What Is Sustainable in Meal Prepping?

You’ve probably heard about the term “meal prepping” a lot. While it is a millennial food trend all over the internet these days, this is not a new concept and has been around for several decades. Meal prep (short for preparation) is a strategic method initially used in the cooking industry and was first created to increase restaurant kitchens’ productivity. In this era, meal prep is considered an appealing and beneficial form of consumption in self-improvement, economy, and health.

But what is exactly meal prepping? It consists of making different food preparations (also with leftovers) at one time, so they are ready when you need to have breakfast, lunches, or dinners. You can easily grab them for work or have them at home and can quickly heat the meals in the microwave.

While this technique is known as a clean-eating and money-saving tip, you can also save the planet with it! Yes, you’ve read right! Let’s see together how we can be sustainable with meal prepping.

No More Leftovers

The act of eliminating leftovers is probably the major part of meal prepping that is Eco-friendly. Many people do not realize the number of portions that go to waste. In fact, one-third of the food produced worldwide is wasted, which makes approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food. Generally, in numerous homes, if there are leftovers from the previous night, this food would end up in the garbage.

One might think that the food will be biodegradable, so there’s nothing to worry about. However, many landfills are low in oxygen, and organic materials need this gas to decompose properly. Otherwise, while decaying, they will produce methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Hence, there will be no more leftovers with meal prepping as you’ll cook the right amount of food for a specific number of days.

  • Create New Meals

    Another way to avoid sending leftovers to landfills is to give them a new purpose or create other meals. For instance, if some veggies are left, use them for cooking a vegetable stock and trying other recipes with it.

  • Use Scraps

    When peeling vegetables, many are those you throw away the skin. Yet, you can use the skin of veggies like potatoes and carrots to create savory chips.

Food Tracking

To succeed at meal prepping, you have to start meal planning that will allow you to know exactly what to buy when you go to the grocery store. While this will stop you from spending money unnecessarily on food that will probably go to waste, you’ll also keep track of every food you bought. Your vegetables and fruits will not stay in the fridge until they rot or become too mushy to eat, hence reducing your waste level.

Glass Over Plastic

While every environmentalist recommends that you reduce your plastic consumption to become more sustainable, this task may seem daunting at first. However, meal prepping can be of great help here! You can stop purchasing plastic containers that will be thrown away after one use. Instead, you can invest in glass for food storage solutions, which are better choices for sustainability.

Less Fast Food

Takeout and fast food do very little in terms of sustainability and in fact, encourage more waste. In 2013, Statistic Brain stated that fast food restaurants generate about 32 billion pounds of food waste in America alone. Therefore, when you prepare your meals before, you have everything ready when you don’t feel like cooking. While you would usually be tempted to eat outside on these days, you can be more sustainable with meal prepping and just heat your home cooked food.

While meal prepping is a great way to start your sustainable lifestyle, it also comes with various benefits. Did you recently give meal prep a try? Let us know in the comments below how you’ve found it so far.

What Are the Cleanest Sources of Energy?

With the environmental impact and sustainability of our current energy consumption becoming more of a focal point, more and more countries are taking steps to invest heavily in cleaner and more readily available means to power our lives.

Questions are constantly being asked and alternatives to fossil fuel are constantly being developed and refined. Out of all the options we have, which renewable energy source is the most sustainable and environmentally responsible? In this article, we’ll go through some of the energy sources that are dominating the conversation in an attempt to answer that question. Starting with…

Solar Energy

One of, if not the most recognized sources of renewable energy, solar energy provides usable with negligible environmental impact. Most photovoltaic systems date back to the mid-1970s, which is when the search for an alternative to fossil fuels actually began.

Solar power is one of the most widely used renewable energy sources, with countries like the UK calculating that it provides around 4% of the nation’s electricity.

Hydro Power

The second in the big-3 of renewable energy sources, hydropower produces no pollution, is flexible enough to work on both small and large scales, and can be implemented in any area that has access to waterways, which makes it ideal for almost any country.

China is currently the world’s largest hydroelectric power producer, with a total production capacity that surpasses the United States, Brazil and Canada combined.

Wind Energy

The last of the most widespread renewable energy production methods, wind power is slowing gaining more traction and could soon be used to power whole cities. The disadvantage of wind power as compared to its better-known counterparts is the fact that wind turbines cost quite a bit more to maintain, and it is only viable in areas with large amounts of strong wind activity.

Denmark is the world leader in wind-power usage, with 28% of the nation’s energy coming from this source.

Geothermal Energy

Most commonly used in Scandinavian countries, who are known for their many geysers, geothermal power plants convert heat into electricity for use in towns and cities. Unlike coal or gas plants, which burn fossil fuels to create electricity, geothermal power plants use natural heat from beneath the earth.

A clean and renewable source of energy, geothermal electricity has attracted a lot of attention in recent years from countries concerned about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy renewability.

Tidal Energy & Wave Energy

Like most other renewable energy sources, tidal power plants aim to harness the power from a natural source and convert it into electricity. In this case, we are working with the movement of tides. There are currently two different types of tidal energy in use: tidal stream and tidal range energy.

While sharing some similarities with tidal energy, wave energy is considered an emerging technology that involves capturing energy from the motion of waves and using this energy to generate electricity. However, further refinement is required for the method to gain widespread appeal, since it is still considered unpredictable and difficult to harness.

Nuclear Energy

Although nuclear energy is controversial and often associated with weapons and the disasters at Chernobyl, and more recently Fukushima, it remains one of the world’s cleanest and most affordable sources of energy. Nuclear power is one of the world’s most popular sources of energy. In France, as an example, around 75% of the country’s entire electricity is created by nuclear power stations. In the United States, nuclear power contributed around 20% of electricity. Some of the advantages of nuclear energy include low emissions and an extremely limited impact on air quality, as well as low costs. Despite nuclear energy’s benefits, it remains a controversial source of power due to issues storing nuclear waste.

So there you have it, a breakdown of some of the most common and cleanest sources of renewable energy currently in use. Can you think of any others? Share your views in the comments below.

Pros of Organic Hair Care Products

Conditioners, shampoos, curlers, straighteners, colors, hairstyles, foams, anti-frizz gels, and the list goes on and on. This is the range of hair care products that have appeared on the market and are taking the cosmetics industry by storm. However, many people are now turning to organic, environmentally friendly and animal-free hair products.

Organic products will help you keep your hair and scalp looking and feeling great. Hair is the mirror of your health. If you encounter emotional or physical problems in your life, they quickly manifest themselves in your hair; the use of natural and organic products helps your hair recover. The natural benefits of using natural and organic products are hardly debated. Studies have repeatedly proven the importance of these benefits and, as my hairdresser told me, it will improve the growth of my scalp and hair, and it does.

So here are the benefits of using organic hair products:

1. Nature provides the best care without being aggressive.

Many of the active ingredients in shampoos and conditioners on the market that promise beautiful hair are synthetic. These chemicals can give you silky hair, but intensive use of these products can and will damage your hair over time. Natural hair care products are wonderfully safe and effective to use on your hair. Organic shampoos, conditioners, balms and other hair care products contain plant-based ingredients that allow you to care for your hair without fear of irritation and allergies. These products are gentle and hypoallergenic, so they can be used by everyone, even those with sensitive skin and scalp.

2. Organic hair care products are effective!

Numerous studies on organic and all-natural hair care products indicate that the active ingredients of plants are very useful in caring for your hair. Organic ingredients contain natural active ingredients, vitamins and minerals that would be good for your hair. Coconut oil, for example, is rich in fatty acids, vitamin E and minerals. The use of a hair product based on coconut oil will therefore certainly increase the strength and vitality of your hair. Many organic hair products contain aloe vera, shea butter and other plant extracts. These ingredients have different effects and benefits, so you can choose which product to use for your specific hair problem.

3. They are environmentally friendly!

As these products are organic, their use would not harm the environment. The ingredients of these products are highly biodegradable, so you won’t pollute the environment by using them. Synthetic products contain ingredients that take care of your hair at the expense of the environment.

4. Organic products are much cheaper.

If you compare the prices of cosmetics and chemical-based products, organic products are much cheaper. Why would you pay crazy amounts of money for things that would end up damaging your body? Organic products care for and nourish your hair for a lower price, so they can give you value for your money.

All of the above reasons tell you why you should use organic products. They offer you the best possible care for your hair and are hypoallergenic, so you won’t need to use more expensive synthetics and chemicals. That’s why organic hair care products are your best chance of getting the hair of your dreams.

If you choose to use hair care products that contain only organic ingredients instead of chemicals, your hair will feel livelier and healthier. Every time you buy a product, you vote for the ingredients in that product and for that company. Leyla Kapieva, the only distributor of the T-Lab Professional collections in Miami, has access to an incredible and extensive line of organic hair care products. Each cream and treatment is specially designed to nourish, condition and strengthen your hair while reversing damage caused by the environment and harsh chemicals.

Sustainable Flooring – All About Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is making its way into our homes, thanks to a series of properties that make it unique among wooden floors: hardness, stability, sustainable growth of bamboo plantations. This material is relatively new but is widely used in other Far Eastern countries, such as China and Japan. 

 

One of the most significant advantages of bamboo, also known as steel grass, is its fantastic ability to regenerate rapidly, and its extreme strand is woven bamboo’s extreme toughness. It is also environmentally friendly since it is grass and not hardwood. The bamboo plant can regenerate in only five years. Compared to hardwood trees that can take more than 30 years to grow before being harvested, bamboo is simply one of the best floor coverings. It’s a logical choice for homeowners who want the warmth and beauty of hardwood but do not want to contribute to the destruction of the world’s tropical rainforests.

 In addition to being environmentally friendly, bamboo flooring has several other advantages over other flooring materials. Let’s check them out!

Elegant and Multifunctional

When choosing a floor, one of the most important things to consider is how it will fit into your décor. Bamboo floors are available in a wide range of colors and styles, including hand-scraped and crafted by engineers, all with the gorgeous marbling effect typical of woven bamboo floors.

Aesthetically, bamboo is a very versatile material as it comes in a multitude of shades and grains. This advantage is twofold: Whatever the furnishings and decor of your room, you are bound to find a shade of bamboo that will complement it beautifully. Secondly, since there is an extensive selection of bamboo planks, you can install them throughout your home and achieve different looks.

Nature-Friendly

Besides the purely functional advantages (hardness, temperature, aesthetics), bamboo flooring is an environmentally friendly alternative: a traditional wood forest takes 30 to 60 years to grow back. Oak is one of the most widely used woods in flooring and brings 70 years to regenerate. Bamboo regenerates much faster in human-made plantations or virgin forests and only needs 5-6 years to fully mature; compared to 70 years for oak – the most commonly used wood in soils – or 100 years for ipé wood (a tropical species). 

Easily Obtained

Before the green movement really took off, it was often challenging to find environmentally friendly building materials. But all that has changed, and bamboo is now widely available in big-box stores and on the Internet.

Self-Regulating Temperature 

Bamboo also helps to self-regulate temperature, maintaining warmth in winter and freshness in summer. Its hardness is similar to that of oak, the most widely used wood in flooring, thanks to the high density of the structure, which makes it rigid and stable. 

Types of Bamboo Floors

There are different types of bamboo floors, differing in the structure of the slats. The vertical and horizontal types result from gluing the bamboo slats together (either vertically or horizontally). This gives a different finish but a hardness similar to that of oak in both cases. As for the finishes, far from being limited to oriental or colonial-inspired settings, bamboo floors are available in multiple styles, suitable for all types of rooms. 

The boards resulting from processing the sanded and brushed bamboo strips can be left with their natural light color or undergo different heat treatments that give them a toasted or even chocolate brown color. This, combined with the slats’ placement vertically or horizontally, or pressed, results in surfaces with more or fewer knots and veins depending on the effect sought.

The variety of bamboo used to make parquet floors is the so-called giant bamboo or « Moso » bamboo, which grows in tropical regions. The world’s largest reserve is in China, and up to a third of the plantations are cut down each year, equivalent to natural reforestation. The mother plant of bamboo generates new shoots every year that, in a few months, reach maturity and a length of up to 20 meters. In this way, replanting is unnecessary, as is the case with traditional woods that require the felling of trees. If we add that bamboo absorbs, on average, 30% more CO2 than trees, this product’s environmental advantages are clear.

It’s Maintenance 

Preserving a bamboo floor in good conditions does not require special care; it is enough to maintain a humidity level of between 50 and 65% in the environment, which is also ideal for people’s well-being, which is equivalent to a temperature of about 20ºC. As for the cleaning, it is recommended to dry, with a vacuum cleaner and a mop, although in case of stains, scrubbing with a little water and a neutral soap is ideal. As with other wooden floors, abrasive products are not recommended.

The Causes of Humidity and Its Consequences on Our Health

Summary

– Accidental causes of humidity: what are they?

– Other causes of humidity in the home

The causes of moisture are numerous and often difficult to determine.

Only a professional can make the right diagnosis to propose the appropriate treatment(s).

Accidental causes of humidity: what are they?

Accidental causes are one of the primary sources of humidity inside homes.

These accidental causes are:

– Water damage:

◦ slow leaks: sanitary facilities, bathtub, dishwasher;

◦ problems with pipes and water drain such as broken or clogged pipes, etc…;

◦ faulty construction;

◦ wear and tear: joints in the bathroom etc…

– A flood: the rupture of a roadway pipe, flooded river, etc…

The consequences of water damage can be significant: rotten parquet flooring, damaged beams, and more.

Signs that should alert you

 

Most often, a leak is not visible to the naked eye. It may take several days or weeks before you discover it. However, some signs, such as your bathroom floor not drying out, can give you a warning.

Accidental causes: what to do?

In case of a leak or a broken pipe, the first thing to do is turn off the water immediately. If you are in a building and the leak comes from another apartment, you must determine the leak’s origin as soon as possible. If your neighbor is not home, notify the janitor and the trustee.

In the event of flooding, only professionals can dry out your home and accurately diagnose the work that needs to be done afterward.

Warning: it is necessary to notify your insurance company as soon as possible, whether you are a homeowner or a tenant. Your insurance company will call in an expert to determine the cause of the damage and compensate you.

If you notice humidity problems in your home, contact a specialist. He is the only one who can accurately diagnose the cause of humidity in your home and suggest the appropriate treatment(s).

Among the leading causes of humidity in the house are:

– poor ventilation that does not allow the moisture to evacuate efficiently from your home;

– infiltration of rainwater into the walls or foundations by hydrostatic pressure;

– capillary action in the walls;

– hydrostatic pressure that leads to lateral infiltrations at the foundation level.

Consequences of humidity on health

Humidity’s health consequences leave no doubt: research in Canada and Belgium has medically demonstrated that the consequences can be infectious and toxic.

Symptoms triggered by humidity

Excessive humidity triggers chain reactions in people exposed to it:

– skin irritation that may result in more or less pronounced eczema.

– headaches, an accentuation of tiredness;

– nausea, even vomiting;

– in the respiratory tract: cough, asthma, rhinitis, shortness of breath, etc.;

– eye irritation;

– development of allergies.

Studies have shown that:

– the virulence of the impact on health is directly related to the time of exposure to the spores: spores are small, highly volatile particles that enter into the composition of a fungus;

– the height of the mold in relation to the respiratory tract also plays an important role. If the stains are at the nose’s level, the contamination and the health effects are much more direct than if the stain was behind a piece of furniture, for example.

Fight against humidity pathologies

Fighting against humidity can therefore become a real necessity. Nothing very complicated if the affected areas are not very large:

– Clean all the mold with a cloth soaked in soapy water: be careful not to get the fabric wet either.

– Wipe the surface with a clean damp cloth.

– Dry with a dry cloth.

– Ventilate the room to accelerate drying.

– Get rid of moldy or damaged objects or fabrics.

Note: It is essential to wear a dust mask, goggles, and rubber gloves to avoid exposure to mold spores during the entire operation.

Is Living Off-Grid Truly Sustainable?

Are you worried about rising global temperatures and climate change? You’re not the only one. With a growing frustration towards the fact fossil fuels still account for over 80% of the world’s energy consumption, more and more households are switching to the combination of solar-battery storage systems. However, the question still remains: Is going off-grid truly sustainable in the long-run?

As renewable energy becomes more prevalent and affordable, a vast majority of people are disconnecting from the grid and adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle – particularly in rural areas where the cost to connect to the grid is high. Nevertheless, this trend doesn’t seem to have taken off with the city-dwelling crowd, where the home-field advantage the grid has over emerging technologies in terms of affordability and reliability greatly outweighs the satisfaction of being green. After all, if you were told to choose between your TV, fridge and washing machine or going green, how many people would give up their comforts? Also, solar batteries these days last about 10 years before needing to be replaced (and more often than not are discarded rather than recycled). With the carbon impact of manufacturing, supplying and disposing of these batteries – how environmentally friendly is this process really?

This is not to say that those living on the grid are not concerned with climate change, and that they are not taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints. Households all over the world are switching to energy-efficient appliances and home designs to prevent resource wastage, which has resulted in utility companies having to change their strategies or perish.

Speaking of energy companies themselves, the smartest amongst them have gone back to the drawing board in an attempt to move with the times. After all, it is common knowledge that if they continue down the same path, their assets risk becoming white elephants – worthless and redundant. After all, people are likely to continue installing solar cells, even as government subsidies reduce, until such time as the grid is completely emissions-free, or at least as close to it as possible. Therefore, it is in the companies’ best interests to stop using fossil fuels, thereby limiting the incentive for people to switch away from the grid.

If you’re looking for examples of companies that have learnt from the current market trends and subscribe to the idea that household renewable assets needn’t always be consumer-owned, consider SolarCity, who provide solar panels that you can lease rather than buy. They have given a clear answer to the question of whether energy utilities should focus on looking for ways to work with start-ups to facilitate the roll-out of solar and storage at scale with an empathic yes.

And who said that the renewable energy generated by each household can’t be shared? Imagine subscribing to energy via a sharing platform and using an app to trade energy with other people and businesses. To make this future smart city scenario possible, we need to continue to invest in emerging technologies, to commercialize the ones that show promise, and to optimize the ones we already know work well. Tesla’s PowerWall is today’s high-profile home battery storage product, but there’s no shortage of players lining up to compete, ultimately putting downward pressure on costs, which will drive further mass-market appeal and adoption of these smart solutions.

And let’s not forget the power of joint effort. We need only look at today’s smartest cities for inspiration. The successful citizen solar power plants initiative, a joint effort between Wien Energy and the city of Vienna, Austria, has offered locals the opportunity to invest in the city’s solar plants to help achieve its renewable energy objectives.

The switch to renewable energy has already been flicked. Smart utilities that are willing to drive change toward a cleaner future will prosper – but it’s going to take breaking a lot of old habits to sustain.

Want to share your views on sustainable issues and living off-grid? Drop us a line in the comments below.

Sustainable Travel: Transform Your Impact on Your Destination

Travel is a synonym of adventure. Travel challenges you. It connects you with diverse people and allows you to create meaningful relationships around the globe. Yet, travel can harm our planet if it is not done mindfully. From the huge amount of greenhouse gases emitted from air travel to the holiday resorts built on natural areas, the travel industry can negatively affect our environment.

However, we believe that we can minimize the impact and protect the Earth’s most natural places. How? With sustainable travel!

What Is Sustainable Travel?

Sustainable travel consists of finding ways to reduce the negative economic, social and environmental impacts that host the tourism industry. Also known as sustainable tourism, sustainable travel aims to value the ecosystems and maintain the natural resources of the destinations. The World Tourism Organization defines the term as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”.

If you are not someone who usually fights for the sustainability cause, you are probably asking yourself why you should adopt a sustainable travel approach. Yes, you could be a tourist and enjoy the perks of traveling. Protecting the places you love is in the end up to you. But, let’s face the truth; sustainable tourism will not happen overnight. In fact, it will become real only if we do out part.

So, if you’ve decided to make a better impact while enjoying the Earth’s most beautiful destinations, pledge to travel more responsibly. You can start your sustainable journey with the following tips:

Choose “Greener” Transportation or Slower

Of course, this will depend on your destination. If you have several options to reach your holiday place, think about what is more Eco-Friendly. Are you traveling in a group? If you are, it will be more responsible to share a vehicle. On the other hand, while going on a solo vacation, the best choice will be to take the train or to fly.

Once you’ve reached the destination, the most environmentally-friendly means of transport will be traveling by foot or bicycle. You can also opt to be a slow traveler by staying longer in one destination instead of flying more.

Go Camping or Stay at a Local’s Accommodation

If you enjoy being outdoors, camping will be a fantastic accommodation option! With the perks of going wild and having lots of fun in nature, you will also positively impact while avoiding large resorts. Those types of accommodation negatively affect the environment because of their high level of energy and water consumption.

But if the joys of camping are not for you, no stress! You can still look for alternatives like staying in guesthouses, Airbnbs or Bed & Breakfast, that are owned by locals. This way, you’ll be more sustainable as you’ll contribute to the local economy rather than giving your money to big foreign hotel chains.

Visit and Have Fun Responsibly

Who said that sustainable travel could not be fun? Yes, it can be fun, but it has to be responsible too! You must plan ahead and do a bit of research before booking your tours. Sustainable tour operators usually have green accreditation, including Rainforest Alliance, Green Globe or EarthCheck.

Try to look for tours that do not disturb wildlife. As a sustainable traveler, you would want to pick a wildlife tour that does not allow the animals to be in contact with humans.

A good idea would be to read the reviews on Google or TripAdvisor or get more information on blog posts from trusted travel bloggers. You can even contact the tour company to learn more about their policies.

Enjoy Local Markets and Shop Sustainably

Since sustainable travel is about maintaining the health of the country’s economy, spend your money in cafes and restaurants owned by locals. This will not only be an opportunity to interact with locals and learn more about their culture but a chance to eat traditional local food. Buying street food is also another option but make sure you avoid big food chains at all costs! You can also enjoy fresh vegetables, fruits, and other local products from the farmers’ markets instead of spending on imported foods.

Last but not least, shop souvenirs from local artisans! Products that would have been flown or shipped will have a larger carbon footprint, which you want to avoid. Plus, it’s always better to take home a souvenir that will remind you of the country rather than something manufactured elsewhere.

Conscientious adventurers, with these tips, you should now be ready to try sustainable travel! Remember that it takes all of us to save our planet! And, if you already started your sustainable rescue while traveling, leave a comment below to share how your experience has been so far!

What We Eat Matters – Top Daily Foods That Hurt Our Planet

While we know what foods are bad for us and how we should consume them in moderation to stay healthy, did you know many foods are actually bad for our planet’s health? Yes, you read that right! Often, when it comes to our Earth’s health and climate change, all we tend to think about are the cars we’re driving and our energy use in our homes and offices! We don’t always see the environmental impact that particular food has when choosing what to eat daily, especially when we’re indulging in a delicious bite of hamburgers or salmon. 

Some of us choose to avoid thinking about where our food comes from and how it’s made, probably because we know that the reality is not pretty. Others just don’t know the ways our food is produced. Well, food is food. Why should we have to think so much about the thing that keeps us alive? We may feel that we’re doing our part to keep this planet clean and healthy by recycling or riding our bikes to class, but the reality is that it’s time to pay more attention to our food choices.

The bad news is that the agricultural world is known to produce a serious amount of greenhouse gasses, which can significantly impact the environment. The production cycles behind a lot of our foods have a large carbon footprint, require a lot of water, or drive deforestation. From farm to fork, food production to processing to transportation accumulates enormous amounts of energy, water, and chemicals. 

Not all food is bad for the environment, and you can take a look at foods that have a positive impact here. But here are some foods to watch out for as being surprisingly bad for our planet. 

Beef

We all probably saw this one coming, but really, beef is one of the worst things you can eat if you’re thinking of conserving our planet. 

For every quarter-pound of beef, you eat (typical hamburger size), about 600 gallons of water are used. On top of that, more greenhouse gas emissions come from cows than from the transportation industry. Cows produce massive amounts of waste that can pollute nearby streams. Going meatless even once a week can decrease your carbon footprint by an incredible amount. Think you could never go without meat? Try this meatless burger recipe, and you won’t even notice it is gone.

Bananas

Minion Banana GIF - Minion Banana - Discover & Share GIFs

I have some sad news for all of the smoothie lovers, banana ice cream addicts, and banana pancake fanatics. Bananas are ruining the planet. Have you ever seen a banana at your local farmers’ market? Probably not because they’re usually grown in South America, traveling thousands of miles to get to American grocery stores, where they’re sold, which releases loads of carbon into the atmosphere. Bananas are also wrapped in plastic when they’re transported, so grocery stores can differentiate between conventional, organic, and fair-trade bananas.

Rice

Rice uses one-third of the world’s annual freshwater. This crop makes your 45-minute showers seem like nothing (please don’t take this as me promoting long showers). Rice is very tasty, but countless other grains can easily replace it and are usually healthier. If you love fried rice, try this Chicken Quinoa Fried Rice. You can also make cauliflower rice, which is lower in carbs and better for the environment. 

Coffee

coffee #drink #funny #cry Drink a cup of coffee | Emoji, Maker, Ipod touch

I don’t know about you guys, but hearing about the impacts coffee may have on our environment made me shed a few tears. I am wholeheartedly addicted to coffee, and I will be the first one to admit that. But we must face the reality that coffee is destroying our world’s ecosystems.

There has been such an increase in demand for coffee that trees are being deforested at a high rate. Coffee is grown in sunny, deforested areas, with harsh chemicals being used to accelerate its growth.

So how are we ever going to find a replacement for coffee? It’s really a hard one. If you can never give up coffee (me), look for coffee that’s locally grown, or the Rainforest Alliance certifies that. You can also try some tea. Black tea has the most caffeine.

Corn

Corn is used in so many things that we consume daily. It’s produced to make corn syrup and vegetable oil, is in basically all processed foods, and it’s grown to feed cattle. It uses the most land out of any crop in the United States.

The bad thing about corn is that it’s grown in huge monocultures. This means large fields are used for only corn, and the corn ruins the soil. This method of growing corn also requires many chemicals and water. How to avoid corn? Use olive or coconut oils instead of vegetable oil. Avoid corn products with corn syrup; it’s terrible for our planet and health. Use tortillas made from whole grains instead of corn tortillas.

Salmon

Why farm salmon if you can print them? | The Fish Site

Salmon is rich in omega 3, which is highly recommended by health experts. However, salmon farming is one of the most destructive aquaculture systems that there is. The aquaculture practices require the use of open net-cages that are directly thrown into the ocean, waste from the farms, chemicals, and disease-causing parasites are released directly into the ocean waters, threatening other marine life. The practice has also resulted in the depletion of wild fish stocks due to the high protein required to raise salmon.

This list of foods may seem a little daunting. We’re so used to consuming many of them every day, but all we can do is try our best and eliminating these foods from our diets. Doing so is not entirely realistic but making an effort to lower your consumption of these foods is better than giving up.

Keep Cool Without AC: Do Air Coolers Work?

The air cooler exploits the ability of water to produce cool air by evaporating, a physical phenomenon also referred to as « hydro-cooling » or « adiabatic cooling ».

The mechanism consists of a simple blower (fan) whose flow passes through a porous membrane kept permanently wet (filter). The water trapped in this filter evaporates under the effect of the air current while releasing cool air into the ambient air.

This well known physical reaction (latent heat), manifests its effects daily in our environment.

For example:
– after bathing, it is the heat that provokes this sensation of freshness on wet skin swept by the wind,
– it maintains the freshness of the water contained in a terracotta jars,
– it is also this same heat that contributes to the thermal regulation of our body by evaporation of perspiration…

In this completely natural way, the dry room air is sucked in at 35°C by the air cooler, which would have dropped by 10°C when it is blown into the room.

Please note: the increase in relative humidity in the room accentuates the feeling of coolness (temperature felt).

Advantages and disadvantages of the air cooler

Advantages


The air cooler offers many advantages:
– easy to use;
– basic mechanics (extremely rare breakdowns);
– no installation (no evacuation, only one plug to be connected);
– minimum maintenance (water tank hygiene);
– few consumables (10 to 15 liters of water per day);
– low energy consumption (< 100 W).

With no impact on the environment, it actively contributes to the healthiness of the premises by filtering the air it circulates.

Good to know: some models are equipped with an ionizer to purify the ambient air.

Disadvantages


The investment and operating costs of the air cooler are not comparable with those of air conditioning solutions (15 to 20 times less), but these units do not offer comparable performance. For example, it is not possible to program a set temperature.

The efficiency, which is maximum when the air in the room is dry, becomes mediocre when the humidity level rises. Like with a fan, the well-being is more evident in the air circulation area.

In contrast to air-conditioned rooms, it is advisable to activate room ventilation, for example by keeping a window open.

Selection criteria for air coolers


Air coolers are usually equipped with casters. This makes it easy to move them from room to room effortlessly.

The services you are looking for


All devices on the market combine several functions. It is therefore essential, first of all, to select the options that are useful:
– ventilation only;
– oscillation;
– tilting of the shutters;
– automatic humidifier;
– air purifier;
– ionizer;
– timer;
– remote control…

Room surface and volume


The evaporation capacity of the air cooler must be adapted to the volume of the room: in an oversized room, the increase in the ambient humidity rate quickly reduces the efficiency, undersized, the effect is close to that of a simple fan.

For the sake of simplification, the characteristics of most domestic appliances only mention the surface area of the room for which they are designed. This is due to the standardized ceiling height of our modern homes.

Note: for non-standard dwellings, the nominal volume allowed by each appliance (surface area x 2.5) must therefore be determined and compared to the room.

Water tank


Often related to the useful surface, the capacity of the water tank is a strategic element of choice. It is the tank capacity that dictates the frequency of tank refills, and therefore the autonomy of the appliance (10 to 12 hours seems to be an acceptable compromise).

Air flow rate


We have seen above, the influence of a blowing volume, compatible with the room, on the efficiency of the unit. Overbidding on the ventilation capacity can only be detrimental to the cooling performance of the unit.

On the other hand, it is useful to be able to adjust the speed of the blades. This allows the ventilation volume to be precisely dosed to adapt it to the size of the room (mobility) or to optional functions (ventilation only, natural ventilation, etc.).

Noise level


Many air coolers (especially in the entry-level segment) can generate noise that quickly becomes intolerable. For a better comfort, the lowest noise level (in dB) should be systematically sought.

Some manufacturing tips can be used to reduce the noise level: sleep program, alternating rhythms to simulate wind noise…

Price of the air cooler

For a 30m² (75 m³) mobile air cooler of standard quality, count between $100 and $300 including tax.

There are mini battery-operated units for less than $50 inc. VAT and, for camping, or RV activities, space-saving battery-operated systems starting at $800 inc. VAT.

Air Conditioning and Ecology: What Impact on the Environment?

Summary
– Pollution and air conditioning
– New refrigerant gases for air conditioning
– Environmentally friendly air conditioning

Air conditioning is on the rise, but it is often questioned for its impact on our health and the environment.
Is it dangerous and should we be wary of it? This post provides you with the answer.

Pollution and air conditioning

Air conditioning and greenhouse gases

An air conditioner can reject refrigerants which are responsible for the increase in greenhouse gases:
– Indeed, these fluids have a strong warming power evaluated by the GWP (Global Warming Potential);
– In order to avoid refrigerant emissions into the air, it is important to carry out a proper installation and regular tightness checks. In itself, an air-conditioning circuit is closed, therefore no emissions.
– Air-conditioning creates a vicious circle, known as an urban heat island, which is found in large cities:
◦ The higher the temperature rises, the more air conditioning is used;
◦ But the more we use it, the more heat is released into the air with air/air conditioning systems.
◦ To remedy this, large cities use centralized air conditioning systems that reject heat to water loops.
Air conditioners use a lot of electricity:
– Your bill can increase by 20 to 25% for a 45 m² surface area during the summer;
– During the 2003 heat wave, peaks in electricity consumption were a real concern, even though only 10% of households had them.
– The peaks in electricity consumption that we find in winter during cold spells are now also found in the summer period during heat peaks.

Ban on CFC and HCFC refrigerants

CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) have been very popular in the refrigeration industry, particularly as refrigerants, in air conditioning systems because:
– They are non-flammable;
– They were not expensive: about $2 per barrel;
– They have a good resistance capacity;
– They do not degrade;
– They do not damage the installations;
– They are easy to liquefy.
On the other hand, these two types of fluid contained chlorine, responsible for the hole in the ozone layer. They were therefore all progressively banned by the Montreal Protocol.
New refrigerant gases for air conditioning
Today’s manufacturers are concerned about the environment and are helping to reduce waste and the environmental impact of air conditioners, by using new refrigerant gases:

– The refrigerant R 410 A (HFC):

◦ It reduces the impact on the ozone layer to zero;
◦ Some air conditioning systems reduce their power consumption for equivalent performance;
◦ However, its action on the greenhouse effect is 2088 times greater than CO2! Fluids in its category (HFCs) are in the process of being banned soon. For the time being, they are subject to a quota system limiting their use.

– Refrigerant mixtures:

◦ To cope with HFC restrictions, manufacturers are mixing fluids to reduce their impact on global warming;
◦ In air conditioning, the fluid currently used is R32, it has a greenhouse effect 3 times lower than R410A but more than 600 times higher than CO2!
– The new HFO (hydrofluoroolefin) refrigerants:
◦ They have no impact on the ozone layer and have a low greenhouse effect;
◦ They have a performance equivalent to previous fluids;
◦ They are slightly flammable.

– Hydrocarbons:

◦ They are said to be natural;
◦ They have no impact on the ozone layer and a low greenhouse effect;
◦ They are already present in domestic and professional refrigerators;
◦ They are flammable.

– Ammonia (NH-3 or R-17):

◦ It is said to be natural;
◦ It is an excellent refrigerant;
◦ However, it is toxic and flammable;
◦ In spite of this, it remains in the industrial environment ;
◦ It has no impact on the ozone layer or greenhouse effect.

– Carbon Dioxide (CO2):

◦ It is said to be natural;
◦ It is neither toxic nor flammable;
◦ It has no impact on the ozone layer and a low greenhouse effect;
◦ It has a high usage pressure;
◦ Its use involves special air conditioning compressors, but it is of increasing interest for the heat pumps, and food processing industries.

Environmentally friendly air conditioning

For peace of mind about the environment, there are totally environmentally friendly air conditioning systems available.
There are two main ones:

– Solar air conditioning

Solar air conditioning uses the principle of sorption. A natural refrigerant (often ammonia) is mixed with water to absorb heat and release it. This system works without a compressor, there is only a consumption of electricity for two circulators (very low consumption). The compression is called thermal instead of mechanical and is done through solar panels.

Bio air conditioning, also called evaporative air cooler (EAC)

The evaporation of water is a natural cooling medium, identical to perspiration for humans. Water on the skin evaporates by absorbing body heat. This same principle is used by bio air conditioning. Water is injected into a media, a fan creates a flow of air that passes through the media to become charged with moisture, thus cooling the air that is injected into the room.

At the end of the day, all air conditioning methods are polluting the environment one way or the other because just the mere fact of using electricity is a source of pollution in itself. Now, the option is in the hands of all of us as to which method we will be using. Please note that this blog is just getting started. Remember to leave your comments below and share your thoughts with readers.