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More Ranting (Energy)

  1. Jun 23, 2009 #1
    Today's rant is on energy consumption, and what I view to be idiotic consumer/societal practices.

    Point 1:

    The mail. I get lots of crap in the mail. Every day, I get mail for deals on Pizza, lawn care, Value Packs, Credit Cards, Insurance. I throw away nearly half of my mail every day. All this crap goes straight to trash. More to the point, all this crap takes a lot of energy to make and print on that nice glossy paper. A lot of chemicals go into those nice vibrant inks - that wind up straight in the recycling bin. On top of that, all that crap has to get trucked around by the mail man.

    So, we wasted energy:
    -Making It
    -Shipping It
    -My Energy throwing it away
    -More energy to Recycle it

    How about not sending this crap out to begin with! I never signed up for any of this, why are they even sending it. Make a law against it!

    Point 2:

    The grocery store. Paper, or plastic? How about you bring your own bags and have the guy at the counter fill them up with your crap as you checkout?

    So, energy was wasted here:
    -making paper/plastic bags
    -shipping them
    -costing the store money. Every bag you sell, means prices of goods go up to recover
    -Recycling said bags

    (We should note, Recycling means having a truck drive around town all day long collecting crap (like junk mail and paper bags) that never should be in the bin in the first place!)

    Point 3

    The grass. Why the hell do we have grass? Think about it. Does grass naturally grow where you live? Why did we decide that this is what needs to be in the front of our homes? It takes a lot of energy and money to cut it every time it grows. Then we waste water making sure it doesn't die. This water, is very important for the farmers. In fact, we always have public announcements saying not to wash your cars or water your grass because of drought (farmers get priority on your car/grass).

    Why not get rid of the grass? Not only does it waste water, you put chemicals on it that washes into the water system that takes more energy to recycle (state water gets purified in a filtration plant: aka more energy used).

    I bet if I paved the front of everyones houses with a reflective surface that bounces the heat back into space, it would have the same cooling effect as grass, without the hassle or use of resources.

    (Plus I would stop getting that damn junk mail for the guy wanting to cut/fertilize the lawn)

    Point 4

    Trees. They should be planted around your house so that they shade the house in the summer. My physics professors farmhouse has trees that shade it. He never uses the A/C during the summer, except for a few excpetionally hot days. The A/C uses a lottt of energy.

    Why do we build wide open neighborhoods with lots of grass, and no trees except the one that line the road.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2009 #2


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    You certainly are on the rag this week.
  4. Jun 23, 2009 #3
    Your mother. + That's what she said.
  5. Jun 23, 2009 #4


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  6. Jun 23, 2009 #5
    It was quite amazing to visit KALIFORNA and see all the BROWN BROWN BROWN in the air. Once you land, all the houses have grass! What an amazing feat of nature! (or not)
  7. Jun 23, 2009 #6


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    Let me refute your argument point by point.

    1. Shutup
    2. Shutup
    3. Shutup
    4. Shutup

    And shut up, grass looks nice, I don't want to live in a giant world of reflective pavement. Why don't we nuke new york or LA, that'll help the environment.
  8. Jun 23, 2009 #7
    Do you cut your grass, and add chemicals to it, and water it? I'm curious if this is purely an American phenomenon.
  9. Jun 23, 2009 #8
    Because it looks great, feels so good when you walk on it barefooted, and it sure as hell smells so darn good after mowing it.

    Gotta love it.
  10. Jun 23, 2009 #9
    http://sparklejet.typepad.com/exuberance/images/2004.10.Curson.Ave.Los.Angeles.aerial.jpg [Broken]

    Interesting where all the green patches are, no?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Jun 23, 2009 #10


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    I think the mail thing is really annoying, especially if you leave the house a week or so you get stuck, can’t get in and open the door [sure it depends on how you receive the mail, but still annoying].

    now the grass, I don’t think so, at least you get the oxygen :rolleyes:
  12. Jun 23, 2009 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    Make a law against advertising? What are you; one of them communist liberals?

    We have a "no call" list, so why not a "no mail-ads" list? Of course this would probably drive the price of postage way up. Advertising is clearly big business for the post office. Note also that the postal service is cutting back to a five-day week.

    The first time I went shopping for groceries, in Holland, I was surprised to learn at the cash register that they don't supply bags at the stores.

    It has become popular in Vegas and other water-challenged areas to plant things like cacti that are indigenous to the area. Consider the absurdity of growing grass lawns in the middle of the desert! The same is true for moderate climates in that there are many plants that can be utilized that dont' require the maintenance of a fine grass yard. But that brings up another aspect of a nice lawn: It has utility, esp if kids are involved. However, it is also true that we may be close to the day when, rather than covering an area with a reflective surface, one could just roll out a thin-film solar cell; or, one might even paint it onto your reflective surface. :biggrin:

    Trees? I have over 200 of them. :biggrin: In fact we have made a real point of promoting the growth of trees on the property. It makes me smile a bit when I think of the amount of CO2 sequestered by just a few of the biggest trees. We have a 180-200 foot old growth fir, and a giant maple tree that probably has a maximum radius of seven or eight feet at the base of the trunk. The mass added to each tree annually is amazing. But even our twenty-foot redwood adds about two feet of diameter [to the branches] and height each year.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  13. Jun 23, 2009 #12


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    I live in said absurdity.
  14. Jun 23, 2009 #13
    You are part of the problem. Be a part of the solution and die.
  15. Jun 23, 2009 #14


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    I'm turning my car on and letting it idle for the rest of the night with the AC on just for you.
  16. Jun 23, 2009 #15


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    That sounds pretty good. About 90% of my mail is junk mail!

    That's the model we're trying to adopt here in the UK. Bags have now been hidden from view in a lot of supermarkets, and incentives given to bring your own bag and reuse it.
  17. Jun 23, 2009 #16
    Make sure you keep the Garage door closed.
  18. Jun 23, 2009 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    Are you two in love or something?
  19. Jun 23, 2009 #18


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    I would expect that creating such a reflective surface and replacing it when it dulls or is broken would exceed the resource cost of growing grass. (At least in states like mine where water is plentiful.)

    Further, that would contribute significantly to flooding.
  20. Jun 23, 2009 #19


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    Cut - yes, otherwise it looks untidy. The only other way to make the place look tidy is to put concrete everywhere, otherwise my yard will be full of weeds.

    Chemicals and water - almost no need for these here.
  21. Jun 23, 2009 #20
    Problem Solved

    http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/mvigeant/univ270_05/jake_aq/images/pont_du_gard.jpg [Broken]

    Aha, even better Idea. A home water purification system that collects your rain water in your property (see no flooding) and cleans it and stores it.

    Less energy losses due to pipe flow losses going all across the city.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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