Category: Environmental Issues

Composting Toilets and The Environment

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The Composting toilet system is also known as a dry toilet since no water is used for flushing it. In this toilet system, human waste is treated and decomposed into a precious material rich in nitrogen, and this material can be used to enrich the soil with nutrients. Human waste has high water percentage content; therefore, the composting toilet system evaporates this water to the environment and changes the remaining solid waste into useful fertilizers. Additives such as sawdust and wood chips are used in this toilet system, for they help to create air spaces in human waste. These air spaces are essential because they boost aerobic decomposition and minimize the bad smell. Also, the composting toilet system does not require any connection to the sewer system or septic containers like flushing toilets do.

Types of composting toilet system

  1. Splint system

One type of composting toilet is the splint toilet system is divided into two sections, knows as the pedestal. These pedestal sections are the tank that is fixed below the floor, and the human waste is collected here. The other part is the seat set above the floor where an individual sits when excreting the waste. The split system toilets are spacious and have size-able holding capacity; hence they can be installed in places with multiple users, for example, in the parks, sports clubs, and clubhouses.

2.Tiger worm toilet system

Tiger worm toilet uses the worms to decompose human waste. This toilet has two different sections; one is the filter bed where the solid waste is collected, and the other is the filter medium where the urine and the flushing water drains. The worms and the bacteria digest the human waste and convert it into humus or fertilizer. The worms are essential because they absorb the feces faster; therefore, they help to reduce the rate of waste accumulation in this toilet system.

  1. Self-contained system

The self-contained system is also called an active composer. This toilet is a single complete unit since the pedestal, and the container is fixed as one system. This toilet system occupies a small space when set; hence it’s suitable for tiny houses.

The reasons why the composting toilets systems are suitable for the environment.

The soil, water, air, and animals are the main components of the environment. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that these components of the environment are protected and conserved in all ways possible. Here are the main reasons why composting toilets systems such as this one are suitable for the environment:

  1. Saves water

Water is an essential resource that living things depend on for them to live. Unfortunately, some places experience water scarcity; therefore, the composting toilet system is suitable in such areas. This is because composting toilets do not depend on water to operate at all; hence people save thousands of liters of water to cater to essential domestic use like cooking, drinking, and cleaning.

  1. Protection of water bodies

Most of the regular toilets drain their sewage waste in water bodies such as rivers and lakes. The wastes contaminate the water, and this leads to the spread of water-borne diseases once the water is consumed by human begins. Also, when this waste is drained into groundwater bodies, there is a high growth of weeds and algae because of the excess nitrogen that is produced by human waste. Therefore, when the plants multiply, they absorb the air that is in the water hence, minimizing the survival of aquatic animals. For that reason composting the toilet, the system is the best when it comes to water bodies’ protection since no human waste is drained into these water sources.

  1. Soil fertility preservation

This is another incredible reason why composting toilet systems are essential to the environment. The human waste in these toilets is decomposed and changed into organic fertilizers that enrich the soil with nutrients. One of the fantastic facts is that there is no addition of chemicals when decomposing human waste; therefore, the soil is supplied with nutrients, and this helps the soil retain its fertility for long. The commercial fertilizers contain harmful chemicals that make the soil lose productivity faster and contribute to the killing of the microorganisms present in the soil.

  1. Fresh odorless air

Bad and odor smell is one of the challenges people face when using ordinary toilets. However, if you choose the composting toilet, this problem will come to an end since they are entirely free from the odor and bad smell. Therefore, the air inside and outside your house will always be clean and fresh.

Categories: Environmental Issues

Underwater robots discover dead zone

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Underwater robots are developing at a fast pace. We may be used to having a pool robot clean up our swimming pool at home, but did you know that undersea robots are making amazing discoveries worldwide? It’s great to know that robots are being used around the world for the betterment of mankind. Instead of a robot cleaning up the leaves in your pool, imagine a bigger machine gliding on the ocean floor.

Scientists from the University of East Anglia and Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University launched undersea robots to explore a suspected dead zone in the Gulf of Oman. The team published the results in Geophysical Research Letters raising the alarm that their research highlighted that the dead zone is huge and growing fast. Basically, the ocean is dying.

What is a dead zone?

A dead zone is where oxygen has been depleted and the living things are dying. This could be due to a number of reasons, including climate change or chemical run-offs from land.

All life, including sea life, requires oxygen. It’s an environmental issue that could affect everyone around the world, especially communities who depend on the ocean for food.

The robots were deployed 1,000 meters underwater in the Gulf of Oman and spent eight months gathering data. We know that this dead zone covers an area larger than Scotland and is growing.

Categories: Environmental Issues

Climate change for dummies

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Mention the phrase “climate change” and most people glaze over. Over the last 10 years, nothing has been more highly debated than the topic of climate change. Climate change gets so much airtime that we are almost numb to the real issue.

1- The earth is getting warmer

There’s no doubt that weather patterns are affecting the earth. Even the staunchest climate deniers would find it difficult to argue that the climate is not warming. It’s getting hotter out there. Some might believe they are cyclic, but the majority of scientists agree that climate change is real.

2- Carbon dioxide warms the planet and is caused by human beings

Climate change exists and is influenced by manmade activity but many other factors also influence global temperatures, such as volcanic eruptions. Solar cycle variations and Earth’s orbit also alter the amount of sunlight reaching the planet.

3- Our carbon emissions are causing global warming

Through analysis of isotopes, scientists conclude that the extra carbon in the atmosphere comes from burning fossil fuels. 9 out of 10 scientists agree. The growth in modcons such as toilets, cars and other things humans use has greatly impacted our environment.

4- The Arctic ice is melting

The ocean could rise by 3 feet by 2100. This is alarming. In April 2018, Arctic sea ice has been recorded as the lowest April sea ice in history. Sea ice in the Bering Sea is the lowest recorded since at least 1979.

5- The weather is causing issues to the environment

Categories: Environmental Issues

What is the Keystone XL Pipeline

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As far as environmental issues go, the Keystone XL Pipeline is a huge issue in the United States.

What is the Keystone XL Pipeline?

The Keystone XL pipeline proposes to transport oil from Alberta in Canada to refineries in the United States. In 2014, the Keystone XL pipeline was approved to be developed by TransCanada Corporation, which has constructed a number of pipelines between Canada and the United States.

In support of the climate change argument, in November 2015, President Barack Obama announced his administration would not be granting permits for the construction of this pipeline.

However, one of the first things President Trump did was to sign an executive order clearing the way for the pipeline project. The reasoning behind this was the belief that construction of this pipeline will create jobs and boost the economy.

Who is affected by the Keystone XL Pipeline?

Bitumen and synthetic crude oil is transported from Alberta to refineries in Texas, Illinois, and Oklahoma through these states:
South Dakota

It’s a project that taps into Canada’s huge reserves of oil locked in oil sands.

This oil in Canada is heavy oil that requires a refining process which releases particulate matter, soot and other chemicals (such as sulfides, hydrogen cyanide, and sulfur) that is damagint to the environment.

The negative
The bitumen the pipeline will carry to the United States will likely result in higher greenhouse gas emissions and activists are vehemently opposed.

The positive
The pipeline people say that it will increase the supply of oil to the United States.

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Categories: Environmental Issues

Great Plains Tar Sands

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Tar Sands is a huge industrial project that has been vehemently opposed by residents. The development of this resource was achieved by clear cutting some of the largest intact forests in the world followed by scraping and boiling top soil.

The Keystone I and Keystone XL pipelines transport ultra-heavy crude oil from the Alberta tar sands of Canada (sometimes called the oil sands). This oil is substantially dirtier and more expensive than the oil Americans have used in the past.

The Alberta tar sands lie below an area the size of Michigan, covered with a healthy boreal forest full of wildlife.

This extraction process destroys ecosystems that First Nations and innumerable species depend upon and poisons enormous quantities of water, air, and soil for centuries.

This destructive process is largely powered by hydro-fracked gas and represents an intersectionality of all these extraction processes.

In addition to the inherently devastating nature of tar sands extraction there were no safe ways to transport tar sands.

Tar sands bitumen must be diluted from its asphalt like consistency to a thinner substance by a proprietary, undisclosed chemical cocktail as well as heated by stations every 40 miles to be moved through pipes.

The nature of this diluted bitumen (dil-bit) is a caustic and corrosive material that will sooner or later leak. The Keystone 1 tar sands pipeline alone leaked 12 times in its first year of operation!

Petroleum Industry hacks declared that pipelines are the “safest” way to transport petroleum products, but tar sands pipelines, with only a decade long history, have an abysmal safety record, spilling hundreds of times, including a spill near the Kalamazoo River in 2010 that released almost a million gallons of diluted bitumen, and is still not cleaned up as well as the recent Mayflower, AR spill where displaced residents were still unable to return to their homes after a month has passed.

All pipelines leak, it is a matter of when and not if. Tar sands dilbit or heavy crude, as the industry often calls it, is more caustic, more abrasive material that is transported at a higher temperature and a higher pressure than conventional crude. Diluted by proprietary chemicals transporting tar sands is an inherently dangerous activity that poisons water for all species for generations.

Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance opposed all forms and stages of tar sands exploitation. Extraction, transportation, and refining all create sacrifice zones of people economically less able, predominately of color to resist toxic industries.

Categories: Environmental Issues