Environmental Biology Questions

by Staci Penton

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. Someone can achieve sustainable living by attempting to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet. I dont think I would be able to achieve sustainable living.

Fossil fuels vs. Renewable energy

Fossil fuels are natural fuel such as coal or gas. Renewable energy is energy from a source that is not depleted when used such as wind or solar power.
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Recycling is when you convert waster into reusable material.

How Long It Takes to Decompose Things.

TIN CAN: 50 years

GLASS BOTTLE: 1 million years

DISPOSABLE DIAPER: 250-500 years

WOOD: 200-300 years

PAPER: 6 weeks

PLASTIC GROCERY BAG: 20-1000 years

STYROFOAM CUP: 500 years to forever

ALUMINUM CAN: 200-500 years

COTTON T-SHIRT: 6 months

APPLE CORE: 2 months

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

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a gyre of marine debris particles in the central North Pacific Ocean. I can help decrease this patch by reducing my need for plastic items and use sustainable alternatives. It is possible to reduce all the garbage in the seas if we all work together.

The Tundra Biome!

FOOD CHAIN: Primary Producer- The Bearberry Bush Primary Consumer- Birds/bears
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Dead Zones of the Gulf of Mexico

Dead zones are low oxygen areas in the world's oceans and large lakes. It is cause by excessive nutrient pollution from human activities.

Keystone Species

A keystone species is a species in which other species in an ecosystem largely depend on. An example is the American Alligator, they use their tails to make burrows to stay warm and when they move on these burrows fill with water which is used by other species. Alligators are also predators keeping the numbers of other species in check. Another example is the Bee. The bee pollinates plants, which allow the plants to flourish.

Competitive Exclusion

Competitive exclusion is the inevitable elimination from a habitat of one of two different species with identical needs for resources. The red squirrel is an example of this.


COEXISTENCE- to exist together, at the same time, or in the same place.

PARASITES- an organism that lives in or on another organism and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.

MIMICRY- the action or art of imitating someone or something

MUTUALISM- the doctrine that mutual dependence is necessary to social well-being.

COMMENSALISM- an association between two organisms in which one benefits and the other derives benefit nor harm.


This is the series of processes by which carbon compounds are interconverted in the environment, chiefly involving the incorporation of the carbon dioxide into living tissue by photosynthesis and its return to the atmosphere through respiration, the decay of dead organisms, and the burning of fossil fuels.


Global dimming is the decrease in the amounts of solar radiation reaching the surface of the Earth. It is within the Earth's atmosphere.


The Greenhouse effect is the trapping of the sun's warmth in a planet's lower atmosphere due to the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sin than to infrared radiation emitted from the planet's surface.


Endangered species is an animal or plant that is seriously at risk of extinction. An animal that is endangered is the El Segundo Blue Butterfly. Humans need to care for endangered species as once these beautiful creatures are gone, poof. No more butterfly :(
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Invasive species are plants, animals, or pathogens that are non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm. Examples of an invasive species is the Burmese Python and the Asian Tiger Mosquito.


It is trees that are being cut down, and we need trees for oxygen. It covers half of all the plants species of the world and it holds most of where we get our medicine.
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The population of humans is estimated to be 7.32 billion to 8 billion. By 2050 the population is supposed to reach around 9.3 billion. And right now we are dealing with world hunger and thats only going to get worse with each year. Soon we wont have enough room or food to feed a lot of the population.


Pesticides are a substance used for destroying insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants or to animals.


All of our crops would die as the bees wouldn't be there to pollinate the plants of the world. Actually all plants would die.
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Every country would be under a strict law of only one child per family, to try to cut down on human population. The crime rate would be high. And the weather will be confusing.