The ideas here involve large scale building of infrastructure and attitude change. They will not be implemented in the near future. But if they are implemented, the environment will be much improved. The Government should initiate them quickly.
1. City of No Fossil Fuel Cars
Rechargeable hybrid cars and all electric cars are already in production. But the Government must push and support their uses before they can replace all fossil fuel cars. It should set up short term, mid-term and long-term goals for the change over, say to forbid the use of fossil fuel cars in 20 years. Then it should legislate the use of rechargeable hybrid cars and all electric cars, build the needed infrastructure and finally provide incentives for car owners to change over.
2. Green Burial
This is even more environmental friendly than cremation. Corpses could be frozen to 77.36 K, grinded to powders and dehydrated. The remaining powders could be buried under young trees. One hundred years later, when no one is likely to pay the remains tribute, the whole cemetery could become woodland again.
3. Environmental Reports
Psychological studies have found that issuing environmental reports to people can raise the effectiveness of environmental protection. In the United States, an electric power company sends its customers the average electric energy consumed in their neighbourhood and the number of users with a lower consumption when sending its bills out. Shortly after, the average usage of electric energy fell by 2% to 3%. The Government should lead the way in this regard. For example, it can ask schools to provide the amount of electrical energy and water used per year. Then it can work out the amount used per head per unit area and per hour used and inform the schools. Presumably the schools will implement more or better environmental measures.
Road to the New Energy Economy: Earth, Wind and Water. Discover, November 2012. P53.
4. Waste Water to Energy
Water treatment plants usually use 0.7 kWh of electrical energy to sanitize 1 cubic meter of waste water. But a new generation of water treatment plants can use the chemical energy inherent in waste water to generate energy. Every cubic meter of waste water treated can produce 1.6 kWh of electrical energy. It may cost more to build such next generation water treatment plants, but in the long run it is well worth it.
Road to the New Energy Economy: Earth, Wind and Water. Discover, November 2012. P50.
5. Natural Fertilizer
For ten thousand years, we had used excretions from human beings and farmed animals as fertilizer. About one to two hundred years ago, farmers started using chemical fertilizers for fear of bacterial infections. But now technology can sanitize these excretions. It is time to model after nature and use excretions for farming again.
Flushed with success. New Scientist, 16 February 2013. P49-51.
6. Controlling Population Growth
While discussing environmental issues, few people mention population control. Yet if we do not control the growth of population, any environmental protection measure will be futile at the end. To bring about an acceptable, slow decline in population, governments should advocate two kids for each woman who can breed. Do not advocate giving birth to 3 kids because the population is dropping too fast.