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Playlist: Possibly's Portfolio

 Credit: Logo by Marianne Harrison
Image by: Logo by Marianne Harrison 

Possibly looks at the science behind proposed environmental solutions - helping you cut through the noise and make choices that, possibly, will make a difference.

Featured

What happens to wind turbines when they wear out?

From Possibly | 03:53

Wind turbines have been popping up across the world as a more sustainable way to create electricity. But these turbines can’t last forever, and not all of their parts can be recycled. In this episode, we look into what happens to wind turbines when they wear out.

Nico-qmguwpi4sa4-unsplash-1_small Wind turbines have been popping up across the world as a more sustainable way to create electricity. But these turbines can’t last forever, and not all of their parts can be recycled. In this episode, we look into what happens to wind turbines when they wear out.

What would happen if we stopped creating greenhouse gas emissions right now?

From Possibly | 03:59

Today, we have a thought experiment on our minds. What would happen if we stopped creating greenhouse gas emissions right now? Would climate change be over?

Karsten-wurth-0w-uta0xz7w-unsplash_small Today, we have a thought experiment on our minds. What would happen if we stopped creating greenhouse gas emissions right now? Would climate change be over?

How does the color of the ground affect climate change?

From Possibly | 03:35

Take a look out your window. What color is the ground? It turns out that what you see plays a big role in the speed of climate change.

Fh_iceland_small Take a look out your window. What color is the ground? It turns out that what you see plays a big role in the speed of climate change.

Does climate change cause extreme weather? Take 2

From Possibly | 04:01

Last year, we answered this question from Marius, a third-grader at Heights Elementary School in Sharon, Massachusetts. He wanted to know-

Can global warming make more extreme weather? Like tornadoes and hurricanes and tsunamis and like big storms.

In the past few months, we’ve seen this extreme weather on full display. Not just big storms, but floods and extreme heat. So, we thought it made sense to air this episode again.

Photo_for_extreme_weather_small Last year, we answered this question from Marius, a third-grader at Heights Elementary School in Sharon, Massachusetts. He wanted to know- Can global warming make more extreme weather? Like tornadoes and hurricanes and tsunamis and like big storms. In the past few months, we’ve seen this extreme weather on full display. Not just big storms, but floods and extreme heat. So, we thought it made sense to air this episode again.


Transportation

Is driving an RV across the country worse than flying? Part 2

From Possibly | 04:01

Megan runs the number with Stephen after she finishes her own cross-country trip.

Img_1434_small Megan runs the number with Stephen after she finishes her own cross-country trip.

Is driving an RV across the country worse than flying?

From Possibly | 03:55

Earlier this year, we did an episode comparing emissions for flying versus driving the same distance. But what if you're driving an RV?

Dodge_avco2_small Earlier this year, we did an episode comparing emissions for flying versus driving the same distance. But what if you're driving an RV?

What Creates More Greenhouse Emissions - Flying Or Driving?

From Possibly | 03:42

In general, if you're traveling alone, driving creates two times the emissions of flying in a plane. Driving with just two people in the car makes flying and driving roughly equivalent and adding more people in the car makes driving more efficient than flying.

Drivingvsflying3_small

in general, if you're traveling alone, driving creates two times the emissions of flying in a plane. Driving with just two people in the car makes flying and driving roughly equivalent and adding more people in the car makes driving more efficient than flying.

So, If you’re going on a business trip by yourself, then take a flight, since emissions from driving alone will be greater than flying. But, if you’re traveling with your family, or a bunch of co-workers, think about making it a road trip.

Does speeding waste gas?

From Possibly | 04:02

The answer lies in drag: every time you double the speed you travel in a car, the energy you use quadruples. That’s because you’re fighting against more air resistance. This means your gas mileage is worse when you speed.

Speeding2_small The answer lies in drag: every time you double the speed you travel in a car, the energy you use quadruples. That’s because you’re fighting against more air resistance. This means your gas mileage is worse when you speed.

Is it worth it to buy a hybrid car?

From Possibly | 04:00

Taking into account the energy that goes into making a whole new car, is it more energy-efficient to keep the gas car you already have, or to get a new hybrid car?

Ralph-hutter-sbtdqmmwqpi-unsplash_small Taking into account the energy that goes into making a whole new car, is it more energy-efficient to keep the gas car you already have, or to get a new hybrid car?


Food/eating

Is it better to drink beer from a bottle or a can?

From Possibly | 03:52

Summer is the perfect season to kick back and crack open a cold one. But, when you’re trying to pick the perfect beer, do you ever wonder whether it’s better to drink it from a bottle or a can?

Justin-sanchez-beer-unsplash_small Drink from a can! It takes fewer emissions to make an aluminum can and fewer emissions to deliver beer that comes in cans. Cans are also more likely to be recycled, it takes less energy to recycle them, and they're safer to pick up if they've been thrown on the ground.

What's the impact of eating nuts?

From Possibly | 03:37

This episode, we’re going to take a crack at nuts. You might’ve seen ads for healthy almonds, packs of pistachios, and more. They seem to be the “it” snack these days. So we wondered, what’s the impact of all those nuts?

Marcos-paulo-prado-vhcobzrzstg-unsplash_small This episode, we’re going to take a crack at nuts. You might’ve seen ads for healthy almonds, packs of pistachios, and more. They seem to be the “it” snack these days. So we wondered, what’s the impact of all those nuts?

What's the real impact of plastic straws?

From Possibly | 04:01

Why are so many people talking about banning straws right now, and how much of a difference does skipping the straw actually make?

Straws-8001_1920_small Straws, like most plastics, are made using fossil fuels and cannot be recycled. However, they are not the biggest problem when it comes to plastic waste that ends up in landfills or the ocean. If you use straws every day, they might be a significant part of your impact. A good way to reduce waste is to find which disposable, single-use items you use the most and try to cut back on them.

What's The Most Efficient Way To Wash Your Dishes?

From Possibly | 02:29

In the US, one out of five households don’t use a dishwasher because they think it uses more water and energy than washing by hand. So, we wanted to test this out: is hand washing really more efficient than using a dishwasher?

Carolyn-v-bllh0xjljcw-unsplash_small The answer is a resounding NO. Based on our experiment, handwashing used 5 times more water and about 4 times more energy than a modern dishwasher. And according to our research, older dishwashers still have better water and energy use than hand washing. You can save even more water and energy if you don’t pre-rinse your dishes and just scrape off any food scraps.

Take out battles: France vs The US

From Possibly | 03:54

I order a lot of takeout food these days. And I often cringe when I see the packaging, especially when I get all of those little soy sauce packets. I mentioned this to our founder, Stephen Porder. And he says, it doesn't have to be that way.

Stephen is in Paris this year on sabbatical, and he says his take-out has way less packaging. So, we tried a little experiment to see if his claims stack up.

Stephen_small I order a lot of takeout food these days. And I often cringe when I see the packaging, especially when I get all of those little soy sauce packets. I mentioned this to our founder, Stephen Porder. And he says, it doesn't have to be that way. Stephen is in Paris this year on sabbatical, and he says his take-out has way less packaging. So, we tried a little experiment to see if his claims stack up.

Take out battles: France vs The US

From Possibly | 03:54

I order a lot of takeout food these days. And I often cringe when I see the packaging, especially when I get all of those little soy sauce packets. I mentioned this to our founder, Stephen Porder. And he says, it doesn't have to be that way.

Stephen is in Paris this year on sabbatical, and he says his take-out has way less packaging. So, we tried a little experiment to see if his claims stack up.

Stephen_small I order a lot of takeout food these days. And I often cringe when I see the packaging, especially when I get all of those little soy sauce packets. I mentioned this to our founder, Stephen Porder. And he says, it doesn't have to be that way. Stephen is in Paris this year on sabbatical, and he says his take-out has way less packaging. So, we tried a little experiment to see if his claims stack up.

Is it worth it to pay more for organic meat?

From Possibly | 03:54

These days, it seems like there’s an organic option for every type of food out there, including meat. But organic usually means more expensive. That made us wonder, is it worth it to pay more for organic meat? And does it create fewer greenhouse gas emissions?

Christian-widell-vrt3z9ukfeg-unsplash_small These days, it seems like there’s an organic option for every type of food out there, including meat. But organic usually means more expensive. That made us wonder, is it worth it to pay more for organic meat? And does it create fewer greenhouse gas emissions?

Is it worth it to pay more for organic meat?

From Possibly | 03:54

These days, it seems like there’s an organic option for every type of food out there, including meat. But organic usually means more expensive. That made us wonder, is it worth it to pay more for organic meat? And does it create fewer greenhouse gas emissions?

Christian-widell-vrt3z9ukfeg-unsplash_small These days, it seems like there’s an organic option for every type of food out there, including meat. But organic usually means more expensive. That made us wonder, is it worth it to pay more for organic meat? And does it create fewer greenhouse gas emissions?

How is climate change affecting the flavor of our wine?

From Possibly | 03:24

When we talk about climate change, we often think about the big issues- sea levels rising, extreme weather, melting polar ice caps. But climate change has small, intimate consequences too. It turns out, our warming planet is even affecting the flavor of our wine. 

Wine-photo_small When we talk about climate change, we often think about the big issues- sea levels rising, extreme weather, melting polar ice caps. But climate change has small, intimate consequences too. It turns out, our warming planet is even affecting the flavor of our wine. 

Is making your own seltzer more energy efficient than buying it in a can?

From Possibly | 03:40

Today, we have a question from Keith Munslow, a musician from Providence. He and his wife drink a lot of seltzer. They recently switched to making his own seltzer at home with a soda maker — a machine that makes sparkling water.

He wants to know if using it is more energy-efficient than buying seltzer by the can.

Sharon-mccutcheon-om4o_x_qwd8-unsplash_small Today, we have a question from Keith Munslow, a musician from Providence. He and his wife drink a lot of seltzer. They recently switched to making his own seltzer at home with a soda maker — a machine that makes sparkling water. He wants to know if using it is more energy-efficient than buying seltzer by the can.

Can seaweed make cow burps more climate friendly?

From Possibly | 03:58

Imagine a field full of cows. What are they eating? You’re probably thinking: grass, hay, or some sort of grain. What you’re probably not imagining, is seaweed.

But some scientists say cows SHOULD be eating seaweed. And this small change to their diet could have a significant impact on the effects of climate change. What is this all about?

Annie-spratt-jmjnnq2xfoy-unsplash_small Imagine a field full of cows. What are they eating? You’re probably thinking: grass, hay, or some sort of grain. What you’re probably not imagining, is seaweed. But some scientists say cows SHOULD be eating seaweed. And this small change to their diet could have a significant impact on the effects of climate change. What is this all about?

How is climate change affecting our crops?

From Possibly | 03:35

Today, we’re going to talk about eating. How will climate change affect our food?

Edoardo-busti-5ofkc-fqk3q-unsplash_small Today, we’re going to talk about eating. How will climate change affect our food?

What’s the impact of cooling down our food?

From Possibly | 03:39

Today, we’ll be cooling down a bit and talking about refrigeration. Almost everyone has a refrigerator in their house and it’s on ALL the time. So, what’s the impact of cooling down our food?

Ello-aeu9uzstcfs-unsplash_small Today, we’ll be cooling down a bit and talking about refrigeration. Almost everyone has a refrigerator in their house and it’s on ALL the time. So, what’s the impact of cooling down our food?


Home

Is Air Drying Your Clothes Worth It?

From Possibly | 03:13

Dryers do use a lot of energy. If you were to rank your household appliances by how much energy they use, your dryer would probably come in 3rd, right behind your heating/cooling system and your hot water heater.

Vidar-nordli-mathisen-avbsfpexxt8-unsplash_1__small Dryers do use a lot of energy. If you were to rank your household appliances by how much energy they use, your dryer would probably come in 3rd, right behind your heating/cooling system and your hot water heater.
If you dry 8 loads of laundry a week, you’re producing around the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as driving 1200 miles in the average car. That's about 10% of what a typical Rhode Islander drives in a whole year! 

Of course, not using a dryer saves more energy than using one, but it’s not always easy to air-dry laundry. Try emptying your lint trap to make your dryer more efficient or just air dry some of your clothes. And the next time you’re buying appliances, buy a washer that extracts more water when it finishes a cycle or get a dryer with a sensor that turns off based on laundry dryness rather than a set time.

Should I use toilet paper or a bidet?

From Possibly | 03:50

If you haven’t used a bidet before, it looks pretty much like a toilet bowl with a tap on one side that gives you a rinse after you go. Bidets or some version of them are already used a lot in Europe, Latin America and some parts of Asia.

Toilet_paper_visuals-unsplash_small

Based on our measurements, Bidets use about 1/6 of a gallon of water for each trip to the bathroom.

Toilet paper is actually made using a fair amount of water. According to our estimates, it takes about 6 gallons of water to make one roll of toilet paper. 

So, which option is better? If you break water use down by each trip to the bathroom, bidets use about the same amount of water or less and they don’t waste trees. So, from an environmental and hygiene perspective, a bidet is the better choice. And if you’re low on toilet paper anyway, it might be worth it!

What's one thing kids can do to fight climate change?

From Possibly | 03:33

Today, we’re answering a question from Ada, a student from Bristol, Rhode Island. She wants to know the best thing kids can do at home to help stop climate change.

Andrea-davis-k8tlrne61dw-unsplash_small Today, we’re answering a question from Ada, a student from Bristol, Rhode Island. She wants to know the best thing kids can do at home to help stop climate change.

Do my clothes release harmful particles when I wash them?

From Possibly | 03:44

Today we have a question from Natalie Herbermann. She’s heard that when you put your clothes in the washing machine, they can leave behind harmful particles. And she’s wondering if there’s anything she can do about that.

Emily-chung-vx1k-q7f6im-unsplash_small Today we have a question from Natalie Herbermann. She’s heard that when you put your clothes in the washing machine, they can leave behind harmful particles. And she’s wondering if there’s anything she can do about that.

What kind of water heater should I buy?

From Possibly | 03:46

Today, we have a question from listener Tom Chun. Recently, his water heater stopped working. Tom didn’t have time to spare, so he just went with the water heater his plumber recommended.

But now, he’s wondering if he should have bought something else. Are there more efficient water heaters out there that are worth the price?

Water_heater_small Today, we have a question from listener Tom Chun. Recently, his water heater stopped working. Tom didn’t have time to spare, so he just went with the water heater his plumber recommended. But now, he’s wondering if he should have bought something else. Are there more efficient water heaters out there that are worth the price?

What happens when you use fertilizer on your lawn?

From Possibly | 03:54

What does it take to keep your lawn looking green and healthy? A lot of people say you need to use fertilizer. But do you really? And what’s the cost of using this stuff on our grass?

Petar-tonchev-c-5-qe5kbyk-unsplash_small What does it take to keep your lawn looking green and healthy? A lot of people say you need to use fertilizer. But do you really? And what’s the cost of using this stuff on our grass?

How do I ditch my lawn?

From Possibly | 04:00

Lawns can be beautiful and soft. But they’re pretty crappy when you evaluate them on really any other measure. Lawns waste water, they leak fertilizer into lakes and rivers… I could go on and on.

I know all of these things about lawns. But guess what? I still have one! That’s because I’m not sure what to do instead.

To find out, I drove down to Blue Moon Farm in Wakefield, Rhode Island.

Jane_small Lawns can be beautiful and soft. But they’re pretty crappy when you evaluate them on really any other measure. Lawns waste water, they leak fertilizer into lakes and rivers… I could go on and on. I know all of these things about lawns. But guess what? I still have one! That’s because I’m not sure what to do instead. To find out, I drove down to Blue Moon Farm in Wakefield, Rhode Island.


Energy

What kind of holiday lights should I buy?

From Possibly | 03:43

Our own Fatima Husain was looking to buy holiday lights and she wondered— which type should I buy? Is there really a big difference between incandescent and LED lights?

Juliana-malta-nh7ohjepwus-unsplash_small Our own Fatima Husain was looking to buy holiday lights and she wondered— which type should I buy? Is there really a big difference between incandescent and LED lights?

What's the best way to get solar power?

From Possibly | 03:41

Today, we have a question from listener David Kellogg. He’s a big fan of solar power, but he wants to know, is it better to put solar panels on your roof, or to put your money towards large scale solar installations?

Zbynek-burival-v4zyjzj3w4m-unsplash_small Today, we have a question from listener David Kellogg. He’s a big fan of solar power, but he wants to know, is it better to put solar panels on your roof, or to put your money towards large scale solar installations?

What does net-zero really mean?

From Possibly | 03:37

If you follow the news about climate change, you’ve probably heard the phrase “net zero.” But what does “net zero” really mean?

Eta-rzoq5uqwwke-unsplash_small If you follow the news about climate change, you’ve probably heard the phrase “net zero.” But what does “net zero” really mean?

How do I get renewable energy for my home?

From Possibly | 03:28

How would you like to get all of your electricity from renewable sources? It turns out, you can, and you don’t even need to put panels on your roof to do it. Harrison Katz and Fatima Husain from our Possibly team looked into all the options.

Andreas-gucklhorn-ilpf2euppue-unsplash_small How would you like to get all of your electricity from renewable sources? It turns out, you can, and you don’t even need to put panels on your roof to do it. Harrison Katz and Fatima Husain from our Possibly team looked into all the options.

Should I buy electric power tools?

From Possibly | 03:56

Today, we have a question from listener Todd Penoyer. He does maintenance for retail shopping centers in southeastern Massachusetts and he uses a lot of power tools to do his job.

About half of his tools are electric, and the other half are gas-powered. He wonders whether it’s worth replacing the gas ones with electric versions.

Dave-simbosa-zmmj5s6txum-unsplash_small Today, we have a question from listener Todd Penoyer. He does maintenance for retail shopping centers in southeastern Massachusetts and he uses a lot of power tools to do his job. About half of his tools are electric, and the other half are gas-powered. He wonders whether it’s worth replacing the gas ones with electric versions.

Can you remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?

From Possibly | 03:51

On our show, we talk a lot about how to reduce our carbon dioxide, or CO2, emissions. But some scientists are developing another approach to climate change — techniques to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.  

Miguel-a-amutio-bqgat1i0hvs-unsplash_small On our show, we talk a lot about how to reduce our carbon dioxide, or CO2, emissions. But some scientists are developing another approach to climate change — techniques to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.  

What can the US learn from France?

From Possibly | 04:00

We’re hearing a lot of talk about infrastructure here in the US. Depending on what happens in Congress, we could be spending billions or even trillions of dollars on everything from roads to high-speed trains.

But how do we spend this money in a way that makes it easier to combat climate change?

Our founder, Stephen Porder, who’s also the Provost of Sustainability at Brown University, has some ideas. He just got back from living in France for a year and he noticed some differences in the ways that country approaches energy and transportation.

Img_2906_small We’re hearing a lot of talk about infrastructure here in the US. Depending on what happens in Congress, we could be spending billions or even trillions of dollars on everything from roads to high-speed trains. But how do we spend this money in a way that makes it easier to combat climate change? Our founder, Stephen Porder, who’s also the Provost of Sustainability at Brown University, has some ideas. He just got back from living in France for a year and he noticed some differences in the ways that country approaches energy and transportation.