Why Go Green? For a Better Future
It is easy to become overwhelmed by all this talk and rhetoric of going green but one can still make a positive impact on the economy and even in their own homes. The problem with the economy today is that it is in a financial crisis. Finances are plumeting, the world is in a recession and it has caused waves of doubt. “Indeed, in 2008 the promise of jobs may be a stronger incentive to go green than the threat of ice caps melting and coastal cities drowning in 2018 or 2048. In the euro zone, for instance, unemployment is expected to rise from 11.3 million to 14.5 million by the end of next year, pushing the rate up from 7.5 to 9 percent. In the U.S. the rate is 6.1 percent, but is expected to push toward 8 percent by the end of 2009, the highest in 25 years” (Dickey & McNicoll, 1995). The purpose of this research is to expand on why going green is an important aspect of our economy today. Going green will help shift the global economy toward environmentally friendly investments in order to address climate change. Also, going green will promote job growth. It will help identify the steps needed to foster the transition to a more environmentally friendly economy. Areas that stand to yield the highest returns are: clean energy and clean-tech; sustainable agriculture; ecosystem infrastructure; cutting greenhouse gas emissions; and sustainable urban planning. What are some different ways to go green?
Renewable energy is one way to start your process in going green. There are many types of renewable energy resources out there such as biodiesel, solar power, and hybrid vehicles that seem to be coming at a speed of light. (1) “The top renewable energy technologies is showing the most immediate promise, and growing the fastest. Resoundingly—wind power (Merchant, 2008).” Electronic devices are becoming a bigger part of our lives, especially as they get smaller and smaller. We use them as tools and toys to communicate, work, enjoy media, and to be expressive. Going green with your electronics is a matter of knowing what tech to get, how to use it best, and what to do with it when its useful life is done. Using rechargeable batteries is one thing you can do to help out. Of the 15 billion batteries produced and sold each year, most of them are disposable alkaline batteries, and only a fraction of those are recycled. For removable batteries, lithium-ion (Li-Ion) and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) are most cost-effective, green alternatives. The fastest battery chargers can juice up AAs in as little as 15 minutes, and will pay for themselves quite quickly (Dickey & McNicoll, 2008).
(1) Merchant, Brian. Green Your Brain: What's the Fastest Growing Renewable Energy Technology in the World? Green Planet. Brooklyn, NY Oct 21,2008. Between 2000 and 2006, worldwide wind energy generation quadrupled. According to the DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy department, the United States saw its wind energy capacity increase a respectable 6.5 times in the last seven years.
Unplugging devices that are not being used prevent wasting energy or even putting all electronics and chargers on a power strip. This allows you to simply flip the power strip off when your electronics are not in use. There are a number of “smart” power strips on the market that sense when electronics are turned off or that the strip is off when one main unit (your PC) is powered down. There are an increasing number of options for on-the-go solar power. From handheld to backpack power, solar chargers now come in an array of types for juicing up phones, PDAs, Bluetooth headsets, iPods and laptops. Many have an onboard battery pack that can charge while the solar cells are in the sun, and then transfer the power to your device when you need it (Dickey & McNolli, 2008). (2) "Recycling a ton of 'waste' has twice the economic impact of burying it in the ground. In addition, recycling one...
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