THE ECO-FRIENDLY HOME OF THE FUTURE
Welcome to EcoHome
Do you want to know to what kind of house to purchase? Or what kind of house you want to build? Or do you just grow some sick plants around your home and want to make your household more environmentally friendly? Well, worry no more, EcoHome is here - we will provide all the answers to questions. You can, like, thank us by giving us a check for $1000000. That would be good.
Just joking, there's no need to give us a check. Not that we're discouraging you from doing so :)
How can we create a green environment around our home? What plants would we farm? Why? What fertilizers or pesticides should be used?
Well, first of all, you'll need to take of your lawn and garden of your home in a waste-free way. Don't over-fertilize. A slow-release organic fertilizer that you can use once in the fall is always sufficient. Hey, why even use fertilizer? Use food scraps, yard trimmings and other waste of the organic kind to build a compost pile and you're good. Compost is good for the soil and very environmentally-friendly.
Pesticides are a definite no-no. Why use pesticide when you can introduce a couple of bug species that do the work just as well? Introduce ladybugs to eat aphids, plant marigolds to ward off beetles, and look for quick-sprouting plants to block weed growth.
Plants that would be good for your garden and lawn are species that are native to Ontario and the biome your house is situated in. Say your house is in Ontario, Mississauga perhaps. Then good choices would shrubs like dogwoods, viburnums, elderberry, sumac, serviceberry, chokecherry and raspberries that attract a large number of small mammals and a large number of bird species. Good tree species include eastern white pine, hemlock and hawthorns, which provide cover for birds.
For more information on what kind of native plant species you can grow in your area, click on the link here.
What kind of food can I "farm" on my garden?
There are many species of edible plants that you can grow in your garden. The following species below are entirely native to Ontario:
bedstraw (aka cleavers)
camas (aka blue camas)
you can look up even more species you can grow in your garden from the Northern Bushcraft website.
Other plants from the Temperature Deciduous Forest Biome are Guelder Rose, Lady Ferns and Northern Alderwood. They will make your garden look fabulous!
WHAT MODE OF TRANSPORTATION TO PARK IN DRIVEWAY?
The best way of moving from Point A to B and creating an even larger ecological footprint, is just using the public transit. If you just take a bus to work or school, instead of using your very own car, then you are reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and helping stop global warming.
However, if you are deadest on having your own vehicle, then a bicycle is a great choice. Using a bicycle means no exhaust being emitted and you get healthy exercise too. Or if you want an actual automobile, then choose the choose an electric car. Compared to an electric car, any car that runs on fossil fuel is a gas-guzzler. The most greenest car to buy is Smart ForTwo Electric Drive which is said to be the "greenest car" of 2014 by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. Cars that run on electricity are the best because they don't belch out exhaust, which have greenhouse gases that in the atmosphere forever, and therefore are the cleanest out there. For 11 more "green cars", check the list by Forbes.
What kind of waste management should be at our home?
As said above, use organic garbage from your household and make it into compost. This way you can get rid of materials like food scraps, leaves in your garden, newspapers, etc. without it going to waste.
To dispose of your inorganic waste, use bins made by EarthBin, a service that disposes your garbage in the most environmentally-friendly way (check video). There are two bins where you separate wet and dry garbage and another bin for waste items that can be recycled. The EarthBin trucks comes up, take your garbage from your bins, and then disposes it in the most eco-friendly way.
Always follow the motto "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle".
Which endangered species should be sponsored at the local zoo?
While you don't get to bring an animal home with you when you adopt an animal from the Toronto Zoo, by adopting them, you are helping the Zoo look after the animal and it's species' welfare in various ways. Adopting an animal goes a long way towards saving the environment and making things better for another sentient creature!
The tiger and the polar bear are some of the most endangered species on earth according to the UN Endangered Species List. We can help one of the species of tigers that's in the Toronto Zoo! Their habitats in their own countries are in severe danger and they are in danger of becoming extinct forever. Sumatran tigers are losing their native habitats on the Indonesian island of Sumatra due to accelerating deforestation and rampant poaching. The same habitat loss means their natural prey supply is declining, too. So by adopting/sponsoring the Sumatran tiger, and paying for its upkeep and welfare, we are helping one of the members of tiger family!
And now, the polar bear. Due to rising temperatures caused by global warming, the Arctic, where the polar bears live, is melting perilously fast. This affecting the food chain of the Arctic... the ice on which polar bears travel and live on is melting.. and a warm climate the bears are not used to is being inflicted on them. All of this means:
- the bears have reduced access to food*
- drop in body condition
- lower cub survival rates*
- increase in drowning*
- increase in cannibalism*
- loss of acess to denning areas
- declining population
Using organic waste material from your garbage isn't just a good to recycle, it's a great way to fertilize your garden's soil instead of chemicals!
USE NATIVE ONTARIO PLANT AND TREE SPECIES
The Northern Alderwood is native to the Temperate Deciduous Forest and to Southern Ontario. It would be a great addition to your garden!
If you want an environmentally friendly addition to your driveway, why not pick the SmartForTwo Electric Drive? This car drives solely on electricity without creating pollution!
USE NATIVE ONTARIO PLANT AND TREE SPECIES
Atoms, Elements, and Compounds
What are some toxic chemicals I should lookout for in my household?
- Bisphenol A - this chemical can lead to decreased sperm production in men, early puberty in girls, fertility problems and miscarriages. It can be found in linings of food cans and coatings of receipts. You can avoid this chemical by opting for fresh, frozen, or homemade versions of your favorite canned foods. You can avoid it by rejecting unneeded receipts when shopping.
- Dioxins - Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds like the pesticide DDT are known to cause cancer and are one of the most toxic chemicals ever. They are found fatty tissues of animals and in the food supply. They can also be found in paper and wood pulp products. Can be avoided by not using dairy products and consumption of fatty meat.
- Lead - can affect hormones that regulate stress levels among a variety of other health effects that researchers are yet to uncover. We are exposed to this chemical through lead-based paint and drinking water from old pipes and even faucet filters. You can avoid this chemical by using a lead-removing water filter and having a healthy diet.
The following is information of the element carbon on the periodic table:
- Name: Carbon
- Symbol: C
- Atomic Number: 6
- Atomic Mass: 12
- Melting Point: 3500.0 °C
- Boiling Point: 4827.0 °C
- Number of Protons/Electrons: 6
- Number of Neutrons: 6
- Classification: non-metal
- Color: May be black
The Characteristics of Electricity
What sustainable energy source can we use for our home?
Solar energy using photo-voltaic (PV) collectors. Once costs for installation are paid, the energy from the Sun PV collectors get are virtually free. On it's lonesome, PV collectors can provide only 80% of the power so I recommend connecting it to a couple of smaller wind turbines. Combined, the PV collectors and wind turbines will keep your energy concerns covered and not pollute the environment in the process.
What type of appliances should we have for our house?
To save energy, buy appliances that have an EnergyStar labels or at least follow the EnergyStar because these models do not use as much energy as other models. The less energy we use, the less energy will need to be generated at power stations, which will decrease the amount of greenhouse gases emissions and improve the quality of our air. It also helps the economy too because it by reducing the costs consumers and businesses have to pay.
What type of light bulbs should be used at our home?
Use CFL light bulbs over incandescent light bulbs because they use 75% less energy as incandescent light bulbs and last an user about 10 times longer. The CFLs also contain much less mercury than older models (only about 4 mg while incandescent contain about 500 mg). CFLs save the customer $30 over their lifetime in contrast with the cost of incandescent bulbs!
CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) are lightbulbs that use less energy than other models and last even longer!
DIAGRAM OF AN ECO-FRIENDLY HOUSE
A house that is powered by wind turbines and photovoltaic with a structure like the diagram is energy-efficient. I can design a house with reduced wasted energy by designing one along the lines of the house in the diagram.
While they might be a little noisy, small turbines like these are a great addition to your household as they provide clean energy for your home. Integrated with PV collectors, which give solar energy, they can power your house around the clock!
DIAGRAM OF AN ECO-FRIENDLY HOUSE
THE STUDY OF THE UNIVERSE
Two things we got from space technology?
- Cellphone cameras:
While we use mobile and cell phones without thought nowadays, we would have never have gotten it if it wasn't for NASA! In the 1960s, the scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) up with the concept of digital cameras. However, it was only in the 1990s when a team at the JPL created cameras that were small enough to fit on spacecraft while still being good for scientific needs. About 1/3 of that invention is still in mobile phones today!
- Scratch Resistant Lenses
Do your reading glasses have scratch resistant lenses? Well, you can thank NASA for that too! While attempting to make diamond-hard coatings for aerospace systems, the Lewis Research Center made a contribution to make the lenses of glass more resistant to scratches and spotting. A technique was developed for this and patented, leading to the
Air Products and Chemicals to get a license to use the patent. This technique was more fully developed and lead to the creation of the modern lenses that are scratch-resistant, spotting and shed water in an easier way.
MY ECO-FRIENDLY FUTURE HOME
A) In a house bereft of any insulation, about a quarter of the heat is lost through the roof! Insulating your roof with loft insulation blankets, called ‘quilts’, is an easy and very effective way of reducing your heating bills; without using a heater or a thermostat, you can just use quilts to keep your house warm and cozy.
B) Solar panel – with photovoltaic collectors, the solar panels converts the Sun’s energy into electricity for the house.
C) Thermal panel – unlike solar panels, this product just collects energy of this Sun to heat water or other liquids, for drinking or washing, reducing the need for a household’s gas or electricity requirements.
D) Water storage tanks – due to thermal panels, the house will need another different cylinder for storing hot water.
E) Multi-fuel stove – due to green energy innovations has resulted in wood-burning stoves becoming even greener. With the clean burn or clean heat system the gases created when the wood is burnt are circulated back into the stove and burnt off. This increases heat and reduces emissions. The majority of firewood comes from sustainable sources, so for every tree cut down another is planted, and the carbon released from the felled tree will be absorbed by another tree.
F) Rainwater collection system - Rainwater collection is one of the simplest and most energy efficient ways of saving water. A household can use filtered rainwater to flush toilets, wash clothes, and clean the car or other outside cleaning.
This house also has turbines to create clean energy, along with the solar and thermal panels. The car, is an electric drive, and the bike, also makes for clean transportation. There are also recycle bins - where waste can be separated according to which can be recycled and what can't. The plants are from the Temperate Deciduous Forest, in southern Ontario, which is the native biome for a house located in Mississauga.
- Barker, C. (2010). Nelson Science Perspectives 9. Toronto, Ontario: Nelson Education.
- Bentor, Y. (n.d.). Chemical Elements.com - Carbon (C). Retrieved January 14, 2015, from http://www.chemicalelements.com/elements/c.html
- Eco Friendly Houses. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2015, from http://www.ecofriendlyhouses.net/heat-pumps.html
- Fluorescent Light Bulbs Facts. (2010, June 8). Retrieved January 14, 2015, from http://www.ehow.com/about_6601425_fluorescent-light-bulbs.html
- Global Warming. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2015, from http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/about-polar-bears/global-warming
- Gorzelany, J. (n.d.). The 'Greenest' Cars For 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2014/01/28/the-greenest-and-eco-meanest-cars-for-2014/
- How it Works. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2015, from http://www.earthbin.com/index.php/en/features-2/how-it-works
- Sumatran Tiger. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2015, from http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/sumatran-tiger
- Things We Have Thanks to Space Exploration. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2015, from http://www.care2.com/causes/5-things-we-have-thanks-to-space-exploration.html
- Why Energy Efficiency. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2015, from http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=about.ab_learn_more
- Wild Edible Plants of Ontario. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2015, from http://northernbushcraft.com/guide.php?ctgy=edible_plants®ion=on