Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stop torturing our aquatic life - Earth Choice TV ad

Most people living in developed countries are aware about environmental issues and yet they are very often the least concerned about the impact of their lifestyle on the environment. Some of our simple everyday gestures could make a big difference, if applied to millions of people around the world. Some of the most polluting products we consume our right in our homes, ranging from dish-washing liquid to laundry powder. Nature Organics is a company that takes these issues into account. Their brand include the Earth Choice products, which is far less harmful to the environment than other more "renowned" brands. Some people might think these products don't clean as well, but they're all just clich├ęs. I've been using Earth Choice products here in Australia for over 2 years and their quality is good and price affordable. Next time you are in the supermarket, have a thought about what product to buy.

At Earth Choice, our passion for the environment includes a dedication to animal welfare. Our latest TV commercial, which dramatises the harm that mainstream cleaning products can do to aquatic animals, is testament to this.



For more information, head to the Nature's Organics site.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Australian fish stock collapsing due to overfishing

While most media usually pay little attention to environmental issues, I was positively surprised to see a television talkshow mention the sensitive topic of overfishing. The short video below, an extract from the 7pm Project on channel 10, highlights the declining fishstocks in Australia (and around the world). UN warns that we might not have any fish to eat by 2050 and that we need to make decisions in the short term to positively affect the long term.

The part about overfishing begins around 5'30"



Sources
7pm Project
Comic

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Important facts everyone should know about water

Water is life, as simple as that. We have plenty of it on our planet, from the composition of our body to the air we breathe. And yet, it remains so precious to many of us. Please find below some very important facts that are worth learning.
  • Water Resources
  1. The Earth's total volume of water is 1.4 billion km3.
  2. A world of salt: Only 2.5% of which is freshwater (35 million km3).
  3. Of those 2.5% of freshwater, 68.9% is in the form of ice, 30.8% is in the soil and only 0.3% is in rivers/lakes.
  4. The total supply of usable freshwater for humans and natural ecosystems is approximately 200,000 km3, less than 1% of all freshwater, and less than 0.25% of all water on Earth.
  5. 13,000 km3 of freshwater are located in the Earth's atmosphere, in clouds or ambient humidity.
  • Water Use
  1. How the world uses freshwater:
    -about 70 percent for irrigation
    -about 22 percent for industry
    -about 8 percent for domestic use
  2. The use of water has been increasing twice as fast as the human population in the last century.
  3. The world's six billion people are appropriating 54 percent of all the accessible freshwater contained in rivers, lakes and underground aquifers.
  4. 145 nations have territory within a transboundary basin.
  5. Water withdrawals are predicted to increase by 50% by 2025 in developing countries, and 18% in developed countries.
  6. Over 1.4 billion people currently live in river basins where the use of water exceeds minimum recharge levels, leading to the desiccation of rivers and depletion of groundwater.
  7. In 60 percent of European cities with more than 100,000 people, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished.
  8. By 2025, 1 800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.

Why care about water

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Barack Obama's speech on the Gulf spill

Nearly 3 months after the environmental disaster started in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama has finally given its first speech. In this 17 minute long footage, he attempts to reassure the people of America by listing a long list of measures that were taken to fight the spill, help the people living in affected areas and pleads for a redefinition of the energy industry in the US by promoting green energy.

I have included both the video and transcript of the speech below.

What are your thoughts on Obama's speech? Will this be enough? Is he just another politician talking or will there be change?

Tell us what your thoughts are in the comment section below.


Speech

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Burning an iPad for the Environment?

The so far unknown Project Green Apple has published a video that quickly went viral. The footage shows the burning of the much hyped Apple iPad being burnt down by a few flame torches. The message is clear: Apple needs to improve its environmental policy. This follows reports of N-hexane poisoning in Wintek factories, one of Apple's partners.

They describe themselves as follow:
"Project Green Apple is a team of Northwestern University students, focused on
evaluating the current environmental policy and supplier relations of Apple Incorporated. With Apple currently positioned as one of the fastest growing tech companies in the world, it has the ability to greatly influence the computer industry, since the company's actions will cause a domino effect. It is therefore important that Apple adheres to its stated environmental protocols
and focuses on environmental sustainability as the company expands."
Not sure if this move was very environment-friendly.
Was it worth burning an iPad to criticize Apple's environmental policies?
Tell us what you think in the comments!

This also reminds me of some Greenpeace reports released late March 2010, coming to the conclusion that "the growth of internet computing could come with a huge jump in greenhouse gas emissions."



Image source: Greenpeace

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Top 6 reasons to leave the Arctic alone!

Along with global warming comes the melting of the polar ice cap. Nothing talks more than hard figures: Over 40% of the ice cap has melted away in 30 years!


As the Arctic sea opens up,we humans begin to pay a lot of attention to this once peaceful part of the world, leading to new issues and challenges. Below are some of the top reasons why we should leave this part of the world as it is: untouched.

  1. Less ice = Great reduction of the inhabitat of many wild endangered or soon-to-be endangered species including Polar Bears, Harp Seals, Northern Fur Seals, Walruses and many more.
  2. Interest in the North Pole raises tensions between countries in redefining borders: Norway vs. Russia vs. USA vs. Canada vs etc.
  3. Expansion of commercial fishing areas. After overfishing in all seas, wouldn't it be great to create an arctic marine park? (by this I mean a "human-free" environment).
  4. New commercial routes between Asia and Europe/USA, opening the area to thousands of ships per year. As we know, an increased traffic would lead to increased pollution and disturbance to local animals.
  5. Lastly, new gas and oil drillings! 22% of global oil reserves are located in the Arctic according to the USGS. With all surrounding countries claiming as much territorial area as possible, there is no doubt that a race to discover and extract gas/oil has begun.
  6. With oil spills ruining our world every few year, imagine what we would do if a major oil spill occurs in the Arctic just as it happened with DeepSea Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico? In such remote location difficult weather conditions, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to stop a leak and clean up the mess. Imagine the oil spills travelling under the ice...







Sources
Arctic route map by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Arctic oil rig photograph by Richard Olsenius/NGS
Polar ice cap graph

Sunday, June 6, 2010

GreenPlanetSearch.com, another Green Search Engine

GreenPlanetSearch.com is a new "green" search engine, powered by 100% solar energy. It has a beautiful Flash design that makes navigation smooth and easy. It offers a search function which will let you find ecology related websites, blogs, articles and news. GreenPlanetSearch.com differs from other green search engines such as Ecosia.org because its search results are not fetched from other search engines. Instead, the results come from links submitted on the website. For this reason, the results are still limited but should improve as publishers submit their site. By the way, site submission is free (link in the top right corner) so if you are the owner of an eco-related site, don't hesitate to add it.

GreenPlanetSearch.com also offers a large variety of eco-related news, in which you can drill down and browse easily. This site, although its use is currently limited, has a lot of potential in bringing relevant and interesting content to those who are interested in these topics.

Below are a few screenshots of GreenPlanetSearch.com.



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Underwater Sydney: the hidden side of a busy city!

Satellite view of Port Jackson
Sydney is not only the very first European settlement in Australia but is also the largest city in Oceania. Its tall skyline and vast residential areas border the coastline as well as the Sydney Harbour. Located within Port Jackson, the harbour is 19 kilometers long and its coastline measures 327km²! Many boats navigate it on a daily basis: cargo ships and tankers, leisure and sailboats, ferrys, cruise boats, whale watching tours, water taxis, etc... With such floating traffic, anyone would expect the harbour to be similar to those in other major cities: dark polluted water.

Well guess again, Sydney Harbour is surprisingly clean in most places and that's exactly what the Underwater Sydney team is trying to show us. With the objective of raising awareness about this fragile marine environment, they hope that people will start caring, helping & protecting. They are setting the foundations for a soon-to-come project, possibly in partnership with the Sydney Aquarium Conservation Fund. In the meantime, the photographers are in the waters of Sydney Harbour, digging up amazing and beautiful pictures of this busy city's other inhabitants! Each photograph comes with an interesting and exciting story. I have included a few photographs below but I strongly suggest you visit the Underwater Sydney website, subscribe to their RSS feed and support their cause.

Sydney Harbour
Box fish
 
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