Does Recycling Save Energy? YES!

18. Does recycling save energy?
A:
Yes!  Making aluminum from recycled cans requires 93% less energy than making aluminum from new minerals.  Newsprint made from old newspapers requires 46% less energy to make than newsprint made from wood.  Many people ask about the energy used by trucks to collect recyclables.  Compared to the energy saved when the recyclables are turned into new products, collection trucks use relatively little energy.  The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality estimates that industrial energy savings from residential curbside recyclables are 72 times greater than the energy used to collect them from our homes.

(Source: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Solid Waste Policy & Program Development)

Green of the Week: December 27th

How Much Water Does Pasta Really Need? by Harold McGee of the NY Times

McGee’s article explores the possibility of using less water when cooking pasta to save energy. Americans cook about a billion pounds of pasta a year, so the extra minutes spent heating excess water could add up.

His rough estimates indicate “an energy savings at the stove top of several trillion B.T.U.s. At the power plant, that would mean saving 250,000 to 500,000 barrels of oil, or $10 million to $20 million at current prices”. This article was written last year but still holds true, proving a little bit adds up.

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What Are We Drinking at New Paltz?

The Environmental Working Group and the NY Times have compiled some great information about water quality in NY and have made it easily available to the public.

Below is a reading about the water quality in NP, which is really quite good, especially as compared to to other places in NY. This chart made me more confident in my decision to drink tap water instead of bottled. You can check the water quality of your hometown here.

picture-23drip drop drip drop link to the NY Times page

Presidents Climate Commitment

Did you know that SUNY NP President Steven Poskanzer signed the Presidents Climate Commitment?

The Presidents Climate Commitment “provides a framework and support for America’s colleges and universities to go climate neutral.

Presidents signing the Commitment are pledging to eliminate their campuses’ greenhouse gas emissions over time. This involves:

  • Completing an emissions inventory
  • Within two years, setting a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral.
  • Taking immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by choosing from a list of short-term actions.
  • Integrating sustainability into the curriculum and making it part of the educational experience.
  • Making the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.

An Awesome Opportunity

Nicholas Kristof, a reporter for the NY Times is hosting his Win-a-Trip contest contest. All university level students are able to apply for the trip of a lifetime. He’s looking for students with strong communication skills and an interest in the developing world. Although this blog isn’t directly about issues in other nations the issues that we are talking about are global. Everyone is dealing with climate change and we all participate in systems that modify our environment. picture-20

Applications are due January 18th, good luck if you do decide to enter!

More info here

The full rules

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