Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Books I've Been Reading

In preparation for a lecture by Beth Conover, I've been reading the compilation she edited, How the West Was Warmed. This book of essays tells the story of different Rocky Mountain residents' responses to climate change.

One I liked especially was "The Universe on Blacktop (My day of saving 66 million BTUs)" by Laura Pritchett. She tells an entertaining tale of her family's adventures in dumpster diving and makes clear the advantages of recycling.

"Recycled cans take 95% less energy than those made from aluminum obtained from bauxite. About thirty aluminum cans are produced from one pound of aluminum, and each aluminum can requires about 3,000 British thermal units (BTUs) to produce it. So... every two or three cans we recycle basically saves one pound of coal."