Costa Rica aims to become the first country to ban all single-use plastics

August 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Costa Rica aims to become the first country to ban all single-use plastics

Costa Rica is taking a stand against the plastic waste flooding our oceans and clogging up our landfills: the country is poised to become the first in the world to eliminate all single-use plastics . This isn’t just a ban on plastic bags or water bottles. Using a multi-prong approach, Costa Rica will eliminate plastic forks, lids and even coffee stirrers. And as if that wasn’t a lofty enough goal, they plan to do this by 2021. Plastic is one of the most dramatic problems that the environment is facing. There is so much plastic trash in the ocean that it is difficult to even comprehend, and we are constantly discovering more . By 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish. In Costa Rica, 4,000 tons of solid waste is produced every day, and 20 percent of that never makes it to a recycle center or landfill, ending up in the Costa Rican rivers, beaches and forests. Related: Costa Rica ran almost entirely on renewables in 2016 Costa Rica has taken environmental protection seriously. The country plans to be carbon neutral by 2021, in part by ditching fossil fuels . They are also dedicated to restoring their forests and protecting wildlife .  In order to move away from single-use plastic, the country will utilize both public and private sectors to accomplish five actions. The country will offer incentives and issue requirements for suppliers, in addition to investing in research and development and other initiatives that will move it closer to its goals. It will also replace single-use products with innovations like cellulose acetate-based materials. Via Costa Rica News Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

See the rest here: 
Costa Rica aims to become the first country to ban all single-use plastics

4 DIY herbal remedies that take the sting out of pesky insect bites

August 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on 4 DIY herbal remedies that take the sting out of pesky insect bites

We share the planet with many different species, and some of them bite or sting us on occasion. Mosquitoes , horse flies, fire ants, bedbugs, spiders, fleas, bees, and wasps can cause nasty reactions with their saliva or venom, but we don’t need to run to the drugstore to alleviate any potential reactions. Instead, we can enlist our plant allies and a few household ingredients to relieve the torment. Read on for a few DIY recipes that soothe insect bites without the nasty chemicals. When gathering wild plants for your herbal remedies, be sure to collect them from areas that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides and aren’t too close to active roadways. If you grow these plants yourself, try to avoid chemical fertilizers and just use compost to nourish them as they grow. 1. Plantain Poultice Plantain ( Plantago major ) is an invaluable plant for just about every type of insect bite or sting , and it grows so prolifically that you can undoubtedly find it somewhere near you. If you’re walking outside and you get bitten, look around to see if there’s some plantain growing nearby: just crush up or chew one of its leaves, and rub it all over the affected area for relief of both pain and itchiness. Alternately, if you have these extra ingredients at hand, you can make a poultice instead: What you’ll need and how to make it: 4-6 plantain leaves 1 teaspoon bentonite clay powder 1/2 teaspoon activated charcoal powder Fresh aloe vera gel Step 1: Chop the plantain leaves very finely. I mash mine in a mortar and pestle as well, but you can also put them through a food processor. Here’s a tip: if you have one of those Magic Bullet-style mini smoothie makers, they’re pretty much ideal for chopping up fresh herbs. Step 2: Cut a 3-inch piece off your handy aloe vera plant, and squish the gel out of it. Mix that, the bentonite powder, and the activated charcoal powder with the chopped plantain to create a thick paste. Step 3: Slather this paste on bite and surrounding area. It should alleviate the pain, as well as overall irritation, and both the bentonite and charcoal will draw the insect venom out of the bite. Which types of insect bites and stings will this help? Pretty much all of them. For spider bites specifically, add some crushed fresh yarrow leaves to the poultice, as this will help to draw out the venom. 2. Creosote-Infused Oil Leaves from the creosote bush ( Larrea tridentata ), also known as chaparral, can be used to create an infused oil for all kinds of insect bites, though it’s particularly well suited to fire ant bites and scorpion stings. What you’ll need and how to make it: Dried leaves from the creosote bush High-quality olive oil Clean, sterilized jar and lid I generally use the folk method for creating infused oil, so that’s what I’ll be describing below. If you’d be more comfortable using official ratios, then it’s 1 oz of dried leaves to 10 oz oil. Step 1: Fill your jar 1/2 full of dried leaves, then pour in olive oil to fill the jar almost to the top. Step 2: Use a chopstick to stir it well, then cap it with the lid. Place in a sunny spot and shake daily for 2-3 weeks. Step 3: Strain well through cheesecloth and a sieve into another clean jar. Decant into colored glass dropper bottles, and label with the name and date. Store these in a cool, dark place. When and if you get stung or bitten, apply a drop or two to the area. Which types of insect bites and stings will this help? Spider, kissing beetle, and mosquito bites, bee and scorpion stings, and those weird caterpillars that have hairs that’ll lodge in your skin and make you scream in pain. *Note: It’s best to avoid creosote if you’re pregnant or nursing. 3. Plantain Vinegar When you combine plantain with apple cider vinegar, you end up with an acidic tincture that neutralizes wasp sting venom surprisingly well. Note that this works for wasp stings, not bees: wasp venom is alkaline, which is why the acid in vinegar neutralizes it. What you’ll need and how to make it: Handful of plantain leaves Apple cider vinegar (you can also use white vinegar in a pinch) Clean, sterilized jar and lid Step 1: Gather some plantain leaves and rinse them well under running water. Step 2: Pat them dry, then chop them up and loosely fill a small, clean jelly jar 2/3 full of the chopped leaves. Step 3: Fill the jar all the way to the top with apple cider vinegar, and stir the contents gently with a chopstick or spoon handle to release any air bubbles. Close it up with a clean lid and store in a cool, dark place for 3-4 weeks, agitating the jar gently every day to draw out the plantain’s medicinal properties. Step 4: Once that time has passed, strain the liquid through a few layers of cheesecloth into a clean jar, or into amber dropper bottles. If you get stung by a wasp, use a cotton ball to apply this tincture to the affected area immediately, followed by ice to reduce any swelling. Alternate with the ice and vinegar for about 15 minutes, and keep applying the vinegar as needed to relieve pain and itchiness as it heals. If you get stung before this has a chance to cure, just apply plain apple cider vinegar. It won’t do as much for alleviating the pain and inflammation, but it’ll counteract the venom so you can heal more quickly. Which types of insect bites and stings will this help? Fire ant bites and wasp stings, as well as flea and bed bug bites. Related: DIY insect repellent lotions and sprays 4. Jewelweed or Calendula Salve Now, if you happen to have jewelweed growing in your area, you’re in luck. Also known as Touch-Me-Not, because if so so much as touch its seeds, they’ll go squirting off several feet away, Impatiens capensis is incredible for alleviating all kinds of skin irritations. In addition to neutralizing poison ivy reactions, the gel inside its stem will also soothe insect bites instantly. You can’t tincture this plant because it reacts badly with alcohol, but you can make a salve with a few simple ingredients. *Note: If you can’t get hold of jewelweed in your area, you can use calendula flowers instead. What you’ll need and how to make it: 3 cups fresh jewelweed stems and leaves (or calendula flowers), coarsely chopped 1 cup high-quality olive oil 3/4 cup beeswax or carnauba wax pastilles Tea tree, peppermint, and lavender essential oils Step 1: Chop the jewelweed coarsely and place in a small saucepot. Step 2: Cover it completely with your olive oil, and bring to a simmer. Keep simmering for about an hour, until the plant has softened and the oil has changed color. Remove from the heat and let it sit overnight. Step 3: Strain the oil into another, clean saucepot through several layers of cheesecloth or muslin lain inside a strainer. Use a metal spoon to squish all the oil out of it. Step 4: Warm this oil on low heat, add the wax pastilles, and stir gently. I use a small baking whisk for this, but you can also use a metal spoon. Step 5: Remove from the heat, then add 8 drops each of tea tree, peppermint, and lavender essential oils. Step 6: Pour the mixture into a small jar or tin, let set for 20-30 minutes, then refrigerate. This salve will stay good for up to a year if kept in the fridge. While calendula doesn’t have jewelweed’s itch-neutralizing properties, it’s a good all-purpose herb for alleviating skin irritation and inflammation. Which types of insect bites and stings will this help? All of them. Related: How to make your own herbal tinctures at home Remember that prevention really is the best medicine, and it’s good to take steps to avoid being bitten or stung. Spraying exposed skin with a diluted yarrow tincture is just as effective as DEET. (Follow the link above for a DIY tincture tutorial), and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you’re gardening or hiking in the woods can help to keep all kinds of bugs from biting you. It’s important to educate yourself about these plants before using any herbal remedies to make sure they don’t contraindicate with any medications you may be on, or trigger any allergies you may have. For example, people who are allergic to chamomile may also be allergic to other flowers in the Asteraceae family, such as the calendula listed above, or arnica. If you have any nervousness about using these remedies, talk to your healthcare provider or a local herbalist for advice, and then try a small test on your skin to see if you’ll react badly to the salve or poultice. Images via Unsplash and Wikimedia Creative Commons, and by the author

Read more here: 
4 DIY herbal remedies that take the sting out of pesky insect bites

Hydra-Light lantern doesn’t need a batteryjust saltwater

August 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Hydra-Light lantern doesn’t need a batteryjust saltwater

Hail, Hydra…Light? You too might be singing this portable lighting product’s praises if you find yourself off the grid without a battery to your name. Designed with campers, boaters, and outdoor revelers in mind, Hydra-Light’s range of flashlights, lanterns, and energy cells harness salt and water as its power source. Several models even come with a USB port, so you can juice up your cellphone or smart device at the same time. Each Hydra-Light features an energy cell that comprises a carbon-based membrane and a replaceable metal-alloy cylinder known as a PowerRod. When an electrolyte like saltwater—or just regular table salt and water—is added to the mix, the two elements react to generate a current. Related: Light-powered device can purify air and generate clean energy This reaction continues until the PowerRod is exhausted to a sliver, leaving only “harmless mineral sediment” behind, per the Australia-based manufacturer. “When the rod has become very thin, it is removed and a new one is inserted—which takes just seconds—making the cell like new and ready to continue generating power,” Hydra-Light said. “All that’s needed during the lifetime of each PowerRod is a periodic rinsing out of the mineral sediment and refilling with fresh saltwater. Unlike conventional batteries, the power output remains constant and does not decline over the lifetime of the rods.” Hydra-Light claims that a single PowerRod provides more than 250 hours of continuous power, which is equal to the output of about 85 standard AA batteries but at a “fraction of the cost.” (Each Hydra-Light product includes a preinstalled PowerRod.) It’s still salad days for the company yet, but the technology is nothing if not promising. For the 1.3 billion people around the world who live without electricity, Hydra-Light could prove life-changing. For the rest of us, it’s several more sets of single-use batteries we don’t have to toss out. Americans purchase—and presumably dispose of—more than 3 billion dry cell batteries every year to power our various gadgets and gizmos, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency . Hail, Hydra-Light indeed. + Hydra-Light [Via Digital Trends ]

See more here:
Hydra-Light lantern doesn’t need a batteryjust saltwater

Gorgeous solar-powered greenhouse home in Sweden hits the market

August 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Gorgeous solar-powered greenhouse home in Sweden hits the market

If you’re looking for a gorgeous home surrounded by an idyllic landscape, this greenhouse hybrid is currently on the market for a cool $864k. Located in Gothenburg, Sweden, the A-frame residence has three bedrooms and a large, daylit greenhouse tacked on to one side. Equipped with various energy-efficient features and solar panels , the space is the epitome of green luxury living. The home itself has a beautiful interior design with white walls and polished concrete floors that create an open and airy living space. The latter, kitchen, three bedrooms and bathrooms are spread over the first two floors. However, the star of the home is located on the top floor – a massive attic space clad entirely in glass panels with exposed wooden beams, where residents enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Related: Giant greenhouse in Rotterdam doubles as a light-filled family home The new tenants won’t have far to go to the garden thanks to the massive greenhouse attached to the home. Surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass panels and exposed wooden beams, the greenhouse was designed to provide a perfect climate for growing a variety of fruits and veggies year-round. The affixed greenhouse is more than just a fun gardening space, however. The home’s living area benefits substantially from having the insulation provided by the light-filled space, which helps keep it warm during frigid Swedish winters. It also reduces energy usage and costs throughout the year. + Eklund Stockholm New York Via Dwell Images via Eklund Stockholm New York

Read more here:
Gorgeous solar-powered greenhouse home in Sweden hits the market

Sinkhole releases over 200 million gallons of toxic waste into Florida’s drinking water

September 19, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Sinkhole releases over 200 million gallons of toxic waste into Florida’s drinking water

A sinkhole in Florida caused around 980 million liters, or about 258 million gallons, of contaminated water from a fertilizer plant to leak into an aquifer that officials say is a primary drinking water source. The contaminated water contains ” slightly radioactive ” phosphogypsum, a by-product of the process to make phosphate fertilizer. While the company that owns the plant, Mosaic , says the situation is not dangerous for the public, others say phosphate mining threatens Florida’s environment. On August 27, a Mosaic worker found the sinkhole after water level monitoring revealed a decline in water levels in a stack where the company was storing wastewater. According to Mosaic, they began pumping water out of the stack into different storage areas. The sinkhole, which is about 45 feet in diameter, allowed the wastewater to leak into an aquifer. According to Mosaic, the sinkhole likely ” damaged the liner system at the base of the stack .” Related: Florida nuclear power plant is leaking pollutants that threaten drinking water Mosaic said they reported the water level decline to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Polk County, where the plant is located. They said the leak will likely not cause harm to the public, as groundwater moves slowly. Others think Mosaic’s phosphate mining should stop. The Center for Biological Diversity’s Florida director Jaclyn Lopez said , “Enough is enough. Florida must finally take a stand against this destructive, radioactive phosphate mining that is putting our health and environment at risk. Mosaic wants to mine an additional 50,000 acres of Florida’s beautiful, biodiverse lands, but this incident makes clear it can’t even handle the radioactive waste it currently generates.” FDEP spokesperson Dee Ann Miller said monitoring shows “process water is being successfully contained,” but that monitoring will persist. Mosaic posted a phone number on their website for concerned community members to call with questions or to obtain “free drinking water well testing.” Via the BBC Images via screenshot

Read more from the original source:
Sinkhole releases over 200 million gallons of toxic waste into Florida’s drinking water

Maine Legislates 30% Reduction in Oil Use by 2030

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Maine Legislates 30% Reduction in Oil Use by 2030

photo: Adam / CC BY-SA Maine’s taking a stand against oil usage and oil dependency –frankly the bigger issue than where we get our oil from, tar sands and other unconventional oil sources aside. As NRDC Switchboard reports, the state has passed a law mandat… Read the full story on TreeHugger

View original post here:
Maine Legislates 30% Reduction in Oil Use by 2030

World’s Largest Camera Trap Study Reveals Declining Mammal Populations (Photos)

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on World’s Largest Camera Trap Study Reveals Declining Mammal Populations (Photos)

Central Suriname Nature Reserve, Suriname. Panthera Onca (Jaguar), a near threatened species. Of the sites researched, this one presented the highest number of species diversity. This image is one of nearly 52,000 photos of 105 mammal species, taken as part of the first global camera trap mammal study done by The Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network . Courtesy of Conservation International Suriname . Researchers have revealed results of a global camera trap study that has captured nearly 52,000 images. Camera traps placed in seven protected areas in the Ameri… Read the full story on TreeHugger

Originally posted here: 
World’s Largest Camera Trap Study Reveals Declining Mammal Populations (Photos)

Turkish Mayor Acquitted on Misconduct Charges… For Giving Citizens Free Water

April 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Turkish Mayor Acquitted on Misconduct Charges… For Giving Citizens Free Water

A banner in Istanbul reads “Water is life. It cannot be sold.” Photo by Aoi (AM NET, Japan) via Flickr.

Excerpt from: 
Turkish Mayor Acquitted on Misconduct Charges… For Giving Citizens Free Water

countdown to earth hour.

March 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on countdown to earth hour.

Tonight’s the night! At 8:30pm wherever you are, lights around the world will be shut off for one hour to help combat climate change in an event called Earth Hour.  Check out the official Earth Hour 2010 video to see what happened and what is to come

Excerpt from:
countdown to earth hour.

John Patrick Organic’s Fall/Winter 2010 Collection Gets Groovy

February 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on John Patrick Organic’s Fall/Winter 2010 Collection Gets Groovy

It’ll be a while before we hear about Karl Lagerfeld or Donatella Versace going green, so until then why not bask in the eco-cool 60’s and 70’s vibe of designer John Patrick’s Fall/Winter 2010 line? Not only are these threads organic and carefully crafted, but as a stand against all that garment thrash and trash we’ve been hearing about from the likes of H&M , John Patrick salvaged 8,000 plastic hangers direct from the dumpster and created a beautiful and intricate lattice backdrop for his latest show.

Go here to see the original: 
John Patrick Organic’s Fall/Winter 2010 Collection Gets Groovy

Bad Behavior has blocked 1094 access attempts in the last 7 days.