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Protecting The Antarctic Ocean Receives Global Attention

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Protecting The Antarctic Ocean Receives Global Attention

At the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) currently meeting in Hobart, Australia, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance are appealing for nations to ensure the future of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean.

This week, representatives from 25 governments are gathering in Hobart to address three proposed marine protected areas, amounting to more than five million square kilometres of Antarctic waters.

Mike Walker, Project Director of the Antarctic Ocean Alliance said there is growing global momentum for the designation of marine protected areas (MPAs), evidenced by President Obama’s August decision to expand the Papahānaumokuākea marine national monument near Hawaii to become the world’s largest protected area.

Scientists estimate that Antarctic and Southern Ocean currents drive life-sustaining nutrients, including krill, for three-quarters of Earth’s marine life.

“The time for action to safeguard the Antarctic’s waters, the engine room of the ocean, is now. Commitments for almost four million square kilometres of MPAs have been made in the past weeks. This is a clear indication to all the parties participating in the meeting in Hobart that there is a growing momentum for greater ocean conservation, and Antarctic’s oceans and marine life should be next,” Mike Walker said.

The time for action to safeguard the Antarctic’s waters, the engine room of the ocean, is now.

Andrea Kavanagh, director of Antarctic and Southern Ocean work at The Pew Charitable Trusts, added:

“This year’s global meeting could result in the largest-ever protection of the high seas, and Russia is the key to reaching this goal.”

“As the chair of CCAMLR, Russia is approaching this year’s negotiations positively.”

Russia has designated 2017 as the Year of Ecology and significantly increased the size of the MPA around Franz Josef Land in the Arctic. This move signals hope that Russia, the current chair of CCAMLR, will join with other nations in supporting protection of the Ross Sea, East Antarctic, and Weddell Sea.

“At the World Conservation Congress in September, 129 countries from around the world agreed to protect 30 percent of the ocean by 2030. To meet this goal, countries will need to expand conservation action beyond their territorial waters and support protected areas on the high seas, starting with the Southern Ocean,” said Ms. Kavanagh.

Oceanographer, marine biologist and founder of Mission Blue, Dr. Sylvia Earle said:

“Fifty years ago we thought that the ocean was too big to fail. The authority to kill on a large scale in waters that belong to everyone—places like Antarctica’s unique Southern Ocean—destroys something of critical value to the way the world works. Penguins are starving. Climate change is accelerating. We know too much to continue down this path. We must expand regulations already in place on land out into the ocean—to Hope Spots like the Ross Sea. Now is the time to act.”

Mr. Walker warned that further delays in designating new MPAs would reduce the resilience of the oceans to the impacts of climate change. “It has been clearly established that fully protecting large parts of the ocean is critical to mitigating the effects of climate change,” said Walker. “CCAMLR members have an historic opportunity to designate marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean, any further delay would negatively impact the health of the Antarctic’s waters and the life they support.”

In 2009, CCAMLR members committed to creating a network of large marine reserves. They have deliberated over the Ross Sea and East Antarctic proposals for the past four years but have been unable to reach consensus. In September, the European Union submitted an entirely new proposal to CCAMLR to protect 1.8 million square kilometres of the Weddell Sea.

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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