Author: Salman Zafar

Get Green Columbus Project – An Overview

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The Get Green Columbus initiative began on January 28, 2005.  Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman issued a Green Memo that urged the city’s residents to live environmentally-friendly lives.  The memo discussed several policy frameworks that aimed to create healthier environments.

Since the Green Memo, the city of Columbus had made significant progress in becoming a more sustainable and environmentally friendly city in every area, from rehab to businesses.  For these efforts, the city has received awards and recognition.  These include a designation as the most improved city from SustainLane in 2008, the Environmental Public Servant Award from the Ohio Environmental Council in 2009, and recognition as the greenest fleet in the nation at the 2009 Green Fleet Conference’s 2009 Environmental Leadership Awards.

Collaborating with City Agencies & Community Leaders

One driving factor for the success of Get Green Columbus was Mayor Coleman’s Green Team.  This team was responsible for administering environmental policies, educating the community about the risks of not taking care of the environment, and identifying the necessary resources to implement Get Green Columbus initiatives.

Joining Mayor Coleman’s Green Team were the Environmental Steward Office (ESO), who collaborated with the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO).  The ESO functioned as an internal team of experts and green coordinators who represented each department and division within the city. On October 4, 2007, Mayor Coleman joined other elected officials in signing the Central Ohio Green Pact.  This pact aimed to

  • Produce greener public fleets
  • Create a stronger green economy
  • Collaborate with others to purchase more green products
  • Adopt sustainable land use policies
  • Build more green facilities to reduce energy consumption and waste
  • Educate and involve the community
  • Decrease emissions
  • Protect environments from climate change
  • Preserve green space and develop greenways
  • Expand and encourage mass transportation

 Implementing Recycling Strategies and Reducing Solid Waste

SWACO and the city of Columbus also initiated a recycling program that is now known as RecyColumbus.  The goal of this project was to make it easy for people to recycle their household goods. It allowed Columbus residents to place recyclable items on their curbs or drop off such items at recycling centers.  In 2009, the municipality recycled 15,126 tons of materials.

Different agencies also collaborated with the city of Columbus to recycle items and reduce waste.  Such partnerships are working together to recycle 66 percent of the waste that would otherwise go to local landfills.

Improving Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality

Another achievement of Mayor Coleman’s Get Green Columbus was the creation, adoption, and implementation of the City of Columbus Green Fleet Action Plan, a plan first issued on January 1, 2008.

The goals and targets of the Green Fleet Action Plan included:

  • Reducing fuel
  • Purchasing and using biodiesel and compressed natural gas
  • Obtaining green grants and Green Fleet Awards
  • Implementing green purchasing language

Protecting Water

Protecting water quality was another focus of Get Green Columbus.  The initiative focused on flood reduction, waterway quality, stream restoration, and several multi jurisdictional watershed planning efforts.

In 2005, the Columbus Division of Sewerage and Drainage launched Project Clean Rivers.  Several programs and services were part of this project.  All had the same goal: achieving clean water.  This project also included the Wet Weather Management Plan, a $2.5 billion strategy to eradicate sewer overflows.

Such water protections were attempts to ensure the safety of Columbus’s groundwater and its surface resources.  Also contributing to such water protection efforts were the city’s public health authorities, who annually permit and inspect sewage treatment systems on private properties.  The authorities inspected more than 300 systems in 2009 alone.

Promoting Green Businesses

Another green effort of Mayor Coleman was a program to recognize and award businesses that made efforts to become more environmentally responsible.  This program, called the GreenSpot Program, has been successful in serving as a public engagement model for the city of Columbus and other communities throughout Ohio and North America.

Fostering the Greening of Columbus

On February 22, 2007, Mayor Coleman agreed to the U.S. Council of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement as part of his contribution to the Get Green Columbus initiative.  Since then, the city of Columbus has conducted greenhouse gas emission inventories of its operations.

In 2005, the Columbus operation baseline emissions reported 317,926 metric tons of carbon dioxide.  The city of Columbus has aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 percent every year until the year 2030.

According to reports, the sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Columbus in 2005 are:

  • 31 percent from buildings
  • 37 percent from wastewater treatment
  • 18 percent from drinking water treatment
  • 12 percent from transportation

The 10-Year Action Plan

In another environmental development, on May 4, 2009, Mayor Coleman announced a 10-year action plan.  The plan contains a list of improvements as well as efficiencies to correct imbalances.  The summary report of the Get Green Columbus program discusses the

  • Continuation of green initiatives
  • Expansion of energy-saving measures
  • Creation of weatherization systems
  • Establishment of efficient lighting
  • Upgrades of HVAC systems

Other Green Memo suggestions called for the city of Columbus to plant more trees and to construct capital improvements to protect the environment.  The city succeeded in its goals to plant a total of 20,000 trees.  Reports stated that the city of Columbus planted a yearly average of 5,500 trees and lost 1,500 trees yearly, which meant that the city planted 4,000 trees every year.

Local partners worked with the city of Columbus to achieve most of the project’s goals.  One improvement was improving access to fresh and nutritious foods for residents who were in need.  Columbus Public Health organized community farmers markets throughout the city, an effort that provided fresh food to city residents.

Speaking of Columbus and plants, the city is the home of the American Community Garden Association.  It is also the location of the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which opened the unique Community Garden Campus.  These efforts educate people about the beauty and usefulness of plants and protecting them, issues important to Get Green Columbus as well.

Final Words

Get Green Columbus illustrate that teamwork and collaboration can make good things happen for a city and its residents.

Pesticides – Impact on Health and Environment

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Do you know that worldwide pesticides consumption is around 2 million tonnes per year? That’s huge. Moreover, the global expenditure on pesticide at producer level are nearly $56 billion, of which 14% of the expenditure is taken by insecticides.

Pesticides have become an integral part of modern life and widely used to prevent the growth of unwanted living organisms. Due to the increasing population, the amount of food produced is important but there are other organisms that are striving to consume the crops meant for humans. When this happens, it results in huge economic losses.

 

Due to this huge loss in food production, pesticides are often used to prevent the pests. This results in so much money spent on pesticides. The benefits of pesticides can be categorised into two types – primary and secondary.

Primary Benefits

  • Controlling pests and plant disease: This includes controlling invasive species and improved crop quality and reduced soil disturbances.
  • Preventing organisms that harm human activities and structures: Pesticides products like Suspended SC help us prevent organisms that attack or destroy properties such as termites, cockroaches Infestation, etc.

Secondary Benefits

  • Community Benefits: Benefits like nutrition and health improvements, food safety and reduced maintenance costs.
  • Global Benefits: Less pressure on uncropped land and international tourism revenue.

Risks

  • Toxic to humans.
  • Negative impacts on ecosystem and environment

Pesticides are meant for harming only the targetted pest, but when used incorrectly it could harm people and environment. Here are the studies on the potential health effects of pesticides.

Lack of Regulations

Poisoning by pesticides is a global public health problem. This poisoning is more serious in the developing countries despite the fact that pesticides are sold in large quantities in the developed countries. One of the reasons for this is the lack of pesticide control laws and training programmes for pesticide users and inspectors in the developing world. Studies shows that around 25% of developing countries lacks rules and laws regulating pesticide use and its distribution.

Pesticides Regulations

In most countries, pesticides are regulated when it is approved for sale and should be used by Government Agency. During the registration process, the pesticides are given labels which mention the safety and hazard warning along with its usage. It also undergoes measurement of acute toxicity test and then classified into one of the toxic classes. Almost all deadly categorised pesticides and insecticides with severe health hazards are banned in most countries. The ban is imposed on pesticides which shows risk at very low level of exposures.

Environmental impact of pesticides

The environmental impacts of pesticides are either direct or indirect damage they cause to plants, animals and microorganisms and varies from minor injuries to death.

Environmental impacts can be categorised into two parts:

  • Damage to animals (Vertebrates & Invertebrates) & plants.
  • Pest resistance to pesticides

Pesticides use has two main unintentional effects on vertebrate wildlife by feeding on the contaminate plants and prey or exposure to high doses and poorer survival, growth and reproduction.

Apart from pesticides impacts on the environment, pesticides help farmers to combat pests and produce larger quantities of food. Farmers also able to earn more profit by having to sell more. Pesticides help farmers save money on labour costs as well.

Malaria, a deadly disease caused by infected Mosquitoes and others like bubonic plague and fleas transmitted by Rats and flea or body lice is reduced due to the usage of pesticides in agriculture sectors, as discussed in the research studies.

An Entomology, Matan Shelomi a published writer on Quora says in his answers that you’re ingesting pesticides and it is no problem at all and he explains it why is it not a problem. He explained that not all pesticides are toxic at all and said many pesticides degrade over time, by the time food reaches you there will be no traces of pesticides in it.

Many edible parts of the food are not sprayed with pesticides. He mentioned that what is deadly to plants and insects is not deadly for mammals and vice versa. Remember again that organic farmers use pesticides and sometimes much more than necessary.

Many NGOs and residents are against pesticides. Some are against due to the lack of knowledge or they believe that we are being exposed to many pesticides and government is literally helping it in the causes.

It is also encouraged by some organic food companies that conventional food companies are using a lot of pesticides and making wrong impacts on people and creating issues of using pesticides which don’t even have an impact on the people eating that food. Pesticides cause health problem to the people working in the field, like farmers, and even people living nearby.

18 New Sustainable Building Materials Worth Watching

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Throughout the years, we’ve seen a growing trend with green building. The reason? Building projects consume nearly 50 percent of our resources extracted from nature, as well as generating 23 percent of air pollution and contributing to half of our landfill waste. There’s no doubt that the industry needs to combat climate change and create sustainable buildings to ensure that our communities can thrive in the future.

To address the challenge, many innovative companies are developing new futuristic green materials. From materials that can generate their own renewable energy to those that can self-heal and lower CO2 levels, a new generation of buildings is on the horizon. While many of these innovations are still in the early stages of development and haven’t reach mass-scale, they may very well be making their way into our buildings in the next few decades.

A great example of a building constructed with one of these futuristic materials is the BIQ House in Hamburg, Germany. Built with walls and panels containing living algae, the green building to able to generate its own electricity and power.  

These new building materials are being engineered to be more self-sustaining, stronger, sleeker and easier on the environment. Check out the infographic below from BigRentz for 18 futuristic materials that are buzzing in the industry.

Gardening Trends That Will Transform Your Outdoor Space

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No matter if you love or hate your outdoor space, having a little garden makeover and spicing things up is always a great idea. Luckily, you don’t have to go all out and build a pool to achieve a big effect! Here are a few easy and cost-effective gardening trends that will transform your backyard and rekindle your love for the outdoors.

Zen wabi-sabi

People all over the world are searching for new ways to treat their gardens, and one of the more interesting ones comes from Japan. The art of wabi-sabi involves the acceptance of imperfections and the natural cycles of birth, growth, decay and death. The key to having a wabi-sabi garden is striking a perfect balance between nature and nurture.

So think moss-covered stones, weathered pots and overgrown plants. Embrace the imperfections of your space, relax and watch nature take its course. Plus, having a wabi-sabi garden is a perfectly frugal and eco-friendly way to design a gorgeous outdoor space that will only get more beautiful with time.

Edible gardens

No matter if you’re vegan, vegetarian or carnivore, everyone loves to have homegrown food. Now, thanks to the grow-your-own-food movement, you will not only have fresh veggies and fruit on your table, but also be on trend! If you’re limited by space, pumpkins, squashes and legumes should be your first choice. Also, tomatoes, greens and herbs grow well in boxes and pots, in case you really can’t give up any of your outdoor space.

Al fresco dining

A great way to make the best use of your garden is to create an attractive dining area. Having a cozy outdoor dining space is one of the biggest gardening trends in the past few years, especially popular among people who have a tiny kitchen or dining room. However, in order to have a practical and safe dining area, you must embark on a little construction journey.

Luckily, there are trusted landscape construction experts who can help you with the design and perform your decking, paving and tiling and even handle your electrical requirements. They work closely with their clients, so anything you need, they will provide! All you need to do is get some cozy furniture and you’re ready to enjoy your summer days in the sun with some tasty food. If you have space, you can even throw in a BBQ for the freshest and tastiest meals.

Vertical gardens

If you have a tiny outdoor space, but you still want to be up-to-date with the newest trends, why not opt for a vertical garden? Installation of these practical yet beautiful gardens is quite simple even for DIY beginners. All you need is some steel cable for hanging, a few clay pots and you’re ready to plant! The best thing about hanging gardens is that they serve as living pieces of art while taking very little of your space.

Multipurpose sheds

Another big trend is having multipurpose spaces that will save you square footage while providing you with various benefits. So, for instance, you can buy or construct a garden shed that will fit all your gardening tools and necessities, and also allow you to have a small yet practical workshop or DIY area. This way, you can practice your hobbies AND have a tidy and clutter-free backyard.

Eco-friendliness

Eco-friendliness is not a new trend, but it’s just too important to be left out of any list. Make sure to think about sustainability when designing or remodeling your garden and you’ll not only create a more cost-effective space, but also help our planet get back on its feet.

So, think solar lighting, drought-resistant plants, water-harvesting systems and other green garden additions. You can also visit your local thrift shops and reclaimed wood dealers to salvage some great items and give them a new life in your garden.

Final Thoughts

See? Having a stylish garden doesn’t have to be hard and expensive. So, don’t be scared to embark on a remodeling journey and you’ll surely end up with a trendy outdoor space you’ll be proud to show off!

How Can Web Hosting Choices Impact Your Digital Marketing Campaign

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Digital marketing has been evolved from a simple online marketing into a more technical and complex marketing process. Thriving in the competitive digital marketing world is a huge challenge. The market is filled with innumerable channels competing against each other to garner attention in their product and services.

Therefore, there is hardly any room for slacking; everything needs to be in the perfect order to run an effective digital marketing campaign. Due to increased demands of advertisers, the configuration and web hosting also have a significant impact on your digital marketing crusade.

Therefore, we have created a list of few variables that you need to consider before choosing your web hosting solution, if you want to streamline your digital marketing campaign.

Web IP Address Trust

It is crucial that your website IP address is a trusted one. When using shared IP, it is possible that your website IP is shared by web spammers. This can seriously harm the credibility of your website and render your digital marketing useless.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that you create your website using your own dedicated server. It may cost you some extra dollars, but you can consider it as a long-term investment for your website, which can save you from several potential risks.

If budget is not an issue, you can also use Virtual Private Servers hosting, which will give you the access to your own personalized IP address.

Web Loading Page Speeds

According to Google, the faster website leads to more browsing time of the users. Additionally, Kissmetrics research shows that 40% traffic leave a website if your webpage loading time is more than 3 seconds.

The conclusion is, a slow website can hurt your digital marketing campaign. Therefore, it is essential to choose a web hosting solution that has the minimal downtime. You must conduct a thorough research about the web hosting provider’s downtime and specifications pertaining to bandwidths and backup before signing up. A good web host also provides backups to avoid the risk of your website going down.

Domain Configuration

In order to have an accessibility, you must need to configure your domain, and mostly it is the country specific domain. You must ask your hosting provider about the location where they will host your content. Moreover, you may also inquire if there are any restrictions on changing your content. Knowing these details can help you choose the solution which is better suited for your target audience.

We recommend you to choose the web hosting solution which provides simple configuration solutions like one-click installation and provides good customer support.

Optimal Geolocation

Google and other search engines try to provide more relevant and local result to the readers, therefore, geographical location and language relevancy have a significant impact on the digital marketing campaign.

Spamming Issues

Any spamming activity conducted by you or another party who is sharing your IP address can potentially damage your SEO ranking and in some cases may get you banned from the search engines. Therefore, make sure you do not post any spam material to your website.

Key Factors Driving the Waste Management Industry

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The amount of wastes that humans create every day and their potential impact on the environment have been matters of concern for the government and the community for long. There is a dire need to find a sustainable solution to this issue. Proper waste management methods which would be cost-effective, scientifically better, financially viable, environment-friendly, and socially acceptable to people are the need of the hour.

Waste management refers to the collection, transportation, disposal, and monitoring of wastes. It is imperative due to its many benefits which include protection of the environment and the health of the population, resource recovery, overcoming of an epidemic, and elimination of fire hazards due to the accumulation of hazardous substances.

 

Growth in Waste Management Industry

The market for waste management is witnessing a significant boom in recent years. This growth is driven by unprecedented growth in all kinds of wastes taking place due to the rise in industrialization, growing urban population, and the rise in environmental awareness. The growing adoption of recycling techniques and the development of innovative technologies and advanced waste collection solutions also fuel the growth of the market.

However, lack of awareness of the impact of unattended solid wastes in the developing regions across the globe restrains the industry growth. According to the research firm, Allied Market Research, the waste management industry is expected to reach $435.0 billion by 2023 from $285.0 billion in 2016, experiencing a CAGR of 6.2% from 2017 to 2023.

A recent trend in the waste management industry is the development of novel and innovative technologies in the space, which are helping in the efficient collection and processing of wastes. Another recent trend in the ecosystem is the adoption of strategies such as partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions by companies with an aim to expand their presence globally and grab a greater market share.

One of the recent collaborations is that between PETCO Kenya, the PET recycling company based in South Africa and Mr. Green Africa, a recycling firm in Kenya to increase the collection of PET bottles. Another one is the extension of partnership by Covanta, a waste management company based in the U.S. with the Town of Huntington, New York to continue with its support for waste management.

PETCO Partners with Mr. Green Africa

In November ’18, PETCO Kenya entered into a strategic partnership with Mr. Green Africa to provide funding with the aim of expediting the PET bottles collection process. The funding enables the former company to support infrastructure for waste collectors that service the latter’s trading centers by providing waste collection tricycles. The waste collection capacity of the collectors which is an average of 40 kgs a day, will increase to between 300kgs to 500kgs under the new partnership.

These collectors have been using sacks to collect post-consumer bottles, which is not only straining on their physical bodies but also limiting in the quantities they can collect per day kilograms. John Waithaka, the Chairman of PETCO Kenya said, “PETCO is committed to increasing the amount of plastic collected from the current levels to 70% by 2030. This partnership with Green Africa is one of the many partnerships we will be rolling out in the coming months to help us achieve this goal.”

Covanta and Town of Huntington Extend Partnership

In November ’18, Covanta announced its collaboration extension with the Town of Huntington for the supervision of the Huntington Resource Recovery Facility.  The facility is an energy-from-waste facility that processes about 1,000 tons of municipal solid waste each day, produces 25 megawatts of renewable energy, and recycles over 7,000 tons of metal annually.

According to Chad Lupinacci, Supervisor of Town of Huntington, the extension of their partnership with Covanta provides their community with a great solution to waste management. It helps preserve their valuable natural resources while generating clean energy. He feels that the collaboration is a blessing for their residents as they both aim to achieve a more sustainable community. Rick Sandner, Vice President and General Manager of Covanta’s New York/New Jersey region said, “The Towns of Huntington and Smithtown have developed a leading waste management system that includes energy-from-waste for any residual waste that remains after recycling. We are proud of our work in providing safe, reliable waste disposal and a source of clean energy, and look forward to serving these communities for many years to come.”

Eco-Friendly Waste Disposal Methods

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Even the fastest growing economies often fail at effectively managing the massive quantities of waste generated. Whether you’re a homeowner cleaning up after a renovation project, or a construction company with ongoing site waste management requirements, it’s important that you’re familiar with eco-friendly ways of disposing of the waste. Let us have a quick glance at popular eco-friendly waste disposal methods.

Salvaging on site

It’s no secret that the construction industry is held accountable for a lion’s share of worldwide energy usage, but also generated waste material. However, many construction materials can be recycled and reused on site.

For example, by re-milling old timber and lumber, you can make new floors, panelling, doors and windows. Drywall scraps can be used for wall patches, but also mixed up with soil as a nutrient-rich food source for plants. Common metals like copper, aluminium and steel can be smelted and reformed into new products. Crushing concrete and masonry gives you extra material for pavements, roads and driveways, similarly to clay bricks, which have a lifespan of more than 200 years.

Reusing

Reusing the waste is directly related to generating less of it. For example, instead of throwing them away, you can still use your shopping bags. The same goes with relish and condiment jars, which can be used for storing items in your workshop.

Recycling

It starts with waste separation, as recyclable products are often mixed up with non-recyclable ones, or ones suitable for composting. Many people are already recycling, with communities showing their environmental initiative by providing separate bins for glass and PET, but are you up to date with what can be recycled nowadays?

Even with a high percentage of household waste being recyclable, the statistic are still discouraging. For example, in a developed country like Australia, where environmental awareness is high, only about 20% of all plastic packaging is recycled.

Professional removal

Separating your household waste into separate bins and disposing of daily rubbish responsibly is one thing, but when faced with a large amount of waste, such as from major remodelling project, downsizing, or moving house, most homeowners don’t know what to do.

Luckily, developed countries like Australia have an extensive network of commercial waste removal companies, like the one for professional junk removal in Sydney. It operates an efficient team for removing household rubbish, lawn trimmings, demolition, and e-waste, while the company’s policies ensure that whatever can be recycled, will be.

Incineration

This method involves combusting waste as a means of removing their base components with extreme heat. It’s another way of destroying your waste while still being environmentally responsible. However, this doesn’t mean you can build a bonfire in your backyard and dump whatever will burn, meanwhile choking your entire neighbourhood with the noxious smoke. Municipalities often have strict policies and regulations for waste incineration, so you should look into these before it’s too late.

Waste to energy

Even after reusing and recycling, some waste still remains. Instead of burying organic waste, you can use it to generate energy. Plants that use anaerobic digestion can do a great deal of work here, as they take care of anything that rots and turn it into biogas and farm fertiliser.

A modern air pollution control system is essential for all MSW incineration facilities.

A country that has been doing a great job in generating energy from organic waste is Sweden. They convert 100% of their organic waste to clean energy, even going to extents of importing waste from neighbouring countries for energy production.

Conclusion

While waste can be disposed of in a number of ways, it’s always important to give a chance to eco-friendly methods, as they make less of an impact on the environment. Apart from helping the nature regenerate its sources, the disposal methods listed here are directly involved in creating a healthier environment for ourselves.

Eco-Friendly and Frugal Ways to Design Your Backyard

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Designing a beautiful, eco-friendly backyard oasis doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of budget-friendly ways to reinvent your backyard design while also protecting the environment. Therefore, before you start your backyard remodel, you should consider using some of these inspiring, eco-friendly ideas.

Pave it up

A lush green lawn stretching across your backyard is certainly appealing, but it’s not that eco-friendly. A lawn requires a lot of maintenance and water, so you should definitely consider paving your backyard.

You don’t have to replace your entire lawn, but simply cut back on its size. You can install lovely pavers or use gravel instead. These solutions will help you reduce your outdoor water consumption without affecting the visual appeal of your backyard haven.

Create a lush green wall

Installing a lovely green wall is one of the most inspiring ways to go green. This is a popular trend that will actually provide you with numerous benefits. If you turn one side of your house into a green wall, you’ll provide it with additional layer of insulation, which will help you reduce your energy consumption.

In addition, this is a space-saving solution if you have a small backyard – you can have a vertical garden that won’t take up too much space.

Reinvent your irrigation system

If you want to have a lush, healthy garden, you need to install a proper irrigation system. However, it’s important that you pick an appropriate solution that will help you save water and energy in your home.

Aside from collecting rainwater and using it for your plants, you can also install a smart sprinkler system that you’ll easily program and control. A drip irrigation system is also a great option because it doesn’t waste water on plant foliage, but targets the root.

Shade it properly

The only way to truly enjoy your backyard sanctuary is to create a lovely, comfortable seating area. You can bring out some cosy lounge chairs, set up a coffee table and decorate it with chic embellishments. However, you should ensure that your outdoor seating area has the key component – enough shade.

By shading your outdoor space, you’ll be able protect a side of your house from heat gain, keeping it more comfortable during summer, which will help reduce your energy consumption. In addition, you’ll also protect your materials and furniture, so you won’t have to replace them due to sun damage. For the best effect, you should go with durable custom shade sails made of recyclable materials.

This solution will cover more space than a sun umbrella and provide you with greater benefits. Shade sails can be easily installed and adjusted to meet your needs and the particular features of your outdoor area.

Light it the green way

Outdoor lighting is another simple, yet effective way to green up your backyard. Beautiful lighting solutions will not only set the mood and create an inviting look, but also elevate your outdoor décor. However, it’s important that you go with eco-friendly lighting options that will help you reduce your energy consumption.

For instance, you can install solar fixtures or use LED lights instead of regular incandescent ones. A smart outdoor lighting system can also help you save energy by allowing you to control it remotely and configure it to turn on and off depending on the time of day.

Choose salvaged and repurposed materials

Whether you’re planning to build a deck, pave your backyard or set up a lounge area, it’s important that you go with sustainable, salvaged and reusable materials. You have a range of stylish options, including bamboo, salvaged wood, cork, natural stone, brick, etc. These materials can be used for your furniture, decorations and landscaping, giving your backyard a beautiful, natural flair.

You can also buy vintage pieces instead of new ones, which is both budget- and eco-friendly. Finally, you can even repurpose some of your old items. For example, you can give your old indoor chairs a makeover and use them for your backyard seating area.

Conclusion

Designing a beautiful backyard can be both affordable and eco-friendly. You just need to focus on implementing solutions that will provide you with long-term benefits while also protecting the environment.

5 Whimsical Garden Decor Ideas with Stones and Rocks

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Gardens are a little paradise of your home where you can relax and retreat yourself with nature’s beauty. Vintage plants, colorful flowers, and exquisite landscaping will add elegance to your garden. It is the most pleasant and stimulating place of your home, which brings tranquility and comfort. To make this serene place of your house more alluring and rejuvenating, decorate it to enhance its beauty and express your creativity. It is time to get centered and looks into the garden decorations to have a joyful garden decoration experience.

You don’t need to spend extra dollars on decorating this little heaven of your home; you can have a stunning looking garden by using simple rocks and stones. Best of all, you don’t need to cover extra miles to search for them; you can find them everywhere and add beautiful elements to your garden with little effort. Just collect them and use them to embellish your garden and make it more eco-friendly. You can achieve excellent results without breaking the bank if you use discount coupons for garden accessories available at PennySaviour.

Let’s dive deep into the ideas to decorate your garden with stones, pebbles, and rocks. It’s time to take action now!

Create an appealing curb appeal with dazzling stepping stones

It is the most excellent way to boost the curb appeal of your garden by making these incredible stepping stones. You can paint the rocks in different flowers and colorful butterflies.

Moreover, you can also arrange stones in a way to design an adorable butterfly pathway. This fantastic idea will add a decorative feature to your landscape and makes it more engaging.

Incorporate the colors of fall by making painted lady bug rocks

Ladybugs can harm your lush green plants and colorful flowers. Let’s stone those bug bites. Decorate your garden with these colorful ladybugs and spread colors of fall everywhere in your garden. Your kids will also adorn these cute ladybugs.

Collect some different sized stones and then paint them into different colors, or you can paint them all red and black, it’s up to you. Now put these painted stones into the garden, or you can select a specific area and decorate it with some plants and these bugs. In this way, you will have a family of ladybugs in your garden.

Add new dimensions to your garden by making these family rock feet

Collect some nice and smooth stones and assemble them with the smaller ones. You can make stone feet according to the number of your family members.

Choose the color and size of your choice. Use construction adhesive to lock them into a specific place. This rock feet artwork will make a unique addition to your garden.

It’s time to plan a rock concert

Add a contemporary element to your garden with this jazzy piece of stone art. It will be an eye-catching décor item to spruce up your yard.

Just collect some stones long and thin and glue them perpendicular to the big one, just like as shown in the photo to give them a concert look. Now paint the stones in different colors with waterproof paint, the eyes with white color and make two little black dots on it to complete the eyes. Now the garden concert is ready to hit the grass.

Make a cozy garden bench

Sitting still in a garden is worth a thousand dimes. So it is essential to arrange a sitting area in your garden. What about making a rock bench?

You can give a more natural look to your garden by making the bench with different stones. Find multiple-sized and shaped stones. Arrange the bigger stones in the form of seating and the smaller ones to make the back seat. After assembling the rocks into a perfect bench, you can put comfy cushions to enhance its appeal; and it is all ready for you to sit and relax in peace.

Try these incredible garden décor ideas and awe everyone with your creative skills.

Good luck with your decoration!   

Consequences of Climate Change in MENA

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Due to its unique geographical attributes, MENA is highly vulnerable to consequences of climate change. One of the main climate change impacts is sea level rise on coastal areas of MENA nations. This includes many of the large and small islands in the GCC region such as Kuwait, which are highly vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise. Inundation will adversely affect cities, roads, agricultural areas, as well as beaches and salt marshes in the MENA region.

Continued use of non-renewable water is major factor in depleting groundwater reserves in MENA region and puts regional countries at severe risk of climate impacts. Depletion of groundwater through urbanization has led to the loss of freshwater springs/aquifers. The GCC countries are heavily dependent on energy-intensive desalination plants for its freshwater supplies which is further driving up electricity demand.

The MENA region is highly vulnerable to tensions brought on by spike in food prices. Due to growing water crisis and desertification, the region is staring at a food crisis in the coming years. The region is grappling with the realization that its barren soil and dwindling water supply will be insufficient to feed the population, even with intensive irrigation and modern farming technology.

Lack of Seriousness

Unfortunately the level of seriousness that should have been shown by the regional governments is somewhat lacking. Climate change mitigation is not among the top priorities in most of the MENA countries.

There is lack of effective laws/regulations, absence of long-term climate action frameworks, weak coordination among different ministries and among regional governments and lack of public awareness.

The Way Forward

An efficient and effective environmental governance framework is essential for more productive and measurable interaction amongst various stakeholders and across key sectors. National, regional and international linkages within targeted sectors are essential to coordinate climate action in MENA.

Proactive involvement of public and private sectors, civil society organizations as well as research and academia in climate change mitigation is also a crucial issue. Environmental education will also go a long way in inculcating sustainable lifestyles and responsible behavior among local population and expatriates.

It is realistically possible that climate change will precipitate environmental degradation and drought-like conditions in MENA which will cause deterioration in livelihoods, and put pressure on populations to migrate en masse. Needless to say, Arabian Gulf is the most unsustainable region in the world. The craze for big cars and tall buildings coupled with apathy towards the environment and natural resources is pushing the region towards the worst-case scenario.

For more information, you may email the author Salman Zafar on salman@ecomena.org or salman@cleantechloops.com

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Salman Zafar