The True Scale of Deforestation

Every year the earth loses around 15 billion trees. This is a shocking figure. A huge figure. But how big is that really?

Such enormous numbers are hard to grasp, which is why this infographic was created by eC02Greetings, to illustrate just how much forest we lose, and just how quickly we lose it.

It shows just how frightening the true scale of deforestation is.

For instance, every two days we lose an area of forest the size of New York City. An area the size of one of the world’s biggest cities gone in a weekend!

You can also see in this graphic that every three and a quarter years an area the size of California is lost, and every 15 years an area the size of Mexico. That’s almost 72,000 square miles!

Read on to discover more about the devastating scale of deforestation, and the work being done to prevent it.

Deforestation

Deforestation (Development or Destruction?)

Deforestation (Development or Destruction?)

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 28, 2016 at 11:33 am

Categories: Conservation, Issues   Tags:

How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

The majority of the energy used in residential houses comes from fossil fuels. These fuels include oil, gas, coal and peat. However, they are in limited supply across the world. Burning these fuels creates CO2, a greenhouse gas which leads to climate change. Cutting down on our energy consumption will help us to do our part for the environment as well as cut down on the cost of our bills, saving us money in the long term.

There are many ‘hidden’ places in the home where we can save energy. This includes the attic which is often forgotten. Check your attic insulation. If it is currently less than 250 mm, get more layers added as you are losing energy and money through your roof.

The boiler is also another ‘hidden’ place where energy savings can be made. Ensure your boiler has a time clock to reduce its running time which can waste energy unnecessarily and get your boiler serviced annually. A reduction of 1C on your thermostat (which controls the heat output from your boiler to your house) can reduce annual space heating costs by 10%. For more tips, see this infographic created by Senator Windows.

Senator Windows Energy Efficiency IG

Old House Eco Handbook: A Practical Guide to Retrofitting for Energy-Efficiency & Sustainability

Old House Eco Handbook: A Practical Guide to Retrofitting for Energy-Efficiency & Sustainability

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 28, 2016 at 11:07 am

Categories: Eco Home, Energy   Tags:

The Carbon Footprint of the Digital Age

When we think about lowering our carbon footprint we tend to think of turning off lights, lowering heating and reducing the number of times we use our cars, however, while these things do matter this infographic highlights the carbon footprint of the digital age.

Every time we send or receive emails, carry out a Google search, put a ‘Like’ on facebook or watch a YouTube video we are generating CO2 emissions. In fact, no matter what you use your computer for you are contributing to producing escalating amounts of CO2.

The infographic provides a host of comparison statistics to put things into perspective, giving you insight on to the potential and actual harm the digital age is having on the planet. Some of the largest digital giants, such as Google, facebook and Amazon, are already attempting to rectify the problems they are causing by focusing on sustainable operations and being carbon neutral.

As we become more aware of the problem it is hoped that our digital habits will change. While the footnote at the end of many emails asks you to think of the planet before printing, much more effort is needed on a global level if we are going to actively contribute in lowering our carbon footprint and help save the planet.

Read through this infographic and you’ll find that with a little less streaming, fewer tweets and emails really can make a difference if everyone makes a real effort to reduce their CO2 emissions.

carbon footprint of the digital age

Green IT: Managing your carbon footprint

Green IT: Managing your carbon footprint

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 20, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Categories: Issues   Tags:

Tracing the life of a plastic bag

We are fast-approaching the one-year anniversary of the 5p plastic bag charge, introduced across England by the government in October 2015.

In its latest infographic, bespoke printed bags supplier The Printed Bag Shop has taken an in-depth look at the plastic bag — one of the most widely-used items across the globe, but also among the most controversial.

Browse the full visual below and receive answers to questions such as:

  • What’s the story behind polythene, the material that plastic bags are made of? Also, why is the material so controversial?
  • When was the first ever plastic bag created?
  • How long after the creation of the original plastic bag did it become commercially available?
  • Just how popular were plastic bags before the arrival of the plastic bag tax in England?
  • What impact has the charge had on the use and popularity of plastic bags?

Find out more by viewing the entire graphic today.

Lifecycle of a plastic bag

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 20, 2016 at 5:44 am

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Eco-Friendly Offices

Nowadays, more and more companies are getting in the green wagon, following the steps of two big whales like Google and Siemens. Global warming is a reality that is affecting us deeply each day that passes and even more when we do not do anything to change the situation. Going green is something anyone can do, it can go from completely starting a company from scratch and investing in an eco-friendly structure, to the simple actions listed in this article. Employees can really make the difference in helping the companies during this initiative. So let’s get on that green path following these simple steps!

 

  • 40-50% of the carbon emissions from a company are due to the telecommuting of their employees. This percentage could be significantly decreased by simply carpooling to work with some coworkers or using public transportation or, if you are not too far from the office, you can even take a bike. A little effort goes a long way. Some companies have also implemented a day in which their employees can work from home, giving them the chance to be more comfortable and even save a little on gas.
  • Take advantage of sunny days. Pull up those blinds and soak up the sun! By doing so, you can decrease your energy consumption up to 75%.
  • Recycling is probably one of the most popular initiatives in any office. Just make sure to duly identify each bin (bright colors work great), and put them in a visible place where people cannot miss them.
  • Purchasing furniture and decorations made from recyclable materials is very in right now. Vegan leather, recycled plastic, and even cardboard can be used to make eco-friendly furniture –and it looks great-. You can also purchase green materials for the office. Nowadays, you can find just about anything in a green store: pencils, pens, recycled paper, notebooks, you just need to fill the cart!
  • The greenest thing you can do is stop using paper. The digital era implies that everything should be digitalized. Not only do we help save the planet, but we also save on toner, paper, energy, and even time.

These eco-friendly initiatives not only help the environment, but they also influence the employees’ well-being when they know they are contributing with our beautiful planet.


Contetn by Vanessa Fardi / NEUVOO

Team Leader US/CA/LATAM

Email: vanessa@neuvoo.com

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 18, 2016 at 4:00 pm

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Canada’s PM delivers great news about the Great Bear Rainforest

“On the Northern Gateway pipeline, I’ve said many times, the Great Bear Rainforest is no place for a crude oil pipeline.” So said the hugely popular Liberal Prime Minister of Canada, speaking recently in Montreal. It’s wonderful news for anyone who cares about the nation’s unique forests.

Protecting 6.4 million hectares of lush temperate rainforest

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party won the 2015 Canadian general election conclusively, ushering in a new way of thinking. The victory means British Colombia’s long-threatened forests might just be safe from oil-related exploitation after all.

The Great Bear Rainforest is a unique temperate rain forest on the Pacific coast, covering 6.4 million hectares and forming part of the larger Pacific temperate rain forest eco-region, the planet’s biggest coastal temperate rainforest. In early 2016 the current government agreed to permanently protect 85% of the old-growth forested area from industrial logging.

An unpopular project killed off

Last week Trudeau reiterated his opposition to the route of Enbridge Inc’s proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline, casting a whole lot more doubt on the fate of a project that has been opposed fiercely by environmentalists ever since it first raised its head.

The country’s former Conservative government had already approved the Gateway, designed to ferry oil from the Alberta oil sands to a British Columbian port, from which it would be exported. In complete contrast Trudeau’s government has promised a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the coast of northern British Columbia, making the pipeline impossible.

His comments come after a Canadian court overturned federal approval for the project, sending it back to the Cabinet for reconsideration. On the down side the Calgary-based oil firm responsible remains fully committed to building the pipeline, determined not to give up on the plan. But many feel the game is up, and it’s high time they gave up gracefully.

Trudeau steps up to the climate change mark

Thankfully Trudeau is ready and more than willing to step up to the climate change mark, unlike his predecessors. He is determined to honour Canada’s commitments to resolving climate change, saying, “Canada is back, my friends. Canada is back, and here to help.” He has pledged to take on a number of high profile environmental policies including investing millions in cleaner, greener technologies. In Canada, the environmental picture is looking brighter than it has looked for some time.


Article by The Rainforest Foundation.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 9, 2016 at 6:14 am

Categories: Conservation   Tags:

Energy Outlook for 2040

The world becoming a more eco-friendly place isn’t something that will happen overnight, it will take investment, forward thinking and effort at a global level. This infographic looks at what is being currently achieved, along with the plans to increase usage of renewable energy, technological advancements and highlighting the countries that are actively participating to help save the planet.

By 2040 it is predicted that there will still be countries that have chosen not to make pledges to OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, who will be consuming more energy than countries who have joined. To try and off-set the disparity billions (US dollars) will need to be spent on renewable energies, with on-shore wind being top on the forecast list.

Although a global problem for industry and commerce, we can also do ‘our bit’ to lower our carbon footprint. Many eco-friendly innovations have been produced to make ‘going green’ a whole lot easier for us at home and work.

Simple things like turning lights off, opting for public transport and using rechargeable batteries may not appear much, however, if every household and workplace took these measures, and more, it would make a huge difference in the amount of energy consumed, which in turn helps towards governments achieving their targets to lower climate change and help save a disaster.

Energy-outlook-for-2040

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 6, 2016 at 5:20 am

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DIY Kitchen Cleaning Recipes – Eco and Health-friendly

To keep your kitchen clean you don’t have to use harsh and harmful detergents that are sold in stores and can be quite expensive. There is an alternative to this and it is making your own cleaning products that are health-friendly and completely safe. Here are some DIY kitchen cleaning recipes which are eco-friendly and will help you maintain this room in good condition. Check and test them to choose the ones you like most.

Home-made Peppermint Liquid Hand Soap

You can make your own peppermint liquid hand soap which to use in the kitchen. The ingredients you need for it are the following:

  • ¼ of a castille peppermint scented or plain soap
  • ¾ parts distilled water
  • 2-3 drops of essential peppermint or tea tree oil
  • A soap dispenser

To make the liquid soap antibacterial use tea tree essential oil instead of peppermint. First, mix the soap and water well. Then, add the essential oils and mix them with the soapy water. In the end, pour the formed liquid soap in a foaming soap dispenser. It is ready to be used. The soap is natural and safe for the health.

Natural All-purpose Citrus Cleaner

This cleaner is perfect for counter, stoves, sinks, tables, for removing tough grease from pans, etc. For making it you need:

  • Any recycled glass containers
  • Orange or other citrus fruit peels
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Vinegar
  • Distilled water
  • 5 to 10 drops any essential oil (optional)
Natural Green Home Cleaning For Beginners: Best Innovative Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions for Your Home from Kitchen, to Children's Toys, and Even Your Car and Microfiber Cleaning

Natural Green Home Cleaning For Beginners: Best Innovative Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions for Your Home from Kitchen, to Children’s Toys, and Even Your Car and Microfiber Cleaning

First, cut the orange or other citrus fruit peels and fill the empty glass containers you have. If you don’t have glass you can use other containers. Add the salt to cover the peels and let them sit for 20 to 30 minutes or longer. You need enough salt to cover the peels lightly which will remove the oils from them and make the cleaner stronger. Then, add vinegar and water to fill the containers. You can pour equal parts vinegar and water. Put tightly fitting lids on the jars or containers you have used. Let them sit for 2-3 weeks or more. The longer you let the solution sit the better it will become are saying CleanToPerfection SE13. In the end, strain the solution and fill a spray bottle with it. Add the essential oils in the bottle now if you decide to use such.

Eco-friendly Drain Cleaner

This is an effective, easy to do and inexpensive drain cleaner. You can use it on slow and smelly drains. To make it you need:

  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda (bread soda)
  • ¼ cup of white vinegar
  • Boiling water

First sprinkle the baking soda in the drain and pour the vinegar after that so, that it creates bubbles. Let them sit for an hour and then pour boiling water. You can use one kettle boiling water, less or more as necessary. If you clean your drains for the first time the drains may become even smellier. If this happens, rinse them with more boiling water. If this doesn’t help remove the smell repeat all steps.

Washing Solution for Fruits and Vegetables

With this washing solution the cleaning of your fruits and vegetables will be easy and effective. All you need is:

  • 1 to 1 ½ cups of white vinegar
  • ¼ to ½ sink full of cold or lukewarm water

First, you should wash the sink, clog it and fill ¼ to ½ of it with lukewarm or cold water. Then, pour 1 to 1 ½ cups of white vinegar in it and put the fruits and vegetables in the sink to soak in this solution. After soaking them for 10 minutes rinse and lay them to dry on a clean towel.

Cleaning your kitchen can be less expensive, very effective and safe for the health if you use DIY products which you have prepared. Use the recipes given here.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - July 6, 2016 at 5:13 am

Categories: Eco Home   Tags:

It’s Time Festivals Invested in Eco Packaging

Due to thousands of people living in the one space for an entirety of five days there is not only packaging waste but thousands of materials are left behind, which begs the question, should all festivals go eco-friendly?

Glastonbury 2016 Packaging Waste

The clear up after one of the UKs biggest festivals has begun. This year at Glastonbury there was an estimated 800-strong clean-up crew that have been help restore the site back to its natural state. Lets look at the festivals waste in numbers:

In 2016 there was:

  • 1,650 tonnes of waste
  • 5,000 abandoned tents

In 2015 there was:

  • 11 tonnes of clothes
  • 6,500 sleeping bags
  • 5,500 tents
  • 3,500 airbeds
  • 2,200 chairs
  • 950 rolled mats
  • 400 gazebos.

This year the clean-up bill could cost the festival close to £1 million and volunteers are likely to sort through a ridiculous nine tonnes of glass, 54 tonnes of cans and plastic bottles, 41 tonnes of cardboard and 66 tonnes of scrap metal.

How to Prevent Waste at Festivals?

Targeting packaging which is one of biggest causes of waste such will make a huge impact on your festivals environmental footprint. It is the little changes that will make a big difference. Take into consideration on how cups and bottles can be used again. One of the best ideas for this is to provide free water taps to encourage festival-goers to re-use bottles.

Scottish Festival T in The Park started a project which gets campers to join their recyclying initiative.  Once campers have finished their drink they can take the empty cup to one of the special Cup Recycling Points to collect your 10p.

All the cups that are collected then go into special recycling skips which are taken off-site to be recycled. This means that they are reducing the amount of litter pollution on the site whilst promoting eco policy to their weekend residents.

Reusable bottles are being used at Shambala and Glastonbury to promote recycling. Shambala’s Bring a Bottle initiative has banned the sale of disposable drinks bottles onsite which will make a significant difference when it comes to waste. Similarly, Glastonbury have joined up with WaterAid and Raw Foundation to create a stainless steel bottle which can be used at the festival.

Eco Friendly Events

The Organising Committee behind the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) applied a waste free initiative at the London 2012 Olympics. The Games was a success and became one of the biggest zero waste event in history:

Re-use: It was not just the packaging that was recycled after the event the majority of equipment was donated charities, athletics equipment is now used all over the UK, tennis balls were donated to Battersea Dogs Home, and timber from staging has been salvaged and used again.

Recycling & Composting: All Food and drink packaging used at the games was recyclable or compostable – and each package was labelled to help consumers sort it into the right bin.

Energy Recovery: The left over waste can also be re-used, and was sent to energy recovery. Materials which can be send for energy recovery include contaminated plastics, shrink wrap, crisp packets, milk jugs, napkins, sugar, salt and pepper sachets.

General views of the Glastonbury festival site as people head home home early this morning as the festival ends. June 27 2016.

General views of the Glastonbury festival site as people head home home early this morning as the festival ends. June 27 2016.

 

What Type of Packaging Should Festivals Use?

A packaging supplies company have confirmed that 83% of consumers worldwide say that it is important for businesses to construct programs which are environmentally friendly and 22% of consumers would pay more for an environmentally friendly product.

Although festivals are introducing reusable initiatives it is not always feasible. Therefore, they should use a recyclable type of packaging. Cardboard is one of the most used and recycled materials on earth and by recycling cardboard packaging it will have a ripple effect which will essentially reduce energy.

Corrugated Cardboard is the best type of cardboard to use for eco-friendly festivals as it can be made from 100% recycled materials. Cardboard and corrugated material is also easy to dispose of and can be separated and recycled. Corrugated Cardboard is also biodegradable which means if it is not recycled or reused it can be put straight back into the lands.

Being eco-friendly at Festivals is not just down to organisers, there must be a conscious effort made by festival goers and perhaps fining for unethical disposal.  Littering at festivals is not only caused by packaging waste but by left over materials such as tents and sleeping bags. If you are going to a festival and intend to leave your material – consider giving it to a charity instead!


Author Bio: This article was written by Melissa Lang from Glasgow, Scotland. Melissa is a freelance writer with multiple years’ experience working at Festivals and Events.


Glastonbury: The Complete History of the Festival

Glastonbury: The Complete History of the Festival

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Posted by Eco Warrior - June 29, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Categories: Issues, Recycling   Tags:

10 Plant Varieties That Keep Pests Away

Summer time means firing up the grill and inviting your friends over for a great barbecue. However, most of the time unexpected guests end up crashing the party.

No, we are not talking about your in-laws. It is the pesky bugs who enjoy a great bash in your BBQ party. But you can take comfort in knowing that there are ways to deal with gnats, mosquitoes, flies and other notorious bugs. And it doesn’t involve engaging in chemical warfare or covering yourself with sticky sprays.  

For going outdoors and having fun, all you need to do is strategically plant insect-repelling plants on your patio or the garden. The essential oil of these plants is a natural bug repellent and is a chemical free pest control solution, something insects tend to avoid. Furthermore, you can even use most of these plants to create your natural bug repellent.

Beneficial Plants

1) Marigolds

Marigold

Besides making the landscape more beautiful and attractive, the peculiar smell that marigolds have repels mosquitoes and insects. You can get a seed or a potted marigold plant from floral department or nursery. Make sure to plant the marigolds near the entry points, where mosquitoes drop in like windows, doors, balcony, and deck.

2) Basil

Basil

The basil helps in repelling mosquitoes and houseflies. Place the basil in a pot near the door of your home and especially in the outdoor area where you often relax.  Do you know basil is delicious and makes salads appetizing? It is used in various chicken and pork recipes and even in soups too.

With fresh basil, you can make an insect repellent spray. All you need is 4 ounces of hot water and 5 or 7 ounces of fresh and clean basil leaves. Add the basil leaves to the hot water and allow it to steep for many hours. Then you need to remove the leaves and squeeze all the moisture from the leaves. Add vodka to the mixture and store it in the refrigerator. When going out to the garden, spray it on the plants.

3) Citronella

Citronella

One of the common ingredients used in insect repellents is citronella. The presence of the strong smell makes it one of the best mosquito attractants. This perennial clumping grass grows 6 to 7 feet. You can keep it in a huge pot or plant it in the ground. The citronella plant thrives in areas where there are good drainage and best sunlight.

Organic Gardening: The Natural No-dig Way full colour edn

Organic Gardening: The Natural No-dig Way

4) Lavender

Lavender

Lavender helps in repelling fleas, moths, mosquitoes and flies. For centuries, it has been used to provide pleasant and sweet fragrance to clothes drawers and homes. Even though humans like the smell of lavender; flies, mosquitoes and other unwanted insects avoid it.  

Make sure to plant the lavender in the sunny area of your garden or at the entryways of your house. This will ensure that you have a pest-free home. Also, you can use the oil extracted from the lavender flower as a mosquito repellent. Just apply it on your skin when you are going to the garden or lawn.

5) Alliums

Alliums

Plants belonging to the Allium family like the dramatic Allium giganteum stalk up to about 6 feet. They are regarded as one of the best natural insecticides.  They help in repelling various pests and insects like aphids, slugs, cabbage worms and carrot flies which often plague your vegetable garden.

Peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, and broccoli are the plants that get the benefit from this pest repellant. Also, the allium helps in keeping the aphids away from rose bushes.   

6) Lemon Thyme

Lemon Thyme

If you want a plant that can repel mosquitoes, then try the lemon thyme. This is a handy herb which adapts to all kinds of shallow and rocky soil. It will thrive well in your rock garden, herb garden and even on the front border as long as there is enough sunlight.

One particular characteristic of this plant is that it will repel pesky mosquitoes but with a little bit of assistance. To release its chemical, you need to bruise the leaves. To do that just cut off a few of its stem and rub them on your hands.

7) Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

The aroma of lemon balm (aka horsemint) helps in warding off mosquitoes. However, it attracts various pollinators like butterflies and bees. Furthermore, this plant is one of the fast growing and drought resistant plant which reseeds itself.

8) Mint

Mint

Mint plant is often used for repelling mosquitoes. It is best if you grow it in pots as it will spread aggressively if planted in the soil. Once they get established, then it is quite difficult to remove them. Cutting mint in the mulch will save cabbage, broccoli, and turnips from pest attacks.  

9) Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums

It is often used to repel ants, roaches, ticks, Japanese beetles, fleas, lice, silverfish, spider mites, bedbugs, root-knot nematodes, harlequin bugs and other harmful insects. The ingredient pyrethrum is commonly found in chrysanthemums is an effective insect repellant.  

Since the pyrethrum can destroy jumping and flying insects, they are often used in US homes and gardens as insecticides. Also, they are used in pet shampoos, indoor sprays, and even aerosol bombs. So, you need to be cautious while using them in any form.

10) Petunias

Petunias

The petunias plant repels tomato hornworms, aphids, leafhoppers, asparagus beetles, and even squash bugs. Many people think of the petunias as one of the best and natural pesticides. As they are available in various bright colors, they are quite famous. Also, it requires less maintenance and can grow in containers, garden beds and hanging baskets.

Conclusion

Various pest repellant plants help in keeping deadly insects away from your lawn and garden. So, next time when you reach for a chemical bug spray, think again. Take a minute and think about the harmful chemicals you are going to inject to your plants. Instead, you can take the nature’s arsenal for fighting these destructive pests.


Bio

Hi! I’m Angela from nycitypestcontrol.com and I write, curate, and get in touch with people who are active in the pest control arena. At NYCity, we are always at the forefront of finding new and innovative methods to control insect and rodent infestations without excessive collateral damage.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - June 25, 2016 at 9:59 am

Categories: Eco Garden   Tags:

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