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Five eco-friendly tips for European travellers

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For the environmentally conscious among us, extensive travel around the world can be a thorny issue – luckily there are several steps anyone can take, especially in Europe, to minimise the carbon footprint of any trip while immersing yourself in local culture.

Avoid bottled water

The bottled water industry is one of the biggest contributors to human waste on the planet – bring a refillable bottle and ask to fill up in your accommodation before any excursions. Alternatively, if you’re slumming it, or unsure of the cleanliness of the water supply in a given location (unlikely in Europe, but it does happen) then take your own means of purifying any water source you come across. This can come in the form of a tablet, pen or filter, and all are readily available online, but be sure to do your research before making any purchases.

Use public transport

As any self-respecting eco warrior knows – air transport is dirty, expensive and emits tonnes of the old C02 into the atmosphere. So why not take advantage of Europe’s excellent public transport systems and take the slower, but definitely more scenic, route during your travels? Cheap train and bus fares are readily available between most major cities on the continent, and local transport is usually reliable between smaller places.

Some of Europe’s most stunning vistas can be experienced on long train journeys and for travellers taking a tour of weeks or more in multiple locations, discount fares are often an extra draw. The Schengen agreement also makes it possible to travel without border controls between countries of mainland Europe, so you save yourself a lot of bureaucratic hassle and queue waiting as well.

Eco-friendly accommodation 

Depending on your budget this might not be possible, but there are huge variety of environmentally conscious hotels, hostels, camps, guest houses and other places to stay all over the continent. A quick bit of online searching can usually find eco-friendly accommodation nearby to your destination, no matter where you want to visit. If you are unable to find any that suit your needs, a few simple steps such as turning off light switches, using secondary flushes, re-using towels and careful water management can really minimise the environmental impact of your stay without breaking the bank.

Support local businesses

Imported, fast food is expensive and mass produced, often in ways that harm the environment. Instead of eating a meal from a mega conglomerate fast food chain, why not experience the true food of the European country you’re in and eat from a street vendor or local restaurant? Besides, as any chef will tell you: the best food is always locally sourced. The same principal is true in other areas too, as buying local helps to support the economy of the area you visit and decreases the demand for expensive, environmentally impactful imported products.

EHIC card

Now this last one is not about the wider environment, but it definitely affects your own personal wellbeing. Travelling throughout Europe is not particularly dangerous, or difficult – but should the worst ever happen and an accident occurs, not being insured in whichever country you are in can turn a minor accident into a massive personal disaster, with all kinds of stress and financial troubles. Luckily, with a European Health Insurance card you’ll be right at ease and can continue to enjoy your trip, don’t forget to check the expiry date on your EHIC if you already have one as it could need renewing, safe in the knowledge you’re covered should anything untoward happen.

Oh, and last but not least, remember to enjoy your journey through the diverse, enriching and enchanting continent of Europe.

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What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?

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shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy

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Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.

Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.

Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.

How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  • They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
  • They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
  • They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
  • They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.

Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.

Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use

The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.

Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.

Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers

Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.

Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.

Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:

  • Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
  • Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
  • Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.

You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.

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