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Sustainability Resources

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On-line games for learning about sustainability

The founders of the Education Arcade at MIT stated that there are many intrinsic motivations for learning associated with games. The threat of failure is lowered. Games allow players to try, make mistakes or fail, and then try again without losing face. Discovery and application of learned skills in new contexts encourages exploration and experimentation. A sense of engagement continues during gaming. Computer games allow players to be stakeholders in the events that occur on the screen. Increasingly, there are a number of games being developed that help people learn about the issues involved in sustainable development. Besides which ... they are fun!

  • BT Better Business Games There are two games here designed to let you experience the kinds of dilemmas and decision making that is necessary to build a responsible and sustainable business. But they’re also fun! The first is Better Business Choices which gives you the opportunity to build your business from scratch. Will you make the right decisions about market conditions and select the right products, suppliers, energy and other vital ingredients to make sure your business survives in the long term? The second is Better Business Dilemmas which aims to simulate what it can be like to manage social and environmental issues in a business - are you up to the challenge? Each game lasts for approximately thirty minutes.
  • PowerUp A 3D, action strategy game from IBM ... Save Planet Helios from ecological devastation! PowerUp is a free, online, multiplayer game that allows students to work together in teams to investigate the rich, 3D game environment and learn about the environmental disasters that threaten the game world and its inhabitants.

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Recycling Symbols Made Easy

Learn to recycle plastic bottles, cans, glass and cardboard

By Marc Lallanilla, Guide

In a 1970 contest to design a symbol for recycling products, college student Gary Anderson created a simple triangular logo. His design is now a universally recognized symbol of products that are recyclable or made of recycled content. There are dozens of variants of this image worldwide, but the examples below show the symbols that are most common in the United States.

1. Recycling Symbol
This is the most common form of the symbol and is found on products like plastics, paper, metals and other material that can be recycled. It's also seen, in many different styles, on recycling containers, at recycling centers, and anywhere there's an accent on smart use of materials and products.

2. Plastic Recycling Symbol
When the three arrows surround a number, that indicates the material is a type of plastic resin that can be recycled. There are seven different kinds of recyclable plastics that carry this symbol (polyethylene terephthalate, polystyrene, low density polyethylene, etc.), and each can be reused in some way. Not all recycling programs will accept all types of plastic, however, so check with your local program before tossing any plastics into a recycling bin.

Read more about Recycling Symbols

Top 10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Global Warming

From Larry West, former Guide

Burning fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline raises the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and global warming.

You can help to reduce the demand for fossil fuels, which in turn reduces global warming, by using energy more wisely. Here are 10 simple actions you can take to help reduce global warming.

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans. If there isn't a recycling program at your workplace, school, or in your community, ask about starting one. By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

2. Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning

Adding insulation to your walls and attic, and installing weather stripping or caulking around doors and windows can lower your heating costs more than 25 percent, by reducing the amount of energy you need to heat and cool your home.

Turn down the heat while you're sleeping at night or away during the day, and keep temperatures moderate at all times. Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

3. Change a Light Bulb

Wherever practical, replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30 over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat.

If every U.S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road.