Archive for population

The ZipCar

  Below, I report on the newest car rental company that attempts to deal with urban living and the impact of automobiles. 

 For more information, you can log-on to www.zipcar.com

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For Earth’s sake, don’t divorice!

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 Around the world, divorce rates have been increasing. Now, one expert proclaims divorcing is not being resourceful! 

According to Jianguo Liu, an ecologist at Michigan State University, Americans spend an extra $3.6 billion annually on water as a result of extra households created when people divorce.

“A married household actually uses resources more efficeintly than a divoriced household.”

Need examples? A household uses the same amount of heat or AC no matter if there are 2 or 4 people living in it. One person or several people will use just one refigerator. And two people in two seperate houses will cause 2 dishwashers to run. Two people share the same stove, watch the same TV, listen to the same radio and use the same lights.

The impact is big.

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In 2005, there were 16.5 million divorced people who headed their own household. This means $6.9 billion in extra utility costs annually, in addition to the extra $3.6 billion for water.

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Liu also studied other countries. By looking at 11 of them, which included Brazil, Greece, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico and South Africa, he determined married couples could have saved energy. In fact,  he determined there could have been a million fewer housholds using water and energy in the 11 countries.

All the research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Michigan Agricultural Experiement Station.

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Curbside pick-up.

Everything you left at the end of your driveway last Tuesday probably ended up in a landfill.But, do you really know where that is and what that means?

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27% of trash is either recycled or composted, 16% is burned and 57% is buried in landfills.

 OK. So, they just “build” a landfill? Not exactly. This is what needs to be considered:

  • the area of land necessary for the landfill
  • the composition of the underlying soil and bedrock
  • the flow of surface water over the site
  • the impact of the proposed landfill on the local environment and wildlife
  • the historical or archaeological value of the proposed site
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    The landfill is lined with several layers, including a vital plastic layer to protect the contents from the environment. A landfill is also covered with soil daily. Inside a landfill there is very little oxygen and moisture, which means trash takes much longer to decompose than normal. Landfills are not meant to decompose trash. It merely provides a place for trash to be buried.

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    There were 1,654 active landfills in the U.S. in 2005.

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     Recycling in 2005, however, diverted 79 million tons of material away from landfills.

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    the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

    This is NOT a joke.

    There is a Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, and they are serious. You want to join? Well,  all they ask is that you don’t produce children.

    VHEMT, as they are called, find it morally wrong to produce offspring. Why? Well, because according to them wildlife species are going extinct and 40,000 children die each day. They say the Earth is overpopulated and by one infant (or lack thereof) we can save the world.

    Although the movement sounds like a suicide mission (they assure us, it is not), their overall thinking might be headed in the right direction. Overpopulation contributes to everything from traffic to global warming, and it’s causing a lot of problems.

    So if your contribution to the environment is to not have children, I say right on!

    However, for those of us who dream of the perfect nuclear family, I would suggest atleast driving the kids to soccer practice in a hybrid?

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