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Infographic: UK lagging in renewables as Finland, Estonia and Denmark excel

Using information from a European Commission report, Blue & Green Tomorrow has created an infographic that shows the renewable energy commitments of 24 European countries, and for the UK, it doesn’t read all that well.

As of 2010, the UK had the smallest percentage of people employed in the renewable energy sector, in proportion with its total workforce, with only 0.073% of people working in the industry.

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Using information from a European Commission report, Blue & Green Tomorrow has created an infographic that shows the renewable energy commitments of 24 European countries, and for the UK, it doesn’t read all that well.

As of 2010, the UK had the smallest percentage of people employed in the renewable energy sector, in proportion with its total workforce, with only 0.073% of people working in the industry.

Whilst this figure is expected to have risen since 2010 – partially because of increased governmental awareness and commitment to renewables through schemes such as the feed-in tariff – the UK, a leader in so many other ways, can do better.

When it comes to turnover from renewable energy, the UK is barely any better—22nd out of 24 countries and contributing only 0.439% of GDP, with only the Netherlands and Ireland below it.

Looking at the leaders, Finland has the biggest proportion of people employed in the renewables sector, and Estonia emerges as the country with the biggest share of GDP from the industry.

Finland is propelled to the top of the first section thanks to its massive (but strangely, unprofitable) solid biomass sector. Estonia, which has been mentioned by Blue & Green Tomorrow before as innovators in the electric vehicle space, also has solid biomass to thank for its high ranking, though bucking Finland’s trend, it is extremely lucrative.

Denmark was the most consistent country in the ranking, and came second in both sections, setting its place as a renewable energy champion in stone.

Here’s the full chart for your perusal, complete with sector and country breakdowns. You might want to grab a coffee (or other hot beverage of your choice) and a spare moment or two to benefit from the depth of this rather smart infographic.

Europe's commitment to renewable energy in 2010: Ben Willers. (Click to enlarge).

The UK is gifted with some of the best natural resources for renewable energy on the planet. And as the world’s sixth largest economy, we really shouldn’t be so far down the list. We discussed the UK’s renewable energy sector in depth in our latest report, The Rise of Renewable Energy.

An increased adoption of renewables at a community level can only be good for the country’s fortunes, as it will force Government and businesses to take further steps into implementing renewable energy as the backbone of our economy.

Supporting companies like Good Energy – the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity provider – is essential, if we are to realise a sustainable future.

Related articles:

The Rise of Renewable Energy 2012

Denmark lays down foundations for green future

EU green energy jobs break million milestone

EU urged towards a sustainable, green economy

Infographics: Ben Willers.

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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