Category Archives: carbon footprint

11 Airlines That Offer Carbon Offset Programs


When it comes to the discussions about pollution and emission of greenhouse gases, the airplanes are the largest contributors. They produce so much carbon during each travel, but due to their efficiency and swiftness they remain a preferred mode of travel. As a consequence, most people would not give up the travel using planes.

Regardless, instead of avoiding planes one can opt to use airlines that offer carbon offset programs. There are carbon calculators that calculate the amount of carbon footprint left per travel and it also calculates the cost of offsetting. On this basis, customers are allowed by most airlines to voluntarily pay the costs. The following is a list of 11 airlines that offer carbon offsetting programs.

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1. The Emirates

According to the Emirates website, the Emirates airline does not believe in passing on the responsibility of minimizing emissions to the customers but rather they do it themselves. Therefore, they believe in the principle that the emitter should pay the price. Emirates has one of the quickest, most modern low emission fleets in the world. Their age in average is 6 years as compared to that of the globe which is 14 years.

In order to reduce their carbon footprint and the negative impact that flying a plane has on the environment, the emirates has spent billions of dollars in low emission aircrafts that are efficient. Additionally, the program is backed up by other on ground projects such as recycling and waste minimization processes, water efficiency projects and investment in conservation based tourism developments for example the Wolgan Valley Resort in Australia and UAE’s Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

2. Qantas

Being one of Australia’s largest international and domestic airlines, Qantas is at the forefront in reducing their carbon emission through various programs and projects. Qantas has been certified carbon neutral under the NCOS Carbon Neutral Program since the year 2007. Qantas has been ranked the largest carbon off setter in world with over 2.5 million tons of carbon emission.

It provides customers with the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint left by the airline and all the funds are passed on to the relevant projects without it profiting the airline. The carbon offset projects have invested in both social and environmental projects including empowering rainforest communities in Papua New Guinea, supporting North Kimberly Fire Abatement Project in order to reinvigorate traditions that are indigenous, and protecting wilderness areas such as Tasmanian forest which consists of 7000 hectares of land.

3. Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia seeks to minimize environmental impacts caused by their operational activities, therefore pushing them to implement initiatives that help reduce carbon emission. Virgin Australia has a fleet of young planes that are efficient on fuel; the 777 aircraft, ATR 72s, Boeing 737 and Airbus A330s. The airline has also invested in reducing the aircraft weight, supporting the growth of sustainable aviation biofuel and enhanced flight planning through their technological and operational initiatives. Virgin Australia launched its carbon offset program in 2007 being the first airline to get government certification when it came to carbon offset programs.

Virgin Australia also passes the emission costs down to willing customers who can pay an offset cost while booking a flight. The money collected is then entirely used on carbon offset initiatives that have social, environmental and economic benefits. The Tasman Land Conservancy project is one of the initiatives which aim at protecting biodiversity, invest in scientific research, and the protection of rare species.

4. Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines has been investing in carbon offset in order to promote carbon neutrality in both domestic and international flights since 2012. Delta Airlines has invested in fuel efficiency, electric powered tugs, and the exploration of carbon markets to accomplish their goal of carbon neutrality. Further, they have ensured their carbon emissions do not reach 2012 levels. It offers customers the chance to offset the carbon emission caused by their flight through donations made to their carbon neutrality initiative and environmental projects.

They then work with environmental conservancies to ensure the funds are well invested in environmental protection initiatives that reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. In order to make calculation of the carbon offsetting costs easier, the airline provides a flight carbon calculator. Each year the airline gives a Corporate Responsibility Report that gives a review of their initiatives.

5. British Airways

British Airways recognizes that in the activities they carry out, they impact the environment negatively since they emit carbon which leaves carbon footprint. Hence, they have set out initiatives that are meant to ensure that they neutralize that effect. British Airways gives its customers a chance to willingly pay for their carbon emission costs and the money is used in funding environmentally friendly initiatives. The airline believes in the reaching the target of carbon neutrality by the 2020 and reducing its net emission by 50% by the year 2050.

The funds raised by the British Airways goes into waste minimization through increased recycling and reusing and reduced disposal eventually improving the efficiency of resources. Also, they have taken part in community investment programs working with over 120 communities and conservation agencies worldwide. British Airways also has an extensive environmental education program, which aims at children and young people at their community learning centers.

6. Jetstar

Jetstar was certified carbon neutral under the NCOS Carbon Neutral Program in 1st July 2010 for its carbon neutral flight option. It allows customers the opportunity to pay for the cost of carbon emission caused by the flight. The funds collected by the airline goes into environmental conservation initiatives that contribute to the carbon offset program.

They also fund environmental and community programs that protect endangered species in Australia as well as improve educational programs in developing countries. They also hope to reduce the weight of their airplanes as well as the fuel efficiency. Jetstar is one of Qantas’s low cost airline carrier and it flies to about 85 destinations and it is committed to offering their carbon neutral program. Jetstar airlines hope to reach carbon neutrality in the near future and also significantly reduce its carbon emission.

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7. Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is an environmentally friendly airline that is concerned with making sure that it neutralizes the effects of its operational activities. It has set up carbon offset programs that allows it carry this out. Additionally, Air New Zealand allows its customers to take part in the carbon offset program by voluntarily paying for the costs of carbon offsetting. They provide a carbon offset calculator in case a customer needs to calculate the cost of offsetting.

The money received has been used to setup New Zealand Environmental Trust fund which aims at supporting small projects within its geographical area, for example, Mangarara Station in Hawke’s Baye where they have planted close to 85000 trees. The New Zealand Airline hopes to keep the carbon offsetting program up and eventually reduce the general emission by more than half.

8. United Airlines

The United Airlines understand the grave impact emission of carbon has on the environment and so they are committed to making sure they neutralize the effect caused by their flights. A customer travelling on their airplanes is given the opportunity to choose whether or not he or she is willing to pay for the carbon offset. Each flight has a carbon calculator that calculates the carbon footprint per travel and allows one to also calculate the cost.

Plus, the airways has gone ahead to implement changes on its aircraft like, for example, reducing fuel efficiency through technological improvements. It also uses advanced environmentally friendly and cost efficient fuel. The money raised for offsetting has been used for forest conservation in California, development of renewable energy in Texas, and in community based conservation in Peru.

9. Air Canada

Air Canada is also among the airlines that choose to ensure their flights play a major role in carbon offsetting. They offer their passengers the opportunity to take part in carbon offsetting through paying of cost calculated by a carbon calculator during each travel. They money they get is used entirely for environmental protection and conservation.

10. JetBlue Airways

JetBlue, which is one of American low cost income airline, has also taken into account the initiative of carbon offsetting program. The airline allows its customers to contribute to the offsetting program in order to reach carbon neutrality. The funds are used to improve the environment and the natural resources in it to neutralize the carbon footprint left by the airline. The funds obtained from the carbon offset programs are also used to preserve various tourist destinations.

11. Gulf Air

The Gulf Air Airways is also a contributor when it comes to carbon offsetting. They provide their customers with the chance to take part in carbon offsetting by paying a price during each flight. The funds are then used to make investments in offsetting programs that save the world from the carbon emissions by the airways.

Image credit: adege , Holgi

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

16 Ways to Live More Sustainably and Reduce Expenses


Modern life, it seems, is oriented in favor of maximum convenience. But maximum convenience isn’t always the most sustainable way to live, and convenience tends to command a price premium. On a rapidly warming planet with finite and diminishing resources, choosing to live more sustainably, even at an individual level, can make a real difference on the world we live in.

Living more sustainably doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, though, and often the environmentally friendly decisions you make can actually save you money. Here are 16 practical tips to reduce your carbon footprint, curb waste, and pocket some extra cash along the way.

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1. Pay attention to your thermostat

Lowering your thermostat setting between 7 and 10 degrees for eight hours a day could help you save as much as 10% on your heating (or cooling) bill. You can make the energy-saving process even easier with a programmable thermostat, as long as you use it properly and are pragmatic about the temperature settings you choose. It pays off.

2. Insist on using rechargeable batteries

Rechargeables have come a long way in just a few decades. They’re less expensive than ever, they hold a charge so that they’re often ready to use right out of the package, and they last a long time between charges. You’ll definitely save money if you make the switch from those outdated, disposable alkaline batteries. Be sure to recycle your old batteries, though, as they’re especially toxic and shouldn’t be thrown away.

3. Ditch the bottled water

Bottled water is fairly expensive, and it often creates a lot of needless waste. If you live in an area with drinkable tap water, you can cut back on that unnecessary plastic by using your reusable container of choice. Sure, disposable plastic bottles are technically recyclable, but a lot don’t make it to recycling plants. With plastic pollution impacting nearly every corner of our planet, saying no to bottled water when you can is a great choice you can make in the name of sustainable living.

4. Choose reusable containers wherever you can

Reusable containers aren’t good for just water. Bring your own mug to your local coffee shop in the morning instead of wasting a cardboard cup, and remember to bring your reusable bags when you visit the grocery store. Some retailers will give you a small discount for your trouble, but helping curb the staggering volume of waste generated by typical consumers on a daily basis is reason enough to make an effort.

5. Practice sustainable shopping

Even at the grocery store, you can make good choices that help the planet along with your wallet. Buying dry goods in bulk is often cheaper per ounce—and it saves packaging if you bring your own reusable bags or jars. Meat, seafood, and produce grown locally also require fewer carbon emissions to arrive at your local market than those grown elsewhere. Select products with recyclable packaging wherever you can.

6. Reduce your meat consumption if possible

Due in large part to the rise of factory farming, raising animals for meat requires more resources and creates more pollution than an equivalent quantity of vegetables or grains. You don’t have to go vegetarian to make a difference, though. Merely reducing how much meat you eat (if your health and means allow) as with the popular “Meatless Mondays” concept, helps to minimize your personal carbon footprint. It’s a valuable reminder that even the dietary choices we make can have a broader impact on the world around us.

7. Prepare food mindfully

Eating at restaurants less frequently is a huge money-saver, but making food at home can also help you prevent waste. So if you have the time or ability to cook meals for yourself, be mindful of how much you make and save any leftovers. Seek to reduce the amount of trash you produce, and compost food waste for re-use in a vegetable garden. An incredible amount of edible food ends up in landfills each year, and being personally accountable for cooking and eating the food we buy is a great solution.

8. Consider solar power

Residential solar power systems aren’t as expensive or complicated as you might think, and nothing is more sustainable than reducing your reliance on the local power grid—or disconnecting from it completely! While it sometimes takes several years to recover the initial investment in solar panels and batteries, harnessing the sun’s natural energy will save more, long-term, than most energy-conservation tactics.

9. Turn off interior lights and the TV

Lighting makes up about 9% of residential electricity usage, so simply turning off the ones you’re not currently using can have an immediate impact. As for the television, modern flat-screen LED units don’t use as much energy as those old tube models, but even the most efficient model won’t save much money or electricity if it’s left on all the time in the background. If you’re not actually watching it, turn it off.

10. Unplug devices and small appliances

Many of the devices in your home consume power even when turned off, just by virtue of still being plugged in. This phenomenon is called “phantom power” or “vampire power,” and it adds up: sleeping devices may account for 5–10% of household power use. How many are plugged into outlets at your home right now? Consider your coffee maker, Blu-ray player, phone charger, toaster, hair dryer, and blender—how many of those can be unplugged when not in use?

11. Go paperless

Opt for paperless billing and paperless statements for all of your credit cards, bank accounts, and utilities. In a world as digitally connected as the one we live in, it’s just unnecessary to cut down trees in order to have a physical record of how much your cellphone provider auto-drafted from your account this month.

12. Curb your water consumption

Sure, wasting water inflates your water bill, but it also has a much greater negative impact from a sustainability perspective; clean water is a precious resource in many areas. Luckily, saving water is pretty simple. Run only full loads through your washing machine and dishwasher. Turn the faucet off while you’re brushing your teeth. See if you can trim a couple of minutes off your typical shower, and be sensible when it comes to watering your lawn.

13. Boost your home’s energy efficiency

Many homes, especially older homes, can benefit significantly from energy-saving upgrades like new weatherstripping or additional insulation. This kind of upgrade can be relatively inexpensive and will do a lot of good for energy conservation. You can also consider having your vents cleaned to improve airflow if your heating and cooling system has trouble keeping up when outside temperatures are especially hot or cold.

14. Take advantage of “green” energy credits

Many forward-thinking energy companies offer green energy plans for eco-conscious consumers. Some are backed by renewable energy credits, and others allocate electricity generated by renewable energy technologies like wind or solar power. Let your energy provider know that you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint to see if a renewable-energy offset program is available in your area.

15. Carpool or drive less

Finding a carpool partner can be difficult, but sharing the ride—and splitting fuel expenses—with a coworker can mean significant savings for those with a longer commute. Few choices we make can reduce our environmental impact as directly as simply driving less, though. We’ve grown accustomed to driving everywhere, but try taking public transit, riding a bike, or even walking to the store if you can. It’s a nice chance to see more of your neighborhood, and it’s great for the planet.

16. Budget for sustainability

One of the easiest, and perhaps most frequently overlooked, ways to live sustainably and save money is to simply create a budget. Track your expenses, and take a look at where you’re spending money—and why. Are you buying things you don’t need or replacing items that could be repaired or used for longer? Western society is increasingly plagued by overconsumption, but one surefire way to live sustainably and save money is to avoid buying things you don’t need.

These tips won’t all work for every situation, so pick the ones that work for you. In the end, sustainable living starts with the small personal choices we make: how we shop, what we eat, how we get to work. No single decision we make in our households or personal lives will single-handedly end pollution or reverse climate change, but every time we skip a bottled-water purchase or leave the car in the driveway we abstain from actively participating in our planet’s destruction. Saving money in the process is the icing on the cake.

Image credit: Carl

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Are You Doing Enough as a Business Owner to Go Green?


All businesses have ethical responsibilities that they should follow. Part of this includes a responsibility to treat employees fairly, equally and morally, as well as providing quality goods or services to customers.

In addition, business owners have a duty to consider ethical issues relating to the environment and the impact your business’s actions may have on it. Awareness of these issues is important for numerous reasons and going green can have many benefits.

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In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the ways businesses can be more environmentally aware.

Benefits of Going Green

Analysing the impact of your business’s actions on the environment and making an effort to go green will increase your environmental consciousness and potentially spur you on to make more improvements. Here are some business benefits of going green:

Customer Perception

Businesses require customers to thrive and, as a whole, customers are becoming increasingly green-minded. This means that the way your brand is perceived can be important, with many customers now considering ethical responsibility and carbon footprint before choosing where to buy products.

Consumers in the millennial category are more likely to do business with ethical brands and businesses that are considered green. This shouldn’t be ignored by businesses, especially since the spending power of this market is growing considerably and currently estimated as being worth $200 billion.

In short, going green could help your business’s image, help to retain and bring in new customers, as well as helping you to stand out among competitors.

Reduce Costs

Although many owners worry about implementing greener practices, fearing they will cost a small fortune, going green can save businesses money. This means that adopting environmentally friendly practices could reduce company expenditure, while also helping to boost profits through brand appeal.

Some of the ways in which your costs could be reduced include:

  • Fewer overhead expenses – going paperless can save you money on paper, printer and maintenance costs
  • Using less energy – encouraging green practices like switching off computers and controlling the heating to only switch on when it’s needed could have a significant impact on bills. Replacing old appliances with green counterparts can contribute to savings too (e.g. LED lighting that lasts longer and uses less energy)
  • Use teleconferencing to save money on travel and accommodation costs

Attract Staff

While customers are important, don’t forget about your employees. Staff care about the kind of organisation they work for and tend to choose employers whose ethical practices align with their own.

As mentioned earlier, this is an increasing concern for millennials and businesses should be aware of this as this age category enters the workplace. This means that going greener could attract better talent. It could also boost retention rates, providing savings on recruitment, too.

Ways to Go Green

Go Digital

Printing lots of documents, increasing file storage, and upgrading hard drives all cost money. This is unnecessary as you could store everything online. This means you can stop buying paper, replacing ink cartridges and adding to landfill. All of this is greener and could save your business money. It also allows staff to access documents from anywhere.

Telecommuting

While most businesses require some form of physical office space or facility, you can reduce this by employing a virtual workforce. This could help your business to save money on rent and utilities, while also reducing the number of cars on the road. This provides savings for your business and makes it greener, too.

Green Transport

Telecommuting may not be practical for every company, but there are ways to adopt green forms of transport. This could include introducing a Cycle to Work Scheme, encouraging staff to use public transport (particularly for meetings and company events), or starting a car sharing scheme amongst your workforce. You could even introduce incentives for green employees.

Reduce Energy

Spending on utilities can cost a business a small fortune. Instead, look for ways to reduce energy usage, to save money and reduce your company’s carbon footprint. This includes switching to LED light bulbs, upgrading old energy-guzzling equipment for new efficient models, turning off electricals when they’re not in use, turning down the heating, and reducing waste.

All of these could save your business money and make it greener. For further potential savings, you could switch to a different business utility provider, with a business energy broker such as Utilitywise helping you to find the right contract – including renewable/green energy contracts.

Ban Convenience Items

The majority of offices will be filled with convenience items, most of which probably aren’t recyclable. These range from throwaway coffee cups to paper towels for hand drying and plastic water bottles. Simply encourage employees to bring their own reusable cups and refillable water bottles, both for use in the workplace and if they regularly buy hot drinks from a local coffee branch. Some have even begun to offer small discounts for using them. Single-cup pod coffee makers can be an efficient choice, as can converting to warm-air hand dryers rather than using paper towels.

Use Biodegradable Cleaning Products

Biodegradable cleaning products not only reduce the chance of whoever is involved in cleaning your workplace from being exposed to harsh toxins but eliminates them being introduced into the environment. There are many high quality natural cleaning products available to switch to, from dishwasher tablets to toilet cleaner.

Replace Inefficient Appliances

Getting an energy audit done on your workplace can highlight areas for improvement. It’s likely that if you have some appliances such as microwaves, fridges and dishwashers that have been there for years, they won’t be the most efficient options. Do some research and replace any highly inefficient appliances with much newer, greener ones. It will cost more in the first place, but the savings made on bills in the long run should be worth it.

Source Green Products

Any business that provides regular free food for its employees and client meetings should focus on where this is coming from. Use sustainable sources that are local, such as getting fruit from a nearby farm and that use sustainable methods. Try to avoid places that use excess packaging or ensure that it can be recycled if possible.

Give Back

Finally, most businesses donate to at least one charity on a regular basis, so why not make this one that promotes a greener way of living? It could be a local community recycling project, environmental charity or any other kind of sustainable idea.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Effects and Solutions to Reduce Impact of Air Travel on the Environment


Flying is indeed bad for the planet because it contributes to global warming, pollution, and leaves a huge carbon footprint. Airplanes run on kerosene fuel, which when combusted, releases large amount of carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere. Even though aviation is not a large industry, it has large impact on the climate system.

The aviation industry is one of the fastest-growing sources of carbon gases in the atmosphere. Airplanes are important to the economy in various ways such as imports, exports, tourism and business. But the importance of the industry comes with adverse effects, which continue to affect the climate with little or nothing to do because of how the industry is tremendously growing and there being no alternative to kerosene as fuel.

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What’s more, the amount of carbon footprint left on the planet by a single flight is a huge contributor of global warming. And to make matters even worse, the increased use of airplanes in travel due to its efficiency and the fact that it helps travelers save time does not make it any better. The high rate of combustion of the fuel increases the amount of carbon emission, which directly affects the erosion of the ozone layer and therefore leading to global warming.

Effects of Air Travel on the Environment

1. Emission of Greenhouse Gases

Aircraft engines combust fuel to emit carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and soot. Nitrogen oxides emitted by aircrafts contributes to global warming and is a pollutant in the lower atmosphere whereas it destroys the stratospheric ozone layer in the high altitudes. The impact of carbons released by airplanes is no small issue considering that the emissions are realized at a higher altitude and faster.

Emissions at higher altitudes pose a greater danger because they trigger a series of chemical reactions and atmospheric effects cover wider areas. It is even recorded that travelling by air has a greater environmental impact per kilometer as compared to other forms of transport such as driving. Even as other industries receive significant improvements on emission levels; that of aviation industry stagnates.

2. Noise Pollution

Noise as a result of the aviation industry can be regarded as debatable. This is because noise produced by aero planes is short-lived. However, to those residing or those near airports are affected hugely by the noise.

Some of the adverse effects that these people face include sleeping disturbances, performance effects, and interference with communication along with cardiovascular and psycho-psychological effects. Noise of an aircraft is the responsibility of the airport operator and he or she should then ensure proper mechanisms to set, monitor and ensure noise insulation schemes are in operation.

3. Contrails Leading to Global Warming

Contrails, water vapor, released by air planes forming condensation trails, trap heat that would otherwise be released from the earth. This brings about global warming. According to studies, night flights cause global warming more compared to day flights because contrails help in reflecting sunlight during the day.

The contrails in the sky condense at higher altitudes and can spread up to two kilometers from where they have been realized. They tend to trap heat that would otherwise be dispensed from the earth, greatly contributing to global warming.

Solutions to Reduce Impact of Air Travel on the Environment

1. Setting up of Regulations

As a solution to environmental degradation as a result of air travel, regulation of the industry is needed. International Civil Authority (ICAO) in 2016 proposed the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) which gives airlines restriction on carbon emissions. If the limit is exceeded, then airlines will buy offsets from other sectors.

This however did not perform as expected proving to the complexity of regulating airlines therefore leaving the responsibility of regulating amount of carbon emissions to Kyoto Protocol whose responsibility is limited to domestic flights. The issue of regulating the aviation industry should therefore be treated as other transport policy and its consistency maintained so as to protect the climate. In order for regulations and policies to take place, international cooperation should be enhanced to achieve its efficiency.

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2. Use of Technology

To deal with the problem of climate impact by the aviation industry, technology can be used in design and systems of planes to make them more efficient. A breakthrough in use of another type of fuel that is greener, like biofuels, hydrogen, solar panels and batteries, could save the world from the degradation of the environment by aircraft engines running on kerosene.

However, the rate at which this progress is made cannot be compared to the rate at which number of passengers are buying tickets. Also, the fact that aircraft have to carry their own fuel is one that should be dealt with and have such engineering problems looked into and a solution is reached.

3. Carbon Offsetting Programs

Charging the amount of greenhouses emitted into the air by aircraft could go a long way in discouraging pollution. These charges should be made payable by airlines for every ton of greenhouses emitted. Like other transport operators, it obliges airlines to pay for the pollution they cause thereby limiting them to lower amounts of emission because it comes at a price.

In addition to emission costs, the government can also add environmental and social costs. Most airplanes have embraced this and have been coming up with projects that help offset their carbon footprints. There is a mechanism that helps in the calculation of the amount of carbon footprint created by a flight and the money generated in offsetting allows the airplane companies to start projects that protect the environment.

4. Using Alternative Means

One of the most effective ways to reduce amount of carbon footprint is by flying less often. This means in the case where other forms transport are available, it is not a must for an individual to fly. Instead, driving or taking the train to the destination as preference for majority of the people would mean airlines burn less fuel. Taking holidays that are not so far away could also help in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

5. Use of Computer Programs to Reduce Noise Pollution

As a means of preventing noise pollution by airports to its neighborhoods, computer programs can be used to simulate aircraft operations to identify areas that are prone to such disturbances. Virtually predicting the extent of noise levels using the International Noise Model can be used to address the issue. The model is widely used to come up with aircraft noise footprints for a certain number of aircrafts at average weather conditions.

6. Optimization of Flight Routes

In a bid to protect the climate, optimizing flight routes can reduce negative effects of flying. Having a flight plan that avoids weather conditions, which results in the creation of clouds is among the best strategies. By limiting the formation of clouds, it aids in release of earth’s radiation into space resulting in a cooling effect. With proper formulation of routes, climate protection by aircrafts can be achieved. Plus, airlines with routes that pollute less can be charged less money for pollution certificates.

7. Invention of Alternative Energy Sources

Aircraft engines unlike other engines have no other greener alternative such as the use of solar or other renewable energy. Technological advancement in the sector might lead to electric planes that emit less and are more fuel-efficient. However, the sector remains negligent to matters of the environment.

For instance, most airline websites mention little about environmental protection or have completely nothing to do with the environment. Also, NGOs that deal with the environment are reluctant on the matter. Such negligence can be attributed to huge concentration on profits earned by airlines that has seen the industry continue to grow irrespective of how bad flying is for the planet.

Image credit: pexels , pixabay

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

Eco-Friendly Approaches to Interior Design to Conserve Energy


When it comes to refreshing, remodelling and redesigning the interiors of our homes we often only consider aesthetics. After all, this is a chance to express ourselves and create an environment that really makes our families feel comfortable. But shouldn’t we also think about the world around us?

In this article we’re going to show that it’s possible to have great looking interiors that are also kind to the planet. You might even find that a green approach saves you money in terms of materials and heating bills as well as saving and expending less energy.

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Rely on Sunlight

One of the biggest mistakes many of us make, when it comes to the environment, is to rely too heavily on artificial or man-made lighting. The way to rectify this is to make as much use of the sun as possible. Choose curtains that aren’t intrusive or heavy. Or, you could install natural and sustainable wooden blinds that can be folded almost completely to the side during the day. If you’re remodelling extensively, you might even consider installing a skylight. This way your home will be flooded with natural light and will save money and converse much less energy.

Change Your Bulbs

The truth is that we can’t always rely on the sun, which is why we also need to consider the type of artificial lighting we use. Switching to LED light bulbs is highly recommended and has been found in a recent study to save the average home up to $1,000 over a 10-year period. These bulbs may cost more initially but they are long-lasting and of a high quality, so they represent an investment worth making.

You could also try and use Energy efficient bulbs these are similar to old incandescent bulbs that respond well to a dimer and emit just as good quality of light however, you can save up to 80% on your electricity bills and waste a lot less energy as they can typically use about 25-80% less energy.

Improve Your Insultation

Another way you can save money in the long run and be kind to the environment, is to improve the insulation in your home. With better insulation, made from natural materials, your home will require less heating. This could be loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, plasterboard and even floor insulation.

Unlike many conventional insulations, natural insulations made from materials such as sheep’s wool, Earth wool, Thermal fleece, Warmcel etc. have low embodied energy and are all fully recyclable and disposable at the end of their natural use. In winter you will be able to really feel the difference, even if this is eco-friendly improvement isn’t always immediately noticeable.

Make Your Own Furniture

Creating your own furniture can be a fun way to give your home an eco-friendly makeover. A good suggestion is to use reclaimed wood for any DIY projects, so that even your materials are kind to the environment. Once again, this is a great way to save money. Plus, reclaimed wood can add a sense of authentic, earthy style to your home. Just be sure to remove any nails or other potentially dangerous pieces of metal from the wood.

Add Plants and Grow Your Own Food

When it comes to your decorations, it can be a good idea to go green – literally. Plants can soften spaces and really add life to your interiors. They can also provide stunning focus points. What’s more, they can help to improve the air quality of rooms and to filter out harmful chemicals. Along with traditional decorative greenery, you could also opt for potted herbs and even vegetables. You can planet seeds and grow your own fruit and vegetables. This way you will have an eco-friendly stock of ingredients for your kitchen.

Pay Attention to Labels

If you need to paint your interior spaces, you might want to carefully read the labels on paint tins or any associated products to make sure that you’re making eco-friendly choices. Products with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) ratings are the ones to look for, as these will contain smaller amounts of harmful air pollutants. VOC ratings can also often be found on furniture, carpets and other household items.

Some product brands such as AFM Safe coat, Benjamin Moore aura and Natura, Yolo Colorhouse, The old fashioned Milk paint company and Sherwin Williams even emit no VOC, making these ideal for eco-friendly redecoration.

Update Your Flooring

It’s also possible to choose eco-friendly options when it comes to the surface beneath your feet. Wooden, stone or marble flooring are all choices that are both natural and beautiful. This type of flooring may be expensive, but in the long-run it could pay for itself in that it might add value to your home. Plus, these materials are usually hard-wearing, which means that they will last longer.

Another advantage is that they are easy to clean, making them a good choice for families with children. Some other options you could consider for eco flooring are Cork (renewable material), reclaimed wool rugs, Bamboo flooring, reclaimed and sustainable hardwood, Linoleum flooring and recycled metal, glass and rubber tiles are all good options for an eco-friendly, durable nontoxic floor.

Maximise Your Space

Our final tip is to make the best use you can of the space in your home. This way you won’t be tempted to buy a bigger home, which won’t be as kind to the environment in terms of its carbon footprint. One way of doing this is to use multi-purpose furniture, such as fold-down couches, to get the most out of living areas. Another approach is to convert your garage, if you have one, into an office or additional living space.

There are many other ways of transforming your home into an eco-friendly haven, and you should consider this list to be a starting point. If you are considering the change to greener, kinder living, then good luck and may your redecoration and remodelling be a success.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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5 Benefits of Solar Panels for Schools and Universities


For most people, solar panels are synonymous with residential and commercial use. People put solar panels on their homes to cover electric bills, and augment their commercial buildings to draw new business and “go green.” But what happens when solar panels are added to the layout of schools or universities? Today, solar panel installations in schools are becoming more popular.

As it does, it’s decreasing the environmental impact of these institutions and making them greener and more eco-friendly. In many cases, eco-friendly universities may also see increased enrollment and greater interest levels across the student base.

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Thanks to these perks, it’s a trend solar installers, students, teachers, and citizens alike can expect to see much more of.

Why Should my School go Solar? 5 Smart Reasons

Solar panels for schools have many benefits. In addition to decreasing an institution’s carbon footprint, solar panels also generate a great deal of power. Here are a few of the most significant benefits of solar panels for schools:

1. Solar Panels Work Well on Most University Roofs

Most residential homes have pitched roofs, which can make adding solar panels difficult. Universities and schools, on the other hand, typically have flat, expansive roofs made of materials that are ideal for solar panel installation.

In addition to providing plenty of open, unshaded space for solar panels to work to their highest potential, these roofs are also unlikely to feature sensitive materials, like wood shingles, which can make solar installation more challenging. Since roof angle and material have a major impact on the effectiveness of solar arrays, this is excellent news for any college or university that wants to install panels.

2. Solar Power Will Reduce Operating Costs for the School

Electric prices have risen over the past ten years. Because they use a great deal of electricity, schools and universities have been some of the primary victims of these price hikes.

Fortunately, solar power is a free source of energy, found in abundance throughout the world, and advanced technology and skilled installers have made it even more accessible for institutions.

In fact, colleges and universities have access to some of the least expensive (in terms of cost-per-watt) systems available. As systems get larger, their cost per watt price falls. This means colleges and universities can enjoy affordable power without the guessing game of the grid.

3. Solar Power Could Help Boost Enrollment

Solar power is cutting-edge and attractive to eco-minded students, teachers, and supporters. As such, a college or university that installs a solar panel system could easily see an increase in enrollment.

This is especially true in competitive areas, where having solar panels on a building could be the factor that distinguishes one university from its competitors in the eyes of potential enrollees.

When modern students choose schools, many of them look for options that offer environmentally-conscious practices, renewable power, and eco-friendly facilities. As such, some colleges and universities have even established Sustainability Offices designed to drive the institution’s green initiatives forward.

When these things all come together at a single institution, it’s easy for that school to gain a reputation for innovativeness and creativity.  Not only do solar panels produce energy, but they also stand out as a unique social and cultural symbol.

4. Solar Power Provides Unlimited and Reliable Energy

For universities, schools, and residences alike, solar power systems offer a dependable source of unlimited energy. While fossil fuels are a finite source of energy, solar power is not. Designed to work on cloudy days, in part sun, and even in wintery environments, solar panels can generate a significant amount of power for universities and schools that install them.

5. Solar Arrays at Colleges Helps Drive Solar Power Forward

To invest in solar panels, people need to see them at work, first. Since universities are busy public places, campuses that install solar panels do the important work of driving the solar industry forward by providing greater exposure for solar arrays. This is especially true for universities that install large, campus-powering systems.

Unless people have the opportunity to see solar panels at work, they can feel relatively strange and alien. Luckily, students, faculty, and visitors who come into contact with solar panels on university campuses have the opportunity to learn how the arrays work. This helps familiarize people with the panels and, hopefully, inspire them to invest in solar energy on their own accords.

What About Solar Panels for School Grants?

When residential owners want to install solar panels on their homes, they’re eligible for grants from the federal government to help cover the cost. Luckily, the same is true for colleges and universities. Today, there are many different federal programs available to schools that want to install solar arrays.

For example, the Department of Energy introduced the SunShot Initiative in 2011, which supports research and development surrounding solar energy, and establishes projects designed to reduce the cost of obtaining it. In fact, the initiative’s primary goal has been to make the price of solar energy comparable to that of fossil fuel-based electricity by 2020.

Programs like these can go a long way toward offsetting the price of solar installation for schools and universities and making them that much more accessible for establishments that are interested in exploring them.

The Future of University Solar Installs Looks Bright

Today, colleges and universities have a great deal to gain when it comes to the installation of solar panels. Ideal for reducing energy bills and cutting costs associated with powering a school’s facilities, solar panels are an eco-friendly addition that can also have wide-reaching social and cultural impacts, and companies like Sandbar Solar are installing more and more of them.

When students see a university taking steps to go green and reduce their carbon footprint, it could easily impact the student’s attendance decision and result in higher enrollment numbers for the school.

What’s more, since tax rebates and credits are available for schools that want to install solar panels, it’s an affordable option that will pay off down the road.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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18 Eco-Friendly Home Projects to Complete in 2018


Do you have any home improvement projects on the radar in 2018? Why not make them eco-friendly? Eco-friendly or environmentally friendly are those products that claim reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment. Environmentally conscious updates to your living space can save you money and help preserve the environment.

With just couple of days left for new year to set in, let’s start this new year with some easy and eco-friendly projects that have minimum impact on the environment. Here are 18 eco-conscious home improvement ideas for 2018.

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1. Start Composting

Instead of tossing organic waste into the trash, start a compost pile in your backyard. The EPA estimates nearly 25 percent of the waste dumped into landfills each year could have been composted. Additionally, composting improves soil quality and decreases erosion.

Composting also helps deter pests in your garden. You’ll save cash on pesticide costs, increase your produce yield and grow healthier, more organic food for your family.

2. Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

Are you in the market for a new kitchen? Instead of trashing your old cabinetry and drawers, try re-purposing them and changing their layout. Refinishing old cabinetry and changing out fixtures, knobs and handles is an environmentally friendly way to get a new look without breaking the bank.

3. Upgrade Your Flooring

New flooring can brighten and completely change the look of a room. Make your new choice eco-conscious by choosing linoleum over vinyl. Vinyl flooring can emit VOCs over time, which can degrade indoor air quality and lead to respiratory illnesses. Choose linoleum flooring instead. Linoleum is nontoxic and won’t leach noxious gases.

4. Repaint Your Home With No- to Low-VOC Paint

A fresh coat of paint can make any room look cleaner and more open. While color is important, so is paint quality. Choose a paint brand that won’t emit VOCs, or at the very least, emits them in low concentrations. Standard paints often release toxic VOCs, similar to vinyl flooring. You’ll improve your indoor air quality and your health.

5. Switch to Geothermal Heating

Geothermal systems use the Earth’s stable ground temperature to maintain a comfortable climate in your home. A pump sends liquid 300 feet beneath the Earth’s surface and returns it to a geothermal heater, which then distributes the temperate liquid through the flooring in your home. In the hot summer months, heat is drawn from the air and deposited back into the Earth.

On average, geothermal systems use 80 percent less energy compared to traditional heating systems. Additionally, they don’t require fossil fuels to operate. It’ll take approximately 10 years before your geothermal investment pays off.

6. Purchase Used Furniture

Consignment shops, antique stores and garage sales often offer excellent deals on high-quality, gently used furniture. Purchasing preowned furniture limits the amount of waste that may make it into landfills and usually costs less than newer options.

7. Add Larger Windows

Are you looking for a more drastic change? Add larger windows to your home or change their layout. Optimizing the natural light that enters your home can help lower your energy bill by reducing heating and lighting costs. Larger windows will also help improve air circulation throughout the year, which can help improve indoor air quality.

8. Install Solar Panels

The cost of installing a solar energy system is on the decline, thanks to technological improvements and solar energy becoming a more mainstream option. Additionally, many state governments, in addition to the federal government, offer tax incentives for homeowners interested in converting to solar energy.

Before you make the jump, have an expert or industry professional analyze your home to determine whether it’s suitable for solar panels. Factors to consider include your local climate, the slope of your roof and tree cover.

9. Reinsulate Your Home

New insulation won’t change the overall look of your home, but it will change the overall feel. Insulation degrades over time, leading to gaps in coverage. Poor insulation will allow air to escape from your home and can dramatically increase your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

Some insulation can last up to 100 years, but leaking roofs, punctures, animals and other factors can drastically reduce this timeline. Review your home’s history and energy bills to determine if your home can benefit from new insulation.

10. Perform an Energy Audit

Hire an energy professional to perform an energy audit in your home to determine where you can make the most impact. Energy auditors review your home to see where you may be losing energy and provide recommendations on where to make the most impact. Energy auditors can help homeowners can save anywhere from 5 to 30 percent on their energy bill.

11. Invest in Energy Star Appliances

Appliances account for up to 30 percent of home energy usage. Switching the appliances in your home to those with the Energy Star label can save you money on your energy bill and help preserve the environment.

The government backs Energy Star appliances and guarantees they will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and operate more efficiently compared to non-Energy Star competitors. When shopping for replacements, check to see whether an appliance has the government-certified Energy Star label.

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12. Do a Little Spring Cleaning

Set aside time to dig through the attic, your closet and the other areas in your home where you’ve been storing unused or unwanted items. Instead of throwing things directly into the trash, donate them to a local thrift store or hold a garage sale to earn some extra cash. Repurposing unwanted items helps keep them out of landfills.

13. Greenify Your Living Space

Houseplants can help improve indoor air quality by reducing carbon dioxide and absorbing airborne toxins, including benzene and formaldehyde. Not all plants are created equal, however. Spider plants, snake plants and rubber trees are among some of the easiest plants to grow with the best indoor air quality benefits.

14. Switch to Energy-Efficient Windows

Poorly sealed or aging windows can decrease your energy efficiency dramatically. Consider investing in a more energy-efficient option to improve your home’s overall comfort and reduce your energy costs.

If new windows aren’t in your budget, try repairing or updating your existing ones. Improving the caulking around window seals, installing storm windows and adding treatments can also help reduce your overall energy consumption.

15. Install a Low-Flow Toilet

Low-flow toilets use 25 to 50 percent of the water used by conventional toilets per flush. Over one year, the average family of four can save up to 22,000 gallons of water, which translates to nearly $100 in savings on your annual water bill.

A variety of options exist depending on your budget and the type of toilet you’re looking for. Some systems recycle greywater from your sink, leading to further water conservation and even lower water bills.

16. Update Your Landscaping

Adding native plants to your yard can provide additional habitat for local wildlife and reduce your water bill. Local plants are better suited to your environment and won’t require the same amount of water or fertilizer to flourish.

Excess fertilizers can wash off plants and soil in heavy rain events and into local waterbodies. The excess chemicals are harmful to marine life and can lead to an overabundance of algae and other plants, which reduces oxygen levels in the water.

17. Invest in Rain Barrels

Rain barrels capture excess stormwater from your rooftop for future use. They are relatively inexpensive to install and provide a free source of water for use on your lawn or garden.

Additionally, rain barrels prevent excess rainwater from contributing to stormwater runoff. Water flows faster over hard surfaces and can lead to more instances of flooding.

18. Install a Rain Garden

Properly installed rain gardens act as small wetlands. They reduce excess stormwater runoff while the plants neutralize pollutants in the water. When stormwater runoff flows over hard surfaces, it picks up pollutants from oil and gas spills and fertilizers. Rain gardens prevent these contaminants from making their way into water bodies.

With a little effort, you can reduce your family’s carbon footprint and make your 2018 a little bit greener.

Image credit: pexels

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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New York Takes a Leap on Renewable Energy Sources


New York is taking a leap to divest from fossil fuels. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo together with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released separate proposals to divest the pension funds of the state and the city from fossil fuel companies such as oil, gas, and coal.

The state is planning to divest almost $400 billion from the industry with the goal of de-carbonizing pension funds. It’s a huge yet risky move for New York since the state’s Common Fun is the third largest in the United States.

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Different environmentalists and environmental organizations are celebrating this major progress in the global movement for the divestment of fossil fuels. After five years of powerful advocacy from many environmentalists and climate activities, the state and the city have already moved to involve themselves in such proposal.

It is worth noting that these proposals are not just mere assumptions. A study from the Carbon Tracker Initiative states that the Earth can only burn 800 more gigatons of carbon equivalent in order for the Earth to linger under its two-degree Celsius limit.

Another study by the Oil Change International shows that the world would burn around 982 gigatons of carbon equivalent should everyone burn all fossil fuel resources. From both of these studies, one thing remains for sure: the burning of fossil fuels must be stopped as soon as possible if we want to stay under the two-degree Celsius limit.

In a statement, Governor Cuomo said that New York has already made immense strides in securing a clean and renewable energy for the state. With their nation-leading clean energy standard including the development of offshore wind energy and the aggressive investment in the clean technology economy, he continued, moving the Common Fund away from investments on fossil fuel industries will help protect the retirement saving of the people of New York.

Governor Cuomo further mentioned that he was already working with New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in studying how the $200 billion Common Fund can stop important investment in fossil fuels so that they can further reinvest in renewable sources of energy and a low-carbon economy.

It is worth noting that the pension fund of New York holds shares in more than 50 oil and gas companies. The ExxonMobil alone has been invested with nearly $1 billion. Divesting from various pollution entities like these fossil fuel industries can help achieve the clean energy goals of New York.

Governor Cuomo has cited several examples in recent times where divestment from fossil fuels was being planned out. Norway has intentions of divesting its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund in gas and oil holdings. Moreover, the World Bank announces that it will stop financing oil and gas exploration after the year 2019. These are huge steps, but they could really be useful in the long run should we want to reduce our carbon footprints.

Meanwhile, Comptroller Singer mentioned that the city of New York is planning to examine ways on how to de-carbonize its portfolio also. He further said that this examination includes divesting current holdings in fossil fuel companies, the feasibility of ceasing additional investment in fossil fuels, and increasing the investments in clean and renewable energy.

Bill McKibben, one of those who has helped launch the divest movement, said that New York has finally taken a huge step towards divesting from fossil fuels. This has been a product of great activism. Moreover, this movement will resonate loud and evident all over the world because such proposal came from the capital of world finance: New York.

It is worth noting that more than 800 institutions represent more than $5.2 trillion in assets have already committed themselves to divest. As a matter of fact, other institutions have already cut their ties with fossil fuel companies. These include Columbia University, American Museum of Natural History, and Barnard College.

Rachel Rivera also praised the governor and the comptroller for their plans. The New York Communities for Change member congratulated the lawmakers for making New York the leading state in the country to fight against climate change. She stated that investing public funds in sources of climate destruction such as fossil fuels does not only bankrupt the state morally, but it is also a bad finance.

Neither of the proposals has given an end date for the proposed 100 percent divestment. Stringer mentioned that his office will still be bringing his plan to the New York City pension fund trustees for the coming weeks for deliberation. Cuomo, on the other hand, said that he would partner with New York State Comptroller Tom Dinapoli to establish an advisory committee to create and design a de-carbonization roadmap.

Either way, it is worth noting that these two proposals will have a significant impact on New York and to the rest of the world.

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him. Follow him on Facebook here.

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Ways to Reduce Your Holiday Carbon Footprint [Infographic]


The holiday season is a time for eating delicious food, visiting with loved ones, and exchanging gifts. It is also a time of excess that can take a toll on the health of our planet.

One night’s feast turns into the next day’s trash. Decorations that bring joy for a month can end up decomposing in a landfill for years. According to the EPA, household waste in the United States increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, totaling about 1 million extra tons of waste. The holiday season is also responsible for much of the 28 billion pounds of edible food discarded every year. In fact, Americans waste 33 percent more food during the winter holidays than any other part of the year.

This waste creates a number of problems for human and environmental health, including air and water pollution. Landfills produce harmful gases, including methane, that contribute to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere. As the world’s population grows, so does the amount of discarded goods.

Though climate change can seem like an overwhelming problem to address, the actions of individuals make an impact. Adopting healthier habits is hard enough during your regular schedule. So how do you practice sustainability amidst the additional travel, events, shopping and food?

[email protected], the online MPH program offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, recently published a graphic with “11 Ways to Reduce your Holiday Carbon Footprint.” Some of these suggestions, including eating less red meat, reducing food waste, and shopping locally are strategies that can be used year round. This list is just a starting point. Be creative with your sustainable choices and choose the ones that work for you.

Environmental guilt doesn’t have to be the cause for you to miss out on seasonal celebrations. There are a number of ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, even while you’re caught up in the holiday hubbub.

11-Ways-to-Reduce-your-Holiday-Carbon-Footprint

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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Types, Importance and Examples of Ecology?


Ecology is a branch of biology concerned with understanding how organisms relate with each other and their environment. This branch of biology mainly deals with the relationships between the organisms, their relationships among each other, their relationships towards the shared resources, their relationships with the space they share, and even their relationships with the non-living aspects in the environment.

In understanding the given relationship, ecology encompasses aspects such as population growth, competition, symbiotic ecologic relationships (mutualism), trophic relations (energy transfer from one section of the food chain to the next), biodiversity, migration and physical environment interactions. Because ecology includes all the living organisms on earth and their physical as well as chemical surroundings, it is divided into several categories which bring about different types of ecology as discussed below:

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Types of Ecology

1. Microbial Ecology

Microbial ecology looks at the smallest fundamental levels of life, that is, the cellular level. It involves mainly the first two life kingdoms which are; Kingdom Monera and Kingdom Protista. Here, the connections are made between microbes and their relationships with each other and their environments.

Microbial ecology is particularly important in the analysis of evolutionary connections and events leading to existence (known as phylogeny). These connections help us understand the relationships shared among organisms. It is particularly interested in DNA and RNA structures as they carry most of the information passed along from organisms to their progeny, providing the data ecologists need.

2. Organism/Behavioural Ecology

This is the study of the organism at its fundamental levels and can encompass microbial ecology. In this type of ecology, the main goal is to understand the organism’s behaviours, adaptations for such behaviours, reason for those behaviours as explained through the lens of evolution, and the way all these aspects mesh together.

In this case, the main concern is the individual organism and all its different nuances, especially in trying to understand how it all ties together to enhance the survival of the organism or any beneficial adaptations.

3. Population Ecology

Population ecology is the next rank on the ecological ladder. Population ecology focuses on the population, defined as a group of organisms of the same species living in the same area at the same time. Here, attention is given to things such as population size, its density, the structure of the population, migration patterns, and the interaction between organisms of the same population.

It tries to explain the different changes in each of the dynamics of the population such as why numbers would increase and whether this affects any other aspects of the population such as its density.

4. Community Ecology

Community ecology takes a look at the community, defined as all the populations that live in a given area. This includes all the different species populations. The focus here is usually on the interactions between the different species and how their numbers and sizes all mesh together and how change in one population change the dynamic of the whole community.

The animal populations here are exposed to more complex interactions given their increased species numbers which give rise to dynamics such as trophic relationships (who eats who), space dynamics, migration patterns and the most important ecological driving force when it comes to inter/intra species interaction.

5. Ecosystem Ecology

Ecosystem ecology makes a unique contribution to understanding ecology by adding abiotic (non-living) factors to the items analysed, alongside the biotic (living) factors involved. This interaction therefore involves all aspects of the environment and how they interact.

It includes understanding how things like climate and soil composition affect the behaviours and interactions of populations from different species. It also includes a wide range of factors to better understand the whole aspect of interaction between the living things and their environments/habitats.

6. Global Ecology (Biosphere)

The global ecology is principally important in understanding all the ecosystems affecting the entire globe. This includes all the different biomes, with considerations of aspects such as climate and other environmental geography.

It means, global ecology takes into account the whole world’s biosphere while considering all living organisms from the microscopic to higher lifeforms, the environments they leave in, the interactions that they have with each other, the influences that their environments have on these interactions and vice versa, and finally, how they are all interconnected under the common ground that they all share a single planet – the Earth.

Importance of Ecology

The study of ecology is important in ensuring people understand the impact of their actions on the life of the planet as well as on each other. Here are the reasons why ecology is important:

1. It helps in environmental conservation

Ecology allows us to understand the effects our actions have on our environment. With this information, it helps guide conservation efforts by first showing the primary means by which the problems we experience within our environment begin and by following this identification process, it shows us where our efforts would have the biggest effect.

Ecology also shows individuals the extent of the damage we cause to the environment and provides predictive models on how bad the damage can get. These indicators instil a sense of urgency among the population, pushing people to actively take part in conservation efforts and ensure the longevity of the planet.

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2. Ensures proper resource allocation

Ecology equally allows us to see the purpose of each organism in the web of connectivity that makes up the ecosystem. With this knowledge, we are able to ascertain which resources are essential for the survival of the different organisms. This is very fundamental when it comes to assessing the needs of human beings who have the biggest effect on the ecosystem.

An example is human dependency on fossil fuels that has led to the increase of carbon footprint in the ecosystem. It is ecology that allows humans to see these problems which then calls for the need to make informed decisions on how to adjust our resource demands to ensure that we do not burden the environment with demands that are unsustainable.

3. Enhances energy conservation

Energy conservation and ecology is connected in that, it aids in understanding the demands different energy sources have on the environment. Consequently, it is good for decision making in terms of deciding resources for use as well as how to efficiently convert them into energy.

Without proper understanding of energy facts through ecology, humans can be wasteful in their use of allotted resources such as indiscriminate burning of fuels or the excessive cutting down of trees. Staying informed about the ecological costs allows people to be more frugal with their energy demands and adopt practices that promote conservation such as switching of lights during the day and investing in renewable energy.

4. Promotes eco-friendliness

With all the information and research obtained from ecology, it ultimately promotes eco-friendliness. It makes people aware of their environment and encourages the adoption of a lifestyle that protects the ecology of life owing to the understanding they have about it.

This means that in the long-term, people tend to live less selfishly and make strides towards protecting the interest of all living things with the realization that survival and quality life depends on environment sustainability. Hence, it fosters a harmonious lifestyle and assures longevity for all organisms.

5. Aids in disease and pest control

A great number of diseases are spread by vectors. The study of ecology offers the world novel ways of understanding how pests and vectors behave thereby equipping humans with knowledge and techniques on how to manage pests and diseases.

For example, malaria which is one of the leading killer diseases is spread by the female Anopheles mosquito. In a bid to control malaria, humans must first understand how the insect interacts with its environment in terms of competition, sex, and breeding preferences. The same applies to other diseases and pests. By understanding the life cycles and preferred methods of propagation of different organisms in the ecosystem, it has created impressive ways to device controls measures.

Examples of Ecology

Examples of ecology are simply aspects that seek to study how the various types of ecology come about. For instance, the study of humans and their relationship with the environment gives us human ecology. Alternatively, studying a food chain in a wetland area gives wetland ecology while the study of how termites or other small organisms interact with their habitat brings about niche construction ecology. Here are two basic examples to elaborate examples of ecology in details.

1. Human ecology

This aspect of ecology looks at the relationship between humans and the ecosystem as a whole. It is centred on human beings, studying their behaviour and hypothesises the evolutionary reasons why we might have taken up some traits.

Emphasis is placed on this due to the impact human beings have on the environment and it also gives us knowledge about the shortcomings of the entire human population and how to better ourselves for our own sake and that of the environment.

2. Niche construction

Niche construction is an example of ecology dealing with the study of how organisms are able to alter their environment for their benefit and also for the benefit of other living things. It is of particular interest to ecologists who desire to understand how some organisms overcome the challenges presented to them.

A prime example is how termites are well organized and equipped to erect mound that stand over 6 feet tall while at the same time protecting and feeding their entire population. In going about their niche, ants also recycle nutrients for plants. This presents a good example of ecology because it is all about evolution and other several aspects regarding population, community and ecosystem ecology.

Image credit: pixabay , pexels

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.

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