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Do Potato Chips Have a Larger Carbon Footprint Than Cement?


A recent report from the Carbon Trust notes that there are "more carbon emissions from crisps (potato chips) than cement." Although it may be a surprising bit of generic everyday cialis news at first, it conceals the greater issue of scale. Undoubtedly though, someone is certain to rail against potato chips and follow link order propica argue that we don't need to usa levitra worry about cement production when snack foods are the bigger problem. While the Carbon Trust's statement is factually correct from one perspective, as the famous saying goes, there are "Lies, damned lies, and statistics", so let's talk about numbers a bit.

First, let's take a look at the levitra tab in indian amount of CO2 produced for each item. Producing cement releases about an equivalent amount of CO2 (producing one ton of cement releases one ton of CO2), while producing potato chips releases about 2.3 times as much CO2 (producing one ton of potato chips releases 2.3 tons of CO2). What is key here is buy no rx cialis that the factor of CO2 produced is in relationship to the weight of the finished product. Cement is much denser and heavier than potato chips, so a sack of cialis pfizer india cement has a much, much higher carbon footprint than an equivalent volume of potato chips.

Secondly, let's consider the annual production of each item. A figure for yearly global production of potato chips wasn't readily available, but just looking at relatively recent US consumption, roughly 3 million tons of potato chips are produced annually, yielding about 7 million tons of CO2. However, US cement production is around 100 million tons per year, yeilding about 100 million tons of CO2.

Even though cement produces less CO2 per pound, cement production is still nearly 15 times more significant to US production of CO2. Although there is more CO2 per unit of potato chips, a lot more cement is produced, which helps make that the larger problem.

However, there's more to it than just that. Global cement production in 2000 was 1.56 billion tons. The US production is only about 6% of that total. On the other hand, the US is probably responsible for a higher percentage of total potato chip consumption, so the global figure for cement production is even more significant.

Big numbers and surprising ratios can catch our attention, but it's important to look at the overall picture. Although more CO2 per pound was released when the potato chips were made, a one pound bag of potato chips still represents less impact than an 80 pound sack of cement; the bags are far from equivalent to one another.  And even though producing a pound of chips releases more CO2 than producing a pound of cement does, that doesn't make potato chips a greater environmental hazard than cement.

Thanks @MelStarrs

Image credit: CC-By-SA-2.5 by Paul Hurst


Bead-Filled Washing Maching Uses 90% Less Water

A new washing machine design uses 90 percent less water and reduces utility bills by 30 percent by cleaning clothes with tiny plastic beads.

The machine by UK company Xeros Ltd uses 3mm-long nylon beads that can get into all crevices and folds of cheap viagra prescription online clothing and absorb stains and dirt.  Stephen Burkinshaw, a polymer chemist at Leeds University, discovered that nylon beads at 100 percent humidity could attract stains away from clothing and into the order cheapest levitra online center of the beads, preventing deposition back onto the clothes.

The machine uses a small amount of water to dampen the clothes and to reach the right humidity level, then the drum is flooded with the beads.  When the cycle is it's cool cheapest cialis complete the 20mg levitra beads drain away with the water to be reused hundreds of times.

I'm sure you've already started questioning what happens to these plastic beads once they're done scrubbing clothes.  The company wants to eventually create a closed loop where the saturated beads can be refreshed and reused in the machines, but for the time being they will be collected and recycled.

Xeros says that if all of the US used these machines instead of regular washing machines, it would save 1.2 billion tonnes of water per year and  the CO2 emissions saved would equal taking 5 million cars off the road.  The machine would also eliminate the need to dry clean many delicates, another environmental benefit.  The Xeros machine is expected to be available by the end of next year.

via Guardian



Compact Hydroelectric Generator Can Be Carried Like a Backpack

Bourne Energy
has created a portable hydroelectric generator that weighs less than 30 pounds and can be worn like a backpack.

The appropriately-called Backpack Power Plant is capable of fast delivery canada cialis generating 500 watts and can quietly produce electricity from a stream four feet or deeper.  To install the discount real viagra generator, the user digs a trench on either side of the stream or river for two lightweight anchors.  A rope connects the anchors to the generator, keeping it afloat through tension.

It performs best at flow speeds of 2.3 meters per second, but can work at a variety of speeds.  It produces no heat or exhaust emissions.

Bourne has designed a more-powerful and lighter version for military use in remote locations.  The civilian version will sell for $3,000 and could be used in developing countries or by any hydroelectricity enthusiast.

via Wired Science


Street Lamps Powered by Garbage

A cool new design concept marries composting with clean energy:  garbage-powered street lamps.  The Gaon Street Light from designer Haneum Lee keeps food waste out of landfills while keeping streets illuminated.

The street lamp features a garbage bin at its base where food products can be deposited.  The waste is then composted and the methane from the waste powers the lamp at the top.

There would need to be controls in place to make sure that only food waste made it into the compost bin.  If that were worked out, it would be a nice idea for city parks or other areas where people take their food outside.  The design gets us thinking about what all could be powered by our waste and that's a success in itself.

via Inhabitat


Shipping Map Tracks Invasive Species Stowaways

Invasive species can have catastrophic effects on an ecosystem.  From algae to jellyfish, ports around the world are faced with a problem, but first, it's necessary to understand how the problem got there.

Researchers at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany set out to crack the case of marine invasive species.  Where are they coming from and how did they get there?  They knew that many small species hitch a ride in the ballast water of cargo ships, so they plotted the levitra 100 mg course of just try! viagra professional no prescription 16,363 ships during 2007 to look for connections.

Before now, it was assumed that invasive species were more likely coming from nearby ports, but researchers discovered that wasn't the case.

They found that container ships follow regular routes, but oil tankers and dry bulk carriers often change routes.  Container ships tend to travel quickly and don't spend long at port.  On the other hand, oil tankers and dry bulk carriers travel more slowly, spend more time at port and exchange ballast water more often due to the fact that they spend a lot of time traveling without cargo, making them important to watch.

From their analysis they were able to find the world's most connected ports which would be the most prone to the introduction of invasive species.  They compiled a list of 20 with the top five being the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, Shanghai, Singapore and Antwerp.

Hopefully this new data will help affected ports monitor these stowaways and come up with an environmentally responsible plan.  As is the case with all informational maps, they add to our understanding of a problem, which usually helps create a solution.

via AFP

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