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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. Tier1

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  2.  

     

    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.

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    In the past few years, more and more people started talking about the HGH therapy and its benefits. Have you heard of this therapy, but you have no idea what it is, how it works and how it can help your body? Would you like to find out more about it, as a lot of your friends are mad about it and desperate to find a place in their area where they can have the therapy done? If you are interested in the subject, then all you have to do is to click here for some helpful information on this field. The first thing that you will find out about this therapy is that its biggest benefit on the human body is that it can slow down the aging process. Don’t you think that this is absolutely extraordinary?

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    HGH stands for human growth hormone and this is the hormone that basically keeps the aging symptoms away. This hormone is the reason why we enjoy a prime physical condition, boosted energy levels, boosted motivation, focus and optimism during our youthful years, years during which the body consumes high levels of HGH. As the need of HGH is huge during our youthful years, as we reach the age of 30, the resources start going down. In other words, as we reach the age of 30, the decrease in HGH level is constant. This is the reason why we age and why we start dealing with aging symptoms such as joint pain, muscular pain, high blood pressure, fatigue, lack of energy, lack of sexual appetite, blood clots, depression, anxiety, autoimmune disease and the list can go on and on. Luckily, all these can stop or their speed can significantly slow down if we direct our attention towards this life changing therapy: the HGH therapy.

    A lot of people have already tested the therapy and they all say the same: they are pleased with its results. All those who have tested the therapy say that they feel much better, both physically and emotionally speaking, that they enjoy more energy, that the joint and muscle pain has disappeared and that their overall state is good. If you are also planning to try this therapy, then you should consider accessing thehormonedoctors.com, as this is the official website of the experts at Elite Medical Group, an excellent team of doctors who are already applying the therapy to patients and who have obtained fantastic results. Check out the official website of this team of doctors and learn more about what the therapy can do for your body, how the therapy can change your life for the better and what the therapy actually involves. Also, don’t forget to ask for a price quote, as it is very important for you to have a clear picture about how much this is going to cost. However, one thing is sure: all those who have tested the therapy say that its results are worth every single penny and that they don’t regret spending their money like this.

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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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    Student life typically doesn’t give financial stability, so you can’t afford solar panels or driving a hybrid car. But there are still environmentally friendly options you can use, while being on a budget. Implement the next everyday habits to change your attitude to environment and become a green student.


    Recycle
    Studying requires you to use a lot of paper. Whether you are writing your lectures, making notes or homework, printing out necessary material, you need a lot of paper. So, if you want to save the environment, make electronic notes when it’s possible. Today it’s really easy even to make audio records of lectures, and make Internet bookmarks to collect important material. When you can’t avoid using paper, make sure you recycle it. Almost all colleges have special paper recycle bins. Make sure to utilize all used paper, as well as bottles and cans.
    Along with using electronic notes, you can make use of essay review online. This quick professional service can help you with your homework, so you can use the free time for more important things.


    Buy Vintage
    Visiting second-hand and vintage shops, you can get more advantages than you can even imagine. At first, you save a lot of money not buying brand clothes. Secondly, this way you have a unique wardrobe and will never meet a friend in the same T-shirt. Eventually, you can take care about nature, as no new items are produced. Try to avoid creating carbon emissions and pollution. Now you understand what a great impact your actions can have. A simple choice like shopping second-hand can make a difference.


    Use Old Textbooks 
    Being a student you definitely deal with elder students who can sell you used books. You can also sell the book back after the semester. This makes you saving not just your money, but trees as well. Also, pay attention to the variant of using an electronic version of your textbooks. Some professors can give you special resources where you can find necessary materials. There are numerous ways of using old books even after graduation.


    Unplug Electronics 
    Most people think that electronic devices don’t use electricity, when they are turned off. Unfortunately, this is a great mistake. Appliances are sucking power when they are plugged into outlets. Of course, when you don’t use them, they use less power, but they still use it. In order to use less electricity not wasting money you should unplug each device, which you don’t need to charge.


    Save Water
    Remember that water is a treasure. However, it can be “recycled” if you use water filters and treatment facilities. You might have never thought, but using more water, you increase the usage of these facilities. Thus, the energy to run these facilities also depends on your water usage. So, you can simply turn off water when washing hands and brushing your teeth.


    Use Public Transport 
    People drive their cars way too often. If you are a 10 minute walk from a necessary place, don’t use your car. You can walk or ride a bicycle. This is much better for environment and your health as well. When you can’t avoid using a car, try to drive in economical regime, not exceeding the speed limit. Also, you can open your windows instead of using the air conditioner.


    Go Vegetarian
     You might have never bothered about the idea of being vegetarian. So, you don’t know that greenhouse gas emissions are produced by meat production more than by transportation of all kinds. This is why eating meatless diet at least some days a week can make our planet cleaner. 


    In our modern world people need to think about environmental problems as we all can watch radical changes on our planet. The responsibility starts from you. Try to go green and change your life a bit to make a great change to nature.
     

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  3. We know that home improvement projects are important decisions that need thorough planning. Good thing http://www.sortfix.com/ is already here to help you find the best contractor that can do the job for you. They know that home projects can be risky if you entrust the work to just anyone that comes along. That is why it pays to check on this website and explore the help that you can get at this link. Surely, SortFix will always have something for you.

    Renovation contractors need to be experienced and licensed to do the job for you. But you must bear in mind that there are fraud contractors, having false claims on their credibility. That is why it pays to check their credentials to know if they are truly qualified for the job. When it comes to condominium remodeling, the job will require a more specific guideline. For one, the remodeling plan must not compromise the building’s structure or integrity. Most of all, changes in your unit must be reported to the building manager.

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    On the other hand, there can be a very thin line between renovating homes through a DIY project and employing experts to do it. Renovating will favor you in both financially and personally. When selling the property, this will increase its market value and personally, it offers comfort during your stay. However, we can’t deny the fact that some renovations can be very costly while some only creates a very small profit. That is why a building inspector is important before you start doing your work. This is important since it divulges surprises and help you adjust well in your renovation project. You have.

    You have to check the property’s meter box. This way, you can evaluate if it comes up with reasonable utility bills. Also check the property’s foundation. Check the state footings and piers. Look if they are in good condition, original or decayed. Check the roofline and the walls for their load bearing and other important information about your home.

    If you want potential buyers to notice your property then work out your landscaping. This will not only get the attention of passer by’s but it also jelps you enjoy a cooler weather during summer season. You may also add rooms to increase the value of your property. After all, large familes would opt for more rooms to accommodate each memebr of their households. Sometimes, they even wanted to convert one of these rooms as their home office. This is true when they wanted to do some office works even in their homes.If your roofing needs some fixing then do so. Better yet, perform roof replacement if this will increase the value of your home. These days, roofs come in various colors. Hence, this will give your home a new look as well. Additions of garage may also be necessary. Besides, everyone wants to have a safe place to keep their automobiles. There are other necessities that you need to look into as well such as your home’s septic system and many others. And failing to look into this part may affect the value of your home.

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    Backyard barbecues can pollute the environment and cause the climate to change. However, you can choose to grill greener to help protect the earth and the air that you breathe. Gas grills produce fewer air pollutants than the charcoal grills do. Because charcoal grills release higher levels of carbon monoxide and other components into the air, the environment will experience more smog, which can harm your health and the environment.

    Scientists conducted a study to discover which type of grill was the most eco-friendly. It was discovered that a charcoal grill could emit up to 2,200 pounds of carbon dioxide during its lifetime. This is three times the amount that a natural gas grill emits. Therefore, propane and natural gas grills are the most eco-friendly grills. The reason for the large difference in the carbon emissions was because the gas proved to be a more efficient way to cook. In addition, it takes more energy to produce the charcoal than it does the gas.

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    Chemically treated charcoal is discarded in the trash, which can add to the environments pollution problem. However, with propane and natural gas, you do not have waste to discard. The empty tanks can be refilled to use again. However, some people do not want to stop using their charcoal and lighter fluid because they enjoy that smoky flavor that the charcoal grills produce. However, if we want to protect the planet, we should try changing the way we grill by using a greener method.

    Charcoal briquettes come from waste wood, but they are treated with harmful chemicals. Lump charcoal are created from trees, which means some forests may be depleted for this type of charcoal. If you desire to use charcoal, you should use lump charcoal that is made from environmentally and certified harvested wood. These forests will be managed properly to prevent depleting the forest of the trees. In addition, to grill green, you can buy wood chips that are a certified sustainable product to flavor your food when you use a gas grill. The chips will allow you to get that smoky flavor with less harm to the environment.

    Even though gas grills are better for the environment than the charcoal grills are, they are not perfect. The process used to get the natural gas from the shale deposit and the production of the natural gas will take a toll on the environment over the years. For less environmental impact, we should go green with our grilling to produce less air pollutants, chemicals and deforestation. To go green, an ideal way is to use a solar oven.

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    The solar oven will convert the natural rays of the sun into heat energy. It allows you to bake, steam or boil a meal. You can use your solar oven to cook anything. It works like a conventional gas or electric oven. Cooking time can be similar to a regular oven. In addition, it can be used similar to a crock-pot for slower cooking. You can buy a solar oven or make one yourself from ordinary items such as foil, cardboard, thermometer, black spray paint and glass.

    Besides the method used for grilling, you should consider the items that you are grilling. For instance, beef has a larger carbon footprint than vegetables and poultry do. Therefore, grilling beef will impact the environment more than grilling other foods. The planet's future depends on preserving the air we breathe and the environment.

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    The Garden Stepping Stones

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

     

    The pathway

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

     

    The Gravel Path

     

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    Tiles and Pebble square feature path

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

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

     

    The Path

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

     

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

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    The Patio

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

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    The Random feature

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

     

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    The Border feature

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

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

  6. News

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    How much do you know about Mt.Davidson? Besides being the highest point in California and one of the original Seven Hills there is so much more to this interesting feature that will definitely intrigue you. It is also one of the 44 hills in San Francisco. This is just the basic stuff. Do you know anything about the origins, how it got its name? Well, this one is for you.

    The mountain was given an honorary name after George Davidson, then Chief of the US Coast & General Survey’s Pacific Operations. He was also a scientist, and one of his notable projects was commissioning an astronomical observatory on the West Coast. Click here for more facts

    Hiking

    The mountain is at 125 Dalewood Way. The 0.44 mile distance marks an interesting hiking experience for hikers, the distance to the top of the hill. The trailers are usually graded properly though from time to time you might find them slightly overgrown with vegetation. It is an incredibly easy hike all the same.

    In terms of the exposure, the trail is characteristic of lots of shade and a little sun here and there, moderate traffic and dirt trails. It should take you roughly one hour to make the hike. One of the best things about hiking on Mt.Davidson is that you can basically plan your hiking at any time, any season, though it is open between 6 in the morning and 10 in the evening. On the brighter side for pet lovers, you are allowed to bring your dogs with you.

    Tourist attraction

    The lush greens turn into a major tourist attraction in February just as the season turns. This brings forth wildflowers like the mule’s ears and the California poppy, the hog fennel and the checker bloom among a host of other incredible plantation that blooms right around that time. The privately owned summit does attract a lot of visitors, and the park at the top of the hill is also another incredible feature that will definitely appeal to visitors. There is public transportation all the way to the Park, 36 Teresita Muni line.

    The Cross

    Besides the naturel attraction that it is, Mt.Davidson has since become famous especially for those who are religious, for the cross, a gigantic one that was first erected at the site in 1923. Later on in 1924 another cross was erected, but it was burned down a year later. In 1931 arsonists torched a third cross that was also erected atop the mountain. The cross is significant to those of Christian faith especially Catholics, and this cross is often illuminated during Easter every other year. In 1933 after the third arsonist attack, the burned down cross was replaced with a steel and concrete cross.

    If you are a serious movie fan, this was the iconic cross in Clint Eastwood’s 1971 set, Dirty Harry. Every year during Easter there are walking tours held through the trail. Apart from that there is a clean-up session every month that is aimed at keeping the mountain area clean and free of debris.

  7. Needless to say, upgrading to new energy efficient windows in your home is a sure shot way to control humidity levels inside. What is crucial here is your choice of company that shall do the job for you. You will come across countless such window companies in Edmonton who offer these services and it may be a tough task to choose one. Though most promise excellent window installation services, not all are to be believed despite good prices because most of these disappear when problems arise in the long run. Therefore it is important that you go with a trusted name that shall help you resolve issues well past installation. 

    Improper window and door installation not only affects the energy efficiency of the home but also allows water leakage into the home which can be extremely damaging for the house. For a flawless installation ensure the following:

    • The window installation should make the room air and water tight 
    • It should insulate the room
    • Installation process should not affect the shape and look of the window
    • Procedures like flashing on the exterior and caulking should be done neatly for maximum effectiveness

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    Partial or whole Replacement of windows

    When you feel the need of window replacement in Edmonton, you have two options that of a retrofit or a complete tear out. A retrofit means a window and door installation in the existing frame where the window or door is being replaced. This is a faster as well as cheaper process and may not always create the perfect seal as desired by you. 

    A complete tear out on the other hand is pulling down of the entire door or window along with the frame and installation of the entire unit. This process requires professional expertise and if done appropriately will help create the perfect seal enabling better humidity control inside your home. 

    As a home owner you also need to keep in mind that a certain level of humidity is desirable inside your home even in the cold winter months. You can install a humidifier to keep the levels in check and also if you find condensation on the windows it is sign that humidity is higher than necessary. To control excess humidity, you can adopt a few steps like:

    • Amply ventilate moisture laden areas like bathrooms, wash rooms, kitchen etc. by installing fans and exhausts that vent outside
    • Avoid keeping too many indoor plants
    • Control humidifiers installed at various places in the home

    At the end of the day, all you have to ensure is that your window replacement in Edmonton is done by trusted and experienced people in the business who can insulate and create energy efficient homes for you.

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    Most business owners have been put off by the idea of environmentally friendly business. It sounds expensive, it sounds like a lot of work and they believe that business has no benefits from switching to green practice. All these reasons not to “go green” are common misconceptions that have nothing to do with reality.

    As a matter of fact, making your business green help both your business and the environment. This practice contributes to your employees’ health and well-being, increases productivity, reduces your company’s bills and saves you a large sum of money.

    Let’s see 5 most affordable and efficient ways to make your business green.

    1. Switching to compact fluorescent and LED lights

    Although compact fluorescent bulbs cost more than incandescent bulbs, they are the easiest way to switch to a more energy efficient home and office. If you use them on a regular basis, you can expect visible money savings. Compact fluorescent bulbs last up to 12 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use much less energy.

    Although LED lights haven’t been popular due to their high price and narrow light beam, the development in LED technology has solved these issues. Today, they are the most cost-effective bulbs and soon, they will be even more popular than compact fluorescent lighting. Also, they do not contain toxic substances such as mercury.

    2. Recycling and reusing

    In the office, most people just toss their papers and plastic cups into a trash bin, without even thinking about reusing them. Do not let this happen again - ask around whether your community has a recycling program and encourage your employees to think green. Designate a “reuse” area where the employees would check in before ordering new supplies.

    Introduce additional green measures, such as: reusing envelopes, refill pens, tape dispensers, cardboard boxes and other office supplies when possible. Always purchase recycled ink cartridges, recycled paper products and used office furniture. Stop using paper and plastic cups and use porcelain mugs instead. You’ll see – the savings will be dramatic.

    3. Going paperless

    You can make your business almost completely paperless, in just several easy steps. Investing in the right technology may be expensive at the beginning, but it will surely pay off later. Buy a multifunctional device for your office, such as a photocopier which can fax, scan and print documents.

    Inspire your employees to use all advantages of web-based applications. Most of them are free of charge (basic accounts). They allow team members to communicate with each other, share files, take notes and track different phases of projects (Basecamp, Trello, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and so on).

    Also, it would be wise to hire transcription experts to type all your recorded business meetings, delivering them via email or any other means of file transfer.

    4. Using green cleaning products.

    After the working hours, most offices are thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed. Unfortunately, most of the products which are used in the process are toxic to both people’s bodies and the environment. Even seemingly harmless products that are used by the employees (dish and hand soaps, bathroom fresheners etc.) may be harmful if they are full of cheap and aggressive ingredients.

    Think about your employees ’ well-being – switching to green products will result in their (and your) improved health, less allergic reactions and better working conditions. Buy biodegradable and organic cosmetic and cleaning products that reduce exposure to toxic ingredients. There are lots of stores that sell such products and they are not necessarily more expensive than the regular ones.

    5. Installing water recycling system

    Plastic bottles of water may be recycled - but why generate such a waste? In the US alone, there were 32 million tons of plastic waste in 2011. Only a part of such huge waste can be recycled. The other part that can’t be recycled still poses a great threat to the environment.

    If you don’t want to partake in such terrible pollution, don’t buy bottled water for your employees - install a water filtration system in the office instead. The water in the office will be clean and fresh. More importantly, your business will save a significant amount of money as you are doing a good deed for the environment.

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

    renewable_energy_iStock_vencavolrab_bann

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    The least-discussed factor in climate change and resource depletion

    On average we currently need 1.5 Earths to sustain our consumption of resources. That's the global average and in developed countries like the UK we probably need around three. This is clearly unsustainable, but it gets worse. We will need more Earths as the population grows, currently at 7 billion but expected to increase to around 9 billion by 2050. This is a situation that cannot continue. More people inevitably means more mouths to feed, more energy needed, and more resources turned into goods for these people to use, as well as greater deforestation and biodiversity loss.

    Population growth is probably the least-discussed factor causing climate change and other significant environmental impacts such as resource depletion. The latest IPCC report (AR5) says, “It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic [human created] increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.” This report, comprehensive in other areas, scarcely touches on the population aspect of climate change.

    Simon Ross, Chief Executive of the charity Population Matters says, “The more people there are the more emissions there are, and the greater pressure on resources. That depends on how much each individual is consuming, so if when are more Americans or more British people that has a bigger effect on a per capita basis, than the poorest countries, where the population increase is growing the fastest. In middle income countries like China and Brazil the per capita consumption is rising, so we are seeing growing numbers and growing consumption at the same time, so if you take all of that it is a major driver for climate change, and what’s behind pressure on food and water, energy, and some minerals, fish and so on. It's a combination of more people and rising consumption.”

    How does population growth affect everybody's lives? Simon Ross continues, “As there are more and more people, they have to live somewhere. They are forced to live in places that are risky, on the coast for example, where they are prone to rising sea levels, high tides and tsunamis, or where flooding is likely. In the UK recently people who live on floodplains have suffered from inundation. People are only living in those places because of population pressures - they have find somewhere to live, and that may be not where they would choose because all the best places are taken already.”

    What options can be taken to reduce population induced climate stress and reach a sustainable population for the globe? According to Population Matters the approach should be non-coercive, and involve both the developing world, and the developed countries where the people who consume the most and have the biggest environmental footprint live. It is also important to focus on the global South where over two billion people live on less than $2 per day and where health, education, low-cost family planning can make a significant difference to the quality of poor peoples' lives. Education for women, and campaigns against child marriage and violence against women and girls, as well as action on biodiversity loss and promotion of appropriate technology can be beneficial. See here for a previous blog on solar power in the Sunderbans.http://blog.greenjobs.co.uk/2014/04/22/earth-day-power-people/

    Simon Ross says, “What we really want to promote is smaller families. Over time that will lower population growth, and over time slow it and then reverse it. The benefit of that will be over time more space, lower congestion in terms of transport, fewer housing builds. You won't be paying so much for utilities and food and other things. Otherwise prices are going to go up and up and up as there is more demand for everything. So generally peoples' quality of life will be better if there were fewer people, for the relatively well-off West. For people in the developing countries, it could be a matter of life and death – the difference between having enough food and not having enough food. A lot of people do not have enough food already, so if we slow or stop climate change that will relieve pressure on resources.”

    Simon Ross continues, “We want to encourage quality family planning, women’s' rights, education and healthcare which in turn means smaller families, and less pressure on the environment. At Population Matters we see the way forward in terms of good policy and advice, rather than any form of coercion which we see as negative and counterproductive.”

    Climate change, and its associated factors are real. Reducing population growth is one of the ways we can address the issue. If we fail to do that, we are limiting our responses to probably the greatest problem that humanity has faced in its existence.

    www.populationmatters.org.

    This blog first published on http://blog.greenjobs.co.uk/

    Julian Jackson is a writer about environmental subjects www.brightgreenpr.co.uk

  10. 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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    Pinterest is a fairly new global sensation that has become a marketing tool used by several companies. Millions of pins promote companies around the world, and many of them are successful at bringing in business. Until now, it has been difficult for companies to determine whether or not their pin advertisements actually bring them business, but according to TechCrunch, Pinterest is preparing to launch a new marketing program that can track business that comes straight from pins on Pinterest. This new program will let companies know which pins are the most appealing to their customers, which products are the most popular, and which pins drive the most sales. So how do companies become part of this new program?

    So far only a few third-party marketing companies have been selected to try out the new program. While Pinterest intends on having its own free analytical marketing program for all companies, third-party marketing companies currently help keep track of consumer data, and therefore Pinterest has decided to first team up with them to see if the new program will actually be successful. The marketing technology companies involved with the new program are Salesforce (Exact Target Marketing Cloud), Hootsuite, Spredfast, Percolate, Piqora, Curalate and Tailwind. If businesses currently use these third-party marketing companies, they are able to test out the new Pinterest marketing program. If the new program proves successful, Pinterest will then open up the program to all companies, and each company will be able to customize the way they market using Pinterest.

    One of Pinterest’s major goals is to promote business for companies. In order to achieve their goal, it is not only important for companies to see how much revenue is generated through their Pinterest advertisements, but for Pinterest to see those results as well. Through this data, Pinterest will be able to see which terms are searched for most frequently, helping companies know how to phrase their ads. Pinterest wants to be able to help companies see which marketing tactics are most successful. The more companies who use Pinterest to market will also bring in more Pinterest activity from consumers, making Pinterest a successful site.

    Benefits of marketing through Pinterest

    Companies like Target and Wal-Mart have put Pinterest to use in their stores. Special items are tagged as “most popular on Pinterest,” ultimately drawing in consumers who are frequent Pinterest users. The familiar Pinterest logo is enough to attract any Pinterest user roaming through the store. This also shows companies that there is a way, though it might be difficult, to currently track how successful Pinterest advertisements actually are. It is no secret that Pinterest is a successful marketing tool. Even though receiving actual marketing data might be a challenge at this time, companies should start taking advantage of the free marketing through Pinterest. Eventually it will be possible to see exact consumer data from Pinterest, but even until then companies have access to this free and popular marketing tool.

    Mobile Technology News brought to you by businesstexter.com

    Source: techcrunch.com/2014/05/20/pinterest-rolls-out-a-new-business-insights-api-to-select-marketing-technology-companies/

  11. yog.jpg

    A chance to cure all your mental stress, emotional problems; in today’s world people tend to get worried emotionally for simple problems and they may choose bad conclusions for that problems. All people thinks that suicide is only rectification for our problems but it is not like that we have many different solutions available in the earth which can help us to lead a normal life. Today for healing those conditions many scientists and technologists had invented different solutions that help a common man to forget his problems. One way of curing those problems is counseling it is a process of talking of talking to affected victim and allowing him to speak about the problem and later the counselor gives solutions to the problems by thinking him as the victim. This process will help the person to solve his problems and he learns to lead a normal life. Hypnotherapy is the process mesmerizing a person and makes him to reach his subconscious stage and collecting the information, this may helps the person to forget all his worries and pains and become fresh again. Naturopathy is the herbal treatment which can cure patient’s disorder with the help of natural techniques like acupuncture and other herbal techniques. And the last technique which of invented by Japanese is reiki which is palm healing where the victim hand is kept on the counselor hand and can give hands-on healing.

    Features of natural healing

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    Many people who suffer from anxiety, mental disorder and other problems should choose counselling as their cure because it provides variety of solutions to the people and they learn how to resolve those problems easily in their own way. Hypnotherapy is used to alter their thoughts, character, altitude towards living and this can help them to rectify the problems easily and make them to lead a happy and normal life. Naturopathy is used to heal many diseases like chronic disorder, colour change, cancer treatment and body pain etc this will give a person a new birth to life. Reiki is a practice used to induce self healing in our body and it also provides energy to our muscles and strength to our bones and makes our body enhance its power. Thus all those practices will help people to cure their disorders easily without any side effects. Follow us on Google+

    Good practitioners of natural healing

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    there are many people who are practicing those natural methods and only few are known to give good results to the people Counselling Sydney is best known for its counselling treatment and the techniques they use has saved many lives. Hypnotherapy Sydney is a best in town that can reduce our anxiety and makes us completely new. Naturopathy Sydney is a very useful to the people and it had cured many dangerous diseases in people. Reiki Sydney an oldest form of medicine is now saving many lives of the common people. These methods are boon to humans and they can cure any type of diseases with those healing methods.

  12. Who doesn’t dream of owning a luxurious car? Just about everyone has daydreamed about owning their dream car, but most people are scared off by the outrageous price tag. For those not scared away by the price, they may want to consider the cost to keep it on the road each month: the cost of insuring it. The following ten cars are the most expensive to insure out of all cars currently sold in the US according to insure.com which compares the insurance rates from 6 of the largest car insurance companies. For the purposes of this list, the insured is a 40 year old male with a squeaky clean driving record, a 12 mile daily commute, a 100,000 dollar injury liability for one person, 300,000 dollar injury liability for all injuries, 50,000 dollars for property damage, and a 500 dollar deductible for collision and comprehensive coverage. In other words, these insurance costs could be much higher.

    10. Mercedes GL63 AMG. This seven passenger SUV costs $2,609 to insure for one year.

    9. Jaguar XKR Supercharged. This luxury sports car boasts 510 horse power. But it will cost $2,854 to insure for 12 months.

    8. Audi A8L W12. Big, expensive, and European, it meets all the criteria for an expensive-to-insure car. One year of insurance will set you back $2,869.

    7. Mercedes G63 AMG. Almost exactly like number 10 but more specialized and more expensive to insure. Insurance for this one costs $2,887 for 12 months

    6. Audi R8 5.2 Spyder Quattro. This car can reach a top speed of 200 mph. Perhaps insurers assume drivers will be tempted to push the limits. This supercar costs $2,917 to insure.

    5. Porsche Panamera Turbo S. At $2,970 to insure, this Porsche is the most expensive of all porches to insure, probably because of the extra doors and seats in the back.

    4. Mercedes SLS AMG. While not the most expensive Mercedes money can buy, it does cost $2,986 just to insure it.

    3. Mercedes-Benz CL550 4Matic. The first on the list to top $3,000 to insure, this is the most expensive-to-insure Mercedes at $3,019 for one year.

    2. BMW M6. At 560 horse power and an MSRP topping 100,000, this is the only BMW to make this list. Insuring this car for 12 months will lighten your wallet to the tune of $3,065.

    1. Nissan GT-R Track Edition. Known by the endearing name, “Godzilla,” this supercar is the most expensive car to insure currently sold in the US at $3,169 for just 12 months.

    Auto news brought to you by directinsurance.agency

    Source: autoblog.com/photos/most-expensive-cars-insure/?icid=autoblog|trend|most-expensive-cars-to-insure#image-2

    Tags: car insurance, auto insurance, car insurance quotes, auto insurance quotes, affordable car insurance, supercars, sports cars

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    Changing times call for making changes in our lifestyle. The way we live today is very different from the way our elders lived. The environment today is no longer as clean as it was even a decade ago, and problems such as global warming, the ozone hole, and rising pollution levels loom large over our planet.

    While a lot of people do want to do something about it, many are clueless about how they can help. Charity begins at home, it is said. So, why not start with modifying the way you live? You can always start by making certain changes to your home décor in a way which is supportive of the environment.

    While redecorating your home to make it more eco-friendly may seem cumbersome, it is really quite easy. Just a few additions and deletions from your home will help you make it aesthetic as well as pro-nature.

    1. Get Rid of the Clutter

    First and foremost you need to de-clutter your living space to make sure that it is no longer stuffed with things that you do not require, need, or can harm the environment.

    Think of it as a cleansing ritual. By clearing your home of the unwanted stuff, you’re letting go of the negative, thereby making room for the positive and productive to enter your home. And by deciding to go green, you’ve already made a great start.

    2. Brighten It Up

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    (Image credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/32580797278826904/)

    Stark white walls may make a home look like it is in dire need of some personality and dimension. So, you might want to add a splash of color to the walls by painting them. You can do so in an eco-friendly way.

    Opt for paints that are low or nil in VOC or volatile organic compounds. These compounds are nothing but harmful emissions from paints (the off-putting smell that most newly-painted homes give off). These paints are high in lead content and hence, extremely dangerous to people and the environment.

    By choosing low/no VOC paints, you will protect your family, pets, and nature from their harmful effects.

    Alternatively, you can also use wallpapers to add color to your walls. You can cover your floor in stone or ceramic tiles, or wooden panels as these are eco-friendly too.

    3. Use Eco-friendly Art

    A great way of adding character and sophistication to your home in a jiffy is by using wall paintings. These also come in eco-friendly options, so make sure you scout for those and put them up. They are, typically, made from clay or milk-based paints and are very low in chemical content.

    Using eco-friendly art does not mean you will have to comprise on the colors and designs, it only means that you’re going for art that promotes a natural way of doing things.

    Eco-friendly art supplies are available in plenty, so if you decide to create a masterpiece for your home yourself, make sure you use those.

    4. Use Natural Fibers

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    (Image credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/7177680627509295/)

    If you like to use carpets at home, make sure they’re eco-friendly too. Instead of those made from synthetic materials, choose carpets that are made of natural ones like wool. You also have the option of installing modular carpet tiles, which utilize non-toxic dyes and colors and are made from recycled materials.

    Apart from being toxic-free, they are also convenient-to-maintain and easy-to-install. They can be returned to the manufacturer for recycling once their shelf-life is over.

    Another area where you can make improvements is when choosing day-to-day home items such as mattresses, beddings, and pillows. Go for those stuffed with wool as that will ensure that your house stays free of allergy-causing dust mites.

    On the same lines, say no to plastic, particle board, and chromed metal as well.

    5. Build a Small Kitchen Garden

    Even if you’re spatially-challenged at home, you can still make room for a small kitchen or an herb garden at home. You can grow useful plants and herbs like mint, basil, rosemary, and thyme on your windowsill, and something more ambitious like cherry tomatoes and lemons in your verandah, stairway, deck or roof.

    By planting a kitchen garden, you will be doing your bit to increase the green cover, thereby reducing your carbon footprint. Additionally, you also get the benefit of eating fresh home-grown produce and saving money.

    6. Give a Thought to Your Appliances

    When buying new electronic gadgets and appliances for your home, go for ones that are the most energy-efficient. You need to look for a label with the Energy Star logo as it mentions all the information you will need when making a decision.

    And while they may seem a tad expensive at the time you buy them, know that they will go a long way in bringing your energy bills down, thereby saving you a lot of money.

    This also applies to light fixtures. Replace your old ones with energy-efficient or solar-powered fixtures. Use LED or CFL lights as they burn cooler, give a better glow, as well as help you cut electricity costs.

    7. Old Furniture Turned New

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    (Image credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/273875221061844776/)

    Thinking of giving your home a new lease of life by changing the furniture? What if we told you that you need not change the entire stuff?

    More often than not, what your old furniture really needs is some sanding and re-painting to look as good as new again. Unless it is badly damaged, you can retain it and simply get it repainted and/or re-polished. This way you save a lot of trees from being cut for their wood.

    If you must buy new furniture pieces, shop locally, thereby avoiding the huge carbon footprint produced by moving sofas and other furniture halfway across the world. Look for those made from sustainable materials and carry the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo.

    You can also buy old/antique furniture to discourage the consumption of non-renewable resources. Antiques will help make your space look more sophisticated and attractive.

    Conclusion

    The next time you decide to do your home interior, think green, think environment-friendly, and think sustainability. You will do well in taking the above factors into consideration when decorating/redecorating your house. They will go a long way in providing you with a home and a lifestyle that helps save the environment as well as your money.

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    If you are into business, you must keep a lookout for new strategies, tactics, and tools that can have a positive impact on your business. This is necessary to ensure that you stay ready to face the challenges of doing business in your specific era. Holding fast to the tools and tactics of yesteryear will only accelerate your demise. For those who are into the sales type of business, it is wise to invest in a point of sale system for retail.

    Your checkout point is now better placed to take on a whole new set of tasks and challenges thanks to the improved appreciation of the retail environment’s dynamics.

    What Can A Point Of Sale System For Retail Do For You?

    • Accelerate transactions giving customers a fast service
    • Run your promotions, offer discounts, create vouchers etc.
    • Link you to your business via mobile phone
    • Keep track of your inventory levels for you
    • Produce financial reports to help you manage the business.
    • Give you video monitoring of your business
    • Give pertinent information on demand such as sales per employee, inventory levels in any branch, employee attendance records etc.
    • Give you jaded features such as fingerprint identification for customers.
    • Give you the flexibility to pursue other interests away from your business

    New and improved points of sale software are constantly being churned out with Nova 4.5 being among the latest. You can get a better appreciation of the full benefits of such software by looking at the Nova Point of Sale software features.

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

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

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

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

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    Now more than ever is the right time to go green at home. You probably heard the news: 2014 was the hottest year on record. If each one of us does not make some sort of effort to reduce our carbon footprint the results for our children and grandchildren will be disastrous. Huge tidal waves. Droughts. An increasingly un-livable planet. I mean, let’s face it; the Mars One mission to colonize Mars is not feasible. What we need is short-term, simple steps to help us continue doing what we love on Planet Earth. Here are some steps we can take right now:

    1. Buy Energy-Efficient Light-bulbs

    The production of incandescent, inefficient bulbs has been phased out, so really at this point you don’t have a choice. Instead of waiting for your old light-bulbs to die or break, seize the moment to replace every incandescent bulb in your home with an energy-efficient alternative. There are several options available. The primary debate revolves around which is a better choice, LED or CFL. LED bulbs cost more at the outset, but they don’t contain mercury like CFL’s do, and they last longer. On average, a 15 watt CFL will cost $1.20 a year to power and will last 10,000 hours, while a 12 watt LED costs $1.00/year and will last 25,000 hours. Don’t want to leave the house because you’re too busy optimizing it for energy-efficiency? You can order either kind of bulb here.

    2. Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

    The temptation is to simply buy the standard, inexpensive supplies that “get the job done.” But the factories that make these supplies are part of the problem—they consume lots of fossil fuels and they don’t pay their employees enough for them to go green. Also, disposing containers generates more waste. Instead, take advantage of common, inexpensive goods. Lemon has acidic and antibacterial traits. You can mix lemon juice with salt to make a great sink-cleaner, or just soak the faucet in lemon juice and let it sit to loosen mineral deposits; to get rid of stains on garments, rub fresh-cut lemons on the stain and leave the clothing to soak in warm water for a couple of hours, then wash. Try using baking soda on counter-tops and in toilets; mix with vinegar for an especially strong cleaner. Try putting together some home-made laundry detergent: use one bar of shaved, organic bar-soap, a cup of borax, and a cup of washing soda. Stir for 5 minutes or so and put it to work!

    3. Greenify and Optimize Wash Cycles

    A good green practice is to wash whole loads, whether they’re loads of laundry or dishes. And use cold water when you can. About 90% of energy consumption from washing is a result of how much electricity it takes to heat the water. Air-dry your dishes and, if you have the space, hang your laundry out to dry on a clothes-line. If you’re going to ignore the earlier advice and buy laundry detergent (we only have so much time!), buy it in bulk and find the brand(s) with minimal packaging. Same goes for dishwasher detergent. If you’re buying detergents, make an effort to purchase products manufactured locally or find the ones manufactured closest to your home.

    4. Head Towards the Light

    Yes it makes sense to buy energy-efficient light-bulbs, but you should take advantage of natural light whenever possible. Use light-colored wall-paints to reflect natural light better in any room with windows. Avoid turning on lights in your home whenever you can and turn them off whenever you leave the room. Put your favorite reading-recliner and your office-desk beneath windows.

    5. Minimize Appliance Power-usage

    Plug appliances into a power strip, and when you’re not using them, turn the power strip off. Or, just unplug appliances when you’re not using them. When you’re buying appliances, consider buying from companies that partner with Energy Star to offer rebates, a list of which you can find here. Take advantage of your computer’s power-saving mode, and, if you’d like a free way to analyze your computer’s power usage, download Miscrosoft’s Joulemeter.

    These are just some of the ways you can easily go green at home. Do you have any other suggestions, tips or tricks for greening the home-space?

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    It was believed that maybe, we humans have just managed to preserve some parts of our world from global warming. Covered in ice and inaccessible for most part of the year, some believed that Antarctica was one part of the globe which was untouched by human proliferation and that it would, at least, stay cold and steady for a few more years. How wrong we were. Like all other places, Antarctica too has been affected owing to the harsh consequences of climate change. According to a new research, a group of glaciers which were once stable, have started melting rapidly since 2009.

    The glaciers along the Southern Antarctic Peninsula were believed to be stable between 2003 and 2009. However, new satellite observations reveal that the area suffered a sudden destabilization in 2009 and the change in conditions is now responsible for the melting of glaciers. It is believed that these glaciers are now shedding around 56 billion metric tons of ice annually which is enough to raise sea water levels by roughly 0.16 millimeters.

    The research points out that the warm ocean water is melting the underside of the ice which is undermining the region’s stability and causing the sudden decline. And the conditions are supposed to be so bad that even if the warm ocean water goes away, the ice will continue to melt until a new equilibrium is reached.

    The report says that, “The melting and weakening of ice shelves reduce their buttressing effect, allowing the glaciers to flow more quickly to the sea.” This is quite scary considering the rate at which it will contribute to the rise in sea levels. 

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