two issues with used motor oil. One is that PCAH forms Thats Poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Benzene like rings with odds and ends attached. Many are biologically active, some are carcinogenic. If burned at high temp, with sufficient oxygen, they aren't a problem. Incompletely burned they are serious problems. The second issue are the very ...


5

You have to also consider the climate where each type of cooler will be used and how each type of cooler works. Refrigeration coolers transfer heat from inside a building to the outside. However, the hotter the outside temperature the less effectively such coolers work. If the outside/atmospheric temperature is 50 C or higher, such coolers will struggle. ...


5

Prevalence of garbage in the oceans A recent study in Nature Scientific Reports finds that the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" is massive, and keeps growing. From the article, "Evidence that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is rapidly accumulating plastic" (emphasis added): Our model, calibrated with data from multi-vessel and aircraft surveys, predicted at ...


5

As LShaver writes, larger trees sequester more carbon than smaller trees, but only if they are still growing. In a "fully-grown" forest (as per the title) that process has ended — decay and regrowth are in equilibrium. Fully-grown forests are carbon-neutral. All of them. The Amazon rainforest — all 5,500,000km² of it — is carbon neutral. If you plant a ...


4

Plant bamboo. Its also an excellent biofuel. Pines and evergreens collect pollutants on their leaves/spines/firs but are unable to drop them and assist in decomposition. this is why the bottom of a pine forest is always devoid of other plants. Bamboo is an excellent "growth" plant in terms of CO2 absorption as well as allowing pollutants to biodegrade within ...


4

I think pollution is part of the "cycle of life", so to speak. What is unsustainable is unmanageable amounts of pollutants.


4

If you just changed the oil, ground cork or sawdust works well. If the oil has been sitting there then try distilled white vinegar with baking soda. Take a shop broom or large brush with hard bristles and put some muscle into it. It may take a few rounds.


4

First of all you are picking up pennies while the world is burning bills. The amount of oil from your chain is small even compared to the amount of oil that comes out of your exhaust, which in turn is small compared to the unburned hydrocarbons from the gasoline, which in turn is small compared to what everyone in their SUV's are releasing. You are already ...


4

Plant a lot of trees -- assuming you mean partciulate pollution: See for example Estimating the removal of atmospheric particulate pollution by the urban tree canopy of London, under current and future environments, Tallis et al. 2011


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