Everyday is Earth day!

23 04 2013

I saw a lot of people commenting about Earth Day on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and personal blogs. It’s good, but does everyone incorporate sustainability in their daily lives? I really hope that people get more conscious about sustainability and use it in their day to day life. I know it’s hard, but we can do it slowly, step by step…

Reducing the time in the shower, closing the tap when brushing your teeth, recycling as much as you can, driving less and walking more… all these small things are easy to do. I can do it, you can do it! So let’s make Earth day EVERYDAY!


Everyday is Earth day!

Everyday is Earth day!


Recycling cooking oil into soap bars

21 02 2013

Santa Catarina has just entered the Guinness Book of Records as the city that recycles the most cooking oil in the world. There are 10.000 litres of oil recycled per day! It is a great example for many people around the world.

The project “Floripa in the Guinness” was started by the Associação Comercial e Industrial de Florianópolis ACIF and the company Ambiental Santos, a pioneer in Paraná in the collection and recycling of discarded vegetable oils and fats from the food industry and the food trade.

Soap bars made with cooking oil

Soap bars made with cooking oil

This partnership started a few years ago and was known by the name of Project Re-Oil. The project has been a great success transforming used oil into cleaning products like detergent and soap bars that are used in schools or exchanged for books and school supplies to poor communities.

Cooking oil thrown in the sink outlet causes clogging of the drains and pollutes the environment. The pollution of the environment caused by the cooking oil causes the death of plants and animals.


Imagine all this oil dumped into the sea...

Imagine all this oil dumped into the sea…

Did you know that 1 litre of cooking oil dumped into the sea or rivers can pollute about 100,000 litres of drinking water?

The community participates by donating used oils. Schools involved in the project educate children on environmental issues and even teach them, in biology classes, how to turn cooking oil into soap bars.

This is proof that it is indeed possible to change the behaviour of the population, teaching children and adults that we can protect the environment. This example of community work should be followed in other cities and even other countries.

I’m glad to see that a Brazilian city is setting an example for the world. Actions like these deserve to be shared on social media and traditional media channels. If you think so, share this article, send it to your friends and show that it is possible to build a better world.

Ocean Kids USA

Kids showing the good example in the USA.

Dublin sensation: the e-taxi

6 02 2013

Great news from Ireland! A Dublin taxi driver has saved over €6,500 (AUD 8,500) on fuel over the past 18 months driving an electric car. The companies ESB (Electricity Supply Board) ecars and National Radio Cabs have put together a trial program to evaluate the electric car’s performance. The results are very encouraging and the trial will be extended for another year.



The taxi company claims that the use of the electric car shows a net reduction of over 4 tonnes of CO2 emissions for 55,000km. The taxi driver Padraig Daly said that the e-taxi was also very popular among passengers. People are impressed how silent the car can be but also with the car’s performance compared to petrol or diesel models.

The Irish government also concede some benefits such as a grant of up to €5,000 (AUD 6,508) on the purchase price and qualification for the lowest band of road tax. Other good news is that the e-taxi also requires lower maintenance and service costs.

All these financial advantages should influence and convince more people to swap their cars for the eco-friendly version. It is true that eco-friendly cars are more expensive than ordinary cars, but companies are finding ways to reduce the production costs using more recycled and sustainable materials and also rethinking the engineering with the aim of reducing the retail price.


Canned fresh-air on sale!

2 02 2013

What strange news yesterday! A Chinese millionaire handed out cans of “Fresh Air” in China.

Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune in the recycling business, is worried about the bad quality of air in China.

He said: “I want to tell mayors, county chiefs and heads of big companies: don’t just chase GDP growth, don’t chase the biggest profits at the expense of our children and grandchildren and at the cost of sacrificing our ecological environment”.Fresh canned air - China

Air pollution is measured in terms of PM2.5, or particulate matter 2.5 micrometers in diameter, which are absorbed by the lungs. The World Health Organisation located in Switzerland recommends a daily PM2.5 level of 20 and says that levels greater than 300 are serious health hazards.

It is known that air pollution can cause several types of heart and lung diseases. The quality of Beijing’s air is very often higher than 500 and on the 12th of January 2013 it hit the highest ever 755!

The handed out soda pop-sized cans of air were free on the 30th of January, but are usually for sale to people trying desperately to escape the smog.

I found this news very sad and disturbing. Is this what we want to leave for our children? I really wish that people would understand that we cannot keep using natural resources forever. Like everything in life, if you keep using without replacing you will get to the point that it will be over.

Before getting to the point where we will have to buy fresh air to stay alive, we should think about our way of living and see what we can change in our daily routine that would make a difference. If everyone does a little bit everyday, at the end this little bit will make a huge difference!

Cardboard Life Cycle

18 11 2012

Cardboard recycling


5 11 2012

This video must me seen, shared and please help signing the petition.

This video was created as part of the Gota D’água (Drop of Water) Movement leaded by Brazilian celebrities. The campaign aims to stimulate the discussion on the energy development plan of Brazil. It also calls civil society to stand up against the Belo Monte dam, signing into a petition that the Movement did addressed to President Dilma asking for halting the dam’s construction.
Let’s be a drop of water in this wave of goodness in name of true sustainable development, and protection of human rights, indigenous rights and the forest!

Raingarden in Melbourne!

24 10 2012

On my way to work yesterday I saw this original tram stop. Instead of a billboard there is a real raingarden! I had to take a picture and post here! The white pipe on the right collects rainwater and water the plants that are inside the glass.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Under the plants you can see different levels of soil. The plants inside are real and so lovely! I’ll try to take a better picture next time… I’ve never seen this before and I really love it!

How to choose an eco-friendly product?

11 10 2012

With so many products claiming to be green or environmentally friendly nowadays, it is hard to know what is actually an eco friendly product.Green Questions

You can find lots of different descriptions such as:  green, environmentally friendly, eco-friendly, sustainable, environmentally responsible, etc. products.  All these products will have one main point in common which is that they cause minimal harm to people and the environment.  They also can be chemical free, organic, biodegradable, recyclable or made with recycled products.

Very often the manufacturing and/or consumption of these goods have a minimal impact on the environment.  Although there are no universal certifications or standards to deem a product as eco-friendly, there are some rules in several countries that constitute an organic product.  For instance, for organic cotton, there are some internationally recognised organic farming standards that rule the organic cotton certification.

Most of the time it is common sense or some agreements made between key players from the eco-industry which come up with a logo or a certification of eco-friendly products.

Is the Production Process Eco Friendly?

Eco-friendly products are often linked to fair trade business.  Whether in a factory or on a farm, working conditions should be fair and protect human rights.  The treatment of animals is also an important point to be considered.  In this case it will be mentioned, “no animal testing”.  Some cosmetic brands such as Aesop or The Body Shop are well known for being against animal testing.  A friend of mine works for Aesop and she has confirmed that it is a real statement and not some marketing ploy to improve the brand awareness.

If the product is a crop or manufactured from a crop such as grain, soil pollution must be taken into account.  Pesticides, herbicides and insecticides are very harmful for humans and the environment. For this reason you should search for the organic label, as for organic cotton.

What Are the Negative Effects of the Production / Manufacture and transport?Green toy

Think about what it takes to produce a product. Consider the amount of resources that are being used to put the item on the shelf.  Is the product being produced in a big factory using a lot of electricity? Where is the factory located? Does it require long transport distances to be available on the shelf next to your place?  Sustainable production helps to protect our diminishing natural resources. Think about buying local products. You will be helping the environment and growing the local economy.

Find out what other resources are being used to create the product.  Is the company utilizing recycled materials? Does the company use compostable or biodegradable packaging? How much waste is produced by the company? The most eco-friendly producers have zero waste.

What about the greenhouse gases and carbon emissions produced by the company? Are there harmful chemicals being released from factory smoke stacks into the atmosphere, like in plastic production? Are the production, shipping, packaging and distribution creating much pollution into the atmosphere?  Is the company doing something to reduce their overall footprint?

How Much Waste Does Your Product Create?

The first thing that you generally do when you bring home a product is remove the packaging.  Is it individually packaged, like tuna meals or yogurt cups?  Or is this a product that you generally keep on hand and can buy in bulk?  Is the packaging recyclable?  Can you purchase a refill so you don’t need to buy a new package each time?  Is the product reusable or disposable?  Landfill, these days, is full of disposable waste!

Eco-friendly products usually take all or some of these questions into account and create packaging that would be recyclable, refillable or made with biodegradable materials.

Help in Finding Eco Friendly ProductsEnvironmentally friendly

As you can see from above, it might seem a bit overwhelming to evaluate the entire ecological impact in order to determine how environmentally friendly a product really is. Luckily, there are a number of ecological organisations that have created labels that have certifications to help us figure out the eco-friendly option.

Here is a short list of some these organisations:

Green Seal – examine products for their overall eco friendliness

The American Humane Association (AHA) – find food products that were created with animal welfare in mind (USA)

USDA Organic Certification – locate foods grown without harmful chemicals (USA)

Energy Star – identifies energy efficient appliances

Australian grown / made – helps find products that are Australian

Green Table Australia – recognises Australian restaurants, cafes and catering businesses that are doing what they can to reduce their impact on the environment.

Rainforest Alliance – An international non profit organization dedicated to the conservation of tropical forests.

FSC – is an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.

Some countries have launched their own green labelling system to help customers identify the environmentally friendly option. Here are some examples:

SGLS Singapore Green Labelling Scheme

HKGLS – Hong Kong Green Label Scheme

SuisseGreen (Switzerland)

Environmental Choice (Canada)

GECA  – Good Environmental Choice Australia (Australia)

No comments…

9 10 2012

Brazil is taking sustainability a step further

4 10 2012

Coca-Cola Brazil is starting work on the construction of the largest BioMeg producing factory in the world.  The material is the main ingredient of recyclable PlantBottle production. Part of the composition of the PlantBottle has plant origin. (Read more about PlantBottle technology)

Coca Cola

3D Illustrator: Simon Tuckett

The Brazilian factory will be located in Araraquara, Sao Paulo. The great sustainable innovation is that cane sugar produced in the same region will be used in the PlantBottle production. Another interesting fact is that the by-products of the process will be used in the production of packaging resin. This will reduce the tons of carbon dioxide that pollute the environment.

Thanks to this initiative, Brazil will become the largest producer and exporter of BioMeg the world, with an estimated production capacity of 500,000 tons per year. The venture is expected to generate 1,650 direct and indirect jobs.  Coca Cola aims to have only recyclable packaging designs in its portfolio by 2015.


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