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Friday, May 17, 2024

This is just what we love to hear. The sustainability-obsessed, tree-hugging, bicycle-powered, compact-fluorescent-light-bulb-buying (which we recycle when they burn out because they contain potentially harmful mercury), recycling enthusiasts here at the Alligator are, like, totally excited, man, about the proposed biomass plant that will eventually be built at Gainesville Regional Utilities' Deerhaven site.

The plant is supposed to be environmentally clean and should not contribute to global warming. It should run on either 100 percent biomass, which includes things such as wood waste or yard trimmings, or a combination of biomass and municipal solid waste, which includes construction-site debris and tires.

All that might be a little confusing, but the main point is that the plant cannot use coal or petroleum coke - two of the biggest culprits contributing to climate change.

This is good news for Gainesville and The Gator Nation. UF wants to promote itself as a highly sustainable university, so the city and GRU getting more actively involved will hopefully set an example for other cities and universities.

This is what sustainability is all about. It's not just some buzzword for everyone to throw around, like when people say, "Oh, I air-dry my clothes because it's more sustainable." That's all well and good, but sustainability is bigger than that. It's taking into account that what we do now will affect the future. It's about realizing that changes for a better environment can also mean spending less money on energy - just ask Wal-Mart. It's about keeping snowmobiles out of Yellowstone National Park so future generations can enjoy the same beauty as we can today. It's about preventing oil companies from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge so one of the few pristine places on the planet stays that way.

It's about taking Gainesville's trash and turning it into treasure.

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