Amazon deforestation reaches a 12-year record

December 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Amazon deforestation reaches a 12-year record

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has risen to a 12-year high in 2020, according to data released by Inpe, the national space research agency in Brazil. The official data, released on Monday, shows that deforestation in the rainforest has been on the rise since President Jair Bolsonaro took office. In 2020 alone, the destruction of the rainforest rose by 9.5% as compared to the rate of deforestation in 2019. This means that about 11,088 square kilometers of the forest have been cleared this year. In 2018, the year before Bolsonaro became Brazil’s president, a total of 7,536 square kilometers of the rainforest was cleared. Compared to when Bolsonaro took office, the state of the forest has been on a downward spiral following weakened environmental laws. The president has encouraged more agricultural and industrial activities within the Amazon rainforest, citing that it is the only way to reduce poverty. Such a move has seen many land-grabbers and investors pounce on the opportunity to turn large chunks of the Amazon into ranches, agricultural land and even mining fields. Related: You can help monitor Amazon deforestation from your couch The data now shows that Brazil is unable to reach its own target of reducing annual deforestation to about 3,900 square kilometers. The target, which was set in a climate-related law in 2009, was aimed at reducing deforestation and carbon emissions as well as protecting the natural habitat. While the Amazon is being deforested at an alarming rate, the Brazilian government is busy trying to paint a rosy picture of the situation. Federal officials have hailed the 9.5% growth as a sign of progress in the fight against deforestation. They argue that it is way lower than the 34% increase witnessed in 2019. “While we are not here to celebrate this, it does signify that the efforts we are making are beginning to bear fruit,” Vice President Hamilton Mourão told reporters. The Amazon is the largest rainforest on Earth. If it is destroyed, the world could suffer devastating environmental consequences. Further, much of the planet’s biodiversity would be lost with the forest. For this reason, the Brazilian government is under pressure to tame economic activities that lead to deforestation. Via The New York Times Image via Alexander Gerst

More here: 
Amazon deforestation reaches a 12-year record

Hungary announces preemptive ban on fur farms

December 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Hungary announces preemptive ban on fur farms

Hungary’s ministerial commissioner of animal protection, Péter Óvári, announced this week that farming mink, foxes, ferrets and coypu will not be allowed in the country. These animals are not currently farmed there. But now that millions of mink have been slaughtered in other European countries due to COVID-19 concerns, Hungarian officials worried that fur farmers might try to move their operations to Hungary . “This is a precautionary measure that shuts the door to that happening, and that is a good outcome for human health and animal welfare ,” said Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for Humane Society International (HSI) Europe, as reported by VegNews . Related: Denmark’s top fur cooperative is closing The COVID-19 virus has spread between animals on mink farms in some European countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Greece and Italy. Infected minks have been identified in at least 15 U.S. farms in Wisconsin, Michigan and Utah. Denmark and the Netherlands have slaughtered millions of mink to stop the spread of zoonotic disease . Health experts worry that the virus could mutate in the animals, which could spell disaster for vaccine development. The strange thing about Hungary’s decision is that while local farmers don’t raise mink, foxes, ferrets or coypu (aka nutria), they do raise chinchillas for fur and plan to continue doing so. “For as long as the animal exploitation of fur farming is tolerated, the potential for reservoirs of animal to human pathogens will persist,” Swabe said, “and so HSI hopes that the Hungarian government will also consider strengthening its ban by shutting down the country’s chinchilla fur farms too, and make fur farming history in Hungary.” Chinchillas are native to South America, but their extremely soft, luxurious fur has made them susceptible to international fur farmers who want to turn the sensitive, nocturnal creatures into coats and cash. A company called Wanger is responsible for much of the fur farming across southeast Europe, including in Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia. Activists have used the hashtag #stopwanger when protesting this company. Via VegNews , Respect for Animals Image via Jo-Anne McArthur

Original post:
Hungary announces preemptive ban on fur farms

3XN unveils Denmarks first climate-positive hotel for Bornholm island

December 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on 3XN unveils Denmarks first climate-positive hotel for Bornholm island

On the tiny Danish island of Bornholm, Hotel Green Solution House (GSH) will raise its eco-friendly charms with a new climate-positive wing designed by Copenhagen-based firm 3XN and its green think-tank, GXN. Slated for completion in summer 2021, the new extension will be entirely built, clad and insulated with timber materials for a carbon-neutral footprint. The hotel wing will incorporate upcycled materials from construction offcuts for the furnishings and surfaces. Opened in 2015, Hotel GSH was designed by 3XN and GXN to serve as an inspiring leader in green hospitality. An all-timber build was selected for the new wing for a reduced carbon footprint ; according to the International Environment Agency, approximately 40% of the world’s carbon emissions are attributed to the construction industry, with steel and concrete responsible for a total of 16%. Related: Low-impact geodesic dome hotel immerses guests in Patagonian nature “It is a privilege to work with a developer who is completely uncompromising in her approach to sustainability and the circular economy . In this way, the project is making the impossible a reality,” said Kasper Guldager Jensen, architect and partner at 3XN and founder of GXN. “In addition to creating the foundation for a successful business, I hope that the new project can help to show others the potential of wood construction. If we in Denmark want to be able to achieve our climate goals, the construction industry needs to think and act differently, and there is therefore a great need for lighthouse projects like this.” The new hotel wing at Hotel GSH will feature 24 rooms, a conference room and a rooftop spa. In addition to the use of upcycled materials, debris from local granite quarries in Bornholm will be repurposed as temperature-regulating décor in the conference room. The timber building will reduce its energy footprint with operable windows that let in natural daylight and ventilation. All components of the building are designed with reversible joints so that they can be reused in the future rather than end up as demolition waste. Construction of the new hotel wing is expected to begin this fall. + 3XN Images via 3XN

See the original post here:
3XN unveils Denmarks first climate-positive hotel for Bornholm island

What to expect when switching to natural deodorant

December 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on What to expect when switching to natural deodorant

Switching to a natural deodorant sounds easy enough, but with new products coming out every day and an uptick in posts related to “armpit detoxing” swarming social media in recent years, you may have a question or two about the process. What’s with the growing interest in natural deodorant? Well, traditional antiperspirants can contain ingredients like aluminum, which has been shown to cause “gene instability” in breast tissue that may lead to the growth of tumors or cancer cells. Although the National Cancer Institute website states that “no scientific evidence links the use of these products to the development of breast cancer,” even the idea that your deodorant can cause cancer is enough to make anyone nervous (the institute goes on to say that additional research is needed to determine whether a relationship between antiperspirants and cancer exists). Other concerning ingredients to look out for include parabens , triclosan, phthalates and artificial fragrances. Related: This skincare and natural deodorant is made from apple cider vinegar These traditional deodorant compounds essentially clog sweat ducts in order to block the sweat and odor from leaching through the skin, which may or may not be healthy, depending on who you ask. Either way, your armpits could always do with a little extra love. What is an armpit detox, and do you need one? Enter the armpit detox, the purpose of which is to rid the body of toxins that traditional antiperspirants leave behind over time in the sweat glands. Armpit detoxing can help wean a person off of duct-clogging antiperspirants and prepare them for a more natural approach toward botanical-based, natural deodorants. If you’re concerned about the idea of harmful chemicals like aluminum causing health issues , or if you just like the idea of adding more natural products into your beauty routine, it might be time for an armpit detox. Rebecca So, an expert in natural deodorant and armpit detoxing, says that while detoxing takes time and diligence, the results are worth it. Her company, Sway , makes natural deodorant with apple cider vinegar to restore the armpit’s natural pH balance, minimizing odor-causing bacteria. “Most natural deodorants are made with heavy baking soda, which is very alkaline. Since our skin is naturally acidic, many people might experience itchiness, irritation, and even rashes from using these natural deodorants,” So told Inhabitat. “That’s why SWAY is gentle on our skin since it is made with organic , raw apple cider vinegar. It works by balancing our skin’s pH.” The company makes a whole range of products that aid in the armpit detoxification process, including a freshening dusting powder that controls odor as well as a charcoal mask that helps adjust skin pH and removes product build-up to speed up the process. Other types of armpit detox masks, like ones containing calcium bentonite clay believed to draw out toxic build-ups in the armpits and even improve digestion and clear skin issues, have gained popularity. There are even probiotic-enhanced products that claim to balance your armpit’s skin microbiome. Ingredients are important We’ve already covered which ingredients to avoid, but with so many options for natural deodorants on the market, what ingredients should you be looking for? So says your best bet is with a water-based and residue-free option. “Most natural deodorants are heavy with starchy ingredients (tapioca, arrowroot powder), coconut oil, shea butter, which leaves residues or stains on our skin and clothes,” she explains. Look for something with natural, active ingredients like kaolin clay and eucalyptus that can neutralize underarm odor, as well as antibacterial ingredients like tea tree oil. Resources like EWG can help provide ratings for clean personal care products, too. Users can look up reviews for specific deodorant products as well as toxicity concern levels and animal testing policies . What to expect when transitioning to natural deodorant The side effects of armpit detoxing can be … well … stinky, and it can take up to a month for the body to regulate itself after coming off conventional antiperspirants. Underarm odor actually isn’t caused by sweat itself, but rather the bacteria that grows on sweat. The idea of detoxing is to remove the aluminum that has been plugging up your sweat glands and releasing waste that has been blocked. It’s a natural process, but it may come with some body odors that you may not be used to. “When going through the transition process, make sure you drink plenty of water, eat lots of fruits and vegetables,” So recommends. “And stick to one brand and one formula, and not switch around (e.g. don’t use one brand for days you want to go work out and days when you are chilling at home). This won’t help to adjust the pH of your skin.” Considering the sheer amount of natural deodorant products available today, it is easier than ever to make the switch. Plus, with social distancing in place, there’s never been a better time to spend a few weeks with less-than-ideal armpit smells as you transition to natural deodorant. Images via Adobe Stock

Read more here: 
What to expect when switching to natural deodorant

Climate crisis could turn the Amazon rainforest to savanna

October 6, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Climate crisis could turn the Amazon rainforest to savanna

A new study published in the journal Nature Communications indicates that the Amazon rainforest could shift from a closed canopy rainforest to an open savanna due to the climate crisis. The study shows that the rate of deforestation coupled with forest fires sparked by climate change could significantly change the status of the rainforest in the future. According to the researchers, rainforests are very sensitive to changes in rainfall. If they experience prolonged droughts and fires like the ones recently witnessed in the Amazon , they may lose more trees and become more like a savanna. Although scientists have always known that this was possible, it was thought that such changes were decades away. The new study, led by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, now indicates that the changes are much closer than initially anticipated. Related: You can help monitor Amazon deforestation from your couch Almost 40% of the Amazon is already receiving less rainfall than usual and is at the point where it could exist as a savanna instead of a rainforest . While the researchers say that the process of fully changing the forest to savanna would take decades, they also say that once the process starts, it is nearly irreversible. “Drier conditions make it harder for the forest to recover and increase the flammability of the ecosystem,” Arie Staal, lead author of the study, told The Guardian . If the Amazon rainforest changes to a savanna, there would be dangerous consequences. Rainforests are important because they support a huge number of species and absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If the rainforest changes, much of the plant and animal species here could be lost. The problems experienced by rainforests like the Amazon are exacerbated by harmful policies. For instance, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has made promises to develop the Amazon , a move that has been criticized by many. This year, the Amazon has experienced a 60% increase in fire hotspots compared to 2019. The study now warns that if such fires continue, the rainforest could be permanently altered. + Nature Communications Via The Guardian Image via Jose Eduardo Camargo

Go here to read the rest: 
Climate crisis could turn the Amazon rainforest to savanna

Bad Behavior has blocked 1572 access attempts in the last 7 days.