Palm Oil, is it Destroy the Rain Forests

Posted on 28th February 2011 in environment

Making a statement about palm oil has become something of a business necessity. If major brands are not buying certificates to offset their use, they’re announcing plans to buy certified sustainable palm oil. Others are ordering supplies from sustainable plantations in countries that are not large-scale producers of palm oil.

That’s because the palm oil industry in Malaysian and Indonesia is accused of destroying precious rain forest and the homes of endangered orang-utans, and of emitting high levels of greenhouse gases. That’s why major businesses are responding to consumer demand from consumers that they stop supporting such practices.

It’s a laudable stance and it makes a cute Tweet. But if anyone tries to tell you stopping, reducing or cleaning up Europe’s supply of palm oil will solve the problem, they are misleading you. The issues in Malaysia and Indonesia will still continue.

Firstly, neither of those countries can afford to lose palm oil as an industry – more than a million people in Malaysia and Indonesia depend on palm oil for an income. And about 40 to 45% of plantations in those countries are smallholdings, not large corporations whose oil is shipped abroad.

The second point is that if Europe stops buying palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia, that shortfall will go unnoticed among the huge amount consumed by India, China and other major markets.

Thirdly, switching away from palm produced in Malaysia and Indonesia will remove producers’ incentive to work sustainably. Why invest in certification, audits and changes in production methods if the market is not interested in paying for it?

Fourthly, it’s not palm oil that’s the problem. It’s the production methods that need to be tackled. Palm oil has become popular because it’s the fastest-growing and highest-yielding oil crop on the planet, needing ten times less land than any other. In a world where rapid population growth demands a food supply, swapping palm oil for one that needs more land to grow would bring even greater problems, on a bigger scale.

Basically, it’s not all about you. The palm oil problem is not about image, headlines or neat posts on Twitter. It doesn’t mean giving up chocolate that contains palm oil in order to rescue the orang-utan. It means dealing with the issues that exist now and will go on existing unless we all play a part in making all palm oil production sustainable and responsible.

You won’t help the rain forests with a boycott – you’ll just wash your hands of the problem.

Tips To Design Practical Green Buildings

Posted on 16th February 2011 in Green Living

For a building to be considered ‘Green’ it could have been designed, built and managed in such a fashion that it’s got a negligible impact on the environment. Naturally, given that ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ are the existing jargon, there are numerous projects that their architects would have labelled as such.

Material used within its construction is an important part of the process. Any viable design needs to utilize recycled or re-usable material inside its construction. It’s also important to consider sourcing material locally.

Correct location : it is exceedingly critical that any green build be correctly sited. It construction shouldn’t destroy, displace or interfere with any natural habitats, for instance wetlands, groundwater collating areas or old expansion forests. Way better to choose a site that may be reclaimed ; such as a brown field or previous business site.

What about facilities that inspire the occupants to live ‘green’ lives? A lot of what the designer has saved during construction can be lost if the residents aren’t inspired to adopt a green lifestyle . Recycling areas have to be easily accessible and thoughtfully situated. A standard example can be found in the conversion of old economic premises,eg warehouses, into convenient house apartments.

Efficient Water use : To be considered green or supportable consideration should be given to how water is used within the project. To preserve water new builds should make full use of available technology to conserve water, such as low-flow toilets, sinks and showers. The collation and redistribution of rainwater is a valuable way of saving water. Rainwater can be used to flush toilets. It may also be used to irrigate gardens and other landscaping.

Simple Steps To Help Your Company Conserve Natural Resources

Posted on 12th February 2011 in environment

You do not have to be an expert to understand that the carbon footprint produced by companies, organizations, even cities and entire nations is important news these days. An increasing number of people are starting to awaken to the truth of what the impact of humanity on Earth truly means and as they do, they are looking to companies to be sensible in how they handle resources seeing as it is businesses which are seen as holders of a whole lot of what Earth has to offer us when it comes to natural resources. We’ll take a look at some ideas now that businesses should employ to better their image through taking real action to make their company more environmentally friendly.

One of the easiest things any company can do to help reduce waste that is such a big problem today is to recycle. While we all know this, some companies continue to throw away a great deal of paper and cardboard that could quite easily be reused through a local recycling program. In addition, many continue to use paper documents where electronic versions would work just as well, especially given the ability to create redundant failsafe copies in today’s digital environment. Saving documents to the cloud can reduce waste right away and prevent their destruction by fire or other disasters, too.

Besides trash reduction, conserving energy is another common way that businesses can commence to cut down on their carbon footprint. A recent story on the Bloomberg news wire (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-16/u-s-selects-solar-power-zones-to-streamline-project-approval-process.html) reveals that even the United States government is getting greatly involved in the making of energy via solar panels. This is something any business can do, and paired with solutions like more economical use of water and other resources, a big impact can be made by even a small business over time.

Of course, sometimes paper is a necessary thing because items like thank you cards and business cards really can not be as authentic if only in digital form. That’s why eco friendly promotional products like seed paper are such a strong idea. This is a type of paper that Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seed_paper) notes is capable of degrading into the soil in such a way that flowers can grow from it once it is discarded. Such seed cards can be used for stationary, business cards and a variety of other uses.

In addition, not all companies want to use styrofoam for their drinking cups at work. Some get custom mugs which can be reused, but others are choosing stainless steel water bottles to get the job done. Employees appreciate durable drinking containers and reusable bags and feel good about not creating so much waste.

The ideas you could employ to improve your company’s carbon profile do not stop here. Resourcefulness is proving to be the key to transforming our waste production, pollution as well as energy inefficiency. It is a new period of innovation and therefore all of us can do a little something of our own to take part. Companies, too, can step up and lead the way to a cleaner, more ecologically aware world.

Albert Jefferson is a well educated journalist discussing environmentally friendly and reusing stories also passing the knowledge to firms to utilize promotional bags to display both their trademark and recognition for this world.

Good Reasons to Buy and Shop Local

Posted on 15th May 2010 in environment

In many countries there is a wide selection of farming procedures. Between dairy farms and those that grow vegetables and fruits or increase chickens, it is possible to get the majority of your family food from local farms when you shop local. Farmers have a love of the land unlike others and are dedicated to taking care of the land and producing excellent crops and other foods. They love what they do, but certainly, they have to make sufficient profit from their own hard work in order to earn a good living and support their families. Local households and the community can help preserve the working farms by purchasing these types of goods.

Here are a few other reasons purchasing locally grown food makes sense: * Fresh as well as Yummy: The actual fruits and vegetables tend to be picked in the very peak of their quality. Cheese and other homemade farm products are prepared lovingly manually, without any preservatives or other poisonous, unpronounceable chemicals thrown in. Shop nearby farmer’s markets for endless variety.

* Good Quality: Favorite meats like chicken, veal, and beef are usually processed on the same land, or nearby. Farmers and their family easily supervise quality control to ensure consumers get the best and freshest product available when they shop local.

* Nutritious and Healthy: Nutrients are not lost in transportation, and the wellness value of the foods is not moderated by preservative chemicals when the products do not have to be trucked or even flown to far away destinations.

* Safety: Locally grown foods are safer for the neighborhood. Having the ability to meet the farmer and speak with those that have produced the crops or raised the actual animals, or his wife who made the actual cheddar cheese, lemon cookies, or cherry pies for tonight’s dinner brings with it a sense of belief in the community. They are not anonymous strangers; these people live and work inside the neighborhood.

* Protect open areas: Farmers who’re producing and making a profit by working on their farms will likely keep doing so. Purchasing local is really a proactive way to help preserve the fabric of the community, in terms of the families working presently there and the available spaces that are today’s operating farms. The lucrative farm will generally not be offered to a real estate developer and subdivided, and that maintains the appearance and feel of the community.

* Benefits animals: Great farms as well as farmers preserve and enhance the fertile dirt and protect the neighborhood drinking water assets. Environmental surroundings on the land today remains much as it had been 100 years ago. Farmers do have use of better gear nowadays, though a lot of it is priced beyond reach for smaller farms. The fields, channels, wooded places, ponds, and out-buildings give excellent environs for animals within our communities, as that has been decreased by building of all types.

As you can see, in your area produced food is a win-win situation for everyone involved, so please try to purchase as much in your area produced food as possible.

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