Wind: Round and Round we go!

Wind power is continuing to grow in the United States as the years progress. The Midwest region of the United States has the greatest potential for producing wind energy. Now why is wind power necessary? Wind is an infinite source of energy, that is renewable, and can power wind turbines to create energy without emitting harmful greenhouse gases. The world is starting to realize that fossil fuels will destroy the planet sooner than later, so this is why wind energy will be so important. Technology for wind turbines is increasing every year and in some areas, the cost of electricity is lower from wind power than a coal fired plant. Switching to wind will help eliminate carbon emissions, increase jobs, and create a cleaner living environment.

The major problem with expanding the wind sector is the funding and how people react to wind turbines. The government is just starting to see the environmental impacts of fossil fuels yet, they have yet to make major changes to stop the use of fossil fuels. There is little to no funding, at the moment, to create and install additional turbines. Most wind companies must make a profit and use this profit to install more turbines. What also stops wind companies from installing wind turbines is the people not wanting them installed where they live. Factors include: The turbines block the view, they are to loud, or simply think they are bad for the environment. While turbines can be very tall, up to 400+ feet, some people have not been educated on the many benefiting factors of wind energy.

In this blog, I will attempt to show the potential of wind energy and how we as a nation can reach this potential goal. I will obtain my information for many sources; other classes that I have previously took, government energy statistics websites, peer review journals, and professors. What I want to do is inform fellow bloggers about the history of wind and what the United States wind power sector is like right now. Explain where the best regions are for installed wind power and the factors that we will have to overcome to install these turbines. By the end I want to inform the reader how we could accomplish the problems that wind energy has currently, and illustrate the full potential power of the Wind energy sector.

Plastics Are Not Swell

Plastic water bottles are taking over our landfills, wallets, and most importantly our planet.  Americans are spending 300 times more on water bottles than drinking tap water. In 2012, Americans spent a whopping $11.8 billion dollars on water bottles. This number is outrageous. Can you think of what else we could have spent that $11.8 billion on instead of plastic “filtered” water?  Each year, the U.S. consumes enough plastic water bottles to wrap around the Earth 190 times. One Hundred Ninety Times. This number is outrageous and detrimental to the planet.  Consumers do not realize the damage they are doing by purchasing mass amounts of water bottles each year.  It truly is astonishing the how much damage a single 16 ounce water bottle has on our planet.

There are a multitude of companies that have created a safe and reusable bottle to replace the plastic water bottles that so many Americans use on a daily basis but one company stuck out to me: Swell.  The Swell company not only provides consumers with a safe, non-toxic, stainless steal bottles but they also give back to the community with every purchase.  Each Swell bottle is,”non-leaching and non-toxic 18/8 stainless steel, that keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12″ (Swell).  Swell’s main goal is producing these bottles is to help provide clean water for those in need. To date, Swell has given over $200,000 to the world’s most vulnerable children through UNICEF.  By creating these bottles Swell not only helps reduce our usage of non-resuable plastic bottles but they provide children and others with access to safe and clean drinking water.

The CEO and founder of Swell Bottle is Sarah Kauss and her mission from day one has been to get single use, disposable beverage containers out of landfills and oceans.  This mission is of the utmost importance.  Our landfills are becoming overwhelming and filled with so much plastic, aluminum, and glass that soon our landfills will become overrun with these products.  If consumers would start purchasing Swell bottles instead of packs of plastic water bottles, our planet would be cleaner and our destruction of this Earth would begin to diminish.

In this blog, I will attempt to show that by using Swell bottles, or products similar, we as a society can reduce our usage of disposable single use beverage containers and create a positive impact on our planet. By reducing the amount of plastics we consume our landfills and oceans will be cleaner.  Plastics in the oceans hurt marine life and kill thousand and even millions of marine animals and plants each year.  We must reduce our impact on the planet and it can start by reducing our usage of plastic water bottles.

I have linked the page to Swell’s “about page so you can read more about how they are helping reduce our plastic bottle usage and helping those less fortunate all with just one stainless steal bottle.

About S’well

Work Cited:

http://www.businessinsider.com/bottled-water-costs-2000x-more-than-tap-2013-7

Garbage Patches: A Water Bottle Lovers Island Get Away

No matter what part of the country a person resides in, North, South, East, or West, the chances that they have heard of the country, and worlds population use are extremely high. If I had to guess, I would say that over 90 percent of the population over the age of 16 knows that we as a whole overuse plastic, and it is terrible for the environment. Now everyone might not know the consequences that come from plastic use, or the damages that can come from it, but that in essence is what this blog post will focus on. Everyone has the common misconception that plastics in today’s age all break down, but what they don’t know is that plastics never truly break down; they only get smaller. I find this topic so interesting because we think nothing of our plastic use on a daily basis. We get our Nestle, Aquafina, and Dasani bottles toss them back, and then toss our water bottles out of the window, on the ground, in the trash, but never in recycling bins. Sure we think about all of this when reading a blog like this but never when we are in the act of doing it.

Garbage Patches are things that not many people know about. When one hears the words garbage patch, their immediate question is “What …. Is that….,” and it is exactly what it says it is, it is a massive patch of garbage. There are a few of these garbage patches, but the main garbage patch that people know about is called “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” it is the biggest of all of the garbage patches, and a garbage patch is basically a massive floating island that is comprised of nothing but trash, but primarily plastic. Plastic from all over the world, that is thrown out and not properly disposed of makes it way to the ocean, this trash then gets caught in ocean currents which eventually leads to all of the trash gathering in one area.

pacific-vortex

In this blog, my goal is to show the detrimental consequences for over using plastic, not only to our oceans, but to all of the wildlife that reside in the oceans and call the oceans home. People often don’t think about it because it’s not affecting their own homes, but it is only a matter of time before we start seeing them up close and personal. I will show how these garbage patches are formed, give statistics on the amount of plastic that we use as a country, and all of the side affects and consequences that come from plastic use. I will use plenty of images, up to date articles, and journals to make this blog as relatable as possible.

In the mean time while you’re thinking about all of this, go recycle that plastic bottle you have and go buy yourself a swell, or a Hydroflask to drink water out of. It’ll last you forever and you’ll save money from buying water bottles.

Solar Powered Desalination: The Key to Our Future’s Water Source

Water is undoubtedly the most valuable necessity to all life on earth. However, in many regions in our world people are faced with severe scarcity of clean drinking water. This is a huge issue in water stressed areas that see little to no rainfall throughout the year. The human population is growing at a rapid pace all around the globe yet our water sources are becoming more and more diminished causing a major scarcity in many regions. Many viable clean water sources have been polluted to the point of no return or have been completely depleted some places. Over 1.2 billion people on earth have little to no access to drinking water and with a growing population that figure will only increase drastically. This means that we must find a way to innovate and use our knowledge to create a sustainable clean water supply across the world. Desalination is a process scientist have discovered that sends ocean water through a process called reverse osmosis, which purifies ocean water into clean fresh water that we can drink. Through this process, there is hope that we can provide clean drinkable water around the world by purifying our oceans salt water.

Many people today are completely unaware that in coming years we will experience severe water shortages in the United States, especially in the western regions. The aspect many people have already failed to realize is that the problem has already begun and in our lifetime we will see close to a billion people die of thirst in our lifetime. The obvious answer seems to be desalination, however many issues arise in the process. The typical issue with desalination is the large expense of the process. The process requires a very large amount of energy, expensive equipment, and lots of costly research. The current issue we face is that is extremely cheap to attain water currently which leads to misuse and overuse all over the world. Yet since it is so cheap, not very many people are willing to invest in the technology or the high costs of desalination. However, if we are able to find a way to make the process cheaper or more energy efficient, we could possibly solve water shortage issues on every continent. In Carlsbad, California a desalination plant has been developed that has incorporated more energy efficiency than ever before in the process by using solar power to run the plant. This is extremely promising because cost and inefficiency are the largest obstacles in the way. Hopefully the technological advances and advances in energy techniques used at this plant can offer a solution to over a billion peoples problem.

In this blog I will attempt to show the necessity of achieving sustainable desalination, the technological advances we are currently making in the field, and the overall possibilities of future sustainable desalination plants. I will be following many scientist involved in the project and I will be following advances and the economic efficiency of the plant in Carlsbad, California. I will be following water conservation organizations such as Ecowatch and The Water Project. Throughout my blog I will provide a more detailed prediction of future water scarcity across the U.S. and the history and future of water desalination. With a massive future world population, a solution to our water source issue must be found. Stay tuned for my next piece over the history of desalination and why it could be the best solution to the largest issue we might ever encounter in our lifetimes. (Below is a map of water stressed areas in the world and an example of a desalination plant)

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Waging Wars Against the Environment

Wars have been relevant on our planet since the dawn of man. Everyone always thinks about the physical harm it does to our humans and regions fighting the wars but the damage caused to the environment is often overlooked. The world we live in is often taken for granted, but some of the most harmful things done to our beautiful planet come in the darkest of human times. There has always been conflict between humans wether it be political or territorial. One group my always come out of top, but the environment always comes out on bottom. The progression of warfare into the chemical and nuclear area have been some of the biggest factors of damage to the environment. Wars like World War I, World War II, The Vietnam War, The Gulf War, etc. have all had major effects on the climate and the environment.

Some of the biggest problems have come from from weapons like nerve gas and explosive ordinances during World War I. The explosives used damaged lands, burned down forests, and killed humans and animals during war time. The nerve gas used in lethal doses during the war damaged the air quality even in later times to come, and left lethal amounts of residues on surrounding vegetation that killed of many plants and animals that lived in those ecosystems. World War II brought the innovation of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear warfare. This has had one of the worst effects on the environment because it not only brought an immense loss of life but would completely wipe out towns and forests. burn everything is its path and leave behind radiation that can linger for many, many years. The disturbances it causes to the atmosphere can even change the weather and climate and increases the greenhouse gas effect in the ozone.

In this blog, I will attempt to show you the effect that war leaves on the environment through blogs, articles, and videos. I want to be able to provide you with the information that will allow you to understand how serious of a threat this is to our planet. The devastation of war not only brings conflict to groups of people and death to both sides, but it leaves a lasting harmful effect on the environment and if we’re not careful, some of those side effects may not be reversible.

Below is an image of the Kuwaiti oil fires. These burning of oil wells and even oil lakes caused immense pollution and destroyed thousands of miles of the environment and created enough smoke that it could be seen from space.

f-14a_vf-114_over_burning_kuwaiti_oil_well_1991

Tragedy at Tar Creek – a Superfund site cleanup

The Tar Creek Superfund site is a part of the tri-state mining district that encompasses parts of northeast Oklahoma, southeast Kansas, and southwest Missouri. Tar Creek is located in the northeastern county of Ottawa, Oklahoma. Here, lead and zinc were mined and milled from about 1900 to the 1960’s. The result? Huge quantities of mining waste including chat and mill tailing’s were left on the surface. Beginning in the 1960’s, health and environmental hazards were found at mining and industrial sites across America. This information sparked the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) which started the Superfund federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants.

Tar Creek was added to the National Priorities Superfund list in 1983 and at one time was considered the worst environmental disaster in the United States. Various attempts to deal with the surface water contamination have been made in order to reduce the high levels of zinc and lead found in the water that is known to be harmful to humans, especially children. In 2005 the State of Oklahoma began cleaning up some contaminated areas and restored 329 acres of land to beneficial use, but more can and will need to be done.

In this blog I will discuss the origin behind the tragedy of Tar Creek and what has been done to remedy the problem. I will give examples of completed clean-up plans as well as proposed plans, while using images, articles, and video’s to present the story of Superfund site – Tar Creek. Who was mining near Tar Creek and what methods were they using? What processes of the mining caused these detrimental consequences? What has been done and what is being done today to help fix Tar Creek and help the local residents? All of this and more will be unraveled.

Cars that move by day and sleep at night

My topic I have chose is solar powered cars. This is an important topic one because the world needs to be emitting less fossil fuels that are polluting the environment. It is important to me because everyone needs to chip in however they can and this could be how I would do it. Solar powered cars would not only make it a much cleaner environment think about a way that would effect the environment more than if everyone in the world was using a renewable resource to power their personal vehicle.

The specific problem is making the solar power cars not extremely outrageously expensive. As we all know the price to get clean energy cost more, because it cost more to do the right thing. So the goal is to make the electric car appealing enough for the consumer to buy the vehicle over the normal one because not only is it good for the environment and you can save money by not using gas but it is incredibly affordable.

In this blog, I will attempt to show that electric cars are not only the future of clean efficient vehicles and how they are becoming more and more affordable for the average person. I will attempt to show this through various article, find research articles, videos, and look for studies done on the power and limit of solar energy cars. Be ready for a blast of information and tons of videos telling you everything you would ever want to know about solar powered cars.