Our apartment complex has recycling bins in community mail areas, encouraging recycling directly at the source, where there is a high potential for mass paper waste. This has been an easy way to help residents responsibly dispose of unneeded letters and other mail that may otherwise be thrown away with regular trash.
During the summer, we grow fresh herbs on the roof of the restaurant. Among other items, we grow basil, mint, edible flowers, and tomatoes which, picked the same day, will probably be found in the dish or cocktail you order!
I passed a site of small wind and solar installations on the campus of a branch of our community college. The wind turbines are vertical axis (VAWT).
Our park uses recycled water for irrigation, in order to prevent a drain on drinking water for the community in times of drought.
Skyscraper green wall art in our downtown. It is beautiful, and spans 2,380 square feet.
Our small car park is made up of four fully electric cars. We also have four charging stations, one of which is accessible to the public. The other three are being made available, as well.
Here, several of our 14 heat pumps (one per heating / cooling zone) are housed. Connected in a loop by a circuit with water and glycol, each heat pump takes or adds heat according to its needs. Several rooms are air-conditioned throughout the year, while others are according to the season or need. The system uses heat or cold where it is surplus to send it where it is needed. “Moving” the heat is 3.5 times more economical than producing it.
As well, the access door in the floor overlooks the grease trap of the restaurant, which prevents grease from going into municipal sewers. A system checks the level of grease and then, when filled, it is pumped by a truck via a connection outside the building. In 6 years of operation, it is not even one-tenth full.
I have seen a few installed Sloan solar faucets, which use the ambient INDOOR light to power the faucet sensor, turning it on and off automatically.
I was not aware of some of the options for disposing of more complex materials (including light bulbs, batteries, and other items) until seeing some of these separated bins at our Home Depot. For the past few months now, I have made sure to put aside those items as they stop working and make a quick trip over to drop them off.
We noticed during lunch that these gorgeous tables we were sitting at were made with wood from reclaimed bowling lanes. They were very soft, beautiful, and had an overall good-quality feel. Very impressive pieces- and what a great use.
These solar flowers were co-designed by students from UT Martin’s Engineering and Visual Arts departments.
Our city has designed the Downtown area for safe bicycle use. As shown in the third image, large bicycle lanes are marked out with distinct green paint and large protective bumpers.
Our hotel/hostel utilizes a well designed grey water system with heat recuperation- the second such system in the world. Through this, heat may be harnessed from previously used water, allowing for a decrease in energy necessary for heating further incoming water. The system saves around 4,000 liters of water daily. In addition, heat recuperation is also used in our air, ventilation, and cooling processes.
As seen here, our basement houses a recycling and regenerative unit- AquaCycle- which was tested and installed by Pontos Company. This system filters grey water in three cycles. We use the water for flushing the toilets, watering the plants, and washing the floors. This technology serves for the heat recovery from the recycling of grey water.
The water heating process is carried out in three steps. After cold water turns from 5°C to 25°C, heat recuperation from cooling heats the water from 25°C to 35°C. Then, our rooftop solar panels help us to heat the water from 35°C to 60°C. If the solar panels collect much energy during midday which is not used, the system stores the hot water (90°C) in an accumulating pot, and it is used toward any event rush.
Residual materials are sorted at each work station. Here, the organic ones will be composted.
Much of my area has problems with low rainfall and drought. As a landscaping alternative, many houses use clever designs with drought resistant plants, or low water / rock designs such as this one. It is still aesthetically pleasing, and it helps the overall community in trying times.