Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Today's Energy Insight

Here are a couple common misconceptions about paper and cardboard recycling...

A pizza box may be labeled as recyclable but once it is soiled, it cannot be recycled. According to earth911, food is one of the worst contaminants in the paper recycling process. Grease and oil are not as big of a problem for plastic, metal or glass, as those materials are recycled using a heat process. But when paper products are recycled, they are mixed with water and turned into a slurry. Since we all know water and oil don’t mix, the issue is clear.

Believe it or not, bright paper can stop a whole batch of paper from being recycled. The idea behind this one is simple, explains Dan Baril, recycling program manager at the University of Colorado, “It’s like the red sock in the white load syndrome.” If you need to buy colored paper, avoid really rich colors, and opt for pastels. Paper mills can usually handle the lighter tones.

Currently, paper coffee cups (also called hot cups) are accepted for recycling at only few communities in the U.S. The thin polyethylene plastic coating on the cups that helps prevent liquid leaking has made it difficult for most processing services to recycle the cups.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Today's Energy Insight

Can solar power provide electricity when the sun isn’t shining?
Scroll down to check your answer...

Many solar energy systems have battery storage, allowing users to draw energy at night. Large solar thermal power projects are coming online that use molten salt to store energy for use after dark.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Today's Energy Insight

The bottled water industry sold 8.8 billion gallons of water last year, generating nearly $11 billion in profits. Yet plastic water bottles create huge environmental problems. The energy required to produce and transport these bottles could fuel an estimated 1.5 million cars for a year, yet approximately 75 percent of water bottles are not recycled—they end up in landfills, litter roadsides, and pollute waterways and oceans. And while public tap water is subject to strict safety regulations, the bottled water industry is not required to report testing results for its products. According to a study, 10 of the most popular brands of bottled water contain a wide range of pollutants, including pharmaceuticals, fertilizer residue, and arsenic. Yikes! Just a couple of many reasons to use a refillable water bottle.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Just For Kids

Today's post is for the students in the Robbinsdale Area School District. Just a couple of energy thoughts specifically for kids...

Energy isn’t free. Your parents, guardians and other taxpayers in your community pay for the all the energy your school uses. So wasting energy is the same as wasting money – not a smart idea.

Energy is more than numbers on a utility bill, it is the foundation of everything we do. All of us use energy every day – for transportation, cooking, heating and cooling, manufacturing, lighting and entertainment. We rely on energy to make our lives comfortable, productive and enjoyable. To maintain our quality of life, we must use our energy resources wisely.

So kids, as we start a new school year, let's try to be energy smart both at school and at home. Have a groovy 2016 - 2017!