Sustainable Eating – What Is It About?

Sustainable food is not new, and you must have heard it many times before. It may sound difficult, but in reality it isn’t! Sustainable food is simply good, healthy food that is made without dangerous pesticides, chemicals, unnecessary antibiotics and growth stimulating supplements. In short, it’s about paying attention to what you put into your body and how the food you buy affects the environment. Many grocery stores are filled with organic food, and all aisles are dedicated to healthy eating. Sustainable food uses production techniques designed to protect the environment, public health, communities and animals.

This is the time of year when everyone starts thinking about all the food we give our bodies. As the holiday season approaches, some of us may be stressed and worried about what to eat or not to eat and find new ways to enjoy ourselves without feeling guilty. It is possible to adopt or stick to a sustainable eating lifestyle during the vacations and even afterwards.

Let’s take a look at what a sustainable plan can involve:

Adopting a sustainable food lifestyle means producing more food at home and giving up packaged food so as not to create excessive waste and end up filling up landfills. Yes, if there are a lot of people, but by taking a little time, you can do your part to make a significant impact on the environment for years to come.

Grow something. It could be herbs in a pot, tomatoes on a patio, or a small plot in your yard. There’s not much you can do to better appreciate what it takes to create food than to grow your own. You understand the multitude of factors involved in plant growth, the attention required to successfully grow food, and the precariousness of the process. This knowledge will likely influence how you buy, use and dispose of food.

Shop locally. Shopping locally is a fun way to support your community. It keeps your dollars in the community you live in and promotes a healthy and diverse environment. When you buy locally grown food, you reduce the amount of fuel needed to ship it to your market.

Start conversations about food. Talk to farmers at your market, grocery store staff and restaurateurs, or the growing number of people who pay attention to how food ends up on their plates. You can discover new tips, learn about new resources and find other local, sustainable food producers and suppliers.

Eat seasonally. Blueberries don’t grow in Montana in January, but you can always buy « fresh » blueberries at that time. That means they probably come from far away. Whenever possible, focus on foods that are available in the season you live in, and you’ll promote sustainability.

Tap your tap. Liquids are among the heaviest items to ship in the country, and it takes a lot of fossil fuel to transport them. Instead of buying bottled beverages, use a refillable bottle and fill it with tap or filter water.

Refresh your shopping list. Think about bulk foods, less processed foods and more plant-based meals. This means less packaging and waste and less energy and water used to produce certain foods.

Vote with your wallet and fork. There is no better way to influence the direction of our food system and what grocers, restaurateurs and food companies produce and sell than to influence their bottom line. Ask your food suppliers to support local farmers, local producers and sustainable agriculture. Show your support through your purchasing decisions.

Go local

Whether it’s meat, fish, dairy, fruit, or vegetables, purchasing directly from local butchers and farm shops is a great way to eat sustainably. Not only does it encourage local food production and boost the economy, but it reduces your carbon footprint as the food you’re buying won’t have travelled hundreds or thousands of miles. Local food shops and farmers markets usually operate on a much smaller scale than supermarket chains, meaning lower impact and less waste, too. The health benefits of going local include fruit and veg that is at its freshest – meaning that they’re likely still packed with nutrients when they land on your plate.

6 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas to Save the Planet

You have always been concerned about the planet and the destructive impact of human activities on our its well-being. It’s been a few months now since you started to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. And little by little, you aim to be living completely waste-free. However, there is a small problem: the holiday season is just around the corner, and in less than two months, it will be the most magical time of the year but also the moment when we, as individuals, contribute the most to the destruction of our planet with our gifts and wrapping paper that we buy in tremendous quantities.

Nevertheless, there is no need to perpetuate this tradition of using unsustainable wrapping paper. Set a new rule instead and let your creativity run wild: use only recycled and recovered items to wrap your Christmas gifts. It will also make the season much more fun. Not sure how to proceed? Here are a few original ideas to get you started:

Paper Rolls

We all have them, and they probably always go in the trash. But not this season! Paper rolls can be the perfect alternative to standard wrapping paper, especially if you plan to give something small but precious. You can achieve remarkable results in just a few easy steps by turning a paper roll into a pillow box. Don’t limit yourself with decorations, which include painting it, adding ribbons and glitter to it. Then fold one end inward, put the gift inside, and do the same with the other extremity.

Sheets of an Old Exercise Book

If you have teenagers, you probably have lots of old exercise books with unused pages around the house. You can tear off these sheets to make an original package. They will make a perfect alternative to the commercial wrapping paper, plus you can also easily create small gift rolls. Of course, you can add a dash of fun with some pentels or colorful pencils.

Newspapers

Many of us like to keep up to date with current events, and an excellent traditional way to do this is to buy newspapers. However, when we finish reading, we often just throw them in the corner and forget about them, but now it’s finally time to use them! Recycling old newspapers in a beautiful gift packaging is a great way to save money and preserve the planet. It also makes wrapping more fun. You can draw pretty flowers or plants on it or simply add a little preppy rosette with a bright red ribbon for even more excitement.

Old Sleeves

Are you looking for a pleasant and creative way to wrap a bottle of wine? The sleeve of an old man’s shirt will do the trick! No, it’s not a joke! Cut off one of the sleeves and sew its bottom. Place the bottle inside and fix the sleeve cuff and tie it with a ribbon or an organic thread with a small card.

Cereal Boxes

You’ll never have to purchase gift bags! For large gifts, you can turn a cereal box into a bag. Cut out the top part of the box and glue it inside the box to reinforce the bottom. Then punch two holes in both sides of the box and put a wrapping ribbon through the openings and tie it. You can, of course, decorate the package as you wish.

Unused Scarves

Have you heard the famous phrase “to kill two birds with one stone”? This is exactly what you’ll do with this alternative! Not only will you recycle but you will also let the one receiver reuse the scarf, which is even more sustainable. By following the Furoshiki Japanese art, you can get marvelous ideas to create some unique packages.

Once you’ve used these great gift wrapping ideas to make your holidays more eco-friendly, make a habit of using them for all your gift-giving opportunities. You’ll save money on materials but also reduce your carbon footprint and be more sustainable. Don’t forget to leave in the comments how your creative wrapping turned out.

Disposal of Scrap: A Contribution to the Environment

When your car is no longer a useful tool, looks old and is no longer worthy of being in your garage, it can look like a piece of junk! But before handing your car over to a scrap yard for disposal, take a moment to consider the benefits of trading it in for a scrap heap with a car recycling service – these companies offer many advantages to their customers when it comes to end-of-life cars! They benefit from underutilized land that is used as a landfill and recycles vehicles in designated areas. With so many companies irresponsibly towing cars to scrap yards and placing excess waste and scrap materials on the banks of riverside landfills, the environment and all surrounding natural resources are negatively impacted.

Get Quick Money for Your Car at a Junkyard

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When selling your car to a junkyard, only benefits await you, and one of them is to receive hundreds of dollars, so there is no reason to deliver a vehicle to a landfill that will not bring you any profit. Junkyards are dedicated to acquiring all types of vehicles, from private to old and imported and everything within their environment.

Avoid Landfills to Reduce Pollution

Car Abandoned Rusted - Free photo on Pixabay

Junkyards play a vital role since they reduce landfills by making the most recyclable material from unwanted vehicles. By reducing the use of landfills, we are minimizing the environmental impact through the recycling of cars. This benefit is that none of the engine debris makes its way into the water or the ground. Additionally, possible disasters are avoided because there is no excess fuel, frequent wildfires in landfills resulting from improper handling of this type of flammable material.

Earn Money While Protecting the Environment

As you can see, the sale of the used car to the dismantling center for vehicles turned into scrap is the most sensible alternative; in addition to allowing you to earn cash, it guarantees you free towing as long as you take care of the environment.

Make sure the people on the trailer won’t move the car to a landfill. Of course, contact an authorized treatment center that is responsible and qualified, with the aim that the people in charge treat the polluting substances of the cars such as oil, brake league, etc... in the most convenient way and do not leave them lying anywhere. Ensure that they work according to the law in a decontaminated environment free of dangerous or polluting substances. That is to say, the proper and adequate treatment of the waste is provided.

A Thousand Uses for Scrap: Unlimited Imagination!

Behind the Scenes of Scrap Yards: IAEA Launches Online Tools on the Control  of Radioactive Material Inadvertently Incorporated into Scrap Metal | IAEA

Vehicle recycling is a quick way to see your car reborn. It is how your vehicle will emerge from the ashes to become part of other products since all vehicle brands use recycled metal for their manufacture. With automobile materials, the imagination has no end. Many use these pieces to make objects and decorate the environment with marked originality and build decorative elements with auto parts, something like using the roof of a vehicle to make a table.

Annually, the recycling of tons of material from vehicles turned into scrap provides thousands of new products. Many of them frequently used, such as glass, can become objects of various uses such as glasses, glasses, etc. Most scrap materials are recyclable, including metal, glass, plastic, tires, fluids such as motor oil and refrigerants, which are widely used in the recycling industry.

How Is the Recycling Process?

The first step is the dismantling of the car, which is entirely skeletonized. Subsequently, the materials are processed according to each material’s amount and value. Then it is passed to a cutter that pulverizes it into small metal pieces and is sold to manufacturing companies who use it as a raw material. China is the leading commercial client of the United States in terms of acquiring this type of element and generally uses it to construct buildings and infrastructure. Fortunately, the level of awareness of scrap car owners has increased considerably in recent years. Their achievements are increasingly evident in the number of people who take advantage of junk money promotions.

People decide to sell their abandoned and deteriorated cars to recycling companies, contributing to a notable improvement in the cleaning and sanitation of houses and avenues. Don’t be discouraged if your vehicle has already reached its useful life! It is not about seeing and letting the scrap die, but about recycling it. If your old car has already exceeded its lifespan, it doesn’t mean it’s over! You can still cut it in a junkyard that buys you the car in parts, but if your vehicle is no longer going to fulfill its mobility function, what are you waiting to recycle it? Get in touch with Scrap Metal for all your scrap metal removal in Miami!

How Do You Recognize an Eco-Constructor?

Eco-construction is in fashion whether it is through the wooden house, the timber-frame house, or bio-climatic architecture. When you build your own house, self-construction often rhymes with Eco-construction, but there are also professionals who can advise you in this sense: Eco-constructors.

Is your contractor an Eco-builder in construction or renovation?

The notion of ecology in construction and/or renovation aims at maximum performance in the various fields impacting the environment during the design, construction, and occupation of a property. Thus, Eco-construction has multiple goals to achieve in relation to:

– the environment: preservation of energy and water resources, the fight against climate change, environmental and health quality of construction products, waste reduction;

– to people: reduction of pollution-induced by housing, health, and comfort of the occupants by preserving IAQ (indoor air quality), thermal and sound insulation, etc.

An Eco-builder is therefore an individual or a professional with the desire to achieve these goals at each stage of the construction and then use of a building, in order to obtain a building with the least negative impact on the environment while preserving the health and comfort of its occupants.

If any individual who is a self-builder of his house is able at all levels to apply its principles of Eco-construction, professionals must, to be qualified as Eco-constructors, apply reference frames and standards.

Principles of Eco-construction by professionals

In order to be able to design, build, renovate, fit-out and equip an Eco-built building, the whole of a sustainable approach is to apply principles and methods to different actors, professionals, and trades during the construction process:

The study of the project

Integration of the building in its environment: location, bio-climatic architecture taking into account the reduction of heating and cooling needs by optimizing free inputs (solar, geothermal, rainwater, etc.).

Its design

Reduction of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions while favoring resources in the choice of construction materials and exploiting renewable energies (rainwater recovery, energy production by the building, ventilation management, etc.).

Its realization

Reduction of nuisances from the construction site and then from the building in operation: limitation of atmospheric emissions, sorting, and recovery of waste, reduction of noise levels.

How to recognize an Eco-constructor?

If at present there is no professional certification of Eco-builder yet, we can qualify the various major actors of construction having satisfied one of the 3 following certifications as Eco-construction aware:

BREEAM;

– HQE;

– LEED.

It is therefore first of all through their commitment to respect the environment during the study (architects, design offices, etc.), design (design offices, energy specialists, renewable energy professionals, heating engineers, etc.) and construction (builders, masons, electricians, plumbers, heating engineers, etc.) of the building that Eco-constructors can be selected. It is good that each of these professionals can attest to at least one achievement having obtained one of the certifications of sustainable building, and if possible the HQE certification.

In fact, an Eco-builder is not more expensive than a conventional builder, but the materials, techniques, etc. may represent an additional cost.

Good to know: the professional license « Project management in Eco-construction and Eco-materials » aims to train autonomous senior technicians in project management and construction and manufacturing management in the field of Eco-construction and Eco-materials with direct professional integration at the end of the license year.

Hope the above helps you out in finding the right Eco-builder for your Eco-project. Should you be looking for more info, please do not hesitate to write down your comments in the section below. We will find out as much information as possible and get back to you within hours.

Powerful Reasons to Practice Sustainable Tourism

Over the past few decades, the tourism sector has grown considerably and has become a sector of great importance for the economy and international trade. The total turnover of international tourism in 2015 was 1.260 billion worldwide, while the number of international travelers this year was 1.186 million. It has also proved to be a stable sector, resistant to crises and other economic phenomena, and has shown uninterrupted growth since 2009.

 

However, despite the economic benefits that the sector brings, conventional tourism also has several adverse effects, which are significant given the size of the industry: pollution of protected areas, erosion, hotels being overcrowded, displacement of the local population when visitors arrive, etc. In this context, the concept of sustainable tourism is becoming increasingly important.

 

Through the diversity of relationships associated with tourism, sustainable tourism can act as a catalyst for change globally, promoting local economies in the fight against causes such as hunger, peace, and security. Let’s check out how we can all be responsible travelers!

 

 

But What is Sustainable Tourism?

Sustainable tourism is something simple to which every traveler should be committed. In general terms, sustainable tourism is when traveling is an activity with a low impact on the environment and local cultures. But what is defined so simply is not so simple in practice. Achieving sustainable tourism development requires the commitment of all those who are part of the world of travel. Governments, companies, citizens, and localities, and, above all, travelers must do their part to benefit the industry.

 

At Towards-Sustainability, we believe that it’s the best way to travel around the world, as it is the only way that enriches both the visitor and the destinations so that it benefits the whole world. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has since 2015 as its main task to promote it.

 

Why Sustainable Tourism?

Practicing sustainable tourism is nothing more than applying to the world of travel what today is a necessity in all aspects of life, sustainability. Our planet’s resources are limited, and the unrestricted use that humanity has made and continues to make of them has us on the brink of a crisis. 

 

Sustainable Tourism and Environment

Global warming, driven mainly by greenhouse gases, will have impacts ranging from rising temperatures to rising sea levels. The United Nations warns that unless the process is stopped, our societies’ future is at risk.

 

Although more and more efforts are being made, the process is slow, and maintaining lifeways that consciously or unconsciously continue the planet’s depredation keeps us at high risk. Environmental sustainability must apply to everything to avoid this crisis. Traveling is one of the most important economic activities and one of the most enriching experiences for anyone. Those of us who are travelers become addicted to knowing other places, people, and cultures. But tourism can be a constructive or destructive activity in environmental and cultural terms. 

 

Axes of Sustainable Tourism

There are three axes for the development of sustainable tourism, and the ideal is that benefits are achieved in each of them. These are environment, economy, and culture.

 

Environment

When thinking about sustainability and sustainable development, the first thing that comes to mind is natural resources, which has an essential implication for tourism. It all starts with transportation because to get to a destination; we have to use some means. Although there are means without environmental impact at the local level, such as cycling or merely walking or hiking, there are no 100% clean alternatives to reach other cities or countries.

 

Sustainable tourism faces one of its main challenges since only traveling implies more than 70% of travel’s environmental damage. Accommodation, tourist facilities, and services for visitors also generate an impact, which sustainable tourism seeks to reduce or cancel. Many travelers like to practice ecotourism and live with nature.

 

 

Economy

There’s no doubt that tourism is one of the most important industries of our time. Figures from 2019 indicate that travel generated 8.9 trillion dollars globally, more than 10.3% of the world economy, and 1 in 10 jobs depend on this industry. Therefore, everyone wants a piece of the cake, but there is ambition in any place where there is money. Sustainable tourism cares about ecology and people, and therefore an adequate distribution of the resources generated is one of its interests. Hence, the fair tourism concept, where everyone involved can make a living from their work supporting the local economy.

 

 

Culture

There are millions of people traveling every year, and there are places that we all want to see at least once in our lives. And that’s why some destinations receive too many visits, to the extent that the number of visitors ends up exceeding the local population. Travelers tend to seek authentic experiences, but it is sometimes easy to consume the known. When many people go to the same places looking for the same experiences, you have mass tourism.

 

And the problem is that this is so big that serving it implies sacrificing services for local communities. This situation already occurs in many European cities where they fight against this tourism that leaves no benefits. On the other hand, receiving so many visitors runs one of the most severe globalization risks: identity loss – this can cause the loss of traditions, customs, languages, dresses, or become consumer products for the visitor, dissociated from their original meaning.

 

 

Your role is essential but very simple, choose well, visit places with respect, and consume in businesses that fight for tourism to be fair for everyone. Here, at Towards-Sustainability, we will always keep you informed of the options that exist for you. When traveling, you enjoy and help your destination and the world with responsible tourism in the natural and cultural.

 

 

Sustainable Gifts for A Housewarming

Sustainable gifts can be scary if you don’t know what to look for, but they are not hard to find. The benefits of minimizing the impact on the surrounding environment outweigh the process of finding a green gift along with buying the gift. It only takes a few minutes to think about your friend’s interests, whether it’s gardening, cooking, sewing, fashion, furniture or music, you’ll be able to find something that supports a sustainable life.

 

Most likely the next question you ask yourself is: what is a sustainable gift? Sustainability is the ability to last over time. There is no global definition of a sustainable gift, but you will probably recognize one when you see one.

 

The gift items you are looking for are natural, organic, handmade, recycled, or products that promote a sustainable environment. You should not skimp on style, fashion or substance. Paying attention to labeling will help you choose a gift that captures the lifestyle you are looking to support. Examples include green gifts, fair trade gifts, organic, made from recycled and renewable resources, which support local artisans, small businesses, cooperatives, craft industries and fair trade.

In today’s environmentally conscious world, the word sustainable has become synonymous with any product that has been made from renewable materials, that is useful, that does not clutter or pollute the environment, that does not damage the earth’s ecology, that is biodegradable or at least can be recycled or reused. Any item that does not fit this description is not sustainable.

 

In direct response to the growing demand for sustainable products, many ecological companies around the world have created articles that fit all or part of the description. A quick search on the internet or a visit to your local department store will reveal that there are many sustainable items you can give away. For those who are really passionate about sustainable living, a copy of Michael Mobbs’ Sustainable House would be perfect.

 

Other gifts you might consider would be energy-efficient electric light bulbs or solar-powered LED garden lights. These don’t cost much and consume very little electricity. If they love gardening, then you could give them a bag of organic garden fertilizer, or even some garden seedlings. If their new home does not have a garden, then you could give them flower pots or wooden containers to grow vegetables and herbs.

 

If you want more expensive items, then you could give them an instruction manual for DIY solar panels, and maybe even some of the materials they need. But a family living in greenery might already have solar energy. Do they have a swimming pool? If so, then a solar pool enclosure would be a good idea if they don’t already have one. Made of polyethylene or UV-stabilized vinyl, it prevents water loss through evaporation in hot climates and keeps the water warm in colder climates, and is a great way to save both water and electricity.

 

You might also consider organic and fair trade luxury food products, such as some excellent coffee beans or fair trade chocolate, or an organic fruit gift basket. But be careful with the packaging: don’t buy a gift because it is « sustainable » just to realize that it is packaged with a plastic load, or even a fancy basket that the recipients won’t use.

 

In short, there are plenty of options for sustainable gifts that will make great housewarming gifts, just like there are for every occasion. Don’t forget antiques or reuse items. Local boutiques and gift stores will also help you with clothing and handbags. If you are creative and have time make your gift. Cakes and pies are easy to prepare, but when you have time use your sewing or painting skills that you may have acquired. Go to the library and find a craft book, then try to make something homemade.

 

Ecological thinking is good for giving, good for living and good for the environment. It is also a lot of fun. Don’t worry when someone you know is living a sustainable lifestyle. Sustainable gifts are just around the corner.

 

 

5 Ideas for an Ecological Honeymoon

You have found the love of your life! He proposed a few weeks ago, and the two of you are both busy organizing your woodland wedding, which you intend to do in the enchanting forest of the national park. It will be a simple but fun gathering with your loved ones amidst giant old trees, with their creeping roots, and surrounded by a myriad of colors created by majestic plants and beautiful flowers basking in the sun. You and your future husband/wife are both nature lovers and having the opportunity to celebrate your love for each other in this magical place is a dream come true.

In the same spirit, you are also planning your honeymoon and don’t want to have a negative impact on your beloved planet but are not sure how to proceed. Not to worry anymore! Even as newlyweds, you will be able to embrace the sustainability trend by planning an ecological honeymoon. Here’s how to do it:

 

1. A Local Honeymoon

After saying  » I do », the essential goal is that you spend quality time with your life partner. Although travel may be a shared desire, it is probably best to do something in your own country this time. With the current pandemic, you may be required to stay in quarantine upon arrival at your destination. So why travel to the other side of the world if you can barely leave the hotel? Moreover, a cozy local place, accessible by bus or train in a few hours, is always more environmentally friendly and saves money.

 

2. Embark on a Hiking Trip

If you enjoy being outdoors in the wilderness, a hike could be the perfect way to celebrate your new married life. Go on a hiking adventure to explore your honeymoon destination and marvel at the incredible biodiversity. Most packages offer tours that range from easy to more complicated, and you can choose the one that best suits your couple. But remember not to disturb the natural ecosystem, leaving it as you found it.

 

 3. Think Sustainable Transportation

The easiest way to travel sustainably at your destination is to use transportation with a smaller carbon footprint. For example, cycling or walking are the best options, but you can also use public transport, including buses and trains when necessary. And if you really need a car, try renting an environmentally friendly electric vehicle from a car rental company that supports the cause of protecting the environment.

 

4. Go for a Bike Trail

Are you a couple who truly appreciates the benefits of fitness, and who would never turn down a physical activity? Look for a place that offers bike trails for your honeymoon! This will allow you to create beautiful memories like you never had! Since you’ll be riding next to each other while enjoying nature, you’ll also strengthen your marriage bond. You can even opt for a tandem bicycle for more fun.

 

 5. Ditch the Gigantic Resorts

Did you know that by opting for room cleaning service during your stay in a resort, you also allow the use of several thousand liters of water? In fact, these huge resorts are anything but sustainable. They are known to have a destructive impact on the environment because of their amount of carbon dioxide emissions and their waste of energy, water, and food. Therefore, you can choose to lodge in a simple bed & breakfast, in a certified « green » hotel, or even go camping.

However, if you really don’t want to compromise on your 5-star hotel stay, at least hang up the « Do Not Disturb » sign and turn off the air conditioning to be energy efficient.

 

Living in a sustainable world will not happen overnight, and it is more of a journey than a destination. Yet, every opportunity you have to contribute to environmental protection will be a step forward.

In the meantime, have you found other ways to go on an ecological honeymoon? Click on the « Comments » section below and share your idea with us.

10 Weirdest But Greenest Inventions of All Time

The misuse of technologies has generated innumerable challenges for the sustainability and conservation of the environment. Paradoxically, the current industrial and commercial development has put the balance of the Earth at risk. That’s one of the problems that worry all parents. Possibly on more than one occasion, you have wondered what kind of future awaits the children in your family environment. Is that so?

The environmental challenges that we face are not minor and must be taken seriously. That is why quick and effective solutions are urgently needed. Thousands of scientists worldwide are working on inventing new materials and objects to allow consumers to choose an ecological and sustainable alternative.

If they can become famous, several of these inventions would represent a breakthrough in preserving our environment! It will only be necessary to overcome some obstacles such as people’s consumption habits, affordable prices, and, most importantly, safe in their use, manipulation, and results.

#1. Cigarettes With Seeds

Given the number of people who smoke globally, it occurred to someone that cigarette residues could stop being a nuisance (ash and smoke pollute and cigarette butts take about 15 years to degrade) and become something productive. Thus arose the idea of ​​cigarettes with seeds, which are equipped with biodegradable filters; After its decomposition, wildflowers will sprout from its remains that will help purify the air—an excellent way to give the bad habit of smoking an ecological twist.

#2. Energy-Saving Lamps

Light bulbs are one of the most effective creations that strive for sustainability in all aspects of the invention. Not only are they made with less polluting materials than their incandescent predecessors, but they also save up to 75% energy, last 10-12 times longer, and almost all of their components are recyclable. The next step was the LEDs that do not contain the minimum amount of mercury that the low consumption ones had and are as or more effective than these.

#3. Solar Cell Phones

As weird as it may sound, solar cell phones are a real thing. Their batteries can be charged by exposing them to the sun! Smartphones are « energy-eating » items, since being for daily use and having specific charging capacities, it is necessary to connect them regularly to chargers to keep them running. Thanks to the Fraunhofer Institute’s invention, with just 2 hours of sunning our batteries, we would have a charge for the rest of the day. The only drawback is that users tend to charge their phones at night, but it will convince them to change their habits.

#4. Newspaper WoodFrom Tree to Paper to Wood

In the Netherlands, Mieke Meijer from the company Vij5 has created this new material called Kranthout (which means newspaper-wood in Dutch). Although it looks like wood, it is basically a by-product of recycling paper. Thanks to their perfect rolling and agglomeration, they have managed to make old newspapers and sawdust, chips and shavings, look (it even has veins) and are used as if they were wood, so much so that this material has great hardness, can be sanded and even paint.

#5. Photovoltaic Backpack

That’s one genuinely eco-friendly invention developed by the VoltaicSystems. It is made of a material that is the product of the recycling of various types of bottles, so it is ecological, waterproof, strong and lightweight at the same time. On the outside, it has a series of photovoltaic panels that charge internal storage batteries, to which 11 different types of connectors are attached. Not only can the camera, the camcorder, the tablets or the mobile be carried inside but we can load them as we go hiking, go to work or simply leave the backpack in the sun.

#6. From Bag to Oil

In Japan, the Blest Corporation has invented a device capable of converting plastic bags into the oil. With an approximate cost of about 9,000 euros for each machine, for every two kilos of bags (approximately) and consuming just 1 KW, it can distill one liter of oil, ideal to be used as fuel. Although the idea is to have it produced at an industrial level, if the domestic ones were to be put on the market, they would be the best solution for several of the pollution sources.

#7. Coffee Ink

3D printers are a true marvel that seemed like science fiction until a couple of years ago, but they have not solved everything. Billions of documents need to be printed every minute worldwide, and inks and toners are toxic and polluting. An ingenious designer from Korea came up with recycling coffee waste and turning it into ink, with the consequent ecological savings that this represents.

#8. Bamboo Computers

Plastic is a dangerous component (due to the long times it requires its complete destruction), but it is necessary for now. In contrast, bamboo is a very fast-growing tree that can be used to make thin, biodegradable sheets that could replace plastic. In fact, in China, there are already recyclable laptops, PCs, and Tablets, made with this material.

#9. Recyclable USB memory

All the components of this ecological, sustainable, useful, and supportive product are recycled and recyclable; its storage capacity reaches 8 Gb. For each sold, its creators contribute a percentage, which is allocated to the planting of trees in different parts of the world.

#10. GreeneratorGreen Generator

Although this invention is still in its « infancy, » if it can be produced on a large scale, it would be a domestic solution for consumption, saving a lot of money and pollution. The idea is that the Greenerator generates the energy necessary to operate all the elements that require it (lights, refrigerator, TV, PC, washing machine, etc.) using only the sun and wind as a source. Its creator, Jonathan Globerson, estimates that if his invention works as he believes, it should only be consumed from external sources, 6% of what is needed per household today.

The 6 Greenest Cities in the World

With a mass of people, a lot of fumes, and piles of rubbish, big cities are not precisely known for their positive contribution to environmental protection. However, many cities also contribute well to ecological protection compared to the large polluters. Here are 6 of the greenest cities of the world:

1) Freiburg, Germany

Perhaps not for every city globally, but certainly for Freiburg: this city is entirely car-free. The city has been creating a more sustainable environment since 1970, and this process is bearing fruit. Waste disposal in Freiburg has been reduced by 90,000 tonnes in just 12 years. The German city has set several targets: in 2007, it was agreed that CO2 emissions must be reduced by 40% by 2030, and in 2014 the target will be increased to 50%. The city now wants 100% renewable energy.

2) Reykjavik, Iceland

The Icelandic city is determined to live entirely without fossil fuels by 2050. That will probably be the case. Geothermal heat, also known as geothermal energy, already supplies power to all buildings in the city. Around 0.01% of electricity in Iceland is produced from fossil fuels. According to The Huffington Post, Reykjavik takes the dough for green life, being the first city to live almost entirely on green energy.

3) Oslo, Norway

Last year the Oslo Government announced that it wants to ban all cars in the city within four years, and with this plan, it intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Eighty percent of Oslo’s heating system is based on renewable energy, and the city’s objective is to increase this percentage to 100 percent. Besides, the Norwegian town has a system that converts household waste into recyclable energy. Norway wants to be fully CO2-neutral by 2030, the chances of success are reasonable, given the successful adaptations of recent times.

4) Curitiba, Brazil

Curitiba is an excellent example of how a large, growing city can be and remain sustainable. Although Curitiba has almost two million inhabitants, the government works hard to create green areas such as parks and gardens. Besides, public transport in the Brazilian city is called a real revolution in transportation: buses run the same system like the metro, with fixed prices, lanes, and buses departing several times an hour. Around 72% of the city’s inhabitants use buses instead of their transport, which means much less air pollution. More than 1.5 million trees have recently been planted in the town, and more than 50 percent of paper, metal, glass, and plastic are recycled. The government stimulates this by rewarding residents who give away waste with vegetables or bus tickets.

 

5) Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen wants to be entirely CO2-neutral by 2025, with its dedicated inhabitants, clean water, and plenty of greenery, which certainly seems feasible. The city has an offshore wind farm along the coast and began building a new metro system in 2000, which improves public transport. In addition, Copenhagen is known for making bicycles available free of charge to the city’s residents, so only 25% of Copenhagen’s households have a car.

6) Vienna, Austria

Vienna is an example of being the greenest city in the world. Moreover, it ranks first in the ranking of the « greenest » metropolises. Vienna is a leader in the following disciplines:

  • Parks and local recreational areas at every turn – half of the city is green.
  • Public transport in Vienna will take you everywhere. This is why every second inhabitant of Vienna uses it.
  • The recycling and composting programs are top-notch: 30% of the city’s energy needs come from renewable sources.
  • Sorting waste can also be stylish: In Vienna, energy is also an art.
  • Local agricultural markets provide the city with the best groceries.

What are your thoughts about these cities? Share it with us in the comments below!

Eco-Friendly Halloween Decorations

Who says Halloween can’t be green? Well, whoever said it never knew how to celebrate a green Halloween! I dare to say that a green Halloween is much better than an orange Halloween. Yes, I said it! There are many ways to celebrate Halloween while thinking about the environment. Like every holiday, Halloween will soon be upon us with all its colors, candy, and children looking for tricks and treats. We all know how much garbage this scary holiday can have on the earth with all its non-degradable plastic costumes and decorations, as well as all the candy that rots teeth and contains all kinds of chemicals. So what should an eco-family do on Halloween? Here are five tips to make your Halloween much more eco-friendly.

Serve organic treats
Treats are the most important part of the night, aren’t they? Kids love all kinds of candy for their night, so instead of the usual old chocolate, why not serve them organic, over-the-counter chocolate – it tastes like regular store chocolate, without all the chemicals and preservatives. Choose candies made with natural juices, cane sugar and natural colors so that the kids get quality treats. If you don’t want to hand out candy, make your own toys to hand out, or useful items such as pencils or even soy crayons.

Costumes that go up in line and then give away
We all know that these cheap costumes in the store are made of non-biodegradable materials, made with dangerous chemicals that are harmful to children. Instead of buying, there is a lot of material in your own home that can be remade into great children’s costumes. For example, old pillowcases can be turned into superhero capes, and recycled cardboard can be cut into all sorts of shapes. And don’t hesitate to go to your local thrift store for costume ideas, or to get extra material for all your ideas.

Use natural and/or recycled decorations
Like the costumes, Halloween decorations are made of non-recyclable materials that can be harmful in the long run, so the rule is not to buy them at all! Natural products such as corn husks, straw bales, squash and, yes, even pumpkins are great decorations, and can be added to the compost heap as soon as the holidays are over. Keep an eye out for reusable decorations made from recycled materials that can have a long life and can reduce waste in general.

Follow the trick-or-treating route
Walking your children around the neighborhood to please them is not only good for you, it’s also good for the environment. Instead of driving your car, take a greener attitude and walk your kids around the neighbourhood. You may also get to know your neighbors better. Your children will be able to see other people’s costumes and this will help them bond with your children.

Install solar lights in and around your home.
What better time than in the fall to permanently install these solar lamps that light the way to your home. This will let the kids know that there are treats to be found, and you’ll save a lot of money in the long run. Installing solar lights on the front of your house is also a good idea to save even more money.

Paper products
Whether it’s Halloween decorations or party supplies, paper is the best choice. It’s affordable and most importantly, recyclable. There are many choices of garlands, banners, tablecloths and window decorations; all are good choices for an environmentally friendly Halloween party. For fun, use Halloween-themed paper cups, plates and napkins for your party. They’re easy to clean, just throw them in the recycling garbage can and you’re done! Don’t forget aluminum cans, plastic utensils and bottles, which can all be recycled.

For your own trick or treat
If you have children who are planning to pick up Halloween treats, give them a Halloween-themed gift or treat bag to use to collect their candy instead of the traditional plastic pumpkin. The pumpkin is usually discarded after a while anyway. A Halloween-themed gift bag makes a perfect « one-time » candy holder that can then be easily discarded and recycled.