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Everything posted by armadillo

  1. In this thread you find out how many(really many) things you can do to save the planet and we also encourage you to write your ideas,little secrets of how to save energy/recycle etc So,let's get this started! RECYCLE -Find out where the closest recycle bins to your house are,and fix your schedules in order to visit them on regular basis -Use different bags to throw your recyclable garbage and place them near the usual bin,in order to avoid the temptation of throwing them in it. -Even the smallest pieces of paper should be recycled,so have a bag for paper near your desk all the time PLANTS -Never plant plants during hot seasons,they need more water in order to grow roots. -If you live in a dry country remember that a layer of leaves on the ground keeps it more wet,so less water is needed. -Choose plants that need small amounts of water to live..cactuses and other plants are also very attractive! -Water the plants at very early or late hours,to prevent water evaporation Waiting for your ideas!!Don't hesitate,we need to know!!
  2. Icebergs and Global Warming

    It is a fact that global warming affects the icebergs in a most dramatic way. The greenhouse effect is to be blamed, as it is the cause of global warming. How does that make the sea level rise? Well first of all when water is heated it expands. But also since an iceberg is 99% ice it starts to melt as soon as the temperature is over 0 degrees, making it just too easy for the icebergs to start melting. Icebergs are huge, the largest one is 12,000 cubic miles. So, if you were to melt it you would get an awful lot of water. Also there are many, many icebergs on earth, so if all of them melted you would have millions of gallons of water. Icebergs won't melt completely, but enough to make the sea level rise quite a bit. Scientists used to say that by the end of the century the sea may have risen up to three centimetres. That didn’t sound a lot, but it really is. And now, scientists have started to realise that their first calculation was far too positive for our case, since nothing is done to stop global warming and the process of melting ice becomes quicker and quicker. Think how much ocean there is. Well, think with all of that water you add on another three centemeters worth. A lot isn't it? In three hundred years it is thought that the sea will have risen three to four meters! So what if the sea is rising so much? Think about what will happen if the sea level rises. The water isn't just going to fall off the earth. There is no place to put extra water in the sea,so it will have to go onto the land. Think about what a map will look like in, say the year 2500. There will probably be a tiny dot for each continent. Or will it? If you think one step further you will realize that might not be, because there are only a certain amount of icebergs in the world so once they have melted, there will be nothing left to melt. Nevertheless there will be an awful lot of water on the earth. People already know what should be done to avoid this tragedy. A tragedy that doesn’t affect only humans (who would actually deserve it because of all the bad things they do to earth) but each and every living organism. These two last decades more than 50 species suddenly were found to be endangered. Those who were already known to be endangered face a really high possibility of extinction. People have to understand that making money shouldn’t be their main concern. That protecting the environment is in fact their protection. If this article made you one of those people that know what they have to do, check this link for more stuff: There are many ways of finding up ways to save our earth, but the real challenge is to do all those tips tell us to... Image Credit: Public Domain. Suggested Credit: Courtesy: National Science Foundation [via Flickr].
  3. How can we improve this community?

    I love the phone idea too I just find the backround a bit tiring,I know it's totally irrelevant,but sometimes my eyes hurt when the backround is so maybe a light grey or green could be applied? but it's an awesome job Simon,and congrats for all the posts already :D
  4. so happy to see this forum growing again :D

  5. Hej! I am the very first user on this forum

    I wanna be a seed Hi everyone! :D
  6. hej hej! :)

    Nice to be here again, great work Simon! I missed talking green :)

  7. Rainforests and deforestation

    Inside the Rainforest - Cape Tribulation - Queensland - Australia. Photo: Rob Inh00d. Tropical rainforests have the largest biodiversity of all ecosystems on Earth. The soil is rather poor, but it sustains a great variety of plants. It is estimated that 65% of the known plant species are found in rainforests. During the past three decades, rainforests have been decreasing in size for various reasons, though all of them are connected with human activities. Human populations living near rainforests had the impression that the soil must have been really fertile, as it could sustain such a variety of plants. So, when human started to need more fields for cultivation, they choose rainforests' earth, and thus they set big fires to get rid of big trees and to obtain space. By the time it was understood that the soil wasn't suitable for agriculture, many square kilometres of rainforests had already gone. Apart from agricultural reasons, the rainforests are cut down in order to provide wood. Most of the paper, toilet paper or furniture manufactured nowadays is based on wood from tropical rainforests. Deforestation also takes place in order to extend cities and build roads. Increasing human needs, due to overpopulation, lead to mass deforestations all over the globe. The pace with which it's been done is so high, that every year an area of the size of half Greece is lost. 50 years ago rainforests would cover double the area they do today. Thousands of species, whether they are animals or plants become extinct and even more face extinction. Humanity also depends on rainforests. A variety of building materials, food (bananas, vanilla, coffee), and even caoutchouk come from rainforests. Medical science, from the ancient times till today, also depends on substances from plants that grow there. Quinine, a range of medicine against pain and stress are only some examples of medicine that require substances from rainforests in order to be manufactured. Nowadays, 20% of the medicines found in pharmacies are produced by the use of plants from rainforests. Researchers have studied less than the 2% of the 100,000 species of plants that grow in rainforests, and are sure that most of them can be really useful in medicine or other fields. Though most of them point out that ''potentials for the future are endless, as long as scientists and pharmacologists reach the rainforests before chainsaws...'' And let us not forget that rainforests produce oxygen. Tropical rainforests produce 40% of Earth's oxygen. Cutting them down means that oxygen levels decrease, while less CO2 is absorbed by plants and thus increases in the atmosphere, causing the green-house effect. Humanity has to re-examine its needs and reduce them, so that less quantities of substances from rainforests are used. We have to set limits on our activities, otherwise those huge forests will one day belong to history.
  8. Overpopulation

    Six billion people. That's the current human population on Earth, and the highest ever reached as well. Things start to get cramped in the cities, while there is everywhere a noticeable depressing atmosphere due to having too many people around, whether that's in a traffic jam, in shops, at public services etc. The number of six billion human lives would never have been reached if it wasn't for fossil fuels. The energy sent by the sun and received by the Earth every day could ever sustain more than two billion people. Fossil fuels combine a sort of energy saved below the surface of the planet, now extracted by humans to use this energy and cover their needs. And with all needs easily covered, humanity was and is able to rise in population. But there is a great difference of four billion people between the number of humans the planet can sustain and the number of humans existing, a fact that has a bad impact on the Earth. Using fossil fuels releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And since there are so many people on Earth, there are more and more gas emissions. All this leads to global warming, climate change and pollution in general. Even if overpopulation didn't cause environmental problems of that kind, there are other consequences to be taken into account. And that's because all these people need accommodation, private space, public areas and services, fields and farms to produce food. All this space needed is taken from ecosystems, mostly by deforestrating large areas. This act alone is enough to reduce the amount of oxygen produced by plants, and the space that natural habitats used to cover.
  9. Travel Green: Manual 3

    Photo credit: muha... This post is an continuation of Travel Green: Manual 1 and Manual 2. Opt for green: Whether it is a hotel or a tour operator, its environmental initiatives should be codified as policy, thus proving its sensitivity about limiting its impact on the environment. Also, appreciation or concern about a company’s environmental efforts should be expressed either by a comment card or by sending a letter or e-mail to the manager. Generally, companies of all kinds should notice that tourists care about nature and are concerned about the green policy of their choices. The more the demand for greener tourism, the more will industries and companies adopt greener policies. Public means of transport: It is fairly more difficult than using them in your own country or area, but it is highly recommended. Not only do they minimize your environmental footprint, but also allow you to see a place from the perspective of the locals. Eat locally: Enjoying the drinks and foods of each destination is actually a greener holiday. Apart from bringing you closer to the local people and their culture, it also helps reduce emissions caused by shipping food around the globe. It also boosts local economy, helping the locals develop their area’s eco-tourism. At the hotel: Make your own bed and notify the maids not to change your sheets daily, as it’s most often not needed. In that way you reduce water, energy and detergent use. That is, if your hotel does not already have a linen reuse programme. Shoot digital: Digital cameras require far fewer chemicals and less paper, plus you can delete unwanted shots. Remember to always use rechargeable batteries. Clean green: Use biodegradable, phosphorous-free soap and shampoo when camping or cruising to avoid adding damaging chemicals to oceans, lakes and rivers. REMEMBER: Phosphorous is one of the main chemicals that leads to eutrophication in marine ecosystems, causing their living organisms to suffocate.
  10. Eutrophication

    There are many environmental problems caused by human but not widely known. One of them is eutrophication. This phenomenon cannot be entirely characterised as water pollution, as it mostly describes the process of too many plants growing in lakes, rivers and sometimes in the sea. When household and industrial wastes are disposed into the water, they increase the quantity of germs in it. Germs threaten the health of the organisms living in the water, drinking it or feeding on organisms that live in it. Moreover, huge quantities of nitric and phosphoric salts enter the ecosystem. Phytoplankton, the tiniest sea organisms that can photosynthesize and depend highly on those salts, start to grow in population at top speed, consuming oxygen. As a result, zooplankton which feeds on phytoplankton starts to increase in numbers, again consuming oxygen and producing carbon dioxide. After some time, during which those small organisms continue to consume oxygen and produce larger amounts of carbon dioxide, there is not enough oxygen to sustain bigger organisms, like fish, who actually die of suffocation. Lakes are the most usual ecosystems harmed by eutrophication. Oxygen cannot be easily diminished in the sea, and the movement of the water in rivers transfer the salts else where. The most common sign of eutrophication is the waters having a deep green colour. And as human wastes increase, ecosystems become more fragile and their living organisms more vulnerable to suffocation. Consequently, one of our first priorities, as far as those ecosystems is concerned, is to find alternative ways of removing our industrial and household waste, so that it doesn't end up in the water. The top priority, needless to say, is to reduce those wastes.
  11. Travel Green: Manual 2

    Photo credit: moonjazz Riding personal watercrafts is generally a not recommended choice. They pollute the air and water, but if used with care, they can be relatively harmless. Since they go in areas inaccessible for larger boats, they can damage fragile marine habitats. However, they can be ridden in a way that is negligible in terms of ecosystem damage, provided it’s in a controlled environment. Riding ATVs is also accepted under specific rules. ATVs pollute and tear up the terrain, but are sometimes still the only way to get out into the wilderness. The key is to be respectful of your surroundings and not to disturb wildlife. Always ride on proper trails to avoid harming fragile habitats. Fishing: Deep sea fishing is less preferred than catch-and-release. Generally, fish caught on a line is considered sustainable. Obey regulations regarding the season and size of the catch, and remember that many boats burn a lot of fuel and create air and water pollution. It should be done in moderation or not at all, and never just for a wall mount. On the other hand, catch-and-release fishing is a fine way to get in tune with nature while leaving a relatively small footprint. Nevertheless, be very cautious with the fish so they are able to survive the release, and of course, use barbless hooks. Remember that catch and release should be practiced only on non-threatened species. In the same way, hunting is a controversial subject. Good hunters have been among the first conservationists because they have been in tune with nature. Meanwhile, licensed hunting can be a responsible way to control the populations of animals that no longer have natural predators. This becomes more and more often as species become extinct. It is crucial to hunt by the rules, while maintaining an emphasis on habitat conservation. This post is an continuation of Travel Green: Manual 1.
  12. Travel Green: Manual 1

    Photo credit: Joshua Davis ( Just as even the longest journey starts with one step, the salvation of the planet can start with one person: you. Each person that wants to be an eco- conscious traveller has to respect nature and seek for ways to reduce impact on it. That is achieved by making responsible choices and knowing well that just a few easy steps can make a big difference. Fly nonstop: Planes burn the most fuel on takeoff and landing. That means that a long haul flight that takes you straight to your destination emits less CO2 than short haul flights. For the same destination, a long haul flight may burn up to two-thirds less CO2 than short haul flights. Use airport restrooms: Flushing an airplane toilet at 9,144 metres above the ground uses almost a quarter of a litre of fuel- enough to drive about 9,650 metres. So you should make sure that you use the airport’s restrooms before each flight. Don’t fly at night: according to a study by the University of Reading, clouds created by contrails trap more heat in the atmosphere at night than they do during the day. Thus flights during the day are less harmful than flights at night, concerning global warming. Cruising: Cruising allows you to bring a lot of people into an area, without creating the environmental footprint required to house and feed them. However, large cruise ships could still be harmful to the environment if they are not new generation ships- with technology complying with the newly established strict standards, guaranteeing energy efficiency and effective waste management- and if they cruise in ports located near coral or other sensitive marine life. Thus, you should choose to travel on small cruise ships which carry less than 100 passengers. They are generally less threatening to fragile environments. On the other hand, sailboats are the best way to go, if they are actually under sail. In general, there is room for improvement in this industry in making sure that small boats take care of wastewater responsibly.
  13. German engineers have devised a way of tugging merchant vessels along with huge, computer steered kites, known as Skysails, that catch the ocean winds. It marks the beginning of a revolution in the way that ships are powered. The sails are calculated to be able to reduce fuel consumption by 30-50 per cent,depending on the wind conditions. The system could be applied to about 60000 vessels out of the 100000 listed in the Lloyd's register. Orders are already coming in ranging from trawlers to a super-yacht. If the world fleet is equipped with sails, it is calculated that 142 million tones of CO2 could be saved per year! The sails, made of an ultralight synthetic fibre,are shot up as much as 300m into the sky. They are linked to the ship by a single cordand and are steered by an automatic pilot. Acomputer console on the bridge feeds in data on wind strength and direction. A track running around the ship allows the kites to move and scoop up the wind from every direction. It seems to be a good start to reduce CO2 emissions, since merchant ships produce more sulphur dioxide than all the cars and lorries on the planet. They also generate about 27% of the world's nitrogen oxide emissions. If this new method is improved within a short period of time, humanity will be one step closer to saving the world... Image credit: Tidewater Muse. Image licensed under a Creative-Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works license.
  14. Soil Contamination

    Soil covers most of the surface of the Earth's land. It occurred after the erosion of rocks, due to strong winds, water, ice and due to the activity of living organisms. Soil is usually suitable for plants and small organisms to grow and live. However, human activities have altered the natural soil environment of many areas, making it hostile to organisms. Humanity deposits many toxic substances under the ground. Most of those are radioactive materials, pesticides, heavy metals and other kind of poisonous wastes. Even if they are first deposited in lakes, rivers or the sea, waters transfer most of them in the soil, when the latter absorbs water. It happens the other way round as well, as chemicals within soil are transferred with the rain into marine ecosystems. Soil contamination is as a serious problem as any other form of pollution, but it was discovered later than them. Although it is connected with water pollution, the procedure is slow, and at first not even plants show any difference to point out pollution. If not stopped in time, it leads to desertification and destruction of the whole ecosystem. Many species lose their habitat, face extinction, or accumulate toxic substances in their body and become infected and poisonous for their predators.
  15. Acid Rain and How to Fight it

    The accurate term for this phenomenon is acid precipitation,as it does not only occur with rain. When saying acid rain, we generally refer to the deposition of acidic components in rain, snow, fog, dew, even to dry particles. The rain is always a bit acid, due to the excistence of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere. When it exists in small quantities, it reacts with water to produce carbonic acid, which is weak and harmless. So, clean or unpolluted rain has a slightly acidic pH of 5.6 (having grade 7 as neutral) However, this is not the case when we talk about acid rain. Human activities have increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (term for gases that cause the greenhouse effect) primarily sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides. Those,with water in the air,react to form strong acids (sulfuric and nitric acids) which are not at all harmless. On the contrary they are the ones to be blamed for every catastrophe acid rain cause. But how can we stop this phenomenon? The human activities mentioned before do not only include the large industries and factories, but each and every citizen. Wanting to stop acid rain and all its concequences,people have to reduce their carbon dioxide and other emissions. From the most important ones, like stop using cars, to the slightly blamed, like stop covering walls with graffities, we know what to do and we have to do it now. Image credit: Cm195902. Image licensed under a Creative-Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.
  16. Hej hej :D

    No, not in Portugal yet. It's in two weeks exactly

    Where have you been,I never see you on msn..


  17. loves the new design

  18. The Sexiest PETA Ads Of All Time!

    Now this is very interesting. I think it does draw attention..err, not only to the picture but to the meaning as well. We do have to try all ways to make people notice what's going on anyways
  19. Happy Midsummer Everyone!

    Happy Midsummer!! :cute: We dont actually celebrate it here, it's not a popular day... No kind of tradition to celebrate it. :/ Hope you all have a great time whatever you do ^^
  20. Who is Greener?

    Dont be so sure A woman may be greener when it comes to CO2 emissions, but she is definitely worse when it comes to animal treatment. Buying so many cosmetics make most brands abuse animals in the worst of ways, to ensure that their products are successful. Cosmetic demand on the market makes expectations rise, and to meet those expectations, brands try endless new methods and materials.. Just imagine how many animals have been abused to have the 'Top eye-wrinkle vanisher of the year'...
  21. People definitely depend on oil and their cars. I think we can't hope that we will totally wean off oil any day soon. So talking about using means of transport is, for now, a more realistic hope, but still very difficult. Those who dont own a car can clearly see how addicted others can be. I have friends who can't go to the city centre by bus anymore, while two years ago it was perfectly easy and normal in their minds. Cars change people, they make them a kind of 'comformists'. They hate waiting at the bus stop, they hate a crowded metro etc etc. And once they have started using a car, it's very difficult to make them stop. SUV's are a nightmare, and fast cars too.. And governments dont help much, at least here. They dont improve the public means of transport to persuade citizens to use them.
  22. Who is Greener?

    Wow, fun topic. Which sex is greener... Well women usually have a more sensitive nature, and that may make them try more about the planet. But they also tend to buy all those magazines and cosmetics. Magazines mean that more energy is wasted, while cosmetics usually mean animal abuse.. However, men tend to be very fond of cars and speeding up, and they also make pointless purchases often. They seem to be less organised in trying to contribute, like recycling.
  23. How green is nuclear power?

    Nuclear power maybe green, but only if used in the right way. We should add the question 'and how dangerous?' next to 'how green'. One small mistake or misuse can end up to much worse problems and catastrophies than conservative sources of energy cause.
  24. Funniest/Weirdest anti science/climate comment!

    Loool! That's silly! I agree with Onlygreennogray, why did he need a hat? Did you actually reply to that one Simon?
  25. Travel Green: Manual 1

    Aw,thanks for using my article as a thread Sailing is indeed the best way to go, when it comes to sea travelling.