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The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World (Infographic)

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When you think of saving the world, what’s your first thought like?

Do you feel exhausted at even the prospect of trying to tackle a ton of problems that you had a very little hand in creating? If so, you’re not alone.

The good news is that you can do more than you think to straighten out the messy state of the world (without having to do very much or anything at all).

And if that doesn’t happen to motivate you, consider the fact that cutting down on your consumption can save you plenty of green over the years.

 

The low-hanging fruit

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), switching out 40 traditional light bulbs in your home to energy-efficient models can save you around $240 in a single year. It all boils down to having more money to spend on an even comfier couch so you can keep on relaxing!

One of the biggest hurdles that people face when they think of trying to save the world is the scope of the problem.

Politicians and scientists think they’re doing people a favor by playing up the drama of all the potential catastrophes we’re facing, but the truth is that it’s having the opposite effect for many people.

It makes them feel as though they’re already doomed, so they might as well just enjoy the ride.

Life can be difficult enough without having to worry about future generations’ well-being.

But there are solutions that don’t involve having to single-handedly reverse the effects of global warming or stand out on a street corner for hours collecting signatures for a petition that will ultimately go nowhere.

Some of these solutions can be done straight from your comfortable couch, while others will require a little more community involvement.

No matter which one appeals to you, this lazy person’s guide is designed to minimize your efforts and maximize your benefits!

Check out the things you can lazily do to save the world in the infographic created by MuchNeeded below.

The-Lazy-Persons-Guide-To-Saving-The-World

Why a Plant-Based Diet Is Good for Gut Health

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plant-based diet

Is being a vegan the key to good health? According to statistics, 39% of people in India think so, and already follow a plant-based diet. And, thanks to innovative new studies, we’re starting to understand why.

Thanks to this research, we now know that a plant-based diet can create a more diverse microbiome in as little as four months.

 

Why Is Diversity Important for the Gut?

plant-based diet 1

Several species of bacteria live in our digestive tracts. In the correct balance, they help keep us healthy. They balance hormones, provide immune support, regulate appetite, and boost metabolism.

If we all follow a natural diet packed with whole foods, the system works perfectly. Many of us, however, adopt a more Westernized style of eating.

We consume junk food with little fiber and nutrition instead of fruit and vegetables. We couple that with plenty of red meat and dairy. These foods provide more than enough nutrients for unhealthy bacteria in the gut.

The healthy bacteria, on the other hand, starve. The high-carb and protein diet doesn’t provide enough phytonutrients or fiber to sustain them. The unhealthy bacteria increase at the expense of the good guys, and the gut microbiota is suddenly out of whack.

This, in turn, affects several critical systems in the body. Your blood sugar, hormones, and immunity all become less regulated. You’re more prone to developing an illness, gaining weight, and feeling out of sorts.

 

What Should We Eat?

plant-based diet 2

The researchers in the study suggested dividing your plate into thirds. In each section, place:

1. Lean Protein

Quinoa, chickpeas, and lentils are all excellent plant-based sources of protein. They’re easy for the body to digest and will help you to feel full longer. As a bonus, they also contain fiber and are a versatile cooking ingredient. 

A quick tip for chickpeas

You may buy chickpeas canned if you’re in a hurry, but do try cooking them from scratch. All you need to do is to soak them for an hour, discard the water, and resoak them. Add a teaspoon of salt and baking soda and let them soak overnight. 

In the morning, the chickpeas will be swollen. Remove the water and rinse them thoroughly, and they’re ready to cook. 

We prepare ours in the slow cooker. We cover them with water, add a little salt and sometimes a cinnamon stick, and set the cooker on Low. Eight hours later, they’re perfectly cooked. 

We cook extra because they freeze well. They’re perfect for making chickpea chips, hummus and to add to stews or curries.   

2. Complex Carbs 

Complex carbs such as bran or sweet potatoes contain fiber that feeds the good guys in your gut. The fiber keeps blood sugar levels regular by slowing down absorption and keeps you feeling full for longer. 

Where possible, eat the whole food, peels and all. With most fruit and vegetables, a good scrubbing is all that’s necessary to remove contaminants from the skin. If you’re concerned about pesticides, it’s better to buy organic produce. 

3. Vegetables 

Finally, add veggies such as green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, etc. Experiment with eating vegetables raw or lightly steamed to maintain the highest nutrient content. A sprinkling of lemon juice can give a zesty flavor to bland vegetables like cauliflower. 

If you really cannot face the taste of it steamed, try roasting the veggies instead. Add salt and pepper, and toss with a bit of olive oil. Then roast until crispy on the outside and done on the inside.

Additional Tips

  • Add healthy fats like avocado oil, farm butter, or olive oil to your plant-based diet.
  • You don’t need to cut out red meat entirely, but limit it to one serving a month.  
  • Consider adding fermented foods like Keifer and Kimchi. These foods contain beneficial bacteria that can help you get your digestive tract back on track.
  • Cut out sugar. It has no nutritional value whatsoever and acts on your brain in a similar way to heroin. It sounds dramatic, but it’s just as addictive as drugs. 

 

Food as Close to Natural as Possible

bowl of veggies

It’s here where whole food diets make a lot of sense. Ancient people were hunters and gatherers. They didn’t farm to provide a variety of food. Back then, they’d have foraged quite widely and so had a varied diet.

Today we have options. You don’t have to rely on a conveniently located berry bush to survive. Instead, you can buy what you like.

When considering switching to a plant-based diet, it’s essential to look at the types of food we switch over to. You can find many vegan products that are less than healthy because of all the additives.

When making the changeover, stick to whole foods as close to what nature intended as possible. As a good rule of thumb, stick to whole foods where you can and prepare them yourself. 

It’s convenient to buy processed foods, but it may not be the most nutritious option. A ready-made meal may contain salt, sugar, fat, flavorings, colorants, and a host of chemicals that you cannot pronounce. 

We make it a rule in our home not to buy anything that has more than five ingredients in it. If we want a sweet treat, we make it ourselves from healthy ingredients. That way, we get the nutrients and fiber that we need for exceptional gut health.

 

Final Notes

Eating a plant-based diet helps your gut heal itself. If you’re battling digestive or immune issues, cutting down on red meat consumption and reducing sugar intake could be the best step you take.

From there, work on adding more whole vegetables and enjoy them in the way that nature intended. 

How to Effectively Talk to Kids About Climate Change

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talk to kids about climate change

Parents will always have the urge to protect their children from harsh truths. One of these is climate change. Unfortunately, however, choosing to sweep the matter under the rug doesn’t solve the problem or even make it disappear. You need to somehow start talking to your kids about climate change.

If your children don’t hear about it from you, they’ll hear it elsewhere. They also have a right to know about it, seeing as they will bear the brunt of the consequences.

Talking about climate change with your kids, in a manner that is open and honest, can help prepare them to deal with it better, and to remain resilient though the process. 

What’s more, there is no better source for children to learn this from than their most trusted source of information: their parents. With that in mind, here are 6 useful tips to help you talk to your children about climate change.

 

Take your child’s age into consideration

talk to kids about climate change 1

Some experts recommend against getting into the technical specifics with very young children, since they haven’t achieved the developmental stage to process them just yet. 

Instead, when you talk to kids about climate change, you should start simply, connecting your children in relatable ways to nature.

Others recommend that you dive right into the meat and potatoes of it with them as early as possible. They argue that this helps them to engage better with the subject from an emotional perspective.

The truth is that there is no simple way to do it. 

You will have to look at your own children and determine whether or not they are ready to talk about the subject. 

You should also find the appropriate ways to introduce the topic to them. 

For example, the carbon cycle is a much too complicated topic for most kids in kindergarten. However, they can pick up on changing rain patterns, noticing when it rains a little more or a little less than it used to. 

An adolescent, on the other hand, should have already learned enough in school to discuss the finer points of climate change.

 

Move from the known to the unknown

talking to kids about climate change

 

If you’ve ever tried to talk to a child about the birds and the bees, then you know it’s likely your child already knows a lot more about the topic than you might think. 

What starts as you seeking to teach your child might end up with you getting an in-depth lesson on how climate change is destroying our planet. If you think about it, this is expected, seeing as climate change gets mentioned everywhere, from school, to the media, to conversations with their friends at school. 

This can shape much of their worldview on climate change.

That said, no matter how much your child already knows about the subject, you still need to have a purposeful conversation with them. At any rate, even if your child ends up knowing more about climate change than you do, talking to them about it is a signal to them that climate change is an important topic in your family.

 

Brush up on the facts, alone and together

kids learning about environment

Nobody expects you to know everything about everything – not even your child. 

However,  you should do your homework before talk to your kids about climate change to ensure you present them with the facts, rather than hearsay. 

Having the information beforehand will also prepare you for the inevitable barrage of questions you will get from the child. Documentaries on the topic should help. 

After you have done your own homework, be sure to also learn a little with your child. 

Luckily, there are numerous kid-friendly resources on the internet to learn about climate change. By taking the time to learn together, not only will you both be enlightened on the subject, but the bond between you and your child will grow stronger.

 

Consider the feelings as well as the facts

teach kids about climate change

Talking about how greenhouse gas emissions affect the weather should be a great place to start. 

Most parents, however, aren’t as concerned about teaching the science to their kids as they are to help their children cope with the impact of climate change as they get older.

In fact, if you can, encourage your child to talk about the different feelings they have on the matter. These feelings can be very complex and confusing for your child, so part of the conversation should be about helping them sort through them. 

For example, ask them what their favorite animal is and how climate change might affect it. This can help you explore their point of view on the subject.

 

Offer hope and actionable ways to work through the challenges

kids in nature

There are many proposed solutions to the risks of climate change. 

You can talk about some of the ways you are doing your part to mitigate the effects of climate change, such as taking part in adaptation efforts or reducing your contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. 

In the home, you can discuss some of the ways you can act as a family, such as recycling or reducing food waste.

The bottom line: Be realistic about the challenges and avoid painting an overly rosy picture. Your child will be able to cope with the disappointments of climate change as they mature, but you don’t have to sugarcoat it for now.

 

Don’t let the first conversation be the last conversation

teach kids about environment

The first talk is likely to be the hardest, but don’t let it be the last. Instead, let it pave the way for an ongoing dialogue on the issue with your child, which helps them better prepare for the future.

 

Conclusion

It’s impossible to predict exactly how climate change will affect your child’s future. However, when you talk to kids about climate change, and have open and honest conversations about it, you equip them with the knowledge and resilience to deal effectively with the future

12 Environmental Podcasts to Listen to in 2021

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environmental podcasts

Are there any environmental podcasts worth your time? You can bet there are. Today we’ll look into some of them.

Podcasts are all the rage these days. There’s probably a podcast for just about anything that tickles your curiosity.

There’s a good reason they have become so popular: They tackle issues in a fun, in-depth, and conversational way. They are also packaged for mobility meaning you can listen to them anywhere, anytime – like on your commute.

As talk on the environment and sustainable development continues to attract global attention, so are the people discussing climate issues and exploring solutions.

The planet requires concerted efforts from all quarters – government, corporate and individuals if we’re to preserve it for future generations.

We’d be really selfish not to.

The environment touches on many other issues including health, pollution, conservation, ecological justice among others. The podcasts below will educate and expand your knowledge about the environment and the world around you.

 

Living Planet

environmental podcasts 4

The Living Planet is a weekly half-hour radio program that features environment stories from around the world. It seeks to explore the Earth and the impact we have on it. The discussions touch on various topics, including fossil fuels, urban sustainability, sustainable farming, and wildlife conservation.

You can catch a new episode of the award-winning podcast every Thursday on Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle (DW).

 

Living on Earth

Feed your Eco-curiosity with Public Radio International’s (PRX) Living on Earth podcast. The weekly environmental news program brings you the latest developments in climate change, ecology and human health. 

Hosted by Steve Curwood, the program highlights several ecological issues with the help of expert interviews and commentary.

The show has been running since April 1991 and airs on over 300 public radio stations in the United States.

 

Outrage and Optimism

With climate change still posing arguably the greatest threat to human health, much has to be done to avert its catastrophic effects. 

The Outrage and Optimism podcast makes good use of, well, outrage and optimism in trying to tackle the climate crisis. In other words, while there is a lot to be outraged about climate change, there are some positive developments taking place that offer a dose of optimism that is thriving beyond the crisis.

The show hosts leaders and industry captains from various walks of life. Some prominent guests have included British broadcaster David Attenborough, Prince William, Ellie Goulding and youth leader Greta Thunberg.

 

Costing the Earth

Costing the Earth is an environmental podcast series that focuses on the human effect on the environment and how the environment reacts. The program features expert analysis and candid discussions on moving forward to a greener and cleaner planet.

 

Sustainable(ish)

If you are concerned about the impact of your actions on the planet, then this is the podcast you never knew you needed. The Sustainable(ish) podcast encourages people to be self-conscious of their decisions every day, be it from the products they buy, the food they eat, or how they travel.

The show’s host, Jen Gale, is a firm believer in easy-to-do, practical solutions to everyday sustainable living. She encourages people to be proactive change agents in helping transform the world.

 

How to Save a Planet

environmental podcasts 2

How to Save a Planet is a podcast aimed at providing tangible solutions to the climate crisis. It offers a refreshing approach to what are seemingly weighty subject matters making it a favourite among listeners.

The hosts, Alex Blumberg of Gimlet Media and Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist, covers a wide range of topics, including nuclear power and renewable energy. 

They also discuss national issues such as “Black Lives Matter and the Climate,” which tries to find the link between racial justice and fighting for the climate.

 

Sustainable

Would a comical approach to environmental issues be something worth a listen? If yes, then look no further than the Sustainababble podcast. Hosted by Oliver Hayes and David Powell, the weekly podcast takes a humorous approach to the environment, sustainability, and everything saving the planet.

The podcasting duo takes time to have a chuckle about the “egregious eco-guff” from companies and politicians that fail to keep their word on green action. The show is a fun listen that stays true to its tagline, “Trying to be cheery in the face of impending ecological disaster.”

 

Food Fight – EIT

The Food Fight podcast looks at the significant challenges facing the food system while exploring solutions to fight for a better food future. 

It asks critical questions relating to healthy diets and sustainable food systems and seeks to tackle the underlying issue of sustainably feeding a growing population.

 

Sustainable Jungle

The Sustainable Jungle podcast is a mission-driven show that features interesting conversations with people working to protect the planet. The show’s hosts, Lyall and Joy, are keen travellers who globetrot in pursuit of sustainability activists leaving a mark in their respective fields.

Their mission is to inspire and encourage listeners to galvanize positive change.

 

Mothers of invention

environmental podcasts 3

An exciting podcast which opines that climate change is “a man-made problem with a feminist solution!” 

Based in the USA, the Mothers of Invention podcast is a show that highlights feminist climate change solutions from a number of women around the world. 

It celebrates and gives a voice to women who are game-changers of climate action — from the grassroots to the courtroom, to the front lines and the boardroom.

 

The Wild

Hosted by Andy McDonald and Jonathan Carson, The Wild Podcast is a show that explores stories from the great outdoors. It details untold stories and adventures touching on science and conversation. In each episode, Andy and Jonathan speak to elite sportspeople, weekend warriors and creatives who draw inspiration from nature.

The podcast inspires listeners to connect more with the outdoors and appreciate the beautiful planet we call home.

 

So Hot Right Now

Discussions on climate change continue to gain traction and the So Hot Right Now podcast is at the heart of these conversations. Hosts, environmental journalist Lucy Siegle and wildlife filmmaker Tom Mustill engage high-profile personalities in in-depth talks on the climate crisis in the hope of finding amicable solutions.

Some of the heavy hitters sharing their insights on the program include United Nations climate negotiator Christiana Figueres, singer and activist Ellie Goulding and former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.

This podcast adopts an informal and passionate style and endeavors to provide listeners with the tools to play their part in tackling the climate crisis.

What other environmental podcasts do you listen to? Comment with the name or link below.

How to Choose the Right Herbs for Your Climate

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herbs to grow

For most people, having their little herb garden at home is a dream come true. However, growing herbs successfully requires the right climatic conditions.

What are the right herbs to grow at home? The right choice depends on your climate. Some herbs are fragile, while others can thrive no matter what mother nature throws their way. Whether you live in a hot or a cold zone, below you’ll find herb options that can thrive in your garden.

 

Choosing the Best Herb for Your Climate

herbs to grow - vertical garden

Herbs include a wide range of plants and leaves. Determining the best options for your garden comes down to your home needs, and more important, your climate.

For instance, sweet woodruff and mint are shade-loving herbs that thrive in moist woodland settings. 

On the other hand, oregano and lavender are Mediterranean herbs that thrive under the sun, lean soil and warm temperature. Annual herbs like chervil, coriander, basil, and dill grow best in full sunshine.

When planning your herb garden, choose the best herbs depending on your climate. By choosing optimal conditions for growing herbs, you are guaranteed that your herb garden will thrive. 

 

Growing Herbs and Vegetables in the Tropical Climate: How to Choose the Right Ones

Tropical climates are usually characterized by high temperatures, which can make it hard to grow most herbs and vegetables. When choosing the best herbs to grow in the tropics, you need to choose those that thrive in hot temperatures. Some of the best herbs to grow in tropical climate include:

Oregano – this is a popular perennial herb common in Italian dishes. You can grow it in pots and containers annually, making it a common herb in most kitchen gardens.

Rosemary – this is a woody herb best known as a fantastic addition to most Mediterranean foods. Originally, it was only grown in high humidity areas close to the ocean. This makes it highly tolerant to heat and drought.

Thyme – this is a herb grown for its culinary and medicinal properties. It is commonly used to spice liquor, cheese and other dishes.

 

Herbs for Dry Conditions: Choosing the Best Match

herbs to grow - dry conditions

If you live in a drought-prone region, choose herbs that can thrive in dry conditions. The best thing about living in dry places is that most herbs can thrive in your climate. This is because most herbs originated from the Mediterranean, which is generally rocky, dry and hot.

Garlic chives – these are excellent for low water gardens. You can use them in the place of garlic since they have a garlic flavor, making them suitable in just about any dish.

Lavender – there are many lavender options you choose from for your herb garden in a dry region.

Oregano – this is also a perfect match for a low water garden. When used fresh, they are culinary masterpieces that also possess medicinal properties.

Sage – This hardy perennial sub-shrub herb comes in a range of options. You can use them dry or fresh.

Thyme – planting thyme in dry soil helps to concentrate its aromatic oil. This herb best thrive in rocky, dry conditions.

 

Easiest Herbs and Vegetables to Grow in Elevated Places

If you live in the highlands, there are plenty of herbs and vegetables that thrive in this environment. The best options include herbs and vegetables that can thrive in very cold winters and mild summer temperatures. Some of the best options include:

Curry leaf – this is an evergreen herb rich in alkaloids said to help in fighting cancer cells. The seeds can be planted in autumn and will continue to grow through winter.

Rosemary – this is a medium-shrub herb that thrives as a hedge, with the prostate form ideal for covering retaining walls.

Mint – as a perennial, fragrant herb, mint can grow up to 30cms depending on your plant species. Because of the invasive nature of mint, it is ideal for planting it in containers for manageability.

Thyme – this low growing shrub is characterized by grey-green leaves that can grow and thrive throughout cold seasons, making it perfect for highland regions.

Lemon balm – this is also an invasive herb ideal for planting in containers. While most of it can die off in autumn, covering it with a cold frame will encourage it to grow through winter.

 

Creating a Coastal Herb Garden – What to Include:

rosemary

The benefit of living on the coast is that you can grow most, if not all, herbs. 

Once you have established the herb plant, they become resistant to drought, grow every season and get a rich aroma. You can choose to plant your herbs directly in the grounds, in containers or on raised herb beds.

The ideal herbs to grow at the coast include basil, chive, coriander, lavender, sage, garlic, rosemary, thyme and marjoram. These can be used for their medicinal properties and their culinary benefits.

The best thing about coastal herb gardens is that they require little to no maintenance. You only need to occasionally pinch the tops, prune and groom the beds to encourage the plants to flourish. 

 

Essentials for a Thriving Herb Garden

For your herb garden to thrive, you need:

Soil – most herbs can thrive in the same conditions. You can keep your plants happy by using drained soil with natural minerals and fertilizer.

Light – for your herb garden to thrive, ensure your herbs have at least 6 hours of light exposure per day. 

Water – while herbs become drought resistant with time, the first year will require you to water them regularly until their roots are matured and well set into the ground.

 

Conclusion

Growing a herb garden is one of the easiest ways to bring life to your kitchen or home. With this guide, you can grow herbs in any environment in any season. Additionally, new technologies, including grow lights, hydroponics, etc, empower you to grow more plants regardless of your specific climatic conditions.

5 Surprising Ways Green Spaces in Cities Affect Mental Health

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greenspace in cities

The oldest cities are 6000 years old, but urban living is relatively new. Initially, the city was a commercial point for the surrounding population. There wasn’t too much regard for green spaces. 

Nowadays, progress in science made it clear that green spaces are vital for our well-being. Not only do green spaces protect our lungs, but they also protect our minds. The vibrant green of fresh grass perfectly contrasts the dull nature of concrete. 

Even if we’re busy and walking with our heads down to reach work, a quick glimpse of urban nature relaxes us and gives us an immediate mood boost. 

Biologist Edward O. Wilson made a staggering hypothesis in 1984. His “biophilia” theory states that humans are attracted to nature because they’ve evolved in it. Our late arrival to the cities has left our brains wired to cues that would have increased our survival chances in the wild: trees, rivers, rich fauna, etc. We associate nature with prosperity and survival. 

There are many benefits green spaces have for our mental health – let’s dive right in:

 

Green is the color of hope

greenspace in cities 1

The term greenspace is an umbrella term to describe managed or unmanaged natural reserves and wilderness environments. 

Urban parks, for example, are the staple of every grand city. They’re called recreational parks for a reason – people go there to relax and admire the aesthetics of nature. Several population studies found that green spaces play pivotal roles in protecting the general population from physical and psychological illnesses, but how? 

Well, there are multiple reasons. 

First of all, the color green represents hope. Most people recognize green as the color of life. Different shades of green transmit restfulness and other soothing emotions. Cut grass, tall trees, and dense forests are all green elements that convey freshness. 

Our brains recognize green nature as protective and resourceful. That’s why even the tiniest green patches can lower depression. 

 

Urban nature fights pollution

greenspace - less pollution

The forest is called the “green lung” for a reason. 

The research found that nature produces oxygen and filters out the smog. People with asthma and cardiovascular problems have a higher life quality in cities with abundant and diverse fauna. 

Air pollution is responsible for numerous casualties: over 10 million people die each year. The most polluted cities are from Asian towns in China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. 

 

Green spaces lower temperatures

greenspaces lower temperature

Concrete jungles can get very hot in summer. For instance, Los Angeles set the world record of 121 Fahrenheit degrees (just under 50 degrees Celsius) in Woodland Hills. 

Having a cool city is fundamental for the general population’s mood. Our bodies function the best at an ideal air temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius). 

How can you set yourself to be productive on a day with almost double the temperature? 

You can’t. 

The lack of urban nature can paralyze a city in the summer. Not to mention that people with heart conditions can’t even go outside on regular hot days. 

Underprivileged communities that can’t afford AC systems are struggling to keep sane inside by adopting indoor plants. 

 

Dense fauna reduces city noises

tranquil urban spaces

Noise pollution is another problem in large cities. Constant traffic, construction sites, and other urban activities add up to hundreds of decibels that penetrate our houses and eardrums. 

If the sound waves don’t encounter obstacles, they can travel vast distances. The most efficient barrier to buffer out the sound is foliage. Trees, bushy plants, and similar vegetation stop the sound from traveling. That means that city people will become less stressed and will be able to concentrate more. 

Having a quiet town is all the more critical with the current pandemic situation. 

People are working from home and need the peace and tranquility to focus on their jobs. 

Imagine being an essay writer, a programmer, or an accountant smart working from their homes. Would you be able to concentrate in a city that’s echoing every drilling machine from every construction site? 

That’s why it’s essential to have noise cushioning areas in the urban setting.        

 

Nature inspires people to exercise

exercising in green cities

Physical activity has a significant impact on mood and mental health. Exercise helps regulate hormones and enhance the immune system. Studies on green spaces found that natural outdoor environments attract people to exercise more. 

Just a quick glimpse from the balcony towards a community park can spark up the wish to go out and work out. Contrarily, living in an industrial part of town with no green spaces can discourage an individual from exercising.

 

Final thoughts

The impact of green spaces on mental health in urban settings is substantial. 

Some effects are influencing our mental health directly, while others indirectly. Urban nature helps control air and noise pollution while keeping cities cool. Green spaces inspire people to work out more often and give us hope through their natural color shades. 

9 Travel Alternatives for Sustainable Travel

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Travel Alternatives for Sustainable Travel

Climate change is one of the main environmental concerns that threaten the life of every living thing on Earth. It is not only about our life, one of our parents and friends, or one of our children and grandchildren. 

It is about everything else on the Earth, from nature, trees, plants, and flowers to the immense diversity of organisms and animals that we have on this planet. 

More and more people are aware of the impact of their choices on the environment. And the easiest and best solution for reversing climate change is to adopt habits that are Eco-friendlier and more sustainable. 

Shortly said, it means reducing our carbon footprint. Greenhouse gases are the ones that are warming the atmosphere and trapping the heat here. This is why the climate is changing, global warming is a real fact, and the diversity of life on the planet is continuously declining. 

Traveling is one of the most engaging activities that people take on. But it is also the one that generates a high quantity of greenhouse gas emissions. So, how to travel sustainably? We present here 9 sustainable travel alternatives. 

Sustainable Travel Alternatives

1. Minimize or Cut Air Travel

cut air travel - sustainable travel alternatives

Travel by plane generates one of the highest amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, it is the fastest and most reliable means of transportation. But air travel is responsible for 2.5% of the total amount of emissions

Even though fewer people have been traveling by plane, as there are many traveling restrictions in place due to the coronavirus outbreak, air travel is the most preferred way to travel. So, to travel sustainably, avoid or minimize your trips on planes. 

 

2. Stay Longer When you Travel

However, sometimes you simply cannot avoid traveling by plane, especially when long distances are involved. For example, if you would want to travel from Europe to the US, you need to cross the ocean. Which would take at least a month by boat. 

But, to minimize the impact on the environment your trip will have, consider taking longer trips and spending more time at your destination. 

 

3. Choose the Train

travel by train

Traveling by train is the most sustainable way of traveling. Compared to air travel, traveling by train emits far fewer greenhouse gases, so you protect the environment more. 

In fact, compared with other means of transportation such as cars, traveling by train seems to be one of the best sustainable travel alternatives. It’s also the Eco-friendliest choice you could make. They emit approximately 70% less carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases that are warming the Earth.

They also consume less energy, take up less space, and the noise level is pretty low compared with other means of transportation. 

 

4. Choose an Eco-Friendly Agency 

There is the case of people who are too busy or simply dislike organizing their trips, so they get the help of a traveling agency. 

But, as more travelers acknowledge the importance of sustainability, they are looking to apply the  principle to their trips too. So, choose a traveling agency that is sustainable and Eco-friendly

How do you know a traveling agency is Eco-friendly? It collaborates with the locals and has sustainable travel experiences.

 

5. Hitchhike

hitchhike

Hitchhiking is one of the most popular ways of traveling in the world. If you do not mind a little bit of freedom (which can be scary sometimes), hitchhiking could prove the way to travel. 

Even if you hitchhike a car, it contributes to the protection of the Earth. Because somebody who is already using the car as a means of transportation decides to share it with you. So, instead of two cars traveling in the same direction, there’s only one. 

 

6. Lower Meat Consumption When Traveling

The food we eat represents an important part of the individual carbon footprint. Meat and the agricultural practices associated with it represents about 15% of the total greenhouse gas emissions, which is a lot. 

It is therefore important to lower the consumption of meat on your trips too. Avoid eating animal products, as there are sometimes many illegal and unhealthy means of obtaining them. 

 

7. Wildlife, not Entertainers

wildlife

The traveling industry relies heavily on entertainment with wildlife. In every corner of the world you will travel, you will see zoos, aquariums where dolphins perform tricks, sanctuaries where you can take a selfie with a tiger cub, or cities where you can ride the camel. 

The place of wildlife is in the wild. To perform tricks or not be aggressive while you pet them, they are beaten, starved, and drugged. Avoid being part of this industry which is damaging the environment by choosing experiences that support conservation and humane animal treatment.

 

8. Consider House Sitting 

Sometimes, you just want to be in another place, relax, and breathe in the beauty of life. But if you want to travel sustainably, you could consider house sitting. 

There are platforms where people who travel let others stay in their houses to take care of them. This might involve watering the plants or spending time with cats and dogs.

 

9. Reusable Products

resuable products

While traveling, it is important to pay attention to the waste your activities generate. Plastic pollution is another problem that is equally important and it affects the health of the environment. 

So, bring reusable products with you and avoid using single-use plastic. You can have a reusable bottle to refill it and avoid buying bottled water. You can have bamboo cutlery and use it whenever you are offered plastic cutlery. 

 

Final Words 

Sustainable travel is increasingly popular, as more people acknowledge the importance of protecting the Earth. This is the only home we have, so taking care of it the best we can is essential. 

Traveling is such an inspiring activity because it allows you to discover new places and marvels of nature. However, it is one of the industries that is generating high quantities of greenhouse gases, which are warming the planet. 

We hope these nine sustainable travel alternatives inspire you to make Eco-friendlier choices. 

What other ways can people travel more sustainably as the pandemic eases? Please share in the comments section below.

Top 10 In-Demand Green Jobs for 2021 and Beyond

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As countries look forward to the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery, the focus is now shifting to green jobs to jumpstart economies. Indeed, the future is green, and as such more people are transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

The race to a net-zero carbon world will see green jobs grow significantly as every industry seeks a workforce that can plan and implement innovative solutions for sustainable development.

From green retrofitters to environmental engineers and scientists, here are some of the in-demand environmental careers to look out for in 2021 and beyond:

 

1. Urban farmers

urban farming - in-demand green jobs

Urban farming involves the growing of food on rooftops or green spaces within city-dwellings. It is not uncommon to come across vertical gardens and green roofs in urban areas, turning people into gardeners and would-be farmers. 

This is the case especially seeing that occasional lockdowns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to food shortages in some places because of supply-chain challenges.

Besides using less land and water, urban growing minimizes the use of fossil fuels and pesticides. It is a trend that is picking up pace owing to its numerous benefits such as increased biodiversity, energy conservation and nutrient cycling. 

Urban farmers also provide the city populace with healthy, locally sourced food.

 

2. Solar photovoltaic installers

solar technicians

Photovoltaic solar energy continues to gain traction worldwide, with its production doubling every two years in the past decade. Germany tops the global charts in terms of solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, with a total of 49 gigawatts installed as of 2019.

Indeed, many residential, commercial and industrial properties are installing solar photovoltaic systems as it makes it capable for buildings to generate their renewable power. 

The move towards net-zero energy buildings will create opportunities for solar photovoltaic installers tasked with assembling and maintaining solar panel power generation systems.. 

 

3. Wind turbine specialists

wind-turbine engineer

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind technicians are in high demand and opportunities for this role are expected to grow by 61% from 2019 to 2029. This is no surprise seeing that a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that global wind power will increase 10-fold by 2050.

Experts anticipate that wind power will become a key player in clean global electricity production and will ultimately replace fossil-fuel industry jobs.

 

4. Green home builders (green retrofitters)

green retrofitters

Emissions from the global building sector are still a cause of concern, with a UNEP report noting that buildings accounted for nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions in 2019, the highest level ever recorded.

In a bid to meet the Paris Climate targets of carbon neutrality by 2050, the building and construction industry needs to come up with a raft of new net-zero building initiatives. This includes retrofitting old leaky buildings and setting up new structures that comply with low carbon standards.

Green retrofitter jobs will be in high demand in the future, with an estimated 6.5 million such opportunities expected by 2030, as per the International Labour Organization.

 

5. Green designers

in-demand green jobs - green urban designers

From urban planners to architects and landscapers, the career outlook for green design professionals looks bright, especially when the world shifts focus towards sustainability.

Environmental designers are designing buildings that are not only attractive to the masses but are also environmentally friendly.  

The sustainable architecture industry is certainly budding with new building techniques and technology aimed at creating zero-impact buildings. With this in mind, green designers will be in demand for many years to come..

 

6. Sustainability consultants

Sustainability consultant

Companies often hire sustainability consultants to help them operate in a  more socially and environmentally responsible way. They assist companies in developing and implementing sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. 

Their work focuses on how a company’s activities affect its employees, customers and society. The demand for sustainability consultants is projected to grow over time as more businesses and governments globally adopt green practices.

 

7. Environmental scientists

environmental scientists

Environmental scientists identify and eliminate hazards affecting the environment or human health. 

They could work in offices, laboratories or be involved in field settings. Complex global issues such as climate change and the environmental pressure triggered by population growth have necessitated the growing need for environmental scientists.

Businesses, in particular, have recognized the importance of environmental scientists in helping them carry out environmental impact assessments on their projects. Job opportunities are projected to grow 8 % during the period 2019-2029.

 

8. Wave energy producers

tidal wave energy

Did you know that ocean waves contain an enormous amount of energy capable of generating electricity? Yes, waves have a lot of energy that can be captured and transformed into electricity by converter machines. 

Though a less known form of renewable energy, wave energy has shown promise in reducing carbon footprint.

The UK leads the charge in the global wave energy sector, owning 35% of Europe’s wave energy. It plays host to leading test centres, including The European Energy Marine Centre (EMEC) in Orkney and Cornwall’s Wave Hub. With the sector looking to commercialize soon, opportunities for the likes of wave energy producers couldn’t come at a better time.

 

9. Hydropower technicians

hydropower

Hydrologists study the movement of water and use their expertise to handle issues on water quality. 

Much of their time is spent collecting, analyzing and modelling data to improve resources. Though most countries are yet to adapt to hydropower owing to costly upgrades, proponents of this renewable energy are optimistic that its time the industry is tapped and expanded.

The services of hydropower technicians will undoubtedly be required in high demand in future, going by the rising environmental concerns, particularly climate change.

Hydrologists will be at the forefront in assessing threats posed by climate change to local and national water supplies and coming up with viable solutions.

 

10. Environmental engineer

Environmental engineer

Environmental engineers specialize in protecting public health by designing systems that control pollution. 

They plan and execute strategies aimed at preventing or remediating ecological hazards. Besides handling pollution issues, environmental engineers can also be contracted by governments or private companies to address public health policies. 

The job outlook is expected to grow 3% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Job growth will be fuelled by, among other things, concerns about industrial wastewater and the need for water reclamation projects. 

How to Create a Healthy Environment in Your House

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Most people spend a lot of time indoors. Those of us who work remotely, since working from home today has become more widespread than before, spend a lot more time at home.

It would be great if a comfortable and healthy environment was created at home. Whatever way of life a person leads, our home is a central part of our life, allowing us to get away from everyday life’s external pressure.

With this in mind, a few helpful tips can be applied to improve our living environment to make it as complete as possible.

 

More light

natural lighting

Let as much natural light into your home. Natural light leads to improved mental health and sleep.

Mirrors and other reflective decorations can help light penetrate deeper into our home and make it airier.

 

Air quality

improve air quality

Air surrounds us always and everywhere. It determines our well-being, health, and performance. Indoor air plays the most critical role. After all, we spend most of our life not on the street, but in closed rooms. It is all the more important to constantly maintain high air quality through controlled ventilation.

Household appliances and even paint on walls can release pollutants that are breathed in daily.

It is tough to say how different chemical emissions and fumes can affect long-term health, but in any case, always think about how you can improve air quality at home.

Many different devices purify the air or use the natural method, namely, purchase house plants. Besides, they help reduce stress and have a beneficial effect on mood.

 

Home garden and indoor plants

Indoor plants

Many would like to have their own gardens. But, for some reason, many do not want to build it at home. And why not!

If we have our gardens, we will probably spend a lot of time in them, which positively affects mental health. Your garden is a form of meditation that allows you to balance and calm your thoughts.

First of all, we are created in nature and for the sake of nature. Despite our insatiable love for technology and all today’s possibilities, nature is what brings us to a state of peace, order and allows us to be ourselves.

Indoor plants need a sufficient amount of light, without which they cannot develop properly. To organize their correct lighting, use unique grow lights LED for plants. Here’s how the LEDs work.

A diode lamp is the most efficient way to provide the required color spectrum for light crops. It is most commonly used to illuminate greenhouses, greenhouse aquariums, indoor gardens, and indoor plants etc.

LED lamps have become the best alternative to natural lighting, as they are economical and have a long service life.

If you want your indoor flowers to remain healthy and beautiful, consider the light parameters and the need for certain types of plants in artificial LED lighting.

 

Minimalism

minimalism

If you go into most houses or apartments, you find many objects, which, probably, could be dispensed with. No wonder they say that a clean home leads to a clear mind.

Therefore, consider removing all unnecessary items from the rooms, at least from those where you spend more time.

A tidy space is easier to relax in, and a room with fewer items makes it easier to maintain order and cleanliness.

 

Regular cleanliness

create healthy environment in your house

It may not be everyone’s favorite task, but maintaining hygiene in our home is of utmost importance. Regular antibacterial cleaning of the kitchen and bathroom can help reduce the likelihood of infections spreading among family members.

As with minimalism, a clean living environment provides significant psychological benefits, making it easier to accomplish more.

 

Conclusion

A healthy, ecological environment in the house is an essential need for every person. This is a house whose owners are responsible for their health and the well-being of loved ones.

Although the implementation of the above recommendations will not solve all problems, it minimizes the influence of most negative factors. As such, it improves both the air quality and general feeling of well-being in your house.

8 Upgrades for an Energy-Efficient Home

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Upgrades for an Energy-Efficient Home

Energy-efficient homes are built to conserve energy and prevent energy waste. Everything from a home’s insulation to the direction windows face can have a surprising impact on its energy use. 

Interest in green building is growing with contractors and families. It’s easier than ever to find sustainable building materials, LEED-certified builders, and homes built from the ground up with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind.

While your home may not have been built with energy efficiency in mind, there are plenty of upgrades you can make to help conserve energy. Energy-efficient technology and improvements are widely available and a great option for families looking to protect the environment and their home health.

Some steps are as easy and installing weatherstripping and blackout curtains in your windows. Others are more intensive, like installing a tankless water heater and other energy-efficient appliances. 

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save on utilities, your home is a great place to start. Check out this infographic from Homebuyer to learn more about what makes a home energy-efficient.

what-makes-a-home-energy-efficient

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