Tag Archive | "environment"

Greenest House in Britain

The Greenest House in Britain

This was written by Gary Stringer of http://searchstarz.com/

The greenest house in Britain will probably be owned by Gary Neville. The 37 year old ex Manchester United and England footballer will build a £8 million eco-friendly house. After three years of planning, and more than a year battling for approval, the retired footballer was given the go-ahead by the Bolton Council this month to build a controversial house. It has been refered to as a Teletubbies house, as it resemble the residence of the popular children’s cartoon characters Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. The house has been designed in the shape of a flower with a kitchen in the centre, and bathrooms and bedrooms flowing from the centre. It also includes a gym, dinning rooms, a garage and swimming pool. The house near Harwood, in Bolton, is partially underground, so that moorland can flow over the roof to minimize the impact on the landscape.

The first application for building the house was returned with more than 100 objections. The biggest point of concern for the council and the neighbours was the plan to build a 100-foot wind turbine. ‘He must live in Telletubby land if he thinks no one would object against that whacking great turbine spoiling the landscape but now the turbine has been moved from the application I have no problems with it’, a resident commented.

Now that Neville dropped the idea of the turbine for his carbon neutral flower shaped house, permission was given to build the property. One of the councilors, Andy Morgan, believes the idea is innovative and very eco-friendly and it has received a code six rating, which is the highest score a house can achieve following an energy monitor system the government has. He believes the house is not too obtrusive for other residents and therefore he is happy to support the application. The house will be the first and only carbon-neutral house in North West England. Developers came up with a more eco-friendly solution to power the house than the tall wind turbine, which includes durable rainwater harvesting, a ground source heat pump and solar panels which convert light into electricity. In stead of the tall wind turbine a small turbine will be build that will only take four to five months to build, as opposed to the initial 20 months. Another thing that has changed is the amount of ground that the building will take up. Instead of a large one floor, the house will be built over two floors making it 8,000 square feet in size. People call it the greenest house in Britain, as even the majority of the house will be built elsewhere to keep noise and disturbance down for other residents. Neville is presently living in a £10m, 12 bedroom mansion near the site with his wife and their children Molly, three and two year-old Sophie.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

Posted in ArchitectureComments (0)

Importance of Sustainable Agriculture

The Importance of Sustainable Agriculture

This was written by Dan Hart of Vellag.com.

As agriculture, like every other global industry, continues to expand, the need to ensure that farming is conducted sustainably is becoming more and more important. Sustainable farming covers many aspects, all of which must be addressed if the agricultural industry is to continue to expand in such a way as to avoid both adverse effects on the planet and jeopardising ongoing economic viability.

The first element of sustainability that must be addressed is the conservation of natural resources. This is particularly true of developing areas, such as Africa, where assets like water and fertile land are in relatively short supply. The agricultural process inevitably takes a toll on these resources – water must be expended to nourish crops, and the fertility of a plantation will always be compromised to an extent by the processes of planting and harvesting. It is therefore important to lessen the impact of these processes on the surrounding area, so that farming will continue to be possible in years to come.

To avoid causing negative impact on the area in which you are farming, which may cause undue damage to local plants and wildlife, a tight rein must be kept on pollution when farming sustainably. Extensive use of pesticides, or use of a specific type of pest control chemical, can prove devastating to the flora and fauna surrounding farmland. This, again, is particularly true of agriculture in developing countries, as farm owners who are struggling for money may not have the necessary funds to purchase only environmentally responsible fertilisers and pesticides.

The importance of this aspect of sustainability is two-fold, however – it’s not just important to the plants and animals that live on and around your farm. Incorrect use of pesticides – which are essentially poisons, let’s not forget! – can contaminate crops, leading to severe (and sometimes fatal) impact on human consumers. The use of Endosulfan, at one time the most commonly used pesticidal chemical, is currently in the process of being phased out across parts of the world, due to its enormous toxicity. Although still commonly used in much of China and India, Endosulfan is believed to be responsible for a large proportion of all recorded fatal pesticide poisonings. There is even speculation that the substance is able to cause or can contribute to the development of cancer.

You must be prepared for a quantity of pesticide that is sprayed over your crops to be transmitted into the local ecosystem. It’s not just the insects and parasites that the pesticides are designed to target that are subject to the effects of pest control poisons – birds and small mammals which feed on those insects will also be ingesting trace amounts of pesticide. When those birds and small mammals are eaten by large predators, the pesticide is passed on – when the food chain continues far enough, humans often find themselves ingesting pesticides such as Endosulfan.

To ensure that farming can continue to grow at the beneficial rate we are accustomed to, we need to take a number of additional measures and precautions. Utmost care must be taken to preserve the state of the local ecology, including natural resources, wildlife and plantlife – if this is not done, then a year or two down the line, farmers may find that their plantations are no longer suitable to grow crops.

For the sake of the planet and the countries worldwide who depend on arable food production, make sure that your agricultural efforts are conducted responsibly.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

Posted in Gardening, Lifestyle, NatureComments (0)

Paper Shredding Saves the Environment

How Paper Shredding Saves the Environment

This guest post is by Michael Jones of http://absolutedestruction.ca/.

When people think of paper shredding, they think of an effective way in which they can prevent sensitive information from being robbed. What they do not realize is that paper shredding is also a great way to contribute to helping the environment.

Many shredding companies use a system that is environmentally friendly so that all shredded material is recycled. They will recycle the all paper they have shredded. This process allows for the paper to be used again instead of ending up as unusable trash.

By recycling the shredded paper, we can prevent destroying more of our forest. We need to protect the earth, trees and the atmosphere. That is why it is necessary that we highlight some facts and figures that can help you better understand our need to work on a sustainable relationship with the environment.

The impact that shredding paper has on the environment is huge. Saving forest land is just one benefit that recycling has on the environment. The entire process to produce paper from tress uses a great amount of energy and water. This process also adds many pollutants into our atmosphere. Consider the following. Recycling just one ton of paper saves about 7,000 gallons of water and 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity. Recycling one ton of paper we save approximately fourteen trees, and we avoid destroying two cubic meters of forest mass. This process protects thousands of acres of forest each year. Recycled paper requires about 65% less energy, 50% less water and causes 72% less pollution than paper products made from virgin forest.

Why is shredding and recycling paper better than throwing paper in the trash bin? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, when you throw just one piece of paper into the trash bin, that piece of paper becomes approximately 33% of the municipal solid waste stream (MSW), making it the largest portion of MSW. Imagine how quickly this adds up when you consider the average work office. The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year. By shredding and recycling that paper, it goes a long way in saving our environment.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

Posted in Lifestyle, Recycled MaterialsComments (0)

A First Hand Account of Second-Hand Shops

A First Hand Account of Second-Hand Shops

This guest post is by Jonathan Pierce of business electricity.

I love shopping second hand, for many reasons.  The thrill of hunting through boxes of tat to find an interesting item, the history imbued in a well-thumbed vintage paperback or antique map that lends the item a substance and gravitas that new items just don’t have, and, they’re good for the environment.

How so?  Well, mass produced items are a serious drain on resources, often using kilowatts of non-renewable power at a worrying rate per hour.  And sophisticated items seem to be inbuilt with a shelf-life that means they’ll stop working within a couple of years.  I’d rather a tattered book than a conked out Kindle anyday.

Kindle’s are meant to be saving the trees, but they need power, which uses energy which is less renewable than wood, which isn’t being used up when the books you buy are second-hand anyway.  Have you seen the covers on the old Penguin books?  They’re design classics.  I’d happily frame one of them over any of the mass-produced chintzy art-lite in Ikea.

When you buy second-hand, you’re supporting a charity, or if it’s a business it’s usually a small one.  Small businesses are having a hard time and it’s good to support these endeavours.  Plus, they pick the best stuff out for you.  The stock in vintage shops is the cream of the charity shop crop.  It’s the best stuff all in one place, thanks to the keen eye and dedication of an individual’s personal quest to salvage beautiful and classic designs from the wastebin.  For every vintage shirt you invest in, you’re not buying a bit of temporal tat from a high-street sweatshop outlet.

There’s nothing like an old record.  MP3s just don’t cut the mustard, in terms of experience or warmth.  The ritual of sticking a record on is a special one that shouldn’t be lost.  And an original mint vinyl on a good turntable sounds a thousand times better than through your shoddy white headphones that are probably dented.  Dealers do the same as vintage clothes retailers, using their taste and knowledge to navigate through piles of James Last and Tijuana Brass records to find that rare Rolling Stones single or Syd Barrett LP.  And all of this saves on the production of new CDs and temperamental MP3 devices that will just be expensive paperweights in a couple of years.  Your tape player lasted ten times longer probably.

Things just used to be made better, it seems.  You can get a Saville Row suit second hand for the price of one from TopBloke or whatever, and it will last your whole life.  Leather soled shoes will look good forever too, and quality items can be repaired rather than replaced, allowing less waste and the support of traditional industries such as cobblers.  It’s a matter of taste, but the ‘make do and mend’ approach is beginning to look much wiser than the ‘get bored and chuck’ philosophy that appears to be a hangover from the consumerist ethos of the Eighties.

There are entrepreneurial sorts about who are renovating bikes for resale, taking old and busted up bicycles and turning them back into shining glorious specimens.  They are using their skills and expertise to make good something that would have been thrown out, and the results are more pleasing than the factory made models in Halfords.  They have character, and I know I’d rather a hand reconditioned road-bike that a robot-fashioned version any day of the week.

It’s rare that something has so many plus points and so few drawbacks.  If you like your life with a bit of history in it, a bit of quirky individuality and some resale value, then shopping second-hand might be just the ticket.  It helps that you’re looking after the planet’s diminishing resources too.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

Posted in DIY, Energy Conservation, Lifestyle, Recycled MaterialsComments (0)

Impact of Environmental Rating Specialists on Buildings

Impact of Environmental Rating Specialists on Buildings

This guest post is by Maya Savanovich of ausnviro.com.au.

Environmental impact assessment is one of the mandatory tasks that have to be carried out on all buildings that are erected in a given geographical area. This helps to ensure that all projects are in line with the environmental regulations that aim at curbing down degradation of the environment. Energy efficiency assessors are mandated to carry out regular comprehensive assessments in the building energy systems before issuing an EPC as well as recommendation on the various adjustments need to be carried out to improve energy efficiency in the building.

Energy efficiency assessors are qualified and accredited by the various governmental bodies that play a role in ensuring that all the assessors have all the required credentials. One of the major impacts of environmental rating specialist is that they help the government and other bodies to identify certain problems and propose various sustainable ways of solving the issues amicably. Identification of this problem is one the landmark step that is very important in ensuring that all the buildings are compliant with the rules and regulations.

These professionals also help organisations to reduce their energy costs through implementation of the recommendations proposed at the end of the assessment. Energy costs have a direct impact on the profit margins of a company. Reducing loss energy has being proven to be one of the most sustainable and effective ways of reducing the operation costs as well as improving the environment in and around the building.

Pollution is one of the major cases of the increased effects of global warming as a result of release of harmful gases such as chlorine and carbon into the atmosphere. In most cases this pollutants originate from buildings that are not environmentally friendly or has faulty energy conservation plans. Impact assessments help to ensure that this kind of buildings and identified and the necessary actions to solve this problem are implemented. This in turn helps to improving the local, national and global environmental status in terms of significant reduction in the amount of harmful gases released into the environment.

One of the ecological services derived from the environment is the natural resources which are a source of our livelihood. Failure to protect these resources may endanger our lives due to lack of basic amenities such as food and water. In some parts of the word the main source of energy is hydro power generating plants whose operation and functioning lies heavily on the availability of water. We need to conserve the energy used in the buildings so as to prevent overexploitation of natural resources. Energy efficiency assessors are one of the tools used in environmental impact assessment to ensure that resources are sustainably used for the current and future generation use.

In order to formulate effective and sustainable policies that have the capacity to protect and promote conservation of the environment; we need to have informed and skilled policy makers who have all the skills required in environmental management. Energy efficiency assessors are very crucial in this process since they have all the required knowledge and expertise to formulate policies.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers..

Posted in Architecture, Construction, Green Real EstateComments (0)