Why Go Green? For a Better Future
It is easy to become overwhelmed by all this talk and rhetoric of going green but one can still make a positive impact on the economy and even in their own homes. The problem with the economy today is that it is in a financial crisis. Finances are plumeting, the world is in a recession and it has caused waves of doubt. “Indeed, in 2008 the promise of jobs may be a stronger incentive to go green than the threat of ice caps melting and coastal cities drowning in 2018 or 2048.
In the euro zone, for instance, unemployment is expected to rise from 11.3 million to 14.5 million by the end of next year, pushing the rate up from 7.5 to 9 percent. In the U.S. the rate is 6.1 percent, but is expected to push toward 8 percent by the end of 2009, the highest in 25 years” (Dickey & McNicoll, 1995). The purpose of this research is to expand on why going green is an important aspect of our economy today.
Going green will help shift the global economy toward environmentally friendly investments in order to address climate change. Also, going green will promote job growth. It will help identify the steps needed to foster the transition to a more environmentally friendly economy. Areas that stand to yield the highest returns are: clean energy and clean-tech; sustainable agriculture; ecosystem infrastructure; cutting greenhouse gas emissions; and sustainable urban planning. What are some different ways to go green?
Renewable energy is one way to start your process in going green. There are many types of renewable energy resources out there such as biodiesel, solar power, and hybrid vehicles that seem to be coming at a speed of light. (1) “The top renewable energy technologies is showing the most immediate promise, and growing the fastest. Resoundingly—wind power (Merchant, 2008).” Electronic devices are becoming a bigger part of our lives, especially as they get smaller and smaller. We use them as tools and toys to communicate, work, enjoy media, and to be expressive. Going green with your electronics is a matter of knowing what tech to get, how to use it best, and
what to do with it when its useful life is done. Using rechargeable batteries is one thing you can do to help out. Of the 15 billion batteries produced and sold each year, most of them are disposable alkaline batteries, and only a fraction of those are recycled. For removable batteries, lithium-ion (Li-Ion) and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) are most cost-effective, green alternatives. The fastest battery chargers can juice up AAs in as little as 15 minutes, and will pay for themselves quite quickly (Dickey & McNicoll, 2008).
(1) Merchant, Brian. Green Your Brain: What’s the Fastest Growing Renewable Energy Technology in the World? Green Planet. Brooklyn, NY Oct 21,2008. Between 2000 and 2006, worldwide wind energy generation quadrupled. According to the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy department, the United States saw its wind energy capacity increase a respectable 6.5 times in the last seven years.
Unplugging devices that are not being used prevent wasting energy or even putting all electronics and chargers on a power strip. This allows you to simply flip the power strip off when your electronics are not in use. There are a number of “smart” power strips on the market that sense when electronics are turned off or that the strip is off when one main unit (your PC) is powered down. There are an increasing number of options for on-the-go solar power. From handheld to backpack power, solar chargers now come in an array of types for juicing up phones, PDAs, Bluetooth headsets, iPods and laptops. Many have an onboard battery pack that can charge while the solar cells are in the sun, and then transfer the power to your device when you need it (Dickey & McNolli, 2008). (2) “Recycling a ton of ‘waste’ has twice the economic impact of burying it in the ground. In addition, recycling one additional ton of waste will pay $101 more in salaries and wages, produce $275 more in goods and services, and generate $135 more in sales than disposing of it in a landfill” (Team TreeHugger, 2008) Supporting recycling means not only recycling, but also supporting recycled products. High recycled contents are in everything from printer paper to office chairs. Homeowner’s can consider rearranging their plumbing so that
rainwater or wastewater from showers and tubs are used to flush
(2) Team TreeHugger. How To Go Green: Recycling. (2008); Green Planet. Recycling is the cyclical movement of materials through the system, eliminating waste and the need to extract more virgin materials.
toilets. If you have a garden, consider watering it with leftover bathwater or dishwashing water (as long as you use a biodegradable soap). Recycle greenery, after Christmas; many cities have programs for turning your tree into mulch. (3)“Radiant heat enthusiasts typically use fuel-burning systems or electric systems to heat their homes. However, with rising energy prices, this may not be cost-effective in some areas. For those who want a cost-effective solution that doesn’t harm the environment, there are alternative heat sources available. Here, the two most popular alternatives, which are geothermal heating systems and solar heating systems” (Anonymous, 2006). Geothermal heating, also known as a ground source heat pump or geoexchange system, is the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean and cost- effective heating and air-conditioning system available. The Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium says that more than half a million geothermal systems have been installed in the United States, half of them in homes. (Anonymous, 2006).
Solar heat on the other hand “can be used to heat a home through a liquid-based active solar heating system. These systems heat water or an antifreeze solution in a hydronic collector to absorb solar radiation, then transfer the solar heat directly to the
(3) Anonymous, Alternative Heat Sources PM Engineer. Troy: 2006. pg. 32, 4 pg
In essence, geothermal heat uses the earths ability to store heat which is maintained at a constant temperature in the soil. This heat energy is then extracted by exchanging heat with the earth and then transferred into the home. Chaney 5
interior space or to a storage system, from which heat is distributed” (Anonymous, 2006). Solar heat is gathered through flat panals. As the heat is collected it is sent to a storage unit and stored or a heat exchanger and is immediately used. Solar heat is similar to radiant floor systems. A new system that does not require solar heat can be radiated through tubes inplaced directly under the roofing materials of ones house. In the winter sealing leaks or draft proofing is another way to conserve heat. Also, in the summer time, good insulation will make it harder for heat find a path way into your home. Exterior silicone caulk or insulation strips, which you can install to your windows, plumbing and wiring holes, doors and fireplace dampers, help too. Ways to find the leaks are to, light a stick of incense or a candle on a breezy day, close all the windows and doors, and walk around your rooms searching for places toward which the incense smoke drifts. Those are your target zones. For the space between your doors and the floor, consider installing a door sweep on the bottom of the door. Heating wisely, each degree Celsius less will save about 10% on your energy use. And don’t forget to close doors to keep the heat contained in the rooms you’re actually using. Also, reduce temperatures at night, when you’re under the blankets. A programmable thermostat might be your most effective weapon. Heating your water is a significant way to cut back on the cost of energy usage. Water heating is the third largest energy expense in an American home, typically accounting for about 13% of your utility bill. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, or buy a new, more efficient water heater. To use less, consider aerating faucets, which Chaney 6
enhance spray while minimizing water usage, repair leaky faucets, and opt for showers over baths. To insulate your heater, you’ll need blankets that shouldn’t cost more than $20 and will save you around 4-9% in heating costs. Go green on public transportation. Public transportation does ease congestion, and reduce emissions. In addition, public transportation allows you to relax, read or nap during that commute instead of fighting and stressing and feeling the road rage. So, what is meant by public transportation? For this research the focus is on buses, trains, planes and
ferries/boats, whether used for the daily commute. Try to reduce the number of plane trips you take and try not to use a plane for any trips under 1000km. Plane trips are way more environmentally destructive than automobile trips. Buses, trains, light rail and ferries generally have dedicated travel paths that are quicker than sitting alone in your car, which can cut down travel times. Most children live close enough to walk school, but few do. Instead of driving your children the few blocks, walk with them or allow them to take the school bus. Don’t drive to the office, or fly to that conference, if you can arrange to complete your work/presentation electronically, or via video conferencing. Video conferencing can reduce 99 percent of the energy used for a trans-continental flight. Go green by buying energy efficient appliances. Energy Star is the leading energy efficiency of appliances today. (4) “ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2007 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million cars — all while saving $16 billion on their utility bills.” (US Department of Energy)
(4) US Environmental Protection Agency & US Department of Energy The Quality of our environment is everyone’s responsibility
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.ab_index ENERGY STAR has successfully delivered energy and cost savings across the country, saving businesses, organizations, and consumers about $16 billion in 2007 alone. Over the past decade, ENERGY STAR has been a driving force behind the more widespread use of such technological innovations as efficient fluorescent lighting, power management systems for office equipment, and low standby energy use.
Work Citied Page
Anonymous. Alternative Heat Sources PM Engineer. Troy: 2006. pg. 32, 4 pgs
Dickey, Christopher & McNicoll, Tracy. Why It’s Time for a ‘Green New Deal’; Essay:
As the world faces economic turmoil, cleaner energy can create jobs and reignite
global growth. Newsweek. New York: Nov 10, 2008. Vol. 152, Iss. 19
Merchant, Brian. Green Your Brain: What’s the Fastest Growing Renewable Energy Technology in the World? Green Planet. Brooklyn, NY Oct 21,2008.
Team TreeHugger. How To Go Green: Recycling. Green Planet. 2008
US Environmental Protection Agency & US Department of Energy The Quality of our environment is everyone’s responsibility
Cite this Why Go Green? For a Better Future
Why Go Green? For a Better Future. (2016, Jul 10). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/why-go-green-for-a-better-future/