Ecology journal

Jacob Joliet

1.What is sustainable living? How could someone achieve sustainable living? Do you personally think you could reach sustainable living?

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources and personal resources

What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? What can we do here in Iowa to help decrease it, is it even possible?

  1. The first solution is biodegradable plastic. Imagine you have something with the properties of plastic but does not have the long lasting property. By the time some accidental piece is lost in nature reaches a gyre, it is completely decomposed in solely organic materials.
  2. Solutions that remove plastic. All efforts that consider manual or semi-manual collecting trash are good because of their positive spirit. Everything counts! However, the undo the high volume of plastic trash every year, something not to labor and capital intensive is needed. One solution I received is a fungus that decomposes plastic like fungus can do in nature. For more information read this article.
  3. You. The problem is the behavior of us, the people. Which is also the answer, the people are the solution. That results in the key question; what can you do?

  1. Spread the word that plastic is not good and discuss by using facts. The more people are aware the more chance on change.
  2. Start talking about bio-degradable plastic whenever you see the opportunity. Especially on internet and areas where people buy. Feel free to ask in stores if the plastic is bio-degradable or if they have a biodegradable alternative.

Choose any Biome; create a food chain defining the primary producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer, quaternary consumer, herbivore, omnivore, carnivore, scavenger, and decomposer.

  1. Primary producers (organisms that make their own food from sunlight and/or chemical energy from deep sea vents) are the base of every food chain - these organisms are called autotrophs.
  2. Primary consumers are animals that eat primary producers; they are also called herbivores (plant-eaters).
  3. Secondary consumers eat primary consumers. They are carnivores (meat-eaters) and omnivores (animals that eat both animals and plants).
  4. Tertiary consumers eat secondary consumers.
  5. Quaternary consumers eat tertiary consumers.
  6. Food chains "end" with top predators, animals that have little or no natural enemies.

Define 2 Biomes of the world, define an ecosystem found in each and explain the Biotic and Abiotic factors involved.

An ecosystem is defined as any community of living and non-living things that work together. Ecosystems do not have clear boundaries, and it may be difficult to see where one ecosystem ends and another begins. In order to understand what makes each ecosystem unique, we need to look at the biotic and abiotic factors within them. Biotic factors are all of the living organisms within an ecosystem. These may be plants, animals, fungi, and any other living things. Abiotic factors are all of the non-living things in an ecosystem.

Both biotic and abiotic factors are related to each other in an ecosystem, and if one factor is changed or removed, it can affect the entire ecosystem. Abiotic factors are especially important because they directly affect how organisms survive.

Why is recylcing important?

There are many reasons why it's important to recycle and compost as much as possible: It conserves raw materials – making new products out of recycled materials reduces the need to consume precious resources. So recycling helps protect raw materials and protect natural habitats for the future.

How long do these items take to decompose?

a. Tin Can 50 years

b. Glass Bottle 1 million years

c. Disposable Diaper 250-500 years

d. Wood 200-300 years

e. Paper 2-5 months

f. Plastic Grocery Bag 20-1000 years

g. Styrofoam Cup 500 years

h. Aluminum Can 80-100 years

i. Cotton T-shirt 500 years

j. Apple Core 5 days to a month

k. Did any of these surprise you? plastic bag has a very wide range

Fossil fuels vs. Renewable energy- compare and contrast the two forms of energy.

Renewable Energy Strengths

The primary advantage to renewable energy is in its production source: sun and gravitational pull yield solar, wind and wave energy; even debris from landscaping like grass clippings or branches can produce energy from biomass processes that mimic natural decomposition. Businesses can tap into these sources with a solar panel, wind mill, or even a water turbine if running water or tidal waves are nearby.

Renewable Energy Weaknesses

Renewable energy sources harness or replicate nature’s processes in its production, so it shares some of the weaknesses. Wind mills and solar panels take large tracts of space to collect energy, as the energy is diluted across the environment. Second, renewable energy shares the vagaries of nature, with ebbs and flows. If the wind dies down or the sky clouds over, energy production weakens, perhaps when a company needs it most like during a second shift in the evening. Therefore, renewable energy requires storage to contain the energy between production and consumption, especially if transferring from rural or remote areas to more urban settings.

Fossil Fuel Strengths

The current power generation and distribution model operates on fossil fuels, and has for centuries if you consider coal. Fossil fuel essentially is portable energy. A company easily stores and transports the energy until it needs to be used, whether coal at a coal plant or the fuel oil for a furnace or a delivery vehicle's gasoline engine. This relative ease of storage and transport means the fuel can be excavated where it lies, processed at a separate location and transported to wherever you need power.

Fossil Fuel Weaknesses

One primary weakness of fossil fuels relate to their chemical makeup. As operations burn the fuel, they release hydrocarbons that mix with the atmosphere and produce greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide or pollution, including sulphur dioxide--a source of acid rain. Pollution control costs can sap revenue. Second, even removing the fossil fuel can prove detrimental, even disastrous to the environment, from strip mining operations to oil spills. Finally, as deposits are unevenly distributed worldwide, frequently in less politically stable nations, companies can suffer from flow interruptions and price spikes.