samwins

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About samwins

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  1. Do you have any idea how many cigarette butts are littered in Australia each year? Billions. Those small things, combined together, have some serious impact on the environment around us. Let’s see how. For starters the cigarette smoke contains about 4000 chemicals, and every second the butt is alight those toxins are released in the environment. Another problem, that carelessly flicked cigarettes cause, are fires. But the true problem is caused by the material the butts are made from. The filters are made from cellulose acetate which causes a lot of problems, when not disposed properly. Now imagine what happens with all those billions of cigarette butts, when it starts raining for instance. They are washed off the streets and alleys to the nearest water reservoir or even worse the ocean, where the toxins from the filters poison the water. And that could be deadly for the marine life. And do you know how long does it take for one cigarette butt to break down entirely – up to 12 months. But in water that period is much longer – it could take up to 5 year. Can you imagine that?! And each year new cigarette butts are added to the pile, again and again. Cigarette butts could be mistakenly eaten by some of the sea animals, there are cases when cigarette butts are being found in the stomach system of birds and fishes. The chemicals contain in the cigarette filter ( lead and cadmium) could leach in the water. There are plenty more ways in which the cigarette butts affect the nature. What can you do in order to prevent all that from happening and preserve the environment. According to Paul's cleaning team in Melbourne, there's nothing easier that leading a green lifestyle. Dispose the cigarette butts the proper way not by flicking them wherever you like. Use ashtrays. It’s only a small step, but if everyone take it you will see how big impact it could have.
  2. It seems like Melbourne is on its way to become world's best city for living not only for people, but for trees too. The council's tree-saving program is showing growing numbers in its five year account. More people feel compelled to take part in the noble initiative as volunteers. The ambitious plan to revive the city's "urban forest" seems to be working to the fullest. Trees' numbers and diversity on Melbourne streets is growing and the benefits of it will be effective very soon, according to the prognosis. Five years ago the city was facing total loss of its trees due to the long periods of drought. In fact, it was on the edge of a complete loss of the "urban forest". Thanks to the joined efforts of Lord mayor Robert Doyle and city's chief planner Rob Adams back in the hot summer of 2009, the trees were watered and saved. However, many of the trees in Melbourne are ageing, and suffering from the consequences of lack of soil moisture. Since 2009 the city council is making yearly plans for optimising and growing the urban forest throughout Melbourne. In the past year, for example, the city planted 3000 trees in the time between April and October. There are also steps being taken for better care of the trees, to reduce their damage and improve their growth. Also, a thorough data base was created to follow the development of the urban forest. You can even check it out for yourself on this interactive map. It shows on which streets of Melbourne there are dying or damaged trees, where there are newly planted, young trees, as well as what type of trees they are. But of course, part of the council's strategy is to implement diversity in the “tree population” of the city with the intention of each tree species to represent no more than five percent of the urban forest in each municipality. The prognosis of the future of Melbourne's trees looks somewhat dim. It's predicted that forty percent of the tree population will die out by 2030. However, there is some hope left that the city will manage to elude an irreversible tree crisis with the timely measures of the council. To brighten things up, since the beginning of the urban forest saving program in 2010, 12,000 new trees have been planted on the streets of Victoria's capital, and 1.2 hectares of green space have been created. It's important to remember that each and everyone of us has the responsibility to participate in the efforts to save our nature surroundings. Start small, by keeping your domestic environment clean and eco-friendly, recycle, plant a tree in your back yard, or at least spread the word about the issue. The problems with urban tree population and climate change seem to be deeply interrelated. First, hot weather and drought are one of the main reasons for the decaying condition of the trees (another one is the overpopulation and urban construction, of course). In the mean time, the best way to oppose the consequences of climate change is to have more healthy trees in our cities. This way the air will be of better quality, the condition of soil will improve, and best of all - trees are our best option to cool our cities in the dreaded hot and drought periods.
  3. The easiest form of gardening is the compact and practical indoor herb garden. Normally herbs don't require much attention, apart from some watering every once in a while. And the benefits are amazingly delicious culinary sensations (if you CAN cook that is), and also a fresh green accent in your kitchen design. But growing your very own mini-home garden just became even easier, thanks to the self-watering hydroponics system. This is a great solution for all the ever-busy, and hurried people of modern society, but who care for the environment, and are trying to keep to an organic lifestyle. If you consider yourself to be the ultimate plant terminator, then using a self-watering potting system will save your poor greenery, and save you the efforts, and self-accusations after each crumpled and brownish-leaved plant you have to throw away. The mini-garden by ZeroSoil Gardens, comes in two compartments, so you can grow different kinds of plants, flowers, and herbs. Its structure is designed in a way which prevents any spilling of soil when you move the fancy pots. This is why local movers in Melbourne claim the system is also quite popular and ideal for office spaces, and right on top of kitchen countertops, where a muddy mess is undesirable. What's more the design of the pots is white and sleek, which makes them a subtle addition to any interior (both at home and at the office). The self-watering hydroponics system has its very own low-water and low-battery indicators. Which means that every once in a while, when the indicator light is on, you have to fill up its water container. And then you can forget about the whole thing again. The pots come with an integrated organic and nutrient-rich formula, which automatically feeds the plants. The fancy pots are also perfect for a gift to any flower-, herb-, or simple green plant-lover, or a wanna-be green-thumb beginner. For more details visit: http://www.zerosoilgardens.com/shop/zerosoil-mini-indoor-garden/
  4. Nothing completes good design better than impressive, quality flooring. It can reveal a lot about the ideas and inspirations behind the place's general design. This is why, if we aim for an environmentally-friendly space, we have to research the most sustainable options. One such alternative is recycled wood flooring. It is organic, all-natural, and it looks amazingly warm and cosy. And not only that - wood flooring hasn't backed down from the top of the trend wave for years now. However, if you are tired of the sight of wooden floors, you could try recycled carpeting. There is a number of choices on the market these days. The recycled nylon carpets, for example. After some processing, nylon carpets become softer, and also quite pleasing to the eye. In addition, professional carpet cleaners in Melbourne claim recycled synthetic carpeting is easy for upkeep. But here's yet another great design idea. How about you invite the ocean waves inside your living room, or office space, and help saving the ocean environment at the same time. The Net Effect collection by designer David Oakey, integrates used and no longer viable fishing nets in a beautiful and natural-looking design. The fishing nets, which would otherwise turn into waste floating in the oceans and killing massive amounts of water creatures, are used to create carpeting tiles and planks. The gathered nets come from fishing villages on the Pacific Ocean. They are sent to a recycling plant, where mixed with other waste materials, and processed into 100% recycled nylon yarn. The variations of blue colour hues and shapes allow endless combinations to create the perfect ocean view for your indoor space. The patterns even create a slight visual illusion of water movement. It is a lovely way to not only bring the feel of calming nature in your interiors, but also is a statement of sustainable vision and engagement. For more information on the techniques and philosophy behind the Net Effect Collection: http://www.interfaceflor.com.au
  5. Sustainable development is quite the trendy term these days. However, being green at home is not just about recycling or up- and downcycling, it's devoted to using our resources to their fullest. So, what would you say if I told you that about 20% of the food an average household has in it's refrigerator goes bad before it's consumed? Doesn't sound too environmentally-friendly, does it? Despite all the high-tech gadgets we have in our kitchens - refrigerators which will cool your meal instantly, microwaves to heat up the food in seconds, dishwashers which do the dirty work with one push of a button, we still face the same problems our ancestors did - quite a lot of our food goes to waste. Inspired by the creative food preservation techniques used throughout the ages, designer Jihyun Ryou challenges us to reconsider our storage methods. Maybe the giant white box we place fruits, vegetables, dairy products and etc. is as all-mighty as we believe. Based on time-honed storage techniques, Jihyun's food preservation units give a new meaning to the word sustainability. Eggs - Taste & Preservation We all know that an egg shell is fragile. However, what few are familiar with is that it has millions of microscopic holes through which it absorbs not only odours but also substance around it. The next time you tuck the eggs in that oh-so-handy little tray inside the refrigerator door, you might want to consider how your preservation method might impact the taste of the eggs. Jihyun Ryou's neat wall shelf provides the ultimate storage facility - away from other food and unpleasant "fridge" odours. Something better, it offers you the means to test whether the eggs are fresh. When placed in a water container a fresh egg will sink on the bottom while an old one will remain on the surface. Root Vegetables Preservation Which is the reason you most often clean up your fridge? From personal experience, I would have to vote for the slimy mess on the bottom of the appliance. While I prefer to leave this to my cleaning maid as it can get far too messy for me, others are forced to deal with the fridge cleaning, the smells and unknown substances leaking from the vegetable drawer on their own. Jihyun's invention is about to put an end to all of those. His research indicates that when placed in vertical position, carrots, parsnips and celery retain their freshness over a more extended period of time. The sand, on the other hand, balances the humidity and keeps the vegetables upright. Vegetables & Humidity One thing is for certain when it comes to veggies - if they don't look good, they won't taste well either. Once they begin to loose humidity, they wrinkle and shrivel and you have no other choice but to throw them on the compost pile. Now, there is a way to keep them fresh for longer. With the elegant wooden rack with a water tray on the bottom by Jihyun Ryou, you will have fresh peppers, cucumbers and eggplants at any time.
  6. Hello samwins, welcome to Green Blog! :)

    1. samwins

      samwins

      Thank you, Simon! Happy to be here :)