#84 Sustainable Tuna

One topic that is of particular interest to me is food. I like to eat, and due to being diagnosed with very low levels of Vitamin D, it was recommended that I increase my intake of tuna (among a small selection of other foods) to alleviate … Read More

#83 What are the major types of Greenhouse Gases?

  The major categories of greenhouse gases (GHG) include the following: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Methane (CH4) Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Flourinated Gases (FGs) The percent contribution of each type of GHG to the total amount of GHG released into the air is shown in the figure to … Read More

#82 What is an LEED building?

I am currently visiting one of the campuses of the Sisters of Mercy located in Frontenac, MO, which is a western suburb of St. Louis. During the tour of the various buildings located on the property, I found out that the newest building had been built … Read More

#81 Hydropanels: Extracting water from air using solar

I have written several articles on solar panels, which I feel very passionate about since my family is currently having them installed on our home in addition to the fact that one of my work projects is solely focused on the installation of a large solar … Read More

#80 Paper Towels, Facial Tissue, & Toilet Paper

Though this topic was not been included in the most recent list of upcoming topics, I have been meaning to do some research on the sustainable options that are available when purchasing various types of paper tissue products, including paper towels, facial tissue, and toilet paper. … Read More

#79 What is a Derecho and a Haboob?

Over the life of this blog, I have focused only on issues related to sustainability. But taking care of the planet not only requires knowledge and awareness of what actions we can take, but it also requires an appreciation and awareness of the types of natural … Read More

#78 Effect of House Color on Energy Usage

From an environmental standpoint, there are two major attributes of paint that should be considered prior to painting the outside or inside of one’s home (or anything else for that matter). These considerations include the effect the paint will have on air quality and, in the … Read More

#77 Carbon Footprint of Community Water Consumption

by Dr. Tamim Younos A carbon footprint can be defined several ways. Basically, it refers to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions attributable to direct and/or indirect consumption of fossil-fuel (coal, petroleum and natural gas) based energy to sustain modern human activities. Levels of CO2 … Read More

#76 Solar Inverters: Making Solar Usable

One often overlooked aspect when planning the installation of a solar panel array is the inverter. I briefly mentioned in a previous article that the inverter is the device that converts the energy received from the sun through the solar panel (DC or direct current) into … Read More

#74 Who are the Major Players in the Solar Panel Market?

Getting back to the discussion on solar panels, I wanted to provide additional information on what to consider when not selecting a solar panel manufacturer, but an installer as well. First I want to quickly go over the main components of a very simple diagram of … Read More

#73 Revisiting the Spiritual Value of Water

Taking a break from all of the numbers presented in the last few articles with regard to emissions, I would like to take a week or more to focus on my other passion with regards to sustainability: clean water. Water represents an item that, in addition … Read More

#72: Planes, Trains, or Automobiles

First of all, Happy 2022! As we have all been traveling a lot over the last few months, I thought looking at the environmental impact of traveling may be appropriate for this article. In Post #70, I wrote about the amount of carbon dioxide that is … Read More

#71 Christmas Trees: Fake or real?

I have thought about this question a lot over the years since, I do have to admit, I have always had an artificial Christmas tree. Due to having serious asthma when I was a kid, real Christmas trees were a problem and so my family was … Read More

#70: Carbon Footprint of Plastic

This week I would like to look more closely at our personal contributions to greenhouse gas emissions with regard to some of the most common single-use plastics that we use in our everyday lives. I will initially discuss the various sources of emissions in the process … Read More

#69: Update on the Sustainable Manufacturing of Solar Panels

In the previous Green Mondays article, I had mentioned that much of the polycrystalline silicon (see figure below) used in solar cells that make up solar panels is manufactured in the Xinjiang province of northwestern China, where the mostly Muslim Uyghur population is allegedly being forced … Read More

#68: Do Your Solar Panels Reflect Your Values?

I recently became part of a project involving the installation of a large solar array. Such a project requires several initial steps prior to actually installing the solar panels. The current step involves selecting the actual panels as well as the company that will perform the … Read More

#67: Sealcoating Your Driveway

A few weeks ago, the HOA for our town house complex announced that all public parking areas and driveways, in addition to the private driveways of those homeowners who were interested, would be sealcoated. The company that performed the sealcoat scheduled the task for a Friday … Read More

Bottled Water: Panacea or Plague?

by Dr. Tamim Younos Early civilizations used various types of vessels, made from animal skin or clay, to carry water from its source for consumption in royal palaces, peasant households and war zones. At present, the synonym “bottled water” refers to containers of various sizes that … Read More

The Dandelion: The Good, the Bad, and the Not So Ugly

As the end of summer is quickly approaching and before moving on from the Asteracea family of plants, I wanted to cover one final plant with which all of us are all too familiar: the common dandelion. Probably like most of you, I remember picking the … Read More

Sustainable Living: Paradigm Shift in the American Dream

by Dr. Tamim Younos* In the 20th century, America achieved a high standard of living. Usually the standard of living is measured by individual wealth, and the comfort and conveniences of daily life. Several factors contributed to the 20th century American prosperity; work ethics, technical innovations, … Read More

Earthworms: The Original Green Architects

by Dr. Tamim Younos* Charles Darwin studied earthworms for 40 years. In his final book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Worms (1881), L. Sambourne’s satiric portrait of Darwin published in Punch, 1881, Darwin concluded, “It may be doubted if there are any other … Read More

Native Plants: Ragweed & Thistle

During a recent long road trip to South Dakota, I had my share of exposure to two of my favorite (sarcastic) plants: ragweed and thistle. As I mentioned last month, both of these plants are members of the Asteraceae family. Many of you are probably familiar … Read More

Summer Celebrations (by Keara Moore)

I spent Independence Day hanging out on Gravelly Point in Arlington, Virginia. Grills were fired up in the background, cheerful people played volleyball, airplanes swooped down overhead, and the river was full of boats – yachts, tour cruises, jet boats, and kayaks. As the sun went … Read More

Announcement: EveryWear Counts microplastics challenge!

I just realized that I forgot to include an event announcement that I promised to mention in the previous Green Mondays article earlier in the week. I try to only post somewhere between twice a month to once a week at the most, but this and … Read More

Native Plants: Asteraceae Family

After a slight distraction by the discussion on cicadas, I would like to return to native plants this week. Last month I posted an article on the native plant called the aster. But I got a little bit ahead of myself because “aster” can actually refer … Read More

Cicadas. Why?

Before I continue with native plants, though there is a lot more I would like to cover on that topic, I wanted to touch on a topic that has recently become a major issue in a few parts of the country, including the Mid-Atlantic. As probably … Read More

Native Plants: Asters

A week ago the Green Team for my church, in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, conducted a native plant giveaway. We offered various types of plants that grow in shade and sun and that each have various other qualities, such as supporting large caterpillar populations, … Read More

Green Mondays: Earth Day (Thursday, April 22)

Have you questioned the reason that Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22? On this day in 1970 the modern environmental movement was born. This was the first time that a voice was given to the emerging public consciousness on the state of our … Read More

Green Mondays: Food Waste & Saving Imperfect Foods

I would like to devote some time to the topic of food waste during the month of April, and for this article I would like to focus on a company that is working hard to reduce food waste throughout the United States. A colleague of mine … Read More

Week 52: One Year of Sustainability!

This is it! Our goal in February of last year when Green Mondays began was to follow weekly objectives related to reducing carbon emissions and promoting environmental sustainability for 1 year or 52 weeks. If you can remember that far back, this was about one month … Read More

Week 51: Sustainability – Road Salt

As the last few weeks have been a bit snowy with similar weather persisting for at least the next week or so, I thought we should get back to a topic that is about snow and cold. A common scene before a snow or ice event … Read More

Week 49: Health – PFAS in Your Water

Last Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made the announcement that under the new Biden administration it would begin to regulate the concentrations of chemicals referred to as PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water. Stricter drinking water limits will likely be set for two … Read More

Week 48: Sustainability – Environmental Working Group (EWG.org)

I want to go back to something I briefly touched on in Week 39 when discussing safe and sustainable laundry detergent. I had mentioned using the website of the Environmental Working Group (https://www.ewg.org) as a valuable resource to find which detergents are the most sustainable in … Read More

Week 47: Plastic Pollution – Clothing

I would now like to focus on a different environmental issue that you may want to take into account when purchasing clothing: plastic pollution. First of all, you may wonder what clothing has to do with plastics. In the past we have focused on obvious issues … Read More

Week 46: Carbon Emissions – Clothing

Going back to carbon emissions, there is one other industry I would like to discuss that is a dominant contributor in this area: clothing and footwear. According to an article that was published in Business Insider, current global trends in the clothing industry are drastically going … Read More

Week 45: Plastic Recycling – Categories 1 to 7

Since we have been focusing on carbon emissions for the last several weeks, I thought I would take break and return to plastics. A friend of mine sent me an article last week that made me realize that I have neglected to discuss one basic aspect … Read More

Week 44: Sustainability & Human Rights – Lithium Ion Batteries

I thought with Christmas approaching and the fact that smartphones and other electronic devices are common gifts, this week would be a good time to take a more detailed look at what goes into powering such devices: lithium-ion-based batteries. Specific devices that use these batteries include: … Read More

Week 42: Carbon Emissions – Food

We are going to move away from the Internet to another major contributor of carbon emissions: Food. The choices we make in terms of the food we eat include both when we eat away from home at restaurants and when we purchase groceries to make the … Read More

Week 41: Carbon Emissions – Streaming Videos

As almost all of us have been stuck inside more than we would like due to COVID, one activity that has become even more popular than it already was is streaming movies, videos, and other online content. I have to admit that we watch a lot … Read More

Week 40: Carbon Emissions – Sending Emails & Messages

As I write these Green Monday posts, it has crossed my mind that in order to write them, I am contributing to carbon emissions through the use of the Internet, and as anyone who reads them reads them, they are also contributing to carbon emissions through … Read More

Week 39: Sustainability – Washing Your Clothes

It was mentioned in a previous Green Mondays post that one simple household solution to reducing your contribution to carbon emissions is to wash your clothes in cold water. I would like to go into this in a bit more detail and also discuss how the … Read More

Week 38: Health – COVID-19 Food Assistance

Back in Week 5 of Green Mondays, which coincided with the beginning of the shutdown due to COVID-19, I focused on helping neighbors who are most vulnerable to catching the virus and to the economic impacts of a shutdown; this includes those who are homebound, low-income, … Read More

Week 37: Carbon Emissions – Housing

As we learned two weeks ago, activities related to housing represent the highest sources of carbon emissions both domestically (33.6%) and overseas (34.7%). Specifically within housing, emissions are predominately due to the two most common sources of energy used: electricity created from the burning of coal … Read More

Week 36: Carbon Emissions – Income Inequality

Last week I focused on the overall picture of how we all contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in terms of five different categories: housing, transportation, food, services, and clothing. I was going to go into the housing category today in a bit more detail, but was … Read More

Week 35: Carbon Emissions – Overall Picture

Last week we (including myself) learned how fossil fuels are created and about the three major types. This is nice, but how do we fit into the overall picture of how much carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels? … Read More

Week 34: Carbon Emissions – Fossil Fuels 101

When writing about reducing our carbon footprint several months ago, I did not fully realize the importance of starting from the beginning with regard to fossil fuels. What are fossil fuels, how did they form, why are they considered non-renewable, and how do they contribute to … Read More

Week 33: Sustainability – Leaf Blowers

Leaf blowers have become more popular and affordable over the last few decades. Many of us have memories of spending an afternoon raking leaves, and hopefully many of us are still creating those memories. The issue for many though is that raking leaves can be a … Read More

Week 32: Health – Skip the Receipt

One common item that we do not put much thought into and that can contribute toward serious environmental and health impacts is the receipt. In a report provided by Green America, it was estimated that the production of receipts in the United States alone has the … Read More

Week 31: Carbon Emissions – Plant a Tree

We often hear about how we need to cut our carbon emissions due to the warming effects that greenhouse gases (e.g. carbon dioxide and methane) have on our atmosphere and planet. In addition to reducing the sources of these emissions, we can also take actions that … Read More

Week 30: Plastic Pollution – Biodegradable Garbage Bags

Even though the ultimate goal with regard to plastic pollution and waste is to reduce your overall consumption and reuse and recycle as much as possible, there is still going to be some garbage (hopefully a smaller amount than on Week 1) of which you need … Read More

Week 29: Sustainability – Disposal/Reuse of Used Cooking Oil

At my wife’s request, this week’s Green Monday is about disposing of or reusing used cooking oil. Pouring used cooking oil down the sink drain can have several potentially harmful environmental effects. It can damage your home’s pipes once it solidifies and clog public pipes and … Read More

Week 27: Plastic Pollution – Microplastics in our Bodies

Many of the past Green Mondays posts on plastic pollution have concerned limiting our use of plastics, which in effect helps to increase our sensitivity to this very serious and growing issue as we make choices that are a part of our daily lives. The potential … Read More

Week 26: Sustainability – Hybrid Electric Vehicle Batteries

As promised last week, the topic for this week’s discussion specifically relates to the batteries used in hybrid electric compared to conventional vehicles. One of the initial concerns when the Toyota Prius came out in the early 2000’s was the potential negative environmental impact of battery … Read More

Week 25: Sustainability – Hybrid Electric Vehicles

This week I would like to spark a discussion on hybrid electric vehicles (hybrids). The reason this comes to mind is because my wife and I finally decided to replace our older and very gas inefficient Ford Five Hundred. We have been trying to decide between … Read More

Week 24: Plastic Pollution – Toothbrushes

This week I am moving away from solar to focus on another plastic product almost all human beings use and for which there are more sustainable alternatives: the toothbrush.  One disturbing fact that I was recently reminded of is that every plastic toothbrush that has been … Read More

Week 21: Renewable Energy – Introduction to Solar Energy

I would like to move back to the topic of energy conservation since we have not yet discussed one of the most important ways to reduce electricity demand from the grid: solar energy. The installation and use of solar panels can seem like an overwhelming idea … Read More

Taking a Break for a Laugh

I hope you all had a great 4th.  I decided this week to take a break from the green activities and send something that hopefully will make you laugh, which we are all in need of at the moment due to the current situation with covid … Read More

Week 20: Composting – Final Steps & Tips

During the last two weeks we have discussed how to select a compost bin and the ingredients that go into a compost pile (i.e. greens and browns).  Now all you need to do is select a location for your bin and dump the ingredients inside, and then … Read More

Week 19: Composting – Gather Materials

The second step when beginning a compost pile is to gather the actual materials that will be used to create the pile within your compost bin.  The general rule is that 4 components are needed to make a basic compost pile:  greens, browns, water, and air.  … Read More

Week 18: Composting – First Step

An important topic related to waste reduction is composting.  Composting is something I have been wanting to do for a while now but just felt it was complicated to begin and never took the time to do the research required.  So for the next few weeks … Read More

Week 16: Plastic Pollution – Straws

While we are on the subject of plastic, we cannot forget the plastic straw.  Here is one take on this issue: As part of the answer to the President’s comments, plastic straws are more of a concern because not only are they smaller than most other single-use … Read More

Week 14: Plastic Pollution – Plastic Bags

I hope everyone was able to enjoy or is on their way to enjoying milk out of a glass bottle; I think the higher quality taste and the positive impact on the environment make the extra investment worthwhile. I would like to continue looking at alternatives to using plastic … Read More

Week 13: Plastic Pollution – Milk & Eggs

After spending a few weeks thinking about what goes into the life cycle of plastic products, particularly single-use plastics, I hope that you have become more sensitized to the importance of stopping this life cycle at the beginning, which for most would be when we are purchasing … Read More

Week 12: Watch The Story of Plastic FREE & Green Team Training

Two weeks ago I had requested that everyone watch The Story of Plastic, but you could only access it through the Discovery Channel or DiscoveryGo. A virtual screening that is free of charge has now been set up by DoTheMostGood in partnership with One Montgomery Green, … Read More

Week 11: Plastic Pollution – Plastic Bottles

The first step in reducing our consumption of single-use plastics is eliminating the need for the plastic bottle. One of the most common reasons we consume plastic bottles is to increase our consumption of “healthy” and “clean” water. Then when we are finished we can just … Read More

Week 10: Plastic Pollution – The Story of Plastic

Last week we took a look at new innovations that are being developed or that have been discovered in terms of breaking down plastic byproducts in the hope that we will eventually be able to reduce plastic pollution throughout the globe.  But as one member of … Read More

Week 9: Plastic Pollution – COVID-19 Crisis

Happy Easter Monday!  This week we are going to take a break from implementing activities that help to reduce our carbon footprints and take a look at the current increase use of single-use plastics and innovations that are being developed to reduce plastic pollution.  Increased plastic … Read More

Week 8: Benefits of Cold Water

This week we will again focus on reducing our carbon footprint by implementing actions that are included within the Home Energy section of the EPA’a Carbon Footprint Calculator (www3.epa.gov).  The specific action we will address is related to washing clothes.  According to the Calculator, I will … Read More

Week 6: Sustainability – Identify Native Plants

While all of us are adjusting to life in the fight against COVID-19, hopefully you have noticed that spring is arriving and new flowers are starting to bloom and new leaves are budding. Yes, we are indeed making my our way through Lent and Easter and … Read More

Week 5: COVID-19 Neighbor Assistance

Due to the unprecedented events going on with regard to the COVID-19 outbreak, I would like to take a one-week break from our energy conservation agenda in support of caring for those who are the most vulnerable in our communities, especially those who are elderly and/or … Read More

Week 4: Energy Conservation – Compute Your Carbon Footprint

The objectives for the last few weeks have been about attempting to assess and reduce your home’s energy needs.  Prior to implementing any other energy saving strategies, I would like us all to take a step back and assess our overall carbon footprints based on home energy … Read More

Week 3: Energy Conservation – Switch to Green Energy

I hope everyone was able to schedule a free home energy check-up last week.  This week we are going to continue on the energy side of things with another fairly simple task that does not require much of your time.  As many of you may know, … Read More

Week 1: Energy Conservation – Home Energy Assessment

Today represents our first “Green Monday,” and I have selected a task that takes little effort on our part while potentially making a big difference.  And the best part of all is that unlike many other “green” tips, this one is free.   As part of their … Read More