A Glimpse Into The Sustainable Megacities Of The Future

Megacities are generally defined as cities with a population greater than 10 million. With this strict definition, it is no surprise that there are only around 30 or 40 megacities across the world. Alongside this, ‘sustainability’ and ‘megacity’ are terms that are almost inherently at odds with one another.

By their very design, megacities rely on resources from other distant places, as they rarely possess their own agricultural infrastructure. Because of this, megacities are generally forced to bear the costs of travel carbon for all the fresh produce that line their supermarket aisles.

Sustainable Megacities Of The Future

In short, the way megacities have been designed and managed in the past is in need of some serious reform, with greater consideration towards the environment and greater investments in green infrastructure. Here’s how the globe’s megacities may be shaped by calls for sustainable growth in the not-so-distant future.

Streamlined waste management

With a population of 5 million, the city of Melbourne is poised to become a megacity in the next few decades. Civil engineers do have some concerns about the city’s ability to adapt to its forecasted growth, however. For instance, rubbish removal in Melbourne is already lagging behind when compared to other cities with similar populations. That being said, there are some other smaller ways in which Melbourne is also catching up – perhaps ready in time for when it’s projected to become a megacity in a few decade’s time.

Public waste bins in the Melbourne CBD are a type of smart bin that are solar-powered and are able to compact the rubbish much more effectively than standard bins. This results in fewer waste trucks travelling through the city less often, reducing their contribution to traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Going further, there are also emerging technologies that are able to use AI to recognise recycling and divert it away from landfill.

Melbourne’s comparatively higher than average population density is a factor to consider here as well, as the placement of bins and the routes of waste trucks are both likely to continue to be largely dictated by the flow of pedestrians through major throughways.

And what about the future of rubbish removal? Cities that are built with sustainability in mind would also be able to install waste bins with pneumatic pipes which transport rubbish directly to waste processing facilities. Given Melbourne’s grid-like layout and substantial underground system, it’s not unlikely that pneumatic pipes may become the veins of the city’s waste disposal system.

waste-management-sweden

Increased accessibility and diverse transport options

Any larger city centre will naturally discourage the use of cars, as congested streets are already a byproduct of higher population density. This is immediately a boon in terms of sustainability, as fewer cars on the road means less pollution. That being said, the city needs to have the alternative transport options and infrastructure in place to make up for these ‘lost’ roadways. This includes bike pathways, pedestrian access, and perhaps most importantly, a variety of interconnected public transport options.

Tokyo is the largest city in the world yet is also ranked as one of the most livable. In fact, Japan’s capital is the only megacity to consistently land on many livability ranking lists. Japan’s public transport networks are world class, famous for having regular services and for being consistently on time. With bullet trains that reach 320km/h, you’d be hard pressed to find somewhere they can’t take you. As a bonus, they’ve recently become more accessible for wheelchair and mobility scooter users, as well as blind and deaf commuters too.

An abundance of green spaces

Green spaces are exactly what it says on the tin: areas of land that are predominantly covered by grass, trees or vegetation. Green spaces are vital in the development of any city but are of course, worth focusing on particularly when a city is developing into a megacity.

The presence of these spaces bring with them a whole slew of benefits. They have demonstrated that they are better for people’s mental health and also encourage a sense of social cohesion and community for people living in cities. The trees within these green spaces also do their part to mitigate urban pollution, and can even help keep cities cool during warmer weather.

trees-sustainability

The inclusion of green spaces into cities can also be more holistic – even if there isn’t space for a dedicated park, a tree-lined urban sprawl is far more appealing (and more accommodating towards urban wildlife) than an absolute lack of green.

A culture of urban agriculture

Finally, the perfect way to work against some of the extra reliance that megacities will naturally have on produce that is cultivated elsewhere, is for them to promote the development and upkeep of urban agriculture projects.

The space in any major city is limited, so rooftop farms are an excellent space-efficient step towards making megacities a little bit more self-sustaining. And like other green spaces, rooftop gardens and farms are also a great avenue towards promoting a sense of community within densely populated cities. Through novel processes such as hydroponics and aquaponics, rooftop farms can be sustainable without reliance on soil. They bring with them all the same benefits as green spaces with the added benefit of being a food source.

sustainable agriculture

Some urban citizens are going as far as building honey farms on their rooftops, providing their wider communities with organic and locally grown honey, as well as cultivating local bee populations that can also help to maintain a city’s green spaces with ease.

As the number of megacities across the world continues to increase year upon year, our ideas about how to marry sustainability with megacities must rapidly transition from being an impossibility into being a reality. The logistics surrounding the infrastructure that makes up megacities is something that needs to be carefully considered as these cities grow larger, and not after that growth has already occurred.

Whilst these small steps towards sustainability aren’t essential to growing that city’s economy alongside its population, taking these measures for ensuring sustainable growth can certainly contribute to that city’s livability rating across the long term.

I suppose this exploration of the future of megacities all boils down to one question: without educated sustainable growth strategies in place, why should a future filled with megacities be considered anything but aspirational?

10 Ways To Make Your Lifestyle More Green

We should all be looking for ways to make our lifestyles more green. Of course, it’s up to the major corporations to alter their practices in order to protect the planet as well, but we can all do our part to make things that little bit better for the environment. You might think that doing so will result in a huge upheaval to your life, and while it certainly will mean making some serious changes, it doesn’t all have to be arduous. Here are 10 ways to make your lifestyle more green:

a paper free office

1. Go paperless

One of the biggest ways that you can help the environment is to eliminate paper waste from your life to as much of a degree as possible. Let’s say you’ve taken out a loan and you’re dealing with the loan company. For personal loans and quick loans alike, you can ask for paperless bills and status updates, thus significantly reducing the amount of paper that circulates. You can do the same for other correspondence; bank statements, utility bills, and other necessary documents can all usually be delivered in paperless form.

2. Ditch your car

Personal vehicles are one of the biggest contributors to climate change in the world. If you want to have a significant impact on the environment, then it’s a good idea to ditch your car entirely. If you can, try to walk or cycle anywhere you need to go; this is a great way to reduce your carbon emissions. If you absolutely can’t walk or cycle to your destination, then try to take public transport; buses and trains are much better for the environment than driving yourself.

3. Change your diet

Many researchers agree that the best diet for the planet would be a “flexitarian” diet. This involves eating mostly plant-based foods with the occasional meal consisting of meat or fish. It’s not that difficult to achieve this; there are many delicious plant-based recipes out there, and you’d be surprised how many of the foods you already consume on a regular basis are entirely vegan. If you don’t think you can commit to a totally vegan diet, then try flexitarian eating for a while; you might surprise yourself!

growth of organic food industry

4. Switch off appliances

You might have grown accustomed to leaving appliances in standby mode, but if you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you should turn things off when you’re not using them. That means switching them off at the wall or turning off the main power switch rather than simply placing them in “rest” mode. Contrary to popular belief, for example, switching off a light when you exit a room is pretty much always more energy-friendly than leaving it on, no matter how many times you’re doing it.

5. Save food

Instead of throwing away leftovers, why not try to find something fun and clever to do with them? If you’re eating chicken, for example, and you have bones left over, then you can make stock from them. Similarly, if you’ve had a meal with a lot of vegetables and you haven’t managed to eat them all, you could turn the leftovers into “bubble and squeak” or any number of other dishes. Other tips include microwaving near-stale bread to give it a little more freshness and eating dinner leftovers for lunch.

6. Change your energy company

If you’re with an energy company that hasn’t made any significant pledges to focus on the environment, it might be time to change. Shop around for a different energy company that emphasises its commitment to sustainability. Changing your energy company is very easy; many firms will try to make you believe it’s difficult, but it’s not, and it could save you a huge amount of money as well. This goes for utility bills and other services, too.

7. Ditch plastics

It’s not always possible to ditch single-use plastics; they’re a huge part of the way in which many supermarkets and other shops package their products. However, where possible, it’s a good idea to move away from plastics in favour of paper-based or recyclable packaging. Many plastics still aren’t recycled; only 16% of the world’s plastic waste is actually recycled to make new plastics. Don’t buy bananas in plastic packaging; buy the ones with a paper sleeve instead.

8. Don’t use your dryer

Tumble dryers are one of the most energy-inefficient appliances you can use. Instead of drying your clothes in a tumble dryer, hang them outside and let them dry naturally in the sun. If you don’t have access to an outdoor space, then hang them up near a window and let the sunlight get to them. Only use your dryer if you absolutely have to; it’s a needless expense considering that most clothes will dry naturally if you leave them for a little while.

9. Turn off water when not in use

Many of us are guilty of leaving the tap running when we’re brushing our teeth or after the shower has warmed up. Turning off taps can have a surprisingly significant impact on the environment, so when you’re brushing your teeth, don’t leave the tap running. Only turn it on when you absolutely need the water, and turn it off as soon as you’re done. Similarly, step into the shower as soon as it’s warm enough for you, then exit when you’re clean.

ecofriendly plumbing practices

10. Save your water when you’re done

Bathwater, pasta water, and other “waste” water can actually have a lot of uses once you’re done with it. For example, you can use bathwater, or “greywater” as it’s otherwise known, to water your plants; it’s just as nutritious for them as fresh water or rainwater. Similarly, you can save pasta water to do the same thing. This combines fantastically with growing your own fruit and vegetables; not only are you saving water, but you’re also building a self-sustainable lifestyle!

Best Practices for a Green Business

Looking for ways to make businesses greener is a growing trend. Waste and destruction are just bad public relations while making an effort to clean up your act is increasingly supported by customers and employees alike. There are a number of myths about sustainability, such as the belief that it will cost you more money. In fact, taking steps to try to reduce what your company wastes will lead to savings. A green business is good not just for the environment but also for your balance sheet. If you’re considering starting a business but want to adhere to green principles, the tips below can help you.

ecofriendly home

Make it Your Business

If you want to be a small business owner but you aren’t sure what kind of company you want to run, one option is to actually run a green business. You might start a company that recycles metals or paper, or you might look into organic farming, helping homeowners design greener living spaces, or installing solar cells.

You could become an environmental consultant or educator. These are all vastly different types of enterprises requiring very different skill sets and backgrounds and won’t be suitable for everyone. But the point is that if this value is truly a core one for you, consider making it front and center.

Get the Right Tools

Whatever type of company you decide to launch, having the tools that will allow you to run efficiently and with the smallest amount of waste is important. It’s even better if those tools can perform multiple functions as is the case for electronic logging devices in fleet management.

Having ELD devices are necessary to ensure that you remain compliant with hours of service and other regulations, but they have benefits for the sustainably minded as well. They can help streamline operations, reduce costs and save you money. They can help you ensure that your fleets use less fuel. You can review a guide on how they can improve your overall efficiency.

Reduce Waste in Offices

Within your offices, you can create a green culture that takes steps to try and cut back on waste. There are many ways to do this. Make an effort to purchase items that have little or no packaging. Discourage any type of one-time usage of disposable items.

waste management for businesses

Have recycling containers throughout the workspace, and encourage their use. Keep reusable plates, cups, glasses and silverware in the kitchen. Install a dishwasher, which washes dishes with less waste than handwashing and takes the burden of washing the non-disposable items off any single person.

Make an effort to learn more about plants and choose only native plants for landscaping, ensure that any landscaping does not require a great deal of water and maintenance. Recycle electronics and buy used when you can. The ubiquitous nature of computers in modern workplaces may mean that less paper is wasted than would have been a few decades ago, but there is still a lot that companies can do to cut back on paper usage as well. Use recycled paper, and print on both sides. Distribute reports and other documents electronically.

10 Ways To Be An Eco-Friendly Student

Environmental degradation has led to many devastating effects such as the depletion of the ozone layer, health problems for people living in areas where toxic fumes and chemicals are released and a change in weather patterns. Everyone can contribute to a better and healthier environment by living eco-friendly lives on a daily basis.

As a student, you can be able to change this and influence others towards getting the environment back to a better place to the extent possible. Here are some tips on how to be an eco-friendly student.

 

1. Use Little to No Paper

Reduce your use of paper as much as you can. If you want to take notes while in class, use your mobile phone, tablet or laptop to do so. Instead of buying books, download them and read from your device. Not only will you be saving trees from being cut but you will also save a lot of money.

2. Avoid Disposable Eating Utensils

Using disposable cups, plates, and spoons seems like the easiest thing to do to save time. However, this harms the environment in the long run. Choose to use utensils that you can wash and reuse over a long period of time. The money saved from buying these items can be used for eco-friendly projects you would like to participate in.

3. Drive Less and Cycle or Walk More

If your destination is not so far away, you can cycle or walk instead of driving. If the distance is too long, you can choose to travel by public transport. If many people opted to follow this and drive only when it is absolutely necessary, pollution would decrease significantly, contributing to positive effects in the environment.

4. Conserve Water

At all times, be conscious of the amount of water you use whether you are bathing, washing your hands after using the washroom, washing dishes or doing anything else that requires you to use water. To contribute to a green college, use an amount of water that you actually need when showering, brushing your teeth or when suitable.

5. Buy Reusable Bags

Buying plastic bags every time you go shopping is a waste of money and these bags take up so much space in the home. You can opt for reusable bags which you can use more than once when going out for shopping. Apart from saving money, you will save yourself from having to pile a lot of garbage from plastic bags.

6. Save Energy

This is one of the best ways on how to be eco-friendly. One way to save on energy is by reducing the degrees on your thermostat slightly. You can also power down any devices that are not in use such as your electronics. Switching off the lights when you do not need them also helps. Using energy-efficient bulbs is also helpful as they last longer and consume less energy.

7. Participate in Eco-Friendly Projects

Take advantage of every opportunity you get to participate in projects that lead to a better environment. This can be a challenge due to the amount of academic work you may have. You can always receive help with your assignment at any time.

If you are wondering who will do my essay Australia, then worry no more as there are professional writers in online writing services ready to help you anytime you need assistance. With no excuse now, you can participate in cleaning projects, tree planting and any other environmental projects.

8. Buy Reusable Water Bottles

Buying water each time you feel thirsty may not be economically and environmentally beneficial. You can opt to buy 2 or 3 reusable water bottles for carrying water at any time you are outdoor. When buying a water bottle, choose BPA free water bottles as they are more environmental-free.

9. Reduce Meat Consumption

Eating less meat can actually contribute to a better environment and slow down global warming. Harmful gases are usually released to the atmosphere during cattle rearing for meat production. Reducing the consumption of meat will mean less harmful gases being released thus slowing down global warming.

10. Use Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products

Many cleaning products contain ingredients that are harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. One of the best sustainability tips is to use eco-friendly cleaning products as much as possible. Products such as baking soda, lemons, white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide are all-natural cleaning products that are not toxic and are easily available.

To get the right ingredients to get rid of any type of stain, you can research on the internet to get suggestions on what you can use.

Conclusion

Whether you know anything about living an eco-friendly life or not, you can always learn and there is always something you can do to make the earth a better place. Keeping up-to-date with the condition of the earth can help you know what you need to work on.

Apart from doing all the above to be an eco-friendly student, you can also join environmental clubs and take part in any events and projects that are geared towards saving our environment. Conducting personal research on how to be more eco-friendly and sharing information with others is also a good way of being an eco-friendly student.

Zena Fly- Feeding the World on Insect

Meeting an ever increasing demand for food/feed/energy and managing waste have become two of the major global challenges. The global world population is estimated to increase from 7.3 billion in 2015 to 9.7 billion in 2050. Approximately one third of the global food produced for human composition is wasted. Currently, approximately 1.3 billion metric tons of waste are disposed with significant environmental impact as far as greenhouse gases and economic footprints and the current waste management practices are not costly sustainable.

zena-fly-waste-management

Increase in Global Energy Demand

Global energy demand is estimated to increase from 524 Quadrillion btu in 2010, to 820 Quadrillion btu by 2040 (a 56% increase). Similarly, global demand of food and animal products are projected to increase by 70-100% and 50-70%, respectively, by 2050. To cope up with the demand for animal products, a substantial increase in nutritious animal feed is needed.

On one hand, the production of conventional feedstuff such as soybean meal and fish meal is reported as the major contributor to land occupation, ocean depletion, climate change, water and energy consumption. Moreover, such conventional animal feedstuff are not only limited in supply but also are becoming more expensive over the years. Additionally, there is an already strong and increasing competition for resources such as food, feed and biofuel production.

Need for alternative non-conventional source of food, feed, and fuel

Thus there is a pressing need for identifying and exploring the potential of alternative non-conventional source of food, feed, and fuel, which are economically viable, environmentally friendly, and socially acceptable.

By 2030 the Bio-based Economy is expected to have grown significantly. A pillar of this is biorefining, the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products and energy. To satisfy this demand biorefineries need to be better integrated, flexible and operating more substantially. This means that a major yield, more efficient use of nutrients and water and greater pest and disease resistance should be achieve.

Zena Fly: A Startup Worth Watching

In this context an Italian-based start-up, Zena Fly, designed an innovative process for the future integrated biorefinery by mimicking nature’s ability. In fact, Zena Fly utilizes the natural insect life cycle to manage large quantity of organic waste produced in urban and industrial context, in order to generate sustainable and valuable by-products. The project of three young entrepreneurs foresees a combined bio-refinery where waste is turned into high-quality by-products by the anaerobic insect digestion.

The Concept

The basic concept is to convert waste into high-valuable products utilizing the black soldier flies (H. illucens), a now globally distributed insect. With a modern technique, the typical insect life cycle of these insects can be utilized in order to manage urban and industrial waste. The voracious larvae can reduce by more than 40-70% (based on the nature of the substrate-waste) the substrate where reared (waste) within 12-14 days.

From the anaerobic waste digestion, large quantity of fine protein meal for feed composition (more than 50-60% in protein), fat, fertilizing oil and other by-products of great interest such as chitin, and high-quality biofuel are then extracted.

Since the adult fly do not feed, and do not fly around for feeding, these animals are exceptionally valuable from a sanitary perspective (larvae has been demonstrate to reduce/eliminate E.coli and Salmonella).

Business Model

Zena Fly business model foresees to replicate their integrated biorefineries next to any waste management companies or industrial production areas where large quantity of waste need to be reduced and transformed. This is a win/win operation, where the waste management cost would be cut in half and the process will generate appealing opportunities for investments in a market where the increasing demand is already way higher than the products availability.

Zena Fly is now seeking for the right partner-investor in order to scale up quickly. For more information, please visit www.zena-fly.com or email us on info@zena-fly.com

4 Ways Off-Grid Solar Systems Benefit Today’s Eco-Conscious Families

Within the past decade we have been hearing more and more about global warming and the need to invest in alternative sources of energy. We have been hearing about the need to reduce our carbon footprint to what is being termed as Net Zero, especially in corporate and government environments. They’ve set a target date of 2050 which is less than three decades from now but is that a realistic goal when little is being done to reduce the carbon footprint within the population at large?

Do we have sufficient sources of renewable energy to meet those goals? As it stands, probably not. This is why it is so important for today’s homeowners to understand all the benefits of alternative power such as off-grid solar systems. They provide benefits above and beyond sustainability. Here are the benefits of adopting off-grid solar systems:

benefits of going off-grid

1. Beyond the Conservation Concept

Today’s eco-conscious families have been told over and over to conserve energy. We are sold energy-efficient appliances and lighting solutions. Even so, those still draw energy from the grid and that means fossil fuels are still being utilised in some way. According to Arizon Australia, an off-grid solar system provider, if every home in Australia had renewable energy, then conservation would no longer be an issue in terms of electricity.

2. Less Dependence on the Rising Costs of Fossil Fuels

If you have recently noticed your power bill on the rise, it is almost certainly the result of the high cost of crude. While reducing your dependence on power generated all, or in part, by fossil fuels, you will be saving your family a healthy amount of money over time. Just the savings on the rising cost of fossil fuels is a major savings in itself because the prices power companies pay for crude are on the rise. Actually, you are paying for that with those higher bills!

3. No More Power Bills!

You might want to, at this point, calculate what you spend on electricity in a year’s time and then weigh that against the cost of an off-grid solar system. Within a short period of time, you will be realising a 100% savings in electricity because the sun doesn’t charge you!

Once the cost of that system is paid in full based on what you would have been spending on power, you are going forward into your future never again being billed for electricity!

Trends in Solar Energy Technology

4. Safe During Blackouts on the Grid

There is always a danger of hackers with nefarious intent shutting down the grid. It has happened and it will continue to be a concern because hackers seem to stay one step ahead of computer security software. Then there are natural disasters that can take down the grid for an extended period of time while lines are replaced, best case scenario. What happens when the power plant itself sustains damage that will take months to bring up to its current level of operation? No, it isn’t something out of a dystopian sci-fi flick. It’s a real concern that isn’t easily addressed.

Today’s homeowners are left vulnerable in a number of ways, the greatest of which is probably cost and second to that uninterrupted service. While doing something to reduce our carbon footprint you will realise benefits above and beyond what you had imagined. Isn’t it time you invested in your family rather than Big Oil in which you will get no return on your investment? We believe it is.

Composting in Qatar: An Overview

Composting in Qatar is mainly done at the Domestic Solid Waste Management Centre (DSWMC) in Mesaieed, which houses the largest composting facility in the country and one of the largest in the world.  The waste that enters the plant initially goes through anaerobic digestion, which produces biogas that can power the facility’s gas engine and generators, followed by aerobic treatment which yields the final product.

Two types of compost are generated: Grade A (compost that comes from green waste, such as yard/park trimmings, leftovers from kitchen or catering services, and wastes from markets) and Grade B (compost produced from MSW).  The plant started its operation in 2011 and when run at full capacity is able to process 750 tons of waste and produce 52 tons of Grade A compost, 377 tons of Grade B compost, liquid fertilizer which is composed of 51 tons of Grade A compost and 204 tons of Grade B compost, and 129 tons of biogas.

benefits-composting

This is a significant and commendable development in Qatar’s implementation of its solid waste management plan, which is to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover from waste, and to avoid disposing in landfills as much as possible.  However, the large influx of workers to Qatar in the coming years as the country prepares to host the World Cup in 2022 is expected to substantially increase solid waste generation and apart from its investments in facilities like the composting plant and in DSWMC in general, the government may have to tap into the efforts of organizations and communities to implement its waste management strategy.

Future Outlook

Thankfully, several organizations recognize the importance of composting in waste management and are raising awareness on its benefits.  Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) has been actively promoting composting through its Solid Waste Interest Group.  Last year, they were one of the implementers of the Baytna project, the first Passivhaus experiment in the country.

This project entails the construction of an energy-efficient villa and a comparative study will be performed as to how the carbon footprint of this structure would compare to a conventional villa.  The occupants of the Passivhaus villa will also be made to implement a sustainable waste management system which includes composting of food waste and garden waste, which is meant to lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to landfilling.

Qatar Foundation is also currently developing an integrated waste management system for the entire Education City and the Food Services group is pushing for composting to be included as a method to treat food and other organic waste.  And many may not know this but composting can be and has been done by individuals in their own backyard and can even be done indoors with the right equipment.

Katrin Scholz-Barth, previous president of SustainableQatar, a volunteer-based organization that fosters sustainable culture through awareness, skills and knowledge, is an advocate of composting and has some great resources on how to start and maintain your own composting bin as she has been doing it herself.

A simple internet search will also reveal that producing compost at home is a relatively simple process that can be achieved with minimal tools.  At present, very few families in Qatar are producing their own compost and Scholz-Barth believes there is much room for improvement.

As part of its solid waste management plan as stated in the National Development Strategy for 2011-2016, Qatar aims to maintain domestic waste generation at 1.6 kg per capita per day.  This will probably involve encouraging greater recycling and reuse efforts and the reduction of waste from its source.

It would also be worthwhile to include programs that will promote and boost composting efforts among institutions, organizations and individuals, encouraging them with the fact that apart from its capability of significant waste diversion from landfills, composting can also be an attractive source of income.

Note: The article is being republished with the permission of our collaborative partner EcoMENA. The original article can be viewed at this link.

Up Your Green Knowledge: 5 Ways to Learn More About Plants

Flora and fauna start to become of great interest to people. A number of ecological problems cause the desire to take care of plants, trees, flowers, etc. But before proceeding to purchase a plant and care for it, there is a need to gain more knowledge about the green world.

Have no idea where to get interesting information about a particular flower? This is where innovative technologies come to the rescue. These can be special apps and a well-known Internet. Thus, let’s dive deep into useful ways to improve your lore concerning the flora and fauna world.

Ways to Learn More About Plants

Download an App

One may be surprised by the number of various applications available in your App Store. While some of them are created in order to assist you to have fun, others are connected with the plant world.

No matter if you are an owner of an iPhone or other device, it is possible to find the fittest application with a set of useful functions. If you discover a bright flower, you probably would like to know its title. This is where the plant identification app will be handy for this task. One of the examples Plant Identification – Lily was developed to assist users to discover new representatives of flora.

Such apps enable people not only to define plants around them but also set reminders for plant care. Thus, for example, the next time you detect a huge tree, using an application provides you with the possibility to determine how it is called and get information or advice from botanic experts.

Use the Internet

Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine modern life without the global web. Access to the required information is possible with several clicks on your PC or taps on your smartphone or tablet such as an iPad.

Let’s imagine you want to up your knowledge about a particular plant but you forget to download the app. This is where the Internet will be useful. All you need to do is to enter a title of a necessary plant or tree and an amount of information is available for your consideration.

Take Books

Taking a book from a library is another way to be aware of flora. Although it is not considered one of the innovative technologies plants information gathering, books are full of interesting facts about them.

The most pleasant thing is that books are free for readers. Everyone who desires can visit the nearest library and spend several hours familiarizing themselves with the chosen botanic book. There is no need to waste time searching applications in your App Store. A large number of books are waiting for you in one building with a piece of detailed information about plants.

Chat with Experts

Are you a newcomer to the green world? Then, you need advice from specialists for sure. In order to take care of your plant properly, you can communicate with botanic experts and ask for their help.

Where is it possible to find such people? First, you can download an app where all specialists in flora are gathered. This can resemble a chat application where you can conduct online calls with experts and get helpful tips on how to care for plants in your home.

self-watering-planters

Also, botanic specialists can be found on various forums for plant lovers. Using your iPhone or other types of device, you should simply sign the needed forum and get information about a plant of your interest.

Attend Lectures

Do you think attending lectures is a practice for students only? You may be surprised after you know how many lectures are held on flora topics. Just follow what lectures are going to be conducted in the future and select the most interesting for you.

Utilizing your iPad or other devices enables you to take notes during a lecture. Moreover, after a discourse is completed, you will have the opportunity to communicate with a lecturer individually and ask for a professional recommendation.

Conclusion

To sum up, we can say that not only innovative technologies exist to get more information about the plant world. Having an app is useful but also there is no need to forget about usual ways of acquiring knowledge.

Thus, aside from the mentioned tips for upping your lore about the flora, you can make use of various online resources, YouTube videos, pieces of advice from your friends or family members, educational films, directory, etc.

Why Should Your Company Commit to Renewable Power?

Roughly one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from burning fossil fuels to create electricity, according to Climate Collaborative. Using non-renewable gas, oil and coal adds to a rapidly growing carbon footprint, increases global warming and spells disaster for our fragile planet’s future. Companies and large corporations have the ability to make a positive environmental change by committing to transition to renewable energy in the coming months and years. Not only will this benefit our planet, but it also promises success for companies who choose to commit to it.

Reduce energy costs by producing your own energy

Utility bills are a huge expense for businesses, many of which are at the mercy of utility companies that could raise their rates at any moment. Renewable energy is an attractive alternative to electricity and the bills that come with it. Wind installations are one option, but solar panels are even better as they are more predictable, efficient and affordable.

In fact, the cost of renewable energy is dropping at an incredibly rapid rate. The total cost of developing wind power has dropped 55% in the last five years while solar energy has dropped a shocking 74%. These low prices stem from massive global investment and rapid technological advancement. And major corporations that are already using clean energy are only looking to buy more in the coming months.

renewables-investment-trends

Boosting public relations

An increasing number of companies are committing to renewable power to boost public image. Smart businesses know that, in today’s world, renewable power is a source of competitive advantage. Social pressure to reduce emissions continues to rise as consumers look for ways to be involved in saving the planet. This green movement has driven a demand for green products. And companies that can sustainably create these products are winners in the public eye.

Renewable power is also reliable and predictable

Unlike coal or oil, we’ll never run out of wind or sun. This makes the cost and savings of wind and solar power quite stable. Solar panels installed on top of business structures will produce a consistent amount of energy year after year as long as they are properly maintained. This strong reliability makes budgeting easier and ensures a less volatile bottom line.

Reducing carbon emissions

Every one killowatt-hour of energy produced keeps 300 pounds of carbon out of the atmosphere. So, replacing non-renewable energy with renewable resources naturally decreases global warming emissions. And that’s good news for everyone on earth because if we’re left with more carbon than oxygen, it’s going to be a little difficult to breathe.

How Can You Commit to Renewable Power?

The first step in committing to renewable power is shifting your perspective. Take time to personally research these benefits of renewable power. Once you decide sustainable energy is worth implementing, on both an individual and global scale, you can begin to look for ways to create your own strategy.

The best way to brainstorm and execute strategy is to develop a team with specific goals in mind. This team should include members from different departments such as legal, financial, environmental, sustainability and operations. Once there is a team in place, you can begin to integrate energy into the company’s vision and operations.

The team should begin by assessing current energy impacts and how they might change them. Analyzing impact and comparing your own to competitors’ will reveal performance opportunities and gaps. The team can then develop a plan of action. Aggressive targets should reflect the degree and pace of emission reductions necessary to mitigate climate change.

Once goals are outlined, the team must create incentives for employees and consumers alike to make energy an actionable priority. From there, they can measure and manage energy usage as the company transitions from non-renewable to renewable energy sources.

Biogas Prospects in Rural Areas: Perspectives

Biogas, sometimes called renewable natural gas, could be part of the solution for providing people in rural areas with reliable, clean and cheap energy. In fact, it could provide various benefits beyond clean fuel as well, including improved sanitation, health and environmental sustainability.

What is Biogas?

Biogas is the high calorific value gas produced by anaerobic decomposition of organic wastes. Biogas can come from a variety of sources including organic fraction of MSW, animal wastes, poultry litter, crop residues, food waste, sewage and organic industrial effluents. Biogas can be used to produce electricity, for heating, for lighting and to power vehicles.

Using manure for energy might seem unappealing, but you don’t burn the organic matter directly. Instead, you burn the methane gas it produces, which is odorless and clean burning.

Biogas Prospects in Rural Areas

Biogas finds wide application in all parts of the world, but it could be especially useful to developing countries, especially in rural areas. People that live in these places likely already use a form of biomass energy — burning wood. Using wood fires for heat, light and cooking releases large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The smoke they release also has harmful health impacts, particularly when used indoors. You also need a lot to burn a lot of wood when it’s your primary energy source. Collecting this wood is a time-consuming and sometimes difficult as well as dangerous task.

Many of these same communities that rely on wood fires, however, also have an abundant supply of another fuel source. They just need the tools to capture and use it. Many of these have a lot of dung from livestock and lack sanitation equipment. This lack of sanitation creates health hazards.

Turning that waste into biogas could solve both the energy problem and the sanitation problem. Creating a biogas system for a rural home is much simpler than building other types of systems. It requires an airtight pit lined and covered with concrete and a way to feed waste from animals and latrines into the pit. Because the pit is sealed, the waste will decompose quickly, releasing methane.

This methane flows through a PCV pipe to the home where you can turn it on and light on when you need to use it. This system also produces manure that is free of pathogens, which farmers can use as fertilizer.

A similar but larger setup using rural small town business idea can provide similar benefits for urban areas in developing countries and elsewhere.

Benefits of Biogas for Rural Areas

Anaerobic digestion systems are beneficial to developing countries because they are low-cost compared to other technologies, low-tech, low-maintenance and safe. They provide reliable fuel as well as improved public health and sanitation. Also, they save people the labor of collecting large amounts of firewood, freeing them up to do other activities. Thus, biomass-based energy systems can help in rural development.

Biogas for rural areas also has environmental benefits. It reduces the need to burn wood fires, which helps to slow deforestation and eliminates the emissions those fires would have produced. On average, a single home biogas system can replace approximately 4.5 tons of firewood annually and eliminate the associated four tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Biogas is also a clean, renewable energy source and reduces the need for fossil fuels. Chemically, biogas is the same as natural gas. Biogas, however, is a renewable fuel source, while natural gas is a fossil fuel. The methane in organic wastes would release into the atmosphere through natural processes if left alone, while the greenhouse gases in natural gas would stay trapped underground. Using biogas as a fuel source reduces the amount of methane released by matter decomposing out in the open.

What Can We Do?

Although biogas systems cost less than some other technologies, affording them is often still a challenge for low-income families in developing countries, especially in villages. Many of these families need financial and technical assistance to build them. Both governments and non-governmental organizations can step in to help in this area.

Once people do have biogas systems in place though, with minimal maintenance of the system, they can live healthier, more comfortable lives, while also reducing their impacts on the environment.