Are you trying to be more environmentally friendly in your everyday life, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you want to cleanse your body from toxins and chemicals or do your part in helping the earth flourish. Start by adding these five items into your lifestyle and you will start to see the big difference that little things can make.
1. A blender
Invest in a good-quality juicer, blender or food processor so that you can make more of your own food from scratch. Cooking with a blender is a lot easier than you think, it makes flavours stronger, and since you’re adding fresh ingredients, you will know exactly what is in your food. Make your own juices, smoothies, juices, desserts, sauces, soups and salad dressings from fresh produce, minimising waste, packaging and transportation costs.
2. Eco-friendly beauty products
If you use generic supermarket makeup you may be surprised to find that they can be packed with chemicals, toxins and artificial ingredients. Opt for skincare, makeup and beauty products that are natural, organic and eco-friendly. To be more cost-effective, add your new products into your beauty routine as your current products run out. Look to eco-friendly retailers such as Biome for good quality, Australian products. Your skin will be glowing and looking younger because thanks to your healthier beauty routine.
3. A bike
Have you considered riding to work instead of driving or catching public transport? If you live within a 10 kilometres of your workplace, invest in a good bike and pedal your way to work at least a couple of times a week. You’ll be able to avoid traffic jams, get your daily exercise and contribute to creating a sustainable planet for future generations by reducing pollution and reliance on fossil fuels. Riding your bike to work will also make you feel more energised to start your day, and you will find that afternoon slump a thing of the past.
3. Veggie Patch
Whether you live in an apartment, town house or a large home in suburbia, you can always find a way to grow your own herbs and vegetables. An indoor herb garden can sit on your windowsill or a vertical herb garden can hang in your outdoor terrace. If you have a backyard, build your own veggie patch from sleepers, adding strawberries, carrots, tomatoes and a variety of fresh herbs. You will find you will start saving a lot of money on supermarket produce, and your homegrown veggies will keep for much longer. Put your green thumb to work and you will be living green in no time.
4. Fresh Air
Embrace the fresh air and outdoors as much as possible, your body and the environment will thank you. Open your windows and let the breeze in rather than turning on the air conditioning: you will reduce your reliance on the grid and save money on your electricity bill.
There are a lot of ways your lifestyle can grow to become more green, so start small and substitute more eco-friendly products into your routine wherever you can. Small things can add up to make a big difference for you and the planet.
Phones and tablets can do almost anything these days – they’ve replaced everything from music players and encyclopedias to train tickets and phonebooks. But there’s one thing they still fail to do: to stay on when you need them. The crowd funded premium solar charger Solartab aims to solve this problem once and for all, and to do it the environmentally friendly way.
This summer, chances are you’ll find yourself in surroundings where the nearest power outlet is miles away. If you want to make sure your energy hungry phone or tablet always is ready for action at the beach, picnics in the park, music festivals, or even a tent in the middle of the woods or a deserted island, Solartab might be just what you’re looking for. And unlike your regular solar charging solution, the innovative new product even provides energy after sunset.
The Solartab is big enough to charge all your mobile devices, like your phone and tablet, but it’s also compact, portable and stunning looking. Featuring a strong 5.5W solar panel as well as a high-capacity 13000 mAh solar panel, Solartab always provides two options for keeping your favorite gear from the likes of Samsung and Apple charged up and ready to go: Charge them directly from the sun, or from the battery if you happen to be indoors or the weather is cloudy. With two USB 2.1A outputs, charging both your tablet and phone at the same time is also possible.
The Kickstarter funded team behind Solartab promises that it will always charge at maximum efficiency as long as the sun is up. To keep this promise, they not only increased the solar panel’s size way beyond what you’ll find on the average portable solar charger on the market today, but also included an innovative built-in cover.
The cover works as a stand for the solar panel, allowing you to angle the panel in three different positions depending on the sun’s current whereabouts. And even more impressively, tech enthusiasts can charge their beloved touch-screen gadget even while they’re listening to their favorite summer tune, or browsing the Internet, at the same time. Finally, a solar charger that you can truly count on!
Solartab is about the same size as an iPad and features a sleek, clean design. When opened and in action, the product looks rather futuristic, but when folded together and wrapped in its nostalgic looking cover, it instead resembles a stylish diary that could easily slip unnoticed into your bookshelf.
“Solar power should never be a mere gimmick”, says Solartab’s CEO Simon Methi. “On the contrary, we believe it’s the future of power consumption!”
Judging by the absolutely incredible response the product got on kickstarter.com last year, the public out there seems to agree. Now the product has been shipped to its crowdfunding backers, and the startup company is accepting further orders on their own website mysolartab.com.
Every second wine bottle in the store claims to be organic. What’s with the organic tag? Are they really organic or they are just labeled so? Let us look into what a organic wine should contain and what it should not.
Going back in time, all farming, including grape farming is organic; however, the fact to consider is that most vineyards are not organic anymore. The 1990 National Organic Foods Act was the first effort towards protection of handler, retailers, processors, producers, and consumers of organic food materials on the assumption that they are organic. Under the act, for fermented beverages, a certification from an accreditation agency is mandatory accompanied by the label design for approval. Wines however were not included on the organic list until Hallcrest Vineyards challenged the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and won its favor. Since, many vineries have been certified as organic adhering to the process.
Wines can claim the organic label under four categories – Some organic ingredients, Made with organic ingredients, Organic, and 100% Organic. Understanding these categories is very important before a buying decision is made.
To label a wine as organic wine and get the UDS organic seal:
The wine should be made from grapes cultivated organically i.e. no pesticides and chemical fertilisers.
No added sulphites should be present in this natural wine. Sulphites could naturally occur, however, they should be less than 20 ppm (parts per million). Such wines are certified organic across the world, but not in the USA.
Most varieties of Chilean Wine is certified as organic internationally, however, please read the ingredients carefully. All in all, caveat emptor should be exercised and a consumer should not be misled by the labels or advertisements that promulgate organic wine.
Practicing a little discipline in power consumption could save money as well the planet in terms of slowing down global warming. Did you ever think in terms of going solar? Going solar has its own advantages as every other website would tell you.
If you cannot cut down on power consumption, the best way to save money and save the world would be to get solar panels installed. Contrary to popular perception about efficiency of solar power and supply on dark days, the technology has evolved and today, you really will face no problems using it 24 X 7.
While solar industry is more popular in underdeveloped countries and remote or undeveloped areas of developing and developed countries in absence of electric supply, today, these areas have better power supply than those served by the electric companies.
Coming to facts and figures, solar panels are not as complicated as they seem to be and are easy to install. Again, don’t pursue the DIY path, it is not as easy as it seems. Getting a company or a consultant to install them is a good idea. Before selection, consider the following:
Certification: The installer you choose should be certified or accredited by the relevant agency. In UK, it is mandatory that such installer is certified by MSC, failing which the installation will not qualify for the feed-in to the electricity company or receive payments for the same. In Australia, the Clean Energy Council Accreditation Scheme is available that conducts the CPD (Continued Professional Development) programs for installers and designers. The best of installers are always certified by multiple agencies relevant to that country.
Inspection: Make sure that the installer visits your home or office where the installation is intended to get the right preview of installation and assess suitability. A good installer will also suggest the right panels and work on the specific and customized requirements.
Warranty: A good and certified installer will always give you a warranty on workmanship for at least 1 year. Solar panels themselves generally come with a 20 year warranty and the additional inverters and batteries have a lesser warranty period of around 5 years.
References: If you have any doubts about the installer, you can ask for references of his previous work and get the right feedback directly from the horse’s mouth.
Sales talk: Many installers may talk sales but will not walk the entire path as discussed. Don’t give in to tactics like limited period offers and other such sales tricks. Buy right, buy at leisure.
Quotations: Ask for quotations from at least three installers and ensure that you compare them after reading and understanding all of them. This will ensure that you make the right and an informed decision.
From an Australian purview, solar technology has caught on very well in the country and after ensuring that the technology is right there for the undeveloped areas to use, the urban areas are also looking forward to save on energy bills and ensure that they leave a greener legacy for the next generation. If you live in Australia, it is imperative that you have access to the best options to go solar quickly. The best way to begin would be to ask for Australian solar quotes and start saving money and the planet.
Imagine a world where water is abundant and can be sourced from the oceans and seas as and when required. Wouldn’t that be a boon to mankind?
Every life form on earth needs water in one or the other manner. Survival is one part of the water requirement and living is another. If there is water available, is it in abundance? This is the question that needs answering. Cities, states and countries, right from California to Japan are looking at creative ways to save and conserve water.
Recently as a part of an USAID project, a prize winning entry (Desal prize, USD 140,000) displayed the ingenuity of addressing the water need. The group from MIT and Jain Irrigation Systems developed a solar power generator using solar panels and batteries that in turn powered a desalination system using the electrodialysis method. This method involves removing salt particles from water using a small electrical charge. In addition to salt removal, the team also integrated a UV light device to ensure that the water is completely disinfected. The water thus coming out is fit to be used on crops.
Three UK’s parent company, Hutchison Whampoa, has just reached an agreement to purchase O2 from Telefonica. The proposed £10.25 billion deal will make Three the largest mobile operator in the UK, giving them a 41% share of the market. The deal is still awaiting approval from competition regulators, but should the buyout go through it will reduce the number of mobile networks in the UK to three. This may simply seem like more of the same when it comes to corporate mergers, but the loss of competition in the mobile networking market could easily lead to higher costs for consumers down the line. But customers have more control over their phone bills than they may think, and there are steps we can all take to reduce our mobile costs in the face of corporate mergers and rising mobile tariffs.
Trimming the Fat
The secret to keeping your phone bill under control is knowing where to trim the fat, but sometimes that can be easier said than done. Network providers are very good at bundling services, and signing up customers for full featured plans that they may not really need. These bundles often have hidden costs that end up costing you more than you anticipated, and more than you were promised. If you want to reduce your phone bill, eliminating the hidden costs is the perfect way to begin. Let’s look at a few key points that will help you save on your smartphone bills.
Unlimited data is a major selling point for many network providers. Unfortunately, unlimited data doesn’t always mean what it says. While some networks do offer truly unlimited data plans, most apply a fair usage clause to your contract. You’ll have to dig down deep into the small print to find it, but the clause is there and it allows your provider to set an upper limit on your data usage. If you go over that limit you’ll begin to rack up hefty fees, so to avoid a sudden spike in your phone bill you need to watch your data allowance. But that can be difficult to do, especially if your smartphone is loaded with your favourite apps. Many of those apps continue to run even when they are not in use, constantly downloading information from the internet. This so called ‘background data’ includes everything from Facebook updates to GPS information, and it adds up fast. To prevent yourself from exceeding your data limit, and racking up any unexpected fees, use the settings control on your smartphone to disable the Background App Refresh feature. This will prevent those data hungry apps from continuously eating away at your monthly allowance.
Smartphone insurance has become a booming business, and most networks offer insurance plans for their customers. But smartphone insurance isn’t cheap, and some plans can add more than £300 to a standard two year contract. Now, having insurance for your smartphone isn’t necessarily a bad idea, particularly if you need your mobile for work. However, you need to be sure you are paying for the right plan and not overpaying for the wrong one. Before you add insurance to your network plan, read the small print and be sure that it covers all eventualities. Give special attention to deductibles and personal responsibility clauses. Also, before signing on, compare the plan with those offered by other independent insurers. It is not unusual to find a better plan, at a better price, from someone other than your mobile network.
4G and Wi-Fi
Many of us are upgrading to a 4G connection, chasing those faster download speeds. But moving from 3G to 4G can have an unexpected impact on your phone bill. Those faster download speeds make it all too easy to burn through your data allowance, racking up major fees in the bargain. If you are considering making the move to 4G, think about increasing your monthly data allowance as well. The additional data will help protect you from going over your limit, and incurring unwanted fees and penalties. Also, whether you’re on 3G or 4G, you can keep your data usage under control by relying on wireless networks for data heavy activities like streaming videos or playing online games. When you consider that fifteen minutes of streaming video can use up more than 1GB of data, you can see how easy, and how quickly, you can use up your monthly allowance. Relying on Wi-Fi for data heavy applications will keep you from going over your limit, keeping your phone bill check.
The recent spate of telecom company mergers in the UK may be good news for big business, but it is likely to result in higher phone bills for consumers. With fewer mobile networks competing for customers, companies will have less of an incentive to keep basic phone costs down. That means that customers like you and me will have to find our own ways to cut costs and keep our phone bills under control. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to cut out hidden mobile fees, so we can all keep our hard earned money where it belongs – in our pockets.
Did you have a date on 22nd April, Wednesday, with Planet Earth?
I am sure you have, for the sake of our very own Planet Earth. It was Earth Day and a very important day for the modern civilization. So important, that the very survival of the planet depends on it.
How did the World Earth Day come about?
World Earth Day is celebrated annually to enhance the environmental safety awareness and underline the importance of environmental protection measures. It was celebrated for the first time in 1970 and is today celebrated across 140+ countries.
John McConnell of San Francisco was an active environmentalist and had a futuristic vision. He actively took part in environmental movements at the time and proposed to have a remembrance day for environmental safety. He chose to celebrate the same on the spring equinox (21st March, 1970). However, another environmentalist and the then US Senator for Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson chose to celebrate the same on 22nd April, 1970. After a long outreach, it was decided that the event would be celebrated on both days for that year.
The underlying reason for such Earth Day celebration was the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill which resulted in massive pollution killing marine and plant life. The first ever Earth Day celebrations saw many college groups involving themselves to protest against the oils spill, toxic dumps, water and air pollution, use of pesticides, raw sewage, industrialization and many other issues.
Come 1990, Denis Hayes, the coordinator for Earth Day events decided to celebrate the Earth Day only on 22nd April every year and he proposed that a whole week of celebrations be underatken, calling it the Earth Week. So, a complete week is celebrated by addressing environmental issues wherein the campaign normally begins with planting new trees.
Why is Earth Day Celebrated?
Earth Day is celebrated to remind the mankind of preserving natural resources which are being used commercially without a concern for the environment and the critical life balance that rules the planet. The results are acid rains and global warming which is already a threat to the environment. Reducing pollution, planting new trees, limiting deforestation, reducing energy consumption and having a smaller carbon foot print for individuals as well as businesses are the main objective of celebrating Earth Day.
Earth Day celebration include many events which may include, but not limited to:
Planting new trees wherever required.
Outdoor activities with family such as emptying the garbage on the street or building the dog house or identifying their role in the biological cycle.
Illuminate others and discourage them from using plastic to reduce soil and water pollution.
Teaching neighborhood kids about recycling.
Participate in cleaning up activities.
Taking part in discussions, and knowledge-gathering sessions that include seminars and activities which relate to environmental safety or conservation.
Motivate others by wearing earth, vegetation or sky (brown, green or blue] colored clothes.
Getting the message to others that every day is Earth Day and the care towards environment should be practiced daily and not annually.
In the recent past, every Earth Day was celebrated with a theme:
2007 – “Be kind to the earth – starting from saving resources”.
2008 – “Trees Please”.
2009 – “How Do You Get Around”.
2010 – “Reduce”.
2011 – “Clear the Air”.
2012 – “Mobilize the Earth”.
2013 – “The Face of Climate Change”.
2014 – “Green Cities”.
And this year, 2015, it would be “Water Wonderful World”.
Earth Day every year
Every year, the Earth Day is celebrated by almost everyone across the planet. A typical Earth Day celebration involves colleges and environmental organizations protesting and discussing issues of pollution control, planned industrialization, dealing with toxic wastes, ozone layer deterioration, controlling polluting businesses and many more. The major chunks of people are from colleges and people who like to create awareness on such issues.
The result of such celebrations is positive and as a result, many governments and groups have actually taken steps to curb pollution and improve the environment. The inspiration taken from Earth Day is very positive across all 141+ participating countries and this has resulted in concrete steps to curb global warming.
In 2015 Earth Day has been organised by various groups and businesses in various countries. On the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, the agenda is to get economic growth to join hands with sustainability. And, there is ample chance and hope that the world leaders will unite for mother earth and pass the climate change treaty that would be binding on all participating countries.
Quotable quotes on Earth Day:
Charles A. Lindbergh – “Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values…. God made life simple. It is man who complicates it.”
Rabindranath Tagore – “Trees are Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.”
Barry Commoner – “Earth Day 1970 was irrefutable evidence that the American people understood the environmental threat and wanted action to resolve it.”
Greg Dworkin – “One billion people in 175 countries will mark Earth Day. That puts tea parties in perspective, doesn’t it?”
Jackie Speier – “Every day is Earth Day, and I vote we start investing in a secure climate future right now.”
On this Earth day, let us all unite and take a stand – “We shall divest from using fossil fuels and spend our hard earned money on renewable energy solutions, environmentally friendly gadgets and finally take a step towards ridding the planet of unwanted waste, toxins and pollution”.
Are all of you with us? Let us all unite and show the world that we stand against pollution and mindless destruction of the environment and are committed to create a cleaner and ecologically balanced planet, together.
By the way, we are inviting all to send in their posts (firstname.lastname@example.org) related to Earth Day, we would be glad to publish them.
In time for the 2015 camping season, Cosas AutoSuficientes, LLC (CAS) launches the online sale of THRIVE Portable LED Solar Lanterns. The solar lights were normally sold abroad to those who live in rural and remote areas of the developing world with little to no access to an electrical grid. 3.5 million solar lights have been sold in 15 countries since 2007 prior to online sales. The Solar LED Light is catching attention for its high quality and low price along with the manufacturer’s socially driven business model.
For most online customers, the THRIVE Portable Solar Lanterns are good to keep as emergency flashlights in survival kits as they do not have to rely on external batteries that may end up dying during long periods of storage. Lightweight at 3 oz, small and portable (15 cm x 7.5 cm x 3 cm) – it emits up to 8 hours of bright white light after a full day of charging under the sun. The solar panel is built-in on the backside of the lantern, so no separate cords needed. It’s all-inclusive.
Campers would find good use for the solar lights as handy flashlights, as well. For the 2.3 billion who have to deal with regular blackouts or life outside of an electrical grid, the solar lights act more than just flashlights. They provide a cheaper, reliable, and cleaner source of lighting to enable life after sunset, like studying extra hours and continuing entrepreneurial activities. Without solar powered devices, these people may spend upwards of 20% of their meagre incomes on dirty and hazardous kerosene fuels just for light after dark. This in turn deprives them of a chance to save their money and work their way out of poverty.
The THRIVE Solar Lantern is touted as the most inexpensive, high quality solar light in the market today. In place of a light bulb, it utilizes an LED light chip invented by Shuji Nakamura, the recipient for the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes. Nakamura has a special partnership with THRIVE Solar Energy because of their social mission. Nakamura’s LED invention brings the cost down significantly for those who need the Solar LED Light for everyday use, particularly those in the developing world who earn only $2.50 per day.
The online sales contribute to THRIVE’s charity, the “One Child One Light Foundation.” The foundation works with local NGOs and governments around the world to donate its solar lights to communities in need. The online sales also help THRIVE sustain its community empowerment business model, in which it manufactures the solar lanterns in places where job creation would impact poverty eradication programs the most.
THRIVE supplies as much of its materials from local economies, and has one of the few, if not only, solar devices in the market that does not have to label “Made in China.” “Made in Kenya” or “Made in India” is a proud label to bear. THRIVE allows quality high-tech, green-tech products made right out of India and Africa. By the way, the THRIVE factory in India is run entirely from solar energy.
Maria Caluag, owner and founder of Cosas AutoSuficientes, said, “I believe selling these solar powered products will help increase the awareness of energy poverty faced by billions abroad while promoting the use of money-saving, cleaner, greener technology. Solar powered devices are very useful to those who live in and outside of the USA.”
Originally published @ Business Fights Poverty Blog
Are there any useful eco gadgets available today? A million dollar question! Eco gadgets as all of us are aware, are environment friendly and save us a lot in terms of energy bills and conservation. With the threat of global warming looming large, it is wise to shift to a more eco-friendly lifestyle, without a doubt. In this piece, we have analyzed the presently available gadgets and tried to showcase the more useful ones. In fact, there are many more of such gadgets across the globe, however, not many suit our present lifestyles. Check out his list and find out how you can substitute the presently used energy-gobbling products at your home or office.
1. Water Powered Can Clock : Manufactured by H2O Power, this can shaped clock is powered solely by water and incorporates the latest long-life hydro-power technology.
Although, the device looks a little weird, consider the possibilities of its uniqueness sitting in your drawing room. Actually, it is quite stylish the clock itself has a high contrast display.
After the hullabaloo about conserving energy and hybrid cars and a lot of bull…, this velomobile seems to be the only better alternative to moving around without burning a hole in the pocket.
It has a solar-panelled roof that can power this babe up to 45 miles and runs on a 600W electric motor. So, no gases, no hydrocarbons and no toxic waste..! Additionally, if the rider is young and can pedal, the pedalling power, converted to kinetic energy, can take this babe across the 100 mile marker. However, the pedalling has to be simultaneous along with the running electric motor. The maximum speed on just the motor is 20mph and with pedalling, it could go up to 30mph. The transmission on this piece of magic is intelligent enough to synchronise your pedalling with the motor.
Don’t judge by its size or fragile looks. This environmental friendly vehicle is made with aluminium [grade used to manufacture aircrafts] mounted on stainless steel chassis and highly durable carbon-fibre body. The LED lights and indictors are strong enough to signal afar.
The steering is very similar to a bicycle and this one comes with rear disc-brakes. Although small to look at, anyone who is 5’ to 7’ tall can ride this with ease.
The recharge is quite quick, either 7 hours in sunlight or 2 ½ hours through direct AC charger provided.
Classified as a bicycle, there are almost no legal paperwork or license requirements. The dimensions are quite small – 105” L X 48” W X 60” H and weighs only 150 pounds.
Priced at around USD 10,000, this is a steal for middle aged and the seniors to get around with ease and no maintenance.