Recycling would be good business — especially for mined metals

Waste not want not.

How many of us heard this little saying from our parents during our sloppy, wanton, wasteful childhoods?

I’d say the percentage who received this advice was higher than the current rate of recycling for all plastics, which comes in at an unimpressive 8 percent, according to an article in Scientific American about how we’re failing to recycle many raw resources, like metals and petroleum-derived plastics.

More efficient, earth-friendly solar panels?

Solar panels may soon be able to rely on more abundant minerals and metals, than some of the rare elements used today, scientists meeting in Philadelphia this week said.

These advances could make solar energy more affordable and easier to integrate into buildings, and hasten the day when the U.S. could get 50-100 percent of its electricity for buildings from the sun, the researchers said during a panel at the American Chemical Society meeting.

“Sustainability involves developing technology that can be productive over the long-term, using resources in ways that meet today’s needs without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their needs,” said Harry A. Atwater, Ph.D., a physicist at the California Institute of Technology, in a statement released by the ACS.