Residual materials are sorted at each work station. Here, the organic ones will be composted.
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.
While paper and plastic recycling bins are common in public settings, it’s rare to see glass included. Now the product least likely to break down can be reused & recycled infinitely!
Our camp is thoughtfully designed to take full advantage of available natural light, within our domes. Not only does this serve to save on indoor lighting, it provides for a magnificent outlook on our extraordinary surroundings.
Our restaurant has an extremely well integrated and efficient mechanical and electrical system design, allowing us to better control and minimize high peaks of electricity consumption. These are the control panels of different pumps, circuits, and hoods. In the foreground, the variable-frequency controllers and drivers of the restaurant’s air supply unit are used to modulate the fans for supplying fresh air, and the air for exhaust. This also maintains a comfortable ambient pressure, even if the door opens quickly or a kitchen hood starts.
Unique in Quebec’s catering industry, the air extracted from the building passes through a heat exchanger in order to preheat the fresh air, greatly reducing the heating requirements of the building. Each of the four hoods in our facility easily draws more than 1,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) outside the building.
Since all of this air must be replaced by fresh air from the outside, a lot of heat is created, especially when the weather brings extremely low temperatures. Our heat recuperator therefore avoids one of the main energy expenditures of restaurants.
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.
To date, the university’s campus features 80 dual recycling receptacles and solar-powered trash compactors. While the compactor takes little space more than an ordinary receptacle, it may hold 5 times the capacity of waste, due to the self-powered compressing process.
This also saves on the amount of labor required to keep up with accumulated trash. BigBelly Solar, the product manufacturer, notes that this can reduce trash collections by up to 80%.
In the foregound, we have a buffer tank for our geothermal circuit. Pumps circulate glycol in the mitigated circuit between the heat pumps. In the background, two water heaters are used to power the restaurant. Just like the rest of the building mechanics, everything is controlled by the building-management computer system. The central computer cycles the start-up of various equipment and uses load shedding to reduce the electricity demand peaks as much as possible.
The next image displays an overview of the complexity of the piping. The cabinets at the bottom are water-to-water heat pumps which allow the surplus heat to be sent to the geothermal wells during the air conditioning period, and to draw heat to the restaurant in very cold weather.
Our hotel/hostel has installed special Raindance showers, which use up to 60% less water than others. They are designed to limit flow and adjust to differing water pressures, using only 1.5-2 gallons of water per minute, while maintaining a full shower experience.
Along Downtown Houston’s Main Street, this art piece (Trumpet Flower) offers ‘a unique visual experience with a functional purpose- a shade structure’. It is made of recycled wooden slats, and provides as both a whimsical and stunning sight among the surrounding parallel lines of the buildings.
We recently converted all lighting from the restaurant to LED fixtures, saving us $ 700 per month. However, after finding these other LED filament bulbs- which adapt much better to our style of globes- we could not resist converting them another time.
Despite their retro appearance and high power (they are turned on at a minimum), these bulbs consume only 4 W of electricity, against 7 W from the previous LEDs, and 50 W for the initial halogens.
Small lineup of vertical axis (VAWT) windmills along the beachfront.
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.
Thanks to these cages in our city, recycling has become easier for everyone. If you have plastic bottles, cardboard, or glass at your house, instead of mixing it with organic matter, you take it out to these cages. It is also easier for our city’s waste collection team to take proper care of the recyclable waste.
This is one of the nice reusable bags we had received at a local store, after legislation regulating plastic use was enacted in Colombia in 2016. Due to the large amount of plastic waste ending up in surrounding water bodies, Colombia has banned all plastic bags smaller than 30×30 cm, and placed a small charge on others that can still be purchased in stores (with a plan set to increase the tax each year until 2020).
By the middle of 2018, this initiative had served to decrease plastic bag consumption by 35%, and raised around $4 million in taxes [see articles below]. Success from these efforts is spurring other similar initiatives and will hopefully continue to drive progress toward mitigating damage from plastic moving on.
More on Colombia’s Plastic Initiatives: