In celebration of Earth day, Here are 5 facts about our environment and sustainability. These facts will provide more insight on how you can help keep our environment clean. It all starts with personal responsibility.
Aluminum is used to make a number of items we use in our everyday lives: cans, foil, bottle tops, trays and much more. Most items we use can only be recycled a couple of times. For example, after one use, plastic is usually recycled into fabric because it can no longer be recycled. On the other hand, Aluminum can be melted and reformed without losing any quality. Recycling Aluminum saves about 95% of the energy needed to make the metal from raw materials. Aluminum can be recycled forever. Think about this the next time you’re about to throw out a can in the trash.
Yes SWEsters, 4000 years or even longer in landfill. Glass bottles are very quick to recycle and package. A glass bottle could be recycled, packaged and back on the shelf within 30days. Also, the energy saved from recycling one glass bottle could be used to run a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours. To recycle a glass bottle, ensure it is kept intact and not broken. As of right now, there is no market to recycle broken glass.
3) Only 3% of our planets water is drinkable
You were probably taught that we have more water that land in planet earth; that is correct. However, only a very small percentage of the water we have can actually be used. Only 2.5% of the total global water is fresh water. Of the total fresh water, 68% is locked up in ice and glaciers. Furthermore, about 30% of freshwater is in the ground. Rivers make up 0.49% of surface water, and this is where we get a large portion of our water. Water is continually collected, purified and distributed in the natural hydrologic cycle. This is also known as the water cycle.
SWEsters, it’s not enough to simply turn off your home electronics, but also unplug them. Appliances that use a clock, LCD panel or your television and microwave consume energy even when turned off. Devices that have a sleep or stand by mode are never completely off. For some reference, a rear projection television consumes about 48.5Watts of power even when turned off. Unplugging your devices will save energy and money!
5) Heat from the earth is a clean and renewable energy source
This form of heat energy is known as geothermal energy. Energy from this source could be used to power pumping systems or complex power stations. As we try to reduce our use of fossil fuels, geothermal energy is an affordable and sustainable source. As of 2013 Geothermal facilities produced approximately 68 billion KWH of electricity to meet the annual needs of more than 6million typical US households. There is definitely a lot of opportunity for growth and research in this field. SWEsters, this is a field that you might want to look into during your career path.