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Obama’s Stimulus Plan and the Environment

The stimulus plan that has been put forward and, I believe, recently signed by Obama has a surprising amount of money going towards energy saving and the environment.  I have to be honest, I didn’t like him to much at first, but he is starting to grow on me.

Makers of solar panels and wind turbines, as well as, companies making efforts to bring electricity grids up to today’s day and age are going to be receiving lots of money.  $42 billion dollars to be exact.   Also, about $300 million is going towards peoples rebates so that they can buy energy efficient appliances.  And another $5 billion going towards low-income homeowners to make energy improvements.

Working on two fronts to add jobs and to help the environment, their including $20 billion dollars for green jobs.  Then there is $11 billion to modernize electric grids.  As well as $2 billion for research on electric cars.

A total of $9.2 billion is going to environental projects outside of energy, such as closing abandoned mines, protecting water supplies, etc.  $735 million is set aside for road repairs and maintenance.  $7.2 billion dollars is for improving drinking water systems and protecting bays, rivers and other water ways.  The remaining is for cleaning up leaky gasoline storage and hazardous waste sites.

Information from Yahoo News.

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FOUR. Switch To A Laptop

I’m going to guess that a majority of you are already using a laptop, but this is for the people that still use desktops. 

mini-laptop-sony-vaio-vgnA desktop can use up to 90 percent more energy than a laptop.  Since a laptop can run on a rechargeable battery it doesn’t always have to be sucking in the energy.  They also have features such as low energy displays and sleep modes that can save an enormous amount of energy.

 

24/7 Computer Energy Usage

From Pays to Live Green

  Watts Used Day Week Month Year Year Cost
Desktop Computer 120 2.88 20.22 87.6 1051.2 $126.14
Laptop 45 1.13 7.9 34.22 410.63 $49.28
Old CRT Monitor 80 1.92 13.48 58.4 700.8 $84.10
LCD Monitor 35 0.84 5.9 25.55 306.6 $36.79 

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THREE. Cancel Your Junk Mail

The reason that junk mail is not a good thing is pretty easy to figure out.  It’s a waste of a whole mess of paper.  Around 4 million tons of paper junk mail is sent each year in the US alone.  Thats ends up being 34 pounds a person.

junkmail1

If you can’t get your mail to stop, there are companies that will help you get this done.  ProQuo is one of them.  They help you stop all of your postal junkmail including credit card offers and unwanted catalogs.

Even if you don’t want to pay for the service to get rid of your junk mail you can atleast recycle it.  A single person uses an average of 700 pounds of paper a year and only about 350 pounds of that makes it to the recycling bin.  The other half gets thrown into a land-fill, which comes out to about 34,000 sheets of paper per person.

1 ton of uncoated virgin printing and office paper uses 24 trees, according to Conserveatree.  So that means each person that stops using printing paper will save about 10 trees a year.  That means if we can get 100,000 people to stop recieving junk mail, we can save 1 million trees a year.

Picture from Wired.com

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Filter For Good

I was told of a great website that everyone should check out involving in home water filters.  Check it out.

Filter For Good

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TWO. Home Water Filter

Plastic water bottles have exploded onto the scene because of their convenience and belief that they are clean and healthy for you.  We won’t even talk abut the amount of things that are in bottled water these days because that’s a whole other topic. 

products_faucetDid you know that, accordingy to the New York Times, 90 percent of the impact on the environment from a plastic bottle has already occured before the bottle is opened.  Plastic bottles have a surprisingly large carbon footprint. 

It takes 900,000 tons of plastic in order to create the 29 billion plastic bottles that we use in the United States alone.

Brought to you by the Pacific Institute:

         “the energy used for pumping and processing, transportation, and refrigeration, brings the annual fossil fuel footprint of bottled water consumption in the United States to more than 50 million barrels of oil.”

Another thing that I found interesting was that it took 2 liters of water to make the plastic for a 1 liter bottle of water.  So essentially, every 1 liter bottle of water that you purchase has a value of 3 liters of water.

After all is said and done, every ton of plastic for water bottles created releases 3 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  And on top of that, only about 15 percent of water bottles are recycled.

Picture from Brita.com

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ONE. Change Your Light Bulbs

 It’s pretty interesting to find out what is destroying this planet and how easy it is to fix.  If only a majority of people would get on board, we could change this world.  Switching over to a fluorescent light bulb from your everyday generic light bulb not only saves you a lot of money, but they are much gentler on the environment.

453px-compact_fluorescent_light_bulb

A fluorescent light bulb last up to 10 times longer than an incandescent light bulb(your traditional light bulb).  At the same time it only uses one-fourth the amount of energy that it takes to power an incandescent light bulb.

Incandescent light bulbs use heat in order for the filament to create light.  This is the reason that a traditional light bulb uses so much energy.  All of the energy that we are using to heat up the light bulb is a waste.  A fluorescent bulb, on the other hand, uses electrodes on both ends of the tube with a gas inside the tube.  This gas is made up of argon and mercury vapor.  When turned on a stream of electrons goes through the gas from one end of the tube to the other.  These electrons get the mercury atoms excited which then releases photons.  These photons hit the phosphor coating inside the bulb and makes visible light.

All of that uses less heat and can run on less power.  This is why a fluorescent bulb can run at 15-watts and the incandescent bulb needs 60-watts.

Let me put it into math for you.  Let’s say you have a community of 10,000 people that all use incandescent light bulbs.  If all of those people where to change just one light bulb in their home to a fluorescent bulb, the community would save 450,000-watts per light bulb changed in each house hold.  If the entire community changed every light bulb to a fluorescent bulb it would make a large impact on the amount of resources we burn.  Now, think of the impact it would have if everyone in the world simply changed to fluorescent light bulbs.

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