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Save B&GT: Two weeks to go – pledge £52 today

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Our crowdfunder will determine if Blue & Green Tomorrow will continue and thrive… or fade to black. We only have a short window in which to save the magazine. We want to remain as a thorn in the side of the reckless and unsustainable, while also being a raucous voice for the responsible and sustainable. But we desperately need your help to do that.

What is Blue and Green Tomorrow?

The online publication Blue and Green Tomorrow is the UK’s most widely-read and fastest-growing sustainability magazine for investors and consumers. Since 2013, our growth has been rapid and we now need crowdfunding to survive the next four months while our underlying business model starts to pay off.

Our aim is to encourage our readers to buy from and invest in sustainable companies – those that balance the needs of people, planet and profit. We simplify sustainability, both the individuals and organisations working in it, and amplify their work to the largest number of possible investors and consumers.

Every day we write 18-25 articles on how to invest sustainably, travel responsibly, shop ethically and use cleaner sources of energy. Our most popular articles explain climate change, simplify investment and profile individuals and organisations that are leaders in sustainability. Articles that explore the rapid decline in bees, polar ice and forest cover are perennial favourites.

We also produce 12-14 in-depth guides each year on all aspects of sustainability.

Founded in 2010 our readership has quadrupled in the last 12 months, with 76,283 unique readers per month in June 2014, up 43% on the previous month. We are growing fast, and want to continue this growth long into the future.

We need our friends and readers’ help to survive the next few months.

Four years since we first stepped onto the foothills of sustainability, Blue & Green Tomorrow is at dire risk of falling silent.

Running a free magazine for the last four years has taken its toll on the founders’ finances – we have literally put everything into making Blue & Green Tomorrow as big and noisy as it is. The truth is, we’ve finally run out of money to create the impartial content we provide free of charge and will have to stop this month.

We’re four months away from being financially self-sufficient, with some incredible deals in place which will finally make us viable over the next 12 months, but we’re not nearly close enough to continue without our readers’ financial help in the short term.

We really want Blue & Green Tomorrow to be an impartial and raucous voice for all aspects of sustainability. We still have ambitious plans to be the loudest voice for sustainability – but can only do so with your help.

Every day we promote individuals and organisations doing good and helping make a more sustainable planet. They will lose a loud voice without our coverage.

How this funding will make a difference

We have big and ambitious plans for the money you pledge. We want to reach 250,000 readers in the UK and 250,000 readers overseas to spread the message of sustainable investing and living.

It is in investment we can make a real difference. For every dollar of GDP, $26 dollars is traded financially (data and image courtesy of De Spiegel).

 

Unsustainable, unethical and irresponsible investment and financial trade has shaped the world we live in today and today is shaping the world our children and grandchildren will live in tomorrow.

We want our readers to take seven sustainable steps in 2015 creating 3.5 million actions, from moving their money to more responsible banksinvesting more sustainably, switching to renewable energy at home and at work, buying more fair tradetravelling responsibly, voting for a party with sustainability policies and backing a sustainable venture on crowdfunder.co.uk.

We need to rebuild Blue & Green Tomorrow as a scalable, fit-for-purpose website. We need it to be optimised for tablets and smartphones, with apps available on all mobile operating systems. We want to offer Blue & Green Tomorrow anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Time really is running out for our blue and green marble of a planet and we need to reach more readers quickly. That means promoting our website and e-newsletter to even more investors and consumers, encouraging more people to invest and spend sustainably.

We want to continue paying our graduate journalists a living wage, to give the young people most affected by our current unsustainable economic activity not only a start in their career but also an opportunity to frame the debate with their own future interests at heart.

That’s what we’d do with the money you pledge.

Please help us today, or Blue & Green will fade to black in September 2014.

How the money breaks down

The rewards

The crowdfunding rewards are for both individuals (blue rewards) and organisations (green rewards), you can secure a heartfett thank you printed in every guide for as little as £12, an invitation to our “We made it party!” as a supporter or articles and promotion in Blue & Green Tomorrow. Here’s a small selection of the rewards:

What the industry says about us

“By launching Blue & Green Tomorrow, Simon Leadbetter has done more than anyone else in the British media to promote a proper understanding of sustainable investment.” Clare Brook of WHEB Group

“You are an original, fresh and high quality voice for Sustainable Investing at a time when we had all but disappeared from the financial media.” Peter Michaelis of Alliance Trust

“Blue & Green – a new and credible force in the sustainability space.” Claudia Quiroz of Quilter Cheviot

“Why would you recommend B&GT to a friend?” (comments from our reader survey August ’14)

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Editors Choice

2017 Was the Most Expensive Year Ever for U.S. Natural Disaster Damage

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Natural Disaster Damage
Shutterstock / By Droidworker | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/droidworker

Devastating natural disasters dominated last year’s headlines and made many wonder how the affected areas could ever recover. According to data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the storms and other weather events that caused the destruction were extremely costly.

Specifically, the natural disasters recorded last year caused so much damage that the associated losses made 2017 the most expensive year on record in the 38-year history of keeping such data. The following are several reasons that 2017 made headlines for this notorious distinction.

Over a Dozen Events With Losses Totalling More Than $1 Billion Each

The NOAA reports that in total, the recorded losses equaled $306 billion, which is $90 billion more than the amount associated with 2005, the previous record holder. One of the primary reasons the dollar amount climbed so high last year is that 16 individual events cost more than $1 billion each.

Global Warming Contributed to Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey, one of two Category-4 hurricanes that made landfall in 2017, was a particularly expensive natural disaster. Nearly 800,000 people needed assistance after the storm. Hurricane Harvey alone cost $125 billion, with some estimates even higher than that. So far, the only hurricane more expensive than Harvey was Katrina.

Before Hurricane Harvey hit, scientists speculated climate change could make it worse. They discussed how rising ocean temperatures make hurricanes more intense, and warmer atmospheres have higher amounts of water vapor, causing larger rainfall totals.

Since then, a new study published in “Environmental Research Letters” confirmed climate change was indeed a factor that gave Hurricane Harvey more power. It found environmental conditions associated with global warming made the storm more severe and increase the likelihood of similar events.

That same study also compared today’s storms with ones from 1900. It found that compared to those earlier weather phenomena, Hurricane Harvey’s rainfall was 15 percent more intense and three times as likely to happen now versus in 1900.

Warming oceans are one of the contributing factors. Specifically, the ocean’s surface temperature associated with the region where Hurricane Harvey quickly transformed from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane has become about 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer over the past few decades.

Michael Mann, a climatologist from Penn State University, believes that due to a relationship known as the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, there was about 3-5 percent more moisture in the air, which caused more rain. To complicate matters even more, global warming made sea levels rise by more than 6 inches in the Houston area over the past few decades. Mann also believes global warming caused the stationery summer weather patterns that made Hurricane Harvey stop moving and saturate the area with rain. Mann clarifies although global warming didn’t cause Hurricane Harvey as a whole, it exacerbated several factors of the storm.

Also, statistics collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 1901-2015 found the precipitation levels in the contiguous 48 states had gone up by 0.17 inches per decade. The EPA notes the increase is expected because rainfall totals tend to go up as the Earth’s surface temperatures rise and additional evaporation occurs.

The EPA’s measurements about surface temperature indicate for the same timespan mentioned above for precipitation, the temperatures have gotten 0.14 Fahrenheit hotter per decade. Also, although the global surface temperature went up by 0.15 Fahrenheit during the same period, the temperature rise has been faster in the United States compared to the rest of the world since the 1970s.

Severe Storms Cause a Loss of Productivity

Many people don’t immediately think of one important factor when discussing the aftermath of natural disasters: the adverse impact on productivity. Businesses and members of the workforce in Houston, Miami and other cities hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma suffered losses that may total between $150-200 billion when both damage and sacrificed productivity are accounted for, according to estimates from Moody’s Analytics.

Some workers who decide to leave their homes before storms arrive delay returning after the immediate danger has passed. As a result of their absences, a labor-force shortage may occur. News sources posted stories highlighting that the Houston area might not have enough construction workers to handle necessary rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Harvey.

It’s not hard to imagine the impact heavy storms could have on business operations. However, companies that offer goods to help people prepare for hurricanes and similar disasters often find the market wants what they provide. While watching the paths of current storms, people tend to recall storms that took place years ago and see them as reminders to get prepared for what could happen.

Longer and More Disastrous Wildfires Require More Resources to Fight

The wildfires that ripped through millions of acres in the western region of the United States this year also made substantial contributions to the 2017 disaster-related expenses. The U.S. Forest Service, which is within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reported 2017 as its costliest year ever and saw total expenditures exceeding $2 billion.

The agency anticipates the costs will grow, especially when they take past data into account. In 1995, the U.S. Forest Service spent 16 percent of its annual budget for wildfire-fighting costs, but in 2015, the amount ballooned to 52 percent. The sheer number of wildfires last year didn’t help matters either. Between January 1 and November 24 last year, 54,858 fires broke out.

2017: Among the Three Hottest Years Recorded

People cause the majority of wildfires, but climate change acts as another notable contributor. In addition to affecting hurricane intensity, rising temperatures help fires spread and make them harder to extinguish.

Data collected by the National Interagency Fire Center and published by the EPA highlighted a correlation between the largest wildfires and the warmest years on record. The extent of damage caused by wildfires has gotten worse since the 1980s, but became particularly severe starting in 2000 during a period characterized by some of the warmest years the U.S. ever recorded.

Things haven’t changed for the better, either. In mid-December of 2017, the World Meteorological Organization released a statement announcing the year would likely end as one of the three warmest years ever recorded. A notable finding since the group looks at global land and ocean temperature, not just statistics associated with the United States.

Not all the most financially impactful weather events in 2017 were hurricanes and wildfires. Some of the other issues that cost over $1 billion included a hailstorm in Colorado, tornados in several regions of the U.S. and substantial flooding throughout Missouri and Arkansas.

Although numerous factors gave these natural disasters momentum, scientists know climate change was a defining force — a reality that should worry just about everyone.

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Environment

How to be More eco-Responsible in 2018

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eco-responsible
Shutterstock / By KENG MERRY Paper Art | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kengmerrymikeymelody

Nowadays, more and more people are talking about being more eco-responsible. There is a constant growth of information regarding the importance of being aware of ecological issues and the methods of using eco-friendly necessities on daily basis.

Have you been considering becoming more eco-responsible after the New Year? If so, here are some useful tips that could help you make the difference in the following year:

1. Energy – produce it, save it

If you’re building a house or planning to expand your living space, think before deciding on the final square footage. Maybe you don’t really need that much space. Unnecessary square footage will force you to spend more building materials, but it will also result in having to use extra heating, air-conditioning, and electricity in it.

It’s even better if you seek professional help to reduce energy consumption. An energy audit can provide you some great piece of advice on how to save on your energy bills.

While buying appliances such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher, make sure they have “Energy Star” label on, as it means they are energy-efficient.

energy efficient

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By My Life Graphic

Regarding the production of energy, you can power your home with renewable energy. The most common way is to install rooftop solar panels. They can be used for producing electricity, as well as heat for the house. If powering the whole home is a big step for you, try with solar oven then – they trap the sunlight in order to heat food! Solar air conditioning is another interesting thing to try out – instead of providing you with heat, it cools your house!

2. Don’t be just another tourist

Think about the environment, as well your own enjoyment – try not to travel too far, as most forms of transport contribute to the climate change. Choose the most environmentally friendly means of transport that you can, as well as environmentally friendly accommodation. If you can go to a destination that is being recommended as an eco-travel destination – even better! Interesting countries such as Zambia, Vietnam or Nicaragua are among these destinations that are famous for its sustainability efforts.

3. Let your beauty be also eco-friendly

eco-friendly

Shutterstock / By Khakimullin Aleksandr

We all want to look beautiful. Unfortunately, sometimes (or very often) it comes with a price. Cruelty-free cosmetics are making its way on the world market but be careful with the labels – just because it says a product hasn’t been tested on animals, it doesn’t  mean that some of the product’s ingredients haven’t been tested on some poor animal.

To be sure which companies definitely stay away from the cruel testing on animals, check PETA Bunny list of cosmetic companies just to make sure which ones are truly and completely cruelty-free.

It’s also important if a brand uses toxic ingredients. Brands such as Tata Harper Skincare or Dr Bronner’s use only organic ingredients and biodegradable packaging, as well as being cruelty-free. Of course, this list is longer, so you’ll have to do some online research.

4. Know thy recycling

People often make mistakes while wanting to do something good for the environment. For example, plastic grocery bags, take-out containers, paper coffee cups and shredded paper cannot be recycled in your curb for many reasons, so don’t throw them into recycling bins. The same applies to pizza boxes, household glass, ceramics, and pottery – whether they are contaminated by grease or difficult to recycle, they just can’t go through the usual recycling process.

People usually forget to do is to rinse plastic and metal containers – they always have some residue, so be thorough. Also, bottle caps are allowed, too, so don’t separate them from the bottles. However, yard waste isn’t recyclable, so any yard waste or junk you are unsure of – just contact rubbish removal services instead of piling it up in public containers or in your own yard.

5. Fashion can be both eco-friendly and cool

Believe it or not, there are actually places where you can buy clothes that are eco-friendly, sustainable, as well as ethical. And they look cool, too! Companies like Everlane are very transparent about where their clothes are manufactured and how the price is set. PACT is another great company that uses non-GMO, organic cotton and non-toxic dyes for their clothing, while simultaneously using renewable energy factories. Soko is a company that uses natural and recycled materials in making their clothes and jewelry.

All in all

The truth is – being eco-responsible can be done in many ways. There are tons of small things we could change when it comes to our habits that would make a positive influence on the environment. The point is to start doing research on things that can be done by every person and it can start with the only thing that person has the control of – their own household.

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