shades of green


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SHADES OF GREEN. Petroleum in Sustainable Initiatives. Jordan Ansell, Nate Eberly, and Margie Weiner. 1. 2. 3. 4. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • SHADES OF GREENPetroleum in Sustainable InitiativesJordan Ansell, Nate Eberly, and Margie Weiner

    Capital investment in the implementation of green heating technologies is costly and particularly unpopular in a weak economy, however, long-term savings and environmental benefits make sustainable heat economically sensible.

    14% of the petroleum used in the United States is used in propane, natural gas liquids, and heating oils.

    The burden of reduced petroleum consumption in heating processes falls on both individual homeowners as well as large institutions.


    Large corporations rarely place economic value on environmental savings, and thus see the initial costs of sustainable heating projects, like geothermal and solar, as unjustifiable.

    Long-term cost-benefit analysis shows that capital investment in this technology is an economically sound decision that requires valuation of long-term savings and environmental benefits.

    Colby itself can be seen as an excellent example of large-scale implementation of petroleum-free and energy-reducing heating technologies.Geothermal heating and cooling in new and newly renovated buildingsUse of a feed water economizer to make use of waste heat


    It is unrealistic to think that the average American homeowner is financially willing or able to invest in such drastic changes as the complete conversion to sustainable heating.

    Instead the goal should be increased efficiency within the confines of currently used oil-based systems. This can be done using a variety of methods that are not necessarily financially demanding.Thermal EfficiencyImproving seals around windows and doors and eliminating air leaks, which has the potential to cut annual energy costs of the home by 5% to 30%Improving insulation in the attic and wallsReduced consumptionNew thermostats and motion sensors that allow rooms to be heated only when necessary.Use of newer heating systems that are more efficientCONCLUDING THOUGHTSMany fear that the recent economic downturn could spell the end of initiatives promoting green energy, however, in the area of heat energy consumption, the potential for long-term savings are evident and should act as an incentive to anyone looking to be more cost-efficient.

    Today, institutions are praised for releasing green products, pursuing more sustainable methods of production, and focusing on a reduced carbon footprint. Environmentally conscious schools like Colby take pride in LEED certified buildings and use of local and organic food, placing a strong emphasis on conservation. That said, even the most sustainable institutions are dependent on petroleum products for day-to-day life. In-fact, current efforts continue to rely on petroleum, even under a green title.IMAGE SOURCES: 1. McLaughlin, N.B., et al., Comparison of Energy Inputs for Inorganic Fertilizer and Manure based Corn ProductionCanadian Agricultural Engineering. Vol. 42, No 1, 2000.

    Most people are not conscious of how much energy is required to produce their food and then get it to their plate. It takes 7.3 units of energy inputs to produce 1 unit of food energy.More energy-efficient machinery and reduction in the use of pesticides and fertilizers can help reduce reliance on petroleum.In addition, there must be a more widespread effort to eat locally in order to achieve a sustainable food production system.


    Direct uses of energy include: powering machinery, planting, cultivating, harvesting, drying, irrigating, and heating/cooling greenhouses.More than 3/4th of the direct energy used on farms comes from petroleum via gasoline, diesel, or liquefied petroleum gas.Indirect uses of energy include: the manufacturing and utilization of pesticides and fertilizers.Together, pesticides and fertilizers account for 35% of the total energy used on farms.On average, it requires 5.5 gallons of fossil fuels to produce 1 acres worth of fertilizer.Production of pesticides requires 4 to 5 times more energy per pound than fertilizers. Indirect uses of energy include: the manufacturing and utilization of pesticides and fertilizers.Domestically grown produce travels approximately an average of 1,500 miles before reaching the American consumer.


    Colby spends 20% of its food budget on local items from over 100 farmers and producers.The Colby organic garden provides about 3,000lbs of food annually.100% of the used cooking oil is used by a local farmer for biodiesel.

    Petroleum: A Key Ingredient for Feeding AmericaPeddling In Greenwash The Economics of Green HeatA sustainable food system will require both technical and social adjustments to the way we eat. Eating locally is an essential part to minimizing our reliance on petroleum for food production.

    The world is finally waking up from a decades-long plastic nightmare. The problem is not that we use plastic, but were consuming more than can be regenerated by the biosphere


    Health Concerns Plastics expose us to hazardous chemicals, including dioxins and BPAProduction - In 2002, 107 billion pounds of plastic were produced in North America. Slow rate of degradation (approx. 500 years)Dependence on Oil - About 16% of petroleum produced from oil wells is devoted to plastic Alternatives / Solutions Can degradable plastics solve the waste problem?Our current applications for plastics are neither sustainable nor healthy!Utilize bio-plastics made from renewable materials like corn-based polylactic acid, wood pulp, sugars, starches, vegetable oils, cellulose, etc.


    Buildings like Diamond, strive to be Green by using recycled materials and locally sourced goods, creating healthy air quality, and marketing Colby as a steward of the environment. Diamond is LEED certified All electricity purchased for the building is 100% renewableDuring construction, almost 90% of the waste generated was recycledWalls Studs contain 21.7% post consumer and 8.6% post industrial recycled materialsRestrooms - Low flow toilets and waterless urinals to reduce water consumptionIs Diamond as green as people give it credit? The building is still filled with petroleum-based plastics and synthetics.


    Rewards such as LEED certifications make it seem like theres not much work to be done. LEED Parameters Uses a point system based on a broad checklist of featuresBureaucratic Greenness Take advantage of the system by using superfluous green features, ex: installing bamboo floorsCertification process must catch up to the pulse of the market. Gap between design, construction, and performance.Irony of a LEED certified plastic bottled water facilityDoes this sort of initiative allow companies to green-wash public perception?Differentiate the stamp of a green company VS. a green facility

    A GREEN FUTURE Although LEED is a benchmark for environmental performance in the buildings sector, it makes it easy for us to forget how unsustainable our use of plastics is. THE PLAQUE SHOULD BE INSTALLED WITH REMOVABLE SCREWS! Henry Gifford123456789



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