6 Activities to Teach Your Kids on Sustainability

Are you one of those who believe that small actions can change the world? Are you one of those who believe that we still have time to find a way to live in harmony with the planet by being more eco-friendly? Adopting a sustainable lifestyle by teaching this concept to our kids can be a great way to start.

The first and most fundamental step may be to explain to them the idea that the planet is not ours, that we don’t have the right to use it fully, and that we are, instead, just another part of it. We share space with many other species and living beings, and other people with different needs and realities.

However, it is not necessary to devote yourself only to talking and exchanging serious and complex ideas, taking care of the planet and those of us who live on it can also be a lot of fun! In this article, we write on sharing the sustainability concept with kids playfully and enjoyably. These activities can be done at home and at the educational center to work on values like ecology, solidarity, and empathy.

 

1. Homemade Shopping Bag

Do you have a t-shirt or an old piece of clothing and you’re about to throw it away? Don’t even think about it! Instead, with your kids, you can convert it into a fashionable and sustainable shopping bag. One of the most important ecological goals is reducing waste, especially plastics, because recycling is particularly difficult.

 

2. DIY Your Hygiene, Food or Cleaning Products

Are you wondering what you can do with your kids when you have some free time on a rainy afternoon? Think about some fun DIY sessions. From processed foods, such as preserves or sauces, to organic hygiene and cleaning products, there is an extensive array of products that you can do at home with your little ones’ help. And if you use local and environmentally friendly products, it will be even better!

 

3. Give a Second Life to Old Objects

It is time to put your creativity to the test! In what can a burnt-out bulb be transformed into? And old jeans? Before you buy something you want so much, think about whether it’s a real need and, if so, if it can be fulfilled by finding a new purpose for something you already own. It will be a fabulous craft workshop with your children!

 

4. Give Your Bicycle a Second Thought

 

Cycling is a means of transportation that doesn’t consume non-renewable fossil fuels, doesn’t pollute, and helps you stay in shape physically and mentally, and these are all advantages! Getting the little ones to use their bicycles on short trips, teaching them the basic rules of safety and traffic, is an excellent way for them to standardize its use and make it their usual means of transportation.

 

5. Less Is More

Sometimes we have so many objects that we are not able to appreciate and value them. How about doing an activity to prioritize recognition, in which the child chooses the toys that make him/her really happy and gives the rest to the other children. Enjoying the positive feeling generated by sharing with others is an indescribable moment; turn it into a game and a way of teaching your child to live with less! And when he grows up, he will already be used to the zero waste and sustainability concept.

 

6. Plant Your Own Food

Have you not yet dared to create a garden at home or the educational center? This is an exciting idea that allows children to learn about healthy eating, know about local products and the time of the year when consumed, and work responsibly when growing their own food.

What do you think of these activities? Are there another similar one you do with your little ones? Remember to share it with us in the comments below!

Environmentally Friendly Makeup

Only Frankenstein gets away with a green face. But green makeup – like environmentally friendly and eco-friendly beauty products – is a new popular trend that has a lasting impact. It’s a movement towards more ethical and eco-friendly products that beautify your face without harming the environment. Of course, products that don’t contain chemicals or carcinogens are also better for you in the long run.

Unfortunately, life after L’Oréal can get a little complicated. With so many products labeled « natural » or « organic, » it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s take a look at some of the labels you’re likely to see, what they mean and how you can use them to make greener decisions for you and the Earth.

Green cosmetics: 6 eco-friendly or eco-friendly makeup brands not to be  missed

Organic

Organic crops are produced without pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or genetic modification. With the growth of the organic industry, fewer toxic chemicals are released into the water and air. But beware of products that claim to be organic. Unless that claim is certified organic by the USDA, the « organic » shiny lipstick you are tempted to buy may contain only one organic ingredient. The USDA’s green and white label guarantees that the ingredients (not including water, of course) in your product are 95% or more organic. Other organic certifications like EcoCert are less strict in their qualifications.

One of the side benefits of buying certified organic products is that they are free of 1.4 dioxanes, a carcinogenic contaminant found in many foaming products, especially those with sodium laureth sulfate as an ingredient.

Vegetarian / Vegan / Cruelty-free

For many people, being green also means being kind to the other animals that share the planet with us. Vegetarian cosmetics may contain beeswax, honey, or milk obtained without harming the animal; vegan cosmetics do not have any animal products.

Cruelty-free products (look for the bouncing rabbit symbol or PETA) have been developed without being tested on animals. A cruelty-free product may still contain animal products. Watch out for ingredients such as stearic acid (usually derived from cow or sheep fat), oleyl alcohol (inedible beef fat), and carmine (a red dye made from crushed beetles and frequently found in natural lipsticks as an alternative to chemical stains).

The Ultimate List of Best Organic Makeup Brands (2021)

Biodegradable / Recyclable / Minimal packaging

When in doubt, choose makeup with the most environmentally friendly packaging: recyclable, recycled, minimal, or biodegradable. Cargo Cosmetics has pioneered a lipstick that is not only made with ecologically-friendly ingredients but is also offered in a biodegradable corn-based tube. In most cases, the less packaging, the better.

Finally, here are a few things to avoid during your next cosmetic shopping session:

Things you can’t pronounce (Latin plant names aside). Synthetic chemicals tend to have long, complicated, chemically sounding names. This is not the case with natural ingredients. In general, the shorter the list of ingredients and the more things you recognize in it, the better. Many synthetic ingredients, including parabens (preservatives), sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate (foaming agents), and phthalates (binders), are mildly irritating or potentially carcinogenic.
Petroleum / petrochemical ingredients. Not only are fossil fuels a non-renewable resource, but they are also ineffective moisturizers because they are not absorbed through the skin. Instead, choose the oil of vegetable origin, such as jojoba, shea butter, or sunflower oil.
Labels « pure » and « all-natural. » Unless the ingredients and a USDA organic label support these labels, they are not regulated and do not guarantee anything.

Another significant advantage of natural skincare and hair dyes is that because they are made from organic ingredients, the final appearance will be better than if the products are developed with human-made components. After all, the purpose of makeup is to improve your appearance, so why to settle for unnatural products when the alternative is similarly priced and gives you a better result. Maybe it’s time for the makeup industry to start thinking more carefully about the ingredients they use. Otherwise, they risk losing out to the wave of natural skincare.

8 Ecological Gift Ideas for Christmas

The perfect Christmas gift: dream or reality? Giving a gift is not always easy. There is a risk that it will be left in a drawer and never used, causing waste, a waste of money, and resources. Are you short of ideas? We propose a list of ecological gifts for Christmas, suitable for everyone. Which one do you prefer?

 

#1. Reusable bottle in steel or glass

Most people buy water when they are away from home. It is not a healthy habit for the planet since plastic bottles are single-use, used only a few minutes, and then become waste. Also, many bottles are made of PET, a material that is not very safe at high temperatures or when water remains in contact with the container for a long time. The stainless-steel bottles are perfect for staying hydrated on the go. Depending on the model, they allow you to keep cold and heat for 24 hours. Besides, its greater diffusion has broadened the offer in the market, and there are many models and decorations for all tastes.

 

#2. Choose experiences

Do you want to make ecological gifts for Christmas? Choose experiences, not things! When you think of gifts, do you automatically think of an object? Wrong! A gift does not necessarily have to be an object. What do you think, for this Christmas, to surprise your loved ones by giving them some kind of experience? The type of activity will depend on the personality and taste of the people (and your budget), here are some ideas to enjoy together: from a field trip, a relaxing massage, a concert, a guided tour of your city, a surprise party with people who have not seen for a long time… it may be a more ecological option than something material.

 

#3. Organic food

Already the food market has authentic delicacies produced ecologically. Cheeses, wines, preserves, oil, beer… and if it is locally grown, better!

 

#4. Organic body care products and creams

Personal care product gift sets are nothing new. Instead of anonymous products, what do you think, choose ecological, natural, and specific products for any requirement? 

 

#5. Electric or bamboo toothbrush

Yes, they all have brushes, but do you know what happens with traditional plastic brushes? If each person changes their toothbrush regularly every three months, they will have used and thrown away around 360 brushes in their lifetime. Toothbrushes are non-recyclable waste. Instead, bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable, while electric toothbrushes allow you to dispose of only the head using the same support for many years or even forever. A gift for the planet!

 

#6. DIY Gifts

If you are a creative person and are good at crafts, creating your own gift is optional. No matter what it is, just the fact of giving someone something made with your own hands, you are giving something extraordinary. You only need free time to dedicate to your creation and a good tutorial.

 

#7. Aromatherapy diffuser

By giving a diffuser for aromatherapy and natural essential oils, you give well-being, health, and harmony to your loved ones. It is a valid gift for almost any member of the family, and you can choose essential oils according to the needs of the person. Christmas is the ideal time to give these types of products, relax thoroughly during the holidays, and start the new year better.

 

#8. Handcrafted gifts

Depending on the person’s preferences, you can tailor the search to your liking and choose handmade gifts. Are you looking for a gift for wine lovers? You are looking for local options, at kilometer 0 and ecological; Surely, in your city, you can find artisans for whatever you are looking for: wines, sweets, jewelry, natural cosmetics, home decorations, clothing, musical instruments, etc…

 

Why Are Our Rainforests Still Under Threat?

With all the conservation efforts that many groups have been putting throughout the years, why is the Amazon rainforest and others still under threat? Surely the billions of dollars of conservation effort funding should have ended rainforest destruction and loss of wildlife? Unfortunately, the evolving pressures of demand for farming land, timber and the like means that the solutions for these issues are also changing. In short, the present-day problems are not the same as they were one or two decades ago.

Let’s also not forget that insufficient funding limits the scope of conservation work (which is not to say that simply throwing money in the region will magically make the problems go away)

Amidst the global climate emergency, the Amazon rainforest is under imminent and intensifying threat. Unprecedented destruction of the rainforest since Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency is set to escalate even further in 2021, and with it the erosion of countless livelihoods and rights around the world.

The global crisis of the Coronavirus pandemic has seen the underfunded Amazonas region of Brazil particularly affected, with the Amazon rainforest – home to at least 10% of the world’s biodiversity – subject to increasing exploitation. In the first four months of 2020 alone, deforestation in the Amazon rainforest was 55% higher than last year.

If you’re wondering why Brazil’s president has such a huge impact on conservation efforts, you need to remember that the Amazon rainforest stretches across nine South American countries, with over 60% of it being in Brazil. Deforestation, illegal mining, land clearances, wildfires and ensuing degradation of forest ecosystems in the country have combined to contribute to the decimation of the world’s biggest terrestrial carbon sink, home the greatest variety of species on the planet, with a fifth of the forest now emitting more carbon than it absorbs, contributing to the rapid escalation of the global climate emergency.

According to the NGO, Amazon Watch, the principal companies financing the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest include BlackRock, BNP, JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Santander and JBS, with the Guardian revealing in 2020 that British-based banks and finance houses also gave over $2bn to Brazilian beef corporations implicated in deforestation. The responsibility of multinational corporations, as well as politicians and nation-states, must be imperatively engaged, with them being held to account in order to preserve what remains of the lungs of the Earth, its persecuted indigenous populations and the current and future generations of planet Earth. Individuals everywhere have the collective power and responsibility to demand such accountability.

The implications of the Amazon’s destruction are on a worldwide scale but are most keenly felt by the indigenous people whose territories are being stolen and destroyed, and whose rights are routinely being violated. The gravity of the danger faced by indigenous populations led a petition to be brought against Jair Bolsonaro before the International Criminal Court, demanding an investigation into attacks on indigenous human rights and asserting that indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest are put at risk of ethnocide and genocide by Bolsonaro’s socio-environmental policies.

The fight to protect the Amazon rainforest and to stall the climate emergency is therefore intrinsically and inextricably tied to the fight for the respect of children’s and indigenous people’s rights. Environmental rights and human rights are intimately interdependent, and the acquisition of justice in the Amazon rainforest is more important now than ever before.

The fact that you have been aware of the Amazon’s existence and threats for so long is in part testament to the efforts to conserve the area and raise awareness. Support for Amazon conservation, both from within the confines of the Basin and from government and NGO efforts have made it more difficult for the Amazon rainforest to go up in smoke today than 20 years ago.

We have already come a long way. Perhaps not as much as we had hoped for, but certainly more than if we had just stood by and watched.

Greenwashing – The Enemy of Sustainability (Part 2)

In part 1, we were introduced to the world of greenwashing. Do you still remember what is greenwashing? If not, let me refresh it for you!

Greenwashing, also known as green marketing, is based on the term ‘whitewashing’. It refers to a type of marketing strategy employed by companies that convey false and misleading information by claiming that their products are environmentally friendly when they are not.

There are many aspects involved in greenwashing and today, we will learn about the seven sins of greenwashing!

7 Sins of Greenwashing

Similar to the seven deadly sins, the seven sins of Greenwashing, classified by TerraChoice, are provided below:

1. Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off

The hidden trade-off sin involves a company claiming its products as environmentally-friendly and green based on a narrow set of information without taking into consideration other more critical environmental issues such as gas emissions. The product may appear sustainable while ignoring essential ecological attributes such as the use of toxic chemicals, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. For example, even though paper might come from a sustainably-harvested forest, it is still not environmentally friendly as the air pollution caused by its manufacturing process can lead to serious health problems such as asthma and upper respiratory tract disease.

2. Sin of No Proof

As the name suggests, this refers to making environmental claims without any easily accessible evidence, such as a reliable certification on either the label or the company’s website to back up claims of eco-friendliness.

This is one of the most widespread greenwashing strategies used by companies as anyone can make baseless environmental claims without any factual evidence. For instance, toilet tissue companies claim that a certain percentage of their products are made from consumer-recycled content. However, no genuine information or factual data has been provided to support that claim.

3. Sin of Vagueness

Remember that interview with Andrew Marr, where Theresa May, the Former Prime Minister of England, had dodged questions by providing vague answers. This also refers to a similar technique used by some companies.

The sin of vagueness refers to when companies use too broad or poorly-defined terms for their products that cannot be adequately understood by the general public. For instance, the word “all-natural” is often used in the environmental claims’ of companies. However, even toxic chemical elements such as Arsenic, Mercury and Uranium are naturally occurring compounds. This means that the term all-natural does not necessarily imply a green and sustainable product.

Moreover, the term chemical-free is also not acceptable as, according to chemists’ perspectives, all objects and substances are made up of chemicals. For example, even water is a chemical. As a result, these words used do not give an accurate picture of the products.

4. Sin of Irrelevance

Another greenwashing ploy is making an environmental claim, which might be true but unimportant and unhelpful. A great and typical example is the advertisement of “CFC- Free” products where the claim might be genuine but unhelpful as the laws generally ban CFCs.

5. Sin of Lesser of Two Evils

Here, the sin is about how the claim about a specific product in a category may be genuine but the whole category itself carries numerous risks. One simple example that will make you understand the concept is the use of organic cigarettes. They may be organic, but they are still cigarettes!

And even a small kid knows the health consequences of cigarettes!

6. Sin of Fibbing

This refers to the sin of advertising and claiming something which is not valid. In simpler words, it refers to lying blatantly. For instance, a company claiming to be Energy Star Certified when it is not or when a car company lies about how its cars emit zero carbon dioxide in the air.

It is about making up false claims, inventing facts and showing fake certificates and this method is genuinely illegal. However, most of the time, the government does not usually catch these companies.

7. Sin of Worshipping False Labels

The last sin refers to when companies create false labels or certifications to lead consumers into deception. It is about misleading consumers into believing that a particular product went through a green check process and is an environmentally-friendly product.

What do you think of these seven sins of greenwashing? Now, can you easily trust advertisement claims about environmentally-friendly products? Please share your comments and don’t forget to come back for part 3!

Options for Plastic-free Shopping

One of the simplest ways to be more sustainable is to green your home, office, and travel. For example, taking a set of reusable cutlery prevents thousands of plastic forks and knives from ending up in landfills. Imagine the collective impact we could all have with these small changes.
While it hasn’t always been easy to find zero or low garbage stores, some stores help us live a greener, cleaner lives. Even today, when in-store shopping is not possible everywhere, these online stores encourage us to adopt a sustainable lifestyle (starting with plastic-free packaging, of course). In general, the hardest to recycle the plastics are the softest, those that can easily be crumpled in hand, such as food packaging (think of pasta packets or individually wrapped portions of food). Polystyrene is another ubiquitous culprit that is never recycled in the waste stream.

So let’s take the next step in this dynamic of minimal waste and no plastic. Start small, take your time, and develop your good habits one by one.
1. BYO bag

Always take your shopping bags to the supermarket or stores. They don’t have to be made of canvas, the eco-friendly kind if you don’t have one. Even the simple reuse of plastic bags from your kitchen cupboard can help reduce waste.

2. Use a thermos or KeepCup

If you regularly find yourself buying coffee to go, take your clean thermos and avoid adding to the pile of Styrofoam and plastic-coated cardboard waste. Coffee makers generally appreciate not having to buy their cups to dispense and the environmental values being taken care of. Some coffee shops even give you a discount!

3. Avoid individually wrapped products

Don’t buy food in pre-portioned packages. Buy in bulk instead! Instead of buying 15 mini-packs of cookies or potato chips for school lunches, buy a sizeable individual box and put it in portions in containers. Apply this theory to yogurt, blanks, and anything else that can be purchased in larger quantities. Every little bit counts!

4. Don’t buy fruits and vegetables that are wrapped in plastic!

As with bulk packaged foods, avoid buying pre-packaged or pre-weighed fruits and vegetables. You know that bananas packed on foam trays and the like are useless and waste money. Instead, choose bulk bananas and put them directly in the fruit basket or refrigerator when you get home. In fact, why does a banana need more packaging than nature has already provided?

5. Replace the Gladwrap with beeswax wrappers or containers.

Invest in good, airtight storage containers used both in the microwave and in the freezer. It’s a good idea to have several different sized containers for the different types of foods you’ll be storing, as well as snack-sized containers for lunch boxes and for storing liquids, dressings, etc. The phthalates in the plastic film are very harmful to your health, which will benefit you, your friends, and your family.

6. Buy your meat or cheese at the delicatessen and ask to use your container.

Pre-packaged meat and cheese are usually sold in plastic or polystyrene trays, but if you buy directly from the deli, you can bring your container to carry your treats.

7. Have a bottle on hand

Plastic water bottles are one of the most common items in the world. Don’t help perpetuate the market for this ridiculously wasteful product; take your water bottle when you’re on the go. Water comes out of the tap for free, so why the hell pays for it!

8. Refuse the straw! Use your lips.

They may seem small and harmless, but they build up incredibly fast for a night of drinking. If you have to drink through a straw, try using it again overnight. Better yet, invest in a reusable straw, such as the stainless steel or glass straws. We’ve found that stainless steel straws are a little stronger because glass is not the thing.

Greenwashing – The Enemy of Sustainability (Part 1)

Sustainability is meeting our needs without endangering the available resources for future generations. It is a term which you may have heard often. However, have you ever heard of the term ‘greenwashing?’

If not, then get ready to discover and learn more about it in this ongoing series!

What Is Greenwashing?

The United Nations has always supported sustainability efforts and encouraged the worldwide implementation of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover, as per the Nielsen Global Survey, many online customers from over 60 countries agree that they would be willing to pay more for environmentally friendly goods and services. However, instead of genuinely integrating sustainable practices into their business models, some companies make the wrong use of the sustainability concept to boost their profits.

Greenwashing, also known as green marketing, is based on the term ‘whitewashing’. It refers to a type of marketing strategy employed by companies which convey false and misleading information by claiming that their products are environmentally friendly when they are not. Green values and green marketing are used to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s overall production is highly sustainable. It is about companies spending more money trying to persuade consumers that their practices are environmentally friendly than actually making them so. These companies aim to have a more positive impact on consumers and build a better image of their organisation in consumers’ eyes.

A classic case of greenwashing is the Volkswagen ‘Clean Diesel’ engine scandal. The car manufacturing corporation admitted to having cheated with the emission tests to make their cars appear more sustainable than they actually were.

Origins of Greenwashing

The origins of greenwashing can be traced back to 1986, where the hotel industry placed notices in each room asking the guests to reuse their towels to save the environment. At that time, Jay Westervelt, an American environmentalist, noted that there was a considerable amount of wastage in the hotel despite this environmentally friendly act and no real efforts were being done to reduce it and promote sustainability. In the end, hoteliers benefited from the increase in profit due to a reduction in laundry costs.

Around that same period, Chevron, an oil industry company in the United States, ran a campaign called ‘People Do’ where its employees were protecting bears, butterflies and other animals. The series of television and print ads had the sole purpose of convincing people that they have environmentally ethical business practices. The commercials were so persuasive that they even won the 1990 Effie advertising award. However, Chevron was sued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as it violated the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act by dumping oil in wildlife refuges.

How Greenwashing Works?

To increase the demand for their products, companies make false claims about how their goods are produced from recycled materials, free from chemicals, more natural and biodegradable. Sometimes their claims may be partly accurate, but the companies will tend to exaggerate to convince people to buy from them.

For instance, Tyson Foods, an American food multinational corporation was accused due to their false claims of using antibiotic-free chickens while McDonald’s paper straws were found to be non-recyclable due to the recycling structure in England. Additionally, the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) in Germany was subjected to much criticism as rather than being a scientific research organisation as suggested by its name, it is a lobby organisation which spreads fake news on climate change on its website.

Moreover, a rise in demand will lead to an increase in price which will most likely benefit suppliers and hence products are renamed, rebranded and repackaged. They are used to trick consumers into believing that they are sustainable products. For example, words such as ‘go green’, ‘eco-friendly’ are used as marketing ploys. For instance, L’Oreal mislabelled some of its hair products by marketing them as ‘vegan-friendly’ despite having done product testing on animals. As a result, greenwashing is a weapon used by companies to increase their net profit.

Furthermore, the media such as TV commercials and press releases are widely used by both individuals and companies to greenwash their products and services. How can we forget when the former US President Donald Trump claimed to be “the number one environmental President since Teddy Roosevelt” during his speech in Florida?

What do you think now that you have learn about greenwashing? Have you encountered companies who have used such a strategy? Please share your opinions and don’t forget to come for part 2 of this ongoing series to learn about the seven sins of greenwashing!

8 Ways You Can Help Protect Coral Reefs

Coral reefs play an essential role in the health of the oceans and the economy of coastal countries. Some of them even serve those who live far from the sea. Unfortunately, they are threatened by overfishing, global warming, ocean acidification, and pollution produced on the continents. Here are some tips that you can use to help preserve coral reefs:

1) Choose Sustainable Fisheries

Sustainable fishing takes into account rules that include the conservation of fish stocks and the ecosystems that conserve them. However, in most countries, sustainable consumption is still in its infancy. For instance, most of the more than 500,000 tons of seafood extracted in Brazil are produced unsustainably. The positive point is that some initiatives have built fish tracking systems that can inform consumers via smartphone about the purchased fish’s origin. In other places, the answer is to ask the sellers where the fish comes from.

2) Do Not Gift People Corals

Corals are often used as decoration or ornaments. However, they are living animals that eat, grow, and reproduce, and it takes many decades to form a reef structure. Every time someone gives a coral as a gift, they create the demand to collect these animals illegally. When a coral is taken from a reef, the corals around it often don’t resist and die.

3) Educate Yourself About Coral Reefs

Look for information about corals and understand why reefs are so valuable to people, fish, plants, and animals. Reefs have as much biodiversity as tropical forests and are home to more species than any other marine environment. Know the different threats to corals, and you can help others understand their vulnerability and importance.

4) Do Not Touch Corals When Diving

Coral reefs are beautiful and should be appreciated, but you should not touch them. They are living creatures, and when touched, the sediments that are lifted can suffocate them. Corals are sessile animals; they are attached to the seabed and « root, » as plants do. So it is no wonder that many people believe that these animals are plants.

5) Volunteer in Cleaning Program

Keep an eye on coral cleaning campaigns and join in. Cleaning the beach is also essential because the dumped ashore waste eventually ends up on the reefs. If you live far from the beaches, you can help with campaigns to protect the watershed: the pollution of the rivers also reaches the sea and damages the health of the corals.

6) Save Water

The less water used, the less sewage water ends up in the sea. Moreover, all the water flows from each continent to the sea carries sediments and pollutants that contribute to the spread of algae, making the seawater cloudy and reducing the corals’ light.

7) Be a ‘’Marine Waste Inspector’’

When you go to the beach, try to bring your garbage and the garbage left by other people in the sand and water as well. The waste on the beach is unpleasant and a threat to the survival of various marine organisms, including corals. The oceans are already full of plastic; for instance, 8 million tons of plastic waste was thrown into the sea in 2010 alone. This is equivalent to about 15 shopping bags filled with plastic debris.

8) Do Not Throw Chemicals Into Rivers or the Sea

No matter how far they are from the coast, hydrographic basins end up dumping their water into the ocean. When this freshwater is polluted with chemicals, they reach the oceans and eventually end up in the corals. Products such as fertilizers, for example, have nutrients that accelerate the growth of algae, causing the seawater to become cloudy. This prevents the passage of light, which damages the corals.

What else do you think people can do to help protect coral reefs? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Wildlife Near Extinction: Which Species Are Currently Under Threat?

Wildlife conservation can be defined as protecting animal species and their habitats. Generally, wildlife conservation practices are applied to species that are in danger of extinction through unnatural causes, such as pollution, climate change, hunting or encroaching on that species’ natural habitat.

For instance, water pollution and rising water temperatures have affected the Great Barrier Reef, causing large stretches of the reef to die. In fact, it is estimated that around 89% of the eco-system has perished since 2016. Since the Great Barrier Reef also supports thousands of different species of marine life, the domino effect has been incalculable. Another example would be farmers shooting wolves and other predators to protect their livestock, rather than investing in fencing or other measures to protect their animals.

What Animals are Currently Facing Extinction?

  1. Rhinoceros

Even though a lot has been done in recent years to protect African rhinos, it is still not uncommon for 5 or 6 rhinos to be killed each day for food or sport. Of the 5 species still in existence, the Javan rhinos are the most threatened, with 60 individuals surviving in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia.

Sumatran rhinos are the smallest of the living rhinoceroses and the only Asian rhino with two horns. They are covered with long hair and are more closely related to the extinct woolly rhinos than any of the other rhino species alive today. Two different subspecies, the western Sumatran and eastern Sumatran cling for survival on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Experts believe the third subspecies is probably extinct.

  1. Gorilla

There are three species of gorillas that are on the IUCN Endangered list, with the Cross River gorillas being the most threatened. These great apes live along the forested hills and mountains of the Cameroon-Nigeria border region at the headwaters of the Cross River in Nigeria. By the last count, there are about 200-300 Cross River gorillas left, with conservation efforts focusing on securing the forests that house them

The next vulnerable species of gorilla are the Mountain Gorillas, spread across national parks in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As the name implies, mountain gorillas live in forests high in the mountains, at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet. They have thicker fur, and more of it, compared to other great apes. The fur helps them to survive in a habitat where temperatures often drop below freezing. But as humans have moved more and more into the gorillas’ territory, the gorillas have been pushed farther up into the mountains for longer periods, forcing them to endure dangerous and sometimes deadly conditions. Their population is estimated to be around 880 individuals.

  1. Hawksbill Turtle

Hawksbills are found mainly throughout the world’s tropical oceans, predominantly in coral reefs. They feed mainly on sponges by using their narrow pointed beaks to extract them from crevices on the reef, but also eat sea anemones and jellyfish. Sea turtles are the living representatives of a group of reptiles that have existed on Earth and traveled our seas for the last 100 million years. They are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems and help maintain the health of coral reefs and seagrass beds. Hawksbill Turtles are one of the species that are considered to be « critically endangered. »

  1. Amur Leopard

People usually think of leopards in the savannas of Africa, but in the Russian Far East, a rare subspecies has adapted to life there. Similar to other leopards, the Amur leopard can run at speeds of up to 37 miles per hour. The Amur leopard is solitary. Nimble-footed and strong, it carries and hides unfinished kills so that they are not taken by other predators. The last remaining viable wild population is estimated to be a few more than 60 individuals.

  1. Pangolin

These solitary and primarily nocturnal animals are easily recognized by their full armor of scales. Also called scaly anteaters because of their preferred diet, pangolins are increasingly victims of illegal wildlife crime—mainly in Asia and in growing amounts in Africa—for their meat and scales. Eight species of pangolins are found on two continents. They range from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered.

  1. Vaquita

Vaquita, the world’s rarest marine mammal, is on the edge of extinction. This little porpoise wasn’t discovered until 1958 and a little over half a century later, we are on the brink of losing them forever. Vaquita are often caught and drowned in gillnets used by illegal fishing operations in marine protected areas within Mexico’s Gulf of California. More than half of the population has been lost in the last three years.

What Can You do to Help Conservation?

  • There are several steps you can take as an individual to help wildlife conservation. Even if these don’t seem like much, if we all do our part, we can hopefully halt and even reverse the current extinction trends:
  • Leave only footprints. Indeed, you can start by picking up your trash to take care of our nature. And maybe join a local pickup day?
  • Limit your amount of plastic usage. 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year affecting our sea mammals, birds and water quality.
  • Check your medicine cabinet! More than 25% of all medicine prescribed contains animal products; if possible, find an alternative that does not. If you are travelling throughout Asia, pay extra attention to traditional medicines you find here as many contain products from endangered or threatened species!
  • Stay informed. Keep reading about conservation and the newest research to educate yourself. You will then know how to contribute in the best way towards the sustainable treatment of our animals.

Everyone’s responsibility!

Taking care of the world’s wildlife is everyone’s responsibility. The big corporate companies have a lot of power over what is produced. However, demand from the consumers is equally as important. Know that your actions have power too. Such as your consumption habits, the traces you leave in terms of waste, as well as your awareness and worded opinions.

Green Trends That Are Quite Important

Going « green » has turned into a significant social movement these days. More and more people are realizing that we don’t live on a planet with inexhaustible resources and at some point, perhaps even as soon as our children’s lifetime, we will either start exhausting resources or producing so much waste that our planet will be in serious trouble.

This article discusses the positives and negatives of going and not going green. There are many simple green living tips that are easy to implement, have significant potential to change our current course, and help you save money and resources. It is certainly worth giving some of these simple lifestyle changes a try.

Here I have outlined a few businesses you can consider that will bring in some money and help the environment all at the same time.

 

Selling Green Cars

No not the color green, but cars that meet the criteria of being environmentally friendly. Are they hybrids? Can they run off of alternative fuels? What is the fuel source that it uses? These are types of green cars. More and more people are demanding better fuel efficiency from their vehicles and just as important they do not want them to run off of gasoline. Capital to start this type of business could be anywhere from ten thousand to a million depending on how large you want to get. But if you want to make a difference this is a good way to do it.

 

Organic Food

You see the stories on the news about health issues with food. From salmonella to ecoli bacteria outbreaks, how safe is our food when thousands of people are handling it? Organic food offers a safer and more natural way to putting good food on the table. It has taken root so strong that now there is even a certification to let consumers know that certain foods have been inspected to be 100% Organic. This business idea can go off in many directions, from growing the food, transporting it, to selling it at a store so capital here for this business is very broad.

 

Reusable Shopping Bags

This one has started to explode but overall really just in its infancy. Reusable shopping bags can be sold for any as low as one dollar up to thirty dollars depending on what is printed on them and the size. They replace the traditional paper or plastic question because with reusable shopping bags customers bring them with them every time they shop. With more and more stores giving small discounts for every bag used this business will go nowhere but up. You can get in on this business for less than one thousand dollars if you find a grocery store to work with and even less if you can find food manufacturers to advertise in a coupon booklet that gets included in each bag when a customer buys one.

 

Green Financing

Last on our list is green financing. Last because this type of business will require some financing knowledge and course a lot of money to get going. This type of business lends money like a bank or private investor for the sole purpose of starting and running businesses that are green in nature. Capital could be significant for this business and it isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you have a mind for finance and could put together a team of investors this could be the way to go.

 

These green businesses range from the very easy to the very involved just like any other type of business. So do your homework before you begin, talk to some counselors at S.C.O.R.E, write up your business plan and make sure your dot your « I’s » and cross your « t’s » before you spend your hard earned money.