What can we do in our lives?


Nowadays we live in a globalised world and society. Some regions are more advanced and globalised than others and this carry a heavy impact on the citizens’ life every day. Industrialised countries had their peak of industrial development that brought a high level of pollution and climate change. Today these countries are trying to fight this flagellum through various conventions, conferences, treaties and summits.
The International Cooperation is the basic rule to make it come true. It is very difficult impose to some industrialized countries to cooperate in order to reduce the impact on Climate Change. Blacksmith Institute issue every year a list of most polluted places in the world, for example in 2007 top ten countries most pollutants were: Azerbaijan, China, India, Russia, Peru, Brazil, Ukraine and Zambia. In these countries most of the people are not informed about the pollution, there is a lack of information on this sector. The information on how we contribute to the climate change and to the degradation of our planet should be more well-known. Anyone of us can make Terra a better place to live only if there is cooperation, both at the international and local level. It is very important to begin with the bottom to arrive on the top. One of the most famous speeches made by John F. Kennedy at the Capitol in 1961 was: "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you - ask what can you do for your country." He also called to fight the common enemies of the man which I sustain is the indifference concerning the environment. There are so many ways to improve our life and reduce our impact on climate that we even can’t imagine. Here are only some of them, but anyone of us can contribute to add more and make this message be heard everywhere.

Water is the main source of life, we are made of water and without it we cannot live. Every day we buy more than 2 plastic bottles of water that needs decades to get degraded, but we can fight it through using glass bottles or this new type of filter which is very trendy and ecological. I find it very useful and functional because you can refill it with tap water and drink purified water. The bottle is also funny because it exists in 5 colours, so you can choose the most you like. You can have till 400 litters of purified water with only one filter that will cost you only 0.02 cents per litter. Moreover there is a huge economy in terms of plastic use, practically there are saved up to 800 plastic bottles and the cost of transportation is 0 KM.
Here you can see this useful bottle.


The benefits of the bicycle.

In an increasingly polluted world, what the people should take into consideration is to abandon the fuel-consuming vehicles and start using more sustainable transport: the bicycle. The reasons why we should move towards this solution every time there is the possibility, are listed below:

  • Health - if a mask to repel the gases is used, using the bike for short stretches, will improve the physical well-being of the user;
  • Sport - every month men and women pay lots of money to keep fit at the gym, while few minutes everyday with a bike would solve the major part of their problems;
  • Money - in an increasing environment of people worried with economical crisis and the fear of a new oil crisis, the bicycle should partly alleviate these worries, since the cost of its maintenance are not comparable to the outputs required by a car;
  • Time - it often happens that in the most trafficked cities, the time a car takes to move from one place to the other is much higher than the one a bike could take for the same trip;
  • Limited access - some streets and parks are obviously closed to the traffic, obliging cars and moped to take a longer street and leading consequently to an increase of time and money spent by these vehicle owners. A bicycle instead is most of the times allowed to pass in these areas;
  • Parking - sometimes, a lot of fuel is wasted for the research of a park where to leave the car. A bike doesn't have this problem in most of the situations, since its small size can fit in all the corners of a city or a village without paying any fee;
  • Free movement - when the places to reach are many, a bicycle allows a person to move more easily from one place to another;
  • Public transport - even if public transports are by far preferable to the use of cars and mopeds, the bike user can save more money not paying a monthly ticket, time because it doesn't have to stop to collect other passengers, can cross parks, move more freely and not complains for delays or overcrowded wagons.

Margherita Hack, a famous astrophysicist and popular science writer, says on an interview released over one of her last books: "I freely admit that I have always thought that the first bike was an indispensable transport to go to school or to work. Today I consider it a vehicle that recalls freedom, it is ecological, a good way to have fun."[1]

=**The mooncup[2]

external image mooncup_box.jpg

The Mooncup is a reusable menstrual cup, around two inches long and made from soft medical grade silicone. It is worn internally a lot lower than a tampon but, while tampons and pads absorb menstrual fluid, the Mooncup collects it. This means it doesn’t cause dryness or irritation, and also that it collects far more (three times as much as a ‘super-absorbent’ tampon’!). Because the Mooncup is reusable, you only need one so it saves you money and helps the environment, too.

The Mooncup is designed to be folded and inserted into the vagina, then removed, rinsed and reinserted up to every 8 hours. A light seal is formed with your vaginal walls, allowing menstrual fluid to pass into the Mooncup without leakage or odour. This seal is released for removal, allowing you to empty the contents, rinse or wipe and reinsert. Comfortable, convenient and safe: the Mooncup can be used overnight and when travelling, swimming or exercising.


Made from soft medical grade silicone, the Mooncup is latex-free and contains no dyes, BPA, toxins or bleaches. It’s also great for women with sensitive skin. Tampons can cause dryness and leave fibres behind. The Mooncup is designed to respect your natural balance.


On average, one woman will use over 11,000 tampons or pads in their lifetime, which will end up in landfill or in the sea.


One woman uses up to 22 items of sanitary protection every period. Regardless of your flow, you only need one Mooncup, and it lasts for years and years, making it the most economical sanitary product you can buy.


One way to contribute to take about the environment is the use of the electric vehicle. An Electric vehicle is one tha uses an motor instead of an engine, and batteries instead of a fuel tank and gasoline. In that sense, we can use electric cars for help to atmosphere, because these cars use batteries, rather than gasoline-powered internal combustion engines for power and are proliferating in a variety of formats as technology advances. One important thing is that electric cars not create emissions, decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases each time an electric car replaces a conventional auto. Also this type of vehicle increase fossil fuel use by requiring the creation of electricity; and often the fuel is generated by coal-fired plants. There are a lot of advantages of have an electric car, like the reliability and maintenance, because electric cars are battery operated, they have fewer moving parts than traditional cars, making them less maintenance intensive. Other advantage is the lower Costs: in total to operate and maintain than combustion-powered vehicles. But the most important advantage is that these type of cars have been developed to help improve the environment, hence the degree of contamination is much smaller than a conventional car. EV1


Other action that the humans beings can start to think about it is the use of solar panels. A solar panel can be used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential applications. Each panel is rated by its DC output power under standard test conditions, and typically ranges from 100 to 450 watts. The efficiency of a panel determines the area of a panel given the same rated output - an 8% efficient 230 watt panel will have twice the area of a 16% efficient 230 watt panel. This is a good example for contributed to the climate changed, and in the same time is an issue related to sustainable development, the advantages are:
- Solar energy is a completely renewable resource. This means that even when we cannot make use of the sun’s power because of nighttime or cloudy and stormy days, we can always rely on the sun showing up the very next day as a constant and consistent power source. In the other side, oil is not a renewable resource. This means that as soon as the oil is gone, it is gone forever and we will no longer have power or energy.
- Solar cells make absolutely no noise at all. They do not make a single peep while extracting useful energy from the sun. On the other hand, the giant machines utilized for pumping oil are extremely noisy and therefore very impractical.
- Solar panels and solar lighting may seem quite expensive when you first purchase it, but in the long run you will find yourself saving quite a great deal of money. After all, it does not cost anything to harness the power of the sun. Unfortunately, paying for oil is an expensive prospect and the cost is still rising consistently.
- Very little maintenance is required to keep solar cells running. There are no moving parts in a solar cell, which makes it impossible to really hurt them. Solar cells tend to last a good long time with only an annual cleaning to worry about.


Some simple ways to give our contribution against climate change

Nowadays, climate change is widely recognized as the major environmental problem facing the globe. For this reason it is important to understand that it is up to each of us, as individuals and families, to take action to improve the general situation through everyday awareness of our energy use and attention to ways we can conserve electricity and minimize fossil fuel usage.


“Many people don’t realize that we are committed right now to a significant amount of global warming and sea level rise…the longer we wait to do something about it, the more change we will have.”
**//Gerald Meehl, Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research [3]
It’s important that each person on this Earth behaves at his/her best in order to tackle the environmental problems and it’s important to do something as soon as possible, being an example for others to follow. One of the most important goals is to bring global warming under control by reducing the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. We can contribute to this global concern through daily personal actions. Each individual effort could be very significant.

At home: what can we do?

Home is a great place to start reducing greenhouse emissions: there are many practical things to reduce them and here are some ways to do it.

  • Turn off lights, appliances, television sets, computers and any electronic device when you are not using them. To remember to do that you can put on the switches some eco-stickers that help you to remind to switch the devices off.

  • Check the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) label. When buying new household appliances, room air conditioner or vehicle, the EER label can help you select the most energy-efficient model that meets your needs. The higher the EER rating, the better.
  • Use energy-efficient lighting products, like compact fluorescent bulbs. They last 10 times longer and use 75% less energy than regular bulbs.
  • Use water parsimoniously: saving water is simple. Municipal water systems require a lot of energy to purify and distribute water to households, and saving water, especially hot water, can lower greenhouse gas emissions. Look for products that save water and perform as well or better than their less efficient counterparts. There are also simple actions you can take to save water: be smart when irrigating your lawn or landscape; use only water when needed and do it during the coolest part of the day, like in the early morning for example. Turn the water off while soaping, shaving or brushing teeth. Do not use the water flush when it is not strictly needed - water is wasted with each flush, don’t use your toilet as a litter basket. And did you know a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day? Repair all toilet and faucet leaks as soon as possible. Instead of using any showerheads, choose low-flow showerheads, which use up to 60% less water than conventional showers. Fix leaky faucets immediately. At one drop per second, a single leaky washer wastes the equivalent of 16 hot baths every month.

  • It’s important to reduce energy needed for heating. According to the U.S. Department of Energy for example, heating and cooling systems in the U.S. emit over a half billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. Much of the energy used for heating our homes is wasted, and yet the prevention is, in many cases, simple and inexpensive.
  • Moreover, it’s important to reduce energy needed for cooling. Air conditioners alone usually use up to 1/6th of the electricity and, on hot summer days, consume 43% of the peak power load. You can reduce much of the need for air conditioning, and enjoy a cost savings benefit, by using ‘passive’ techniques to help cool your home like for example shading, insulation or through the use of reflective barriers.
  • Recycle products whenever you can. Aluminum cans, newspapers, magazines, cardboard, glass – anything recycled reduces the energy needed to create new products.
  • If possible, eat locally produced food. Today, the food choices available in supermarkets come from all over the world. All of this traffic in food requires staggering amounts of fuel – generally by refrigerated airplanes or transport trucks. Food transportation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • If possible, prefer vegetarian meals. Enjoying vegetarian meals once or twice a week could reduce CO2 emissions, in fact vegetarian food requires much less energy to be produced.
  • If you live in a warm climate paint your home with light colors, or a dark colors in a cold climate. This can contribute saving up to 5000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
  • Choose clean energy options. If you can choose your electricity supplier, choose a company that generates at least half its power from wind, solar energy and other renewable sources.
  • Buy clean energy certificates and carbon offsets. Help spur the renewable energy market and cut global warming pollution with “wind certificates” or “green tags,” which represent clean power you can add to the nation’s energy grid in place of electricity from fossil fuels. A “carbon offset” is an emission reduction credit which can be purchased by individuals, businesses and governments to reduce their net greenhouse gas emissions.

While it may be difficult to adopt some of these suggestions, any amount of energy saved is significant. It’s important to remember that even small changes are worthwhile. As we become more aware of the importance of saving energy, we find ways of saving where possible. Making energy conservation a part of our daily awareness is essential to the goal of reducing global warming.

At work: what can we do?

  • Turn equipment off when it is not in use, including computers, photocopiers, cash registers, and coffee makers, particularly overnight and on weekends. If your computer has integrated power management capabilities, ensure the system is configured to use them. Where printers and photocopiers have an energy-saver mode, make sure it is operating .
  • Use recycled paper (including unbleached paper) whenever possible.
  • Avoid using a laser printer for draft quality printouts. From an energy perspective, the order of preference is ink-jet, dot matrix and laser. Today are available also some eco printers that use no ink or toner and don't need fresh paper: with a special tipe of paper they can print on the same sheet again and again.

  • Use as little paper as possible. Printing, photocopying and faxing all use energy. Communicating electronically through e-mail and fax/modems is quicker, less expensive, more productive and healthier for the environment.
  • Print and copy on both sides of paper. Double-sided printing or copying reduces paper costs, saves filing space and minimizes the amount of energy and fiber required for paper production.
  • Encourage your employer to launch an awareness program to motivate employees to improve energy efficiency in the workplace

On the road: what can we do?

Vehicles has damaging consequences for the environment. The transportation sector is one of the largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in all the countries. Reducing energy consumption by vehicles – including the family car – will be a big part of the climate change solution. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your fuel consumption, operating costs and exhaust emissions.
  • Leave the car at home – walk or bike for short trips. For longer trips, you can take the bus. One busload of passengers takes 40 vehicles off the road during rush hour, saves 70,000 liters of fuel and avoids over 175 tons of emissions a year.
  • Avoid idling your vehicle – ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting your engine.
  • Pay attention to your speed: driving at 100 km/hr burns 10% more fuel than driving at 90 km/hr. On the highway, maintain a steady speed to reduce fuel consumption.

Finally, what is important is not to forget to spread the word. Tell and explain families and friends that all together, through little daily activities we can fight against the climate change. All the actions mentioned above are very simple actions that we normally ignore: what is important to remember is that if everyday each of us commits himself to follow them, we all definitely help our Earth and meanwhile, the whole mankind.

A more sustainable way of eating and purchasing food: sustainable agriculture and short purchasing chain

Consumers worldwide have the right to choose what type of agricultural model to support, by making specific day to day choices. The result will be global.
The sustainable agriculture approach promotes the ability of small agricultural producers to access and own their production resources and to use them to ensure sustenance.
Sustainable agriculture can control climate change by reducing dependency on fossil fuels and energy requirements, reducing the use of nitrogen fertilisers.
Practices such as crop rotation increase the availability of food all year round and ensure greater flexibility in the case of extreme climatic events.
Small producers supply over half of the world’s food. They make up over 90% of agricultural production in Africa.

Sustainable agriculture: is it the answer?
“Sustainable” agriculture is agriculture which combines three main objectives: environmental protection, profitability and social and economical equality. More generally, the approach to sustainable agriculture includes the farmers’ ability, in particular the smaller producers and their families, to access and own the production resources they need, such as land, water, woodland, pastures, genes and seeds, and to use them to ensure sustenance, growth and development using methods and technologies which are economically, socially and environmentally appropriate.Sustainable agriculture can control climate change by reducing dependency on fossil fuels and energy requirements, in particular reducing the use of nitrogen fertilisers. Of global man-made emissions, in 2005 approximately 50% of nitrogen oxide and approximately 47% of methane (which have a significant impact on global warming) came from agriculture. Nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture are mainly generated by nitrogen fertilisers and the use of manure, which are often used in excess and therefore not completely used by the growing crops.
Industrial agriculture is also highly dependent on fossil fuels. The production and distribution of synthetic fertilisers contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions: between 0.6 and 1.2% of the global total. This is because the production of fertilisers requires a large amount of energy, with the subsequent emission of carbon dioxide, while the production of nitrates also generates nitrous oxide. The FAO points out that organic farming reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 48-60%, and energy consumption is 25-50% less than conventional agriculture. Practices such as composting also help to “sequestrate” carbon dioxide in the soil and increase the organic substance of the soil. Forestation and vegetation, strongly supported by sustainable agriculture, also help to control carbon dioxide emissions.
Sustainable agriculture improves “resilience”, or the ability to adapt to climatic crises. Practices such as crop rotation increase the availability of food throughout the year, and diversity in production of foodstuffs and seeds offers greater flexibility in the case of any extreme climatic events.

The role of small farmers
Worldwide, small farmers control less than half of agricultural land, but produce the majority of the food which we consume. For example in Brazil, small producers are responsible for 87% of manioc, 70% of beans, 46% of maize, 34% of rice, 58% of milk, 50% of poultry, 59% of pork and 30% of beef, 38% of coffee, as well as countless other foodstuffs. Farmers own less than 25% of agricultural land, but they generate 40% of the country's agricultural value. Farmers and family producers see the production of food as their vocation. Agribusiness's vocation is exportation

According to data provided by Action Aid, around 2 billion people in poor countries rely directly on agriculture to survive. Women represent the overwhelming majority of the agricultural workforce and produce most of the food which is consumed locally. Of approximately 525 million agricultural companies worldwide, around 404 million are small scale agricultural companies with two hectares of land or less.
Reducing the number of stages between the agricultural producer and the end consumer offers significant advantages. As well as the price, most of the value is left in the producer's hands, meaning they can ensure their economic and legal sustainability. The direct producer-consumer relationship increases trust between the parties, ensuring quality produce and respect for the agreements made. A short chain also reduces impact upon the environment, because there are fewer transfers and less waste as well as increased respect for biodiversity and food sovereignty

What can we do in our everyday life? Community purchase groups

All over the world, people are developing alternative food produce distribution methods to those which we know so well (supermarkets and shopping centres). In the search for better products at limited costs, groups of citizens are coming together to work with agricultural producers in the areas where they live, and to buy their goods. These groups favour local and organic farming, in a kind of social farming experience.
This mechanism is beginning to take the place of the traditional chain: consumers and producers agree on the type and the quantity of food required, establish a price in advance and guarantee prepayment to the producer. Distribution is shared, with less impact on the environment.

some advice: a "shopping list"

- What to buy and what not to buy

Favour self-generation, recovery and reuse
Read the label
Use the seasons as a guide
Avoid waste
Avoid packaging
The criteria against which we should buy: organic, short chain, Km0, biodiversity, “social” food, cruelty free, “Pizzo” (extortion) free

- Where to buy and why

Favour small organised distribution over GDO
Look for your nearest community purchasing group
If possible, use organic companies which deliver to your home
Visit shared gardens
Favour direct sales and farmers markets
Choose fair, community-based commerce

  1. ^ http://www.artapartofculture.net/2012/01/02/una-vita-in-bicicletta-ribelle-e-geniale-intervista-con-margherita-hack/
  2. ^ **=





    TRASK Crissy “It’s easy being green – A handbook for Earth-Friendly Living//” , Gibbs Smith, 2006
  3. ^ //**