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We exist frivolously in America. All of us.

Even if you don’t make much money or buy expensive things, the truth is, we are the most wasteful country on the planet.

A few decades ago, our waste and consumption of natural resources didn’t seem like a big deal, at least not to the general public. However, people are becoming aware of the inevitable ramifications of the way we live.

If we don’t start making changes fast, such as the majority of the population using eco-friendly products, our children or grandchildren may not live in the world as we know it.

But it’s not just us. The entirety of the civilized world has a hand in what’s happening to our planet.

But what exactly is happening to our planet?

Why Eco-Friendly Products Are Important

Regrettably, the subject of climate change or global warming has become a political topic, which is bad news for our planet.


Because until climate change is looked at for what it is, a scientific fact backed by analytical data, our country cannot unite with the rest of the world to reverse the problem. Right now, it’s a topic for debate, commonly referred to as “fake news” by those who oppose using resources to fix the problem.

Top view of a rubber stamp mark printed on a recycled paper with room for text on the right

But here’s what is happening while we waste time debating over it:

  • Greenhouse gases are trapping heat in our atmosphere, steadily increasing the earth’s temperature every year. 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded.
  • Every second, we destroy an entire football field of the rainforest. Every day, we destroy an area the size of New York.
  • Since 1910, Glacier National Park has gone from 150 glaciers to just 26.
  • Scientists surmise that we lose .01 to 0.1 species a year, which could be anywhere from 200 to 100,000 based on low-end/high-end estimations of total species.
  • Climate change may be irreversible by 2030.
  • As glaciers melt and sea levels rise, we can expect to lose coastal cities and experience an influx of refugees from other countries.

Since we don’t control politics, what can we do?

The simple answer is to do everything you can, starting with this list.

1. Metal Straws

Americans use 500 million plastic drinking straws every day. That’s over 18 billion every year.

In other words, we need to cut it out with the straws.

Fast food restaurants need to switch over to bio-degradable straws. Sit-in diners need to use any of the eco-friendly products out there such as metal and bamboo straws.

For us, we can also use the reusable straws for our drinking containers. It’s such a simple, yet important sacrifice.

2. Eco-Friendly Bottles

If you thought straws were bad, think about this—Americans use 1,500 plastic bottles every second. Now, you may not be very good at math, but you can easily deduce that the amount per day, week, month, and the year is unfathomable.

If we were to switch to eco-friendly products, such as metal, glass, and silicone water bottles to name a few, we could significantly cut down on waste.

Additionally, the amount of plastic found in the ocean is absurd. It’s also killing off marine species of fish and coral.

3. Reusable Shopping Bags

As we progress down our list, the numbers only seem to get worse. Worldwide, humans use over 1 trillion plastic bags per year—roughly 2 million per minute.

Reusable bags are made of canvas, synthetic fibers, and natural fibers. Not only are these better for the environment, but you can load a ton more groceries and goods in them. Bigger, eco-friendly products like these will save you countless trips back and forth to your car while unloading groceries.

4. Solar Power

It’s a fact. Eventually, we will run out of natural resources such as gas, oil, and coal. When we run out of these fossil fuels, say goodbye to the world as we know it.

It means no more power or vehicles. We will return to a time of darkness.

However, as the world is recognizing the imminent threat of overconsumption, it’s also advancing its eco-friendly products, such as producing some of the best quality solar panels.

5. Bamboo Products

Eco-friendly products made from bamboo are becoming ever more popular.

Nearly everything you can think of can be made out of bamboo. Some of the most popular bamboo products include toothbrushes, kitchen utensils, towels, speakers, toilet paper, floors, skateboards, and sunglasses.

Eco-friendly bamboo products are especially easy on the environment as they are rapidly renewable and harvested by hand, which helps prevent the accidental killing of animals and the use of heavy machinery.

6. Recycled Shoes

Buying recycled shoes helps the planet on multiple fronts.

First, eco-friendly products made from recycled goods prevents waste and over-usage of harmful materials such as plastic, rubber, and leather.

Leather is harmful because most tanning processes, including those in the U.S., use hazardous chemicals such as chromium and formaldehyde.

7. Meat-Replacement Products

The most effective change we could all make to save the planet won’t be a popular one. The answer, unfortunately for most, is to stop eating meat. Period.

It takes 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. One pound.

Additionally, the vast majority of deforestation occurs to provide land for growing crops. Not crops for starving people across the planet, but for the animals destined for the butcher block.

In fact, 70% of the grain produced in plant agriculture goes towards feeding farm animals. While the West feasts, billions of people around the world are in a food crisis.

Additionally, animal livestock and their byproducts account for 51% of all greenhouse gases. All forms of transportation exhaust in the world combined only accounts for 13%.

8. Rechargeable Batteries

Eco-friendly products such as rechargeable batteries are a no-brainer.

Batteries are made with natural, non-renewable resources. It’s hard to imagine life without batteries (no laptops, cell phones, tv remotes, video game remotes, garage door openers, car batteries, etc.), however, we may be risking it soon.

While rechargeable batteries aren’t perfect, they’re still a much better option. They still use the same non-renewable resources, but they last much longer. Rechargeable batteries aren’t thrown away after a single use, which greatly decreases waste.

9. Ceramic Nonstick Pans

There’s a popular documentary on Netflix right now called “The Devil We Know.”

This documentary explores the lies, deceit, and criminal acts by a company known as Dupont. Dupont is the company behind Teflon coatings. The primary chemical, C-8, is used in nearly everything you can think of that boasts a non-stick or water-repellent surface.

The problem is, the chemical is a deadly, cancer-causing substance.

And while the company has repeatedly changed the name of its chemicals and products and even the name of the company itself, the fact is, they are still knowingly producing hazardous products.

For your health, and the health of the environment, use ceramic alternatives for your pans. Teflon pans emit toxic chemicals and gases when they are heated past a certain temperature, while ceramic pans tend to be free of harmful chemicals.

10. Composting Toilets

Traditional toilets in first-world countries use water for every flush. Now, before modern sewer systems and toilets, cities had astronomical health issues related to improper human waste disposal.

However, for those looking to have less of a water footprint on the environment, consider that toilet-use in the U.S. averages 1.3 to 7 gallons of water per flush, depending on the toilet.

While composting toilets may come off archaic at first, they’re actually quite clean and sanitary. Our solid waste is mixed with a composting agent such as peat moss which rapidly evaporates and breaks down the material.

What’s left is virus and pathogen-free fertilizer, completely safe to handle and discard.

11. Low-Flow Showerheads

The average American shower uses over 17 gallons of water, lasting about 8 minutes. However, on long days or mornings when we’re not in a rush to get off to work, we tend to take our time. After all, showers feel amazing!

Low-flow showerheads can trickle out as little as 0.75 gallons of water a minute, meaning an 8-minute shower would take only 6 gallons of water. Saving roughly 10 gallons of water every day would mean each person is saving 3,650 gallons of water a year.

If every American used only one eco-friendly product, a low-flow showerhead, we would save 1.2 trillion gallons of water a year!

12. Bio-degradable Trash bags

Finally, the average American produces over 2,000 pounds of trash per year. Multiply that by our 327.2 million population and you get a lot of trash. A lot of trash means a lot of trash bags.

Bio-degradable trash bags use synthetic plastics made from corn, vegetable oils, and grains. In other words, they are renewable, compostable resources.

Respecting Our Planet

The whole point of using eco-friendly products is to show a little more respect for our planet. Mother Earth provides everything for us, and we are doing a disservice to her based on how we live.

Many of our normal ways of life in this society are causing irreversible damage to the planet we call home.

If something big doesn’t happen soon, if we don’t make major changes, our children and grandchildren will pay the consequences. We may likely not be around for it, but it is the fate we are leaving to them.

Start going green today. Don’t use laziness or inconvenience as an excuse. Before long, excuses or not, our planet will stop providing for us.

Click here for more articles on the environment and climate change to find out more about positive changes you can make!


Such a troublemaker…

Having an extravagant garden is lovely in spring and summer, but when the autumn comes, the once beautiful green leaves become a nuisance. If you are looking for an efficient way to remove all of them out of your yard, you have
found the right place.

If you click on a gardening website, you can see specific methods available, including using the right tools and raking smartly. They save you from an unpleasant backache after a long time working vigorously in your yard. However, none of them are the best one, because the cleaning is still all of hardship and toils.

…will go away by a vacuum mulcher!!

No more sweats for you this autumn. Find a vacuum mulcher, and you are free of the nuisance. The countless leaves will disappear in just a blink and turn into a package of ground material.

What is a vacuum mulcher?

It is a leaf vacuum with the mulching function integrated. The suck-and- grind machine will collect all the leaves on your way and mulch them into tiny pieces. There is a large bag attached to the device, which is easy to put on remove, to store the debris.

Of course, there are left vacuums without the grinding blade. However, unground leaves take more place in the bag so you will have to stop to do the disposing task more often. The machines are designed for a wide range of yard sizes, so make sure you find a vacuum mulcher which is suitable for your household.

Why should I find a vacuum mulcher?

A vacuum mulcher will reduce the quantity of the leaf pile you have collected, which saves your time and energy. Besides, if you are planning to use the leaves for composting, you should know that shredded material is more accessible to break down and turn into natural fertilizer for your garden.

In fact, dried leaves from a large shade tree may be as beneficial as $50 worth of plant food. If you have trouble making leaf pile compost in the past, now may be the time for a change.

Moreover, a vacuum mulcher is more useful than other garden cleansing tools you can find. Sometimes while raking the yard, you must have noticed leaves stuck in awkward corners that require you to bend down and get them out by hand.

Now, with the device, all you have to do is to reach the crevice, turn the vacuum mode on and get rid of the persistent debris. Manufacturers intentionally design the suction hoses to be long and flexible enough to go down under the fence, behind the landscapes and between large bushes.

What to be noted while using a vacuum mulcher

You should only vacuum when it’s dry

I know you are eager the try the new gardening tool right after you bring it home from the store. However, some types of weather are not ideal for the vacuuming function.

Leaves and grass clippings are infamous to be hard to remove when they are wet. Unless you are planning to get rid of them by hand, it is tough to separate them from the surface they are on. On the other hand, dry leaves are less resistant so that you can lift them off the ground quickly by both a leaf vacuum and a rake.

Besides, the too dry weather is also not suitable for vacuuming or blowing leaves. You may trigger a pile of dust and send it to the atmosphere.

Be a good neighbor

You should keep in mind that a vacuum mulcher, just like other gardening machines, can be incredibly noisy. Will you feel irritated when be awakened from a sound sleep by the unpleasant noise from your neighbor’s cleansing? Me, too. So, respect people around you by choosing the right time to do your gardening.

Protect yourself

Leaf vacuuming seems safer than blowing since the debris will not be tossed everywhere and hit your eyes by accident. However, since the leaf vacuums often have the blowing function, you should wear the proper outfit to protect yourself from unwanted situations.

That means you should have a pair of gloves, sturdy shoes, long pants, and protecting googles. Your ears may need some covering, too, in case the noise gets too loud.


Will you find a vacuum mulcher for your garden after reading the article? We hope you have seen the advantages the useful tool can bring about. If you have any question about the topic, please leave it right here. We are eager to answer your queries at any time.



White Petaled Tree during Daytime

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-flowers-spring-cherry-72473/

Every time spring comes, your yard comes back to life and everything is green and alive. However, did you also notice the excessive growth of the shrubs and trees? If you have, it may have come to your mind to want to trim them down a bit.

A general rule of thumb is that pruning your trees ought to be done during winter time when the trees are leafless. But of course, there can be exceptions to the rule. In this post, we’ll share with you some important information about spring pruning.

Pruning Your Trees During Springtime

If it is possible to prune your trees or shrubs before they start to grow, then that is the ideal time to do so and is still under the category of dormant pruning. When the trees start to bud or bloom during springtime, you would have to be more careful because pruning may harm your trees and plants.

What if the trees already have buds and leaves?

Apple tree flowers

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/apple-tree-flowers-5807/

If you prune your trees in springtime, the consequence could be that the plant’s bloom potential for that year may be affected. Another thing is that cutting the trees during springtime can make them more open to disease and insect infestation.

Safely Pruning Your Trees

If you must prune your trees during spring, then it is still possible and you can do it safely. What you have to keep in mind is that you have removed only less than ten percent of the tree’s branches.

There are two goals for pruning your trees during spring. One is that you prune so that you can remove any decaying, dying, or dead branches so as to keep both your home and the trees safe. The second one is pruning to keep the shape of the tree or for aesthetic purposes. Just remember not to cut more than ten percent of the branches when shaping your tree.

Trees that you can prune in late spring

  •       Birch trees
  •       Walnut
  •       Maple
  •       Magnolia
  •       Juneberry
  •       Lilac
  •       Flowering cherry
  •       Flowering plum
  •       Crabapple
  •       Dogwood
  •       Apricot
  •       Chokecherry

Trees that you should never prune in spring

  •       Honeylocust
  •       Elm
  •       Sycamore
  •       Oak

Be careful on when you prune these trees because if you prune them during spring, they will be more vulnerable to diseases such as stem cankers, anthracnose, oak wilt, or Dutch elm disease. So be sure to remember these things if you plan on pruning your trees during spring.


Pruning your trees is not that hard once you know the information we’ve shared above. However, if you find yourself in doubt and if you are still not sure on how to prune your trees or when to do so, it would be best to ask for the help of a tree trimming company so that they can do the work for you. Besides, they are experts when it comes to pruning and other services that you may require for your yard. Simply ask around your neighborhood or do a quick Google search to look for the best trimming services there is.



Leonardo DiCaprio could be banned from entering Indonesia in the future over his comments on rainforests being cleared for palm oil plantations.

The 41-year-old actor entered Indonesia on a tourist visa and on March 27 visited Gunung Leuser National Park in Aceh.

Leonardo DiCaprio posted following his visit to the park: “A world-class biodiversity hotspot… but palm oil expansion is destroying this unique place.”

Now Heru Santoso, a spokesperson for the director general of the immigration department, has revealed Leonardo DiCaprio could be banned for such comments – if they’re “categorized as incitement or provocation”.

”In terms of [his] visa and immigration permit, Leonardo DiCaprio did not do anything wrong: He entered and left Indonesia legally. But, we still investigate,” Heru Santoso told BBC News.

“If DiCaprio’s posting in his social media can be categorized as incitement or provocation, we can blacklist him from coming back to Indonesia.”

It is not the first time a Hollywood star has run into trouble in Indonesia over their environmental activism.

Photo Instagram

Photo Instagram

Harrison Ford was threatened with deportation in 2013 for “harassing state institutions” after interviewing the then forestry minister about illegal logging.

In posts on his Instagram account, Leonardo DiCaprio said he was working to save the Leuser ecosystem, “the last place on Earth where Sumatran orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild”.

On Twitter, Leonardo DiCaprio posted a link to a petition addressed to the Indonesian President Joko Widodo, calling for the area to be protected.

Some members of the government have accused Leonardo DiCaprio of running a “black campaign” to discredit the government and Indonesia’s palm oil industry.

Earlier this year environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio used his Oscars speech to warn the world about climate change.

Accepting the Best Actor award, Leonardo DiCaprio explained: “Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world.

“A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow.

“Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species.

“We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this.”

The Keystone XL pipeline maker has asked the US government to put its review of the controversial project on hold.

TransCanada says the pause is necessary while it negotiates with Nebraska over the pipeline’s route through the state.

The move came as a surprise as TransCanada executives have pushed hard to get approval.

Environmental groups oppose the 1,179-mile pipeline, saying it will increase greenhouse gas emissions.

President Barack Obama is expected to reject the project, which has also been undermined by falling oil prices.

On November 2, the White House indicated that it would rule on the project before the end of Barack Obama’s term in office in January 2017.Keystone XL pipeline review suspension

However, a delay to the government review might leave a decision in the hands of President Barack Obama’s successor in the White House.

In February 2015, the newly Republican-led Congress voted to begin construction immediately, but Barack Obama vetoed the bill, saying it undermined the necessary review process.

“Our expectation at this point is that the president will make a decision before the end of his administration on the Keystone pipeline, but when exactly that will be, I don’t know at this point,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on November 2.

In a statement, TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said: “We are asking [the] State [Department] to pause its review of Keystone XL based on the fact that we have applied to the Nebraska Public Service Commission for approval of its preferred route in the state.”

The Keystone XL pipeline would run from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it could join an existing pipeline.

It could carry 830,000 barrels of oil each day, and provide access to international markets.

Many of North America’s oil refineries are based in the Gulf Coast, and industry groups on both sides of the border want to benefit.

However, environmentalists say the Keystone XL pipeline would boost the emission of greenhouse gases and local community groups are concerned about accidents and pollution.


California has dropped plans to cut gasoline use in half by 2030, after intense oil industry lobbying.

Governor Jerry Brown and other senior lawmakers had included the proposal in a climate change bill, but were forced to retreat amid growing opposition.

California Senate leader Kevin de Leon, who supported the cut, accused oil companies of deploying “scare tactics”.

The leaders have vowed to push ahead with other reforms, including boosting renewable electricity use.

“I’d say oil has won the skirmish, but they’ve lost the bigger battle,” Gov. Jerry Brown said.California gasoline consumption

“I’m more determined than ever to make our regulatory regime work for the people of California – cleaning up the air, reducing the petroleum and creating green jobs.”

The plans to require a 50% reduction in gasoline use in motor vehicles by 2030 were met with fierce opposition from business groups and oil companies, who warned of negative consequences for California’s economy.

Kevin de Leon said the industry had a “singular motive” and accused it of creating a “multibillion-dollar smoke screen” to deter lawmakers from voting for the legislation.

Republicans, along with many moderate Democrats, had resisted the proposal.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, welcomed the September 9 decision to cut the emissions target from the bill.

“Today’s announcement was an acknowledgement that California’s energy future, economic competitiveness, and environment are inextricably linked,” she added.

California is the second-biggest producer of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels among US states.

Jerry Brown pledged to move ahead with the two remaining components of the climate change bill, aimed at increasing renewable electricity use and improving energy efficiency in buildings.

The issue has been a key priority for the governor during his final term.

Gov. jerry Brown is expected to attend the UN climate change conference in Paris in November.


Pope Francis has issued an encyclical, calling for fossil fuels to be “progressively replaced without delay”.

The pontiff urges the richer world to make changes in lifestyle and energy consumption to avert the unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem.

Environmentalists hope the message will spur on nations ahead of the UN climate conference in Paris in December.

However, parts of the document, leaked earlier this week, have already been criticized by some US conservatives.

The document has been dismissed by two Republican presidential candidates.

The encyclical, named “Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home”, aims to inspire everyone – not just Roman Catholics – to protect the Earth.

The 192-page letter, which is the highest level teaching document a pope can issue, lays much of the blame for global warming on human activities.Pope Francis climate change encyclical

Pope Francis writes that: “We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will.

“The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life.”

The Pope criticizes what he calls a “collective selfishness”, but says that there is still time to stop the damage, calling for an end to consumerism and greed.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi launched the pontiff’s second encyclical at a news conference on June 18.

The release comes six months before international leaders gather in Paris to try to seal a deal to reduce carbon emissions.

It has been widely welcomed by environmental groups, with WWF president Yolanda Kakabadse saying it “adds a much-needed moral approach” to the debate on climate change.

Greenpeace leader Kumi Naidoo highlighted passages calling for policies that reduce carbon emissions, including by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.

But a leak of the document, published by Italy’s L’Espresso magazine on June 16, got a frosty response from skeptical conservatives in America, including two Roman Catholic presidential candidates.

Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush said he did not get his economic policy from his bishops, cardinals or pope.

Meanwhile Rick Santorum questioned whether Pope Francis was credible on the issue of climate science.

However, many academics have welcomed the pontiff’s input.

The UN’s climate change chief Christiana Figueres says the Pope’s message will influence talks in Paris this year on a deal to tackle global warming.

Developing countries are demanding firmer promises of financial help from rich countries so they can adapt to inevitable changes in the climate and get clean energy to avoid contributing to further warming.

Christiana Figueres said their position would be strengthened by Pope Francis’ insistence that this was the clear moral responsibility of the rich.

The encyclical will be welcomed by poor countries in Africa and Latin America.

The big question is how it will play in the USA, where it has already been dismissed by a Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who is a Catholic.

Leading Republicans have warned the UN that they will undo President Barack Obama’s climate policies – so if the encyclical sways any of the conservative Catholics in Congress that could prove significant.


French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal has urged people to stop eating Nutella and save forests.

She said the chocolate-hazelnut spread damages the environment because it is made with palm oil.

Segolene Royal said Nutella contributed to deforestation because oil palms were replacing trees.

Nutella producer, Italian company Ferrero, said it has made commitments to source palm oil in a responsible way.Segolene Royal boycotts Nutella

French senators tried unsuccessfully to impose a 300% tax on palm oil in 2011.

They argued that the oil was dangerously fattening and that its cultivation harmed the environment.

On June 16, Segolene Royal said that Nutella should be made from “other ingredients”.

“We have to replant a lot of trees because there is massive deforestation that also leads to global warming. We should stop eating Nutella, for example, because it’s made with palm oil,” she said, during an interview with French television network Canal+.

Ferrero gets almost 80% of its palm oil from Malaysia, according to AFP news agency. The rest of its supply comes from Brazil, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

The Italian group said that it was aware of the environmental stakes involved.

In February, Ferrero announced that all of its products were produced with palm fruit oil that was 100% certified as sustainable according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) supply chain.

Different parts of the world are subject to different elements of the environment, which allows some parts to have certain benefits more than others. The southeast part of the United States is typically known for their southern charm and warm climate, making it one of the most ideal places for people to retire.

While the climate may be lovely, and while residents there may have an endless supply of citrus fruits, the southeast is not all oranges and sunshine. There is terrible air quality in the southeast of America, and it could be completely damaging to everyone in the area if changes aren’t soon made.

Why is the air quality in the southeast so poor?

There’s a reason why the air quality in the southeast is so poor, and scientists have done many tests in order to figure it out. Tiny particles in the air near the Smoky Mountains in the southeast help give it the purple haze that looks good in pictures; however, it’s those particles that are making the air quality poor.

According to a CIRES atmospheric scientist, “The southeast has the highest natural emissions in the nation, and also has high manmade emissions, humidity and cloudiness.“ This is contributing to the poor air quality. Because people continue to break into the Smoky Mountains and other areas in order to tap the natural resources, the air quality will only continue to get worse as time goes on.

Poor air quality isn’t good, in the southeast or anywhere else. According to a 2012 WHO report, 7 million people died in 2012 as a result of air pollution exposure. This doubles previous estimates and proves that air pollution is the world’s single largest environmental health risk.

If the rates of air pollution continue this way in the southeast, these numbers will only continue to rise. Regularly breathing in polluted air can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat, but it mostly has a negative impact on your lungs. Breathing in polluted air can harm the lining of your lungs, which can result in breathing trouble such as asthma, or it can result in something more serious, such as lung cancer. If changes aren’t made, there may be a rise in pollution-related deaths in the southeast.


What can be done to improve the air quality?

In order to improve the air quality in the southeast, people will have to stop tapping into the Smoky Mountains and other natural resources and allowing the particles to get into the air. More eco-friendly options need to be created in order to ensure that accessing these natural resources stops hurting the air quality. After all, if this isn’t done, then these particles and aerosols will only continue to get into the air, and the air quality will just continue to get worse.

Along with using eco-friendly options to access natural resources in the southeast, typical steps to reduce pollution can also be done to improve the air quality. For example, reducing the amount of gasses and other harmful chemicals and aerosols in to the air can help improve the air quality. Carpooling, taking public transportation, and even walking or riding a bike instead of driving yourself to and from work can help reduce the amount of harmful gases and pollutants entering the air. Reducing your use of aerosols can also help to improve the air quality, and refraining from burning harmful chemicals, such as plastics, can also help to improve the air quality.

You can also opt to improve the air quality in your own home in order to improve the air quality in the southeast. For example, investing in a home air purifier. According to Wave Home Solutions, “We spend as much as 90 percent of our time indoors. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor levels of air pollutants may be two to five times higher, and occasionally more than 100 times higher, than outdoor levels. A WAVE Air Purifier will let you breathe easier knowing the air you and your family are breathing inside your home is pure and clean.” This improvement will not only help your health, but it will also help to remove these harmful pollutants from the air, and this can improve the air quality in your neighborhood as well.

The terrible air quality in the southeast of America is a problem that needs to be immediately addressed. While the biggest way to remedy the situation requires eco-friendly processes and tools to be used for accessing natural resources, there are still some ways that you can help improve the air quality in the southeast on your own.

The new NOOK is as much a tablet PC as it is an eReader, which actually works in the user’s favor when it comes to obtaining key accessories. Unlike previous NOOK devices, which ranged in proportions from standard to almost square (making it very difficult to find some important accessories), the favorite of the new line is Nook’s Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7-inch, with NOOK apps and access straight out of the box to one of the largest eBook libraries online today. As a standard sized tablet, there are plenty of option when it comes to making this device your own—here’s a list of what you need to have the best experience with your hybrid eReader.



You know your NOOK needs a case, but what kind of case should you be looking for? According to eBookFriendly, there are plenty of cases out there to fit this device, but the best have a few features in common:

  • Rigid cover construction
  • Magnet closure(s)
  • Doubles as ergonomic stand

A good case should be snug and appropriately sized for your device, but not put inordinate pressure on any point on the screen. It’s difficult to remove the new NOOK from many cases with hard corner closures, meaning that the pressure on the glass could be enough to cause breakage if dropped. Look for cases with snug elastic fasteners to hold your device in place, and make sure that you can remove it easily. Cases in this style range in cost from around $10 to $50, depending on brand, design and function. Ebooks are made of plastic, but can they make a Case for Environmental Responsibility?



You may not need a stylus right away, but for many Samsung NOOK users this is a must. If you intend to use the device for taking notes, doodling or even word processing a stylus can make it almost as natural as writing on an old-school paper writing tablet. If you intend to use your stylus more for working with Swype features on your keyboard or helping hit tiny app icons, a standard round-tipped stylus will do fine; these range in price from $5 up to $20. For more detailed work, particularly for the artists out there, a precision or active stylus is definitely the way to go, although this tool could set you back up to $70 depending on the brand you choose.


Screen Protector

Even if it’s going to be in its case 100 percent of the time, any touch device requires a screen protector. The new NOOK works best with an anti-glare screen, also called matte and “natural view.” This both protects the screen from scratches and helps stabilize the glass to avoid breakage in case of a collision. A cheap protector for a 7-inch unit could cost as little as $5 from certain vendors, but it’s much more effective to spend a little more and get a multi-pack, just in case, which can range in price anywhere from $20 up to $40 for three to five protectors.


External Storage

Regardless of what you intend to do with your NOOK, you need more space. The Galaxy NOOK ships with 8 GB of internal space, but with the free content and built-in apps, you’ll only have about 4 GB available to use when you boot it up for the first time. Rather than deleting $200 worth of free content, try picking up a micro SD card and transferring your books, movies and games off the internal storage; this will not only save you space on your eReader’s hard drive, but can also keep the device running faster longer by pulling app caches and temp files onto external storage rather than weighing down the pre-designated “shelf space.”

According to GSM Arena, the 7-inch version of the Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK can expand up to 32 GB via micro SD card, while the 8- and 10-inch variants can take memory cards up to 64 GB in size; these range in price from around $25 for a 32 GB to $45 for a 64 GB card.



If you want to use your NOOK for TV, movies, music or even gaming, you probably want a way to keep from disturbing everyone around you with background music and ambient dialogue. Getting a pair of headphones is easy and inexpensive enough, but there are a few variables to consider before buying. For portability, PC Mag recommend sticking with ear bud style headphones, although a nice Bluetooth headset could be worth a little more cumbersome transportation; if you’re going to be out around other people or in a noisy public place, you may want to splurge on some noise-canceling headphones to help tune everyone out. A cheap pair of plastic ear buds will run you less than $20, but a sleek set of noise-cancelling headphones, with or without Bluetooth capability, will set you back between $100 and $300.



The most important thing you can get to make your NOOK better than ever is a little delicacy. Remember that while this is a mobile device designed for some abuse, being overly rough or careless with it could result in issues other than a broken screen—leaving it out in the car could ruin your color calibration or even permanently damage the chargeability of your battery. Get the best accessories for your device, and then treat them all with care to get everything you really need out of this sleek new device.

Michael Bloomberg has been appointed as UN special envoy for cities and climate change.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wants the former New York City mayor to “raise political will and mobilize action” on climate change, a UN spokesman said.

Michael Bloomberg will also work to bring “concrete solutions” to a major climate summit in New York in September.

Michael Bloomberg has been appointed as UN special envoy for cities and climate change

Michael Bloomberg has been appointed as UN special envoy for cities and climate change

As New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg accused politicians of a failure of leadership on climate change.

He later hinted at a link between Hurricane Sandy and global warming.

Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, welcomed Michael Bloomberg’s appointment, posting on Twitter: “Mayor @MikeBloomberg knows how to get things done. We need more leaders like him here @UN.”

Michael Bloomberg, a former news tycoon, made combating climate change a major focus of his 12 years as mayor of New York City.

According to a new report produced annually by the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, global emissions of carbon dioxide may be showing the first signs of a “permanent slowdown” in the rate of increase.

According to the report, emissions in 2012 increased at less than half the average over the past decade.

Key factors included the shift to shale gas for energy in the US while China increased its use of hydropower by 23%.

However, the use of cheap coal continues to be an issue, with UK consumption up by almost a quarter.

The report finds that emissions of carbon dioxide reached a new record in 2012 of 34.5 billion tonnes.

But the rate of increase in CO2 was 1.4%, despite the global economy growing by 3.5%.

Global emissions of carbon dioxide may be showing the first signs of a permanent slowdown in the rate of increase

Global emissions of carbon dioxide may be showing the first signs of a permanent slowdown in the rate of increase

This decoupling of emissions from economic growth is said to be down to the use of less fossil fuels, more renewable energy and increased energy savings.

The main emitters, accounting for 55% of the global total, were China, the US and the EU. All three saw changes that were described as “remarkable” by the report’s authors.

Emissions from China increased by 3% but this was a significant slowdown compared to annual increases of around 10% over the past decade.

There were two important factors in reducing China’s CO2. The first was the ending of a large economic stimulus package. As a result electricity and energy prices increased at half the rate of GDP.

China also achieved exceptional growth in the use of hydropower for the generation of electricity, increasing capacity and output by 23% in 2012. This alone had the effect of curbing the country’s emissions by 1.5%.

In the US, the shale revolution continues to make waves. Overall emissions were down by 4% in the year mainly because of a continuing shift from coal to gas in the generation of electricity. Shale is now responsible for one third of US gas production and almost one quarter of total oil production.

The other major decline came in the EU where economic recession in the 27 nation bloc saw emissions decline by 1.3%. This was down to a decrease in energy consumption of oil and gas, with a 4% decline in road transport.

Renewable energy also continued its upward trend, at accelerating speed. It took 15 years for the renewable global share to increase 0.5% to 1.1% – but it took only six years for it to double again, to 2.4% in 2012.

Looking ahead, the report suggests that if the push for shale continues in the US, if China sticks to its published plans and if renewables continue to grow – particularly in Europe – global emissions might slow down permanently.