NASA Plans to Develop Eco-Friendly Airplanes

NASA is investing millions into the effort of creating more eco-friendly airplanes for cleaner air. The project is called N+3 and looks ahead three generations into the future of aircraft design – calling for developments completed by 2030 to 2035. As with most technological innovations these days, less is more. The planes will use 70 percent less fuel, emit 75 percent less nitrous oxide, create less noise pollution and require less space for takeoff and landing. A similar initiative, N+2 also calls for greater fuel efficiency (50 percent less consumption), but looks toward completion in the nearer future – 2020 to 2025.

Airlines are currently attempting to retrofit planes to make them more efficient, which costs less than building new planes from scratch. Plans for a solar powered airplane with zero emissions – the most efficient aircraft possible – are also underway.

This is not NASA’s first effort to be environmentally conscious. Recently, astronauts developed a system that recycles urine for drinking water during space travel.

Go Green for Independence Day

This Fourth of July, some environmentalists are ditching the traditional red, white and blue patriotic fireworks display in favor of a greener option. The environmental pollution caused by fireworks has been a concern for several years, but the smoke in the air is even more potent this year in La Jolla, CA. An environmentalist group is suing the city in an effort to stop the fireworks display, which is of particular concern because it takes place near one of the most biologically important marine areas in California.  The court hearing was set to take place today.

Fireworks contain toxic heavy metals that are linked, not only to air and water pollution, but also to cancer and respiratory problems. And this does not just affect the La Jolla community. Many people around the country will celebrate with fireworks this Independence Day, despite the potential harm to personal and environmental health.

If reading this doesn’t make you want to do away with the fireworks altogether, perhaps you should look into other, more eco-friendly options.  This list of creative ways to celebrate the Fourth of July bypasses the typical fireworks display in favor of more educational ways to mark the day’s importance, like visiting a local cemetery in honor of war veterans or throwing a patriotic-themed potluck party. If you must insist on lighting some fireworks, consider the nitrogen-rich variety, which produce less toxic fumes and smoke.