Posts Tagged 'environment'

Thoughtful Thursdays: Why (and Where) We Compost

Last month, National Aquarium staff visited the Chesapeake Compost Works (CCW) facility located right here in Baltimore. The trip had two main objectives: to learn how composting plants work and to get a better sense of where we were sending tons (yes, TONS) of organic waste from our Baltimore venue every week.

The compost piles at the CCW

The compost piles at the CCW. The steam seen here is heat being released from the bacterial”breakdown” of the organic waste.

As a conservation organization, we’re always looking for ways to minimize the amount of waste we’re putting into the environment.

Three years ago, the Aquarium implemented a composting program in the Harbor Market Kitchen area. The program was later expanded to include visitor areas, waste from the rain forest exhibit and all staff and administrative office areas!

There are labeled compost bins (like this one in our harbor market kitchen) throughout the Aquarium's offices!

There are labeled compost bins (like this one in our harbor market kitchen) throughout the Aquarium!

We’ve been working with the CCW facility for just a few months (they opened in November). Located in Curtis Bay, CCW has 55,000 square feet of space to process local waste. They are currently accepting 60-80 tons of waste a week and converting it all into nutrient-rich soil for local farmers and the community!

In the short time we’ve been composting, the Aquarium has saved close to 40 tons of organic waste from landfills!

Interested in composting your waste? Here’s how to do it!

 

  1. Learn what kind or organic waste CAN be composted! A full list is available here
  2. Start collecting waste materials!
  3. Work with a local organization, like CCW, to have your waste collected. Baltimore and Washington, DC (and most developed areas) have “compost cabs” that will even come to you for collection!
  4. Visit a local compost facility! Not only will you learn more about the process, but you can also purchase nutrient-rich soil for gardening or urban farming projects!

 

Thoughtful Thursdays: Green Innovations in Racing

In recent years, motor sport competitions have been critical to the development and advancement of energy-efficient technology. Not only is racing an internationally loved sport, making it a global platform to help introduce important technology that can reduce greenhouse gases and exhaust pollutants, but it also provides innovators the testing ground to demonstrate the durability of these improvements under the most demanding conditions.

In fact, some of the most essential green technologies used in our average cars first debuted on the race track. From transmissions that give drivers better control of their power flow, to more durable tires and the use of alternative fuels.

In addition to the eco-friendlier technological innovations that have specifically come from racing, many of the bigger series, including the American Le Mans, have encouraged the use of regenerative energy powertrains (hybrids), better control of exhaust pollution, and the use of catalytic converters as effective emission-control systems. These efforts have helped to improve air quality and better the experience for racing fans!

A green ALMS race car. The series has developed multiple models of eco-friendlier cars, including one that is completely fuelled by natural gas!

ALMS, the series running the Grand Prix of Baltimore, is considered the greenest racing series in the world. As a global leader in green racing, it’s partnered with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to create the “Green X Challenge,” a scorecard to measure the environmental performance of race cars. Scores are based on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted, petroleum consumed, and the amount of energy required to complete each race (efficiency). The ALMS has championed this challenge as a “race within a race to an energy-secure and economically vibrant future.”

These monumental changes in the sport are not only critical to the continued transition of industries to adopt environmentally friendly practices, but they also ensure that racing will continue to develop as a world-class competition to be enjoyed by millions of fans for years to come!

 

 

 


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