Tag: Environment

7 Negative Effects of A Used Car On The Environment

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Despite the fact that used cars are pocket-friendly and easy to buy, they leave bad imprints on the environment in one way or the other. If you are unaware of them, please check these 7 negative effects of a used car on the environment.

1. Destruction of natural resources

Natural resources are the gifts of nature, which we should care about. Despite being the most brainy creature on this planet, we share the maximum part in the destruction of the natural resources available on earth. While producing cars and other automobiles, it uses a large amount of steel, iron, plastics, rubber and other materials. Similar, most of such products are created to make the car look dashing. Even the production processes also consume a great portion of energy which directly or indirectly affects the environment.

Most of the major players are changing their manufacturing strategies with new cars, but an option of a used car is still available which implants a significant effect on the surrounding environment.

2. Global warming

Either it’s a brand new car or any used car, they both run by consuming fuel and energy. Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are the major constituents in the exhausts released by the cars. The new cars are made up of better engines in accordance to the latest norms of pollution controls. On another hand, used cars are responsible to release more carbon contents as they are made up with the earlier technologies.

Basically, the engines get worn up with time and they are unable to burn the fuel in the required ratio. This inability leads to the yield of carbon monoxide which harms the ozone layer leading to global warming.

3. Air, soil and water

Car pollutants create a bad impact of the natural resources like air, water, and soil. It depletes the quality of these resources very badly. Pollutants, like nitrous oxide, harms the ozone layer, which is essential and protects from the ultraviolet radiations from the sun.

Other pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide when mixed with rainwater, leads to acid rains. Acid rains badly damage the crop quality, forests, plantation, other vegetation, and buildings. Engine oils, brake oils, and other such lubricants are thrown on the soil or in water resources like river, sea, lakes which contaminates the water and also leads to the death of the water animals.

4. Affecting human health

Human health is badly affected by the used car emitted particles, like carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and other car pollutants which are considered bad. The diesel engines are responsible for emitting a high level of pollutants which act as airborne particles like soot and metals.

These particles generally cause irritation and allergies to skin and eyes. Even fine particles are often inhaled by the people which lead to respiratory problems affecting the lungs. Ozone is beneficial for the upper layer in the atmosphere but when one inhales it, it causes problems like chest pains, cough and is very difficult to breathe in. Even the noise produced by the cars causes noise pollution which is bad for the ears as well and often leads to physiological problems.

5. Used car produce more carbon content

Every product produced comes with an expiry date and using it beyond this time can be very harmful in for the user. Similar way, cars to have a working age, in which they perform their best with creating minor effects on the environment. Manufacturers have to produce cars with respect to the pollution norms and by conducting tests, they deduce the working life of the car.

Used cars have a detrimental impact on the environment and public health

Relying on used cars can affect the environment badly as they release major harmful pollutants. These pollutants have different effects on the surroundings which are not good for the humans and the surrounding environments.

6. Toxic battery acids

The car batteries are made up of toxic materials like nickel and they are responsible to produce fumes of harmful gases as well. Most of the car users forget the timely replacement of these batteries and some indulge in burning the used batteries. On burning these batteries emits toxic fumes which can cause respiratory problems and affect the lungs.

Leaking batteries too are dangerous when the electrolyte comes in contact with the body. It badly damages the skin, eyes and other parts of the body.

7. Consume more fuel

Fuel is the major source which drives the vehicle. Cars provide mileage with respect to their engine properties and consume fuel to give better performance. The way one drives a car plays an important factor in the fuel consumption but in the case of used cars, they generally consume more fuel than the latest versions of hybrid cars.

Conclusion

In conclusion, cars are an essential mode of transportation and they really help a lot in reducing a major part of human efforts. But in one or the other way, cars have a major impact on the surrounding environment. In this post, you can check some negative effect of a used car on the environment.

How to Care for the Environment When You Travel

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Are you concerned about your environmental impact while travelling? There are many simple things you can do to take care of the environment on your travels. Going green may take a little effort at first, but with every trip you take, it will soon become second nature. Remember, you will have a greater travel experience knowing you left a positive impact on the place you are visiting. Below are few golden tips to make your next vacation more eco-friendly:

Visit Eco-Friendly Countries

As tourists become more environmentally conscious, ecotourism has become a serious priority in many parts of the world. If you want to visit a new country or landscape, look for destinations that have a reputation for being kind to the environment. Countries such as Iceland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Samoa are paving the way with ecotourism.

For example, Samoa offers a wide range of responsible tour operators. These tours encourage tourists to participate in fun Samoa activities like biking events, running races, snorkelling, and scuba diving without compromising the environment.

Stay at Eco-Friendly Accommodation

Making informed choices about where you stay is a key step in becoming a sustainable traveller. Instead of opting for the most appealing tourist hotel, prioritise finding good-quality accommodation that also works to protect the environment.

A growing number of hotels have begun to adopt eco-friendly practices such as recycling programs, energy efficient lighting and water conservation schemes. These hotels are making a positive difference for the environment, so it’s important to support them whenever possible.

Support Green Tour Companies

Like green hotels, many tour companies are taking an eco-friendly approach to tourism. Green tour companies aim to give visitors a fun travel experience while still caring for the environment and economy. Before booking a tour, do your research about the company’s environmental practices and ethics.

Walk, Bike or Take Public Transport

When exploring a new destination, reduce your carbon footprint by travelling via bus, bike or foot instead of a private car to minimise your environmental impact. Participating in local running races and exploring bike trails will also provide further opportunities to experience the culture at a slower pace and mix with the locals.

Pack Reusable Items 

It’s your responsibility as a sustainable traveller to be conscious of the products you use and dispose of. Avoiding the use of plastic is essential. Bring reusable shopping bags with you on your trip so that you don’t have to rely on plastic bags.

Strive to leave a positive impact on the place you are visiting.

Similarly, bring your own reusable water bottles and containers to avoid going through tonnes of plastic ones. Some cafes even let you bring your own re-reusable mugs, so take these with you as often as you can.

Reduce Your Energy Use

Minimising your everyday energy use is one of the easiest things you can do to protect the environment, yet is something so many travellers don’t bother to do. Simple practices such as avoiding long showers, turning off lights and unplugging electronics whenever you leave the room, and minimising your use of heating or air-conditioning can ensure a more eco-friendly travel experience.

If you’re not staying at an eco-friendly hotel, be extra vigilant about this. Treat the hotel like you would treat your home. For instance, ask yourself if it is really necessary to use the laundry and cleaning service every day. Ask the hotel to only wash your linens and towels when necessary, as you would at home. Every traveller who follows these small changes is making a real difference to the planet.

About the Author

Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from Dunedin, New Zealand who enjoys traveling as much as she loves writing. She has produced articles for travel sites such as Active Asia after being captivated by the charm, color, and beauty of Cambodia last year. You can find more of her work here.

3 Green Packaging Methods to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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The consumer shift towards green living has awakened an increasing number of companies on the importance of green packaging This resulted to global brands – including the likes of McDonald’s, Walmart, Nike and Coca-Cola among many others – embracing green business practices to reduce their negative impact on the environment.

Although these eco-friendly initiatives are primarily focused in addressing the alarming environmental concerns, they also come with several benefits on the businesses’ end. These include helping the companies build a green reputation and as a result, earn the approval of like-minded consumers.

In the push towards a healthier environment, more and more companies continue integrating green practices in their functions. And as a business, what better step to take than to follow those initiatives? If you’re still clueless on how to make your business green, the easiest way would be to come up with more eco-friendly packaging alternatives. Fortunately, options abound for those seeking to implement more sustainable packaging practices.

If you are a business looking to embrace eco-friendly practices, these packaging methods will help reduce your carbon footprint.

  1. Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

The environmental trifecta of the three Rs also applies to product packaging:

Reuse – look for opportunities, where it makes sense, to introduce reusable packaging. In 2010, KFC released its reusable sides containers that are promoted as being reusable and microwave-safe.

Reduce – eliminate, where possible, the layers of wrappings you use in your product.  Additionally, you can also revolutionize your products to accommodate sustainable packaging. A great example of this is the packaging-free shampoo bars from LUSH.

Recycle: increase the proportion of packaging from recycled and recyclable materials so it can be repurposed at the end of its use.

  1. Think Innovative and Sustainable Packaging

Although it may not work with all products, you can consider unique and innovative materials with your packaging. A prime example of this is the Clever Little Bag by Puma, a reusable shoe bag that helped them save as much as 65% of paper.

You can also factor in the use of sustainable materials such as recycled and virgin papers, plant-based packing peanuts and bio-plastics. Soy-based inks are also a greener alternative to petroleum-based inks, as they come from a renewable source and makes recycling paper easier as well.

  1. Cut Down on Energy

A significant amount of energy is spent from the packaging production down to the logistics. So, streamlining these processes is necessary to reduce energy consumption. One way to effectively do that is by incorporating a space-saving design in your packaging which may be useful for all businesses, for example house moving companies.

Eco-friendly product packaging can help in green branding

This initiative not only optimises the delivery of your products, it also helps drive like-minded consumers towards your product, considering it provides better value for their money.

Ensuring that your product packaging is eco-friendly not only shows your commitment to the environment, but also reflects consideration to your customers who are demanding for sustainable products and services. As a result, you can be confident that your initiatives will help build your green reputation as a brand.

Find out more ways on how you can switch to an eco-friendly business with Green Courier, a leading courier company in London, providing environment-conscious delivery services across the UK.

Green Courier is an environmentally friendly courier service in the United Kingdom. Being the leading Carbon Balanced supplier in the rapid dispatch industry, the company is committed in promoting sustainable solutions for the market and is always looking for ways to reduce its impact on the environment.

Waste Management at Army Installations

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Waste management at army installations demands an integrated framework based on the conventional waste management hierarchy of 4Rs – reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery (of energy). Waste reduction (or waste minimization) is the top-most solution to reduce waste generation at army bases which demands close cooperation among different departments, including procurement, technical services, housing, food service, personnel. Reducing office paper waste by implementing a policy to duplex all draft reports.

Army installations are unique due to more than one factor including strict discipline, high degree of motivation, good financial resources and skilled personnel. Usually army installations are one of the largest employers in and around the region where they are based and have a very good influence of the surrounding community, which is bound to have a positive impact on overall waste management strategies in the concerned region.

Waste disposal methods for army based is dependent on size of the population, location, local regulations, budgetary constraints and many other factors. It is imperative on base commanders to evaluate all possible options and develop a cost-effective and efficient waste management plan.

The key factors in the success of waste management plan in army bases are development of new technologies/practices, infrastructure building, participation of all departments, basic environmental education for personnel and development of a quality recycling program.

Due to large fraction of recyclables in the waste stream, recycling is an attractive proposition for the armed forces. However, environmental awareness, waste collection infrastructure, and modern equipment are essential for the success of any waste management strategy.

Food waste and yard waste (or green waste) can be subjected to anaerobic digestion or composting to increase landfill diversion rates and obtain energy-rich biogas (for cooking/heating) and nutrient-rich fertilizer (for landscaping and indoor gardening). For deployed forces, small-scale waste-to-energy systems, based on thermal technologies, can be an effective solution for disposal of combustible wastes, and for harnessing energy potential of wastes.

Landfill diversion is achieved when the waste is either not generated in the first place, or when the potential waste is recycled or re-used. As a result, the material never actually becomes a waste. Separation is a critical part of waste diversion. Separation is probably most efficiently conducted at the point of generation. However, post collection separation is also feasible.

Conclusion

With increasing militarization, more wars and frequent armed conflicts, protection of the environment has assumed greater significance for military in armed conflicts as well as peacetime operations. Sustainable management of trash is a good opportunity for armed forces to promote environmental stewardship, foster sustainable development and generate goodwill among the local population and beyond.

Turning Household Waste into Clean Fuel

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As more and more governments and businesses are racing to find efficient and reliable solutions for providing energy, the one option that is both widely achievable on a house-by-house basis, as well as tackling two major environmental issues is turning household waste into fuel.

We know there are already many organisations that are doing this on a large scale, collecting household waste from large areas and turning it into energy in Waste to Energy plants. However, arguably a better way to benefit from this is to produce energy on a household basis. In this article we explore some of the reasons why this is a good idea and how we can practically turn our own waste at home into energy.

Reduce Waste Transportation & Limit Landfill Use

Let’s take for example the UK, where they throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink waste as a population every year. Every bit of this waste is collected by local council services and transported some distance, eventually disposed of at landfill sites across the country.

The impact on the environment is twofold in this case. Firstly, the heavy duty vehicles required to collect the household waste are less than environmentally friendly. On the surface this may seem like a minor point, however when you consider how heavy these vehicles are, how slowly they move and how long they spend idling, they contribute a large amount to traffic pollution.

In fact, recent figures show that the average efficiency of these vehicles is around 4.4 mpg. Transportation of waste obviously remains an issue even where commercial Waste to Energy plants are concerned, but can be remedied by turning waste to fuel at home.

The second and arguably more obvious impact of the traditional waste disposal process is that it requires a vast amount of land. Quite simply, by using home waste to generate energy we are able to limit the amount of rubbish currently going to landfill sites.

Anaerobic Digestion

Up until now it has been technically difficult to create usable gas from household waste such as food leftovers. However, recent developments have made it easier than ever to produce energy from these wasted items. This has been made possible by a start-up that has created a user-friendly unit that can be used to collect left over food waste and turn it into biogas using the anaerobic digestion process. This biogas can then be used directly in the connected house for cooking, heating and even lighting.

For those with the ambition and technical experience, it is possible to produce biofuels and build your own biogas generator at home. Practically this is much easier in a tropical climate where the environment makes perfect conditions for the production of biogas from a wide variety of organic wastes. However, with the right equipment and insulation it is possible to do this in other climates.

Car Fuel from Household Waste

We are going to see a continuing rise in fuel prices across the globe. This fact is seeing a trend for eco car manufacturers to develop alternatives for traditional fuels, ranging from solar power through to electric. One alternative is fuelling your car on used vegetable oil. Practically, most diesel cars can be run off used vegetable oil with some minor alterations. This can be done by a specialist, but equally can be also achieved at home by those mechanically-inclined with specialist kits.

Arguably this may not be the most environmentally friendly option for fuelling cars as burning the oil for energy is comparable to diesel in terms of emissions. However, vegetable oil based fuels are carbon neutral due to absorbed carbon during the plants growing process. Also, when we consider the global issues with waste management, running our cars on vegetable oil is a smart solution.

Using household waste may not be as negative for the environment as media often paints it out to be. By limiting landfill and the harmful emissions generated during the waste disposal process we are able to create environmental benefits. We have also explored some of the practical ways you can use home waste to generate fuel for use in your home and for your car.

Environmental Impacts of MSW Incineration

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Incineration-based processes for municipal solid waste (MSW) treatment are a subject of intense environmental debate around the world. In the absence of effective controls, harmful pollutants from MSW incineration plants may be emitted into the air, land and water which may be detrimental to public health and the environment. Thus, it is essential to have strict controls to prevent negative impacts of waste-to-energy plants, especially incineration.

What is MSW Incineration?

Incineration is the controlled combustion of waste with the recovery of heat to produce steam that in turn produces power through steam turbines and any other CHP system. Incineration is the predominant technology for MSW-to-energy plants, which involves burning the trash at high temperatures. Similarly to how some facilities use coal or natural gas as fuel sources, power plants can also burn MSW as fuel to heat water, which creates steam, turns a turbine and produces electricity.

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

The most common type of incineration plant is called a mass-burn facility and the most common incineration technology is moving grate system. These units burn the trash in one large chamber. The facility might sort the MSW before sending it to the combustion chamber to remove non-combustible materials and recyclables. Mass-burn systems use excess air to facilitate mixing, and ensure air gets to all the waste. Many of these units also burn the fuel on a sloped, moving grate to mix the waste even further. These steps are vital because solid waste is inconsistent, and its content varies.

Environmental Issues

The incineration process produces two types of ash. Bottom ash comes from the furnace and is mixed with slag, while fly ash comes from the stack and contains components that are more hazardous. In municipal waste incinerators, bottom ash is approximately 10% by volume and approximately 20 to 35% by weight of the solid waste input. Fly ash quantities are much lower, generally only a few percent of input.

Emissions from incinerators can include heavy metals, dioxins and furans, which may be present in the waste gases, water or ash. Plastic and metals are the major source of the calorific value of the waste. The combustion of plastics, like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) gives rise to these highly toxic pollutants.

Toxics are created at various stages of such thermal technologies, and not only at the end of the stack. These can be created during the process, in the stack pipes, as residues in ash, scrubber water and filters, and in fact even in air plumes which leave the stack. There are no safe ways of avoiding their production or destroying them, and at best they can be trapped at extreme cost in sophisticated filters or in the ash. The ultimate release is unavoidable, and if trapped in ash or filters, these become hazardous wastes themselves.

The pollutants which are created, even if trapped, reside in filters and ash, which need special landfills for disposal. In case of energy recovery, it requires heat exchangers which operate at temperatures which maximize dioxin production. If the gases are quenched, it goes against energy recovery.

Such projects disperse incinerator ash throughout the environment which may enter our food chain and cause havoc with human health as well as other ecosystems. These facts make it essential for every incineration-based waste-to-energy plant to have a modern air pollution control system which may trap all harmful pollutants from going into the atmosphere, which may help in public acceptability of waste-to-energy plants.

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

A Primer on Ecotourism

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Ecotourism has swiftly emerged as the fastest growing segment in the global tourism industry. The characteristic features of ecotourism include strong emphasis on resource conservation, environmental education, traveler responsibility and active community participation. Broadly speaking, ecotourism involves experiencing natural attractions, typically through outdoor activities which are sustainable in terms of their impact on the environment.

With growing concerns about climate change and global warming, the interest in ecofriendly and responsible tourism is rapidly growing across the world.  The ecotourism industry, which has been catalyzed by advancements in transportation and information technology, has brought hitherto unknown geographical landscapes into public limelight, thus bringing tourists to pristine natural locations in Asia, Europe, South America, Africa, Middle East and elsewhere.

Basic Ingredients

Ecotourism, also known as sustainable tourism or nature tourism, is characterized by strong focus on natural ecosystems, promotion of environmental ethics, preservation of natural resources, respect for local culture and environmental education of travelers.  The key attribute of ecotourism is to strike a fine balance between preserving natural environments with the needs of tourists. This special tourism industry holds great economic importance for developing countries having many natural attractions but limited resources to develop facilities for conventional tourism.

Ecotourism is witnessing growing popularity

Eco-tourists are given a first-hand understanding and experience of nature through guided walks, wildlife safaris, bird-watching, camping, star-gazing, hiking and related activities. Popular natural attractions include deserts, rainforests, woodlands, grasslands, wetlands, mountains, beaches and polar regions, in addition to unique life forms that inhabit these natural habitats (animals, birds, insects, plants and other organism).

Need for Caution

In the absence of proper management, planning and environmental education, the influx of tourists to ecologically-sensitive areas may be detrimental to the integrity of ecosystems and indigenous cultures. The management of ecotourism attractions is of great importance in order to prevent degradation of natural ecosystems which took millions of years to evolve.

It is also essential to restrict number of visitors to natural ecosystems, otherwise such attractions will swiftly lose their charm and beauty. Environment-friendly supporting facilities for visitor are also required in order to ensure minimal impact on the environment (e.g. composting toilets, recycled water, passive solar buildings and recycling stations).

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

Open Burning of Tyres: Impacts on Public Health

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Burning of tyres as a cheap source of energy is common in many developing countries, such as India.  While burning tyres does provide a cheap and efficient source of energy, the harmful effects of such burning far exceed the benefits.

Emissions from open tyre burning include “criteria” pollutants, such as particulates, carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur oxides (SOx), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They also include “non-criteria” hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, furans, hydrogen chloride, benzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and metals such as cadmium, nickel, zinc, mercury, chromium, and vanadium.

Both criteria and non-criteria pollutants can cause significant short and long term health effects.  Depending on the length and degree of exposure, these health effects could include irritation of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes, respiratory effects, central nervous system depression, anxiety and cancer.  Dioxin is a highly toxic compound which may cause cancer and neurological damage, and disrupt reproductive systems, thyroid systems, respiratory systems etc.

Uncontrolled tyre burning has been proven to be 16 times more mutagenic, i.e capable of inducing genetic mutation, than traditional residential wood combustion in a fireplace, and 13,000 times more mutagenic than coal-fired utility emissions with good combustion efficiency and add-on controls.

Uncontrolled tyre burning is highly dangerous for public health and environment

Especially troubling is the exposure that children living within these communities are inadvertently being subjected to. Children, foetuses, nursing babies, elderly, asthmatics, and immune suppressed individuals are all much more vulnerable to the pollutants released burning tyres. Even a nursing woman can transfer the pollutions she inhales to a baby through the fat in her breast milk.  During breast-feeding, infants are exposed to higher concentrations of organic pollutants than at any subsequent time in their lives.

Saving money on fuel by burning tyres should not take precedence over public health. Unfortunately, in small villages and other underdeveloped areas where tyre burning kilns sustain much of the local economy, exposure to these toxins is inevitable with the current practices being employed. The need of the hour is to promote sustainable scrap tyre management systems such as pyrolysis and crumb rubber production.

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

Green SMEs in Developing Countries: Challenges and Opportunities

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With ‘green’ being the buzzword across all industries, greening of the business sector and development of green skills has assumed greater importance in the developing world. Around the world, SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs are playing a vital role in the transition to a low-carbon economy by developing new green business models for different industrial sectors. Infact, young and small firms are emerging as main drivers of radical eco-innovation in the industrial and services sectors.

What are Green SMEs

A judicious exploitation of techno-commercial opportunities and redevelopment of business models, often neglected by established companies, have been the major hallmarks of green SMEs. For example, SMEs operating in eco-design, green architecture, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability are spearheading the transition to green economy across a wide range of industries. The path to green economy is achieved by making use of production, technology and management practices of green SMEs.

Categories of Green Industries

Environmental protection Resource Management
Protection of ambient air Water management
Protection of climate Management of forest resources
Wastewater management Management of flora and fauna
Waste management Energy management
Noise and vibration abatement Management of minerals
Protection of biodiversity and landscape Eco-construction
Protection against radiation Natural resource management activities
Protection of soil, groundwater and surface water Eco-tourism
Environmental Monitoring and Instrumentation Organic agriculture
Research and Development Research and Development

Key Drivers

The key motivations for a green entrepreneur are to exploit the market opportunity and to promote environmental sustainability. A green business help in the implementation of innovative solutions, competes with established markets and creates new market niches. Green entrepreneurs are a role model for one and all as they combine environmental performance with market targets and profit outcomes, thus contributing to the expansion of green markets.

Some of the popular areas in which small green businesses have been historically successful are renewable energy production (solar, wind and biomass), smart metering, building retrofitting, hybrid cars and waste recycling.  As far as established green industries (such as waste management and wastewater treatment) are concerned, large companies tend to dominate, however SMEs and start-ups can make a mark if they can introduce innovative processes and systems. Eco-friendly transformation of existing practices is another attractive pathway for SMEs to participate in the green economy.

Major Challenges

Green SME sector in developing countries has been growing steadily, albeit at a slower pace than anticipated.  One of the major obstacles has been poorly-designed regulation. Lack of clear policy direction and enablers are hindering growth and competitiveness of green SMEs. Product market regulations which stifle competition pose a big hurdle to SMEs operating in renewables, energy, environment and sustainability sectors.  For example, state-owned companies in the Middle East have almost complete monopoly in network industries which have large environmental impacts (electricity/energy sector) or control strategic environmental services (water and waste management sector).

Restructuring of the SME sector in developing countries is essential to allow small businesses to grow and prosper, thus catalyzing a steady transition to a green economy. SMEs account for vast majority of production units and employment across the developing world. Needless to say, participation of SMEs is essential in the transition to a low-carbon economy, thus paving the way for greening the business sector and development of green skills across all industrial segments.

Participation of SMEs is essential in the transition to a low-carbon economy

Green SMEs require strong government support for growth, which is unfortunately lacking in many developing nations. The most pressing challenges are

  1. Increasing disconnect between education and market needs and
  2. Disorientation of research and development from industry priorities and trends.

Government agencies, business associations and NGOs need to play a bigger role in advocating more streamlined priorities for green growth across all industrial sectors. Green SMEs face significant barriers to entry despite their key role in developing locally appropriate technologies and eco-friendly business models.

Conclusion

Policy interventions for supporting green SMEs in developing nations are urgently required to overcome major barriers, including knowledge-sharing, raising environmental awareness, enhancing financial support, supporting skill development and skill formation, improving market access and implementing green taxation. In recent decades, entrepreneurship in developing world has been increasing at a rapid pace which should be channeled towards addressing water, energy, environment and waste management challenges, thereby converting environmental constraints into business opportunities.

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

Insights into Environmental Education

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Environmental education is a holistic process aimed at creating responsible individuals who identify environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take effective action towards environment protection. Awareness, knowledge, attitude, skills and participation are the guiding principles of environmental education.

Environmental education has emerged as an essential tool to boost the commitment, motivation, stewardship and behavior of individuals, whether young or old, towards the environment. Interestingly, environmental education can also help students in performing better in studies.

Besides education within the school system, environmental education includes all efforts to educate the public, including print materials, websites, blogs, media and social media campaigns, etc. It can be taught formally in schools, colleges and universities, or informally through NGOs, businesses, media, botanical gardens, nature theme parks and green spaces. Outdoor education, workshops, outreach programs and community campaigns are some of the informal modes of imparting environmental education.

Preparing for the Future

The world is in the midst of the most profound and rapid societal shifts in its history. The current generation of kids is the first to grow up indoors and largely detached from the natural world.  To prepare a new generation of environmental stewards it is necessary to prepare children for the future they will inherit. The children of today will need to be the environmentalists of tomorrow. Environmental education reconnects children to nature in their backyards and fosters sustainable development around the world.

Role of Educators

Educators have a crucial role to play in imparting environmental education as trained teachers find it relatively easier to motivate children.  Being a multi-disciplinary subject, environmental education requires intrinsic knowledge of science, history, geography, political, culture, ecology, economics and other topics. Qualified environmental educators carry out field studies, conduct programs, collaborate with students and local communities, and use dynamic strategies to link environmental awareness with responsible actions.

Programs to Consider

Educational programs aimed at children and adults are critical in fostering a healthier and safer planet. Due to more challenging learning outcomes of environmental education, it is important to supplement existing classroom practices with innovative, active and participatory techniques. Learning techniques must ensure maximum involvement and provide enough opportunities for students to experience the natural environment. Participatory activities include field visits and surveys, situation analysis, group discussions, role playing, environmental games, eco clubs, natural trails and project work.

Grassroot activities are required to generate and sustain children’s interest in environmental education. With a more directed focus and commitment towards environmental education in schools, children will need little motivation to care for their environment.

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