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No oil, No coal, No problem

To a country that is numbered 7 on the list of top 20 oil reserve states according to the CIA world factbook, “sustainability,” the fancy word entering the global vocabulary list, shouldn’t ring a bell just yet. As Eugene Kozlovski, a professor of the Optimization Department in the National Institute of Geological Research of Russia suggests, Russia posesses enough natural gas supplies to last us 50 years and enough petroleum to go for another 75. In other words, we could keep our thermostat cranked up, right?

Somewhere beyond the realms of far East, the Kamchatka peninsula population relies on…geothermal energy to heat their homes. SINCE 1966. (1) Did you know that? Oops, turns out Russia isn’t as behind on the green tech as is commonly thought. We possess the means; however we lack funding and investment. Which is no one else’s fault but ours, I have to admit. What I am saying, is that not only we are polluting the atmosphere pretty efficiently, we are also developing efficient ways to fight the same particulate matter we helped get in there in the first place.
We have sustainable housing. Just not on a massive scale….Yet. Barnaul, a medium-sized town, hosts a research project funded by the Autonomy of Moscow, a sustainable house. All it needs supplied to it is water. The rest – it’s on its own. Solar panels, seasonal heat accumulator, all cool gadgets like such. Below is the image of the aforementioned house.
And what about the good old Soviet times? Well… we had this thing going on, and it was called “Sorevnovanie po sboru makulatury” and all it was …a competition of who… recycles more paper. This was done betwen different grade levels, traditional American “good cause” fundraising style. The system allowed for community involvement, healthy competition spirit and a unifying motive – recycling paper so less trees would die. Just that simple. Unfortunately, most of the infrastructure is gone with the system of USSR, but there are still some stores where you can recycle X amount of paper products in exchange for a wonderful new book…. they still exist and that gives me hope, I would say. I hope that maybe it will all return to how it was, with kids passionate about collecting more than enough recycled material to receive a note from the teacher with his name on it saying that he helped make this world a greener place. And maybe this could be an indicator of the tradition being reborn – in Krasnoyarks, for example, students in local schools managed to gather 15 tons of paper for recycling in January of the current year. It makes me wonder whether recycling bins in every classroom would help… because we don’t have those. We go from door to door asking for recycling material and search the environs for them. (2)
1 http://www.greenpeace.org/russia/ru/news/19529
2 http://krasnoyarsk.rfn.ru/region/rnews.html?id=4607&rid=339<img alt="house.jpg"

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