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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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  1. blog-0555465001429192543.png

    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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    Recent Entries

    Navigating in the 21st Century: Where To?

    When you go on a road trip, what do you use to navigate? Google Maps, a GPS system, maybe a printed map of the area? How about a map printed in 1776? Probably not - there have been so many changes since then that it wouldn't be an accurate guide, and you might not reach your intended destination.

    The Map

    In a way, we are using an old map in our economy when we use the concepts and practices originally set out by Adam Smith in "The Wealth of Nations", published in 1776,1 which formed the basis for the market economy model of economic transactions.

    It's not a matter of the principles being "wrong", it's that there have been significant changes since 1776 and new information needs to be incorporated into our economic framework so that it reflects the realities of the world today, and better guides our choices for the long term.

    Then and Now

    In 1776 our impact on the world was a tiny fraction of what it is today. The world population was short of a billion (about 900 million)2 and the Watt steam engine was just beginning to power the Industrial Revolution in Europe. The combined rise of powered industrial technology and human population since then has hugely expanded our ability to impact the world around us. Today over 7.3 billion people3 need food, water, shelter and other resources; projections for peak human population are in the range of 9 to 10 billion4 , and the technologies to extract and process natural resources into products have expanded along with population.

    As products were made and sold in 1776, there were adverse impacts, and costs were incurred that were unknown, thus not considered as Adam Smith created his economic model. For instance, air pollution from coal-burning engines began around that time, but it wasn’t recognized as being harmful to human health. In contrast, a recent World Health Organization report estimated that around 7 million people died in 2012 as a result of global air pollution exposure5. Similarly, other forms of pollution and various other adverse impacts occur, and these costs are often not reflected in the accounting of the businesses which cause pollution as they manufacture and sell their products.

    Incentives and Externalities

    Logic and ethics might suggest that the costs of adverse impacts from the making of products be added to the books of the firms making and selling those products. For example, those cost figures could be for pollution abatement equipment, installed to prevent or reduce the health impacts to people downwind from the plant. More commonly, these kinds of costs are incurred by the public, and measured by public health agencies, in terms of hospital visits, reduced productivity and premature deaths.

    One of the primary tenets of the market system is that the purpose of a business is to maximize profits for investors and management. This is typically done by maximizing sales and profits, and in order to maximize sales and profits, and to maintain a competitive pricing position in the market, production costs must be minimized. So businesses have a fundamental disincentive to add to their costs, including the costs to public health and the health and productivity of natural resources, both of which have been left out of the market model and are referred to as “externalities”. Protecting the public interest is not the function or purpose of business; this is the responsibility of the representatives we elect to govern in the public interest.

    Natural Capital

    Another development not envisaged when the Wealth of Nations was published was the depletion of natural resources, sometimes to the point of species extinction. This is reflected in the following statement from “TEEB - The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature”:

    “The invisibility of biodiversity values has often encouraged inefficient use or even destruction of the natural capital that is the foundation of our economies.” 6

    Consider the example of the Cod community population, a rich fishery around the Grand Bank in the North Atlantic Ocean. In 1950 there was a total population of about 2.5 million metric tons; by 2000 the population was down to around 0.25 million metric tons – a 90% reduction in population7. U.S. and Canadian fisheries agencies coordinated to manage this valuable natural resource and prevent the extinction of Atlantic cod. The same story has played out in the Chesapeake Bay with the oyster population, which is estimated today to be about 1% of the population that existed when Europeans arrived in the 17th century8. Why were these resources so overfished and jeopardized?

    From a business perspective the market economy is based on competition and individual decision making, so each fishermen seeks to maximize their catch, not to manage a regional fishery resource. There is no provision for rational, science-based natural resource management within the market economy. The actions of individual producers and consumers pursuing their self-interest determine resource utilization, and left to the mechanisms of the market will consume the resource if the demand is high enough.

    Buyer Beware

    This is rational for each individual fishing company and consumer, but collectively the result is irrational. The market economy does not address the combined effects of individual actions. So despite the litany of comments from some business leaders, and, not coincidentally, some politicians, that government is wrong to “burden” companies with regulations, it is clear that the incentive structure of the market model needs to be updated to incorporate “external” costs and to protect ecological and human health in the public interest. From the TEEB study, what is needed is:

    “To recalibrate the faulty economic compass that has led us to decisions that are prejudicial to both current well-being and that of future generations6.”

    Consider an example of making a rational decision on public health, in the public interest. If you take steps to reduce air pollution in compliance with the Clean Air Act, it will cost up to $65 billion a year by 2020. The benefits of these steps have been estimated at $2 trillion per year9. That’s quite a return on investment - what would you do? What would be rational?

    Predictably, a relentless sales campaign by the vested parties of the status quo uses the tools of modern advertising to push emotional buttons and manipulate public opinion. Words like “freedom”, “individual liberty”, “God-given right”, “consumer choice”, “big government”, “extremists” and “socialists” seek to portray any efforts to support and protect the interests and well-being of the public at large as un-American, or worse.

    It’s ironic, and cynical, to consider such messages, when more and more of the benefits of our work – profits – are going to fewer and fewer very rich and politically connected people. It is undermining the very foundation of proportional representative government (votes) with vast sums of money. Lobbyists, lawyers and unlimited corporate campaign contributions are powerful tools with which to defend the status quo, on behalf of less than one percent of the population.

    Adam Smith considered the importance of human motivation in establishing his model of a system of economic transactions:

    “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard for their own interest”

    Adam Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”, 1776, p.24.

    Certainly this is an important truth, one with deep roots in our survival instincts. Another important truth is that for humans, survival and success in evolving and expanding has been based on our social nature and the power of groups to accomplish things that single individuals cannot. Specialization of activities, which is the prerequisite for exchanges and economy, requires the interdependence and coordination of individuals within the group, and a balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group.

    By the 1980’s, Mr. Smith’s notion of self-interest had morphed into something else:

    “Greed … is good”

    Gordon Gekko, in “Wall Street”, 20th Century Fox, 1987

    Fooled Again?

    Nature is the foundation of our continued existence. Natural capital is the foundation of our economies. Short term greed and willful ignorance are serious threats to our current and future well-being. Business as usual is not a viable option. United (and diverse) we may stand, if we can agree on the fundamentals of how to live together, in accord with nature.

    Jack F. Brennan, 2015

    References

    1. http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html
    2. http://ourworldindata.org/data/population-growth-vital-statistics/world-population-growth/
    3. http://www.prb.org/pdf14/2014-world-population-data-sheet_eng.pdf
    4. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/sixbillion/sixbilpart1.pdf
    5. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/
    6. TEEB (2010) The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity: Mainstreaming the Economics of Nature: A synthesis. http://www.teebweb.org/our-publications/teeb-study-reports/synthesis-report/
    7. http://ram.biology.dal.ca/~myers/depletion/
    8. On the Brink: Chesapeake’s Native Oysters http://www.cbf.org/document.doc?id=523
    9. http://www.epa.gov/cleanairactbenefits/feb11/summaryreport.pdfnav21.pdf
  2. It is widely seen, these days’ most of the farmers in USA are using humic acid for agricultural purpose that improves soil quality and enhances growth of crop. Humic acid is also called as humus, which is extracted from compressed, ancient plant matter in form of leonardite. A kind of high polymer heterogeneous aromatic material- Leonardite contains hydroxyl, carboxyl, phenolic hydroxyl and various other active groups, which forms a black brown appearance.

    Humic acid is the commercial term for combination of humic and fulvic acid, which are found in naturally occurring deposits. Known to be an ideal additive- humic acid boosts soil bio-activity as well as improves performance of compost fertilizers by speeding up the composting process.

    Great Functions and Benefits of Humic Acid for Agricultural Purpose:

    • Humic acid will help in balancing nutrition and enhances nutrient uptake of soil by combining nutrients and humic acids.
    • Optimize N-nitrogen, P-phosphorous and K-potassium, uptake of crops.
    • Improves soil structure and increases the buffering power of soil.
    • Regulates the pH value of soil by neutralizing both acid and alkaline soils.
    • Proves resilience power of crops to successfully withstand cold, draught, pest and any kind of disease.
    • Beautify appearance of the crops as well as promotes to grow healthier and stronger growth.
    • Helps in stimulating beneficial microbial activity.

    Getting Best Quality Humic Acid Online:

    In order to maintain a sustainable agriculture development, you need to regularize the use of agriculture humic acid by Humic Harvest, which is one of the leading providers and manufacturers (in the USA specialized in WEFHAS certified products) of finest quality humic acid and fulvic acid to farmers at a relatively low price. Our manufactured agriculture humic acid is listed and accepted by OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute in USA) as organic, which rates high its credibility. You can order humic acids in bulk amounts from us at a great price that will help in getting good crop with a minimum investment. You will get a best soil conditioner for your farms by buying humic acid from Humic Harvest that will work as a compliment to the fertilizer and restore soil health, which will be best for your crops.

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    Recent Entries

    Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity today and yet our political systems refuse to move quickly enough to do anything about it. It threatens to undo all the gains that have been made against poverty in recent decades.

    But how does it affect Ireland and where does it fit in the global picture? The film ‘Drop in the Ocean?’ talks to some of Ireland’s leading environmental scientists, writers and activists to find out.

    You can watch it here

    What people are saying about Drop in the Ocean

    'Deserves to be seen widely' Philip Boucher-Hayes, RTE

    'This eye-opening video from Trocaire on climate change in Ireland and around the world is a must watch for everyone.' Sorcha Pollock, Journalist, Irish Times

    'Very well-made short climate change documentary by Eoghan RIce and trocaire team - really worth watching' John Burke, RTE, This Week

    'Maybe the most urgent 27 min clip you will ever watch. Thanks trocaire .' Trevor Sargent

    'If anyone cares about Climate Change there's a film worth seeing at http://www.trocaire.org/drop' Liz McManus

    'Really brilliant documentary joining the dots on Climate Change -please watch (even if you know it all already!)' Anja Murray, Ecologist, Eco Eye Presenter on RTE

    'Stunning film about Ireland and climate change by Eoghan Rice and Alan Whelan for Trocare. Watch, be informed. Beautifully shot and produced, balanced and objective and overall thoroughly compelling.' Tom Halpin, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

    How long is it?

    The film is just under 28 minutes long.

    Who's in it?

    Among the interviewees are:

    Dr John Sweeney, Climatologist, NUI Maynooth, Ireland

    Paul Melia, Environment Correspondent, Irish Independent

    Oisin Coughlan, Director of Friends of the Earth Ireland

    Ciara Kirrane, Stop Climate Chaos Ireland Coalition coordinator

    John Fogarty, Templederry Community Windfarm

    John Gibbons, Environmental Writer

    Stephen McCabe, Environment Scientist

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  4. 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.

    district-heating-cooling.jpg

  5. GO_GREEN.thumb.png.e6f325eb943a55614ebcb

    According to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), indoor air pollution is one of the top environmental dangers and causes a lot of health confitions as well. Some of the symptoms include fatigue, headache, irritation of the throat and more. If you don't keep your home clean, thus indoor air fresh, the pollution in the house could cause respiratory diseases and even cancer. On the other hand, the labels on most of the cleaning products warn that they are harmful and you should use a protective clothing in order to use them. And here it's the paradox, neither cleaning nor leaving your home full of dirt will help save the planet or your health.

    What Should We Do?

    We can make our own green cleaning products for every room and every spot! It would be efficient as a professional product, but cheaper and better for your health.

    Green Cleaning Cheat Sheet

    What do you need? White vinegar, baking soda, olive oil, essential oils, lemon and borax, although some of the people believe it's dangerous to the health, there isn't any proof of that. What you should know? White vinegar removes mildew, odors, stains and has disinfectant properties. Baking soda is great odor remover and water softener, it's used for cleaning, scouring and scrubbing. Lemon is very effective against most bacteria. Borax is a strong disinfectant, which cleans and deodorises. Here are some DIY green cleaning recipes:

    Mirror, Glass and Window Cleaning

    You need: 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of water;

    How to: Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and spray onto the surface. Wipe with crumpled newspaper or with a clean cloth.

    Tip 1: For а better smell you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

    Tip 2: It's better not to clean your windows on a sunny day because the mixture could dry too fast and leave unpleasant stains.

    Water Stains

    You need: lemon;

    How to: Slice the lemon into two halves and scrub the stain with the one part;

    Tub Toilet and Sink Cleaning

    You need: baking soda / borax and white vinegar;

    How to: sprinkle some baking soda onto your toilet brush and scrub the grime. For the outside of the toilet surface, apply some white vinegar on a sponge or cloth and wipe off.

    Tip: To disinfect the toilet use borax, instead of baking soda.

    Floor Cleaning

    You need: 1 cup of vinegar and 1-gallon hot water;

    How to: mix them and use the solution to mop the floor. This works for ceramic tile, vinyl and wood floor, as well as linoleum.

    Tip: add a few drops of essential oil for fantastic smell.

    Wooden Furniture Cleaning

    You need: lemon juice and olive oil;

    How to: apply equal parts on a cloth and rub into the wood.

    Countertops and Tiles

    You need: baking soda, white vinegar and water (1:2:4);

    How to: apply the mixture on a sponge and wipe off.

    Carpet Cleaning

    You need: white vinegar and water (1:1);

    How to: spray the dirty area of the carpet with the mixed solution and soak up with a towel.

    Tip: if the stain is still there mix equal parts of white vinegar, salt and borax (the mixture looks like a paste). Rub it into the carpet and leave for two hours. Vacuum after that.

    Cleaning Product For Everything

    You need: 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 gallon of water;

    How to: mix the baking soda and the white vinegar into the water and store the solution somewhere safe, in order to use it when it's needed. You can use it for everything: water stains, window washing, countertops, upholstered furniture, etc. You should simply apply the solution on a clean cloth and wipe.

    Tip: For better smell you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

    Air Freshener

    You need: baking soda, lemon juice;

    How to: mix equal parts of both ingredients and put the solution in a dish. That will absorb the odours and it's very useful, especially if you have pets.

    Wall Cleaning

    You need: baking soda;

    How to: apply the baking soda to a sponge, rub and wipe;

    One of the most important things in order to have a clean and fresh home, is to open the windows wide at least twice a day - in the morning and in the evening. The smell in your house will be better through the day and you'll sleep better through the night. If you haven't got enough time to make your own green cleaning products, hire a cleaning company. I recommend you to use a local cleaners, who use non-toxic cleaning detergents. Those types of cleaning products are natural, environmentally-friendly, and safe for humans and pets. Contrary to Kermit The Frog's popular quote: 'It's not easy being green', it actually is that easy. Go green.

     

  6. You do not need to use chemicals and harmful insecticides in order to get rid of ants in your house. Not only because they can cause allergic reactions or even harm your children, pets, or yourself, but because you have an option of getting rid of ants all by yourself using very simple natural pest control methods. Every day more and more people choose the natural way: healthier food instead of fast food, herbal remedies instead of pharmaceutical drugs, natural prevention instead of potentially dangerous vaccines, and so on. Why don`t we use natural insect exterminators, as well?

    We will show you only five simplest possible methods of eradicating ants in a completely natural way. There is nothing easier than applying these methods. Here is the list of our preferred top five herbal exterminators of ants and other insects:

    1.     Peppermint powder. If you have stomach troubles, drink some peppermint tea; but even if your stomach is fine, take dried peppermint sprigs and leaves, crush them and make a powder. Apply this powder on areas with ants. On the other hand, you can just place dried or fresh peppermint herb on the same areas without making the powder. Actually, put a bunch of peppermint all over your house, since the peppermint and other mint herbs` odor repels ants and all other insects, such as mosquitoes, while it will suit your senses.

    2.     Lemon juice. Another efficient natural pest control agent, which is perhaps even easier to use than peppermint, is a lemon juice. That`s right, a plain lemon fruit. Squeeze the lemon, make a juice, mix with water, and spray it all over the ant infested areas. After that, make yourself a nice lemonade and enjoy.

    3.     Vinegar. Another natural ant exterminator at hand is vinegar from your fridge. Again, mix it with water, make a spray, and apply it. That`s all you have to do. Moreover, use vinegar for cleaning the counters and floor instead of chemicals.  Also, you can use lemon juice for cleaning the dishes. Or better yet, mix vinegar, lemon juice and water, add some peppermint, and you got yourself the best natural ant exterminator and detergent.

    4.     Dish soap. Maybe you have already noticed, but all of these items used for ants and other pest control are already in your own house. Mix your dish soap with water, and spray the solution over the ants. The same thing as in case of vinegar and lemon juice.

    5.     Salt and pepper. More of the kitchen ant exterminators! Just boil water and then add salt and pepper.  Make a spray and apply it on areas infested with ants.

    You could perhaps mix all of the mentioned natural pest control agents and make your own ant exterminator spray. Mix salt, pepper, dish soap, vinegar, lemon juice and peppermint, and put it in a spray bottle. However, if you are not satisfied with these and many other natural methods, or if you become terrified at the sight of too many ants in your house, then call a bug exterminator to solve the problem (http://bugsycal.com/).

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

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

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

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

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  10. What is green electricity? What are the types of green electricity and how are they generated?

    The search for alternative energy sources is pointing out to green electricity production as the only sustainable method to power our home, transport system and industries in a future that seems to be only several decades away. This also represents the way to avoid the carbon footprint, a legitimate concern nowadays.

    What Is Green Electricity

    The term of 'green electricity' means electric energy obtained from renewable sources. Green methods refer to obtaining cheap gas and electricity from sources which are friendly to the environment and which can replace the limited fossil fuels. It is cheaper to obtain, highly convenient for small (homes) and large consumers (cities, states).

    Types of Green Electricity

    Green energy types are defined by ways in which power is generated and by its source. Thus, we have the following main types:

    1. Biomass Power

    An effective method is obtaining energy from organic sources, which are renewable. One way is by burning the biomass waste – like the fibre-rich sugarcane residue or hemp. Additionally, common algea is used to make biofuel. Sewage gas is also valued as an energy source.

    2. Wind and Tidal Energy

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    The best known image to illustrate the validity and efficiency of wind power as energy source is represented by the wind farms. These facilities can address the energy demands of communities located in geographical areas that get windy weather on a constant basis. The future looks even more interesting – flying wind farms will be created, in order to harvest power from wherever it is available. On the other hand, tides are much more predictable than wind, which make them truly reliable when generating energy.

    3. Solar Energy

    Although intermittent and rather 'diluted', solar energy is still able to supply small and average sized communities alone. Moreover, solar heaters are great for heating water. There is no use for additional processes, the sunlight is directly converted into energy by the photovoltaic cells in solar installations.

    4. Hydroelectricity

    The hydro-power is not left aside – it's the methods that need adjusting. Current ambitions support installations on fast flowing rivers and streams, or on existing dams, employing approved hydro-electric generators.

    5. Geothermal Energy

    Cheap, cost effective and reliable, geothermal energy depends on the tectonic plates. These small scale systems are great for residences in compatible areas. The natural processes within provide a form of renewable energy that was known to Romans. Geyser regions are very good places to install geothermal power plants or heat pumps. No fuel is required, as the energy is produced directly. A large plant is said to be able to power a whole city.

    6. Waste Heat

    Electricity can also be gained from all the industrial processes that generate heat. Heat is a form of energy and, when harvested and directed, can be used to create electricity. There are no such facilities yet, but researchers are currently working on methods to capture the heat that would otherwise be wasted.

    Green electricity is part of a sustainable economy and lifestyle. Future electricity generation should be too.

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    Keeping your neighborhood clean can be good for aesthetic purposes. It can also be good for keeping the planet happy and safe for all for generations and generations to come. If you want to do your part in helping the planet, you should think about setting up a trash cleanup project in your community.

    Set a Great Example

    If you want your neighbors to follow suit, you should begin by setting a great example. Pick up trash around your neighborhood in the middle of the day when other people can easily see you. You may just motivate others to do the same exact thing. If people ask you what you’re doing, tell them proudly.

    Reach out to Your Neighbors

    Don’t hesitate to reach out to neighbors who are friendly and cooperative. You may want to call or email them to ask them if they’d be interested in joining forces with you in your cleanup effort. They may not be able to resist taking part. If you make your cleanup project sound fun and interesting, it may encourage more and more people to team up with you.

    Post a Listing on the Internet

    Word gets around rapidly on the Internet. If you want to spread the word about your neighborhood cleanup effort, you can choose to post a free listing on a classified website. Look for a classified website that caters to your specific neighborhood. It’s critical to mention your community name in the header for the listing, too. If people learn about your project on the Internet, it may persuade them to reach out to you to lend a helping hand.

    Rent a Dumpster

    You can simplify your neighborhood garbage cleanup project by getting your hands on a sizable dumpster for disposal purposes. There are trustworthy companies that offer durable skips for rent. If you rent a roomy dumpster or two, you can get rid of significant levels of garbage. This can spare you a lot of frustration. Dumpsters can make doing away with trash straightforward and speedy.

    Trash and a gorgeous planet simply do not go hand in hand. If you want your neighborhood to be immaculate and lovely, then you need to prioritize cleanup work. You can make prioritizing a clean community a lot easier by getting help from other people who live near you. Remember, doing things in groups can be fun. It can also be a lot more efficient.

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  12. Master craftsman, eco-designer, furniture hero - words that Stephen Staples, maker and co-owner of Staples Cabinet Makers, embodies. Allow me to tell you a little bit more about our eco-superhero Mr. Staples. No, he doesn’t wear a red cape with a large S on his chest, nor can you summon him with your magic ring. But this guy really does know how to save the environment - this hardworking artisan makes gorgeous and natural looking furniture from reclaimed wood from old barns and houses found throughout the New England area. Following a Japanese philosophical style known as “wabi sabi,” which roughly translates to “flawed beauty” in the art world, Staples truly believes that the real beauty in his work lies in the natural contours, knots and stains that have naturally formed in the wood throughout time. With his dedication in using reclaimed wood to create unique furniture laced with historical and aesthetic value, Stephen Staples is our green superhero/super-artisan of the year! To learn more about his beautiful furniture pieces and about his inspirations.

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  13. Once the spring sets in, expect those bees to go looking for new places where they can place their hive. The fact that bees help with the environment is very much appreciated, though it is not really nice to have them building their nests near your home as you are in serious risk of getting bee stings! You can consider different DIY methods of removing them, or you can get a professional bee removal service to save yourself the effort. But either way you go, it is important that you decide which is more convenient for you. You can get rid of the bees in a lot of different DIY methods. But before you do any method, you have to be absolutely sure that you are really dealing with bees. You can do this by taking a dead one and looking at it closely.

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    Once you confirm that those are bees, you can set up a trap on where the bees are hiding. For this method, you can use a wire cone and to trap the main entrance and exit point of the bees. Just make sure that there are no other spots for them to go. Leave the cone placed on and wait for most of the bees to come out, then once they're out, put pesticide on the whole to kill the queen and the remaining brood. You can also use aerosol pesticides, but you have to make sure that you cover yourself well before you spray it on. Pray the pesticides on all entry and exit points during the night, when the bees are most likely resting but you should be aware that the pesticides only kill the ones that get directly hit by the aerosol spray If you see the bees on a tree outside your home, you can carefully cut off the branch that has them, and bring them to a secluded place where no one will get stung. These methods are easier said and done, and we have to warn you that this is a difficult method. It's also dangerous. So make sure that you do lots of research on how to do it correctly and check online for a helpful site to see the details on how to safely remove the bees on your own. If you feel that bee removal is something that you cannot do on your own, and then you can go for the bee keepers and bee removers. Some companies offer both services, so it's a good idea to do comparisons of pricing first before you go for a specific bee service company.


    For bee removal and bee keeping, you can go for Tustin Bee Removal Service and Bee Control Experts. They have major services that can effectively remove bees. If you don't want to kill the bees, then you can have them relocated with their bee keeping services. For more information, contact them today to find out how their services work and to know how your home will be free from live bees today.

     

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