Tag Archive for sustainable

We Are Missing a Real Opportunity to Help Our Fellow Citizens in Puerto Rico

The disaster that Hurricane Maria visited on Puerto Rico, as terrible as it is, offers us the opportunity to create a model of sustainability. The question is, will we take that opportunity or simply recreate a system that is not sustainable.

sustainability hurricane mariaIn a recent Op-Ed, Richard Branson and Amory Lovins offered an idea that I have been taking about to many. Instead of rebuilding an archaic fossil fuel power system that can be destroyed by storms, is expensive to maintain, causes a financial drain on the island’s economy and leaves its residents at risk due to the whims of an indifferent administration, we can spend the money that must be spent on developing a resilient renewable energy infrastructure.

This infrastructure should be a combination of solar and wind powered systems where every home has some relationship and tie in to that structure. Either independently…solar on each home, or a combination of that and more centralized wind systems where they are feasible. In addition, the use of micrograms should be strongly considered…especially where wind is the source.

I have not done the full cost, but I would propose that it may well be less expensive when life cycle analyzed to build this decentralized system than to try and use the current model.

We should not squander this opportunity.

Read the full article:
How to Keep the Lights On After a Hurricane
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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Reusable Meal Kits…Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Talk about a society of convenience…Meal Kits to the home are now multiplying in number, quality and diversity. Finally, at least one company, FreshRealm, has determined that it should not produce waste as a product of the packaging used for these kits. Good for them.

Reusable Meal Kits Grilled SalmonThey have developed completely Reusable Meal Kits. The kit is sent back to them for sterilization and reuse. Now other companies are ordering these packages from them. Hmmm, didn’t we used to refill containers all the time? Soda, beer, etc? Well, it seems that were are coming full circle.

This does not make meal kits a sustainable resource. After all, we are requiring that individual meals and packaging be shipped to and from different addresses. That consumes fuel, and utilizes natural resources. But it is a start.

Read the full article:
A Tantalizing Offering From a Meal Kit Service: The Box
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Lake Mead Drops to Record Low

Maybe its time to do away with the idea that dams can be built to provide enough water for desert cities.

Maybe its time to remove at least one dam so that we can move water to another lake?

Whether or not we remove dams, create tunnels or simply move out of the desert, it is clearly time to do something drastic when it comes to water. The concept of sustainable water supplies has been pushed over the limit by committing more than 100% of the Colorado River’s water.

Lake Mead Dam

This simply cannot continue. I rather like the idea of taking down a dam or two…or at least opening them up so that less water is wasted via evaporation. Of course, maybe the excess of cities like Las Vegas, where fountains splash and canals are built to resemble Venice has lived out its useful life?

Read the full article:
Lake Mead drops to record low: What’s next?

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Not all recycling is sustainable…Yes, I said that

First, let me say that I am a bit of a coffee snob. I like coffee that is fresh and not made in plastic cups.

Second, yes, I said that not all recycling is sustainable.

Recycling K-CupKeurig’s newly designed K-Cup is designed to be more recyclable than before. But as David Gelles points out in his article, there is more to recycling than just the ability to take a product and actually recycle it.

In most cases, recycling is a net energy saver. In the case of the K-cup, a solution in search of a problem that never existed, the net effect of making the cup, transporting it and then recycling it yields a net energy loss. Simply put, this is a product that is simply the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig.

In reality, the term is greenwashing…and truth be told, there is no way to make this product environmentally sound.

How about making coffee and not pods?

Read the full article:
Keurig’s New K-Cup Coffee Is Recyclable, but Hardly Green
Limited free access; NY Times subscription may be required.

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