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  • Megan Bonetti

    Conferencing Climate Change: Teamwork or Tug-of-war?

    By Megan Bonetti

    India. Culture, cows and rubbish. As an Aussie living for a short time in India it is such an intriguing country. Indians love their diverse nation yet they use the streets like rubbish dumps. Even my friends here tell me it’s ok to throw my paddle-pop wrapper out the car window. I can’t… so I just hold it tight and wait till I get home. Growing up in Australia, those ‘emu hunts’ in primary school have willed my littering days away. Yet I suspect that even my household trash bin will just be dumped across the road for the cows to eat or worse still, burnt on the street…for the cows to eat. This is India. Love it or hate it. (#tii) As an Australian social worker volunteering with an NGO in Southern India I witness the large divide between the rich and poor of this incredibly colourful nation. I work with many children whose whole families have had to migrate from various parts of India due to the rapid effects of drought on their land and the significant urbanisation of major cities in the last 10 years. It turns out India has seen a boom in it’s industrial and technological trades a little later than it’s western neighbours and they are loving it. But India’s urban boom is threatened with westerners telling them they have to stop producing and polluting. The earth doesn’t like it. Sorry India…We made our big capitalist bucks, but you don’t get that chance. Just when things are getting good and you’re developing astronomically, your main source of energy is being taken away. It turns out fossil fuels are the cheapest form of energy for the developing world, especially as they try in earnest to develop the same standard of living as we have. So as one the most formidable countries in the developing world, India not only has the pressures of navigating a massive population but also has to figure out how to go green on the cheap. It’s interesting that the Turnbull government has reluctantly agreed on a 5% reduction in carbon emissions in the next five years. “Phew! Glad we got through that one boys.” They wipe their sweaty brows while developing countries are drowning, burning and trying to survive on scant resources. These countries are just trying to make a crust, while Eurocentric nations are slowly turning a baguette into organic multigrain sourdough (and throwing the crusts to their hobby cows). If the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is truly the last attempt for international cooperation, leaders cannot just show and tell their contribution and sit back with folded arms. But how can mere human individuals promote serious teamwork? This brings me back to the children I work with here in India. Every day their parent’s lives are tied to corrupt building associations. They are bonded labourers—gypsies moving from construction to construction. These families have no hope of returning to their now desolate homeland and are not provided social security measures that protect their livelihood. Then there is India’s neighbour, low-lying Bangladesh, experiencing saltwater intrusion that poisons whole water supplies for entire villages. In our own backyard we see Australian farmers shooting all their cattle only to turn the gun on themselves under the shadow of unprecedented drought. This is human impact. Global warming is not just about penguins and polar bears. Climate change is a social justice issue. We live in a globalised world. The industrial revolution brought us here; and climate change is the consequence. No longer do we just neighbour cities, we neighbour nations. The leaders of Australia must be held accountable to all their neighbours including the ones just trying to keep their head above water. It simply won’t do for wealthy nations, such as Australia, to show the world their own country’s carbon reductions and sit back down. This summit can’t work as a set menu; it has to be a potluck dinner, a time for sharing, understanding and safeguarding. For the sake of our beautiful earth and the many diverse cultures of the human race, this time I hope and pray that the leaders of the world provide a resounding voice for the marginalised. This summit and our government must not stop at figures, but uphold the basic democratic and human rights principles that cradle modern society. The United Nations was created so that man-made and worldwide calamities could no longer grasp our world with such authority. Well, it turns out a world war with Mother Nature is knocking on our doorstep. Will we listen and respond? I hope so.   For more information please visit the below links. They offer great insights into climate change realities and are positive and accessible resources for engaging the conversation. The reality of climate change | David Puttnam | TEDxDublin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBjtO-0tbKU India: Climate Change Impacts http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/06/19/india-climate-change-impacts Climate Change and the End of Australia http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/climate-change-and-the-end-of-australia-20111003 The Critical Decade: Climate Change and Health (Australia) http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/uploads/1bb6887d6f8cacd5d844fc30b0857931.pdf GoPro: Climate Change and the Optimistic Future https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT6jtTtsG_M Paris Climate Conference: COP21 Explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-qd8YCaoQ4 Why is the Paris UN climate summit important? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnztR5JllA4 Adam asks new PM Malcolm Turnbull on climate change in Question Time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqXtKt-Is54 Morgan Freeman's Powerful Climate Change Short Film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YQIaOldDU8  
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  • Joseph Ramondeli

    Black Friday Promotes Over-Consumption and Waste

    By Joseph Ramondeli

    Black Friday Promotes Over-Consumption and Waste               Every year Thanksgiving weekend is overshadowed by Black Friday and in recent years Cyber Monday as well. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time when families can get together, even if it’s just for a day or dinner, to talk and reconnect. However every year more American’s are focused on shopping. Stores are now open by 8:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day resulting in people sitting at the dinner table with their families while browsing on their phones for the best deals that they hope to buy in a few hours.  This is just another example of how our modern, technologically advanced society is constantly becoming more materialistic. Aside from Black Friday overshadowing an American holiday and tradition, it is an annual example of how Americans over-consume and by doing so are very wasteful.  A huge fraction of purchased goods during Black Friday and Cyber Monday are things that people don’t need, they are things they think they need. Advertisements and social trends play a big role in the impact of this event (I refuse to call it a holiday) and in our consumption behavior in general.             Companies are tricking and forcing us to buy un-needed goods through the use of planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence.  Planned obsolescence is disappointing because it refers to how companies purposely make products to only last a few years and by doing so force consumers to by new products from them every couple of years. The most common example of this is electronic devices. Apple creates a new IPhone every year so that once yours break “accidentally” there’s a brand new, more expensive one to purchase as a replacement. Not to mention that such companies stop making old models, forcing you to buy the newest model. On the other hand, perceived obsolescence is promoted by companies but ultimately results from our own social actions. Companies, through advertisements, constantly throw the promotion of new goods in our face. It’s almost impossible to go anywhere or do anything without seeing an advertisement of some sort. These advertisements tend to increase around the holiday season, hence the origin of Black Friday. The main reason such advertisements work is due to the social pressure we put on each other and ourselves. Everyone wants the next new model or brand and once a friend or family member purchases something then we are pressured and attracted to buying it as well. The biggest example of this is the fashion industry, where new trends come and go each season resulting in constant purchasing of new, unnecessary clothing. These companies are clearly getting the better of us based on the success of such events as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.             So why is over-consumption such a bad thing, why should we care if people waste there money on unnecessary goods? It’s simple: overconsumption leads to waste! One of the downfalls to the technological advancements of today’s world is that we create materials that cannot be found in our natural world. This means that when we throw something out in the garbage it will never decompose. Purchasing many of today’s consumer goods is bad enough because most cannot be recycled and will sit in landfills, but over-consumption takes this once step further in that we buy more than we need! We buy new clothes or new phones before our old ones are worn our or broken. By doing so we are creating more waste because we constantly thrown away products that are still functional and contribute the ever-growing amount of waste humanity has created on this planet. In order to help reduce the waste we create of course we should recycle and reuse as much as possible. However, I believe that the creation of waste should be stopped at its source, and that’s our consumer purchasing. Buying less and using goods to there fullest is a sure way to decrease waste. Resisting social pressure and advertisements is key to getting this accomplished. So next year put the phones away and turn the TV off at the dinner table during Thanksgiving, you don’t need them. Joseph Ramondelli  
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  • Mark Piazzalunga

    DESERTEC project, Sahara Sun could power Europe by 2050

    By Mark Piazzalunga

    Sahara desert climate is hot and arid, everybody knows it. So how can this simple and well-known fact become the idea to power a continent like Europe? Let’s start from the principle: renewable energy is the future of energy; we assume that this sentence is true since all facts gets to this point. Second principle: European territory is restricted and allows the construction of a few plants that could use renewable energy. Paradoxically, countries like Africa have renewable sources, particularly solar, in abundance but scarce funds to make the best of these resources. Now find the connection. Is it possible to produce huge amounts of solar energy in Africa and transport them to Europe through energy infrastructures? Apparently yes, according to DESERTEC project developers and supporters. And what is DESERTEC? It’s an initiative of the Club of Rome (a global think tank that has its headquarters in Switzerland) started in 2009. Directly from the official website of the project (Desertec.org): "The DESERTEC concept was developed by a network of politicians, scientists and economists from around the Mediterranean, from which was born the DESERTEC Foundation. Demonstrates a way to provide climate protection, energy security and the development of sustainable energy generation from sites where renewable energy sources are at their most plentiful." In practical terms? Connect renewable energy power plants in Africa to Europe through a network of HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) systems. The Foundation target is to build several renewable power plants of various types (mainly wind, photovoltaic and solar concentration) throughout North Africa. To support the project financially, the Foundation and other 12 companies (including Deutsche Bank, E.ON, RWE and ABB) created an industrial initiative: Dii GmbH. The construction project would continue until 2050 and for that date, the cost is estimated at € 400 billion, which means $ 546,720,000,000, approximately seven times Bill Gates’ fortune. It’s little bit expensive (life on Mars seems cheaper) but the entire network could provide Europe with the 15-20% of electricity that it needs. We must also consider the drastic decrease of pollution, direct effect of the project. This project isn’t just an idea but it seems an accurate and long-term plan. This could be an opportunity to connect two continents and to give them economic opportunities and jobs. There could be some problems like the wars and the instability of some of North Africa countries or how to get all 40 nations to agree to an arrangement for subsidizing the green electricity. There’s also the possibility to build the plants in Europe, just $ 54 billion more, and doing some math it brings to a shocking number: €2 per citizen per year to keep tens of thousands of jobs in Europe -- and to prevent Europe from becoming dependent on foreign countries for its electricity. Well, the project just started and it has the funds to go forward. We can't wait to see the results. Photo from Desertec.org
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Our community blogs

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    Mining industry is thriving for decades but it is facing a vacuum in the technical and managerial talent pool. Keeping in mind this particular aspect, this is going to be a big opportunity for the future business leaders and find the professional help of assignment writing service to get the most out of the opportunity.

    Business schools are introducing specialized degrees in a rapid rate but the marriage of finance and mining is nothing new. The Mining Industry is one of the most crucial and demanding sector of global economy and an MBA specialization in this industry will help to develop and groom the prospective leaders of business industry.

    A decade and a half have passed since the commencement of specialized MBA degree in mining sector, still it’s a scarce skill – holder of an executive MBA for the mining industry. A cohort of senior mining executives is at the threshold of imminent retirement, while some mega projects are wasting billions of dollars of investment due to poor execution suggest a lack of management skills in a large part of the sector.

    The silver line that can be derived from the above issue is that a great opportunity is waiting for those who want to make it large in the mining industry. It is the time to determine that they have everything in their kit of management knowledge as the retiring managers indicate a large demand for the MBA talents in the mining.

    Prospects for the MBAs in the Mining Industry

    There are many listed mining companies around the world but very few people are willing to progress into a senior position. In order to manage these companies and the industry as a whole the specialized program in Mining Management is going to play a vital role to fill the gap in the talent pool.

    The global mining employers are looking for managers who do have financial trainings or strategic concepts, or accountants with fundamental knowledge of the practical side of mining.

    More than a lack of managerial talent, the mining industry is facing failure due to the lack of support from local communities and governments. And this is largely the reason that the industry is undergoing malicious reputation globally. The present MBA programs in mining management are designed in such a way that the concept of ‘global citizenship’ is going to be the key factor.

    It is ironical that the rise of the specialized MBA program in the mining industry is happening at the epoch of the decline of the mining sector. With the recession in merchandise for the past two years, the future of this MBA program is still hopeful. Instead of the procyclical tendency of the MBA market, those who are planning to pursue an MBA in mining industry, the future is shining bright for them. And for the professional assignment writing troubles, you will always find a trusted online writing service partner ready to help you with their enormous range of management writing aids.

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    Canadian information privacy and data handling laws require business owners to protect the personal information of their clients and employees (1). Shredding documents on a regular basis and properly destroying outdated electronic equipment are key steps in the data handling cycle. Every business should have a data destruction plan in place as part of their corporate security strategy. One surprising benefit of this type of service too is that you can support your company’s green initiatives by having all of your shredded waste and destroyed electronics recycled.

    There are several ways to destroy sensitive information. Options include in-house, off-site and mobile shredders. Professional document destruction companies will customize a plan designed around the needs of your company. You never have to worry about paying for services that you do not use. When you try to shred documents in house it is your responsibility to maintain the equipment and find the staff hours to complete the job. Off-site shredding is a service that transports your documents from your location to a permanent shredder. Mobile shredders will come to your location mounted on a truck and destroy data right at your place of business. Cost and effectiveness are the top two reasons why more companies favour mobile paper destruction. Every company must prioritize the protection of personal data. If information falls into the wrong hands, there is little doubt there will be serious repercussions.

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    Destruction of documentation is not restricted solely to the destruction of paper documents. It also includes the elimination of x-rays, computer discs, USB drives, hard drives and other electronic data devices. When you choose to use mobile shredding services, documents remain in a locked bin until the shedder truck arrives. You accompany your records to the truck where you watch as shredder eliminates them. Shredding at your place of business eliminates the possibility of lost documents in case of an accident. When the process is complete you receive a Document of Destruction that is dated and stamped by the shredding company.

    You are probably wondering how data destruction possibly supports green initiatives in business. Well data shredding and electronic destruction are surprisingly green processes. A seasoned and professional destruction company like Absolute Destruction takes pride in first completely destroying each document or hard drive and then by taking the raw materials and recycling them. When you engage in responsible data destruction “significant savings are realized in the use of water, energy, landfill space and reduction in pollution” (2). Reading up on environmental options and how material can be repurposed is possible by visiting http://absolutedestruction.ca. It is a fact that for every metric tonne (1000 kg) of paper shredded and recycled 17 trees are saved (3).

    Although there are ways of taking care of the basics of document shredding and hard drive destruction on your own, the risks involved with doing the tasks improperly outweigh the cost of hiring a professional document shredding service to ensure that data is handled properly. If you are located in the GTA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Toronto_Area) and are in search of information about document shredding you should contact the experienced team at Absolute Destruction. Your customers and employees deserve the best protection of personal data that you can give them. You will discover that mobile shredders are cost-effective, easy, and secure. When you consider that you are being green at the same time as meeting security standards and acting as a responsible employer it is hard to imagine why you wouldn’t hire a document destruction company.

    References:

    1. http://www.priv.gc.ca/index_e.asp

    Authority Site:

    1. Recycling Council of Ontario: http://www.rco.on.ca/

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    One of the world's oldest car maker DAT-GO, which is going to launch its small and compact hatchback in the Indian car market as well as in the South African market in the end of the next year. The car will be known as Datsun Go. It is a perfect four-wheeler for the developing countries because the company is going to launch it with a very limited price range. Since, it is a very small in its dimensions and that is why the hatchback is also perfect for the small city roads. The company has decided to keep the Datsun Go price range below Rs. 4 lakh (Ex-showroom, New Delhi), which is quite affordable for the middle class. But this price tag is not announced by the company but it is expected because it is prepared on the platform of Nissan Micra and this car is available at the same price range approximately.

    The officials of Datsun cars have said that the engine specifications of this small and stylish hatchback is almost same as Micra, which is loaded with a 1.2-litre petrol engine with a displacement of 1198cc. This engine is expected to churn out the maximum power of 67bhp along with the maximum torque of 104Nm, which is quite good. At the same time, the engine is very impressive, and that is why it is capable to return a very healthy mileage of 18 kmpl, when it is driven under the standard conditions. At the same time, the acceleration and pick up is also very nice because of its top speed of 150-160 kmpl, which is quite good for the hatchback segment. This power packed engine quality is capable to deliver a very decent performance with its manual transmission.

    This small and brilliant compact car is expected to come with a lot of good and impressive features, which can easily attract the buyers. Since, the car comes with a very low price, that is why the Datsun Go features are not going to be very luxurious but it is for sure that it has all such features, which make it standard and safe. In this respect, we can say that this is going to be loaded with all basic features such as an air-conditioner with a heater, music system, comfortable seats with proper arrangements and many other such things, which make it perfect for the buyers.

    Apart from these, the company is going to bless this with a lot of safety aspects too, which can easily protect the passengers as well as the car. The Datsun Go pictures depend upon its exterior, which has unveiled by the company recently. The front part of the vehicle is very good and loaded with a lot of striking features. The list of inviting aspects includes, grille with a lot of chrome, body coloured bumper with head light cluster and a pair of fog-lamps, which are well- designed and helpful in enhancing the visibility of the driver during the bad weather conditions. All these things make this compact car perfect and also affordable.

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    In today’s economy if you want to raise a family you need to learn how to do it on a budget, and that isn’t always easy. There are a number of different ways of living on a budget with your family, but the most effective ways are simply to save money wherever possible. This might be in the form of buying lower cost products, reducing spending on non-essentials and even recycling and repurposing items you already own so that you aren’t spending money on new items.

    Some families have proved that while it can be very difficult in the beginning recycling almost everything your family uses is possible and it is effective, not only in helping you save money but also in helping the environment.

    There are a number of more simple ways that you can start; simple things like teaching children about identifying recyclables and where to put them are a great start, given that just getting children to put their recyclables into the correct containers instead of the refuse bins can reduce your overall refuse on a weekly basis considerably.

    Other options include; keeping some recyclables for crafts. It doesn’t matter whether you just hang on to the empty toilet roll tubes and cereal boxes to make children’s activities later or you go all out to ensure that there are a lot of materials to work with when the time comes for getting crafty. You can make something with just about anything; old clothes, paper, card, boxes, tins, bottles – everything can be used – particularly when the creativity of children is involved, so you should have no trouble keeping aside some of your everyday items and making use of them. Particularly if you also happen to have been looking for a way to keep children entertained.

    Don’t have kids? No problem – do you have pets? I keep rats and dogs, and puppies and rodents alike love a cardboard box or an empty toilet roll tube to chew on and play with. My dogs have had a cardboard box bed cave for two months now and it’s still there! A free cardboard box that has lasted two months, they sleep in and play with. I’ve bought them toys and proper dog beds for small fortunes that haven’t lasted anywhere near that long. Paper can also be great, you can put down in place of puppy pads while house training, put it under water bowls to reduce spills (particularly if you have dogs that play in their water) and can be shredded to make bedding, great for rodents a similar cage pets.

    No pets either? No worries – you can use that stuff on your own too! Create things; make rugs out of old cloths, rags, patches for damaged clothes, make new clothes and accessories out of your old clothes. Get as thrifty as you like – and you can even get yourself involved in some online competitions for thrifty creations if you’re looking for a bit of incentive. Use old plastic containers to make jugs, dustpans, collection pots and just about anything else that you think you might come to have a use for. You would be amazed with how much of your stuff can be repurposed – and it’s okay if you don’t repurpose it because you can recycle it.

    Just to get you started – on this blog we all like to see some recycling going on; so I want to know what you recycled today! What was it, what did you do with it?

    Today I gathered up all the boxes and toilet roll tubes around my house and used them to make a castle / fort for my rats to play in – very entertaining!

    Kate Critchlow

    I am currently writing for R+R Packaging, and their blog has some great recycling ideas for you to try at home, and more scheduled for the coming weeks and months - keep an eye our for those!

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

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    Shipping Cars

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

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

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

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

    Salvage Boxes

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

    Downsize

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

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

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  7. Sympathy flowers are such a comforting gift and an elegant way of expressing your sympathy. Do you want to express sorrow on the death of your loved ones? But you do not have words to express then condolence flower can be an ideal choice of showing your concern it speaks for what your heart is saying in times of their lonely moment. It lessens the trauma of the person who is experiencing great mourn. Life and beauty are what these flowers speak for. It's hard to say something when your friend or loved one is grieving and yet in some ways, you wanted to show that you care and you are willing to offer them comfort is through sympathy floral arrangement, the best gift for the most heartbreaking moments.  

    Why send sympathy floral arrangement on the memorial day?

    Nobody can explain in words the feelings which the deceased person's family was in such a situation. It is scientifically proven that flowers help to recover from depression and sadness. People can send funeral flowers personally or by a florist on their behalf. So if someone passes away one should send a funeral wreath to the grieving family to show that people care for them. Giving funeral wreath to the grieving family in respect of the person who passed away is a common practice. Sending flowers to the family during such difficult times show certain care and concern and also respect to the deceased person. It is true that people cannot take away the sorrow with sending flowers, but the gift in the form of the funeral wreath can bring a tinge of happiness to the grief-stricken family.  

    The funeral wreath is available in different forms with a ribbon on it expressing a message of condolence for the loved one. If you are in an embarrassing situation where you cannot have any words to express your condolence then it is the flowers that can be your best option. Sympathy flowers not only offer consolation and comfort to the bereaved, but they also provide an atmosphere of quiet celebration of the life of the one who has passed. if you are close to the affected family, it is important to send the flowers directly to the family or home. There also online shops that offer the service and can deliver on your behalf. 

    What flower colors are acceptable?

    Flowers of any color say so much about your feelings whether silently want to say that you love someone or express your condolence and grief; you can do it by sending the floral arrangement in the form of the condolence flower. Condolence flowers are often in a vase, basket or bouquet. You can also wish to attach sympathy gifts to show that you genuinely care for that person. Sometimes the family decides to purchase across flower type of arrangement for the funeral services, and these crosses come in a medium of different sizes. The condolence flowers are made with the combination of different colored flowers and some flowers that have some special significance and meaning for that particular occasion. The condolence flowers can be made with roses, carnations, daisies, and if you want to add a personal touch to the bouquet then you add some flowers loved by the deceased person to pay him or her tribute that he deserves.

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  8. Going green in your home does not mean you have to sacrifice luxury. There are plenty of green home products on the market that provide the same extravagance as their less green relatives.

    In the bathroom:

    There are hundreds of different kinds of environmental friendly bathroom products on the market, include a wide variety of candles. Some of them are made of beeswax or soy, and some are made of odd materials like vegetable wax. A lot of these candles provide relaxation and stress relief through the use of essential oils and extracts.

    Also for the bathroom are organic towels and cotton exfoliating gloves. All of these items offer just as much, if not more of the comfort that similar, traditional, non-green items would.

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    Health and beauty:

    Among the green bathroom items commonly offered, there are also many different health and beauty products on the market. There are natural body washes, body butters, lip balms, salves, and foot cream. Ingredients in these products range from peppermint to aloe vera to lavender, and almost all of these products come in biodegradable containers. A majority of these items are just as luxurious as comparable environmentally harmful health and beauty products.

    For the bedroom:

    There are a variety of different green materials used for pieces in the bedroom. Some of the most popular examples are pillowcases and shams made out of bamboo, blankets made out of wool, and throws made out of fair-trade organic cotton. Among these items, there are also dressers and bed frames made out of sustainable resources such as maple.

    Energy:

    Many sources of renewable energy are available for purchase for the green home. Some of these products include LED lights, solar powered lights, and eco friendly solar powered holiday lights. There are also sun tunnel skylights that add natural light to your home and also provide heat. Crank lanterns and flashlights that charge by being shaken are examples of products that require no battery but work just as well as ones powered by battery.

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    image credit: WB Homes

    Outside:

    A lot of the most useful products that are offered for green homes are for the outdoors. There are things like rain conserving barrels in a variety of materials and shapes, water filters for hoses that utilize the filtering powering of sand, and hoses made out of 50% recycled plastic. These sorts of items allow you to get the most out of natural resources and live a healthier and greener lifestyle.

    For the Kitchen:

    There are lots of green products available for the purpose of storing and transporting foods. Some examples of these items are compostable bamboo trays, soup containers, sandwich bags, and cling wrap. Many of these will work just as well as like, less-green products, but will not create all of the harmful waste. There are also plenty of kitchen cleaners that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

    Having a green home doesn’t mean you have to live any differently. There are alternatives for nearly every product you already use everyday that are much more environmentally friendly and sometimes, even better than the original. In most cases, going green will not even force you to change your lifestyle. There are actually many benefits, including better health and lower energy bills.

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    Smartphones and portable digital assistants play a significant role in our daily lives, in the fulfillment of our businesses, communications, and entertainment needs. However, these gadgets carry some negative impacts on our beloved planet. By frequently charging our mobile devices, we are vehemently exhausting our non-renewable energy. The moment we upgrade to the latest trendy tech pieces, our existing handsets will just contribute to the proliferation of electronic wastes on our landfills. As part of our environmental awareness, the best option we have is to opt for greener devices. If not 100% ecological, at least it’s made up of non-toxic substances, complies with the international energy standards, and biodegradable packaging. For this entry, we’ll give you the indicators that a smartphone is not eco-friendly.

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    Low Quality Battery Life

    If your smartphone doesn't last a day of operation despite of moderate usage, it isn't a green gadget. By using this type of phone, you’ll be spending more electricity on a day-to-day basis. But, since mobile devices these days are feature-packed, it’s not really surprising if you need to recharge your juice more than twice a day, with continuous voice calling, web browsing, and music playback. According to Verizon, at least your phone should include an “energy-efficient charger that knows when the phone is fully charged and automatically reduces the draw of electricity.”

    Contains Toxic Materials

    Nature-inspired cellular phones doesn't have harmful elements inside. It shouldn't have mercury, PVCs (polyvinyl chloride) and BFRs (brominated flame retardants). These substances when released to the environment upon disposal becomes contaminants. PVCs are commonly found in plastic phones, since it’s the element used to create cheap mobile casing. BFRs, on the other hand, are agents used to inhibit fire production caused by gadget overheating. Check your mobile documentation if they used toxins such as arsenic, cadmium, and polybrominated biphenyls as these are harmful elements not only to the environment but also to the user.

    Doesn't Have A Biodegradable Packaging

    A mobile device that comes with a 100% biodegradable packaging is a green one. If your phone comes with a plastic packaging, its company doesn't have a green initiative. These containers when not recycled, will just add up to the pile of non-biodegradable garbage in landfills. It takes them thousands of years to decompose. On the other hand, paper boxes decay faster upon disposal, and doesn't bring any further harm to our planet.

    Doesn’t Comply With International Energy Standards

    Greenpeace released a greener electronics guide, which states that all items should comply with the international energy standards. These items were approved since they don’t emit too much greenhouse gas and proven to be power-efficient. They also have minimum levels of radiation. If your phone’s documentation or packaging doesn't boast of an Energy Star Logo, then it’s because the gadget didn't comply with the requirements provided by the firm.

    Shorter Product Warranty

    A nature-inspired product should last for a long period of time and this is an important criterion that you should consider when purchasing any electronic device. Gadgets that have a longer product warranty have longer life span, since it doesn’t break easily, which means less reason to change a device. In opposite, products with shorter cycle are usually made of cheaper materials such as plastic that cannot be sent to recycling facilities to create a new one.

    These are some of the pointers that you should seriously consider when purchasing a mobile device, as part of your environmental awareness. Electronic wastes, according to a 2013 EPA report, have predominantly reached an alarming rate of almost 2.4 million tons in the United States alone. By owning a green product, in a small way, we are battling against the deterioration of our beloved Earth. What other criteria should we look for in a green smartphone?

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Sookie Lioncourt is a British tech writer who is fascinated on technological innovations. She is a self-confessed environmental advocate. Some of her influences are Al Gore and Greenpeace. She loves covering green initiatives of various companies. Follow her on Twitter and connect with Sookie via LinkedIn

  9. We live in an increasingly eco-conscious world, where both home-owners and brands are driven to create a prosperous natural environment. This is even true in major metropolises and cosmopolitan hubs such as the U.S., where nearly 40% of all consumers now make purchasing decisions based on the use of sustainable materials and processes.

    There is no doubt that brands and business-owners are leading this drive, however, as the rising prevalence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) continues to compel them. This is empowering consumers to live more sustainable and Eco-friendly lifestyles, while also serving as a template for others to follow.

    3 Lessons that Home-owners can Learn from Leading Brands

    With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the major lessons that home-owners can learn from businesses and brands when creating an Eco-friendly living environment: -

    Think in terms of ROI when creating a sustainable home

    One of the biggest issues facing home-owners is a lack of forward planning, which makes it extremely difficult to create a budget and execute potentially costly Eco modifications around the home. Many may even be deterred by the cost, regardless of the long-term benefits or whether they have the financial resources to complete the project. This is where savvy entrepreneurs would consider the ROI of a specific modification, measuring this against the potential ecological benefits before making an informed decision.

    There are energy reduction specialists that can help you to calculate the cost and ROI of Eco-friendly modifications, so before to consult with these in addition to amending your existing mind-set.

    Create a culture of Awareness among those involved

    This is perhaps the most pertinent lesson that can be learned by business owners, quite simply because long-term environmental gains cannot be made without a culture of awareness. Just as businesses strive to educate their employees on the importance of sustainability and equip them with the tools to work in a socially responsible way, home-owners must empower fellow residents to maintain a cost-effective and energy-efficient home.

    This can be achieved by spending time with residents and educating them on how sustainable living can contribute to an improved natural environment. Start by involving fellow residents and family members in the project, creating enthusiasm and a genuine sense of accomplishment in the process.

    Pay Attention to small and seemingly insignificant details

    Businesses and corporate ventures have a huge advantage when looking to implement Eco-friendly measures, simply because they can delegate specific tasks while maintaining a strategic overview of costs and goals. This makes it far easier to pay careful attention to small and seemingly insignificant details, which in turn can help individuals to manage costs accordingly. While home-owners may lack this level of human resources, they can at least recognise the importance of detail and how it underpins any successful modification project.

    In terms of home-modification, this applies to executing small and affordable measures before investing in solar panel. More specifically, you should ensure that your home as interior insulation, which is cheap to install and helps structures to retain heat during the winter. Similarly, you should also look to address any gaps that adorn the walls or doorways, using basic polyfilla or draft excluders. Statistics suggest that this reduces energy loss by 20%, which translates into tremendous efficiency and significant savings.

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    Your bedroom should be a place of leisure where you can kick back and let every nerve and muscle in your body just chill. By doing this, your body can fully recuperate from hassles and stresses of your everyday life. But is it possible to enjoy this rejuvenating power of your bedroom if your bedroom contains unhealthy elements such as a bed or bedding that’s made from synthetic materials filled with hazardous compounds, or if you have poor ventilation and no fresh air? Probably not.

    There are lots of reasons to keep your bedroom natural and ensure that it maintains its powers of rejuvenation and some of these reasons include;

    1. Improper lighting messes with your sleep cycle.

    Natural lighting is hands down the best no matter the situation you are in and that includes when you are resting. If you have bright glaring light in your bedroom when you should be resting, it tampers with your sleep and can lead to you waking up feeling totally unrested. Keep lighting natural in your room by installing the right LED lights for night time, especially if you are one of those who aren’t comfortable sleeping in total darkness. This will help ensure your body can sleep properly and rest your mind as well as everything else to strengthen you for the coming day.

    1. Poor ventilation is unhealthy.

    Fresh air is very important for both overt and subtle reasons. If your bedroom’s window is constantly closed, it simply means you are breathing in all the old air and stale gases your body has expelled and this isn’t healthy in the long run. Open your windows as frequently as possible to let fresh air in and clear out the old air. This will keep you cool the right way instead of depending solely on recirculated air from fans and air conditioning. And if you are totally averse to opening your window for some reason, place some leafy potted plants in your bedroom. These plants will absorb carbon dioxide and other unhealthy elements from the atmosphere of your bedroom and give you clean, fresh oxygen in return. These potted plants should be natural, not synthetic ones.

    What about the bed?

    You can heighten the comfort and enjoyment of your bedroom by also throwing out your old synthetic mattress and replacing it with a natural organic one. According to Brentwood Home, “…organic mattresses are some of the most comfortable natural sleep products you can use to get the best night's sleep…”

    If you opt for a natural mattress, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits;

    1. Synthetic mattresses are well known for harboring dust mites, mold, and certain forms of bacteria. All these elements can be causes of irritation for you while you sleep. But with an organic mattress, all that goes out the window because the composition of an organic mattress ensures that it is mold-resistant, anti-bacterial, as well as capable of repelling dust mites.

    2. Organic mattresses are made from wholly natural materials and are thus free of the harmful chemicals found in synthetic mattresses. Some of these toxic chemicals in synthetic mattresses have been found to cause cancers as well as trigger allergies.

    3. Natural mattresses have moisture wicking capabilities which means no more sweat drenched sleepless nights for you.

    4. Instead of depending on hazardous chemicals, organic mattresses have their own natural fire resistant properties.

    5. The 100% natural wool and cotton mix of organic mattresses make them more breathable and ensure you can keep cool in summer, and warm in winter while you sleep.

    6. And best of all, natural mattresses are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. This means when you throw it out, it will be absorbed back into earth without negatively impacting the environment.

     

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    As we people constantly try to find new eco-friendly alternatives to protect the planet, we changed many parts of our daily lives to do so. The electricity and industry branches of the world economies strive to reduce the effect known as global warming. With many new technologies introduced the percentage of bad emissions produced is less than five years ago. However, there are many things left to be considered.

    One of them is the transportation sector. It produces around a third of the CO2 emissions in our atmosphere. One of the best alternatives to the old fuel-powered internal combustion engines is the electrical motor. It doesn't use petrol, gasoline or diesel. This means it produces no emissions that affect the nature. With its range of between 250 and 400 kilometres and the new charging stations introduced around different countries, the electrical car can challenge the petrol powered means of transportation.

    The popular opinion of the electric cars has changed throughout the years, but since the middle of the 90s, they've started getting recognition once again. With this on hand there are a lot of debates whether or not Australian government or in fact any other government should promote buying electric cars by lowering the taxes or should the taxes be the same as any other type of vehicle. To this day this question remains controversial.

    Electric cars need to be charged and there are several ways to do so. One is via a normal socket and the re-charge time varies depending on how much power it provides. At a charge station it is much faster and a full charge of your car battery may take around one hour. The re-charge time is a major disadvantage to the electrical motor. Electric cars emit no carbon dioxide or any other type of a gas. Needless to say this is one of the reasons why they are considered better and more eco-friendly by the consumers. Although electric cars don't affect the atmosphere, industries produce electricity by burning fossil fuels, which means they do release CO2 indirectly.

    Another great trend among DIY enthusiasts is transforming their old vehicles to electric. The process is easy and can be done from people who have knowledge of electric motors. The popular belief is that electric cars are less safe than a normal car. This, of course, is not true as an electric car has all the safety features (like bumpers, safety glass etc.) that a normal car has. In case of an accident though, an electric car is safer due to the lack of spilling fuel. However, aside these advantages the electric cars have a more sophisticated . This proves as a disadvantage because a more complex configuration is more prominent to malfunction.

    The electrical cars have many advantages and disadvantages. In Australia, many local businesses have decided to turn to electrical cars to help them with their transportation. A representative from Paul's Landscaping Melbourne - an Australian based landscaping and landscape design company comments: "Our new electrical cars have helped a lot with the development of our business. Since we are a local company, we have routes which we follow. With an electric car and the right planning of our route, we finish the job in no time and with not paying a single cent for gas."

    So there you have it. To conclude our discussion - the electrical car is perfect for short distances. Regardless of the all advantages specified, this technology has yet to improve and is still far behind the fuel-powered cars. However, in the past few years another great technological break-through has set foot on the market - the hybrid. This system uses both an electric motor and a gas powered motor to set the vehicle in motion. Even though it is not perfectly eco-friendly, this technology reduces the amount of emissions while keeping the comfort and the power of a normal car.

  12.  

    Conserving energy is a really big thing. The environment has really been suffering, and we need to something about it. Well, there’s a lot you can do, and starting with your home is the first step taken towards a greener, more economic home, and a healthier world. Energy efficient homes are becoming a real trend in the world, and that’s not without a reason. A lot of funds have been put into creating ideas for more energy efficient funds, and today, we can give you some tips on how to make your home more energy efficient.

    It’s actually quite possible to make your home more energy efficient while keeping the same comfort level, or even increasing the comfort level in the home. Energy efficient building practices can do wonders in that field. When you are building a new home, or you are renovating your current home, you can save a lot of money by going green.

    And even if you are not trying to renovate your home or build a new home, using green power can reduce the energy consumption from fossil fuels even more. The carbon footprint can always be lowered, and it’s the most green thing you can do. Going green is imperative in today’s world, since the world we have is taking a turn for the worse. 

    So, why not save energy, save money, and contribute your little part in saving the world today? Make your home more energy efficient to do just that. 

    But how do you do that? Where do you actually start?

    Try going small. Take the small steps towards achieving the big goal. For example, if the energy bill is really high, try cutting down on it. You can do a lot to reduce that number and actually help save the environment, and save money too

    You should calculate the energy usage per every room in your home, and actually figure out what the cause of that much energy spending is. Maybe you are keeping the lights on too long. Maybe your windows aren’t really sealed well and are costing you a lot of energy. A lot of energy can be lost through windows, and it doesn’t really depends on curtains or blinds, they need to be sealed properly to prevent the endless wasting of energy in your home. 

    Your light bulbs can also be a big waster of energy in your home. Lights bulbs that are outdated or that don’t fit the right power you need will spend a lot more energy than is needed, and will cost you a lot of money and energy, which in turn is not really a good thing for the environment.

    Lastly, you can always consult an expert. If you really don’t have a solid idea on what should you do to make your home more energy efficient, there are people who are in charge of that and can help you with that.

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  13. Going green is a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. More and more people are incorporating a lot of great green initiatives into their daily life to make a difference for their planet. Many people think, in fact, that there is not much more they can do to go green.

    Even though it seems like there is not much the average person can do, there are a lot of new an uncommon ways to save the planet and its resources. Anyone can try to add these practices into their daily lives. Here are six new ways to go green you haven’t tried yet.

    Get a better energy provider

    Every year there are more and better options for green energy from some of the most popular companies in the business. Everyone should reevaluate their options and compare energy rates every year to make sure they are getting the best price for the best, cleanest energy they can get to their home.

    Make your own green products

    There are a lot of good options for green products on the market today. However, many of these products are quite expensive and most still use a lot of valuable resources in the manufacturing process. Instead, try doing some DIY to make homemade products, trying out everything from cleaning products to beauty products.

    Ditch all plastic

    A lot of plastic is used and wasted in the world every day. This is a major issue that many people cannot seem to get away from. Though using no plastic whatsoever may not be possible every day, everyone can make big changes to use less plastic regularly, like switching to paper or reusable bags at the supermarket, as a most basic example.

    Try CO2 dry cleaning

    There is a new dry cleaning method that is hitting most major chains around the world. This method uses cleaner practices that create no carbon dioxide to keep the air clean and everyone’s clothes clean as well. This is still a new method, so make sure to ask the local businesses if they are able to get it at their establishment.

    Make the home smarter

    Smart homes used to be just a futuristic fantasy. Today, smart homes are becoming a very real possibility to many people, to some extent. Everyone can make their home smarter by helping it use the least amount of energy every day automatically. A couple basic changes to make are installing an automatic thermostat and a universal power controls to help the home use less energy without home owners having to even lift a finger.

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    Find a new way to use animals to benefit the planet

    Though many people reduce their consumption of animal products already to reduce pollution, there are other ways to use animals to the benefit of the planet. Many people are opting to let animals, like goats and sheep, to mow down their grass. This may sound bizarre, but it is a practice that more people are getting on board with. 

     

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  15. When the topic of solar energy for homeowners is discussed, it often concentrates almost entirely on the cost of installation and the amount of money that can be saved on electricity bills. Both those topics are important, but they’re entirely about the financial side of solar energy. There are also many practical topics about a solar installation that must be worked out before the homeowner can enjoy the carefree benefits of harvesting energy from the sun. The number one topic for any solar installer will always be the location on the house where the solar panels will be located.

    Some of the limitations on the number of places on a home that solar panels can be installed are obvious. If the available sunlight is blocked by nearby structures or trees, part of the roof will be unsuitable for a solar panel array. Most housing in the United States was built without any consideration for the possible effectiveness of passive solar gain, never mind an active solar collection plan.

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    Image by OpenClipartVectors

    Solar Panel Installers Work With What You Have

    Most houses are built from plans taken from a catalog that doesn’t take into account the direction that the house will face when compared to a compass heading. The house has a front façade that is designed to face the street, and the random direction of the way the street is laid out governs the orientation of the house. When a solar company like SunBugSolar.com is hired to design and install panels to supply solar energy for homeowners, they have to work around what is in place.

    Luckily for homeowners, solar installations can be placed effectively in many different locations on a home while still delivering big savings on energy bills every month. If the roof on your home isn’t well suited for a solar panel array for any reason, there are many alternate locations that will work almost as well. Here’s a short list of alternatives to conventional roof locations for solar panels:

    Solar Panels on Sidewalls

    If your south-facing roof surface is unsuitable for a solar array, the south-facing building façade is often the next place an installer will look for a location for your panels. Solar panels work best when they face the southern sky, but they also work better when they’re angled properly to catch the most rays. Panels that are laid obliquely to the sun’s rays collect less energy. That’s why sloped roofs generally make the best locations for solar panels. Roofs on single-family homes are almost always pitched to shed rain and snow away from the house. While the angle of the roof will vary depending on the kind of house design that is used, it’s always preferable to laying the panels on a flat surface.

    In a way, vertical sidewalls are the opposite of a flat roof when considerations of the angle of the sun’s rays are taken into account. Sidewalls still have the problem with amount of rays hitting the panels at an oblique angle, but they are at 90 degrees compared to a flat roof. Installations on a flat roof will usually be made with the panels angled toward the sun. This is accomplished by putting the panels on racks, with the end of the rack pointing south or southeast lower than the end that is facing north. Every degree of incline is useful to lower the angle of the panel in relation to the sun.

    When panels are installed on a house’s sidewall, the bottom edge of the panel can be tilted out on brackets in much the same way. More of the suns rays will hit the panel at as close to perpendicular as possible, increasing the yield of the panel overall.

    Solar Panels on Garage and Outbuilding Roofs

    The electrical service panel in your home will no doubt be the nerve center for your new solar installation as well. It’s natural to think that the main house is the only appropriate place for solar energy for homeowners to consider, but there’s no reason why a garage or other outbuilding can’t serve as an appropriate location for a solar array.

    It doesn’t really matter if the garage is attached to the house or freestanding to make it a candidate for a solar upgrade. If the orientation of the structure and the pitch of the roof make it a superior place for solar collection, there’s no reason that the service panel for the solar collector can’t be located inside an outbuilding. The service wires for the collected electricity can be buried in a conduit between the outbuilding and the main house, in the same way newly constructed houses have the electrical service run without stringing wires from a telephone pole. In some installations, this might also be desirable because no part of the new solar installation will affect the existing house itself.

    Solar Panel Ground Installations

    If the house roof is not suitable for a solar array, but you have a great deal of unobstructed area around the house, the solar panels can be mounted on the ground on racks. This has many advantages. The panels can be installed, cleaned, monitored, and repaired without ever leaving the ground. This is much safer and more convenient than roof locations.

    Because the solar array is designed from scratch, and isn’t dependent on the existing structure, it can be aimed at the point of the compass that will collect the most sunlight. The angle of the panels can also be easily configured to collect even more sunlight. It’s generally easier to add on to a ground-based solar array, and the total installation can be expanded past anything even the largest roof can offer.

    Eventually, House Designs Will Be Ready for Solar

    As solar panel installations become more common, home designers will inevitably begin to alter their plans with an eye towards integrating solar arrays. Architects and builders have integrated a great deal of technology into houses in the last two centuries, including things we take for granted like indoor plumbing, electrical service and fixtures, phone lines, and cable and Internet service. There’s no reason that houses can’t be designed to accommodate solar energy for homeowners like any other technology. Until then, solar installers will continue to use ingenuity to work around the existing designs.

     

     

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    The adults pride themselves with mature thinking and behavior, but if you take a closer look at some pattern of behavior of some adults, even the ones in charge of leading the society, you will find a lot of childlike decisions and acts. What would a responsible adult tell a child if he insists on throwing all the garbage on the floor of his room, and never cleaning it? Moreover, the child also likes to smoke in his room, and spray the bugs with toxic sprays, without ever opening his window to get some air in. Naturally, an adult person would dramatically react, and demand that the child stops behaving in such a foolish manner, with full right. But what gives an adult the right to criticize the child, if he follows the same patterns of behavior, doing the exact same things, in the only house he will even have, the planet. The pollution of the planet has reached alarming levels, and adults keep acting childish, pretending that everything is ok, and that there is no reason to worry, and refusing to change their habits. With the current tempo of pollution, experts expect that the planet will become inhabitable in less than 400 years from now. That may seem as a lot of time, but compared to the amount of time life has existed on Earth, it is only a second of existence.

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    One of the biggest issues with pollution, and why we so selfishly decline to change, is that is often a result of progress and industrial development. Even though the progress of the industry and the entire civilization gives us short term benefits, in the long run, we are digging our own grave. The energy sources like oil, natural gas, coal, etc. all result in toxic waste being emitted in the atmosphere, creating ozone layer holes, causing global warming and polar cap melting, and changing the complete climate conditions of the planet. With the resources of these fuels running low, we must ask ourselves is it a good, or a bad thing? Certainly, the economy and the industry would suffer, end the entire civilization would pretty much collapse, but the polluting would stop.

    Fortunately, there are solutions which can provide the necessary energy for the further progress of human civilization, without causing the world to end. Renewable energy sources, like the wind, geothermal power, waves and others are the only way we can make our civilization and industry sustainable. The most efficient and the cleanest method of harvesting renewable energy is through solar power. Solar power uses the sunlight and the radiation of the Sun to create electricity. Already, some environment conscious cities and countries are investing in solar street lights, which save lots of energy, and protect the nature. At http://streetlights-solar.com/ you can find affordable solar power solutions for street, parking lot, airport and other lighting, which will pay itself of in record time. As the sunlight is free, and will probably remain free forever, we can look forward to a bright future, in every sense of the word. 

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

     

    1) Offer Them Prizes!

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

     

    2) Educate them!

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

     

    3) Group Events!

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


    Any more recommendations? Let me know in the comments.

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

     

    An Ongoing Disagreement as to the Cause of Climate Change

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

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

     

    Australia Needs to Take Action on Climate Change

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

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

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

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    There are quite a few lighting options for those who wantto make their homes greener and more environmentally friendly.  We will take a look at some of the best and most commonly used ones and see how they compare to traditional lighting methods.

    CFLs

    Compact Fluorescent Lights, or CFLs, are those twisty light bulbs that give off very bright light. They can actually come in quite a few shapes, but they are most easily recognized in their spiral form. The average CFL will keep working for around 10,000 hours. Compare that to traditional light bulbs (incandescent bulbs), which only last for about 1,000 hours.

    So while the CFL bulbs do cost a bit more, you will easily save money on them over time. CFLs also emit less heat than their incandescent counterparts. So your house will stay cooler, and you will spend less on air conditioning in the summer months.

    The only downside to these is that they do contain mercury, so you have to be careful about how you dispose of them. Many cities have a special program for CFLs, so check with yours to see what is offered as a safe method of disposal.

    LEDs

    Light emitting diodes, more commonly called LEDs, give off light consistently for as long as 40,000 hours. Now they are a bit more expensive than any other light bulb you can get, but they are also the longest lasting. By choosing LEDs, you cut down on the amount of waste going in to the environment and you can save quite a bit of money over time.

    Another benefit of these bulbs is that they use very little energy. Studies show the average LED uses as much as 90% less energy than even a CFL. That can give you some serious energy savings. If you want to save on your energy bill, just changing out your light bulbs can be an effective first step. If you are worried about theinitial cost of these bulbs, you can take comfort in knowing that their cost is slowly declining. They may never reach the very low cost of incandescent bulbs, but they don’t need to in order to save you lots of money.

    Save the Environment through Your Lighting.

    There are other ways you can cut down on energy costs and ensure that your lighting methods are protecting the environment. One of the easiest ways to do that is to use natural lighting as much as possible. By opening windows and curtains instead of turning on a light, you will make your bulbs last longer and save yourself some money on your energy bill. Natural sunlight is also healthier for your skin, eyes and mental state.

    If you have any power strips or wall warts that are plugged into the wall, be sure to unplug them when you aren’t using them. These can become warm even when they are not in use, which means that they are drawing power from your outlets even when you aren’t actively using them. This applies to power bricks for computers, laptops, chargers and video game consoles as well.

    One of the old energy-saving standbys is to turn off lights when you are not using them. But do you know how long you need to be absent from a room to actually make turning off your lights worthwhile? It’s important to know since constantly turning on and off lights depletes their lifespan quickly.

    So if you are using conventional incandescent bulbs, you should turn off the lights every time you leave the room, even if it is just for a few seconds. For CFLs, you can turn off the light if you plan to be absent from the room for more than a few minutes. And for LEDs, you wantto turn them offonly if you plan to be gone more than 15 minutes.  For more information on LED bulbs and lighting visit Led hut.co.uk

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  18. ZED's Blog

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  19. Whether it is a largescale construction for businesses, government offices or residences embracing green energy is the current trend. Integrating sophisticated technologies that are energy efficient with the use of green construction works and recycled materials have become a mainstay now. These measures in addition to increasing energy efficiency form sustainable designs and effective solutions for homes and businesses. 

    The need for such solutions has become imperative, as the normal heating and cooling solutions used at present lead to a very high level of CO2 emissions. For instance, the air conditioning used in automobiles consumes about 5 percent of the vehicle fuel and is responsible for CO2 emissions that go over 2 million tonnes in the UK alone. To effectively check the harmful emissions and improve energy efficiency, here are some of the top three heating and cooling technologies in use now.

    Geothermal solution

    The central core of the earth has an endless supply of steam and hot water, and the temperature increases as you go deeper. But this limitless supply can be tapped without digging too far, using geo thermal systems. The systems use energy underneath the earth surface to cool and heat any type of industrial warehouse, building or domestic homes.

    While direct tapping is possible, heat pumps are used by the geo thermal systems, which recycle the heat extracted from the geo thermal wells present underground. In winter, the fluids in the pumps absorb the heat underneath and warm the air above, while in summer the reverse happens resulting in cool air. Using pre- insulated pipes for district heating and cooling is another simple, but effective way to boost energy efficiency, as they prevent thermal leaks from the pipes reducing heating costs considerably.

    Solar energy

    Solar panels have become a regular fixture in many commercial and residential properties. The photovoltaic materials present in the panels convert sunlight into power for heating, cooling and lighting in buildings. While installing the panels is expensive, the money saved in the energy bills over the years is more than the expense incurred making it a highly viable option.  Cheaper alternatives also exist in harnessing solar power. Air, water, or liquid absorbs sunlight via a collector, which transfers the heat to a storage system or building directly.

    Biomass

    Biomass is a natural and sustainable energy form that is considerably cheaper, when compared to propane, oil, or natural gas. The biomass systems in use now release minimal pollutants and burn in a clean way making them a highly desirable largescale heating and cooling solution. The amount of carbon dioxide produced by biomass is very less and is comparable to the carbon dioxide level released by a plant. Using biomass can save you a huge amount on the power bills and keep the environment safe too.

    The heightening concern regarding the impact of harmful greenhouse gas emissions has forced the world to look at green energy measures. From improving energy efficiency with proper insulation to using renewable and environment-friendly fuels several solutions have been tried out with varying degrees of success. Research is still underway to find more such sustainable energy solutions, which are cost efficient and feasible for all.

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  20. Today is the International Coffee Day. If you start every single day with the cup of aromatic brown drink, you are one of the millions that are celebrating today. Drinking coffee is not just a habit, it’s a ritual. What’s more pleasant than making a big cup of good coffee with milk (or without) and drinking it in bed while reading a book or a magazine?

    “Let’s have a cup of coffee". I’m sure you all get excited when you hear that. It means not just drinking coffee, but also meeting a friend, sharing some stories and emotions.

    Except of the emotional delight here are 5 more benefits of drinking coffee:

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    It contains a lot of antioxidants

    An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules, so if you want your body to function properly, it’s good to make sure you provide yourself enough of it. Some fruits and vegetables are rich of antioxidants. Coffee too. So, it you have concerns that your coffee addiction is bad for your health… well, that’s not 100% true.

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    It helps you concentrate

    You get up at 8 o’clock in the morning at your first thought is “coffee, please”, you are not the only one. In fact, drinking coffee is not only an usual morning habit. It’s proven that coffee actually helps you not only to wake up, but also to stay focused. So, if you have a list of important tasks to do today, make yourself a cup of excellent coffee. If you have to learn for an important exam, coffee will help you stay concentrated. It gives you energie too - if you are moving home, for, example, have a cup of coffee first... or call professional removalists in Melbourne to do the job for you.

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    It boosts metabolism

    There are few health benefits of drinking coffee in the morning and one of them is that it boosts metabolism. So, don’t miss your mug of coffee, guys. A glass of warm water before you have breakfast helps too.

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    It’s a great reason to meet friends

    “Let’s go for a coffee” is one of the most common used invitations when you want to meet somebody. We always serve our guest a cup of coffee after the meal, too. In some societies drinking coffee is a whole ritual. There are special ways of making it and serving it in Turkey, for example. In some offices people enjoy drinking coffee together and talking about the weekend or their free time for a while before we start dealing with the daily tasks.

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    Some more reasons why coffee is actually great for your health

    A fact that you may don’t know about drinking coffee is that it can lossen the symptoms of Parkinson disease!

    If you are a woman, coffee could reduce your chances of getting skin cancer.

    Coffee can make you more intelligent and it keeps your brain in great condition.

    It reduces the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

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    Recent Entries

    Choosing a natural gas supplier in Ohio can be an easy decision for the residents of the state to make if they do a little comparison shopping. Selecting an Ohio natural gas supplier is the same as shopping for anything else.The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio allows Ohio residents to choose the provider that is right for them and their household. You want to choose the provider that offers you natural gas at the best price and that provides the best service for you and your family. There are 4 natural gas providers from which Ohio residents can choose.

    Using the Apples to Apples Chart Provided by the PUCO

    The price of natural gas can be obtained from each supplier. As prices fluctuate, you'll need to take into consideration that the quote you get today may change by the beginning of the next week, so ask your the supplier if the price they quote you is a fixed price. Also ask if there is a minimum amount that you will be billed for the month. Inquire about the price of 100 cubic feet and 1000 cubic feet. See if the provier offers budget billing, which means that they will estimate your usage over a 12-month period and bill you by dividing the estimated amount by 12; this may help make paying your natural gas bills for the winter easier on your budget.

    Customer Service

    Make sure that the provider that you are considering has a customer serivce center that can help you with any questions or information that you may need. You might also want to ensure that they have a website that you can use to assist you. Check to see if they offer other services or products that may be useful to you and your family, as well.

    Terms of the Contract

    Enquire to see if there are any termination fees that you will be charged if you choose to discontinue service with the provider that you are using. Some providers will offer a month-to-month contract, some will offer a 12-month contract, some use a yearly contract, while with others it can be up to 3 years. Some natural gas providers will also charge new customers a deposit, and these rates can vary as well. Be sure you know the details of your existing contract if you are considering changing providers to ensure that it will be worth it financially if your expiration date is not close.

    Keep This in Mind

    Having more than one natural gas provider makes the market more competitive, and this means you could get a better price on your gas. However, you have to read the fine print for the details of any cancellation fees and service start up costs with a new provider. Warmer winters can drive the prices of natural gas down, making your decision easier.

    Take advantage of being able to choose from more than one natural gas provider in Ohio by doing your homework and visiting their websites so you have a clear understanding of their terms and prices. You don't have to go with the provider that sends you their direct mail marketing information. Feel free to call and ask all of the questions that you need to so that you can make a smart decision on choosing the best provider for you and your family.

    Ruth Samuels works for a gas company in Ohio. She spends her free time writing to help home owners understand this important industry better. Click here to learn about Ohio gas companies.

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