Category Archives: Energy & Environment

Benefits of Active Transportation – Cycling

The transportation options available to you will likely vary, depending on where you choose to live. Someone living in a rural or suburban area may be limited to driving, whereas those that live in more dense, urban areas usually have an array of options – driving, yes, but also walking, cycling, and public transportation. This article will focus on the benefits of increasing ‘active transportation’ options– specifically cycling, as they relate to city planning issues in urban centres.

Continue reading Benefits of Active Transportation – Cycling

Nuclear Energy Part 2: Fuels for Fission

Furthering our exploration of different energy sources that are alternatives to fossil fuels, let’s take a closer look at the energy source that was introduced in the last post, nuclear energy. In that post, I introduced where nuclear energy comes from (the nucleus of the atom), and that there are two types of reactions: fusion, and fission. After that, we learned that the heat and light from a nuclear reaction can be used directly as a heat source, or to create high-pressure steam that can then turn a turbine to create mechanical energy, or if connected to a electrical generator, electricity. This is very similar to the use of fossil fuels; the source of heat is just nuclear, not chemical.

This time, we’ll learn a bit more about exactly which types of atoms/nuclei are used as fission fuels. Not just any ol’ nucleus will do. Theoretically, in the right circumstances, any nuclei can react. Practically speaking, however, there are only a few options that really make sense for potent energy production here on Earth. Continue reading Nuclear Energy Part 2: Fuels for Fission

Nuclear Energy Part 1: What is Nuclear Energy?

With regards to energy, so far I have talked about why energy is awesome, gone over the basics of energy, and explored how the consumption of energy affects quality of life. With all that out of the way, I want to start taking a look at energy sources that are alternatives to fossil fuels (fossil fuels accounting for over 80% of current energy sources).

For this post, let’s take a look at a very polarizing energy source: nuclear energy. Continue reading Nuclear Energy Part 1: What is Nuclear Energy?

Energy and Human Lifestyles

The first post on energy briefly explained how the human use of energy is awesome, while the second post went over the basics of energy and introduced the relevant lingo and concepts required to get into a more detailed discussion. This time, I want to further explore why energy is so great, and how it enhances the human experience. Continue reading Energy and Human Lifestyles

The Basics of Energy

I was intending to get into a series of posts on human energy needs, but figured it would be a better start to post on the basics of what energy is, what forms it takes, how it is measured, and a few other physical parameters involved. This will hopefully be a light, fun read, and will give readers a basic understanding of the vocabulary associated with energy. Here goes: Continue reading The Basics of Energy

Energy is Awesome

Energy is not an abstract concept, but it can be hard to visualize. Energy comes in many forms such as heat, movement, electricity, and can be stored in many forms for future use. When thinking about high-quality lifestyles, which is the focus of Sustainable Balance, I often come back to our consumption of energy. As much as I sometimes harsh on industrialization (and its effect on our fitness, nutrition, and sleep), I am in many ways lucky to live in an industrialized nation (Canada).

Continue reading Energy is Awesome