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!





Clothes that change colour according the acid rain?

6 01 2013

New Year, new ideas! This might sound like a science fiction movie, but it is a real project, made by a real fashion designer. Dahea Sun, a Korean born, based in London has developed a type of fabric that indicates the level of pH contained in the rainwater.

The famous song “Purple Rain” is totally in line with this concept! The fabric is dyed with pigments called ‘anthocyanins’ usually found in some vegetables such as red cabbages, eggplants and blackberries. That’s why the collection has a beautiful palette of purple colours.

Screen shot 2012-11-18 at 9.42.50 PM

The acid contained in the rain can be a threat to public health. She believes that fashion has a direct link with the environment and I totally agree with her. With her new collection she want to raise awareness and responsibility regarding global warming issues, but in a poetic and sophisticated way. The collection is lovely and I really like the shapes, colours and textures used by her.

Screen shot 2012-11-18 at 9.50.11 PM

She also developed an app for smartphones which potential wearers can upload and record rain pH readings online to create a worldwide database of real-time environmental data.

Screen shot 2012-11-18 at 9.46.57 PM Screen shot 2012-11-18 at 9.45.29 PM

To know more about her project and how does it really works; I invite you to visit the websites below:

Sun Dahea  &   Rain Palette





PROJECT DROP OF WATER +10

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!





Call to action for Midway Island

2 10 2012

A friend of mine just shared a link on my Facebook page. I feel like I have to spread the word and speak out loud to people who actually care about their environmental impact. I was shocked after seeing this video. I think that we all should watch it and be conscientious of our acts and how harmful rubbish in landfill can be. Have a think and share the link!

For more information about the movie, the project or donations visit http://www.midwayfilm.com/





5 simple Tips to make your daily life more eco-friendly

16 09 2012

Since I launched this blog, many people from around the world ask me what they can do in their everyday life to help to reduce their impact on the environment. So I decided to post a short list of 5 simple tips that we can do to be more eco-friendly. These are just some simple things that we can do in our daily lives that don’t require  much effort, but there are thousands of other things we can do to help the environment. You probably  know all that, but it’s always good to have a reminder…

1. When brushing your teeth don’t let the water run unnecessarily. Try to do the same when you’re in the shower turn off the tap when soaping up or shampooing your hair. There is a massive amount of energy required to process and pump tap water. You’ll also be reducing your water bill!

2. Get your bike and ride to go to work. Take the opportunity to exercise and stay fit! If you have to drive, what about carpooling? Besides saving fuel, it can also be more social and less boring than driving alone. Public transport can be also an affordable alternative. You can save money on fuel and car parking.

3. Avoid using plastic bags when you go shopping. Take your bag with you. Eco bag

You can also use green bags with designs that are very trendy and fashionable.

4. When disposing of furniture, clothes, shoes why not donate to charity or recycling? Check out for donation spots near your house and make someone happy.

5. Reduce, reuse, recycle all you can, PET bottles, glass, cans, paper, cardboard, batteries, aluminium, coffee capsules, used oil … all these objects can be transformed and reused. Use your creativity!

These simple gestures are easy to integrate into our daily lives and will surely make a big difference to the environment.





Is this the legacy you will leave to your children?

17 08 2012

Every day, 2 million tons of human waste are disposed of in water courses.

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Water is the primary medium through which climate change impacts the earth’s ecosystem and people. In developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters where they pollute the usable water supply.

Climate change is predicted to have a whole range of impacts on water resources. Variation in temperature and rainfall may affect water availability, increase the frequency and severity of floods and droughts, and disrupt ecosystems that maintain water quality.

We know that, but why are we still witnessing images like these?

 

Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

 

 





Why eating local?

13 08 2012

from Green Up website





Green Innovation 2012

31 07 2012

On August 2012 the ‘Green Innovation 2012’ will take place in Taiwan where leading experts from the UK will join Taiwan’s leaders to discuss and collaborate on projects related to sustainable development. It will be an unique opportunity for the local council to work with top European experts. The event will run from 1st to 3rd August 2012.

One of the workshops will identify how leading businesses are transforming sustainability into new business opportunities and what buyers (companies and governments) are doing to manage sustainable supply chains. More and more events related to sustainable development are organised around the world. There are a lot business opportunities where environmentally elements can be used. I hope that we will witness more and more companies collaborating with governments with the aim to take care of some environmental issues.

 





Great source of information in Portuguese

29 07 2012

If you speak Portuguese, check out the website “Planeta Sustentavel“.

Apoie essa ideia!

Very interesting website where you can find lots of green ideas, events, researches about sustainability, wildlife and anything related to the environment. Planeta Sustentavel is a great source of information.





Top 10 eco-friendly countries

14 07 2012

The EPI (Environmental Performance Index) had listed the greenest countries in the world and released it at the annual World Economic Forum. Just for info, this environmental measurement system was developed by Yale and Columbia Universities for the World Economic Forum.

The 2012 EPI ranks 132 countries on 22 performance indicators in the following ten policy categories:

  • Environmental Health
  • Water (effects on human health)
  • Air Pollution (effects on human health)
  • Air Pollution (ecosystem effects)
  • Water Resources (ecosystem effects)
  • Biodiversity and Habitat
  • Forests
  • Fisheries
  • Agriculture
  • Climate Change

I have listed below the top 10 EPI Ranking 2012, but the full list is available on the World Economic Forum website. You can also download the full report at the Yale University website: http://epi.yale.edu/

  1. Switzerland
  2. Latvia
  3. Norway
  4. Luxembourg
  5. Costa Rica
  6. France
  7. Austria
  8. Italy
  9. United Kingdom
  10. Sweden

After checking the full list I was astonished to not see Denmark, Germany or Canada listed in the top ten. However, Germany is not far away, listed 11th in the EPI ranking. Australia is far behind in 48th position. Some countries are known for their environmentally friendly practices like Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. Ok, they are small countries. Indeed it seems to be much easier for small countries to promote recycling, invest in renewable energy and educate people with the aim to change their behaviour.

I lived for 16 years in Geneva and I can tell you that Switzerland is very advanced in environmentally friendly practices. Busses and trams are electric or biogas powered and a huge part of the urban waste is recycled.

The Poly Recycling factory located in Weinfelden, Switzerland transforms PET bottles in to synthetic fabrics, sleeping bags, chocolate packaging and shampoo bottles. The SwissWorld website showcases what is recycled in Switzerland, from which company and what they produce with the recycled materials. In my view it is an interesting idea for many other countries and organisations.

People also sort out their recyclable materials before they place them in specific containers. When I first arrived in Australia I remember looking for where to separate my recyclable materials and I was told to put all recyclables together in a yellow bin. I admit I was confused to see that glass, PET, cans, paper were mixed together in one bin. I was accustomed to separating them in Switzerland where it is standard practice for people to separate paper, PET, cans, glass, batteries, oil, compost, coffee caps, clothes and then bring all this to a community container.

The method can differ from country to country, but the final objective is the same: RECYCLE! So let’s do it!

In the pictures below you can see examples of a community recycle containers located on a neighbourhood street in Geneva.

Photograph: Gregoire Z.








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