On this day 20 years ago, June 23, 1988, James Hansen, head of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, testified to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that it was 99 percent probable that global warming had begun. With 20 years of lost opportunities behind us, the need for definitive action is … Continued
With gas prices breaking new records every day I am wondering, is it better for the environment to fly or drive to my summer vacation? In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the quick answer is that driving is far better than flying. But let’s see why that is. According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the … Continued
A friend just found out that he has major termites in his house. He has no choice but to take steps to get rid of them. That said, what is the least environmentally offensive method of doing this? And on a purely theoretical note, if he had the ability to not do anything and eventually … Continued
AskPablo: LED lights are amazing but expensive. By switching to them, will I save energy and money over the long run?
I would like to use LED lighting to replace all my existing lighting. Over the long run, will I be reducing energy consumption and pollution, and even saving money? I have written a lot about the environmental benefits of compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs in the past, but never about LED light bulbs. LED stands … Continued
Is it environmentally better to keep my 1986 Mercedes-Benz W126 or buy a new hybrid? This is a question I have gotten a lot, and one that I have wondered about myself. You see a modern-day tie-dye aficionado puttering along the highway in his VW van with black smoke spewing out the back, and you … Continued
I’ve read in more than one place that 100 square miles of solar panels in the U.S. would meet all our energy needs. Wondering if you thought this was accurate and, if so, achievable? Wouldn’t it be great if we could completely switch from being a carbon-based economy to being a solar-based economy? The answer … Continued
The great diaper debate of disposable vs. cloth now has a new dimension thanks to gDiapers, flushable nappies that are cradle-to-cradle certified. But is it really environmentally sound to flush each diaper? The gDiapers Web site says it’s OK to throw them away since they biodegrade within 60 days, but it also points out that … Continued
I am trying to decide whether to have a second child. I am wondering about the environmental impact that an American/U.S. person will have over the course of his/her life. Our home is very green: veggie oil car, organic foods, mostly used items are purchased — but I am wondering if you can possibly give … Continued
Should I discard my still-working standard incandescent bulbs and replace them with compact fluorescents, or wait until they die a natural death and then replace them? There are several reasons to get rid of those incandescent bulbs and replace them with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Incandescent bulbs turn less than 5 percent of the electricity … Continued
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I feel I should get my significant other some flowers. But I’ve read that flowers, especially in winter, have to be shipped from South America and other places. What’s a responsible Cupid to do? Yes, Hallmark Day is upon us and it’s time to give our sweethearts sappy cards, … Continued
Dear Pablo, Assuming that one can’t break the habit of drinking pop, what kind of container is more environmentally friendly, aluminum cans or plastic bottles (2 liter)? Aluminum cans take a great deal of energy and natural resources to process and transport. Aluminum begins as bauxite ore, is refined into aluminum oxide, and ends up … Continued
I keep hearing that bottled water is the scourge of the Earth. But it sure is convenient. So what’s so bad about it? And do you have any good alternative recommendations? Without a doubt, the vilification of bottled water has gained momentum over the past year. It’s a frequently discussed topic in the news and … Continued
This analysis is likely quite conservative and is meant as an illustration that gives light to the many hidden costs we are already paying out of pocket, if not at the pump. Google “True Price of a Gallon of Gas” for a variety of other estimates.
This week I got the following question from Barb: My community as well as all other surrounding cities here in Ohio only accept plastic with a #1 or #2 to recycle. Why can’t the other numbers be recycled? Is there any effort among businesses to use the most oft recycled plastics (i.e. only use #1-4) … Continued