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Green Technology

5 Green Transportation Solutions for Public Transportation System

May 29, 2020
green transportation solutions

Public transportation has the potential to transform traditional cities into sustainable paragons. When comparing the carbon footprint of public transit to that of single-passenger cars, the former carries a myriad of benefits. These include reduced fuel consumption, improved air quality, decreased traffic congestion and cost savings for commuters.

Public transportation has the potential to be a key player in the future sustainability of urban areas. Cities across the United States are working to find green transportation solutions to improve an outdated system. These initiatives include switching to electric buses, improving walkability in communities and making policy changes.

Here are five green transportation solutions to be on the lookout for in the future:

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Green Technology

Solar Roadways Fail Despite High Investments

May 27, 2020
solar roadways fail

The solar energy industry has increased exponentially, with a 48% annual growth rate in the last decade. As a market with such high potential, engineers rushed to discover more innovative ways to utilize this technology.

When experts first proposed the concept of solar roadways, it seemed like a great idea. With access to so much existing infrastructure, adding solar panels to roads appeared like an easy solution. Photovoltaic roadways garnered interest as an advanced way to harvest energy off of impermeable surfaces. 

Unfortunately, the concept was misguided and proved to be entirely ineffective. Not only did the solar panels produce less than half of the energy proposed, but developers also found that the large-scale installations were incredibly impractical financially. 

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Environment

Sustainability vs. Conservation: Key Similarities and Differences

May 26, 2020
sustainability vs. conservation

When it comes to discussions about the environment, people sometimes view sustainability and conservation as synonymous. Both concepts focus on caring and advocating for the planet, emphasizing the importance of protecting natural resources and preserving ecosystems. However, there is one essential distinction between the two. 

Conservation, including biological and ecological preservation, focuses on protecting what is here now. It’s a broad term that is part practice and part philosophy, a moral application that emphasizes an ethical approach to the natural environment. 

Sustainability, on the other hand, focuses on protecting and preserving the environment so that future generations can thrive and enjoy what current society has now. It focuses on mitigating the human impact on the earth for the future.

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Green Technology

5 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Environmental Impacts

May 25, 2020
hydrogen fuel cells environmental impact

The movement towards sustainability has taken off around the world. Fossil fuels like natural gas, oil and coal are harmful to the environment, and people are encouraging the use of renewable energy. Hydrogen fuel cells are now entering the eco-friendly scene in an impactful way. 

From sustainability to production, hydrogen fuel cells offer an alternative to fossil fuels that’s practical and doable. With this change, industries of all kinds — from transportation to manufacturing — can start to incorporate hydrogen fuel cells into their operations. Hydrogen fuel cell environmental impacts are what set this resource apart from the rest. 

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Green Technology

10 Hydrogen Fuel Cells Advantages and Disadvantages

May 22, 2020
hydrogen fuel cells advantages and disadvantages

We are most familiar with hydrogen as an energy source in several organic compounds. These compounds are referred to as hydrocarbons and help form natural gas, propane and gasoline. Hydrogen fuel cell technology, on the other hand, is a process that transforms chemical energy into electrical. Because of its potential as a clean source of power, it has become an alternative to combustion-based systems.

Most hydrogen forms by separating it from natural gas, though scientists are working on other innovative ways of accomplishing this. One method of hydrogen gas extraction is through electrolysis. This process requires running an electric current through water, resulting in the separation of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Unfortunately, this method is not cheap and involves carbon-intensive energy sources like oil and natural gas. 

Hydrogen fuel cell technology may change the way we power vehicles in the future. However, it also presents a few key challenges. Let’s examine hydrogen fuel cells’ advantages and disadvantages and what they mean for the future development of this energy source.

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Green Technology

How High Is the Carbon Footprint of Car Manufacturing?

May 20, 2020
carbon footprint of car manufacturing

When measuring the carbon footprint of a standard vehicle, fuel consumption is usually the first thing to come to mind. After all, for the standard gas-powered car, experts estimate that nearly 90% of emissions during its lifecycle are due to usage. Manufacturing these machines also has a significant carbon footprint, even if it is more difficult to quantify.

Car manufacturing requires the extraction of raw materials such as steel, aluminum, plastic and rubber. The processing of these substances is extremely energy-intensive. However, because the manufacturing stage is somewhat invisible to the consumer, we tend to forget about its impact on the environment.

The effects of the standard gas-powered vehicle are significant. According to one report, greenhouse gas emissions from the car manufacturing industry exceed the energy footprint of the European Union. The production of electric vehicles has a higher carbon footprint, but this fact is irrelevant in terms of the energy saved during its lifetime.

While the auto manufacturing industry is actively working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, economic and consumer incentives will be essential in reducing environmental impact in the future.

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Green Technology

Sustainable Transportation: Electric Car Emissions vs. Gas

May 18, 2020
electric car emissions vs gas

Electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy are shaking up the transportation industry. As consumers look for more sustainable solutions, automakers seek to fill the demand with cost-effective and energy-efficient alternatives to gas-powered vehicles. Additionally, as the global economy shifts away from a fossil fuel-dependent model, more companies are looking for ways to reduce emissions.

Comparing electric car emissions vs. gas requires looking at direct and lifecycle emissions. The former measures the amount of pollution associated with the vehicle’s tailpipe and fueling process. The latter accounts for the car’s production, use and disposal.

The mining and processing of car batteries for EVs is much more energy-intensive than the manufacturing of gas-powered vehicles. However, the total emissions produced by electric vehicles during their lifetime is significantly less than gas-powered cars. As the auto industry heads in a more sustainable direction, electric vehicles will play a vital role in the future of transportation. 

 

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Wildlife

How Does Climate Change Affect Bird Migration?

May 15, 2020
climate change affect bird migration

Climate change affects every living organism on Earth. From polar bears to rabbits, each creature struggles to adapt to rising temperatures, longer and shorter seasons and limited resources. Among them are birds. Hundreds of species rely on subtle changes in temperature to find food, breed, nest and relocate. 

So how does climate change affect bird migration?

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Green Technology

8 Main Benefits of Sustainable Transportation

May 13, 2020
benefits of sustainable transportation

About 6,800 organizations provide public transportation within the U.S. Compared to driving cars, this mode of transport is incredibly sustainable, even more so if it utilizes electric or hybrid energy.

However, only 5% of working men and women utilize public transit systems. Rather, they use their own vehicles to commute to and from their jobs. This only exacerbates problems like greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and smog. Obviously, there must be a shift in mentality toward sustainable transportation before people begin transitioning into using it more frequently.

Understanding the benefits of sustainable transportation — of which there are many — may encourage workers to utilize it. Whether it be your health, the Earth, the community or your pocketbook, sustainable transit is better for them all. They will become more mainstream as the number of riders increases, allowing systems to expand and create an even greater impact.

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Green Technology

The Best Eco-Friendly Automobiles of 2020

May 11, 2020
eco-friendly automobiles

Everyone is looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and become more eco-friendly as we move closer to the planet’s 2030 deadline, after which the damage done from climate change may be irreversible.

We can recycle, compost, grow our own produce and only buy from local farms. We can also lessen our reliance on single-use plastics, such as straws and flatware. However, there is one thing that most of us can’t avoid — our daily commute. We might want to go green, but you can’t stop going to work just because you don’t want to drive your car. Thankfully, the push toward an eco-friendly society has led many manufacturers to create more sustainable automobiles.

With that in mind, here are some of the best eco-friendly cars and trucks of 2020.

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