Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Scott Buser writes about how Interesting is to see how the Scientific Method has affected Western Culture


Warner Pacific College
July 23, 2014

            It is interesting to think of how scientific methods have affected the western culture. If we were to ask the Native American Indians how scientific methods have affected them I believe we would get a whole different perspective.
            The scientific community, the professors and the thinkers of the world have changed us from rock throwers to rocket boosters to the moon. To understand how life is made to an understanding of how life works has the ability to improve or hinder mankind. We have used science to understand the molecules, the protons and Neurobiology. We have made great advancements in curing human diseases, yet some of these discoveries have also had a negative effect on our planet.
            If we think about where mankind would be today without science it boggles the mind. Before the vehicle we have horse and buggy. In the early 1920’s the buggy pulled by horses were perceived as pollution. Their droppings were left behind on dirt roads which produced bad odor, and was unaccepted in appearance. Today, in the 21 century we have similar opinions regarding fossil fuels. Our daily mode of transportation is the vehicles we drive. Our emissions from the vehicles are viewed as harming our planet’s atmosphere.
            In the balance of science we have been attempting to lesson our footprint on planet earth. Yet with the help of science, as in the early stages of science we are beginning to understand western culture and the effects we are having on the earth. To understand the methods of science we are more apt to improve our existence on the planet.
            The Native culture believes that to heal mother earth we must first respect her. We must first address our own greed, and walk with the nature of mother earth. In the Bible you will read throughout it the importance of respect to our environment, and each other. Science has had a positive impact on improving how we survive, yet, has also had a negative impact on how we use the invention from science.
            I believe that with the understanding of how we have negatively affected our world that we could also our science to reverse all the destructions from over the last few hundred years.
            In the early days when science was being fine tuned, we started to understand how we could improve our lives; we also were learning at the same time how bad some of these new improvements could have, yet we continued to invent, ignore and hide destruction.
            I believe science is our answer to improvement, with of course human involvement with prayer, with what the lord states in his literature. Science gave us the TV, let’s turn it off and socialize with our brothers and sisters. We invented fossil fuels, let’s park our cars and exercise. Change is also part of science, humans are the only creature on our planet that has resistance to change; yet as guardians of the planet, it is we whom need to change the most for all living things to survive.

Scientific Method and Western Culture by Andrew Curry

July 22, 2014
  
The scientific method is a process in which critical thinking is used to test ideas with observations using a consistent series of steps. Western culture has developed into a culture based on reasoning, methodology, logic, critical thinking, and validation of the subject being discussed. Western culture has long used the scientific method dating back to the ancient Greeks. Ancients Greeks became focused innovation and invention through the use of science as well as new technologies. Using the scientific method these early scientists were able to recall past experiences, and based on those experiences makes hypotheses, gather data, and use the new data to to draw conclusions, and finally test the data repeatedly for predictive value.

Aristotle is considered to have first used what we today call the scientific method, he used measurement and observations as well as understanding that thought and reasoning must be applied with real world findings. Aristotle scrutinized everything from animal and plant species, to politics, and cultural systems already in place.

The scientific method has altered Western Culture in numerous ways. It has helped shape and mold everything we use, everything we build, everything we create. Western culture takes the newest technologies and systems we have in place and improves on them by finding better, more efficient, and environmentally friendly ways to create better products. Everything from the cars we drive, the buildings we work in, our cell phones, computers, televisions, and medical technologies have been advanced through the use of scientific method. Western civilization was the first to develop steam power. Steam was first used to power pumps, later used in engines, and finally to power factories. The cell phones we have today started as telegraphs, with inventors experimenting using clicking sounds in the form of code sent through a wire to communicate across distances that would have never before seemed possible. Later the telephone was developed using a transmitter and receiver. Cell phones evolved from telephones; wires have disappeared and cell phones can be taken anywhere to make a call or text.

Whether people realize it or not they use the scientific method every day, numerous times a day. It can be used in something as simple as determining what pizza you will order. First, you can recall past experiences of what pizzas you did or did not like from a certain pizza chain or the other. Second,  you may decide you will try a new pizza and enjoy it because you liked the other pizzas that you previously ordered. Third, you order the pizza and eat it; this is gathering your data. Fourth, you decide whether or not you liked or disliked the new pizza. Lastly, you can test the new pizza several times in order to get a good perspective on whether you truly like or dislike it.

The evolution of these devices and technologies have come about as result of the scientific method being improved on over time until newer,  and better products and technologies are created. The scientific method will continue to bring about new methods and technologies by building off what is already in place; while hopefully doing so in more environmentally sustainable ways to leave the planet a better place for generations to come.
  
References
 Martyn Shuttleworth(Aug 18, 2009). History of the Scientific Method. Retrieved Jul 23, 2014 from Explorable.com:https://explorable.com/history-of-the-scientific-method
  Hills, Richard L. (1989).Power from Steam: A history of the stationary steam engine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.ISBN0 521 34356 9.


Keith T. North's view on 'Science Method that Has Influenced Western Culture'

Environmental Studies

Warner Pacific College
July 22, 2014

                                    Science Method That Has Influenced Western Culture

            This particular topic has a magnitude of variations that has impacted every American in a way that the question should read, “What science method hasn’t influenced western culture!” We have grown so incredibly fast these last few decades with science breakthroughs that choosing one is very difficult. From reaching the moon and traveling in outer space to DNA discovery, all of this in my short life period but we are required to choose one. I believe one major scientific discovery was oil, or actually the refinement of gasoline. Gas has transformed a once quiet unassuming nation into the greatest industrial anarchist and richest nation to ever exist. I am speaking of the United States, the fundamental partner in the western culture progression.

            (Inventers.com) describes gasoline as “Gasoline produced by distillation, the separating of the volatile, more valuable fractions of crude petroleum.” As our culture progressed and increases of efficient motors were introduced, complex chemical scientific processes were necessary. One such process was “defined” as cracking. One such type of process was called Catalytic cracking. (Dictionary.com 2014) defines cracking as “The reduction of the molecular weight of hydrocarbons by a catalyst, accomplished in a petroleum refinery by a type of chemical reactor.” I am unaware of the exact science of how cracking is performed but having been employed in refinery plants in the south, I have observed how complicated the chemical process can be. Cracking or refinement of gas has impacted many of us. It has allowed us to drive cars that deposit much less hydrocarbons in the atmosphere and provide for cleaner breathable air. Refinement aka cracking of oil has provided fuels that deliver humans with everyday routines they have been accustomed to and rely on.  We have come so accustomed to gas that even with the shortage of oil we still need it! Americans and the western culture have become overly reliant on fossil fuels, gasoline in particular. Our glutton dependence on gas has transformed this nation into a culture of petrol thirst. We need gas to sustain our everyday lifestyle. Our existence as we know it, without gas, would not survive our present day lifestyle or as a human race. Imagine if we lost the ability to utilize gas as a daily commodity, our society, as we know it, would come to a polarizing standstill.

            The impact of gasoline, and the science that aided in its creation, had a profound impact on our society. Imagine what our world would be like without gas? Would you drive a horse to your office? Would you walk to work? Would we go back to a society of hunters and gatherers? We can only imagine. What is our future? (Post carbon institute 2010) describes what is required, “Lloyds Insurance and Chatham House issued a report called “Sustainable Energy Security: strategic risks and opportunities for business”, which argued that “energy security is now inseparable from the transition to a low-carbon economy and business plans should prepare for this new reality.” We need to prepare now for the ultimate ending of fossil fuels and transform the science to a sustainable society.


                                                   References





Western Culture and the Scientific Method by Shaquonna Jones

 PHS 100 Environmental Studies
July 22, 2014

            The Scientific Method has been used for years and is a traditional methodology to research. It is used often in day-to-day life as well. “The scientific method is a techniques method for testing ideas with observations.” (Withgott, 2013) The method of science had multiple steps that sometime require repeating. The steps are observation, questions, hypothesis, predictions, test and the results. The repetition comes in the latter steps: prediction, test and results. In these different steps of the scientific method involves many variables that play a role in the outcome or the desired outcome. The implementation of the scientific method has influenced the western culture.

            In the western culture the scientific method has broaden the knowledge of many people on many different levels. The western culture in my opinion is a culture that is being influenced to growing to new heights as technology and science is progressively influencing the path socially and culturally. The culture has continually growing and changing. The method of science or experimenting is as well. There have been so many things revealed due to the scientific method that has allowed the culture to grow. Not only grow but to pass on knowledge that has been gain through the experimenting, testing and failed attempts of experimenting. Understanding why things happen in the world is something people question often and this method has answered questions that have come up over the years. The western culture has been enhanced scientifically with Aristotle’s contribution in the development of “measurements and observations” to Roger Bacon’s development of “hypothesizing and experimenting” the western culture has been forever changed in the way observations are processed. (Shuttleworth, 2014)

            The first step is simply making an observation. We make observations every day that cause us to question, which is the second step, or peak out curiosity. When we observe something we automatically ask questions. Children are great at observation and question asking when something sparks their interest. Children are mini scientist. I have a six year old who makes observations and follow his observations up with questions very often. He seeks understanding in all things. A popular question of his is “why does it rain or where do clouds come from?” Asking questions is important to a scientist. The questions lead to developing a hypothesis. The hypothesis is the answer to the logical question. The logical answer that I give my son in response is to look it up and see what scientist say or what a specific book/website has for an answer. Of course he has his own predictions, step four in the process. His predictions are based on what he has learned the book or website we find the answer on and he will remember the answer until he hears or learns something different. While flying to our vacation destination this summer he was able to see the cloud up close which began a whole set of new questions and observations. In the predicting and testing phase is where children have the most fun because of the ability to guess and test their guesses. I believe this is why science so popular in elementary school. Children are curious and when they can see action behind something they are curious about it excites them. The predicting and the testing phase is where things can also go wrong which may result in starting over or rethinking the hypothesis.
            In the application of the scientific method obviously scientist are not the only ones that put the method to good. In the “day-to-day problem-solving doesn't require such formality. But it does require a logical approach and a progression of thinking that results in a testable hypothesis.” (Harris, 2008) Reading about the scientific method has heightened my senses to being aware of when it is being used around me or in the world today.

Works Cited

Harris, W. (2008, 1 14). How the Scientific Method Works. Retrieved from HowStuffWorks.com: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/scientific-experiments/scientific-method8.htm
Shuttleworth, M. (2014, July 21). Explorable Psychology Experiments. Retrieved from Explorable Psychology Experiments: https://explorable.com/history-of-the-scientific-method
Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2013). Environment:the science behind the stories (5th Ed.). New York: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.















Friday, May 30, 2014

Future Perspective by Renee Pinkerton

Environmental Studies
PHS 100A
May 29, 2014
 Connecting and Considering

There are times I find that daily living can exist in a vacuum of sorts. I take care of myself and my family with the resources that are available. I know that there are big issues out there in the world that need to be addressed like education, poverty, healthcare and the environment but who am I to tackle such huge issues? This past year has brought forth opportunities for me to consider and make some changes as I live on this earth.
My adult son and I were driving home as I noticed a billboard that stated, save the environment, stop eating beef.  I cynically looked at my son and said what in world does eating beef have to do with the environment? My son proceeded to enlightened me of the impact upon the environment due to the grossly large stock yards necessary to provide beef and dairy products for today’s consumers. In order to provide the land necessary for livestock some countries have chosen to use forest lands and others have allowed over grazing. Livestock on an intensive scale in industrialized countries has become a major source of pollution of water and the atmosphere (FAO,2013). I had never really considered how the environment was being impacted by our food choices
A documentary was shown in a class, Food Inc. produced by Robert Kenner in 2008. It asked the question do you know what you are eating and where your food is coming from.The documentary talks about how food production has been impacted by the fast food industry. The modern food industry is about doing things faster, fatter, bigger and cheaper and no one is thinking about the impact it is having on our health system (Leake,2010). Wendall Berry states that people are fed by the food industry that pays no attention to health and are healed by the health industry that pays no attention to food (Eytan, 2013). I had never really considered how our food and health were being impacted by today’s efficient but not so effective lifestyles.
A customer comes into the store and tells me his story about the way his health has been impacted by the gluten in wheat that has been genetically modified. He tells me that the modifications were done to help wheat grow quicker and to be resistant to environmental harms. The new modified wheat has developed a protein that has impacted many in a negative manner. I start doing some research on my own and make some changes in the way we eat from the findings. I had never considered that efforts to resolve hunger may result in doing more harm than good.
A clip from the sci-fi movie Soylent Green (1973) shows a world in  2022 that has been depleted of all natural resources and what awful measures humanity will resort to, to survive. Today we still have many attempting to prophesy about future catastrophes as a result of misuse of the world’s resources or ways that the predicted population growth of nine billion by 2050 will not be sustainable (Rupp, 2014). These efforts are done to call others to wake up and purposely create fear. I do know that fear can cripple a person.
Fear evokes what is call survival brain and it can have three primary outcomes (Laton,2005). Freeze we become overwhelmed and feel we are paralyzed to do anything about the circumstances so we live as a victim of our circumstances. Flight we run away from the problem and find a small community were we can live making the best life we can without thinking about others. Or we can respond to the fear by fighting back. Fighting back seems to be the best response to the fear that is evoked but it must be a rational response to a real problem.
My ultimate goal of attending college is to attain a degree in mental health and/or human development. Issues of the environment and food supply are critical to our mental and physical health. Studies show that the impact of not having the basic needs of humanity met is grave for ones future and creates a high cost upon societies. This generation is responsible to address serious concerns and to do what we can to make sure future generations have the opportunity to live responsibly and well.
How do we responsibly respond to the fears for the future? First we need to recognize that were are not powerless to make changes. As consumers and citizens we have loud voice and industry will respond to persons who persevere in discussion for the good of humanity. David Platt in his book Radical Together uses this powerful illustration.
      Atop the Andes Mountains, the rays of sun strike ice, a single drop of water forms gradually joining with other drops to become a steady stream. Hundreds of miles later, the mightiest river on earth: The Amazon, flowing in the Atlantic Ocean at a rate of seven million cubic feet per second, the Amazon is more powerful than the next ten largest rivers combined.
(2011 p.1)
As we connect with others on the path set before us we become a mighty force for change. As we become aware of things to consider we need to respond to the circumstance by gaining knowledge and doing the things we can to impact for good. We are without excuse in today’s world to be ignorant of circumstances that cause concern. I am hopeful for the future even with all the concerns that arise because concerns do arise, and because people arise to speak and act on behalf of humanitarian issues.
References

Eytan, T. (2013) Comparing US food system and healthcare stats. Retrieved from: http://www.foodtechconnect.com/2013/11/12/comparison-us-food-sytem-health-care-stats/
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). (2013). World agricultural: towards 2015-2030, and FAO perspective. Retrieved from: http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y4252e/y4252e05b.htm#TopOfPage 
Kenner, R.(2008) Food Inc. Participant Media
Layton, J. (2005). How Fear Works. HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved from:  29 May 2014
Leake, L. (2010). Some highlights from food inc. documentary. Retrieved from: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/04/28/some-highlights-from-the-food-inc-documentary/

Platt D. (2011). Radical Together. Multhomah Books. Colorado Springs, CO.

Confronting Future Development and Sustainability by Cammi Hubert

PHS 100A Environmental Studies
Warner Pacific College
May 29, 2014
Confronting Future Development and Sustainability
            As this course comes to an end I cannot help but express my concerns about what we will leave for our children and their children. I think that our society has become so greedy and consumed with having the best, biggest and the most that many people look the other way when it comes to giving back what they have so freely taken. I cannot say that I was not aware of the condition of our environment, but I can say I will never look at the world around me the same. After having some education relating to sustainability and our future I see red flags all around me.
            In a previous paper I wrote about an attitude that whatever is depleted in our environment there will always be someone finding a substitute and everything will again be free for the taking. It feels to me like our society expects the government and other pertinent agencies to refill our empty barrels. I often wonder if people take so much for granted because there has always been something or someone to produce a solution. Is the idea that we will continue to use our resources until we are living on other planets because the earth is finally unable to sustain life a logical solution? Or is it because we are such a spoiled nation that most only think about today and not what life will be like in 100 years? If we, meaning everyone, continue to do what we are doing life as we have always known it will no longer be the life that our future generations know.
            As I begin to realize that there are things that can be done to help preserve our natural resources it occurs to me that we will be chasing the damage and only be able to address what is happening now not what has already been destroyed. Our text book writes “The United States with less than 5% of the world’s population consumes 20% of the world’s resources” (Laposata & Withgott, 2014). That is outrageous!
I wonder how many people have ever seen an undeveloped area? With the way we travel, communicate, work and shop most of our society has never experienced a connection with our natural environment. Everything appears material and in the quest to have “things” our consumption of goods and services cannot last forever. When a cell phone is used, a laptop is opened or writing with a simple ink pen is there even a thought about how this is only possible because of the minerals we mine. Every single day we as human beings take the use of a belt buckle or putting on cosmetics for granted. I am curious how many people actually have a concept of how these luxuries are even made.
            Our vast use and destruction of our environment reaches much farther than cleaning up waterways or recycling our plastics, our depletion of the earth is not just surface but underground as well. We mine minerals needed to produce almost everything we use on a daily basis. What happens when the minerals are gone? “ The Minerals Education Coalition estimated that in 2013 the average American consumed more than 17,200 kg (38,000 lbs.) of new minerals and fuels every year” (Laposata & Withgott, 2014). When we compare this to every person in the United States the consumption rate is astronomical. “At the current rates of use, a baby born in 2012 is predicted to use over 1.3 million kg (3 million lbs.) of minerals over his or her lifetime” (Laposata & Withgott, 2014).
            With all of this in mind the world needs to pay attention. I believe we can make a difference in our environment and hopefully stop destroying what is left. If everyone makes a conscious decision to do their part our environment, our health and our quality of life can be maintained without sucking our planet dry. Minerals are a resource that appears to be taken from the earth faster than the earth can reproduce it. Therefore the likelihood of not having the minerals necessary to move forward with things like solar power is very real.
One of the minerals being seriously depleted is indium used in LCD screens and other luxuries.  If we continue to tap into our supplies of this mineral it is possible that it won’t be available in 30 years! This mineral, as well as others, are used in the production of high efficiency cells for solar power. We are just beginning to truly understand all of the benefits that could be realized from the use of solar energy. Discovering that we can create electricity from the sun can put things in a new perspective. When I look around me I realize that electricity is one of the most fundamental components of our everyday lives. For those countries that continue to remain in the dark solar energy could be one of the main changes that could impact every human being on the planet.
            The exposure to the possibility of using the sun to create electricity could make a huge difference in so many ways. The possibility of reducing electricity bills to the point that the power companies could actually owe a credit to the consumer is amazing to me. The enormous amounts of overhead costs from the use of electricity could be decreased so significantly that more people could benefit from these types of savings.
            I can visualize for instance just one residential alcohol and drug treatment facility could realize such an enormous savings from solar power that there would be more funding to help more people. The use of electricity to light up the building; heat up the water, run the furnace and/or the air conditioner , power a commercial kitchen as well as all of the little necessities that require power is so expensive that the numbers of people that benefit from A&D services are essentially limited.  The amount it costs to pay overhead to run one of these facilities could be reduced so significantly that the savings could be put back into funding needed desperately for more services to reach more people.
            The solution is simple; we need to stop taking from our planet and begin working with our planet to utilize the resources that are right in front of us. The sun has always been there and likely always will be. Taking advantage of what is produced naturally by the sun makes sense. We need to let the planet rest and refresh itself instead of depleting and destroying it then maybe there will be something left for the generations to come.

References
 Laposata, M., & Withgott, J. (2014). Environment:the science behind the stories. (5 ed., pp. 636, 667). Glenview , IL: Pearson Education, Inc.




What to expect for the Future by Bethany Patterson

Warner Pacific College
May 29, 2014


            As of 2014 we are currently innovating ways to convert our old recycled products into something we can use. I believe in a couple years we will have solar panels on most if not all houses, and I hope to see more businesses convert to solar as well. Here is a little bit about solar panels; solar power is produced by collecting sunlight and converting it into electricity. This is done by using solar panels, which are large flat panels made up of many individual solar cells. It is most often used in remote locations, although it is becoming more popular in urban areas as well. This page contains articles that explore advances in solar energy technology. Here is a fun fact did you know who is the most competent solar power expert, according to a research team from Tel Aviv University? It is the humble common Oriental hornet found in our gardens! Much to the astonishment of the scientists and researchers, the hornet utilizes solar power much like a plant and it produces electricity. Think how much easier it would be if only we could unravel how the hornet manages it. This discovery could revolutionize future solar power harvesting.
            New York City's Brooklyn Bridge Park is getting even greener with the addition of a solar powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station – the first of its kind in New York City. Brooklyn Bridge Park has already added a number of green areas with lush grass, making it a great spot for both locals and tourists to enjoy the fabulous view of Manhattan and this EV charging station is the latest and unique green energy addition. The station will likely reduce the carbon emission inside the park to a great extent. Yes, as of 2011, The Empire State Building, one of the world's largest buildings has achieved the distinction of becoming the largest buyer of green renewable wind power. The Empire State Building will be using more than 100 million kWh of wind energy in the coming couple of years approximately. It will be totally - 100% - wind-powered from now on! This is not the only feather in the lofty Empire State Building's green cap. Already the tall building has executed the refurbishment of fitting of all its - some 6500 or so - windows with a unique type of insulating glass for power savings. Some $13.2 million very well spent in boosting the green credentials.
A German owned company IMO has set-up a plant in USA that will make the largest solar tracker solar panels to tap solar energy. As per Ruediger Unverzagt and Klaus Pless, respectively the CEO and vice-president of this company, these solar tracker solar panels are the largest in Summerville in South California. IMO is looking forward to commercially sell these solar tracker solar panels. Despite being huge in size, they are very easy to assemble and one can assemble them just outside the building where they are to be installed. The United States of America will now produce clear power that can light up as many as 11000 to 277500 homes in the country. The Sectary of Interior Ken Salazar has given a go ahead to the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating system, a project proposed by Bright Source of Oakland that can produce up to 370 megawatt of clear energy and generate nearly 1100 opportunities for employment. The project, located in San Bernardino Country, California, is the inaugural large-scale solar energy project on US public soil to use the power tower.
Power-Curve Society, written by David Bollier, examines how technological innovation is restructuring productivity and the social and economic impact resulting from these changes. It addresses the growing concern about the technological displacement of jobs, stagnant middle class income, and wealth disparities in an emerging "winner-take-all" economy. It also examines cutting-edge innovations in personal data ecosystems that could potentially unlock a revolutionary wave of individual economic empowerment. Power-Curve Society is the Report of the Twenty-First Annual Roundtable on Information Technology, a dialogue convened by the Communications and Society Program. Despite agreement that new technologies are providing valuable productivity gains and economic growth, there was a subtle but significant division among conference participants about what issues require urgent attention. “Without overemphasizing this,” said Charles Firestone of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, “we can detect a split between those who see the new economy as a natural phenomenon that we must come to accept—‘embrace the machines and figure out how to use them’—and those who worry about the people being left out economically, and who want to find effective interventions—government policies, institutional practices, education or other means—to help them.”
There was wide agreement that education is central to people’s ability to participate in the new economy, so much conversation focused on how education is changing (and not changing), and what strategies can help people compete in the new economy. Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, offered his own iconoclastic perspective on these questions. Something I found amazing was this story I found on a hydropower ocean system. Till now, hydropower has mostly been generated at dams. Now, turbines around the world are being designed to harness the power of the ocean. Blue Energy Canada is close to commercializing a turbine that captures energy from ocean currents and already has purchase power agreements in India, Indonesia, and New Zealand. With a set of subway-size floating turbines, Pelamis Wave Power is converting wave power into electricity off the coast of Scotland. Following this was a story that will change the world around us, the first round of biofuels caused a spike in global food prices. Now companies are developing the next generation from non-edible sources.
Scientists at ADM (ADM) are creating cellulosic ethanol from corn stover and other companies are experimenting with switch grass, woodchips, and miscanthus. The simple things in life can also be some of the greenest. Biking to work slashes overall carbon emissions when compared to driving or using public transportation, contrary to what state legislators may say. Turn that idea into a 10,000-strong bike share program, and you can revolutionize the way a population thinks about going green. The average American throws about 40 percent of their food away every year, and nearly 100 cities have launched composting programs to try and keep it out of landfills. Curbside composting has spread across the country from uber-green San Francisco, which started their program 15 years ago and now collects more than 600 tons of compost daily. Of the 250 million tons of trash created in the U.S. in 2010, 34 percent of it was diverted to composting or recycling programs, according to the EPA.
I read a new story about an environmentally safe way for a burial that was just disturbing to me. In my opinion yes it is nice to be economically and environmentally sound but when you are going through a tragic moment like that you want the best looking casket or urn that you can get not something that looks like you would plant plants inside of it. Death isn't the best thing for the environment. Cremation sends more than 6.8 million tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere every year, caskets take a long time to biodegrade and burial leads to methane emission (the second most prevalent greenhouse gas). But environmentally-friendly burial options are becoming more prevalent. Wicker and cardboard coffins can replace traditional wood, and dry ice is used rather than formaldehyde. And green burial services are popping up around the globe to curb post-mortem emissions.
            Something I admire is that we are not the only country that is coming up with new was to save money and our environment. Recently my friend decided to travel the world she has spent six months in Spain and is currently in japan teaching kids how to speak and write in English. In her travels she found out that in Asia they have a battery that is fueled by urine. However disgusting it maybe it is pretty smart to reuse something that we just flush away. There is also a new car in Germany from a company called Genco that runs off our waste. This VW Beetle is roaming the streets of Bristol in the UK thanks to poo-power. That is to say, it runs on biogas, a fuel derived from the breakdown of organic matter like manure or sewage into methane. There is no doubt that this is a viable, sustainable source of energy (the waste from 70 homes in Bristol generates enough methane to power the car for a year) — but I shudder to think what filling stations might smell like in the future.

References