Drought? What drought? The perils of water denial — ideas.ted.com

Most disasters come with heart-breaking visuals — innocent victims, burned wreckage. Our looming water disaster is invisible. Will anyone notice before it’s too late? Last week in Fresno, California, in the middle of areas hardest hit by the state’s five-year drought, Donald Trump voiced the opinion that “there is no drought.” Instead, he blamed the whole problem on the…

via Drought? What drought? The perils of water denial — ideas.ted.com

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Greener holidays

Have you ever thought of the impact of your trips on the environment? Well, it appears that their impact is worse than what you might think.

Let’s take them one by one:

  1. Duration – the shorter (#days) and farther (#km), the worse it is.

Take the city breaks that are so “in” right now in Europe – taking the plane for 2 hrs. each way for only one weekend will make you spend all the CO2 emissions you’re supposed to release into the air in a year!

So for short trips, you should first think of taking the train or doing car sharing. Instead, if you want to take the plane, you should take at least 2 – 3 weeks of holidays.

  1. Transportation

As said above, choosing the transportation depends on the duration of your holidays. So if you don’t have a lot of time, choose a destination nearby, for which you can take the train or do car sharing. You can also take the bus, but you will release more emissions into the air.

Here’s a chart that compares the CO2 emissions by transport mode: road, rail, water, air:

Capture

Source: http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/specific-co2-emissions-per-passenger-1

I found another chart here:

http://www.beagleybrown.com/planes-trains-or-automobiles-carbon-emissions-compared-for-different-forms-of-transport/

!! What doesn’t enter in these calculations though is how the energy is produced, for trains, for example. Right now, most of them are electric. But if we compare a train trip in France with a train trip in Germany, the one in France will be greener, because they use nuclear electricity compared to coal electricity in Germany. !!

  1. Accommodation

The accommodation also depends on the duration of your trip – we recommend Airbnb or Couchsurfing for shorter trips. Even though hosts propose bed sheets and towels, in order to reduce your holiday’s CO2 footprint, we definitely recommend you bring your own sleeping bag and towel (if possible, of course), because if you stay only a night or two the host needs to clean everything, which they wouldn’t have to do normally.

For longer trips, there are some great collaborative solutions as well: Home Exchange, House Swap, etc.

You can definitely book a holiday resort too, but the problem is that these are built especially for tourists, and sometimes they destroy natural environments just so that you can be “closer to nature”.

  1. Food & drinks

Wherever you are, try the local specialties! If you go to Dominican Republic, have a local breakfast, and not a typical European one for which the ingredients were flown in!

https://www.buzzfeed.com/irisestrada/what-to-eat-drink-in-the-dominican-republic-ewjg

For more insight on how tourism is destroying the planet, you can read the book below (don’t know if it has been translated to English yet): Tourism – a mass destruction weapon.

http://www.babelio.com/livres/Loubes-Tourisme-arme-de-destruction-massive/759270

 

What are your green trips tricks? Sharing is caring!

 

Iulia

Credit photo: http://www.zastavki.com/eng/Nature/Forest/wallpaper-41266.htm

 

 

 

A newly drawn Tree of Life reminds us to question what we know — ideas.ted.com

A newly released diagram of all life on Earth, the Tree of Life, contains a whole new branch, full of microbes — which appear to dominate Earth’s biodiversity. How did we miss this? Since Darwin’s day, scientists have worked to map all of life on a single tree to show how all forms of life on Earth evolved…

via A newly drawn Tree of Life reminds us to question what we know — ideas.ted.com

Facts about water

World Water Day was on the 22nd of March 2016, so we thought of searching some statistics that can help us better understand the current situation.

So here are some useful articles about water:

http://www.gwp.org/fr/Press-Room/Water-Statistics/

http://water.org/water-crisis/water-sanitation-facts/

https://thewaterproject.org/water_stats

http://www.unwater.org/statistics/en/

http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/africa.shtml

How to use less water:

http://www.hercampus.com/school/brandeis/world-water-day-2016

http://www.treehugger.com/cleaning-organizing/eco-friendly-laundry-washing-clothes-more-sustainably-low-tech-and-simple-methods.html

freshwaterin

credit photo: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/03/23/city/lahore/world-water-day-observed-in-city/