Connect with us

Environment

VIDEO: Cholita, the real-life Paddington bear gets a manicure

Published

on

Cholita, ‘the real-life Paddington bear’ who won peoples’ hearts with her sad life of abuse in the circus, has been given a full heath check and manicure by her rescuers, Animal Defenders International (ADI). A new video shows 25-year old Cholita’s ultrasound, health check, manicure of overgrown back claws and heart-warming first steps on her restored paws.

Cholita was stolen from the wild as a baby and taken to the circus where her fingers were brutally cut down to stumps to remove her front claws and her teeth broken off. The stress of her captivity caused her to lose nearly all of her hair, prompting support from Paddington bear author Michael Bond. The author of the bestselling children’s books said: “Bears, especially from Peru, obviously have a special place in my life. It is such a horrendous story. I very much hope that, with the charity’s help, Cholita will get the care she needs to recover.”

The loss of her front toes has left Cholita permanently crippled, but the condition of her back feet, with severely overgrown nails, needed attention. With her advanced age and delicate state of health, sedating Cholita to trim her nails and perform a thorough veterinary health examination was a concern. The team waited until Cholita’s health and strength had been improved enough to move to her new forest home, and once she was settled in, it was time to move forward with the procedure.

Cholita was lured with grapes and darted with a very carefully balanced sedative. Once she was asleep, she was hooked up to a constant oxygen supply and monitors for blood pressure and temperature as ADI vets worked quickly to perform blood tests, ultrasound scans, a dental check and full physical examination. Finally, Cholita’s nails were trimmed, buffed and oiled, experiencing the best manicure a bear can have.

Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said, “Everyone who has lived with an elderly animal knows sedation is a risk, so it was wonderful to see her up and about and ready for a hearty breakfast as soon a she woke up.  Considering her age and the hard life she has endured our veterinary team are pleased with her progress.

“Now that Cholita’s claws on her back feet are normal, she will be much more comfortable moving around and she will have a better quality of life.  Since arriving she has been in her pool, she reaches up into the trees, lays on her log platform and likes to get into her dry earth hole as well, when she is not napping in her cave. She really is home where she belongs and I don’t think even she can quite believe it!”

Cholita was seized from a Peruvian circus and now lives in a large habitat funded by ADI supporters at Reserva Ecologica Taricaya, next to the Tambopata National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, where ADI will fund her care for life.  The organisation hopes to establish the new habitat as a centre for more rescued bears.

Jan Creamer, “We hope to have even more exciting news for Cholita, because we are negotiating for the handover of two more spectacled bears called Lucho and Sabina. Lucho was confiscated from a circus like Cholita, and Sabina is from the illegal wildlife trade. We have started work on enclosures for them, next door to Cholita. It will be the perfect happy ending to Cholita’s story to see and hear other bears again after all these years.”

Long time Animal Defenders International supporter Joanna Lumley OBE launched an emergency fundraising appeal to enable the animal protection organisation to rescue the two bears and return them to their natural forest home. Joanna said, “The suffering and abuse Cholita endured was so clear to see. Animal Defenders International has given her a happier life, but now urgently requires our help to rescue two more bears in need. Please donate now to give these bears the storybook ending they deserve.”

UK volunteering organisation Projects Abroad is helping with construction of Lucho and Sabina’s rainforest habitats and ADI is providing the materials and transport to the remote sanctuary.

ADI is urgently calling for funds for lifetime care and veterinary attention for Cholita and friends.  Please donate now or 020 7630 3340.

 

Environment

How Home Automation Can Help You Go Green

Published

on

home automation to go green

The holidays are an exciting, nostalgic time: the crispness in the air, the crunch of snow under your boot, the display of ornate holiday lighting up your home like a beacon to outer space, and the sound of Santa’s bell at your local Walmart.

Oh, yeah—and your enormous electric bill.

Extra lights and heating can make for some unexpected budgeting problems, and they also cause your home to emit higher levels of CO2 and other pollutants.

So, it’s not just your wallet that’s hurting—the planet is hurting as well.

You can take the usual steps to save energy and be more eco-conscious as you go about your normal winter routine (e.g., keeping cooler temperatures in the home, keeping lights off in naturally lit rooms, etc.), but these methods can often be exhausting and ultimately ineffective.

So what can you actually do to create a greener home?

Turn to tech.

Technology is making waves in conservation efforts. AI and home automation have grown in popularity over the last couple of years, not only because of their cost saving benefits but also because of their ability to improve a home’s overall energy efficiency.

Use the following guide to identify your home’s inefficiencies and find a solution to your energy woes.

Monitor Your Energy Usage

Many people don’t understand how their homes use energy, so they struggle with conservation. Start by looking at your monthly utility bills. They can show you how much energy your home typically uses and what systems cost you the most.

monitor energy usage

Licensed from Shutterstock – By Piotr Adamowicz

The usual culprits for high costs and energy waste tend to be the water heater and heating and cooling system. Other factors could also impact your home’s efficiency. Your home’s insulation, for example, could be a huge source of wasted heating and cooling—especially if the insulation hasn’t been inspected or replaced in years. You should also check your windows and doors for proper weatherproofing every year.

However, waiting for your monthly bill or checking out your home’s construction issues are time-consuming steps, and they don’t help you immediately understand and tackle the problem. Instead, opt for an easier solution. Some homeowners, for example, use a smart energy monitor such as Sense to track energy use in real time and identify energy hogs.

Use Smart Plugs

Computers, televisions, and lights still consume energy if they’re left on and unused. Computers offer easy cost savings with their built-in timers that allow the devices to use less energy—they typically turn off after a set number of minutes. Televisions sometimes provide the same benefit, although you may have to fiddle with the settings to activate this feature.

A better option—and one that thwarts both the television and the lights—is purchasing smart plugs. The average US home uses more than 900 kilowatts of electricity per month. That can really add up, especially when you realize that people are wasting more than $19 billion every year on household appliances that are always plugged in. Smart plugs like WeMo can help eliminate wasted electricity by letting you control plugged-in items from your smartphone.

Update Your Lighting

Incandescent lightbulbs can consume and waste a lot of energy—35% of CO2 emissions are generated from electric power plants. This can have serious consequences for increased global warming.

To reduce your impact on the environment, you can install more efficient lightbulbs to offset your energy usage. However, many homeowners choose smart lights, like the Philips Hue bulbs, to save money and make their homes more energy efficient.

Smart lights can be controlled from your smartphone, and many smart light options come with monthly energy reporting so you can continue to find ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Take Control of the Thermostat

Homeowners often leave the thermostat on its default settings, but defaults often result in heating and cooling systems that run longer and harder than they need to.

In fact, almost half the average residential energy use comes from energy-demanding heating and cooling systems. As an alternative to fiddling with outdated systems, eco-conscious homeowners use smart thermostats to save at least 10% on heating and roughly 15% on cooling per year.

Change your home’s story by employing a smart thermostat such as the Nest, ecobee3, or Honeywell Lyric. Smart thermostats automatically adjust your in-home temperature by accounting for a variety of factors, including outdoor humidity and precipitation. A lot of smart thermostats will also adjust your home’s temperature depending on the time of day and whether you’re home.

Stop Wasting Water

The average American household uses about 320 gallons of water per day. About one-third of that goes to maintaining their yards. Using a smart irrigation systems to improve your water usage can save your home up to 8,800 gallons of water per year.

Smart irrigation systems use AI to sync with local weather predictions, which can be really helpful if you have a garden or fruit trees that you use your irrigation system for  water. Smart features help keep your garden and landscaping healthy by making sure you never overwater your plants or deprive them of adequate moisture.

If you’re looking to make your home greener, AI-enabled products could make the transition much easier. Has a favorite tool you use that wasn’t mentioned here? Share in the comments below.

Continue Reading

Environment

Working From Home And How It Reduces Emissions

Published

on

Many businesses are changing their operating model to allow their employees to work from home. Aside from the personal convenience and business benefits, working from home is also great for the environment. According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, if employees with the desire to work from home and compatible jobs that allowed for this were allowed to do so only half the time, the reduction in emissions would be the equivalent of eliminating automobile emissions from the workforce of the entire state of New York. Considering the stakes here, it is vital that we understand how exactly working from home helps us go green and how this can be applied.

Reduction of automobile emissions

Statistics by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that the transportation sector is responsible for about 14% of the total Global Emissions of greenhouse gases, which is a very significant percentage. If employees work from home, then the need to travel to and from their workplace every other day as well as other business trips are reduced considerably. While this may not eliminate the emissions from the transport sector altogether, it reduces the percentage. As indicated in the example above, a move to work from home by more businesses and industries cuts down automobile emissions to as much as those from an entire state.

Reduction of energy production and consumption

According to Eurostat, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning accounted for as high as 26% of the Greenhouse gas emissions from the EU in 2014. EPA stats are also close at 25% of the total emissions. This makes energy production the single largest source of emissions. Working from home eliminates the need for large office spaces, which in turn reduces the need for electricity and heating. Similarly, the need for electrical office equipment and supplies, such as printers and computers, is also greatly reduced, which reduces the emissions from energy production in offices. Additionally, most households are now adopting green methods of energy production and implementing better ways of energy usage. The use of smart energy-efficient appliances also goes a long way in reducing the energy production and consumption levels from households. This, in turn, cuts down emissions from energy production from both the home and office fronts.

Reduced need for paper

Paper is also a huge source of emissions, considering that it is a carbon-based product. EPA stats show that carbon (IV) oxide from fossil fuel and industrial processes accounts for 65% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Working from home is usually an internet-based operation, which means less paper and more cloud-based services. When everything is communicated electronically, the need for office paper is reduced considerably. Moreover, the cutting down of trees for the sake of paper production reduces. All these outcomes help reduce the emissions and individual carbon footprints.

Effective recycling

While businesses make an effort to recycle it is not as effective as homeowners. Consider everything from the water you drink to office supplies and equipment. While working from home, you have greater control over your environment. This means that you can easily implement proper recycling procedures. However, at the office, that control over your personal space and environment is taken away and the effectiveness of recycling techniques is reduced. Working from home is, therefore, a great way to go green and increase the adoption of proper recycling.

Takeaway

Even though the statistics are in favor of working from home to reduce emissions, note that this is dependent on the reduction of emissions from home. If the households are not green, then the emissions are not reduced in the least. For instance, if instead of installing a VPN in the router to keep the home office safe, an employee buys a standalone server and air gaps it, the energy consumption is not reduced but increased. Therefore, it is necessary that employees working from home go green if there is to be any hope of using this method of operation to cut down on the emissions.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending