Saturday, April 22, 2017

Four Ways We Should Be Maximizing Our Planet's Resources Right Now

The sun is free and there's plenty of it. So why wouldn't we take advantage of it?

In the summer, there are always power surges from all the air conditioners on at the same time, and some communities even organize rolling brownouts to make sure there is enough electricity for everyone.

So here's a way to make sure we always have enough electricity, and that we're not paying an arm and a leg for it either: every electric company building should have a solar farm on its roof. And every piece of property owned by any electric company should have solar panels on it.

Of course, not every part of the country gets the same amount of sunshine. But why not take advantage of the sunshine we do get? It's not like we're going to use it all up.

If they do that, solar energy would become so advanced and the price would become so affordable that more and more homes would be able to incorporate solar panels on their roofs as well.

Tesla Solar is even making roofs out of solar material. That's the way to go with every house. I hope I live long enough to see a day when every roof is made of solar material and actually serves as an energy producer, relieving our dependence on the energy grid.

That's my first idea. My second idea is this about water. Think about all the purified water that is sold today. Millions of bottles a year. Eventually -- and probably in the not too distant future -- we're going to run out of fresh water! We need to do two things and do them well.

1) We need to start collecting rainwater in a more strategic way. That means the plumbing systems for every building and home should have an automatic rain collection system that sends filtered rainwater to nonpotable sources -- such as in toilets, and for watering lawns and gardens, so that it becomes a process that residents aren't required to proactively manage. This way, there's 100% buy-in instead, of, say, 20% buy-in.

2) We need to put some serious energy into learning how to desalinate salt water. If we could do this well and do it all around the coastline, we would virtually eliminate droughts. Then we could teach other countries to do it too. Or maybe other countries are already doing it better and we should be looking to them for lessons in doing this well.

My third idea is converting all landfills to energy. In 2010, Americans made 250 million short tons of trash, according to Wikipedia. That's just one year! It would be great if we cultivated all the methane gas that emanates from decomposing landfills and used it to create energy. Good news: we're actually doing a lot of that now, according to Forbes. But I'd also like to see us get better at burning garbage and turning all that elimination into energy as well. I think it would great if, someday, we were so good as recycling our waste that there was no such thing as a landfill.

Finally, my fourth idea is complete commercial and government commitment. I think reuse, recycling and composting should be big business. I would love to see the top 10 on the Fortune 500 include the number one recycling company in the country. And it would be great if the recycling industry was so large and so well run that it was a top 10 job producer in America.

There are pockets of these ideas everywhere. I think it would be great if these ideas simply became the way the country -- and the planet -- were run.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

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