Posted on

The Lifecycle of Materials in Green Energy

Promoting Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility

As the world increasingly adopts green energy systems, it is important to understand the lifecycle of the materials used in these technologies. From solar panels to wind turbines and batteries, responsible management and recycling of these materials are crucial for reducing waste and promoting a sustainable energy future. This article explores the environmental impact of green energy materials, their recycling potential, and the challenges involved.

Lowering Carbon Emissions for a Greener World To combat climate change, a holistic approach is needed. By focusing on energy efficiency, transitioning to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, promoting electric vehicles, and implementing carbon pricing mechanisms, we can effectively lower carbon emissions. These collective efforts from individuals, businesses, and governments play a vital role in mitigating the greenhouse gas effect.

Environmental Impacts of Green Energy Materials While green energy technologies offer cleaner alternatives, their production and disposal have environmental implications. The extraction of materials like rare earth minerals and the manufacturing processes for solar panels and wind turbines can contribute to land degradation, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Addressing these concerns is essential for a truly sustainable energy transition.

Recycling and Reuse: Closing the Loop Fortunately, many green energy materials can be recycled and repurposed, reducing the need for virgin resources and minimizing waste. Solar panels, lithium batteries, and carbon fiber from wind turbines can undergo recycling processes to recover valuable components. These recycled materials can be utilized in the production of new products, reducing the environmental impact associated with their manufacturing.

Overcoming Challenges and Promoting Responsible Management Recycling carbon fiber, in particular, poses unique challenges due to its complex nature. However, innovative recycling technologies are being developed to maximize its recovery and reuse. Proper disposal methods and waste management practices are vital to prevent soil and water contamination while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. Government support and industry collaboration are crucial in driving sustainable solutions and advancing closed-loop systems.

Understanding the lifecycle of materials used in green energy systems is essential for building a sustainable future. By adopting energy-efficient practices, transitioning to renewable sources, and implementing responsible waste management, we can minimize the environmental impact of green energy technologies. Through recycling and repurposing, we can reduce waste, conserve resources, and contribute to a more sustainable and greener world. Let’s embrace these practices to ensure a cleaner and brighter future for generations to come.

Posted on

Struggles of being Eco friendly, cool or not cool?

Deciding to be eco friendly takes work. These last few months, I’ve made a conscious effort to be as eco friendly as possible. Also working diligently to enlighten close friends on the practice. My circle of friends consists of a small group. From outdoor manly men to “GQ” creative “manscaped” men. Finding a gentle, non-intrusive way of communicating my eco message takes some finesse and massaging. Finding the right balance to intrigue my friends vs. turning them off from the message is the key to success. Some early feedback from my group of friends especially the guys have been, “so you’re going to be one of those guys?”. Of course, this is done in a more jovial tone. We’ve always given each other a hard time when someone from our group has a new hobby or tries to adopt a new trend. All part of our social behavior as “tough” guys.

 A few things I’m experimenting with currently, are buying simple but effective items that almost everyone can use daily. Two examples of this are reusable tumblers (pic) and reusable straws (pic). I’ve realized over the last few months my exposure to plastic straws and plastic bottles are the two largest non eco friendly things in my routine. If you live an active lifestyle, like me there’s a good chance you have similar habits. I’d buy a 12 pack of water bottles to take to the beach or out on the boat for the day. As you can imagine this can result in quite a bit of personal waste daily. Also, I found out that dining out regularly plastic straws are freely given out with little thought on their  eco impact. Overcoming these bad habits can be challenging and educating friend and family may not appear cool and may be even more difficult. But If they see you’re making the effort, it might influence them to be more aware of their habits. It’s these little changes that ultimately will create the wave of change needed for future generations.

Posted on

5 Eco resolutions to make an impact in 2019

As we enter a new year, many will partake in renewing New Year resolutions. For most, these resolutions might be to lose weight, stop smoking, consume less alcohol or spend more time with family. In 2019, mine will be focused on making changes to my personal use of single use paper and plastic.

Over the last few months, I’ve become more enlightened to the increasing stress that single use products put on our ecosystem. With companies like 4Ocean and Parley working hard to remove ocean plastic, I felt compelled as an individual to assist in reducing my use of these items. One person making simple changes may not seem like much, but if we can multiply this by 10, 100 or 1000 people by sharing this practice, we can make a significant impact for our future.

Below are 5 practices, I believe to be simple but extremely impactful in reducing ocean plastic. 

1.       Stop using paper towels and use cotton hand towels around the home. Not only do these single use paper towels create unnecessary waste by using them, but through their life cycle create a single use waste trail. They’re packaged in single use plastic and ship in single use corrugated boxes to a distributor or retailer.

2.       Use Tupperware or Pyrex for food storage and transport verses plastic storage bags. Finding a way to eliminate single use plastic storage bag consumption with multiuse storage containers may be one of the most important eco friendly practices on the list.

3.       If dining out, ask for no straw or stir to be used in your drink order. Ask for a metal spoon or stir if you intend to mix in any artificial sweetener. If you think about the number of straws distributed in this manner, the numbers are dizzying. In almost every drink sold you receive at least one straw. If you get a refill there could be two or more in one sitting. All which end up in the trash. If you’re like many and absolutely need to use a straw, there are quite a few companies now offering eco friendly multiuse straw options. One in particular is Current Straw, they make a stainless steel reusable straw which can easily be transported in the supplied bamboo sleeve.

4.       One common practice is the consumption of single serve bottled water. Almost every city in the US offers safe drinking water. Still many consumers opt to purchase single serving “Spring” water from their local grocery store. While researching data on plastic water bottles I stumbled upon an Interesting article written for Business Insider in 2011 on the bottled water industry. While we understand this is a personal preference, most likely due to the taste of their city water source. We suggest a slightly more eco friendly option of buying water in bulk containers. This along with the use of a multiuse stainless steel water bottle (pictured below) reduces single serving plastic consumption significantly. This is a welcome new trend emerging in the last 12 months. 

5.       Lastly, and it’s a big one. Use multiuse shopping bags made from burlap or other ecofriendly material for groceries or trips to dept. stores. For this step, you’ll want to make sure you keep one or two of these bags close by, in the car glove box or back seat pocket works best.

In summary, some of these simple changes may seem challenging to remember every time. as we’re presented with single serve plastic and paper quite often in our daily lives. But if we can share and encourage these simple ecofriendly habits, we can make great progress towards reducing the problems future generations face with plastic pollution.

This blog only covers 5 simple eco-friendly changes and we love feedback, so if you have more ideas you’d like to bring to light and contribute, please feel  free to comment below.