Category Archive: Enviroment

  1. Things That Pollute the Environment You Probably Haven’t Thought About

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    Yes, we are all aware that the environment is in danger. What contributes to it most is the industry, and there is little we can do on an individual level to stop that. No matter how much we want to have a positive impact, it is practically impossible to live without a car, lead a zero-waste lifestyle and stay away completely from consumption if we are to be a part of the society. There are some things, however, that we can do, and since it all starts with tiny steps, let’s take a look at some of our everyday life aspects we probably never considered as something that could have an impact on the environment.

    Toothbrushes

    Who would have thought that this essential tiny thing you keep in your bathroom and use every morning and evening can really do some harm? The dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every three months. That’s around 300 toothbrushes per person over their lifetime, and toothbrushes do not decompose easily, if at all. After all, they are small chucks of plastic. That leaves us with toothbrushes just sitting in landfills, and that amount grows by approximately 50 million pounds every year. But you can help prevent that! Bamboo toothbrushes are emerging as a hugely popular alternative that is fully environmentally friendly and not that much more expensive, if at all. Next time you are in need of a way to keep your teeth clean, remember that the Earth would prefer remaining clean as well!

    Lawnmowers

    It’s not just car engines that run on gasoline and pollute the air in the process. All sorts of smaller scale household and outdoors appliances and tools do the same, and it amounts to a very significant portion of the gasses causing the global warming. So while you might have a hard time finding a way to get to work other than your car, consider whether you really need to mow that perfectly fine lawn once a week or use a chain saw to cut up things that can otherwise be handled with a simple saw.

    Air conditioning

    Those of us who live in the countries where the sun is out and the birds are singing all year round understand the struggle of sitting in house where even breathing seems difficult due to the heat surrounding everything exceptionally well. That way, the wish to have air conditioning is more than understandable – we need an environment in which we could function comfortably. However, if you work in an office or simply use air conditioning for the purpose of circulating the air at home, remember the simple and classic alternative to it, which is opening the window. You’d be surprised how great it feels when a nice breeze comes in through your kitchen window while you’re cooking instead of that air that comes from the conditioner and that is also the reason behind dry skin and sore eyes.

    Air conditioning
    Air conditioning
  2. Who is Greta Thunberg?

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    The environment and climate change movement is facing a new star – a young girl who is challenging the leaders of the biggest countries. Who is she? Well, that girl is 16 years old Greta Thunberg from Sweden who declares herself as a youth activist and has started a worldwide movement to fight climate change. The initial project of Greta was called School Strike For Climate held in 2018 and thanks to social media all ideas were spread around the world immediately. Today Greta is known for her angry speeches and eccentric behavior. However, the main question is that will she achieve something meaningful in this way?

    Activism and Protests

    Before the worldwide fame, Greta has started her movement at home a few years ago. She blamed her parents that they are stealing her future if they do not care about the green environment and climate changes. As a result, she challenged them to be zero wasters. Right now, her family is giving up on flights, trying to recycle all wastes, eat vegan food only and reduced the level of consumption.

    After the family, Greta launched a bigger project at school and organized a protest with a handwritten poster and declared the main idea with a message “this school strike is against the climate changes and children care about the world they will live in”. The protest gained a lot of attention over Sweden and neighboring Nordic countries, so Greta wanted something bigger and launched Fridays For Future movement. Basically, she has started skipping classes on Fridays and protesting outside the Swedish Parliament to make more pressure on national lawmakers to work more about the changing climate. These protests gained more attention from media around Europe, so Greta has started to travel more and meet other activists as well as leaders of countries and making public speeches.

    Activism and Protests
    Activism and Protests

    The most viral speech of Greta was the one she said at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September of 2019. The speech was very typical to her style: expressive and angry. Speaking before leaders, lawmakers and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Greta Thunberg blamed all current world leaders stealing her childhood and future, said that all she has heard was only fairytales about the eternal economic growth and added the top phrase “how dare you”. The year of 2019 was a productive one for her because in March she was awarded by the Nobel Peace Prize and in December Thunberg was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

    Other Side

    The idea of Greta’s movement is great, but does she make any impact? Right now, this movement is nothing more than a good campaign for PR. Yes, people feel inspired by her passion and became zero wasters or vegans. However, the key point is that Greta is just an angry child and all her speeches are based on numbers by scientist which does not help to fight climate change. Greta isn’t offering any solutions for industry or economy as her idea is to give up on everything and make the living totally green again as it was in the middle ages.

  3. Mediterranean Diet

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    Usually, when people hear the term “organic food” the first idea that comes to their mind is boring and unclear dishes from vegetables without any grace or fantasy that tastes like nothing. But this is all wrong and healthy organic food can be tasty as heaven! The easiest way to adopt more organic food and healthy cooking habits to your kitchen is to choose the Mediterranean diet. Follow some easy tips, go to your local market, buy some goodies, prepare super easy and delicious meals, enjoy your life and smile! On top of that, if you shop consciously, you can contribute to the fight against global warming by adopting diets as such!

    Why Mediterranean?

    The Mediterranean diet has always been considered one of the healthiest diets in the world because it is not a few weeks’ diets but a healthy and happy way of living. The base of this diet is fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, protein-rich legumes, olive oil, whole grains, and red meat. The flavors are rich because lots of seasoning and some wine are used for cooking. 

    You consume less salt, processed food and bad fats such as butter. All food must be fresh and not fried or overcooked. This diet is perfect to improve your health, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, lose weight and explore absolutely new tastes. This diet can be easily adapted by vegetarians because it includes many kinds of cereals and veggies, so you will get all nutrition your body needs.

    The key point is to eat fresh food that would be as little processed as possible. In this way, you don’t need to prepare and freeze your food. Don’t worry, many dishes can be prepared very fast and easily, so you’ll take just a little longer than putting your food into a microwave. For example, treat yourself with fresh Greek salads for lunch and all you need to do is to put some lettuce in your plate, chop few tomatoes and a cucumber, add few black olives, feta cheese and few drops of lemon juice mixed with olive oil – fresh, tasty and takes 3 minutes to prepare. Another good thing about this diet – you are allowed to eat bread or pasta. The whole grains products are included, so you can enjoy many healthy options as whole-grain pasta, pita bread, hummus or tahini as a dressing for your salads.

    Cooking Ideas

    Salmon

    The list of dishes is very long because of the cuisines of Italy, Spain, Balkans, Turkey, Morocco, Greece, and others are included. So, one day you can eat octopus prepared in a Galician way, then treat yourself with whole grains pasta a la carbonara and for the third day prepare an amazing bowl of Moroccan cuscus with vegies. You’ll never get bored by this diet!

    All-time favorite way to prepare salmon in the Italian way is easier than ordering a pizza. You will need 4 fillets of salmon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of capers, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper and 4 slices of lemon. Coat salmon with olive oil, salt, and peppers and cook it a few minutes. Add the capers and cook a few minutes more. Then add lemon slices and put everything in an oven for 5 minutes. Overall, you’ll take 10 minutes to prepare dinner like the one you had in Sicily on your last holidays.

  4. The 5 Biggest Threats to the Environment

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    In January, Earth Day took place around the world. It is a day that is designated for everybody to stop and think of issues that affect our planet. And to think of solutions that we can all put in place to fix the damage that we are doing to it. Many people take Earth Day as an opportunity to educate themselves on the big issues that face us as a world community and what are the biggest threats we face. To help you to join in on the debate, here are five of the biggest environmental issues that face society today.

    Climate Change

    The biggest problem with climate change is that the politicians and scientists of the world cannot agree if it is actually a problem. And before we can seriously look at solutions to this severe problem we firstly need to act together as one. Surprisingly most of the regular people of the world all seem to agree that climate change is a real issue, it is the so-called professionals that cannot seem to see it?

    Deforestation

    Curiously one of the solutions to climate change is actually planting more trees as these are nature’s way of acting as a carbon filter. But we are actually cutting down more trees than ever to make way for roads and factories.

    Deforestation
    Deforestation

    This has a twofold effect, firstly it destroys the natural habitat of many wild creatures and secondly there is less cleansed oxygen being pumped back into the air. The tropical rainforests are critical for the human race to survive, and we have already destroyed half of them.

    Pollution

    Pollution comes in many guises, from the plastic in our oceans to the gases we pump into the air. We have become focused on being a consumer-based society and everybody wants more stuff. This brings an ever-decreasing circle of more goods being made and packaged. If we can help to change the mindset of society as a whole to think before they buy and understand the pollution aspects of owning more stuff, then we are half way there to helping the problem.

    Loss of Biodiversity

    Everything in the world has a purpose and it all impacts upon one another. So, when a species dies out and becomes extinct it can cause really bad knock-on effects. This is sometimes known as the Butterfly Effect, and just a species dwindling in population can seriously affect the biodiversity of the planet. As an individual it is hard for you to really do anything about such as global problem, but you can engage with wildlife foundations and give them your support.

    Melting Polar Icecaps

    Melting Polar Icecaps
    Melting Polar Icecaps

    Another reason to believe in climate change are the melting Polar icecaps, and as the ice melts, the levels of the sea rise. And research conducted by NASA has shown that the permanent ice cover in this region is shrinking by almost ten percent every ten years. You need not to be great at math to realize that if this continues there will be no ice left in a very short period of time. If these issues are allowed to continue then the planet is in serious danger, and not too far into the future the world will be a far different place than it is now.

  5. Can Animals Adapt to Climate Change?

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    When we talk about climate change most of the time, we are talking about how the change in the environment is and will affect mankind. But it is not quite as simple as that, the survival of the natural fauna and flora has to be also in perfect balance otherwise the planet simply cannot function properly.

    And it has been put forward that if the world does not immediately do something about this and allows the temperatures to rise above 4.5 Celsius, then we could lose over half of the plants and animals that live on Earth today. So, is it possible for the animals to adapt to this changing environment?

    Relocate, Adapt, or Die

    There are three main ways that animals can react to this potential catastrophe, they can relocate, adapt or become extinct. To alleviate the current danger many animals have already relocated to higher latitudes and elevations to find cooler environments.

    But the rate that climate change is currently traveling at it all may happen too quick for many species to survive. Relocating is also not the answer in many cases, by moving into new areas and territories many animals would be fighting for the same food or having to get along with species that they were not naturally supposed to.

    You Cant’s Outrun Some of the Impact

    Even if a species could move and relocate to cooler areas there are some aspects of climate change that simply cannot be outrun. An example of this is migration, many animals take their cue to migrate from temperatures, and if the climate is warm where they are then they are late to migrate to newer pastures. So, the birth of new offspring is delayed.

    As the warmer weather continues and the animals arrive late at their traditional migration habitats then they might be out of sync with the plants natural cycles and miss the nectar of the blooming period. Thus, the pollination of new plant species is also in grave danger.

    Some Animals are Learning to Adapt

    Some species seem to be learning to adapt faster than others to the changing positions. Some birds are laying their eggs earlier so that the offspring can take advantage of the blooming plants.

    This also seems to be the case of coral reefs around the Pacific, some of the reefs around American Samoa had not bleached as many other reefs around the world had. They had seemed to find a way to adapt to living in warmer waters, and they have done this without genetically mutating.

    Can Evolution be the Answer?

    Scientists have been studying many species of animals to see how they are adapting to climate change, and they have noticed that some species such as weasels, foxes and hares have adapted their coat colors so in new environments they can blend in easier to avoid prey.

    Without doubt the human race relies on the Earth’s biodiversity and a proper functioning ecosystem to survive. The growing concern is that the plant and animal species that cannot adapt and change could prove disastrous for mankind.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…)