30+ Impressive Ways to Reduce Trash in Your Home


There are a lot of items in our homes that are unnecessary and in most cases, regarded as trash. Instead of having them pile up and then imagine of how hectic it is to clean it up, there are easier ways you can implement to reduce the present trash as well as items that are later turned into trash. Besides, having trash at home reduces the quality of life.

For this reason, it is fundamental to engage in appropriate ways of reducing trash to ensure proper sanitation as well as orderliness at home. If you are having problems managing trash at your home, this article gives you a guide on more than 30 impressive ways to reduce trash in your home.

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1. Start recycling plans for items in the house. Items such as plastic bottles and cans can be recycled for other uses such as storages. You can sing up with recycling agencies or trash collectors since most of them are recyclable. You’ll also be helping to better the environment.

2. Possess a fiber or cotton bag for groceries. It is a common feat that groceries acquired from the supermarkets as well as the stores will be packaged in plastic bags that are only used once, after which, they are regarded as trash. To avoid such an instance, it is of essence to acquire a reusable cotton or synthetic fiber bag that you carry with you when heading out for some groceries.

3. Obtain only what is needed for food. It is a shocking fact that there is a lot of food waste and it’s even worse in the U.S. If there is proper accounting for the food purchased, it is easy to avoid food wastage.

4. Proper outdoor composting. There is a lot of trash generated by most households in form of food. Through the use of outdoor compost such that the excess of food (food wastes) are thrown there, it can reduce the amount of trash at your home. The resultant compost manure can then be used to provide nutrients for crops in your home garden.

5. Repair rather than discard broken appliances and electronics. The space occupied by broken appliances in our homes can be astonishing. The fact that they are unused means they are trash waiting for disposal. Instead of having them disposed, they can be repaired and put back into proper use. Moreover, the disposal of such instruments leads to an increase in landfill waste.

6. Reduce mail by canceling subscription of unnecessary mail. Most of the times, we tend to have lots of paper in the name of mails, some of which are not necessary. It simply adds to the paper waste that will be trashed. You can have the bank statements and utility bills sent to you online instead of paper mail.

7. Use permanent plates and cutlery. There is a tendency of people to acquire paper plates to avoid the washing of utensils. It is worth noting that the pollution caused by the paper plates is alarming. People should thus use plates that can be cleaned after use for reuse.

8. Have in your possession a reusable water bottle. Plastic water bottles form a large part of the trash both at home, outside and in our offices. It is necessary to minimize this and the best way to do it is by acquiring a reusable water bottle. Reusable water bottles are portable and easy to refill.

9. Go paperless in the kitchen. It may seem like a small initiative but it will considerably aid in reducing the overall paper trash in your home.

10. Take your own reusable bags when doing shopping. There are a lot of plastic bags that come with shopping, be it at a boutique or the local shop. It is therefore rewarding to have a reusable bag when heading out for shopping.

11. Use homemade cosmetics. By making cosmetics at home, it reduces the trash that would have resulted namely the plastic bottles and packaging if the cosmetics were purchased. Plus, it reduces the budget costs. Cosmetics such as shampoos and cleaning items can easily be made at home with environmentally friendly products.

12. Visit the fresh farm market for groceries. Produce obtained from farmers market is fresh and is free of any packaging. With your shopping bag, you are able to obtain the best produce with minimal packaging and thus, promoting the reduction of trash at home.

13. Ditch processed and packaged foods. It may not be an easy feat but it is a worthy one. Preparing your own food gets rid of the excesses of plastic, paper and board packages that end up trashing your homes.

14. Use cloth diapers. There is an extra coin that is saved from using cloth diapers rather than the disposal diapers. In addition, cloth diapers are reusable.

15. Buy e-books instead of paper books. The evolution of the internet has made life very easy. It is now very easy and fast to download an e-book as well as read online. This is very efficient in trash reduction since there is no chance of paper waste.

16. Use old clothes as cleaning rags. With this strategy, old clothes are put into used as opposed to disposing them as trash. Furthermore, it saves on the purchase of paper towels as well reducing the number of trees cut down to manufacture paper. Also, rags obtained from clothes last much longer than brushes or paper towels.

17. Ensure you own a handkerchief. There are many uses for a handkerchief. It can be used to dry tears, blowing your nose or even wrapping up a snack. For this reason, it saves on paper napkins which are only used once after which, regarded as trash. Handkerchiefs only need cleaning for reuse.

18. Always use reusable cloth napkins. Cloth napkins are easy to come by and are equally easy to make. They have a myriad of uses and can be washed and put to use again.

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19. Obtain and use a non-disposable shaving razor. The use of plastic disposable razors contributes to lots of trash in our homes. The use of a permanent non disposable one will significantly reduce trash in your home.

20. Use rechargeable batteries. The use of rechargeable batteries means reduced disposal of non-rechargeable batteries and it is also economical.

21. Buy detergents and soap in concentrated forms. Detergents in concentrated forms last longer which means you’ll reduce trash in your home if you purchase them as opposed to the conventional ones.

22. Give away old clothes to charities. There are a lot of clothes that are not worn and just occupy space in the house. Because it is impossible to turn old clothes into rags, you can give some to charities to reduce trash in your home.

23. Ladies should have a menstrual cup in their possession. The use of tampons may lead to an increase in trash at home. In a bid to avoid this, the ladies can own a menstrual cup that will go a long way in helping them. It is advantageous as it can be washed and used again and again. Moreover, it is a onetime purchase thus cheaper than monthly purchase of tampons.

24. Refill printer ink cartridges. It prevents purchase of new ones and saves on cost.

25. Buy items in bulk. Purchase of goods in small quantities leads to a higher chance of waste generation. Numerous items in small quantities translate to more disposals of wrappings. Again, once goods are bought in bulk, you can use containers or mason jars to store the items in smaller quantities.

26. Clear things not needed at home. There are a lot of items that we have at homes that only add to the trash but are of no value. Such items should be donated or auctioned.

27. Stop buying CDs and DVDs. There is always need for entertainment. Regardless, the buying of movies and music in CDs and DVDs eventually adds trash in our homes after their usage. Instead, you can opt for downloading or streaming the music/movie online.

28. Borrow instead of buying. There are many items we only need or use for a short time at home. Instead of purchasing these items, we should borrow them, use them for the intended purpose, and then return them. Buying such items will only warrant trashing as they are rarely needed.

29. Have storage containers or mason jars. There are a lot of uses for storage containers or mason jars. For instance, they can be used for storage in fridges thereby discarding the use of plastic containers that often end up as trash.

30. Buy used items whenever possible, particularly for children stuff. There are lots of things we purchase for children that turn out to be trash. Examples include toys, books and clothes. If you buy used and in small quantities, you will certainly reduce trash in your home.

31. Only shop a few times in a year. This initiative will help you reduce compulsive buying – a move that leads to a lot of trashing with things such as clothes you never get to wear or items you’ll rarely use.

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)

6 Positive Facts About The Global Car Recycling Industry


Advances in the waste management sector – especially in car recycling – don’t get a lot of attention in the mainstream media, which means that lots of people often don’t realize quite how quickly it’s advancing. In particular, vehicle recycling laws and practices in the US, Canada and Europe are all contributing to an ever more sustainable global economy, and we’ve come a long way in just the last few years. To demonstrate, here are six of the most positive facts about the modern car recycling industry!

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The annual amount of hazardous fluids and oils safely reclaimed from recycled vehicles is equal to 8 Exxon Valdez disasters

The Exxon Valdez incident occurred in 1989, when an Exxon-owned oil tanker ran aground in Alaska and spilled over 10 million gallons of crude oil into the water. At the time, that sort of pollution was unheard of, making it one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters in history.

These days there’s a flipside – thanks to advances in the car recycling sector, at least eight times that amount of hazardous liquid is saved from going to landfill every single year. When you consider the scale involved, that’s quite an achievement!

Every year, 27 million cars are recycled across the globe

With those sorts of numbers, it’s easy to see why cars are officially the most recycled product in the world. Most first-world nations are forever evolving their car recycling infrastructure and capabilities, and in the last few months more and more developing nations are working on the issue, too.

This time last year, India announced its intention to remove millions of old cars from its streets, which are collectively responsible for intensive pollution. Many of these cars are only barely in working condition, and virtually none of them meet the environmental standards required of modern cars. India’s plan is to make the original manufacturers responsible for recycling them, which the government hopes will have the extra bonus of allowing for greater regulation and oversight within the country’s car recycling industry.

Millions of tonnes of material is saved by recycling cars every year – and dizzying amounts of energy, too!

When it comes to materials rescued from ELV (end-of-life) vehicles, metal is obviously always going to be the biggest group. Even knowing that, the numbers might surprise you. 14 million tonnes of steel is recycled annually from ELV cars. To put that into perspective, that’s enough to make roughly 2000 Eiffel Towers!

Zinc is another metal that’s heavily used in the construction of cars, mainly for plating protecting the bonnet, the fuel systems or the chassis. It’s chief advantage is that it’s highly resistant to corrosive materials like salt, which means it comes in useful every time salt is sprayed on roads to combat slippery surfaces in freezing conditions. Every year, 2.9 million tonnes of zinc is recovered from scrap vehicles, and 1.5 million of that becomes new scrap or residues.

And the bonuses don’t stop there – there are also massive energy savings, too. Annually, the steel industry is estimated to save enough energy to power about 18 million households for a year. Meanwhile, production for recycled zinc uses 76% less energy than processing virgin material. All in all, that means everyone on the planet gets to collectively enjoy the benefits just recycled material, while the energy savings take off just a bit of environmental pressure, too.

In Europe, 95% of each car is recycled by weight

Here’s something you may not have known: it’s not just the zinc plating, or the steel of the body – almost your entire car is recyclable. In fact, many new cars being manufactured today are estimated to contain around 25% scrap metal! In addition to the metal, windshields, batteries, upholstery and tyres are all other types of car parts that can be easily recycled.

This is largely thanks to the European Union, which is always looking for new ways to help its member nations establish and maintain circular economies. In recent years, its latest legislation has set continuously more ambitious recycling targets for its members to achieve. And speaking of which…

Britain has just exceeded its end-of-life vehicle recycling target from the European Union

Each set of statistics takes about two years to be compiled by the EU, and according to a recently published report, the UK’s 2015 performance in the car recycling sector rose from 90.7% to a record-breaking 96.9% – higher than figures recorded by Germany, France, Norway and Sweden.

This brings the UK well in line with the EU target of 95% we mentioned above, and the country has had two more years since then to build on that improvement. It sets an encouraging precedent for other nations – so let’s see what the stats say in 2020!

Car recycling creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, helping the global economy

These days, solid waste management uses a considerable amount of automated systems to process waste. Recycling, on the other hand, is more labor intensive, as it often requires keen eyes and human judgement (for example, by hand-picking potentially useful waste from a conveyor belt to sort it for re-use).  A report line from the Green Alliance examined the potential for the recycling sector to create 200,000 jobs in the next few years in Britain alone.

Some companies are already leading the way in this regard, most notably a top UK charity called Recycling Lives, based in the North West of England. Alongside its very own residential charity, Recycling Lives also owns and manages several commercial waste management schemes, including Scrap Car Network. The residential charity is closely supported and sustained by these commercial schemes, as they provide valuable work placements, training and often eventual employment for vulnerable people looking to put their lives together.

At the current rate of progress, the future of the car recycling industry still looks impressively optimistic, especially with more countries than ever looking to improve their rate of vehicle recycling. With any luck, we can hope for more of the same from other sectors of the overall recycling industry in years to come!

Image credit: Michael

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)

White House Has Made Plans to Decrease Renewable Energy Programs By 72%, Report says


It is necessary to note that the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, stated on Tuesday that his government has ended the unreal “battle on clean coal”. The president has also made it known that he wants to make fossil fuel the main trend of the world.

However, the American government have set out plans to instruct the Congress to decrease the Department of Energy’s renewable energy and other agendas that are associated with efficient energy by 72% in 2019, this was stated by a draft budget that was revealed by Washington Post.

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The draft document says that the White House will also ask the congress to stop the weatherization program which has trained lots of people and has helped alleviate bills on different house owners across the country. Also, the budget proposal will obliterate state energy grants and eliminate the study of fuel efficient vehicles.

Furthermore, it is also necessary to note that the level of recent expenditures of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is about $2.04 billion but Trump’s administration is ready to decrease this amount by $575.5 million in 2019, this was also reported by the Post.

In 2018, it was known that Trump wanted $636.1 million to be spent on EERE department, but it was later rejected by the Congress; this was due to the fact that they were in support for an increase in the amount stated by Trump.

The draft budget by the American government decreed a number of cuts and they are aimed to decrease the growth of renewable energy across the country.  Moreover, the draft document stated the reduction of 680 staff in passed budget in 2017 to 450 in 2019. One of the EERE said that, “it is evident that we have made no success in trying to convince the recent government of our value, and if anything, this has also indicated that our value has dropped”

In a statement in response to the Post, the American government said it would not say anything “on any seeped or pre-decisional draft prior to the release of the official document”

We all know that the need for the environment to sustain renewable energy is very important and this is what the EERE supports. The office of the EERE has always been devoted to support the growth of ecological transportation, renewable power, efficient homes and structures across the world and not just the United States alone. It is also vital to know that the EERE program called “SunShot” has drastically decreased the total costs of solar energy in the United States and its environs.

Much of the findings of the EERE is mostly deployed on research and most times at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Co. Also, much of the laboratory’s $293 million budget in 2017 came from the EERE. Sadly, the cut of the budget would be so drastic.

Additionally, the draft has also called for the decrease in the research of fuel efficient vehicles by 82%. This also means that the document has made plans to cut the budget for the production of electric cars from $307 million (which is largest program right now) to $56 million in 2019.

Funds made specifically for bioenergy technologies have been channeled to study renewable fuels from sources which are not from food. Also, this plan will decrease the amount of funds being spent on more efficient building technologies and research into geothermal, hydro, and wind power.

The EERE programs on renewable energy takes about 7% of the Department’s overall budget, majority of the budget is channeled to maintain the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile and take care of different areas that have been adulterated by the country’s nuclear activities.

Trump’s decree on the cuts comes at the same time when he made the decision to enact tariffs on important solar panels and other equipment that are correlated to it. In addition to this, most people have stated that this move will not only suppress the present solar growth, but it will also have bad effect on one of the increasing job sectors of the economy and decrease clean energy innovations.

Although, it is more likely that the draft document might change before the government’s budget is due this month, but as it stands now, the Post has made it clear that the White House will set a preliminary point for certain negotiation to take place; it will also give a statement of resolved and other policy urgencies.

However, the cut under the leadership of President Donald Trump has shown to the world that it is uninterested in fostering renewable energy and producing environmental friendly products. The cut will also lower the funding of research and findings when it comes to knowing more on alternative energy sources like wind, and hydrothermal power. Nevertheless, Trump’s budget will be disclosed later this month, of which everyone is anticipating to see.

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)

18 Smart and Easy Ways to Reuse Wastewater in 2018


Domestic water consumption makes up 8% of total global water use according to UN-Water 2010. It therefore means that our homes alone generate about 8% of the total global water used. As much as it has been advocated for people to cut back on water use and minimizing wastage to conserve water, it is even more rewarding to collect and reuse waste water as it ultimately saves water even more.

Waste water recycling is one of the most sensible and winning options for promoting water sufficiency and it can range from simple home methods to sophisticated industrial wastewater filtration systems. Reuse of different types of waste water is hence a way to optimize water use at home. It can either be reused directly or treated and reused as discussed in this article. Here are 18 Smart and Easy Ways to Reuse Wastewater in 2018.

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1. Agricultural waste water reuse

Waste water can be used for agricultural purposes such as watering landscape gardens and lawns. It can equally be used to irrigate vegetable and fruit nurseries or flower and fence bushes. As much as irrigation increases crop yield, it should be used according to the WHO (1989) guidelines for the safe use of wastewater in agriculture by monitoring the water contaminant levels of waste water.

If not monitored, humans and animals may end up consuming contaminants from the crops which is not good for health. Also through the monitoring program, it is possible to prevent excessive soil-nutrient runoff and salinity from irrigation by the use of salty water, which inhibits plant growth. Subsurface irrigation systems are designed to spread water evenly around the garden and as such, are recommended for irrigating with untreated water.

2. Redirecting drain water (Grey wastewater systems)

Grey water refers to wastewater from non-toilet plumbing fixtures such as showers, basins and taps from domestic household use. It is slightly used and is not in contact with feces but can contain some elements of household cleaning products, grease, hair, food or dirt. The reuse method involves diverting waste water from the drainage sinks and washing machines then directing it into a grey water collection system.

Showers and sink only require a simple grey water collection system as opposed to trapping used water from washing machines. With the installation of the system, the grey water can be used outdoors for cleaning the veranda and the driveway, watering grass, or even washing the car and doormats.

3. Recycling dirty aquarium water

The water in the fish tanks must be routinely changed to get rid of excess toxic materials and waste dissolved in water that could harm the fish if left to accumulate. When refilling aquarium water, instead of disposing of the dirty water, one can use it for agricultural reuse like watering potted plants, vegetable nurseries or lawn gardens.

As a matter of fact, the water is very good for plants because it contains materials such as nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and ammonium and other microorganisms found in soil sediments, which can act as natural fertilizer. In doing so, however, it is advisable not to water plants with used water from salt water aquariums as it can harm the plants due to high salt content.

4. Collect shower water

Collection of shower water is the easiest and simplest way to reuse water at home. Water from the shower can be reused after a bath by plugging the drain and letting the bath fill up. It can then be manually collected from the bathtub using a bucket. Alternatively, one can stand in a basin or bucket when taking a shower to collect the water. After bath, the collected water can be reused for watering outdoor flowers and lawns.

5. Trap rain water

Collecting rain water is equally part of water reuse that many people do not recognize. The installation of gutters for diverting rain water to where it can be stored does the work. After collection, the water can be used in the garden to water plants, for laundry and many other purposes as rain water is considerably clean and safe compared to other types of used water such as grey water.

6. The use of coarse filtration

Coarse filtration of used water can be done to improve its reuse purposes. It entails the removal of large particles in the used water such as grease, hair, plastic dirt and food just to mention a few. With coarse filtration, the grey water from the house is collectively then directed into the filtration system where the coarse particles are removed. Once removed, the outflow can be connected to an irrigation system for use in watering plants and other purposes such as washing the car and outdoor cleaning.

7. Fine filtration of water for reuse

Just like coarse filtration, fine filtration can as well be used to make waste water more useful. The difference is that fine filtration is majorly used to remove microbes from water. If properly filtered, the water is fit for human consumption and cooking. There is a basic structure recommended for a fine filtration system and once it is set up, the grey water can be filtered then directed to a collection point where it can be used for various purposes.

8. Reuse of water from laundry

Waste water from laundry cleaning can be directed for outdoor use. It can be collected from washing machines by removing the discharge hose from the house drain and connecting it to a longer run off hose that can reach the yard which will enable the collection and use of waste water every time laundry is done.

During laundry the pipe can be moved to different points in the yard to avoid erosion and ensure the lawns are watered evenly. The laundry water can also be used for cleaning the pavements and the driveway.

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9. Save pasta water

One of the most nutrient rich kitchen water is that used to boil vegetables and pasta. It can therefore serve a very good purpose in watering plants. Vegetable and pasta water can be collected in pots and after it has cooled down, it can be used to water the garden.

10. Catch warm-up shower water

This is water that runs from the shower as you wait for it to get to the perfect temperature before starting to take a shower. Instead of letting the water to be wasted down the drain, one can capture this warm up water by simply placing a basin or large bowl under the faucet when the shower is turned on then simply moving it out of the way when the water gets to the preferred temperature for bathing. The water can be used directly around the household because it is very clean or can be used outdoors to water garden plants.

11. Reuse unwanted ice

Instead of dumping ice from over stayed ice trays from the freezers or ice coolers in the drain, spread it on the garden grass or around plants and let the ice melt into liquid.

12. Reuse unused drinking water

Drinking water stored for a long period of time has a stale taste, is murky, and also has a great probability of being contaminated by bacteria. Instead of disposing it by pouring it out, you can use it for washing utensils and other household chores as it is not that dirty. Stale pet water can also be used on potted plants.

13. Employ the use of rain barrels

In most cases, rain from the roofs of our houses is just left to run off into the sewer systems. In a bid to save this water from going to waste, rain barrels can be used to collect the water by placing them under the gutter’s downspout. The water can then be used for various purposes such as laundry, watering plants and general cleaning in the house.

14. Install sink-to-toilet system

A sink-to-toilet system is one that has an adjustable sink toilet top attached to the toilet’s refill cycle. The system works by filtering sink drainage after which it stores it in a reservoir, which is used to flush the toilet. Particularly, it redirects water from the pipe to a valve which then drains the water into the toilet bowl.

15. Collect the overflow from watering plants

Every time when potted plants are watered, there is always water overflow or water running out of the drainage holes of the pots that goes to waste. Instead of letting this water flow away, it can be collected then by placing the plants in deep trays and used to water other smaller plants or the grass.

16. Save water used to wash fruits and vegetables

The water used to wash fruits and veggies can be collected then used for watering potted plants and gardens. The rinse water for utensils can also be saved and used to water houseplants or for other cleaning purposes in the house such as floors, toilets and sinks.

17. Build a rain garden

Rain gardens can be built effortlessly as it does not require any superior skills. It is just a matter of putting up rain gutters that directs rain water to the garden. Several holes at strategic points can be punched under the pipes to simulate overhead irrigation. Alternatively, the gutters can be used to direct the water and run it through plants from hanging baskets after which it flows to other plants in the lower parts. With this easy method, less water is needed for watering the garden.

18. Reuse the water used for washing your car

When washing the car, it can be done in such a way that the water drains into the lawn instead of it being directed down the drain. Soap water cannot harm the grass. So, by moving the car very close to the lawn before washing it is an impressive technique of saving the clean water that would have been used to water the grass.

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.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

35 Amazing Facts About Overpopulation


The earth has a specific carrying capacity that once exceeded, can lead to fewer resources for the globe’s population. If this happens, it equates to overpopulation. Each environment has a limited number of resources that need to be managed carefully for humanity to live comfortably on this earth. However, man has stretched the limit of the environment such that most of the resources are being depleted and overused.

This is caused by the fact that the growth of the population is not proportional to the growth or utilization of the available resources. Over the years, there has been a rapid growth of the population and this article seeks to highlight some of the amazing facts about overpopulation.

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Fact 1. Currently, there are over 7.6 billion people in the world. The steady rate of growth of the population has brought about this huge figure. Asia and Africa constitute the greater share of the world’s overpopulation statistics.

Fact 2. It takes a approximate dozen years for an increase in population by a billion. It has taken 12 years for the population in the world to grow from 6 billion to 7 billion, between 1999 and 2011. This increase is mostly attributed to the developing countries where the growth rate is higher.

Fact 3. The rate of population growth has slowed down. Yes there is overpopulation and it is true that it is increasing. Nonetheless, it is growing at a slower rate than it was about 10 years ago, which is 1.24% then compared to 1.18% now.

Fact 4. Over 108 billion people have lived on earth. This is a revelation that is astonishing since the 7.6 billion currently on earth represents just about 7%. This means that of the 108 billion people ever on earth, only 7% are presently alive.

Fact 5. There are over 230 million immigrants globally. Most move from LDCs to more developed countries. Over time, the trend has shifted and now, some of the immigrants migrant to other LDCs.

Fact 6. There are around 80 million births in the world every year. This is the estimated average number of births recorded per year. This means that there is an addition of at least 80 million people as New Year begins.

Fact 7. In 1985, the demand for resources exceeded its supply. The distribution of the available resources was quite equitable before 1985, where there was equilibrium between the demand and the supply of resources. Nevertheless, the emergence of overpopulation led to disequilibrium where the resources could not cater for the whole population.

Fact 8. Approximately 34% of the population was probably unwanted or accidental. This is universal. It is caused by cases of unwanted pregnancies by young girls as well as poor family planning methods. Absconding of children is also a factor.

Fact 9. Overpopulation is not only attributed to population growth. The increase in the life expectancy level has also played a role in overpopulation. This is brought about by the fact people are living for a longer time than they did, say 50 years ago. For instance, in 1950, males had a life expectancy level of 66 years whereas as of now, it is at 74 years.

Fact 10. There are 3000 births every 20 minutes and a subsequent loss of 27000 species of plant and animal life. The growth in population translates to exploitation of the flora and fauna in the people’s lifetime.

Fact 11. It only took 40 years for the population to double from 3 billion in 1960 to 6 billion in 2000. This is super rapid growth compared to the beginning of the 19th century which had a population of 1 billion and took a whole century to be at 2 billion.

Fact 12. China and India have a combined population of 2.7 billion. These are the most populous countries in the world with over 35% of the world’s population.

Fact 13. Facebook would come third as the most populous country. The number of people logging in to the social network every month translates to a staggering 1.39 billion, coming third after China and India respectively.

Fact 14. There is a difference of approximately 21 years between the life expectancy of the developed and the developing nations. The average life expectancy for the LDCs is 56 compared to that of 77 for the developed nations.

Fact 15. Overconsumption is a greater issue than overpopulation. Despite overpopulation being a pressing global issue, overconsumption has been undermined. It is now being realized that 20% of the extremely rich consume 85% while 20% of those under the poverty line consume 1.3%. The water consumption for both extremes is at 85% and 15% respectively.

Fact 16. Over 50% of the world population is under 30 years. This translates to about 3.8 billion people between the ages of 0-30.

Fact 17. 80% of refugees are women, girls and young children. The globe boasts of 42 million refugees. The above group is the most likely to be affected by intimidation and inhumane incidences like rape.

Fact 18. Over 3 billion people live on less than 2 dollars a day. The consumption levels are minimal due to lack of finances for sustenance. The situation is made even worse by the fact that for every 1 rich individual, there are about 100 poor people.

Fact 19. About 1.8 billion people are between 10 and 24. The reason for this is because there is a higher birthrate. Consequently, there is a large young population.

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Fact 20. About 50% of the world population lives in urban centers. The rise in rural-urban migration in search for jobs and better living conditions has greatly influenced this phenomenon. At the beginning of the 19th century, those living in urban centers were only a meager 3%. It is estimated that the percentage will grow to 70% by 2050.

Fact 21. There are more males than females in the world. The population of males makes 50.4% of the population while females complete the remaining 49.6%.

Fact 22. Over 700 million girls are married before the age of 18. This has caused the rate of births to be on the increase as well as the number of school dropouts.

Fact 23. Majority of the population in LDCs are children and adolescents. In most of the third world nations, those who are 19 and below form a whooping majority attributed to a high birth rate and a low life expectancy.

Fact 24. There are more than 400 cities globally with a population of more than a million. This is a very significant growth since previously only 12 big cities in the world had such a population. Now, these 12 have grown to 19 and have a population of over 10 million each.

Fact 25. There are about 44 countries that have fertility rates lower than the replacement level. This means that for these countries, as other countries increase in population, they will face a decline in their population. In addition, most of these countries are developed countries.

Fact 26. There are 2.5 people born every second. Every second that passes, there are 4.3 births and 1.8 deaths which lead to the plus in population.

Fact 27. Close to 230 million infants below the age of 5 have never been officially registered. This is a third of the current infant population below this age. The number is higher in areas where there is less literacy levels like Sub-Saharan Africa and the South East Asia.

Fact 28. Overpopulation has been realized due to a decrease in death rates rather than birthrates. There have been advancements in the fields of medicine, technology, education and nutrition which have contributed to lower deaths.

Fact 29. Over 750 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. This has contributed greatly to poor sanitation and spread of diseases especially in third world countries.

Fact 30. The median age of the global world is 30 years. This means that half of the population is below 30 and that the remaining half is over 30.

Fact 31. Asia has 60% of the world population. This is posited by the fact that three of the world’s most populous countries come from Asia. These include China (1.38 billion), India (1.32 billion) and Indonesia (260 million).

Fact 32. The population of the world in 10 000 B.C was 5 million. Compared to the current figure of over 7 billion, there has been a rapid growth.

Fact 33. Teaching jobs will be the most viable jobs in the future. This is because there will be an increase of population of over 100 million births who will need to attend school and be taught. Moreover, by the time they are of age to go to school, there will another set of millions born.

Fact 34. To protect the environment, families may be forced to reduce their numbers. This is already happening in some countries where the average number of children per family is 2. This is an initiative with an aim of ensuring that there are enough resources left for survival in the environment.

Fact 35. The population of Nigeria is expected to surpass that of USA by 2050. This is owed to the fact that Nigeria has the largest growing rate and is among the top 10 most populous countries globally.

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.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

The U.S. Imposes 30 Percent Duty on Chinese Solar Panels


The US president, Donald Trump, made an announcement concerning his imposed tariff on Chinese solar panels (this was imposed alongside imported washing machines), thereby giving a boost to Whirlpool Corp and consequently dealing a setback to the renewable energy industry.

A statement by the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, said that the two imported products: solar panels and washing machines “are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers.” The restrictions by the US president were to help domestic producers of solar power thrive, or probably to enhance the use of coals, which ostensibly is something he’s fighting for.

solar-cells-solar-solar-energy

A 30 percent duty will be imposed on imported solar cells and modules in the first year. This with the tariffs duty would have declined to 15 percent by the fourth year. Whirlpool chairman, Jeff Fettig, said, “By enforcing our existing trade laws, President Trump has ensured American workers will compete on a level playingfield with their foreign counterparts. The duty would help to slow a shift to renewable energy in the United States”.

Renewables was already becoming a source thriving as much as the use of coals was thriving. MJ Shiao, head of renewable energy research for Wood Mackenzie, said that the duty would likely reduce the projected US solar installations by 10-15 percent over the next five years. He also said that, “It is a significant impact, but certainly not destructive to the end market.”

These Chinese solar panel industries play a vital role in the economy of the US. From providing solar power at a very cheap price, to making jobs available for over 23,000 people in the US. Chinese solar industries ought to be embraced by the US president, Donald Trump. However, his decision seemed to favour a number of domestic solar industries who were complaining about Chinese competition. Some include bankrupt Suniva (majority owned by the Chinese), and bankrupt SolarWorld, owned by the Germans.

The 30 percent surcharge imposed on the solar panel importing Chinese industries, would definitely leave a negative effect on the industries; and consequently affect employment and also the affordability of solar power. The Solar industry, SEIA, on the 22nd of January said on Twitter, “Today’s decision by President Trump is disappointing and will cause immediate & severe job losses across the country. The solar industry is too strong not to emerge from this, but the near-term impacts are unfortunate and avoidable.”

SEIA also said that, “This decision will cause roughly 23,000 American jobs to be lost this year, including many in manufacturing, and will cancel billions of dollars in investments in the U.S. economy. #SaveSolarJobs.”

The bulk of the cost of solar installations is not just the solar panels. About two third of the installation costs is from the commissions, the labor used, the wiring, and so on. The 30 percent imposed duty is estimated to increase the installation cost by 10 percent. An expert, Ramez Naam, said on his post on Twitter, “A 10% cost increase puts the total cost of utility-scale silicon solar in the US back to where it was in late 2015 or early 2016. At current pace of cost reduction, in another 1.5 years, costs will be back down to where they were in past years.”

Ramez who concluded that the industry would definitely be damaged said that, “None of this is to voice even the tiniest bit of support for Trump’s move on tariffs. It’s stupid, job destroying, bad for the planet, etc. We need to be moving faster, not slower. It will cause real damage to the solar industry for a couple years. But it won’t stop solar.”

There’s so much money that can be realized from the use of fossil fuels in America on a regular basis. The government as well as other agencies realize much gain. This is one thing the use of renewables does not offer America. You spend money upon installation; but after then you are left with no reason to keep paying money because all the energy used for such a system is free and cannot be monetized.

Many groups and industries in the US campaigned against the tariffs because they believe it will result in a “crisis” for the burgeoning industry and result in the loss of jobs for thousands of Americans. However, Suniva, a solar panel industry, majority-owned by Hong Kong, applauded the decision, saying that “Trump is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight.” Considering comments from Mike Bloomberg on Twitter, some have come to conclude that it is all a plan to promote the production and use of fossil fuels in the U.S.

Reference: treehugger

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)

Is Microwave Oven in Your Kitchen Killing the Planet? Not Really.


Studies in Manchester University revealed that carbon dioxide emissions by the use of microwave ovens across the EU alone, are equivalent to what is emitted by nearly seven million cars. Researchers at the University have carried out their very first comprehensive study of the environmental influence of microwaves, considering their whole life cycle. The study revealed the following:

-> Microwaves emit 7.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year in the EU. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of 6.8 million cars.

-> Microwaves across the EU consume an estimated 9.4 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity every year. This is equivalent to the annual electricity generated by three large gas plants. Efforts to reduce consumption should focus on improving consumer awareness and behavior to use appliances more efficiently.

microwave

According to analysis from Manchester University, microwaves, of all types of ovens, are the most sold in the European Union (EU), estimated to reach about several millions sales by 2020. It seems to be that the large number of it being used currently in the EU, is what pointed the attention of the world to its impacts.

The study carried out by the University, used the “life cycle assessment, (LCA),” to estimate the impacts of microwaves on the environment,  considering the manufacture, use and how it is disposed. The research team analysed 12 different environmental factors — climate change, depletion of natural resources and ecological toxicity.

In their research, they discovered that the microwaves used across the EU emit about 7.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. This amount is equivalent to what 6.8 million cars would emit in one year. From their research, they were able to deduce that the manufacture, the use and the disposal of microwaves affect the environment greatly.

For example, the manufacturing process causes a whooping 20% depletion to the natural environment and to the Climate. In their research, they found out that the greatest impact that the use of micro waves has on the environment, is in its consumption of electricity. Also, it was said that the disposal of used electric gadgets is one of the fastest growing streams of waste products in the world.

Dr Alejandro Gallego Schmidt from the school of Chemical engineering and analytical science, Manchester University, said, “Consumers now tend to buy new appliances before the existing ones reach the end of their useful life as electronic goods have become fashionable and ‘status’ items. As a result, discarded electrical equipment, such as microwaves, is one of the fastest growing waste streams worldwide.”

The news by Manchester University seems to not take some things into consideration. It is true from studies that it consumes almost 10 terawatts of electricity, and that it emits a lot of carbon dioxide too. What this should make us aware of is that there are a lot of microwave ovens out there, and the cumulative electrical load is high, more than it needs to be because of the standby power used running the clocks and other electronics.

The University of Manchester keeps using some comparisons which we just need to properly reflect on. Their study, which found that, on average, an individual microwave uses 573 kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity over its lifetime of eight years. That is equivalent to the electricity consumed by a 7 watt LED light bulb, left on continuously for almost nine years. Really, it’s quite clear that microwaves don’t consume as much as they deduced.

For an oven which uses that amount in eight years, equivalent to what a 7 Watts LED bulb uses in nine years; or 1.14 times the power consumption of an LED bulb. This isn’t killing the planet as they supposed. The analysis is a ‘life-cycle’ analysis and that is why we have such large figures. They look at the energy and carbon generated in the manufacture and disposal of microwaves.

The Guardian noted that microwave ovens are the most efficient way to cook. Comparing them to cars is ridiculous. David Reay of the University of Edinburgh said, “Yes, there are a lot of microwaves in the EU, and yes, they use electricity, but their emissions are dwarfed by those from cars – there are around 30m cars in the UK alone and these emit way more than all the emissions from microwaves in the EU.”

Simon Bullock, senior climate change campaigner, Friends of the Earth, tells the Guardian that people should look at their source of power. “Yes, it’s important to use microwaves efficiently; but so is making sure the electricity that powers them is as low pollution as possible. The government should reverse its policy attacks on solar and onshore wind. We need green electrons powering all the nation’s tellies, microwaves and fridges.”

It is thus clear that the supposed impact that microwave ovens have on Earth is due to the millions currently in use in the world and is only true for its life span, which is about 8 to 9 years. Over the same period of time, any electrical gadget could have the same impact.

Reference: Treehugger
Image credit: flickr

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)

5 Eco-Friendly Free Apps to Download


At this week’s World Economic Forum, one of the hottest topics (pun sadly intended) to be discussed is the role new technologies can play in averting the effects of climate change.

With so many of us attempting to make a difference by recycling our waste or saving energy, an area overlooked by many is the difference a phone can make in the struggle against climate change. Being eco-friendly can start with just simply downloading an App. Here are 5 trending apps that will help save money AND the planet.

women-using-app-mobile

1. Fat Lama

As the UN have recently warned, we are currently producing around 50 million tons of electronic waste per year that is highly toxic and (most gallingly) completely reusable.

Enter Fat Lama: the brainchild of a group of East-London Entrepreneurs.  Fat Lama is a peer-to-peer marketplace where personal belongings, be it the ordinary or the outrageous, are available to rent from your local area. In its most basic form, it is an efficient way to circulate both commodities and capital within communities. In its most eccentric, it’s a challenge to try new things by providing access to weird and wonderful items that might be otherwise unaffordable.

Started in 2016, the company began with a vision of making short-term rentals easy for suppliers and affordable for consumers, however has developed into something much more lifestyle orientated.  As far-reaching as it is simple, you can now rent anything from campervans to cameras, hot tubs to high-heels, barrel barbecues to bikes – and all without ever having to put down a deposit or a credit card.

On the other side of the arrangement, you can boost your income with items you seldom use. That Canon 1300D DSLR doesn’t have to just sit collecting dust while you’re at work; it can become an asset in its own right. What’s more, Fat Lama will fully insure lenders for every rental, so you don’t have to worry about your camera coming back in splinters.

Most importantly, nothing is wasted. Turning your living room into a home-cinema, or taking the perfect photo of your best mates wedding doesn’t have to involve any needless purchases. In renting rather than buying you are investing in an ever-growing circular economy that stimulates re-distribution, rather than mass production. Encouraging consumers to step away from the production line and towards a sharing economy is at the forefront of our environmental battle plan and companies like Fat Lama are leading the charge.

https://fatlama.com/

(Available on IOS and Andriod)

2. Carma Carpooling

It may sound old school now, but Carpooling is due a comeback.  Maybe some of you have considered it but finding a co-worker that lives next door was easier said than done.

Using much of the same technology as Uber, Carma Carpooling allows you to arrange lifts with other commuter’s near-by without having to ever approach anyone personally. It’s all done through GPS location services and your share of the fuel is charged to your bank account so you don’t have to count out coppers at the end of each journey.

The journey will cost you around $0.20 per mile and is a great way to spice up the mundane commute to work. It’s more flexible than taking the bus and you save on highway tolls. Right now Carma is limited to a handful of cities but the company is committed to expansion and will work with local governments to bring the app to your city.

https://www.gocarma.com/

(Free, IOS and Andriod)

3. GoGreen: Carbon Tracker

We all talk about our carbon footprint but how many of us actually keep track of it? With travel having become such an integral part of modern life it is now more important than ever to understand the impact our lifestyles are having on the planet.

GoGreen’s handy app is designed to provide data-based analytics of exactly what your carbon emission is per-day, where that ranks within your location and offers advice on how it can be reduced. This is done by identifying trends in your usage and providing alternatives. More importantly it gives you points for being green! If there’s one thing we all feel we deserve, it’s a pat on the back for separating the recycling.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gogreen-carbon-tracker/id1267386771?mt=8

(Free, IOS)

4. Ethical Barcode

It’s all very well separating your plastics from paper but when shopping, are you investing your money in sustainable companies? We all look for buzzwords like  ‘sustainably-sourced ‘or ‘free-trade’ but how much do we actually know about such terms?

Ethical Barcode is the answer to this issue. Launched all the way back in 2013, the app considers the environmental, ethical and social impact of supposedly any product found in your pantry. More than just a simple good or bad rating, Ethical Barcode will provide you with a statistical breakdown of categories ranging from employee welfare to company’s environmental policy, sourcing its information from 20 different Non-Profits and hundreds more external sources.

The aim is to instantly transform users into ethical consumers in a way that makes shopping responsibly easy and straightforward. The detail that is provided means that corporations can no longer ‘green-wash’ products without scrutiny.

http://ethicalbarcode.com/

(Free, IOS)

5. Dropcountr

Water usage is an aspect of the environment we tend to downplay; yet in Britain each of us uses on average 150 litres of water per-day. This means that 17 billion litres of water needs to pass through the UK mains water supply every day; that’s 70 times more water than the Thames river holds!

It was the absence of these hard numbers concerning water consumption that inspired founder Robb Barnitt to develop Dropcountr. Designed to prevent water wastage, the app connects itself to your utilities and helps monitor your daily usage. Similar to GoGreen the idea is that the app will provide you with data based analytics that help build a picture of how you can make your household less wasteful. For instance, if you’ve always toyed with fixing that leaky tap, Dropcountr can show you just how much water per-month you are wasting.

On average users can cut their mains usage by 9%, cutting the cost of monthly bills and saving water.

https://www.dropcountr.com/

(Free, IOS and Andriod)

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.

Latest posts by Rinkesh (see all)

What is Biotechnology: Types, Examples and Applications


Biotechnology is the use of biological systems found in organisms or the use of the living organisms themselves to make technological advances and adapt those technologies to various different fields. These include applications in various fields from agricultural practice to the medical sector. It does not only include applications in fields that involve the living, but any other field where the information obtained from the biological aspect of an organism can be applied.

Biotechnology is particularly vital when it comes to the development of miniscule and chemical tools as many on the tools biotechnology uses exist at the cellular level. In a bid to understand more regarding biotechnology, here are its types, examples and its applications.

people-scientist-microscope-white

According to Biotechnology Innovation Organization,

“Biotechnology is technology based on biology – biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet. We have used the biological processes of microorganisms for more than 6,000 years to make useful food products, such as bread and cheese, and to preserve dairy products.”

Types of Biotechnology

1. Medical Biotechnology

Medical biotechnology is the use of living cells and other cell materials for the purpose of bettering the health of humans. Essentially, it is used for finding cures as well as getting rid of and preventing diseases. The science involved includes the use of these tools for the purpose of research to find different or more efficient ways of maintaining human health, understanding pathogen, and understanding the human cell biology.

Here, the technique is used to produce pharmaceutical drugs as well as other chemicals to combat diseases. It involves the study of bacteria, plant and animal cells to first understand the way they function at a fundamental level.

It heavily involves the study of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) to get to know how to manipulate the genetic makeup of cells to increase the production of beneficial characteristics that humans might find useful such as the production of insulin. The field usually leads to the development of new drugs and treatments, novel to the field.

Examples

Vaccines are chemicals that stimulate the body’s immune system to better fight pathogens when they attack the body. They achieve this by inserting attenuated (weakened) versions of the disease into the body’s bloodstream. This causes the body to react as if it was under attack from the non-attenuated version of the disease. The body combats the weakened pathogens and through the process takes note of the cell structure of the pathogens and has some cell ‘remember’ the disease and store away the information within the body.

When the individual becomes exposed to the actual disease, the body of the individual immediately recognizes it and quickly forms a defense against it since it already has some information on it. This translates to quicker healing and less time being symptomatic.

The attenuated disease pathogens are extracted using biotechnological techniques such as growing the antigenic proteins in genetically engineered crops. An example is the development of an anti-lymphoma vaccine using genetically engineered tobacco plants made to exhibit RNA (A similar chemical to DNA) from malignant (actively cancerous) B-cells.

Strides have been made in the development of antibiotics that combat pathogens for humans. Many plants are grown and genetically engineered to produce the antibodies. The method is more cost effective than using cells or extracting these antibodies from animals as the plants can produce these antibodies in larger quantities.

2. Agricultural Biotechnology

Agricultural biotechnology focuses on developing genetically modified plants for the purpose of increasing crop yields or introducing characteristics to those plants that provide them with an advantage growing in regions that place some kind of stress factor on the plant namely weather and pests.

In some of the cases, the practice involves scientists identifying a characteristic, finding the gene that causes it, and then putting that gene within another plant so that it gains that desirable characteristic, making it more durable or having it produce larger yields than it previously did.

Examples

Biotechnology has provided techniques for the creation of crops that express anti pest characteristics naturally, making them very resistant to pests, as opposed to having to keep dusting them and spraying them with pesticides. An example of this would be the fungus Bacillus thuringiensis genes being transferred to crops.

The reason for this is that the fungus produces a protein (Bt) which is very effective against pests such as the European corn borer. The Bt protein is the desired characteristic scientist would like the plants to have and for this reason, they identified the gene causing Bt protein to express in the fungus and transferred it to corn. The corn then produces the protein toxin naturally, lowering the cost of production by eliminating the cost of dusting the crop with pesticide.

  • Plant and Animal Breeding

Selective breeding has been a practice humans have engaged in since farming began. The practice involves choosing the animals with the most desirable characteristics to breed with each other so that the resulting offspring would also express these traits. Desirable characteristics included larger animals, animals more resistant to disease and more domicile animals, all geared to making the process of farming as profitable as possible.

This practice has been transferred to the molecular level with the same purpose. Different traits are selected among the animals and once the genetic markers have been pointed out, animals and plants with those traits are selected and bred for those traits to be transferred. A genomic understanding of those traits is what informs the decisions on whether the desired traits will express or get lost as recessive traits which do not express.

This information provides the basis for making informed decisions enhancing the capability of the scientists to predict the expression of those genes. An example is its use in flower production where traits such as color and smell potency are enhanced.

Applications of Biotechnology

1. Nutrient Supplementation

One of the biggest uses of biotechnology is the infusion of nutrients into food in situations such as aid. Therefore, it provides food with heavy nutrients that are necessary in such situations. An example of this application is the production Golden Rice where the rice is infused with beta-carotene. The rice has Vitamin A, which the body can easily synthesise.

2. Abiotic Stress Resistance

There is actually very little land on earth that is arable with some estimates place it at around 20 percent. With an increase in the world’s population, there is a need for the food sources available to be as effective as possible to produce as much food in as little space as possible. There is also need to have the crops grown to be able to make use of the less arable regions of the world.

This means that there is a need to develop crops that can handle these abiotic stresses such as salinity, drought and frost from cold. In Africa and the Middle East, for instance, where the climate can be unforgiving, the practice has played a significant role in the development of crops that can withstand the prevailing harsh climates.

3. Industrial Biotechnology

The industrial applications of biotechnology range from the production of cellular structures to the production of biological elements for numerous uses. Examples include the creation of new materials in the construction industry, and the manufacture of beer and wine, washing detergents, and personal care products.

4. Strength Fibres

One of the materials with the strongest tensile strength is spider webs. Amongst other materials with the same cross sectional width, spider webs can take more tensional force before breaking than even steel. This silk has created a lot of interest with the possible production of materials made from silk including body armour such as bullet proof jackets. Silk is used because it is stronger than Kevlar (the material most commonly used to make body armour).

Biotechnological techniques have been used to pick the genes found in spiders and their infusion in goats to produce the silk proteins in their milk. With this initiative, it make production easier as goats are much easier to handle compared to spiders and the production of silk via milk also help make the processing and handling much easier compared to handling the actual silk strands.

5. Biofuels

One of the biggest applications of biotechnology is in the energy production sector. With fears over the dwindling oil resources in the world and their related environmental impacts, there is a need to protect the globe’s future by finding alternative environmentally friendly fuel sources. Biotechnology is allowing this to happen with advances such as using corn to produce combustible fuel for running car engines. These fuels are good for the environment as they do not produce the greenhouse gases.

6. Healthcare

Biotechnology is applied in the healthcare sector is the development of pharmaceuticals that have proven problematic to produce though other conventional means because of purity concerns.

Image credit: PDP

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)

2017 was the Hottest Year Without an El Niño : UN


The United Nations declared last Thursday that 2017 was the hottest year without an El Niño (i.e. an invasion of warm water into the Pacific ocean’s surface, off the coast of Peru and Ecuador, every 4 to 7 years; and usually affects both local and regional climate). The UN report was based on a consolidated analysis by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) of five leading international datasets.

It was said that of all the 18 hottest years experienced in the world, 17 of them were experienced this century. This may be attributed to the rising industrial civilization and the accompanying emission of greenhouse gases. The average surface temperature of the Earth due to these gases last year was about 1.1°C more than the usual average surface temperature.

global-warming-burning-earth-burning

This figure is in line with the “1.5°C” barrier placed by the 2015 Paris climate agreement, to avoid dangerous climate conditions. President Donald Trump’s administration seems to be a threat to the Paris climate agreement. Seeing he stands for anti-environmental policies: publicly denies climate change and wants to promote the use of fossil fuels in the US, plans to invalidate the Clean Power Plan that limits power plant emissions and intends to withdraw the U.S. from the landmark climate accord.

On a normal scale, Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2017 ranked as the second warmest, since it became possible to have global estimates in 1880, according to a NASA analysis. Global temperatures in 2016 were the highest recorded so far; but this was influenced by El Niño, which is considered the warm phase of El Niño Southern Oscillation. Thus, without an El Niño event in 2016, 2017 would be the warmest year ever recorded, (NASA).

While the Earth warmed all over, weather dynamics do affect regional weather patterns. Therefore, various locations experience different amounts of warming. GISS Director, Gavin Schmidt, said to NASA, “Despite colder than average temperatures in any one part of the world, temperatures over the planet as a whole continue the rapid warming trend we’ve seen over the last 40 years.” The Arctic regions (which continued to experience a loss of sea ice in 2017) experience the strongest warming trends in the world, about two times the normal rate.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists gathered a separate, independent analysis that shows a strong agreement with NASA’s report. However, the report concluded that 2017 was the third warmest year in their record. NASA (National aeronautics and space administration) and NOAA use different methods to analyze global temperatures, which played a role in the minor difference in rankings.

Both reports agreed that the five warmest years on record have all taken place since 2010. However, the two reports claim differently that 2017 was the second and third hottest year respectively. The NASA report reads: “NOAA scientists used much of the same raw temperature data, but with a different baseline period, and different methods to analyze Earth’s polar regions and global temperatures.”

Taalas expressed that the warmth in 2017 was accompanied by extreme weather conditions in many countries around the world.

“The United States of America had its most expensive year ever in terms of weather and climate disasters, whilst other countries saw their development slowed or reversed by tropical cyclones, floods and drought,” he said. NOAA noted earlier this month that weather and climate-related disasters cost a whooping $306 billion in 2017.

The NOAA agency listed several noteworthy events, including the wildfires in the west, with total costs of $18 billion, tripling the previous U.S. annual wildfire cost record. This year, the string of devastating hurricanes were also very expensive. Hurricane Harvey costs about $125 billion. Hurricanes Maria and Irma had total costs of $90 billion and $50 billion, respectively.

NASA scientists use measurements from 6,300 weather stations to track global temperatures. These stations include — Antarctic research stations; and ship- and buoy-based observations of sea-surface temperatures.

These raw measurements are analyzed using an algorithm that considers interference that could skew the conclusions. The global average temperature is deduced from these calculations, from deviations from the baseline period of 1951 to 1980, according to NASA. As weather stations keep changing locations, and methods of measurement keep evolving, there are uncertainties in the specific annual interpretations of the global mean temperature.

Therefore, NASA estimates that 2017’s global mean temperature change is accurate within 0.1°F, with a 95 percent confidence level. NASA is the agency that sets the 2017 temperature data and the complete methodology used to make the temperature calculations. Hence, the report obtained from them as to 2017 being the hottest year without an El Niño, is very reliable.

Reference:

Ecowatch

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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