Mist Showers Conserve An Amazing Amount Of Water And Energy – How come I never heard of it

I am embarrassed to say that I have never heard of a mist shower. So I am putting this up as a very very long public service announcement. But if everything it says is true, I gotta get me one. It should be amazing.

https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2019/10/mist-showers-sustainable-decadence.html

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The Carbon Footprint of the Daily Shower

The shower doesn’t get much attention in the context of climate change. However, like airplanes, cars, and heating systems, it has become a very wasteful and carbon-intensive way to provide for a basic need: washing the body. Each day, many of us pour roughly 70 litres of hot water over our bodies in order to be “clean”.

This practice requires two scarce resources: water and energy. More attention is given to the showers’ high water consumption, but energy use is just as problematic. Hot water production accounts for the second most significant use of energy in many homes (after heating), and much of it is used for showering. Water treatment and distribution also use lots of energy.

In contrast to the energy used for space heating, which has decreased during the last decades, the energy used for hot water in households has been steadily growing. One of the reasons is that people are showering longer and more frequently, and using increasingly powerful shower heads. For example, in the Netherlands from 1992 to 2016, shower frequency increased from 0.69 to 0.72 showers per day, shower duration increased from 8.2 to 8.9 minutes, and the average water flow increased from 7.5 to 8.6 litres per minute. [1]

In many industrial societies it’s now common to shower at least once per day

 

 

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Go there and read and read and read. I may never take a shower again. More next week.

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Tiny Houses Are Not For Everyone – Even if it is pretty nice in a pretty nice town

In a pretty nice part of town even. I like them, so I’ll just let her talk.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90407740/why-i-hate-living-in-my-tiny-house?utm_source=digg

Why I hate living in my tiny house

Small backyard houses get a lot of attention as a solution to the housing crisis, but it’s a different idea in theory than it is when you try to put it into practice.

When I moved from Brooklyn back to the Bay Area a few years ago, I thought, at first, that the apartment I found was charming. It’s also very small: At the end of a long driveway, inside a former garage, it’s 240 square feet, or roughly the size of one and a half parking spaces.

I still live there—partly because rents in Oakland have surged more than 50% in less than a decade, and in a neighborhood where a typical one-bedroom now goes for more than $2,800, I can’t afford to move. I recognize the value of this type of tiny house, called an accessory dwelling unit or ADU, in theory. In built-up cities with little extra land and residents who fight development, adding tiny cottages in backyards is one way to help address the housing shortage. The small size saves energy and curbs my shopping habits, since there literally isn’t any room for, say, another pair of shoes. But I also question how well tiny homes make sense as a solution for long-term housing—and in some cases, as in the even tinier houses sometimes used as housing for people experiencing homelessness, I wonder if they can sometimes distract from other, more systemic solutions that are necessary.

As tiny houses go, mine is larger than some. One nearby shed-like cottage currently for rent on Craigslist is 120 square feet; another, which rents for $1,600 a month, is 200 square feet. A few miles away from me, a village of 8-by-10-foot tiny houses on wheels is under construction for homeless youth, with a separate communal kitchen and communal bathrooms. Hundreds of others are currently living on the street in much tighter quarters in vehicles or tents. While there’s no official definition for a tiny house, they’re generally said to be around 500 or fewer square feet, making my place somewhat medium-size as far as tiny houses go.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Two Weeks Ago I Said Trees Would Beat Global Global Warming

This week’s articles says – Not Likely. I say the trees are a good start. The point is that some people argue for trees or solar panels in the desert for instance. But the desert is an ecosystem that trees or solar panels would disrupt. Deserts are not “throw away” ecosystems. So we can only deploy so much of each. This is why i think geothermal is the ultimate solution.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2019/07/10/reforestation-climate-change-plant-trees/#.XS870XtOnct

planting trees
Planting trees, while beneficial to the planet, is not an easy solution to climate change. (Credit: Janelle Lugge/Shutterstock)

Last week, a new study in the journal Science highlighted the role forests could play in tackling climate change. Researchers estimated that by restoring forests to their maximum potential, we could cut down atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by 25 percent — a move that would take us back to levels not seen in over a century. Though the study brings hope in the fight against climate change, other experts warn the solution is not that simple.

The study, led by scientists at ETH-Zürich, Switzerland, determined the planet has 0.9 billion hectares of land available to hold more trees — an area the size of the continental U.S. Converting those areas into forests would be a game-changer for climate change, the authors suggested.

“[The study] is probably the best assessment we have to date of how much land could support tree cover on our planet,” says Robin Chazdon, a forest ecologist and professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut not involved in the study, But she is quick to point out that restoring forests is not as simple as it sounds.

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Go there and think. More next week.

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Reducing Our Energy Consumption Is Job One – Here are some ways to do it

In a way the goal for a sustainable planet has always been peak energy, peak people and peak consumption at stable levels. These are ways towards peak energy. I suppose it is the easiest of the three.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/14/homes-that-produce-their-own-energy-might-be-the-future-and-california-is-inching-closer.html

Powering the Future

Net-zero energy homes have arrived — and are shaking up the US housing market

Noah Higgins-Dunn

@higginsdunn

Key Points
  • In California most new homes and multi-family residential buildings up to three stories high will include solar rooftop panels beginning in 2020.
  • Net-zero energy homes can produce as much energy as they consume and are built to optimize energy efficiency through airtight construction of roofs, walls, windows and foundations.
  • The U.S. has an estimated 5,000 net-zero energy single-family homes today; California could add 100,000 a year.

In 2013 De Young Properties built a single-family house in central California that defied nearly three generations worth of homes the family business had constructed. It was a net-zero energy building — it had the potential to produce as much energy as it would consume in a year. De Young didn’t build another one for four years, but within that period the company refined its designs to be more energy-efficient and technology-focused and drove down costs.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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We Waste 2/3rds Of The Energy We Generate – This is Tragic

America is in a double bind. We have some of the best energy research and technology in the world. But when we try to talk to the rest of the world about Climate Change. We look like FOOLS.

 

 

Op-Ed Contributors

Why Is America Wasting So Much Energy?

By Terry Sobolewski and Ralph Cavanagh

Partisan fights in Washington can leave the impression that we’re hopelessly divided. The truth is there are plenty of bipartisan solutions to the energy and environmental challenges we face, and energy efficiency is near the top of the list.

America fails to capture some two-thirds of the power it generates, much of it through simple waste, according to federal data. In a recent survey, the United States was ranked eighth among 23 of the world’s top energy-consuming countries in efficiency, behind several European nations, China and Japan.

We shouldn’t accept that.

Energy efficiency is one of the most powerful resources we have for meeting our energy and environmental goals. It is also an enormous economic opportunity.

Setting aside the significant environmental impact, this energy waste costs American businesses and households billions of dollars every year. In commercial buildings alone, where annual electricity costs are roughly $190 billion, about 30 percent of this energy goes to waste.

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So SAD. Go there and read. More next week.

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Saudis Plan 200 GW Solar Power Plant – Twice as big as Chicago

Solar and Wind Power are on a huge tear. This is both in price, where coal is dead and natural gas is getting iffy. But in terms of availability and cutting edge technology. I see a future where generating electricity through renewables may be a same day thing and cheap as dirt. I know I am a dreamer but I am not the only one.

By the way, some people say that size doesn’t matter. I ain’t one of those.

SOLAR BLANKET

What Saudi Arabia’s 200 GW solar power plant would look like—if placed in your neighborhood

Obsession

Energy Shocks

April 01, 2018

Saudi Arabia has a plan to wean its economy off oil. In the biggest sign of what the future of the Gulf state would look like, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese multinational Softbank to build 200 GW of solar power by 2030 at a cost of $200 billion.

These are eye-popping numbers. If built, that solar-power plant will be about 200 times the size of the biggest solar plant operating today. It would more than triple Saudi Arabia’s capacity to produce electricity, from about 77 GW today.

With current technology, solar panels capable of generating 200 GW would likely cover 5,000 sq km—an area larger than the the world’s largest cities.

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No it is not an April’s Joke. Go there and read. More next week.

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Life Without Fossil Fuels – This is what it looks like

In Florida no less. I could hype this piece up, but why? They do such a good job. The place even has its own website.

Home

So here is one version of the story.

https://www.planetizen.com/news/2018/01/96772-residents-move-americas-first-solar-powered-town

Residents Move Into America’s First Solar Powered Town

Residents will live in solar powered homes and ride around the community in self-driving, solar-powered shuttles. Babcock Ranch outside of Fort Myers, Florida, has been in the making since 2005. A city of 50,000 is forecast.
January 18, 2018, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid

“Families are starting to move into what is being called America’s first solar-powered town,” announces John Dickerson for CBS This Morning on Jan. 16. “Babcock Ranch, about half an hour northeast of Fort Myers, Florida, is supposed to produce more energy than it consumes once it’s finished.”

Developer Syd Kitson is building 20,000 homes for a projected 50,000 people, states Dickerson in the newscast video accompanying the article.

There are more than 300,000 solar panels spread across 440 acres there, producing enough electricity not only for the town, but also the surrounding areas, reports CBS News’ Manuel Bojorquez.

One critical energy element lacking in the solar-powered community will be adequate energy storage to allow the city to be truly self-powered:

The town doesn’t run on solar power all the time. At night, when the sun is down, it has to draw from the traditional electrical grid. Kitson says the technology for storing all that surplus energy the solar cells generate during the day is still too costly.

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Go There. I mean literally go there if you can. If not go there and read. More next week.

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Are We Going To Die Of Thirst – Two views presented

I do not usually put up two opinions in one post. These are timely articles so I think it is important to hear both sides. One side basically says we are going to die. The other side says we will have to move ourselves or large amounts of water. You decide.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-42982959

The 11 cities most likely to run out of drinking water – like Cape Town

  • 11 February 2018

Cape Town is in the unenviable situation of being the first major city in the modern era to face the threat of running out of drinking water.

However, the plight of the drought-hit South African city is just one extreme example of a problem that experts have long been warning about – water scarcity.

Despite covering about 70% of the Earth’s surface, water, especially drinking water, is not as plentiful as one might think. Only 3% of it is fresh.

Over one billion people lack access to water and another 2.7 billion find it scarce for at least one month of the year. A 2014 survey of the world’s 500 largest cities estimates that one in four are in a situation of “water stress”

According to UN-endorsed projections, global demand for fresh water will exceed supply by 40% in 2030, thanks to a combination of climate change, human action and population growth.

http://www.straitstimes.com/world/water-why-the-taps-run-dry

Severe water shortages around the world: Why the taps run dry

Published

Feb 13, 2018, 7:30 pm SGT

PARIS (AFP) – The world has abundant freshwater but it is unevenly distributed and under increasing pressure, UN agencies say, as highlighted by the severe shortages in Cape Town.

WATER, WATER ‘EVERYWHERE’

More than 97 per cent of the planet’s water is salty, most of it in the oceans and seas, but there is also a good supply of freshwater.

Every year around 42.8 trillion cubic metres of renewable freshwater circulates as rain, surface water or groundwater, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

This equals 16,216 litres per person per day – four times the amount required in the United States, for example, for personal and domestic consumption, industry and agriculture.

Depending on diet and lifestyle, a person needs between 2,000 and 5,000 litres of water a day to produce their food and meet their drinking and sanitation requirements, the FAO says.

About 60 per cent of the planet’s freshwater reserves is locked in the Antarctic.

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They don’t even agree on how much water we have. Go there and read a lot. More next week.

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UIS Has A New Student Union – It is Green as all get out

I am a graduate of Sangamon State University. What is now University of Illinois Springfield. They just build a Student Union and I am so proud of it. It could be LEED certified and it is student centered. Our Student Union was in a temporary building 0n the temporary campus “down the hill”. This is just so cool.

Strategic Design of the UIS Student Union

This is the part I like:

Environmentally Excellent

UIS is seeking a LEED Gold certificate (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council), both for the sake of the environment and in order to take advantage of energy saving measures. For this reason, the building will have a green, or “living,” roof with vegetation and a growing medium over a sloped membrane. This roof will provide insulation, help to lower air temperatures, and last much longer than other roofs—50 to 60 years rather than the 20 to 30 years most roofs last. The vegetation will most likely include wildflowers that will change throughout the growing season, adding to the building’s beauty.

To reduce storm runoff and eliminate water irrigation, the Student Union will have a rainwater reclamation system that takes advantage of the roof’s slope. Also in consideration of LEED approvals, lighting will be designed to meet the USGBC’s very stringent requirements.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Choosing The Right Water Heater – This is Jenn Miler’s approach

On this cold early winter day, I would like to return to our residential roots with a discussion of water heaters. After your furnace and air conditioner , the largest user of energy in your house. Yes this is a guest post. No I can not swear by everything she says or thinks. But she does a pretty good job.

https://www.jenreviews.com/water-heater/

Jen Reviews – only the best reviews

How to Choose a Water Heater, According to Science

There are many who want to buy an efficient and stable water heater for their homes. But do they? Water heaters do the difficult job of heating the water supply of your home. Providing you with immediate hot water when needed through various fixtures and knobs.

Like many other appliances, a water heater is more convenient than manually heating up the water whenever needed. It cuts back time and effort, for most homeowners, while making life simpler. So why do most people hurry when choosing the right water heater? Something this important needs careful consideration of features and functions.

The best part about using the best water heater is that it lasts for years. It requires minimal maintenance and even if you hire a professional to maintain one, it doesn’t cost you big bucks. That said, finding a dependable water heater isn’t easy.

Because water is being constantly heated inside the tank, it needs to be energy efficient and spacious enough to accommodate the entire house. Anything that takes up more energy is a waste, costing you a hefty power bill.

So how do water heaters work?

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Go there and read pages. More next week.

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