Product Life-Cycle Assessment: Closing the Loop

If you’re interested in green and environmental issues you may have heard the phrase ‘life-cycle assessment’ in relation to a particular product. It can be difficult to ascertain exactly what this life-cycle assessment involves – so we’re hoping to shed some light on the process, the different types of assessment that take place and explain what’s involved with each step.

product-life-cycle-assessment

A look at the bigger picture

Essentially, a product life-cycle assessment takes an overall view of that item’s impact on the environment – and in doing so, offers a true picture of how green that product really is. The aim is for consumers, manufacturers and policy makers to be given a true environmental picture of any product.

Although it’s an example that divides the opinion of environmentalists around the world, the Toyota Prius provides an interesting picture of why the product life-cycle assessment is required in a world driven by a company’s desire to be seen as green. The Prius is an electric-hybrid car which Toyota claims delivers an impressive 60 miles per gallon of fuel – a statistic that puts it as a firm environmental favourite.

However, there are claims that the construction methods used to create the batteries that power the Prius are hugely detrimental to the environment – with some sources saying the manufacturing plant impacts the environment so greatly that by the time a Prius is driven from the showroom – it’s already had the environmental impact it would take any other car 1,000 gallons of fuel to match.

What’s the verdict?

So, is the Prius good or bad? That’s not for us to decide – and we’re not suggesting one way or another, we’re simply using this as an illustration of how complex any environmental consideration can be in a product with such an intensive manufacturing process and prolonged lifespan. At the other end of the calculation you’d have to consider how long the Prius will run for – and whether that balances a supposedly negative building method.

Stages of product life-cycle assessment

The product life cycle analysis is ordinarily broken down into different stages:

1. Extraction and processing of raw materials

This is a full understanding of the journey from source to point of manufacture that the building blocks of any product take. For example, in the manufacture of a table you would begin by looking at the trees that provide the wood, the logging process that takes them from forest to timber yard and the impact of the machinery used throughout that process.

You would repeat this process for every raw material that goes into the table’s manufacture.

2. Manufacturing

Next comes the manufacturing itself – if machinery or any industrial process is used to piece our table together then resources used in that process must be considered when we look at the overall impact of the product on the environment.

3. Packaging

The packaging that a product is delivered in is effectively another product in itself. Although unlikely in our table example, it’s not uncommon for extravagant packaging to represent 10-20% of a product’s recommended retail price. Curtis Packaging, an award-winning UK based sustainable packaging company suggest manufacturers pay careful consideration to the impact of packaging on a product’s overall green credentials – from raw materials to the point of disposal, the packing that adorns your product can have serious environmental considerations.

4. Marketing

At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking marketing a product comes with no environmental impact – but you’d be wrong. From the printing of advertising materials – to the sales team’s 20,000 annual miles in company vehicles – there can be a lot of resource put into any marketing process. However, measurement is no mean feat – companies can find it difficult to differentiate between their overall carbon footprint and that associated with any one product.

5. Product use, re-use and maintenance

This is where the impact of a product moves from the manufacturer and into the hands of the consumer. What does typical use look like? How long is a product being used for? Does one person’s use vary compared to another’s? For our example table, the answers could be fairly simple – on the other hand, there’s a huge amount of variation when you look at a broad range of car drivers.

Packaging that adorns your product can have serious environmental impact.

Packaging that adorns your product can have serious environmental impact.

For any product that requires maintenance, the LCA just became much more complex (again!) – just as packaging represented an entirely separate product that requires its own assessment – a similar process is required when a car receives a tank of fuel, a top up of coolant, brake fluid, spark plugs, brake pads… hopefully you get the picture (hint – it’s complex and sprawling!)

However difficult it might be to anticipate, it’s an environmental imperative that big industry is aware of the impact they have – even when their product has left their hands.

6. Recycling, disposal and waste at the end of the product’s life

From pizza boxes to old cars, it’s easy to think of their job as being done when they’re waved off to a recycling bin or breaker’s yard – but environmentally this could just be the beginning of their impact.

In terms of recycling – the effort and impact of the process must be outweighed by the benefit of the salvaged material, it’s often in life-cycle assessments that decisions are made around what is worth recycling – and what should be destined for landfill. If landfill is the ultimate resting place for any product, what does the deterioration process look like and what does that mean to the environment in the short, medium and long-term?

Then, to bring the assessment cycle full circle – any product that can be processed and re-used re-enters the assessment cycle back at the extraction and processing of raw materials stage…

Ultimately, what is the life-cycle assessment done for?

There’s no one reason that a product life-cycle assessment is done. For some companies, they’re keen to explain the full back-story of the product. For others, it can be an exercise in understanding the full process and highlighting any areas that can be financially streamlined – it certainly provides a solid baseline from which improvements can be made.

For the most environmentally ethical companies, the life-cycle assessment gives a true picture of the impact they have on the well-being of the planet – and offers a chance to get a full and honest picture of the moves they and their partners can make in creating a product that fulfils the requirements of the environment – as well as those of the customer and shareholders.

How Renewable Energy Can Solve Smog Problem in China

China is currently facing serious environmental problems, with potentially few solutions. Currently, this is mostly taking the form of serious smog issues plaguing North China, with more than 24 cities on red alert. However, with airports being shut down due to lacking visibility and the economy of China being heavily disrupted, action needs to be taken to solve this serious smog problem. While limited action has been taken, perhaps renewable energy is the key to cutting down China’s smog.

smog-china

How Bad Is the Problem?

The smog problem in China has become increasing worse from 2015 to 2017, with more than 90 micrograms of pollution per meter squared. These levels of air pollution are similar to the levels recorded previous to 2014, when the Chinese premier declared a war on pollution due to the health dangers posed by rising air pollution levels.

However, since 2015, levels of air pollution have risen once again. This pollution has had hard hitting effects on urban areas, especially the Chinese capital Beijing, and has caused widespread disruption to the lives of Chinese citizens and economy of the country.

The air pollution leads to the cities becoming hotter than ever. Urban Heat Island effect, which refers to buildings absorbing the sun’s heat well, is exacerbated by the smog. In fact, a car in the heat can reach temperatures of 114 degrees Fahrenheit after just 20 minutes, making travelling on hot days nearly unbearable for any living creature. In order to decrease the heated condition of China, it is essential to decrease the amount of smog covering the cities.

What Has the Chinese Government Done?

The Chinese government has taken limited action in an attempt to minimize the air pollution being created in the country. This includes the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Plan, which acknowledged the danger posed by air pollution levels and aimed to reduce coal usage in urban areas like Beijing.

However, this is not representative of the main action the government has taken. Primarily, the Chinese government has focused on individual areas and attempting to reduce local pollution levels through efficient coal burning and banning the burning of waste materials, especially on farms. These solutions, while effective on a short-term basis, are not all that is needed, though.

Investment in renewables can reduce China's dependence on coal for power generation

Investment in renewables can reduce China’s dependence on coal for power generation

China needs to reduce its overall usage of coal produced energy, which currently stands at 64 percent of total energy consumption. While this has already been happening in China, the further introduction of renewable energy could be of great help to China’s pollution levels.

How Could Renewable Energy Help?

Many people believe renewable energy to be a small affair, something undertaken by the Western world in a vain attempt to reduce our collective guilt concerning climate change and wastage levels. This is simply not the case. Renewable energy is a $120 billion industry that receives investment and application across the world. This includes solar energy, waste-to-energy technology, wind energy, hydroelectric energy and many more attempts to reduce overall energy usage.

Through investment in renewable energy, China could reduce its dependence on coal and increase the efficiency of its energy production and economy. Smog is directly created by China’s use of coal for its energy production, and by investing in other renewable means, China can simultaneously improve its health situation.

In fact, the obviously positive nature of investment in renewable energy can be clearly seen through the Chinese government’s already existing plans to further incorporate it into the economy. In the five-year plan announced in 2016, the Chinese government explicitly stated it would decrease air pollution levels through investment in wind, solar and biomass energy production technologies.

While the plans additionally included investment in making the coal industry more efficient and reducing emissions on an industrial and commercial level, clearly renewable energy is believed to be a valid alternative energy source.

Overall, it is clear that renewable energy can certainly help with China’s serious smog problem. Whether this should be in tangent with further investment in the coal industry or necessitate the end of widespread coal usage in China is still a question for debate.

About the Author

Emily Folk is freelance writer and blogger on topics of renewable energy and conservation. To get her latest posts, check out her blog Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter.

Top 20 Environmental Quotes to Inspire and Motivate You

Even though the environment took a backseat to the recent pandemic when it came to recent news headlines, the climate remains in crisis. Sometimes, though, you need inspiration to walk back out to your car in the rain to get your forgotten reusable bags or sort your recyclables instead of tossing everything.

top environmental quotes

Here are 20 of the top environmental quotes to remind you to do the right thing.

1. “The Earth is what we all have in common.” — Wendell Berry

Like Senator Bernie Sanders is fond of saying, we are all in this together.

2. “The garden suggests that there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway.” — Michael Pollan

If you got into the gardening craze during the pandemic shutdowns, you know the proven health benefits — including feeling in touch with the Earth.

3. “He that plants trees loves others besides himself.” — Thomas Fuller

Preserving the planet now is a blessing to future generations.

4. “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

FDR was among the most environmentally friendly presidents, creating five national parks during his time in office.

5. “What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and one another.” — Chris Maser

Perhaps we should treat the planet more kindly? We’ll learn something about how to treat each other, too.

6. “The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth.” — Chief Seattle

We owe a sacred duty to protect our ancestral home.

7. “But Man is a part of Nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.” — Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson sounded the alarm about pesticides and chemicals in her now-classic book, “Silent Spring.”

8. “Today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see and no one calls the cops.” — Paul Brooks

The human pursuit of endless growth and progress should never come at the cost of environmental harm.

9. “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

If you ever feel like you can’t make a difference — you can and do.

10. “Plans to protect air and water, wilderness, and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.” — Steward Udall

Destroying one’s home is a terrible way to ensure a future place to live.

use of biotech in architecture

11. “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Humans have the resources they need to support human and animal life. What has the relentless pursuit of profit cost in terms of ecology?

12. “A healthy ecology is the basis for a healthy economy.” — Claudine Schneider

Without a place to conduct operations, no business can thrive.

13. “It is our collective and individual responsibility to preserve and tend to the world in which we all live.” — Dalai Lama

Do you use the “other people do it” excuse when you opt for plastic instead of walking back to your car for your reusable bags? Remember that conservation takes a group effort.

14. “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” — William Shakespeare

Nature unites human beings. This one enduring principle has withstood the test of time.

15. “It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.” — Ansel Adams

When it feels like those in power aren’t doing enough to address climate change, it’s necessary to keep calling and writing to your representatives and to find out which of them serve corporations over the public good.

16. “The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” — Lady Bird Johnson

One feature all humans share is that they need the planet to survive.

17. “If the Bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, Man would have no more than four years to live.” — Albert Einstein

Some species have already made the endangered species list — the time to act is now.

18. “Environment is no one’s property to destroy; it is everyone’s responsibility to protect.” — Mohith Agadi

Could humankind’s obsession with private property lurk behind the destruction of the planet?

19. “We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the Earth as its other creatures do.” — Barbara Ward

Bears, deer, and rabbits do not pollute — only humans do.

20. “In nature’s economy, the currency is not money; it is life.” — Vandana Shiva

All the money in the world can’t restore the earth.

Feel Inspired by the Best Quotes on Environment Protection

When you need a bit of inspiration to do the right thing by the planet, please turn to these 20 green quotes for motivation for saving the planet.

Waste Management and Sustainability

Waste management is one of the core themes of sustainability, but achieving sustainable waste management is a challenging and complex task. Despite the fact that an increasing amount of waste has been reused and recycled, landfills still play an important role in the management of wastes.

However, waste degradation in landfill produce leachate and harmful gases viz. carbon dioxide, methane which are considered as greenhouse gases. It has been studied that leachate contribute to 20% emission of greenhouse gases. This can largely risk human health as well as threat to environment. Furthermore, it contains low concentration of gases with heavy aromatic rings, most of them are toxic in nature.

The increasing cost of waste disposal is a cause of major concern in developing nations

Movements of leachate create problem as aquifers need more time for rehabilitation. Leachate can migrate to groundwater or surface water and have potential threat to drinking water. Constructing landfills have adverse effects on aquaculture and habitats by diffusing leachate into surface/groundwater with limited on-site recycling activities.

Various studies also claim that residential areas close to landfill areas have low housing values because people don’t prefer to live close to the area enriched with flies, mosquitoes, bacteria and bad odours.

The lower calorific value of wastes lowers the significance of waste-to-energy technologies, such as incineration/gasification, and make waste-to-energy less viable as solution for waste management solution. The low calorific value is an important outcome of waste collection process.

Waste scavengers often collect in a mixed state with all type of wastes, which include reusable materials, plastic, glass bottles etc. which reduces the calorific value and combustibility of waste. Waste is usually sorted out manually and unfortunately it becomes very difficult to regulate and implement an efficient method. This kind of waste recovery methods is very common in Asian countries e.g. India, Indonesia etc. using improper waste management technique can cause contaminated soil, water and environment.

Water is most easy to contaminate as it dissolves chemicals easily, causing harm to all living organisms including humans. Animal and marine life is most effected with water contamination. It also restricts our use of water for drinking and cooking purposes without cleaning system. The environment is highly harmed because of improper waste management.

Greenhouse gases are generated from decomposition of waste, these gasses are major cause of global warming affecting air precipitation, causing acid rain to severe hailstorms. Moreover humans who live near to garbage dumping area are found to be most significant to risk of health diseases, skin problems, cancer etc.

Olusosun is the largest dumpsite in Nigeria

With proper awareness and teaching methods of efficient waste management we can achieve sustainable solution to waste management. It has been forecasted by Environmental Sanitary Protection Plan that, by 2020 Kamikatsu a city in Japan is going to be 100% free from waste. Although the target of reaching the 100% waste is going to be achieved but the standby waste issue is going to be major hurdle as Kamikatsu have only 34% of land space available.

The lack of availability of standby space for waste is going to be major problem in future because of shortage of space, degraded quality of waste with lower calorific value and formation of leachate. And unfortunately, this issue is not going to be solved very soon.

Beat Plastic Pollution by Knowing How to Recycle Plastic

According to GenFollower, around 8.3 billion metric tons (9.1 billion US tons) of plastic have been produced worldwide, and it is found that 9.1% of plastic waste is not recycled, and this is an alarming figure which is contaminating our natural environment. Although plastic is a very useful material that’s rigid, flexible and robust, it becomes waste right after use, and contaminate the environment.

plastic-bottle

In order to protect our environmental surroundings as well as to make the most of plastic material, recycling procedure is the best solution. Plastic is actually a common material that’s now frequently used by everyone on this planet. Plastic is used in several ways because it is compact and lightweight.

The continues maintenance required is little.

Typical plastic items that usually used are bottles, food packages, bags, and containers. When you buy grocery, food items or any other product from any store or shop, you’ll use plastic bags for carrying them.

Uses of Plastic

Plastics are commonly used in:

Where does the Problem Lie?

The big problem with plastic is its disposal.

Plastic is made of polymer-bonded substances and isn’t biodegradable which means plastic won’t break down when it is buried. When plastic is burnt, it discharges detrimental chemical substances in smoke. Most of these chemical substances in smoke have negative effects on our ecosystem. Therefore, the necessity of recycling arises.

Straight into Something New

Recycling means making new items out of waste material. In this article, learn more about how to to recycle plastics

Almost all types of plastic materials can’t be reprocessed. If we recycle those that can be reprocessed, the earth will be saved to a certain degree. Plastic recycling requires the process of recovering discard plastic, and this particular waste is then reprocessed to make new materials that could be more advanced than their original state.

When compared with many other materials such as metal and glass, recycling of plastic is complex and expensive. It’s because of the high molecular body weight of the large polymer-bonded chains that make the plastic material.

Heating plastic does not melt the polymer-bonded chains, and therefore, a tiresome and complicated procedure is required. Several types of plastic-type material can’t be mixed since they recycle separately.

Benefits of Recycling of Plastics

Recycling plastic has many positive aspects:

  • Use of non-renewable fuels is usually reduced by recycling as the production of new plastic materials requires more of these fuels.
  • Use of electrical power is also reduced because already prepared plastic material is reused.
  • Amount of plastic-type material that reaches the garbage dump sites are reduced. This may eradicate land pollution to some extent.
  • Carbon pollutants are reduced because manufacturing units discharge more carbon.

Inverse Polymerization Procedure

The most popular procedure that is used for polymers recycle is the inverse polymerization procedure in which the polymers in the plastic material are transformed into monomers that are used in the manufacturing process.

plastic-wastes

Recycling has unending benefits

Most of these chemical substances are then synthesized and purified to form new materials. Different polymers are usually transformed into oil in another process. The main advantage of this particular process is that any mixture of polymers can easily be used.

Steps Involved in Plastic Recycling

The standard steps which are involved in the particular recycling of plastic material are;

  • Step 1: Accumulating plastic waste from industries and households.
  • Step 2: Separating the plastic waste materials in different categories such as bags, containers, pet bottles, etc.
  • Step 3: The plastic is cut into small pieces.
  • Step 4: The small pieces are carefully cleaned for removing any unwanted particles or dirt contaminants on them.
  • Step 5: The cleaned pieces are dissolved and poured into storage containers for recycling.

In order to aid this process, plastics that have identification code should be identified with the different polymers that are usually used in the manufacturing of plastic. This process should be started at home. When you’ve used that plastic item, you can easily use the same item for something else entirely. For instance, if you purchase a fruit juice bottle, you can easily use the plastic bottle as a storage bottle for reusing the PET bottle.

Impact of Philosophy on the Development of Environmental Ethics

Philosophy can be defined as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, and/or reality, and/or existence. It can be looked at even more so as a study when you consider it to be an academic discipline. The practice of philosophy has had a deep impact on our lives since the time that subject came to be recognized as one and soon after became a discipline.

This impact continues to this day, with the practice being intricately connected with how we live. Here we take a look at how Environmental Ethics tells us how to ensure that every living being on the planet gets its fair chance to survive and its relation to the study of philosophy. There has definitely been a shift in the way we look at our world and how our actions affect it. Fortunately when we say “our” we are finally taking into account all living beings, rather than just humans.

development of environmental ethics

Philosophy in Everyday Lives

Socrates had made a claim that the only life worth living is the “examined” one.  Philosophy, and in turn, philosophers, tend to examine the increasingly mysterious, or even esoteric, phenomena. A few of these can include the complexities of language, or free will, or even morality.  It is easy to find information like this by searching for essays on key concepts in philosophy, online. There are hordes of free essay samples available at present.

Now, despite examining the aforementioned phenomena, philosophers still have a knack for taking intuitive assumptions to uncover their inner workings.  In the end, self-reflection and examination can give you a frustrating day, from the enjoyable one you might have been enjoying.

Every day, human beings lose their grip on consciousness as they fall asleep. It might be comparable to our understanding of the human brain and the understanding of ecology. Despite there being a lot of papers released, in order to explain a great deal about the dryland ecosystems, it knows little about those residing in the ocean deep recesses.

Science has not yet uncovered the specific reasons behind sleep and the exact mechanics of it. It’s amazing to think that we are yet to know most of the mechanics behind an activity the average human being spends a third of life performing. Interestingly even waking up, holds an uncanny resemblance to the awakening of the mind which can be regarded as – “the true aim of philosophy”.

What is Environmental Ethics?

The segment of environmental philosophy looking to extend ethics’ traditional boundaries, from only including humans to including the entire nonhuman world – this is arguably the proper “environmental ethics definition”, in the true sense. It exerts a lot of influence on a vast range of disciplines, like sociology, theology, ecology, etc. It is always trying to include the rights of all nonhuman living beings in all of our ethical and moral values.

Increasing Popularity of Philosophy

Philosophy as a discipline and as a way of thinking has gained massive popularity. It has gone on to feature among the 100 most popular majors among students. People are slowly starting to truly appreciate why philosophy is important and hence there are so many young students selecting this subject. This is evident from the fact that the number of graduates of the subject has taken a 61% hike, from the same time, a decade back.

Environmental Ethics and Its Practice in Different Countries

According to Environmental ethics, our behavior should be based on a number of ethical values, guiding our approach toward other living beings. Despite the human race being considered the primary species, other animals and/or plants are not less important. They deserve their fair share of existence. Environmental issues can be seen posing a host of global challenges, thus, in turn, raising skepticism regarding the topic of sustainability of nature.

impact of philosophy and environmental ethics

As a result, a number of countries have been seen implementing green practices to keep improving, and do their part for the environment. For example, there have been government policies implemented in Norway that ban deforestation. This protects the forest ecosystem and the animals living there. Finland generates a lot of its power from renewable energy sources to ensure that the environment and living beings in it are not harmed. You can easily find out more about such practices even with a bit of light reading.

Conclusion

It is unquestionable that over the past few years there has been a trend of a considerably increasing concern for our environment. It is a change in mindset that is occurring in people from all corners of the globe. People have started to look at the impact that all of our actions have upon environmental ethics and judge it more minutely. As a result, it is safe to say that the field will be here for quite a long time in the future. Not only that, on the basis of its present popularity, the study of philosophy and the environment, and ethical practices is only looking to gain momentum.

How Blue Collars Are Turning Into Green Collars

If there’s one thing that many people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about, it is the growing link between traditionally blue-collar jobs and green-collar technologies. However, this relationship is becoming quite a trend and there are many ways that these traditional businesses can take advantage of the burgeoning green revolution.

1. Use Government Money and Incentives

Before investing in any new technology or making any modifications to existing technology, review what free money opportunities are available to you. Everything from government grants to tax incentives is within reach of many companies. This is especially true in the automotive industry, where the focus is growing on manufacturing vehicles that do not rely on gasoline.

Green Finance

2. Be Realistic

When looking for ways to make your truck fleet more environmentally friendly, you have to be realistic with what you can do. There are many small things you can do to change behavior within the fleet itself that can change all aspects of fleet management.

Such things as improving driver training and making routes more efficient can all drastically reduce the carbon footprint that the company leaves. You can read about many green options in an online fleet management guide located here.

3. Green Power Sources

The blue-collar sector has long encouraged factories to reduce their energy usage and this viewpoint is only increasing. Alternative power sources such as wind or solar power not only reduces energy usage but have a positive effect on the bottom line of the company in question.

When you are dealing with investors and stockholders, saving money is definitely something in which you’ll want to partake.

green tech

4. Cloud Computing

For those blue-collar businesses that rely heavily on multiple servers to process their computerized data needs, the constant running of multiple servers can prove to be quite costly. This is why many are looking into cloud computing to solve their data center needs.

By virtualizing most of their computing, they are able to run only one server while everything else runs multiple images of numerous operating systems.

5. Reducing Waste

Many factories became experts in waste reduction a long time ago and other blue-collar businesses are now finally paying attention. Everything from recycling wastewater to the practice of reusing materials that are normally cast-off is being embraced in attempts to both save money and increase efficiency.

waste reduction in businesses

6. Green Replacements

When replacing either manufacturing equipment or office equipment that has broken down and no longer useful, many companies are choosing to purchase green alternatives in their place. This is a simple way to increase the green status of your company without exhibiting undue effort all at once.

Whether it be simple replacements such as LED lightbulbs or more specific acts such as installing ergonomic workstations for production line workers, there are numerous ways to become and stay green.

7. Listen To Your Customers

Your customers will almost certainly be among the first to let you know what changes you should be making. Today’s consumer is much more conscientious that the customers of the past and they place a high value on businesses that are actively working to become more environmentally responsible.

Unending Benefits of Solar Street Lights

Solar power is getting increasing popularity as a dependable source for street lighting all over the world. Some of the benefits associated with solar street lights include reduced dependence on conventional energy, conservation of energy and less reliance on the national grid. In countries experiencing abundance of sunlight, solar lights are the best option to illuminate the streets, garden, parks and other public spaces.

solar-lights-highway

Solar-powered lights are a perfect eco-friendly green lighting solution

Nowadays, solar street lights are powered by PV panels, in-built battery, LED lights and smart sensors, all integrated into a single compact unit. Solar LED street lights have emerged as a cost-effective and environment-friendly to light up roads and public spaces. LED lights are widely acknowledged for energy conservation, are long-lasting and good-looking, and are maintenance-free. These characteristics make LED-based solar street lights well-suited for commercial as well as domestic lighting applications.

Key Features

A modern solar street light has embedded solar panel, inbuilt lithium-ion batteries, battery management system, night and motion sensors as well as automatic controls. The fully automatic device comes with LEDs, inbuilt and replaceable Lithium-ion battery and passive infrared (PIR) sensors. A typical solar street light is weather-proof and water-resistant, has low insect attraction rate and low glare and has a longer life.

The embedded solar panel converts solar power into electrical energy which is stored in the inbuilt battery, and used for dusk-to-dawn lighting operations. The main innovation of modern solar street lights is the battery management system which is facilitated by the presence of night and motion sensors.

During the first 5 hours of night, the system works at average lumens brightness. Subsequently, the intensity of the light reduces till dawn or until PIR sensor is activated by human movement. When people are within a certain radius away from the light, it automatically turns to its full brightness. This smart feature makes solar street lights device a perfect combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Solar powered lights by Deelat Industrial has been tried and successfully tested in a wide variety of domestic and commercial applications. The device is well-suited for lighting up streets, courtyards, gardens, parks, compounds, boundary walls, car parks etc. in an eco-friendly and cost-effective manner.

Unending Benefits

Due to off-grid nature of solar street lights, solar street lights incur minimal operational costs. Such lights are wireless in nature and are independent of the utility company. Compared to conventional street lights, solar street lights require almost zero maintenance. Due to the absence of external wires, these lights do not pose any threat of accidents like electrocution, strangulation and overheating. Infact, solar lights illuminate the streets throughout the night irrespective of power cuts and grid failures.

Solar street lights are a delight for environmentalists around the world as it can provide significant lowering of carbon footprint of individuals, homes and businesses. In other words, solar-powered lights are a perfect green lighting solution. In terms of cost, solar street lights are a better investment than conventional street lights if the capital as well as O&M costs are considered.

Solutions to Reduce Maritime Industry Emissions

Until 2018, the maritime industry did not have a climate plan. While this may seem surprising, shipping tends to stay quiet about the environmental impacts of a global economy. Additionally, unlike other carbon-intensive sectors, it tends to quietly sail along unnoticed by consumers. It was not included in the Paris Agreement in 2016 and was not held accountable for its contribution to increased greenhouse gas emissions.

The International Maritime Organization laid out plans to cut emissions in half by 2050, an ambitious goal by one of the world’s main polluters. One of the main strategies to reduce CO2 emissions is to transition to more efficient fuel types. Most large shipping vessels operate with heavy fuel oil, which is rich in sulfur and extremely polluting. The International Maritime Organization is seeking to replace heavy fuel oil in 60,000 shipping vessels.

emissions-shipping-sector

However, consumer awareness surrounding the environmental cost of international shipping, coupled with innovative technology, may reduce the amount of pollution produced. The most likely solutions to reduce emissions from the maritime industry include transitioning to a more low-carbon fuel source, changing transport speeds, adopting sustainable shipping waste disposal strategies, transitioning to renewable energy and optimizing travel routes.

The Price of International Shipping

Shipping emissions are expected to grow exponentially between now and 2050. International shipping accounts for the majority of industrial pollution. Maritime regulations are significantly behind those for other carbon-intensive industries. It can be legally complicated to assign accountability to certain countries, especially in international waters. A handful of mega-ships can have the same level of greenhouse gas emissions as millions of cars, accounting for an incalculable portion of air and water pollution.

Our economy is global. When you look at the tags on your furniture, appliances, clothes and electronics, you may see dozens of countries around the world. Even our food, including perishable items like avocados and lettuce, are shipped internationally. Fresh produce can be shipped thousands of miles without spoiling using different refrigeration systems, such as air compressor technology. While these technologies make it easier to transport food, they come with a high-carbon impact. However, there are energy-efficient solutions to reduce carbon emissions in the shipping industry.

Energy-Efficient Solutions

Low-carbon technology is available in the shipping industry, but how it works in practice may be a different story. For example, switching from a high sulfur fuel oil to a low carbon option may have the greatest impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Lowering sulfur oxide emissions is key to reducing the effects of international shipping.

However, switching oils will require the industry to identify pollution from the whole lifecycle, meaning that the use of fuel is only one part of its environmental impact. Accounting for this will be crucial in finding a sustainable solution for maritime industry emissions.

Another solution that is easier to implement than changing fuels is a practice called slow steaming. Slow steaming simply refers to slowing boats down, sometimes only by a few degrees. While it may not sound like much, changing a ship’s speed by a couple of kilometers can result in an 18% increase in fuel savings, which could be a gamechanger. However, industry leaders are worried that simply slowing down ships is not the answer, since it will result in a need for more vessels to keep the global economy moving.

Other energy-efficient solutions to reduce maritime industry emissions include route optimization, renewable energy such as wind-assist technology and transitioning to all-electric ships. Norway, a main exporter in the petroleum and fish industries, has already tested an all-electric vessel and is actively working to optimize this technology to transition more ships away from fuel oil.

Time for Maritime Industry to Go Green

The effort by the maritime industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is significant. Effective solutions to help curb climate change include transitioning to low sulfur fuel oils, changing ship speeds and investing in new technology such as renewable energy. However, consumer awareness will also play a vital role in the future of international shipping. The cost of a global economy is significant. Finding more sustainable methods of transporting goods across the ocean is imperative.

Easy DIY Projects to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Personal responsibility seems to be taking preeminence in every area of our lives. As time goes by, people are advised to change how they act in response to society’s change. The same case applies to reducing your carbon footprint. It’s time that everyone is held accountable for their contribution to climate change.

The constant reminder of our contribution to the carbon footprint is the first step to reducing your carbon footprint. Reducing carbon footprint will also save you time, money, energy, reduce pollution and enjoy a healthy environment. Of course, it is easier said than done, but everyone has to play a part to achieve this goal. Read this guide to learn all about carbon footprint.

What is Carbon Footprint?

Carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases, mainly methane and carbon dioxide, released directly into the atmosphere causing global warming.

How To Calculate Carbon Footprint

It is essential to calculate your carbon footprint to keep track of it and reduce it. There are calculators available online which will help you figure out your carbon footprint. Some of the standard data you will be asked about is:

  • The size of your home
  • Your diet
  • Mode of transport you use to run your daily business and for how long
  • The type of energy you use in your home

They may not be accurate enough since you’re using estimates, but they will give you a general idea about your carbon footprint and how to improve on it. So, here are the few DIY projects you can take to reduce your carbon footprint:

1. Recycle and Reuse to Reduce Waste

Your home is the first place where you can exercise recycling effectively to reduce your carbon footprint. If all of us can waste less and recycle more, this will be a massive step towards saving money and energy. Take note of the things that you use daily, which can be easily recycled. Some of these include:

  • Plastics
  • Paper
  • Glass
  • Aluminum

skip bins

You can also sell or donate some of the things you don’t need instead of wasting more of them in landfills. Other methods of recycling and reusing items in your home are:

  • Using old clothes as cleaning rags
  • Reusing your shopping bags instead of buying new ones
  • Buying recycled clothing
  • Reusing plastics

2. Use Energy Efficient Appliances

Even the smallest appliances can consume lots of energy. But don’t worry since there are simple but effective alternatives that you can use to reduce your home’s energy usage. These are:

  • Unplugging appliances that you’re not using like AC, charger, etc.
  • Switching off lights when you’re not using a room
  • Using LED light bulbs to save more energy
  • Using sustainable temperature control appliances like programmable thermostats and fans
  • Shift to solar energy

 

how to reduce energy bill

Try to use less energy in your home to reduce your carbon footprint. Talk to ac repair in Cherry Hill specialist to advise you on other innovative energy measures to take. They will also check your AC systems and do the necessary upgrades in your home to save more energy and reduce your utility bills.

3. Check on Your Water Usage

Water is one of the resources that you should safeguard at all costs. Most home systems receive water through pumping systems which consume a lot of energy. However, you can take simple DIY steps to save more water to prevent draining it into the environment. These include:

  • Harvesting water during the rainy season
  • Repairing faulty water leaks
  • Turning off the water when brushing or cleaning dishes
  • Reducing your bathing time

4. Use Alternative Transportation Methods

Are the errands that you need to run near your home? If so, consider using a bike or take a walk instead. By doing this, you will cut on the number of carbon emissions as you also keep healthy. Also, if you need to use a car, you can plan to complete all your errands in one day instead of several days.

green-travel

Also, if you have to use air travel, settle for the economy class other than first class. It is both cost-effective and has a lower carbon footprint on the environment.

5. Speak Up

One method of passing information is by speaking up. The more this information reaches the masses, the easier it will be to minimize carbon footprint. With the availability of the internet and social media, this is not too hard to achieve. You will be able to reach your family, friends, co-workers, etc. You can also participate in environmental volunteer programs to set an example for the rest. Words without action won’t have any impact.

Everyone has a personal responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint. All you need to do is follow the above tips to create a better and sustainable environment even for future generations.