With global warming making this one of the stormiest and most turbulent winters in recent memory, and 2016 predicted to be the warmest year on record, we all want to do whatever we can to reduce our carbon footprint and help transform the world into a greener place.
Most of us are aware of the importance of reusing, reducing and recycling, but there are still so many more things we can do to save the planet, and some of these things may surprise you! We look at some of the most surprising and effective ways to go green in 2016.
1 – Fly in a private jet
Aviation and environmentalism don’t traditionally go hand in hand. Air travel is one of the biggest producers of carbon dioxide in the world. But flying private, if you do it right, is one way to take to the skies without destroying the Earth. Environmentally-conscious private jet company Bespoke Air Charter discuss the various ways to be green and fly private, looking at how the aviation industry it doing their part.
They point to how a private jet user can make sure they are flying in a newly-developed ultra-efficient plane, like the Dassault Falcon 5X or Citation CJ2+. These planes have better engines that use less fuel, and their wings allow for higher lift, meaning the engines do less of the work, lowering carbon emissions even further.
Because of the customisation and freedom of choice offered when flying in a private jet, you will also be able to make sure your jet uses sustainable fuels for an even greener airborne experience.
For eco-conscious flyers who can afford it, taking a private jet is a no-brainer.
2 – Keep using products that are bad for the environment
If you have decided that 2016 will be the year you fully commit to using eco-friendly alternatives to your household products, you might want to hold off making the switch immediately. Though the decision to switch to environmentally friendly products in every corner of your home is a big one, throwing away all your toothpaste, body lotion, washing up liquid, shampoo and whatever else and rushing out to the shops to buy sustainable versions could actually do more harm than good.
The folks at Tree Hugga talk about this frequently. For example, in this post about buying eco-friendly clothing, Kim Davies says throwing out your old wardrobe and replacing it with a new, entirely organic wardrobe is wasteful, and actually harming the environment more than helping it. The same principle applies to every harmful product. The fact that you have already purchased it means that using it up before replacing it is the more eco-friendly approach.
3 – Have a green funeral
We hope none of your loved ones pass away in 2016, and when a friend or family member dies, the environment is understandably not always the biggest thing on your mind. Still, funerals are often surprisingly wasteful, so it might be worth making sure you are know how to arrange one that will not damage the environment if the worst happens.
Good Funeral Guide lays down the basic principles of a green funeral in this article on green funeral basics. Their approach has a lot to do with the spiritual aspect of becoming one with nature. If this is important to you, a green funeral is a must. But even if your green views are more about practical preservation than spiritual connection, a green funeral can still be the way to go.
The Green Burial Council in the USA outlines the problems with traditional funerals on their website. Put simply, traditional funerals waste a lot of raw materials and energy. Gravestones are manufactured and transported in unsustainable ways, so green funerals do not have them. The same goes for most coffins. For a list of GBC-certified funeral materials and practices, see their certified green products section.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
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.
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 .