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Old 05-21-2007, 02:00 PM   #15
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Isn't "green airstream" an oxymoron since aluminum is such an energy intensive metal to produce in the first place?
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:55 PM   #16
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Green aluminum could be from recycled drink cans decommissioned aircraft, etc. The Pacific Northwest is great for aluminum from the hydro-electric from the mountains there...
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer
Green aluminum could be from recycled drink cans decommissioned aircraft, etc. The Pacific Northwest is great for aluminum from the hydro-electric from the mountains there...
Yes, but for the most part, the place Airstream get's is alum from, Aloca is not an eco friendly manufac.....ever seen one of their smelting facilities?

There is still a fair amount of energy used to collect, sort, clean, transport melt down, form shape and ship materials used in recycling. Granted less than yanking ore out of the ground, but if you REALLY want to be more eco friendly, sleep on the ground.

An any rate, does anyone know how much or how little recycled alum is in every Airstream?
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:10 PM   #18
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I don't feel better seeing paper or cardboard made from preconsumer waste. Where's the stuff go that I'm putting out for recycling? Just as with steel, overall demand is met by a mix of new and recycled. It doesn't make me feel any better if I insist on using recycled aluminum only. I am still part of the overall demand that mobilizes both sources. Hydroelectric power has significant environmental costs and northwest aluminum was a subsidized nod to Boeing. "Inexpensive" hydro power ended when WPPSS had to eat costs and close down a handful of nuclear plant projects after 3 Mile Island.

There are some good posts here.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbiteer
The Pacific Northwest is great for aluminum from the hydro-electric from the mountains there...
Could someone explain this to me...I'm technologically challenged on this topic.
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:06 PM   #20
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Although I bought new, I can't think of any better way to "go green" than to just keep the old Airstreams on the road. In the same vein, I think buying/renovating an older home is sort of the ultimate in recycling - same idea. At least my house is 40-some years older than my AS.
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Old 05-21-2007, 05:11 PM   #21
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I'm afraid that there is no explanation. We are being sold a bill of goods on so much of the "Green" stuff, that its hard to tell what is true and what isn't.

For instance, Cheryl Crowe wants us to limit our use of t-paper. I wonder if she thinks its made from those giant redwood trees? It's actually an industry growing trees just for pulp wood to make paper. All kinds of paper, not just the t-stuff. What is she saving anyway?

If you meet her, don't shake her hand. Think about it.
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:31 PM   #22
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Aluminum is the most plentiful element (8%) of the earths crust; pure aluminum rapidly oxidizes or otherwise reacts into a very stable form, to reverse the process takes 15~ killowatt hours of electricity per kilogram of aluminium produced. Recycling Aluminum can take as little as 5% energy required of ore refining.

Hydroelectric allows falling water to cheaply create power - electric costs account for 35%+ of Aluminums cost so look for smelters to be near cheap power.

UK and European industrial dead-zones persist to this day from bronze-age copper mining, where only one species of a copper loving plant will grow on some hillsides and mountains. Untill you can get Eurasia, Africa and the third-world, oops, developing nations etc. to shut down and retool or retrain what the US does or does not do is just spitting in the pre-polluted wind.
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:46 PM   #23
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How to lighten them up?

I have been thinking along a similar vein for my own resto. Not so much as a greenie, but rather of ways I can reduce the weight of the coach.

I intend to build a stronger frame of a deeper section. However, I would like to make the final weight of the empty coach less than what it was OEM. I'm not sure I can, as my '77 seems to have been built awfully light already. But I've got some pretty good (I think anyway) ideas to help out.

How about a brainstorming idea on here? What ways can we save weight while not harming the functionality of the coach? Bear in mind that money IS most definitely an object. Were it not, I'd have bought a new one. An aluminum frame is out of the question for me. I had, however, considered a built up frame. But think it'd be an awful lot of trouble (i.e. an upper angle piece, a lower angle piece, and vertical flat pieces to make the webs). I'm thinking of replacing as much of the wood inside with aluminum pieces.

What ideas do you all have to lighten them up?
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:30 PM   #24
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This thread really disappointed me. I thought that maybe John Deere had bought Airstream.
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pick
This thread really disappointed me. I thought that maybe John Deere had bought Airstream.
Nice avatar!
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:29 PM   #26
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With all of the vegies going into the proposed "green" Airstream, at least you wouldn't have to worry about starvation on an extended boondocking trip. Eat the trailer.
Sorry, that doesn't add much to the conversation....
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:32 AM   #27
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This is always a fascinating subject; and one that always gets folks' skivvies in a knot. What, exactly, does "green" mean? We, the trailering public have come to think of miles per gallon while towing as "green". What we typically don't think about, and has been nicely brought out here, is regarding the energy expended in manufacture of not only the trailers, but the raw materials... bauxite mining, plastics manufacture, logging and wood processing, the processing of various chemicals in the processes, and the electrical generation necessary for all of the processes, to run the factories and plants, and to actually assemble the trailers.

So, as far as the "gas mileage" thing goes, the amount of pollutants spewed by recreational vehicles in use is generally insignificant compared to the total hydrocarbon consumption of the planet on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, generally speaking, if we each tow less than 2,000 miles a year average, our extra fuel usage towing amounts to something typically less than ten to twenty gallons difference over our normal driving, presuming we would take the same trips even if we were not towing a trailer.

The bottom line, IMHO, is there is absolutely no way for a consumer to judge what is "green" (presuming the definition of "green" to be the least total negative impact on the environment possible), because there is no way to determine exactly how much energy and environmental damage was done per unit for any unit of manufacture.

The one constant though, is that presuming that all units have similar impact, the ones that last the longest before requiring replacement would be the most "green".

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Old 10-23-2009, 12:31 PM   #28
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What the hell happened to the "Green" discussion? Haven't any of you replaced your interior/exterior lights with LED's? How about redoing the upholstery with organic cottons or refinishing the walls/cabinets with LVOC paints/stains? Good grief, how about solar? And as for the dumb comment about aluminum being resource intensive that is true... however, since an AS can be expected to last many decades (possibly longer if stationary) then they are incredibly green as a place to inhabit.
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