There are several ways you can conserve energy and protect the environment:
• Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents.
• Air dry dishes instead of using the dishwasher drying cycle.
• Use your microwave instead of a conventional electric range or oven.
• Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
• Plug home electronics, such as TVs and VCRs, into power strips and turn power strips off when equipment is not in use.
• Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater; 115° is comfortable for most uses.
• Take showers instead of baths to reduce hot water use.
• Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
• Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds.
• Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. Every 100 pounds can cut MPG by 2 percent.
• Avoid engine idling.
More good news: Getting oil from where it’s found to where it’s needed-without ruining any ecosystems or running up costs-may be a bit easier. That’s because of a slick new way to move giant oil tankers.
These ships often have to navigate narrow, winding channels in places like the Bosporus or the Suez Canal; and they have to do so at the highest possible speeds. There is a new way to prevent an oil spill and save money, time and even lives as well as protecting the environment.
Now there is a new type of high-tech tug that can push the tankers in any direction in an instant, no matter what the wind, weather or water condition or even how well the ship’s own propulsion and steering systems are working. That means the oil in the carriers will more likely get to the homes and cars safely.
This is all made possible by a unique propeller system that moves much like a fish’s tail does as it swims. In fact, the Voith Water Tractor has been recognized as the “Best Available Technology” by environmentalists and is used at more than 120 ports worldwide.
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* Ecology and ecosystem introduction
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