Thai street artist supports Greenpeace rainforest campaign

Art really can change the world. Take the renowned Thai street artist Mue Bon, who is collaborating with Greenpeace in an attempt to stop Indonesian rainforests being cleared and destroyed to create palm oil plantations. His new mural, made especially, is an artwork called Wings of Paradise, featuring a bird of paradise, and you can see it on the walls of the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, on display until 14th October.

About Mue Bon – Thoughtful and talented

Mue Bon is a highly respected Bangkok-based artist. He creates paintings and installations using mixed media and started his artistic career at a time when street art had a low profile in his homeland. Part of the early Thai street artist revolution, Mue Bon's work embellishes the streets, and he's determined to carry on improving the reputation of street artists in Thailand by making their work more accessible to the public.

He's just one of many artists lending their skills to help campaign for rainforest conservation. The campaign also involves collaboration with artists from as far away as Australia and Kuala Lumpur. And the message is crystal clear: we need to protect and save Indonesia's rainforests.

The palm oil industry – dirty, greedy and cruel

The palm oil industry, in the meantime, steamrollers on without so much as a thought for the future. It has already ravaged the precious forests of Borneo and Sumatra, and now it has finally reached Papua, where the bird of paradise depicted by Mue Bon lives. According to Greenpeace the mysterious, little-known birds and the forest they live in are under serious threat. As Mue Bon said in The Nation (http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/event/30355700), “Forests, home to endangered animals and precious treasures from the earth, are being destroyed by the hands of humans. I hope this artwork will be able to reflect the voices of these animals, voices that otherwise might never reach the concrete jungle.”

When business and street art collaborate…

These days business is finally starting to realise the commercial potential of street art collaborations in Thailand. The artwork attracts tourists and reflects well on brands. In effect the businesses become art curators, which gives them an essential sense of ownership and spreads the message far and wide. In a world where large tracts of rainforest are being felled daily, every effort we can make to stop the destruction matters. Thank you, Mue Bon.

We'll leave the last word to Greenpeace. “It’s time for us to stand together for the future of Indonesian forests. Artists, students, bird enthusiasts or consumers buying palm oil products in supermarkets, we need to come together and act.”

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Posted by Eco Warrior - October 8, 2018 at 2:48 pm

Categories: Conservation   Tags:

£9 million boost set to protect Wales’ magical Celtic rainforest

Vast areas of forest once covered the land between northern Scotland and Portugal. All that's left in Britain is the Celtic rainforest in Wales. The words ‘rainforest' and ‘Wales' don't seem, at first glance, a logical fit. But they are, thanks to this stunningly lovely and seriously endangered rainforest. Now the ancient woodlands have received a boost in the form of £9M funding from the Welsh government and the EU.

Why Wales' rainforests matter

These forests are some of the most valuable landscapes in terms of wildlife and culture. Woodlands are a valued natural asset in Wales, vital for the environment. They protect the land against floods, generate beautifully clean, fresh air, and give shelter to livestock. The project will improve the condition of key woodlands in Wales significantly, and that in turn will help the UK meet its European and international

biodiversity targets.

How the money will be spent

The funds are going to be spent on protecting and improving the wet and temperate forest, which is full of sessile oak, downy birch, ash and hazel. A precious British rainforest, it has deteriorated thanks to conifer plantations, invasive Rhododendron, sheep and deer. The damage caused has put rare flora and fauna under more stress than ever. Lichens, tree lungwort and birds are at risk, as well as the rare lesser horseshoe bat, otter and dormouse.

At the same times these incredibly biodiverse oak woodlands are the stars of the show in many a Welsh folk tale and song, which adds an important social and cultural element to their protection. They are special, mysterious places celebrated and enjoyed by thousands, and with a bit of luck they'll be around to inspire future generations.

Hopefully four key areas of Celtic rainforest will be cleared of of invasive species, in north and mid-Wales, including north Wales' Coed Felinrhyd and Llennyrch, both in Snowdonia. The people involved will also be looking for more ways to improve the forests' management, things like altering the way the land is grazed, and some of the money will  be used to generate interest and bring more visitors.

Brexit won't affect the funding

Happily, leaving the EU won't affect the funding, a good piece of news that has been officially confirmed by Welsh and English governments.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 30, 2018 at 6:18 am

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Environment Friendly Ways Of Managing Waste

Environment preservation and conservation has picked up as one of the major concerns in the country and every human being should play their part in the movement to take care of our Earth. There are many aspects of environment conservation and preservation that require efforts to be made by us on a daily basis and waste management is one such aspect.

We all generate different kinds of waste daily, and this waste should be processed and managed in a way that it does minimum harm to the environment. There are small ways of ensuring this and it can be done in the comfort of our homes. All that is required on our part is a little bit of effort and awareness. Most of us get lazy to do things the eco- friendly way, because it requires a little bit more of our time and energy, but the bright side is that our Earth is going to benefit from this and as inhabitants of planet Earth, it is our duty to at least do this much, i.e. manage waste, the environment friendly way.

Here are some of the ways you can manage waste, the eco- friendly way.

Reuse

This is a very common practise in the environment preservation community. However, more often than not we find ourselves still throwing away things that could be easily reused. We don’t even realise when we’re discarding waste that this could probably be reused. For example, glass bottles like that of wine and other beverages, can easily be used to store water at homes or office spaces. Just wash the bottles properly and start storing water in them. You will save money on bottles for storing water and you’re managing what would have been waste. You can also reuse gift packing material. Again you will be able to save money on gifting material and reduce the amount of waste you’re generating. Each time you are throwing something out, ask yourself can i reuse this for the same purpose or something else? Try to reuse as much waste as you can.

Recycle

Recycling waste is really big and popular right now. All you have to do is ensure that you are separating out the recyclable waste from the non-recyclable waste. This requires effort on your part for separating out the waste and also in being aware to buy things that are recyclable. These lifestyle changes are required on your part if you want to make the small difference which will make a big impact in conserving and preserving the Earth.

Compost Pit or Worm Bin

This one really requires a lot of effort on your part, but if you’re truly passionate and concerned about the wellbeing of planet Earth, then you’ll definitely enjoy doing this. A compost pit is made of all the waste, like food remains and other waste material, that is biodegradable. You can collect all your waste at a spot in the garden and have a compost pit which will also be beneficial for your plants and flowers.

A worm bin is a faster compost pit. While a compost pit will take longer to break down the waste, a worm bin will do the job faster, owing it to the worms. This is would be the best and most environment friendly way of getting rid of biodegradable waste.

Professional Waste Management Services

If you find the above mentioned methods of managing waste, too time consuming and tasking, you can then choose to spend some money and get professional waste management services. Companies like A Better Service Ltd. offer many waste disposal services that will do the waste management job for you, at a price. They offer not just regular waste disposal services, but also liquid waste removal, cesspool emptying, septic tank emptying, pump chamber cleaning, pump station cleaning, wet well cleaning etc. all kinds of waste disposal services. Waste is not just what is found in our garbage bins, waste is also sewage, blocked drains etc. and so it’s important to get this kind of waste disposed off properly.

Getting a waste disposal company to do the job for you has many advantages. You will save on your time, which you can then utilise to do something else. You will be disposing off your waste smartly because waste disposal companies ensure that the waste gets disposed off in an environment friendly way. They will do the recycling job for you. And also, you and your surroundings will remain hygienic and healthy. You will be able to ensure that your surroundings are clean and green.

Conclusion

Waste management and disposal is one of the most important environmental concerns because waste is reject material. Waste is something that is not used again and does not have a purpose anymore. So this means that all things and material that is not useful anymore will keep piling up on this Earth spreading diseases and degrading the environment. A lot of the waste, more than half that is produced, can be managed smartly and efficiently, so that it does not pile up as reject material on the Earth and does not harm the environment. So next time you get ready to dispose off your waste, ask yourself can you reduce it and make less to pile up on Earth?

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 29, 2018 at 7:56 am

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How to Renovate an Older House in a Green Manner

Moving into a brand new house is everyone’s dream, but opting for a fixer-upper has its benefits as well. These spaces have a ton of personality and you can almost feel all those happy families who used to live there before you, enjoying their life to the fullest. However, old houses require some renovations, and if you too are fixing up a fixer-upper at the moment, here’s what you need to do in order to keep this project as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.

Get second hand furniture

Old homes and new, futuristic furniture simply don’t go hand in hand, and when you’re updating your old place, it’s better if you opt for old furniture as well. This means secondhand choices you find online or at your local flea market are quite all right, and besides giving your home a new dose of elegance and personality, they’re cheap and easy to fix. You can reupholster an old sofa quite easily and get an amazing new focal point for your home for just a couple of bucks!

Bring in the LED light

Although they’re aware of how amazing LED light bulbs are, most people are afraid of using them because they are costlier than those regular incandescent bulbs, which makes quite a difference if you have to add dozens of these all around the house. However, LED bulbs are up to 80% more effective than regular options and can last up to ten years, which means they’re a much better solution in the long run. So, get a bunch of these as soon as you can and your monthly bills will start plummeting right away.

Remove asbestos

Though it was considered every homeowner’s best friend half a century ago and is therefore still present in almost every old property, asbestos is probably the last thing you’d want to see right now. Whether it’s crumbling or already damaged, it can cause serious health issues when it’s released into the air. That’s why you need to remove it from your home, and the best way to do so is by contacting an experienced asbestos removal service and let these professionals take care of your problem. Once that’s done, your home will immediately become a healthier and nicer place to live.

Get energy-efficient appliances

Equipping your home with the latest appliances is quite all right, but keep in mind that not all appliances are the same. Instead of getting just any sort, be sure to purchase only those with a nice little Energy Star logo on them, because these are the only appliances that are energy-efficient. They use less power and water on a monthly basis and will surely help you save a ton of money in the future, but also help Mother Nature as well.

Use low-VOC paint

Repainting every single wall in the house is usually the first thing all new homeowners do as soon as they move in, especially when moving into an older property. But, this is another thing you have to pay attention to and instead of just any paint, get some low- or no-VOC paint. This kind of paint is completely acrylic and doesn’t smell at all, which means it won’t cause any allergic reactions and harm your health, and that’s just one of its many benefits. So, by using this sort of paint, you’ll be contributing to the health of your family and the planet at the same time, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone!

As you can see, renovating an old home in a green manner is more than possible, and all you need to do is get informed, get organized and try out some of these ideas in practice.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 29, 2018 at 7:50 am

Categories: Eco Home   Tags:

Eco-Friendly Homes That Embody the Earth Day Spirit

As the effects of climate change are felt across the world, being green and eco-friendly is an uprising trend and both individuals and governments are taking this task more and more seriously. April 22nd is the annual celebration of Earth Day, and on this date raising awareness about preserving the environment is the main mission  for people worldwide. With this in mind, there are various ways for you and your home to become eco-friendlier and to reduce your environmental footprint.

Renewable power sources

Photovoltaic, or PV for short, solar panels are producing electricity by absorbing sunlight and are the most common renewable power source systems. They are vastly used in both residential and commercial applications, therefore very developed and convenient to install and use. Once installed, running costs are barely a factor and the initial investment pays off after just a few years. When going green, using  wind as renewable power source is a great idea to consider as well. Massive array of wind turbines, also known as wind farms, are very popular and more and more countries are starting to use and benefit from these systems. However, wind turbines are applicable in small scales, too, and are convenient to set up in almost every household.

 

Like solar panels and wind turbines, geothermal heating and cooling systems also use the forces of nature to provide us with energy, and are therefore very environmentally responsible as well. Because geothermal systems do not burn fuel to provide heat, greenhouse gasses and carbon monoxide are not emitted into the atmosphere. They also use less electricity, which effects in lower demand from your local power plant.

Insulation

Investing in insulation is definitely a thing to consider, as reducing energy for heating during cold winters and hot summers is not only eco-friendly but can have a big impact on your monthly bills as well. It keeps the warm air in during cold weather and hot air out when it’s warm, which will have a great effect on your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. A lot of renowned project home builders are offering eco-friendly materials as insulation solution, which makes it even “greener” if it’s made of cotton or sheep wool. To provide even better thermal insulation you can install double or even triple glazed glass with a vacuum in between on your widows, which is proven to be very successful when it comes to preventing heat, i.e. energy loss.

LED lighting system

Using LED (light-emitting diode) system as light source, which is up to 80% more efficient then the traditional fluorescent and incandescent lights, will have a great eco-friendly effect on your household. Less energy use reduces demand from power plants and therefore decreases carbon and gas emissions. Additionally, LED lights don’t use toxic elements, such as mercury, which avoids contamination of the environment when disposed.

Green roofs

Eco-friendly roofs are uprising, trendy and unique solutions when it comes to environment reasonability and going green. Planting gardens on rooftops helps insulate buildings during winter and absorb rainwater, which reduces the water pollution in urban areas.

Eco-mate

rials

When it comes to environmentally responsible homes, some people, however, aren’t happy to stop at solar panels, wind turbines, insulation or LED lighting. Instead, they went even further and built houses which are mainly or even entirely made from natural and eco-friendly materials. Wood and stone are obvious choices, but recycled glass and tires provide great insulation and are convenient to use as eco-materials as well. Houses are surrounded with vegetable gardens and food farms, and combined with renewable energy systems, they can provide total off-grid lifestyle, which reduces the environment footprint enormously.

These are some of the solutions that can make your household eco-friendlier and more responsible towards the environment, in case you decide to go green and embrace the Earth Day spirit. Most of these solutions are beneficial for your wallet as well. Yes, the initial investment can be quite pricey, but it pays off over some period of time and as going green is uprising trend, the value of your property will increase with no doubts as well.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 29, 2018 at 7:34 am

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Infrared Technology and The Environment

Planet Earth has survived several natural disasters in its four-and-a-half-billion-year life so far, but we humans are doing more damage in a shorter space of time than any natural event that has happened to the planet before. The effects of global warming are becoming unmistakable, with melting ice-caps and rising sea-levels, animals are losing their habitats and the natural balance is being disturbed.

As we continue the drive towards technological advancements, more environment-damaging behaviours are emerging, which is seriously impacting the state of the planet. But it’s not all bad news, because although these changes in technology and industry are causing these behaviours, they are also providing solutions by harnessing the power of infrared.

Thermal Imaging

The Earth’s Surface Temperature

Global warming not only has a detrimental impact on the environment, but it causes a series of knock-on effects that, in turn, cause major changes to the weather, resulting in natural disasters that can have devastating results for people living in at-risk locations.

The Earth’s surface temperature can be monitored, and the data is used to produce insights and predictions about emissions in each location. The surface temperature is observed using infrared thermal-imaging cameras, which highlight the areas in cities where emissions are above average. Plans can then be put in place to remedy these problem areas.

Protecting Endangered Animals

Infrared technology can be used to map galaxies that are beyond the reach of the human eye (including the most high-powered telescopes), and scientists are now using infrared to monitor the numbers of endangered animals. Until now, conservationists have had to physically count the numbers of each endangered species in particular habitats, making this a long and somewhat unreliable process.

Because different animals give off different heat signatures, experts can now use thermal-imaging technology to identify different animals, even through thick jungle canapes. Although this technology is expensive to run, it presents a more accurate representation of animal numbers, which highlights the effects of our habitat-damaging behaviours and helps us to put a plan in place to make a change.

Fire Fighters

Wildfires are unpredictable and can happen in any hot location at any time, claiming the lives and habitats of many animals (and people) in the process. Once a fire gains momentum, it becomes an unstoppable force that requires manpower and resources to extinguish.

The key to battling these fires is to prevent them from happening in the first place, and thermal imaging can be used to identify the beginnings of wildfires. Again, this technology is expensive to run, and is still in trial stage, but thermal cameras strapped to helicopters can be used to monitor at-risk areas and extinguish fires before they become too powerful to manage.

Infrared and the Home

You don’t have to be a conservationist or a firefighter to make use of environment-saving infrared tech, because infrared heat is being harnessed in heaters that are less wasteful of energy. In fact, the principles of infrared show that these heaters will directly heat up the objects in a room rather than the air around it, making for a more efficient heating solution.

Technology: Cause and Effect

We live in a time where technology is always changing. In previous years, advancements in industry have caused harm to the planet, but now a new wave of technology is appearing. Technology that streamlines our day-to-day experiences, is more economical, and helps the environment. Technology that harnesses the power of infrared radiation to save our resources and save you money. Technology that is always changing and continues to do so for the better.


Daniel Sefton is a writer for Cürv, providers of infrared heating panels and smart-home products.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - September 29, 2018 at 7:20 am

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11 Ways to Minimize the Environmental Impact of Home Renovation Projects

Over the past couple of decades, environmentally-friendly construction has grown from a fringe movement to being the mainstream status. The major forces driving green building are market and client demands, but also state and local governments which are adopting regulations and proposing initiatives focused on sustainable housing. This is all happening because reducing energy and water usage have become the top humanity issues, and no one can look away now that these problems and years of reckless use of Earth’s resources have come back to haunt us. If you are planning a renovation project, you should know that it will impact not only your house and your community but also our planet. If you want to minimize that influence, here are some tips that could help you.

The trends that are paving the way for a better future

In the last couple of years, climate changes have affected everything, even the construction business, causing property owners to take a significant financial hit. According to Fema, every dollar invested in resiliency saves four dollars in recovery, which means that resources should be invested in constructing buildings that can withstand natural disasters. Furthermore, construction is leaving a huge amount of waste every year, so experts have finally found ways to recycle and use that waste for further projects. All of this is a part of a large-scale movement of building properties that reduce gas emissions, save water and rely on renewable energy. This movement refers to both private and commercial buildings.

How do private homeowners fit into the picture?

Each remodeling project, regardless of how large or small, leaves a trace on the planet. While commercial and public construction is responsible for most of that impact, homeowners need to join the fight as well. For example, if you are building your home from scratch, you should invest in sustainable materials, encourage minimal use of energy during the works, and, if possible, build tiny. If you don’t want to skimp on square footage, it would be useful to build upwards and take up less soil space. The trend of building upwards to go green is very popular in Australia, which makes reliable crane hire in Sydney and other Aussie cities a very in-demand service for even the tiniest renovation tasks. As for remodeling, the first things to think about are lowering your home’s energy use and preventing energy leaks. You’ll do that with insulation and energy-saving features, such as triple-glazed windows.

Specific things you can do to green up your remodeling

Sure, all of this is nice and well, but what exactly can you do to make your remodeling more sustainable and energy-efficient? Prepare to find out.

  1. Caulk, seal, and weatherstrip. Proper insulation puts focus on sealing up every potential point of heat and cooling loss so that the energy waste would be minimized, energy consumption lowered and energy savings maximized.
  2. Install energy-efficient windows. Low-e, multiple-glazed windows with vinyl or wood frames are among the best ways to reduce energy costs and improve your property’s energy-efficiency.
  3. Position the windows in a way that they receive the biggest amount of natural light possible and provide adequate ventilation by opening up your rooms.
  4. Get a whole-house fan to minimize the use of air-conditioner or completely eliminate the need for it.
  5. Install clerestory windows, solar tubes, light shelves, and skylights to minimize the use of artificial lighting.
  6. Switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED lights or compact fluorescent bulbs.
  7. Use structural insulated panels (SIPs) to drastically increase the energy efficiency of your property and reduce noise pollution.
  8. Go low flow in your bathroom. By installing a low-flow showerhead and faucet and a low-flush toilet, you can cut your water use by 60 percent.
  9. Get an Energy Star-rated HVAC system.
  10. Replace your old appliances with energy-efficient models, as the dated ones tend to require more energy to perform the most ordinary tasks.
  11. Use sustainable construction materials for both the interior and the exterior. Some of the excellent options are bamboo, cork, recycled plastic, reclaimed wood, sheep’s wool (e.g. for insulation), etc.

Your home may be a mere drop of water in the sea, but what else is the sea made of, if not billions of drops of water? If you can make your home renovation green, someone else can too, and this already makes a movement that can change things.


About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger, DIY enthusiast and sustainability buff from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and a contributor on several interior design and eco blogs, always on the lookout for new ideas and latest trends in the field.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 27, 2018 at 8:21 am

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Electric Car Myths Debunked

With their low running costs and increasingly long ranges, more and more people are starting to seriously consider buying electric cars. But whether your motivation is to save the planet or save a few quid, there are a number of myths out there that are still deterring prospective buyers.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at a few of the myths that abound and explore just how much truth there is to them…

Myth 1 – Electric cars create more particulates than conventional cars

Let’s start things off with a little bit of science. The theory is that the heavier the vehicle, the quicker it wears away the roads and the more particles are released into the atmosphere. Electric cars have heavy batteries, so it seems plausible that their use could create more particulates than conventional cars.

However, the truth is that virtually all of the small particulates in the atmosphere (those less than 2.5 microns in size) are created by internal combustion engines. The extra weight associated with electric cars (around 500 lbs) is negligible so they do not do significantly more damage to the road surface.

In regard to larger particulates (those up to 10 microns in size), they are primarily caused by brake dust. Electric cars use mechanical brakes much less frequency than conventional cars. Instead, they use regenerative braking, which recharges the battery as the vehicle slows and creates much less brake dust.

Myth – debunked

Myth 2 – The range is restrictive

In the early days, when even the best electric cars only had a range of 50 miles or so, this was difficult to argue with. However, these days, it’s just not true. The UK’s most popular electric car, the Nissan Leaf, can now travel 200 miles on a single charge. Over time, battery capacity will continue to grow, prices will come down and any concern about range will become a thing of the past.

If you’re planning a long journey then after 200 miles you’ll certainly be ready for a refresh. In just 45-minutes, a rapid charge point at a service station will refill your battery to 80 percent capacity so you can hit the road again.

Myth – debunked

Myth 3 – Electric cars still cause pollution, just in a different way.

Electric cars use electricity – no surprises there – some of which is generated by burning coals. By burning fossil fuels, critics argue that all electric cars do is move pollution from the cities, which petrol and diesel cars pollute, out to the suburbs, where the power stations are.

However, this assumption overlooks the fact that renewable energy sources are currently in the process of making coal-fired plants obsolete. In fact, more electricity was produced by wind and solar in the UK than any other source last year, with renewables’ share of electricity generation shooting up to 29 percent. Overall, that means the total emissions produced by electric cars are between 25 and 65 percent lower than rival vehicles.

Myth – partly true

Myth 4 – Electric cars are expensive

It’s true that at the moment, the upfront cost of new electric vehicles is more than that of equivalent petrol or diesel cars. However, second-hand electric and hybrid cars are much more reasonable. There’s also much more to consider than just the price you pay in the showroom. Vehicle tax, fuel and servicing costs all need to be taken into account, and in all of these areas, significant savings can be made.

Myth – partly true

Ready to switch to electric?

Many of the myths that make people reluctant to buy electric cars have been oversimplified or are just plain wrong. And, as the energy grid gets cleaner and battery recycling improves, the benefits of electric cars will continue to grow.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 27, 2018 at 8:14 am

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Plastic Fashion

Luckily, most of us live someplace where products and experiences are tailored to our needs and we can fulfil our desires in a split moment. We can buy and throw away things just as we please and can easily turn a blind eye to what is going to happen with them afterwards. While this almost implausible comfort could be seen positively, the amount of plastic waste we have produced as a result has seriously interfered with the planet’s eco-system. Thus, before reading any further, I would like to thank you for being here and indicating interest in creating a better and healthier future.

What is plastic exactly?

The general definition for plastic is a “material consisting any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic compounds that are malleable and so can be melded into solid objects”. While it does not sound especially harmful, the lovely colourful straws, convenient take-away cutleries and grocery shopping bags are as useful as they are non-biodegradable. Meaning that they cannot be broken down to a harmless natural state, plastic quickly escalates into something awfully damaging. The realisation of this resulted in many independent movements and governmental interventions which are concerning the use of single use plastic and have already taken place all over the world. I am thrilled to see the amount of people and businesses who are willing to give them up to reduce environmental impact.

Four time used plastic

This definition lacks another significant aspect however; plastic is essentially made from coal and oil, or as experts call them: fossil fuels. We already know how harmful fossil fuels are, both for people and for the environment, but little is known about their relationship with plastic. Not only straws and bags but 2/3 of all fast-fashion items are made from synthetic fibres too.  These involve polyester, spandex, acrylic, PVC and nylon. The only difference is that synthetics are considered to be four-times used. Why four-time? Easy. On average, one wears a garment as little as four times. Either because of their low-quality or because we can afford to buy something new, people will generally get rid of the products after the fourth use. And even if one uses clothes for a longer period, the problem is not eliminated. The more one wears something, the more one washes it. By doing so, clothes release microfibers which cannot be caught by the filter of the washing machine and will end up in our waterways. Here, fish can easily mistake them for food, consume and store the microfibers in their system until these fish end up on your plate. While it does sound delicious, believe me, food without microfibres is healthier.

What can we do?

It is not to say that you must keep your clothes until they can no longer hold their threads together. Eventually, all clothes are going to be wasted. If they are made from synthetics, well, they are going to stay with us for hundreds of years, if not forever. But just as there are metal straws and biodegradable bags there are alternatives to plastic fashion items too. Clothing made from organic materials such as organic cotton, linen or hemp are not only naturally biodegradable but softer, more durable and beautiful. Although, knowing where to buy these materials from can be exhausting. Many businesses offer seemingly environmentally friendly alternatives but unfortunately most of them are simply trying to harness more profit for their businesses. In order to avoid fake proclamations, transparency and evidence is key. Look for worldwide known certifications such as GOTS, Fairtrade International or Responsible Wool Standard to ensure that not only the end-products but the entire production process is free from harmful chemicals, unethical methods and fossil fuels.

In my search for something more worthwhile I have luckily come across Amberoot, a blog and multi-retailer company which has got me from the very first moment. Their collection of brands is entirely safe to shop and there is an impressive variety of materials, such as tencel, organic cotton, linen and peace silk to choose from. They also provide a transparency map for all of their products; therefore I know exactly where the clothes were designed, manufactured and where the materials came from. While I do enjoy shopping there, I have also learned amazing facts on their blog about upcoming future materials such as pineapple or mushroom leather. Something I have never thought of before! Looking at these possibilities the future is looking brighter every day. I am convinced that we are still in time to reverse the damage and stop the production of single and four-time used plastic once and for all.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 27, 2018 at 8:07 am

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How ancient farming communities made the Amazon what it is today

It looks like the Amazon rainforest we know and love today isn't pure and pristine at all. Research by the University of Exeter has revealed how it is far from untouched, thanks to ancient farmers who transformed the region in dramatic ways. Apparently the farmers introduced crops to new areas, boosted the number of tree species that generated food, and even used fires to improve the soil.

The study was undertaken by archaeologists, palaeoecologists, botanists and ecologists, and reveals the way early Amazon residents farmed intensively without having to continually clear fresh areas of woodland. They made their discoveries by analysing charcoal, pollen, plant remains and lake sediments.

Ancient people were wiser than us – They knew how to farm without ruining the soil

The forest's ancient residents grew maize, sweet potato, manioc and squash, and the remains date back an impressive 4,500 years. They apparently improved the soil by burning vegetation, adding manure and digging in waste food, and as well as the products they grew they also ate river fish and turtles. The discoveries explain why areas of forest surrounding archaeological sites tend to feature more edible plants than average.

Dr Yoshi Maezumi led the team. He says that ancient humans found a way to create a nutrient rich soil called Amazonian Dark Earths by farming in much more sustainable way, a way that continually enriched the soil rather than contstantly depleting it. The amazing soil they created let the people grow nutrient-hungry crops like maize in more places, even in regions the soil was very poor. And that in turn fed a growing Amazon population.

There really is a better way to grow crops

The ancient farming method involved clearing some low trees and weeds while keeping the closed canopy above. It's dramatically different from today's brutal methods, which simply involve clearing more and more land for industrial scale grain, soya bean, and cattle production. It reveals there really is a better way, a more efficient way to farm without destroying precious forests.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - August 2, 2018 at 7:10 am

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