What Food Expiry Dates Really Mean? Food Waste Epidemic

How often do you look in the refrigerator and throw something away because the best-before date has passed? Many people rely completely on food expiration dates to make a decision as to whether food is safe to eat or not.  However, as this infographic from Lakeshore Convention Centre outlines, we take these expiration dates at face value too often.

Rather than simply blindly following expiry dates we should check is the food fresh by either smelling it or sampling it. Remember that expiry dates are there to indicate a product’s freshness and is in no way an indication of a products safety.

Try to educate yourself and others about what food labels really mean as it’s such a shame that so much food is wasted unnecessarily. Find out more information about the real meaning of food expiration dates in the infographic now.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 30, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Categories: Issues   Tags:

How To Make A Hygge Home

Hygge is a design and lifestyle concept from Denmark which is becoming increasingly popular. Associated with pale neutral colour schemes, especially white, Hygge homes focus on happiness and well-being.

n this infographic we take a look at ways to make your home Hygge. It's not difficult to achieve and doesn't cost a fortune, in fact Hygge is not about extravagance and the cost of things. It's about enjoying and sharing experiences with loved ones along with quality, meaningful ‘me' time. Drinking your favourite coffee, wearing relaxing, non-restricting lounge-wear or relaxing in a warm bubble bath are examples of how Hygge lifestyles work.

In the home décor and soft furnishings focus on warmth and cosy comfort. Fluffy statement rugs placed on wooden flooring, cushions with textural elements, such as thick knits, and snugly throws are used in living rooms and bedrooms.

Candles play a huge role in Hygge living. They're used to create a relaxing ambience with their warm soft glow and scents that evoke good memories. Open fires and wood burners are used extensively in Danish décor, so, if you're fortunate enough to have either they're a great place to sit in front of with family and friends.

Hygge isn't solely for inside your home, it embraces the outdoors too. Walks or simple outdoor activities are great for helping to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Hygge is forecast to be this biggest trend this year. Find out more on How To Make A Hygge Home by taking a look at the piece below.

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 27, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Categories: Eco Home   Tags:

Green Roofing: 6 Ways EPDM Is Raising The Roof For Sustainable Roofing Technologies

Did you know that even your choice of roofing can have a significant impact on the environment? Many of us are aware that 25% of buildings’ heat being lost through uninsulated roofs, and that good insulation makes our homes more energy efficient. However, there’s still a lot more we can do to improve our environmental footprint. For those wanting to take a step forward and invest in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly roofing technology available, EPDM rubber roofing might just be the answer. Here are some of the properties that make EPDM so eco-friendly.

1. Lifespan

EPDM rubber roofs are one of the most durable types of roofing available. They have been proven to last for at least 40 or 50 years and sometimes even longer, if proper maintenance is carried out. Other flat roofing materials such as fibreglass usually last between 20-25 years, and British Standard Mastic Asphalt (one of the most common roofing materials) for at least ten years. EPDM is an especially long-lasting material, meaning your roof will not need replacing as frequently. Therefore, it requires fewer resources, which makes it a more environmentally friendly roofing choice.

2. Environmental impact

The materials used in manufacturing and installing EPDM also have a very low environmental impact. Most importantly, there are no toxic substances released from the rubber material, minimising the impact on the local environment. Importantly, run-off water from the roof will not be harmful to animals and wildlife. This also means there’s the potential for rainwater harvesting from an EPDM roof. This is when surface water on the flat roof can be drained for use in the home. For example, to flush toilets, use in washing machines or drain into water storage tanks used for watering plants. EPDM roofing is particularly suited for rainwater harvesting, as its smooth and flat rubber surface allows for the quick and easy drainage of water. It’s a completely waterproof system when correctly installed, so it doesn’t damage the building structure underneath.

3. Flood Solutions

There’s an additional benefit to EPDM’s suitability, as it can also be used to help manage flood risks. Small amounts of rainwater can actually be stored on EPDM coated roofs and allowed to drain over the course of a few hours. This could help certain parts of the world to cope with intense rainfall, as the volume of water to drain is significantly reduced and staggered over a larger timespan.

4. Green, black and white roof technologies

EPDM is particularly suited to green roof technologies (the growing of vegetation on roofs). EPDM is a popular choice for the membrane that sits underneath the layer of growing vegetation because it’s resilient and completely waterproof.
Green roofs provide a new habitat for plants and animals, help to absorb water and carbon emissions, reduce heat lost through the roof whilst also offering a more natural and aesthetically pleasing surface, especially for very built-up areas.
What’s more, black EPDM can be installed in colder climates, such as the UK, to absorb more heat from the sun. This can help reduce the amount of heating required within the property. Similarly, in hot climates, white EPDM surfaces reflect some of the sun’s heat and actually have a cooling effect on buildings.

5. Recyclability

The rubber material can be reused and recycled after its life as a roof has finished. EPDM recycling technologies have improved drastically in recent years and are no longer holding the construction material back in its environmentally-friendly status. After it has been removed from a roof, it can be ground down into a variety of different sized rubber pieces. It has been estimated that recycling EPDM materials is 30% cheaper than sending the materials to landfill sites. The reprocessed rubber can then be re-installed on another flat roof, or used in paving materials for footpaths and playground surfaces.

6. Solar panel technology

Whilst solar panels can be installed on any roof – whether flat or pitched – this eco-friendly technology is perfect for rubber flat roofs, as their flat gradient makes it easier to install and access the technology. The solar panels do not need to be installed into the flat roof membrane, but can simply be weighted down on the surface with watertight frames or fixed directly onto the flat roof.

As you can see, EPDM is pioneering the way in sustainable roofing. In North America, EPDM is now the leading recycled commercial roof membrane material! It’s the perfect eco-friendly roofing choice for both residential and commercial properties.


Guest post by Waterproof Systems.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 25, 2017 at 10:00 am

Categories: Eco Home   Tags:

Electric Car Range Race

CarKeys.co.uk have put together a retro video animation on how far electric cars can actually drive on a single charge – challenging the front runners in the EV market against each other.

It's a fun animation that offers something different, they have even gone with the Tesla theme and hidden their very own Easter Eggs within the video.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 16, 2017 at 8:20 am

Categories: Eco Travel   Tags:

The human effect – How people have influenced the Amazon rainforest

It's tempting to see the Amazon's rainforests as pristine environments mostly unaffected by mankind. It's equally tempting to see indigenous people as having very little impact on the natural forest environment. But new research reveals humans have an awful lot to do with the way Amazon forests have developed over the 8000 years or so that people have lived there.

Proof that Pre-Colombians colonised the Amazon and thrived there

New research reveals that the area's powerful Pre-Colombian civilisation changed the region profoundly. A team from Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Amazon Tree Diversity Network compared the distribution of 85 tree species, cross-referencing them with known archaeological sites. What they found was a surprise. It looks like the trees that were once domesticated by the pre-Columbians still dominate the forest, being five times more likely to grow around ruined cities and settlements than non-domesticated trees.

Out with the old, in with the new

The finding is already generating heated debate amongst scientists, challenging the old view that somehow, thousands of years of human occupation didn't really impact today's levels of diversity. And it's interesting to see which trees these ancient people valued most. They cultivated Brazil nuts and cacao, rubber, acai palm, cashew, caimito and tucuma palm, all species that are widely found to this day around the ruins of their cities. It looks like the Amazon is not as untouched as everyone assumed.

Why does it matter?

The results matter because they can be used to examine the agricultural history of the region. The Amazon is unbelievably vast, which usually makes research tricky, but the sheer quantity of new archaeological sites found recently, partly thanks to good quality satellite imagery, reveal the pre-Columbians' powerful ecological legacy.

No longer can we claim that the Amazon rainforest was only sparsely populated before Europeans arrived on the scene. The pre-Columbians lived and thrived in the Amazon region, just as they did across the rest of  South America.

There's some very good news too – interestingly, the domesticated tree species are tipped to re-colonise deforested areas more readily than non-domesticated species, and they can do it without help from humans.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 8, 2017 at 7:40 am

Categories: Conservation   Tags:

Energy Efficient and Sustainable Buildings

It is predicted that by 2050 the population of our planet will have grown by 3 billion, which means there's going to be many more people to feed, house and sustain. It's also predicted that 70% of the world's population will live in cities, so that means that energy efficient and sustainable building need to be built soon in order to meet demands.

This increase in demand is a fact that can no longer be ignored. The issues of creating buildings to meet the demand without having detrimental effects on other areas needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, because later will undoubtedly be too late to meet energy demands of more people living and working in our cities. These innovative approaches also mean that we can help save the planet by use of renewable energy that will sustain the building by being energy neutral.

Energy efficiency has many positives. It creates jobs, saves money and energy which is going to be essential to both businesses and homes in the future.

In the infographic below we take a look at just how creative, sustainable and energy efficient buildings can be. We take a look at some of the features and creative design concepts that make each of these buildings ‘greener' and more sustainable than their counterparts.

Read on to find out more about some of the world's most incredible Energy Efficient and Sustainable Buildings.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - March 3, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Categories: Eco Business   Tags:

Preparing Your Garden for Spring

It may still be chilly, cold and wet outside, but there are plenty of things you can do to prepare your garden before spring arrives.

Plants and bulbs may be laying dormant, but as the days grow longer and the earth begins to warm up things are stirring underground. It may be too late to plant spring bulbs for this year, but other plants and shrubs can be looked after and when it's raining cats and dogs you can also use the time to tidy the shed, make sure your tools are ready for use or even build a new compost bin.

In this infographic we offer ideas and tips on how to prepare your garden ready for spring. We take a look at a variety of gardening related chores that could, and should, be carried out prior to your garden bursting into life.

We've also included suggestions for flowers that will provide colour to your borders, along with ideas for mapping out your garden and planning a seed graph; both of which can be carried out indoors, so there's no excuses for inclement weather putting a dampener on your garden projects.

Read on to find out what you can do to prepare your garden ready for the start of spring and into the warmer months.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - February 15, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Categories: Eco Garden   Tags:

The Many Benefits of Going Solar at Home

Solar power has continued to advance in technology over the past few years. It has become more energy efficient cost effective than ever before, making solar technology affordable for households across the United States. Learn about the variety of benefits of going solar at home with this infographic from Renewable Energy Corporation.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - February 7, 2017 at 7:32 am

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Unexpected Congo Peat Lands the Biggest in the Tropics

Think peat and you might picture Ireland, where vast tracts of the stuff were systematically dug up over hundreds if not thousands of years, leaving huge black scars marring the landscape. Or you might find yourself picturing a garden centre with stacks of peat-based potting compost. It's unlikely the Congo Basin would spring to mind, but a vast peatland in the Congo Basin has just been mapped for the first time, and it turns out it's the biggest in the tropics.

Stashing 30 billion tonnes of carbon safely

It's called the Cuvette Centrale peatlands, it's located in the central Congo Basin, and as little as five years ago nobody had a clue it existed. But it covers a whopping 145,500 square kilometres, a chunk of land bigger than England. Importantly, this huge tract of land sucks up and locks in an awesome 30 billion tonnes of carbon, and it's one of the richest carbon ecosystems on the planet, stashing an amount the same as three years' worth of the planet's total fossil fuel emissions.

Understanding what makes the peatlands tick

Professor Simon Lewis and Dr Greta Dargie, from University of Leeds and University College London, discovered the peatlands on a 2012 field trip to the region. They contain almost a third of the world's tropical peatland carbon, equalling around two decades' worth of fossil fuel emissions given off in the USA, and the resulting peatland map created by the team marks an important first step in understanding exactly what makes this remarkable ecosystem tick.

A vital resource in the fight against climate change

Peat is made from partly-rotted down plants, and it tends to be made in cooler areas of the world. Peat acts as a powerful carbon sink, sucking carbon out of the atmosphere via plant growth. Because it's waterlogged, the plant matter doesn't completely decompose, locking carbon in. If peatlands dry out, the decomposition process kicks off again and CO2 gets released back into the atmosphere. As you can imagine, intact peatlands are a vital resource in the fight against climate change, and it's important to maintain them.

An urgent need to consider peatlands in conservation plans

Carbon has been steadily building up in the Congo Basin's peatlands for almost eleven thousand years. Destroy it and billions of tonnes of CO2 would be released into the earth's atmosphere. The Congolese peatlands are such a new discovery they aren't taken into account in conservation plans, which puts them at serious risk.


Guest post by The Rainforest Foundation.

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Posted by Eco Warrior - February 4, 2017 at 8:32 am

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How to Create the Perfect Environmentally-Friendly Wedding

Eco-friendly weddings have become increasingly popular over the years as couples look for new and inventive ways to say “I do”. Being eco-friendly is important, not just for the environmentally conscious among us, but also because planning an eco wedding has a number of other benefits.

Not only will an eco-friendly wedding have a positive impact on the environment, it will also help your big day become an extra special event. Plus, many eco-friendly weddings tend to end up being cheaper than more traditional or extravagant weddings – more money left in your pocket at the end of the day is never a bad thing!

The perfect eco-friendly wedding will only come from plenty of research and careful preparation, so have fun and get stuck into planning your dream wedding! Here are a few ideas, tips and tricks to help you create the perfect environmentally friendly wedding.

Venue

Nowadays, you can get married virtually anywhere. The church is the traditional venue of choice, but if you fancy something a little different, there are plenty of other options.

Getting married outdoors makes for a memorable eco-friendly wedding, and can be used for both the ceremony and reception. Of course, this is dependent on the season and the time of year, but outdoor weddings can look just as good as indoor weddings. Think vintage style and bohemian chic to really maximise the impact.

Ring

The ring is one of the most important aspects of the whole wedding. The wedding ring symbolises eternity and was traditionally worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was believed a vein from this finger ran directly to the heart.

A vintage ring or one passed down through the generations of your family is a lovely way to incorporate the past into your future together. If there isn’t a vintage ring in your family, an ethical wedding ring is the next best option.

Dress

Similarly, vintage wedding dresses are the way to an eco-friendly wedding. A few tweaks, adjustments and alterations can lead to a brand new wedding dress that looks as good as new. Plus, vintage dresses are one of those timeless trends, so you’re guaranteed to be looking both gorgeous and stylish on the big day. There’s also something about wearing a beautiful dress that you know someone else wore on their own wedding day that just screams romance!

Environmentally Friendly Wedding Flowers And Rings

Décor

Decoration is key when it comes to weddings. The right décor can finish off the look of your wedding, pulling off the theme and making sure your wedding is remembered for all the right reasons.

If you’re feeling creative, have a go at making some of the decorations yourself. There are plenty of DIY tutorials and wedding décor ideas out there, so do some research and try your hand at crafting your own unique wedding decorations!

Some popular options include handmade bunting (perfect for outdoor weddings), candles and hand-decorated vases or repurposed jars for flowers.

Flowers

The best way to save money and create a truly unique bridal bouquet is to use home-grown flowers from your own garden. However, if you aren’t green-fingered, go organic or choose a local florist to take care of your bouquet. Flowers can also make great additions to your theme and add to the rest of your decoration, so get creative and experiment with a stunning floral display!

Honeymoon

Many people see their honeymoon as the perfect excuse to jet off to exotic destinations, but there are plenty of environmentally friendly alternatives that are guaranteed to save you money as well. Go glamping and embrace the great outdoors, take a trip in a narrowboat or caravan, or find a picturesque cottage tucked away in the countryside. Your honeymoon doesn’t have to break the bank or even include a sunny destination abroad – sometimes the simplest trips can make the best memories.

Of course, these are only helpful suggestions designed to give you some ideas of your own. Your wedding is going to be one of the most important days of your life, and it is an incredibly personal event. Do plenty of research and go for what feels right for you and your partner – it is your big day after all!

Eco-chic Weddings: Simple Tips to Plan a Wedding with Style and Integrity

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Posted by Eco Warrior - February 4, 2017 at 7:56 am

Categories: Eco Friendly   Tags:

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