The second of the four goals formulated by Gerard K. O’Neill is to find (or rather create) an optimal living climate for all of humanity. Not surprisingly he spends a large portion of his book on orbital space settlements, discussing the internal design of space habitats in order to promote public well-being. Continue reading Public Green & Society
In orbital space settlements water recycling is essential. So it is quite worrisome when we read the following article on ScienceDaily:
To cite from this article (my emphasis):
If people are educated on recycled water, they may come to agree it’s perfectly safe and tastes as good — or better — than their drinking water. They may even agree it’s an answer to the critical water imbalance in California. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to use recycled water — and it sure doesn’t mean they’ll drink it.
The problem is that educated people are disgusted to use a perfectly safe product that is necessary for staying alive. Perhaps people should not think too much about the origin of their tap water – if education is apparently not sufficient in this case.
Plastic waste is a major environmental and social problem. The fact that plastics or polymers hardly decompose naturally is one of the contributing factors to the issue of this type of waste. Though polymers could be recycled only a tiny portion of separately collected plastic waste is actually recycled. Continue reading Polymer waste and recycling
As regular readers of this site might already know, we believe that sewage and waste water treatment should be funded through the reclamation of valuable substances. For whom is not already convinced of this, we would recommend an article on GreenBiz by Yalin Li: Waste water is an asset.
Reclaiming nutrients and other valuables from waste water would constitute a durable source of non-tax revenue for governments and will hence structurally reduce the need to impose taxes on the people.
A recurrent theme on this site is the idea that the recycling of waste could be funded through the proceeds of the reclaimed materials and that consequently waste-disposal fees should be abolished. However, this raises the question if recycling is indeed a profitable venture? Continue reading Wast-to-value: an analysis
Waste management is an important issue for any community and space settlements will not be different. For several reasons, such are pollution and traffic congestion, running garbage trucks through the streets is a bad idea. So space habitat designers should consider alternatives. One interesting concept is illustrated in the video below:
In the previous post I did not discuss particular technologies to purify waste water and to turn it into clean water. One way to remove minerals from waste water are algae.
As orbital space settlements will get most of the energy from solar power, there is little use for biofuel. However, algae have a lot of other useful applications. Continue reading Sewage and Algae
Sewers are the summit of human civilization and taxation is the price of civilization. So we are supposed to pay sewer tax, right? No, not really. In this post I will explain how space settlements could fund a sewage and waste water treatment system without having to collect sewer charges. Continue reading Sewers and Taxes
Here another use of a fungal materials. Ecomotive is using organic waste and fungi to make a bio-degradable alternative for plastic packaging materials.