Biodiesel and ethanol are both biofuels: fuels produced from organic matter. As global warming worsens and our oil supply dwindles, biodiesel and ethanol have both been touted as the fuels of the future. They are purported to be renewable, and clean.
Because these similarities, people frequently confuse ethanol with biodiesel, and vice versa. Ethanol and biodiesel are completely different substances, with completely different properties. For one, ethanol is an alcohol. It is the alcohol found in beer, wine, vodka, etc.
As you’re biting into that nice, juicy king-size burger, have you ever thought how much you’re contributing to global warming?
I hadn’t. Cattle, though, are a major problem for the environment. As cows are busy munching away in their pastures, their multiple stomachs are producing methane.
Methane is a particularly potent greenhouse gas, 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide for global warming. According to The Journal of Animal Science, livestock produce between 250 and 500 litres of methane every single day! At the top end of the estimate, that enough to fill 250 large bottles of Coke.
My ‘Top Gear’ magazine dropped through the mailbox yesterday. Trouble is, I’ve realized that I’m not interested in the feature article on the cover. It’s about a test of supercars, including the Bugatti Veyron, in one of the Gulf states.
And why am I not interested? Because I’ve just been watching the eco-movie HOME. It’s beautifully filmed in High Definition and it has an important message.
For millions of years, the Earth has been storing up the carbon that threatens the planet’s survival. Over the last fifty years in particular, human beings have been extremely efficient at releasing it to power their lifestyles. And now the planet can’t cope any more.
The polar opposite to NASCAR and Formula 1 is hypermiling. The term was coined by Wayne Gerdes in 2004. It is used to describe to maximizing gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s car and driving techniques. Hypermilers aim to exceed the manufacturers’ stated economy figures.
Whilst most hypermiling is practised during everyday driving, it has now turned into a sport. World records were set for economy at the 2008 Maximum Fuel Economy contest held in Elkhart, Indiana. A Honda Insight, Toyota Prius and Ford escape Hybrid achieved record round trip fuel consumptions of 213 mpg, 136 mpg and 76 mpg respectively.
Composting is a cheap, natural process that transforms your kitchen and garden waste into a valuable nutrient for your garden. It’s easy to make and use.
Composting reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill. Even for households that are already composting, new research has found that almost half of the food waste in their rubbish bins could have been put in the compost bin.
An interesting fact: composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the carbon dioxide your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine produces in three months.
Global warming is being caused by an ingredient hidden in many of the products that we buy.
Palm oil is found in products like margarine, cookies, bread and chewing gum. It might even be in some washing powders. It’s difficult to spot on the packaging as it’s usually listed as ‘vegetable oil’.
Demand for palm oil may increase if more vegetable oils are required to make biofuels. Currently, the European Union Biofuels Directive aims to achieve fuels with a 5% biofuel content.
Many environmentalists are concerned about the effect of the Tata Nano on global warming. Finally on sale last week after seven months of delays, the Nano promises to be the world’s cheapest new car.
The Nano is a small, four-seater car made by Tata,the Indian tea to tech conglomerate. As India’s economy has boomed, so has demand for cars from the growing middle class. At present, only one in 8000 people in India own a car compared to 450 cars to 8000 people in developed countries. But India has population of 1 billion and is a country hungry for cars. Nobel Prize winner, R.K. Pachauri, the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that he was ‘having nightmares’ about the Nano.