13 votes
Accepted

Which consumes more carbon dioxide: a fully grown forest or a newly planted one that is growing?

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

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 ...
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8 votes

How do I get rid of numerous small pieces of charcoal?

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 ...
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  • 2,734
7 votes
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What measures could be taken to decrease the air pollution in a big city?

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. ...
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  • 3,042
7 votes

Which consumes more carbon dioxide: a fully grown forest or a newly planted one that is growing?

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 ...
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7 votes
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Does 1 container ship really pollute as much as 50,000,000 cars?

It depends on how you define "pollution". Cargo ships use some of the dirtiest fuels available: bunker fuel is basically what's left over after you refine all the good stuff out of crude oil....
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  • 579
5 votes

Cleaner alternatives to gear and chain oils

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 ...
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  • 346
5 votes
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Does burning used motor oil to generate heat on-site have a lower impact than sending it for recycling?

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 ...
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5 votes
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Why refrigerant cooler is more popular than evaporative cooler?

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 ...
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  • 3,042
5 votes

Do electric cars create more particulate pollution than petrol cars?

Battery Weight Batteries are heavy - a Tesla 85kWh battery weighs 540kg. - VW Golf 55.7kWh battery weight 330kg you are looking at around 6kg per kWh. The main part of this argument is based on ...
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  • 647
5 votes
Accepted

Does oil spilled in backyard contaminate groundwater?

I question the blanket assertion of 1 liter of oil contaminating 1 million liters of water. That's 1 part per million. This article: https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/water-quality/...
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4 votes
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Is using copper for gutters and roofs a sustainable choice?

Availability in the long term You didn't include in your list a mention of how available copper will be in the future; this matters, for sustainability, because we can't afford to be using it for ...
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4 votes

What measures could be taken to decrease the air pollution in a big city?

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 ...
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  • 2,027
4 votes

Which tree consumes most carbon dioxide and poisonous gases?

Well, I know the question is more about outdoor plants (Trees) but I found a Wiki page on NASA's study about Indoor plants, which help remove toxic agents like benzene, ammonia etc. from air. NASA ...
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  • 161
4 votes

Which tree consumes most carbon dioxide and poisonous gases?

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 ...
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  • 51
4 votes

Dishwasher or paper plates: which are worse?

I'm not typically an answer-my-own-question kind of person, but this has been on the back of my mind for days. The challenge in answering this is that we do not have an apples-to-apples kind of ...
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4 votes

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

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 ...
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4 votes

Do electric cars create more particulate pollution than petrol cars?

No. Electric cars emit less particulates. Main sources of particulate emissions from transport are: brake wear tyre wear road wear and resuspension of road dust/soil exhaust Exhaust particulate ...
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  • 1,012
3 votes

Dealing with waste in countries without waste management infrastructure

I compost all organic material, with the exception of paper. I bury meat and animal bones bc it can attract other animals. I have been known to re-use cardboard as a one-season box garden. It may be ...
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3 votes

Small scale deployment of the ocean cleanup project

There is something that is moderately similar in use on the Thames - the difference being that it collects only floating rubbish, and does not extend to the riverbed: Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: ...
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  • 3,591
3 votes

From a sustainability perspective, what is a method by which a city can set priorities regarding pollution?

You ask a very open ended question. You could refine it somewhat by stating what you see as the pollutants and their problems. Decide on what your priorities are, and how you will make tradeoffs ...
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3 votes

What measures could be taken to decrease the air pollution in a big city?

This brochure of the European Environmental Bureau gives 12 good tips to reduce air pollution in a city. Here a summary and some extra information I added: Create Low Emission Zones (LEZ): charge or ...
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  • 179
3 votes

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

There are a couple of errors in your question. Firstly regarding environmental damage in pre-industrial times, in the Middle East they ran out of trees over two thousand years ago and had to import ...
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3 votes

How to prevent pollution caused by a taxi rank? Is there a solution to the 'edging forward' cost of cars in a queue?

Have the taxis (*) fill two or more lanes (| |) leading to the station, with one ready to pick up the next passenger (:)) coming out. |*|*| |*|*| |*|*| |*|*| :) * Once that cab ...
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3 votes

How to prevent pollution caused by a taxi rank? Is there a solution to the 'edging forward' cost of cars in a queue?

A variant of the system suggested by @LShaver, would be to use the numbered ticket system sometimes found in supermarket deli counters. Each arriving taxi takes a sequentially numbered ticket (which ...
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  • 763
3 votes

How to design a taxi rank to charge electric vehicles whilst waiting for fares?

You could have a number of electric charging booths dedicated to taxis which consist of a parking space and an electrical charging point. We allow a maximum of 3 taxis to wait directly outside the ...
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  • 647
3 votes
Accepted

Motor oil and environment

Here is a document from the National Park Service which summarizes a lot of information about environmental effects of used motor oil. It includes references to many other papers. The primary ...
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  • 294
2 votes

Are The Great Lakes Getting Cleaner or Worse?

This is more like a comment than an answer, but I have insufficient rep to comment. I think the short answer is that we lack the data to say for certain. And it definitely does depend on what ...
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