CBC's The Hour recently completed their challenge for Canadians to do "One Million Acts of Green". Kudos to all participants. This challenge is still ongoing. For more information check it out here.

The new challenge for Canada, is to reach Two Million Acts of Green. According to the website, they are hoping to reach this new goal by summer. Many businesses and individuals are participating in this effort. Good luck to all. If interested in learning more click here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

If you thought recycling only reduces waste, think again. It can help reduce energy use!

While gathering information for my last post, which I thought would be the last post since class is winding down, I came across some information that I just have to share. Recycling material actually saves money in energy costs. Apparently, it's cheaper to manufacture products from recycled material than it is to create from new. Who knew?

I checked out a few of the items that I googled and was surprised to learn that yes, indeedy, energy can be saved by using products made by recycled material rather than from new ingredients. A website from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has a brief outline about recycled paper, steel and aluminum. The Energy Kids Page also had information regarding how manufacturing a product is less expensive than using new materials. If this is the case, why hasn't this been brought to our attention a long time ago? All this time, I thought recycling was simply a means to cut waste.

Just as I thought I had presented a diverse selection of information regarding recycling, why and how -- I'm suddenly confronted by an area that I thought nothing about previously. And that is the use of energy. Is it recyclable? -- we know for the most part it's not really a renewable resource. So I thought maybe just before things end, I should take a quick peak at this, since it seems to be related to the other.

We are continuously hearing about the importance of finding alternative sources of energy. We need to get away from fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal) and move to areas that might be considered renewable. This would fall in line with wind and solar energies. After all, as far as we can tell, the sun will come up every day and the wind should continue to blow. So what is all the fuss about? Well, just like I mentioned in my very first post where I referred to the not in my backyard attitude (which, at the time, I didn't realize was actually a noted syndrome) people are rejecting the usage of these alternatives. They don't want the wind turbines.

They don't want the large expanses of solar panels. Yet, a good number of these people are probably amongst those criticizing and saying "We have to do something!" My one post about methane gas actually touched on this subject, since the S.C. Johnson company was recycling the methane gas from a landfill and using it to create energy to use in their plants. It is possible, just a little creativity and ingenuity and off we go.

I wish that I had made this connection several weeks ago, because I really think this could become a good post if I had more time to research it. Letting everyone know that it's not just waste that we're saving by recycling, but energy too! We need to do everything that we can in an effort to clean up our act and make things work for future generations. Yes, that our kids and our kids' kids etc.

It's really not that difficult, just making a change in the way we buy, trying to eliminate the extra packaging etc. If we are planning on living green or going green, we really need to make a greater effort. We can do it! Look at all that's been accomplished so far -- there are a lot of pluses. We just need to be more conscientious and continue to work at reducing and/or eliminating these issues. We can do it if we collectively put our minds to it!

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