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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Perused more 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    sanjay baghela author at dissertation proposal writing

     

     

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

     

    Farming and Fishing

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

     

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

     

    Sustainable Energy

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

     

    STEM Research and Employment

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

  4. Change is the most inevitable thing that occurs at wide range of areas in our day-to-day life. Much has changed from our lifestyles, dressing sense, food habits, mode of transport to even how we offer gifts to other people. Gifting is an important way to celebrate any occasion or event and people are exploring new options to gift their near and dear ones.

    If you are bored from gifting flowers, cakes, greeting cards, chocolates and other stuffs, it is important to go for green gifting with these various lucky plants. Here are the few reasons why people want to buy plants as gifts for their special ones.

    Air purifying plants.jpg

     

    Plants improve the aesthetic and visual appeal- Everybody loves greenery around their homes as it gives a soothing effect to your mind. Green plants improves the internal environment of your home and adds to the visual appeal in a big way. You can keep them anywhere from your balcony to the stair case, front or back courtyard, pavement areas or any other places of your choice.

    They improve the air quality of your home- To ensure the better air quality in your home and surroundings, it is important to have green plants in abundance. There are various plant varieties such as Spider Plant, Dracaena, Ficus, Snake Plant, Aloe Vera and others that are known to remove various air pollutants such as Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, Xylene and Ammonia.

    They can help in improving your health, luck and well-being- Nobody wishes a frail health and it will certainly be a great idea if you could gift something that can improve the health of your recipient. If you are short of time, you can visit online plant nursery and check out the numerous plant varieties out there. It is time to replace those traditional gifting ideas with green plants for improving the overall health of your family, friends and well-wishers. You can order lucky plants such as bamboo plant, money plant, basil plant and others for better luck, prosperity and well-being.       

    They can be maintained easily and consume less space- One of the benefits of these green plants is that they don’t require high maintenance and require less space. Any individual without proper knowledge about plants and gardening activities can manage these indoor plants in a seamless manner. So, buy plants online and gift them to your family, friends or special ones without worrying about their maintenance.

    They are a step ahead from the usual gift options- By sending plants to your loved ones instead of chocolates, candies, flowers or cakes, you are actually establishing a new gifting trend. You will also receive much appreciation from your recipients due to your out-of-box idea of gifting green plants and will be emulated by other people quickly.

    So, abandon those old gifting practices and buy plants online that add a new aura to the internal surroundings.

     

  5. Canned food has become a new trend in India. People like to buy ready to eat products, because they think they are easier to prepare and tasty too. So, why they should spend time in cooking and related chores? But, it is wrong and they don’t have any idea what they are doing. Yes, there is no doubt that all the info about ingredient is printed on the attractive packing of product and people also read every single detail before buying any item. Thus, unluckily all efforts are useless, because it’s all about the procedure of food processing.

    Check these 5 reasons, why you need to avoid canned food for a healthy lifestyle-

    1. BPA-

    Mostly packed food is covered in the plastic packaging to keep the food fresh. But, the inner layer of plastic packing leaves harmful elements on the food stuff. Plastic contains BPA, which is not suitable for the human body as it won’t make for the consumption of the plastic. The packet of plastic covering contains little but unsafe materials, which are responsible for serious illness, such as cancer, hypertension, obesity, aggression, heart disease etc. 

     

    2. Low quality-

    Let’s admit this truth that if the food is really of the high quality and fresh as described, then obvious the company will sell the product at highest price to make profit. But, big names launch their products at attractive offers and promise to give high quality ingredients. It is a way to mislead the customer and it is a direct fraud. Moreover, shopping malls also rob innocent customers on the name of big billions day to increase their shop and sell the old stored items. So, stop being a fool and say no for the low quality food material. 

    3. Harmful Preservatives-

    After a specific time, all the food materials are going to be decomposed. Preservatives work as a miracle to increase the life of canned food. No doubt that it is a touch stone for the manufacturers, but it causes great harm to human body. Processed foods such as meat items contain exceptionally high amount of preservatives such as sodium, sulfites, etc.

     

    4. Imported canned food-

    Imported canned food is more injurious than the local products. The international suppliers add less nutritious and low quality supplements to gain more. Apart from the quality, these imported products come at the high price. So, why to pay for the bad quality food material?

     

    5. Presence of unhealthy elements -

    Manufacturers add unhealthy supplements and artificial flavors in the food to make it tasty and popular. They do not care about the health of people. And, the word “Natural” is just use to trick a customer. You are not able to differentiate between the natural and artificial flavors and producers know it very well. This is how they make people fool on the name of 100% natural foodstuff.

     

    These reasons are enough for any conscious foodie to make a strong decision for the healthy lifestyle. If you love yourself and your family, then say a strict “NO” to canned food. Take it as a new year’s resolution and adopt a step towards a happy and healthy life.

     

    For More Info: RTI Act 2005 India

     

  6. Everything a person does can have an impact on the environment. Even actions like moving, which rarely get much attention from environmentalists, can make a difference. That means the best way to help the environment is not by making a single massive change, but by trying to make everything a little bit greener. It's particularly useful in the case of moving, since most of the ways to go green can also save time and money.

    Green Ways to Make Your Move More Efficient.PNG

    Shipping Cars

    Cars have a reputation for hurting the environment, but shipping a car doesn't have to make things worse. There are two ways to help the environment when shipping a car, and the choice between them depends on the scale of the move.

    If you are shipping your things by truck, try to use your car instead. If your car can take the place of one of the shipping trucks, then one less vehicle is on the road and burning gas. Shipping the car separately would still consume some fuel, which is also saved by using it for the move.

    If you aren't using trucks to ship your possessions, try to avoid driving. Using a mass freight ship or other option to get the car most of the way to your destination will almost always be more efficient. It may also be cheaper, since the freight company can spread their fuel costs among many customers and because ships and trains tend to be more fuel-efficient than cars. 

    When in doubt, try to minimize the number of vehicles involved in the move. If a car or truck needs to be on the road, use it to carry as many of your things as possible. This saves on fuel, which helps the environment, but it will also reduce your odds of misplacing a box as you move. You can use sites like these for getting a quote to ship a car which will tell you if it’s in your budget to try.

    Salvage Boxes

    Moving means packing, and packing means boxes. Some people purchase boxes for the move, but that wastes money and puts more strain on the environment. The best way to protect nature is to use as few resources as possible, and that means reusing things whenever you can. Most stores will be happy to hand out old shipping boxes to anyone who asks. The boxes are usually getting thrown away anyway, so it doesn't cost them anything to do it. For best results, try to ask at a small grocery store. They get regular shipments and are the most likely to have a lot of boxes on hand. Bubble wrap and packing peanuts are sometimes available as well, but they can be a little bit harder to find for free. The worst that can come from asking is getting a polite refusal, while the best is saving money and protecting nature, so there's no reason not to ask. 

    Downsize

    Most people have a lot of stuff that they never use or even look at. Those objects take up space during the move, and there's often little to reason to bother bringing them to the new home. Looking through all of your possessions before the move and getting rid of the ones that you no longer want or need can be a great way to make things go easily and save resources. The environmental benefits come from reducing the need to ship items. Weighing down a truck will reduce its fuel efficiency, so bringing fewer objects can save a small amount of gas. Leaving enough items behind might mean reducing the number of vehicles involved in the move, which will have a much bigger impact. It also means spending less time packing and unpacking, which will make the moving process much easier to manage. Be sure to donate gently used items, or make them available for people to pick up. That is much better for the environment than throwing them away and having those people buy something completely new, and it can also raise a little bit of money to help with moving expenses. You shouldn't get rid of anything that you want to keep, but there's no better time to get rid of unwanted possessions.

    Moving will always be stressful, and it will always involve some pollution. Even so, using these tips can help to reduce those problems to the greatest extent possible. Even a small change can make a difference, so you should give them a try the next time you move.

  7. biofuel.jpg

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

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

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

     

     

    Biofuels to Revolutionize Clean Energy

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

     

     

    Why?

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

    Transforming Microbial Methane into Energy

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

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

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

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

     

     

    How Artificial Leaves Could Power Up the World

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

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

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

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

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

  8. As humans, a world without mosquitoes may seem like a little slice of heaven! No more itchy bites, no more stinky mosquito repellent, no more swatting arms and legs trying to get the little buggers before they bite, and no more annoying buzzing around your ears.

    Just imagine how nice it would be to sit around campfires at night without having to worry about being bitten, or taking hikes out in the woods and worrying about having brought along the "bug juice" to ward off the "skeeters." You'll never have to worry about welts on your kids' arms and legs, diseases like Zika, malaria, West Nile virus, and even such things as heartworm in dogs, among others, would become a thing of the past.

    Yes, it certainly would seem like a beautiful world if mosquitoes were just suddenly gone. Or would it be?

    Is There Anything Good About Mosquitoes?

    On the face of it, it certainly doesn't seem like it. Mosquito control products are meant to either keep them away or kill them, and probably no one ever said that a mosquito is their best friend. Mosquito borne diseases kill approximately a million people every year, and if you ask anyone if there was anything good about a mosquito, they would most likely say "No!"

    Mosquitoes Are a Food Source

    You may not know this, but there are many types of birds, mammals, and fish that feed on both mosquitoes and their larvae. Dragonflies, bats, and purple martins eat mosquitoes as a major food source, and they are some of the best natural mosquito control predators around. However, none of them are dependent on mosquitoes for survival. Sure, they will eat them when they can get them, but if there weren't any mosquitoes at all, they would eat something else.

    Yet, there is one ecosystem that almost wholly depends on mosquitoes as a food source, and without them, it would fail. Some migratory birds flying over the Arctic Tundra depend on mosquitoes as a food source to keep them alive during their migration. Without the lowly mosquito, they would not be able to sustain the journey and they would perish.

    So in an ecological sense, certain types of migratory birds that depend on the mosquito for sustenance would become extinct, and that alone is reason enough for the mosquito to exist.

    Mosquitoes Are a Gold Mine

    Here is where the real value of the mosquito comes in, and it's not what you might think.

    Mosquito control by humans is a gigantic source of income for tens of thousands of workers in the pest control business. This does not take into account the factories that produce mosquito repellents, the research into mosquito lifestyle and habitats, and the scientists who study the mosquito, both in a biological sense and as it relates to mosquitoes as pests.

    As you can see, the job force to combat mosquitoes is huge, and from an employment standpoint, mosquitoes support thousands upon thousands of families. Just that fact alone makes mosquitoes a literal gold mine in the business community, so think about that next time you get bitten by one.

    A World Without Mosquitoes

    As far as day-to-day life goes for humans, a world without mosquitoes would be a happier and healthier place. But for those people employed in a mosquito-related industry, such as mosquito control, developing and packaging mosquito repellents, or doing the research for all of the above, their lives would not be as financially rewarding. Couple that with certain types of migratory birds that would starve, and a mosquito-less world doesn't look so appealing after all. 

    The good news is that mosquitoes aren't going anywhere. Even as humans spend billions of dollars each year in mosquito control and eradication, the mosquito population is stable, with no end in sight. Try as humans might to get rid of them, those pesky little mosquitoes are never going away, and that familiar buzzing noise on those hot and humid summer nights are here to stay. 

  9. Protecting the planet is a great goal, and everyone is doing just a little more to have a part in ensuring our planet will be here for future generations. While some changes are big and costly, in other ways you can go green with just a few small changes at home. Here are some small changes that can add up to big difference in your overall impact on the environment. 

    1. Learn to Unplug


    Everything, from your computer to your power tools, needs to be unplugged when not in use. Many homeowners do not realize that leaving appliances, electronics and other electrical devices plugged in actually uses energy, even when the device is not in use. Simply being plugged in causes a little bit of electricity to flow to the device then back into the home's circuits, and in that process some energy is lost. Make this easier by plugging most entertainment devices into one power strip, then switch off the group when you head to bed.

    2. Adjust the Fridge


    Many homeowners have their refrigerators and freezers set too cold. Invest in a small fridge thermometer, and test the temperature. The fridge should be between 37 and 40 degrees, with the freezer between 0 and 5. If it's too cold, adjust the temperature higher and save money. 

    3. Bring Reusable Bags


    When you go shopping, bring your own cloth grocery sacks. Your grocery store may actually pay you a few cents for doing so, but the biggest reason to do this is to prevent more plastic bags from ending up in the landfill. Remember, plastic does not decompose, so you are putting everyone at risk when you throw out plastic bags.

    4. Turn off the Tap


    Turn off the tap while brushing teeth. If you brush for two minutes and leave the tap running, your family can waste around 5 gallons of water a day. Turning it of is simple. The same is true for washing dishes. After filling the sink, turn off the tap while you scrub the dishes. 

    Remember, it really is small changes that make a big difference when you're trying to go green. Make these changes, then enjoy the energy savings that come as a result! 

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  10. Green Dwelling 4 Additions To An Environmentally Sound Home.JPG

    Green homes help reduce environmental damage and waste commonly caused by standard home construction and life habits. They also offer homeowners many additional benefits. They can lower utility and grocery bills, improve your home's value and make your overall life better. To reap these benefits and more, consider the following green home additions:

    Composting Room

    Composting bins turn plant-based waste materials from cooking and gardening into nutrient-rich fertilizer. A composting room is an extension of this idea designed to replace the traditional detached "garden shed" with a more efficient setup that allows you easy access to compost and garden supplies throughout the year even during cold weather. Since gases and odors are a byproduct of composting, you only need to run an attached ventilation duct from the enclosed bin to the outside through a wall or the ceiling to make this room work.

    Automatic Systems

    A lot of electricity and water loss occurs because homeowners often forget to turn off manual home systems like indoor and outdoor lights, sprinklers and thermostats. An automatic control system utilizes software and/or sensors to optimize usage. For example, an automatic system with light-detection sensors might turn on outdoor lights at night and then turn them off immediately in the morning or turn off indoor lights that you typically forget to turn off after a certain time at night. 

    Green Roofing

    Homeowners can enjoy flower and vegetable gardens, safeguard the environment and save on heating, cooling and grocery costs without using up nearby land with green roofing. A "green" or "vegetative" roof turns an often unused home area into a garden paradise. The advantages of green roofing go beyond energy efficiency and fresh fruits and vegetables. You also receive greater roof and ceiling leak protection, higher local oxygen contribution and reduced chemical and noise pollution and government tax breaks. 

    Nontoxic Materials

    Many standard home building and furniture materials, such as plastics, formaldehyde-containing fiberboard and adhesives, release toxic gases or break down into toxic dust over time that damage the environment and cause sick buildings syndrome. The "addition" of environmentally-friendly materials that release fewer harmful volatile organic chemicals after the removal of toxic ones can both improve your health and increase the value of your home.

    If your home is not already a green dwelling, it is time to do your part for the environment, yourself and your community. Start with one of these four green additions to improve your world and standard of living.

  11. 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.

  12. 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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    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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  13. 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!

  14. 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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  15.  

     

    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.

  16. 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.

     

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    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!

  18. 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. 

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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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