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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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  • 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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Our community blogs

  1. With rising awareness about the well-being of our planet both sellers and buyers acknowledge the importance of green home features. Living in an eco-friendly house reduces your carbon footprint, limits the exploitation of natural resources and can significantly lower utility bills, but how cost-effective are they and how much value do they add to a home?

     

    If you are interested in ways to increase the value of your home and make it eco-friendly then read on to find out 6 of the best that you can incorporate into your home.

     

    Sustainable insulation

    One of the most important green home upgrades is insulation, as proper insulation – especially in the attic – will ensure that energy is not escaping through the roof. There are many types of insulation to choose from, however blown-in cellulose wall insulation is mostly recommended by home sustainability experts. For reinforced effects, consider upgrading weather stripping around doors and windows.

     

    Solar panels

    Installing solar panels is a huge investment and organizational challenge as it requires you to rethink the infrastructure of the entire house. However, a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals that home sellers can look at an up to 97 per cent return rate when investing in new energy efficient strategies.

     

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    Energy and water saving appliances

    ENERGY STAR rating is an internationally recognized symbol of energy efficient appliances, which offer significant energy and water savings without compromising performance. Experienced realtors from OpenAgent suggest that replacing old and used appliances such as ovens, fridges, water heaters, TVs and even showerheads significantly improves the appearance of the house and has the power to boost its overall value. This is because potential buyers look for house features that will save them money in the long run. As an added bonus you can wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket or install tankless water heaters that heat water on demand.

     

    Energy-smart windows

    For potential buyers, old single-pane windows can be a big turn off, therefore it can be a good idea to invest in multi-pane windows adjusted to your climate zone. It is said that homeowners can save up to $500 annually by upgrading their windows to high performing models. Low-emissivity glass windows can reduce energy bills and harmful UV rays, as well as improve overall quality of life by cancelling outside noise and beautifying your property. Also, adding in skylights is an efficient way of bringing natural light into the rooms, thus reducing the need for artificial lighting.

     

    Go LED

    You may be surprised, but changing the smallest things can have a huge impact on home energy efficiency. When it comes to lighting, CFLs and LED lights are a must-have, as they are said to consume from 75 to 90 per cent less energy and last 20 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. LED light bulbs also do not heat up as quickly as older models, which helps to keep the house cooler in the summer, reducing the need for air conditioning. Modern dimmer switches and occupancy sensor light switches that turn the light off automatically when someone leaves the room are additional cool features that could boost the appeal of your house.

     

    Thermostats

    One of the simplest ways of adding value to your home is installing programmable thermostats, as almost half of energy bills go towards heating and cooling the house. By installing and programming thermostats wisely, utility bills can be reduced by up to 10 per cent.

     

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    These were our top environmentally-friendly home upgrades that give the best value for money. There is no denying that the real estate market is very competitive, therefore, if you want to sell your house and make significant profit, do make sure to implement these top 6 green and sustainable features to your home.

  2. You might not realise it but some of your electrical appliances can drain a lot of energy and cost you money, even when you are not using them. Here is a guide for you to learn what these appliances are and how you can stop them cranking up the kilowatts:

    • Standby: 34% of the people admit that they leave up to 15 gadgets and appliances turned on at once. Lots of modern devices and appliances have a standby option. TVs, DVD players, microwaves, chargers and even cookers consume a surprising amount of energy when they are on standby or left plugged in. There is lots of other energy draining appliances out there, look out for any lights or digital displays that are still showing even after you have turned your device off. When you go to bed, check the room for any standby lights in the dark. They are the devices still using energy. In order to make sure that your appliance isn’t draining energy and costing you money, switch it off at the wall or unplug it when you have finished using it.

    • Overcharging: About 49% of the people overcharge their gadgets. Even when a gadget is fully charged, if it’s still plugged in, it could still be draining energy. Make sure you don’t overcharge your gadgets and do unplug them once they are fully charged. With some devices overcharging can also lower battery performance and ability to hold a full charge over time. Using a timer is a great way to prevent overcharging while you sleep or manage appliances when you are out.

    • Older appliances and energy efficiency: Unfortunately as appliances get older, they tend to use more energy. If you leave on an older appliance on, it will use a lot more energy as compared to a newer, more energy efficient model. For instance, if you have an older fridge or freezer, this may be draining more energy than you think. As the appliance gets older, sometimes the seal starts to become less effective. A simple way to check this is to place a piece of paper against the seal when you close your fridge or freezer. If it is difficult to remove, then the seal is still working properly. In case it is easy to remove or it falls out then there is a good chance that your appliance is draining more energy than it should. When you are looking to buy a new appliance, keep your eyes peeled for the EU energy efficient label. These range from A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most energy efficient. These labels are now a legal requirement on many large home appliances such as fridges, freezers, washing machines, electric ovens and air conditioners and are a great way to see, at a glance, how energy efficient your new purchase is. Also be on the lookout for offers as some retailers offer cash for old white goods when you replace them with new ones.

    • Detecting energy draining devices: Getting a smart meter or using energy-saving tools can help you see which appliances are still switched on and draining energy.

    For more information, you can call on Eon Contact Number and get in touch with its dedicated team.

     

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  3. The term “carbon footprint” refers to the overall amount of carbon that normal living puts into the environment. It includes all types of greenhouse gases that are produced as a result of various activities. For example, the carbon footprint of driving a vehicle includes not only the emissions it produces as it burns gasoline, but also emissions created in the production and refining of the fuel, as well as emissions that are created from the car’s manufacture and maintenance. A number of carbon footprint calculators are available online. When you begin to understand how many of your normal activities creates emissions that impact the environment, you can begin to alter your lifestyle to improve the health of the planet. Here are just a few simple ways you can begin to reduce your carbon footprint:

     

    1 – Recycle More

    If you find ways to re-use and recycle household items, you can dramatically reduce the amount of carbon that goes into the environment each day to create new ones. Look for products that use recycled materials, reuse rainwater and find another use for items such as plastic containers, so they don’t wind up in landfills as quickly.

     

    2 – Change the Environmental Impact of Your Home

    When caring for your landscaping, be aware that trees and shrubs have a beneficial impact on the environment in many ways and try to maximize their good effects. Plant trees that help to shade the parts of your home that are open to cold winds in winter and blazing sunlight in summer. These efforts can help to reduce your home energy use and reduce your overall carbon footprint. When caring for your landscape plants, use organic fertilizers, like the products found at Nature Safe, that have less of a negative effect on the environment. These compounds can prevent the runoff that causes ecological imbalances in nearby waterways. Organic types help to keep landscape plants healthier over a longer period of time, so you can apply less frequently.

     

    3 – Drive Less and More Efficiently

    Walking helps to improve your health while it reduces the amount of carbon in the environment. Use your feet instead of the car to do neighborhood errands, or get on your bicycle for longer trips. Carpooling can be a good way to reduce the amount of gasoline emissions in the environment. If you must drive, make sure your tires are properly inflated for better mileage.

     

    Reducing the amount of carbon you use for everyday activities is not difficult. It simply requires an awareness of simple techniques that can make a significant impact on the amount of energy used every day.

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    Recent Entries

    Going green doesn’t only show that your office cares about the environment – in many cases, it also saves you money. With the environment in its current state, businesses everywhere are beginning to develop an eco-conscience. They’re prioritizing the planet by reducing the amount of waste that they generate and relying less on external resources to keep themselves going. This isn’t only for the wealthy elite – even small businesses can implement changes that will have a positive impact on the planet.

    1. Buy Used Furniture

    Used furniture has a lot of charm. Every piece has a personality and unique aesthetic. When you need desks or tables, consider purchasing one that someone has already loved. By using old furniture, you aren’t relying on the production of new furniture. A slightly mismatched office might even feel a little more warm and welcoming. When you can’t find something old and new furniture needs to be purchased, make sure you’re buying from a company that crafts their furniture from sustainable resources.

    2. Upcycle Everything

    Before you throw something away, try to see it as something else. Even cardboard boxes can become something worth much more. With a little elbow grease, cardboard boxes can become things like stylish organizers. It’s a fun and creative project for the workplace that will emphasize the importance of reducing waste and becoming an innovative thinker. Every workplace could benefit from more projects like these.

    3. Rely on Natural Sunlight

    Turn off the lights in your office in the middle of the day. Is it dark and cavernous? If so, it might be time to hit Gumtree for a new office with enough windows. Office equipment requires a lot of electricity, and you can reduce the amount of energy you consume by relying primarily on the sun for light. You may need to flip on the lights when you’re working into the evening or the weather is particularly gloomy, but most workdays won’t require an excess of electricity.

    4. Ditch the Vending Machine

    A lot of waste goes into creating the single serving processed foods usually found in vending machines – not to mention the fact that these machines have a tendency to suck up a lot of electricity. Get rid of your vending machine and replace office snacks with fresh locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Not only are you reducing waste and supporting local farmers, you’re also encouraging your employees to make healthier choices. This is a scenario in which everyone wins, and it’s very easy to implement.

    5. Go Paperless

    Almost all offices are going paperless in modern times. This isn’t just a green initiative – it also saves costs on supplies that constantly need to be replenished. Using document sharing services (like the free Google Docs) to share important memos with employees saves you from having to print 50 copies of the same memo. If your company uses Cloud technology, you can rely on that to keep your important backups safe. Take the things that arrive to you in paper form and scan them, turning them in to searchable PDFs. Recycle the paper you don’t need anymore. There are countless ways to reduce your paper consumption, and many of them will make your office space a little more efficient.

     

    Since an interest in green office environments has skyrocketed, it’s easier than ever to make the transition. There are countless solutions for green office spaces, and equipment suppliers often have green alternatives for the workplace. Before you know it, you’ll be saving money and clearing your conscience.

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  4. This year, we have been thinking a lot about how to be more eco-friendly. We know that we can turn off lights when we leave the room, walk rather than taking the car where possible, and avoid products which use a lot of plastic packaging. But what can we do at Christmas time to be better for the environment? Here are some tips.

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    Shop local

    Every product which is imported, from your presents to your tree to your food on the table, has a carbon footprint. If something has travelled overseas then it needs to either fly or come by truck over a ferry, neither of which are great options. In order to reduce the carbon footprint of your Christmas, you can try to shop locally. This will also help to grow your community and support local businesses, which is a great bonus. While you might not have farms supplying everything in your locale, you can at least choose things which have been produced within your country.

     

    Choose your tree

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    Make sure that you are getting your tree from an eco-friendly source if you are buying a real one. You should be able to check how the tree is grown and whether or not it is done in a sustainable way. If you are going the plastic route, buy a tree for life. Don’t throw it away after one year – plan to keep it for 20 or 30. This will offset the carbon cost of making the tree because of the amount of use that you get out of it. When you do get rid of your tree, try to recycle it or donate it to charity rather than just throwing it in the bin.

     

    Send green

    If you have gifts that must be shipped out, then make sure that you do it the green way with PACK & SEND. They have practices in place which mean that your carbon footprint will be reduced by using their services as opposed to a postal service. Think about the way that you package your gifts, too. Do you really need all those layers of cardboard and bubble wrap, or would a smaller parcel work just as well to protect the gifts?

     

    Change your bulbs

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    Make sure that your fairy lights aren’t draining your electric bill and putting a strain on the environment! Pick out a set with more eco-friendly bulbs and both will be improved. LED fairy lights are a good choice as they take less electricity to run and don’t cause any heat, which makes them less of a fire hazard. It’s also fun to sit with only the lights of the tree in the evening and turn off your main lights, which will save a lot of energy! Try to watch your energy usage in general – could you turn off the television and play board games together, for example?

     

    Remove food waste

    When doing your shopping before Christmas, try to be more realistic about what you actually need to buy. So much food is wasted every year because we make such big feasts which are not actually eaten. When you have vegetable leftovers that can’t be used, try to turn them into compost or feed them to a pet. Eat up leftovers where possible. If you can’t get rid of all of your food, you may be able to find a nearby shelter which takes spare food donations.

     

    It’s easier than you think to have a green Christmas. Just think about reducing waste and shopping local, and the rest will fall into place!

  5. There are numerous renewable solutions for water conservation that are easily implemented by businesses and in residential areas. Five renewable solutions for water conservation include:

    ·         Rainwater Harvesting

    ·         Dedicated residential water containers

    ·         Energy efficient water-saving sprinkler systems

    ·         Water conservation monitoring systems

    ·         Green landscaping initiatives
     

    Rainwater Harvesting

    Harvesting rainwater is not a new idea. It has been around for centuries in rural and urban areas where water supplies tended to be less abundant. The Mayans built their entire agricultural economy on this concept. Rainwater harvesting, as the name implies, is simply rain water collected and reused for farm crops and landscape purposes. Today's rainwater harvesting systems are adapted for commercial, industrial and residential use. 

    Many new structures include a rainwater harvesting system to reduce the cost of municipal water supplied to homes and buildings. Water is collected into rainwater harvesting systems from moisture in humid indoor air and roof and gutters. This water is transferred through a filtration system to an underground storage tank equipped with a pump and an outlet for reuse of collected water. New York City has over 140 of these rainwater harvesting systems.

     

    Dedicated Residential Water Containers
    In many residential areas, homeowners purchase water containers to collect rainwater. This is similar to large municipal water tanks seen in most every town. The difference is the size. Dedicated residential water containers are generally conical or horizontal tank shapes. They hold from 500 to 2400 gallons of collected water and are made from polypropylene or plastic. Some are attached to exterior residential structures or are built indoors in a basement, depending on the sources from which water is collected.
     

    Energy Efficient Water-saving Sprinkler Systems

    An energy efficient sprinkler system is cost-effective and the biggest benefit is a renewable solution to conserve water. Recent developments in technology have improved the efficiency of sprinkler systems in both energy consumption and water usage.  For example, Smart Rain’s Smart Controller can detect weather patterns and turn off sprinklers when precipitation makes watering redundant. The Smart Controller also detects broken sprinkler heads or irrigation lines. This prevents unnecessary waste of water, and can result in 15%-30% savings and possibly tax benefits. For larger water sprinkler needs in farming and large landscaping, drip systems can save 30,000 gallons of water per year or more.
     

    Water Conservation Monitoring Systems
    In many municipalities, water conservation monitoring systems are used to gauge overall water volume conserved through local water saving initiatives. Some of these are "remote" monitoring systems for greater vigilance. 
     

    Green Landscaping Initiatives
    With the growth of the professional landscaping industry, green landscaping initiatives include training in water conservation from one landscaping project to the next to ensure cost-effective, timely residential and commercial landscaping.

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    It has been calculated that an overwhelming number of over 93 million 159-litre oil barrels are consumed on a daily basis all around the world. By recent estimates, by 2090 world reserves of fossil fuels will be significantly diminished. We will not run out of fuel completely as new reserves will probably be found, however it is important to consider everyday fuel consumption especially if one is working within transportation industry.

     

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    Driving style

    When you take a closer look at driving methods, inspect the routes carefully, and keep an eye on the truck, fuel savings can easily be found. First of all, sudden speed changes such as quickly slowing down or speeding up require the engine to work harder and, as a result, it needs to burn more fuel. In order not to force up the engine excessively, it is a good idea to drive as smoothly as possible and observe speed limits. Another thing is to choose the most convenient and at the same time the shortest route which has the fewest stop lights so that you can drive undisturbed for miles. Considering current fuel prices implementing fuel-saving strategies can also bring huge savings in the financial department, so it is worth to give them a try.

     

    Truck aerodynamics

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    It's no secret that the more weight you carry, the more fuel your truck consumes due to disturbed aerodynamics. An environmentally conscious driver should understand that it is crucial to remove all excess baggage, useless tools, broken or unnecessary parts, and fancy headache racks and go for simple vehicle efficiency upgrades such as wheel-well covers and trailer flaps. Moreover, the tires should always be inflated to recommended PSI as rolling resistance has a huge impact on aerodynamic efficiency as well.

     

    Regular maintenance

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    Not only the way you drive takes its toll on fuel consumption, but it is also the condition of the truck that matters, so if you want to be more eco-friendly driver, remember to conduct regular truck maintenance. Transportation companies and truck rental firms such as Abel do pay special attention to regular inspections. For individuals who struggle with car maintenance it is recommended to install a special reminder manager app or set up recurring calendar notifications. It is crucial to check the oil regularly, add and change it when needed. Also, replacing air filters can significantly cut down fuel consumption and reduce the emission of toxic fumes. Whenever you notice that any part of the truck is not working properly, it is better to inspect it carefully than to cause excessive and, let's be honest, unnecessary increased fuel consumption.

     

    Convenience

    People get accustomed to the good things pretty quickly. However, many drivers forget that seat warmers, fans, defrosters and the AC run on gas, too. And the latter is said to be the biggest fuel-consumer of the pack. Many of these options turn on automatically, so try to monitor them carefully and use only when necessary. Some drivers claim that also frequently opening truck windows disturbs its aerodynamics which can contribute to increased fuel consumption. Of course there are days that resigning from any form of heating or cooling will pose serious health hazards, however it is worth to keep in mind even the smallest channels of fuel waste.

     

    With growing concern about the planet's well-being, no wonder many truck drivers look for ways to minimize the impact their vehicles have on the ecosystem. Millions of trucks cruise the world every day and with efficient driving strategies and implementing simple routines truck drivers can significantly contribute to slowing down the climate change.

  7. Last week a global conference on responsible investment was held in Singapore, China. One could see the leadership staring at us via a video-link to that conference. Chief Economist at the People’s Bank of China, Dr. Ma Jun, stated that China is currently moving to the mandatory report of environmental information by the companies.

    Dr. Ma Jun mentioned that all water, climate, and environmental issues are closely connected with asset allocation risks. This conference, which was held by Principles for Responsible Investment, was listened and watched by over 600 delegates. During the video conference, Dr. Ma Jun talked about how China was waiting for the release of green finance and used government stimulus in order to attract private capital.

    Carbon Trading Scheme

    People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is the financial regulator and the central bank in China. Dr. Ma has got the nickname “Mr. Green Finance” because he is usually driving this agenda. He used to be an economist at Deutsche Bank and joined PBOC only two years ago. Next year China is planning to launch a national carbon trading scheme, which will become the largest trading scheme in the world.

    The economists state that China has passed ahead and left the West behind. China is now investing more in clean technology than the U.K., U.S., and France altogether. At the same time, the U.S. has even failed to launch a national carbon trading market. The day before this conference started, China Central Depository and Clearing Co announced itself a partner of Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), which is an international, non-for-profit organization. Together they aimed at launching the first Climate-Aligned bond index.

    Obey or Explain

    The recent announcement of China to start the move towards mandatory disclosure of environmental risk has built a lot of momentum in this space. Some of the companies have suggested this is going to be a quiet revolution. It all started in 2014 when Mr. Robins became the head of Climate Change Center and mentioned a joint program on green finance between G20 and investors as his “dream headline” for the next year.

    A lot of stock exchange CEOs joined at the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative and formally added to the numbers on board. It demanded stable development reporting on an “obey or explain” basis. During the last year, more than 20 stock exchanges decided to provide ESG reporting guidance.

    Generation S

    The credit rating agencies together with senior executives from S&P Global Ratings and Malaysia’s RAM Ratings were also present, talking about social and environmental issues and credit ratings. There were also some investment companies in Singapore, - Arabesque was one of them.

    Small business owners can borrow through loan matching service hile big corporations need to find other ways and attract big investors. George Kell, who is a vice chairman of this investment firm, spoke about the significance to listen to the needs and necessities of the millennials. He even used a special name for them – Generation S – for sustainability.

    Does everybody support the movement for change?

    The managing director of PRI told the delegates that all the work concerning responsible investment is closely connected with rebuilding trust in the whole financial system.  This task is rather challenging, and it requires leadership across geographical boundaries. However, while this movement for change was being held in China, there was something missing.

    Some economists and partners at the conference suggested it was the U.S. David Blood, managing partner in an investment company mentioned that most American people were missing because in the U.S. sustainability is a political agenda.

     

  8. garbage-can-1111448_1280.jpg

     

    1. Shop at second-hand stores. 
    2. Use reusable bags and containers.
    3. Shop items made of recycled materials.
    4. Always dispose garbage properly, sort recyclable and compostable products and empty the contents into labeled containers.
    5. Buy products which are reusable, returnable or refillable.
    6. Buy in bulk, not individually wrapped items.
    7. Purchase liquid cleaning products, windshield washer fluid and antifreeze in concentrated forms.
    8. Compost food and yard waste. Food leftovers, tea bags, tree leaves and trimmings can be stored in a compost bin.
    9. Reduce the amount of promotional mail in your letter box. Ask for online invoicing.

    Thank you!

  9. Solar energy is one of the most useful forms of renewable energy because solar panels and the sun's own energy can be harnessed directly. Technically, solar energy is the radiant light and heat energy produced by the sun as it sends off massive energy from constant nuclear fusion. 

    Here on Earth, though, solar energy is harnessed via "solar collectors" that convert light energy into more usable heat energy. Solar thermal collectors snatch up the heat by absorbing sunlight and solar radiation.

    Solar collectors can, in fact, refer to a number of different devices designed to harness the sun's energy.

    Roof-mounted solar hot water panels and solar air heaters are what a lot of homeowners might already be familiar with; concentrated solar power plants use more sophisticated and industrial-strength solar collectors. 

    Concentrated Solar Power Plants and Residential Solar Options  

     

    Concentrated solar power plants collect solar energy in a slightly different way. Solar towers and solar thermal collector dishes, which look similar to satellite dishes, are the two ways that concentrated solar power plants generate electricity by heating liquids that, in turn, power turbines aligned with electric generators. 

    The fossil fuels that powered the industrial revolution did a great job of bringing greater infrastructure, communication, transportation and technology to the 20th century. The 21st century, though, will see renewables like solar, wind and geothermal playing a much more dominant role. 

    Some people think ill of solar radiation (infrared and ultraviolet), but it can benevolently be used to power the lives of literally billion of people around the world.

    Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Solar Power

     

    Roof-mounted solar hot water panels, photovoltaic modules and concentrated solar power plants can provide that much-needed energy. The two kinds of solar power harnessed today are solar thermal and solar photovoltaic. 

    The first kind of solar energy—solar thermal—is what most people automatically think of when they think of solar power. Solar thermal systems convert sunlight into thermal energy with the help of solar panels. So, what exactly are solar thermal systems good for? 

    A lot of things that homeowners would find useful, as it happens. Solar thermal systems can be put towards space heating as well as heating water via a solar hot water system. 

    Solar photovoltaic systems, on the other hand, entail converting sunlight directly into electricity with the assistance of photovoltaic cells. (Photovoltaics is the conversion of light—in this case, sunlight—into electricity with semiconductors and the photovoltaic effect.)

    Photovoltaic systems can be incorporated into homes, electric vehicles and green building designs to ensure energy independence and overall energy savings. 

    The best part is that solar panels are incredibly reliable, need little maintenance and can last up to thirty years when you purchase from a reliable solar panel manufacturer. 

    At the outside, solar panels only lose about half a percentage of their performance per year, which means that even after a generation, your home solar panels will still be harnessing solar energy at approximately 90% efficiency compared to when you originally installed them! 

    The other nice thing about solar is that the Consolidated Appropriations Act provides homeowners a 30% personal tax credit for home PV and solar thermal technology purchases. 

    Solar Power and Your Energy Bills 

     

    Solar energy facilities are right now actually using something known as "concentrated solar power" to do things like boil water and convert sunlight more directly into electricity. 

    Utility-sized solar energy uses concentrated solar power systems, power towers and dish engines to deliver megawatts of usable electricity to homes and businesses around the country. 

    Solar energy is but one of the amazing forms of green energy out there today—renewable energy sources like wind, rain, geothermal, and hydro (water) energy are also part of the green energy picture

    As you look at data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration you'll see that the eight most popular green energy sources of energy have all experienced an increase in usage over the last three years. 

    How Much Can You Really Save? 

     

    On a smaller scale, you and your family can expect to save a significant amount of money from month to month on your energy expenses by outfitting your home with roof solar panels. 

    The exact amount that you save will have a lot to do with the region of the country that you're located in, possible buyback plans with utility companies in your area, the amount of electricity that your family uses, and the number and efficiency of your home solar panels. 

    The cool thing about solar power is that there are a lot of tax rebate incentives for siding with solar, and solar power might even allow your family to send your electrical meter spinning backward. How? 

    Although you can, of course, still take all the energy that you need from the utility grid in your area, after installing solar panels there's a good chance that you can become energy-independent. Perhaps, at that point, you might even sell back excess energy to your utility company for credit! 

    That can potentially save you thousands of dollars per year since, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling constitute the largest energy expenses for most homes. Remember, solar energy is great for space heating. 

    Save Year Round...and Sidestep Peak Rates 

     

    The important thing to bear in mind with solar energy and your potential to save thousands every year on your energy expenses is that solar power systems consistently produce the best results when the sun is shining brightest. 

  10. Maneesh

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    Drones have always been into a limited field of army and defence but slowly and steadily it has entered the mainstream. Now these smart bots are being used everywhere from conservation to photography, the uses of these drones have widened its horizon.

    But there are pros and cons attached, let’s take a walkthrough of how the drones have affected the environmental factors, and are this camera robot a threat or it’s just a mere robotic machine flying in the air.

    Drones and their Uses –

    Well if we have a strong understanding of how drones are being used, it gets easy to conclude on the pros and cons. The Defence system proved the monitoring abilities of this machine when further this camera bot was used, the spectacular aerial images opened new horizons for its usage. Now photographers and videographers are among the avid buyers of this gadget. The continuous use of aerial photography and monitoring opened gates for new ways of conservation and protection. The wildlife, agriculture and energy projects have started using drones.

    The more it is being used in different sectors the debate over the pros and cons have begun, so let’s have a look, how are these drones impacting the environment.

    Agriculture – The farmers have started relying on the robotic vehicles in order to collect information and take actions accordingly. When a drone identifies a type of weed growing in a specific area that area is then sprayed with a pesticide that helps in unnecessary usage of pesticides in the field.

    Wildlife - Monitoring and keeping a check on the wildlife animals and plants is now an easy business. Now at very cheap costs and with almost no manual task-force wildlife conservation tasks can be taken care of.

    Energy Plants – Maintaining big machinery, how to check if they are functioning properly, what are the areas that got affected and so forth. But with this little camera vehicle, almost all are problems being solved.

    Pros

    Low Cost – If used effectively then this vehicle will be a cheaper option than other alternatives.

    Accuracy – Unlike the old and traditional ways of surveillance, drones are accurate and require minimal staff. They are quiet and vigilant machines that give an accurate information.

    Longer Operational Hours – Humans can be saved from continuous long work duties because these flying vehicles will enable to look/spy/watch for longer hours.

    Life Saving- Spying or keeping an eye becomes an easy affair via losing any life.

    Aerial mapping & Monitoring – These little vehicles are best for aerial photography and videography, they are ideal and with a 5 kg drone you can easily fly for several hours and get exquisite images.

    Disaster Relief – In difficult times, drones act as saviours and are perfect for surveillance and providing aid to the affected zones and the people.

    Wildlife Protection – This little vehicle is able to capture pictures and videos of hard reach areas, which plays a crucial role in conserving the environment.

    Sustainable Agriculture –  UAV’s are now more precision agricultural instruments and are at a quick speed replacing a lot of old school methods. It is now becoming an invaluable tool for farmers.

    Cons

    Limited Abilities - Yes, no matter how much we talk about them, some manual actions are always needed to give directions to these gadgets.

    Easy to operate – The easy operations of the drones are making it an accessible mode, which will be a concern ion near future.

    Drone Strikes – Drone strikes and munitions are sad to be harmful to public health because of their chemical content.

    As we look towards the advances of the growing usage of drones and affordable prices we are sure to see more of these flying machines. There are cons but better benefits quick deploy, clear images and with upcoming technological advances, we can see a win-win situation for these UAVs.

  11. photo-1470472485155-0e1e392b8322?ixlib=r

    Australian attitudes towards climate change have been shifting considerably over the past few years. While many Australian’s don’t believe in climate change, more do. The majority also believe the Australian government should be doing more to address climate change on a global scale.

     

    An Ongoing Disagreement as to the Cause of Climate Change

    According to CSIRO’s 2014 annual survey of Australian attitudes to climate change, a strong majority of Australian’s believe that climate change is happening and support a variety of initiatives to address the potential impacts. However, the study concluded that there was an ongoing disagreement as to whether the cause of climate change are natural fluctuations or are the consequences of human activity. The CSIRO survey also found a pattern of ‘optimism bias’ – the belief that one is less likely than others to experience something negative. Many Australian’s believed that they would be least harmed by climate change while those most unlike themselves (those in poor, developing nations and people in the world generally) were more likely to be harmed.

    Contracted by the Garnaut Climate Change Review team, the CSIRO reviewed a number of recent studies examining Australians’ views of climate change. A total of 22 studies were reviewed and analysed. From this existing research it was concluded that most Australians believe that climate is changing, but fewer believe that the change is attributable to human activity. This belief in climate change and its drivers has waned during the last few years, reflecting trends in other Western countries. Beliefs about climate change are strongly related to political preferences, voting behaviours and gender, while no clear relationships between these beliefs and location, income or age have been shown.

     

    Australia Needs to Take Action on Climate Change

    While there was no clear consensus on what policy actions Australians prefer, such as setting a carbon price or establishing an emissions trading scheme, the study did conclude that most Australians believe that Australia should take action on climate change without waiting for a global consensus.

    A recent ReachTEL survey of 2400 people concluded the same. Conducted for a coalition of environmental groups, 64 per cent of respondents stated that they were more likely to vote for a party seeking 100 per cent renewable energy in 20 years. 48 per cent of respondents also said they were more likely to support a party reducing Australia’s net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. The survey concluded that 56.4 per cent of Australians want the government to do more to address climate change. 27.8 per cent believed the current policies were correct and only 9.9 per cent wanted less action on climate change.

    Australia has one of the highest per capita emissions of carbon dioxide in the world. If every person in the world produced the same green house gas levels as each Australian, the world would produce approximately 560% more green house gas emissions. To combat this, Australian’s need to do more to lower their own personal carbon footprints, while continuing to push their government for a tougher stance on climate change.

  12. Junk-food-vs-Healthy-food.png

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

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

    Organic Coconut Water vs Soda

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

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

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

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

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

    Organic Dried Fruit vs. Candy

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

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

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

    Organic Cocoa vs. Commercial Chocolate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  13. Hazardous waste can come in various forms, and it’s not always easy to manage them, much less regulate their disposal. However, the need for proper hazardous waste management has become more and more apparent over the past couple of years, as the imminent threat of global warming has made its presence felt more clearly. But what exactly are we dealing with when it comes to hazardous waste?

    What is hazardous waste?
    Waste that poses a threat to the environment and to human health is considered as hazardous, and they commonly exhibit either one or all of these traits: toxicity, ignitability, corrosivity, and reactivity. They can also be infectious, such as those coming from healthcare facilities, or radioactive. Hazardous waste can come in solid, liquid, sludge, and even gaseous states.

    What should be done with them?
    In an ideal world, all waste products could be recycled and utilized in some other industry. However, the reality is that the world is hardly an ideal setting, and recycling normally isn’t the end point of hazardous waste. Depending on how hazardous waste was created (either by physical, chemical, thermal, or even biological means), treatment and disposal may also vary. For example, certain organic wastes like those from the petroleum industry can be applied with biological treatment, such as landfarming, in which hazardous waste is mixed carefully with surface soil on a designated and suitable area of land. Microbes can be added to metabolize the waste, thus causing it to stabilize. On the other hand, physical treatment involves solidifying, concentrating, or reducing the volume of hazardous waste. 

    Who is responsible for hazardous waste management?
    Hazardous waste management should be the responsibility of everyone. A combined effort is needed from everyone involved in producing, handling, and disposing of the hazardous waste. Each institution that deals with such waste – like healthcare facilities and industrial companies – should follow the standard regulations on handling hazardous waste, and have a set protocol in place. Employees and workers who find themselves at risk for exposure to such waste, or handle them directly, should be trained on how to properly deal with them. The 40-hour HAZWOPER training should be required for such employees. 

    Whether you work in a facility that creates these hazardous waste, or are part of the cleanup crew to ensure their containment, it is important to understand the impact that such waste has on our lives.  Hazardous waste is inevitable in today’s society, but with proper management, we can ensure that its impact on environmental and human health is contained.

  14. Even in 2016, people still need the extra push to get them to do the right thing. As a business owner and employer, you have a specific advantage in ways to help them! Here's some ways to get your employees as excited as you are about saving the world around you!

     

    1) Offer Them Prizes!

    There's nothing more immediately incentivizing as compensation for doing good. That said, giving candy bars or soda to those who choose to recycle a certain amount, carpool, or ride their bikes to work isn't a bad place to start. What you want is for people to start doing the right thing. However, for someone to actually become interested in making a life change, it isn't so easy. See, immediate incentives help in the moment, but how can you encourage them to make the same choices outside of the office that they're making for prizes inside of it?

     

    2) Educate them!

    A useful idea is to offer free classes to anyone who will take them on things like climate change, saving energy using breakroom and office equipment wisely, and even ballpark subjects like bike safety. If you don’t think classes would work, try monthly newsletters or pamphlets. They could be incredibly informational, or even more brief (this, for example, is a good amount of information). Every little bit counts!

     

    3) Group Events!

    Group activities are motivating to people. Organizing groups of employees to clean up litter in a nearby park is what I first think of when talking about group environmentalism, but it’s not the only way. I would recommend staying away from protests as you want your business to have a good reputation, however to each their own.


    Any more recommendations? Let me know in the comments.

  15. Upcycled Circuitry 4 Creative Uses for Old Tech.JPG

    Technology often has a nostalgic link to the era in which it was in vogue. However, just because a piece of tech is found to be behind the times by modern standards, this does not mean that its usefulness has vanished. Sometimes it is when an old piece of tech has lost its appeal that someone discovers a new purpose for it. Then, that which was believed to be condemned to the shelves at the rear of the storeroom gets a new purpose—and sometimes new popularity. Old technology can give life to new and innovative ideas. Here are a few of those innovations to consider.

     

    That Old Transistor Radio

    While the younger generation is busy with their iPods and MP4 players, the older generation remembers the days when hand-held transistor radios were all the rage. Despite being less popular today, many might be shocked to learn that blind people still use transistor radios to help them to navigate screen changes on other electronic devices. Since the radio provides an audible change in the static hum of AM frequency channels when the screen of a nearby electronic device has changed, this can be used to help a blind person know that something has taken place on a screen they cannot read. Some blind people have successfully used this method to navigate the use of drum machines and other previously inaccessible electronic devices.

     

    All Those Unused Monitors

    Often people buy new computer gear and stick their old monitors in the garage or at the back of their closet. Before long they realize they have a slew of old monitors. Removing the monitors from their base makes it possible to arrange the monitors in a vertical, homemade frame. The more monitors you have, the more you can use to make a multiple screen video display. With enough video cards to drive their use, a person can finally have that multiple display they always wanted for watching television or running their home security system through. Sometimes, a broken monitor is just a simple repair away from being incredibly useful. Research what the problem might be online, or contact a service like Contec Direct to see if it’s worth the trouble.

     

    Phone Cameras

    If you are the type to have a bunch of old cell and smartphones laying around in a box, it might be time to put their on-board cameras to work. Instead of spending a fortune on new cameras for your home security system, simply making use of these older cameras is one way to outfit your home with 360-degree monitoring. One perk is that old phones, even when they aren’t connected to a phone network anymore, can still connect to your WiFi network. You can have a home security system without having to run wires to every corner of your house!

     

    The Old Bulky Television

    Many people have an old broken television they are no longer using. Many of the older televisions are bulky and served as a place where the family gathered around on movie night. Now broken, it is okay to wait until the television has had time to drain its power and start gutting out its insides. With the inside empty, the display box with the glass screen front can be used for displaying some other scene or object of your choice. You could even completely gut it, and plant some flowers inside for a contemporary urban art piece!

     

    Old tech is all around us. Some of this tech may still have a lot of useful functions. With a little creative thought and hard work, you would be surprised what can be made out of your collection of outdated technology.

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    Try to think about this possibility. Your home, you are waiting for someone to come over, perhaps toward leaving three people. You know that, it is tradition for you to offer them something to drink and something to eat. Wine is most likely one of your first choices. Of course, you could simply take the time to serve the wine directly from the bottle. However, wouldn’t it be much more elegant if you actually to use a decanter?

    IMG_01681z.jpg (600×400)

    When people come over

    Don’t you think that your friends or in general the people you’re waiting for would actually find you much more prepared for situations like this? Or at least they realise that you are quite the elegant person. We know that many people out there do not exactly understand why you’re supposed to get a different type of container from the wine instead of simply pouring it out of the bottle. Well actually the answer is quite simple. Elegance.

    You must not give yourselves. The more elegant look at gatherings like this the more likely what we enjoy them and a red wine decanter cord very easily help you provide others with these idea. Of course, there are so many different types of decanters you might actually find it a bit difficult to choose. You will go for a classic one or you could simply try something new and exciting.

    How to be elegant

    Whatever you choose, finding it is not going to be difficult. Usually there is an entire behind the idea of wine decanters. There are so many different ideas for designs and companies have made sure that they create all of them. Finding one at a reasonable price is also quite possible.

    All you need to do would be to simply go online to one of those websites like eBay or Amazon and start checking out what they can offer you. We can guarantee that out of the blue you will find yourselves in front of many different choices. Now, the difficulty here will be to choose your favourite design and signal purchase them all.

    Of course, you will know exactly what it is that you need. Find that one design that is going to be matching and becoming one with the scenery of your home bar. Get ready to welcome all your friends and perhaps colleagues. Because now, you will be able to bring the perfect elegance to them.

  16. Jonny

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    brexit

    If you haven't heard of Brexit then you are probably living under a rock. Most of the financial world was rocked this Friday as British voters decided to leave the EU. The pound dropped to it's 30 year low, and American stocks tanked as a result.

    What it means for small businesses is that there is likely to be some ripples across the pond," said Richard Williams, director for regulatory studies at George Mason University. He also believes that some of the ripples, at least, could be good for American businesses.

    A deep dive into why the EU referendum ever happened was British frustration at Brussels. Brussels is where all EU regulation is written and decided. A lot of British small business owners were fed up with choking regulation that made it hard to smart and maintain a business. I'm sure small business owners in America can relate.

    The hope is that US Congress will see the signs and perhaps reconsider some business-killing regulations that they are either considering, or have already passed.

    There is also a definitive downside to Brexit for a lot of American businesses unfortunately. A lot of analysts are worried about what the affect will be on Europe's economy as a whole. With an already weak economy, it won't take a lot to stall growth and put most of Europe into an economic recession.

    JJ Kinahan, a strategist at TD Ameritrade, believes that the weak markets in Europe could easily transfer over to the US. When such a huge economy starts to stumble, the effect is usually felt worldwide. As Europe buys less, many US companies sell less, and the result is a worldwide recession.

    As a small business owner in America it would be a good idea to understand the driving forces behind the world markets. There are a few key points to watch on the US stock market, that if broken could signal a long economic downturn. Technical analysis teaches us that if the S&P 500 breaks below a certain number this year, markets will likely tank as sentiment turns bearish. That point is about 182. As long as markets can stay above that key figure, chances are that our economy will recover relatively quickly.

    As a small business owner there are a few ways to react to current conditions. One is to adjust your audience. If you are focusing on Europe and England in your sales efforts, it may be time to start looking elsewhere. The pound has lost a lot of value in the last 76 hours and buying just became a lot more expensive. Looking at the euro, there is a good chance of the same happening.

    The best thing you can do, however, is not focus on Brexit. As a small business there are millions of things to worry about and stress over. Chances are decent that Brexit will not affect you as much as you think, and there are definitly things to worry about more.

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    When the pioneers began their migration to the western United States, there was no limit on how many fish they could catch or how big the fish had to be. It didn’t take long for the abundant fish populations to start to decline. In 1870, fish spawning stations began to appear, where fish eggs were collected and hatched. The fish were then stocked back into the waters that had declining populations. Many of these fabric structure spawning stations would eventually become fish hatcheries. In 1871, the U.S. Fish Commission was established, which would become the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the National Fish Hatchery System. In 1872, the first federal fish hatchery, Baird Hatchery in California, was established.  

    Today, fish hatcheries can be found in every region of the United States. Some are part of the National Fish Hatchery System, which is a network of field stations that work with local, state and tribal governments, federal agencies, and foreign nations. Its goal is to support the conservation of native fish species. Other fish hatcheries are privately owned and operated. All are important and can fulfill many needs.

    What Fish Hatcheries Do

    Fish hatcheries are used to replace fish that were lost by human influences, such as pollution, over-harvest, dam construction, and habitat loss due to real estate developments, or that were lost to natural causes, such as flood, drought, and habitat destruction. Fish hatcheries are also used for:

    • Repopulating endangered fish species.

    • Providing research on fish disease.

    • Restoring degraded habitats.

    • Provide for the creation of new recreational fishing opportunities.

    Without fish hatcheries, many species of fish would be extinct or endangered, such as the Pacific salmon, diminutive darters, lake trout, native western trout, and striped bass. That is only a partial listing of fish species that National Fish Hatchery System is working with in order to help with their conservation.

    More Than Just Fish Farms

    Fish hatcheries are more than just fish farms. Artificial breeding, hatching, and rearing occur in fish hatcheries, and in many cases, it’s more than just fish. Some hatcheries raise shrimp, Pacific oysters, Indian prawns, and scallops. In many of the National Fish Hatchery Systems fisheries, diverse research is underway by scientists in ecology, botany, fish culture, physiology, statistics, microbiology, and veterinary medicine. That research is also benefitting other species, such as salamanders, insects, freshwater mussels, and many plants.

    Benefits of Fish Hatcheries

    Private and state hatcheries provide many benefits, such as selling immature fish to private landowners for stocking ponds and lakes. For just about as long as we’ve been building farms, we’ve been stocking ponds fish. In addition, many hatcheries provide fish management services so that a balance can be achieved for between the varieties of fish and so each species can reach its full growth potential.

    Fish hatcheries provide other benefits, too, and to many more people than just anglers. Over the ages from hatcheries are often sold as food. According to one study by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, every dollar spent on rainbow trout hatcheries generates about $37 in economic value. There’s other less tangible gains, too. Kids take to the rivers for fat trout raised in a hatchery and later they are watershed conservation advocates. For critically endangered salmon populations, it’s possible that hatcheries may be the only answer to saving the species.   

    The Future of Fish Hatcheries

    There is some controversy over fish hatcheries and fish farms; however, most hatcheries are providing significant benefits to the ecosystem and to humans. There is little doubt that these hatcheries will continue to be part of the U.S. landscape for many years to come.

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    If animals and nature are your passion, then environment work is for you. It is indeed a good possibility. You can satisfy your passion and get money at the same time. Besides the joyful feeling of the own contribution to the Earth preservation. So how do you get a dream job in the area? It is equally difficult for the qualified candidates as well as for the people without proper training or education. The first thing to remember: job searching is a big deal and it requires a clear plan. And also a lot of effort, time and energy. Here are a few tips for that.


    Social Networking Is a Friend


    All of us should remember about the extreme importance of the social networking. It is a huge advantage but only if using it right. Researchers proved that LinkedIn is the most popular network for the recruiters to search for a fitting candidate. Because of that LinkedIn profile plays a significant role and it is worth to make sure it plays into your hands. For the powerful and appealing profile, it is advisable to address to the LinkedIn profile building service for professional help. 


    Crucial Point of the Resume


    Many CVs stay without the wanted attention because of the very important detail. People give a description of their working experience considering worthy to mention the only name of the company, position, and work responsibilities. But it is not enough. What comes first are results. Namely, what have you done for the company? Which of the actions made me useful and indispensable? Just occupying the position doesn't mean someone was good at it. Written job results make the resume outstanding and memorable all at once. 


    Create Personal Brand


    Unfortunately, it doesn't mean posting a selfie every day. In creating a personal brand social media do big work but using them carefully and in an intelligent way is a key. If someone wants to land an environmental or green job, he should create a certain image of him. Social media should reflect that image. Showing what you care about makes a dedicated and passionate candidate. And just posting and reposting about environmental problems is not enough. Showing what you are doing about it makes a difference. Photos can help with that. If you are photographing nature, post photos. Going hiking? Again, show it. Actions always are more valuable and believable than words.


    Volunteering Is a Work Experience


    Well, formally it isn't but many recruiters consider so. Although there is no pay, it doesn't mean there are any benefits. Volunteering in numerous organizations shows the high interest in the area, which in its turn gives grounds about the job seeker's reliability. Besides this, it is a matter of practice. Volunteering is testing of the ideas in the field environment. And it shows that you are not looking for the royal road and ready for the not so pleasurable circumstances. It gives a recruiter a hope that you will not run away after the first work days. And one more profit from the volunteering is a possibility for the building connections. And connections open many doors.


    Always Learn


    Conservation career requires knowing about the latest and breaking news of the environment. Therefore it is highly essential keeping oneself in check. Luckily, out there are many choices. It could be TED talks or YouTube videos of the experts. It could be a scientific magazine as well. Even research papers won't hurt. Another great alternative is different workshops and training. Most of them are open for everyone, regardless of the education.

  17. For the very first time in Germany’s history, clean power is supplying nearly all of its power demand, making a milestone for the “Energiewende” policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel which aims to boost renewables and eliminate dependency on fossil fuel and nuclear energy. Just recently, the country’s renewables supplied 45.5 gigawatts of the 45.8 gigawatt demand, according to an energy consulting firm in Berlin, Agora Energiewende. Power prices dropped during periods of 15 minutes, going as low as -$57 (50 euros) per megawatt hour based on Epex Spot’s data.

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    European countries are building more and more renewable capacity to lower carbon emissions and increase supply security. More and more energy consulting firms are being hired by companies who want to become energy efficient. In 2015, Denmark’s wind farms provided 140% of the demand. In the United Kingdom, no coal-fired power stations were used for roughly 4 hours on May 10th.

    Bloomberg’s analyst for New Energy Finance, Monne Depraetere, said that it is events such as these that show that at some point in the future we may begin limiting due to an oversupply. This may eventually provide a case to create technologies that will help manage such oversupply including energy storage and inter connectors.

    Germany’s shift to clean energy has gripped coal margins while increasing cost for consumers in the biggest power market in Europe. The increased clean energy flow have also put pressure on the grid and now Germany is considering excluding some regions from wind power auctions in the future if local grids are already having a difficult time keeping up with the high volume of renewable energy supplies.

    According to Depraetere, although Germany used 100% renewable energy for a day, it’s unlikely that the current generation will see a 100% supply of clean energy.

    Meanwhile, Europe’s clean technology industry overall has fallen into a fast decline and last year’s low carbon energy investments have plummeted to a record low.

    In 2010, Europe comprised 45% of the global clean energy investment but in 2011 after peaking $132billion, the EU investment dipped by around 50% with just $58billion invested in 2015.

    Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)’s chairman of the board, Michael Liebreich, stated that the global financial crisis is partly to blame. However, he also pointed out that policymakers also made their share of mistakes and they collectively created a boom-bust cycle by first showing strong support for renewable energy and then rowing back due to their fear of the costs of subsidies.

    Manufacturers in EU have also suffered. They were once the world leader in solar panel manufacture and now they no longer have any companies that belong to the top 10 globally. Jobs have been lost and in Europe, employment in PVs have fallen to over a third. The future of clean energy technology is still uncertain in Europe and in most parts of the world however, awareness still continues to grow among the general population. 

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    As more and more people begin to care about the planet we live on, the word “eco-friendly” is being used more often and louder every year. We know about recycled products, renewable energy sources, but what do we know about green web-hosting?

    Everything on the planet requires energy and web servers are not an exception, as you can see. A single web server works on a continuous basis every day and it requires a lot of electricity to operate the processes. Now imagine a center with a huge number of web servers (as is commonly the case) and the scale of operations. It was evaluated that the quantity of energy the US datacenters need is equivalent to that 5 million houses, which are put together, consume. Many companies, just like HostingServicesLab, offer web hosting services on the attractive terms, so it is possible to host a website just like you want.

    And now think: every year the amount of consumed energy will be growing; it will be coming from traditional, non-renewable sources such as coals, gas, etc. It is as much harmful for our ecosystem as coal factories or polyethylene bags. If you care about the planet and want to save the environment and you wonder, how to host your website or application without causing more harm, think about green web hosting.

    What Is Eco-Friendly Web Hosts?

    Nonpolluting web hosting is the company-provider which has a program to conserve as much power as possible and even to produce it from renewable sources. A great part of power, which data centers use to run the sites, is usually generated by carbon emitting mechanisms (which give out too much of carbon and other pollutants). As a rule, green web host providers want to lessen the amount of energy utilized by their servers: some employ equipment that takes less power and reduce energy by utilizing wherever possible; some use sun, wind and other renewable resources.

    Green web hosting also implies unloading broken down and old computer equipment in a proper way so it won’t affect the environment. Just like some products, eco-friendly web hosts recycle certain electronic components.

    What Host Is Green?

    Actually, it is difficult to find a green host provider and a green emblem on the website, does not mean that it is truly green. It may be easy for the providers to say that they are ‘eco-friendly’ as one can’t go and check it. However, there are real green web hosting providers, which produce their own power from renewable sources, like use solar panels, wind generators and other harmless mechanisms.

    Here are the things you must look at if you want to pick a real green hosting:

    • The certificates: Many companies present approvals that they are eco-friendly, make sure to examine the authenticity of the documents.
    • Read the policy carefully: Green sign does not prove that the company cares about the environment - have a minute to read the policy page and find out what it actually does to be a Nonpolluting one.
    • Energy star servers: The green host must use power star rated servers to lessen energy consumption.

    Why It Is Important?

    There are actually a lot of benefits. The energy conservation issue is becoming more and more essential matter of concern and companies are encouraged to work on power saving. Web hosting branch is one of the biggest power consumers in the tech world and if it can go green, what should be done? If you choose a nonpolluting web host, you make a choice to save the nature and preserve it for future generations and not to make any negative impact on the environment.

  18. Solar power is not a new concept. Ever since ancient times, people have used skylights and windows to light their homes, used passive solar collectors such as stone or cement to warm chilly nights, and located rain barrels in sunny areas to heat water for bathing. More recently, technology has produced new and efficient ways to collect, store, and use solar energy to power individual homes and businesses. Solar energy has many benefits. Here are five of the best.

     

    Lower Utility Bills

    A solar system can begin lowering your power bills the day it is installed. Even a small system will take a solid bite out of your electric bill, and a properly sized and installed system can provide nearly three quarters of your home’s power. That is free energy that no one can make you pay for. Solar photovoltaic systems can last as long as 30 years or more and typically pay for themselves within 5-10 years if you live in a state that offers rebates or credits for solar power installation. Even if your state does not participate, the federal government has generous programs that help offset the cost of a new solar power system.

     

    Increased Home Value

    Solar power is one of a small set of home improvements that can actually raise your home’s value by more than its own cost. Additionally, a solar system will make your home more attractive to potential home buyers, giving you a distinct advantage over other sellers even in a tight housing market. To sweeten the deal even further, most states will not increase your property taxes when you install a solar power system even though your home’s property valuation will almost certainly go up. Check out Legend Solar for more information about solar power in Utah.

     

    Clean, Effort-Free Energy

    Solar panels require little to no maintenance because they have no mechanical parts to break down. Once your system is installed, there is not much for you to do but sit back and enjoy the security of knowing that you will have environmentally responsible, quiet, free energy for many years to come.

     

    Independence from the Power Company

    For years, you have been at the mercy of the power company’s whims. If they decided to raise rates, you paid more of your hard-earned money. If they took days or weeks to restore power after an outage, you waited patiently for their employees to get around to your neighborhood. With solar power, your electric bill can be reduced to a fraction of what you pay now. Even better, many states now allow you to save the excess energy your system provides during peak hours and use that energy later. A large number of states even allow you to sell your extra power to the power company. These strategies can result in a zero balance on your utility bill month after month.

     

    Sustainability

    Solar energy is an incredibly abundant resource. Solar does no damage to the earth or its inhabitants. It is the ultimate in renewable resources. When you choose solar power, you are not just providing a more solid financial future for you and your children, you are also preserving the earth and its limited resources for your children and grandchildren.

     

    Thanks to modern solar technology, you can now harness the sun’s power to an extent that was unimaginable throughout most of history. Installing a solar photovoltaic system is more than just a wise financial decision. It is also an investment in your own future and the future of all humans.

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    air-19417_1920.jpgFor millions and billions of years, our beautiful green planet has been able to fend for itself. Everything it was intertwined with was completely natural and the environment was capable of dealing with it on its own. However, then came the man and learned to synthesize things that could not be so easily decomposed in nature, like plastics, for example. Unlike plastics, there are some worse things out there, things that not only stay within the natural cycle forever, but also pollute it to its very core. Most people, by now probably think of pesticides, but they are not all that causes these problems. What most people don’t know is that pharmaceuticals are also ruining the environment.

    Lake Michigan Survey

    Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee did a recent survey to see if the concentration of pharmaceutical products in Lake Michigan can be considered as significant. Even though their primary hypothesis was that the amount of these chemicals won’t be that high, because the dilatation in such vast quantities of water would be quick, this was not the case. Out of 54 chemicals they looked for, 27 were found. To make things even more curious, according to Rebecca Klaper, the most surprising turn of events was that the most common drug they found was metformin, which is a diabetes drug. Funny thing is that it was something they weren’t even looking for.

    Danger to Wildlife and Humans Alike

    A 2014 global review of pharmaceuticals in the environment, claims that the pollution of the environment can also be caused by both human and veterinary pharmaceuticals. The research also found that 631 out of 713 pharmaceuticals tested were found well above their detection limits, which is the alarming statistic at very least. Unfortunately, while things like car and industry caused pollution, get every single TV and newspaper spotlight, pharmaceutical hazards to ecosystem are something that is rarely talked about. Furthermore, monitoring and controlling their presence in the environment is at the moment completely inadequate.

    How Does It Get Out There?

    There are three mayor ways for pharmaceuticals to get into the environment. The first one is through human or animal excrement. The second one is through improper disposal and the third and the last one is through industrial negligence. Namely, some manufacturing facilities were accused in the past of releasing active ingredients into the nearby waterways. The worst thing is this kind of conduct can sometimes have unforeseen consequences .

    Why Now?

    Well, even though these legal drugs are on the height of their popularity for several decades now, there has never been so many people on the planet before. According to the 2013 survey, there were 7.125 billion people in the world and this number is rapidly rising. When compared to 3.687 billion in 1970, you can see just how quickly the world population increases. By some estimates, today on earth there is 9% of all people who ever lived and this means that there is more (much more) people on medication then there ever was before. As the number rises, it is only the matter of time, when all of this will reach its critical mass.

    Being Part of the Solution

    Even though some afflictions are particularly hard, there are situations where natural remedy would be just as effective. This is the truth all major pharmaceutical companies are trying to hide and which is why people like Rick Simpson are unjustly considered to be, in his own words, a medical terrorist. His idea that cannabis THC can be used as a cure for cancer , has raised a lot of controversy, for mostly financial reasons. Both government and major corporations hide behind ethical and moral rhetorics for why cannabis should remain illegal, while they allow the consumption of some far more dangerous substances.

    Conclusion:

    In this era of free and public knowledge, there are more lies, conspiracies and hypocrisy then there ever was before. This is why you need to rely on your own wit and resourcefulness when looking for the truth. Always look for facts, and don’t settle for excuses. Finally, remember to always try and find a natural solution to your problem, since this is always a safe bet. Even if it doesn’t help (although it probably will), at least it won’t make things worse for you or the environment. When looked upon from this perspective, this is definitely not a small thing. Everyone should carry their own weight!

  19. With the recent foul weather we had in Sydney area, now meteorologists are promising some dry and sunny spells. This will give homeowners the perfect opportunity to see to their gardens and sort them out before spring planting begins.

    The torrential rain brought flooding to many areas in NSW and a number of properties were severely affected. But once residents have dealt with the cleaning up process, many by taking advantage of the free green waste removal service, offered by local councils, and once the floodwater has subsided from waterlogged lawns that have a good drainage system, people can now start thinking about improving their outdoor space.

     

    Commonly, city gardens have certain similarities in their design, when it comes to some popular recreational features. There are the patio area and the barbecue corner, the beautifully maintained lawn and the nicely laid flowerbeds. Some avid gardeners may have opted for installing a focus water feature or a fountain, others favour an aesthetically designed rockery or a carefully arranged shrubbery.

     

    Depending on how pro people feel about “messing” with their gardens, they may attempt to have a go themselves at designing their outdoor space. Those, who feel that they are at a beginner’s level, may be more modest with their efforts and not dare be adventurous with their planting until they have read every guide or gardening book, which offers easy tips and ideas.

     

    Whether you feel confident or not, there is one improvement that anyone can do in their yard, because it is not only pretty to look, but also renders practicality and functionality within its concept, especially when we are confronted with a drenched lawn after days of heavy rainfall and stormy weather. Moreover, it is a gardening job that is perfect for doing in the winter, when there is less stuff to do outside.

     

    The Garden Stepping Stones

    There is a plethora of design ideas on how you can use stepping stones in your garden, in order to improve its look and add a functional purpose to the plan.

     

    The pathway

    The stepping feature can be integrated with an already designed pathway. Whether the slabs are fixed firmly within the gravel path, or they are hammered in directly into the lawn, the execution of such project requires a little bit of a know-how.

     

    The Gravel Path

     

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    Tiles and Pebble square feature path

    Combining different materials, such as terracotta tiles and colourful pebbles will give your backyard an abstract look.

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    So next, I would like to carry on with my list by featuring some fast and easy stepping stones ideas that only require the strength of your muscles, because one just has to plonk the natural stones, tiles or granite slabs onto the designated area on your lawn. This method is the best and the fastest solution to a problem with a sodden and soggy ground in the wet weather that we have had so far. The stepping stones are also easy to maintain and clean, as a quick sweep and the occasional pressure washing will be enough to keep your garden focus feature in the spotlight.

     

    The Path

    A natural stone path looks very attractive, especially when it is made of different sized stones.

     

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    Another idea for creating a practical and functional pathway, is to use man-cut slabs that could be placed on a gravel ground or directly on the lawn.

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    The Patio

    A freestyle patio can be effortlessly constructed with very little fuss. It gives a quirky look to your garden and offers also a practical solution, as it can prevent a grass-free ground from turning into a muddy slush in the rain.

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    The Random feature

    Randomly laid slabs of stone, which follow no particular geometrical pattern, are also a great solution to drenched lawns in the winter.

     

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    The Border feature

    Small stones can be placed together in square or rectangular shapes around shrubs or flowerbeds to form a neat and handy border.

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    The list of ideas is endless and if one employs their creative mind, they could make wonders in their garden and design a stepping stone feature that conveniently serves its purpose, when the weather is rather wet.

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