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  • Mark Piazzalunga

    DESERTEC project, Sahara Sun could power Europe by 2050

    By Mark Piazzalunga

    Sahara desert climate is hot and arid, everybody knows it. So how can this simple and well-known fact become the idea to power a continent like Europe? Let’s start from the principle: renewable energy is the future of energy; we assume that this sentence is true since all facts gets to this point. Second principle: European territory is restricted and allows the construction of a few plants that could use renewable energy. Paradoxically, countries like Africa have renewable sources, particularly solar, in abundance but scarce funds to make the best of these resources. Now find the connection. Is it possible to produce huge amounts of solar energy in Africa and transport them to Europe through energy infrastructures? Apparently yes, according to DESERTEC project developers and supporters. And what is DESERTEC? It’s an initiative of the Club of Rome (a global think tank that has its headquarters in Switzerland) started in 2009. Directly from the official website of the project (Desertec.org): "The DESERTEC concept was developed by a network of politicians, scientists and economists from around the Mediterranean, from which was born the DESERTEC Foundation. Demonstrates a way to provide climate protection, energy security and the development of sustainable energy generation from sites where renewable energy sources are at their most plentiful." In practical terms? Connect renewable energy power plants in Africa to Europe through a network of HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) systems. The Foundation target is to build several renewable power plants of various types (mainly wind, photovoltaic and solar concentration) throughout North Africa. To support the project financially, the Foundation and other 12 companies (including Deutsche Bank, E.ON, RWE and ABB) created an industrial initiative: Dii GmbH. The construction project would continue until 2050 and for that date, the cost is estimated at € 400 billion, which means $ 546,720,000,000, approximately seven times Bill Gates’ fortune. It’s little bit expensive (life on Mars seems cheaper) but the entire network could provide Europe with the 15-20% of electricity that it needs. We must also consider the drastic decrease of pollution, direct effect of the project. This project isn’t just an idea but it seems an accurate and long-term plan. This could be an opportunity to connect two continents and to give them economic opportunities and jobs. There could be some problems like the wars and the instability of some of North Africa countries or how to get all 40 nations to agree to an arrangement for subsidizing the green electricity. There’s also the possibility to build the plants in Europe, just $ 54 billion more, and doing some math it brings to a shocking number: €2 per citizen per year to keep tens of thousands of jobs in Europe -- and to prevent Europe from becoming dependent on foreign countries for its electricity. Well, the project just started and it has the funds to go forward. We can't wait to see the results. Photo from Desertec.org
    • 2 comments
    • 4,960 views
  • Megan Bonetti

    Conferencing Climate Change: Teamwork or Tug-of-war?

    By Megan Bonetti

    India. Culture, cows and rubbish. As an Aussie living for a short time in India it is such an intriguing country. Indians love their diverse nation yet they use the streets like rubbish dumps. Even my friends here tell me it’s ok to throw my paddle-pop wrapper out the car window. I can’t… so I just hold it tight and wait till I get home. Growing up in Australia, those ‘emu hunts’ in primary school have willed my littering days away. Yet I suspect that even my household trash bin will just be dumped across the road for the cows to eat or worse still, burnt on the street…for the cows to eat. This is India. Love it or hate it. (#tii) As an Australian social worker volunteering with an NGO in Southern India I witness the large divide between the rich and poor of this incredibly colourful nation. I work with many children whose whole families have had to migrate from various parts of India due to the rapid effects of drought on their land and the significant urbanisation of major cities in the last 10 years. It turns out India has seen a boom in it’s industrial and technological trades a little later than it’s western neighbours and they are loving it. But India’s urban boom is threatened with westerners telling them they have to stop producing and polluting. The earth doesn’t like it. Sorry India…We made our big capitalist bucks, but you don’t get that chance. Just when things are getting good and you’re developing astronomically, your main source of energy is being taken away. It turns out fossil fuels are the cheapest form of energy for the developing world, especially as they try in earnest to develop the same standard of living as we have. So as one the most formidable countries in the developing world, India not only has the pressures of navigating a massive population but also has to figure out how to go green on the cheap. It’s interesting that the Turnbull government has reluctantly agreed on a 5% reduction in carbon emissions in the next five years. “Phew! Glad we got through that one boys.” They wipe their sweaty brows while developing countries are drowning, burning and trying to survive on scant resources. These countries are just trying to make a crust, while Eurocentric nations are slowly turning a baguette into organic multigrain sourdough (and throwing the crusts to their hobby cows). If the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is truly the last attempt for international cooperation, leaders cannot just show and tell their contribution and sit back with folded arms. But how can mere human individuals promote serious teamwork? This brings me back to the children I work with here in India. Every day their parent’s lives are tied to corrupt building associations. They are bonded labourers—gypsies moving from construction to construction. These families have no hope of returning to their now desolate homeland and are not provided social security measures that protect their livelihood. Then there is India’s neighbour, low-lying Bangladesh, experiencing saltwater intrusion that poisons whole water supplies for entire villages. In our own backyard we see Australian farmers shooting all their cattle only to turn the gun on themselves under the shadow of unprecedented drought. This is human impact. Global warming is not just about penguins and polar bears. Climate change is a social justice issue. We live in a globalised world. The industrial revolution brought us here; and climate change is the consequence. No longer do we just neighbour cities, we neighbour nations. The leaders of Australia must be held accountable to all their neighbours including the ones just trying to keep their head above water. It simply won’t do for wealthy nations, such as Australia, to show the world their own country’s carbon reductions and sit back down. This summit can’t work as a set menu; it has to be a potluck dinner, a time for sharing, understanding and safeguarding. For the sake of our beautiful earth and the many diverse cultures of the human race, this time I hope and pray that the leaders of the world provide a resounding voice for the marginalised. This summit and our government must not stop at figures, but uphold the basic democratic and human rights principles that cradle modern society. The United Nations was created so that man-made and worldwide calamities could no longer grasp our world with such authority. Well, it turns out a world war with Mother Nature is knocking on our doorstep. Will we listen and respond? I hope so.   For more information please visit the below links. They offer great insights into climate change realities and are positive and accessible resources for engaging the conversation. The reality of climate change | David Puttnam | TEDxDublin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBjtO-0tbKU India: Climate Change Impacts http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/06/19/india-climate-change-impacts Climate Change and the End of Australia http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/climate-change-and-the-end-of-australia-20111003 The Critical Decade: Climate Change and Health (Australia) http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/uploads/1bb6887d6f8cacd5d844fc30b0857931.pdf GoPro: Climate Change and the Optimistic Future https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT6jtTtsG_M Paris Climate Conference: COP21 Explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-qd8YCaoQ4 Why is the Paris UN climate summit important? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnztR5JllA4 Adam asks new PM Malcolm Turnbull on climate change in Question Time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqXtKt-Is54 Morgan Freeman's Powerful Climate Change Short Film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YQIaOldDU8  
    • 0 comments
    • 2,344 views
  • Joseph Ramondeli

    Black Friday Promotes Over-Consumption and Waste

    By Joseph Ramondeli

    Black Friday Promotes Over-Consumption and Waste               Every year Thanksgiving weekend is overshadowed by Black Friday and in recent years Cyber Monday as well. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time when families can get together, even if it’s just for a day or dinner, to talk and reconnect. However every year more American’s are focused on shopping. Stores are now open by 8:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day resulting in people sitting at the dinner table with their families while browsing on their phones for the best deals that they hope to buy in a few hours.  This is just another example of how our modern, technologically advanced society is constantly becoming more materialistic. Aside from Black Friday overshadowing an American holiday and tradition, it is an annual example of how Americans over-consume and by doing so are very wasteful.  A huge fraction of purchased goods during Black Friday and Cyber Monday are things that people don’t need, they are things they think they need. Advertisements and social trends play a big role in the impact of this event (I refuse to call it a holiday) and in our consumption behavior in general.             Companies are tricking and forcing us to buy un-needed goods through the use of planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence.  Planned obsolescence is disappointing because it refers to how companies purposely make products to only last a few years and by doing so force consumers to by new products from them every couple of years. The most common example of this is electronic devices. Apple creates a new IPhone every year so that once yours break “accidentally” there’s a brand new, more expensive one to purchase as a replacement. Not to mention that such companies stop making old models, forcing you to buy the newest model. On the other hand, perceived obsolescence is promoted by companies but ultimately results from our own social actions. Companies, through advertisements, constantly throw the promotion of new goods in our face. It’s almost impossible to go anywhere or do anything without seeing an advertisement of some sort. These advertisements tend to increase around the holiday season, hence the origin of Black Friday. The main reason such advertisements work is due to the social pressure we put on each other and ourselves. Everyone wants the next new model or brand and once a friend or family member purchases something then we are pressured and attracted to buying it as well. The biggest example of this is the fashion industry, where new trends come and go each season resulting in constant purchasing of new, unnecessary clothing. These companies are clearly getting the better of us based on the success of such events as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.             So why is over-consumption such a bad thing, why should we care if people waste there money on unnecessary goods? It’s simple: overconsumption leads to waste! One of the downfalls to the technological advancements of today’s world is that we create materials that cannot be found in our natural world. This means that when we throw something out in the garbage it will never decompose. Purchasing many of today’s consumer goods is bad enough because most cannot be recycled and will sit in landfills, but over-consumption takes this once step further in that we buy more than we need! We buy new clothes or new phones before our old ones are worn our or broken. By doing so we are creating more waste because we constantly thrown away products that are still functional and contribute the ever-growing amount of waste humanity has created on this planet. In order to help reduce the waste we create of course we should recycle and reuse as much as possible. However, I believe that the creation of waste should be stopped at its source, and that’s our consumer purchasing. Buying less and using goods to there fullest is a sure way to decrease waste. Resisting social pressure and advertisements is key to getting this accomplished. So next year put the phones away and turn the TV off at the dinner table during Thanksgiving, you don’t need them. Joseph Ramondelli  
    • 0 comments
    • 2,551 views

Our community blogs

  1. Office-Design-Fit-Out-Environmental-Audi

    For decades, business has been depicted as an unstoppable force of pollution and wasteful practices victimizing the natural world. Now, however, increasingly efficient technology has made it both affordable and easy to reduce your company's impact on the environment. These are ten of the most quick and effective ways to green your office and contribute to the conservation movement.

    Mind the Lights

    In busy offices, it can be tempting to leave lights on at all times. Not only does this harm the environment by wasting electricity and requiring the manufacture of more light bulbs, but it also runs up your energy bill. A simple reminder to turn off the lights as employees exit a room is all that is needed to be more eco-friendly.

    Reduce Paper Consumption

    Despite operating in the digital age, many companies blow through reams of paper without a second thought and then throw it into a landfill to decompose. Paper waste is easy to overlook and even easier to correct. Set printers to print double-sided pages to automatically cut paper use in half, or buy recycled paper to save a few more trees. Whenever possible, keep documents digital and distribute them through email or cloud sharing. Even the paper cups seen so often in break rooms or by a water cooler can be replaced by personal mugs.

    Organize Car Pools

    Offices tend to draw in employees from miles away, driving alone for the entire trip. With some careful planning, commuters can lower their monthly gas bills while adding less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Encourage your workers to make plans based on geographic proximity and to trade off driving duties. Although it takes coordination and responsibility, an established car pool is easy to maintain and beneficial to all parties.

    Minimize Heating and Air Conditioning

    The perceived need to keep air at a steady temperature throughout the year leads to an overuse of heating and air conditioning when people are perfectly capable of acclimating to seasonal variations. A difference of a few degrees, lower in winter and higher in summer, will in all likelihood only be noticeable to accountants tallying up savings in your heating and air conditioning budget.

    Green-Offices-Environmental-Policy-Susta

    Promote Recycling

    Recycling is one of the oldest methods used to improve eco-consciousness, and it remains one of the most valuable. Giving resources a second life removes pressure from the environment, which sustains a massive load of new development and mining in large part due to inefficiency and a reliance on immense landfills. Encourage recycling by placing bins next to regular trash cans and hosting educational workshops to refresh knowledge about what can and cannot be recycled. Businesses can further recycle paper, cardboard boxes and packing supplies, which is again likely to save money.

    Use Green Cleaning Products

    Air quality in an office can contain more pollutants than the outside world because of toxic cleaning supplies. These chemicals, when flushed down a drain, also contaminate water supplies and local soil, leading to a buildup that damages plants and animals in the area. Nontoxic cleaning supplies result in the same sanitary surfaces but are less damaging to employees and the environment.

    Buy Used

    Recycling supplies manufacturers with more eco-friendly materials, but it is better to recycle equipment as well. Used office furniture is just as practical as new and often shows little to no signs of wear. Even better, they come at a steep discount for the same quality. Another option is to rent serviced offices, which may be fully furnished and use fewer resources with every transition.

    Optimize Computer Settings

    Electronics are now so ubiquitous in office settings that they are left running without much regard for their energy consumption. Besides being kept on to needlessly sap electricity, they may also be running at a higher performance level than standard office work requires. Change computer settings to power saving modes so that they will go to sleep during stretches of inactivity and moderate performance. At night, unplug the power strip as well as shutting down the machines to prevent electricity leeching.

    Grow Plants

    Office plants are a beautiful accent that also improve air quality in a building. Businesses with grounds can take this one step further by planting trees or even converting some acreage to a natural ecosystem. Lawns, though pleasant to look at, demand far more water, nutrients and fossil fuels to maintain while providing no value to local wildlife.

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    Consider Telecommuting

    More and more businesses are turning to telecommuting as a cost-effective way to reduce the space needs and environmental impact of their offices. There are still concerns about employee productivity, but dedicated workers can actually get more done without the worries of commuting and office politics. The move can cut costs for everyone involved and drastically reduce the environmental footprint of each employee.

  2. 38866910.jpg

    Becoming Environmentally Conscious

    As you might have known, air pollution threatens the livelihood of both humans and the environment every day. According to the EPA, “680 to 1,700 premature deaths have resulted in heart or lung disease,” which may be attributed to hazardous air pollutants linked to cancer. Continual exposure to the toxic environment has decreased the longevity of the average human life. Fortunately, many parts of the United States are fully dedicated to becoming environmentally conscious and want to provide a sustainable lifestyle for everybody to enjoy.

    There are several criteria for becoming an eco-friendly state, which includes usage of renewable resources, effective recycling and management of waste, access to organic/local food, green transportation methods, air and water quality, and land dedicated to quality green space, such as parks and recreational areas. By meeting this criteria, carbon footprint decreases dramatically.

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    Vermont: The Road to Becoming Environmentally Conscious

    Vermont is considered the number one most environmentally conscious state in the United States. Being the second least populous state, Vermont is devoted to providing healthier living for their limited number of residents. It has the lowest carbon footprint and the fewest carcinogenic toxins, helping to provide that well-known, crisp, mountain air. This is due to policies that promote renewable and alternative energy, recycling, and many local food choices.

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    Living the Vermont Lifestyle

    Vermont promotes healthy living by providing plenty of outdoor leisure activities. There are many areas in the state that allow swimming, biking, horseback riding, boating, golfing, and walking – many of them throughout Vermont’s vast mountain ranges. Quechee Lakes is an example of healthy Vermont-style living, located just south of Burlington. It’s a community that provides outdoor activities for all residents around the area.

    It is also home to one of the best skiing locations in the country. Burlington, which is Vermont’s main hub, has a growing business community that attracts many friendly entrepreneurs, delicious local restaurants, and a lively nightlife.

    Vermont is also very family-friendly. Many leisure activities are kid-friendly, and include public parks, walking trails, rock climbing, and fishing.

    Conclusions

    Being environmentally friendly is no easy task, but is becoming necessary to sustain a practical level of health. If you want this type of risk-free environment, Vermont is the perfect place to enjoy both a healthy lifestyle and an eco-friendly environment. Start making the change today!

  3. Based on the findings of the US Department of Energy (DOE), homeowners shell out $2,000 or more every year to heat their private pools using conventional electricity. If we go by data, there are approximately 800,000 pools in Florida alone, including the above-ground ones.  Although Florida hardly gets cold, you can extend the swimming season by opting for solar pool heating in your Tampa home.  Here are some of the most important reasons to choose the solar option over traditional pool heaters:

    Efficiency

    Solar heaters have the capacity to heat your pool efficiently provided the panels are professionally installed to harness the sun’s free energy. With proper installation, you can expect to raise your pool’s temperature by up to 15 degrees, especially when you experience a nip in the air. During the cooler months, you can consider using solar blankets as well to maintain the water temperature. You can use them when the pool is not in use. The blankets will trap the heat and stop the unnecessary evaporation of water.

    You can also lower the water temperature during the hot summer months if you have a solar pool heater installed. Obviously, you cannot cool the water when the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit. But if you run the heater overnight instead of turning it on during the day, the water circulating will cool by several degrees, making the pool water more comfortable to take a plunge.

    Extended Swimming Season

    A solar pool heater together with covers can extend your swimming season, especially during the summer months from May to October. These pool heaters are designed to adjust the water temperature for a comfortable dip. It depends on the season and the amount of sunlight received.  When the Florida Solar Energy Center monitored pools in the Sunshine State some two decades ago, they found that most of the homeowners enjoyed swimming for approximately 110 days in a year. Eventually, with the advancement of solar equipment and technology, people with private pools could extend the swimming season to about 290 days. It means that you can enjoy a refreshing dip with your family and kids a little longer than you have expected.

    Durable

    Gas heaters with a lifespan of about five years are not as efficient as solar ones. Moreover, they call for a lot of care and maintenance. And it is needless to say that periodic upkeep will add to your pool heating costs further. Solar pool heating systems, on the contrary, come with a 12-year warranty and last for 10-20 years requiring little or no maintenance at all. With your pool’s filtering system and chemical balance working fine, they will last for years to come. Solar panels are designed from high-quality polypropylene. They include an additional 35 percent of the material. Solar pool heaters also have UV stabilizers, making it more durable than conventional heaters.

    Eco-Friendly

    Solar pool heaters are extremely environment-friendly. In fact, you are contributing to the green cause by installing a photovoltaic (PV) system. That’s because the sun’s energy is pure and clean.

    The benefits of solar pool heating in Tampa are hard to ignore. With the significant drop in the prices of equipment over the last few years, installing PV systems is a safe and economical option for homeowners in the city. So, are you ready to take the plunge?

  4. India. Culture, cows and rubbish. As an Aussie living for a short time in India it is such an intriguing country. Indians love their diverse nation yet they use the streets like rubbish dumps. Even my friends here tell me it’s ok to throw my paddle-pop wrapper out the car window. I can’t… so I just hold it tight and wait till I get home. Growing up in Australia, those ‘emu hunts’ in primary school have willed my littering days away. Yet I suspect that even my household trash bin will just be dumped across the road for the cows to eat or worse still, burnt on the street…for the cows to eat. This is India. Love it or hate it. (#tii)

    As an Australian social worker volunteering with an NGO in Southern India I witness the large divide between the rich and poor of this incredibly colourful nation. I work with many children whose whole families have had to migrate from various parts of India due to the rapid effects of drought on their land and the significant urbanisation of major cities in the last 10 years. It turns out India has seen a boom in it’s industrial and technological trades a little later than it’s western neighbours and they are loving it.

    But India’s urban boom is threatened with westerners telling them they have to stop producing and polluting. The earth doesn’t like it. Sorry India…We made our big capitalist bucks, but you don’t get that chance. Just when things are getting good and you’re developing astronomically, your main source of energy is being taken away.

    It turns out fossil fuels are the cheapest form of energy for the developing world, especially as they try in earnest to develop the same standard of living as we have. So as one the most formidable countries in the developing world, India not only has the pressures of navigating a massive population but also has to figure out how to go green on the cheap.

    It’s interesting that the Turnbull government has reluctantly agreed on a 5% reduction in carbon emissions in the next five years. “Phew! Glad we got through that one boys.” They wipe their sweaty brows while developing countries are drowning, burning and trying to survive on scant resources. These countries are just trying to make a crust, while Eurocentric nations are slowly turning a baguette into organic multigrain sourdough (and throwing the crusts to their hobby cows).

    If the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is truly the last attempt for international cooperation, leaders cannot just show and tell their contribution and sit back with folded arms. But how can mere human individuals promote serious teamwork?

    This brings me back to the children I work with here in India. Every day their parent’s lives are tied to corrupt building associations. They are bonded labourers—gypsies moving from construction to construction. These families have no hope of returning to their now desolate homeland and are not provided social security measures that protect their livelihood. Then there is India’s neighbour, low-lying Bangladesh, experiencing saltwater intrusion that poisons whole water supplies for entire villages. In our own backyard we see Australian farmers shooting all their cattle only to turn the gun on themselves under the shadow of unprecedented drought. This is human impact.

    Global warming is not just about penguins and polar bears. Climate change is a social justice issue. We live in a globalised world. The industrial revolution brought us here; and climate change is the consequence. No longer do we just neighbour cities, we neighbour nations. The leaders of Australia must be held accountable to all their neighbours including the ones just trying to keep their head above water. It simply won’t do for wealthy nations, such as Australia, to show the world their own country’s carbon reductions and sit back down. This summit can’t work as a set menu; it has to be a potluck dinner, a time for sharing, understanding and safeguarding.

    For the sake of our beautiful earth and the many diverse cultures of the human race, this time I hope and pray that the leaders of the world provide a resounding voice for the marginalised. This summit and our government must not stop at figures, but uphold the basic democratic and human rights principles that cradle modern society. The United Nations was created so that man-made and worldwide calamities could no longer grasp our world with such authority. Well, it turns out a world war with Mother Nature is knocking on our doorstep. Will we listen and respond? I hope so.

     

    For more information please visit the below links. They offer great insights into climate change realities and are positive and accessible resources for engaging the conversation.

    The reality of climate change | David Puttnam | TEDxDublin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBjtO-0tbKU

    India: Climate Change Impacts

    http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/06/19/india-climate-change-impacts

    Climate Change and the End of Australia

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/climate-change-and-the-end-of-australia-20111003

    The Critical Decade: Climate Change and Health (Australia)

    http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/uploads/1bb6887d6f8cacd5d844fc30b0857931.pdf

    GoPro: Climate Change and the Optimistic Future

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT6jtTtsG_M

    Paris Climate Conference: COP21 Explained

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-qd8YCaoQ4

    Why is the Paris UN climate summit important?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnztR5JllA4

    Adam asks new PM Malcolm Turnbull on climate change in Question Time

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqXtKt-Is54

    Morgan Freeman's Powerful Climate Change Short Film

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YQIaOldDU8

     

  5. Marijuana is a type of drug that's often made up of flowers, buds, and leaves of the hemp plant called “Cannabis sativa.” For those who are not aware, aside from being an illegal drug (in some countries), marijuana is also considered to be a medicinal herb that has the ability of treating symptoms related to pain, lack of appetite, and even nausea. Though, that's not all; medical marijuana can also be used by people who were diagnosed with Aids,
    , multiple sclerosis, and even glaucoma.

    meri.jpg

    Legality

    In the U.S., possessing, selling, giving away, or growing marijuana for any purpose is deemed to be illegal by the federal law. Likewise, it's also against the law for medical doctors to prescribe this drug-- no matter what the health condition may be. However, several states in the U.S. have passed laws, allowing people with certain health conditions to
    or grow marijuana for their own personal use. Similarly, some states also license and allow people to give away medical marijuana for anyone who needs it.

    It has been said that if you're going to use medical marijuana to treat a certain medical condition, there's a possibility that the federal government would not prosecute you-- but it's debatable.

    Medical Marijuana Laws

    Likewise, the laws concerning the use of medical marijuana also vary from state to state. For those who are thinking of trying this drug, it's advisable to consult a medical practitioner first. Additionally, it's also important to call the state department of health in order to learn more about the laws governing with the use of medical marijuana.

    Experts' Opinion

    The medical use of marijuana has been studied for a number of decades. Though, a lot of experts are still skeptic in regard to its efficiency and safety.

    Some medical experts don't even recommend the use of medical marijuana, because of the following reasons:

    - The FDA hasn't approved this drug yet.

    - Despite its so-called efficiency, the use of medical marijuana could trigger adverse side effects, such as impairing one's memory, coordination, and judgment. Likewise, it could also increase the risks of being involved in an accident.

    -
    could harm your lungs.

    - It has been discovered that there are a number of legal drugs that work just as well, such as the drugs made for pain relief, and nausea.

    However, some medical experts do believe that medical marijuana could be beneficial for some, because:

    - It's capable of
    , especially when normal pain relievers won't even work or is not safe for use, because of an allergic reaction.

    - It has the ability of improving one's appetite and relieve nausea, especially to those who are suffering from cancer and AIDS.

    - It works as an analgesic, that it could also lessen the pain, especially to those who are suffering from chronic pain and neuropathic pain that's commonly caused by amputation, alcoholism, spine surgery, and HIV. Thus, for those who are aware, they turn to marijuana for instant relief.

    - Medical marijuana has the ability to relax tensed muscles and reduce muscle spasms, as well as shaking.
  6.  

    There has always been a debate about bugs – most people fear and hate them, others don't. To be honest I have to agree with the old saying that goes “the only good bug is the dead bug”, but either way these creatures are unique in the ways they organize themselves, how they adapt and the survival mechanisms they employ. Not to mention that they are extremely functional and most times I wish I was so useful to nature!

    Do you know that you don't always need chemicals in the war against insects? There are different pest control techniques you could try in your house. This way your home will simply be unattractive to different types of pests. One of the most common question in the bug business is “ How to prevent pests from getting into our home”. There can never be a straightforward answer to this question. Keep in mind that sometimes whatever you do there will be an occasional insect trying to disturb you.

    When making your house unattractive to pests start from removing litter, loose boards, etc. away from the foundations of the house. Litter is attracting pests and loose boards provide hiding places. Keep bushes and tree branches trimmed in a way they don't touch the walls of your house. Branches and bushes provide excellent pathways for ants to climb. Avoid using the outside lights all the time, because they also attract insects, especially mosquitoes, and these guys are annoying.

    Remove dead wood from your premises as it makes a great home for termites. In addition, fill any cracks in walls and doors as ants find them and use them. Make sure windows close tightly and there is no space between them and the window frames. When cleaning your house, pay more attention to the corners. Spiders prefer them for their webs. Clean thoroughly and remove all webs. This way you can make sure that you will get rid of them. You probably know this, but unless you don't, spiders are smart animals and they never build a web in a place where it will keep getting destroyed. Clean behind furniture as this might be the next place they build a web.

    When you clean the carpet and especially when you shampoo them, make sure they have dried well before introducing them back to your home. Dust mites and other insects love damp places and carpets are a great breeding spot. Occasional carpet cleaning through hot water extraction will eliminate them and will make your carpets clean and safe again. Similarly your mattress will also need a thorough cleaning once a year or every two years. Find out about bed bugs here.

    If cockroaches are a problem make sure you keep the drain covers on sinks, baths, etc. By following this simple step, their “way” will be blocked. You can occasionally pour a cupful of bleach down your drains, or freshly squeezed lemon juice at least once a week. The fumes from the bleach will keep the cockroaches away.

    Keep in mind that sometimes you will stumble upon insects, even if you have followed this advice and completed all the steps thoroughly. It is inevitable, but keep in mind that no all insects and pests. Check out what Russell Brand said: "Say a fly comes in me house; I tolerate that little asshole. He is just passing through life like I am!" If a pest or insect enters try to get rid of it without inflicting harm or spraying toxic solutions. You are harming yourself too this way. Of course, don't let things get out of hands.

  7.  

     

    3889648857_b32cb4e51a_z_d.jpg?zz=1

     

     

     

    The roof of a building should do more than keep the rain out. After all, when properly designed and planned, a roof can also be an energy efficiency power house, thus keeping the building occupants comfortable and saving money at the same time.

     

    The options for creating an energy efficient roof, or just improving an existing one, are numerous. This means that homeowners will certainly find one or more options that work for them and their budget.

     

    Attic insulation

     

    Attics are neglected corners of a home that residents rarely visit; unfortunately, this also means that the insulation in an attic is generally insufficient. Homeowners looking to lower energy bills should check that the insulation in their attic has a high enough R-Value for their climate and that there aren't any gaps. For best results, the attic floor and ceiling should be insulated.

     

    Install a cool roof

     

    Not all roofs are created equal, and there's almost no match for the cool roof's energy efficiency. Made of a variety of materials, there is always one shared characteristic between cool roofs: a highly reflective surface. Most homeowners don't want to start from scratch on their existing roof, so this option is generally only used in new construction. However, there are additional considerations to remember before installing a cool roof: special care is needed to avoid mould and heating bills will be higher in cold months.

     

    Roof paint

     

    Homeowners generally only worry about the paint on the walls of their home, but a roof needs to be maintained too. Higher quality product will help your energy efficient roof last longer and look better too. When selecting a new paint, remember, lighter colours reflect more heat, which means less need for cooling costs. Not all roofs are suitable for painting. According to Roofline, painting is suitable for several roof types, including concrete tiles and metal surfaces such as Colorbond.

     

    Solar panels

     

    Solar energy systems are only getting more popular and, as a result, more affordable. However, they aren't a great option for every home. A specialized contractor should be hired to access the home's exposure and potential problems, like trees that will block the sun. Even where challenges are present, there are some workarounds for homeowners who really want to harness the power of the sun.

     

    Green roofs

     

    While solar panels aren't exactly considered attractive, green roofs most certainly are. Not every building is fit for a green roof as specific architectural requirements must be met. The possibilities for a green roof, however, are essentially endless: vegetable gardens, small trees, flower beds, etc. As an added benefit, the green roof will be removing carbon dioxide from the air while it's being energy efficient.

     

    Avoiding asphalt shingles

     

    Asphalt shingle roofs, while by far the most popular option in parts of the world, are also one of the least energy efficient. If shingles, for whatever reason, are the only option, then check out shingles that use a highly reflective surface or have solar panel membranes built in.

    Unless homeowners are proactive, odds are that their hard earned cash is literally flowing right out their roof. While the most energy efficient roofs are built from scratch, almost all existing roofs can still be improved with some simple changes. However, homeowners who are lucky enough to be building their own house from scratch should really invest in the most energy efficient roof possible.

     

    Image source: Flickr - phototouring

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    Green technology can be a confusing concept for many people, and one of the reasons for this is because there are no official criteria for what makes technology green. For example, an app on your smartphone, an energy efficient fridge and a wind turbine could all be categorised as green tech.

    Because of this, there are many misconceptions about green technology, and this can make it hard for consumers to make the best decisions. Here are a few myths that you may want to keep in mind when it comes to greener technology.

    Everything About Green Technology Is Eco-Friendly

    When you buy a green technology product, you may think that it is going to be made from greener materials, but this is not always the case. Its green credentials may be that it uses less power, but the actual materials may not come into it at all.

    Or it may save you energy, but it may not be made from materials that can be recycled. Quite simply, not all manufacturers will take this into account when they design technology products.

    Try to look for technology that is green in more ways than one. Not just in its use of less power, for example, but also in the materials it is made from and how it is recycled.

    Green Products Are Always the Best Option

    Sometimes you may be led to believe that simply by choosing an eco-product you are doing your bit for the environment. You may see a new computer advertised as eco-friendly because it uses less power, but leaving that computer on all day may use more energy than turning off another non-green computer when you are not using it. Green technology is not therefore automatically better, and it requires your input to get the most out of it.

    Green Is Always More Costly

    Many people will automatically assume that green tech is always the more expensive option. Sometimes this is true, but not always. Green technology is often about longer-term benefits. You might pay more in the immediate future, but down the line you may be able to make large savings. And you have to remember that savings also come in the form of environmental savings.

    Other green technologies could help you to make more immediate savings. Something like the Nest Learning Thermostat, for example, could be considered green technology, and it could really help you to save you money by cutting the amount of energy you use. The new smart meters may also be able to help you cut down on your energy usage by increasing your awareness of how much energy you use each day.

    When it comes to saving money, there are many factors to consider, and it's important to look at all of these together. For example, you may want to use something like the Nest thermostat while also choosing a more suitable energy tariff to reduce your bills. You could also use an online tool to help you do this, such as the Tariff Information Label search tool on the npower.com website. So don't just rely on one type of technology to save you money, and consider all your options.

    It's How You Use It that Matters

    The most important thing to remember is that it is how you use green technology that matters. Reducing your energy use may well involve choosing greener options, but don't stop at that and assume you are doing enough. The fact is you may also have to change your habits to cut energy usage and reduce your bills.

  9. Learn why you should use natural cleaners in your household. There are safe and environment-friendly ways to keep your home cleaner and healthier.produtos-poluicao-casa-4.jpg

  10. Cylindrical roller bearing series introduces cylindrical roller bearing roller bearing sales hotline spot cylindrical roller bearing manufacturer. Cylindrical roller and race for line contact bearing. Load capacity is big, mainly bear radial load. Roller and ring guard friction small, suitable for high speed rotation. According to the ring presence of guard, NU, NJ, NUP, N, NF, such as single bearing, double row bearings and NNU, NN. The bearing inner ring and outer ring is separable structure. No guard of cylindrical roller bearing inner ring or outer ring, internal ring and outer ring can be to relative axial movement, so can be used as free end bearing. The one side of the inner ring and outer ring with double guard, on the other side of the ring has a single guard cylindrical roller bearing, can withstand a certain degree of axial load in one direction. General use of stamping steel cage, cage or copper alloy car system. But there are also part of the use of polyamide forming keep frame.

    1. The roller and raceway for the line contact or offline contact, radial bearing capacity big, apply to under heavy load and impact load.

    2. The friction coefficient is small, suitable for high speed, the limit speed close to the deep groove ball bearings.

    3. The N type and NU type axial movement, can adapt to shaft caused by thermal expansion or installation error and shell the change of relative position, can be used for free end bearing.

    4. On the shaft or hole of the processing and the demand is higher, bearing outer axis relative deflection after installation to be kept under strict control, so as not to cause contact stress concentration.

    5. The inner ring or outer ring separable, easy to install and disassemble. . Is mainly suitable for high speed and high speed running, and very durable, need not often maintenance. These bearing small friction coefficient, high limit speed, simple structure, low manufacture cost, easy to achieve high precision manufacturing. Size range and variety in form, used in precision instrument, low noise motors, automobiles, motorcycles and general machinery and other industries, is the most widely used type of bearings in machinery industry. Mainly bear radial load, also can withstand a certain amount of axial load.

    Deep groove ball bearing is my company's main products, the selection of its larger radial clearance when the axial bearing capacity increases, under pure radial force when the contact Angle is zero. With the axial force, the contact Angle is greater than zero. Usually use stamping ribbon cage, car solid cage, sometimes also used nylon frame. Main application:

    Large and medium-sized motor, locomotives, spindle, internal combustion engines, generators, gas turbines, reducer, rolling mill, vibrating screen and lifting transportation machinery roller bearing series introduces cylindrical roller bearing roller bearing sales hotline spot cylindrical roller bearing manufacturer.

  11. It is likely before 2015 the government will announce an end to the free plastic carrier bag in England. Should a tax or ban be introduced on carrier bags?

    Governments and local authorities around the world have already banned or taxed free issue carrier bags, and there is pressure for legislation in England. They argue that cities must spend vast sums to clean up the bags and the damage caused by them, money that's better spent elsewhere. Not to mention that plastic bags are a nuisance on the environment, polluting waterways and other natural areas and killing off animals. Banning plastic bags, the activists say, will redirect funds to infrastructure and spur entrepreneurial efforts to come up with alternatives to plastic. Is this the answer?

    Plastic carrier bags make up less than 1% of litter on our streets. Most litter is from snack food packaging, bottles and cans, banning or taxing plastic bags will make little or no difference to the volume of litter on our streets. However, litter is a problem of social behavior, and is not specific to any one material or product.

    In 2011, 8bn plastic bags were issued in the UK and that was a 5.6% increase on 2010. The recession may have been a contributory factory with families changing their shopping behavior with smaller, more frequent shops each week. Just over a year ago a 5p charge was introduced in Wales and the amount of single-use bags has fallen significantly. Latest figures show a 70-96% reduction in the use of single-use plastic bags. Northern Ireland is set to bring in a 5p charge in 2013; Scotland had completed a consultation on a proposed charge of 5p that, if adopted, would leave England the only country without one.

    In the UK, the packaging industry employs tens of thousands of people people and generates over £10bn into the economy. The answer to the problems associated with plastic bag use is not a ban or tax, but better environmental management. As consumers we must be aware that we can make positive choices to help the environment in the way that we shop. Everyone who cuts back on the number of bags that they use makes a contribution to saving resources and reducing waste. Many materials need to be managed if they are not to harm the environment. Indeed, if not properly managed, paper can be a worse polluter than plastic bags; it occupies nine times as much space landfills, and does not break down substantially faster than plastic. If a free-issue bag can be made from renewable materials that allow the bag to be multi-use and then compostable in the home, should this be part of a tax or ban?

    Carrier bags are a distraction and a diversion. Major supermarkets don’t want to be the first to introduce a self-levy and do have voluntary agreements in place. There is growing public support and media spin that will go in favor of government action. Unfortunately, of all the bigger environmental problems we face today, carrier bags are not one of the critical issues. If only politicians were as keen to address climate change, biodiversity loss, the collapse of marine fisheries, and a lot more of the environmental problems rather than ‘window dressing’.

    A proposed tax or ban in England would discriminate unjustly against plastics and would represent an anti-competitive move and a serious restraint on trade, damaging jobs and an industry already battling against over-regulation and under-investment.

    Shameem Kazmi E s.kazmi@my.open.ac.uk Twitter: sjkazmi

    Linkedin: Shameem Kazmi Skype: shameem.kazmi

  12. A hot summer day or night is the perfect time to turn on the air conditioner to keep the family cool. However, what do you do if you are concerned with keeping your family comfortable while also protecting the environment? Here are some tips that you can use to achieve both goals at the same time.

    Use Geothermal Heating Sources

    A geothermal heat pump can keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. During the summer months, heat is drawn from your home via the pump and returned to the Earth. There is little to no energy needed to draw the heat out, and you can then draw the heat back into your home during the winter.

    Consider Using Natural Gas

    Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fuels that humanity has. Using it to power your air conditioning unit or other energy producing equipment can help you save money, use less energy and protect the environment. You can find out if natural gas power is available before you buy or install your air conditioner unit.

    Use Controls And Timers To Keep The Air Conditioner From Running Nonstop

    A good way to preserve the environment is to ensure that your air conditioner is not running when you are not home. During the air conditioning installation, the people who are putting the air conditioner unit in should be able to teach you how to use it properly. Setting a timer or programming the unit to shut off when the air inside cools sufficiently avoids excessive use of your air conditioner. If you have a large house, you can use a system of fans to move cool air throughout the house.

    Keep The Ducts Clean At All Times

    If you have central air, it is important that your ducts are free from dust and other debris. Blocked ducts make it harder for your air conditioner to work as it should. This means increased energy usage and the unnecessary use of fossil fuels to keep your home cool.

    After the air conditioning installation is complete, you should have your unit checked at least twice a year to ensure that it is running properly. If you have window units, you should make sure that drain pans are emptied and each unit is properly stored during the winter to ensure maximum energy efficiency from each unit.

    It is important that your air conditioner uses as little energy as possible. Using geothermal energy sources, keeping the air conditioner off when you are not home and checking the air conditioning system periodically are all great ways to achieve that goal. The best part is that you can save money on your energy bills while you are saving the environment.

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    Love to nature and to green living should be nourished from the very childhood. If kids are raised in a family where everyone enjoys healthy living and appreciates our environment, they grow up the same way and pass it all to their children, as well. There are certain things you can do to make that happen for your family. Here some suggestions.

    Teach them to love and respect the environment

    You should talk to your kids about loving and preserving nature, read interesting books on this topic to them, go hiking once in a while to show them all the beauty of nature, etc. At a young age, kids absorb information very easily, remember that.

    Recycle with your kids

    Teaching your kids about recycling is also very important. They should understand from the young age what is trash and what can be recycled. Make recycling a regular and fun routine for you and your kids. Let them get used to it and see it as the only way there is.  

    Tell them about waste and overconsumption

    Your kids should realize that it is important to save water (ask them to turn it off when they are brushing teeth, for example), energy (turn off the lights when leaving a room), food (overeating is always a bad idea), etc. Make sure you teach them to take only what they need and not to be greedy.

    Protect them from harmful information

    Of course, you cannot hide the fact that there is violence and cruelty in this world. However, everything is good in its season. And your eight year old, for example, doesn't have to watch videos with people being beaten or animals being hurt. Kids are all online these days, you cannot escape from it. Apart from the useful things they search there, they can also see (accidentally or intentionally) inappropriate and harmful content. Such content can really hurt their young spirit. So, you should protect your children from it by limiting their Internet use or blocking inappropriate sites with software like https://pumpic.com/. Don't let negative information influence your child's view on life.

    Walk and ride a bike

    Saving environment by not driving a car is also important. You often cannot do without it at all, but when you have some more time, ride bikes with your kids or take a walk. Go to a nearest store by foot or ride a bike to a close park and have a picnic there. It is a great thing for your kid's health and mind.

    Make a small garden together

    You can involve your kids in a fascinating activity - growing plants, fruits, vegetables and flowers. If you don't have a garden, you can simply grow some flowers in a pot. Also it can be helpful to take your kids to some local farm so that they see how everything works. You can tell them about the importance of organic food when you go on this trip.

    There are many other ways how to raise green awareness in your kids. You can also use recyclables for crafting, carry re-usable bags with your kids, do volunteer work together, etc. Be creative and you will raise great kids with green approach to life. 

  13.  

    If you are looking for inspiration in garden designs, you have come to the right place. This post gathers quite a few landscaping ideas that can get you started in planning the garden you’ve always dreamed about. You will find a variety of garden styles in the photos below, all you have to do is pick your favorite and begin further research. The right garden accessories and plant species can set the tone for an incredible outdoor atmosphere, an invigorating place of retreat. You can embark on a memorable gardening adventure yourself, or you can hire a landscape architect to help with advice. Either way, designing your garden should be a fun, relaxing experience. Green labyrinths, cobblestone pathways, small ponds, water fountains, colorful flowers and small round trees flanking your way around the yard- these are all elements that can induce a wonderful state. After all, there is nothing like enjoying a fresh morning surrounded by your own green refuge, or taking some well deserved time off in the afternoon, after a long day’s work.

    Garden design is the art and process of designing and creating plans for layout and planting of gardens and landscapes. Garden design may be done by the garden owner themselves, or by professionals of varying levels of experience and expertise. Most professional garden designers have some training in horticulture and the principles of design, and some are also landscape architects, a more formal level of training that usually requires an advanced degree and often a state license. Amateur gardeners may also attain a high level of experience from extensive hours working in their own gardens, through casual study, serious study in Master Gardener Programs , or by joining gardening clubs.

    Plan your next garden project, overhaul your outdoor space and prepare to be inspired with our great garden ideas. A well-landscaped garden with practical design features and clever planting can help add to the look and feel of your home. Even with limited outdoor space and basic gardening skills you can still transform your patio or lawn into a relaxing garden retreat with a few simple design tricks. We'll help to have you landscape gardening before you know it with our 100s of garden pictures and ideas from around the UK.

    Garden design is the foundation of any great landscape. What does your dream garden look like? Make that dream a reality with garden design secrets, ideas, and inspiration for front yards and backyards. That includes stunning color, foliage, and plant combinations, including the best red and yellow flowers to pair together, as well as tips for decor, landscaping, and curb appeal. We've made it easy to include more plants in your favorite hues, with guides to blue, lavender, orange, pink, and purple blooms -- and more. If you love a landscape filled with wildlife, such as birds and butterflies, you'll learn ways to attract them to your garden, including building your own birdhouses or creating birdbaths. 

    Tips for Designing a Garden

    Make sure your pathways are wide enough for comfortable passage. Nobody enjoys squeezing through narrow spaces, in­­doors or out. Main thoroughfares should be wide enough for at least two people to walk side by side, no less than 5 feet. For secondary paths where people walk single file, the width should be at least 3 feet. Keep in mind that the taller the plantings or structures that flank your walkway, the wider the path needs to be. Tall boundaries make any space feel more restricted.

    Outdoor steps and stairways should ascend gently; otherwise, they are liable to seem daunting. Steps with a rise of 6 inches or less are the most comfortable. The run (or depth) of each step plus twice the rise (or height) should equal 26 inches. So steps with a 6-inch rise would require a run of 14 inches. If your garden stairways include more than 10 steps, consider landings after every fourth or fifth step to ease progress. Landings should be at least as deep as the stairs are wide. A generous landing is an absolute necessity wherever a stairway changes direction.

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    Eco-landscaping is about making a difference in your yard, the one that results in making surrounding a healthier place that reduces water, soil and air pollution. The advantages of such responsible approach are reasonable savings in time, money and maintenance. The eco-friendly method is growing in popularity for its obvious reasons while creating and designing an eco-friendly landscape is not more complicated than designing a traditional garden. It does take some planning and involves maintenance, but all the efforts invested in a project like that are nothing compared to benefits.

    Planning

    For starters, you will have to make basic analysis and assessment of the yard. Determine the ground thickness by running the water to see how it is draining and where the ground is soaked the most. That way you’ll know where to plant as well as where to place hardscape. Check which areas get most of the sunlight and which ones are in the shade. Decide which area will serve its specific purpose, meaning where you will place a patio, play area or flower beds. This way you’ll know ahead what materials and plants you will be using and what will structure the basis of your eco-friendly yard.

    Downsize the lawn

    Having a smaller lawn means there will be less mowing and you will use less water. Limit your lawn by placing artificial grass or synthetic turf. Create walkways and paving and make sure to use low-maintenance materials like concrete, bark or gravel. You can use permeable pavers to direct rainfall back into the ground. Place gazebos or benches to fill the space in the yard that won’t require any watering.

    Eco-friendly mowing

    Since there will be a lawn that needs mowing, consider using a reel lawn mowers. Although mowing can go a bit slower than with gas or electric mower, reel mowers are true eco-friendly device since they are a perfect example of energy conservation. An alternative to reel mowers are the mowers powered by rechargeable batteries.

    Plant low-maintenance plants

    Consider planting native plants since they are best suited for the environment. Also, try choosing drought-resistant plants because there will be less maintenance while planting them will save water in the long run. To reduce the usage of water, try to group plants with similar water requirements. Plant some ornamental grass, pansies, and marigold. Planting clover is recommendable since it is insect and weed repelling plant.

    Clever landscaping

    Strategically planted trees and shrubs around the house can act as an insulation and save you up to 20% of your heating and cooling costs. One of the best landscape design firms advises planting deciduous trees on the sunny spots next to the house. That way the trees will provide the shade in the summer, while they will allow more sunlight in the cold months. Also, vines can be used to cool some areas.  

    Watering

    To reduce water waste, install drip irrigation system that brings water directly to plants. Watering with automatic irrigation is more effective while the technology allows you to program it the way you want. You can set the system not to release the water while it rains. You can use rainwater, previously conserved in barrels to water the lawn and the flower beds. When watering in the summer, always water in the late evening and early in the morning to avoid evaporation.

    Weed and insect control

    Avoid using chemicals to fight or to control weed, but take some preventive measures like planting in raised beds, preparing the soil, using landscape fabrics and mulching. To get rid of the weed you can use corn gluten or vinegar, only make sure to use it carefully since it a strong herbicide that can harm other plants.  The last stage of fighting the weed is an old-fashion move of pulling the weed from the ground.  As for insects, learn more about companion planting and see how your plants can benefit from it.

    Fertilizing

    Learn to make and use compost and keep the chemical fertilizer away. Composting is the best possible way to keep your ground properly fertilized, aired and watered, while it will significantly reduce the amount of trash that ends up in the landfills. Almost anything can be used for compost, starting from grass clippings and leaves to fallen branches, food scraps, coffee filters, tea bags, newspapers, cardboard, etc.

     

    Going green takes a bit more than these few tips since it extends further on the maintenance and how you care for the environment aside from the yard. Remember to recycle and reuse all the materials and to establish a sustainable eco-system in your home and your yard. Do your research and create an eco-friendly garden that you will enjoy in years that come. An effort toward the healthier environment is worthy of praise so design your garden and be proud.

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    If you are thinking about moving, you should consider being as eco-friendly as possible. There are many small things that you can do that will help the environment while making your move a simpler process. Enjoy using these tips whenever you are thinking about relocating your home.

    Share What You Have

    If you have a lot of items, you may consider donating some to charity so that you can rent a smaller moving truck. This will be a good choice for the environment, and you can feel good about donating items to help people that really need them. You can donate everything from clothing to furniture.

    Never Buy New Boxes

    There is no reason to buy new boxes to pack items when you can use boxes that have already been used. Check out your local grocery store or even a liquor store that may have plenty of boxes that you can have for free. You want to make sure that you pick out sturdy boxes and make sure that you have the bottoms of the boxes taped securely so that nothing falls out during the moving process.

    Be Creative with Packing Materials

    Instead of purchasing packing peanuts or bubble wrap to wrap your fragile household items in, be creative. You can wrap items in towels or shirt. You are going to be packing these items anyways, so using them to protect your breakable items is a good idea. You can also use old newspaper to wrap glass and other valuable items in so that they do not get broken during transit.

    Rent a Storage Unit

    We all have stuff that we don’t use but they have a certain sentimental value to us and getting rid of them is no option. When that is a case, finding long term local storage unit to store your belonging is a good solution. It will enable you to access them whenever you want and leave you with fever possessions that require

    less vehicles for transport – reducing your carbon footprint even further.

    Buy New Items

    If you are moving a long way away from your home, it may be more cost effective to buy new furniture and appliances. You can find many nice furniture items in your new location by visiting furniture stores or yard sales. You can often buy a nice looking piece of furniture that is gently used for less than the amount of money it would take to ship your old furniture to your new location. You can also invest in energy star appliances that are good for the environment and can help you save money on your energy bill each month.

    Find the Best Way to Move Your Items

    You have many different moving options to choose from depending on how far you are going to be traveling and how many items you are going to be bringing with you. You can rent a trailer and pull it behind your vehicle or rent a moving van or truck. If you need to, you can also hire a professional moving company. There are many companies out there that specialize in green moving techniques. You should take your time and enjoy finding the best moving solution for your specific needs.

    You want to find ways to move that are good for the environment. As added bonus, many eco-friendly solutions are also very affordable. You can enjoy saving money and having a safe moving experience at the same time.

    Image credit: Flickr - swanksalot

  16. Lawn mowers are arguably the most common gardening tools found in the shed of every house with a garden. Professional landscapers use also use them, even if they prefer high-performance models and their units are therefore more powerful. Many different types of mowing machines exist, but we all know the major ones: push, rotary, riding mowers. Although you probably use and store them the right way, you should still perform a few additional tasks regularly. Some of them may be annoying - but in turn, your equipment will be in top working condition throughout the year.

    Sharpen The Blades

    First of all, how to tell if blades are dull? The easiest way is to look at the grass after trimming and see if you're getting a clean cut. If the area top looks whiter then usual – it's a sure sign that blades need to be sharpened. If you don't do so on time you will end up with a bad-looking lawn and eventually a lack of balance that slowly damages the whole engine because of the strong vibrations. So, these are the steps for the most common (rotary) type:

    • Make sure there is almost no fuel in the tank, so that nothing will be spilled when you tip the machine to the side.
    • Take out/disconnect the spark plug for security reasons.
    • Use a wrench to unscrew the nut and take the blade off the mower.
    • Set the blade firmly in the vise and sharpen it as you go from the outer edge towards the center. Keep the existing angle while working or, if it's really damaged badly, try to go around 30 degrees.
    • Once you're finished, check the blade for balance. Remove some more metal where/if necessary – you need to make sure that no side is heavier than the other.

    Keep in mind that reel blades are not recommended to be sharpened at home.

    Engine Care

    Not much to do here, fortunately. It's best to follow manufacturer's instructions if you have them handy. If not, just be sure to change the oil after every 20-25 hours of mowing. Also, clean up air filter/s together with the oil refill.

    Cleaning

    If you have a push-type mower, grab a putty knife and scrape off parched grass clippings and other dirt. Wash down the whole unit with the garden hose. Experts in residential landscaping from Sydney remind that you should always lubricate visible metal parts (including the blades) right after the rinsing, once the surface is completely dry.

    For electrical models – clean up all areas surrounding the openings and get rid of grass and other particles found on the cooling fans to prevent excessive heating of the engine. You are allowed to apply a mix of hot water and household dish-washing liquid on the external surface if it's very dirty, then let it dry naturally. Tip your landscaping tool to one side in order to remove the grass stuck to the bottom – use a power nozzle if you need to.

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    In today’s world, cities seem to be forever expanding. Corporate, modern offices, high-rise apartment buildings and packed-in-like-sardines homes are now the norm. While there’s no doubting the benefits of city living, this boom in concrete living means that those of us in urban and city areas are forced to face the prospect of living in residential environments with poorer quality or quantity of green space. It is a well known fact that most large cities have microclimates, whereby the inner city area is a couple of degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside. Urbanisation results in changes in natural water flow, carbon cycles, biodiversity and air pollution levels, which ultimately results in these microclimates forming.

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    ​Cities in Australia and around the world are realising the impact that urbanisation - and subsequent lack of nature - is having on climate change, pollution and human health and are increasingly working on 'green’ initiatives to counteract the negative effects. However, these initiatives can only happen so fast.

    There are so many benefits to bringing nature closer to home, but sometimes we need to take things into our own hands. Having nature in your life is highly important and small lifestyle changes can make a massive impact both to your personal health and the health of the Earth.

    The Benefits of Living Close to Nature

    There are many studies, sources and evidence that support the notion that nature in urban areas can benefit our mental and physical health. Not only that, but increased greenery in our cities can help minimise the negative impacts of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Lower stress levels

    An American study conducted in 2008 found that workers who had even a small glimpse of a park or green area were significantly less stressed at work and were much more satisfied employees. So imagine the impact of bringing nature inside your home or office!

    What is more, it has been proven that an increase in greenery positively correlates not only with less stress at work, but decreased anxiety and depression.

    Reduce mental fatigue

    Urban centres literally never sleep - there’s always something going on. With all these noises and distractions, city life can be incredibly tiring on both the body and mind. We now know that the constant stimuli offered by cities can actually dull the mind’s ability to think. But, the good news is that even brief interactions with natural environments have been proven to help reduce mental fatigue and restore your mind to a healthy state.

    Long-term mental health

    The University of Exeter found that greener surroundings in urban areas boosted residents’ mental health and happiness in the long-term, even after they moved away from the area. So even if you are planning on moving out to a more rural area in the near future, you can benefit your mind in the long term.

    Recover from illness

    That’s right - green areas help people prevent and recover from disease and illness; they also provide opportunities for physical activity, which in turn supports active lifestyle and reduces diseases including obesity - one of the developed world’s leading killers.

    What is more, ailments like heart disease, neck/shoulder/back/wrist problems, diabetes, respiratory infections, migraines and even stomach illnesses can all be positively impacted by green spaces.

    Green Solutions for City Living

    The benefits are clear, but when you’re living in a city where the number of parks and nature reserves are largely controlled by powers much larger than ourselves, it can seem impossible to green-up our lifestyles. But is it really?

    Spruce Up Your Backyard

    Not everyone in the city has a backyard, but if you’re lucky enough to have one, you can go green-crazy! Don’t just think of it as somewhere to plant some trees - turn it into a garden retreat. Create your own organic vegetable garden, grow herbs and introduce some evergreen plants to keep your space thriving all year round.

    To maximise your space, add walls, fences and other borders, which are perfect for increasing the amount of greenery you can add; climbing plants are amazing at turning a concrete view into a tropical oasis.

    Create a Balcony Garden

    Don’t have a backyard? No worries! If you have a balcony or rooftop you can have a flourishing mini-garden. The key to a perfect balcony garden is to choose plants that suit the size of the space and will flourish in the climate of your balcony. For example, if you get a lot of sunlight throughout the day you should look for plants that can survive constant sunshine such as sunflowers, lavender and petunias. Vegetables and fruit that enjoy lots of sunshine include tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and peppers.

    23.jpg

    Again, if your balcony or roof has limited space, try incorporating wall plants, hanging plants, vines or even tall potted plants to maximise your space. A good balcony garden doesn’t mean you need to completely cover it in plants!

    Go Green Indoors

    Did you know that indoor air can be much more polluted than outdoor air? One of the wonderful benefits of having plants indoors is that they can help to purify the air and make you feel more relaxed overall. In the late 1980’s, NASA studied the benefits of indoor plants for removing volatile organic compounds from air and found that certain plants worked better than others, including aloe vera, gerber daisy, golden pothos and spider plants.

    Even if you have no balcony or garden, you can still bring nature indoors and benefit from its positive impacts. There are numerous plants that thrive indoors and in low light areas. Indoor plants such as ferns, dracaena, peace lilies and small palms are ideal. You can also create an indoor organic herb garden, which is perfect for those that enjoy cooking and want fresh herbs to hand.

    Start a Community Garden

    Approach your council or building management about starting a community garden. You’ll need to consider who will be involved in maintaining the garden and what types of plants you want to grow. These gardens are also great social experiences, allowing you to get to know your neighbours and others in your local area.

    If there is any unused space in your neighbourhood, you can also talk to the council about turning it into a green space that can benefit your whole community. Types of green spaces include: parks/pocket parks, playgrounds, green corridors (connecting pathways, cycleways), sporting areas and BBQ/picnic areas. While they might have grass on them, they could be even greener - ask about planting trees and shrubbery to maximise the oxygen output. So the more variety the better!

    Top takeaway tips

    - Choose plants that will grow / thrive in your space and climate; remember, city climates can often be much warmer than those outside of the city;

    - Keep your gardens maintained and manicured to sustain their benefits; water your plants regularly and keep them nutritious with good soil and fertiliser;

    - Including herbs, vegetable plants and fruit trees in your space is also a great way to support sustainable living; again, choose herbs/plants that you know will grow well in your particular environment.

    By creating green spaces around us, even in the smallest of ways, we can sustain the benefits of nature when living in huge, concrete cities. And by doing this we can enrich our lives, mentally, physically and emotionally – while also giving something back to the greater natural world that surrounds us.

    Are you ready to greenify your life?

    Need more ideas?

    Benefits of Green Space

    Mental Health and Function & Green Environment

    Green Cities and Microclimate

    Start an Organic Garden

    Start a Balcony Garden

    Start a Community Garden

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    So you want a home that's cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but you're sick and tired of paying ridiculous monthly energy bills. You look around and wonder if there's any way to keep your home comfortable, while not giving the utility company another dime. What options do you have for changing the temperature of your home's air while staying "off the grid?" Actually, more options than you probably think.

     

    Let the Outside In

    If the idea of high utility bills and constant maintenance don't sound like your idea of a relaxing summer, consider opening some windows to drop the temperature in your home. The key here is to allow air to flow through your home, as moving air feels much more refreshing on the skin than standing air. So, open up windows on the front and rear of your home, as wide as you can, and enjoy nature's free air conditioning.

     

    Go Old-Fashioned

    If the thought of chopping wood and wearing flannel get you fired up, consider heating your home the old-fashioned way, with a wood-burning fireplace. Though requiring more effort than a traditional furnace, a fireplace can efficiently warm the common areas of your home, supplemented by heavy blankets in bedrooms. Additionally, if you can access an inexpensive wood supply, you will have constant heat all winter for a fraction of the cost.

     

    Go Hi-Tech

    Solar is another option when considering going off the grid, though it has a high initial cost of investment. While many panels would be needed to adequately power an HVAC system, using smaller heating and cooling units, supplemented by other heating and cooling methods on this list, could allow you to meet your entire power need. Not to mention, many utilities and local governments offer substantial rebates for significant solar investment, resulting in a shorter time for you to recoup your initial cost.

     

    Go Down Under

    Geothermal systems can also be a practical component of off-the-grid living. These systems use pipes buried deep in the ground to take advantage of the more constant temperatures found at that depth. Always more refreshing than the surface in the summer, and warmer than the surface in winter, a decent-sized installation will enhance the effectiveness of other methods you use to reduce your utility bills. In more temperate climates, you may be able to rely solely on a geothermal system for all your heating and cooling needs.

     

    Charge It Up

    A large rechargeable battery, while not creating any energy of its own, is still a critical component to employ in an off-the-grid system. Large batteries store excess energy from other off-the-grid sources for many days, meaning that they can power heating and cooling appliances for a substantial amount of time. If you're planning on going completely off-the-grid, but don't want to change your lifestyle more than you have to, a battery is essential.


     

    Whether you choose to go off-the-grid only some or go all the way, off-the-grid heating and cooling methods can save you a vast amount of money, over time. Knowing the right techniques to integrate for your home and using them effectively will ensure that you have the best results, and are the envy of your friends and family when you tell them how you kissed the energy company goodbye.

     

    Resources

    Telegraph

    Classic Air

    Texas Fireframe

    House Logic

    HowStuffWorks

  19. The foundation of your home, is, by no surprise, the most important aspect of it. While others may argue, the fact that your entire house depends on the integrity of your foundation means that any damage that might occur to it, can be drastic. Since your entire house literally sits on top of this concrete base, any little mistake in its design means that the problems will increase as you go up. Ensuring you protect your foundation will mean longevity and hassle-free home maintenance. Here are ways you can protect your home’s foundation.

    What is the Foundation?

    To begin with, for those who are unaware, the foundation of your home is made from a combination of materials, with the most common being made from poured concrete or concrete block, and a poured concrete footing system. With the majority of North American homes being built this way, it’s safe to assume that your house was also. During the construction process, it is vital that the foundation is poured and dried at level. Any dips or slants will cause structural problems throughout the rest of the house, making it a headache to fix and to sell.

    Ways to Protect Your Foundation

    Now that you are enlightened on what your home’s foundation actually is, here are some ways in which to ensure it is protected, and remains its integrity and strength.

    1. Make Sure the Ground Slopes Away: Keeping water away from the foundation of your home is critical in ensuring it stays dry and protected. Ensuring your backyard or front yard are sloped away from the house will enable runoff water to flow away from the house, instead of towards. If it is sloped towards, water will likely seep into the foundation, causing flooding in your basement and structural damage to the concrete base. If the ground is sloping towards, you’ll have to either call a professional (depending on the severity) to level out the ground, or fill in the areas with dirt yourself, if it’s not too difficult.  

    2. Clean Out Your Gutters: While generally keeping your gutters clean is a good habit for good water runoff, it’s especially important to ensure the water from rain and other precipitation doesn’t get backlogged and then seep into your house. Ensure they are pitched correctly so that they water flow is away from your home, and clean them at least twice a year to remove any buildup that can cause clogs.

    3. Inspect Your Downspouts: As with your gutters, make sure your downspouts don’t have any leaks or holes present. Also, make sure they are pointing away from the foundation of your house, rather than just next to it.

    4. Monitor the Foliage: Especially during the fall, leaves, trees, and foliage tend to shed everywhere. Managing plants and vines that are up against your home is helpful in ensuring they don’t have an active part in trapping moisture and dampness against your home when they are wet. Try not to plant any trees near your foundation either, as they can soak up the moisture that prevents the foundation from cracking.

    5. Water your Foundation: While this may seem contrary to what we’ve been saying about keeping water away from your foundation, no moisture at all can result in cracking and shrinking in the spoil of your foundation. Giving it a good soaking during the summer at periodical intervals will help prevent this from happening.

    Warning Signs You Have a Problem:

    While you may have implemented these preventative measures, if there is a problem with your foundation, you should be able to see warning signs pretty clearly. Here’s what to look out for:

     

    1. If you see pooling occur, especially after a rainstorm, this is a good indication that something isn’t right. Water gathering in pools around the foundation of your home means the ground isn’t level and water is seeping towards the base. Hiring a professional to both level the ground and pump the water away from the house is most likely the best course of action here.

    2. Water leaks don’t always show up easily, so looking out for water stains on the walls or ceiling is a good way to tell if anything is wrong with the house. You might notice it as well with discoloured baseboards or musty smells.

    3. Inspecting the perimeter of your home will let you know if there is a problem. If you see cracks or breakage, this is not a good sign. Making sure the siding, whether it’s brick, wood, vinyl or metal, is at least six inches above the bottom of the foundation is helpful, because often times, dirt and debris can make its way in there and shrink the clearance area. This provides a place for moisture to invade. If possible, power wash and clean away this dirt and buildup to improve the clearance.

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    The roofing on a house is arguably one of the most important features. The quality of the materials chosen will either protect against weather and insect damage, or leave a home vulnerable to costly repairs. Roofing can also be used to make a house more eco-friendly. Properly chosen and installed, roofing can cut down on the environmental impact of a home, from the production stage of materials to the amount of energy a house uses daily. There are hundreds of products to choose from, and narrowing them down can take some time. Here are a few options to consider in several different price ranges.

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    1. Metal Roofing

    Metal roofing one of the most affordable, eco-friendly options for roofing. It is durable, low maintenance, and relatively inexpensive to have installed. One product that is popular in the Australian market is Colorbond roofing. It comes in many different colors and choosing a light color will help keep the roof cool. Colorbond is produced to withstand the weather and insect life specific to Australia. As with any roofing the color will begin to fade over time. However, rather than having to replace the entire roof (as you might with asphalt shingles) you can simply have a professional repaint the steel roofing. Roof painting should be done by a professional as they are best equipped to provide an even, well-blended finish. Here you can read about the stages of roof painting:

    http://www.myroofline.com.au/roof-painting.html

    2. Recycled Materials

    The pricing on recycled roofing materials can vary widely. One option is to use synthetic tiles made from recycled postindustrial waste. This helps prevent waste from ending up in a landfill, and many of these synthetic tiles are also recyclable. That means that when it comes time to replace the roof, the materials can be recycled rather than thrown in the rubbish. Recycled synthetic roofing tiles tend to be a fairly affordable option for most homeowners as well. Another option for recycled roofing is terracotta tiles. These tiles are beautiful, and can be made from old pavers, bricks, or roofing tiles. They do tend to be more costly and they add quite a lot of weight to a roof. Before installation, it is important to make sure the underlying supports can withstand the extra weight. Chipped or cracked tiles will need to be replaced periodically, and old tiles can be recycled.

    3. Green Roofs

    Green roofs are a trend that is catching on in Australia. They consist of installing a lip around an existing, generally flat, roof. From there, a waterproof membrane is installed along with a root barrier. Finally, plants are used to cover the roof, providing excellent insulation. They also create much needed greenspace in urban areas. The cost of installing a green roof is fairly high, and there is a bit of upkeep to them as well. It is also very important to check that your local area can support the water needed to maintain a green roof as many areas in Australia have a limited supply of freshwater. That said, they are an attractive and extremely eco-friendly option for roofing. For more information on green roofs follow the link below:

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/green-rooftop.htm

  20. Inhalation of carbon monoxide can make you sick and even kill you. It is a fate that bells thousands of people every year as they cross paths with this colorless, odorless, tasteless and poisonous gas. Its reputation is chillingly conveyed in its reputation as the silent killer. Approximately 500 people die every year in the US and thousands more undergo medical treatment from exposure carbon monoxide especially in the home.

    The symptoms that arise from exposure to carbon monoxide depend on the level of exposure suffered by the person. Mild exposures are usually characterized by a headache and the symptoms graduate with the duration and level of exposure to include:

    • Nausea
    • Dizziness
    • Stomach pain
    • Confusion
    • Tiredness
    • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
    • Stomach pains

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    Most of the times the symptoms are quite misleading as they can mimic flu or food poisoning with the exception of a high temperature. It is impossible for a human being to detect the presence of carbon monoxide without the aid of special equipment such as a carbon monoxide detector. This is because of its lack of color, odor or taste.

    Carbon monoxide or CO is produced during the incomplete combustion of anything especially fuels such as oil, gas, wood and coal. These fuels are used in and around the home which is what brings the dangers of carbon monoxide into the confines of your home. It is produced when you use your fireplace, generator, kerosene heater, wood burning appliances.

    Carbon monoxide acts by invading your bloodstream and attaching itself to hemoglobin. This displaces the oxygen and results in your body pumping blood that is lacking in oxygen. The end result is the death of your body tissue and blood cells.

    carbon-monoxide-3.jpg

    You must ensure that all appliances that burn fuel are installed and used properly. They must also be subject to regular maintenance checks especially when approaching winter. You must ensure that they are well ventilated and avoid the temptation of using outdoor appliances in and around the house or running your vehicle inside the garage attached to the house.

    The installation of carbon monoxide detectors is a very noble step that ensures the protection of your whole family. You need to do some research on the different types that are available and get the best which must also be a certified version. They also require proper installation and regular checks as well as battery replacements.

  21. 07-healthy-snack-ideas-fruit-kebab.jpg

    We all get a craving for junk now and gain. There is something about that extra sweetness or extra saltiness, that grabs the attention of most taste buds.

    But, we also all agree that these foods are rarely good for us - except briefly on an emotional level. Here are my three favourite alternatives to everyday junk food.

    Organic Coconut Water vs Soda

    Most people would agree that soda is probably not the best thirst quencher when it comes to beverages.

    Not only that, sodas contain an abnormal amount of refined sugar, additives, and flavourings that our bodies do not process very well.

    A much more beneficial drink to opt for would be organic coconut water. 

    This energising drink which is native to the tropics is loaded with electrolytes, natural sugars, amino acids, lauric acid (immune boosting nutrient also found in breast milk), mineral salts and vitamins.

    Also, unlike soda, coconut water is very hydrating, contains very little calories – excellent for those watching their weight – and yet is very filling.

    Organic Dried Fruit vs. Candy

    Due to the removal or drying of the natural water content, dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, dates, figs and prunes are great concentrated sources of energy, fibre and iron – a mineral that helps to prevent anaemia.

    TITLE-Boxing-Club-Healthy-Desserts-for-V

    Unlike, traditional candy and confectionary, organic dried fruit is often high in natural sugars, making it a great energy snack that is easy for the body to digest, and a wonderful addition to trail mixes, granola bars and cereals. The best part is that it is a fat-free natural food.

    Organic Cocoa vs. Commercial Chocolate

    Organic, raw, dark cocoa (also known as cacao) is a true health-giving super food.

    Not to be confused with the traditional commercial brands of chocolate products such as bars and hot chocolate; which contain high amounts of refined sugars, saturated fat, artificial additives and chemicals.

    Inspiral have a good explanation on the differences between Cacao and Conventional Chocolate.

    In its natural organic state cacao is dubbed as one of the super foods with the highest amounts of antioxidants, which are needed to fight free radicals and oxidative damage to cells.

    This may even offer protection against some types of cancer and slow down the ageing process. Unfortunately, as tempting as the commercial chocolate bars may be, they don’t offer these same benefits.
    Lastly, studies have shown that minerals such as potassium, magnesium and copper, which are found in high concentrations in dark chocolate, can help to prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

    It’s easy to enjoy too: blend the powder or nibs in a smoothie, make hot chocolate or make raw, delicious non-bake treats.

    With all these healthful benefits to be had why wouldn’t you indulge in this amazing plant food?

  22. Montevideo, Uruguay, December 12, 2015

    German cleantech company Spirea GmbH, together with its local partner ERGO SRL have announced the completion of a pilot solar photovoltaic system of 5kWp for company Farolur S.A. in Laguna del Sauce, Maldonado, Uruguay.

    The project consists of the installation of 20 photovoltaic panels in the dairy farm and production complex of Farolur, located in the department of Maldonado (Ruta 12 Km 10, paraje Los Ceibos). The panels are connected to the network of UTE and will produce more than 6.000 kWh of green electricity per year, providing a clean energy source for use of the farm’s baby cow breeding and milking operations. Production exceeding consumption is not expected, but if any, it will be fed into the network of UTE under the micro-generation framework in Uruguay.

    The project is part of the worldwide “dena Renewable Energy Solutions Program” coordinated by Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) - the German Energy Agency - and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the “renewables – Made in Germany” initiative. German government has been actively supporting the world-wide dissemination of cutting-edge German renewable energy technology and know-how since 2002. The transfer of renewable energy expertise, the promotion of foreign trade and the facilitation of international development cooperation are part of the initiative.

    Supported by dena, the cleantech specialists at Spirea have chosen the agro-industrial complex Farolur S.A., owner of the diary product brand "Talar" for this project for its ecological commitment and self-sustaining business strategy.

    While the small solar plant is far from supplying the total energy need of Farolur, it is an important first step towards powering the agro-industrial complex with 100% green energy. It also allows the company to test the solar technology on a small scale and establish benchmarks for future expansion of the system.

    Dr. Utz Hoeser, Senior Partner at Spirea said: "Working with an environmentally responsible client such as Farolur has been a great pleasure to us. The company has a keen interest in clean technology and made strong commitments to the project from the very beginning. Dr. Yolanda Crujeira and her team at Farolur are continuously seeking excellence in both end products and production process, and consider clean energy as an important part of Talar’s quality process. Beyond financial and economic benefits that can be realized for corporate owner of a well-designed commercial PV system, we believe that the biggest value of this project is contributing to Farolur’s vision of powering the farm with 100% clean energy."

    About Spirea GmbH: Spirea Advisors is an independent cleantech consultant based in Berlin, Germany. The young boutique focuses on facilitating cleantech investment and cooperation around the globe. Since its establishment in 2011, Spirea has completed various successful projects across Asia, Middle East and Latin America. Spirea is the key implementation partner of the solar PV system at Farolur under the dena-RES-Project 2014/2015, and is positioned to play an active role in the Uruguayan cleantech market. www.spirea.de

    About Talar / Farolur S.A.: Farolur is an agro-industrial complex engaged in the production of dairy products of the highest quality for the domestic consumption and export supply. Unites tradition in the craftsmanship of dairy products, a modern production system that meets the most demanding national and international standards in this industry has been established. The farm produces with the mode "full-cycle" so that the traceability of the final product can be monitored from the crops that feed the cows. The natural balance of the eco system is one of the permanent concerns of the Talar brand: producing its own energy, returning nutrients to the land, returning water to its natural cycle, recycling wastes, sewage and emission without impacting the environment. Another continuous effort at Talar is ensuring welfare of all animals: a balanced nutrition and professional cares, providing cows with a quiet life without stress, resulting in better milk products. www.marcatalar.com

    About ERGO SRL: ERGO is a Company founded and managed by specialists in energy efficiency and renewable energies. In this field, ERGO is specialized in turnkey photovoltaic projects and assessing clients in electricity generation projects of all kinds. www.ergo.com.uy

    About dena: The Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) - the German Energy Agency - is Germany's centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. dena's aim is to ensure that energy is used in both a national and international context as efficiently, safely and economically as possible with the least possible impact on climate. dena is working with stakeholders from the worlds of politics and business and from society at large to achieve this aim. Shareholders in dena are the Federal Republic of Germany, KfW Bankengruppe, Allianz SE, Deutsche Bank AG and DZ BANK AG. www.dena.de

  23. Alternative bagging materials have exploded in recent years, and canvas is one of the most popular. This is mostly based upon the fact that it is very friendly to the environment, but canvas’ benefits go far beyond that.

    Waterproof and Windproof

    Canvas is woven extremely tightly, meaning that it boasts outstanding waterproof qualities. This is why canvas has been used throughout history in the great outdoors. It may even be made to qualify as ‘marine grade’, in which case it can be used as a sail making material.

    This is good news for modern shoppers since it provides a material which protects belongings from water, but which doesn’t employ any chemical treatments to do so. It also means that canvas is slightly better for carrying anything which may leak.

    Extremely Sturdy

    As well as being both wind and waterproof, canvas is an incredibly strong fabric. This is another reason why it has been used historically for making sales – canvas does not yield easily to the stresses caused by frequent tugs and pressures.

    Of course, a shopping bag isn’t likely to need to put up with the same conditions you’d face out on the high seas, but canvas’ natural toughness remains useful. Other bagging materials – particularly plastics - can quickly become misshapen due to the constantly shifting weight of heavy items. In contrast, a canvas bag will hold its shape for years to come.

    Retains Colour Effectively

    As stated, canvas benefits from a tremendously tight weave. This also means that it retains dyed colour extraordinarily well, even when facing harsh environmental conditions.

    This makes canvas a solid choice for promotional bags. Nearly all promotional products are chosen based on their ability to remain in use for years to come, providing a constant reminder to those using them of the business which supplied the product in the first place. If you’re giving out promotional bags, you’re naturally going to want the printing to remain clear for a long time, so canvas is often the way to go.

     

    Strong, water resistant, and very long lasting, it should come as no surprise than canvas is becoming more a more popular as a bagging material.

     

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