Very simply put, ‘Solar energy’ is energy that is derived from the sun. Our sun is an abundant source of energy; it gives of heat and light. The sun’s been revered by several cultures of the past and even by a few cultures still present today. The ancient Egyptians even worshiped the sun as a God. All said and done, it was not misplaced respect; the sun certainly is an abundant and limitless source of power, at least for several generations to come; the merits for using its solar energy are numerous. It’s free Every morning with each dawn, the solar energy released by the sun comes filtered through our atmosphere providing light and helping to radiate heat. This has been happening for millions of years yet it is only recently that we have begun to capitalize on this abundant source of almost infinite power. In the past the Greeks and the Egyptians have been known to harness the power of the sun to heat whatever they wished to by concentrating its radiation. It’s non-polluting The energy from the sun is clean and free of any pollutants; unlike various sources of energy present today like petroleum or organic fuels that leave back residues and often leave back harmful gases when utilized to create energy. Extremely reliable The sun has been burning for roughly four and a half billion years now and is likely to burn on for another four to five billion years to come. That’s definitely more than our lifetimes and certainly more than several generations of the future. Every morning it promptly shows up and vanishes for the evening while it lights up another portion of the globe. The saying “as sure as day” did not come about for nothing; assuming the sun is shining brightly, depending on which part of the globe you are you can harness the energy of the sun to either store it away or utilize its energy in a different way. Limitless There is no restriction on how much energy we can use from the sun. Apparently, the amount of energy that comes from the sun every few minutes if successfully harnessed can power the entire United States of America for a whole year. If we were only able to harness the immense energy of the sun we would be able to solve all the worlds’ energy problems. Why Ever wonder why no one thought about this earlier? How come if there’s so much energy just lying around, we simply cannot seem to efficiently harness it? How it that so much of the sun energy seems to go totally unnoticed and is ultimately wasted? Well one of the reasons that this wonderful power reserve is generally wasted is the fact that the sunlight that we actually receive is so thinly dissipated across the earth to be able to contribute substantially enough if we try to harness it. For us to be able to actually harness the power of the sun we have to be able to manipulate, focus and store the sun's energy. While this may seem simple it is easier said than done; So far we have only managed to develop three partially successful means of collecting solar energy. The Reflection Method – Mirrors / Parabola The reflection method is based on the concentration of the sun’s rays through a single or a set of mirrors onto one point and then utilizing the concentrated heat energy that is produced for out need. A parabolic mirror much like a dish antenna can be used to capture the sun’s rays and focus them on a single point. The radiation method This is the principle behind the solar water heaters. Painted black pipes sandwiched between two layers of glass, have water inside them that is heated thanks to the rays of the sun. Solar panels A more recent invention the ‘solar cell’ is composed of treated silicon crystals, which when hit by the rays of the sun knock electrons out of their orbits and thereby create a void that needs to be filled by electrons from the other silicon crystals, this creates an imbalance of electrons and hence a flow of current which can be either immediately utilized or else stored away in a rechargeable battery. What’s stopping us? Despite the apparent benefits of using solar power it is most unfortunate that there are very few solar power plants around the world. Sadly, with today’s level of technology, cost and reliability are two major factors that are still hurdles in the way of mass usage of solar energy. Technological limitations dictate that the most efficient solar cells created today are still not capable of generating enough power to be commercially viable without occupying huge surface areas. Furthermore, reliance exclusively on solar cells in not yet practical, for if there were to be a cloudy day it could reduce the amount of electricity generated and that would be disastrous for those people completely reliant on that energy. On the bright side, constant innovation and research on solar energy is resulting in much more efficient solar cells that are a fraction of the size of existing cells and churn out much more power. For now they are still expensive, but not far is the day when they will be affordable and available to the common man.
Care for the environment? Want to save the planet? Then you must think in terms of fuel efficiency, non-polluting, and eco-friendly transport. The answer lies in purchasing and using a hybrid car. They not just make a statement that I care but are compact and fuel efficient. Here are some insights that may just tempt you to buy a hybrid. 1. Made of lightweight materials hybrids are small in size. The engine is designed to be fuel efficient. When the car halts at a signal, the engine will automatically shut down and restart when the car shifts into gear. 2. These cars have the advantage of being powered by a gasoline engine and an electric motor that takes care of acceleration. 3. The batteries of the electric motor recharge automatically by harnessing the kinetic energy produced during braking. 4. Hybrid car engines produce less emission, give better mileage, idle less, and are fuel efficient. 5. The aerodynamic design reduces drag and the tires are made of a special rubber that reduces friction. 6. The battery has high capacity and is made of nickel-metal-hydride. The battery can run the hybrid when called for. 7. The power-train technology enables using two power sources and enhances fuel efficacy. 8. There are many choices. You can have a hybrid from Honda, Ford, Toyota, GMC, and Chevrolet. 9. If your transportation of choice is a hybrid then the US Government will applaud your choice by giving you significant tax breaks. 10. Using a hybrid means you are active in ensuring the air is clean and that you are a concerned citizen who wishes to save fuel which is precious. Maximize usage by “pulse and glide.” This means finding the ideal point where electric and gas energy are equally utilized. Generally this ideal lies between 30-40 miles per hour. Stabilization of energy is learnt by practice it really cannot be taught. Another important aspect is that you benefit if you don’t rush around and drive at the prescribed speed limit. If you glide, instead of accelerate then you can make a saving of as much as 10 cents a gallon. Lastly check and maintain tire pressures. This will help lengthen the life of the tires and help you save fuel. Reduced tire pressure studies indicate reduces gas mileage by as much as 10%. Before you say “yes” to buying a hybrid car, you must do in depth research on hybrids, the pros and cons. Talk to manufacturers and owners. Test drive the different makes and check which one would suit your life-style. Some hybrids are ideal for city driving while others are more efficient on open roads. Even if the buying price is steep the fuel that you save along with incentives like tax breaks make a hybrid a good and sensible choice.
The 35th anniversary of Earth Day will take place on April 22. Through the combined efforts of government, grassroots organizations and environmentally minded companies, Earth Day has evolved into a worldwide campaign to protect the global environment. In the U. S., the Department of Energy (DOE) is also concerned about protecting our environment and resources. To address these issues, the DOE recently issued a mandate that now requires all new, central air conditioners manufactured after January 23, 2006, to have a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of at least 13. SEER is a number similar to miles-per-gallon in cars; the higher the SEER, the more efficient your air-conditioning system. According to the DOE, the 13 SEER standard is forecasted to save the nation 4.2 quads (quadrillion British Thermal Units) of energy over 25 years (2006 through 2030). This is equivalent to the energy consumed by nearly 26 million American households in one year. The standards are also expected to save consumers $1 billion over the same period.* Manufacturers like the Unitary Products Group of York-a Johnson Controls Company, haven't stopped at 13 SEER. York® also offers new home-cooling systems that reach 15 and even 18 SEER. Much of the improved efficiency associated with 13 SEER units is the result of an increase in the surface of the coil found in a system's outdoor unit, which is used to transport refrigerant. As a result, these outdoor units can be 50 to 90 percent larger than 10 SEER units and require as much as 40 percent more refrigerant than many indoor coils are capable of holding. It becomes very important, then, to match the size of the indoor coil with the new, larger outdoor unit. A mismatched system can lead to lower comfort levels, a higher utility bill, increased stress on the system and large repair costs. A qualified dealer can make sure your system is matched and installed correctly and is efficient and economical to operate. So, if you are considering replacing or upgrading the HVAC system in your home, talk to the experts at York. They can help you select a qualified dealer, who is equipped to maintain, repair and/or replace the components of your system.
Each summer, I visit the Chequamagon National Forest in Wisconsin. An amazingly beautiful and lush forest, this place is my sanctuary. I stay at a low-key resort, in a cabin overlooking Lake Namekagon. It’s a breath of fresh air - quite literally - to spend two weeks each year at this place, away from bustling streets and busy people. It’s like a different world. Or, at least, it was. I had a very different experience this past July. Upon entering our cabin, my fiance and I were greeted by a large television, equipped with Direct TV. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a TV-lover, through and through. There was, however, something strange about having to look around the television to see the lake. We overlooked this; after all, we don’t own the cabin. Some resort-goers might crave 500 channels before they crave hiking and fishing. Convinced that the TV (both the sight of it and the temptation to watch it) would put a damper on things, we went out on the water. As I started the old, rented pontoon boat, something occured to me. We were no better than the TLC, MTV, and MSNBC addicts. Yes, our boat was used for the enjoyment of the outdoors; however, it left a muddy, green wake behind it. Yes, we came to the resort to get away from everyday conveniences and to surround ourselves with nature, but we were staying in a cabin - not a tent or a sleeping bag. We cooked our breakfast every morning on a fairly modern stove, we drank coffee made in a Bunn coffeemaker, and we turned on the electric heat if the cabin got too cold. It turns out we weren’t roughing it; we were faking it. Since this realization, I’ve been troubled. I don’t understand where our appreciation for nature went. I don’t understand how misguided travelers - myself included - consider themselves to be experiencing nature, when really all we’re doing is glancing at it between commercials. Granted, everyone experiences nature in a different way. For some, glancing at it through a window - or on a TV screen - might be enough. I’m concerned, though, that by accepting this as a legitimate way to experience nature, we are missing something. Or, perhaps, we are missing everything. On a basic level, there is something satisfying about feeling a different kind of air on your skin, and about feeling the crunch of leaves and dirt beneath your feet. Where city lights don’t corrupt the night sky, we can see stars in a new way, and the level of darkness is foreign and exciting. There more to this simple human/nature combination than deep satisfaction, though. There is a danger present in the ways we currently explore nature. It is common for travelers to hop on boats, jetskis, waverunners, or ATVs to travel through lakes and forests. In these cases, vacationgoers are experiencing nature - while leaving a trail of pollution behind. And what about our cabin? Built in the middle of the forest, trees had to be removed in order for the resort to exist. There is an inherent disconnect, here: the resort was designed to house nature-loving travelers who want to see the forest’s natural beauty, and yet in order for the resort to exist, some of the forest had to be cut down. Instead of experiencing untouched and unscathed nature, vacationers are experiencing a forest marred by human interference. This is the way with us. We, whether intentionally or accidentally, can’t help but tinker with nature in its natural forms. Even when we attempt to truly experience it, we are also hindering it. So, we must consider some simple pieces of advice if we wish....(read the full article at the link below)
: 'Man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers. What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, Man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, also happens to the man. All things are connected.' Chief Seattle Speech of 1854 Most people are now aware that we have some serious environmental issues facing us in the next few decades. The recent tsunami in Indonesia was a tragic reminder of the fragile balance of nature. There is nothing much we can do to stop these kind of events happening, except to install early warning systems. But global warming can be stopped or slowed down if and when we stop using fossil fuels and turn to renewable energy sources. The technology is being developed or already exists; wind and wave power, hydrogen fuel and nuclear fusion. What can never be reversed if we let it happen is the loss of the diversity of life on our small, green and blue planet. The list of endangered species is growing all the time. Environmental awareness has been a long time coming. In a way we are the victims of our own success, at least in the West. Population growth makes it ever more difficult to preserve the wilderness areas which are so necessary for the survival of wildlife. 'When I was a boy in Scotland, I was fond of everything that was wild... I loved to wander in the fields to hear the birds sing, and along the shore to gaze and wonder at the shells and the seaweeds, eels and crabs in the pools when the tide was low; and best of all to watch the waves in awful storms thundering on the black headlands and craggy ruins of old Dunbar Castle'. John Muir The first modern environmentalists, in a general way, were probably Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau, but the man who made a deep and practical impact was a Scot named John Muir. He was born in 1838 in Dunbar, not very far from where I was born, and he left Scotland for California at the age of twenty-eight. He called himself a 'poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist'. Today he is known as the father of America's national parks. On August 5th, 2004, former President Bill Clinton said of him, "One of the Americans who inspired Theodore Roosevelt to conserve our national forests was the naturalist John Muir, who once said, 'Everybody needs beauty as well as bread - places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul'. In today's fast-paced, high-tech world, Muir's words are even more compelling". Another influential writer was Henry Beston. In 1928, after spending a year in a small wooden house on the Great Outer Beach of Cape Cod, he wrote an inspiring little book called 'The Outermost House', which contained the following passage: 'We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth'. The Outermost House Henry Beston My own special interest is the wolf, that most misunderstood of all animals. Down the ages wolves have been the subject of much fear, hatred and mis-information and yet, of all the larger predators it is the least harmful to people. In a way, we know more about the character of wolves than we do about our closest relatives - the great apes - because their descendants are all around us, lolling about in front of the fire, or digging holes in the garden. And yet the wolf has been hunted and persecuted almost to the edge of extinction. There have been no wolves in Britain for 300 years. The last one was probably killed at Helmsdale, some 40 miles north of where I live in the Scottish Highlands. That the Vikings had a respect for the strength and sagacity of wolves is evidenced by the names given to ancient Nordic kings - Beowulf, Beadowulf, Wulfstan, etc. Even ealier is the legend of Romulus and Remus. The twins were found abandoned on the banks of the Tiber by a she-wolf, who fed them with her milk. When they grew up, Romulus built the city of Rome on the spot where the wolf had found them. Although no evidence to support the story has come down to us, there are plenty of authenticated stories of similar incidents, including three from Lucknow in India dated from 1844, 1954 and 1976. One man who was centuries ahead of his time as a protector of animals was the Italian priest who became the patron saint of animals and the environment. Francis of Assisi was very much a lone voice, at one point pleading with the people of Gubbio to feed the notorious wolf which had been ravaging their flocks. His insight was all the more profound considering the relentless cruelty with which 'Brother Wolf', as Saint Francis called him, has been persecuted in the past fifteen hundred years. In Anglo-Saxon times January was set aside especially for hunting wolves. It was known as wolfmonat or wolf month. Medieval folk-lore is full of stories about devil-wolves with dripping jaws and evil, slitty eyes. There are woodcuts of wolves with cloven hooves, carrying off little children, and there are children's stories like Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, and various tales about were-wolves. The subject of all these stories must indeed be a ferocious animal, but in fact there is no authenticated instance of anyone being attacked by a wolf. I don't say it couldn't happen; I just say you're more likely to be struck by lightning. That it is possible for people and wolves to live in the same world has been demonstrated by the various wolf programs on-going in north-west Montana, the Yellowstone area, Central Idaho and North Carolina. There is also a scheme, backed by Greenpeace and various politicians to re-instate the wolf in certain areas of the Scottish Highlands. In the U. S. ranchers are being re-imbursed for any livestock losses - which are surprisingly light - by an organisation called Defenders of Wildlife. This is what they say on their website: 'Some of the nation's most prominent biologists have estimated that protecting habitat for wide-ranging predators such as wolves will conserve 90% or more of overall biological diversity. Because wolves can require home ranges of several hundred square miles, their conservation can help to preserve a host of other species making use of the same habitat.' It was the 'Defenders' organisation which led the successful fight to restore the gray wolf to it's former habitat in Yellowstone Park, and they are currently battling against recent legislation in Alaska to allow the 'hunting' of wolves from light aircraft and snowmobiles. This degrading and inhumane practice was banned in 1972 until last year, and ignores the weight of scientific thinking. It has received widespread public opposition. Alaskans have voted against aircraft assisted wolf hunting twice; in 1996 and 2000. Killing wild wolves is supposed to boost the numbers of caribou and moose for the benefit of hunters, but biologists say that the larger prey species elude wolves 97% of the time, and that by eliminating sick and old animals, predation actually strengthens the gene pool. Richard Fiennes, the distinguished U. K. scientist and biologist has summed up the case for the wolf as follows: 'The wolf appears to retain a respect for human beings, and is reluctant to attack them. Not so man, who now fears and abominates the wolf and does all in his power to destroy him. Alas, he fails to recognize in the wolf's descendants, whom he has domesticated, the great virtues and loveable characters of the ancestral wolf. If wolves must become extinct in some areas, let us yet give what honour is due to him where we can. The old traditions of this gentle creature's savagery and ferocity linger on, and man's hand is against him, even when he does no harm. There are still enormous regions of the world, in America and Russia, where he can be left unmolested; let him so remain.' The Order of Wolves Richard Fiennes When I look at my dogs, I see a wolf, and when I look at a wolf, I see my dogs. James Donaldson Collins
While both the demand for energy and energy prices continue to increase, nonrenewable sources of energy, particularly fossil fuels, are decreasing. These factors, coupled with the effects of pollution and global warming, are driving consumers and industry to call for a better solution to the world's energy needs. Some suggest that the solution might be found by making innovative technological improvements to an existing source of energy - nuclear power. Currently, nuclear power supplies 16 percent of the world's energy. Unlike coal, natural gas, or oil-all nonrenewable and subject to price volatility-nuclear power plants are fueled by uranium, a relatively abundant element that occurs naturally in the earth's crust. Plus, nuclear energy is the world's largest source of emission-free energy. Nuclear power plants produce no controlled air pollut-ants or greenhouse gases. One of the latest developments in the production of nuclear energy comes from Westinghouse Electric Company. It has introduced what's been described as the safest and most economical nuclear power plant available in the worldwide commercial marketplace-the AP1000. It's the first reactor of its class to receive Design Certification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Based on 20 years of research and development, the reactor builds on the proven technology of major components used in current Westinghouse-designed plants. These components include steam generators, digital instrumentation and controls, fuel, reactor coolant pumps and integrated engineering-and have years of reliable operating experience. Using this established technology as a jumping-off point, the innovative design of the reactor is said to offer distinct advantages over other reactors-including unequaled safety, economic competitiveness and improved and more efficient operations. The AP1000's innovative approach to safety reduces the need for human intervention and the potential for human error. Its simplified construction design can lead to significant savings in plant costs and an accelerated construction schedule.
Most regions understand that the timing of these actions is speedily sneaking away from us; we see now that we are at the "we need to get it done now stage". Sooner rather than later, the timing will quickly start to be; we had better get this done and then we wish we had gotten our energy usage under command. In most respects, the entire problem can be intimidating and to a certain degree dejecting. Luckily, there are solutions to the world's power issues if they are simply applied and developed to their fullest and most efficient possibility. Solar power is beginning to make excellent headway in technology and execution as are other alternative energy solutions. One of these alternatives is wind turbine energy, a source of uninterrupted clean energy that is actually making great strides in reducing coal power energy point source where it is being utilized. What is a wind turbine? A wind turbine used for producing electrical energy is not all that difficult a thing to comprehend. It is almost exactly like the water wheels that centuries of people have used to make their flour. The only difference is that instead of using water to turn the water wheel wind is used. The wind makes the blades of the wheel turn which; with the help of some gears, magnets and resistance creates electricity which turns a motor to send the electricity along power lines. Unfortunately, at the moment the energy generated from the turbine cannot be stored in batteries so there is a need for back-up systems but, for the most part, it is a fairly efficient system. Location, location, location This last point about not being able to store the generated energy in batteries for later use puts quite a bit of emphasis on where the wind turbines are placed. Since the energy that is generated needs to be sent along the power lines and used right away, the turbines need to be located in a place where the wind is always blowing. One might think, well that shouldn’t be that difficult. Well… yes and no. The turbine needs to be located where there is a constant and steady wind most of the time, but it also needs to be located in a place where quite a few turbines can be located. The current issue is that one turbine generates quite a bit of energy, but not enough energy to make it economically feasible. Several hundred turbines need to be in place to make this happen. There are many places around the world where this is possible, but the overall concept is regional in nature. In other words, the power made in Vegas, stays in Vegas. The power generated in West Texas, stays in west Texas. This is not generally a bad thing since larger cities in Texas are deriving a nice chunk of their power from the wind turbines which lessens the need to use coal power needed for other places like Los Angeles. Not in my back yard The particular problem of people not wanting to look up at or listen to wind turbines all day every day has become a bit of an issue. At the larger more rural sites in West Texas there is a bit of an undercurrent about the wind turbines, the sound they make (constantly) and their future when they are outdated and need to be removed, but since the entire concept is so new the legislature is in a bit of a learning curve. Where the issue is likely to be resolved is in more urban areas where the use of wind turbines is just beginning to creep in. As vocal suburbanites hear about proposed “turbine farms” they all-of-a-sudden decide they are fine with wind power but don’t want to look at 100 turbines within their sight on a mountain top, coastal sound or back yard. Reading in the dark People may become vocal about not wanting to see or hear wind turbines on a daily basis but they may need to better understand that alternative power sources are coming. They had better think about the need and how they are going to deal with the issue on a personal basis. Power up with solar, wind, water of nuclear because choosing a source sooner rather the later may be the best way to keep; not in my backyard, not in my back yard.
When you are in Africa, you will obviously want to see animals. The best way to do this is to book yourself a place on a safari. Guided safaris leave regularly from all the biggest tourist destinations, and you can even arrange your own if you know what you’re doing and where you’re going. Africa boasts some of the most spectacular wildlife in the world, including elephants, lions, tigers, crocodiles, hippos, rhinos, monkeys, and much more besides. If you’re not exactly the adventurous type, you can see a surprising amount without even leaving South Africa. If you want to see the most interesting animals, though, you should head for the rainforest. When you go on safari, remember that it will be hot and the terrain will be rough. You need to wear the proper clothing, which means nothing too warm, and you should also be careful to be well-rested, fed and hydrated before you go. Take plenty of water with you, and don’t go too far in any one day. There is also the issue that many of the animals that you’re going to be seeing can be very dangerous – even the ones you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Always stay alert. It is generally a good idea to stay in your car as much as possible, especially if you are a beginner. If you find yourself in danger, remember the golden rule: don’t panic, and stay still. Tempting as it might be to scream in terror and run away, that will only startle the animal, and make it far more likely for it to attack you in self-defence. At the end of the day, a safari can be a very memorable experience, and you’ll be fine as long as you use your common sense. Don’t try to run before you can walk, and don’t put yourself in any danger. Just pick an animal you’ve always wanted to see, and go for it.
Air purifiers are devices employed in homes and business all over the world. Due to the amount of dust etc indoors, air purifiers are used to clean and ‘purify’ the air inside the building, circulating it until it is free from unnecessary particles. An air purifier usually takes the form of a mechanical wall unit, but can be stood on the floor and vary in size, some squat box shapes and some slender towers. Prices vary in a wide range but there are many websites devoted to their sale, as well as a large variety of manufacturer. They use a variety of methods to remove contaminants from the air. Some use electricity to suck particles out of the air, while some use absorbent materials. All air purifiers must be cleaned regularly to keep them working properly, as most manufacturers boast at least 95% filtration of known impure air particles. The industry benchmark is called the HEPA standard, a system that filtrates 99.97% of particles with a size of 0.3 micrometers (Department of Energy). The original HEPA filter was used in the Manhattan Project to stop airborne radioactive particles. Certain purifiers use UV light that is fatal to some germs. Some purifier manufacturers have come into controversy over units that generate ions in order to react with the contaminants in the air, as some machines produce the harmful pollutant Ozone. Airborne particles such as dust, pollen and spores build up inside rooms. Many people use air purifiers to reduce the quantity and density of these specks of matter in order to provide a safer, less cloying atmosphere. This is very much the case for sufferers of asthma and allergy sufferers, to whom these particles can be dangerous allergens or hazards. Other uses are to prevent more direct threats, such as gases and even second hand smoke.
Have you ever wondered what is floating through the air in your home? Just because you can't see something doesn't mea n it isn't there. Millions of particles, pollutants, gases, bacteria, and allergens are roaming your house with no way to get out making the air inside your home up to 100 times dirtier than outside air. Sure, opening a window to let in fresh air may get that stale smell out, but it is only an open door to invite more particles inside your home. This contaminated air circulates through your home and either settles on flat surfaces in the form of dust or is breathed in by you and your family. Fortunately, your house does not have to fall victim to these airborne pests. Air purifiers are more common and affordable today than ever before. If you do not have an air purifier, knowing the different types of air filtration devices will help you before you buy your own. 1. HEPA filters: Short for "High Efficiency Particulate Air filters", these devices use a cloth-like filter which can trap more than 99.97% of particles in your house. The filter lasts a couple of years depending on the condition of the air and can actually trap more pollutants than other filters. The downside is the HEPA filter is noisier than its competitors and does not eliminate gases or odors 2. Ionic Filters: Ionic filters purify the air by sending our ions which oppositely charge the particles so they stick together and collect on magnetic plates inside the filter (much like how your hair sticks to a balloon after it has been rubbed on your head). These devices are often a favorite among customers because of how silent they are. They are even effective enough to clean viruses, gases, allergens and bacteria out of your household air. 3. Carbon air filters: These devices are, by far, the most effective odor removers on the market. They work though a system of highly absorbent pores which trap molecules by forming a strong chemical bond. They don't, however, trap any airborne allergens or germs. 4. Ultra-Violet Light filter: Ultra violet light haven been proven to sterilize micro-organisms if they are exposed to the right amount of light for a certain length of time. Alone, there is some doubt to the effectiveness of these filters because micro-organisms may not be exposed to the light long enough while they are passing though the air. In order for ultra violet work to be successful, HEPA is used to capture the air long enough to be sterilized by the light. While ultra violet kills microorganisms, HEPA can rid your house of allergens. 5. Hydroxyl Radical filter: Hydroxyl radicals occur naturally in the earth's atmosphere and are powerful cleansing agents. They are, in fact the most powerful method of sanitizing mold and other harmful bacteria. These five types of filters are the most popular and dependable on the market. Now that you have a firm understanding of how these filters work and what exactly they clean out of household air, do your homework. There are many great filter providers online which can lead you to the best filter for your budget.
Each spring, as Americans head for the great outdoors, millions of volunteers rally for the nation's largest annual community improvement program. It's a great way to enjoy some fresh air, spend quality time with the family, meet new friends and make a difference in your community's environment. Over 15,000 communities across the nation are rallying to clean up, green up and fix up their neighborhoods. Their combined efforts preserve America's natural beauty for all to enjoy. Keeping America beautiful does not have to be a daunting task; there are many ways to lend a hand. People can get involved by joining in one or more of the 30,000 Great American Cleanup activities taking place throughout all 50 states through the end of May. Anytime of the year, you can follow these five steps for combating litter, reducing waste and beautifying communities: • Recycle. Find out how to recycle in your area and do your part. Also, try to "complete the loop" by purchasing recycled products whenever possible. • Reuse the products you can. There are hundreds of uses for everyday items such as plastic grocery bags, food and beverage containers or scrap paper. • Properly dispose of cigarette butts. If you smoke, carry a personal ashtray and always use public ashtrays when smoking outdoors. Quitting smoking is good for both your health and the environment. • Create a beautiful green space by planting trees, flowers and shrubs in an area in need of improvement in your community. • Teach a child about personal responsibility, the environment and recycling. It's important that future generations understand and respect the environment. Hands-on community improvement events like the Great American Cleanup are a great way to spend some time with the kids. America's companies are also dedicated to supporting and sponsoring the efforts for the 2006 Great American Cleanup. The 2006 Great American Cleanup National Sponsors are American Honda Motor Company, Inc., Firestone Complete Auto Care™ TiresPlus®, GLAD® ForceFlex® Trash Bags from The Glad Products Company, Pepsi-Cola Company, SAM'S CLUB®, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Sparkle® Paper Towels from Georgia-Pacific Corporation, Troy-Bilt®, Waste Management, Inc. and the Wm. Wrigley Jrpany. Educational Partner: Rubber Manufacturers Association.
At home, at work and at school, Americans have successfully engaged in recycling programs--and one of the best success stories is paper. In 2005, a record-high 51.5 percent (51.3 million tons) of all paper consumed in the U. S. was recovered for recycling. The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) hopes to increase that number and has set an ambitious goal of 55 percent recovery by 2012. Every American can do his or her part. Although each community's recycling programs may be different, you can generally recycle newspapers, corrugated containers (cardboard), direct mail, magazines and catalogs. Check with your local municipality to find out what you can and cannot recycle. The AF&PA Recycling Awards were created to recognize outstanding individual, business community and school paper recycling efforts. In 2006, the program was expanded to include a category for schools. This year's award winners are: Ed Hurley Memorial Paper Recycling Award (for individual achievement) • Joel Ostroff, Macon County, North Carolina AF&PA Business Leadership Recycling Awards • Small Business: Bluegrass Regional Recycling Corporation, Richmond, Kentucky • Large Business: Brewer Science, Inc., Rolla, Missouri AF&PA Community Recycling Awards • Small Community: North-field, Minnesota • Large Community: Seattle, Washington AF&PA School Recycling Awards • Classroom: Heber Springs High School, Heber Springs, Arkansas • Schoolwide: Mountain Home High School, Mountain Home, Arkansas • College & University: tie between the University of Colorado at Boulder in Boulder, Colorado, and the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon "This year's Recycling Award winners have exhibited innovation and social responsibility," said AF&PA President & CEO W. Henson Moore. "Their accomplishments in recycling have set new precedents."
Wind is one of the cleanest, if not cleanest, renewable energy sources available to us. What most people don’t know is it is also the fastest growing energy sector. Wind is an indirect version of solar power. Different surfaces on the Earth react differently to being hit by sunlight, particular in regards to heat. As sunlight heats up surfaces, they warm up at different rates. The surround air also warms up at different rates, fertilizing the wind process. Temperatures over a body of water like a lake will always be cooler than temperatures over rocky ground. Hot air rises and cool air rushes into fill such voids. As this process occurs, the rushing air manifests as wind and an incredibly cheap and clean energy source. The fact that wind is a naturally occurring event makes it a great energy source. Consider the following: 1. Wind is a renewable energy source because it will exist as long as sunlight beats down on us. 2. Wind has been used by man as an energy source ever since we’ve sailed boats. 3. The first windmills were used to turn wheels to grind grain in Iran. 4. American colonist used windmills to move water, grind grain and cut wood. 5. Wind energy harnessed by windmills was a dominant source of energy in rural America in the 1920s. 6. In modern times, California is the biggest user of wind power and produces twice as much electricity as any other state. 7. Modern windmills actually come in two forms, vertical and horizontal models. 8. Horizontal windmills are the stereotypical version that comes to your mind when the word is mentioned. 9. Vertical mills look like upside down egg beaters, but are hypnotic when they spin. 10. Unlike traditional utilities, most energy produced by wind is done by private businesses and sold to utilities through an electric grid hookup. 11. Wind power in the U. S. generates a whopping 17 billion kilowatts per year, more than enough to provide all electrical needs for the city of Chicago. 12. More than 30 states have wind farms generating and supplying electricity to utility companies. 13. California, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wyoming are the dominant forces in producing energy from wind. 14. The biggest energy producer from wind is Germany, which is also dominant in solar power production. For many, these wind findings will be a surprise. The sole fact that there is enough power produced by wind energy to handle a city the size of Chicago is pretty impressive. As we move into the 21st century, new technology is heading in the direction of creating wind energy platforms for individual residences.
With all of the fervor these days about the dangers of global warming many people are concerned about the fate of Antarctica. The fears are that the ice that makes up the continent is melting faster than normal and not freezing back as it usually does with a very even ebb and flow. The concerns are that this will eventually raise the sea level enough to put major cities and land masses under water and leave millions of people homeless and/or even dead. So who are making these claims? Well there are many scientists that have been looking at the earth’s climates and weather systems for a long time and trying to make sense of them. The earliest reason for doing this was not to measure the affect of the greenhouse gases that are magnifying the suns intensity and causing the heat to stay within it. They originally wanted to learn about the earth so that they could by recognizing signs be could warn of natural disasters like earth quakes and hurricanes and tsunamis. Since they have kept data to look for these signs they have noticed disturbing trends in things like the average temperature and the increasing sea level and other things like the sized of the ice cap over Antarctica and they seem to only be going in one direction which spells trouble. Then they start looking for why this is happening, and the buzzword is generally global warming. They cite the increase in certain gases like CO2 which are purportedly on the rise do to the millions of different engines that burn fossil fuels across the world. Supposedly this changes the qualities of the atmosphere that hold in the energy from the sun much like a green house does. What people don’t realize is that these are all theories to explain trends in the environment that no one has any clue about. We know that Antarctica melts in places and at certain times and since we have been measuring these things it appears that the land mass has gotten smaller—but this is very flawed thinking. You see we have only been able to make specialized measurements like this for several decades which may seem like a long enough time to make good guesses about the earth which is thousands of years old (some even say billions). You just can’t make definitive statements about trends that may just be natural cycles that are 500 years in length. Even 100 year or 50 year cycles would not have been fully measured yet. So we must cool our jets and take ourselves so seriously. We know a lot less about the melting Antarctica and many other things that seem to be slowly headed toward disaster than we think.
Are we humans beings really the masters of this planet? Do we have the authority to self-righteously assume global dominance? The following article is my view to the questions. It is certainly not definitive. It is just an expression of my own thoughts and opinions. In my opinion, perhaps we should not assume that our species is central to the world and planet at large. A human economic system should ideally also take into account the well being of the entire ecosystem, which is body of Mother Earth. I will tend to regard the Mother Earth as a living consciousness with her various elements (water, air, wildlife, etc) constantly seeking to remain in harmonious equilibriume to think of it, isn't this quite like the way the body of a living being functions? Perhaps, economy and civilisation's progress should not be about humans for humans only. We tend to see 'less-than-holistically' and believe that money-making has little or nothing to do with the welfare of our Mother Earth and the ecosystem. But the fact is we humans do take sustenance from the atmosphere, animal and plant kingdoms; therefore we are dependent upon other species and resources on Earth. As such, human activities should be accounted for within a equation that does not place the human species upon a pedestal (which is being treated as superior); but rather assigns the 'so-called intelligent biped' objectively with other species and elements of this diverse planet. In my opinion, the current human activities are simply too self-absorbed within our own kind. The truth of things is that everything, 'however insignificant it may appear to be, is in actual fact, unique. "Feeling special" and "above others" are simply beliefs concocted by the human psyche, and have relevance only in a human society. Holistic & equitable replenishment & redistribution amongst all elements and species on Earth should be the a central theme for sustainable living, instead of the human biased "competitive" model. I feel that perhaps recycling of used materials may not be enough. Humans, being the so-called intelligent life form on Earth should actively develop sciences that deal with replenishment of plants, animal kingdoms and elements, keeping resources in equilibrium. To achieve all that, perhaps the very mindset that first sets competition in motion has to be re-evaluated. Well, this ideal is certainly easier said than done. Thank you for reading. I hope it has been interesting for you.