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School Children Turning The Tide On Marine Litter At Children’s University Scotland




The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has collaborated with Children’s University Scotland (CUS) and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) to encourage local school children and their families in a beach clean at Edinburgh’s Portobello Beach.

The event forms part of the MCS’s Great British Beach Clean weekend, the UK’s biggest beach clean and survey, involving hundreds of beaches across the UK over the weekend 16-19th Sept.

Children from CUS schools across East and Midlothian, and from Edinburgh’s first CUS school St Mary’s RC Primary, will be involved in the event. CUS is a national charity that seeks to inspire children to get involved learning activities outside normal school hours in bid to build confidence and skills and encourage a love of learning.

Children’s University Scotland is all about recognising that learning can and does take place anywhere, not just inside the classroom.

“Events like this are so important in promoting family learning, helping to link the learning that takes place inside and outside school, and raising awareness amongst future generations about important environmental issues,” said Mary De la Peña, CEO of CUS.

Children will be provided with litter pickers, gloves and litter surveys as they hunt for rubbish left by beachgoers or washed up from sea, recording their findings and contributing useful data to the MCS’s national database.

The three national charities seek to raise awareness of the impact of litter pollution and the danger it poses to humans and wildlife. 2016’s Great British Beach Clean weekend comes as the negative environmental impact of plastic microbeads, one form of marine pollution, has been in the public eye due to a recent government ban.

“It’s fantastic to see so much passion for our beaches with such a diverse group of volunteers coming along to our Great British Beach Clean event at Portobello. If you would like to join in then please head to to find an event near you this weekend!” says Catherine Gemmell, Scotland Conservation Officer at the MCS.

To help further the cause, MSP for Edinburgh East Ash Denham has committed herself and her office staff to help out. Meanwhile, players for the professional ice hockey team Edinburgh Capitals will also attend to provide an extra boost to the children taking part.

Matt Tipoff, player for the Edinburgh Capitals, said, “Edinburgh Capitals would like to thank Children’s University Scotland and MCS for the opportunity to take part in such a positive environmental initiative. Our goal this season is to be as engaged in our local community as possible; we hope to show the same level of commitment to the city of Edinburgh that we receive from our dedicated and loyal fan base.”

RZSS will be involved as part of their educational outreach project Wild about Scotland, which aims to educate the next generation of conservationists about the importance of conserving Scottish wildlife. The award-winning Wild about Scotland campaign has been made possible thanks to a partnership between RZSS and Clydesdale Bank. RZSS’s Wild about Scotland bus, which has been converted into a unique teaching space for school children, will park up beside the beach and offer drop-in sessions at the event.

Barbara Smith, Interim CEO of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: “We are delighted to have partnered up with Children’s University Scotland and the Marine Conservation Society, for the Great British Beach Clean. The Wild about Scotland campaign provides a unique way of engaging children with conservation and it is important for us to teach young people about the importance of conserving our native species and oceans.”


Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



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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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 .

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