About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.

Solar Panels – The Advantages and Disadvantages for Homeowners

Solar panels are seeing a huge surge in uptake, with around a million roofs of UK homes now being adorned with them. One of the main reasons for this surge is the interest in renewable energy and climate change. Before you decide to go solar, take time to check out the main advantages and disadvantages as discussed below.

energy efficient technologies

The Advantages of Solar Panels

There is no doubt that one of the biggest advantages of solar panels is the potential to save money on your energy bills, something that is highly attractive when consider alongside the increased cost of living. According to the Energy Saving Trust, Most solar panel owners can make savings of between £250 to £600 a year, location-dependent, and will be able to sell any unused energy back to the grid for other users.

Another potential advantage is the ability to sell any unused energy back to the grid via the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG). The SEG allows suppliers to buy any unused energy direct from solar panel owners in return for a cash payment. This not only helps your finances but also supports the demand for renewable energy and lower carbon footprints.

Finally, the other main benefit of installing solar panels is that it is a no-fuss solution that will not need excessive maintenance, nor will it make any noise when they are in use. Plus, most installers offer a 25-year guarantee on all the panels in case of any issues.

The Disadvantages of Solar Panels

Despite offering so many benefits, there are disadvantages that you will need to consider before forging ahead with solar panel installation. The first one is the initial cost of the system that you will need to invest in to get your solar panels up and running. Most homes can expect to pay over £6500 for solar panels even with the ongoing drop in prices as they become more popular.

Next, you will need to be realistic about the amount of energy your solar panels will create with the British weather. Solar panels are always going to work better on bright sunny days, meaning that your production will slow on cloudy days and through the winter and produce less energy for you to send back to the grid.

solar energy diy

Finally, solar panels are not suitable for every home, and you may find that your roof does not face the right way or have the right angle to accommodate the panels. Even if you do have the right roof, your solar panels will take up lots of space, so you will need to work out if your roof is big enough to offer the supply that you need.

Solar Panels – a Summary

Getting to grips with all the pros and cons can be daunting, so we have summarised them below for quick reference:

Pros Cons
Offers a genuine saving on energy bills Takes a long time to make any money back
Reduce your carbon footprint Can be expensive to install
Simple to maintain Hard to move once installed
Range of financial support options Weather can reduce performance
Several types of panels to choose between Can look unattractive
Make cash from the energy you do not use Needs lots of space
Noiseless once installed Not suitable for all roofs

If you are keen to proceed with solar panel installation, then take the time to search for the best deals and check out all the financial support packages that may be open to you as this will help you get the best return on your investment for years to come.

What Type Of Bath Should You Choose For Your Bathroom?

Bathrooms are one of the most used yet the least appreciated rooms in our homes. Investing in your bathroom can be very confusing. You may not know where to start, you may not know how much you need to spend.  For a quality bathroom, you will have to pay a higher price but sinking so much money for the loo makes you wonder, is it worth investing? After all, the bathroom needs to be functional, not fanciful. And you would rather spend your money on something that you can get excited about but you don’t have to remodel your bathroom. You can start slow and invest in a new bath.

A new bath will not only give your bathroom a fresh new look but it will also make your bathing ritual more relaxing and soothing. Bath can change the overall look of your bathroom so you need to carefully choose the style, shape, and material of the bath. However, a small bathroom can limit your options. And if you have a large space, you can take your pick from a wide range of options.

bathroom-shower

Now, let’s talk about the functionality of the bath. Many people like to have jets for a spa-like feel while other people prefer the usual claw foot bath to suit their traditional style. One of the main considerations is the functionality of the bath. A bath can be made of acrylic or steel. While acrylic baths are more economical, steel baths are more expensive to buy. Steel baths have heat retaining properties that people living in colder climates prefer. The kind of bath you buy depends on how you like your bath and what you want from it.

Different Types Of Baths

1. Single Ended Baths

Single-ended baths have the drainage and overflow position located at one corner rather than in the middle of the bath. One side of the single-ended bath a slope, whereas the other side is steep and has waste holes, it is ideally suited for showering as you can get close to the wall.

2. Double-Ended Baths

Double-ended baths have their wastes and taps located in the center, allowing you to bathe on either side. They are more symmetrical and can fit beautifully into the aesthetic of your bathroom. It is ideal for use by two people or it can be used by just one person who loves extra space and enjoys a long soak in the bath alone.

3. Shower Baths

Shower baths are ideal for small bathrooms. They are great for a relaxing soak in the tub as well as a quick shower. Some shower baths come with an integrated shelf, it saves water and you can also keep your bathing essentials on it.

If you don’t know where to buy the best baths, let us help you out. You can find some classy baths at Victoria Plumbing. All you have to do is check their website, place your order and wait for it to arrive.

Which Bath Is Right For You?

You should first measure your bathroom and figure out how much wall space you have to install a bath, and don’t forget the space you would need around the bath for other fittings. Choose a bath you can easily accommodate, you don’t want your bathroom to look crowded ad cramped.

Indoor Farming: The New Future of the Agricultural Sector

The population is growing at an alarming rate, the global population is anticipated to reach a mark of 9.7 billion by the end of 2050, and with this, food production also needs to increase by 70% to feed the entire human growth.

The overall food shortage is a challenge to be met along with the rising temperatures and global warming being impactful, indoor farming is the new future since various obstacles are making the usual methods of farming quite unpredictable and inefficient.

indoor farming systems

Modern agriculture needs to adapt to the growing technology and start using less water and chemicals in order to be more sustainable and invulnerable to the changes in the environment. The growing conditions become much more manageable when farming is done indoors with more protection and smart greenhouse application in the indoor environments.

Indoor farming has various advantages over conventional farming, crops grown indoors are possibly in a controllable climatic growth throughout the year, and pests can also be controlled along with water usage. Also, indoor farming yields more food per acre when compared to traditional farming. Undoubtedly, it has the potential to meet the ever-increasing demands of the world’s population.

Indoor farming in the world in 2016 was valued at 23.75 billion dollars and is expected to rise up to 40.25 billion dollars by the year 2022. The crops from indoor farming usually grow in three dimensions and are open to growing throughout the year irrespective of weather conditions. For instance, an indoor farm yields production similar to 2 to 3 outdoor farms of around 300 acres, this product, however, is a result of growing crops optimally at 90 degrees and also using artificial intelligence to ensure an optimized environment for the plants blended with stable day and night temperatures.

Vertical Farming

The growing trends hint at population rise, climatic changes, decrease in water supply, urbanization, and continuing global warming. All these factors are a contributing source to the decline in stocks of land per person. Land resources are on a major decline and policymakers are facing tremendous difficulty in confronting the ordeals of sustainability and feeding the expanding population. Vertical farming is the ideal solution to enhancing food production for future generations.

This method of vertical farming aims to enhance the yields of fresh fruits and vegetables with an objective to considerably bring a decrease in the environmental footprint of the world’s cultivation. Indoor farming gives access to a clean and entirely green source of food with riddance from problems of biosecurity, pests, droughts, reduced depletion of fossil fuels, and reduced transportation costs.

Vertical farming does not depend on sunlight and soil availability, they use a solution including nutrients for their proper growth. The roots are soaked in this nutrient solution and are checked on a time to ensure nutrient requirement. The plants in vertical farming derive lights from LEDs and not directly from sunlight, this reduces the risk of crop failure and maintains consistency in farming throughout the year. Techniques like hydroponics are making the consumption of waterways less than that used in traditional farming, taking a generous step toward a better future.

Final Words

According to Tobias Peggs, indoor farming systems are living biosystems constantly adapting to make optimal climatic growth for the crops, and climatic changes affect the crops’ taste and texture. Indoor farming helps one adapt to a warming planet and also assists in slowing down the climatic imbalance by being sustainable, producing minimal emissions, and using less water.

The future is secured and enhanced with these indoor farming mechanics, they follow certain strategies which are far better than conventional farming because AI is being used to make things sustainable and ever-growing.

How Solar Roofs Can Minimize The Urban Heat Island Effect?

As cities grow, open spaces, trees and other greenery, and other naturally occurring surfaces diminish, replaced by concrete and asphalt surfaces. When this happens, the heat absorbed by these surfaces has nowhere to go, and so is radiated and reflected into the immediate surrounding areas. This creates an urban heat island.

This leads to an increase in heat in the immediately surrounding areas, making temperatures a few degrees hotter than the actual weather. This causes discomfort to residents of the area and can also incur damage in the form of heat-damaged structures.

There is also a human cost associated with urban heat islands. Heat-related medical emergencies such as heat stroke become more prevalent in such areas as the heat can go up to dangerous levels. The EPA has taken stock of this phenomenon and is now advising cities to take steps to mitigate it. One such way is the use of solar roofs as a means of making cities cooler and more comfortable to live in.

How does solar minimize this effect?

Cool Roof Strategy

A cool roof strategy is a one that seeks to use heat absorbing and/or dissipating roofing materials and technologies. Typical roofs use materials that either reflect or absorb and radiate back heat thus significantly reducing the urban heat island effect. Conversely, cool roofs, like solar, can help absorb sun rays and convert them into beneficial energy.

Solar excels at this because of the way the cells are designed and organized to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight. Solar roofs are also designed to trap this heat rather than radiate it back into the environment, something that can help reduce the amount of secondary heat being released into the environment.

Reduced Construction

When solar roofs are implemented, there is usually a reduced need to construct structures that support the traditional electric grid. Such a scenario can play out in several ways. If a new estate is being built with nothing but solar power, there is a possibility that some open spaces can be retained as fallow ground in places where utility implements would have been installed.

While the gains at this level would be marginal, implementation of this strategy across several thousand estates can help move the needle in reducing the urban heat island effect.

Combination Approach

This approach offers the greatest promise of reducing heat in urban settings. By combining the cool roof strategy with other strategies like green roofing, planting more trees and vegetation, cool paving and general smart city growth, a lot of ground can be covered.

Planting more trees and vegetation will go a long way in reducing heat in urban settings.

All these strategies have one thing in common in that they all absorb and dissipate heat in an efficient and sustainable manner. The EPA recommends these measures, among others, to cities grappling with the urban heat island effect or anticipating it as open spaces and greenery levels go down.

Many cities have a high incentive to deal with this issue because of its effect on residents and visitors to the area. If street-level temperatures are unbearable, it is possible that tourists and potential new residents may shy away from the area in favor of other cooler cities.

Guide to Effective Waste Management

The best way of dealing with waste, both economically and environmentally, is to avoid creating it in the first place. For effective waste management, waste minimization, reuse, recycle and energy recovery are more sustainable than conventional landfill or dumpsite disposal technique.

Olusosun is the largest dumpsite in Nigeria

Waste Minimization

Waste minimization is the process of reducing the amount of waste produced by a person or a society. Waste minimization is about the way in which the products and services we all rely on are designed, made, bought and sold, used, consumed and disposed of.

Waste Reuse

Reuse means using an item more than once. This includes conventional reuse where the item is used again for the same function and new-life reuse where it is used for a new function. For example, concrete is a type of construction waste which can be recycled and used as a base for roads; inert material may be used as a layer that covers the dumped waste on landfill at the end of the day.

Waste Recycling

Recycling of waste involves reprocessing the particular waste materials, including e-waste, so that it can be used as raw materials in another process. This is also known as material recovery. A well-known process for recycling waste is composting, where biodegradable wastes are biologically decomposed leading to the formation of nutrient-rich compost.

Waste-to-Energy

As far as waste-to-energy is concerned, major processes involved are mass-burn incineration, RDF incineration, anaerobic digestion, gasification and pyrolysis. Gasification and pyrolysis involves super-heating of municipal solid waste in an oxygen-controlled environment to avoid combustion. The primary differences among them relate to heat source, oxygen level, and temperature, from as low as about 300°C for pyrolysis to as high as 11 000°C for plasma gasification. The residual gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane etc are released after a sophisticated gas cleaning mechanism.

MSW incineration produce significant amounts of a waste called bottom ash, of which about 40% must be landfilled. The remaining 60% can be further treated to separate metals, which are sold, from inert materials, which are often used as road base.

The above mentioned techniques are trending in many countries and region. As of 2014, Tokyo (Japan) has nineteen advanced and sophisticated waste incinerator plants making it one of the cleanest cities. From the legislature standpoint, the country has implemented strict emission parameters in incinerator plants and waste transportation.

The European Union also has a similar legislature framework as they too faced similar challenges with regards to waste management. Some of these policies include – maximizing recycling and re-use, reducing landfill, ensuring the guidelines are followed by the member states.

Singapore has also turned to converting household waste into clean fuel, which both reduced the volume going into landfills and produced electricity. Now its four waste-to-energy plants account for almost 3% of the country’s electricity needs, and recycling rates are at an all-time high of 60%. By comparison, the U.S. sent 53% of its solid waste to landfills in 2013, recycled only 34% of waste and converted 13% into electricity, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Trends in Waste Collection

Since the municipal solid waste can be a mixture of all possible wastes and not just ones belonging to the same category and recommended process, recent advances in physical processes, sensors, and actuators used as well as control and autonomy related issues in the area of automated sorting and recycling of source-separated municipal solid waste.

Automated vacuum waste collection systems that are located underground are also actively used in various parts of the world like Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Leon, Mecca and New York etc. The utilization of the subsurface space can provide the setting for the development of infrastructure which is capable of addressing in a more efficient manner the limitations of existing waste management schemes.

AI-based waste management systems can help in route optimization and waste disposal

This technique also minimizes operational costs, noise and provides more flexibility. There are various new innovations like IoT-enabled garbage cans, electric garbage trucks, waste sorting robots, eco dumpster and mechanisms etc are also being developed and deployed at various sites.

Conclusion

Waste management is a huge and ever growing industry that has to be analyzed and updated at every point based on the new emergence of threats and technology. With government educating the normal people and creating awareness among different sector of the society, setting sufficient budgets and assisting companies and facilities for planning, research and waste management processes can help to relax the issues to an extent if not eradicating it completely. These actions not only help in protecting environment, but also help in employment generation and boosting up the economy.

Recycling: Where to Start in Reducing Your Waste?

Millions and billions of garbage are accumulated every year. In America alone, each individual produces up to 4 pounds of waste material every day. Improper disposal of this garbage is harmful not only to you but also to everyone around you. Waste from landfills can emit greenhouse gases, pollute the soil, and can contaminate your drinking water.

However, in a simple way, such as recycling, you can make a difference. You can recycle your garbage in various ways, including reselling, donating, collecting, manufacturing, etc. Recycling is a lifestyle you can choose that requires a vast amount of dedication and a sense of responsibility.

recycling-waste

Here are some tips and tricks that can help you start your recycling journey.

What  You Can Recycle

First, you need to distinguish what garbage you can and cannot recycle.

Recyclable

  1. Plastic – Any plastic containers and bottles with the recycling symbol, and inside are the numbers 1 or 2.
  2. Paper Products – Items including phonebooks, magazines, mails, newspapers, food boxes, cardboard boxes, and printer paper.
  3. Glass – Objects like food containers, bottles, and jars, which are emptied and rinsed.
  4. Metal – Mainly aluminum cans, steel cans, tin, and other metals as long as it’s also empty and rinsed.

Non-Recyclable

  1. Plastic shopping bags
  2. Plastic food wrappings
  3. Plastic straws and silverware
  4. Foam containers, cups, and egg cartons
  5. Soiled food or biological waste
  6. Broken glasses
  7. Medical waste
  8. Dirty diapers
  9. Ink cartridges
  10. Phones

There are still more items to be included in the list, feel free to read the label or go online for them. It’s good to make it a habit to check if an item is recyclable or not.

Purchase Your Recycling Bins

After knowing what garbage is recyclable and non-recyclable, you can now buy your recycling bins. You can shop in malls or other marketplaces that offer bins in your desired size and shape at affordable prices. Some bins have a recycling logo that would help you to easily distinguish it from your other trash cans.

The basic rule in how many bins you should acquire depends on how many trash cans you have in your household. Also, set up your recycling bins next to your trash cans so that every time you throw an item away, you will be reminded to check if it’s recyclable or not. Remember not to use plastic bags in recycling because they are not recyclable.

Aside from your home, you can also keep recycling bins in your car and your office at work. Wherever you are, you can always sort and recycle your garbage.

Find Your Local Drop-Off Location

Depending on where you live, there may be different rules on what you can recycle and how to prepare your recycled items. Moreover, public drop-off areas are also important information to know together with the local garbage collection schedule.

Some states would allow you to leave your recycled items in the curbside, but if not, be sure to know where the designated areas are so that you can dump your recyclables before garbage collectors pick them up. The collection schedule could either be once a week or once every other week. It wholly depends on where you live.

Be sure to inquire to your local government or information desk about these rules and instructions before you start recycling. Print out the vital information and instructions, and post them somewhere visible so that you can’t forget about them.

Other Actions to Consider

Recycling your garbage helps in reducing your household waste and lowering your carbon footprint. But besides recycling, there are many other activities and practices you can do to help the society and the environment more. Remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle the items in your household instead of immediately throwing them out.

You can avoid buying or using single-use plastics to reduce the waste you produce. Another trick is to use recyclable bags instead of paper and plastic bags. Utilize your jars for your leftovers instead of plastic containers. You can also create your garden fertilizer by using food waste and other compostable garbage to set up a compost pile.

However, for wastes such as expired medicines, one should not, in any way, recycle and reuse expired or unused medicines as they can pose a risk to one’s health and safety. Throwing it anywhere is also harmful to the environment.

There’s a specific disposal process you must follow, which includes mixing the medicine with cat litter or referring to the FDA’s Flush List. Visit BuzzRx to learn more about proper medicine disposal.

Takeover

The way you live can impact the world and the environment. By recycling, you can help lessen waste, conserve resources, and not contribute to the pollution already prevalent in our world. No matter how tedious recycling can be, remember that it will be developed into a good habit that will help improve the society, environment, and especially yourself.

What are the Job Responsibilities of a Firefighter?

A firefighter is an occupation that is as old as civilization itself. We will give you a general overview of the firefighting profession, including what duties are expected from each type of firefighter. Along with useful links to resources related to this career, you’ll also find some helpful websites where you can learn more about different aspects of the job. But if you want to know how to become a fire fighter and go into the job, we are describing below some responsibilities that you need to be aware of.

Responsibilities Of A Fire Fighter

1. Part-time Firefighters

One of the primary differences between full-time and part-time firefighters is that part-time firefighters are only expected to work a few hours a week. While it might be difficult for some people to apply for a job that pays by the hour, it’s important that you can balance your life with being able to dedicate enough time to your family, friends, and school.

2. Fire Chiefs

The fire chief is responsible for hiring the firefighters (including part-time ones), evaluating performance (including physical fitness), assigning different tasks such as training or rescue to each shift, scheduling shifts, and rotating shifts.

3. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)

EMTs are people who go to the fire scene with a group of firefighters and perform medical procedures that help to save lives. They provide medical care and transport patients to a hospital if necessary. EMTs also care for fire victims until the ambulance arrives and give emergency treatment before transporting the victim to a hospital.

4. Fire Marshals

Fire Marshals are responsible for ensuring all safety equipment is working and organized properly before, during, and after the fire. Another responsibility of fire marshals is coordinating the efforts of fire departments from other cities during an out-of-state emergency or disaster.

5. First-Line Supervisors (FLS)

The FLS is the first person who answers a phone when there is a fire emergency. She tests the alarm system and signals the department to respond if it works well. They are responsible for making sure alarms are working, their equipment is ready to use, and all members know how to use that equipment. They must be able to answer questions about how to use the equipment and why it was used when sending out firefighters in an emergency.

Conclusion

Firefighting is a challenging job, with both safety and health risks. You can learn more about the firefighting profession through suitable sites.

Top Ways to Save Energy at School

The issue of saving energy amid the exponential advancement of the technology-dependent studying process is one of the critical challenges school systems face today. Modern students are avidly embracing energy-powered tools in class, from learning the techniques of successful coursework writing service on popular websites like EssayShark, to sharing their studying notes with peers via file storage services like Google Drive.

On that account, the matter of energy efficiency at schools has taken on unprecedented urgency, weighing heavily on school boards to be absorbed in how to minimize electricity consumption. This has led school authorities to employ a great variety of solutions aimed at mitigating the destructive impact of environmental pollution. Following the universal eco-inspired trend of reducing the use of electricity, we handpicked the most productive ways of saving energy for you to employ at your school!

Utilize LED Lighting

Replacing incandescent light bulbs with more innovative and energy-efficient alternatives like LED or CBL lamps is the perfect solution to start saving energy at your school. Powered by light emitting diodes, which is what this acronym stands for, LED lighting consume a lot less energy than traditional fluorescent lighting and have a much longer lifespan. This makes this type of lighting highly efficient for school. While incandescent light produces too much heat, LED light bulbs preserve it, preventing you from splurging money on cooling.

Another way to promote energy savings in schools is to use LED screens as they consume less energy and help in power consumption.

Give Preference to Natural Light

Not only will sunlight cut the electricity costs your school pays, but it will also create a favorable learning environment for students as opposed to light bulbs. Following several comprehensive studies, sunlight allows people to stay focused on their tasks longer and is thus one of the key factors in promoting a healthy studying process. In order to make the best of natural light, you can equip your classrooms appropriately, such as using suitable blinds or curtains.

Consider Advantageous Cooling Options

Air conditioning provides total salvation for people when it’s boiling hot outside. And its role gets especially critical when it comes to a score of students sharing a stuffy home room during scorching weather. But, no matter how beneficial the effect produced by an air conditioner might be, this system consumes way too much electricity. Adopting effective cooling solutions is the key to saving energy and keeping it cool in your educational institution.

college-green

Use Sensors to Regulate Lighting

For safety reasons, many schools keep the lights on in the premises for the entire day. This is by far the least reasonable option to adhere to if you want to minimize electricity consumption. As an efficient alternative of providing your students with constant lighting, you can contemplate using motion sensors.

These devices can make the lights go on only if there’s someone in the room and off once the room is empty. Motion sensors are designed to detect motion and can thus automatically trigger lighting if there’s a need, instead of keeping the lighting unrestrained for the whole day.

Keep the Doors Closed

As another effective trick for reducing thermal loss in your classroom, keeping the doors closed will also maintain the coolness of the room. Thus, this practice can save you some good cash you would be forced to spend on a high-end air conditioning system.

Modernize the Kitchen

The school kitchen is veritably the hub of its electric appliances. Here you have ovens, a microwave, fridges, freezers, and the works. All these devices use a great deal of electricity and, based on the funding schools get from the government, most of them are probably old, which doubles their energy inefficiency. For this reason, replacing your kitchen appliances with newer and more cost-effective models will resolve some of the school’s energy consumption issues.

Drawing the Line

By following today’s all-embracing path toward saving energy, school authorities demonstrate their regard for environmental problems as well as their money management acumen. The modern technology-driven world offers us a variety of options to create a more energy-effective environment, improving the quality of our lives. The essentials we have provided in this article will help make your school routine less costly and more up-to-date.

Learn More About Natural Disaster-Related Phobias and How To Get Help

This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

Phobias are specific mental health conditions that are caused by a fear of something (or multiple things) that can be compulsive, obsessive, and terrifying for the person experiencing them. Some of the most common phobias that exist are phobias of natural disasters.

Natural disasters are becoming increasingly more common, prompting people such as business owners to start taking measures to prevent their effects. However, for some, the fear of natural disasters and the toll they take can be so intense that it starts to impact their lives and make them afraid to leave home.

types of natural disaster-related phobia

If you’re struggling with a natural disaster-related phobia, know that you’re not alone. These phobias are common, especially if you’ve experienced a trauma related to a natural disaster of any type. Read on to learn more about these phobias, as well as some ways to get help.

Lilapsophobia- The Fear of Tornadoes and/or Hurricanes

One of the most common natural disaster phobias is lilapsophobia, which is characterized by an intense fear of tornadoes and/or hurricanes. People who have this phobia may experience the following:

  • Having panic attacks at the mention of high winds
  • Watching the weather channel compulsively
  • Stocking up on supplies and setting up a “storm basement”
  • Feeling anxious often
  • An impending sense of doom or feeling that a tornado or hurricane will arrive at any moment
  • Fears of dying or being hurt
  • Fear of leaving home

This phobia is common in those who have survived a hurricane or tornado, especially if it wreaked havoc. However, it can also occur in someone who has never experienced one. A phobia like this does become a problem when it starts to impact your life and causes you to be afraid to leave home.

Tsunamiphobia- The Fear of Tsunamis

Another common phobia is tsunamiphobia, which is the fear of tsunamis. Tsunamis are large waves/surges of water from the ocean that happen due to seismic activity and storms. Tsunamis are quite rare, but they can wipe out small towns and are very scary for many people.

Someone with this phobia will likely avoid visiting any city that is near the ocean and may have panic attacks when visiting the beach. They could have nightmares about tsunamis or feel afraid when talking about them or hearing about them.

Seismophobia- The Fear of Earthquakes

Seismophobia is another related phobia, which is the fear of earthquakes. Earthquakes are more common than tsunamis, and in some areas, they happen often. For example, in Japan and New Zealand, earthquake drills are common in schools, and many small earthquakes happen throughout the year.

Earthquakes can feel terrifying when they’re happening, and some people develop trauma from them, especially if they cause destruction. Those with this phobia will often avoid areas where earthquakes are common, may constantly check seismic activity, and may also have a fear of a volcanic eruption.

Astraphobia- The Fear of Storms

For those who are simply afraid of bad storms in general, the phobia is called astraphobia. Those with this phobia may have panic attacks when small storms hit or when it starts to rain. They may fear leaving the home and may have a safe place where they go when there is thunder or lightning. This phobia is one of the most common on the list.

natural-disaster

Chionophobia- The Fear of Snow/Snowstorms

Chionophobia is the fear of snow and snowstorms. Snow can cause difficulties with vision, falls, and other distressing experiences. It is also extremely cold. Everyone with this phobia experiences different fears related to it but will likely avoid areas where it snows. If they do live in a snowy town or country, they’ll likely stay inside or refuse to leave home if there is snow on the ground. They may experience panic or anxiety when there are snowstorms or blizzards.

How to Get Help for a Natural Disaster-Related Phobia

If you have any of the phobias above or another weather-related phobia, there is help available. You are not alone! Many people feel shame for their phobias, especially if someone in their life has told them that it’s “strange.”

However, it’s important to remember that no phobia is strange, and humans everywhere have many different types of fears. We develop fears as a natural response to trauma and our environments, and you can find a phobia for anything.

For this reason, lots of help is available. You can find online and offline counselors who are experts in phobias, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive traits. If you’re finding that your phobia impacts your life negatively in several areas and makes it hard to function, it’s time to get help.

Some of the common therapies for phobias include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (traditional talk therapy)
  • Exposure therapy (for compulsive behaviors and obsessive fears)
  • Trauma therapy and EMDR (for phobias related to trauma)

Ways to Protect Yourself From a Natural Disaster

If you’re worried about a natural disaster, know that there are ways to protect yourself from harm. Remember, seeking reassurance and compulsively planning for a potential disaster are signs of a phobia or obsessive-compulsive disorder, so it’s important to get advice from your counselor or doctor if you are partaking in these activities often.

  • Having a stash of food and first aid supplies
  • Living in an area where natural disasters are rare
  • Setting up a storm shelter or basement area where you can go if needed
  • Identifying the tsunami-safe zones in your city
  • Identifying where to go if there’s a fire in your town

Remember, planning is good, but it can’t stop an event from happening. That’s why therapy is the only way to cure a phobia and get help.

Conclusion

If you want to learn more about phobias and get inspiration on how to get help, check out BetterHelp’s blog today. They’ve got some great information on what phobias are and how they’re treated at this link.

Natural disasters are unfortunately a part of our world, but they don’t have to become your whole world. You’re not alone in your fear, and help is available today.

The Biological Purpose of Pheromones in the Animal Kingdom

This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

Pheromones are interesting biological components in all animals (and possibly humans!) that are secreted from sweat glands and scent glands for various purposes. There are several types of pheromones. However, not all are able to be measured or tested.

We know that pheromones exist because of the tests we have done on certain animals, such as moths, that show their existence and purpose. This article will take a look at the biological purpose of pheromones in the animal kingdom and some examples of each.

Biological Purpose of Pheromones in the Animal Kingdom

Which Animals Produce Pheromones and What Are Their Purposes?

Animals are pretty incredible. They can do amazing things! For example, bugs can turn our food waste into fuel! Here are some of the top animals that produce pheromones and which types they produce, as well as the purpose.

Bugs

Bugs, such as certain moths produce pheromones for the purpose of reproducing. We are able to extract pheromones of a certain type of moth to study them, and we’ve found that these are compounds that can be picked up by other bugs and sensed within the species.

Bugs also use pheromones to help each other find food and to run away from danger. For example, an ant can give off a fear pheromone, and the other ants will run away with it, back to the safety of the main house.

Since insect pheromones are easiest for us to measure and understand, we use them to remove pests. Beekeepers often use queen bee pheromones as well to help control a colony of bees and bring them safely to a new home, as bees will always follow the scent of their queen.

Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs, and other mammals have similar pheromones. They usually include:

  • Pheromones that are released during nursing from the mother to the babies (in the milk or by scent) to calm the babies
  • Pheromones of fear to warn other animals in the group of danger
  • Pheromones that work as “scent labels” that tell animals of the same family that they are related
  • Pheromones that work as “scenting markers” and show other animals which territory is theirs and which isn’t
  • Pheromones that are released during intercourse or to signal readiness to mate and reproduce

The pheromones of other mammals are the most useful in understanding the pheromones of humans, as we are also mammals. The purpose of these “scents” is for other animals of the same species to communicate with a lack of language.

Squid and Octopi

Surprisingly, squid and octopus eggs appear to have a certain pheromone that causes any male squid that touches them to become violent to another male squid nearby, according to National Geographic. This strange reaction is the result of pheromones. Although we don’t know the exact reason for it, it could be due to a need for the male to protect the eggs from other males or to defend his family.

Scientists are still studying pheromones in all species, and these chemicals are something new that isn’t completely understood yet. What we can learn from the pheromone reactions in squid is that these chemicals do impact behavior in others, outside of what we may have previously thought was possible.

Humans

Humans also have pheromones, although we have not yet proven them with a chemical compound that can be physically studied. Due to our knowledge of pheromones in the animal kingdom, we know that humans likely exhibit similar abilities. Many scientists believe that if we do have pheromones, they would have been something we developed in prehistoric times before we learned more advanced communication.

For this reason, it is likely that pheromones exist in our mothers when we are born, in potential mates (dates), and when feeling fear. For example, we may feel afraid if someone close to us is feeling fear. This reaction can be attributed to an empathetic response, but many scientists believe that it’s simply pheromones and that we can tell how someone is feeling by picking up on them.

Others

Many other animals have pheromones, and studying these can help us learn more about behavior. In some cases, like in the example of squid, pheromones seem to play no biological advantage. However, knowing what we know about animal behavior, these are simply forms of communication that we don’t understand so well as humans, who communicate primarily through language.

What Types of Pheromones Are There?

The most common types of pheromones studied are:

  • Reactive pheromones- The fear response
  • Sexual pheromones- Chemical compounds that cause two animals to mate or be “attracted”
  • Mother pheromones- Pheromones released by the mother to calm her children
  • Labeling pheromones- Pheromones that label members of the same family or species or simply announce the presence of an outsider
  • Marking pheromones- Pheromones that are used to mark territory

We can also see outlier examples that only exist in certain species, such as the example of the squid and octopus. These examples are the more interesting ones that scientists want to pay more attention to, as they can give more insight into our wonderful natural world and how it works.

Conclusion

If you’re still confused about pheromones or want to learn how they work in humans, head on over to BetterHelp’s advice column and blog today. You can learn more about the human body and mind work and find resources for any mental health topic.