Posts Tagged ‘Protection’

11 Green moments ….


Taking Just A Moment  … to make the right decision … to replace the bad habits that cause negative effects on the environment with new green habits …

Today is 11.11.2011 and we suggest 11 green moments:

  1.  Buy decorated glass or ceramic bottle for liquid soap. To cut down on plastic bottle waste from your home buy liquid soap in bulk and decant into your beautiful bottle.
  2. Use a water filter. Stop purchasing cases of bottled water and use a water filter. This can save you money and reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our landfills.
  3. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Eating vegetarian cuts down considerably on the effects of global warming, because meat and dairy production creates more carbon emissions than all those cars and trucks on the road.
  4. Use cloth grocery bags. Buy beautiful cloth grocery bag from natural materials (linen, jute, cotton) and keep it close when prepare to go on shopping. That will save your money and will reduce the amount of waste that you create every day.
  5. Cancel the subscription of “papers” that you do not need. If you have changed you interests or your “paper” could be find online, simply cancel the subscription. This will reduce the amount of paper that ends the daily landfill.
  6. Beware of heat. Set your hot water heater no higher than 120 degrees. When baking, do not preheat your oven for more than 10 minutes. If everyone reduced their oven time by an hour per year, we would save enough energy to bake a billion cookies.
  7. Watch your water consumption. The simple replacement of existing taps with new models with lower flow will reduce the amount of used water by 30%. You can also count on the amount of water collected from your air conditioner to use to clean the house or watering the flowers.
  8. Walk. For short realtions, rather than sit in a car, choose a walk – walking is free, saves fuel, does not contribute to expanding the ozone hole and helps you to stay in good condition.
  9. Help the environment. Plant local plants in your garden or balcony, get involved in the actions of planting trees, do not tear flowers, do not fracture the branches of trees, do not trample the grass – more green plants means bigger Earth filter .
  10. Dont be greedy. Use things completely, if possible, several times, before throw them away. Think before you buy any stuff, whether you can do without it. Otherwise you just add quantity to the existing waste.
  11. Holidays without waste. Wrapping paper is a key source of waste during the holidays (decorative papers, decorative bags, ribbons). Reuse old paper and old packagings, or buy recycled materials. Be creative and unique.

What green moments can you share with us?

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Green … It’s More Than A Color

Written by Kylie Walker, an active blogger who is passionate about the environment, healthy living, and innovative technology that will help create a cleaner world.

Follow him on Twitter – @WalkerKylie

 

Green. It is more than a color, name, or a term used to describe vegetables and foliage. It is also slang for paper currency. More important, it is a popular political movement. “Going green” is a phrase that society uses to describe a crusade to promote global environmental social responsibility, peace, bio-regionalism, and protection. Common words that are associated with the Going Green movement are “re-cycling,” “re-purposing” and “re-using.” However, we can do so much more than re-purpose, re-cycle, and re-use. Today’s technological advancement in green living has brought about opportunities to more efficiently manufacture vehicles, produce medical improvements and construct homes and buildings.

Individual people are becoming more conscious of the need to protect the environment, and whole neighborhoods are gathering to reduce their carbon footprint. Some communities are fortunate and have been given the opportunity to “go green” cost-free while others must pay for the experience and privilege of living energy efficient.

For example, British Gas recently initiated a part of the movement, “Green Streets”, and installed a ground source heat pump and placed a solar roof on the village hall at Tackle, Britain. Residents replaced appliances and received energy saving light bulbs to use. Because of the costly project — the gift of free energy saving equipment worth £150,000 — the community was able, overall, to produce their own power with these devices and save on energy costs.

Other neighborhoods are not as fortunate as the Tackley community, but are still benefitting from green homes. Build San Antonio Green (BSAG) has formed a partnership with a construction company, KB Homes, based in Los Angeles but working in San Antonio, Texas. They have agreed that the homes they build in San Antonio will be energy efficient. Even though BSAG is a non-profit organization, it demands superior standards even above the municipal code’s energy efficiency specifications. BSAG homes are, on average, about 15% more energy efficient than other homes. Indoor air quality, water and energy are all more efficient due to technology. HVAC systems have been revolutionized, insulation has been augmented, windows have been replaced with dual panes, and roof tops exhibit solar panels. The total elimination of monthly electricity bills is the objective of KB Homes as they build houses based on BSAG principles.

Greg Powell, owner of Powell Construction Services LLC, built Cottages at Harbor Shores Hideaway on the shores of Lake Michigan. Powell, like BSAG, is seeing an increase in green home purchases. He is building energy efficient homes with high performance levels that are also attractive and elegant. The Digital Journal reports that seven homes have been built and seven more are under construction. The homes are constructed to comply with the standards of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The homes that have been built and those under construction have and will receive a Gold Standard rating from Green Built Homes. The year round Michigan weather was taken into consideration as Powell made sure the homes would withstand the harsh weather conditions — the extremes of cold temperatures and the warm summers.

Furthermore, a bill currently in Congress would compel the three largest mortgage agencies – the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – to take energy costs into consideration in every loan they purchase, insure or guarantee. They would also be required to advise appraisers, when factual information is available on energy-efficiency savings, to adjust property valuations upward.

The bipartisan bill was introduced October 20, 2011, jointly sponsored by Republican Johnny Isakson from Georgia and Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado. The Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act will include the estimated energy-consumption costs for the house, in addition to the standard principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI) computations as a compulsory new underwriting determinant.

Millions of dollars will be thrust in energy efficiency investment by the SAVE Act. No subsidy or new government decree is required, SAVE simply fixes the artificial barrier that recent banking rules have created. The bill will:

–          help home buyers pay the up-front cost of an energy efficient home

–          since a primary source of air pollution, oil consumption and high electricity demand, SAVE will help protect the environment

–          reduce foreclosures by more precise underwriting, thus helping lenders

–          help homeowners fund their home efficiency improvements and assist in reflecting those improvements when the home is resold

There are two things that people strive for and ultimately want to accomplish: saving money and living comfortably. Researchers are constantly working toward that conclusion while enabling people to dwell energy efficiently. Even more innovative technologies will soon be appearing in our homes because the biotechnology field is rapidly increasing. The biotechnology field is growing rapidly, and it will not be long until even newer technologies make it into our lives, outside of the home as well. Researchers like Winston Wong and Dr. Leroy Hood are pioneers in the biotech industry, creating the first Biofuel Ice Vehicle and an Automated DNA sequencer, respectively.  The increase in biotechnology is helping shape our lives in every aspect for a greener future.

* This post is written by guest author – represents the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Greener.

Batteries – enemies of the environment

Spent batteries and accumulators mixed with municipal waste in landfills across the country pose a serious threat to human health and the environment due to toxic acids and heavy metals they contain. Inadequate treated waste batteries and accumulator are poisoning us with lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium, since these dangerous substances leak into soil and groundwater. Just for illustration – a cadmium rechargeable cell phone battery pollutes 600,000 liters of water. That would mean that 3 such batteries can contaminate an Olympic pool. And did you know that only 1 gram of mercury is enough to contaminate 400 liters of water? Therefore they should not be disposed together with the other municipal waste but handled by strictly established procedure.

Starting from 29.10.2010, in accordance with EU Directive 2006/66/EC, in the Republic of Macedonia is in force a law on management of waste batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, according to which ” It is prohibited to leave or teach waste batteries and accumulators in areas designated for collection and selection of municipal household waste or other waste”. The law applies to batteries (all batteries, battery packs, batteries in the form of a button, car batteries, industrial batteries) or accumilators, regardless of their shape, volume, weight, material that is made or intended for use.

The situation in Macedonia
Macedonia annually collects over 300 tonnes of waste batteries and accumulators.
Field surveys made by members of the “4x4x4 Balkan Bridges”, showed that the average household in Macedonia spend from 0.3 to 0.7 pounds of batteries per year, small and medium-sized companies from 0.6 to 0.9, and the media to 0 , 5 kg. At the end of 2009 in Macedonia had more than 30 million batteries and over 3.5 tons of car batteries that are improperly stored and pollute the environment.
Previously mentioned law set minimum rates of collection of portable waste batteries and accumulators – by the end of 2016, to collect a minimum of 25% by weight of batteries and accumulators that are placed on the market in the Republic of Macedonia and a minimum of 45 % by the end of 2020.

What can we do?

The participation of end users in reducing the negative impact of batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators on the environment have paramount importance:

–         Old car battery take it to traders who are permitted to purchase and handling of waste batteries and get a discount on the price of a new battery.

–         Do not ever throw small batteries in the same place with municipal waste and make them easy way to the landfill also giving them a direct opportunity for contamination of soil and water.

–         Make sure that your batteries are not affecting the environment with harmful mercury so that you choose batteries with silver oxide or mercury-free lithium-manganese batteries. Choosing products without mercury may reduce the annual use of mercury to 470 kg.

–         Use rechargeable batteries and save energy (eg multipurpose batteries are ideal environmental alternative to conventional alkaline batteries – with their use dramatically is reduced the number of discarded alkaline batteries).

It is important to note that scientists are involved in this fight with dangerous substances and work intensively on reducing the negative impact of batteries on the environment and people. One of their innovations is the so-called Bio-battery that generate electricity using enzymes break carbohydrates in the form of glucose. These batteries apply the innate ability of organisms to get energy from nutrients, which, instead of being used for life activities, are used to create electricity.

Friendship in the night …

On Saturday, 20.08.2011 I had the opportunity to meet Vodno mountain in a different light, or to be precise “without lights”. The organization Macedonian Owl Trust (MOT) and Dobra Voda-active for the second time organized night walk-around (starting from middle Vodno and climbing up to the Millennium Cross) and allow us to meet and socialize with three kinds of owls – Little Owl (Athene noctua Scop.), Barn Owl (Tyto alba Scop.) and Long-eared Owl (Asio otus L.).

I must say that this was my first contact with an owl. Because they are classified as birds of prey my first appeared feeling was fear mixed with excitement. Then came the admiration of the perfection of their feathers and curious eyes. Joy came when the bird stood on my hand and allowed me to caress her. Even then I realized that I actually do not know anything about them.

Those three wild birds were as real friends. We behave with respect towards them and they answered to all our wishes without indignation – they showed no aggression at all, they pose on our pictures, we were allowed to hug them, there was no problem going from one to another’s hand … as they were trying to show that our problem with them is in ourselves.

Night walk was an priceless experience. Motif more to pay attention to these birds. In the coming days I will write more about the lifestyle and the importance of owls. Your knowledge and experiences are welcome.

Let’s protect the owls …

Let’s protect the owls …

As we wrote previously, an important part of the Natura 2000 is Europa’s The Birds Directive. Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds (this is the codified version of Directive 79/409/EEC as amended) is the EU’s oldest piece of nature legislation and one of the most important, creating a comprehensive scheme of protection for all wild bird species naturally occurring in the Union. Its was adopted unanimously by the Members States in 1979 as a response to increasing concern about the declines in Europe’s wild bird populations resulting from pollution, loss of habitats as well as unsustainable use. It was also in recognition that wild birds, many of which are migratory, are a shared heritage of the Member States and that their effective conservation required international co-operation.

I write this post in desire to emphasize great ecological necessity and as a warning of the possibility of extinction a very interesting group of birds from our region.

I’m talking about OWLS (part of the group Strigiformes).

Specifically, in ANNEX I in the DIRECTIVE 2009/147/EC among other bird species as protected are listed this owl types – Strigidae, Bubo bubo, Nyctea scandiaca, Surnia ulula, Glaucidium passerinum, Strix nebulosa, Strix uralensis, Asio flammeus and Aegolius funereu. Three of them, Bubo bubo, Strix uralensis and Asio flammeus, and living in Republic of Macedonia.

It is very important to know that the Republic of Macedonia has taken steps to protect owls through the legislation, too. Namely, the Law on Hunting, Official Gazette no. 26 of 24.02.2009, first in Article 3 defines “Game are certain types of animals and birds that live freely in nature or in a fenced areas that are intensively cultivated, breed, hunt and protect” and than in Article 5 states “Under the game in terms of this Law shall mean the following types of animals and birds” where among other species are listed:

116) Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo L.);

117) Long-eared Owl (Asio otus L.);

118) Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus Pont.);

119) Common Scops Owl (Otus scops L.);

120) Little Owl (Athene noctua Scop.);

121) Tawny Owl (Strix aluco L.);

122) Barn Owl (Tyto alba Scop.);

Under the same law “Game that is under protection: Eurasian Eagle Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Common Scops Owl, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl” (Article 9, paragraph 2) and “permanently prohibit hunting: Eurasian Eagle Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Common Scops Owl, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl” (Article 13). Also “Destruction and appropriation of offspring, destruction and scattering of homes, nests or eggs of game under the protection provided by this law is prohibited ” (Article 14).

What is not projected or regulated by any law is our consciousness, our way of conduct and care for own living place. This remains our responsibility.

Let’s protect the owls …

NATURA 2000 in Macedonia

Slowly but surely first steps for network NATURA 2000 were made in Macedonia. The Center for environmental research and information “Eco-sense” within the project “Together for Natura 2000”, held two seminars for associations working in the field of environmental protection.

NATURA 2000 065

The first seminar was held from 7 – 8.05.2011, in hotel Metropol, Struga, and was dedicated to Natura 2000 in its entirety, introduction what  the Natura 2000 represents and why it is important for Macedonia to work towards its implementation. Lecturers at the seminar were Andrea Stefan from Croatia (WWF) and Andrey Kovachev from Bulgaria (Society for the wild fauna “Balkani”). Special place on the seminar took activities for development of ecological network NATURA 2000 in Macedonia and the importance of Ber convention (designed for  Emerald areas – Emerald’s policy on protection of rare and endangered species of animals, plants and birds and it is the counterpart of the Natura 2000, but it is designed for those countries that are candidates for EU), which were presented by Robertina Brajkovska from “MED” organization. The conclusion of this seminar was that it is necessary to create a grouping of civil society organizations from Macedonia, who will work alongside the local implementation of the NATURA 2000.

The second seminar was held from 27 – 05.29.2011, at City Park Hotel, Skopje and it was dedicated to building coalitions, partnerships and joint activities of civil associations. Lecturers were from Poland, Pavel Pavlachik (Naturalists Club Poland), and Andrey Kovachev from Bulgaria (Society for the wild fauna “Balkani”) and they shared their experiences in the application process Natura 2000. The rest of the seminar was aimed at planning the following activities.

Result from the two seminars was a group that will work on Natura 2000 in Macedonia. It is composed of 14 civic organizations, including: Eco Osogovija – Probistip, Green Power – Veles, Biosfera – Bitola, Grashnica – Ohrid, MEZ – Gostivar, Ekumena – Strumica, Eco-sense – Skopje, IDSB – Skopje, Greener – Skopje, CeProSARD – Skopje, SD PEONI – Skopje, MED- ​​Skopje, KALEN Platform – Skopje and Eco Skop – Skopje. The group had its first meeting on 20.06.2011 in the premises of British Council in Skopje and decide in the future to operate under the name Coalition “Natura 2000” .

We must preserve the forests …

Today, within the seventh action “Tree Day – Spring 2011” implemented under the motto “Let’s plant – today stay away from politics”, were planted about three million trees, covering 755 acres at 70 locations in 30 municipalities around the country.

It is interesting to note that the resolution of the General Assembly of the UN-number 61/193, 2011 was declared for International Year of Forests.

Over the last 200 years, man has destroyed more than half of world natural forest on the planet Earth. Fires represent one of the greatest threats to forests. They are common in summer, dry periods. Annual average in our country is around 615 hectares of forest destroyed by fire started by human negligence. The danger of this threat must be taken seriously and to intervene with programs for reforestation with species that are resistant to drought. But we also need to pay attention when dialing the types of wood in terms of soil, location, altitude and other factors.

Unplanned cutting of forests occurs as more common threat of forest. Last year we witnessed the unplanned cutting of our forest wealth – Molika in national park Pelister. Molika (Pinus peuce) is one of  endemic species in the Balkans and represents a tertiary relic. Pelister adverse events is not unique, unfortunately the same scenario happens in other mountainous regions in Macedonia. It is therefore necessary to prepare a program for treatment of forests and its full protection.

Forests play an important role in preventing erosion in the production of oxygen and reducing emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They represent the natural habitat of many birds, insects, animals and plants. This symbiosis of living life is put at risk the destruction of forests. Every inch of this hidden world has its importance to the planet Earth.

Therefore, to urge the protection of forests, protection of our natural wealth for the future.

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