Birding in the Delaware River and Bay of New Jersey

New Jersey has many areas across the state that offer unique birding experiences. The real New Jersey is much different from the image of New Jersey that is conveyed through television and media. The Delaware River and Bay of New Jersey offer a wide array of bird habitats and natural areas. There are approximately 299 bird species that can be viewed along the Delaware River.

Cape May

Located at the meeting point of the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Cape May is a birding paradise. Migratory birds gather at Cape May when north and southbound. Spring and fall brings extensive days for birding, with trees and shrubs full of birds. Thousands of raptors can be seen migrating past Cape May State Park during the months of September and October.

Heislerville Wildlife Management Area

If you are interested in waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, gulls, and terns, a great birding location is Heislerville Wildlife Management Area. Marshes and wetlands exist here, inviting shorebirds like Semipalmated Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, and Short-billed Dowitcher for birders to view. Other birds that may be seen here include:

  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Bufflehead
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Snow Geese
  • Grebes
  • Loons
  • Cormorants

Glades Wildlife Refuge

Another good birding site on the Delaware Bay is located at the Glades Wildlife Refuge. Here, waterbirds are the common sighting, but there are other birds that inhabit this area. Birdwatchers can see Kentucky Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Summer Tanager sometimes.

Delaware Bay Ferry

Crossing the Delaware Bay by ferry in late March and early April offers visitors a birding opportunity that is quite dramatic and unique. Northern Gannets are northward migrating at this time of year and you can watch them diving into the water to eat fish. Other bird species that you can see here are:

  • Gulls
  • Loons
  • Black-legged Kittiwake
  • Razorbill

Looking for Bald Eagles?

The Delaware River serves a very important role in the existence and proliferation of bald eagles. The river is one of the largest bald eagle wintering habitats in the Northeastern United States. The river has even been declared as an essential bald eagle winter habitat and preserving this essential habitat has been deemed necessary for the recovery and survival of the bald eagle as a species. Most of the bald eagle nests in New Jersey are reported to be in the southern part of the state, within twelve to thirteen miles of the Delaware River and Bay. There are now 161 confirmed pairs of bald eagles in New Jersey. Some specific bald eagle areas where sightings have occurred include:

  • Delaware River near Trenton Thunder Riverview Park – Juvenile bald eagles
  • Cumberland County & Salem County (forty percent of the confirmed eagle population is found here)
  • Mannington Township of Salem County
  • Stow Creek Bald Eagle Nest Viewing Platform – Canton, NJ

Finally, the annual Winter Eagle Festival is held in early February in Mauricetown, New Jersey. Festival attendees have the opportunity to join in walks to spot bald eagles in the Delaware Bay area.

 

 

Posted in Local Birdwatching, Local Nature | Comments closed

Should you stop burning wood in your fireplace?

For many years, burning wood in a fireplace was the one of the only ways to heat a house. Sitting by a wood fire seems cozy and may stir memories in many of us. In recent years though, wood has been shown to have detrimental effects on health and the environment.

Health hazards

When you burn wood in a stove or a fireplace, some of the particles emitted from the chimney inevitably re-enter your home. The particles are so slight that closing doors and windows does not stop them from coming into your home. Fine particle pollution inside your house reach at least fifty to seventy percent of the outdoor levels. Wood smoke is quite similar to cigarette smoke. Both types of smoke are carcinogenic. Wood smoke contains not only particulate matter, but also carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and nitrogen oxides that can cause permanent damage to the lungs. Smoke from a wood-burning fireplace also interferes with normal lung development in children and places children at higher risk of bronchitis and pneumonia.

Other health-related risks of burning wood in your fireplace:

  • Exposure to wood smoke damages the protective layer of cells in the lungs that cleanse the airways.
  • Depressed immune system is possible.
  • Can cause coughs, headaches, eye, and throat irritation in healthy people.
  • Brief exposures are not safe for people with asthma, COPD, or cardiovascular disease.
  • The nose and respiratory system are unable to filter out the tiny particles found in wood smoke.
  • The carcinogenic chemicals stick to the tiny particles in the smoke, then those particles go deep into the lungs.
  • The chemicals in the lungs increase risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • For people with heart disease, the tiny particles can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and other cardiovascular symptoms.
  • Wood smoke particulate matter is similar in toxicity and DNA impact as vehicle exhaust particles.
  • Infants and toddlers who live around wood fireplaces are more likely to get ear infections.
  • Wood smoke can be more of a threat to people in the surrounding area than those sitting directly by the fire.
  • Some ultrafine particles can pass into the bloodstream!

Tips for your health if you decide to burn wood in your fireplace

  1. Maintain & clean – If your fireplace is efficient and has a good updraft, the people sitting by the fire are not exposed to the particles and risks of the wood smoke.
  2. Burn only dry, seasoned wood. (Seasoned wood – split and stacked in an open area, exposed to sun and wind for between six and twelve months)
  3. Start the fire with dry newspaper or kindling.
  4. Seal the leaks in walls and floors to reduce the re-entry of smoke.
  5. Use HEPA air filters
  6. Never burn household waste

Environmental impact of burning wood

Wood burning is the single biggest source of hazardous particle pollution during the winter months. Wood smoke pollution creates more particle pollution than vehicles and industry. Wood smoke is one of the most significant sources of toxins. Air quality is negatively impacted by wood smoke from fireplaces.

 

Posted in Alternative Energy | Comments closed

How Geothermal Heating and Cooling Work

With so many renewable energy solutions becoming more mainstream, you may have heard about geothermal heating and cooling. Another term for geothermal heating and cooling is ground source heating and cooling. Basically, when you heat or cool with geothermal, you are heating or cooling with dirt.

Basic information

The ground under our feet is warmer than the outside air in the winter and cooler in the summer. The geothermal process does not create heat, rather the heat is transported through pipes to and from the house.

Details and components

  1. Earth connection/earth loop
  2. Small geothermal indoor heat pump
  3. Distribution system to circulate cool and warm air

Geothermal heating and cooling work with a heat pump inside the house and a ground loop consisting of underground pipes that connect to the heat pump. The underground pipes move water through the loop. During the times of the year when the cooling needs are highest, the Earth’s temperature is still fairly cool, permitting easy absorption of extra heat into the earth.

The earth’s temperature actually lags the outside temperature by several months, so that by the time the ground temperature has increased, the building’s total cooling requirement has been reduced.

Winter heating

In the winter, the water absorbs the heat from the ground and brings the heat back to the indoor heat pump. The heat is taken out of the water by the heat pump and then is distributed through the house as warm air. The cooled water then recirculates and repeats the circuit.

Summer air conditioning

For summer cooling, the heat pump unit inside the home collects the hot air from the house and removes the heat, leaving cool air to be distributed through the ductwork. The heat that has been taken out of the house is sent into the earth through the ground loop.

Key facts about geothermal heating and cooling:

  1. Supplementary hot water: free hot water is provided to the hot water system.
  2. During heating season, hot water is generated at the cost of space heating, often more cost effective than gas or electric water heating.
  3. The ground loop is buried between four and six feet below the earth’s surface.
  4. Geothermal systems are environmentally friendly.
  5. Fossil fuel is 78 to 98 percent efficient; geothermal is 400 percent efficient.
  6. Geothermal offers a more efficient option for heating and cooling.
  7. Geothermal systems emit no greenhouse gases.
  8. Geothermal systems are practically maintenance free, requiring only periodic checks and filter changes.
  9. There are different underground loop designs so that geothermal can be used on different types of land tracts.
    1. Horizontal loop
    2. Vertical loop
    3. Well water loop
    4. Pond loop
  10. Geothermal heat pumps use standard electronic thermostats and duct systems, so you can retrofit a structure.
  11. Geothermal heat pumps can be sized to heat and cool any building.
  12. Residential energy use is cut in half by using a geothermal heat pump.
  13. The hot water produced by the system can also be used for hot tubs, swimming pools or floor heating.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Alternative Energy | Comments closed

How a Passive Solar House Works

A house intended to take advantage of the solar heat streaming through a window is actively saving energy. The passive solar house can be designed to work hard in every season to maintain a comfortable temperature. Passive solar houses typically exhibit large openings to the south and small openings to the north. A passive solar house does not require special mechanical equipment to provide energy to the house.

A passive solar house collects heat through the south-facing windows while the sun shines throughout the day. The heat collected is kept in materials that store heat, known as thermal mass. The portion of the home’s heating that the passive solar design can fulfill is called the passive solar fraction and depends on the area of glazing and the amount of thermal mass. Different climates require different ratios of thermal mass to glazing.

Key features that make a passive solar house work:

Aperture

Properly arranged windows: Windows or other devices that gather the sun’s energy should face within thirty degrees of true south and should not be shaded between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the heating season. Conversely, during cooling season, spring, and fall, windows need shading to prevent overheating.

Distribution mechanisms

Solar heat is transported from the collection site and different areas of the house by conduction, convection, and radiation. In some homes, small fans and blowers help distribute heat. Additionally, darker colors take in more heat than lighter colors, so darker thermal mass is a better option for passive solar.

Thermal mass

Concrete, brick, stone, and tile typically serve as thermal mass in a passive solar house. These materials absorb heat from sunlight during the heating season and absorbs heat from warm air in the house during the cooling season. Water and phase change products can also serve as thermal mass and are more efficient at storing heat. However, masonry has the advantage of also serving as a structural or finish material. Well-insulated homes in temperate climates may not need additional thermal storage materials aside from furnishings and drywall.

Some ways of adding thermal mass:

A 4-inch-thick concrete slab foundation is an economical way to add thermal mass. Some homes will have 4 inches of brick or stone veneer on interior walls, or 8-inch-thick free-standing concrete block walls that have both sides exposed and finished with thin stone or tile.

Absorber

Sunlight hits this surface and is absorbed as heat.

Control strategies

  • Roof overhangs to provide shade to vertical south windows during summer months.
  • Electronic sensing devices
  • Awnings
  • Vents and dampers that can be closed and/or redirected

Misconceptions about passive solar houses

  1. More expensive – this is not true, since the design might involve shifting some elements, but not adding any mechanical or electrical equipment.
  2. Overheating in summer – while this is possible, the opportunity to have overheating in winter is a positive aspect of the passive solar house.

Steps to retrofitting your house to become passive solar

Because of the way passive solar houses work, many houses can be retrofitted for passive solar. Houses need to already have room for windows on the south-facing wall. There should be no trees or any other shading on the south side of the house. Some homeowners choose to add solar rooms or simply add windows to the south wall of the house and increase thermal mass to absorb the heat from the sun.

 

Posted in Alternative Energy | Comments closed

Five Amazing New Jersey Hikes

New Jersey has a wide array of nature refuges and recreational areas throughout the state. If you are looking for an amazing New Jersey hike, check out some of these trails located in different regions of the Garden State. The amazing hikes listed here offer something for every type of hiker, from history buff to nature lover, from families to couples. These hikes are located throughout the state. Try them all!

South New Jersey: Wells Mills County Park

Wells Mills Park is a large park of Pine Barrens with over 900 acres in southern New Jersey. There are miles of hiking trails at Wells Mills. The hiking trails range from easy to difficult so hikers of all ability levels can find a hike that is right for them. Due to the loops and design of the trails, this park offers hiking for families that may need to cut their hike short due to their children’s needs. There is also a Visually Impaired Persons Trail for hikers with visual impairments.

Wells Mills in a nutshell:

  • All levels
  • Visually Impaired Persons Trail
  • Varying lengths

Northcentral New Jersey: Stairway to Heaven

The Stairway to Heaven trail begins on the Appalachian Trail, where you start hiking on a boardwalk. During the hike you will cross a marsh, enter a forested area, cross railroad tracks, and finish by climbing the rock steps, which compose the “Stairway to Heaven.” This trail is on the moderate side of difficulty and there are changes in terrain and elevation throughout the hike.

Stairway to Heaven highlights:

  • Appalachian Trail
  • Various terrains
  • Moderate

North New Jersey: Buttermilk Falls

This easy to moderate hike takes you on a 1.2 mile loop near the highest waterfall in New Jersey. Hikers can continue on for about 7.5 miles to include a portion of the Appalachian Trail in the hike. There are some steep surfaces near the beginning (and end), but primarily includes easy forested roads.

Features of Buttermilk Falls:

  • Easy – moderate
  • 1.2 miles
  • Waterfall views

Central New Jersey: Jockey Hollow

Jockey Hollow is located in the Morristown National Historical Park. There are nine miles of hiking trails that are pretty easy going for most hikers. If you are a history buff and nature lover, Jockey Hollow offers you a perfect hike. Hiking here you can see the countryside where the Continental Army encamped during the Revolutionary War. There are wide paths along the streams in this gorgeous historic area. One of the trails here covers 7.4 miles and has gentle changes in elevation with some steep hills along the way.

Jockey Hollow features:

  • Varying lengths
  • Streams & hills
  • National history

Highlands of New Jersey: Apshawa Preserve

The final amazing hike of New Jersey is located at the Apshawa Preserve. This nature preserve is located on 576 acres and offers hikers gorgeous views of nature and wildlife as well as a peek at the New York City Skyline. Hikers can enjoy over five miles of trails at Apshawa Preserve. This trail is moderate in difficulty and does have some steep areas as well as the possibility of hopping a stream or wet area.

Apshawa Preserve simplified:

  • 5 miles
  • Moderate
  • NYC skyline view
  • You might get wet!
Posted in Hikes | Comments closed

How New Jersey’s Solar Incentives Can Help Pay for your Solar Installation

As one of the country’s leaders in solar energy, New Jersey home and business owners are in a prime location to access state support for solar installation. New Jersey’s aggressive incentive and rebate programs have led to the installation of thousands of solar rooftops, including some of the largest in North America. Here, you can learn about the different types of incentives offered to help pay for your solar installation:

  • Sales tax exemptions
  • Rebate program
  • Energy credit program

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) Program

When a property owner installs a solar project in the state of New Jersey, they register with the SREC Program. Participants are given information about anticipated new solar capacity and future SREC pricing. After registration is complete and the solar installation is complete, there is paperwork that needs to be submitted, after which the project is assigned a New Jersey certification number and is able to generate SRECs. This may sound like a long process and may even be a little bit confusing. However, in April of 2016, over 5,300 registrations were submitted.

How SRECs work

Credits are earned for solar project owners each time the solar installation generates 1,000 kWh of electricity. The credits are placed into your (the solar owner) electronic account. These credits can be sold on a special tracking system, which provides you with revenue for the first fifteen years that you have a solar installation/solar panels, etc. The SRECs are purchased primarily by the utility company/electricity supplier. Simply put, electric companies buy the credits that you earn by having solar on your house or business. In February of 2016, 1,000 kWh (1 Megawatt) was sold for between $60 and $490. As you can see, the trade prices vary, even within a month. However, solar panels are earning New Jersey residents money, which is much better than traditional energy systems!

Solar Energy Tax Exemption

Another way that New Jersey’s solar incentives can help pay for your solar project is through the sales tax exemption. Any solar energy equipment that you purchase is state sales tax free. Any purchase is eligible, whether it is for commercial, residential, or industrial use. Categories of solar equipment that can be purchased tax free are:

  • Solar – Passive
  • Solar water heat
  • Solar space heat
  • Solar thermal electric
  • Solar thermal process heat
  • Solar photovoltaics
  • Solar pool heating

WARMAdvantage Program

The New Jersey WARMAdvantage Program gives rebates on furnaces, boilers and water heaters. All New Jersey residents are eligible for this program, but only for existing homes. New construction does not qualify for this incentive. Gas furnaces, boilers, and water heaters can qualify for incentives, as can Energy Star qualified solar domestic water heaters. Energy Star qualified oil furnaces and oil boilers qualify for an incentive as well.  Make sure you use a reputable company to install and maintain your system like Mercer Heat and Cool in Trenton, NJ.

Current rebates include:

  • Solar Hot Water Heater: $1,200
  • Heat Pump Water Heater: $500
  • Geothermal Heat Pump: $500
  • Heat Pump: $500
  • Gas Furnace: $250- $500
  • Gas Furnace (ENERGY STAR qualified): $500
  • Gas Boiler: $300
  • Gas Water Heater: $500
  • Solar Hot Water Heater: $1,200
  • Oil Furnace: $250
  • Oil Boiler: $300

With all of these New Jersey incentives, the cost of converting to solar in your home or business is a little easier on your wallet.

Posted in Alternative Energy | Comments closed

Five Great Parks in New Jersey

Wonderful parks abound in the state of New Jersey. Choosing from the long list of parks can be overwhelming and confusing. Here you can find a list of five great parks to check out when you want to venture out in different regions of New Jersey.

Historic Whitesbog Village – Historic cranberry bog

A historic cranberry and blueberry farm, Whitesbog Village is composed of three thousand acres of bogs, creeks, and forests and sits in the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. You can explore the grounds any day of the year, between dawn and dusk, either on your own or by participating in a scheduled tour. Some highlights of the park are cranberry bogs, blueberry fields, reservoirs, sugar sand roads, and Pine Barrens forests. Additionally, visitors can browse items in the General Store, which carries many unique items, including cranberry and blueberry food items as well as locally crafted artisan products.

Stephens State Park – Excellent freshwater fishing

As one of New Jersey’s great parks, this site includes the Musconetcong River, which offers some of the best trout fishing in the state of New Jersey. Fly fishing for brown, rainbow, and brown trout is one of the most popular activities at Stephens State Park. The Waterloo Village, formerly a Lenape Indian Village, transformed into a Morris Canal port, is open for walking tours. Rock climbing is also available in this park, near Waterloo Village.

Liberty State Park – Lots of family activities

Sitting in the middle of Metropolitan norther New Jersey, Liberty State Park is a green haven with views of the Manhattan Skyline, Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. This is the only location in New Jersey with Ferry service to Ellis Island. The Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial here can be viewed by visitors and invites you to look toward the empty sky in memory of the people who died at the World Trade Center. You can also fish, crab, walk, jog, bike, or try out the par course along Freedom Way.

 Island Beach State Park – Beaches!

A narrow barrier island that is ten miles in length, Island Beach State Park offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy sand dunes and white sandy beaches. Island Beach is a remnant of a barrier island ecosystem of the past and encompasses 3,000 acres of coastal dunes and undeveloped barrier beaches. The park is home to the state’s largest osprey colony, as well as wading birds, peregrine falcons, and other wildlife. Island Beach has over 400 plants identified, including the largest expanses of beach heather in New Jersey.

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge – Nature only 30 miles from New York City

Known as the largest wildlife refuge in New Jersey, this park sits on 7,800 acres of habitats, providing living and feeding areas to fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, frogs, and more than 244 species of birds. Visitors can hunt during the annual deer hunt that is held each November, with one day specifically designated as a youth hunt day. Additionally, there is a self-guided interpretive trail that was created for children.

Posted in Local Nature | Comments closed

Birdwatching near New Jersey’s Delaware River

Birdwatching near New Jersey’s Delaware River offers a unique experience. First, let’s talk about the area: the Delaware River Region of New Jersey includes multiple counties. There are state parks located within these counties that offer access to birdwatching in this region. Areas to research for birdwatching:

  • Delaware Water Gap and Valley
  • Walpack Fish and Wildlife Management Area/Walpack Valley
  • Fort Mott State Park
  • Parvin State Park
  • Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Delaware Water Gap and Valley

The Delaware Water Gap and Valley covers about forty miles along the Delaware and boasts contiguous deciduous and coniferous upland forests. This area also includes numerous Natural Heritage Priority Sites, designated by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. There are more than 225 bird species in this nature area. The Water Gap and Valley is home to bald eagles, northern goshawks, red-shouldered hawks, barred owls, sharp-shinned hawks, red-headed woodpeckers, savannah sparrows, grasshopper sparrows, bobolinks, golden-winged warblers, veeries, and cerulean warblers. Fall birdwatching in this area offers thousands of migrating raptors. Spring highlights include migratory land birds at this site. Other birds in this region:

  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Acadian Flycatcher
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Gray Catbird
  • Hooded Warbler
  • Louisiana Waterthrush
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Worm-eating Warbler
  • Blue-winged Warbler
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Prairie Warbler
  • Yellow-breasted Chat

Walpack Fish and Wildlife Management Area/Walpack Valley

The Walpack Valley is bound by the Delaware River, northwest facing slopes of Kittatinny Mountain and the Flatbrook-Roy Wildlife Management Area. In this area, bald eagles, northern goshawks, red-shouldered hawks, barred owls and sharp-shinned and broad-winged hawks can be viewed. Walpack Valley serves as a breeding habitat for cliff swallows, winter wrens, veeries, blue-headed vireos, northern parulas, black-throated green warblers, least flycatchers, cerulean warblers, great blue herons, golden-winged warblers, savannah sparrows, red-headed woodpeckers, ruffed grouse, American woodcocks, brown creepers, hairy woodpeckers, and northern saw-whet owls. Other species in the Walpack Valley area:

  • Black-billed Cuckoo
  • Gray Catbird
  • Wood Duck
  • Wood Thrush
  • Mallard
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Field Sparrow
  • Prairie Warbler
  • Wild Turkey
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee

Fort Mott State Park

Winter visitors at Fort Mott State Park might see ducks not seen during other seasons, specifically the Common Merganser and the rarer Hooded Merganser. Large groups of Dark-eyed Junco gather in the fields, but be prepared for frigid temperatures if the wind is blowing off the river. In spring, large groups of American Robin and Double-crested Cormorant converge on the river’s edge. Walking the trail behind the fort is a great location for eye-level viewing of colorful migrating warblers and other songbirds. Summer visitors can view birds such as Great Egret, Snowy Egret, and Great Blue Heron gather in the area. Fall is probably the season to avoid birdwatching in this area of the Delaware River.

Parvin State Park

Spring birdwatching offers wood warblers, tanagers, and orioles. Parvin State Park also offers guided bird walks during the spring season. Birds that can be viewed include Black-and-white Warbler, Carolina Chickadee, Great Crested Flycatcher, Whip-poor-will, Wild Turkey, Yellow-throated Vireo, Barred Owls, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, and Acadian Flycatchers.

Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

The Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is located in western Salem County along the Delaware River includes four hundred acres of upland forest and wetland, with eighty percent composed of brackish tidal marshes. Here, the state-endangered bald eagle breeds, along with king rails. Colonial wading birds forage in the Supawna habitat, and nine species of heron flourish here. Mallards and northern pintails spend winters at the Supawna Refuge.

Monthly Birdwatching near New Jersey’s Delaware River

  1. October – March: Waterfowl
  2. November – March: Geese
  3. October – April: Sparrows (specifically in weedy fields)
  4.  Mid-April – June: Warblers and passerines (peak viewing – first three weeks of May)
  5. May: Thrushes
  6. Mid-September – November: Raptors migrating south
  7. Winter months: Owls
  8. May, July – September: Shorebirds migrating
  9. July – September: Terns
Posted in Local Birdwatching | Comments closed

Alternative Energy Source Pros and Cons

Alternative Power Source Benefits and Drawbacks

DSC_2397
Source: Flickr

As a result of increasing international power usage and the probable exhaustion of the world’s non-renewable power resource, methods of exploring as well as utilizing different power sources are being available all around the world.  This is especially important in developing countries that might be able to skip the high-polluting fossil-fuel phase that countries like the United States have experienced.  They could instead start immediately using alternative energies like wind and solar.  This is something that is currently happening in India with their solar initiative.  Using alternative power sourcee can be both valuable and also tough. Let us check out the various benefits and drawbacks of alternate energies.

A major benefit of renewable resource is that they are renewable therefore they are sustainable and will certainly never ever run out. More significantly renewable energy generates little or no waste products that would contaminate or have malignant environment effects.

Some countries utilizing renewable energy as another source of power are additionally realizing substantial economic benefits especially in lots of local areas. Most of their projects are located away from city establishments as well as capital cities.

The downside to renewables is that it’s currently quite challenging to produce large amounts of electricity like that of traditional non-renewable fuel sources. Also, renewables generally depend on the weather, which is unreliable.  While weather issues can be buffered by using a battery bank, batteries are expensive and eventually wear out.  The tech isn’t quite there yet.

Another huge negative of renewables is that they are much more expensive to get up and running, since we already have existing fossil fuel infrastructure.

Right here are the several advantages as well as downsides of alternative power sources.

– Solar energy- the sun is a wonderful resource of energy since it is totally free and is reliable. Sun power can easily be converted into conventional electrical energy. But there are limits, like locations at high latitude and locations with regular rainfalls are areas not efficient in creating effective solar power.

– Wind energy- wind is likewise an efficient electrical power source. It is feasible that wind power could replace around 20 percent of the overall electric intake in the future. Place is a crucial factor in making use of wind energy, high latitudes and coast lines are excellent places to establish windmills. A fairly large land area is also required to  install and adequate number of windmills.

– Hydroelectric and also tidal power- both of these originate from water. With hydroelectric energy it is mainly sourced from dams. Tidal energy, on the other hand, utilizes the currents and tides of the sea. Production of energy from water is one more remove means of generating power. However there are a number of negative aspects. Installing stream dams as resources of hydroelectric power is quite costly, while tidal power depends a lot on the sea. Because ocean have the tendency to be unpredictable there are only 9 areas worldwide that are ideal for this kind of power source. Tidal energy power plants likewise create unfavorable impacts on migratory birds and fish.

– Biomass- biomass includes fermented animal waste, agricultural crops, grains as well as other natural products. It can be used to generate an alcohol as well as replace gasoline.  A drawback, however, is that it that it still produces greenhouse gas.

 

Posted in Alternative Energy | Leave a comment

Sustainable tourism in Hanoi, Vietnam

A zip line tourist in Hanoi, Vietnam

DSC_2282
Source: Flickr

Founded in 1010, in 1954 Hanoi ended up being the official capital of independent Vietnam. A tranquil city of lakes with leafy boulevards, Hanoi exists at the heart of the northern Red Stream Delta and also in some way mirrors a European feel. Particularly the streets of the Old Quarter maintain old historic houses and buildings, where trade takes one back 50 years.  Temples and pagodas show the historic character of Vietnam. Locally there are several resorts which have been recently refurbished with a special care to the standard design and design. Hanoi Hotels are remarkably small but protect an one-of-a-kind captivating setting.

Several of them are set in historical buildings: the Ritz Resort for instance or Happiness Hotel Return Hotel, the Pearls resort, the Old road Hotel, Y Van Waterfront Hotel, Hanoi Plaza hotel and also Hanoi Queen Plaza. They all have frontage on the calm Hoan Kiem lake.  Despite that, they are surprisingly inexpensive considering the standard of service they provide. Staying an evening in any one of these Vietnamese resorts will  cost you from around 3,5 euros per person approximately 15 euros each. Hanoi, as well as Vietnam as a whole, has actually been experiencing a traveler boom since 1993, which of course has actually seen a seepage of western-style food and also styles into the once inaccessible city. Hanoi still has been able to maintained its attractive sense of its history and culture.

This suggests that the city provides lots of solutions for travelers as great shop hotels, web cafés and dining establishments offer large varieties of food. Don’t forget that tourism often has a bad influence on the way tat neighborhood people live, frequently being accountable for changing their preferences, routines and underscoring economic voids and unequal accessibility to important resources. Tourists often cause the price of local goods and services to rise drastically with their presence.

Want to support the locals?  The hotels named above are all owned and operated by locals, so your money will go to them instead of being exported out of the country as happens with many large hotel chains. Respecting regional cultural practices and habits is essential when travelling through Vietnam from your style of clothing to general behaviour while in public areas, to differences in gender roles in local homes. Regarding purchasing example, do not indulge in mass traveler mementos. Sometimes, the very best way to take home part of Vietnam is to get a great picture, buy some exotic spices,  or just have a few great experiences that you’ll never forget.

 

Posted in Hikes | Leave a comment