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Friday, 30 December 2011

Remarkable Recycling Facts

Image of recycling binRecycling in Clearwater

Acceptable items are: plastic bottles (with a number 1 or number 2 imprinted on the bottom), steel and aluminum cans, newspaper and mixed paper (anything that tears including junk mail, magazines, catalogs, phone books, envelopes, office paper, wrapping paper, etc.) Cardboard is accepted at our dropoff center only and should not be placed in your bin. The dropoff is located at 1701 N. Hercules Avenue.

Paper (all grades, including newspaper, cardboard and office paper):

  • By recycling one ton (2,000 lbs.) of paper, we save: 17 trees; 7,000 gallons of water; 79 gallons of oil; 587 pounds of air pollution; 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,077 Kilowatt hours of energy.
  • Around 45% of the paper Americans use each year (over 53 million tons) is recovered for recycling. This is made into a wide variety of goods such as new newsprint, boxes and office paper, paper towels, tissue products, insulation, cereal boxes, molded packaging, hydro-mulch, gypsum wallboard - even compost and kitty litter!
  • 80% of U.S. papermakers use some recovered fiber in manufacturing, and nearly 200 mills use ONLY recovered paper for their fiber.

  • The average American uses 650 lbs. of paper per year.

  • 100 million tons of wood could be saved each year if all that paper was actually recycled!
(Sources: American Forest & Paper Association, Inc.; Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Weyerhaeuser)

Image of growing earth

Aluminum:

  • Currently 100% of all beverage cans are made from aluminum. Aluminum cans made their first appearance in America in 1953.

  • We use about 392 cans per person per year.

  • Aluminum cans typically have a recycled aluminum content of about 55%.

  • Recycling aluminum saves about 95% of the energy it would take to produce aluminum from its original source, bauxite.

  • Over 50% of the aluminum cans produced are recycled.
  • Every minute of every day, an average of 113,204 aluminum cans are recycled.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough electricity to run a TV for three hours.

  • Aluminum recycling is so efficient that it can take as few as 60 days for a can to be collected, melted down and made into a new can sitting on a grocery store shelf.

  • Recycled aluminum is made into cans, pie pans, house siding, small appliances, lawn furniture; in fact , almost everything aluminum.
(Sources: The Aluminum Association, Inc.; National Soft Drink Association)

Recycling Bin photoSteel:

  • The steel (or "tin") can was invented in England in the early 1800s. Nowadays an increasing amount of steel cans are tin free.

  • The average American uses 142 steel cans annually.
  • Recycling 1 ton of steel conserves 2500 lbs. of iron ore, 1400 lbs. of coal, and 120 lbs. of limestone from natural resources.
  • Recycling just one car saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
  • Through recycling each year, the steel industry saves enough energy to power 18 million homes - one-fifth of the households in the US.

  • Recycled steel is made into steel cans, building materials, tools - in fact, almost everything steel.
(Sources: Steel Recycling Institute; Environmental Protection Agency)


Courtesy: myclearwater

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Causes and Effects of Acid Rain

Acid rain is a form of pollution that can cause of lot of damage to natural ecosystems, to man-made objects, as well has harms human health. Here are some of the causes and effects of acid rain.
 


Acid rain, or more accurately acid precipitation, is the term used for describing rainfall with a pH level lower than 5.6. This type of pollution is a matter of great debate currently due to the potential of its causing environmental damages all across the world. For the last decade or so acid rain has caused destruction to hundreds of lakes and streams in many parts of the world, including the US, Canada, and Europe. Acid rain forms due to the oxides of sulfite and nitrogen combining with the moisture contained in the atmosphere, resulting in the formation of sulfuric and nitric acids. These acids can be dispersed far away from their places of origin.

What are the Causes of Acid Rain?

The oxides of nitrogen, or NOx, and sulfur dioxide, or SO2, are the two main sources of acid rain. Sulfur dioxide, which is a colorless gas, is given off as a by-product when fossil fuels that contain sulfur are burned. This gas is produced due to various industrial processes, like the processing of crude oil, utility factories, and iron and steel factories. Natural means and disaster can also result in sulfur dioxide being released into the atmosphere, such as rotting vegetation, plankton, sea spray, and volcanoes, all of which emit about 10% sulfur dioxide. On the whole, industrial combustion is responsible for 69.4% sulfur dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, and vehicular transportation is responsible for about 3.7%.

Nitrogen oxide is the other chemical that acid rain is made up of. Any nitrogen compound that contains oxygen atoms of any amount is known as oxides of nitrogen. For example, nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen monoxide are oxides of nitrogen. These gases are produced in firing processes which involve extremely high temperatures, e.g., utility plants and automobiles, as well as in chemical industries, such as in the production of fertilizers. Five percent of nitrogen oxide is emitted by natural processes like lightning, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and action of bacteria in the soil. Industrial processes emit 32% and vehicular transportation is responsible for 43%.

Nitrogen oxide, which is a dangerous gas in itself, causes damage to the respiratory organs by attacking the membranes in them, thus increasing the chances of respiratory diseases. It also causes smog and is a contributory factor for the damage of the ozone layer in the atmosphere. When there is acid rain, the nitrogen oxide can be carried far away from the original location of the rain.

What are the Effects of Acid Rain?

Effects of acid rain on plant life: Acid rain seeps into the earth and poisons plants and trees by dissolving toxic substances in the soil, such as aluminum, which get absorbed by the roots. Acid rain also dissolves the beneficial minerals and nutrients in the soil, which are then washed away before the plants and trees have a chance of using them in order to grow.

When there is frequent acid rain, it corrodes the waxy protective coating of the leaves. When this protective coating on the leaves is lost, it results in making the plant susceptible to disease. When the leaves are damaged, the plant loses its ability to produce sufficient amounts of nutrition for it to stay healthy. Once weakened, the plant becomes vulnerable to the cold weather, insects, and disease, which can lead to its death.

Effects of acid rain on aquatic life: Apart from plants, acid rain also affects aquatic organisms adversely. A high amount of sulfuric acid interferes with the ability of fish to take in nutrients, salt, and oxygen. As far as freshwater fish is concerned, in order for them to stay alive they need to have the ability of maintaining a balance between the minerals and salts in their tissues. The molecules of acid result in mucus forming in their gills, which prevents them from absorbing oxygen in adequate amounts. Plus, the acidity, which reduces the pH level, causes the imbalance of salt in the tissues of fish.

Moreover, this change in the pH level also impairs some of the fish's ability to maintain their calcium levels. This impairs reproduction the ability of the fish, because the eggs become to weak or brittle. Lack of calcium also causes deformed bones and weakened spines.

Effects of acid rain on man-made objects: Apart from causing harm to natural ecosystems, acid rain also damages man-made structures and materials. For example, acid rain dissolves sandstone, limestone, and marble. It also corrodes ceramic, textiles, paints, and metals. Rubber and leather deteriorate if exposed to acid rain. Stone monuments and carvings begin losing their features when exposed to acid rain.

Effects of acid rain on humans: Most of all, acid rain affects human health adversely. It has the ability of harming us via the atmosphere as well as the soil where the food we eat is grown. Acid rain results in toxic metals breaking loose from the chemical compounds they occur in naturally. While toxic metals may be dangerous, but as long as they exist in combination with other elements, they are not harmful. Once acid rain causes these toxic metals to be released they can infiltrate into the drinking water, and the animals or crops that humans use as sources of food. This contaminated food can damage the nerves in children, or result in severe brain damage, or even death. Scientists suspect that aluminum, one of the toxic metals affected by acid rain, is associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Another adverse health effect of acid rain on humans is the respiratory problems it causes. The emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide cause respiratory problems like throat, nose and eye irritation; headache; asthma; and dry coughs. Acid rain is particularly harmful for those who have difficulty in breathing or suffer from asthma. In fact, even the lungs of healthy people can be damaged by the pollutants in acid air. 
 
(Courtesy: Rita Putatunda)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

7 Environmental Problems That Are Worse Than We Thought

With as much attention as the environment has been getting lately, you’d think that we’d be further along in our fight to preserve the world’s species, resources and the beautiful diversity of nature. Unfortunately, things aren’t nearly that rosy. In fact, many of the environmental problems that have received the most public attention are even worse than we thought – from destruction in the rain forest to melting glaciers in the Arctic. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

7. Mammal Extinction

Image via National Wildlife Federation

One in four mammals is threatened with extinction. That’s 25%, a huge number that will totally change the ecology of every corner of the earth. We could see thousands of species die out in our lifetime, and the rate of habitat loss and hunting in crucial areas like Southeast Asia, Central Africa and Central and South America is growing so rapidly, these animals barely have a chance.
If you think the extinction of an animal like the beautiful Iberian Lynx is no big deal, and wouldn’t have that much of an effect on the planet, think again. Not only would we be losing – mostly due to our own disregard for our surroundings – so much of the awe-inspiring diversity of nature, mass extinctions like this would cause a serious imbalance in the world’s food chain. When a predator disappears, the prey will multiply. When prey dies out, the predator will see its ranks decrease as well. Many people fail to realize just how interconnected all species on this planet really are.

6. The Ocean Dead Zones

Image via NASA

In oceans around the world, there are eerie areas that are devoid of nearly all life. These ‘dead zones’ are characterized by a lack of oxygen, and they’re caused by excess nitrogen from farm fertilizers, emissions from vehicles and factories, and sewage. The number of dead zones has been growing fast – since the 1960’s, the number of dead zones has doubled every 10 years. They range in size from under a square mile to 45,000 square miles, and the most infamous one of all is in the Gulf of Mexico, a product of toxic sludge that flows down the Mississippi from farms in the Midwest. These ‘hypoxic’ zones now cover an area roughly the size of Oregon.

Spanish researches recently found that many species die off at oxygen levels well above the current definition of ‘uninhabitable’, suggesting that the extent of dead zones in coastal areas that support fishing is much worse than previously thought. Robert Diaz, a Virginia Institute of Marine Science biologist, said “Everything is pointing towards a more desperate situation in all aquatic systems, freshwater and marine. That’s pretty clear. People should be worried, all over the world.”
As if that weren’t bad enough, global warming will likely aggravate the problem. A rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will change rainfall patterns, which could create an increase in runoff from rivers into the seas in many areas.

5. Collapsing Fish Stock

Image via Pew Environment Group

Millions of people across the world depend upon fish as a major staple in their diet. As such, commercial fishermen have been pulling such a huge quantity of fish from the oceans that we’re heading toward a global collapse of all species currently fished – possibly as soon as the year 2048. Like large-scale mammal extinction, the collapse of fish species would have a major impact on the world’s ecosystems.

It’s not too late – yet – if overfishing and other threats to fish populations are reduced as soon as possible. Marine systems are still biologically diverse, but catastrophic loss of fish species is close at hand. 29 percent of species have been fished so heavily or have been so affected by pollution that they’re down to 10 percent of their previous population levels. If we continue the way we are fishing today, there will be a 100 percent collapse by mid-century, so we’ve got to turn this around fast.

4. Destruction of the Rain Forest

Image via Encyclopedia Britannica

‘Saving the rain forest’ has been at the forefront of the environmental movement for decades, yet here we are facing huge losses in the Amazon all the same. You might have thought that, with all the attention the rain forest has gotten, it wouldn’t need so much saving anymore – but unfortunately, global warming and deforestation mean that half of the Amazon rain forest will likely be destroyed or severely damaged by 2030.

The World Wildlife Fund concluded this summer that agriculture, drought, fire, logging and livestock ranching will cause major damage to 55 percent of the Amazon rain forest in the next 22 years. Another 4 percent will see damage due to reduced rainfall, courtesy of global warming. These factors will destroy up to 80 percent of the rain forest’s wildlife. Losing 60 percent of the rain forest would accelerate global warming and affect rainfall in places as far away as India. Massive destruction to the rain forest would have a domino effect on the rest of the world.

The WWF says that the ‘point of no return’, from which recovery will be impossible, is only 15 to 25 years away.

3. Polar Sea Ice Loss

Image via National Snow and Ice Data Center

Polar sea ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. It’s perhaps the most dramatic, startling visual evidence of global warming, and it’s got scientists rushing to figure out just how big of an effect the melting is going to have on the rest of the world.

British researchers said last week that the thickness of sea ice in the Arctic decreased dramatically last winter for the first time since records began in the early 1990s. The research showed a significant loss in thickness on the northern ice cap after the record loss of ice during the summer of 2007.

Scientific American warns that “human fingerprints have been detected” on both the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Antarctica had previously appeared to be the only continent on the planet where humanity’s impact on climate change hadn’t been observed. The collapse of the Larsen B and Wilkins ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula shows just how fast the region is warming.

2. CO2 Levels in the Atmosphere

Image via Visible Earth

The aforementioned polar sea ice loss is yet another sinister sign of carbon dioxide levels building up in the atmosphere – the main force behind global warming. Greenhouse gas emissions caused by our modern way of life – vehicles, power plants, factories, giant livestock farms – will bring devastating climate change within decades if they stay at today’s levels.

Average temperatures could increase by as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century if emissions continue to rise, a figure that would easily make the world virtually uninhabitable for humans. A global temperature rise of just 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit would cause a catastrophic domino effect, bringing weather extremes that would result in food and water shortages and destructive floods.

The most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change represents “the final nail in the coffin” of climate change denial, representing the most authoritative picture to date that global warming is caused by human activity. According to the panel, we must make a swift and significant switch to clean, efficient and renewable energy technologies in order to prevent the worst-case scenario.

1. Population Explosion

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Whether we like to admit it or not, our very own rapidly multiplying presence on this planet is the biggest environmental problem there is, and it’s getting bigger by the minute. We voraciously consume resources, pollute the air and water, tear down natural habitats, introduce species into areas where they don’t belong and destroy ecosystems to the point of causing millions of species to become endangered and, all too often, go extinct.

It took nearly all of human history – from the first days of man on earth until the early 1800’s – to reach a global population of 1 billion. In just 200 years, we’ve managed to reach 6.5 billion. That means the population has grown more since 1950 than in the previous four million years. We’re adding roughly 74 million people to the planet every year, a scary figure that will probably continue to increase. All of those mouths will need to be fed. All of those bodies will need clean water and a place to sleep. All of the new communities created to house those people will continue to encroach upon the natural world.

All seven environmental problems detailed above are very serious, and we’ve got to start treating them that way. We may not have easy solutions, but the fact is, we simply can’t continue living our lives as if everything is peachy. These problems aren’t going to magically solve themselves. We should have begun acting generations ago, but we can’t go back in time, and that means we have to step up our efforts. If we want to keep this planet a healthy place for humans to live – for our grandchildren to enjoy – it’s time to buckle down and do everything in our power to reverse the damage we’ve done.

(Courtesy: Stephanie Rogers)

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Are Your Backyards Green Enough?

If not, then use these ideas!
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn. This helps to recycle nutrients (¼ pound of organic nitrogen per bag), does not produce thatch, and reduces the amount of time and money you spend on lawn care.
  • Alternatively, clippings can be mixed with leaves and brush as a simple mulch to protect the soil, suppress weeds and conserve water.
  • Or, make compost with the clippings, together with yard trimmings (old plants, wilted flowers, small prunings), leaves, vegetable & fruit scraps, coffee grounds & filters, tea bags, stale bread, eggshells, wood chips, sawdust from untreated wood & shredded paper (low grade paper not acceptable for recycling). Do not use meat, fish or poultry (including bones), food sauces, fats, grease or oils, dairy products, invasive weeds, treated wood (or any materials containing strong preservatives or toxins), pet wastes, ashes, charcoal or non-organic material (plastic, metal, glass, etc.)
  • Use the bases of 2-liter soda bottles, small aluminum cans or paper egg cartons for seedlings.
  • When taking a shower, put a bucket in the stall to collect excess water. This can be used to water plants.
  • Place barrels under down spouts to collect rain water.
  • Use old tires cut in half as flower planters.
  • Cut milk jugs in half and use as planters or bird feeders.
  • Use free yard waste mulch then dress with cypress, etc.
  • Use crumb rubber from recycled tires as mulch.
  • Save plastic concentrated juice cans to support melons and squash as they mature in your garden. They deter soil-borne insects and diseases.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Make Your Holidays Green

Want to make your holidays greener? Use these tips!
  • Halloween - make your own costumes and avoid the disposable type; use pillow cases or canvas bags instead of plastic for collecting treats; give out trail mix or small durable toys instead of candy.
  • Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah - use reusable metal baking trays rather than disposable aluminum. Reuse disposable trays if they are used.
  • Buy a live Christmas tree and plant it in your yard after the holidays, or buy an artificial tree that can be used year after year. Otherwise, recycle your cut tree into mulch.
  • Give live or silk plants rather than cut flowers.
  • Use wrapping paper and cards made from recycled paper. Free gift wrap made from recycled paper is available every holiday season in Pinellas County. Call 464-7500 for information.
  • At picnics, use cloth napkins and table cloths, china, silverware or reusable plastic.
  • Use popcorn instead of Styrofoam peanuts for packaging. When you receive items packed in peanuts, reuse them yourself or check if your local mailing/shipping store might want them.
  • Reuse wrapping paper, tissue paper and bows.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Be An Eco-friendly Shopper!

Going shopping? Then shop for greener stuff. This is how you can shop in an eco-friendly way!
  • Reduce the amount of packaging you buy, reuse what you can, and recycle the rest.
  • Look for products without packaging - tools, fresh produce, dry goods.
  • Avoid individually wrapped portions (cheese slices, juice, etc.).
  • Favor products with a high recycled content, even if they cost a little more.
  • Choose concentrated products in reusable containers, and largest size containers.
  • Buy in bulk. Sometimes you can take your own plastic or other containers to the store to be filled directly with bulk goods.
  • Buy frozen foods in plastic bags rather than boxes. A 28-oz. bag of frozen corn is 59% less expensive and results in 98% less waste than buying the equivalent weight in single-serving 4.5 oz. boxes.
  • When purchasing just one or two items, tell the clerk, "I don't need a bag, thanks."
  • Choose rechargeable batteries and long-life bulbs.
  • Avoid disposable razors, pens, pencils and lighters.
  • Choose long-lasting metal or wood toys rather than plastic.
  • Buy recycled paper bathroom tissue, napkins and kitchen towels.
  • Take your own mug or thermos to the coffee shop. Some shops will offer a discounted price when you provide your own container.
  • Avoid pump toothpaste - it is over-packaged and includes excess plastic.
  • Use your own reusable canvas or string bags when shopping.
  • If you do opt for paper or plastic grocery bags, take them back to the store to be recycled.
  • Buy quality products and keep them for a lifetime.



Reduce Your Office Waste Smartly

Do you contribute to your office waste unknowingly? Here's what you can do to stop it.

  • Make two-sided copies to reduce paper waste by 50%.
  • When circulating memos or documents use routing slips, or better still e-mail.
  • Share newspapers and magazines.
  • Use the blank side of used paper for scratch paper, then recycle it.
  • Reuse cardboard and paperboard boxes.
  • Encourage your office manager to buy or lease fax machines that use plain paper.
  • Use small stick-on fax notes on the first sheet of each fax and omit cover sheets.
  • Use durable products, i.e., china mugs instead of disposable cups, refillables instead of throw-aways.
  • Purchase items that can be used for more than one application.
  • Refold and reuse file folders.
  • Use reusable envelopes for interoffice mail; reuse envelopes with metal clasps.
  • At meetings or events, use durable/washable tableware instead of disposables.
  • Purchase stationery, scratch pads, business cards, paper towels, toilet paper and facial tissue made from recycled paper.
  • Bring lunch in reusable containers rather than paper or plastic bags.
  • Recycle and use recycled toner cartridges.
  • Use recycled yard waste mulch and crumb rubber from recycled tires in workplace landscaping and parking lots.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Ten Tips for Reducing Your Plastic Consumption

Here are ten tips for reducing your plastic consumption

1. Bring Your Own Bag: The EPA reports that between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are used each year worldwide. Avoid this needless waste by always carrying a bag or two with you and be sure to bring grocery bags and produce bags with you when you go to the market.

2. Drink Tap Water: On an average, every country consumes at least 8-10 billion bottles of water each year and nearly all of these plastic bottles end up in the landfill. Unless you have serious water quality or taste issues, this is an easy way to curb usage.

3. Buy from Bulk Bins: This is a great way to avoid buying food products in plastic packaging. Some stores offer granola, cereal, dried fruit, dried beans, nuts, candy, and grains that you can bring home with reusable cloth bags. Use the internet to find out if you have stores in your area with bulk bins.

4. Carry a Reusable Water Bottle: Sometimes you just need a drink, so be sure to carry a reusable water bottle with you. Don't forget that some bottles are made of polycarbonate, a type of plastic that is likely to have many adverse health effects.

5. Bring Your Own Mug: If you love hot beverages, be sure to carry along a mug. Stainless steel mugs are a great option.

6. Discover Fresh Foods: Almost all processed foods come in plastic in some form or another. Buy fresh fruits and veggies (be sure to use your produce bags!), get your meat wrapped in paper from the meat counter, and find a deli where you can get your cheese in paper.

7. Do Some Baking: Lots of baked goods that usually come packed in plastic can be made easily at home. Favorite examples include cookies and bread. Note that breadmakers turn baking bread into an easy task and are simple to find at local thrift stores and garage sales.

8. Enjoy Slow Food: Among the many ills of fast food, it's almost impossible to avoid plastic packaging when eating at a place like McDonald's. That means it's time to slow down and start cooking your own meals.

9. Kick Your Soda Habit: World consumes millions of bottles and cans of soda each year (note that aluminum cans are lined with plastic to prevent the aluminum from leeching into your soda). To avoid this waste and possible health consequences, pour yourself a glass of aqua from the tap.

10. Use Natural Cleaning Products: Products like baking soda and vinegar don't have to come packed in plastic and are multi-purpose and effective. Learn more about natural cleaning products to reduce your plastic consumption.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

40 Ways to Go Greener at Home

1.  Plant an herb garden.  It’s good to have a reminder around of where our food originates.
2.  Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few).
3.  Create a homemade compost bin for $15.
4.  Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the “energy star” label).

Photo from Flip & Tumble
5.  Stop using disposable bags – order some reusable bags, or make your own. 
6.  Buy an inexpensive reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles.  Then watch The Story of Bottled Water, a short movie about the bottled water phenomena.
7.  Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
8.  Turn off lights when you leave the room.
9.  Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can — open your curtains and enjoy natural light.
10.  Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.

Photo by Kamyar Adi
11.  Better yet, walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer.
12.  Support your local economy and shop at your farmer’s market.
13.  Turn off your computer completely at night.
14.  Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company.
15.  Pay as many bills as possible online.
16.  Put a stop to unsolicited mail — sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.  While you’re at it, go ahead and make sure you’re on the “do not call” list, just to make your life more peaceful.

17.  Reuse scrap paper.  Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.
18.  Conduct a quick energy audit of your home.
19.  Subscribe to good eco-friendly blogs.
20.  Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle.
21.  Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally.
22.  Fix leaky faucets.
23.  Make your own household cleaners.

Photo by Kasia
24.  Line dry your laundry.
25.  Watch The Story of Stuff with your kids, and talk about the impact your household trash has on our landfills.
26.  Learn with your kids about another country or culture, expanding your knowledge to other sides of the world.
28.  Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
29.  Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
30.  Repurpose something – turn one of your well-worn t-shirts into basic play pants for your baby.  Or save egg cartons for paint wells, seed starters, treasure boxes, or a myriad of other crafts.
31.  Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.

Photo by Lori Ann
32.  Switch to cloth diapers – or at least do a combination with disposables.
33.  Switch to shade-grown coffee with the “Fair Trade” label.
34.  Use a Diva Cup for your monthly cycles.
35.  Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Be frugal, and make these rags out of old towels and t-shirts.
36.  Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.
37.  Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and open your eyes to the way conventional food is processed.

Photo by Katherine Raz
38.  Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen.
39.  Five-minute showers – make it a goal for yourself.
40.  Donate to – and shop at – thrift stores such as Goodwill.  You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, and you’ll be supporting your local economy.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Everyday Pollution Solutions

Your Guide to Going Green

1 Use cast iron pans instead of nonstick. 

2. To avoid chemicals leaching into food, go easy on processed, canned or fast foods and never microwave plastic. 

3. Buy organic, or eat vegetables and fruit from the "Clean 15" list. 

4. Pregnant women should use iodized salt to combat chemical interference from the thyroid.
5. Seal outdoor wooden structures. 

6. Leave your shoes at the door. This cuts down on dust-bound pollutants in the home.


7. Avoid perfume, cologne and products with added fragrance. Search for personal care products that are fragrance-free, or check the products you're already using.

8. Buy products with natural fibers, like cotton and wool, that are naturally fire resistant. 

9. Eat low-mercury fish like tilapia & pollock, rather than high-mercury choices like tuna & swordfish.
10. Filter your water for drinking and cooking. 

(Courtesy: Environmental Working Group)

Friday, 16 December 2011

10 Quick Tips To Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding

# 1 – Venue
Start your quest to plan an eco-friendly wedding by selecting a venue that is LEED-certified, practices sustainability, and doesn’t need a lot of extra d├ęcor. A site that is centrally located for your guests, where the ceremony and reception can be held in the same place, is also a plus.

#2 – Food & Beverage
When it comes to being green, you can’t go wrong with options that are seasonal, local, organic and fair trade compliant.

(Courtesy of Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase)

#3 – Flowers
Florals that are locally grown and in-season are the most environmentally friendly, as are organic and fair trade flowers. During the wedding, you can reuse your flowers for both the ceremony and reception, and afterward, you can donate them or give them away to be sure they get as much use as possible.

#4/5 – Candles & Lighting
Candles made from soy or beeswax are the most eco-friendly, and using LED-powered or energy-efficient lighting is another great way to be less wasteful.

#6 – Invitations
Many couples are skipping paper save-the-date cards in favor of electronic messages and notifications. When it comes to invites, postcard response cards, plus the use of recycled paper and embedded seeds, are fantastic ways to maintain a classic vibe while also helping the environment. Even something as simple as encouraging guests to recycle the invites themselves can have a positive impact!

#7 – Guest Favors
When choosing favors, think about whether your guests will truly find them useful and reusable. Get stuck? Edible favors that are locally made are always a plus, as are items that are recyclable and come in eco-friendly packaging.

#8 – Gifts From Guests
Though you can’t always control what you receive, registering for donations to a favorite charity, or for honeymoon experiences, are great ways to help guests give you something that is useful and non-wasteful. Two of my own favorite sites for this purpose are Honeyfund and Just Give.org.

#9 – Attire & Jewelry
Go vintage, seek out eco-friendly fabrics , and choose jewelry made from repurposed metals.

(Courtesy of Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase)

#10 – Waste Disposal
Work with your venue to compost or donate leftover wedding items, including flowers and food, while also trying to reduce the amount of waste produced during your event.  Of course, reusing and recycling are always key!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Plan A Green Christmas This Year

By now everyone has heard about the value and importance of being "green." Yet Christmas, one of the biggest holidays for retail, still generates unnecessary trash, uses precious resources, and creates quite a large footprint. It is not difficult to find ways to celebrate a green Christmas, but just requires a bit of creativity.


The most important thing to consider when planning an environmentally friendly Christmas is priorities. Visiting out-of-town friends and family is important, and already creates a large carbon footprint due to out-of-town travel. Find other ways to cut back on your impact, by exchanging eco friendly Christmas gifts or using green Christmas trees. Consider a living Christmas tree, which is delivered in a pot, remains alive through the season (don't forget to water it!), and is picked up after New Year's Day.

Green Christmas cards and recycled wrapping paper are both great options for a Green Christmas. Consider re-using paper already in your house, rather than buying new wrapping paper, a waste of both paper and the plastic it is wrapped in. Make your own cards with supplies at home, or buy cards made of recycled paper. Green Santa has plenty of Green Christmas gift ideas, or use your creativity to make presents for loved ones, rather than buying more products packaged in plastic.

DIY ideas abound; try searching the Internet for simple crafts, bake a batch of homemade cookies or bread, or start seedlings for an indoor house plant. Browse thrift stores, used book shops, or consignment stores for treasures. People usually appreciate homemade Christmas gifts much more than mass market ones, and the planet will appreciate your consideration as well.

Green Christmas decorations can be homemade, or reused. Use LED Christmas lights to save energy. Celebrating a Green Christmas is well worth the extra effort and thought, and will save you some green cash as well.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Little About Recycling Plastic

Plastic recycling is the next step in the process of getting a green, more sustaining planet. Everyone recycles paper, with cities often even providing free recycling bins, but plastic tends to be forgotten in many places. But there's even more reasons to recycle plastic, and things you may not even think about that can be recycled, especially in a company. Here's why you should think about going completely green by recycling everything you can.

The process of recycling is something that we've become accustomed to. Whether it's at home or in the office, it's important to save trees by dropping newspapers, printed sheets, and even carton boxes into the right bins. But only recently has plastic recycling started to become common. But there's even more reasons to recycle plastic as there is to recycle paper, which can be understood when we look at what happens to plastic waste. With paper, it's pretty easy. You can burn or soak it and paper waste doesn't last long. But plastic lasts for centuries in nature. There's no safe way to handle it, since burning produces toxic material, and burying it will keep the material intact for such a long time. So you can see how it's doubly important to recycle this material. While most cities have small backs where people can drop plastic boxes or food containers, businesses often ignore larger plastic items that could still be recycled.

As a corporation, it's important for you to show how green you are by recycling plastic products. Of course, the first step is by putting up bins at strategic locations for your employees, but a lot of larger items get thrown out by many companies that doesn't need to be. When you contract directly with a recycling plant, you can get items such as plastic resins and specialty polymers recycled for you, at a price that's much lower than you would expect. You can't rely on city provided systems to recycle such specialized materials, especially if they are somewhat big, but that doesn't mean you should throw them away. Remember how bad these are for the environment, which is why you should recycle them. A commercial recycling plant will even pay you for large quantities of plastic waste, so that your initial investment in setting up this system is quickly repaid. And of course, you gain the opportunity to call your corporation green, something many companies still can't claim.

So if you're throwing trash out needlessly, think about how much better your company could be, by recycling plastic scrap. You don't need to have a large quantity of trash either, since a specialized plant will have all the needed equipment to collect and recycle the material you have, regardless of the amount. Act now, and don't let your items add to a trash pile for the next few centuries. You can make a difference, especially as a business owner, and with your example, others may follow your lead.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Simple Actions To Prevent Environmental Pollution

E-wastes such as mobile phones and computers that end up in landfills in due course cause pollution and bring about global warming, bizarre changes in the temperature as well as cause many serious health problems in animals as well as humans. Though recycle my mobile phone and other electronic equipment is one simple way to prevent pollution, there are many other simple ways to prevent pollution.

Recycling is an environment friendly way to discard old electronic items. To start with, segregate recyclable accessories from the trash and put them all in a separate bag. This is one very important aspect of healthy campaign. Sell unwanted electronic devices to any of the online recycling companies because they offer good value for outdated electronic devices. The sale of unused electronic equipment to a good recycling site will also help regulate the ever-growing quantity of mobile handset wastes piling up and eventually get into landfills spoiling the surroundings.

Besides mobile phones, people can also sell gaming console to recycling firm when they buy a latest one and raise good money. What's more, in addition the game is reused. People can also recycle ink cartridges of printers used in homes and industries and avoid unnecessarily throwing them into the landfills because it can cause serious damage to the environment. In fact, recycle everything that can be recycled such as plastics, mirrors, aluminium items, dress, magazines, etc. However, when people recycle they should use a good website to sell old electronic products.

Recycling is certainly not just enough, people should always purchase recycled goods whenever possible such as recycled stationery, items with eco-friendly packaging as well as reuse electronic goods by purchasing them in seconds sale.

Purchase natural and organic food to reduce the usage of inorganic insecticides, artificial fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics in the agriculture items, thus aiding to decrease pollution within the nature as well as well-being risks.

Reuse plastic shopping bag as much as possible and then dispose them in a safe manner. Use eco-friendly bags such as jute bags and / or paper baggage instead of plastic baggage while going for shopping. Use rechargeable batteries and electronic products. Carpooling or traveling by bus also can also minimize air pollution. Go by walk and avoid using automobile when going to nearby places.

Utilize plastic cash as well as paperless banking as it conserves paper, natural resources and also energy levels. Using washing soaps manufactured from natural items, can also help reduce pollution. Simple changes in lifestyle such as going by walk than by vehicle and simple actions such as recycle phones can go a long way to reduce pollution, protect resources naturally as well as preserve energy levels.

Friday, 9 December 2011

How to quickly calculate their carbon footprints

You can quickly calculateyour  carbon footprints, or the amount of greenhouse gases in units of carbon dioxide, you're producing by using the following formula:

A.) Multiply your monthly electricity bill by 105

B.) Multiply your monthly gas bill by 105

C.) Multiply your monthly oil bill by 113

(if you don't use either B or C, enter 0.)

D.) Multiply total yearly mileage by .79

E.) Multiply the number of flights--4 hours or less--by 1,100

F.) Multiply the number of flights--4 hours or more--by 4,400

G.) Do you recycle newspaper? If no, add 184. If yes, add 0.

H.) Do you recycle aluminum and tin? If no, add 166. If yes, add 0.

A+B+C+D+E+F+G+H = your carbon footprint. A number below 6,000 (reflected in pounds per year) is excellent. Over 22,000? Not so great. Good is anywhere from 6,000 to 15,999, while 16,000 to 22,000 is average.

If your number is higher than you would like, there's good news--there are hundreds of ways you can shrink your carbon footprint, and many of them aren't as sacrificial as you might expect.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

How To Clean Your House Without Harming The Environment

Here is a broad overview on how to clean our house without harming the environment.

You will need:

* * lemon juice
* salt
* bicarbonate of soda
* vinegar
* water
* baking soda
* reusable cloth
* newspaper

Freshen Rooms
Ditch the air freshener and open a window instead. It's free, far more effective and doesn't fill your room with a toxic soup.

Carpets
To freshen carpets, sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda before you vacuum. This will remove odors and may help lift stains.

Surfaces
Lemons have natural bleaching, deodorizing and antibacterial properties. Make an effective multipurpose cleaner by mixing one part lemon juice with three parts water and store in a spray bottle. Don't forget to label it correctly. Simply spray it on and wipe off with a cloth.

The Kitchen
Bicarbonate of soda is a great abrasive cleaner. Use it neat to clean fridge interiors, ovens and sinks.

For baked on food mix 2 parts bicarbonate of soda, 1 part salt and enough lemon juice to create a paste, spread it over the stain, leave for a few minutes then scrub off.

To dispel bad smells from the fridge, cut a lemon in half and leave to absorb the odor.

The Bathroom
Vinegar, with its antibacterial and deodorizing properties, is a great bathroom cleaner. Mix equal parts water and vinegar to make an effective solution for the bath tub, sink, tiles, floor and toilet seat and cistern. For tougher stains and lime scale scrub with a mix of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar - a tour de force cleaning combination.

To clean the toilet bowl add a cup of vinegar and leave overnight, then scrub with the toilet brush.

Copper and Brass
Rub lemon juice and a little salt into copper and brass to really make it shine

Window and glass
For a streak free finish use a solution of equal amounts vinegar and water. Apply to the glass with old newspaper.

Alternative Products
If you don't have time to make homemade cleaners then stick to Eco brands. These are specifically made to cause as little damage to the environment as possible. Check the packaging for good, plant based ingredients instead of chemicals. Avoid phosphates, chlorine and aerosols at all costs. From now on cleaning your house needn't cost the earth!

Source: http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-clean-your-house-without-harming-the-environment

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

100 Ways To Conserve Water

There are a number of ways to save water, and they all start with you.
  • #2
    When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • #3
    Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings.
  • #4
    Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  • #5
    Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • #6
    Choose shrubs and groundcovers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips.
  • #7
    Install covers on pools and spas and check for leaks around your pumps.
  • #8
    Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time.
  • #9
    Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful.
Tip #10
For cold drinks keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
  • #11
    Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
  • #12
    Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.
  • #13
    Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
  • #14
    Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time and money.
  • #15
    Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time.
  • #16
    If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.
  • #17
    Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.
  • #18
    If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
  • #19
    We're more likely to notice leaks indoors, but don't forget to check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks.
  • #20
    If you have an automatic refilling device, check your pool periodically for leaks.
  • #21
    Check the root zone of your lawn or garden for moisture before watering using a spade or trowel. If it's still moist two inches under the soil surface, you still have enough water.
  • #22
    When buying new appliances, consider those that offer cycle and load size adjustments. They're more water and energy efficient.
  • #23
    Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you'll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  • #24
    Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models.
  • #25
    Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.
  • #26
    When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants.
  • #27
    Use sprinklers for large areas of grass. Water small patches by hand to avoid waste.
Tip #28
Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • #29
    When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.
  • #30
    Walkways and patios provide space that doesn't ever need to be watered. These useful "rooms" can also add value to your property.
  • #31
    Collect water from your roof to water your garden.
  • #32
    Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
  • #33
    Rather than following a set watering schedule, check for soil moisture two to three inches below the surface before watering.
  • #34
    Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won't run when it's raining.
  • #35
    Don't use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.
Tip #36
Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it's needed.
  • #37
    Grab a wrench and fix that leaky faucet. It's simple, inexpensive, and you can save 140 gallons a week.
  • #38
    Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard by planting shrubs and ground covers appropriate to your site and region.
  • #39
    When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
  • #40
    Teach your children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.
  • #41
    Remember to check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks and keep the sprinkler heads in good shape.
Tip #42
Use a water-efficient showerhead. They're inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month.
  • #43
    Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  • #44
    Don't water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.
  • #45
    Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
  • #46
    Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. This could save water and prevent damage to your home.
  • #47
    To decrease water from being wasted on sloping lawns, apply water for five minutes and then repeat two to three times.
  • #48
    Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid overwatering some while underwatering others.
  • #49
    Use a layer of organic material on the surface of your planting beds to minimize weed growth that competes for water.
  • #50
    Use a minimum amount of organic or slow release fertilizer to promote a healthy and drought tolerant landscape.
  • #51
    Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation than those spraying water into the air.
  • #52
    Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • #53
    Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
  • #54
    Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month.
  • #55
    Use a rain gauge, or empty tuna can, to track rainfall on your lawn. Then reduce your watering accordingly.
  • #56
    Encourage your school system and local government to develop and promote water conservation among children and adults.
  • #57
    Learn how to shut off your automatic watering system in case it malfunctions or you get an unexpected rain.
  • #58
    Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn or garden to remind you when to stop. A running hose can discharge up to 10 gallons a minute.
  • #59
    If your toilet flapper doesn't close after flushing, replace it.
  • #60
    Make sure there are water-saving aerators on all of your faucets.
Tip #61
Next time you add or replace a flower or shrub, choose a low water use plant for year-round landscape color and save up to 550 gallons each year.
  • #62
    Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don't have to run the water while it heats up. This also reduces energy costs.
  • #63
    Use a grease pencil to mark the water level of your pool at the skimmer. Check the mark 24 hours later to see if you have a leak.
  • #64
    If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
  • #65
    Use a trowel, shovel, or soil probe to examine soil moisture depth. If the top two to three inches of soil are dry it's time to water.
  • #66
    If installing a lawn, select a turf mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.
  • #67
    When you save water, you save money on your utility bills too. Saving water is easy for everyone to do.
  • #68
    When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.
  • #69
    Make sure your swimming pools, fountains, and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.
  • #70
    Bathe your young children together.
  • #71
    Consult with your local nursery for information on plant selection and placement for optimum outdoor water savings.
  • #72
    Winterize outdoor spigots when temperatures dip below freezing to prevent pipes from leaking or bursting.
  • #73
    Insulate hot water pipes for more immediate hot water at the faucet and for energy savings.
  • #74
    Wash your car on the lawn, and you'll water your lawn at the same time.
Tip #75
Drop your tissue in the trash instead of flushing it and save water every time.
  • #76
    Direct water from rain gutters and HVAC systems toward water-loving plants in the landscape for automatic water savings.
  • #77
    Make suggestions to your employer about ways to save water and money at work.
  • #78
    Support projects that use reclaimed wastewater for irrigation and industrial uses.
  • #79
    Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car. You'll save up to 100 gallons every time.
  • #80
    Share water conservation tips with friends and neighbors.
  • #81
    If your toilet was installed before 1992, reduce the amount of water used for each flush by inserting a displacement device in the tank.
  • #82
    Setting cooling systems and water softeners for a minimum number of refills saves both water and chemicals, plus more on utility bills.
  • #83
    Washing dark clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy while it helps your clothes to keep their colors.
  • #84
    Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation.
  • #85
    Report broken pipes, open hydrants and errant sprinklers to the property owner or your water provider.
  • #86
    Let your lawn go dormant during the summer. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three weeks or less if it rains.
  • #87
    Plant with finished compost to add water-holding and nutrient-rich organic matter to the soil.
  • #88
    Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller water drops and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
  • #89
    Listen for dripping faucets and running toilets. Fixing a leak can save 300 gallons a month or more.
  • #90
    Water only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.
  • #91
    One more way to get eight glasses of water a day is to re-use the water left over from cooked or steamed foods to start a scrumptious and nutritious soup.
Tip #92
Adjust your watering schedule each month to match seasonal weather conditions and landscape requirements.
  • #93
    Turn off the water while you wash your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month.
  • #94
    Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.
  • #95
    When shopping for a new clothes washer, compare resource savings among Energy Star models. Some of these can save up to 20 gallons per load, and energy too.
  • #96
    Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
  • #97
    Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
  • #98
    When washing dishes by hand, fill the sink basin or a large container and rinse when all of the dishes have been soaped and scrubbed.
  • #99
    Catch water in an empty tuna can to measure sprinkler output. One inch of water on one square foot of grass equals two-thirds of a gallon of water.
  • #100
    Turn off the water while you shave and save up to 300 gallons a month.
  • #101
    When you give your pet fresh water, don't throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
  • #102
    If you accidentally drop ice cubes when filling your glass from the freezer, don't throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
  • #103
    To save water and time, consider washing your face or brushing your teeth while in the shower.
  • #104
    While staying in a hotel or even at home, consider reusing your towels.
  • #105
    When backflushing your pool, consider using the water on your landscaping.
  • #106
    For hanging baskets, planters and pots, place ice cubes under the moss or dirt to give your plants a cool drink of water and help eliminate water overflow.
  • #107
    Throw trimmings and peelings from fruits and vegetables into your yard compost to prevent using the garbage disposal.
  • #108
    When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don't throw it in the trash, dump it on a plant.
  • #109
    Have your plumber re-route your gray water to trees and gardens rather than letting it run into the sewer line. Check with your city codes, and if it isn't allowed in your area, start a movement to get that changed.
  • #110
    Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toilets or water plants.
  • #111
    When you are washing your hands, don't let the water run while you lather.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Big Yellow Taxi

Here's a simple song by Joni Mitchell that speaks about deforestation in a touching way. Have you heard it before? We're sharing the lyrics and the video of the song as it touched our hearts and we hope it touches your hearts too.

The Big Yellow Taxi



They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot SPOT
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
Then they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go,
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer, farmer
Put away that DDT now
Give me spots on my apples
But LEAVE me the birds and the bees
Please!
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Come and took away my old man
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

I said
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Here's the link for the video which you can share http://p1n.in/tl0

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Fight Pollution Effectively

Today's National Pollution Control Day! Celebrate this eco-friendly day by embracing these tips to control pollution:
1. Use water-based paints. Rinse paint brushes and other equipment in an interior drain only. Reduce smog (low level ozone) by painting when temperatures are under 90 degrees.


2. Bike or walk instead of driving. (Every 25 miles you don't drive prevents a pound of pollution.)

3. Consider using solar energy in your house. Solar energy prevents water and air pollution associated with burning fossil fuels for energy.

4. Park your car on hot summer days when ozone levels rise to unhealthy levels. Consider leaving your car home once a week and ride the bus or your bike instead.

5. A well insulated house & energy efficient windows conserve energy and saves money.

6. Recycle burned out fluorescent lamps at the Lane County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center. Fluorescent lamps may contain mercury.

7. Choose earth friendly lawn care methods & products. When using chemicals, follow package instructions for use and disposal. (Excess chemicals can destroy beneficial insects). If in doubt, ask an expert.

8. Consider using a push mower for your lawn. No air pollution, minimal maintenance & good exercise.

9. Replace the water your soil has lost through evapotranspiration (ET). Call EWEB or SUB to determine the weekly ET rates for your area. (Thorough soaking promotes healthy root systems.)

10. Leaving small grass clippings on the lawn, "grasscycling", provides nutrients to the soil, creates healthy lawns and diverts yard debris from the landfill.

11. Commercially available eco-lawn mixes can reduce watering and yard maintenance.

12. Plant trees! They provide shade, clean air, mask noise and need much less water than lawns.

13. Charcoal-starting chimneys prevent the need for lighter fluid w/traditional BBQs.

14. Consider plastic lumber for a deck or bench. Recycled content plastic lumber is durable and requires no painting.

15. Create a backyard compost pile or invest in a composter. Composting is nature's way of recycling. It converts plant waste into a rich soil additive.

16. Avoid aerosol products. They can pose safety hazards and require special processing at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center.

17. Low flow shower heads reduce water use from 4 to 2.5 gal/min. Therefore, a shower head using only 2 1/2 gallons a minute can save as much as 15 gallons of water during a normal 10-minute shower.

18. Faucet aerators provide good pressure while reducing water use. The standard faucet flow rate is 5 gallons a minute. A low flow aerator can reduce this flow to approximately 2 1/2 gallons a minute while still providing adequate water for washing and rinsing. Installing aerators on the kitchen sink and lavatory faucets will save hot water and cut water use by as much as 60 gallons a month for a typical family of four.

19. Save water and money by fixing leaky faucets. A dripping faucet can waste 20 gallons of water a day or more.

20. Install low flow toilets. Toilets using only 2 gallons per flush can save 60% more water than a higher gallon per flush toilet. Leaky toilets can waste up to
500 gallons of water a day.


Read more: http://p1n.in/tlc

The Taj Under Threat!

The Taj Mahal in Agra, India is one of the world's great sights, but it is in danger of being irreparably damaged by air and water pollution.

Twelve years ago the government started a programme to save the monument, with Bill Clinton saying that pollution had done "what 350 years of wars, invasions and natural disasters have failed to do."

In 1998, when the white marble of the famous monument began to turn yellow, warning bells went off. India's Supreme Court ordered that more than £90 million be spent on restoring the country's most famous monument. Conservationists have taken a number of steps to curb pollution in Agra which is a growing manufacturing centre. Cars have been banned from within 500 metres of the monument. An LED display gives a running tally on air pollution. Diesel-run rickshaws have been replaced by cleaner vehicles, a road by-pass has been created and there has been heavy investment in a refinery to reduce emissions.
But despite these actions, a new report has found that pollution levels have increased dramatically; so much so that emissions of nitrogen oxide have reached higher levels than those of twelve years ago.

There are several reasons for the problem. The city of Agra has grown in size, industry and population. Fumes from greater traffic have made the Taj Mahal dirty again. There are " thousands of vehicles plying the roads and emitting pollutants at an alarming level. The city roads are so congested that for a 15 minutes drive, one has to spend an hour thus consuming more fuels and emitting more pollutants."
With a greater population, there is more demand for water which has meant that the water table is dropping in the river which runs beside the monument. However, the foundations of the building are made of wood which must be kept moist to avoid subsidence.

 

Read more: http://p1n.in/tll