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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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  1. blogentry-7854-0-40878300-1424295222_thu

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson, best known for his work in astrophysics and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, has kept environmental concern in the public eye. Through his public appearances and social media presence, he has done much to enrich public discourse — he has even helped to boost scientific literacy. This is of great importance in the modern age, especially with the environmental hazards at hand.

    Tyson is frequently compared to Carl Sagan, the well-known astronomer and television personality. Sagan taught at Cornell University, wrote more than twelve books, worked with NASA, edited a scientific journal, and served as the house astronomer on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. He co-created and hosted Cosmos: A Personal Voyage in the 1980’s and was the most famous scientist in America.

    More recently, Tyson has been in the public sphere with his radio talk show, Star Talk; a reboot of Carl Sagan’s show, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey; and will host a late-night talk show starting April of this year on National Geographic. His shows broadcast the most up to date information about astral bodies, and other scientific tidbits relating to outer space. Each episode explores the laws of nature, and attempts to create an emotional and spiritual experience through scientific exploration.

    Tyson, like Sagan before him, embraces modern media as a means of engaging the general public. Both men explain complex methods in layman’s terms, helping households not only understand certain principles, but also engage in conversation with one another. Political and civil discussions about global warming and the value of NASA’s space exploration would have been completely different without these men.

    Looking toward the future, Tyson sees the ability to harness the power of natural disasters and utilize them as a direct energy source. Such technology would be adapted for tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanoes, allowing us to tap into that energy source like tapping into a keg of beer. In an interview on renewable energy’s future, he states that he is “looking forward to the day when a hurricane is building in the gulf, and then just before it hits land, we capture its energy to drive the city that would otherwise have been destroyed if the hurricane’s power had been left untapped.”

    By encouraging scientists to share their knowledge with the public, Tyson believes the public’s excitement and education will expand. While public interest in science is growing and evident, it is a challenge to convince scientists to break convention and use modern information channels to share their findings with the general public. Tyson urges scientists to share fun and interesting information that they learn everyday. His personal Twitter account, which has over 1.5 million followers, does just that. One of his recent posts reminds the public that education is more than just in the books: “Good education is not what fills your head with facts but what stimulates curiosity. You then learn for the rest of your life.” From quips to scientific “fun facts,” Neil keeps his followers on their toes.

  2. Studying abroad is not about getting a degree; it provides a wide range of experience and will change your life, more than you think. You will have to adopt yourself to the new culture, food and people. Let us look at some of the things that will change your life.

    Independent

    You will become more independent than you were before. Now you will be on your own and you have to tackle the problems on your own. In the new country, you have to wash your clothes, do the cooking and budgeting. You will now understand on how you manage the time. It would be difficult initially, but you will used to it. You will even get to order research papers for sale from various sites online

    Diversity

    As you study in a foreign country, you have options to mingle with variety of people of different nations. You get to know more about people and relationships. you also get to know about the culture. You will start now to respect diversity and it improve your career in future.

    New language

    You will now have the chance of learning a new language. This will be a new experience for you. You will automatically understand the people’s mindset and their culture and know affordable paper writing services. You might also experience a new way of thinking. This will improve and help you get more friends and learn new skills. Check http://www.researchpapersforsale.org/ on how to do so.

    Explore the country

    You will now experience to explore the country during the weekends. You can visit the tourist places and enjoy your time. You will spend more time walking and relaxing, which is good thing.

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    Have you ever used professional services for your garden? If you have, you probably heard of tree surgery. It's one of the more complicated services provided. And since it's the near end of winter in London, I think you might need this procedure soon.

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    What does an arborist do? These people don't maintain whole forests. They mostly concentrate on individual trees. It's a tough job, because it needs a lot of practice, knowledge to work with the equipment, certificates, be fearless (or at least have head for heights). And why do we need such people? Look outside. What do you see? Bad weather, wind, rain, snow. This could be damaging for the trees and their branches.

    A branch could fall and hurt a person or a property. That's why it's better to take care of the dangerous ones before the accident happens. But it is not only about the branches. A respectful tree surgeon, like a real doctor, can do all kinds of procedures on a tree. From removing the whole plant, to pruning and plastic surgery (crown shaping).

    Arborists can even remove stumps or reduce the height.

    Everything is done with some professional equipment. There are a few types of chain saws. There are safety ropes, hooks, eyeware. Safety always comes first, because you are not only operating with powerful cutting tools, you are using them at 10 feet height, hanging on ropes.

    Let's check every sub-service a little more thorough.

    Crown Reduction

    If you have a small garden, but that big apple tree has grown far too much, you will need a crown reduction service. You will make the foliage smaller and better looking. This way your garden will be more tidy.

    Pruning

    This is not just trimming, but you are keeping your trees healthy. You remove selected parts - branches, roots, to help the growth of the plant. Deadwood removal is one of the most popular segments of this. You are literally expanding the life of your sapling.

    Dealing With Dangerous Trees

    Specially after some winter storms or heavy snowing, trees can become a danger. A branch could easily hurt or even kill a man when falling. And it could cause tons of damage to property. You've probably seen smashed cars and roofs on the news. If you use this service, you will be preventing such events.

    Dismantling

    Here the surgeons remove big trees one part at a time. If you do it the old lumberjack way, the big tree might fall and cause damage to nearby houses. But if you dismantle it, the danger is zero.

    And the biggest bonus in using London tree surgeons is that you don't have to lift a finger. Different companies have different prices, so you make your choice. But it's better to use professionals, because it might be too threatening for you to do it alone.

  3. If you're a business proprietor and also have considered improving your parking space by means of construction, don't lose sleep over the chance of shutting lower while construction attempts are going ahead. USA Mobile offices gives you ways to maintain your business running, without the need to stop operating completely, and in certain cases, methods to increase your business throughout restoration efforts.

    Temporary Moving

    There's a misunderstanding that throughout construction efforts, your workplace or business needs to shut lower. Although companies still operate, but they may also find methods to thrive. If you're searching for a brief structure, you will find options if this involves mobile offices for rent that will help your company or office stay open. These wide trailer temporary building structures are simple enough to make use of plus they come with a number of layouts, suited for your requirements. The temporary structures happen to be recognized to be utilized by private and public educational facilities throughout restoration efforts.

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    Improve Internal and Exterior Communications

    Your employees might be expecting an extended time off work because of construction, but through the usage of mobile offices your employees shouldn't lose one step. For the way lengthy you'll be consigned to temporary offices, from phone lines and e-solutions must be paid for. Employing communication via im and email via wireless connections is suggested in the interim. Furthermore, alert your patrons of changes happening in your location to ensure that they will not shed negative light in your improving efforts.

    Digital Media Promotions

    Simply because your projects space or store might not look appealing throughout construction efforts, it doesn't mean your internet presence should be either. If you're in the retail industry, getting less people come across the store would be an ideal chance to increase internet sales. For the service industry, hooking up with existing and prospects via internet sites can grow companies by advances and bounds. Starting a great opening event may also be a good idea to ask visitors back making it recognized to the public that construction efforts have ended.

    Plan In Advance

    Acknowledging the situation and preparing in advance can lessen this whole process. Positive techniques include email newsletters, active social networking assets and enormous signs in front of the construction areas notifying where you stand situated.

    If you are searching for a brief location, it does not need to be not even close to your original location. Acquiring a building trailer rental is a great choice to consider not only to oversee improving efforts, but to save cash on leasing out a reasonably costly work place.

    USA Mobile offices provides quality mobile offices for rent for temporary and long-term work place needs. Their mobile offices contain individual modules that may be set up to suit your site's conditions as well as be moved to a different site, if required. They have construction trailer rental models too which gives you ease and satisfaction of affordable rental units that may be put together rapidly with no disruption to your working site.

    Click here, a website featuring helpful info.

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    When determining to purchase, lease or a forklift you will find a lot of brands, sellers and options that the decision can rapidly become confusing and often lower right difficult. Here are a few easy facts to consider that will help you get deal for the equipment you'll need at the right cost, along with great service after the purchase!

    Capacity The ranked capacity of forklift is the quantity of weight with the ability to lift. Forklift capacity is located on the unit's data plate along with other information. Keep in mind that the higher your lifting requirements, the capacity would decrease. Should you add an attachment this can also effect the unit's capacity. Most capabilities are ranked in a 24 inch load center. Before determining on which forklift to buy or rent, make certain you've got a wise decision of the weights and dimensions of the loads you want to lift. Worthwhile dealer will help you with this as needed. The most generally used capabilities vary from 4,000-7,000 pound models, however forklifts ranges between 2,500-66,000 pounds or even more. The more the unit can lift, the more costly it is. You should understand what capacity unit you require to ensure your job gets done, but that you will get it done securely. Utilizing a forklift with not big enough of the capacity can damage the goods you're lifting and may be potentially deadly to operators and individuals around them.

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    Lift collapsed height Along with capacity, you should also understand how high you need to raise your material and when you've any height limitations. Lift height can be key if you're focusing on projects which require work about the height of 190''. Quad model forklifts model possess a 4th mast, permitting these to lift to reach upto 250" or even more. The collapsed height of a forklift is measured from the highest a part of the lift to the ground, when the forks are lowered completely. This measurement is essential for those who have low doorways or roofs in the building you're working in, or in the loading/unloading trucks.

    Your requirements and application of forklift When choosing a forklift certainly one of the initial questions which should spring to mind is what you would be using the forklift for. What exactly are you utilizing it for: to moving big rolls of paper, carpet rolls, moving logs, piping or stack pallets? The options are limitless. The place you currently doing the primary lifting: in a warehouse, outdoors on asphalt, gravel, dirt, grass, in the forest? The product you're moving and the kind of atmosphere you're working in determines the application. The kind of application you've determines certain specifications in your forklift for example the kind of fuel, tires, and then any accessories you will need. If you're working in an atmosphere where certain safety safeguards must be taken speak to your dealer about specifically safety-ranked models. If you're working outdoors in grass or dirt and also have heavy loads to lift, request your dealer about rough terrain and four wheel models. http://www.theforkliftcenter.com/ is one of the major dealers in all kind of forklifts. Visit their site today. Go here, the following pages with additional information and this source can be used as an example.

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    Whether you like it or not, water heater is essential in your home. There are many types of water heaters so make sure that you get the one that’s best for you. You can visit http://www.waterheaterhq.com/ and avail of their free quote whether it be on your water heater installation or water heater repair. With these quotes, you also have the chance to compare water heater prices so you don’t go beyond your allotted budget. So check this site for more details. Indeed they serve as an example of integrity since they always do what they claimed. That is why many avail of their great service.

    Water heaters consume a lot of energy. Hence, you need to be particular when choosing for one in your home. The water storage tank for example will need to be fueled with energy for 24 hours to keep hot water inside and make it available anytime it is needed. Once the water inside starts to cool down, the machine’s burner will start heating it up to make it hot again. All these cycles will take up a lot of electricity.

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    In Water Heater HQ, you can get expert advice on water heaters too. Once is on how to conserve energy when using it. First, you need to turn down the tanks thermostat. Once it reaches 10 degrees, you have to lower it to save 3-5 percent energy cost. Other water heaters are set to 140 degrees. This does not only consume a lot of energy but it causes the risk of scalding as well. The recommended temperature is 120 degrees as per Energy Department. To make sure you meet this requirement, don’t rely on the thermostat alone. Sometimes, this equipment can be defective. Better use thermometer instead. You can do this by measuring the water temperature on the faucet. To maintain this setting, it helps to mark the temperature on your thermostat. So turn down the thermostat to the level where it disposes a water temperature of 120 degrees. Let it stay for 2 hours and do the same measurement on another faucet farthest to the one you just measured and make sure it also measures 120 degrees temperature.

    Now, why use Water Heater HQ? Well, because they are the only ones who think of their customers’ welfare as the top priority in their business. Hence, they don’t only seek for the best water heater contractors but they also look for the best price for you. Avail of their free quotes and have an insight on how much does a waiter installation and repair costs. Most of all enjoy the accessibility and comfort that their website offers by going online when shopping for the help that you need.

    Why use Water Heater HQ? Well, simply because they guarantee the best service. They not only help you find the best technician but also help you get the water heater that you truly need. Enjoy the top leading water heater brand that they offer and the cost effective functionalities that these units offer.

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    If one thing is for certain, it’s that it’s getting colder in the UK at present! The freezing winter weather has well and truly landed. Nonetheless, you don’t have to sit and suffer. If you have landed on this post then you probably already recognise that there are many benefits associated with using firewood to warm your home. Not only is this a cost efficient and energy efficient solution, but it presents a unique method of heating – one that is warm and cosy. Most people agree that it is the best way to keep warm during the winter period. Nevertheless, you cannot simply set any wood alight when it comes to heating your property. Of course you will want to make sure that the wood you get your hands on is cheap in terms of price. But it is also important to acquire clean firewood for a safe and enjoyable fire. So, keeping that in mind, continue reading for some top tips on buying firewood.

    Purchase seasoned fire logs

    There is only one place to begin and this is with the fact that you simply must purchase seasoned logs. This is firewood that has dried for a minimum for six months. If you were to go for freshly cut logs, i.e. green firewood, the moisture content would be far too high. As a consequence, you would really struggle to get a fire going. Nonetheless, this is not the only disadvantage. Once you do get the fire going it will not be very effective and it will not be very safe either. The fire is assured to produce an excessive amount of smoke. Moreover, it can often be somewhat erratic as well. Thus, under no circumstances should you ever cut corners and buy freshly cut logs for generating heat.

    Consider the wood type

    Naturally some woods are better when it comes to producing heat, whilst some types of wood should be avoided. It’s imperative to consider the type of wood you are going to purchase. Don’t simply assume they are all the same. All it takes is a quick search online and you will be able to determine whether the kind of wood in question is an effective one. Some of the best options to go for include the likes of beech, ash, hawthorn, rowan, yew and thorn. Let’s take a look at the qualities of each in further detail…

    • Thorn – Thorn boasts several qualities that makes it one of the best options for burning. Very little smoke is produced and you will also benefit from an exceptionally good heat output as well as a steady flame.
    • Yew – Yew also produces a very good heat output and has the added benefit of a slow burn as well.
    • Rowan – Similarly to yew, rowan burns slowly and has a great heat output.
    • Hawthorn – This has long been one of the traditional choices when it comes to burning output. It also has a slow burn rate and a good heat output.
    • Ash – If you want one of the best and most popular woods for burning, ash is it. The heat output is impressive and ash creates a steady flame.
    • Beech – Finally, with beech you have a wood that is very similar to ash when it comes to burning.

    Now you know all you need to in regards to the best options that are available to you, but what about the worst? Here are some examples of wood types you should stay away from and the reasons why…

    • Poplar – This is a wood that has a very poor burn and produces extremely smokey results.
    • Laburnum – Despite having burn in the name, laburnum is certainly a wood you should stay away from. Similarly to popular, the burn is poor and the wood is very smokey.
    • Alder – Not only is the heat output of alder poor, but it does not last well either.
    • Eucalyptus – If you use this wood you will run the risk of a chimney fire. This is because the wood is fast burning and thus deposits can form in the flue because of the sap. This of course results in the possibility of a fire.
    • Firs – Firs, such as Douglas, should also be avoided. The formation of deposits in the flue is also a problem with firs, as is the fact that it offers poor heat output and a small flame.

    Read reviews about the company

    Aside from this, it is also a good idea to read reviews that have been left from previous customers. You want to be certain that the company is a credible one. The last thing you want to do is fall victim to a poor quality supplier. Unfortunately, there are a few people in this industry that try to pass off green logs as seasoned firewood. You now know the severe negatives associated with freshly cut logs, which is why it is even more important to find a high quality supplier. By reading testimonials you will get an honest insight into the level of quality you are likely to experience. If there are any red flags you will be alerted to them and thus you will know to look elsewhere instead.

    Log size

    Another important factor to consider is the size of the logs. There are various different reasons why this is the case. It is likely that you will have already set a storage space aside for your firewood. You will of course need to be sure that the firewood is going to fit into this space. Additionally, the size of the logs is also important when it comes to the effectiveness of the fire you experience. The right diameter will not only make sure the logs dry more efficiently but that they burn more efficiently as well.

    Cost of firewood

    As mentioned in the introduction, you will of course want to make sure you get a good deal in monetary terms when purchasing firewood. After all, one of the main reasons for going for this approach is because you can save money. Nevertheless, simply choosing logs because they are the cheapest is not an advised approach to take. Use all of the tips that have been provided in this post and then let price be your final determining factor. If something seems too good to be true, then the chances are that it probably is. You don’t want to end up purchasing freshly cut logs or one of the poor wood types that have been mentioned. It is always a good idea to look at several options in order to get an understanding of the average prices being charged.

    All in all, when it comes to using firewood as a heating source, you will undoubtedly take advantage of an abundance of benefits. You will experience a more enjoyable form of heating and one that is cheaper and more environmentally friendly as well. However, this is only the case if you are mindful of the tips that have been presented in this post and that you choose your firewood with a great amount of care. Looking for the right type of firewood and ensuring it is seasoned is of the utmost importance, so don’t overlook these aspects.

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    Meeting the Home Buyers’ Demands

    Just the idea of selling a home can be stressful because depending on the condition of the home, you might have to invest more money into than you want to in order to appeal to buyers and sell it for the price you are looking for. Most homeowners end up settling for much less of a profit on their home because they do not want to put money into upgrades when they are just going to sell it. Sometimes it might be worth it just to take a lower offer and walk away, but if you are looking at getting the most out of your home, here are a few upgrades that are appealing to buyers and will guarantee a higher sell price.

    Upgrades that catch the eye

    When selling a home, curb appeal is vital. If the exterior of the home looks like trash, buyers are most likely going to move on. Those who do not move on are going to offer much less than the home is probably worth. So when you are putting your home on the market, improving the exterior is the first project you should consider. According to Improvement Center, homeowners can definitely spruce up the exterior of their home at little to no cost. Clean up the flowerbeds, plant colorful flowers, create a nice walkway with pavers, clean the driveway, and keep the lawn mowed. The difference a mowed lawn can make will surprise you, so do not underestimate the power of a cared for yard.

    Features that draw attention

    Homebuyers are typically willing to spend more on homes that have specific upgrades such as a security system or a deck. These features raise the value of a home as well as appeal to buyers. Security systems create a feel of safety and security as well as lower insurance rates, which opens the door for sellers to ask for a higher buying price. Another way to appeal to buyers as well as add a safe vibe is by replacing the front door with a steel door that is insulated. A new front door will also add to the curb appeal.

    Create more space

    Space is most often the number one selling point of a home, so homeowners who are looking to raise their home’s value should create space where they can. Sometimes that means remodeling a kitchen to open it up, or even adding onto the home to widen living space or create another bedroom or office. Before knocking down walls, however, homeowner should utilize the space they already have such as the attic or basement. Turning the attic or basement into extra living space, bedrooms, or an office is a great way to raise the asking price of the home. Remodeling a kitchen can be pricey, but an investment that is well worth the cost. Next to space, the kitchen is the next highest selling point of a home, and should meet buyers’ needs for space and upgrades.

    Interior Decorating and Remodeling News brought to you by baseboardradiatorcovers.com

    Source: improvementcenter.com/kitchens/home-upgrades-buyers-demand-in-2015.html

  5. Polystyrene foam is a packaging and cushioning material made from carbon and hydrogen. It’s also known by the brand name Styrofoam. Expanded polystyrene is lightweight, contains up to 98% air, and is completely inert. EPS is made by using advanced cutting and moulding procedures to produce high quality finished surfaces on the final product. EPS foam can be identified by the number 6 plastic resin ID code. Its insulation properties and strength make it great for packaging and shipping delicate merchandise.

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    Insulation Properties

    Polystyrene foam has three major types of insulations: thermal, electrical, and vibrational. The foam's most known use is for white drinking cups which are ideal for hot beverages like coffee or tea. It can also be used to protect goods from damage caused by excess vibration during shipping. It does not conduct electrical current which is helpful in protecting goods with electrical components. As a bonus, polystyrene boxes can also be used as an insulator against noise.

    Shipping and Packaging Benefits

    Polystyrene foam is long lasting, and tough to destroy which makes it a great choice for making storable boxes. This type of box is light and easy to carry, which is beneficial to workers during the loading process at shipping companies. Their resistance to moisture damage makes them perfect for outdoor use and use in damp areas. This type of material is also typical for Dry Ice shipments. like fruits and vegetables. The foam is often a preferred choice for packaging smaller fragile items such as cosmetics.

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    Transporting Food

    EPS is regularly used as an insulation product and will keep meats and fish cool. Some companies use a combination of EPS and cardboard boxes to get the job done. Depending on the type of food being transported, an EPS foam shipping box can be enhanced by the use of thermal gel packs that can be frozen and even reused. Alternatively, blocks of dry ice can be used without adding too much bulk. The EPS box is then set in a corrugated box for shipment. These polystyrene boxes often hold water without any help, but a liner bag can be used for extra protection. The boxes are needed because no one can truly predict the travel conditions the goods will have to face. This is a great help for those in the restaurant industry.

    Environmental Impact

    All though polystyrene foam is recyclable, a lot of it tends to end up in landfills or scattered around the nearby areas. One of its greatest strengths is also a great weakness. Its light weight creates management issues. This leads to issues like float-ability and a tendency to be blown from disposal sites even after proper disposal. Also, since it is non-biodegradable, it will be around for a very long while. Luckily, there are some forward-thinking companies out there trying to make a difference. One such company is Omega Packaging. Their factory includes its own recycle plant for EPS boxes. When unwanted and damaged boxes are brought in, Omega converts them into General Purpose Polystyrene. There’s no waste left behind.

    Polystyrene foam is popular because of its insulation properties, its strength and its light weight. Its many advantages outweigh its few disadvantages. Proper use and management of this material can reduce its environmental impact. This ensures that customers get their merchandise in great shape, companies save on transportation costs and the environment gets a needed break as well. Everybody wins.

  6. Health is wealth - that's not a simple phrase. When you are healthy, everything else becomes easy. When I say healthy, I mean a stress free, disease free and happy person. The main thing that affects a person's health is their daily routine which greatly determines if you will be sick or not.

    When it comes to our routine, we mostly don't take time to think about it since we got used to it that it became a habit. Habits are hard to change, but if your health is at stake, you will surely change. The most common problems affecting many US adults are heart related diseases, either generic or those that come from our daily routine from the food we eat to the exercise we do.

    Most adults working in the office today have a tendency of reduced exercise; this is due to their daily activities like driving to work, using the lift and sitting most of the day. For a better healthy life these habits should be changed or added with something new to make working worthwhile and healthy since being in a hospital bed and unable to work just because you couldn't do some simple things is not cool at all.

    Some simple exercise that one can add to their daily routine for a healthy heart include:

    Jogging

    Jogging is one of the best aerobic exercises. For a healthy heart, take around 30 minutes of your morning sleep and jog around your neighborhood. Jogging is better than doing treadmill since you let you lungs expand easily to the environment and that breathing freely ensures that the heart retains its normal beat rate and easily burns out any deposits of fat in the arteries. Jog at a comfortable pace and ensure it is continuous, also that you will rest after 30 minutes, this helps create a higher metabolism rate in your body ensuring that your body stays alert for the rest of the day.

    Stretching

    Stretching is a very good cardiovascular exercise it reduces tension in the muscles ensuring a regular and normal blood circulation. Stretch before going for a jog and after ensure you stretch all parts of the body. Start with your arms and ensure the joints at the shoulders are completely free then stretch your back tilt to the furthest position by leaning backward then lean forward to the furthest position then sideways after this stretch your legs from the upper side to the lower and even the feet.

    Pushups

    Pushups strengthen your hands, arms and chest while also increasing your coordination. This exercise helps in opening up blocked arteries of the upper body including your heart, hence it is a very good exercise in burning out cholesterol.

    Walking

    Walking is very essential, especially for those who spend most of their day seated as this eases the muscles and blood veins to the legs ensuring good circulation of blood, which reduces pressure build up to the heart.

    Taking the stairs

    Taking the stairs instead of the lift is far much beneficial to your heart than the fast lift. Ensure you walk up the stairs at least four times in a week this strengthens your muscles and keeps your heart healthier.

    Keep your heart healthy for a healthy life! For other good exercises click here and you shall experience a new better you.

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    Different pests like insects, bugs, cockroaches, termites and many more invade your property and cause harm to you and your family. Some notorious pests like termites can severely damage the structure of a house. Hence, it is necessary to find effective ways to address this household problem. The most common method of pest control is use of chemical pesticides. Using these chemicals can be effective up to some extent. However, in the long run they can pose some serious threats to mankind and the food chain. In recent times, the use of safe and poison free pesticides has been on the rise as people have become more aware of safeguarding environment and nature. The organic pesticides are becoming more popular as they make plants and crops healthy and have no side effects.

    Unfortunately, the chemicals inside the pesticides are harmful and toxic to humans and animals. The residue found in these chemicals contaminates water, soil and air, thus affecting entire food chain. Human’s health can be seriously affected if they are exposed to it for a long period. According to studies, some serious threats of chemical pesticides are as given below.

    • Parkinson ’s disease

    • Alzheimer’s disease

    • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    • Cancers

    These chemicals also affect our respiratory, reproductive and endocrine systems. Pregnant women have a higher risk of miscarriages or defective births if they are exposed to these pesticides for long duration. Children might suffer from asthma and develop learning disability. Since they have so many negative effects, it is best to avoid them and look for other options. There are many natural pest control options available like tea tree oil, garlic oil and other essential oils. Many pest control companies like Pest Control in Sydney offer effective methods to eliminate harmful pests.

    There are many options to substitute use of harmful chemical pesticides.

    1. Homemade natural pesticides

    As a homemaker, you certainly are conscious about saving money and using cost effective methods to control pests. Tea tree oil, oranges, garlic oil and other essential oils can be used to repel pests. Some people also use alcohol, salt, flour or garlic in their home to eradicate pests.

    2. Environmental friendly pesticides

    Using environmental friendly solutions to eradicate pests is an easy option. The important factor is that it should be used in correct quantity and at correct times. A good example is use of rotenone for eradicating bees. It should be applied at during the evening when the bees are less active. All earth and human friendly pesticides are good for health and environment. Using non-chemical substances to eliminate pests is a good approach to keep your home safe.

    3. Ultrasonic waves

    Another option is to use ultrasonic pest repellent. These units can be plugged into the wall electric socket. They emit ultrasonic waves that humans or most pets cannot hear. However, rodents can hear them and thus they will repel away from your house. It is a clean way to pest elimination and you can use it anytime you want.

    4. Biological pest control

    Another safe way of eliminating pests is by using biological pest control. The organisms called as predators can be used to eliminate the pests. These predators can be unleashed on the pests and these predators will eat them up. For example, if aphids are creating problems at your home, you can use predators who feed on aphids rather than spraying hazardous pesticides.

    Thus, there are many safe and environmental friendly methods to eliminate pests. However, pest control is a long-term job and you will need patience for it.

    Author Bio

    Daniel has been working with Pest Control in Sydney for the past few years and is a professional blogger too. Here he is sharing information on use of environmental friendly pest control methods.

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    There’s been a lot of back-and-forth about hybrid (HEV) and electric vehicles (EV) in terms of their benefits to the environment and their monetary benefits, which, to me, was a surprise. My initial thoughts were, “Well how could there even be a debate? Anything to start moving us away from our dependence on fossil fuels, especially our dependence on the oil industry.” My view was idealistic, and I’d say it hasn’t changed. In general it’s a good idea to move away from our irritable, messy oil neighborhood and into a cleaner place where we can breathe. But when buying a hybrid or electric vehicle there are some things to consider if you want to make the most environmentally-conscious decision.

    1. Where Do You Live?

    When buying an electric vehicle one of the main things to consider is where you live. If you’re buying one of the new plug-in electric vehicles, for example, the well-to-wheel emissions are going to differ based on your location.

    Well-to-wheel emissions are the total amount of emissions that result in the effort to power your car. If you’re like me, you live in an area where the majority (%49.61) of electricity is generated through burning coal.

    In this case if I were to buy a plug-in here the annual emissions (62 pounds of CO2) are going to be higher than if I bought a regular EV (54 pounds of CO2) or even a hybrid (57 pounds of CO2). So although that new plug-in might be appealing, the EV or HEV is going to be better for the environment.

    2. What About Your Wallet?

    In the case of hybrid vs fully electric cars there are some variable considerations as well. I checked out this article about the comparative difference in money saved over time, and the basic synopsis is that the fully electric vehicle is going to pay off the difference in price quicker than the hybrid will. By this, I mean a regular car costs less out of the gate, but over time the hybrid or electric saves you money on gas.

    Since you don’t have to pay anything for gas to power an electric, you’re going to make back the extra money you spent faster with an electric than you will with a hybrid. Those figures come from when gas was on average $3.52 per gallon.

    Now that the national average is $2.20 per gallon, my calculations (doing the same type of calculations as the article cited above) show that you would have to drive about 116 thousand miles to make up the price difference between the Nissan Leaf (EV) and the Toyota Prius (HEV), and that’s if gasoline’s average price remains at $2.20. So in this case the HEV is going to be less expensive, and, in terms of well-to-wheel emissions, if you live in a coal-powered area the Prius (HEV) will spew out 57 pounds of CO2 vs the Leaf’s (EV) 54 pounds. In the short term, that 3 pound difference might be enough to tip some scales toward the hybrid.

    3. In the Long Run?

    The EV is the way to go because of the recent regulations on coal emissions, which stipulate that plants have to cut their CO2 emissions up to 30% by 2030. That means EV’s will have to rely less and less on coal-generated power by 2030; if we can move further into an age of wind and solar energy, and as long as EV’s can run longer than 116 thousand miles, you’ll earn your money back and benefit the environment.

    But will consumers be able to look past immediate monetary factors and into the more distant future? The current gas prices make it easier for someone who’s strapped for cash to go out and purchase a high-performing 30 mpg vehicle like the Corolla for about $10K less than you’ll spend on the Leaf. And instant gratification is what got us into this climate change mess to begin with. So let’s hope the long-term benefits of the Leaf, as well as the $7,500 tax credit, can tip the scales as the 2015 auto-buying year plays out.

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    Modern times are difficult where every homeowner is trying to do their best to save some money. At

    such times, any effective solution is much appreciated. One of the ways in which you can save some

    money is through your utility bills. You can easily save on your electricity and gas prices if you compare

    energy rates offered by various companies and suppliers.

    A Quick Way to Compare

    While it is possible to compare energy rates manually by checking with the management of every

    company, there is an easier way to do things. The internet offers the easiest and the quickest method of

    comparison. The internet has definitely made our life much easier today and like everything else the

    internet also makes it simpler to compare energy suppliers and the rates they charge. This is definitely a

    great way to save some valuable time.

    There are several websites today that offer you easy options so you can compare energy rates offered

    by different companies at the same time. You will also be able to compare energy rates easily by

    providing additional information on the site like your utility bills. These websites allow you to

    understand how much money you would be saving if you switch over from your current company to the

    one that offers better rates.

    Taking Benefits of Promotions and Offers

    Since the competition level in the industry is quite high today, these companies always offer incentives

    in order to attract more customers. Sites that allow you to compare energy rates will also offer you

    information about ongoing promotions and offers so you can take benefit of these offers and save as

    much as possible according to your lifestyle and budget.

    Because of the UK open market, there is a healthy competition in the market today among various

    suppliers. Users today want to compare energy rates and want to find a company that is also reliable. In

    UK there are several reliable energy companies like EDF Energy, Scottish Power, E.ON Power and British

    Gas. These companies have official websites where you can get information about their offers and

    compare energy rates. However, the easiest way to compare energy prices is through a comparison site.

    Capped Rates

    When you compare different suppliers and their rates you should also ensure that you go for a company

    that provides capped rates. Capped rates mean that for a fixed time frame your utility rates will remain

    unchanged even if other factors change. In the long run this is a good idea since it will protect you

    against price hikes. However, for short term it is preferable to go for un-capped rates since you may not

    always get the same deals or offers later. When you compare these companies, it is advisable to check a

    few websites since these sites often have special offers of their own for their customers. With a little

    research and some time, you can easily compare energy companies and their rates and save a

    substantial amount of money each month.

  10. Hello Everyone!

    I'm a volunteer for TEXAS EDEN PROJECT, an agriculture program that not only grows organic pesticide free fruits and vegetables but also provides what is grown to the public for free. You can learn more about the project on it's website which is TexasEdenProject.org

    On this blog I will post updates about the project as well as information about farming and agriculture.

    Thank you for reading!

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    Employees of the Magor Brewery arranged a clean-up effort of the shoreline at Magor Pill and Caldicot to recognise World Environment Day.

    20 of the brewery’s staff joined the Keep Wales Tidy team to remove waste that had accrued at the site.

    The team was building on last year’s event which removed three skip loads of rubbish from local reens

    AB InBev, owner of the Magor Brewery, is dedicated to protecting the environment and praised its staff for participating in the clean-up.

    The manager of the Magor Brewery, Tony Monteiro, said his staff were delighted to be able to work with the Keep Wales Tidy tem for this event.

    Chris Partridge of Keep Wales Tidy said his team were very happy to work with the brewery staff too and said they had set a great example.

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    Did you know that there is more salt water on Earth than fresh. Only 3% of the Earth's water supplies is fresh water and only 1% is drinkable because the other 2% is ice. We use 70% of the drinkable water for farming, 22% for industry and 8% for drinking, washing, cleaning, watering and other home uses.

    The amount of water nowadays is exactly the same as before millions of years it just recycles and changes it's place which is also called water cycle. Which explains the growth of deserts today and the drastic change of the climate. The water you use today could be used from another person, animal or even dinosaur thousands of years ago. There's even a theory that there are little particles of the big bang in every living being on Earth nowadays. But it's just a theory you decide whether to believe it or not.

    If you are interested of the life of one drop of water you could study it's life through the years and what you would find is that: It's been 98 years in the ocean. Ice has been its home for around 20 months. It spent approximately two weeks in rivers or lakes and no more than a week as water vapour in the atmosphere.

    Water could be found not only as water. It has four forms: liquid, solid (ice), gas (water vapour) and plasma. Water supplies which are drinkable, we receive from lakes, rivers and dams. Even the bottled water is bore water which is mostly just packed in nice bottles.

    400 litres of water are being used from Australian households. This could be compared to the poor countries where people use no more than 20 litres of drinkable water each day.

    We consume water with our meal too. The food we eat contains embodied water. The amounts are more than you've ever imagined. For example: to produce dinner for four in Australia for just a single day it's being used around 25,000 litres of fresh water. There are products that require a huge amount of drinkable water for its production.

    Did you know that it's being used 2,400 litres of water in the production of a bar of chocolate. To grow an apple you need 70 litres of water. There are many other shocking examples but I think these were enough to imagine the importance of water in the production of food.

    When being just born, the baby's body is 80% water. When we grow up and get older the levels of water reduce in our organism but they are still up to 65% water. Even the human bones contain water. They are about 25% water. The most interesting fact is that our brain is 80% water.

    There is a huge amount of people who have no access to clean water, which is extremely sad because the statistics show that every minute child dies from drinking dirty water.

    The bad reality is that 90% of sewage drains into streams and rivers from which we get water supplies for drinking, washing, cleaning and other home needs.

    There is always an option to do something good for our planet. We just need to develop some habits like stopping the water after watering out teeth brush or while shaving. We could take shorter showers. We can reduce chemicals we leave in the water by using (or hiring  home cleaners that use) more eco-friendly cleaning products instead of these commercial dangerous detergents. All these habits must appear in our early childhood year and that would be a great opportunity for a better future.

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    When it comes to the whole problem with the global warming, sooner or later everyone will realize that we have to do a lot more, even individually, to prevent a major catastrophe that is about to happen. But when it comes down to it, we are a particularly lazy species, and even though we are faced with inevitable threat, we are not so quick to make all the needed adjustments. For example, even switching from simple increscent light bulbs to a fluorescent kind has not happened everywhere around the world, which means that somewhere, people are spending energy inefficiently.

    It might sound funny, but that is just a small example of how small things can influence the bigger picture. When it comes to taking care of our gardens, there are many thing we are still doing wrong. We spend too much chemicals and pollute the soil, we use excessive amounts of water, or the total opposite – we simply don’t care about our gardens. But, what can be done to truly create an eco-friendly garden? We’ve made a few notes for you to remember.

    1. Do Not Be Wasteful

    This is what being green is all about. Just look at nature, nothing is wasted there, everything has its purpose, and once nature is done with it, it is used again and again, in one form or another. Humans, on the other hand, are not as clever. Humans throw away so much food each year with which we could easily solve world hunger once and for all. The clear solution to this is to think about everything that you do and eat more carefully; the next time you see a banana go brown, do not throw it away – use it to make compost, and all the kitchen scraps can be used for that purpose as well. Composting is adding nutrient rich humus that plants would later use to grow and develop. This is also done to restore depleted soil so that it returns to its normal state.

    2. Do Not Be Harmful

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    The next important thing to know is that you should try and do no harm to the existing ecosystem that already exists in your garden. Sure, you are going to arrange it the way you want it to look, but do not use chemicals or other kinds of unnatural fertilizers that can pollute nearby water, rivers and ultimately – oceans, and even damage the plants that naturally live there. Pesticides and herbicides, usually do more harm than good, and there is certainly a better way to achieve weed-free garden – use your hands and physically remove them. By creating this eco-friendly habitat, you will create a suitable place for many organisms to live and thrive, both under and above the ground.

    3. Eco-Friendly Can Be Pretty Too

    Once you’ve prepared everything, you will need to carefully select the plants that you will use for your garden. The best thing would be to use native plants and flowers, because those are already accustomed to your type of climate and specific regional conditions. They will require less care and water to grow, while they will be beneficial for the local habitat. Plant a tree – it will not only produce oxygen for you, but it will also provide you shade, housing for the birds, and not to mention a few tasty apples if you choose to plant an apple tree. Use natural pebbles or rocks or other kinds of decorative aggregates for additional aesthetic effects, as they can create walkable paths and emphasize certain areas, creating the effect you want.

    4. Water with Care

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    Water is an especially touchy subject, especially if you are used to turning on the garden sprinklers whenever it is too hot outside. Remember that some regions of this world are still struggling with clean, drinkable water, and you are wasting it. Altering your habits might save a lot of water, especially during hot spells in the summer. More compost the soil has, the more likely it is to keep all the vapor inside, and prevent further evaporation. Soaker hoses use much less water than sprinklers during the summer and provide you with the same results, as each and every drop is directly transferred to the ground, without having time to be evaporated by sun or carried away by wind. Having an eco-friendly garden is not hard as people might think, and the effect it will have is small, but if everyone does it – it will quickly add up.

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    In a culture that recycles over 150 million metric tons of metallic materials each year in the US alone, one cannot honestly say that there is no recycling effort taking place. Yet, many people are not aware of the many benefits that can be derived from a comprehensive effort to clean up the environment. Our article below covers several direct benefits produced today by scrap metal recycling operations across the US.

    Economic Reasons

    The US scrap metal recycling industry in 2008 resulted in the creation of more than 85,000 jobs and $86 billion being generated in revenue. That same year, the US exported roughly 44 million metric tons of scrap commodities that resulted in a more balanced US trade economy. Production of everyday items such as staples, paper clips, fasteners, jewelry, tools, city infrastructures and elements of buildings themselves all make up the scrap metal industry.

    Today, the industry is not only good for the environment, but it's good for business as well. Over 450,000 new jobs were created within the last three years at a time when the economy appeared to be in dire straits. Best of all, they were high quality, good-paying jobs that fed money back into a fragile and stagnant economy.

    Energy/Natural Resources

    Producing metals from virgin ore is an expensive process--both naturally and economically. However, the recycled scrap metal process not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, but it also helps preserve the earth’s precious natural resources.

    For instance, using recycled material saves up to 92 percent aluminum, 90 percent copper and more than 56 percent of steel stockpiles. Moreover, the recycling of just one ton of steel preserves more than 2,500 pounds of iron, 1,400 pounds of coal and more than 120 pounds of limestone. In addition, one ton of recycled aluminum helps conserve 8 tons of bauxite ore and 14 megawatt hours of electrical energy.

    Ecological/Environmental Benefits

    In a concentrated effort to preserve the ecological system, one cannot stress enough the importance of having a comprehensive program for recycling of scrap metals. Being that scrap metals are as usable, malleable and less expensive to produce then virgin material, it’s crucially important to have professional recyclers do the taxing work of removal and recycling according to General Recycling Industries Ltd., one of the many Edmonton scrap yards.

    All things considered, there are no valid reasons for not recycling scrap metals. The scrap metal industry consistently proves itself as being cost effective for those involved inside the industry and outside of it. But more importantly, as the obvious stewards of earth’s resources, scrap metal processing just may help avoid a possible future ecological disaster.

  13. Murray

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

    Keeping it short

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

    Snake Fencing

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

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

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    Naphthalene

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

    Vibration

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

    Liquid snake repellent

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

    Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    In the beginning of its outset, Movember was a small movement founded by a couple of men in Adelaide. They came up with the name of the charity event over a pub gathering and soon decided to turn their quirky idea into reality. They started small, later on adding more men from Adelaide and other big Australian cities to the so called “Movember Committee”. Their idea was to raise money and bring awareness about men’s health problems along with helping other non-profiteers such as RSPCA.

    Not long after the dawn of Movember, the event kicked off quickly today reaching thousands of men throughout the world. It has since raised more than $174 million after joining South Africa, Europe and North America. For its nation-wide popularity, the Movember movement thanks its supporting community at the official website and throughout the world. With the help of guys such as Tom Rickard ( last’ years Man of Movember ) and smaller companies who try bringing the event to people’s attention, the movement manages to reach more and more people each year and raise money for health research programs.

     

    Each and every voice helps bringing the cause to the crowd. The fastest way of supporting the idea is donating to the official website. Along with that, men are encouraged to grow their own mustache and use it to start conversations about the importance of the whole project. Women are able to help, as well, trying to raise awareness amongst family, friends and colleagues. And even tho Movember is all about mo's, not overall facial hair, some creative individuals have managed to bring the cause to their community through rather more abstract ways. But then again, the previously called November, aims to bring men's health to people's attention and any form of help is of an essence. The guys at the official website have seen all sorts of mo' bro teams having registered as fund raisers. Along with the bros, even company teams are welcome to the crew. The Paul's Sydney Cleaning team, for example, has came up with a bunch of fun, engaging posters aiming to use the power of visual content to engage the audience. Here are some of them:

    We all have different approaches towards engaging our friends and family and the diversity is what makes our attempts alive and evolving. And even though women are not the center of this movement's cause, they are the base of its development. Without the support only a wife, sister or girlfriend can give a man, raising awareness of the Movember cause would be much harder. The future of the prostate cancer medical researches depends on us and if we don't join forces in fighting for our health, no one will.

    Are you ready to make the first step into creating a better world? What would be your approach towards raising awareness this November? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Some of theses toys could include:

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

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

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

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

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