Is Living Off-Grid Truly Sustainable?

Are you worried about rising global temperatures and climate change? You’re not the only one. With a growing frustration towards the fact fossil fuels still account for over 80% of the world’s energy consumption, more and more households are switching to the combination of solar-battery storage systems. However, the question still remains: Is going off-grid truly sustainable in the long-run?

As renewable energy becomes more prevalent and affordable, a vast majority of people are disconnecting from the grid and adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle – particularly in rural areas where the cost to connect to the grid is high. Nevertheless, this trend doesn’t seem to have taken off with the city-dwelling crowd, where the home-field advantage the grid has over emerging technologies in terms of affordability and reliability greatly outweighs the satisfaction of being green. After all, if you were told to choose between your TV, fridge and washing machine or going green, how many people would give up their comforts? Also, solar batteries these days last about 10 years before needing to be replaced (and more often than not are discarded rather than recycled). With the carbon impact of manufacturing, supplying and disposing of these batteries – how environmentally friendly is this process really?

This is not to say that those living on the grid are not concerned with climate change, and that they are not taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints. Households all over the world are switching to energy-efficient appliances and home designs to prevent resource wastage, which has resulted in utility companies having to change their strategies or perish.

Speaking of energy companies themselves, the smartest amongst them have gone back to the drawing board in an attempt to move with the times. After all, it is common knowledge that if they continue down the same path, their assets risk becoming white elephants – worthless and redundant. After all, people are likely to continue installing solar cells, even as government subsidies reduce, until such time as the grid is completely emissions-free, or at least as close to it as possible. Therefore, it is in the companies’ best interests to stop using fossil fuels, thereby limiting the incentive for people to switch away from the grid.

If you’re looking for examples of companies that have learnt from the current market trends and subscribe to the idea that household renewable assets needn’t always be consumer-owned, consider SolarCity, who provide solar panels that you can lease rather than buy. They have given a clear answer to the question of whether energy utilities should focus on looking for ways to work with start-ups to facilitate the roll-out of solar and storage at scale with an empathic yes.

And who said that the renewable energy generated by each household can’t be shared? Imagine subscribing to energy via a sharing platform and using an app to trade energy with other people and businesses. To make this future smart city scenario possible, we need to continue to invest in emerging technologies, to commercialize the ones that show promise, and to optimize the ones we already know work well. Tesla’s PowerWall is today’s high-profile home battery storage product, but there’s no shortage of players lining up to compete, ultimately putting downward pressure on costs, which will drive further mass-market appeal and adoption of these smart solutions.

And let’s not forget the power of joint effort. We need only look at today’s smartest cities for inspiration. The successful citizen solar power plants initiative, a joint effort between Wien Energy and the city of Vienna, Austria, has offered locals the opportunity to invest in the city’s solar plants to help achieve its renewable energy objectives.

The switch to renewable energy has already been flicked. Smart utilities that are willing to drive change toward a cleaner future will prosper – but it’s going to take breaking a lot of old habits to sustain.

Want to share your views on sustainable issues and living off-grid? Drop us a line in the comments below.

Sustainable Travel: Transform Your Impact on Your Destination

Travel is a synonym of adventure. Travel challenges you. It connects you with diverse people and allows you to create meaningful relationships around the globe. Yet, travel can harm our planet if it is not done mindfully. From the huge amount of greenhouse gases emitted from air travel to the holiday resorts built on natural areas, the travel industry can negatively affect our environment.

However, we believe that we can minimize the impact and protect the Earth’s most natural places. How? With sustainable travel!

What Is Sustainable Travel?

Sustainable travel consists of finding ways to reduce the negative economic, social and environmental impacts that host the tourism industry. Also known as sustainable tourism, sustainable travel aims to value the ecosystems and maintain the natural resources of the destinations. The World Tourism Organization defines the term as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”.

If you are not someone who usually fights for the sustainability cause, you are probably asking yourself why you should adopt a sustainable travel approach. Yes, you could be a tourist and enjoy the perks of traveling. Protecting the places you love is in the end up to you. But, let’s face the truth; sustainable tourism will not happen overnight. In fact, it will become real only if we do out part.

So, if you’ve decided to make a better impact while enjoying the Earth’s most beautiful destinations, pledge to travel more responsibly. You can start your sustainable journey with the following tips:

Choose “Greener” Transportation or Slower

Of course, this will depend on your destination. If you have several options to reach your holiday place, think about what is more Eco-Friendly. Are you traveling in a group? If you are, it will be more responsible to share a vehicle. On the other hand, while going on a solo vacation, the best choice will be to take the train or to fly.

Once you’ve reached the destination, the most environmentally-friendly means of transport will be traveling by foot or bicycle. You can also opt to be a slow traveler by staying longer in one destination instead of flying more.

Go Camping or Stay at a Local’s Accommodation

If you enjoy being outdoors, camping will be a fantastic accommodation option! With the perks of going wild and having lots of fun in nature, you will also positively impact while avoiding large resorts. Those types of accommodation negatively affect the environment because of their high level of energy and water consumption.

But if the joys of camping are not for you, no stress! You can still look for alternatives like staying in guesthouses, Airbnbs or Bed & Breakfast, that are owned by locals. This way, you’ll be more sustainable as you’ll contribute to the local economy rather than giving your money to big foreign hotel chains.

Visit and Have Fun Responsibly

Who said that sustainable travel could not be fun? Yes, it can be fun, but it has to be responsible too! You must plan ahead and do a bit of research before booking your tours. Sustainable tour operators usually have green accreditation, including Rainforest Alliance, Green Globe or EarthCheck.

Try to look for tours that do not disturb wildlife. As a sustainable traveler, you would want to pick a wildlife tour that does not allow the animals to be in contact with humans.

A good idea would be to read the reviews on Google or TripAdvisor or get more information on blog posts from trusted travel bloggers. You can even contact the tour company to learn more about their policies.

Enjoy Local Markets and Shop Sustainably

Since sustainable travel is about maintaining the health of the country’s economy, spend your money in cafes and restaurants owned by locals. This will not only be an opportunity to interact with locals and learn more about their culture but a chance to eat traditional local food. Buying street food is also another option but make sure you avoid big food chains at all costs! You can also enjoy fresh vegetables, fruits, and other local products from the farmers’ markets instead of spending on imported foods.

Last but not least, shop souvenirs from local artisans! Products that would have been flown or shipped will have a larger carbon footprint, which you want to avoid. Plus, it’s always better to take home a souvenir that will remind you of the country rather than something manufactured elsewhere.

Conscientious adventurers, with these tips, you should now be ready to try sustainable travel! Remember that it takes all of us to save our planet! And, if you already started your sustainable rescue while traveling, leave a comment below to share how your experience has been so far!

What We Eat Matters – Top Daily Foods That Hurt Our Planet

While we know what foods are bad for us and how we should consume them in moderation to stay healthy, did you know many foods are actually bad for our planet’s health? Yes, you read that right! Often, when it comes to our Earth’s health and climate change, all we tend to think about are the cars we’re driving and our energy use in our homes and offices! We don’t always see the environmental impact that particular food has when choosing what to eat daily, especially when we’re indulging in a delicious bite of hamburgers or salmon. 

Some of us choose to avoid thinking about where our food comes from and how it’s made, probably because we know that the reality is not pretty. Others just don’t know the ways our food is produced. Well, food is food. Why should we have to think so much about the thing that keeps us alive? We may feel that we’re doing our part to keep this planet clean and healthy by recycling or riding our bikes to class, but the reality is that it’s time to pay more attention to our food choices.

The bad news is that the agricultural world is known to produce a serious amount of greenhouse gasses, which can significantly impact the environment. The production cycles behind a lot of our foods have a large carbon footprint, require a lot of water, or drive deforestation. From farm to fork, food production to processing to transportation accumulates enormous amounts of energy, water, and chemicals. 

Not all food is bad for the environment, and you can take a look at foods that have a positive impact here. But here are some foods to watch out for as being surprisingly bad for our planet. 


We all probably saw this one coming, but really, beef is one of the worst things you can eat if you’re thinking of conserving our planet. 

For every quarter-pound of beef, you eat (typical hamburger size), about 600 gallons of water are used. On top of that, more greenhouse gas emissions come from cows than from the transportation industry. Cows produce massive amounts of waste that can pollute nearby streams. Going meatless even once a week can decrease your carbon footprint by an incredible amount. Think you could never go without meat? Try this meatless burger recipe, and you won’t even notice it is gone.


Minion Banana GIF - Minion Banana - Discover & Share GIFs

I have some sad news for all of the smoothie lovers, banana ice cream addicts, and banana pancake fanatics. Bananas are ruining the planet. Have you ever seen a banana at your local farmers’ market? Probably not because they’re usually grown in South America, traveling thousands of miles to get to American grocery stores, where they’re sold, which releases loads of carbon into the atmosphere. Bananas are also wrapped in plastic when they’re transported, so grocery stores can differentiate between conventional, organic, and fair-trade bananas.


Rice uses one-third of the world’s annual freshwater. This crop makes your 45-minute showers seem like nothing (please don’t take this as me promoting long showers). Rice is very tasty, but countless other grains can easily replace it and are usually healthier. If you love fried rice, try this Chicken Quinoa Fried Rice. You can also make cauliflower rice, which is lower in carbs and better for the environment. 


coffee #drink #funny #cry Drink a cup of coffee | Emoji, Maker, Ipod touch

I don’t know about you guys, but hearing about the impacts coffee may have on our environment made me shed a few tears. I am wholeheartedly addicted to coffee, and I will be the first one to admit that. But we must face the reality that coffee is destroying our world’s ecosystems.

There has been such an increase in demand for coffee that trees are being deforested at a high rate. Coffee is grown in sunny, deforested areas, with harsh chemicals being used to accelerate its growth.

So how are we ever going to find a replacement for coffee? It’s really a hard one. If you can never give up coffee (me), look for coffee that’s locally grown, or the Rainforest Alliance certifies that. You can also try some tea. Black tea has the most caffeine.


Corn is used in so many things that we consume daily. It’s produced to make corn syrup and vegetable oil, is in basically all processed foods, and it’s grown to feed cattle. It uses the most land out of any crop in the United States.

The bad thing about corn is that it’s grown in huge monocultures. This means large fields are used for only corn, and the corn ruins the soil. This method of growing corn also requires many chemicals and water. How to avoid corn? Use olive or coconut oils instead of vegetable oil. Avoid corn products with corn syrup; it’s terrible for our planet and health. Use tortillas made from whole grains instead of corn tortillas.


Why farm salmon if you can print them? | The Fish Site

Salmon is rich in omega 3, which is highly recommended by health experts. However, salmon farming is one of the most destructive aquaculture systems that there is. The aquaculture practices require the use of open net-cages that are directly thrown into the ocean, waste from the farms, chemicals, and disease-causing parasites are released directly into the ocean waters, threatening other marine life. The practice has also resulted in the depletion of wild fish stocks due to the high protein required to raise salmon.

This list of foods may seem a little daunting. We’re so used to consuming many of them every day, but all we can do is try our best and eliminating these foods from our diets. Doing so is not entirely realistic but making an effort to lower your consumption of these foods is better than giving up.

Keep Cool Without AC: Do Air Coolers Work?

The air cooler exploits the ability of water to produce cool air by evaporating, a physical phenomenon also referred to as “hydro-cooling” or “adiabatic cooling”.

The mechanism consists of a simple blower (fan) whose flow passes through a porous membrane kept permanently wet (filter). The water trapped in this filter evaporates under the effect of the air current while releasing cool air into the ambient air.

This well known physical reaction (latent heat), manifests its effects daily in our environment.

For example:
– after bathing, it is the heat that provokes this sensation of freshness on wet skin swept by the wind,
– it maintains the freshness of the water contained in a terracotta jars,
– it is also this same heat that contributes to the thermal regulation of our body by evaporation of perspiration…

In this completely natural way, the dry room air is sucked in at 35°C by the air cooler, which would have dropped by 10°C when it is blown into the room.

Please note: the increase in relative humidity in the room accentuates the feeling of coolness (temperature felt).

Advantages and disadvantages of the air cooler


The air cooler offers many advantages:
– easy to use;
– basic mechanics (extremely rare breakdowns);
– no installation (no evacuation, only one plug to be connected);
– minimum maintenance (water tank hygiene);
– few consumables (10 to 15 liters of water per day);
– low energy consumption (< 100 W).

With no impact on the environment, it actively contributes to the healthiness of the premises by filtering the air it circulates.

Good to know: some models are equipped with an ionizer to purify the ambient air.


The investment and operating costs of the air cooler are not comparable with those of air conditioning solutions (15 to 20 times less), but these units do not offer comparable performance. For example, it is not possible to program a set temperature.

The efficiency, which is maximum when the air in the room is dry, becomes mediocre when the humidity level rises. Like with a fan, the well-being is more evident in the air circulation area.

In contrast to air-conditioned rooms, it is advisable to activate room ventilation, for example by keeping a window open.

Selection criteria for air coolers

Air coolers are usually equipped with casters. This makes it easy to move them from room to room effortlessly.

The services you are looking for

All devices on the market combine several functions. It is therefore essential, first of all, to select the options that are useful:
– ventilation only;
– oscillation;
– tilting of the shutters;
– automatic humidifier;
– air purifier;
– ionizer;
– timer;
– remote control…

Room surface and volume

The evaporation capacity of the air cooler must be adapted to the volume of the room: in an oversized room, the increase in the ambient humidity rate quickly reduces the efficiency, undersized, the effect is close to that of a simple fan.

For the sake of simplification, the characteristics of most domestic appliances only mention the surface area of the room for which they are designed. This is due to the standardized ceiling height of our modern homes.

Note: for non-standard dwellings, the nominal volume allowed by each appliance (surface area x 2.5) must therefore be determined and compared to the room.

Water tank

Often related to the useful surface, the capacity of the water tank is a strategic element of choice. It is the tank capacity that dictates the frequency of tank refills, and therefore the autonomy of the appliance (10 to 12 hours seems to be an acceptable compromise).

Air flow rate

We have seen above, the influence of a blowing volume, compatible with the room, on the efficiency of the unit. Overbidding on the ventilation capacity can only be detrimental to the cooling performance of the unit.

On the other hand, it is useful to be able to adjust the speed of the blades. This allows the ventilation volume to be precisely dosed to adapt it to the size of the room (mobility) or to optional functions (ventilation only, natural ventilation, etc.).

Noise level

Many air coolers (especially in the entry-level segment) can generate noise that quickly becomes intolerable. For a better comfort, the lowest noise level (in dB) should be systematically sought.

Some manufacturing tips can be used to reduce the noise level: sleep program, alternating rhythms to simulate wind noise…

Price of the air cooler

For a 30m² (75 m³) mobile air cooler of standard quality, count between $100 and $300 including tax.

There are mini battery-operated units for less than $50 inc. VAT and, for camping, or RV activities, space-saving battery-operated systems starting at $800 inc. VAT.

Air Conditioning and Ecology: What Impact on the Environment?

– Pollution and air conditioning
– New refrigerant gases for air conditioning
– Environmentally friendly air conditioning

Air conditioning is on the rise, but it is often questioned for its impact on our health and the environment.
Is it dangerous and should we be wary of it? This post provides you with the answer.

Pollution and air conditioning

Air conditioning and greenhouse gases

An air conditioner can reject refrigerants which are responsible for the increase in greenhouse gases:
– Indeed, these fluids have a strong warming power evaluated by the GWP (Global Warming Potential);
– In order to avoid refrigerant emissions into the air, it is important to carry out a proper installation and regular tightness checks. In itself, an air-conditioning circuit is closed, therefore no emissions.
– Air-conditioning creates a vicious circle, known as an urban heat island, which is found in large cities:
◦ The higher the temperature rises, the more air conditioning is used;
◦ But the more we use it, the more heat is released into the air with air/air conditioning systems.
◦ To remedy this, large cities use centralized air conditioning systems that reject heat to water loops.
Air conditioners use a lot of electricity:
– Your bill can increase by 20 to 25% for a 45 m² surface area during the summer;
– During the 2003 heat wave, peaks in electricity consumption were a real concern, even though only 10% of households had them.
– The peaks in electricity consumption that we find in winter during cold spells are now also found in the summer period during heat peaks.

Ban on CFC and HCFC refrigerants

CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) have been very popular in the refrigeration industry, particularly as refrigerants, in air conditioning systems because:
– They are non-flammable;
– They were not expensive: about $2 per barrel;
– They have a good resistance capacity;
– They do not degrade;
– They do not damage the installations;
– They are easy to liquefy.
On the other hand, these two types of fluid contained chlorine, responsible for the hole in the ozone layer. They were therefore all progressively banned by the Montreal Protocol.
New refrigerant gases for air conditioning
Today’s manufacturers are concerned about the environment and are helping to reduce waste and the environmental impact of air conditioners, by using new refrigerant gases:

– The refrigerant R 410 A (HFC):

◦ It reduces the impact on the ozone layer to zero;
◦ Some air conditioning systems reduce their power consumption for equivalent performance;
◦ However, its action on the greenhouse effect is 2088 times greater than CO2! Fluids in its category (HFCs) are in the process of being banned soon. For the time being, they are subject to a quota system limiting their use.

– Refrigerant mixtures:

◦ To cope with HFC restrictions, manufacturers are mixing fluids to reduce their impact on global warming;
◦ In air conditioning, the fluid currently used is R32, it has a greenhouse effect 3 times lower than R410A but more than 600 times higher than CO2!
– The new HFO (hydrofluoroolefin) refrigerants:
◦ They have no impact on the ozone layer and have a low greenhouse effect;
◦ They have a performance equivalent to previous fluids;
◦ They are slightly flammable.

– Hydrocarbons:

◦ They are said to be natural;
◦ They have no impact on the ozone layer and a low greenhouse effect;
◦ They are already present in domestic and professional refrigerators;
◦ They are flammable.

– Ammonia (NH-3 or R-17):

◦ It is said to be natural;
◦ It is an excellent refrigerant;
◦ However, it is toxic and flammable;
◦ In spite of this, it remains in the industrial environment ;
◦ It has no impact on the ozone layer or greenhouse effect.

– Carbon Dioxide (CO2):

◦ It is said to be natural;
◦ It is neither toxic nor flammable;
◦ It has no impact on the ozone layer and a low greenhouse effect;
◦ It has a high usage pressure;
◦ Its use involves special air conditioning compressors, but it is of increasing interest for the heat pumps, and food processing industries.

Environmentally friendly air conditioning

For peace of mind about the environment, there are totally environmentally friendly air conditioning systems available.
There are two main ones:

– Solar air conditioning

Solar air conditioning uses the principle of sorption. A natural refrigerant (often ammonia) is mixed with water to absorb heat and release it. This system works without a compressor, there is only a consumption of electricity for two circulators (very low consumption). The compression is called thermal instead of mechanical and is done through solar panels.

Bio air conditioning, also called evaporative air cooler (EAC)

The evaporation of water is a natural cooling medium, identical to perspiration for humans. Water on the skin evaporates by absorbing body heat. This same principle is used by bio air conditioning. Water is injected into a media, a fan creates a flow of air that passes through the media to become charged with moisture, thus cooling the air that is injected into the room.

At the end of the day, all air conditioning methods are polluting the environment one way or the other because just the mere fact of using electricity is a source of pollution in itself. Now, the option is in the hands of all of us as to which method we will be using. Please note that this blog is just getting started. Remember to leave your comments below and share your thoughts with readers.

What Is Economical and Ecological Heating?

Heat your home, not the outside! If you’re tracking heat loss in your home, start by asking yourself about its insulation. Doing renovation work will allow you to save energy while optimizing your comfort.

Insulation is essential. There is no point in changing your old heating system for a more efficient and economical electric heater for example if your house is a colander: the heat input will not compensate for the losses and it will cost you more.

Good to know: Most ecological and economical heating systems are eligible for a tax credit.

What is economical and ecological heating?

Ecological economic heating is based on 3 issues:

– reducing energy consumption;
– using renewable energy;
– limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

The heating methods that can meet these criteria are constantly evolving. The current economic context and societal concerns are favorable to them, which leads them to supplant conventional equipment without difficulty.

Types of economical and ecological heating

For households, heating remains one of the most energy-intensive operations, hence the growing interest in technologies that enable savings on heating bills and preserve our environment.
Some equipment, such as boilers, stoves, and heat pumps, use renewable energies (wood, earth, air, sun) and are qualified as ecological.


The boiler is the keystone of the heating system and can be environmentally friendly by using wood, which is the cheapest fuel and renewable energy with low CO2 emissions:

– wood pellet boiler (or pellets) that feeds a heating circuit but can also provide domestic hot water;
– boiler and hot water loop capable of running on renewable energy such as geothermal, wood, and solar.

Important: check with your local tax office for more information on the tax credit for the purchase of a wood-fired boiler.

Heat pumps

The heat pump has its place in this list, although it needs electrical energy to operate. Its operation is however very economical since it is based on the extraction of energy from the ground or the air and its return to the home via heat emitters (radiators or underfloor heating).

There are various heat pumps:

– air-water heat pumps that can be adapted to existing systems can also produce hot water and are reversible;
– air-to-air heat pumps that can only be adapted to electric heating systems and are more efficient in the cooling mode than in heating mode;
– ground-source heat pumps (horizontal or vertical capture), which are the most expensive but the most efficient.


Stoves are very efficient heaters that are still used in most cases as a complement to a central heating system. There are different types of stoves:

– the pellet stove: its autonomy is generally between 7 and 72 hours;
– the masonry heater, which is a high-efficiency wood stove.

Tips to reduce your heating bill

Here are some good plans to save heating energy:

– Reducing the temperature by 1°C saves 7% of energy.
– Regularly clean the convector grilles to avoid dust accumulation that would reduce airflow.
– Remember to turn down the heating if you are away for more than 2 hours, but do not turn it off. In fact, heating your home would require more energy than if you had left it at the same temperature.
– If you are away for more than 48 hours, you can switch to the “frost-free” position.

Should you have more information on how we can heat our homes by more responsible environmental means, please do not hesitate to share your comments in the section below. We will love to hear from you also!

8 Sustainable Products You Should Own To Be More Eco-Friendly

You’ve set a new goal! You want to fight against the depletion of natural resources. Yet, you’re not sure how to become more Eco-Friendly. An easy way to start is to try meeting your needs without compromising the ecological balance and future generations’ survival chances to survive. How? By investing in sustainable products!

Here are 8 sustainable products you should buy to start saving the Earth:

1. Bamboo Paper Towels

When you choose bamboo paper towels rather than traditional napkins, you can significantly reduce tissue consumption’s negative impact on the planet. These are made up of sustainable certified organic bamboo and are reusable as they can be washed. These are also more resilient and absorbent than conventional paper towels.

2. Bamboo Kitchen Utensils

These sustainable forks, spoons and knives will bring your new lifestyle to another level! If you want to become Eco-Friendly, we recommend that you ditch using plastic and start using bamboo, which is one of the best renewable materials. In fact, once they are cut down, bamboo stalks can regrow within days of they get some water and an appropriate place to grow.

3. Glass Containers

We all know that plastic containers are not environmental-friendly. Sustainable alternatives are glass containers with silicone covers. These will be handy when you have leftovers or when you need to microwave your food. Plus, as these containers are equipped with a dual lock lid that seals tight, your food is kept fresh and there is no chance of spills.

4. Reusable Zip-Locks

On those mornings where you are in a complete rush and don’t have time to pack your food, the reusable zip-locks will be perfect for you. These Eco-Friendly bags, usually made of fabric or silicon, are a good way of preserving your food. Plus, you can use it at home or quickly pack your lunch in it when you are on the go. 

5. Reusable Tea Bags

If you want to be more sustainable, reusable tea bags will be your cup of tea. You can choose to purchase organic homemade tea bags designed to reduce the use of plastic or make your own at home. If you have a piece of fabric, some thread and pins, a pair of scissors, and a needle, you are good to go.

6. Konjac Sponges 

Did you know that you could be sustainable under your shower as well? In fact, you can get rid of your plastic loofahs and go for a more natural option, Konjac sponges. These are plant-based and vegan products made of the Konjac root, which is a vegetable found in Asia. These sponges also contain charcoal and are 100% biodegradable. Hence you can add them to your compost once it starts decaying. 

7. Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

These reusable makeup remover pads can be used over and over again but are usually biodegradable as well. These sustainable products will save the environment and will also cut on your expenses, saving you the hassle of continually buying cotton pads. You can find high- quality pads made up of bamboo fibers on the market.

8. Rattan Handbags

Be stylish with these sustainable handbags. Rattan handbags have recently become a fashion trend, but you are also sure to make a positive environmental impact while investing in them. First, you will stop buying bags made of plastic and you will be using a product made of a durable and Eco-Friendly material.

While buying these sustainable products, you are now sure to reduce your carbon footprints and live a more guilt-free and Eco-Friendly lifestyle. Have you purchased any other environmental-friendly goods recently that you find useful? Leave your recommendations in the comments section! 

Is Veganism Truly Sustainable?

Go vegan, they said. Save the world, they said. But is the plant-based diet as good for the environment as we’ve been told? A group of researchers has recently published a study in which they describe various biophysical simulation models that compare 10 eating patterns: the vegan diet, two vegetarian diets (one that includes dairy, the other dairy and eggs), four omnivorous diets (with varying degrees of vegetarian influence), one low in fats and sugars, and one similar to modern American dietary patterns.

What they found was that the carrying capacity—the size of the population that can be supported indefinitely by the resources of an ecosystem—of the vegan diet is actually less substantial than two of the vegetarian diets and two out of the four omnivorous diets they studied.

The Price of Veganism

The number of vegans has increased 160 per cent over the past 10 years, but people need to be asking “where has this food come from” as they fill their shopping baskets with the fruits of the world: pomegranates and mangos from India, lentils from Canada, beans from Brazil, blueberries from the US and goji berries from China. Eating lamb chops that come from a farm a few miles down the road is much better for the environment than eating an avocado that has travelled from the other side of the world.

As we greedily plunder the world’s bread basket, it’s the consumer who benefits, while those at the source can be left high and dry. Take avocados and quinoa, whose prices have been pushed up so much by Western demand that they’ve become unaffordable to those who depend on them in their country of origin.

Rather than being seduced by exhortations to eat more products made from industrially grown soya, maize and grains, we should be encouraging sustainable forms of meat and dairy production based on traditional rotational systems, permanent pasture and conservation grazing. We should, at the very least, question the ethics of driving up demand for crops that require high inputs of fertilizer, fungicides, pesticides and herbicides, while demonizing sustainable forms of livestock farming that can restore soils and biodiversity, and sequester carbon.

Not only does this system of natural grazing aid the environment in terms of soil restoration, biodiversity, pollinating insects, water quality and flood mitigation – but it also guarantees healthy lives for the animals, and they in turn produce meat that is healthy for us. In direct contrast to grain-fed and grain-finished meat from intensive systems, wholly pasture-fed meat is high in beta carotene, calcium, selenium, magnesium and potassium and vitamins E and B, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – a powerful anti-carcinogen. It is also high in the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is vital for human brain development but extremely difficult for vegans to obtain.

Much has been made of the methane emissions of livestock, but these are lower in biodiverse pasture systems that include wild plants such as angelica, common fumitory, shepherd’s purse and bird’s-foot trefoil because they contain fumaric acid – a compound that reduces emissions of methane by 70%, according to reliable studies.

In the vegan equation, by contrast, the carbon cost of ploughing is rarely considered. Since the industrial revolution, up to 70% of the carbon in our cultivated soils has been lost to the atmosphere. So there’s a huge responsibility here: unless you’re sourcing your vegan products specifically from organic, “no-dig” systems, you are actively participating in the destruction of soil biota, promoting a system that deprives other species, including small mammals, birds and reptiles, of the conditions for life, and significantly contributing to climate change.

There’s no question we should all be eating far less meat, and calls for an end to high-carbon, polluting, unethical, intensive forms of grain-fed meat production are commendable. But if your concerns as a vegan are the environment, animal welfare and your own health, then it’s no longer possible to pretend that these are all met simply by giving up meat and dairy. Counterintuitive as it may seem, adding the occasional organic, pasture-fed steak to your diet could be the right way to square the circle.

Sustainable Transportation: Everything You Need To Know

Are you concerned about the depletion of the ozone layer? Do you want to play a role in preventing this major global environmental problem that leads to an increase in skin cancer or immune system damage? As we celebrate the International Day for the Prevention of the Ozone Layer tomorrow, it is the ideal time to learn more about sustainable transport.

What is Sustainable Transport?

The term sustainable transportation refers to any means of transport that causes the least damage to the environment. Also known as “Green Transport”, it consists of relying on renewable or regenerated energy for transportation instead of depending on fossil fuels, which have limited life expectancy. 

Since this type of transportation, including walking, cycling and even public transportation, uses either sustainable energy sources or depends less on natural resources, it has minimum negative effects on the environment compared to standard vehicles.

Sustainable Transportation Examples

Many countries have encouraged people to use public transport instead of private cars to become more sustainable. Cycling is also becoming increasingly popular because it is seen as a cheap transportation method and is also beneficial for maintaining physical fitness.

A series of measures have also been taken to develop cleaner and more energy-efficient modes of city transportation. Experiments have been conducted with several types of fuel to introduce “green vehicles”. For example, hybrid cars are promoted as an alternative to conventional vehicles and have likewise become more widespread. While standard cars usually run on natural gas or electricity, these hybrid transports operate with a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine.

Why Choose Sustainable Transportation?

  1. Greenhouse Gases Emissions Reduced
    Various forms of transports consume between 20% to 25% of the earth’s energy, contributing to the significant high level of greenhouse gases (GHG) produce. In fact, 15% of GHG produced worldwide come from regular transportation.  While on the other hand, driving eco-friendly vehicles help in the reduction of these emissions and in keeping our air cleaner. These transports are also more energy-efficient, hence sustainable.
  2. A Money Saver
    These days, in many countries, we’ve seen the rise in fuel prices, and sustainable transport is an effective way of saving on these costs. It is indeed cheaper to walk, cycle, take public transportation, or drive energy-efficient vehicles. Plus, Eco-driving will not only help you to save on fuel expenses but also on maintenance as car parts will wear and tear less. These modern transports also have the perks of improving road safety as they are less prone to accidents.
  3. More Rapidity And Flexibility Obtained
    If you need to travel somewhere close by, sustainable transports like walking or cycling will allow you to reach the destination faster while avoiding traffic jams. This is also an ideal way of saving you the hassle of finding a suitable parking space for your car. However, if you have to carry heavy bags, public transport can also be an alternative.
  4. Healthier Lifestyle
    We all know the importance of keeping active, but we cannot always spend extra time on physical activities with our daily packed schedule. Yet, walking and cycling to work, for instance, is an effective way of killing two birds with one stone as it will not only allow you to save the world but will also keep you healthy. On the other hand, public transport produced less air pollution than private standard cars leading to lower carbon emission. Consequently, this keeps our air cleaner and our lungs healthier!
  5. A Great Way To Have Fun
    Cycling is often considered as a leisure activity. And this sustainable means of transport can be a great way of enjoying this activity during your trip to work.

As you’ve learned more on the concept of sustainable transportation, you can now make a difference and help in the prevention of the Ozone depletion! Don’t forget to leave a comment once you’ve adopted this environmental-friendly method of transport.

7 Handy Tips to Slay in Planet-Friendly Apparels

Almost everyone is hooked on cheap and shabby clothes. All thanks to cheap manufacturing in underdeveloped countries and the rapid rise of fashion, clothing has shifted from valuable goods to disposable items that we throw away at the end of the season.

The rate at which our environment is being destroyed by corporations and big business is indeed very alarming. And as consumers, one of the best ways we can help combat this catastrophic issue is by making more eco-conscious choices a part of our daily lives. Simple things, such as switching to environmentally friendly clothing, can significantly influence our planet. For example, producing a single cotton shirt uses 2,700 liters of water.

And let’s face it, we all wear and buy new clothes regularly, so why not ensure your love for fashion also shows your passion for the earth? Keep reading to learn how to find clothing that’s planet-friendly!

#1. Say No To Real Leather

Real leather is not only harmful to animals, but it’s also not environmentally friendly. To make animal skin into leather, it has to go through an extensive process that uses many chemicals and energy (not to mention that animal agriculture as an industry has a large carbon footprint!). Opt for vegan leather when purchasing items.

#2. Choose Sustainable Fabrics

One of the best ways to cultivate an ecological wardrobe is by buying clothing made of sustainable fabrics. As mentioned above, cotton uses a ton of water and also large amounts of pesticides. This has a more considerable impact on the environment than other types of material. Opt for clothing made from linen, hemp, or even bamboo. Linen comes from flax, and besides using far fewer resources to manufacture than traditional cotton, it’s also able to be composted.

Hemp is easy to grow and doesn’t require a lot of pesticides or fertilizer. Hemp is also diverse and can be made into a wide variety of fabrics. Bamboo is great because it also used no pesticides and is fast growing. 

#3. Clothing Swaps

Another great way to get your hands on recycled clothing is by hosting a clothing swap. Make a Facebook event and invite all your friends to bring a bag of unwanted clothing. Most of us tend to have lots of clothing lying around that isn’t being worn, and clothing swaps are an excellent way to eliminate these items without throwing them away. Plus, you never know what fabulous clothing you’ll get from your friend to add to your wardrobe. After your clothing swap is over, collect all the remaining items, and consider donating them to a local charity.

#4. Embrace Second Hand

In Macklemore’s words, get ready to pop some tags because thrift shopping is one of the best ways to save the planet and save money. Use these secrets to help you pick fashionable secondhand items. Whether you’re going to a vintage store, consignment shops, or places like Goodwill, you reduce fabric waste if you buy clothing secondhand. Not to mention you’ll likely find excellent clothes for a fraction of what you would pay in a new-retail setting. Every year the average American spends over 70 pounds of textile to the landfill. So by choosing to visit the thrift shop, you are helping to reduce this waste.

#5. Repair Well-Loved Items

The new fashion is being consumed at a rapid rate. And we all have those favorite clothing items that have holes or excess wear and tear from being worn over and over. Instead of tossing these textiles out and looking to buy new things, consider repairing your well-loved items and extending their lives. Not only will this help to reduce your clothing waste, but it will also save you money and allow you to hold on to your most beloved pieces of clothing for longer.

#6. Buy Homemade Or Local

If you have the option to buy handmade or locally made clothing, jewelry, or shoes, this can be a great way to acquire environmentally friendly clothing. Handmade items not only tend to have a smaller impact on the environment since they aren’t mass-produced in a factory but by purchasing them, you are also supporting a local small business.

#7. Do Your Homework

If you are looking to buy new but buy only from eco-friendly brands, there are plenty of options. But like all things, you want to do your homework on these brands and not just go off advertising. Because of the boom in the popularity of sustainable fashion, many brands are hopping on the bandwagon. This is creating “green-washing” between brands and consumers. Where consumers are thinking, they are buying sustainable, but in reality, they aren’t. 

The secret to purchasing environmentally friendly clothing lies within the three R’s. By focusing on reducing the clothing you buy, recycling pre-worn clothing, and reusing (or repairing) what you already have, you will significantly reduce your clothing waste. Shopping sustainable clothing is becoming more and more important, so keep these tips in mind next time you are planning to shop