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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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  • 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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    • 2,171 views

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  8. Buying a Solar Panel Installer needs mindful thought as well as meticulous planning. Installing a Home Solar Panel is a fantastic approach to saving power and minimize your own cost of living. Here are several strategies for solar power Installation:

    Solar installers must be approved

    Hunt for solar installers that are MCS authorized as a minimum amount. An excellent solar installer can also be listed along with Renewable Energy Assurance Limited (REAL), the Solar Trade Association (STA) or even be members of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC). Notably, your specialist have to be MCS authorized for you to entitled to the Feed in Tariff plan and its obligations.

    Examine the condition of your roof

    Solar panel systems are large which means you need to ensure that the roofing is able to put up with the burden of them. When your residence is aged it could be far better to use a specialist come in and look if it's in suitable condition.

    Clear the roofing ahead of solar panel installation

    To help make the solar panel installation procedure as fast and simple as possible make sure that your roof structure is neat and clear. In case the installation men need to commit several hours doing away with leafs, dirt etc this can be just going to enhance set up charge.

    Go with a location for solar panel installation

    To get the most out of your solar cells you should be sure that they are exposed to the sunlight for a major duration of the day. While your panels will still operate when it is an overcast day, most power will be developed once the sun light are direct. Therefore make certain that the location you pick for them is not blocked by some other close buildings, tree branches or over growing shrubs.

    Solar Power Set up is Save the Earth

    Nowadays a great number of desire using solar power to conventional electrical energy. Stats implies that solar power is definitely 90 percent significantly less damaging compared to power created by fossil energy along with the pollution released from transportation and production units. Quite simply, while using solar powered electrical power, anyone reduce the damaging aftereffect of the technology on the atmosphere. By doing this, most people cover our long term living.

    It is usually applied for Multiple Purposes

    Solar panel technology can be used numerous gadgets such as satellites, water heaters, outside lamps. Also automobiles might be powered by sun light. The method that you are going to take advantage of this specific green energy is determined by your personal demands.

    Reasons to choose Solar Power

    One of many primary advantages of a solar cell is it cuts down on the price of power. If you use solar system at your house, it will be possible to take down power charges at least 50 %. With them can potentially conserve thousands of dollars in terms of power charges annually. Concurrently as we all like to save the money an additional benefit is that they lessen carbon emissions therefore preserving our planet and getting an improved future pertaining to our children and grandchildren.

    Article Resource:  http://freedomsolar.blog.com/2016/01/28/tips-for-choosing-a-solar-panel-installer/

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  10. Solar energy is the most important renewable energy that can be used for our electronic products in our homes. There are lots of benefits in the technology that uses solar energy to work. Let us focus on the various aspects of solar energy and solar technology in this article. This will help you to make a change in your mind about the view of solar energy and you will tend to decide to install solar panel in your home which is very essential to store the energy that is released from the sunlight. The solar power evolution has made a great change in practical need products.

    Solar energy and their benefits:

    Solar energy is the powerful energy that is known by all. But the entire benefits of sunlight are not known by most of the people. The people who are aware of the usefulness have started to focus on using the solar technology products as they reduce the cost of electricity in a great level. And also when using solar energy, you will not experience any disturbance or pollution.  Solar panels are used to store the solar energy from the sunrays and they are used to convert into the electrical power that is used to operate various devices.

     Easy maintenance:

    The main benefit in solar energy storage is easy maintenance. Only at the time of installation and the cost of buying it would cost and there is no need to spend money on it. The only thing that you should do would be monitoring the panel for its condition. And that would be enough to correct any faults if they are present.

    Types of solar energy:

    There are two types of solar energy and first one would be active solar energy and the second one is passive solar energy. According to usage of solar energy we need to select the device that helps you to convert the energy for your use. Passive solar energy is useful the big scale requirements and they do not use the sunlight directly. And moreover this energy is used as resource for any other usage in large scale. For the household needs you should use the active solar energy. They will use the sunlight directly and help you to make use for the household products that are useful for practical needs.

    Solar energy equipments:

    Nowadays the manufacture of the devices that functions mainly on the solar energy is increased. This is because people became aware of the cost expenses in the electrical energy and the advantages in the solar energy. Hence people show interest in buying the solar energy devices more so that the manufacturers of electrical devices started to focus on the manufacture of devices that could function of solar power. Some of the devices are solar water heater, solar water pool heater, solar cooker, solar stove, etc. These are electrical appliances that make use of the solar power and then convert it into the electrical energy.

    Benefits:

    When you notice other energy sources it will make noise to get converted into the required energy through various devices. But in case of solar energy there will not be any noise pollution or air pollution will be created. It will silently get stored in the solar panel in the sunny day and it will used to the other devices to work. The main benefit in solar technology is that we can make use of the devices that are work based on it will not be interrupted. If you are using a device that functions on electricity alone it will get disturbed at any case such as thunder storming or damaged electricity lines. But in case of solar devices there are no such disturbances. If we use solar energy there is no need to depend on the other fuels. We can be independent in using the devices So that our work will not be interrupted at any case unless the solar panel is not charged with the required solar energy. And also these are very cost effective and help us to store considerable amount of money out of it. Moreover n when using these devices we can save our earth from pollution to greater extent.

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    Today you understand the importance of leading green lifestyle. Students always discuss it during their classes and even write coursework. But to be honest, it not difficult to create a great paper about preserving nature, moreover  learners often just apply to coursework writing service UK and forget about this assignment. Though, green lifestyle demands some attempts and you really need to change some habits and attitude.

    There are some little tips you can use in your everyday life to make your lifestyle greener. Surprisingly, these improvements can also help you to spend less. So, here you can read about appropriate changes that you can bring into your life for making it eco-friendly and also more frugal.

    Devices and Applications

    Students have to use a lot of books, textbooks and make notes. If they choose digital way of keeping information, they will save a lot of paper and money. You can easily use eBooks instead of printed textbooks and use your Smartphone for making notes and schedule. Also, don’t order printed catalogs mailed to you. Digital world can supply you with all necessary information.

    Reusable Bags

    When going to a market or grocery shop, take a reusable bag with you. In such way you can avoid using plastic or paper bags and decrease the amount of garbage collected during a lifetime.

    Old Bottles for Water

    When you buy a bottle of water, you spend a lot of money not on water, but on a bottle itself. The problem is that the production of such bottles requires usage of three times the amount of water kept in the bottle. That is why you will make a great step, if just can use the same bottle for several times. You may also buy a filter to have clean water, instead of buying beverages.

    Recycle

    It’s so simple to have different bins for different types of trash. So, when you can, divide your trash, separating plastic, paper, glass, etc. Just think what trash can avoid a landfill and be recycled.

    Turn Off Lights

    Don’t forget to control your electricity usage. This means that you can simply turn off lights, when you are not in a room. Also, make sure other electronics are also turned off, when not used. Such approach to power usage will also be beneficial to your wallet.

    Don’t Follow the Idea of Consumerism

    Today it seems difficult to resist the desire to make purchases. But you should make it a habit to buy only necessary things. You can also borrow something, when it’s appropriate. There is a great idea to make swap parties, when you can exchange good things with your friends.

    Ride a Bicycle

    If you can use your car less, you may turn to more environment-friendly and frugal lifestyle. Also, you will improve your health while walking or riding a bicycle.

    Keep it Colder

    You definitely will not notice, if you set a thermostat on a lower temperature. The same idea applies to your air conditioner. Just a few degrees can make a great difference to our environment.

    Forget about Aerosol Sprays

    You can easily find an appropriate item among different beauty products. Just remember to use pump sprays, instead of aerosols. You can also look for environmentally friendly and responsible brands.

    You can really create a list of possible improvement and changes to your lifestyle. Just think that adopting eco-friendly habits, you will protect not only our planet, but also your personal wallet. Doubtless, each of these aspects is important nowadays. So, make a little effort and direct your mindset to a greener way.

     

     


  12. There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting a roofing contractor for a roof installation. It goes without saying that you want a roofer with plenty of experience. It’s also important that you select a roofer with a good reputation in your community and a proven track record of doing high quality work. Of course, the quoted price also has to be taken into consideration. One factor that many homeowners overlook when choosing a contractor is the roofer’s warranty.

    Don’t rely solely on the manufacturer’s warranty When you have a new roof installed, the roofing materials come with a warranty from the manufacturer. This protects you in the event the roofing materials fail prematurely. But sometimes, a problem with the installation itself can cause the roof to fail sooner than it should. Many manufacturer’s warranties will stipulate that a problem in the first two years isn’t covered. When the problem is with the installation, the manufacturer’s warranty won’t be any help. In this situation, you hope that the roofer will stand by their work and fix the problem.

    Check the fine print

    Any reputable roofer will offer some kind of warranty on their work, but not all warranties are equal. When selecting a roofer, it isn’t enough to just ask if the roofer offers a warranty, you need to pay attention to the details and read the fine print when comparing roofing warranties. There’s a big difference between a warranty that promises to “fix all defects” and a warranty that says it will “keep the roof watertight.” Pay attention to the language used and be wary of warranties that use exclusive language to limit what the roofer will fix. Also see how long the roofer’s warranty is. Some will offer free repairs for the first couple of years and a discounted rate thereafter.

    Other considerations

    Even the most generous warranties can be voided if you don’t properly care for the roof. If you never have your roof inspected, or if you don’t clean out the rain gutters and allow debris to accumulate in the roof valleys, you can’t expect the roofer to honor a warranty since a lack of roof maintenance could be to blame for roofing problems.

    To be safe, only work with a roofing contractor who has a brick and mortar location in the area. If you have a fly­by­night roofer or storm chaser install your roof, there’s a good chance they won’t be available to make repairs down the road. A local roofer with a good reputation in your community, however, will be there to honor a warranty should it be needed.

    Home improvement news brought to you by bartonroof.com

    Source: everybodyneedsaroof.com/News/Details/2040

     

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