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Pharrell Williams and Oliver Letwin Hook Awards For Marine Conservation At Inaugural UK Ocean Awards



American musician and producer Pharrell Williams is recognised for his work to promote awareness of the plastic waste filling up the oceans through sustainable fashion label, Bionic Yarn while Oliver Letwin, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, gets “visionary” award for engineering UK government’s key commitment to “Blue Belts” around its Overseas Territories. Retailers M&S and Selfridges also scooped awards among the 12 categories for their efforts to address ocean issues. The Awards event, held at Mark’s Club in Mayfair, was attended by judges including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Sir Charles Dunstone and Princess Zahra Aga Khan.

Last night, Boat International held the Inaugural Ocean Awards, in partnership with leading marine charity, Blue Marine Foundation. The Ocean Awards were created to celebrate conservation champions who have made outstanding contributions to the health of the world’s oceans.

American singer, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams, won the ‘Personality’ category recognising his work to promote awareness of our ocean crisis. He was celebrated for his role as creative director of Bionic Yarn, which uses fibres recycled from plastics removed from the ocean to make clothing. His initiative encourages other creative thinkers to repurpose ocean waste and raises awareness of the impact of plastic on our oceans and rivers.

Oliver Letwin, MP scooped the award for the ‘Visionary’ category, acknowledging his achievement in the proposed creation of a new marine protected area around Pitcairn in the southern Pacific Ocean. This was followed in the 2015 Conservative Party manifesto by a promise to safeguard precious marine habitats by creating a ‘Blue Marine Belt’ around all 14 of the UK’s Overseas Territories, and complete the network of Marine Conservation Zones around the UK’s coast. Thanks to Oliver’s determination, and a private donor found by the Great British Oceans coalition, the government announced earlier this month the creation of a marine reserve almost the size of the UK around Ascension Island in the Atlantic.

Editorial Director of Boat International and co-host of the event, Sacha Bonsor, said: ‘Oceans are our planet’s lifeblood. For us to be able to enjoy them for years to come, we must take greater responsibility in protecting them. We hope that by recognising the people and organisations doing the most to help the oceans, we can establish a formidable annual event that makes significant strides in ensuring the future health of our planet.’

Charles Clover, Chairman of Blue Marine Foundation commented: ‘We all know this is a moment of crisis for the oceans, but thankfully in the past year there has been an extraordinary number of reasons for hope. We decided it was important to celebrate those individuals, groups and companies who are leading the charge in fixing one of the world’s largest problems.’

Each category was judged by an illustrious panel, which included Sir Charles Dunstone, chef and television personality, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and financier Ben Goldsmith.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, said, ‘As a lover of the oceans, both as a source of food and a source of wonder, it is inspiring to hear about the determined people and brilliant initiatives that give us all hope. It’s all too easy to be dragged down by the doom and gloom of the many things going wrong in our seas. But today we are reminded that these are all solvable problems, and we celebrate the leadership and commitment of those who are determined to solve them.’

Retail giant, M&S netted the trophy for the retailer that has done most through corporate policy and public engagement to address ocean issues over the past year. The supermarket’s ‘Forever Fish’ campaign spanned educating primary school pupils about sustainable sourcing, funding WWF marine projects, launching beach clear-ups and marketing less traditionally popular species of fish such as dab and flounder.

Selfridges also received a nod of approval for their ‘Project Ocean’ initiative, which removed single-use plastic bottles from its food halls and restaurants earlier last year. The intimate awards ceremony was held at Mark’s Club in Mayfair. Each trophy took the form of a unique sculpture, created by coastal-based artists from the debris littering our beaches.



Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



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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Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism



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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