I was focused on finishing my semester strong and then as soon as I was ready to write again, something happened and I couldn’t quite find the words to jot down anymore.
Now, I prefer to stay far, far away from politics and all the conversations surrounding them BUT I must say, it is a hard time to be an environmental scientist in the U.S. right now. President Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris agreement involving global climate change has shaken the science community to its core. Article after article has been published explaining all sides of this decision, the timeframe concerning it, national polls and a plethora of other conspiracy theories and general digression. However, I am not using this platform to discuss my views or to question the views of others. I am here to talk about what this all means for our “Green Schemes” moving forward.
Now more than ever is the time to follow through with our “green” actions. It doesn’t matter if you live in the U.S. and have experienced the shockwave that has hit or if you live 1,000 miles away in an unconcerned country. Our actions of citizens of this living and breathing planet will echo through time, outliving political term lengths and opinionated rants. We must now more than ever before, take steps that lead to a more environmentally conscious tomorrow. Our “Green Schemes” must continue to be woven into our lives deliberately and with forward thinking. For those of you that are feeling disheartened, you are not alone. But if your small voice in a crowd is followed by a symphony of other voices whom are all singing for the same cause, then one may not feel so helpless anymore. Continue to nourish our natural world by doing your best as a human to reduce your impact. Continue to fight the good fight for every tree and every animal that doesn’t have a voice. Continue to show tolerance and patience for other humans who just don’t get it. Continue to grow your “Green Scheme” to its greenest and share it with the world.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has just announced the release of their solar roof designs and they are stunning! The tiles come in four functional varieties based on texture and look. With the options of textured, smooth, tuscan or slate, there is a solar roof design for almost anyone! The tiles are made of tempered glass and have been built to withstand impacts such as hail traveling at over 100 mph! With a lifetime warranty on the glass tiles and a 30 year warranty on the solar cells embedded within them, they are proving to be a great investment for any environmentally conscience household. The solar roof also allows homeowners freedom from “the grid” which gives back the power over the power to the owner and not the electric company.
Now for the real question…how much?!
Tesla states that its preliminary price for the solar roof is about $22 per square foot when mixed with traditional tiles or $42 per square foot for only solar tiles. Long-term payoffs are really dependent on the structure, location and size of your house and so Tesla has provided a price calculator that helps homeowners to determine if solar roofing leaves them with a return percentage on their investment over the course of the 30 year cell-life of the purchased tiles.
Now, as these preliminary prices seem steep for your average family who is not designing a luxury home, reports show that if Tesla can generate enough sales and return investments over the course of the next 5-10 years then costs of installation will surely go down significantly. This means we need to promote this “Green Scheme” design as much as possible and implement in our own lives if we have the means. The more sales we help generate, the brighter our future may look!
So according to inhabitat.com, Apple has announced that they intend to use 100% recycled materials in all of their upcoming devices. This comes at a time when e-waste, which is defined as old, end-of-life or discarded electric appliances, accumulates about 60 MILLION metric tons in landfills yearly. Apple is taking a proactive stance on this staggering statistic by not only producing 100% recycled material products but also by taking the process one step further. The company plans to switch 100% of their product supply locations to run entirely on renewable energy and have their packaging sourced responsibly and from recycled paper products.
Their end goal is to no longer rely on mining to gather their raw materials which is a huge undertaking and just so damn admirable! Apple has not yet outlined a timeline for when they plan to make these immensely noble shifts but their 2017 assessment report states that they are surely working on it each and every day. With Apple taking a lead on this issue, the hopes are that this will push other companies to follow suit and do the same.
Apple certainly has their “Green Scheme” on point! Let’s all hope this is the beginning of the end of excessive e-waste!
Check out the full article on inhabitat: http://inhabitat.com/apple-announces-goal-to-make-products-from-100-recycled-materials/
So very many companies, organizations, and foundations SAY they want to “better the community”. They present their own “Green Scheme’s” from beautification of parks to restoration of habitats to beach cleanups. Although these “Green Scheme’s” seem appealing, some are actually what I like to call “green scams”. They pull at the moral heart strings of environmentalists, nature-lovers, economists and general hippies who occupy the community and when those are lacking, businesses love to back anything presented to them as being “green”. The scams generate enough economical interest to get off the ground but thats usually where the party ends. You may see a sign or two at the local park, pier or playground, or maybe you heard about it from a friend, or from a local news channel. Either way, these schemes always seem short lived and work is either not done at all or done and not maintained for the long-run. However, that is not why I consider these initiatives “green scams” per se. The issue with these short-term projects is that all the focus to “better the community” lies in the dollars and cents generated while an invaluable resources goes to waste in the process-THE COMMUNITY!
For a passionate initiative to gain steam and really make a difference in a community, especially like those encased in the fast-paced and unforgiving New York City, the community has to be the heart. Communities and townships all over the country DO come up with inventive ways to better their natural environments and to preserve the eco-centrisim that still lives there. Through positive incentives like food, beer, prizes and even money (another very important green), communities are making a difference on their own terms! I believe that adopting these ideas of beautifying/cleaning for a personal benefit whether it be a free slice of pizza, a free beer or a voucher for free entry to the newest nightclub, is the best way to get community members involved and engaged. It also brings attention and press to local businesses whose “foods for cause” or “freebies for helpers” may be enjoyed in numbers they would not have otherwise seen that day or week. Bringing revenue to local businesses and conservation to surrounding habitat is a recipe for a perfect “Green Scheme“! Let’s try to bring it home to NYC!