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5 Companies That Are Proud To Use Paper Bags

Paper Bags
Image courtesy of ningmilo and freedigitalphotos.net

Many companies are now using paper bags as they recognise their benefits. They are stronger, more environmentally friendly and often cheaper than using plastic carrier bags. There are many different types of businesses that use paper bags for their customers to carry their wares home. Continue reading “5 Companies That Are Proud To Use Paper Bags”

The Motorsport Innovations Leading the Way in Eco-Friendly Driving

There was a time when owning an eco-friendly vehicle meant that the owner had to compromise on speed, size and driving range. These ‘green’ vehicles were noticeably smaller, owing to their smaller, fuel-efficient engines. These days however, the trend is subtly changing with big car manufacturers such as BMW, Tesla and Prius rolling out hybrid vehicles that are equally eco-friendly.

f1car2

What many may not know is that these carmakers drew inspiration and borrowed from their Formula One (F1) counterparts. A few years ago, no one would have imagined that the Motorsport industry would be mentioned in the same breath as environmentally friendly technology, but that is in fact now happening.

In recent years, Motorsport has seen the introduction of a raft of regulations aimed at improving the efficiency of their super cars. This has already had a positive impact on the development of new road car technologies as innovations from the F1 world trickle down to regular cars.

New Formula One regulations

The new F1 regulations introduced to the sport in 2014 saw changes in the way the supercars’ engines were made. The traditional 2.4 litre V8 and V10 fuel-guzzling engines were abandoned in favour of downsized, turbocharged 1.6 litre V6 ones with more hybrid power. The hybrid power units, known as Energy Recovery Systems (ERS), were good for adding more horsepower to the engines, increasing their speed.

f1 engine

The ERS is a truly innovative piece of technology. It works by harnessing the energy released when a racing car brakes. Normally, this energy would be lost as heat and friction. However, the ERS is able to harness and store this energy, allowing it to be released at the push of a button when the driver needs more speed, e.g. when overtaking.

While this might seem insignificant on the surface, it really is a big deal. These new engines fitted with ERS units enable the F1 cars to burn no more than 100 kilos (about 140 litres) of fuel in a race. This makes them 35% more efficient than their 2013 predecessors. Breaking it down further, this means that the cars’ thermal efficiency is improved. Previously, racing cars used about 25-30% of the total energy released when they consumed or burnt gasoline, meaning that 70-75% got lost as heat energy. Now with the new engines, they are approaching up to 40% more efficiency, and companies are working to increase this even further.

These innovations have been possible thanks to the efforts of Max Mosley, who was the head of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in 2006, when he called for the Motorsport industry to develop a greener outlook. He pioneered the idea of the ERS and had a vision that the innovations developed in the industry would eventually find their way to regular road cars. Those interested in Mosley and his work in Motorsport can find out more on this blog.

max mosley

Trickle-down effect

As previously mentioned, some of the technology developed by the Motorsport industry has been adopted in the making of regular cars. This is very welcome, since it means more fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly cars will soon be on the roads, resulting in less carbon emissions and a cleaner planet for everyone.

Electric Car

The Future’s Bright, the Future’s…Electric?

 

Electric Car

Admittedly, cars aren’t really my thing; as long as they get me from A to B safely and cheaply, and they’re a nice colour (I’m not a fan of white cars – sorry owners of white cars), I’m not that concerned with their make and model, how quickly they can reach 60mph and whether they have the latest gadgets, buttons and switches that thrill quite a lot of people.

Continue reading “The Future’s Bright, the Future’s…Electric?”

Sustainable Living – Repair don’t Replace!

We live in a decidedly throwaway culture. When household products are damaged or break, our first instinct is often the toss them out with the trash and find replacement versions. However, this approach is bad news for the environment and it can dent your finances too.

Next time one of your possessions breaks or if you notice that certain items around your home are starting to show signs of wear and tear, try taking a different stance. Rather than getting rid of the items, have a go at getting them fixed. Specialist buildings and contents repair companies like Hometech-UK offer fast and effective services that can restore items to their former selves in no time.

Whether you need to repair a scratched worktop, a damaged flood, a chipped bath or anything else, experts like this are on hand to help.
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Reducing landfill

Like lots of people, you might not put much thought into what happens to your rubbish when it is taken away on lorries. However, every item that you chuck out has to end up somewhere. Most rubbish ends up in landfill. Indeed, each year the UK disposes of around 57 million tonnes of waste into landfill. It should come as no surprise then that Britain has been dubbed the ‘dustbin of Europe’.

By repairing goods in your property rather than binning them, you can do your bit to cut waste.
rubbish tip

Conserving resources

Of course, it’s not only the problem of landfill that has to be considered. Usually when people throw out household products, these items have to be replaced. In turn, this means using more of the planet’s natural resources. As the global population rises and consumer expectations increase, more and more of the Earth’s finite resources are being used up.

By restoring household items instead of replacing them, you can help to lower pressures on these resources.

Lowering global warming

By lowering demand for new household goods, you can also help to do your bit to reduce global warming. It usually takes far less energy to repair items than it does to replace them. In turn, this helps to drive down emissions of greenhouse gases like CO2 that are contributing to an increase in global temperatures.


Boost your budget
As well as having a clean conscience about the environment, repairing household products rather than replacing them can boost your finances. It is cheaper to fix worktops, floors, bathroom suites and other items than it is to buy brand new versions.

 

The Time For Electric Bikes Is NOW

With the New Year fast approaching, we will start getting geared up for a host of people saying “New Year, New Me” and saying a lot of things they are going to give up in hope of a healthier lifestyle.

Usually, we would condone this from our social media timelines, but this year there is one product that could make us join in – the electric bike. Seen everywhere in London, electric bikes are the future of transport and can cut down huge amounts on emissions.

Sunstar electric bike

Not only are electric bikes great for staying fit, but they will save you a fortune on fuel costs to and from work too – some of the bikes even have a range of up to 50 miles. Saving money and doing your bit for the environment in the process is a no-brainer really.

What’s more is electric bikes can be enjoyed all year round too, so during the summer, you can enjoy seeing new things you wouldn’t necessary appreciate stuck in traffic and during the wintery months you can mess around in the mud – if you opt for the electric mountain bike of course.

A couple of years ago, when electric bikes started making their way into the mainstream, they looked hideous. Now, they look like any other bike you can buy on the market. In fact, some are even smarter than a lot of the bikes on the market.

So, if there was one thing that you should give up for the New Year, it should be using your car for the daily commute. Of course, if you live miles and miles away from your work and don’t fancy being Bradley Wiggins during the Tour De France each day, then you could opt for an electric car, but if you live up to 50 miles all-round away, give an electric bike a chance.

Captain Planet Was a Golfer

While everyone turns the discussion to making sacrifices for the sake of the planet, some bells and whistles can actually help save it.

Image by Dru Bloomfield via Flickr
Image by Dru Bloomfield via Flickr

 

Don’t put the five-iron down, and relax. By supporting your local golf course, you might actually be helping reverse global warming –or in the least, you may not be making it worse.

It’s true.

The green-conscious eco-movement isn’t only a cause fought for by Birkenstock wearing, tree-hugging hippies. Golf-enthusiasts can fight the cause, too; from the turf.

So don’t re-book that Friday afternoon business meeting. The only earth-friendly decision you may need to make today is which golf course to spend your money on.

Not every golf course is a mecca for eco-friendliness, so it’s important to know what to look for. Here are a few tips on how golf courses are going green.

  1. Pass the Grass

Not all golf course turf is created equal. If you’re going to spend time on a course, and the environment your playing golf on is of conscientious consequence for you; be sure to select a golf course that uses turf composed of grass that relies on less water consumption.

Some strains of grass that consume water differently are Buchloe dactyloides, Cynodon dactylon, and Paspalum vaginatum.

Buchloe dactyloides has been bred by the University of Nebraska, and it is a special grass turf that can use up to 50% less water than typical turf grass.

Cynodon dactylon was developed by the Oklahoma State University for colder climates, and conserves 30% – 50% water savings.

The University of Georgia’s Paspalum vaginatum is inherently salt-water tolerant, so water can be irrigated directly from the ocean without further tampering or filtration.

  1. Irrigation Practices

Golf courses that cycle irrigation as opposed to using fresh water all day long, day in, day out, are high on the list of eco-friendly golf course practices –however more attention can be paid to other facets of modern golf course practices such as limiting traffic to paths which minimize turf wear and tear, or root-pruning trees near critical turf areas to conserve water consumption.

golf2

 

Employing mulches that reduce water evaporation will also maximise water use, and ensure that no drop is wasted.

  1. Creative Water Sources

Ponds that line your turf should provide more utility than looking good cosmetically; they can serve as water reservoirs to feed the green above and beyond municipal reserves.

golf pond

As mentioned earlier, University of Georgia’s Paspalum vaginatum is salt-water tolerant, and allows for the use of ocean water to feed the green. Not only is it the right thing to do ecologically, it saves money, too.

Even a desalinization plant on-site will allow for the use of ocean salt water, without burdening local infrastructure and provide an unlimited source of grass turf hydration.

  1. Landscaping and “Earth Shaping”

Drainage isn’t just about preventing flooding on the gold course, it’s also about water catchment for the recycling of available water.

Capping golf courses with a 6-inch layer of sand allow for the free-flowing of water which will prevent stale water and rot, while allowing water to flow back into a water catchment system for redistribution.

  1. Aerification and Cultivation

Healthy grass ensures proper use of water resources. Using effective nutrient levels will ensure grass remains healthy, while absorbing water that might otherwise evaporate and get wasted.

Further to this, golf courses that facilitate effective spiking, slicing, and core aerification practices improve water infiltration, and minimize water runoff.

In closing, you can either take this checklist to every single golf course in town, or you can take our word on it;  Murray Downs Resort has what you’re looking for.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS IN THE UK

I had ideals when I was pregnant about the type of mum I wanted to be, and about the type of kids I wanted to raise. Well-mannered, well-rounded, academic individuals. Now, my biggest hope for Phoebe is that she’ll be happy in whatever she wants to do. Cheesy, but true!

Now I just want us to spend as much time as possible doing things as a family, which is why I have written this article; it features the best places in the UK Steve and I have visited with Phoebe so far!

Monkey Forest, Staffordshire

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Great for getting up-close to monkeys as they roam freely round their spacious enclosure! Phoebe was fascinated watching the baby monkeys play fighting, jumping all over each other, climbing trees at lightning speed and irritating the hell out of their elders!

It’s a fairly cheap day out too, compared to other places. An adult ticket is £7.50 and a child is £5.50 (from ages 3-14), which was good for us because Phoebe went for free, but being so small she couldn’t really take advantage of the great play area there.

Longleat Adventure Park 

If you live in Wiltshire, then this multi million pound attraction is meant for you. Whether you are a family or a group of friends, you can take the advantage and spend some quality time and experience the wild nature Wiltshire has to offer.

longleat

From the Jungle full of animals, including the cheeky monkeys, the wolves, the rhinos and even big cats. Longleat Adventure Park offer numerous beautiful sceneries that will leave you wanting for more.

Come and experience the amazing Sea lion escort and Gorilla Colony

 

For only: £31. 50 for adults aged 15-59 years

£22.50 for children aged 3-14 years

£24.50 for seniors aged 60+ years.

 

Roundhay Tropical World, Leeds West Yorkshire

 

If you love nature, Roundhay is definitely the place to be if you live in West Yorkshire. You and your family will always receive a warm welcome here. Tropical World hosts large number of animals including; bats, butterflies, crocodiles, gorgeous meerkat and snakes. The Tropical World also hosts numerous rare bird species.

roundhay

For only:

Free Entry for children under 5 years.

£2.30 for children aged 5-15 years

£3.40 for adults

 

Twycross Zoo, Burton Road Atherstone Warwickshire

 

Set in more than 80 acres, the Twycross Zoo hosts more than 600 animals from more than 150 species. With a wide variety of primates, the Zoo prides itself as a primates’ specialist.

From the snow leopard cubs to the Asian elephants every species will definitely make a lasting impression that will make you long for more.

Enjoy our daily outdoor play areas, indoor plays and the amazing gardens.

 

For only:

£16.95 for adults

£11.95 for Children aged 3-16 years

Free Entry for Children under 3 years

£14.50 for Concession (Senior Citizens and Students with NUS card)

 

Sea Life London Aquarium, Westminster Bridge Road South Bank Greater London

 

Are a diehard fan of sea life and live in the Greater London? The Sea Life London Aquarium is the place to be. Come and experience the home of one of the European’s largest collections of global marine life situated in the heart of London.

 

Admission prices to the amazing Sea Life Aquarium are:

£19.60 for Adults

£15.90 for Kids

£75 for Family

This article was provided by World Wide Wales Team.

10 PRODUCTS YOU DIDN’T KNOW COULD BE RECYCLED

It seems these days we have a bin of every colour of the rainbow for various recyclable goods. Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but it seems we could be heading for a Red for Monday, Orange for Tuesday, Yellow for Wednesday etc situation. It doesn’t surprise me, then, that so many people are put off recycling because it actually does take a bit of effort to get your head around it all. Hopefully, and I am fully aware of how much I’m blowing my own trumpet here, this article may help…

recycling bins

HELP! What Can I Actually Recycle These Days?

So we are all aware that numerous products that we own are recyclable. From the can of your favourite soda to your usual paper napkins, these products can easily be recycled by reprocessing them. Take for instance the can of soda; the rubbish collectors usually sort the trash according to the type from polythene, organic paper to metals. These products are then taken to recycling factories where they are re-processed and then reused.

Almost everything we own, from the wearable to electronic gadgets, all these products are indeed recyclable. How is that possible?

Well, here are some of the most obvious things that you own that are actually recyclable:

a)      Batteries– indeed batteries can be recycled. Whether it’s the rechargeable or single-use ones, once the power juice is at a very low level, these items are usually shipped to the manufacturer or your local recycling firm who will re-use every component of the batteries. So don’t let your good old car battery lie around your garage doing nothing.

b)      Cardboard boxes– have you recently moved to a new home and you still have the cardboard boxes? Well, unless you are planning to move to a new home very soon, and soon I mean by end month, you can donate them to the local shelter homes or a religious centre that takes care the homeless. These cardboard boxes would be of great help to those who are homeless.

big box

c)      Clothes– we all have those favourite outfits that we don’t want to let go. It’s time to move on my friend, donate those items to the homeless through your local community program or religious initiative. These outfits would go a long way in helping those who lack essential basic clothing to wear.

Yes, Steven, it can be recycled #excited
Yes, Steven, it can be recycled #excited

d)      Old mobile phones and tablets– you might be having one or several in your bedroom drawers or closets. Most of these gadgets are fully functional and can be made useful. The only defect that these mobile phones and other electronic gadgets are guilty of is a worn out housing. For just less than a pound, you can buy a new housing for the mobile phone. With a few DIY tips on YouTube, you can safely change the old housing and fix the new one. I can guarantee that the phone will look brand new just as you bought it. With the refabricated phone, you can opt to use it as an alternative for another mobile service provider or sell it on eBay and earn some quick cash.

Other, lesser-known items which you can recycle include:

e)      Oil/grease – if you have lots of it and not in use, you can opt to sell or donate to a construction company especially those who use timber. Oil or grease is a good repellent of termites and prevents mould from growing.

f)       Shoes – we are guilty as charged when it comes to owning a pair or pairs of shoes which we no longer use. If you have outgrown them, you can opt to donate them to the local shelter programs, if they have some value you can trade them at your local thrift shop or flea market for an item in exchange.

g)      Ink toner/ cartridges

h)      DVDs/ CDs

i)        Foam packs

j)        your old Tooth brush!

Into the wild: walking with lions

Being stared at by an edgy lioness is similar to one of those dreams in which you suddenly find yourself naked’

I’ve been there too. More than once. Being stared at by an edgy lioness is like one of those dreams in which you suddenly find yourself naked. And she’s looking at you like that for two very good reasons, one of which is distressing, the other of which is life-changing.

The first is that you are human and a threat: humans have for centuries been at war with lions and have had the upper hand for the past 150 years or so. The second is that your humanity is not the whole picture. The lion also sees you as protein.

To feel like prey: it’s perhaps the most extraordinary sensation that the 21st-century Earth can offer you. Man-eaters are not unnatural: lions have been eating humans since we first started walking upright on the savannahs five million years ago. If you walk in lion-country and come across them, your soul is actually the last thing they’re interested in — and that’s why the experience goes so deep.

This is an encounter in Brian’s new book, a selection of experiences of the great continent. He says that a day never passes without him thinking about Africa: and it’s the same for me. I had an Africa dream last night, as it happens: not one of my regular lion-nightmares (which mostly stem from one rather close call) but still a disturbing one concerning some serious elephants.

Into the wild walking with lions

But it’s the cats that get to Brian at the deepest level, the lions deepest of all. I feel much the same myself. I have so far managed to escape getting eaten by lions, but I am nonetheless consumed by them. And it’s always the eyes that gets to you: not the vertical slit of Mog and Prudence Kitten and Tabitha Twitchit but a round pupil like your own. You can see something of yourself in a lion.

Lions are intensely social but not in the organised, coherent way of wild dogs (featured in this space a few weeks back) or wolves or hyenas. Also rather like us, lions seem to be making up their social customs as they go along, at some times piling on top of each other in a glorious furry huddle that every watching human longs to join, at others going off inexplicably on their own or rowing with great unsheathed paws the size of frying-pans.

Brian’s book is a delight for all those who have been bitten by lions or would like to be. It is full of the great spaces of Africa which, as he says, are much bigger when you’re on foot. It’s lions that are vulnerable now, having declined 30 per cent in the past 20 years or three lion generations. They occupy just 22 per cent of their historic range. But walk with lions and for once, and for a while, it’s you that feels vulnerable. And it feels strangely right that this should be so.

This article is provided by Fitness Socialist Blog.

Sweet love is key to baby giant pandas

EAT shoots and breed? Sugary bamboo freshly imported from China could help Britain to deliver the country’s first panda cub, it is hoped.

Edinburgh zoo’s resident giant pandas — Tian Tian and Yang Guang — are limbering up for their annual sexual encounter, prompting officials to ponder what, if anything, can be done to ensure the liaison is productive.

According to Iain Valentine, director of the giant panda project and strategic innovations for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, bamboo shoots from China could be key to a successful panda pregnancy.

Last year, Tian Tian fed heavily on bamboo stems and leaves imported from Holland. She did get pregnant but suffered a miscarriage.

There is no evidence Tian Tian’s diet played a role, but Valentine believes feasting on sugar-rich bamboo shoots will help her to bulk up and increase her chances of going full-term.

The zoo’s Dutch suppliers of bamboo are reluctant to supply shoots as this means the crop cannot be regrown. There is, however, a bountiful supply in China. Valentine estimates that a ton of Chinese bamboo shoots would be needed.

Yang Guang, the male panda at Edinburgh ZooYang Guang, the male panda at Edinburgh Zoo (Andrew Milligan)

“Fresh, sugar-rich bamboo is difficult to get hold of, but if possible we will bring it in from China. The shoots are jam-packed with sugar and a little goes a long way. It’s like eating a stick of Blackpool rock.”

Giant pandas are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity; the female’s breeding window lasts for just 36 hours and they can become so temperamental that they have been known to attack potential suitors.

Against such odds, Tian Tian and Yang Guang — whose names mean Sweetie and Sunshine — mated last year after private boudoirs, access to a pool and a tunnel of love helped them to get amorous. Even so, they failed to conceive naturally and Tian Tian was artificially inseminated.

Valentine said there are encouraging signs that the bears were preparing to mate. They have been seen looking at each longingly through a grille separating their enclosures.

In the wild, males compete to show female pandas how fit and virile they are, with the “best” male being the one to scent as high as possible.

Yang Guang started his courtship earlier than expected and has been seen scent-marking as high up as possible by doing handstands against trees, walls and rocks since early January.

Analysis of Tian Tian’s progesterone and oestrogen levels show the latter are higher than the former, meaning she should start to ovulate within the next fortnight.

On Friday, Professor Wang Chengdong, from the China Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Pandas, flew into Edinburgh to assist in decoding the bears’ behaviour in the run-up to the breeding window.

Valentine said that this year, unlike last, the grille between enclosures will be blocked off when Tian Tian’s breeding window closes.

He said it was possible Sweetie could get stressed and jeopardise her pregnancy if she catches a whiff of Sunshine’s scent.