Category Archive: Enviroment

  1. Norway Stops Deforestation

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    Everybody is aware just how much deforestation is damaging our planet, and Norway has become the first country in the world to ban this activity. On the 26th May 2016, the Norwegian Parliament pledged to its people and the world that any future government land procurement will be totally deforestation free.

    The Policy

    This policy lays out the many restrictions the Norwegians are placing on deforestation to eradicate it from Norway, and it is hoped that other nations will take note and follow their lead.

    The policy goes deeper in its detail, no product that contributes to deforestation will be used in any Nordic country. This is in line with the Action Plan on Nature Diversity. The Norwegian government decided to ratify this decision after being lobbied by the Rainforest Foundation Norway that worked tirelessly for years to bring this momentous decision a reality. A spokesman for Rainforest Foundation Norway, Nils Ranum commented over the last few years, a number of companies have committed to stop buying goods that are linked to the destruction of the rainforest.

    A Giant Step for Mankind  

    The pledge by Norway is just another example how this deep thinking and responsible country is leading the world in such matters. It is a shining example for other nations to follow their policies and to stop the destruction of the world’s rainforests.

    Norway also has been getting involved to help Guyana, and they have given two hundred and fifty million dollars to protect the South American country’s beleaguered forests. This payment was done with the collaboration of the United Nations under the initiative to reduce the emissions that occur when there is deforestation. It is interesting that the focus has been on Guyana as the country does not have a severe deforestation problem unlike some of its near neighbors.

    The Case for Banning Deforestation

    The earth is covered by thirty percent of forest, they are in effect the lungs of our world. The forests produce the earth’s oxygen and filters out harmful carbon dioxide. The forests are also home to unique bio-diversities and groups of peoples.

    All this is in critical danger as man cuts down the forests for economic gain. According to the World Wildlife Fund over one and a half million people rely on the forests of the world to provide food and shelter, but still around fifty thousand square miles of forest are destroyed every year. To put this into context that is roughly fifty football fields every sixty seconds.

    The contribution that deforestation has on the Earth’s greenhouse and gas emissions is estimated at around fifteen percent. This is absolutely massive and cannot be allowed to continue. But deforestation does not just affect climate change, it endangers natural habitats and can disrupt natural life cycles.

    This can be seen by the number of endangered species of animals that are now on critical lists. Once gone these creatures can never reappear on our planet. Norway has shown the world how it should behave and have taken the lead in deforestation.

  2. How Can You Alter Your Carbon Footprint?

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    Everybody is aware the danger the planet is under from pollution, and it is a totally self-made problem. It is mankind that produces pollution and is damaging the earth and its atmosphere to highly dangerous levels. Most people ignore their own contribution to the problem, and just think that it is major industries that have to curb their ways.

    But have you ever stopped to think what you can do to help the situation? Here are some tips that can help to reduce your own carbon footprint and contribute to making the world a better place to live.

    Eat Less Meat

    Above all, the single most effective way of reducing your carbon footprint is to stop eating meat. The greenhouse gases that are emitted from agri-businesses are a larger problem than fossil fuels. Red meat production consumes over ten times more water and produces twenty percent more emissions than poultry production.

    Just a single pound of beef consumes five thousand gallons of water, and the industry is the number one consumer or water in the world.

    Unplug Electric Devices

    Many people just turn off their TV by the remote handset or leave their devices plugged into the socket but are not aware that energy is still being sucked out even if the device is powered down. This is termed as vampire power, and it causes the consumption of almost twenty billion dollars of energy each and every year. Just leave all your devices unplugged when not in use, and this will definitely help your carbon footprint.

    Drive Less

    Leave the car at home and take the bus, and this will dramatically cut the emissions from engines. There are more and more bike lanes popping up in towns and cities encouraging citizens to take up pedal power and cycle to work. As well as being much better for the environment your health will also improve.

    Choose Organic and Local

    When you are considering what to eat think about where the food is coming from, and as a rule of thumb opt for the food that is reared or grown the nearest to where you live. Just imagine the energy that is wasted and the pollution caused by importing foods.

    If goods have to be loaded on ships, planes, trains, and lorries for consumption then this is a total nightmare. All along the journey the produce must remain refrigerated so that it does not spoil, and to keep it from degrading additives are also added.

    Whilst you are thinking along the lines of eating locally also avoid processed foods. Foods that have been packaged and processed are often really bad for your health. Big food plants are major producers of pollution, and many processed products are causing obesity and disease. It is far better to select whole foods and produce that has been organically grown.

    Not only will they be better for the environment, and healthier they also taste much better than their processed counterparts. Adopting one or two of these tips will dramatically improve your own carbon footprint, and who knows may contribute to a healthier and longer life.

  3. Will the World Ever Stop Using Fossil Fuels?

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    Fossil fuels cause major environmental problems that had previously not been recognized. We now know that using it has dire consequences for the planet. (more…)

  4. How Plastic Waste Ruins the Planet

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    The war against plastic started around 50 years ago. Even back then people realized that it is one of the most dangerous types of waste we produce. Now we see more and more policies being introduced all over the planet to reduce our consumption and to penalize its use. The bad effects can be seen in our daily lives and something has to be done. There are many people and governments that are fighting for this but not many people fully understand why plastic is so harmful. We have listed some of the main reasons why plastic debris is ruining the planet in order to help you better understand this danger.

    Danger to Marine Life

    Principally, large amounts of plastic waste hurts marine life by interfering with the normal life of these species. We have seen countless cases of fish and water mammals that have choked to death on bottles or straws. In other cases, we have seen plastic pile up on the beaches where many sea birds have their nesting areas. This is a tragedy because there are more and more endangered species every year due to our lack of understanding and respect for nature.

    Waves of floating garbage also hinders small fish from following their usual migration routes. This interferes with the normal ocean ecosystem and leads to the death of many other species that are dependent to these small types of fish.

    Micro Plastic

    Another type of plastic that is actually harming us directly is micro plastic. These are a type of sphere commonly found in cosmetic products all over the world and that, more often than not, end up in the water. They are very bad because they are ingested directly by fish and other types of water species. As they can’t be digested, they end up in the flesh of these species, and then on our plates. Curiously, these particles are also found in the air; from evaporated water or thrown up from large dumping grounds and they are one of the main reasons for airway irritations in urban areas. In fact, they are the source of the worst lung and airway irritation by any allergen and are particularly dangerous for children.

    Toxic Effects

    Plastic is also extremely toxic. It is produced artificially and is well-known as a magnet for other toxic compounds. Once in the water, it slowly decomposes releasing potent toxins that are very harmful for the fish and other smaller marine wildlife that are crucial to the well-being of our ecosystem.  Whether in the soil or on the ground, the effect is the same – plastic causes plants to stop growing and so no matter where it is dumped, the impact is disastrous to say the least.

    This material is a source of toxins that is slowly poisoning the marine life. We can see this in the deaths of various animals and the rising sea temperatures. Pieces of this non-biodegradable material are some of the deadliest types of waste found in the water, directly interfering with marine life and killing our precious seas.

  5. Why Our Oceans Need Cleaning

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    Nature around us is extremely beautiful but also very sensitive to changes. Humans are, unfortunately, the main source of contamination and so we need to fight to keep the planet as clean as possible. Most of our waste goes directly into the water, harming the seas and oceans and the life within them. There are many organizations that fight for marine life and for its well-being, but many people don’t really understand why it is so necessary. Here are several reasons and explanations for why the oceans should be kept clean.

    Protect the Fish

    First of all, the ocean is the home of some of the rarest species on the planet. There are many species of fish, mammals and turtles that can only live in saltwater. Too much dirt and pollution are life-threatening for these animals. Plastic poses another great problem for these rare specimens – waste usually becomes microplastic that is deadly for most small animals as they mistake it for food and die. Just as humans would not be able to thrive in an environment full of smoke and volatile chemicals, marine life cannot thrive in dirty, waste-filled waters.

    The ocean is the basis of the food chain. Even if you are not a great fan of fish, you still must be aware of the ocean´s vital role on the planet and in our lives. For example, polluted waters that are full of plastic and waste don’t evaporate as well as clean water, which leads to lack of rain in very distant areas.  There are many small indigenous communities that rely on fish production; pollution of the ocean will plummet these small, vulnerable groups into hunger and poverty. It is of note that unclean waters lead to many diseases and an accumulation of heavy metals, like lead and mercury, in fish and other water mammals.

    This can also have an adverse effect on us when we consume them. The high toxicity in fish can provoke many illnesses that are very difficult to diagnose and treat. Sadly, this has even lead to neurological problems in small children. The solution is simple – keep the waters clean so that fish remain healthy and we can maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

    Safeguard the Birds

    Polluted waters not only affect fish and humans, but also many bird species that live on the shore. There are far too many pictures of birds that have died due to large pieces of plastic that have choked them or they have mistaken for food. This causes a great imbalance in the ecosystems that later lead to the extinction of other land animals and species.

    The animal world is very sensitive, and this is why even a small change can snowball to an ecological disaster hundreds of miles away from the original change. The oceans are some of the most dynamic and precious ecosystems on the planet and our indifference to its plight is destroying it.  We must keep it clean so that we can have a better planet for us, our future generations and for the animals.

  6. How to Be Eco-friendlier in Your Day to Day Life

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    Being Eco-friendly is one of the best and healthiest trends of the last few years. Many people that have come to the realization that we are the main source of pollution and that we must change our habits in order to preserve the planet for ourselves and future generations. The governments of many states have already started to implement Eco-friendly policies but the truth is that we all have to contribute by making small changes in our daily lives. They may seem insignificant, but they ultimately have a huge impact.

    Reduce Waste

    The main source of pollution today is waste. We are producing so much waste that dumping grounds can’t handle it anymore. The processes used to destroy refuse is extremely harmful for the environment because it usually consists of burning everything, releasing toxins into the atmosphere. A good step in the right direction is to buy products made from recycled materials. One of the best examples is the travel coffee cup most of us use every day. Try switching to one made from recycled materials and carry it around with you. When you go to the coffee shop you ask them to fill it directly instead of using a single-use cup. The same principle applies to water bottles. Buy a durable water can, preferably made of recycled plastic and use that one. You will prevent a lot of waste and you will also have water with you at all times.

    Preserve Water

    While you are brushing your teeth turn on the water only when you really need it. And who doesn’t love a hot bath? They are very relaxing but, in the interest of water conservation, try to have one as seldom as possible. One bath consumes hundreds of liters of water that is usually not reused and goes directly into the ground and then into water sources. Switch to short showers instead and try buying some Eco-friendly toilets that consume much less water than regular ones.

    Travel Wisely

    Transportation is another source of pollution. We are too dependent on our cars and this is so detrimental to nature. Try carpooling with some of your neighbors or co-workers if your workplace is too far away to bike to or you can use public transportation. Biking is the best option, however, as not only is it completely Eco-friendly, it is also an exceptional workout.

    Eat Smart

    Food is something we don’t consider too much when talking about saving the environment, but the food industry is actually one of the most harmful. A lot of products have to be transported for hundreds of miles to get to your plate. Instead, try buying locally sourced fruits and vegetables in season.  This is the best choice because you will get better quality food while helping local farmers. There are many places in which you can find markets with a huge variety of fruit and vegetables and it is also fun to go shopping there.

  7. Eco-Friendly Electronics

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    Technology is advancing at an ever-increasing pace and we know that we can expect new and innovative gadgets to come out very quickly. Today though, many of these new products are being designed to be more ecologically friendly. This is because product developers and innovators have finally recognized the importance of the environmental movement and many consumers care more about the impact a product has on the climate.

    The effect of an electronic device on the environment includes not only the raw materials that it is made of but also the amount of energy it uses. An energy efficient device will also translate to a lower electricity bill which is something that would be very attractive to any consumer and is also a thing that most manufacturers are striving for.

    Rechargeable Batteries

    An example of an eco-friendly product that most everyone will benefit from is the USBCell rechargeable batteries. These AA batteries have a USB port which allows them to be recharged using a computer. This reduces waste and will help stop the number of batteries being thrown out each year. Batteries are very harmful to the environment, so this is a major step towards reducing our impact on the environment. Goal Zero’s Nomad 13 is a portable solar panel which will charge your laptop computer, phone or lights. The disadvantage is that people living in countries where there is little sunlight will probably not be able to use it as much.

    Eco-Friendly Computers

    Some companies are now also designing eco-friendly computers. In fact, Asus and Lenovo are at the forefront of this movement and are committed to manufacturing laptops and tablets that use organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) instead of the usual LEDs. These types of lights use up much less energy than regular LEDs, which makes these devices even more energy efficient.

    Instead of buying a computer keyboard made of plastic you can buy one made out of bamboo. Bamboo is a plant which grows quickly and easily and is adaptable to many different climates. You can buy the iZen Bluetooth bamboo keyboard for your PC online.

    Energy Efficient Devices

    Today many electronic devices are more energy efficient than their predecessors. For instance, an LCD television set is far more energy efficient than the old cathode ray types. A further advancement is that LED lighting for television is being investigated so as to make these new sets even more energy efficient. Many electronics factories are being more careful about how much waste they produce. For example, Sharp factories recycle all the water that they use when making their products. Computers today are thinner than in the past which means less material is used to make them, which is also a reason why they can be considered to be more eco-friendly than previous models.

    Some computer companies are investigating ways to use less harmful materials to produce their computers. This means that computers release fewer toxic substances if they do end up in a landfill. Many businesses are also accepting old computers to recycle which also helps in the drive to have eco-friendly electronics.

  8. Politics and Environment

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    The environmental movement started more than a century ago when people started to realize that our interference is actually hurting the nature. There were many major names that fought for the well-being of the wild animals and one of the most famous of them was the American president Teddy Roosevelt. Ever since, the battle for a better and safer environment was usually fought by some brave individuals and NGOs that tried to make a better world for tomorrow. But the truth is that without the support of a government, the battle of a few is futile. This is why the environmental battle was soon moved from the forests and oceans to the rooms of the governmental buildings and in the parliament.

    Working Together

    We first realized the necessity of a common work when the first evidence about the Ozone Hole appeared sometimes in the 50s. In that moment various governments realized that it is no longer a problem of some polluting states and factories and that it should be a common battle. That is the moment when the production process started to be regulated by the federal laws and the first international meetings began to take place. There were many problems in putting many nations together because they started to blame each other for the environmental impact.

    The first major international meeting happened during the 90s in Rio de Janeiro where almost all the countries on the planet met to decide some common rules to protect the planet. This is the time when politics started to use the environmental change more and more during the campaign and speeches. We see that some of the laws like the CO2 emission regulations for cars are adopted by many countries in order to make a better future. The idea started at the activists, but it took the political power to really implement it.

    Modern Advancements

    We see that nowadays there are more and more countries that fight for the environment and the citizens start to look more and more to the politicians that propose laws and regulations that would protect the nature. The problem is when politics has other targets. We see that major changes usually happened in developed countries because they had enough funds for major infrastructure projects and that they had negotiation power with the polluting factory owners. Countries that are still developing have to sometimes let go of the environmental battle for the immediate wellness of the citizens.

    But this thing is also changing and the best time to see it was the 2016 Paris summit in which American companies granted special credits for India in order to have better sustainable energy sources. This is a very good example that politics play a major role in the global environment change and that the majority of the work is now done at the negotiating table. Politics will always play a major role in the environmental movement and vice-versa. People realized the importance of a change and they now choose candidates by taking the environment battle into count too.