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Home > Student Gazette > Sustainable Development

Alternative Energy and Legislation Against Urban Sprawl

Cierra , Luke , Tori

20 May 2010

I. Alternative Energy:
Alternative energy is a type of energy that is not harmful to the environment. Alternative energy can be used for a lot of things. Some things are car fuel and powering your house. Using alternative energy will help you save money and the environment.

You can fuel a car with used cooking oil. You make a vegetable grease-using vehicle by welding a special fuel tank for the grease (oil) into the bottom of the vehicle. Then you wrap an exhaust pipe around the tank to heat and turn the grease into liquid, which makes it flow through the engine pipes and filters.

Another alternative energy source is wind mills. Even though you can’t attach a wind mill directly to your house, depending on your location, wind mills are an alternative source of energy. A windmill works by changing kinetic energy into a practical energy that we can use.

Solar energy is also a useful alternative energy that you can have in your own house. Solar energy is used for heating water and generating electricity. You can have solar panels installed in your own house, and it will save lots of money.

Some people say that oil, the fossil fuel also known as "petroleum," will run out in our life time. It was made as a result of pressure put on dead plants under the ground millions of years ago. When the oil runs out, it won’t be as easy to process food in factories. When we run out of oil, we won’t be able to get around as easily, and we won’t be able to use cars or planes. However, there is chance that by the time all the oil runs out, we will have found different energy sources. It is very important that by the time we run out of oil we have alternative energy so we can continue life as it is.

The air car is a good way to save money on gas and be good for the environment. The air car will can run up to 200 miles. It has a built-in air compressor that will take in the air around it when plugged in to refill the compressed air tank. Compressed air is blown through an impeller wheel connected to the car wheel, and that makes the car go. This car is good because a person doesn’t need any gas to run it. The compressed air cars can come in many different colors. These cars sort of look like old vans.

Example of an Air Car:

The water power car utilizes the energy harnessed within the molecular makeup of water (2 atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen). If one rearranges the 3 atoms in a different molecular structure, you get a gas called HHO. HHO burns very well and releases a lot of energy in the process. This same energy is used by the water car as a substitute to normal gas. That means your car can run more efficiently. The water car is actually a hybrid because it uses both gas and water.

Here are the stages of how the car runs: First you put a little water into a special container under the hood of your car and connect it to the battery. In the next stage, the water in the container undergoes under an electric process with the voltage from the car battery and it turns into HHO. The HHO burns alongside the regular gas and gives your car more energy so you increase your mileage 30-75%. This means you can save a lot on your gas bills.

A lot of people are using water cars today and you can be one of them. It takes not a lot of money and some hard work to get a water car today. You will definitely save on gas.

II. Legislation Against Urban Sprawl:
"Urban sprawl" is a situation when rural areas become filled with highways, large companies, factories, malls (commercial centers), and cars instead of farmland or wooded areas, etc. In countries like China and the United States, urban sprawl occurs a lot. In Europe, urban sprawl is less of a problem because of zoning laws that prevent urban sprawl. However, this is not the case in most parts of the United States. Instead, Portland, a large city in the state of Oregon, has certain areas on its outskirts where it is not possible to have urban sprawl. The areas where urban sprawl is illegal still have farms and more wildlife. The land where planned urban expansion is legal has streets, schools, large buildings, work offices, and many other city-type things. Metro, Portland’s city agency which controls city expansion, has to make sure that the urban expansion does not go outside of designated areas so that most rural areas can be preserved for the future.

Limiting urban sprawl is a good idea because it preserves the environment and also helps the central areas of cities not to fall into decay and abandonment. Urban sprawl is also bad for local communities because it drives local business owners out of local commercial centers, and it makes some of the locally owned stores and restaurants go out of business. This leaves the people that owned local businesses without a job.

There are a lot of negative aspects to urban sprawl. One more negative aspect is that a lot of wildlife is killed, and some trees get chopped down. In addition, some people are forced to move.

All the things we have discussed are good for the environment because they don’t create pollution. You can help save the environment by changing your ways of using energy. The measures mentioned above will save you money and help the environment.

Berry, Patrick. "Urban Sprawl: The Big Picture." Last updated Oct. 11, 2002

"Land Use and Urban Sprawl."

"Alternative Energy Sources."

Hoyt, Alia. "How Urban Sprawl Works."

Lampton, Christopher. "How the Air Car Works."

Hill, Adam. "What Is Urban Sprawl?" Last updated, Mar. 1, 2010