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Preventing Pollution

Ethanol, Sustainability Research Gets Funding Boost

The people at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have been working on renewable and cialis en gel sustainable energy since 1977, when they first began researching ways to harness solar energy. They're convinced that cellulosic biomass ethanol is the only sustainable source of liquid transportation fuel we can mass produce without negatively impacting our food or fiber supplies. We at EcoGeek happen to agree with them. To this end, researchers at NREL in Golden, Colorado are using computer models to help predict the function of cellobiohydrolase and other enzymes in chemical reactions which turn biomass into sugar, which can then be fermented into ethanol. Understanding these complex and sometimes unpredictable reactions may hold the cialis visa key to levitra 100mg fulfilling the NREL's goal of supplanting 30% of our gasoline consumption in the US with ethanol on a cost-competitive basis by 2030.

Part of the research wing of generic viagra united states the US Department of Energy - which underwent a budget cut of 35% in 2006 - NREL budget constraints led to the decision to lay off 32 workers last year. Included in the layoffs were eight full-time researchers working on biomass and hydrogen energy projects. A bipartisan group of Colorado congressmen has been working fervently to restore the funding to the projects, and they came up big: in recognition of NREL's vision, research and hard work in biomass and other areas of renewable research, an extra $107 million has been added to its 2007 budget, a 50% increase over last year's $209.6 million. The money will go towards facilities, equipment, and an expansion of its Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility, in addition to operational expansions.

It looks like the politicians in Washington are learning to order levitra online cooperate again, at least on buy viagra pill important issues like renewable energy. After several divisive years of online pharmacy purchase cialis controversy and heated political discourse, it's good to know that some politicians are fighting global warming by getting rid of all that hot air.

via LongmontFYI


Toshiba Recycles

Mo' sustainability, mo' money. Toshiba is the latest computer manufacturer to register products with the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). Toshiba's ramped-up recycling program includes computer take-back at no cost to customers.


So that makes them eligible for, among other things purchase by federal agencies under a new executive order that tells 'em to get greener or suffer the consequences.

Memo to industry captains of the world: if you want to sell to cheap generic levitra people who care about sustainability -- an ever-growing demographic -- you'd better get on the stick.


Electronic Waste and Why it Matters

It's good to get a Digg hit every once in a while, because I get a chance to gauge public interest in certain topics through the influx of comments. One of the overwhelming responses to "Linux Could Reduce E-Waste" was that the "waste" isn't all that big a deal. Not nearly as important as, for example, the energy wasted by manufacturing and link for you cheap viagra 50mg shipping.

Apparently there have been some interesting stories about garbage lately. While many of us were first lectured on the problem of trash from a very young age, some people are seriously questioning whether or not waste, in itself, is a problem at all.

In some respects, I am inclined to agree. Litter, once the original environmental scourge, isn't really a big deal. Sure, it looks bad, but globally, trash is fairly benign. And while landfills are certainly ugly and smelly wastes of generic viagra without a percription good land, commenters point out that a few square miles of land could take care of all of Americas trash for decades.

Leaving out where we'll find a few square miles of ecologically useless land for sale, and how we're going to ship all the garbage to that massive dump, the problems with e-waste have very little to do with where to discount generic cialis put the best price viagra waste.

There are two main problems with e-waste. First, it is largely toxic. Lead, mercury, selenium, cadmium, and arsenic are all very common to computer components. Second, if labor is cialis 25mg cheap enough, and regulations lax enough, computer parts can be profitably harvested in developing countries.

The components that do end up in landfills, thus, poison the land and water surrounding the landfill. And the components that don't end up poisoning people in developing countries working for dollars a week.

But the story doesn't end there, every computer discarded is a computer that must be replaced. And the environmental costs of creating a computer are, indeed, more significant than those of disposing of one. So the commenters were correct, preventing waste is of vital importance not just because of where the waste ends up, but because wasted items must be replaced. And creating these machines, it turns out, is an environmentally significant undertaking.


Flywheels and Greener Power

{mosimage}Because of the variable nature of many sustainable sources of power (most notably wind power) compared to their fossil fueled cousins, balancing the amount of power being supplied to the grid will become an increasingly difficult challenge in the greening of power supplies.

"Flywheel-based energy storage systems, unlike lead-acid batteries, are sustainable “green” technology solutions that do not use hazardous materials for production, nor create them during operation. Unlike batteries, flywheels operate reliably for many years with little or no maintenance. Their life cycle cost benefits and ROI have proven to be far superior to those of lead-acid batteries. Despite higher initial costs, flywheels offer an attractive and long-term cost-effective energy storage alternative for the growing number of we choice cialis cheap companies implementing sustainable business practices."

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Europe's RoHS Laws made Cell Phones Green Everywhere!

Cell phones aren't an easy thing to manufacture. A typical phone has parts that saw a dozen countries before they ever saw eachother.

So when the buy ultram online no prescription overnight European Union passed a law saying that all electronic devices had to generic soft tabs cialis be free of certain dangerous and toxic materials, the cell phone manufacturers were put in an awkward position.

They couldn't stop selling to the European market, but they also couldn't afford to develop phones specifically for the European market. So cell phone makers are forced to make all of their nearly 2 billion new phones a year comply with the toughest environmental regulations in the world (currently, Europes.) An interesting side-effect of globalization!
Now, one year after the Reduction of Hazardous Substances law was passed in England, the entire world has cell phones that are free of cadmium, lead, mercury and cialis samples bromine. That sure worked out nicely...Thanks Europe!
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