Vehicle Recycling: There’s Money in Car Waste

May 23rd, 2013

When people think of junk cars, the image of an ugly, polluted junkyard often comes right to mind. Fortunately, this image is obsolete — the auto industry now sees old cars as material for recycling. In fact, according to a new report by Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), approximately 86 percent of U.S. vehicles’ components are reused or recycled after the life cycle is complete, according to CNN Money.

Cars don’t have to be junked before their parts can be recycled. Old motor oil, used filters, tires and other such consumable parts often end up in a recycling center to be turned into other useful items. Since these components are now recognized as being valuable, it goes without saying that automotive centers and other companies suddenly think that recycling old or used cars is a great idea. Here are a few auto parts that are commonly renewed or recycled into other items:

Motor Oil and Filters

More than 40 percent of pollution from used oil comes from improperly dumping old oil, according to Market Watc

h. Almost all service centers accept used oil for recycling, so the problem is mostly a matter of education. Recycling companies like Universal Lubricants are working to inform people of the options for properly disposing old oil.

The Recycling company doesn’t just tell people how to handle motor oil. Its business is recycling the oil and filters into new components. The oil itself is re-refined into clean, new oil while the filters are turned into recycled paper and steel. The oil inside the filters is extracted from the paper during this process to be re-refined.

Tires

Most old tires are now used by various industries instead of being allowed to sit in dangerous piles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2003, it amounted to 233 million tires out of 290 million. Of these, 44.7 percent were used as fuel, and the rest were used for things like ground rubber-based products, rubber containing asphalt, stamped products and other such items. It’s clear that several industries have found uses for old tires. Only about 9.3 percent of used tires now end up in landfills or scrap heaps.

Other Materials

Polyurethane foam can be pulled from automobile debris for reuse. Soiled foam can be cleaned, so there’s no need to worry about whether it has gotten oily or sooty from being in the car. Currently, most foam is sent to landfills after steel is recovered from shredded automobiles, but a process developed by Argonne National Laboratory could recover about 100,000 tons of the material yearly, the U.S. Government reported.

The automotive industry’s many recycling programs show that there’s no need to feel guilty the next time you need to retire a car. Most of its components will be reused in an environmentally friendly way, and soon, it will be common for everything in a car to be able to be recycled efficiently.

This article was written by Jason Mcbride. Jason supports green initiatives and helps organize recycling programs in his native Denver.

Urban and Suburban Farming Improves Food Safety and Security

May 16th, 2013

Questions about where our food comes from—as well as where it will come from—continues to be a rising trend. Shifting food production closer to where people actually live (and eat!) would help answer the questions about food safety and security.

Food Safety

At present, much of our food is grown on large ‘mega-farms’ that are often owned & operated by large corporations. This is true in the Organic food industry as well: despite the 2012 spinach salmonella scare being traced back to just a few farms, the recalls attached to these farms involved dozens of brands—including Earthbound Farms and O Organics, two organic labels (O Organics is a Safeway private label).

Switching to urban & suburban farming would require establishing numerous, smaller farms—including backyard & rooftop gardening. By diversifying the sources of our food, it not only arrives fresher (allowing less time for bacteria to multiply), it shrinks the impact any one farm’s safety scare can have.

Food Security

While food scarcity is more of a political problem (see “Diet for a Small Planet,” by Frances Moore Lappé), there are some legitimate reasons to be concerned about where our food will come from in the future:

  • The political, social, and economic issues Lappé discussed in her book have not gone away despite being brought to light more than 40 years ago.
  • Existing farmland continues to vanish via suburban sprawl and economic pressure from the mega-farms I discussed earlier.
  • Numerous factors are affecting food production at existing farms around the world: global warming, colony collapse disorder, diseases, wars, pollution, and more.
  • As a result of disappearing farmland, we get more & more of our nutrition from fewer types of food. Fewer farms eliminates many regionally adapted varieties, and increased shipping distances means stores only stock fruits & vegetables that ship well.

Having smaller, more numerous ‘micro-farms’ encourages diversity in the food supply—growers would compete on local grocery shelves based on taste & nutritional qualities rather than ship-ability. More growers means more genetic diversity in specific crops, encouraging the development of varieties that are resistant to disease without resorting to genetic modification.

Further, being able to affordably source all of our food locally limits our vulnerability to production problems elsewhere without eliminating the import option when crises happen.

Environmental Sustainability

Growing & eating food locally reduces shipping fuel consumed—helping open the door for renewable alternatives. However, the environmental benefits reach far beyond that:

  • Locally grown food is fresher and usually cheaper. This could help people make healthier food choices, reducing the amount needed to be grown and consumption of environmentally damaging animal foods.
  • When our food is grown in our neighborhood, it reestablishes personal connection to the local environment. We could expect to see stricter, better-enforced rules regarding pollution in urban and suburban areas.
  • Growing more plants—including fruits & vegetables—in urban areas would improve air quality.
  • Studies have shown that rooftop gardening as well as replacing paved areas with gardens helps reduce the “heat island effect.”

There are more reasons than food safety, security, and environmental concerns to grow & eat food locally; regardless, these reasons alone create a compelling argument to do so. Hopefully more local and state governments will enact fiscal policies that encourage such a trend.

This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from WhiteFence.com. She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17 @ gmail.com.

The Solution to Pollution is Dilution

May 6th, 2013

Waste disposal has been a challenge in modern history. Back in the day, dirty water was plunged from the second story window to the streets, and the stench was allowed to infiltrate the neighborhood.

Today we take disposal for granted. As long as our toilets flush and take the waste away most people are ignorant of what occurs to the waste. Every solution seems to open up unforeseen consequences.

In wastewater the approach has always been dilution. Wastewater is blended thoroughly and disposed of in oceans and rivers. Ocean disposal is very controversial as to its impacts on the bays and estuaries. Water quality regulations are gearing up to desist of these practices.

However, before we start picketing to stop all ocean outfalls there are a few things to consider:

  1. Environmental Impacts - Wastewater is loaded in nutrients; specially phosphorous and nitrogen which are the basic food of phytoplankton. As food increases, organisms tend to grow faster and in masses. Algae blooms are a problem causing oxygen depletion and fish kills. Wastewater tends to be a few degrees warmer than the ocean’s temperature which could also become a problem with reef growth. We are also adding more ingredients to the mix like pesticides, toxins, bacteria and viruses. The concentration of mercury in some fish make them unhealthy for human consumption. In addition, there is the negative impact of dirty water, bacteria contamination and beach closures in tourism. Every day, the ocean water is tested for bacteria and if the count of bacteria is high the beach is closed for swimming.
  2. Economics - Water is a business. The business of producing drinking water that is safe, free of bacteria and aesthetically pleasing at the most reasonable cost. There is a balance of what customers would like their water to taste and look like and what it costs to produce. The technology exists that would make any water squeaky clean. In fact, so clean that they have to “dirty” it up again so it is safe to drink (the water that we drink needs to have certain mineral content to be healthy). However squeaky clean is too expensive. Essentially we have the power to drink our own waste, but it is hard to sell to the consumer at the added cost and social stigma.
  3. Alternatives - States like Florida and California are heavily regulating ocean outfalls of wastewater. Florida has moved to desist of ocean outfalls and heavily educate and instal policies for reuse and reclamation of wastewater. At this point, most golf courses use partially treated water for irrigation. Most consumers are not willing to buy recycled water. Therefore, since the demand is not there the cost is not justified. Currently, the alternative is to dispose of it in mile-deep wells. Although potentially the wastewater could rise up to contaminate our drinking wells. Well disposal is so new that the impacts to the environment have not been negatively corroborated.

Ocean disposal as it stands could be detrimental to the environment over time. More rigorous treatments are now required to disinfect water before disposal, and prevent concentrations of bacteria/viruses in our beaches. Multiple studies have denied that ocean dilution creates any long lasting impacts to the bays. Without this definitive scientific proof, dilution is the cheapest way of disposal.

However, social stigma has been rising and increasing pressure on regulators to implement policies to prevent ocean disposal and move into reclamation. There is a long way to go to bridge the gap between education, policy and technology.

About the Author:
Ken Myers is an expert advisor on in-home care & related family safety issues to many websites and groups. He is a regular contributor to www.gonannies.com. You can get in touch with him at kmyers.ceo@gmail.com.

Water Conservation - Backyard & Kitchen Tips

May 5th, 2013

Water conservation is vital for a number of reasons. Environmental concerns are abound these days, and maintaining a proper level of conservation is going to ensure that your home maintains low utility bills as well as help the environment. Whilst few of us have the time or money to make life-changing alterations to the way we live; that’s no excuse to not make the small efforts here and there. Your kitchen and garden should be the starting point:

Saving Water in the Kitchen

One of the first things to remember when saving water is not to let anything run. If you are filling up the sink, then only let the water run for a certain period of time. After that, make sure that you turn it off. When drying the dishes, make sure to keep the water off until you need it.

Upgrading certain appliances, such as fridges and ice-makers, may also be the best way to do things. This is because some older appliances are going to be cooled by water. You can now get appliances that are cooled by air which are going to end up conserving a lot more water. This means that your appliances are going to save water as well.

When using other appliances like your dishwasher or your washing machine, always make sure to run them when they are full. Do not just wash a single pair of trousers or a single shirt. This is just going to end up wasting a lot of water.

Saving Water in the Garden

When it comes to your garden, you may just feel like spraying water everywhere to ensure that your plants are healthy. While this can be beneficial for your plants, it can be detrimental to your water supply. The first thing you need to do when it comes to conserving water is to take a look at your outdoor taps. A lot of people are going to notice taps leaking indoors, but not outdoors. A leaking tap can end up wasting a lot of water.

Instead of using a hose in order to water your garden plants, use a watering can. The watering can is only going to hold a certain amount of water, and therefore you will be able to monitor the amount that you are using on your plants. A constantly-running hose is just going to end up taking more water.

A unique way to save water is to add a few extra patios and walkways to your garden. These extra walkways do not have to be watered, therefore meaning you are going to use less water overall.

These are just a couple of tips that are going to help you to cut down on your water usage. If you receive a water bill, then you will be surprised at how much less you are going to be paying if you decide to follow some of these tips. Conserving water is also important for the summer time, so make sure that you are extra vigilant when the summer gets too warm. This will ensure that you always have water.

Walter Bucket works alongside UK Water Features to help them develop more environmentally friendly products and reduce their carbon footprints. When he’s not badgering every department of the company to quit printing everything out, Ewan spends time tending with his cactus farm at home.

The Dawn of Solar Panel Leasing: A Renter’s Market?

May 1st, 2013

By Chris Long

Without a lease option or monthly payments, most people wouldn’t be able to own a car, house or be able to attend a decent college. Some things — even though owning them would be a huge benefit — are just too expensive to purchase outright.

It was just this kind of thinking that led the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to conduct an experiment in 2010 on the option of leasing solar panels instead of selling them. Following a test in southern California, the study concluded that not only were leasing options well received “in neighborhoods with less affluence than [in] those most likely to go for the customer-owned option,” but “if what’s true in southern California proves true for the nation, it means that rooftop solar power could attract an additional 13 million Americans — and that could push solar energy into the mainstream.”

But while many energy and eco-conscious homeowners would love the option of leasing a $30,000 solar panel system instead of paying the full amount upfront, there are benefits to solar panel ownership.

Solar panel ownership can be taxing (in a good way)

Currently, 15 states allow solar panel leasing: Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Texas and Washington D.C. Other states are considering the option, but some, such as South Carolina, have issues over whether the companies that are leasing the panels should be considered third-party utilities. If so, they would have to be regulated accordingly — an expensive proposition even for statewide power companies.

In the meantime, the remaining 35 states of the union are getting along with a bevy of state and federal credits and incentives. In fact, some programs have been so successful that they ran out of funds long before the rebate programs were set to expire and had to seek additional funding to continue.

If you’re considering purchasing a solar system, check into your state incentive programs and make sure that the funding is not only still available, but that your application for a rebate will be received before any cutoff deadlines.

  • State incentives: The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (http://www.dsireusa.org/) is run by the U.S. Department of Energy and their website provides a comprehensive list of the incentives provided in all 50 states. Simply click on your state on the map provided and a list of financial incentives will appear both from the state and from area utility companies. The site also provides a list of local rules, regulations and policies for homeowners and business owners, as well as related programs and initiatives provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Federal incentives: Until the end of 2016, the federal government is offering a tax incentive in the form of a Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. Approved residential and commercial installations of solar power are eligible to receive a 30 percent tax credit on the cost of the system. The tax credit was put into place in 2008 to encourage the growth of solar energy and technology in the United States. The details for the residential ITC can be found in the U.S. Tax Code under Section 25D and for commercial under Section 48. For more information, visit the Solar Energy Industries Association website (http://www.seia.org/policy/finance-tax/solar-investment-tax-credit).

All told, your $30,000 solar panel system could end up costing you less than half of the retail price. The only catch is that you have to wait for the rebates to come in and the tax credits to kick in.

The benefits of leasing your light

If you’re fortunate enough to live in one of the states that allow solar leasing, then you should strongly consider the option, especially if purchasing a solar system isn’t possible. There are plenty of benefits to leasing, including:

  • Little to no maintenance: Solar system installers are typically responsible for the upkeep of your system. Be sure to check if this is included in your contract.
  • Lower energy bills: Most solar system leasing companies give you the option of paying a certain amount up front and having lower monthly payments or spreading the cost equally over the length of your lease. Either way, you know every month exactly how much your electric bill will be and it’s typically a lot lower than what you’re currently paying for utilities.
  • Increased property value: Several solar companies also provide the option of transferring your lease if you choose to sell your home, or allow you to complete the purchase of the panels so they can be included in the sale. Either way, solar panels are often seen as a great selling point and can boost the overall value of your property.

Regardless of whether you’re considering the purchase or lease of solar power for your home, there are not only multiple incentives for installing a system, there’s also the added plus of knowing that you’re actively making a positive difference in protecting the planet.

What are some concerns that have kept you from installing a solar power system? Why would you choose ownership over leasing, or vice versa? What other incentives have you heard about concerning solar panel installation?

Chris Long has been a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago suburbs since 2000. Chris writes for the Home Depot blog and has been helping customers on electrical topics ranging from solar cells to LED light bulbs.

Solar Power for Energy Conservation: Yes or No?

April 10th, 2013

Solar energy is an energy that you get from the sun in the form of light and heat. It is among the most readily available and renewable sources of energy.

In fact, solar energy is among the energies, which is available in abundance and comes for free and thus remain among the most non conventional sources of energy. This form of energy has been used by mankind since ages wherein people in the ancient world used magnifying glasses to collect the heat energy from the sunlight to fire the wood and other things.

In the modern times, solar energy could be converted into heat energy, which can be used to generate electricity. The good thing about solar energy is that it could be used both for the commercial residential purposes and it doesn’t need huge space unlike other options for energy conservation.

However, when it comes to considering it as an important option for energy conservation, it has a few drawbacks as well. Hence the answer for the question is solar power for energy conservation a good idea could be both yes and no. If you explore the details of this subject, you would be able to get the right answer for this question.

Solar energy for energy conversation

Solar energy could be broadly divided as active and passive solar energy, which would depend upon the way you collect and use this energy. For active solar energy, you need special solar heating tools and equipments, which convert the solar energy into the heat energy, while in the passive solar energy option, you will not find the mechanical equipments.

Active solar simply includes the use of mechanical equipment including the pumps and fans or the solar thermal collectors and photovoltaic cells, which help in collecting the solar energy.

The passive solar energy conversation method collects and converts the solar energy into heat energy without actually using any mechanical equipment. This option often uses things like walls, windows, building placement and several other easy options to deflect or collect the sun energy for use.

Passive solar heating is one of the best ways to conserve energy and boost its utilization. The best example of passive solar heating could be realized when you drive your car during any hot summer day, do you remember what happens in such season to your vehicle?

Pros of solar power for energy conservation

Conserving solar energy has both merits and demerits, which can give you the answer whether it is a good option for energy conservation or not.

As far as the merits are concerned, you could find a number of benefits of the same. The first benefit is that solar energy is the non-polluting, renewable, trustworthy and clean electricity source. It doesn’t pollute the atmosphere by releasing any lethal gasses like carbon dioxide, sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide. It doesn’t require any kind of fuel to produce energy hence you could simply avoid transportation of fuel or storage of any kind of radioactive waste.

Secondly you will not see the solar cells making any kind of noise as there is no moving parts in them that also makes them more durable and hence it require less maintenance. It offers you an effective solution for where electricity cannot be reached at all.

Thirdly, solar energy is among the most renewable option for producing energy and it will continue as long as the sun remains in the solar system.

Though you may not produce energy during night time or in cloudy days, however, you could use it often during the day time. The sunlight comes consistently, which could help you to produce energy for people living in remote areas where electricity cannot be reached via conventional methods.

And lastly, the systems you need at your place to collect solar energy and convert into electricity or different forms of energy are simple to install as it hardly require turbines, cords and even wire or any other power sources to converse energy.

Cons of solar power for energy conservation

As far as the drawbacks of conversing solar power is concerned, you can only generate electricity or any other energy during the day time, which could be called as one of the biggest flaws of this option. Hence if you are relying on solar energy for your home, you could only avail during the day time and not during the nights or cloudy days.

A change of weather too can hamper the efficiency of electricity you receive from this option.

And lastly, it has some environment impact as well. Since it uses photovoltaic cells to generate solar power using silicon it produces some amount of waste, which could be damaging to human beings and environment as well.

Final word

If you weigh the pros and cons of solar energy for energy conservation, you could still call it as a viable option to try. Moreover, it can be used along with other forms of energy thus making it a more viable option in the coming future. As per several reports, the solar PV industry aspires to leverage with this natural form of energy in half of the generating plants in United States by 2025.

Other developed nations too are researching to make this option more viable in the coming future.

About The Author: Alia is a writer/blogger. She loves writing, travelling and reading books. She contributes to Hydroxycut.

Energy Bills That Won’t Get You Hot Under the Collar

March 3rd, 2013

When temperatures dip or rise excessively, many of us begin an oft-conducted dance with our thermostats, adjusting it a little bit here and there in the hopes that we can keep our families comfortable while keeping our energy bills payable.

Trying to find that perfect balance often costs us more in our own time and energy, however, than it saves us on our bills. It was with this challenge in mind, and with the hopes of helping environmentally conscious homeowners watch their energy expenditures overall, that the digital programmable thermostat was invented.

Today, thermostats have moved a step or two beyond merely programmable with models that can sense room temperature, adjust for future weather via weather reports and even intelligently learn the preferences of the homeowner.

For those looking to save a little green both monetarily and environmentally, programmable thermostats can help you think ahead, budget and stay comfortable in your home environment.

How programmable thermostats can save some green

According to the United States Department of Energy (http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/energy_savers.pdf), “Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home — typically making up about 54% of your utility bill.” And all that energy adds up to a fair amount of air pollution.

In fact, it’s estimated that heating and cooling systems alone put about 150 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year. By adjusting your thermostat up by two degrees in the summer and down by two degrees in the winter each year, you could prevent about two thousand pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

But even though it only takes a second or two to adjust, we don’t always think to change the thermostat setting on the way out of the house. Fortunately, there are thermostats on the market that allow you to make these changes from virtually anywhere and you don’t have to break the bank to get them.

Different degrees of thermostats

Wireless or radio thermostats can start for as low as $110, such as the Homewerks Radio Thermostat CT-30 with Wi-Fi module, which you can operate from the web or a mobile app. It’s a simple device with options for changing temperature either instantly or on your personally configured seven day program. It doesn’t read outdoor temperature or learn from previous settings, but it can be operated from any smartphone with the installed app.

For a more sophisticated wireless thermostat system, you can’t do much better than the Nest. Invented by Apple executive Tony Fadell, the Nest is now on its second version and includes features such as System Match, which automatically takes into account the length of time it takes to heat or cool your home so it can be at the right temperature at exactly the right time, and Auto-Away, which works with proximity sensors to lower the temperature automatically when no one is home. It’s also compatible with almost all heating and cooling systems, about 95 percent, and supports emergency heat, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, and second-stage cooling as well as three-stage heating. As for the price, a second generation Nest will set you back about $250.

Wireless thermostats also don’t have to be a stand-alone addition to your house. They’re often one of the first features included in remote home control systems and are even being integrated into home security systems. Security company ADP, for example, includes remote lighting and thermostat control along with their standard security features as part of their new Pulse package, and even Comcast has jumped into the wireless home management game by offering remote lighting and thermostat control as an option in their Xfinity home security package. Installation for these systems runs between $99 and $350, and monthly costs start around $30.

Additionally, there are thermostat and even smart home installations available that don’t require a professional electrician to install them. Insteon, for example, uses existing wiring and radio frequency communication to remotely control thermostats, lighting and even appliances, and doesn’t require a complicated networking setup or central controller.

Depending on what you’re looking for in remote home temperature control, you can find just about anything from simple thermostat access to whole home control.

And regardless of what system you opt for, having a remote thermostat control in your home could pay for itself in the first year; according to the statistics compiled by the government’s Energy Star program, a programmable thermostat could save an average household approximately $180 a year.

And apart from the savings, even a basic programmable thermostat can make a difference in your household’s daily carbon footprint.

What programmable thermostats have you found to be the most effective? What other remote systems have helped you to reduce your home’s carbon footprint?

At Extra Space Storage (www.extraspace.com) Garret Stembridge focuses on optimizing the customer’s experience in finding and using a self storage unit. Extra Space Storage has storage facilities across the U.S. including a self storage unit facility in Orlando.

Global Warming vs Climate Change

February 22nd, 2013

The terms- global warming and climate change are usually misinterpreted in the media while getting discussed; however, these remain distinct to each other, a fact which is often ignored.

Both of these terms refer to two different physical phenomenons.

Global warming is basically a long term trend, erupting due to the constant global temperature rise owing to the greenhouse gases usually from the fossil fuel burning.

Whereas climate change is all about the changes seen in the global climate, which is actually the outcome of increasing average global temperature.

Though both of these physical phenomenons are usually related to each other, yet they remain two distinct things. Let’s look at the comparison between the two.

Both Terms Have Been in Use for a Long Time

Many people argue that the term global warming was used much before and climate change came into picture in the recent years.

But the fact is it is simply a false claim.

For instance, if you look at the seminal climate science project carried out by Gilbert Plass in the year 1956, his own study was seen using this term wherein he was seen discussing climate sensitivity. Similar in the year 1971 when different researchers like Gast and Barrett were seen discussing this issue using the very same terminology, whereas in 1977 the most popular journal Climate Change started its publication, which is seen till today.

The popular agency IPCC taking care of this subject deals more with climate change than global warming.

In this way, you can find a number of examples that vouch for the fact that both these terms have been in use for many decades and cannot be termed as a newly introduced trend by researchers.

Global Warming

If you look closer to global warming, it could be defined as the increasing warming up of the Earth owing to the rise of greenhouse gases especially the ones coming from the fossil fuels burning events. The increasing warming of the earth can be gauged in the Earth’s ocean and atmosphere.

You can find good evidence for global warming, which includes retreating ice caps, increased habitat reductions for different animals, dry lakes, shifts seen in weather, global temperature rise, seal level rise, coral bleaching, etc. Global warming could be called as a human induced global temperatures rise.

Climate Change

If you look at climate change, it is termed as the natural changes seen owing to the global temperature rise over the years of time.

Speaking more specifically, the change found over the earth’s energy budget could give the result in terms of both increase and decrease in the global temperatures.

The climate is always seen changing, which is an important fact that people usually ignore when they are seen talking about this issue.The climate change is seen often occurring over the planet earth for a number of reasons. These include things like volcanic eruptions, Milankovitch cycle, ocean circulation changes, natural variance, tectonic activity and albedo.

Interchanging the Term is Basically the Mincing of Words

In the media, you often would see the term global warming being interchanged with climate change or vice versa. This is mincing words.

And if you club both these terms, you simply end up getting global warming as a climate change, which is induced by the human beings. There are people who doubt or go against global warming often termed as anti warming activists are seen mincing the two terms simply by detracting both the issues.

However, bringing out a standard definition is simply impossible since the fact is climate change always occurred and is going to be there in the future as well, while global warming is a theoretical concept.

However, this helps the experts to definition of this particular theory. This is the very juncture where you will find a number of non scientists going wrong. Theories are basically scientific evidences and proofs, which are collected all these years and often get accepted by the people as a suitable explanation to these evidences or proofs.

Theories are very much different than the scientific laws and hypotheses.

Hypothesis could be defined as an intelligent guesswork, which is often based on knowledge and information; however, this requires a consistent testing for your further development. At the same time the laws are basically scientific facts, which are very much virtually incontrovertible. For example, if you throw anything at the upper direction, it is bound to come down due to gravity, which is basically a law of science.

Final Word

Though both terms are seen interchanging, these issues remain the most contagious problems of the modern times. Global warming and climate change have now become a matter of concern basically due to the industrialization taking place in the world, which has wrecked havoc over this planet. The amount of disruption caused to the ecosystem due to these issues is certainly going to harm the animals, trees and even human beings.

About The Author: Alia is a writer/blogger. She loves writing travelling and reading books. She recently contributed to this article by Zachary Zeitzeff.

The 10 Easiest Ways to Green your Home

February 21st, 2013

A green home is a happy home. Not only do you feel better about yourself for trying to do what you can in order to preserve our planet, but it is a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint.

There are a lot of extremely easy ways that you can help to make your home greener friendly. It does not always cost a lot of money, and a lot of times it takes little to no effort.

Below is a list of the top 10 ways that you can easily make your home green friendly.

  1. Recycle- This is extremely easy, and most cities even provide you with a bin to do it. All you have to do is throw your cans, bottles, papers, and cardboard into a separate bin. Most cities will pick the bin up from the curb, and they do not even require you to clean out the recyclable materials.
  2. Green your Appliances- You may think this is an expensive investment, but few appliances last forever. When it comes time to replace them look to the energy efficient version. You can purchase water saving energy efficient washing machine for close to the same price of a standard one. More often than not your utility supplier will even give you a rebate for investing in these appliances.
  3. Limit Your Utilities- You may think that the house feels perfect at a cool 72 degrees, but you could really live with it at 78. Make these small adjustments. Not only is it better on the environment, but it also is easier on your wallet.
  4. Conserve Water- It is important to be conscientious of your water use. You may enjoy hand-washing your dishes, but if you leave the water running at full blast and have an energy efficient dishwasher chances are it is better to wait until your dishwasher is full and run a single load. Limit how often you water your lawn, and keep up with your plumbing. Small leaks in plumbing can waste a great deal of water every day.
  5. Clean Friendly- There are quite a few products that were created in order to be a little more friendly to the environment while still being able to clean your home. Invest in these green friendly products.
  6. Conserve Paper- Most places will take digital copies of pieces that you formally had to print. These include tickets, passes, coupons, or even directions. When there is a digital option take it. Save the paper and save some trees. This includes using towels and cloth in place of paper versions too.
  7. Rinse & Reuse- Instead of investing in a huge case of water every week invest in a water filtration system and carry reusable bottles. There is quite a large variety of travel mugs, glasses, and cups that you can pick from that will help reduce the amount of plastic that is used on a daily basis.
  8. Light the Way- Change your lighting in order to be more energy efficient. This could mean reducing the amount of lights that are on in your home, installing energy efficient lighting, or simply using natural lighting whenever possible.
  9. Use Your Green Thumb- Not only does growing your own fruits and vegetables save on the amount of pesticides that are used in order to produce a larger group in the grocery store, but you can fertilize your own garden with leftover waste from your home. Compost is created through placing your leftover scraps such as eggshells, banana peels, coffee grounds, tea bags, etc into a compost bin. You can create fertilizer through your own kitchen waste and grow a delicious garden that can keep you in fruits and veggies through the harvest season.
  10. Shop Bamboo- Bamboo is considered to be the greenest of the woods. When you are considering installing hardwood floors or purchasing furniture opt for the bamboo option.

Author Bio: By this article Jason Phillips has described various steps to go green. He also prefers using a recycling bin at his home. Jason is guest author at many sites.

Living Green: Lessons From Medieval Times

February 18th, 2013

Once upon a time, the average person didn’t create over 1,600 pounds of garbage in a single year, and there wasn’t a behemoth heap of trash the size of Africa floating in the Pacific Ocean. Those were the days. . . the Middle Ages?

Ok, ok, so maybe the Middle Ages doesn’t conjure the most delightful of images for everyone. They did have the Black Plague and the crusades and the perils of a feudal system under an absolute monarchy, but they also got a lot right behind-the-scenes.

Modernity doesn’t always have to equal superiority, and the wisest people are those who learn from history adapt what works and improve on what doesn’t.

However, somewhere between The Greatest Generation and the laziest one, our country became infected with over 1,305 Superfund sites- and our world is rapidly running out of resources. Colonizing Mars or finding a new planet to sustain us seems a bit more costly and difficult than simply looking to the past for green solutions that have been right in front of our faces all along.

The Medieval Times were far from perfect, but they did have some earth-friendly practices worth learning about.

Garbage Reduction

Researching trash collection in Medieval times is a difficult task, because they didn’t produce very much trash. Granted, towns and large cities struggled with terrible sanitation issues, they didn’t actually produce very much disposable rubbish. One of the most complete Medieval rubbish pits, discovered in Southampton, England revealed little more than seeds, fruits, pottery, glass and fabrics.

A rubbish pit that lasted years held only a small amount of organic, biodegradable material. This is a practice most of us could learn a thing or two from, considering the U.S. uses and disposes of approximately 1,500 plastic water bottles every second, according to TreeHugger.com. Although it’s nearly impossible to live a total biodegradable life in today’s world, there are some minor changes you can make and teach to others that can have a massive, positive impact in the long run.

  • Try not to use disposable dishes. If you do, don’t throw away after one use. Wash and re-use them.
  • Look for clothes made from natural fabrics like cotton or wool, not poly-something (they’re also better for your skin).
  • Cleanwith washable, cloth rags. Papertowels aren’t as biodegradable as they might seem.
  • Avoid products with excessive packaging, there’s no purpose for it whatsoever except to grab your attention. Don’t fall victim to marketing gimmicks!

Toxin Tamers

While Medieval ladies may have endured the unfortunate trend of slathering their faces with poisonous lead makeup, toxic substances at large weren’t much of a factor or a byproduct in Medieval times. Their food wasn’t jam-packed with unintelligible ingredients, and they were much more self-sustainable than most of us can imagine. Their lifestyles didn’t require billion-dollar clean ups by remediation companies like Sevenson Environmental, or any sort of EPA or Greenpeace-esque organizations.

We’ll never be able to get back to that point now that more than 11 million people live within one mile of a Superfund site. We can, however, make changes in our own lives and, most importantly, educate our friends, children and neighbors about environmental concerns in our areas. Knowledge is power (which would have been very helpful for plague doctors) and we can use it to our advantage before it’s too late. The EPA provides some excellent information that can help you educate and protect your community against potential effects of toxic Superfund sites in your area.

  • Play an active role by learning the national priority list (NPL) of clean-up schedules.
  • Check out the publication Superfund Today for insights into what you can do and what’s going on.
  • Make calls, send letter, post fliers (on recycled paper of course) in your area to help spread the word.

This article was contributed by Patric Kowalski. Patric is a full-time high school environmental sciences teacher and a part-time novelist, Patric gets his inspiration from being a single dad.