Tag Archive | "sustainability"

California is the Biggest Emerging Green State in the US

California is the Biggest Emerging Green State in the US

This was written by Richard Orban on behalf of Freedom Solar Power.

For the third consecutive year, California has emerged to be the top clean energy state in the United States. The state dominated the 2012 State Clean Energy Index as it continues to lead the country in establishing testing grounds for all kinds of clean energy solutions. California has taken the initiative to introduce clean energy and has installed various programs, which include: solar power, hybrid and electric vehicles and wind power.

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Sun power, a solar panel maker, recently announced that it plans to build a 100 MW solar panel farm in California, which is expected to provide power to 36,000 homes once construction on it is completed by 2016. California’s state mandate has made it compulsory for its investor-owned utilities to have 33% of their electricity generated by renewable energy. This has led to California utilities to embark on more of these solar power projects to meet the standard required as per the state mandate.

The California-based clean energy deployments have attracted over $9 billion in investments in the last three years, and this is one of the main reasons California is the biggest emerging clean state in the US. The investments attracted by the various projects deployed by investor-owned utilities have increasingly provided clean energy for California residents. The success of the clean energy advances made by California has enabled the green economy to grow in the United States and has enabled the state to make great progress in providing clean tech.

California has a long history in supporting renewable energy, and in the last three years over 11% of its electricity came from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power. The introduced of the Energy Commission’s Renewable Energy Program provided further incentive for the deployment of renewable energy systems and also aimed at teaching the public about the benefits of renewable energy.

The results indicated by the 2012 State Clean Energy Index clearly indicate that California is miles ahead of the rest of the states in the United States and that is largely due to its firm focus in establishing green energy deployments. California’s success in generating renewable energy to power thousands of homes provides a high level of national support for the use of clean-energy technology in the United States.

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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.

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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.

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