Thursday, 15 March 2012



Energy conservation refers to efforts made to reduce energy consumption. Energy conservation can be achieved through increased efficient energy use, in conjunction with decreased energy consumption and/or reduced consumption from conventional energy sources. An energy conservation act was passed in 2001.
Energy conservation can result in increased financial capital, environmental quality, national security, personal security, and human comfort. Individuals and organizations that are direct consumers of energy choose to conserve energy to reduce energy costs and promote economic security. Industrial and commercial users can increase energy use efficiency to maximize profit.

A big part of green living is helping to sustain the planet's resources through energy conservation. This can be accomplished in the home by doing things like installing good quality insulation and windows in addition to turning off lights when leaving the room. Driving hybrid cars, using public transportation and making eco-friendly vacation choices are others ways in which hoards of people are doing their part. Some people have committed to change their entire lifestyle to help the environment. But just why is it that people make the effort to conserve energy? There are too many benefits to name why green living is worth every effort to maintain.

One obvious reason that energy efficiency is important is the money that it saves. Saving hundreds of dollars on heating and cooling bills leads some people to decide that changes must be made. Besides saving money on bills, equipment and appliances require less frequency in the costly maintenance that occurs with overuse. It could be said that replacing older appliances with newer more efficient models costs even more money. But in actuality the cost of the appliances pay for themselves fairly quickly in the amount of money that is saved from lower energy bills.
Homeowners who have practiced green living in their homes receive substantial health benefits by conserving energy. Energy conservation techniques like turning off lights create more natural light to flow through the home. Natural light is better for health than artificial light. Natural light also reduces stress and is better for eyesight. A home that uses an energy efficient or programmable thermostat not only reduces energy but also maintains the home at a temperature that is better for both waking and sleeping.

An important benefit resulting from conserving energy is less contamination of the land, water and air in and around the planet. Conserving energy from less fossil fuel use greatly reduces carbon emissions that contribute extensively to global warming. Air polluting smog emissions like nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide are also reduced by conserving energy from fossil fuel use, especially coal.

Energy efficiency can help to provide homes for the needy. Vast amounts of energy would be saved by eliminating the necessity to build extra power plants and bigger generators. If every household saved a mere 10% of the kilowatt hours used, more energy would become available on the electrical grid in their area. Building more power plants would not be needed if this extra money is used to build homes in areas where plants already exist rather than in areas where new subdivisions require new power plants.

A huge benefit of saving energy is the lesson it teaches children about environmental issues. Children can participate in the process. Their being involved leads to a life long concern for the planet being instilled in their minds. While parents are teaching children at home, teachers can continue the lesson by letting them participate in environmental friendly activities at school. These practices will be carried into the future so that the careless way the earth has been treated will not be repeated.

The list of reasons why energy conservation is of benefit to people and the planet is exhaustive. All indications are that every effort that is made, no matter how small, adds up to making a real difference how the future will look for earth's resources.

Sustainable transport (or green transport) refers to any means of transport with low impact on the environment, and includes walking and cycling, transit oriented development, green vehicles, CarSharing, and building or protecting urban transport systems that are fuel-efficient, space-saving and promote healthy lifestyles.
Sustainable transport systems make a positive contribution to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the communities they serve. Transport systems exist to provide social and economic connections, and people quickly take up the opportunities offered by increased mobility.  The advantages of increased mobility need to be weighed against the environmental, social and economic costs that transport systems pose.
Transport systems have significant impacts on the environment, accounting for between 20% and 25% of world energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport are increasing at a faster rate than any other energy using sector.  Road transport is also a major contributor to local air pollution and smog.

The term sustainable transport came into use as a logical follow-on from sustainable development, and is used to describe modes of transport, and systems of transport planning, which are consistent with wider concerns of sustainability. There are many definitions of the sustainable transport, and of the related terms sustainable transportation and sustainable mobility. One such definition, from the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport, defines a sustainable transportation system as one that:

  • Allows the basic access and development needs of individuals, companies and society to be met safely and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and promotes equity within and between successive generations.
  • Is Affordable, operates fairly and efficiently, offers a choice of transport mode, and supports a competitive economy, as well as balanced regional development.
  • Limits emissions and waste within the planet’s ability to absorb them, uses renewable resources at or below their rates of generation, and uses non-renewable resources at or below the rates of development of renewable substitutes, while minimizing the impact on the use of land and the generation of noise.


zero-energy building, also known as a zero net energy (ZNE) building, Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB), or Net Zero Building, is a popular term to describe a building with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. Zero energy buildings can be independent from the energy grid supply. Energy can be harvested on-site—usually through a combination of energy producing technologies like Solar and Wind—while reducing the overall use of energy with extremely efficient HVAC and Lighting technologies. The zero-energy design principle is becoming more practical to adopt due to the increasing costs of traditional fossil fuels and their negative impact on the planet's climate and ecological balance.

The zero net energy consumption principle is gaining considerable interest as renewable energy harvesting is a means to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Traditional building consumes 40% of the total fossil energy in the US and European Union.


What is a zero-carbon home?
A home that produces zero or even negative CO2 emissions by maximising the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy. All new houses must be zero-carbon from 2016 onwards. While such houses conjure up futuristic images, the reality is they can just as easily look the same as traditional houses.
How does a zero-carbon home live up to its name?
Three words are key in the zero-carbon world: insulation, insulation and insulation. And maybe "airtightness" too.
Most of Britain's housing stock is what's called "leaky" in the sense that buildings lose heat through badly insulated walls and roofs as well as through draughty windows. In zero-carbon homes all that changes – walls are heavily insulated, floors and roofs keep heat in, and triple-glazed draught-proofed windows stop warmth flooding out.
What role do renewables play in a zero-carbon home?
Renewable energy technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines can mean a house generates more energy than it uses – potentially making it a "carbon negative" house. Homeowners will be paid for any green electricity they feed into the grid by the government's Clean Energy Cashback scheme, due to launch in April 2010.
When will zero-carbon homes start appearing?
The first officially recognised zero-carbon home, a prototype by Kingspan Off-Site, was built in 2007. Since then, several demonstration new-builds have been considered "zero-carbon", but the first serious wave of zero-carbon homes is unlikely to appear until 2016 when housebuilders are forced by the government to meet the new standard. All homes in the new eco-towns will meet the zero-carbon standards.

There are two water cycles on our planet:
The first moves water from clouds to rain to oceans and back again. The second affects communities without access to water as this drags them deeper into poverty and poor health, which, in turn, makes it more difficult for them to access water.
While the first rests in the hands of nature, the second rests in ours.
Water is an inherent right, yet almost a billion people do not have access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion live in areas without sanitation. Worldwide solidarity is the best defence against the monopolization of this invaluable resource.
Water is life, but we continue to pollute and overexploit it, thus threatening the world’s diverse ecosystems and, therefore, access to water today and in the future.

Almost a billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, and 2.5 billion live without sanitation.
A lack of access to water exacerbates poverty. It is an unforgiving cycle: poverty contributes to access problems, which in turn leads to deeper impoverishment. In many cases, the poorest households pay up to ten times more for their water than do more affluent homes. Consider this fact: in Mozambique, the average person uses less than 10 litres of water per day, while an American uses approximately 575 litres a day.
More unsettling are the challenges to the implementation of water crisis solutions, such as a region’s governance, infrastructure and economy. The dry truth is that, while certain areas of the world are in need of access to safe drinking water, many local governments will not—or cannot—allocate the appropriate resources to remedy the situation. As a result, some communities must get their water from sources shared with animals and contaminated with animal waste.

While our thirst for water steadily rises, the water supply does not. During the 20th century, the world’s population tripled, but its consumption of water increased sevenfold.
Where we use water:
1. Agriculture (70% of world water use)
2. Industry (20%)
3. Domestic use (10%)
The planet is buckling under the stress of supplying us with water for the seemingly infinite number of ways we have found to use it. Today, almost 1.4 billion people live in river basin areas where consumption of water exceeds the region’s ability to replenish itself.
Over-consumption leads to a variety of consequences:
  • Rivers run dry before they reach the sea
  • Underground tables dry up
  • The cost of finding water escalates
We live in an era of conflicting priorities when it comes to the use of water. Too often, the planet’s diverse ecosystems—and all the creatures in them, including humans—are not prioritized, protected or preserved. Instead of allocating, distributing and preserving water so everyone is provided for, we drop golf courses in the middle of the desert and we use 2,400 litres of water to make a single hamburger.


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