In recent years, there has been a gradual shift that has seen people paying extra attention to biomass energy and more environmentally friendly options, which has filtered down to their lifestyle choices as well. However, this is not to say that it is a relatively new concept, as bioenergy is said to be one of the world’s oldest sources of energy. Although initially, it did not lead to many benefits or returns for investors, that has been improving. In 2021, particularly, reports have noted that the industry is starting to find its footing and entrench itself as one worth investing in.
Through the use of technology and key differentiators, many industry players are fast attracting investors and highlighting the competitive advantage that the industry holds over other less sustainable alternatives. In light of this, one might argue that investing in bioenergy may prove to be a viable sustainable forex trading option, given that the industry has been showing a certain level of growth and may possibly reach new heights in years to come.
Investing in bioenergy stocks
Before investing in biomass energy stocks, however, it is worth noting that it is generally a more expensive energy source to produce. Additionally, naysayers have highlighted that it requires a lot of wood from natural forests, which some people will ultimately lead to deforestation. Although generally championed as the more environmentally friendly alternative, writings on the matter claim that if the wood is not fully burnt, it can result in particles that contribute to air pollution.
These are perhaps some of the reasons behind the initial hesitance to invest in biomass energy. On the upside, bioenergy is a great way to repurpose waste and it can be stored with minimal energy loss.
Penny stocks and economies
Given that most of the biomass energy companies are listed on stock exchanges, it is therefore true that the decisions that investors make on the stock market will affect the prices and availability of commodities in global economies.
Having an understanding of this can better guide and inform your decisions as an investor on how to trade stocks or commodities. These include penny stocks, which can be defined as common shares of small public companies that trade for less than one dollar per share. In light of the activity that the bio energy industry has been experiencing, it is no surprise that there is correlating activity amongst penny stocks.
As at July 2021, listed amongst some of the best energy penny stocks that you might want to consider investing in were Southwestern Energy, Transportadora de Gas, Taronis Fuels and Denison Mines. Of these, Taronis Fuels is described as a global industry player that produces renewable and socially responsible fuel products. It is also said to have a high liquidity and trades more than 160 829 shares per day. Southwestern Energy is described as one of the largest natural gas and natural gas liquid providers in the US. To provide an indication of its activity and investor confidence, it reportedly trades more than a whopping 3.7 million shares per day.
As we strive to shrink our global carbon footprint, society must alter its energy sources. Solar panels and wind turbines are two familiar types of green power that contribute to protecting the planet. Investing in renewables can improve the environment and lower the cost of electricity.
As scientists look for efficient and sustainable solutions to non-renewable energy use, they turn back to basics. People used to rely on fire for fuel. Today, we can utilize these age-old practices to limit our reliance on environmentally polluting fuel sources.
The Importance of Renewable Energy
Nearly 80% of our current energy comes from coal, oil and gas. The use of fossil fuels in power production harms human health and the planet.
About 2.6 million Americans experience health issues from oil and gas exposure from fossil fuel transportation and processing facilities. Benzene and formaldehyde are two toxins associated with nonrenewable energy production that contribute to leukemia and blood disorders. The workers who mine oil and gas also risk exposure to airborne pollutants that cause lung cancer and breathing difficulties.
The production of fossil fuel energy affects the environment by emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is a natural process that the Earth uses to maintain life on its surface. It keeps the global temperature consistent to protect the ecosystem’s functionality.
Adding pollutants into the atmosphere changes its composition. These greenhouse gases absorb the sun’s energy, convert it into heat and release it back to space. Excess contaminants make it difficult to allow heat to escape. This increases the global temperature over time.
Renewable energy sources act as an alternative to greenhouse gas-emitting power. Various companies are working on producing a chemical-free solution known as biomass energy.
What is Biomass?
Biomass is a form of renewable energy derived from organic materials. Wood was the original source used by the first humans for survival. Now, we can rely on wood pellets, sawdust, black liquor and more to create commercial and residential fuel options.
We can also utilize agricultural matter to produce biomass. Soybeans, corn, algae, sugar cane and other plants can create fuel to power our homes, electric cars and devices. Scientists are also using refuse for energy production. Municipal solid waste, like cotton, paper, yarn and food, can transform into biomass power. A less appealing way to produce this renewable energy derives from animal manure and human waste.
Companies take these materials and create energy through a direct combustion process. It forms a refined liquid or gas to burn for power. Because plants grow naturally and indefinitely on Earth, biomass is a renewable source.
Environmental Effect of Biomass
Although biomass production and use emit no direct carbon into the environment, it may be less sustainable than other renewable power sources. When burned, these fuels release toxins like nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter into the atmosphere.
Biomass production also contributes to deforestation. Many companies use soybeans to create the renewable fuel, which affects forests in Argentina. The country produces 15% of the global soy source, using 16 million hectares of forest land for production.
As Argentina increases production to meet international demands, it must cut down trees and vegetation to make space for agricultural growth. The monoculture of soy also leads to soil depletion. To reverse these environmental impacts, farms use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides on their land.
Because biomass crops are water-intensive, they contribute to runoff pollution. When farmers water their plants, the synthetic fertilizers and pesticides drain into the ocean, contributing to oxygen depletion and dead zones. The significant amount of water used to produce these crops leads to resource exploitation. It takes nearly 4,000 gallons of water to grow a bushel of corn for biomass energy.
Is Biomass Worth the Destruction?
Biomass can effectively reduce the carbon footprint. The renewable energy source also limits the adverse health effects associated with conventional energy production. However, it emits air pollutants into the atmosphere, causing deforestation and water exploitation, which decreases its sustainability.
The answer is complicated. Every renewable energy source has its downfalls. When you use a bit of energy from each green resource, you can limit your environmental impact and still power the planet.
Paper, in all of its forms, is one of the most useful and versatile products. It is also one of the most widely used item for college students. The bad news is that our use of paper has some pretty intense impacts on the environment. These include water and air pollution, deforestation, and the accumulation of paper waste in landfills.
The good news is that every individual can play a role in helping to eliminate the damage done by the use of and production of paper products. Now, this is the point where many readers will think of themselves, “I recycle. Isn’t that enough?”
The truth is, while recycling certainly helps, it doesn’t eliminate the problems our use of paper creates. In fact, the recycling process itself has an environmental cost. Keep recycling for sure, but also consider ways in which you can reduce the amount of paper you use. Here are eleven ways you can get started.
1. Make your subscriptions digital
Whether your interests are in technology, fashion, current events, music or something else, magazines are full of useful information. The problem is that once you’re done with them, your choices are to recycle them, throw them out, or let them collect dust. None of these things are good for the environment.
Instead, convert your paper subscriptions to digital. Not only will you help the environment, you’ll save space as well. Even better, digital copies of magazines are searchable. This means you can find the articles you want with ease.
2. Donate old newspapers and magazines
If you do have hard copies of newspapers and magazines at home, don’t throw them out or recycle them. There may be places that are happy to take them off your hands. Your local community center, retirement homes, hospitals and homeless shelters are often in search of reading materials for their clients.
3. Use double-sided printing
There is no way to avoid printing altogether, but you may be able to reduce the paper you use when you do print. Whenever possible use double-sided printing. You can even print more than one page per side. Also, experiment line spacing and font size. With a few adjustments, you can significantly reduce the amount of paper you print over time. Encourage your friends, even your University and College, and your community to do the same.
4. Get your statements online
If you are still receiving your bank statements and billing notices via snail mail that’s a problem. Not only are you getting your paper bills and statements, chances are you’re receiving inserts, coupons, and other junk. Convert to paperless mode and eliminate all of this.
5. Use a blackboard or whiteboard
Shopping lists, reminders, and notes to your roommates represent just a few of the things you likely jot down and have scattered about your place. You aren’t alone. Those bits and pieces of paper add up. You can replace these by simply hanging up a whiteboard or blackboard in a convenient spot.
If somebody needs to jot something down, they can use that instead of wasting paper. If you need something a bit more portable, simply snap a picture with your phone.
6. Get a digital calendar
You also don’t need paper to stay on top of your schedule or to coordinate with friends and family members. Instead, choose a digital calendar that works for you. Then arrange to share calendars with those friends and family members. With most online calendars you can create to-do lists, set alarms, and send out reminders.
7. Give old newspapers to animal shelter
Your local animal shelter or rescue might be thrilled to get your old newspapers. They use these for bedding and as cage liners. Newspapers can also be used to help insulate winter shelters for feral cat colonies.
8. Use washcloths and hand towels
There is no doubt that paper towels and napkins are useful. Many of us use them while we’re eating, to wipe up spills, for cleaning, even for covering food in the microwave. The problem is that once we’re done all of those paper products go directly into the trash. That’s wasteful and bad for the environment. Instead, invest in cloth alternatives.
Washcloths and hand towels are exceptionally cheap. Cloth diapers last forever and are amazing for cleaning. Even old worn-out clothing can be cut up and used as dust rags.
9. Take notes digitally
At this point, there should be little or no occasions where you need to take notes on paper. There are simply too many options for taking notes digitally, not to take advantage of this. Save paper by using an app, such as Evernote, to take and organize your notes. While applying for college admission, make use of admission essay by domyessay.
Use voice to text, or simply type up your notes in your favorite word processor. Not only will your digital notes save paper, you’ll be better able to create quality essays and research papers. If you need help to turn these notes into better papers, check out essay editing reviews. Save the planet, and improve your grades.
In some cases, you don’t need to take notes at all. See if your instructors save handouts and lecture notes online. Then, simply use these as reference materials.
10. Reduce paper use at the grocery store
Hopefully, you have ditched single-use plastic and paper bags for reusable ones. If not, this is a great place to start. However, that’s just the beginning. There are other ways to reduce paper use while you shop.
First, hit the bulk bins for your dried goods. Instead of using the plastic or paper bags provided, bring your own reusable containers. Next, pay attention to packaging as you shop. You’ll be amazed at the amount of paper and plastic that is wasted through extra packaging. Be a conscientious shopper, and buy products that use the least amount of paper material.
11. Praise brands that use less paper
While you shop, pay attention to which brands are responsible in their use of paper and which brands are not. Then, let your thoughts be known. If a brand is behaving responsibly in this area, contact them and let you know you appreciate it and will be buying their products.
If not, contact them with your concerns. Believe it or not, companies do care what you think, and if they hear from enough people they might change their behaviors.
Paper waste is a huge problem at colleges and universities. In fact, the issue can seem overwhelming. However, if every individual would change a few of their habits with regard to paper consumption, there would be a great impact. You can get started with these steps.
Revegetation is a vital step in facilitating a successful soil restoration in disturbed lands. It can occur naturally through plant succession and colonization or accelerated human-driven land changes meant to repair damage caused by severe events like floods, wildfire, or mining. The original technique involved applying fertilizer and seeds to vulnerable lands.
For those unfamiliar with revegetation, you’ll want to review its benefits to prevent soil erosion successfully, reduce wind erosion, and boost soil’s ability to soak up water that runs off the surface. Without employing revegetation-based erosion control strategies, plant communities and delicate habitats may sustain avoidable damage.
Benefits of revegetation
Unlike the normal tree planting process, revegetation requires pre-planning activities like land designing. In the designing phase, you’ll outline which type of plants to use in specific areas and perform soil compatibility studies. Proper environmental and landscape analysis are the key to successful revegetation. Proper planning ensures that you allocate money and resources wisely and fare a better chance of achieving your goals and earning a profit.
Some native plants can only grow in specific areas, so it’s essential to identify which plant types can endure your region’s climate. Homeowners complete the revegetation process for various reasons, including its ability to benefit governments, private individuals, communities, and companies, alike.
If you need a solid Colorado seed company that provides conservation and reclamation seeds, check out Granite Seed; they’ve been implementing soil erosion control measures and distributing products across North America for more than 30 years. For optimal results, consult the professionals.
Soil erosion control
Revegetation is crucial, as the risk of erosion damage increases when the land is bare or contains little vegetation cover. Plants offer a protective barrier and prevent soil erosion by slowing down water runoff and encouraging more water to seep into the ground. Additionally, the roots hold the soil intact while protecting the plant itself from powerful rushing water that can wash it away. This plant life also assists in stabilizing slopes and embankments, lowering the terrain’s susceptibility to landslides.
Trees, grass, crop residue, and plants offer ultimate soil coverage and intercept all falling raindrops, acting as the most effective soil erosion control measure. Mulch provides additional protection from wind and rain before the newly-planted seeds take root while minimizing soil moisture loss during prolonged dry periods.
Mulching is crucial in halting destructive erosion and establishing vegetation in places with severe exposure to natural and human-driven erosion. Experts advise utilizing hydromulching in such conditions. The absence of windbreakers like crop residue, trees, and shrubs leads to more soil displacement, thus increasing erosion and abrasion.
One of the primary roles of revegetation is to connect lost patches of natural habitat. It serves as a crucial tool in areas that have suffered extensive natural vegetation clearances like urban environments. Research shows that revegetation can facilitate the restoration of significant urban bird populations by connecting the existing habitat with new patches, enhancing bird species diversity.
Developing large habitat patches is an effective method of increasing bird abundance. Therefore, revegetation plans should carefully consider how to connect the new vegetation patches with the existing habitats for the sanctity of bird populations. Revegetating agricultural zones, in specific, can encourage breeding.
For the most part, revegetation favors thriving and common species of birds over declining, rare types. Despite its favoritism, revegetation provides a home to millions of species like small mammals, insects, and birds, when successful.
Soil fertility restoration
Activities like mining lead to extensive topsoil damages as reinstatement, stripping, and stockpiling causes soil degradation. This damage occurs through accelerated soil erosion, soil structure loss, soil PH reduction, organic matter depletion, compaction, reduced microbial activity, and heavy metal accumulation. Topsoil management is essential for restoring fertility and minimizing nutrient losses.
Revegetation via forest vegetation restores soil fertility by improving the capacity to exchange cations, organic matter, and available nutrients while sustaining biological activities and improving physical conditions.
This method is beneficial, but it takes prolonged periods to regenerate the soil to its original state. Some of the ideal trees for revegetating mined lands are grasses, legumes, trees, and herbs N-fixing species. The favorable tree species are Leucaena, Acacia, and other acid-tolerant legume trees, which provide the soils with substantial organic matter.
Revegetation and reforestation play a significant role in minimizing pollution. The net carbon release from deforestation was estimated at 1-2 billion tonnes in 1980 and between 1.5- 3 billion in 1989. There’s enough evidence to verify a significant increase in deforestation since 1980 in multiple tropical areas. Revegetation offers a long term solution to sequestering carbon (IV) oxide because as trees mature, they eliminate Carbon (IV) oxide, thus slowing down carbon buildup in the atmosphere.
Beautifies the landscape
Besides purifying the air by filtering pollutants and harmful dust and gifting human beings with life-supporting oxygen, vegetation also makes the environment beautiful. Revegetating bare land makes it attractive, restores its appearance, and can even boost its value.
If you notice your yard is looking dull or lifeless, vegetation can add color to a property’s outdoor living spaces. For example, trees bear beautiful flowers, magnificent leaves, and fruits, which can sprinkle vibrant accent colors throughout your back and front yard. For more information on how to keep your trees healthy, check out this article.
It would be best to seek an expert before embarking on your revegetation project, as it can be a meticulous process. A revegetation expert will offer expert insight and advice on how to proceed.
The palm oil industry is particularly involved in the development of sustainability standards. Driven by growing global demand, palm oil production has expanded rapidly in the last few years. Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil in the world, and its popularity has grown even more with the emergence of new market opportunities in the biofuels sector, in addition to its traditional food and oleochemical uses.
This strong growth has unquestionably contributed to the economic development of the main producer countries – Indonesia and Malaysia – which account for 87% of global production. Palm oil cultivation provides income for many smallholders, whose produce accounts for around 40% of world palm oil output.
Environmental and Socio-economic Concerns
However, the expansion of palm oil cultivation has also generated serious environmental concerns. It results in tropical deforestation and thus has a major impact on biodiversity loss, with the decline of emblematic species such as orangutan in Southeast Asia. It contributes to climate change through deforestation, but also through the conversion of peatlands, which are of vital importance in soil carbon sequestration.
The huge forest and bush fires in recent years in Indonesia which are associated with clearing lands for agricultural or forestry plantations caused severe air pollution and public health problems across the sub-region. In addition, industrial plantations are sometimes responsible for polluting waterways, into which chemical inputs and processing plant waste are dumped.
Moreover, this expansion has sometimes resulted in social abuses and human rights violations, in the form of land grabbing by plantation companies at the expense of local and indigenous communities or of the exploitation of plantation workers.
Sustainability Standards in Oil Palm Industry
Condemnation of these abuses by NGOs and growing consumer awareness of the adverse impacts of the expansion of palm oil plantation have driven the development of sustainability standards. Such standards are aimed at transforming production practices in order to mitigate their adverse environmental and social effects.
The expansion of palm oil cultivation in Southeast Asia has also generated serious environmental concerns.
In 2001, representatives of the food processing and distribution sector launched a dialogue with WWF and plantation companies, leading to the creation in 2004 of the first voluntary sustainability standard in the sector, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
There are now 2.41 million hectares of RSPO-certified plantations, while sustainable palm oil accounted for 20% of world trade in this product. Meanwhile, several other initiatives proposing a vision of palm oil sustainability have emerged, positioning themselves as either a complement or an alternative to RSPO.
New Challenges to Overcome
The development of these initiatives demonstrates the growing awareness among producers, the industry and the public authorities of the need to transform the sector to enable it to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But this proliferation of sustainability standards itself poses new challenges, even though the environmental and social problems that motivated their emergence remain unresolved.
At the institutional level, the proliferation of sustainability initiatives since the creation of RSPO reflects a real fragmentation of the regulatory framework. This proliferation also raises the question of the articulation of these voluntary standards with the public regulations and national sustainability standards that producer countries have adopted.
Finally, measures to ensure the sustainability of palm oil cultivation need to bolster their credibility by guaranteeing better inclusion of the millions of smallholders, and by contributing in an effective, measurable way to mitigating the adverse social and environmental impacts of growth in palm oil cultivation. In this field, the role of collaborative and multidisciplinary research in providing strong evidence-based impact evaluation of standards is crucial.