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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
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  • 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  
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  • 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  
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    No matter how small your areas is, we have some great ideas for gardening in small areas. Perennial plants works well in small areas as does small shrubs, ground cover plants and some vegetable plants like tomatoes, cucumbers and okra.

     

     

     

     

    If you've got a bit of a green thumb but don't have much space to work with, it's still possible to create lush spreads of garden plants. The key is choosing the right flora for your particular situation. Here are a few excellent choices that will fit into fairly confined spaces and create a welcoming garden environment.
     

    Perennials


    Getting the most from perennials is all about selecting relatively tall flowers with small footprints. Veronicas, peonies, daffodils, hostas and hibiscus are all popular choices for gardeners without much square footage to work with. Daylilies are another solid option if you're looking for maximum color in the minimum amount of space.

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    Berry Plants


    Nothing beats fresh produce plucked from your own backyard. With the right soil in place, berry plants can look great and crank out tons of tasty treats during the summer. Raspberry and blueberry bushes are both fairly dense, easy to care for and give the backyard a particularly verdant look.
     

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    Shrubs


    The great thing about shrubs is that they can serve several purposes at the same time. For starters, they beautify any space and don't require a lot of hand-holding to thrive. Even better, they allow gardeners to build living privacy walls as they see fit. Popular shrubs include cotoneaster, boxwood and wintercreeper.
     

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    Fruit Trees


    You don't need to plant a citrus patch to enjoy fresh fruit and jazz up your small gardening space. A handful of fruit trees can thrive even in confined enclosures. Horticulturalists have created dwarf varieties of nearly every fruit tree available. Grapefruit, mandarin orange, apricot and pear trees are always winners.
     

    Creeping Vines


    Nothing creates an enchanting atmosphere like a slew of creeping vines. The added benefit of vines is that they grow vertically given the right trellis system. Try some coral honeysuckle, moonflower, clematis or trumpet vine to start with. If you're a home brewer, any number of hop strains would be a good call.
     

    Small Footprint, Stunning Looks


    Obviously, avid gardeners with limited real estate have no shortage of options when it comes to plant variety. If you select plants, shrubs and trees that are appropriate for your local climate, you'll be amazed at how well your small-area picks complement your miniature garden.

     

    Author

    Trees For Sale Online Nursery offers state certified low prices garden plants, perennials, ferns, wetland plants, live garden mosses, trees, shrubs and much more at the best prices online. When you buy from the grower, your cutting the middleman out and getting the lowest possible prices on all your landscaping needs. A 57 year old authority in the wholesale nursery grower industry and licensed to ship to all states and 13 foreign countries.
     

  1. Remodeling your kitchen is an excellent chance to upgrade it in term of eco-friendliness. You will finally get a chance to separate waste and apply natural cleaning solutions in order to cause the least amount of harm to the environment. The best thing is that these changes will not require a huge amount of money because you can work with what you’ve got and the little you do need to invest is a small investment compared to the benefits you get.

    You will see how a remodeled kitchen will soon turn into a hub of social activity in the house as even the children will want to join the whole ecological hype that their parents became part of. We provide you here with a 5-step checklist that will help you transform your kitchen into an eco-friendly space that will work with Mother Nature, not against it.

    1. The labels have to be green

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    Whatever additions you decide to introduce into your kitchen, whether it is something as simple as a new teapot or even a brand new countertop, this product must bear a green label. This means that the product has been subject to testing on how the ingredients of materials for it were produced. A label of the color green usually stands for sustainability, like the Follow to Frog sign and the Forest Stewardship Council stamp that indicates that fruit or timber have been outsourced from regions that care about protecting the local environment.

    2. Cork for flooring

    The bark of the cork tree is used for kitchen flooring as a cheap and efficient replacement for linoleum, hardwood floors, and tiles. It is fairly easy to install, as it is simply glued to the existing surface, like concrete. Once in place, it is coated with acrylic that will ensure cork is waterproof and slip-resistant. Because it has a rather soft texture, it will act as a natal spring that will adjust to the weight of your body, so you can even walk barefoot over it. This can come in handy when children play around the kitchen and if one of them falls down, the cork will cushion the blow.

    3. Plexiglas in the kitchen?

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    The material you never thought belonged inside the kitchen is Plexiglas. Well, the automotive industry does not have exclusive rights over it as kitchen walls can benefit from it too. A thin layer of Plexiglas over the kitchen tiles impregnates their joints and ensures they are 100% waterproof, so no mold or mildew will ever form. The best thing about Plexiglas, that you can outsource from Plastic Wholesale Online is the fact that it is an eco-friendly material that does not hurt the environment. Basically, anything around the kitchen that needs waterproofing could be treated with Plexiglas in order to decrease the impact on the environment.

    4. Reducing energy consumption

    In terms of reducing the carbon print, you want to make sure your new kitchen is as energy efficient as possible. This is done by introducing green energy through house appliances and the reduction of total energy used. For the latter, a simple change in the type of light bulbs you use can make a huge difference. Replace the incandescent light bulbs with LED ones and just look at your energy consumption going down. As with everything else, when shopping for new appliances look for the Energy Star logo that ensures the manufacturer took great care of energy inefficient.

    5. Composting

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    The last item on our checklist concerns the way we manage organic waste. Recyclables should go into separate bins but food leftovers should end up outside, not in the trash can but in the garden compost. You can create it in order to decrease the total amount of waste you generate and later use the compost in your garden instead of buying hummus from the local garden center.

     

    Finally, going eco-friendly is more than possible in the kitchen and in every other room in the house. Use our 5-step checklist as the guide during the initial phases of the kitchen remodeling project.

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    For anyone looking for green waste removal, Brisbane is the place to do it. But you need to know who it is that you're partnering with. If you just go ahead and call on some unproven waste removal provider, you will never know where your waste will wind up. Moreover, you don't want to do more than you need to in the waste removal enterprise; if you can find a partner who will come out to your space, pick up your waste, and set the whole thing up for you, why wouldn't you want to do that? Here are some questions you should be asking ay before you decide on a green waste removal service provider.

    What: Maybe the first thing that you want to know about your is what exactly is considered "green waste"? You could be thinking it's one thing and they could have very narrow specifications for what they will take away. Maybe an even better thing to ask your green waste service is what they will take, regardless of whether or not it is considered "green waste." That is if you have more than simple green waste, you may wish to be looking into the services of a partner who can take away whatever it is that you have. You would hate to be sitting on a pile of excess trash simply because it is not considered "green waste" by whomever it is you decide to partner with.

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    Where: Whether you have a whole garden full of pruned physical green waste or maybe you have got lots of paper, plastic and aluminum that you want to get rid of, you would hate to have to move all this waste just in order to have it taken away. A waste removal service who will only come to your property line or demands that you drop off the waste isn't really doing you any favors, are they? If you have to carry lot half way you might as well just finish taking it the whole way, right? You need to know just where the green waste removal in Brisbane finds for you will go and where they won't go before you give them any money.

    When: Another point about waste removal is that you need them to show up when you need them there. If this is a service which only comes in the morning for a couple of hours that might not work for your schedule. Moreover, you basically just need to have a waste removal partner who will go the extra mile and will work around your schedule. Make sure that your waste removal service will be able to work on your time frame or it might not even be worth it for you to bother.

    How: One more thing you want to know about your green waste removal team is how they will cart this stuff off. If they are talking about backing a huge dump truck onto your property and crushing that perfectly good crops you just pruned, that doesn't make much sense, now does it? You need to make sure that the team that's coming out to your space will be respectful of your property and will offer you all the assurances you need.

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    One of the best green waste removal teams anywhere in Brisbane is Anything Rubbish. They will work around your schedule and they will honor your property so that you don't need to lift a finger. They may even surprise you a bit on their very reasonable prices so that you can call again!

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    Nearly everything we do in life emits carbon in one form or another. Whether it’s the green house gasses produced from our cars, the electricity we use for our homes, or the planes in the air that transport people around the world.

    Your carbon footprint is the overall amount of green house gas emissions that are produced by an individual, organization, event or product

    With this in mind there is a way to reduce your personal carbon footprint by just switching from plastic to more renewable kids toys.

    When you start being conscience of your carbon footprint you’re helping move our country & world to a better, healthier and safer place to live.

    Now you might be thinking what has this got to do with my kids toys?

    You probably know that all plastic is bad because it takes thousands of years to decompose. But what you may not be aware is much of this same plastic ends up in our oceans. As a result this forces local fish species to move or die. Worse yet the plastic also leaks chemicals into the water, which changes the pH level.

    And if you’re one to enjoy eating fish, then purchasing plastic kids toys increases your potential of consuming plastic yourself. Because small sea animals ingest this “wasted” plastic, and fish eat those animals and we eat those fish!

    Even if some plastic toys are reused, not all kids toys are recycled. So most will simply end up in landfills. As a result, the decomposed plastic gets in our soil, which harms plants and animals.

    Additionally these same plastic toys are responsible for water and air pollution because they leach hazardous toxins into the air and water.

    So to help reduce your carbon footprint, opt for renewable kids toys, which are crafted from natural, sustainable, biodegradable and/or recycled materials.

    Some of theses toys could include:

    • Cubby Houses
    • Big basket of books
    • Wooden stacking rings and blocks
    • Soft rag dolls instead of barbie
    • Puzzles and shape sorters
    • Wooden dollhouses
    • Wool felt toys
    • Organic cotton soft toys
    • Wooden musical toys
    • ABC Blocks
    • And much much more

    So next time you consider purchasing your kids toys, opt for ones that are made from recycle materials such as renewable grown timber, cotton or even wool. You’re not only reducing your carbon footprint but also surrounding your child with natural toys which are safe and have been made ethically and in an environmentally conscience way.

    As a result you’re teaching your child at a young age to value the beauty of a natural world.

    So the question is, will you purchase renewable kids toys now you know the affects it has on the environment?

  4. Sympathy flowers are such a comforting gift and an elegant way of expressing your sympathy. Do you want to express sorrow on the death of your loved ones? But you do not have words to express then condolence flower can be an ideal choice of showing your concern it speaks for what your heart is saying in times of their lonely moment. It lessens the trauma of the person who is experiencing great mourn. Life and beauty are what these flowers speak for. It's hard to say something when your friend or loved one is grieving and yet in some ways, you wanted to show that you care and you are willing to offer them comfort is through sympathy floral arrangement, the best gift for the most heartbreaking moments.  

    Why send sympathy floral arrangement on the memorial day?

    Nobody can explain in words the feelings which the deceased person's family was in such a situation. It is scientifically proven that flowers help to recover from depression and sadness. People can send funeral flowers personally or by a florist on their behalf. So if someone passes away one should send a funeral wreath to the grieving family to show that people care for them. Giving funeral wreath to the grieving family in respect of the person who passed away is a common practice. Sending flowers to the family during such difficult times show certain care and concern and also respect to the deceased person. It is true that people cannot take away the sorrow with sending flowers, but the gift in the form of the funeral wreath can bring a tinge of happiness to the grief-stricken family.  

    The funeral wreath is available in different forms with a ribbon on it expressing a message of condolence for the loved one. If you are in an embarrassing situation where you cannot have any words to express your condolence then it is the flowers that can be your best option. Sympathy flowers not only offer consolation and comfort to the bereaved, but they also provide an atmosphere of quiet celebration of the life of the one who has passed. if you are close to the affected family, it is important to send the flowers directly to the family or home. There also online shops that offer the service and can deliver on your behalf. 

    What flower colors are acceptable?

    Flowers of any color say so much about your feelings whether silently want to say that you love someone or express your condolence and grief; you can do it by sending the floral arrangement in the form of the condolence flower. Condolence flowers are often in a vase, basket or bouquet. You can also wish to attach sympathy gifts to show that you genuinely care for that person. Sometimes the family decides to purchase across flower type of arrangement for the funeral services, and these crosses come in a medium of different sizes. The condolence flowers are made with the combination of different colored flowers and some flowers that have some special significance and meaning for that particular occasion. The condolence flowers can be made with roses, carnations, daisies, and if you want to add a personal touch to the bouquet then you add some flowers loved by the deceased person to pay him or her tribute that he deserves.

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    It's lunch time. You drive your car and go to grocery store for preparing something delicious. You pick chicken and a pre-made salad. Have you noticed that such actions affect environment? How could it be possible? Let me explain. When you go by car, it releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Air gets polluted. The store that you went into, require light which is powered by coal and as you know that coal mining destroy our ecosystem. What about that salad? Its ingredients grown on farm using harmful pesticides and then washed into local streams poisoning the fish and aquatic plants. Water gets polluted. Even chicken transported by trucks that emits poisonous gas. A smallest action of human creates an environmental change. Think of a bigger picture. Humans are completely dependent on mother nature for survival. But, what you give back? Harmful chemicals that pollutes water, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide such undesirable gases causing air pollution. We really need to think on this and stop some where.

    Have you ever wonder which is one of the main reason in determining the nature? Industrial pollution is the main cause. Earlier industries were limited and so they were less harmful to en vironment. But, with growing population several industries evolved on a large scale with massive production. This has depleted certain natural resources damaging the environment permanently. Best example is deforestation which is clearing of forest for sake of production. “ Grow More Trees” is our motto. Do you think we took this seriously? Just to increase production level, what are we doing? Cutting down the trees and cripple the system. Greed can lead to catastrophic accidents and eventually society has to suffer. Mainly primary industries has caused a massive damage to earth especially mining of coal. This has become one of the biggest issue today.

    Coal, one of the fossil fuel, is mined with an aim of producing electricity. Imagine a day without electricity. I remember a day when the light goes off just for an hour and I was like yelling and calling at electricity office. We really could not live without it. Not even an hour. Now, you might have come to know how coal is important and so its mining as well. But Wait! All good things come with something not acceptable. Have you ever think of how much damage is caused to surface of earth while mining coal? Let me list down all the drastic consequences that comes along with mining of it.

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    1. Emission of harmful gases deteriorates ambient air quality

    With an aim to extract coal from underground mines, mining operation is done. Such operation includes drilling, hauling, collection and transportation and this results into emission of harmful gases like methane, sulfur-dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide . Just like other fossil fuels, combustion of coal produces CO2 affecting the green house effect. This even increase in global warming. This even has major impact like global warming. Don't you think such release of gases will pollute the air? Off-course Yes. Much more air quality deterioration is caused due to opencast mining in which mining operation is carried without any tunnel or shafts. Imagine how much destructive it will be? Such emission leads to serious health hazards with a rapid increase of respiratory disease such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. Really, we need to think on this otherwise the day is no far where we are left alone by nature. Within last few year production of coal is sky-rocketing. You can figure it out how the production of coal has been incresed in china in last few years.

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    2. Adverse impact to hydrological regime

    Process of mining, burning the coal and waste storage of coal pollutes the water. How? A flowing water comes into contact of coal mining activities that has exposed rocks. Such rocks contains pyrite, a sulphur bearing mineral. This mineral reacts with water forming sulphuric acid. Such runoff results into a metal rich water that is Acid mine drainage (AMD). How dreadful it would be to those aquatic plants and animals? And what about us? We too are affected as we drink that contaminated water. Other reasons that pollutes the water are erosion of mine benches , overloaded and reject dumps, failing dams and even during discharging of million litres of water itself. “Water is life” But, we have made it such that becomes dangerous to your life. How mean we are?

    3. Enormous Land Disturbance Caused due to mining operation

    Mining operation goes through large scale excavation, creation of negligent land, removal of top soil, dumping of solid waste and cutting of roads. Usually, mine collapse in underground mining and land above it start to sink result into an interruption. News about such catastrophe is frequently heard. But, opencast mining is more destructive than underground mining. It scraps away earth and rock to get coal buried near the surface. It destroy landscapes, forest, wildlife, contaminates ground water and result into air and noise pollution. Such environmental affects are so profound that recovery of it is next to impossible. So, why we become so careless and constantly dig though it affects our environment.

    4. Mining causes noise and vibration

    Do you like someone screaming? No Why? Because it is too unpleasant to our ears. Think of a blast or something weird sound at a high volume. How terrible it might be for our ears. Think of people living around the areas where mining activities takes place. Why? Because such mining operation produces lot of noise and vibration as well. Hundreds of tones of explosives blast in the mining area and this creates a massive noise pollution. Hearing loss of human ears is one of the major consequence of noise. Imagine how dreadful it might be? Beast in forest are more sensitive to such noise and so they are more affected than humans.

    Want to improve environmental sustainability in industries? There has been established many institutional bodies that offers diploma in Environmental Management. Many of them even offer excellent trainig and one of my friend has experienced best training of workplace environmental at Brisbane in Australia.

    Being a part of this wonderful nature, each and every individual is responsible for such destruction. Why we have become so greedy that we don't care of its frighting consequences. There is still time to save our nature otherwise it will be too late to sum up everything.

  5. By J. Matthew Roney

    At the end of 2013, the wind farms installed in more than 85 countries had a combined generating capacity of 318,000 megawatts, which would be enough to meet the residential electricity needs of the European Union’s 506 million people. New data from the Global Wind Energy Council show that wind developers built 35,000 megawatts of new generating capacity worldwide in 2013. This was down from 45,000 megawatts installed in 2012—marking only the second time in 25 years that installed capacity increased by less than it did the year before.

    The principal reason for the decline in new capacity was a more than 90 percent drop in U.S. wind farm installations from a record 13,000 megawatts in 2012. Although the United States has the second-highest wind power capacity in the world—some 61,000 megawatts—a lack of long-term policy planning has led to several such boom-and-bust cycles.

    Despite the dearth of new capacity, there were many bright spots for U.S. wind power in 2013. Wind accounted for at least 12 percent of the electricity generated in nine states, including Iowa (27 percent) and South Dakota (26 percent). Iowa will get another boost from a $1.9 billion deal announced in December 2013: Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Company purchased Siemens turbines totaling more than 1,000 megawatts, all destined for Iowa wind projects. When complete in 2015, these wind farms will likely bring the wind share of electricity in Iowa to at least 33 percent.

    Wind’s contribution to the grid is also growing in Texas, the U.S. wind capacity leader with 12,400 megawatts. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas reports that wind farms produced nearly 10 percent of the electricity delivered to its 24 million customers in 2013. And with the early-2014 completion of state-funded transmission projects linking windy West Texas and the Panhandle to population centers to the east, Texas can accommodate even more clean electricity on the grid. The state has 7,000 megawatts of new wind power capacity under construction, more than half of the 12,000 megawatts currently being built nationwide.

    China has led the world in installed capacity since surpassing the United States in 2010. In contrast to the drop in U.S. installations in 2013, China’s wind construction accelerated—adding 16,000 megawatts to reach a total 91,000 megawatts. Wind further solidified its role as the number three electricity source in China (behind coal and hydropower), out-generating nuclear power by an impressive 22 percent. The National Energy Administration aims to make wind-generated electricity cost-competitive with coal by 2020. (See data.)

    As in Texas and many other places around the world, some of China’s best wind resources are found far from major cities where electricity demand is high. High-voltage transmission lines now under construction will connect wind-rich provinces in the north and west with more populous ones in the central and eastern provinces. For example, one project linking remote Xinjiang province to the 4 million people in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, was completed in early 2014. Infrastructure projects such as this one will be critical in reaching the official Chinese goal of 200,000 megawatts of grid-connected wind capacity by 2020.

    India, the country with the fifth-highest amount of installed capacity, added 1,700 megawatts in 2013 to cross the 20,000 megawatt threshold. Although this was 25 percent less new capacity than in 2012, India is poised to grow its wind power base dramatically in the coming years. In January 2014, the government announced a National Wind Energy Mission—in the spirit of the country’s National Solar Mission—to be launched mid-year. By beefing up the grid and using incentives to attract investment to wind hotspots, the program aims to hit 100,000 megawatts of wind within eight years.

    Development is picking up elsewhere in Asia as well. In Pakistan, wind power capacity doubled to 100 megawatts in 2013 and will double again when two 50-megawatt projects go online in 2014. Thailand also doubled its wind capacity in 2013, reaching 220 megawatts. And the Philippines has seven projects due for completion in 2014 that will expand wind capacity there 13-fold to 450 megawatts.

    Before China’s recent surge, Europe was the leading wind power region. Germany, which added 3,200 megawatts in 2013, ranks third worldwide in total capacity, with 34,000 megawatts. Four of its northern states regularly get half or more of their electricity from wind farms.

    When it comes to wind’s contribution to national electricity needs, European countries top the leaderboard. Denmark gets one third of its electricity from wind, well on its way to a target of 50 percent by 2020. Portugal, Lithuania, Spain, and Ireland come in at around 20 percent each. In fact, wind came within a percentage point of beating nuclear power for the title of Spain’s number one electricity source in 2013. And Germany, Europe’s largest economy, obtained 8 percent of its electricity from wind farms.

    While some of the larger European wind power markets, including Spain, Italy, and France, have slowed down, smaller players are speeding up. Poland and Romania each expanded their wind power capacity by 36 percent in 2013, to 3,400 and 2,600 megawatts, respectively. And in Turkey, even though the approval process for projects is slow, wind capacity grew by 28 percent to nearly 3,000 megawatts.

    One region with enormous wind potential but little development so far is Latin America. Brazil, best known for getting 80 percent of its electricity from large hydropower, hosts the most wind power capacity in the region—now close to 3,500 megawatts after a 950-megawatt addition in 2013. At government auctions, wind companies have won more than half of all contracts to sell electricity since 2011, according to Bloomberg data. Some 10,000 megawatts of wind may be installed in Brazil between 2014 and 2019. Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay also added wind power in 2013.

    In all of Africa, just one project added capacity in 2013. The final 90 megawatts of Ethiopia’s 120-megawatt Ashegoda Wind Farm went into operation, more than doubling the country’s wind capacity to 170 megawatts. South Africa has 2,100 megawatts of wind power in the pipeline, including 750 megawatts to be added in 2014 alone.

    Offshore projects account for just over 2 percent of the wind capacity installed worldwide. Having hit a seventh straight annual installation record in 2013, however, offshore wind is growing fast. More than half of the 7,100 megawatts of offshore capacity belongs to the United Kingdom, which installed 730 megawatts in its waters in 2013. Denmark, Germany, and Belgium each added at least 190 megawatts to their totals, while China added 39 megawatts. Both Vietnam and Spain added offshore wind capacity for the first time, as did the United States, although the U.S. project was one very small demonstration turbine off the coast of Maine.

    Offshore wind is still one of the more expensive electricity generating technologies, but onshore wind is often highly competitive with coal, natural gas, and nuclear power in areas with strong wind resources. And costs continue to fall as wind manufacturers steadily improve turbine efficiency, harnessing more wind per machine. In the United States, the average price of wind-generated electricity has dropped 40 percent since 2009.

    After a slower year in 2013, world wind installations will bounce back in 2014, perhaps to a new record—the Global Wind Energy Council sees the potential for 47,000 megawatts. Roughly half of the total will be built in China and the United States (around three times more in the former than in the latter). This is good news for the wind business, for electricity consumers, and for people who value cleaner air and water. But increasingly dire scientific warnings about the consequences of climate change mean that the world will need to accelerate the shift to carbon-free, renewable sources of energy even more so in the years to come.

    Copyright © 2014 Earth Policy Institute

  6. A systematized efforts to teach about the functioning of environment and specifically about environmental issues and its associated challenges.

    Goal of such Education is “Awareness and understanding environmental affairs”

    Want to know how such education is enhanced across the globe? Google trend is one of the best source I have visited. Check my entire analysis on environmental education around the world. Google trend depicts how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. It shows how popular the search term has been over a time. Such trends are more preferred when compared to just descriptions.

    Check how concern about environmental education is declining. !! (Yes. Topic to be ponder !! )

    1) Down-going in Interest over time

    Problem:

    4a552791ff2c1b4b7c6ec6a4547df459.jpg

    You can observe from the above graph that there is a massive decline since 2005 till now.

    Check what kind of international steps are being in flow to cease such issue.

    1) European Union, a recognized leader in most areas of environmental activities is constantly trying to uplift such degradation.

    2) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), an agency of United Nations (UN) co-ordinates many environmental management training programmes .

    It assist many developing nations in implementing environmental policy.

    3) Many such other institution even promotes environmental science and environmental health that provides an integrated approach to environmental systems.

    2) Country Specific interest at particular period

    8e89cc900fdca9879dd9ddd25a569030.jpg

    From the above trend, you can see the list of countries who are interested in making their people aware about such education.

    Kenya is among the most concern country on such issues. At Kenya, many programmes are conducted to make people aware like Edmund Rice East African Network programmes, Environmental Education Action Plan and similar other. This may be the reason that more and more people are aware in Kenya.

    Even countries having less awareness programmes are focusing on such action plans to educated their people.

    3) Most related searches

    efbf5e53b0d3fcecbb2416c7b0e02c15.jpg

    This is one of the important feature of Google trend which depicts relevant query search around the world. Not only this, it even shows the most searched keyword by their search volume.

    Above analysis just depicts how less concern we are for nature and environmental related issues.

  7. Murray

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    There is no doubt that snakes serve an important part in our ecosystem, especially with regards to keeping populations of rats and mice under control. However, there are situations where you wish to restrict the areas they can access, such as chicken coops, dog pens, aviaries and backyards frequented by children. It is therefore important to limit their access in a way that do not harm them or the environment. Several methods of discouraging snakes are being bandied around various forums with everything from old-wives tales to innovative technologies. This post aims to discuss the various options and their effectiveness.

    Keeping it short

    Keeping the grass short is a frequent advice to limit snakes, as the snakes do not like to be out in the open, as they are exposed to flying predators. However, during the warmer months, snakes desperate for water can easily venture over short grass, dirt and paved areas, attracted by the pets’ water bowls.

    Snake Fencing

    As Australia is heading into snake season with the warmer weather, Murray Stewart, owner of The Fencing Store has noticed a significant increase in enquiries for snake proof fencing mesh as people are taking precautions to protect pets, livestock and children from the slithering animals. Murray recommends a fine 6.5mm or 9.5mm square wire mesh that will keep most snakes out as long as the fence is constructed in the right manner. On his website, Murray has added a blog post about a customer who created a snake proof fence for their beloved dogs.

    Setting up snake proof fences is undoubtedly one of the best ways to keep snakes away while not harming the environment, as it keeps the snakes free to roam outside the fencing while not harming them.

    Dog_Fence_1.jpg

    Naphthalene

    This falls under the old-wives tale category. I read regular forum posts advising to use naphthalene as snake repellent. Naphthalene is an ingredient in mothballs, and it’s scent is supposed to repel snakes. Naphthalene is also a toxic substance as covered on epa.gov. It is not recommended to place this substance out in nature, where it can be ingested by wildlife and cause terminal damage. Besides, studies show that Naphthalene is ineffective in repelling some snakes in the first place.

    Vibration

    Most snakes are wary of humans and larger animals, and sense our presence by the vibration our footsteps make when moving around. If awake, this vibration normally results in most snakes evacuating the area. Dogmaster.com.au retails a solar-powered snake shield, which in effect is a stake that emits a vibrating pulse into the ground, which should deter the snakes without hurting them or the environment. The only negative, is that it might repel the snakes from your shed as well, leaving rats and mice to roam free.

    Liquid snake repellent

    Liquid Fence have created a liquid and granular snake repellent that according to their website works by emitting a scent that “confuses and irritates the snake’s chemosensory systems”, making them look for another place to inhabit. The website further claims that the product is all natural, but at the time of writing, I have not had the opportunity to test it out, so I cannot cast any judgement on it.

    Conclusion

    For permanent areas, I recommend setting up a snake proof fence to keep snakes out. The vibrating snake shield would be a great investment for portable applications, such as camping trips.

  8. Work is difficult. Today all the agencies do their best to succeed in a competitive market where there are no limits to what a customer can find and obtain with some patience. Customers have easy access to a day by day larger range of possible collaborators, services and opportunities. To gain new customers workers and agencies are forced to invest a lot on promotion activities or to keep their rates so low that obtain a financial income is basically utopia. Even with all this effort most of the times these strategies are still far from being enough. What all workers, from the independent painter to the successful pest control agency, look for is visibility; a chance to focus the attention of new possible costumers on what they have to offer or, perhaps, in the amazing quality that they can provide even if keeping rates a little bit higher.

    Today the best way to obtain that visibility is obviously on internet but how?

    Create a site is helpful but requires a lot of work building the project and maintaining it. A lot of work that often involve the need of spending money hiring technicians or paying for a domain. Too often all this work ends up being a waste of time due to a lack of users who visit that agency's specific site. To avoid this problem a lot of workers go on pre-made sites to promote their business. Most of the sites that offer promotions services on their domains, anyway, are expensive or pretends to offer a great opportunity when they are actually very miserable. That is maybe how someone ended up creating a particular site: a site called Shout Wire.

    handyman.jpg

    Just typing: http://www.shoutwire.com/ on a browser the owner of an agency can find all the visibility that he needs. Why? The reason is very easy, Shout Wire is a site born in the 2009 that just in the 2014 has been visited by 1 million of possible customers. A million of users that were looking for someone who could help them to fix their problems.

    The peculiarity is that Shout Wire doesn't build its partnerships on financial basis or on the payment of a certain amount of money, to be partner of this growing company what you need is just something that you already have: the desire of seeing your business grows creating a group of satisfied customers around you. Joining this company you would become part of a successful group which works day by day to provide a great experience for its customers and its partners at the same time. All that's required to you is to stay motivated and competitive in order to keep high standards.

    Exactly, the partnership is free. Join the company is very simple, you should just send a request completing the form that you can find on the site on the partnership section. Contact the Shout Wire staff and stay in touch with them is very easy too since the site is complete of contacts that you can use for a situation like that. Click here, a website featuring helpful info.

  9. The UK is already behind in their environmental targets, so what could an exit from Europe do to our environment credentials? Some of the EU’s biggest achievements are in the field of environmental conservation, with stringent targets placed on things like recycling and renewable energy. It remains to be seen if the UK’s exit from the EU will simply allow them to take the easy way out and ease up on their targets.

     

    Farming and Fishing

    Two of the the most vocal groups throughout the Brexit campaign were farmers and fishermen. The fishermen had hoped that a vote to leave would mean that they would gain control of their fishing quotas again, but this has proven to be fruitless. An EU memo has revealed that UK fishermen may not win back waters following Brexit, which means the UK will have no further control over fishing stocks.

     

    Farming is also set to be delivered a blow, as British farmers will see the end of EU subsidies. A report by Informa Agribusiness Intelligence estimates that 90% of British farms will collapse without these subsidies and land prices would crash.

     

    Sustainable Energy

    One of the biggest concerns that many people have is that the environment will suffer the most because of a decrease in focus on sustainable energy sources. The good news is, The North Sea Link will go ahead despite Brexit. However, German energy firm Siemens has frozen future investment in wind power following the vote.

     

    STEM Research and Employment

    One of the most obvious impacts of Brexit is that it could prevent key talent in the field of science and technology from choosing the UK as a place to work or study. We’ve already seen a downturn in university-educated professionals making the UK their destination of choice. There has been a scramble in recent months to secure EEA permanent residence for those already in the UK, but some have been asked to leave rather unceremoniously, despite being settled in the UK for a long time.

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    Hemp, also known as marijuana, is a tall, coarse plant native to Asia, but grown nearly anywhere in the world. Besides its drug use, hemp is recognized as a valuable fiber, one that can be used to make rope, fabric and other materials. Hemp oil is also an important byproduct, one that is used as dietary supplement as well as for the relief of eczema, a skin disease.

     

    Hemp oil is sometimes called hempseed oil. No matter the name used, this oil is derived by pressing hemp seeds. This oil should not be confused with hash oil, derived from the cannabis flower and acclaimed by many for its supposed medicinal qualities.

     

    In its natural state, cold pressed, unrefined hemp oil ranges from clear light green to dark in color and has a nutty flavor. For a grassier taste, users can choose a darker color.

     

    In its refined state, hemp oil is clear, colorless and offers only minimum flavoring. This also means that many of its naturally occurring vitamins and antioxidants have been removed. Thus, people seeking to enjoy the full medicinal benefit of hemp oil routinely look for unrefined oils. These oils are incorporated within body car products, including moisturizers, lotions, shampoos and more.

     

    Hemp oil also has an industrial purpose. The oil is used as a wood finish, in particular as a drying oil although it usually is blended with other oils. Hempseed oil is often compared with linseed oil in its usage. This oil has also found use as a biodiesel, according to researchers at the University of Connecticut.

     

    The cannabis saliva plant is used to produce hemp oil. However, it only contains small amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive cannabis plant element. In the preparation process, the hemp seeds are cleansed before being pressed into an oil. Thus, hemp oil comes in below the government threshold for permissible tetrahydrocannabinol levels.

     

    Hemp oil is also served as a tincture, whereby it can be added to other ingredients or taken directly. Tinctures include a dropper to ensure that the right amount of hemp oil is extracted.

     

    When using any tincture, the bottle should be thoroughly shaken to ensure a full blending. Then and only then should the dropper be used to pull in the right amount to tincture. That tincture could then be added to a food source or applied directly under the tongue. Holding it in your mouth for upwards of 90 seconds before swallowing will ensure that you receive its full benefit. No, you won’t get “high” from a hemp seed tincture, but it can help you relax and sleep better.

     

    Hemp seed oil is now also popular with those who vape. Vaping is a process that allows people to enjoy different flavorings via an electronic cigarette or similar vaping device, without the side effects of smoking. Like the tincture, only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol is present, well within legal limits. At the same time, users frequently remark that the oil mixed with other flavors provide a winning combination for vaping. This product, like the tincture, is legal in all 50 states.

     

    The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has not ruled on the health benefits of hemp oil. That hasn’t stopped proponents from sharing their own findings, always with the proviso that such benefits may not have been independently confirmed explains Tasty Hemp Oil.

     

    Users are often the best people to ask about hemp oil and what it does for them. Some claim that hemp oil lowers their cholesterol levels, maintains their sugar levels (ideal for people with diabetes), and boosts their immune systems. Besides combatting eczema, hemp oil may help people who have another skin condition, namely psoriasis.

     

    At the same time, there are warnings that hemp oil can increase prostate cancer risk, may have an anti-clotting effect on blood, and cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Discuss your usage with your medical practitioner.

    hemp-oil-basics.JPG

    hemp-oil-basics1.jpg

  10. Saving the people from the clutches of diseases or death is an experience which cannot be expressed in words. Give true meaning to the life by enrolling in one of the courses listed in this website. Read more about our courses by exploring the website and understand the vision of the institute. All the courses are designed taking into account the present trend in emergency treatment. Register in this accredited institute and get trained by specialists. Do not blindly follow others and think something different. Welcome the bright future by finishing one of the courses listed in this website. The students will get placed in the best hospitals once they finish these courses.

    The fees for all the courses are quite nominal and subjects are par excellence. Be a class apart and register in one of the courses. Sufferings are endless in this life and many heart patients expect the emergency team to arrive to their place immediately. There is always a deficit in life saving support team. Amplify the scope of employment by finishing these courses in flying colors. Hundreds of students who finished their courses in this incredible institute got placed in top notch hospitals with handsome pay package. Stop thinking and read more to enroll in these courses.

    The Course Contents Are Quite Simple

    The students will be treated properly and given best attention during the course. Magnify the image in the society by enrolling in one of the courses. Learning these power-packed subjects is very important in the present climate since hundreds of people fall ill suddenly with various diseases and look forward for emergency medical assistance. Heart diseases are in the raise and millions of people fall prey to these dangerous diseases during the course of time.

    When heart attack happens in their place of living, it is very difficult to treat them immediately. So, they place a call to emergency team for immediate help. There is always shortage of life support team and patients are left to lurch. Assist these innocent people by learning the tricks of life support through our institute. Enhancing life support skill is always better since the students can also work as a volunteer and save many lives during their life time. Life without objective is a waste. Be decisive and set an objective to save the life of the patients.

     The students will get superb guidance and training in this institute. Look out for the best in this institute which is filled with vibrant culture. The trainers will show positive energy and enthusiasm while training the students and teach practical methods that have to be adopted during the process of life saving. Every semester will be filled with eye-opening and positive twists that will leave the students spell bound. Sitting without a job is a mental agony and a suffering. Move ahead in life by enrolling in one of the courses and showcase the potential in future.

    The Institute That Sets High Standards

    Many world class clinics and diagnostic centers are suffering from shortage of ECG technicians and looking out for bunch of candidates with this special skill. Get employed in the best labs as an ECG technician after doing the course in this institution. Pediatric care is an interesting subject and many nurses are showing interest to enroll their names in this institute to get ENPC certificate. First few minutes are very important during emergency treatment to save a life.

    The students will be taught about all the procedures related to emergency treatments and fill their brain with best knowledge. Many interesting things and latest inventions are happening in the field of medicine. Path breaking discoveries are also happening in this area. So enhancing the knowledge in medicinal field is an advantage. This institute follows systematic procedures while educating the students and provides hands on training during the period of course. The expert instructors from various fields of medicines will teach the students in a mind blowing class room. The students will show maximum interest during the program and cherish the days spent in this institution. The students will be treated royally throughout the course period.

     

  11. biofuel.jpg

    Population growth, massive urbanization, and increasing consumer demands will cause major changes in future energy production methods. While there’s no question that the energy system must become more sustainable, Monsanto CMS maintains that it also needs to produce more energy to keep up with both technological advances and consumer expectations.

    Biofuels are a logical and cost-effective response to the sustainability question. They don’t emit as much carbon dioxide as fossil fuels, and they are much cheaper than traditional combustibles.

    Although still a controversial subject, biofuels -- together with other alternative energy sources -- can revolutionize the way we power up the world.

     

     

    Biofuels to Revolutionize Clean Energy

    Fermented ethanol is at the heart of producing first-generation biofuels. People have been taking carbon from plants such as corn and sugarcane, and converting it into fuels for thousands of years. Plant carbon was even used to power up the Model T, the car that established a mass market for automobiles. However, biofuels only account for less than 10% of the world’s energy supply.

     

     

    Why?

    Even though biofuels are a great alternative to fossil fuels, earlier versions had their downsides. Ethanol is extracted from plants that are rich in sugar or starches that are heavily used in the food industry or to feed livestock. A sudden increase in demand could cause food prices to skyrocket and availability to be diminished.

    Fortunately, scientists are looking for ways to fix the faults in biofuel production and create alternative energy sources that are clean and efficient.

     

    For instance, companies could produce biofuels without impacting the environment or the world’s population by using cellulosic biomass, instead of starch or corn, to produce ethanol.  In other words, companies could use agricultural waste, algae, and non-food crops and convert them into plant sugars that can be used to fuel the world.

     

    Sure, this task is not without its challenges, but Shell -- one of the biggest oil and gas companies in the world -- might have a solution. A Brazilian subsidiary of Shell started burning leftover sugarcanes to deliver power to its factories. The excess power was pumped into the national Brazilian grid. The electricity sourced by leftover canes supplied around 3% of Brazil’s demand. It’s estimated that this number will grow to 18% in the next three years.

    Brazil is one of the biggest pollution producers in the world. If they manage to implement the use of cellulosic biofuels effectively, they could set an example for the entire world to follow.

     

    Transforming Microbial Methane into Energy

    Cellulosic biofuels aren't the only clean energy alternative that could revolutionize the world’s power sources. Scientists at Stanford University are testing new ways of transforming microbial methane into energy.

    Researchers have set up colonies of microbes that produce methane gas and other compounds. Their goal is to create massive microbial factories that could convert carbon dioxide into renewable energy sources.

    The first step has already been taken. Scientists finally understand how methanogens -- microorganisms usually found in sediments that convert electricity and CO2 into methane -- work, And they proved that methanogens retrieve electrons from solid surfaces.

    This important discovery could help researchers and engineers design electrodes for microbial factories to produce sustainable methane gas.

     

     

    How Artificial Leaves Could Power Up the World

    It’s no longer a secret that plants can generate an outstanding amount of energy. Recent estimates have shown that plants can produce up to 130 terawatts of energy per year while consuming as little as 115 petagrams of carbon. Researchers have been working for years to develop a system that could mimic a plants capacity for producing energy in a more cost-effective way.

    Daniel Nocera and his team at MIT have discovered a way to develop extra-thin solar cells made from silicone and other catalytic materials. One of those materials is a less-expensive replacement for platinum.

    These solar cells don’t generate electricity directly. Instead, they act like electrodes in hydrogen cells; when they are placed in a water container in direct sunlight, they convert hydrogen into energy. Photosynthesis works pretty much the same way.

    In the near future, companies could create artificial leaves that capture sun’s energy to power the world with no CO2 emissions.

    The world is going to need an outstanding amount of energy for everyone to achieve reasonable living standards, but that doesn’t mean we should kill our planet in the process. These alternative solutions have the potential to revolutionize the way we power the world.

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    Navigating in the 21st Century: Where To?

    When you go on a road trip, what do you use to navigate? Google Maps, a GPS system, maybe a printed map of the area? How about a map printed in 1776? Probably not - there have been so many changes since then that it wouldn't be an accurate guide, and you might not reach your intended destination.

    The Map

    In a way, we are using an old map in our economy when we use the concepts and practices originally set out by Adam Smith in "The Wealth of Nations", published in 1776,1 which formed the basis for the market economy model of economic transactions.

    It's not a matter of the principles being "wrong", it's that there have been significant changes since 1776 and new information needs to be incorporated into our economic framework so that it reflects the realities of the world today, and better guides our choices for the long term.

    Then and Now

    In 1776 our impact on the world was a tiny fraction of what it is today. The world population was short of a billion (about 900 million)2 and the Watt steam engine was just beginning to power the Industrial Revolution in Europe. The combined rise of powered industrial technology and human population since then has hugely expanded our ability to impact the world around us. Today over 7.3 billion people3 need food, water, shelter and other resources; projections for peak human population are in the range of 9 to 10 billion4 , and the technologies to extract and process natural resources into products have expanded along with population.

    As products were made and sold in 1776, there were adverse impacts, and costs were incurred that were unknown, thus not considered as Adam Smith created his economic model. For instance, air pollution from coal-burning engines began around that time, but it wasn’t recognized as being harmful to human health. In contrast, a recent World Health Organization report estimated that around 7 million people died in 2012 as a result of global air pollution exposure5. Similarly, other forms of pollution and various other adverse impacts occur, and these costs are often not reflected in the accounting of the businesses which cause pollution as they manufacture and sell their products.

    Incentives and Externalities

    Logic and ethics might suggest that the costs of adverse impacts from the making of products be added to the books of the firms making and selling those products. For example, those cost figures could be for pollution abatement equipment, installed to prevent or reduce the health impacts to people downwind from the plant. More commonly, these kinds of costs are incurred by the public, and measured by public health agencies, in terms of hospital visits, reduced productivity and premature deaths.

    One of the primary tenets of the market system is that the purpose of a business is to maximize profits for investors and management. This is typically done by maximizing sales and profits, and in order to maximize sales and profits, and to maintain a competitive pricing position in the market, production costs must be minimized. So businesses have a fundamental disincentive to add to their costs, including the costs to public health and the health and productivity of natural resources, both of which have been left out of the market model and are referred to as “externalities”. Protecting the public interest is not the function or purpose of business; this is the responsibility of the representatives we elect to govern in the public interest.

    Natural Capital

    Another development not envisaged when the Wealth of Nations was published was the depletion of natural resources, sometimes to the point of species extinction. This is reflected in the following statement from “TEEB - The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature”:

    “The invisibility of biodiversity values has often encouraged inefficient use or even destruction of the natural capital that is the foundation of our economies.” 6

    Consider the example of the Cod community population, a rich fishery around the Grand Bank in the North Atlantic Ocean. In 1950 there was a total population of about 2.5 million metric tons; by 2000 the population was down to around 0.25 million metric tons – a 90% reduction in population7. U.S. and Canadian fisheries agencies coordinated to manage this valuable natural resource and prevent the extinction of Atlantic cod. The same story has played out in the Chesapeake Bay with the oyster population, which is estimated today to be about 1% of the population that existed when Europeans arrived in the 17th century8. Why were these resources so overfished and jeopardized?

    From a business perspective the market economy is based on competition and individual decision making, so each fishermen seeks to maximize their catch, not to manage a regional fishery resource. There is no provision for rational, science-based natural resource management within the market economy. The actions of individual producers and consumers pursuing their self-interest determine resource utilization, and left to the mechanisms of the market will consume the resource if the demand is high enough.

    Buyer Beware

    This is rational for each individual fishing company and consumer, but collectively the result is irrational. The market economy does not address the combined effects of individual actions. So despite the litany of comments from some business leaders, and, not coincidentally, some politicians, that government is wrong to “burden” companies with regulations, it is clear that the incentive structure of the market model needs to be updated to incorporate “external” costs and to protect ecological and human health in the public interest. From the TEEB study, what is needed is:

    “To recalibrate the faulty economic compass that has led us to decisions that are prejudicial to both current well-being and that of future generations6.”

    Consider an example of making a rational decision on public health, in the public interest. If you take steps to reduce air pollution in compliance with the Clean Air Act, it will cost up to $65 billion a year by 2020. The benefits of these steps have been estimated at $2 trillion per year9. That’s quite a return on investment - what would you do? What would be rational?

    Predictably, a relentless sales campaign by the vested parties of the status quo uses the tools of modern advertising to push emotional buttons and manipulate public opinion. Words like “freedom”, “individual liberty”, “God-given right”, “consumer choice”, “big government”, “extremists” and “socialists” seek to portray any efforts to support and protect the interests and well-being of the public at large as un-American, or worse.

    It’s ironic, and cynical, to consider such messages, when more and more of the benefits of our work – profits – are going to fewer and fewer very rich and politically connected people. It is undermining the very foundation of proportional representative government (votes) with vast sums of money. Lobbyists, lawyers and unlimited corporate campaign contributions are powerful tools with which to defend the status quo, on behalf of less than one percent of the population.

    Adam Smith considered the importance of human motivation in establishing his model of a system of economic transactions:

    “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard for their own interest”

    Adam Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”, 1776, p.24.

    Certainly this is an important truth, one with deep roots in our survival instincts. Another important truth is that for humans, survival and success in evolving and expanding has been based on our social nature and the power of groups to accomplish things that single individuals cannot. Specialization of activities, which is the prerequisite for exchanges and economy, requires the interdependence and coordination of individuals within the group, and a balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group.

    By the 1980’s, Mr. Smith’s notion of self-interest had morphed into something else:

    “Greed … is good”

    Gordon Gekko, in “Wall Street”, 20th Century Fox, 1987

    Fooled Again?

    Nature is the foundation of our continued existence. Natural capital is the foundation of our economies. Short term greed and willful ignorance are serious threats to our current and future well-being. Business as usual is not a viable option. United (and diverse) we may stand, if we can agree on the fundamentals of how to live together, in accord with nature.

    Jack F. Brennan, 2015

    References

    1. http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html
    2. http://ourworldindata.org/data/population-growth-vital-statistics/world-population-growth/
    3. http://www.prb.org/pdf14/2014-world-population-data-sheet_eng.pdf
    4. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/sixbillion/sixbilpart1.pdf
    5. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/
    6. TEEB (2010) The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature: A synthesis. http://www.teebweb.org/our-publications/teeb-study-reports/synthesis-report/
    7. http://ram.biology.dal.ca/~myers/depletion/
    8. On the Brink: Chesapeake’s Native Oysters http://www.cbf.org/document.doc?id=523
    9. http://www.epa.gov/cleanairactbenefits/feb11/summaryreport.pdfnav21.pdf
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    Thanks to our modern, busy lives, many of us experience health problems related directly with stress or improper lifestyle habits. The choices we make every day impact our health greatly and by making few simple adjustments, you can start living more productive and most importantly healthier life! Just follow these easy tips and you will start to feel the difference in just few weeks:

    #1 Try to Avoid Driving

    With most of us working stuck in offices most of the day, in front of a computer, the lack of exercise can cause quite a lot of health problems. A simple 15-20-minute walk can change everything and also since you will not be using your car, you are actually contributing to preserving the environment.

    #2 Go for Green Foods

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    The local supermarkets are often filled with quite a variety of green foods, but many of them are not seasonal thus imported or grown in orangeries. Experts advise to always go for seasonal greens - these are packed with the exact vitamins and minerals you need during the particular time of the year.

    #3 Grow Your Food

    You don’t necessarily need to have a yard, you can place few pots in the kitchen and grown your own herbs or even vegetables. As simple as it may sound, growing your own crops can be beneficial for your health in many ways, plus you will always know what you eat.

    #4 Learn More About Herbs

    Herbs contain large quantities of important vitamins and minerals for your body. They can be combined with one another to deliver not only great taste for your meals, but a bunch of supplements you can’t get into your body. Once you try cooking your favorite meals using fresh herbs, you will never want to change this!

    #5 Get Comfortable Shoes

    Shoes are a lot more than just a fashion accessory – comfortable shoes can increase your energy and help you feel much better when walking or exercising. Furthermore, many studies show that a pair of comfortable shoes seems to be quite an effective weapon against fatigue, a lot better than coffee for example.

    #6 Garlic 101

    Garlic is part of the everyday meal of humans for thousands of years, there are even studies that suggest the same people, who built the pyramids ate it on daily basis. With incredibly effective antibacterial properties, the garlic is the ultimate weapon against common colds and other health problems, common mostly for the winter season. Small amounts of raw or lightly cooked garlic can do miracles with your overall health!

    #7 Have a Casual Conversation

    Multiple studies conducted over the past few years suggest that casual conversations are great for maintaining focus and even help preserve memory. Take just 10 minutes to sit down and have a casual conversation with a friend!

    #8 Drink More Water

    Our bodies are made mostly from water and due to our modern lifestyle, many of us forget to drink sufficient amounts of water every day. Drink between 6 and 8 cups of water every day to ensure your body is properly hydrated. This has incredibly positive impact on many body functions and can greatly improve your overall health!

     These 8 green tips can do wonders for your overall health, but remember that its always necessary to consult with a general practitioner, like BroadGateGP.

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    housewife-882533_1280.thumb.jpg.7fe37a55As everyone is talking about the climate changes, global warming and sustainability, it seems like all “passionate” supporters of the green idea are just talking, but they lack action. But I’m happy that you want to take action and change things for good. If you want to live in a greener, cleaner planet, remember that any change begins within ourselves.

     

    Limit your environmental impact, live a healthier life and save money by following these simple steps.

     

    1. Forget about bottled water. Instead, buy water filters to clean tap water. When on the go, opt for a reusable bottle, preferably aluminium one.

    2. Borrow. Go to the library and borrow the books you want to read, instead of buying them from the bookstore.

    3. Make your own natural cleaners:

    • Usually all the ingredients you need are vinegar, baking soda, lemon and soap.

    • When choosing a cleaning company, hire the one that uses bio detergents in the cleaning process. This company, for instance, works with natural, eco-friendly detergents.

    4. Get out of the car. Reduce the harmful exhaust emissions by walking or cycling to work. In addition to the saved money, you will also improve your health and reduce the risk of obesity.

    5. Save energy:

    • Turn your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter and increase the temperature a few degrees in the summer. This way you will save money on heating and cooling.

    • Replace the old incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones.

    • Unplug appliances when not being used, or buy "smart" power strips. They feel when appliances are off and eliminate "phantom" energy use.

    • Instead of machine drying, hang the laundry on a clothesline or on a drying rack.

    • Improve the insulation, install solar panels, upgrade the windows.

    6. Save water:

    • Invest in a low-flow showerhead.

    • Take shorter showers, bathe with warm, not hot water.

    • In the garden, grow native plants which require few and far between waterings.

    7. Use reusable shopping bags. Put one in your handbag, at home, on your desk, in the car, or any place where it would be useful.

    8. Buy smart:

    • Look in thrift stores, garage sales and consignment shops for clothing and furnishings.

    • Buy in bulk. Save on packaging and money.

    • Invest in high-quality products. Paying more now means less frequently replacing of household items, clothes, appliances, etc.

     

    Resources: Worldwatch.org

  12. Home owners can save money with green building and make a positive impact on the environment. This is especially in terms of power, water and gas consumption. By making the necessary and simple green upgrades, homeowners can tremendously reduce the amounts of gas, electricity and water required to run their homes.

    To Harvest Rain Water

    While constructing your home, it will be prudent to consider having a system for harvesting rainwater installed. It will both provide more water for your utilisation and enable you cut back on those massive water bills. This system will harvest water during rains and store it in water tanks that can be above or below the ground level. However, for tanks that are below the ground you will have to incur more in pumping expenses.

    This water is then transferred through pipes to washrooms and cold water machine taps. This consequently means that you can use nature's free water for your domestic needs such as for washing machines and in toilets. It saves reduces your expenses and is an eco-friendly process in its entirety.

    Eco-friendly Water Heating Systems

    Technological advancements have now made it possible to utilise the atmospheres heat to directly and efficiently heat your water. You will literally not have to make any effort and your power bills will be on a steep descent. Heat pump water systems absorb the heat from the atmosphere and surrounding. They then multiply this heat numerous times.

    This is similar to the refrigeration technology, hence one can relate. This heat energy is then transferred into the stored water. Highly efficient, eco-friendly and quiet in its operation. To ensure full time operation, they come equipped with back-up electric boosters. It is just as efficient as the solar hot water heating system but doesn't require the panels.

    Better Light Distribution at Lower cost

    This is what energy efficient globes offer. Moreover, they are efficient and have a long life. One can use them in place of the standard incandescent light for both brighter and better light distribution. In addition, they have a longer life in comparison and utilise less power, thus enabling you tone down your energy bills.

    Utilise the Free and Clean Solar Energy

    Photovoltaic panels, commonly referred to as solar panels, when installed obtain the sun's energy and convert it to electrical energy. They can be installed on various locations but the most optimal is where there is maximum exposure to direct sunlight; hence many households have them put up on the roof. The conversion of solar to electrical energy is completely pollution free.

    What's more, the sun is a renewable source of energy. Put simply, installation of the panels is the only cost you will incur. Yet you will be assured of a constant supply of electricity. It reduces your energy bills significantly and being pollution free, does not harm the environment. Moreover, you can utilise it for your demand and sell back some power to the grid.

    All these, and more, incentive can assist home owners in making their homes green. The initial cost should not be a deterrent. Many home builders, like Boutique Homes, Green Home Building, Pulte Homes and many more, offer this "green" deal when building your house. This is as, over time, with all the savings that will be made on the monthly bills, the upgrades will quickly pay for themselves. In addition, the eco-friendly upgrades increase the value of a home. They are the sound investment every homeowner should make.

  13. You do not need to use chemicals and harmful insecticides in order to get rid of ants in your house. Not only because they can cause allergic reactions or even harm your children, pets, or yourself, but because you have an option of getting rid of ants all by yourself using very simple natural pest control methods. Every day more and more people choose the natural way: healthier food instead of fast food, herbal remedies instead of pharmaceutical drugs, natural prevention instead of potentially dangerous vaccines, and so on. Why don`t we use natural insect exterminators, as well?

    We will show you only five simplest possible methods of eradicating ants in a completely natural way. There is nothing easier than applying these methods. Here is the list of our preferred top five herbal exterminators of ants and other insects:

    1.     Peppermint powder. If you have stomach troubles, drink some peppermint tea; but even if your stomach is fine, take dried peppermint sprigs and leaves, crush them and make a powder. Apply this powder on areas with ants. On the other hand, you can just place dried or fresh peppermint herb on the same areas without making the powder. Actually, put a bunch of peppermint all over your house, since the peppermint and other mint herbs` odor repels ants and all other insects, such as mosquitoes, while it will suit your senses.

    2.     Lemon juice. Another efficient natural pest control agent, which is perhaps even easier to use than peppermint, is a lemon juice. That`s right, a plain lemon fruit. Squeeze the lemon, make a juice, mix with water, and spray it all over the ant infested areas. After that, make yourself a nice lemonade and enjoy.

    3.     Vinegar. Another natural ant exterminator at hand is vinegar from your fridge. Again, mix it with water, make a spray, and apply it. That`s all you have to do. Moreover, use vinegar for cleaning the counters and floor instead of chemicals.  Also, you can use lemon juice for cleaning the dishes. Or better yet, mix vinegar, lemon juice and water, add some peppermint, and you got yourself the best natural ant exterminator and detergent.

    4.     Dish soap. Maybe you have already noticed, but all of these items used for ants and other pest control are already in your own house. Mix your dish soap with water, and spray the solution over the ants. The same thing as in case of vinegar and lemon juice.

    5.     Salt and pepper. More of the kitchen ant exterminators! Just boil water and then add salt and pepper.  Make a spray and apply it on areas infested with ants.

    You could perhaps mix all of the mentioned natural pest control agents and make your own ant exterminator spray. Mix salt, pepper, dish soap, vinegar, lemon juice and peppermint, and put it in a spray bottle. However, if you are not satisfied with these and many other natural methods, or if you become terrified at the sight of too many ants in your house, then call a bug exterminator to solve the problem (http://bugsycal.com/).

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  14. What is green electricity? What are the types of green electricity and how are they generated?

    The search for alternative energy sources is pointing out to green electricity production as the only sustainable method to power our home, transport system and industries in a future that seems to be only several decades away. This also represents the way to avoid the carbon footprint, a legitimate concern nowadays.

    What Is Green Electricity

    The term of 'green electricity' means electric energy obtained from renewable sources. Green methods refer to obtaining cheap gas and electricity from sources which are friendly to the environment and which can replace the limited fossil fuels. It is cheaper to obtain, highly convenient for small (homes) and large consumers (cities, states).

    Types of Green Electricity

    Green energy types are defined by ways in which power is generated and by its source. Thus, we have the following main types:

    1. Biomass Power

    An effective method is obtaining energy from organic sources, which are renewable. One way is by burning the biomass waste – like the fibre-rich sugarcane residue or hemp. Additionally, common algea is used to make biofuel. Sewage gas is also valued as an energy source.

    2. Wind and Tidal Energy

    green-electricity.thumb.jpg.85773359c9aa

    The best known image to illustrate the validity and efficiency of wind power as energy source is represented by the wind farms. These facilities can address the energy demands of communities located in geographical areas that get windy weather on a constant basis. The future looks even more interesting – flying wind farms will be created, in order to harvest power from wherever it is available. On the other hand, tides are much more predictable than wind, which make them truly reliable when generating energy.

    3. Solar Energy

    Although intermittent and rather 'diluted', solar energy is still able to supply small and average sized communities alone. Moreover, solar heaters are great for heating water. There is no use for additional processes, the sunlight is directly converted into energy by the photovoltaic cells in solar installations.

    4. Hydroelectricity

    The hydro-power is not left aside – it's the methods that need adjusting. Current ambitions support installations on fast flowing rivers and streams, or on existing dams, employing approved hydro-electric generators.

    5. Geothermal Energy

    Cheap, cost effective and reliable, geothermal energy depends on the tectonic plates. These small scale systems are great for residences in compatible areas. The natural processes within provide a form of renewable energy that was known to Romans. Geyser regions are very good places to install geothermal power plants or heat pumps. No fuel is required, as the energy is produced directly. A large plant is said to be able to power a whole city.

    6. Waste Heat

    Electricity can also be gained from all the industrial processes that generate heat. Heat is a form of energy and, when harvested and directed, can be used to create electricity. There are no such facilities yet, but researchers are currently working on methods to capture the heat that would otherwise be wasted.

    Green electricity is part of a sustainable economy and lifestyle. Future electricity generation should be too.

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    The refrigerator is the most energy consuming appliance in the kitchen. It works night and day, 24/7/365 and without it in optimum condition your food and beverages would spoil.

    It is an essential part of staying alive and making sure your hard earned money isn't wasted on spoiled food. That being said, to keep the refrigerator going calls for lots of energy but there are ways to conserve on energy usage with your refrigerator. All it really calls for is some simple common sense and light maintenance.

    First of all, keep the coils clean. Use a vacuum cleaner to keep dust and debris from building up. That will allow the unit to operate at peak efficiency and not overheat.

    Next, place the fridge with enough room around it, perhaps a couple of inches minimum so that air can flow around it and the unit can pull in that cool air and expel the warm air. This avoids buildup of dust and debris and won't strain the mechanism.

    Don't put hot foods in the fridge. It makes it work harder. Instead, let foods cool on the counter or stove to room temperature and then put them in.

    Leave space around foods regarding the walls of the fridge. A good inch is fine. This allows for the cool air to get around the foods and beverages and cool them faster and more efficiently.

    If you can, place the refrigerator near a wall that is facing the outside. Cool walls allow for cooler operation unless you live in a very warm or hot climate.

    The same goes for warm or hot appliances. Don't place the refrigerator near these devices. It strains the usage.

    Try an energy efficient light bulb inside. There are plenty of them on the market so you can easily find one that fits the fridge.

    Keep the freezing compartment defrosted. Do this regularly as needed. Too much ice in there will put a strain on things. It also means that you'll have more room to store things as well. Ice buildup is not a good thing.

    Don't leave the door to the fridge open too long. You'll defeat the purpose of it. Keep it closed even when pulling out several items.

    These and other common sense actions will mean your unit will work at optimum levels and not put too much a drain on your energy resources. Keeping the proper refrigerator maintenance means the unit will last long after its warranty and you'll get service your hard earned dollar deserves.

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    Today more and more people are bothered about our planet. They begin new lifestyle that is called eco-friendly, as they want to save and improve the existing state of ecology. Also, such green lifestyle is beneficial for your finance. You can easily start with energy saving tips! But there are also a lot of the other possibilities going green. Now you can learn them and use in your everyday life.

    Smart Car Use

    If you simply use your car for getting to and from work, you are spending about $26 per week. Instead, you can share the ride with your friends, neighbors or even coworkers. In such way you will save this money and also decrease the amount of cars on the road. There are different websites for connecting people looking for the ride, so you can always plan your trips.

    Cook for Yourself

    You may even not pay attention to the money you spend on eating out. According to the statistic this sum is about $4,000 per year. If you choose to cook at home, you will save much of this money and also have healthy food. You just need to plan meals and make necessary shopping. Also, be attentive with the products you buy, their quality and storage life.

    Borrow, Rent and Freecycle

    There are a lot of things that you don’t use too often. That is why you should think about borrowing them, instead of buying. This will not only save your money, but also space in your house. So, you can also take part in such borrowing movement, if you have things that someone may need.

    Start a Garden

    For most people this can seem a crazy idea, but you can consider growing herbs. Of course, for good garden with vegetables and fruits you will need a lot of space and time. But, you can make a small garden of herbs. For this you will need only a place to put pots and some time to water them. In such way you will always have fresh and healthy herbs not overpaying.

    Make Cleaning and Beauty Products for Yourself

    Cleaning products are used all the time and in every place of your house. You wash dishes, clean your windows, wash clothes – and all necessary cleaners are expensive. Surprisingly, most of them can be replaced with remedies that you can make from vinegar, soda and lemon juice.

    At the same way women can make natural beauty products not using chemicals. Just think about yogurt, avocado, eggs, sea salt and oatmeal – and you can find a lot of recipes for homemade beauty product. This will also be much healthier and cheaper.

    Use the Internet and the Library

    Forget about buying books and newspapers. Today you can find all necessary materials in the Internet and use your eBook to read all interesting books. You can also visit a local library, if you are fond of printed books. Save your money and place in your house just borrowing books.

    Use One Power Cord

    You have definitely already heard that electronics are consuming energy, even when turned off. This means you need to unplug all the devices, when you don’t use them. This can be quite difficult, but with power stripes you can connect all the electronics to one power cord. So, you can simply switch it off, when going out.

    These easy steps can change your life making it more eco-friendly, healthier and also more frugal. Think about possible improvements you can make to your everyday life and you will see the result. As, going greener you will not only improve your health and wallet, but also support nature and protect it from anthropogenic influence.

     

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  15. In today’s economic uncertainty and fluctuating weather Calgary homeowners are increasingly interested in reducing their home’s impact on the environment, which can also help lower energy and utility costs. 

    Built Green Canada, a national organization with a certification program that rates the level at which a home is energy-efficient, measuring factors such as the materials and methods used in construction, ventilation, waste management, water conservation, and indoor air quality. The Calgary Herald has reported that Calgary and area builders enrolled more single-family homes in the Built Green Canada program in 2016 than a year earlier, and again more homes in the Calgary area were enrolled in the program over the first three months of 2017 than the same time last year. 

    Built Green Canada notes that there are a number of roofing materials and methods that improve thermal performance and offer energy benefit including recycled-content roofing systems and those with a minimum 30-year manufacturer warranty on roofing material. To help you make eco-friendly choices when you need roofing and siding replacement our roofing contractors at Century Roofing Limited have pulled together these common roofing related ways to make your home environmentally friendly:
    •    Proper insulation and ventilation of a roof system - reductions in power and fossil fuels used in the heating and cooling processes will help make a more environmentally efficient household.
    •    Daylighting - bring natural daylight into your home will benefit the environment by reducing electricity, and provide healthy natural light to the household. 
    •    Landscaping - keeping vegetation growth from encroaching on a roof area will aid in air circulation and reduce wear and tear on your roof system. Extending the life of the roof system reduces the material usage over time, saves money, and lowers the environmental impact. 
    •    Proper roof maintenance - keeping the gutters, downspouts, and roof area free of debris will help extend the life of a roof system. By utilizing the full life span of a roof system homeowners can delay replacement, which in turn results in cost savings and less material waste. 

    Albertans are increasingly embracing eco-friendly building options as evident in Built Green Canada’s efforts and events such as Edmonton’s Eco-Solar Home Tour, now in its 17th year (June 3-4, 2017), showcasing ways to maximize energy efficiency at home. Century Roofing Limited can help you to fill all those needs. We handle virtually everything having to do with roofing. No project is too big or small for our roofing contractors; see what our Calgary roofers can provide:
    •    Historical renovations;
    •    Custom designs/installations using quality craftsmanship and materials;
    •    Large-scale commercial or varied sized residential roofing projects;
    •    Roofing, eavestroughing, soffit and fascia renovation and repair; and 
    •    Siding maintenance and repair.

    At Century Roofing Limited, we handle virtually everything having to do with roofing and offer a host of eco-friendly options. If you have questions about your homes or business exterior contact us at 403-235-5457 today to plan your next project and get a free estimate. Serving central and southern Alberta and eastern British Columbia.

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    Whether we’re ready or not to surrender more of our sovereignty to the omnipresent influence of technology in our lives, we will soon face another achievement that will have a profound impact on society, the economy and environment.  Within this decade, driverless cars will cruise into our lives and harness our energy expenditures.  The potential impact on our environment and energy efficiency could be unprecedented.

    Driverless Cars Are More Energy Efficient

    Despite an ongoing debate about the various pros and cons surrounding driverless cars, one aspect of them has gained universal acceptance.  According to researchers, current cars greedily require up to 85% of their total gas just to move the steel of the car, as opposed to moving the person.  The advent of driverless cars will usher in a dramatic decrease human error, and in turn, accidents.  This means smaller cars with less need for steel and accident protection.  Gas savings will be enormous and lessen our dependence on foreign oil.  The way we drive will also greatly increase the amount of gas we save.

    Fuel Economy Revolution

    Although no universal agreement has been reached, many industry insiders widely believe that driverless cars will all communicate wirelessly.  Envision a hive mind controlling smart navigation of car colonies across the nation.  Fuel economy will be improved in a variety of ways due to this vehicle matrix.  According to one estimate, cars will save between 20-30% more gas by drafting.  By communicating wirelessly, cars will be able to drive in packs on expressways and interstates, thus reducing wind resistance.  There are also added benefits in regards to parking and intersections.  The need to drive around the block endlessly looking for a parking spot will be eliminated, as cars will communicate to each other about when and where the first spot is available.  Lastly, it’s suggested that cars will be able to coordinate passing through intersections without stopping, thus saving gas by not idling at stop lights.

    Auto Manufacturers Are Green For Go

    Earlier this year, Audi conducted an open road test on a Tampa expressway with Governor Scott riding along.  Besides Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo all are actively researching driverless cars and pouring millions into their respective R&D programs.  Driverless cars will likely be seen on the roads by 2020, but may not be common until 2030.  Additionally, they will likely hit the market with hefty price tags, likely restricting their ownership to companies and the affluent.  Regardless, they will radically alter our economy and society, perhaps starting with teamsters, mailmen, package delivery companies and even pizza delivery drivers.  With absolute certainly, the driverless car revolution has arrived, and brings with it profound benefits for our economy and environment.

     

     Bio: Jason Hall is blogger for Budget.com.au

  16. What is condensation?

    The word condensation may remind you of your general science classes back in school! Condensation happens when water vapor comes in contact with a surface whose temperature is lower than its surrounding air. This simple concept causes dew on a hot humid day or rain falling from clouds on a cold day. 

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    Window Condensation

    Window condensation is a commonly occurring phenomenon especially in winter that occurs when external temperatures drop and internal temperatures are warm. The warm water laden air comes in contact with the cold window surface resulting in condensation. This can be caused by faulty window panes or lack of air flow across a window surface that is covered. Whatever be the reason, if this is happening it is sign that your windows need your attention because the surplus moisture will be absorbed by the walls causing mold and mildew. Professional window installation goes a long way in preventing this condition. 

    Managing Window Condensation

    Window condensation can be attributed to several factors, poorly manufactured windows and inefficient sealing being most common of them. It is of utmost importance that the windows and doors are installed and sealed well. Here are a few ways you can avoid window condensation:

    1. Ensure that your home is amply ventilated by switching on ceiling fans and exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens especially when you have hot liquids cooking or hot water running. This shall allow warm air movement preventing it from condensing.
       
    2. Do not set the thermostat at very low levels as colder the air, the lesser is its ability to retain moisture encouraging it to condense and settle on windows and mirrors in your home. 
       
    3. Invest in a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels inside your home that should ideally be between 35%-40%. Also it is wise to install a de-humidifier inside your house to regulate and manage humidity at optimum levels. 
       
    4. If you notice condensation on a window, wipe it with a dry soft cloth to prevent excess moisture leaking into adjoining walls. 
       
    5. Check seal of windows to ensure that there aren't any gaps. Also check for any cracks on glass panes that may cause condensation. If your windows are very old you can also consider replacing them for better heat retention. 

    Flawed manufacturing of windows is often considered a major reason for condensation on your windows. But inability to manage internal humidity is also a cause for the same. So along with checking the condition of your windows, try controlling the moisture inside your home. 

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