Seminar 9: Sustainable Resources – Energy and Greenhouse Gases

Seminar members: Alicia, Todd, Ivan, Ian, Taylor, Sam, Derek, Krystyl, Chad, Matt

Article 1: Bry. Sarté. “Sustainable Infrastructure: The Guide to Green Engineering and Design.” John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2010, pp.166-176.

Article 2: Abbasi, Tasneem. “ Is the Use of Renewable Energy Sources an Answer to the Problems of Global Warming and Pollution?” Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 2012, Vol.42(2), pp.99-154.

Summary Provided by the Seminar Group:


Steinke, Lisa. How to Get your Family to Unplug, Even for an Hour. She Knows Parenting Challenge: Turn off the Tech. JPG. Posted June 19, 2012. (Accessed April 17, 2013)

  1. What is Renewable Energy: Solar, Hydo, and Wind power
  • Energy systems come in 2 categories: passive and active
  • Passive energy is more economical and better
  • Energy is inherently unsustainable, it cannot be created or destroyed so it will sustain losses. For example, a lightbulb loses 90% of its energy in heat and only uses 10% of its energy for light.
  • We have not designed to efficiently use energy
  • It’s not about where we get it but how we use it
  • The idea of green energy is misleading and is an idea people often fall victim to 
  • Renewable has renewable drive but the aspects are not renewable and produce green house gases

  • Solar system is a renewable form of energy but the systems are not renewable they are infect very harmful on the environment

  • Transition back to renewable resources

2. Is it about the type of energy we use or how we use it?

  • how we collect energy: we cannot leave it up to society to decide we need to make the decisions

  • a mix of how we use it and how we collect it, it is obviously great to use less, but forcing such implementation won’t work, education and encouragement might be beneficial, education is an important factor in supporting cleaner and better energy. There is a lot of education, and its still a problem, how can we educate differently, starting at higher levels or younger, it may not be education, its about enforcement

  • Moral issue, because people know and don’t change

    -Being smarter with the energy we already have

    -Don’t tell them not to do it but spend more time with nature to show them what they potentially are missing because kids spend too much time on the computer

    -Designers need to develop designs to use less energy as well   

    -The facts need to be well known about how much energy doesn’t even reach the consumer

3. Changes to reduce energy intake aren’t going to happen instantaneously. Society isn’t changed by the flip of a switch. We as individuals need to start with the things we can control. Today, or on a daily basis, what can you do as individuals to reduce you energy intake? 


Hacker. Shut Down Your Computer/Laptop Using a Mobile Phone. Posted Friday, February 1, 2013. (Accessed April 17, 2013)

  • If you are reading a page on the Internet, if you are reading it for over 3 minutes, it is more energy efficient to print it out.
  • 5 points to take: turning off the lights and using natural, walk or take the bus, turn your light off when you leave your room, chargers in the wall all day still uses energy…unplug!, unplugging your t.v.,
  • Make things more efficient in design so that people don’t have to make the effort to unplug things everyday
  • You making the change will decrease the uses and change is the hardest part but once it becomes routine it isn’t a difficult task
  • People choose convenience when they do feel the impact right away, systems that we use are a place to solve the problem, redefine the systems, passing the blame to corporations so they make the change
  • This is everyone’s planet, we need to make a change together with the help of the organizations
  • The only way that people will change is if prices of energy skyrocket, even more than the knowledge of the damages. It has to do with people’s attitudes, we need to design to give the consumer what they want and be innovative at the same time.
  • Texas’ price of energy has gone up and its bad at the beginning but it gets better with innovation, we are used to paying the cost in producing but environmental damages and long-lasting effects aren’t included into that cost and that should be include.

3. Based on the individual changes how do you think this will affect the corporation in terms of producers and gatherers, and then how this will affect the society? 

  • If you build a house and do it with less energy, corporations need to adapt to the new ways to meet the users needs
  • It’s up to individuals to expect this from corporations because we need to push them to designing better, if you want to see that change we need to push for it and say something
  • Give people the incentive to make the change
  • In farming everyone is into organic now pushing farmers into organic farming, it’s an incentive to make the farmers change because that’s where the business is
  • Make it popular for producers to design to use less energy
  • Manitoba hydro has an incentive to spread more around depending on the amount used, if we use that on a bigger scale then everyone has to use less, giving the people the responsibility to use less
  • Hydro also damages the landscape
  • Giving people choices will help to use less because a consumer will choose the producer that uses less to make the other resources try to use less too, using competition as an incentive for change
  • Magnets energy, compelling itself to make energy, this can be a free energy source
  • Not a change that will happen over night
  • Push the government to be doing the best for us, Canada and Manitoba doesn’t allow other forms of energy, electric car that Manitoba doesn’t

Personal Reflection: upon beginning the seminar, the group leaders got everyone to shut off their cell phones and computer. Most unwillingly, people obeyed. As well, the windows of the room were all open, and everyone in the classroom was surprised by the amount of light in the room – obviously we don’t get enough natural light in studio. In the end, such implementation of actions helped to properly put the seminar group’s message through: depleting the reliance on technology to better benefit nature. 


~ by sbrodick on April 18, 2013.

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