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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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  • 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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  • 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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Our community blogs

  1. Saving the Green How to Lower Your Utility Bills While Being Environmentally Conscious.jpg

    Many homeowners pay a small fortune in utility bills each month. This can be financially burdensome, and it also may be a sign that your home or lifestyle is not as green as it could be. With a closer look at some of the top green tips you can follow around the house, you may be able to make your space more environmentally-friendly and save a significant amount of money in the process.

    Use Low-Flow Water Features

    The scarcity of fresh water is a top concern for many environmentally-conscious people. Low-flow water features, such as toilets, faucets and showerheads, can be installed in your home to help you conserve water. These are specially-designed features that use less water without requiring you to adjust your water usage behavior. For example, a low-flow toilet may use half the water or less with each flush that an older model may use.

    Harvest Rain Water

    Another great idea to consider is to use gutters, such as those from Unique Home Solutions, and a rain barrel to harvest rain water. This water can be stored and used for landscaping water. It can also be purified on-site and used inside your home. For example, you may use it to wash your clothes or for toilet purposes. You may notice a dramatic decrease in your water bill each month, and you can enjoy the benefit of knowing that you are not taking water away from the public water supply through your usage.

    Adjust Your Thermostat

    Maintaining an ideal climate inside the home can be an energy drain, and this is particularly true during peak summer and winter months when your HVAC system may function most frequently. Adjust your thermostat so that your home’s interior is cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. Use blankets, clothing, ceiling fans and more to control your comfort level without relying so heavily on your HVAC system.

    Upgrade Your Windows

    Another excellent step to take is to upgrade your windows. If you live in an older home, your windows may not be well-sealed, and they also may not be good insulators. Modern windows may be more energy efficient, and they can help you to maintain a comfortable climate inside the home without relying on regular use of your HVAC unit.

    These are only a few of the green tips you can follow to save money on energy bills regularly. Now is a great time to begin implementing these and other ideas you may have to improve your home.

  2. Sunny D Why Solar Power is a Greener and Cleaner Way to Power Your Home.JPG

     

    Generating energy to power our homes and businesses, especially in the United States, is an expensive task, both economically and environmentally. The best way to produce that power is the topic of many research studies that seek to keep the process of energy production as efficient as possible. Solar power is quickly becoming a more reliable, affordable, and cleaner way to power your home.

    The Old Way of Generating Power
    Most energy produced in the US today is produced by coal- or natural gas-powered plants. These are fossil fuels, which emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned. This is the number one cause of climate change.

    Producing energy produced by fossil fuels is a dying industry. Jobs in this industry are historically some of the most dangerous jobs you can have. Each year it employs fewer and fewer people.

    The Greener Cleaner Way to Power Your Home
    Solar energy is at the beginning of a revolution. Just as coal powered the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th Centuries, solar along with other renewable sources will power the 21st Century. The price of making and installing solar panels drops 20% every time the world capacity for solar power doubles. This means that each year, more and more people can afford to install solar panels on their homes and end up selling energy back to the grid. Companies like
    Renogy are making solar power accessible and portable for more and more people all the time.

    The true cost to the environment of using solar power is more than you might think. Sure, when the panels are installed and energy is being produced, there is no carbon by-product. Creating the panels, transporting them, and installing them does generate carbon. Solar panels are made of silicone which has a high melting temperature. The power used to create the panels themselves immediately puts the solar panel into a "carbon debt".

    Presently, when a new solar panel is produced, it pays off its carbon debt in two years, then continues to produce completely clean energy for decades to come. The current manufacturer's warranty on solar panels is 25 years. After that time, the panels may produce energy less efficiently.

    Powering your home with solar energy is a responsible choice for the planet. It can also mean real savings on your utility bills. If you are thinking about making a difference, you should think again about solar.

  3. 4 Reasons Why the Government is Encouraging the Middle Class to Go Solar.jpeg

    Solar energy has gained incredible momentum in the last few years. More homeowners and businesses than ever before are using solar energy to lower their electric bills and contribute to environmentally friendly practices. There are many advantages to going solar for middle-class homeowners, and the government has an interest in developing a stronger solar economy.

    Massive Decreases in Solar Prices

    When residential solar panels were first introduced to the market, they were, like most new technologies, prohibitively expensive. It could cost over $70.00 per watt to install a solar system. Only very wealthy homeowners could afford such a system, and only a small segment of the most environmentally conscious would be likely to invest. Today, the price of a solar system hovers closer to 60 cents per watt. This massive price decrease makes residential solar affordable to a broader range of consumers, especially homeowners in the middle class.

    While many government incentives and subsidies exist to lower the cost of solar further, the government is obviously hoping to phase out these expenses. Subsidies are designed to stimulate a new industry. The more people who install panels and stimulate the production of solar energy, the cheaper it will become and the less reliant people will be on government assistance.

    Solar is Good for the Economy

    States that make solar energy attractive have reaped significant economic benefits. These include the creation of new jobs and small businesses as well as new manufacturing and production. The growth of solar as a widespread industry is excellent from a government standpoint because it provides more tax revenue, a healthier job market and local economy and possibly less reliance on government assistance.

    Solar energy also represents an important shift away from imports. Renewable energy is one commodity that is always domestically produced. This allows money spent on energy to remain in the local economy or at least in America. This decreases reliance on foreign sources of energy, especially oil.

    Less Strain on Municipalities

    Residential solar creates the possibility that each home is like a miniature power plant. The vast majority of residential solar systems, such as those with Blue Sky Solar Energy, are tied into the energy grid. This benefits the homeowner because they have a reliable source of energy and don’t have to worry about expensive backup or off-grid battery systems.

    This also benefits everyone connected to the energy grid. More solar means lower demands on the centralized power infrastructure, meaning less operating costs for primary utilities and a more stable power grid in general. Power companies commonly over produce so they can meet peak energy demands. This expense is then wasted during off-peak times. A large-scale development of residential solar would lower the peak demand on the power company and reduce that waste and expense.

    Clean Energy Policies

    Many states are adopting stricter clean air and water policies and goals. Investment in clean energy is often a critical part of reaching these environmental goals. Solar power may reduce the need for dirtier sources of electricity.

    Increased adoption of solar energy may also have an environmental ripple effect for homeowners who adopt it. A strong tie-in is the link between home solar and electric vehicles. When a homeowner is producing their own electricity at home, they may be more likely to purchase an electric vehicle to go along with it.

    There are many widespread benefits to solar systems for homes and businesses. The government has a vested public interest in increasing the adopting of this technology. Homeowners can still act to take advantage of price decreases and incentives being offered.

  4. triangle-1710880_1280.png

    Making your business more environmentally friendly has the potential to help lower operating costs over the long term, while also ensuring that you and your employees are doing your part in order to protect the planet for future generations. However, going green can also benefit your business in another major way by allowing you to attract new environmentally-conscious customers.

     

    Unfortunately, many of the most common green business practices take place behind the scenes—meaning there is no way that your customers will know about all that you're doing. For this reason, you may want to consider using the four following methods, which will help your business appear as green as it actually is.

     

    Restrooms

    Using biodegradable green cleaning products is a simple way to reduce your company's environmental impact, as soaps and other cleaning products are a major source of water pollution and contaminants. In this sense, you should really attempt to use green products wherever possible. However, one area where this is especially true is in any restrooms your customers may use. Installing low-flow toilets and water-saving faucets is a good start, but you'll also want to make sure that you provide biodegradable hand soap and only use post-consumer recycled toilet paper to show customers proof that you take environmental responsibility seriously.

     

    Landscaping

    Exterior landscaping can be a huge waste of water. Luckily, it isn't all that difficult to make your exterior landscaping more environmentally friendly. One option is to landscape using only native plants. As well, you may want to consider installing a system that allows you to take advantage of rainwater in order to irrigate your landscaping. Not only are your customers sure to notice, but installing this type of system may also allow you to qualify for special rebates and tax credits.

     

    Vertical Garden

    Although it may not do much to improve your business' sustainability, installing a vertical garden in your lobby or office will go a long way towards improving the overall appearance of your location. Not only that, but all those plants will continuously produce oxygen, which will help to improve indoor air quality and make your business a more pleasant place to be. These can be tricky to install, though, so consult with a company like Advance Plant Services if you need help.

     

    Solar

    Solar panels are a sure sign that a business is attempting to be more environmentally conscious. Unfortunately, a full solar-power system is still beyond the financial reach of most companies. Nonetheless, even just installing a few solar panels and a solar-power backup generator can easily make your company appear greener, while also ensuring that you'll be protected in case of a power outage.

     

    In this day and age, going green is one of the best things a company can do—both in terms of its bottom line and for attracting new customers. Still, it is important that your customers actually know about your new green practices, which is why it’s a good idea to try to incorporate as many of the above ideas into your business as possible.

  5. Whether you are a builder, a developer, or a homeowner and want to construct something that can potentially affect the environment, you will have to hire an environmental consultant. If you don’t know what can affect the environment, then let us quickly give you all the ins and outs. Constructing man-made ponds, building near wildlife habitats, tinkering with water sources, building on questionable soil, etc. can all affect the environment in numerous ways.

    That is why your local government has made the laws that are there to protect the environment from exploits. The only way to be certain that you are running the whole operation according to environmental regulations is to get an assessment from an environmental consultant.

    shutterstock_113062828-1024x681.jpg

    So, what are the traits of a professional environmental consultant? To answer that question, we have created this list of tips to find the right environmental consulting company for your job, so let’s just jump into it.

    Know your project

    Before you even start looking for a consulting company, make sure you are completely familiar with the project you are working on and what the final product will look like. An environmental consultant will make sure that everything is done according to the laws and regulations of your state, but it will be your job to set the goals and prepare for everything.

    For example, some environmental regulations will make you step out of your budget, so it will be your job to compensate for that. That is why knowing your limitations and knowing your project plays a crucial role.

    Evaluate the consulting company

    As with every business, there are some bad apples, some companies that don’t do their work properly. If environmental consulting is a completely new thing for you, it will be hard to tell apart the good ones from the bad ones. However, we have some advice for you.

    First, look at their previous experience. You can learn a lot about a company just by looking at whom they have worked with before. Second, look at their previous projects. Some companies don’t have enough experience with large-scale projects. Lastly, contact their old clients to see if everything checks out. It is one thing to read praise on their website, but if previous clients don’t tell the same story, it is usually a sign of trouble. To give you an example of an outstanding environmental consulting company, we recommend visiting the EnviroX Consulting website. They tick all boxes that we have previously mentioned and offer transparency from the get-go.

    ekologiczna-myjnia-parowa.jpg

    Create a contract

    Once you find a suitable consulting company, the next step is to create and negotiate a contract. Go through everything thoroughly, from start to finish. Describe in detail what their work will consist of. Ask for warranties, in case some task isn’t completed. Also, negotiate the price. Expenses pile up easily, so knowing the estimated cost will help you plan your budget. Lastly, set the beginning and end date. With jobs like these, it is important to create a deadline, otherwise, you risk blowing up your budget and messing up the whole operation.

    Make sure that all the boxes are checked

    We have one last advice for you, and that is to check the work after it is done. Sometimes people overlook details and then there are companies that just look for ways to cut corners. To make sure that everything from the contract is completed, carefully go through it and inspect the finished project. Unfortunately, that is the only way.

    And that is all that you need to know when hiring an environmental consulting company. As you can see, it is not rocket science, but you will have to be thorough with your research, so you don’t end up hiring an inexperienced company.

  6. HVAC_Ventilation_Exhaust.jpg

    Many homeowners dread opening up their energy bills during the warmest and coolest months of the year. Throughout the country, HVAC systems account for about 48 percent of all residential energy consumption. If you would like to reduce your energy bills, then here is a closer look at some ways you can make your HVAC system as eco-friendly as possible.

    Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat

    Very few people realize just how much of an impact that a thermostat has on an HVAC system. Not only are many older thermostats inaccurate, but there is no way to turn the system off once you are out of the home. A programmable thermostat will allow you to turn the system on just before you get home instead of letting it run all day.

    Clean the Outdoor Coils

    Most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit that draws in air. Along the outside of these units are coils that cool the air down before it is blown into the ducts. Cleaning the coils once every few weeks is another simple way to improve the efficiency of the system without spending any money. Homeowners should also trim foliage back at least a few feet so that debris doesn’t get caught in the coils or fans.

    Regularly Change Your Filters

    HVAC filters remove dust, dander, and other outdoor toxins from the air before your family breathes them in. Depending on where you live and how often you use the HVAC system, you might need to change the filters as often as once every few weeks. Clogged air filters create an immense amount of pressure in the ducts, and your system must work much harder to keep pushing air through the vents. Even high-quality filters need to be changed once every 80 or 90 days. If you need help with this step, contact a company like Doctor Fix-It.

    Add More Insulation

    Quite a bit of energy will be wasted trying to keep your home at a comfortable temperature if it isn’t properly insulated. The insulation in your crawlspaces and attic should be inspected at least a few times a year to make sure that it isn’t flattened or torn. You also need to check the caulking around your doors and windows for any signs of damage. Adding a little bit of extra insulation and caulking could end up saving your hundreds every year.

    Don’t Block the Vents

    Many families make the mistake of closing vents or blocking them with furniture, and that can be very bad for an HVAC system. Much like a clogged filter, a closed vent will create more pressure within the ducts and force the system to work much harder. Even if a room is unoccupied, the vents should still be kept completely open. Anything that increases pressure in your ducts is bad for your heater and air conditioner.

    No matter how well you care for your HVAC system, there will come a point when it needs to be replaced entirely. On average, modern heaters and furnaces should be replaced once every 12 or 15 years. Homeowners who wait too long to replace their HVAC systems are almost always going to be stuck dealing with huge bills and expensive repairs down the road.

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    Recent Entries

    For people who have become more conscious of what goes into what they eat, the good news is that an escalating amount of food manufacturers are proposing organic options, making organic food one of the fastest-growing sectors of food production in the United States. The bad news is that all of those options can be uncertain, especially when factoring in food made without GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Some people could be trying to eat an all-organic diet, and others may simply be trying to dodge GMOs. Although foods may be labeled as USDA-certified organic or Non-GMO, consumers may not understand the difference. In some cases, there is an overlap between the USDA Organic and Non-GMO labels, but there are some key differences consumers should be aware of when trying to make the distinction between organic foods and foods made without GMOs.

    Normally, foods with the USDA Organic label have been manufactured without the use of GMOs as well as other standards that certify that the food has been produced with at least 95 percent organic ingredients. Foods that have been labeled as Non-GMO, on the other hand, only need to meet the criteria that they contain less than 1 percent of GMO content. Foods certified as Non-GMO may have been exposed to fertilizers or chemical pesticides, animals may have been subjected to hormones or antibiotics, and livestock may not have been fed using 100 percent organic feed. In short, all USDA Organic certified foods are Non-GMO, but not all Non-GMO certified foods are organic.

    The inflated variety and selection accessible at the grocery store today may be more confusing, but anyone who is concerned about what goes into their favorite organic chocolate brands will need to know the difference between the labeling and what the labels mean. The following chart helps delineate the differences between USDA Organic and Non-GMO labels, so review it the next time you check the labels on your favorite snacks.

    Check out the useful infographic that spray drying company, PacMoore has created below:

     

    Pacmoore-GMO-Organic-Infographic-V4.jpg

  7. Every once in a while there comes the time to freshen up your garden and it is important to remove your green waste the responsible way. A common problem that arises is what to do with all that garden leftovers. If you are looking for Eco-friendly ways to get rid of your yard waste you are in luck because what follows is a comprehensive guide on how to dispose of your green waste without harming the environment. Read on and enjoy.


     

    Turn your waste into an eco-friendly fertilizer

    Much of your yard waste can be turned into compost that may be reused later as a fertilizer in your garden. Grass, veggie scraps and flower cuttings are ideal matter for this purpose. You will need a DIY composting bin or specially designed composting station. Do get in touch with your local government administration, as the office may provide composting bins for free to encourage sustainable gardening practices. It is important to take proper care of your composting bin – keep it moist and secure and add layers of different materials regularly. Unprotected composting bins may attract insects and rodents. Take a look at composting know-how to learn more.


     

    Use the worms

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    Beware fellow gardeners as vermicomposting is on the rise! More and more home-grown and professional gardeners are drawn to using worms as green waste disposal system which can turn garden and organic home waste into the ultimate soil enricher. Designated worm species, such as red wigglers and white worms will gradually consume your waste and turn it into nutrients-rich worm castings that can be used as a top or side dressing for the plants or worked into the soil without burning the roots. You can get worm boxes from your local gardening store or make them yourself. If you opt for the latter, do remember to line the box with fabric and drill little holes for drainage.


     

    Arrange waste pick-up

    Many countries have implemented regular yard waste pick-up – you simply need to bag your waste and leave it on your parkway. Unfortunately, there is a significant drawback to this method, as you are allowed to dispose of limited amount of garden leftovers. When you are planning a major clean-up or you are about to finish an extensive yard project it is a good idea to hire professional waste removal company to tackle your garden waste problem. Companies such as 1300 Rubbish will take care of as much of green waste as you need. The undeniable advantage of waste pick-up is the fact that you won't have to lift a finger, as the heavy lifting will be done by the professionals.


     

    Take it to the nearest waste collection center

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    If you do not want to arrange for organized waste pick-up you can always take your garden trash to the nearest collection service yourself. This method might be time-consuming, but it gives you the comfort of knowing that your waste has been disposed of legally and safely. You can also find tailor-made facilities designed specifically to handle large quantities of green waste. Collection centers and dumps may charge you a small fee per weight or load and you will be expected to unload your deposit in the right section of the tip.


     

    Garden waste can build up pretty quickly, therefore it is essential to implement efficient and sustainable strategy for green waste removal. You no longer need gas-guzzling chippers or heavy machinery to get rid of excessive waste, as with the help of our 4 tips you will be able to handle your green waste like an expert!

  8. Drought brings special challenges to dry and desert climate dwellers. Droughts impact the available water, making it scarce to completely unavailable for potentially long periods. Water is necessary for drinking, growing the vegetables, raising livestock, bathing, cooking, cleaning, laundry and sewage transport and treatment. To ensure continued water availability during dry times and get the most of your available water, here are four ways to do your part in a drought.

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    Water-Saving Behaviors

    The simplest, and cheapest, way to save water is changing your habits surrounding regular water-using activities. Washing cars with a self-closing nozzle, cleaning driveways with a broom, turning the water off while brushing teeth or soaping up in the shower, watering plants in cooler times of the day, and composting over using the garbage disposal all greatly reduce water usage.

     

    Water-Saving Technology

    Although it is simple to change behaviors, it is not always easy. This is where technology comes to the rescue. Using a smart controller in yard and garden irrigation can save water and money. Smart controllers run your irrigation timers while syncing with weather monitoring systems to turn off your system or delay watering on rainy days. Installing low-flow faucets (including aerators), toilets, shower heads and drip irrigation systems all can work together with a smart controller to ensure you are using the least amount of water for your regular activities.

     

    Implement Drought-Tolerant Landscaping

    In addition to delivering the water more efficiently with technology, using nature can help us save water too. Removing grass, plants requiring large amounts of water and non-natives from your lawn and garden, while replacing them with native and drought-tolerant species can dramatically decrease your water demand.

     

    Re-Using Water, aka Greywater

    Installing high-tech greywater systems, or even saving the cold water from a slow-heating shower in a bucket for the garden effectively recycles the water you use to be used again. Re-using bath, laundry and dish-water for the lawn and garden can greatly reduce your water demand while increasing the utility of the water you already regularly use. 

     

    The demand we place on the water system in dry climates and deserts during droughts determines how much is left for the environment, other people and the community of individuals around us who all depend on that water into the future. To ensure you, your neighbors and the environment have the water needed reduce your demand while using water more wisely and efficiently through the many methods available to us all.

  9. Nowadays with the ongoing concerns about our environment becoming more and more polluted from carbon dioxide emissions from cars, planes, and power plants and other human activities, it is more important than ever before that companies reduce their carbon footprint and actively do things to protect our climate. Courier companies are now stepping up to do something about this! This short article and guide will examine what exactly courier companies are doing to help the planet to be more sustainable for future generations. Specifically it will refer to DHL, UPS and FedEx.

    We often think in terms of cheapest this cheapest that, where can I get the best deal? Naturally then it would follow suit that the cheapest international courier service  is a good fit. However I would like to point out that the cheapest service may not be the most environmentally friendly. So if climate change and a reduction of co2 emissions are things that are important to you and you value a sustainable future then perhaps it would be better to do some further research before selecting a domestic or international courier.

    Leading green courier services include, DHL worldwide, who are implementing more environmental technology to ensure a greener planet. In Manhattan DHL have released a ‘green fleet’ of delivery vehicles, this is a direct reflection of their environmental strategy and ultimately shows proper action being taken. DHL goal is to reduce their carbon efficiency worldwide by thirty percent by 2020. Their eighty vehicle green fleet is using fifty hybrid trucks, and thirty battery powered vans.

    I suggest that you specifically research the type of vehicles that will be used by a specific courier service like UPS, FedEx etc. for moving your shipment on a specific route for example sending a courier to Australia.

    FedEx state on their website, that they plan to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by twenty percent by 2020. They also mention that they are going to expand their on-site renewable energy usage, although they are not specific as to how this will be achieved. 

    Regarding UPS, and their environmental protection; they have a shipping option called UPS

    carbon neutral shipping option which is a greater environmentally friendly option, UPS plan to also use more renewable fuels. In 2015 UPS added 1750 vehicles which has the newest technology to further reduce its carbon footprint. Aside from this UPS plan to plant 15 million trees by December 21st 2020.

    Hopefully as they all modernise their fleets they will be using more green vehicles to achieve their reduced emission targets.

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

    Efficiency

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

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

    Extended Swimming Season

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

    Durable

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

    Eco-Friendly

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

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

  11.  

    Going green has been a huge trend in recent years as the next generation of tastemakers ramps up the pressure on manufacturers and governments to protect the environment and our health. In fact, going green isn’t so much of a trend as we think about it in terms of fashion – it’s often a total lifestyle revolution that lasts much longer than, say, the lifespan of the latest viral YouTube challenge.

     

    Truly going green not only takes into account things like food and transportation, but also has means considering other aspects of your life, such as the very home you live in. Some people opt to dive right in, installing everything from the best solar panels to painting their walls only using eco-friendly brands. However, there are so many ways to go green that you can opt for baby-steps if you so choose. For instance, if you’re renovating your house, you can start by selecting certain areas of your house to go green first. Bathrooms are one place that can particularly benefit from becoming eco-friendly, given how much water expenditure is directly related to this area of your home. Here are a few tips to get you started.

     

    Greener Renovations

    If you want your bathroom to be eco-friendly, you should consider starting from the ground-up. There are plenty of ways to make the actual renovation process itself much more eco-friendly, with next to no additional effort.

     

    Hire the experts

    You can choose to hire professionals who specialize in ecofriendly renovations. From architects to contractors, there are many people offering to fill this particular market niche. Green professionals will know all the best environmentally-friendly and/or non-toxic brands of paints and other products. They’ll also be able to advise you on how to reduce your energy bills by recommending appropriate product choices and design ideas for your home. You can consult local and national directories to find accredited pros with proven credentials and recognized affiliations in your area.

     

    Become an expert

    You won’t become an architect overnight, but you’ll be better off in many ways by doing research on going green yourself. Focus on learning about things like government incentives and rebates. Conversations with your hired professionals will be a lot more productive and informative if you know what they’re talking about. You’ll also be able to articulate exactly what you’re looking for without leaving them to do guess-work. Many resources exist online, and you can even attend green trade shows and conferences. Alternatively, simply contacting your utility company for information on how to reduce your energy usage can be quite helpful as well.

     

    Use clean, green materials

    One of the more obvious steps to take when going green is to choose materials that in themselves are already made in a safe, environmentally-friendly manner. For instance, opt for linoleum over vinyl. This goes for everything from vinyl wallcoverings to shower curtains, because vinyl is the most damaging plastic to the environment.

     

    On another note, you don’t want to skimp out when it comes to choosing non-toxic products over their toxic counterparts. These products will be certified by one or more environmental and/or governmental bodies, proving that they are all that they claim. Do your research to make sure that labels are not merely fluff, and that there is an actual rigorous certification procedure behind any given claim.

     

    The reason why non-toxic bathroom materials are important is that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) release poisonous emissions into the air over time. These compounds become particularly concentrated indoors. Unfortunately, they are often found in glues and paints, fabrics, caulks, floorboards, carpets and more. Can you just imagine having a nice steamy shower as you inhale a lungful of VOCs? Going green is definitely the better choice when it comes to creating a non-toxic home environment.

     

    Waste not…

    There are plenty of people on the hunt for used materials to do their own home renovations at a lower cost. If you’ve just invested in some custom bathroom vanity cabinets made of sustainable forest wood, using non-toxic glues and paint or what have you, don’t just chuck the old ones onto the curb. Local donation centres are always happy to take on used items that can be put to use in someone else’s dream home. Just be sure to call in advance to see what items they will and won’t take, so that you don’t waste time hauling things across town!

     

    Long-term Ecofriendliness

    Beyond making the renovation process more ecofriendly, the key to having a green home is by maintaining it in a healthy and environmentally-friendly manner long after the contractors have left your place for the last time.

     

    Reduce water waste

    Install low-flow toilets, which are both functional and often come in beautiful designs. They can save you up to 7 gallons of water a flush. Dual-flush toilets are also a great option, and if you don’t want an entirely new toilet, you can opt for a dual flush converter for less than $25. It’ll take you less than ten minutes to install and can save you up to 55,000 litres of water per year. Given that toilets alone use up just over a quarter of all water in your home, this is something you’ll seriously want to think about when it comes to going green in the long run.

     

    Similarly, low-flow showerheads will bring the average 5 to 8 gallons of water a minute down to 2.5 gallons, without you losing that water pressure you love. Some even come with built-in water filters, removing things like chlorine, which can have a drying effect on your hair and skin. This is another quick and easy fix that can help reduce your annual water bill.

     

    Be energy efficient

    Another easy upgrade you can make is to invest in LED light blubs, which can come in cold or warm tones. These will consume 80 percent less energy and can last up to five times longer than other types of bulbs out there. What’s not to love? Shop for them in terms of lumens instead of watts. If you’re partial to incandescent lights, “warm white” and “soft white” are popular colours which give you a very similar warm glow.

     

    An energy-efficient fan is also a great way to bring down energy costs. Furthermore, a strong but silent fan can reduce the chance of mildew and mold growing in your new bathroom. This should make you jump for joy – not only does it bring down the time you spend scrubbing those grout lines, it reduces the chance of you suffering adverse health effects from breathing in nasty mold.

     

    Are you convinced yet? Going green is definitely the better option when it comes to bathroom renovations. As you can see, there’s an option for everybody, so even a small budget doesn’t stand in your way of making small changes. Your health and the environment will thank you for doing your part!

     

     

     

     

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    Reducing electricity usage is not only good for the environment, but it is also good for your wallet. You can cut down on power use at home without going through any major lifestyle changes. Believe it or not, it is still possible to enjoy the comforts of a dishwasher and good lighting while paying less for utilities. Try these four tips for saving power and lowering monthly bills.

    Upgrade to Efficient Light Bulbs

    If you still use incandescent light bulbs, make the switch to LED light bulbs. The cost of LED light bulbs has significantly decreased over the past couple of years. LED bulbs emit an extremely minimal amount of heat and convert almost all of their electricity to light. Traditional incandescent bulbs waste most of the electricity, turning it into heat instead of light. LED bulbs will help to keep your home cooler in the summer since they emit less heat.

    Install Electrical Transfer Switches

    To save power and lower your electricity bill, install electrical transfer switches. These devices allow you to connect your home to an alternate source of power. Some companies, like Enercon Engineering Inc.,  know that they could be also used in conjunction with a solar panel array. They could also be used with a wind turbine or another renewable energy source too. You could use an electrical transfer switch with a backup generator too.

    Power-down Electronics

    Anything that is plugged in and has an indicator light or digital clock uses power. Some items will draw power while plugged in even if they do not have any lights. This is often referred to as "ghosting." Be sure to power down or completely unplug devices such as computer monitors, televisions, and DVD players when you are not using them.

    Skip the Drying Cycle

    Skip the hot dry cycle when using the dishwasher. Just opening the door of the dishwasher after the wash cycle is done will allow the dishes to quickly dry, with no power required. Consider reducing the amount of times you use your clothes dryer. Hang shirts and pants on a clothes rack or clothesline. Save the dryer for delicate items and linens that need the hot air for sanitary purposes.

    Each of these tips does not require much time or effort to employ. You could make one change at a time to get used to the idea of saving power and add in more tips as each one becomes a habit. After you do all four of these things, you can keep more of your hard-earned money instead of sending it to utility companies.

  13. The sustainable building trend is not just good for the planet, but for the economy — green construction is expected to account for 3.3 million jobs in the U.S. alone by 2018, a 143.5 percent increase over 2015. Green construction involves the design, construction and/or operation of buildings in ways that reduce any harmful impact on the environment and/or on human health. Some of these include reducing the carbon footprint of manufacture, preserving air and water quality, minimizing toxic emissions, and increasing energy efficiency in building operations. Sustainable building also can be economically beneficial. Using green materials and practices often benefits local economies, and the focus on energy efficiency frequently results in significant savings for property owners.

    The following infographic was created by Accurate Perforating Company and highlights 10 green building materials to consider for your next green building project.

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  14. More than 1 million U.S. homes now sport solar panels on the roof. That number is expected to double in the next two years as the cost of solar continues to decline and solar awareness continues to rise.
     
    While making the shift to solar is good for the environment, that’s not the only reason to invest in solar technology. Here are just a few of the many benefits homeowners can realize by going solar. 

    5 Reasons So Many Homeowners Are Going Solar

    1.    Solar is a good investment. While the exact ROI for solar varies according to location and other factors, research indicates that in most states it makes financial sense to go solar. Specifically, solar brings a better return than a five-year CD in 86 percent of states. If you live in one of the top 13 states for solar, you’ll actually do better with your solar panels than you would by investing in the S&P 500. 
    2.    Solar is reliable. With any technology comes the potential for failure, but solar bucks the trend by being one of the least likely of your home’s systems to break down. While solar panels are typically warranted for 25 years, 90 percent of them last 30 years or longer. One report showed that many 40-year-old panels are still generating power at 80 percent of their efficiency. In addition, a residential solar system typically has no moving parts, and almost never needs repair. 
    3.    Solar is security. Concerned about power grid security, future energy price hikes, and/or the escalating effects of global climate change on the weather? Installing a solar system with battery backup is an excellent way to ensure that you will always have the power you need at a price you can afford. 
    4.    Solar protects our planet. Sunshine is a clean, renewable energy source that does not contribute to global climate change. While all manufacture has an impact on the environment, solar panels create far more energy in their lifetime than is consumed by making them. In fact, an average 4 KW solar power system offsets nearly 200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in its first 25 years. It would take planting more than 2,000 trees to equal that amount of carbon offset.  
    5.    Solar is hot — and that’s cool. Who doesn’t like to be the cool kid on the block? Solar is an undeniably hot and trendy technology, so why not add a system to your roof and enjoy witnessing the “panel envy” of your neighbors and friends?   

    How to Go Solar at Home

    According to Google’s Project Sunroof, nearly four out of five U.S. homes have enough unshaded area to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. So when you’re ready for a larger investment in your home (similar to what you would pay for a kitchen remodel or home addition), chances are good that solar will pay off for you.  

    That said, PV panels aren’t the only way to go solar in your home. Here are more ideas, at a variety of price points for any budget:
    •    Solar water heater — A typical solar water heating system saves 50-80 percent on monthly water heating costs, even in a cloudy climate.
    •    Solar landscape lighting — Solar outdoor lighting doesn’t just save electricity. It’s also safer and reduces maintenance because you won’t have to run power lines outside. 
    •    Solar chargers — A solar phone charger lets you charge your phone from anywhere, even on a hiking trip or in a boat! 
    •    Solar Christmas lights — Solar LED holiday lights are convenient to set up, and can save you up to $10 for every 300 hours they’re lit.

    These are just a few of the many benefits you can realize by going solar at home. Check out this infographic to discover even more compelling reasons why so many Americans these days are choosing to add solar to their homes. 

    Ryan McNeill is the president of Renewable Energy Corporation, one of the largest residential solar energy companies in the mid-Atlantic region. It is committed to providing homeowners with high-quality, American-made solar panels and solar energy products. 

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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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    Recent Entries

    Every generation has its own defining issue, and unfortunately, ours is climate change. Climate change is affecting people and communities all over the world. Apart from being a major threat to humankind, climate change has far-reaching impacts on the entire ecosystem. For over a quarter of a century, activists and concerned citizens have been discussing climate change through public broadcasting. Back in the In the 80's, the main focus was on recognizing and discussing the potential threats. In the past 30 years, we have thoroughly examined the actual impacts and yet failed to effectively address global warming. We’re all aware that Global Warming is happening as a direct consequence of human activities. That’s why activists and concerned citizens like Solly Assa, are struggling to keep the American public informed.

    Over time the conversation has changed, but the problem has remained unsolved. Solly Assa calls everyone to become emotionally, practically, intellectually and politically and involved in this battle to save our planet. The effects of Climate Change are already with us and if we continue down this path, the planet that as we all know it, may be given a 10-year deadline. The actual impact has caused heat waves, droughts, ocean acidification, and floods. Global warming has also exacerbated poverty, hunger, and spread of diseases. The consequences of climate change are very real, and if we don’t take drastic changes, it can even lead to the worst consequence, which is leaving that planet

    As an individual, Mr. Assa has helped by taking action to reduce his personal carbon emissions and encourages more people to do the same. We all need to take responsibility and reduce Carbon Emissions now. Once we start dealing with the problem on an individual level, together we can get the support needed to build a community that can make a difference.  To fully address the threat of global warming, we need to seek action from our leaders who have the power to implement comprehensive solutions. In December 2015, world leaders agreed to limit Global Warming to 2°C, but since then we haven’t seen some life real action. For example, countries like Denmark have committed to 100 percent renewables, while China has increased their renewable energy consumption.

    Because of climate change, humans and wild animals face new challenges for survival. If we don't reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically, then the results will be catastrophic for the climate. Education and information play important roles as facilitators of climate understanding. Nowadays there is a wide range of documentaries and other informational media that can help us get to the bottom of this issue. But in order to succeed, we all need to be a part of the solution. Together we have the power to limit the effects of climate change. We have all participated in the over-use of our planet, and now the time has come for us to unite and start fighting for our home.

  16. Indoor air quality means the condition of the air that you and your family breathe inside your home. This is an important concern because you spend most of your time indoors and you could be exposed to environmental pollutants. Air pollution is largely considered as being outdoors, but the truth is that the air in your house is more contaminated. Indoor air pollutant levels are higher than outdoor levels. Indoor air pollution happens when toxic contaminants and gases infect the air. You shouldn’t assume that that your home environment is completely safe. Considering that Toronto’s environmental pollution is still causing serious health issues, you can’t afford to take any chances. Be sure. There are many ways to tell if the indoor air quality is bad.

    5 ways to know if you have poor home air quality_1.jpg

    Get in touch with air quality experts

    One of the best ways to know if you have poor home air quality is to have it tested. Sure, selecting Toronto air quality experts is a daunting task, but the Internet has made the process a lot simpler. The air quality experts will investigate your indoor air quality, thus being of great help. What the trained professionals do is offer you peace of mind. You will know for sure whether you and your family are living in a healthy indoor environment. Don’t waste your time with test kits. They aren’t reliable, not to mention that they are expensive. You should better invest your money in professional indoor air quality testing. The consultants will be able to detect even the tiniest sources of poor indoor air quality. The best thing you can do is call in the professionals.

    Take notice of your allergies

    It’s hard not to attribute an allergy episode to a climate change. Yet, you could be having a sensitive reaction to indoor allergens. The change in weather patterns isn’t to blame, but animal dander, dust mite droppings, and mould. They are the ones overwhelming your immune system. If you experience rashes, watery eyes, trouble breathing or you have a runny nose, then chances are that you have poor home air quality. Pay attention to when and where the symptoms appear and disappear. If allergy symptoms occur when you stay at home, you have a problem. But what if you don’t have allergy symptoms at all? Well, take notice of your loved ones. Their sensitivity is a good indicator of indoor air quality.

    Investigate the indoor air quality

    You can tell if your home has poor air quality by looking for sources of pollution. Know that it’s not easy to identify sources of environmental pollution and that their presence doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a problem. Here are some examples of sources of poor air quality:

    ·         Damp carpets

    ·         Old pieces of furniture

    ·         Heating equipment

    ·         Building materials

    There is nothing more important than the health of your family, so don’t ignore the aforementioned sources of indoor air pollution. Look for these culprits even before you have your home tested.

    Look for mould growth

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    It’s not uncommon for mould to grow and homes. What is uncommon, on the other hand, is to inhale mould spores. Mould poses threats to the health. Harmful effects of mould include allergic reactions, rashes, coughing, and eczema. But these should be the least of your worries. Exposure to mould leads to infection, respiratory problems, and even cancer. Mould is not as easy to identify as you may think. The fungus is usually hidden from the view, so finding its source can be difficult. Places you need to check are the corners where the walls meet the ceiling, behind appliances, and in the basement.

    Consider home improvements and repairs

    Home improvements and repairs can affect the indoor air quality. How so? Making updates results in strange things. For instance, if you install a new A/C, you and your family can get sick. The filter retains all kinds of germs and bacteria, so if it isn’t cleaned regularly, it can become dangerous. Other changes that affect the home environment are removal of asbestos and lead-based paint. If you haven’t gotten to cleaning up after such projects, it’s time you did. The last thing you want is to suffer health consequences.

    When it comes to determining if you have poor indoor air quality, it is better to get in touch with the experts. Trained professionals are the only ones capable of discovering the gravity of the situation. They can tell you which is the source of the indoor air pollution and how you can deal with the problem. The greatest thing of all is that the solutions provided are neither difficult nor expensive. If you have a reasonable doubt concerning the quality of the indoor air, contact the professionals.

  17. As a homeowner, one of the most satisfying parts of owning your home is having a beautiful yard to take care of. Owning your own piece of land is something to take pride in. While having beautiful landscaping on your property is a sign of elegance and grace, it can also be quite damaging to the environment and at times dangerous. It is important to make sure you are creating a beautiful landscape that will be safe for your family and guest as well as being eco-friendly. Here are four ways to safely landscape your yard while protecting the environment.

     

    Use Native Plants To Help Save On Water

    It is no mystery that we are facing a shortage of water in many different places in our country. This is especially true in states like California. There are some very strict rules that apply to residents of these dry states when it comes to watering your lawns. When trying to protect the environment, it is important to incorporate native plants that will help you save on water.

     

    Do Not Create Attractive Nuisances In Your Landscaping

    You need to be careful what types of attractive nuisances you are bringing into your landscaping. While a natural rock wall may be fun your children to use during the summer, neighborhood children could injure themselves on this attractive nuisance which would result in a nasty lawsuit. Even with stairs that are harder to use in your yard, you could have a slip and fall case on your hands that could otherwise be easily avoided.

     

    Plant Shade-Giving Trees To Cut Down On Cooling Costs During The Summer

    Everyone loves beautiful trees in their yard. These trees can help to protect the environment and your savings account. You can greatly cut down on the amount of energy you spend during the summer cooling your house if you have a tree shading a large part of your property. This one-time investment of planting a large tree in your yard could save you thousands of dollars in cooling costs over the years.

     

    Use Electric Landscaping Tools

    Electric power tools are becoming more and more popular as the years go on. While an extension cord might seem like a hassle at first, you will find that it becomes easier to use one of these electric landscaping tools after you have gotten the swing of things. These electric landscaping tools will also help you to do your part when in protecting our environment.

     

    There are many ways that you can landscape your yard to be better for the environment and just as beautiful for your home. Above we discussed four tips to help you landscape your yard more easily. Be sure to plant native plants, think about safety risks, plant trees to cut on heating costs, and use efficient tools. You may also be able to find extra tax write offs for protecting the environment, depending on how green you go with your landscaping and home. Be sure to talk to a tax fraud attorney if you have any questions about what you can and can't claim.

    4 Ways To Safely Landscape Your Yard And Protect The Environment.jpg

  18. Ever since people started realising the need of keeping the environment clean and healthy, that’s when the concept of using reusable shopping bags came into existence. There was a time when people used to use paper bags for carrying their essentials, but then came plastic bags. Well, now people do understand the dangers plastic bags bring with them, hence efforts are being made to cease their usage. The best solution to both of these varieties is these bags. Yes, canvas shopping bags do rectify all the flaws posed by paper and plastic bag, and undoubtedly these bags are here to stay. These bags are durable, sturdy, and capable enough to bear heavy weights. Here is why you should use these bags.

    Because Canvas Bags are Eco-Friendly

    Canvas bags are loaded with several benefits. Not that these bags are long-lasting and durable, these do not harm the environment as well. How? The answer is quite straightforward and simple. These bags can be used for a long period of time, unlike plastic and paper bags. In this way, lesser amount of waste is produced. And that is not where the benefits of these bags end, these are biodegradable as well, so no need to regret if you get bored with one of your previously favorite canvas shopping bags. But do keep in mind that you need to use these bags for quite a long period of time in order to recompense their extensive carbon footprint and hazard to the environment.

    With the increasing demand, canvas bags bulk are available in various stores of the market. To give a tough competition to paper and plastic bags, these bags are available in different variants and hues. Ladies are often seen flaunting their beautiful canvas bags on the streets. So, what are you waiting for? Grab one for yourself today to keep the environment clean, green, and healthy.

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    Having a garden in your own backyard can be a highly rewarding notion. You can either make a beautiful flower-garden and use it as your own private little oasis or you can grow vegetables in it. The latter method allows you to produce organic food for you and your family and save some money along the way. Whatever your choice may be, the key to making your gardening efforts more efficient mostly lies in how diligent you are when it comes to its maintenance. One of the huge items on this list is the question of watering. Most domestic watering methods are inefficient and waste too much water, however there are a few ways you can make this both effective, environment friendly and inexpensive.

    1.      Drip Irrigation

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    Image source: Flickr

    It would simply be unfair to start this list with any other method, seeing how it is the pinnacle of both simplicity and frugality. All you need for this to work is a hose long enough, that you will strategically deploy all across your garden. After this, you need to poke tiny holes in this hose (as small as possible) so that it starts dripping in all the right places once you turn the tap on. As for the tap itself, it is in your best interest to open it as little as possible, because too much water will create pressure that will probably destroy the whole system.

    2.      Using the Bucket.

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    The greatest problem with the previous idea is that it relies on tap being constantly open. Instead of it, some people decide to use a bucket or a barrel filled with water with a tiny hose attached to it. This bucket would have to be elevated on a platform of any kind (even things such as stone, chair or an old tree stump will do the trick) in order to allow the flow even to the water at the bottom of the bucket. Another advantage of this method, which shouldn’t be overlooked, is that it allows you to use gathered rainwater, which makes your efforts planet-friendlier (not to mention more money-saving).

    3.      A Plastic Bottle System

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    Another course of action you could take (perhaps even simpler than the drip irrigation one) is the so called plastic bottle irrigation. All you need to do here is take a large plastic bottle and poke few holes at its bottom. After this, you need to bury its lower half into the ground and fill the bottle with water. This way, it will gradually release water. When you take a closer look at it, this system is cheaper in the long run since it uses a finite amount of water, instead of relying on the tap that never ends running.

    4.      PVC Drip Irrigation

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    A PVC drip irrigation method is an ingenious and simple project, which can be made for as little as $50 and is specifically designed to minimize your water spending. Here, all you will need are some PVC pipes (both 3/4″ and 1/2″), end caps, elbows, connector tees, ball valves, some PVC cement, pipe straps and some screws to attach them. All of these, are standard and can be found in any hardware store. As for the tools you will need, a simple hammer, nails and a drill will do. Now, assembling it is a bit tricky, but those determined to go through with it can find an in-depth-tutorial here.

    5.      Getting Serious

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    Even though most of the above mentioned methods did usually cost under $10 to make, there is no reason why inexpensive should serve as a synonymous for next to nothing. For just a bit more, you could get some plastic ground stakes, tee connectors, micro sprayers and even some retractable hose reels. In this way, you can make a sprinkler system, almost authentic to those that can be seen in stores and ensure that your garden is always taken care of properly.

    In Conclusion

    Keeping your garden safe during the summer is a vital task, but it is also something you need to start worrying about on time. Even though you don’t have to go out right away and start working on the system, it would be smart to at least start doing some research on which of these methods would suit your needs, and those of your garden, the best. The prices of all the above mentioned are fairly low, especially when considered with the prices of commercial DIY systems. You should also keep in mind that this project is not something you will do every year. Overall, undertaking such an effort is always more than worth it.

  19. flowers-to-gurgaon

    Flowers are meant to make any celebrations truly amazing and magnificent. You can send flowers to Gurgaon online or in any other place to give a unique look and feel to any celebration. The company is known to deliver fresh fragrant flowers to its customers for occasions like birthday, marriage anniversary, office promotion, farewell and other events. Customers have the freedom to choose any flower types based on their preference and the type of occasion.

    The company has the stockpile of blooming fragrant flowers that are available in multiple colours, floral arrangements and bouquet styles. Customers can choose the flowers such as roses, tulips, sunflowers, daisies, lilies and other varieties that can be delivered anywhere in India and other countries with the support of its express delivery services.

    Avail the flower delivery in Gurgaon, Noida, Delhi and other cities of India and abroad in a time bound manner. Speaking for the development, the company officials reiterated that “Flowers are a part of every other celebration and the company is working to deliver them anywhere to its customers in India and other countries through its express shipping services”. Get the desired flowers at the doorstep from a wide coverage network of express delivery services.

    The company is committed to deliver fresh fragrant flowers to its customers in a time bound manner. It can offer the best flowers that will reach the destination without getting wilted. Customers don’t need to search for any florist shop as people can send flowers to Gurgaon online with this online florist shop.

    So, avail the flower delivery in Gurgaon and other places in India or abroad through the time bound express delivery services.

    A well-known name in the domains of sending online flowers, cakes and gifts delivery to make every occasion truly memorable. The company is capable to deliver the orders anywhere in India and overseas through its reliable express delivery services.

  20. Humanity’s effect on the environment is pretty high up on our list of things to worry about. Rarely a week goes by without some new information about the increased rate at which Polar ice caps are melting or waste is piling up or natural disasters are occurring. So what can we do to help prevent irreversible damage to our planet?

    Making your life more sustainable is easier than you think. Just by taking your own bags to the grocery store, cycling rather than driving the odd journey and thinking more carefully about the energy you use, you could greatly reduce your own impact on the natural world.

    These seven great iPhone apps are designed to give you a helping hand when starting a more sustainable life:

    SolarChecker
    Solar panels can reduce your energy costs and provide a cleaner form of power. This app can help you to decide whether solar panels at home is a good idea. The app can measure solar radiation in different areas around your home and tell you whether investing in solar energy is right for you.

    JouleBug
    JouleBug offers a social way to go green. You win points and badges for the various sustainable activities you engage in throughout the day. That could be cycling to work or using a reusable coffee mug. You can take green inspiration from friends and compete with them to be the most environmentally friendly. This app also allows you to see how much you are saving in energy bills by being more careful with how you use your gas and electricity.

    Carma Carpooling
    If you have no other option but to drive to work, make your journey less damaging to the environment by carpooling. This app helps you to find neighbours looking to share a ride and reduce carbon emissions, traffic jams and your own costs in the process.

    HowGood
    Shop more consciously with HowGood. The app allows you to input a grocery item and discover details about its manufacturing process, the way it sources ingredients, its treatment of workers and the waste it produces. Each item is given a HowGood score that acts as an indicator of the item’s social and environmental impact, helping you to make informed shopping decisions on the go.

    Your Garden At Home
    This is a great app for those wanting to grow their own food at home and reduce the carbon impact of growing and transporting produce across the world. The app offers information on different plant varieties, advises you on when to grow and harvest them and how to take care of them.

    PaperKarma
    If your heart sinks at all the junk mail you get coming through your letterbox, PaperKarma could be the answer. The app allows you to take a photograph of any junk mail you receive. Once submitted to PaperKarma, the app will contact the various mailing companies and take your name off their mailing lists.

    Recyclemore
    This app helps you to find the nearest recycling centres for your recyclable waste products. Whether you’re looking to get rid of batteries, clothes, appliances or garden waste, this app can help you to find the right place to take it.

    Going green is made that bit easier with these great iPhone apps. And if you really want to live more sustainably, you should ask yourself if you really need that latest iPhone upgrade. Discarded electronics are piling up in landfills around the world and tons of emissions are produced by manufacturing new ones. Buying second hand and unlocking the handset is a great way to reduce your carbon impact.

     

     

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  21. As geoengineer promoters enter Trump organization, arranges progress to shower sun-reflecting chemicals into environment 

    A ring around the sun, is seen over Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Friday, May 17, 2002. The corona is an uncommon impact on the sun brought on by a layer of ice precious stones in the environment refracting light from the sun. Photo: Lou Toman/AP 

    Harvard engineers who launched the world's greatest sun oriented geoengineering research program may get a hazardous lift from Donald Trump, ecological associations are cautioning. 

    Under the Trump organization, excitement has all the earmarks of being developing for the dubious innovation of solar geo-designing, which expects to splash sulfate particles into the air to mirror the sun's radiation back to space and diminishing the temperature of Earth. 

    At some point in 2018, Harvard engineers David Keith and Frank Keutsch plan to test showering from a high-height expand over Arizona, keeping in mind the end goal to survey the dangers and advantages of arrangement on a bigger scale. 

    Keith crossed out a similar planned experiment in New Mexico in 2012, however reported he was prepared for field testing at a geoengineering discussion in Washington on Friday. 

    "The setting for talking about sunlight based geoengineering research has changed considerably since we arranged and subsidized this gathering almost one year back," a discussion instructions paper noted. 

    While geoengineering got little support under Obama, abnormal state authorities inside the Trump administration have been long-term advocates for planetary-scale control of Earth frameworks. 

    Donald Trump's initial 100 days as president – day by day refreshes 

    Perused more 

    David Schnare, a modeler of Trump's Environmental Protection Agency move, has campaigned the US government and vouched for Senate for elected support for geoengineering. 

    He has required a multi-stage plan to reserve research and lead certifiable testing inside year and a half, send gigantic stratospheric splashing three years after, and keep showering for a century, a term geoengineers accept would be important to dial back the planet's temperature. 

    Geoengineers contend that such strategies would be a cheap approach to diminish an unnatural weather change, yet researchers have warned it could have calamitous results for the Earth's climate frameworks. 

    Logical demonstrating has shown that stratospheric splashing could definitely shorten precipitation all through Asia, Africa and South America, bringing on serious dry spells and debilitating nourishment supply for billions of individuals. 

    "Obviously parts of the Trump organization are extremely eager to open the way to heedless plans as keith David, and may well have unobtrusively given the gesture to outside analyses," said Silvia Riberio, with innovation guard dog ETC Group. "Worryingly, geoengineering may develop as this present organization's favored way to deal with a worldwide temperature alteration. In their view, constructing a major lovely mass of sulfate in the sky could be an immaculate reason to permit uncontrolled fossil fuel extraction. We should be focussing on radical outflows cuts, not risky and vile technofixes." 

    A White House provide details regarding environmental change research submitted to Congress in January required the first run through ever for research into geoengineering. 

    Inside Republican positions, previous House speaker and Trump partner Newt Gingrich was one of the first to begin freely supporting for geoengineering. 

    "Geoengineering holds forward the guarantee of tending to an unnatural weather change attentiveness toward only a couple of billion dollars a year," he said in 2008, preceding propelling a geoengineering unit while he ran the conservative research organization American Economic Enterprise. "We would have a choice to address an Earth-wide temperature boost by remunerating logical advancement. Bring on American resourcefulness. Stop the green pig." 

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has additionally seemed to bolster geoengineering, portraying environmental change as a "building issue." ExxonMobil's subsidizing of the atmosphere refusal industry is under investigation by lawyer commanders in the United States, yet it's less outstanding that ExxonMobil researchers under Tillerson's rule as CEO were driving designers of geo-building innovations like carbon dioxide evacuation. 

    Gotten some information about answers for environmental change at an ExxonMobil shareholder meeting in 2015, Tillerson said that an "arrangement B has dependably been grounded in our convictions around the proceeded with development of innovation and built arrangements." 

    "We are not unalterably dedicated to doing the test," said David Keith on Friday. "We're going not far off of doing that, yet relying upon what a counseling panel says and what we realize in fact we're positively ready to stop. Our long haul objective is to construct a practical exertion in sun based geoengineering research that permits us to say more in regards to ways it may really give open advantage." 

    Faultfinders like Riberio call attention to that the individuals who don't trust in human-initiated environmental change may even now bolster geoengineering, which can be exhibited as a strategy to manage the results of a warming planet without halting the consuming of fossil powers. 

    The Harvard test may contradict a ban on geoengineering embraced in 2010 by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which was reaffirmed in December in Mexico. The United States is one of only a handful couple of nations to not approve the UN tradition, making a potential escape clause for tests. 

    The examination's site in Tucson, Arizona may likewise summon issues of jurisdictional debate with Mexico – stratospheric winds can explode to 200 miles for each hour, and the outskirt is just 75 miles away. 

    Other geoengineering tests like cloud whitening may proceed in the United States, and also tries bolstered by the administrations of China and Russia, however both are signatories to the UN ban. 

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  22. 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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