Creative concept landscape. Live and dead tree

February 10, 2016
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The Various Causes of Environment Pollution

When there are harmful pollutants in the environment, it is referred as environmental pollution. It is that simple. The most well-known types of pollutants are water population, air population, noise population, thermal population light population and soil population. Environmental pollution is also as a result of gaseous emissions and deforestation. Since the last decade, there has been a rise in environmental pollution.

Living on Earth

All of us live on this planet called earth. It is the only one that we can actually live on where water and air are the essential sustenance to our lives. We could not exist on any other planet since there is not much oxygen and water that we so badly need to survive. In fact, on other planets, though debatable, there may not be any humans, plants or animals. As human beings, we need a balance for a healthy developed life.

Intelligent Creature

Man is an intelligent creature and we are always curious about finding out things we don’t know – at least most of us. In the search for knowledge, many love to explore the mysteries of the earth. For that reason, these excursions have taken man in places that should not be. However, for the sake of civilization, we have to explore and learn. That is how we grow and develop as humans. However, we need to use what we have learned in a positive way and not to harm the environment as some do.

Source and Origin

There are several sources and causations of environmental pollution. These include:

  •       Activities of industrial companies
  •       Smoke emission from vehicles
  •       Urbanization on a rapid pace
  •       Overgrowth of the population

While global industries were making a profit, inroads were made to accommodate the influx. Because of this, the ecological balances were disturbed. This consists of the swirling gases, thick smoke coming from buildings, no good method of waste disposal and scientific experiments, which all turned out to be health hazards of pollution and contaminants.

Vehicle Emission

When vehicles on the road are driving with emissions gas pouring out of the vehicle’s tail pipe, it is a health hazard. While officials try to keep it at a minimum, there are still people driving these unsanitary vehicles that pollute the environment. You will find yourself driving behind one such vehicle and are forced to wind up the windows for fear of it getting in your lungs.

Fast Urbanization

Fast urbanization is also a cause for environmental pollution. In fact, it is the quickest way to destroy the animal kingdom and harm human lives. The increase in population causes a surge the stipulation for in basic shelter, basic food and basic employment. For this reason, the world is experiencing huge deforestation in order to handle the demands of a growing population.

The Effect

Human beings and the actual animal have to negatively deal with environmental pollution. Even with gains and progress in science and technology, we have born the cost of remaining healthy. The flora and fauna that exist in the environment is also vulnerable to extinction. Yes, we achieved a lot in industrial civilization, but at whose expense?

solar power

February 4, 2016
by planet
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Is Solar Power Losing Momentum?

Solar power has always dominated the discussion about alternative energy sources, and there’s a reason for that. As far as green energy goes it’s practically a dinosaur, which means the technology is not only existent, but well understood, thoroughly researched, and readily available. Despite that, though, solar has struggled to gain ground in the business-to-consumer marketplace, still considered a niche industry meant to serve an alternative crowd. So is solar power losing its momentum?

 

The Cost Variable

 

Solar costs globally have been falling rapidly, and they’re expected to keep going down. Reduction both in processing costs and the cost of polysilicon has driven solar down from around $1.31 a watt in 2011 to around $0.50 a watt in 2014 with leading Chinese solar companies, and around $0.05 a watt in the US, and prices are expected to continue to drop as global solar companies target lower and lower price per watt points.

 

The problem is that even as the operational prices for solar drop, sales of solar systems are variable. In Pennsylvania, where government aid is expiring, people are less incentivized to make the initial costly transition. California faces obstacles of its own, with the California Public Utilities Commission voting on regulations that increased the fees associated with going solar for residents.

 

It’s in those fees and subsidies that the larger issue begins to emerge. Analysts predict that the sale of solar systems will start strong in 2016, but fall off toward the end of the year and into the new year as the US lowers its tax credits for the solar shift.

 

Even as the cost for panels drops, the initial fees are still prohibitive, coming in around $23,000 for a five-kilowatt system in 2014 before tax credits and incentives. If those incentives decrease or expire, solar power has the potential to become prohibitively costly for the average household.

 

Getting On The Grid

 

There’s another issue currently holding solar back, and it’s less about the individual and more about infrastructure investment. The current power grid is physically set up to carry consistent levels of energy generation. Solar isn’t the most consistent source of power generation, so any large scale regional or national shifts must first content with the fact the grid infrastructure would need a large overhaul before the widespread adoption of solar energy.

 

Infrastructure investment doesn’t come cheap, and especially in the US it can be an almost pointless battle. The American Society for Civil Engineers estimated in 2013 that $3.6 trillion would be needed simply to get everything to where it needs to be, never mind making massive changes or building new systems. Matters have only gotten worse in the years since, as Congress gridlocks on any issue involving long-term repair with a cost associated with it.

 

The issue, then, isn’t so much that solar power is losing public momentum as it is political momentum. Even as leaders push for more sustainable energy sources, the necessary support to make solar viable isn’t materializing. Without that support, solar is going to stay a niche product for an alternative market, whether we like it or not.

climate sanitation

January 29, 2016
by planet
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How does climate change impact sanitation?

For so many people around the world, the low quality of sanitation has resulted in major health problems. Poor sanitation systems have also contaminated the environment, exasperating the problem for billions of people. And even with all of these noticeable occurrences, improvement in sanitation hardly receives any mention or commitment from many international communities.

Sanitation Systems

You may be wondering what is meant by sanitation systems, low quality sanitation and sanitation affecting the environment. Glad you are concerned with our environment to even be curious. Many sanitation systems are latrines still being used in many rural areas around the world despite the advancement and introduction of familiar toilets and sewers of the modern world. Good sanitation takes care of female monthly hygiene, raw sewage and fecal matter. Though, this might sound gross, it is a natural human occurrence and can cause contamination, if not appropriately handled.

Inadequacy of Sanitation

The inadequacy of proper sanitation includes lack of toilets, their poor quality and broken sewage systems in many rural communities around the world. For this reason, contamination of the affected living space is something that should be of concern to the international communities. This subsequently impacts wild life in the area because poor sanitation also affects groundwater that is necessary to take care of wild life.

The Dilemma

So how does climate change play a part in this dilemma? Well, though, this might sound shocking that people would live in unsanitary conditions, many people don’t take climate change into consideration. You may have noticed that every year, the change in climate is apparent with extreme weather patterns such as floods, drought, snow storms, blizzards and rise in sea level. These conditions put a lot of pressure and risk on the already antiquated and dilapidated sanitation systems in these rural areas.

Drought and Floods

With drought, for example, comes the insufficiency of available water resources needed to flush the various sewage systems. High temperatures in the summer could also adversely affect the operation of the sewage systems. Flooding caused from rise in sea level or storms can also result in the flooding of sewage treatment facilities and also pit toilets. This greatly increases the risks associated with contamination of the environment. Many urban sewage systems are combined with the storm water drainage system, leading to more risks of sewage contamination caused from flooding. Many sewage plants are located in low lying areas where flooding occurs, resulting in more risks at the rise in groundwater levels during a flood. Untreated sewage will also pollute the rivers in the area.

Planned Sanitation System

The varying temperatures and unpredictable weather makes it crucial to have a sanitation system planned and executed appropriately. It is usually the poor counties that are greatly impacted from the lack of planning, further resulting in the continuing inequality experienced by the poorest set of people.

The flooding of septic tanks from climate upheaval creates major health issues for those living in the affected areas. With a flooded septic tank, it is inevitable that waste would go into the rivers and streets, carrying diseases such as dysentery and cholera. This is a global problem and the world should take notice.

eco home

January 21, 2016
by planet
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How To Make Your Apartment Eco-Friendly Without Violating Your Leases

Sure, putting in solar panels sounds great, but so does getting your deposit back when your lease is up. You don’t have to sacrifice environmental living just because you’re in an apartment, though. Here are some tips and tricks to live green in your leased space and still get your money back when your lease is up.

 

Change Out Your Lights

 

If you’re not already using compact florescent blubs or LEDs, that’s the easiest place to start. Incandescent light bulbs are little energy vacuums, and you’ll get about 2,000 hours out of one. Fluorescent bulbs, on the other hand, operate with little energy since they’re able to concentrate more of the energy intake into producing light rather than heat. With these guys, you’ll not only be using less energy, you’ll get a massively extended lifespan out of the product ranging from 6,000 to 35,000 hours. LEDs are even better. Switching out your bulbs is a great trick to keep your energy consumption down and to help reduce household waste.

 

Check Your Temperatures On Everything

 

Turning your thermostat down by two degrees in the winter and up by two degrees in the summer can save you a whole truckload of carbon dioxide annually, but your thermostat isn’t the only temperature you should be checking. Check your fridge and freezer to make sure you’re not over-cooling. Fridges work just fine at 37 degrees fahrenheit, while the freezer is pretty comfortable around -3 degrees. Keep your water heater in the 120 to 140 degree range. If any of these are working harder than they need to, go ahead and set them back to an efficient but not wasteful temperature.

 

Decorate Sustainably

 

You may not have a choice when it comes to your insulation or power source, but when it comes to what you want to put in your apartment, you’re in control. Using sustainable materials such as teak, sustainable bamboo, and 100% organic wool and cotton is a great way to bring some environmental friendliness into the home, while shopping at locally owned boutiques or second-hand stores is a great way to get some unique pieces that didn’t harm the planet during production.

 

Turn It Off

 

Even if everything you have plugged in right now is off, including your TV, your hair dryer, your computer, and your cable box, most of that stuff continues to pull energy. Conserve energy by unplugging these little power vampires when they’re not in use, or by plugging them into a surge protector and flipping the switch off when you’re not around. Not only will this save some energy, it might save you a little money in the process, too.

 

Skip The Apartment

 

If eco-consciousness is so ingrained in you that you can’t stand to live in that wasteful little box anymore, opt for an alternative. Look for green living communities in your area, or look into building your own cost-effective, environmentally friendly tiny house. It might seem like a bit of cash down at first, but they can actually be a lot more cost-effective in the long run.

martphone

January 13, 2016
by planet
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3 Household Materials That Are Quietly Killing The Planet

There are those things we know are bad for the environment – products with heavy packaging such as individual servings (here’s looking at you K-cup) and harsh corrosive chemicals that we wouldn’t want on our skin let alone to run into our drains and natural water resources. There are also the things that the news loves to feed us with headlines that demonize products based on new hypotheses that are currently in testing, which may or may not actually be doing damage. Then there are those things that we’ve known for years have been hurting the environment, the information just hasn’t reached the larger public discussion. Here are three of those things, potentially sitting in your home right now.

 

Your Smartphone

 

Let’s forget about the packaging and operational energy requirements for a second and focus on the production. If you’re using an Apple iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy, which together account for the most popular smartphones in the US, you’re using something that just by virtue of being a finished a product has already created some environmental devastation.

 

A Friends of the Earth investigation found that Apple and Samsung were getting tin from suppliers who worked with mines on Bangka Island in Indonesia. The manufacturers were likely unaware of the source of the tin or its impact on the environment, but mining in the area has lead to major deforestation, the destruction of farmland on which island residents depend, and choking the area’s coral reefs.

 

Now add back in the packaging and the energy requirements back in, and you’ve got yourself a pocket-sized piece of environmental destruction.

 

Microbeads

 

Microbeads are one of those things that get talked about a lot but fade into the background when it comes time to make policies or personal changes, and that’s largely because we don’t really know they’re there. Microbeads are ultra-tiny plastic beads found in everything from toothpaste to facial washes. They’re inexpensive, versatile, and so small they slip our minds. They’re also so small that they slip right down the drain and through the filters at water treatment facilities, heading out into waterways where they can pollute and be ingested by marine life.

 

Like most other plastics, as these beads are degraded or ingested they can leach toxins into the environment or the animal that ate them, concentrating their way up the food chain and devastating local populations and food supplies. Thanks to some levels of corporate vigilance, though, microbeads are getting phased out in a number of consumer products.

 

Your Daily Cup

 

We already know how bad those single serving coffee packs are, but your daily cup of coffee or even tea isn’t honestly that much better if you’re using traditional methods. The cardboard and metal waste produced packaging coffee and tea bags is more than you might think, and parts of your tea bag can’t be composted. Your coffee filter might not make it to the compost, either. Instead of using disposable products, try metal or glass filters for your coffee, or go French press. Buy loose-leaf tea and a steep for it. Use refillable containers. Most of all – this one should go without saying – bring your own refillable travel mug to the coffee shop. They’ll have no problem filling you up while foregoing the disposable plastic, paper, or styrofoam cup.

 

Go green button on keyboard

January 8, 2016
by planet
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Going Green Made Easy

This day and age going green isn’t a trend it should just be a way of life for everyone. Our planet is dying everyday and we are the reasons why. Evidence is all around us that our harmful effects on the Earth are going to impact our human race. It’s something we all need to step up and realize. Yes this sounds preachy but come on there is apart of you that knows you could be doing better to help our planet. Ok so you don’t think you have the time, patience, or the means to go green well think again. Going green does not mean you have to be vegan, life off the grid, or purchase everything organic although those things are ideal they are not realistic for everyone. Here is a list on how to go green with just a few minute changes.

1.Take shorter showers (easy for some)

  1. Replace old and inefficient appliances
  2. Replace furnace filters regularly
  3. Instead of turning the heat up wear extra clothing for warmth
  4. Purchase low-flow shower heads and faucets
  5. Use dirty bathwater to water household plants
  6. Keep the oven closed while cooking
  7. Turn off lights when leaving a room
  8. Keep curtains open in the winter and close them in the summer
  9. Invest in weather strips for your doors
  10. Having household plants will help purify the air (ferns are said to help humidify the air)
  11. Avoid dining out and eat meals at home
  12. Cook more without meat
  13. Don’t buy bottled water
  14. Buy a filtered water pitcher to keep cold in the fridge
  15. Hang dry laundry
  16. Clean out the lint screen in your dryer so it runs more efficiently
  17. Make your own cleaning products

19.File your taxes electronically

  1. Use cloth towels instead of paper towels
  2. Sends e-cards for holidays
  3. Read newspapers online
  4. Think before you print and use both sides of the paper
  5. Keep your vehicle tire inflated
  6. Commercial carwashes waste less water
  7. Ride a bike
  8. Start a recycle bin
  9. Use cloth shopping bags
  10. Reuse plastic bags (great for dirty diapers)
  11. Don’t litter
  12. Don’t use pesticides
  13. Donate things
  14. Try to repurpose items
  15. Start a vegetable garden
  16. Pay your bills online
  17. Use direct deposit
  18. Borrow books from the library
  19. Purchase ebooks
  20. Get a lunch box (no one brown bags it anymore)
  21. Let your hair air dry

 

Ok so no excuses. Right there are forty simple ways to go green. There are so many other ways you can go green and you may already do so and not even realize that your are going green. Take the steps needed to help save our planet. There is no “planet B” as some say. Get on the green bandwagon and start to reduce, reuse, and recycle your way to a healthier lifestyle. Not only are these eco friendly tips many of them are pocket friendly. You will start to notice some extra money in your account for adapting to the new green habits. So say it loud and proud I am going green!