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Get Involved With The Great British Bee Count

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This year’s Great British Bee Count got off to a flying start today. Thousands of people are expected to take part, but organisers Friends of the Earth are urging everyone to get involved and find out more about after a recent survey highlighted that most Briton’s can’t recgonise a honey bee, despite being very concerned about the welfare of them.

The Great British Bee Count, which runs from 19 May until 30 June, is organised by Friends of the Earth, with support from Buglife, and sponsorship from Waitrose and is backed by TV presenter Michaela Strachan.

The Great British Bee Count aims to help people find out more about the incredible diversity of bee species in Britain (over 250), the threats they face, and what they can do to help them. Using a free app, people can record the bees they spot in their gardens, parks, schools and countryside. Over 100,000 individual bee sightings were recorded last year.

Although surveys indicate public concern for bees, 43 per cent of those questioned mistakenly chose a bumblebee when asked to identify a honey bee. A third (33 per cent) correctly chose a honeybee.

Friends of the Earth is encouraging people to get outside in the next few weeks and find out more about the huge number of bee species in the UK, and the crucial role they play pollinating our wild plants, garden flowers and crops.

Craig Bennett CEO at Friends of the Earth, said: “Bees play a crucial role pollinating plants in our fields, gardens and the countryside – join the Great British Bee Count and find out more about these fascinating creatures and how to identify them. It’s fun, free and informative.

“There are lots of things people can do to help these under-threat pollinators, from creating bee-friendly gardens and avoiding pesticides, to putting pressure on our government and councils to do more to safeguard our precious bees.”

Michaela Strachan, TV Presenter, said: “Bees are so important to our ecosystems, but they desperately need our help. There are two very easy ways that you can do your bit. You can help to create bee friendly habitats and you can get involved in bee counts.

“Bees are great for gardens so choose bee-friendly plants and see how many bees you can attract. You can also take part in the Great British Bee Count. It’s fun, free and will really help you to learn more about our precious bees.

“We have 260 species in Britain and the free app will help you to see just how many bees you can spot. So Bee inspired to buzz off and get planting and counting!”

Professor Dave Goulson, Bee Expert, said: “Britain’s bees are facing multiple threats, from loss of flower meadows and quiet places to nest, and from the many pesticides used in most modern farming.

“The good news is that we can all play a part in helping them. Making our gardens and allotments more friendly to bees is easy to do – and can help make a real difference.

“If you don’t have a garden you can ask your school, housing association or council to create bee friendly spaces.

“Imagine if every garden, park and school grounds had bee-friendly flowers, and we grew wildflowers on our roundabouts and road verges; our towns and cities could become huge nature reserves for pollinators.

“Bees are fascinating and beautiful insects. Joining the Great British Bee Count is a fun way to find out more about them.”

Paul Hetherington, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Buglife said: “It’s great that so many people are concerned about bees – even if they don’t recognise them.  By using the free app we hope that more people will be able to identify and understand more about the rich variety of our bees – over 250 species – that are out there pollinating our flowers and food.”

Tor Harris, Head of Sustainability at Waitrose, said: “Waitrose is delighted to be backing the Great British Bee Count again this year. We hope people across the country will download the fun free app, find out more about Britain’s bees, and help them by growing a wide range of bee-friendly plants.”

Environment

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Environment

Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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