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Panama Village Tackles Plastic Problem

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Plastic bottle waste causes destruction across the planet. Plastic takes hundreds of years to degrade, but it never erodes completely and it is often consumed by wildlife and marine animals. The Plastic Bottle Village is an innovative way to combat the destruction plastic waste can cause.

The average consumer by the time he reaches the age of eighty, leaves behind a minimum of 14,400 plastic bottles in his wake. This has devastating effects on the environment. The Plastic Bottle Village might be a way to curb this destruction of our environment. Such villages are designed to be built in harmony with nature. At the forefront of this movement is Colon Island, the main island in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago in Panama. With over 150,000 tourists visiting each year, the plastic village is a response to the increasing waste left by visitors to the beautiful island.

Environmentally friendly
A typical 100 square metre house is built using 14,000 recycled plastic bottles. The reuse of its core materials allows homes to be built in a small fraction of the time it takes to build a bricks and mortar house. The plastic village in Isla Colon is located on some of the island’s prime real estate. The residents are ensured both of a positive return on investment and a negative carbon footprint, while also raising awareness of the need to address the spiralling over reliance on plastic products.

Eco building
The village aims to maximise the benefits from its natural setting to create green zones, with areas for yoga, hiking and mini-parks for barbeques. The village is a first for other things also, with revolutionary eco-building techniques allowing for the minimum impact on the environment. The main insulation inside the concrete walls of the houses is also recycled plastic. The homes are even earthquake resistant; necessary in a country that has had four minor earthquakes in the past 30 days alone.

The eco building techniques allow the homes to stay cool enough for air conditioning not to be required, and this will mean less energy consumption for the village. The village is also entirely solar friendly. The community offers three types of model homes, all designed in collaboration with top Panama architects. There is also an option to custom design homes. Each one is equipped with piped water catchment gutters, plumbing electrical standard windows, doors and septic tank systems. The average temperature difference between the outside and inside wall of a plastic bottle home is 17C, making them extremely energy efficient.

Meet the founder
Robert Bezeau, originates from Canada. After spearheading the Bocas Recycling Programme in 2012 he got the idea for the plastic village. During the recycling program he was astounded by the amount of recycled materials being retrieved from the garbage bins, materials that would have gone directly to a landfill or to be burned. He estimates that in the course of 1.5 years his team collected over 1 million bottles. It ended up being a no-brainer, with such a huge quantity of usable materials going to waste, the idea for the plastic village was a logical reaction.

Perhaps one day in the future we will see recycled plastic buildings and skyscrapers.

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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