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Eastern promise



The Carbon Trust has released statistics from a new study that indicate a very positive attitude amongst China’s young adults, with 83% willing to show loyalty to brands that actively reduce their carbon footprint.

And it’s not only China’s so-called Millennials who are concerned about climate change and carbon. Those from the other five countries in the study—South Korea, South Africa, Brazil, the US and the UK—also show a surprising level of knowledge with opinions to match.

The research, conducted online with 18-25 year olds over a two-week period, comes as welcome news given other recent analysis that discovered that today’s young are less environmentally aware than ever—in America at least. The new study states that 68% of respondents believe that their generation is more concerned about climate change than their parent’s generation.

But perhaps what the new research also shows is that rather than considering the environment as a discrete and nebulous idea, the new generation is taking note of global issues and acting on them by voting with their feet. Indeed, a more integrated approach to sustainability is something a good many companies would be wise to follow.

Today’s young appear to be sufficiently savvy to read beyond greenwash. They want action on reportable issues such as carbon, and are starting to demand that companies be fully accountable.

The report makes an interesting point: “Most young adults across the majority of countries believe that carbon dioxide produced through the manufacture and distribution of products and services has the highest impact on personal carbon footprint”. This shows an advanced grasp of reality.

However, what becomes clear working through the stats is that, in almost every section, the UK and the US lag behind the other four nations, being less committed and less opinionated. Several telling conclusions are drawn for each country’s respondents:

Young adults from the US are in the top three countries when it comes to being aware of the term “carbon footprint”, and yet are the least concerned about climate change. They are also the least likely to follow a personal ‘carbon budget’.

In the UK, awareness of the term “carbon footprint” is high but only half claim to be concerned about climate change. Most UK young adults liked the idea of a personal carbon budget.

Many Chinese young adults are aware of the term “carbon footprint” but almost a third have never heard of it. Just over half say that carbon information on packaging would influence purchasing decisions and unlike in other countries, 42% say that they would buy the product even if it cost slightly more. Chinese youths are the most likely to follow a simple personal carbon budget.

The term “carbon footprint” is less common in South Korea, with over half claiming they have never heard of it. Despite that, over 50% say they are concerned about climate change. The majority would follow a carbon budget – especially if it was simple.

Only 60% of Brazilians claim to know the term “carbon footprint”, however, they are the most concerned about climate change. 63% would find carbon information on packaging useful enough to influence purchasing.In South Africa, over a third apparently use the term “carbon footprint”. In addition, 25% are attempting to reduce their carbon footprint but acknowledge there is room for improvement. Over 50% claim that information on packaging would influence their purchasing as long as the price was unaffected.

Overall, a third of all 2,800 young people surveyed would be prepared to pay more for a product with a lower carbon footprint—I wonder if the same could be said for the older generations…

What does all of this tell us? That companies who take stock of the trends among the young and integrate carbon reduction strategies into their business now may be able to reap financial benefits sooner rather than later. Furthermore, if you choose to invest in more sustainable and socially responsible companies, there’s a good chance you’ll be backing tomorrow’s winner.

Are you ‘down with the kids’? Reducing your own carbon footprint can be a lot easier than you think. You could shop more carefully and consider switching to renewable energy.

Further reading:

Are we investing in the future we want for our children and grandchildren?


How Climate Change Altered this Engineer’s Life



how climate change affect our lives
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Living the life of an engineer likely sounds pretty glamorous: you are educated and highly regarded, typically have high paying gigs, and with the breadth of knowledge and array of fields of specialty, your possibility for jobs is usually immense.  But what if there was something else that needed your attention? Something bigger than just being an engineer, going to work every day and doing the same technical tasks typically associated with the profession?

For Kevin McCroary, that is exactly how it played out.  A successful engineer, gainfully employed in a prosperous job, a simple trip to the Philippines made him see that there was a bigger issue at hand than using his engineer training in a traditional profession.  This bigger issue was that of climate change.  And working as a volunteer for underprivileged children in the Philippines, he saw first-hand the extensive pollution and poverty that existed here and that impacted the livelihood of these kids and their families.

Upon returning home, from his trip to the Philippines he had a new perspective of the impact we as individuals and as humanity have on the earth, and more than that Kevin wanted to know more.  He started to do some research and study these human-environmental interactions, and shortly thereafter ended up in Greenland.  There, he spoke to a man who had lost his home in a tsunami, and, who, through consistent weather tracking could indeed confirm that the current weather trends were “strange:” there was undeniably a general warming tendency happening in the arctic, causing an array of negative effects.

The combination of these observations, as well as his own research, led Kevin to conclude that something had to be done.  With that in mind, he launched his project Legend Bracelet.  The mission is simple: create a reminder of the legacy we are leaving behind.  As individuals and as humanity, we are leaving behind an imprint on the earth, and the magnitude of it is something that needs to be brought to the forefront of public awareness.  The idea is to have a bracelet that can serve as a daily reminder of the impact on the earth that each of us can have every day, regardless of how big or small.  The bracelet has two capsules: the first is filled with sand or earth, and the second is empty.  As the owner, you are to fill the empty one with your own earth, carrying it with you as a reminder and symbol of your connection and commitment to helping look after our environment.

We are all impacted by climate change, and we all have a responsibility to help.  And it can start with something as simple as putting on a bracelet.  Support Kevin on his Kickstarter campaign for Legend Bracelet, tell others about it, or take action in your own way and play your part in slowing down the effects of climate change.  You may think “but I’m just one person!” You are indeed.  But so is he.  Every change starts with one.

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5 Things You Can Do Yourself to Improve the Value of Your House



home renovation and improvement
Shutterstock Licensed Image - By Stock-Asso

Whether you want to own it or list it, every once in a while, a house needs a facelift. This will not only improve quality of your life but will capitalize your home’s value significantly, too.

The best way to improve home value by yourself is to upgrade only what is necessary and nothing more. For instance, why would you buy a new bathroom door when a little retouch and a coat of fresh paint will suffice? By taking this approach, you are allowing yourself to make several small improvements instead of venturing just one or bigger ones. Select projects thoughtfully and know when you should stop.

Pitch in for the kitchen

If you really want a return on investment one day, start in the kitchen. By many, the kitchen still represents the heart and the soul of the house, the central hub of a property and it will all on its own add colossal value to your home. Moreover, the kitchen can be a breaking point in selling the house, so you should not hold on to your wallet in this area.

There are many little things you can do to spruce up the overall image of your kitchen. You may paint the kitchen cabinets, replace old door handles, add additional storage space with a sliding wall or a kitchen island if there is enough room for it. In addition, you may open the living space up by taking a kitchen wall down. Possibilities for do-it-yourself are many.

Add an attic or a basement bedroom

Properties are usually valued by two things: land size and the number of bedrooms. The price range between a three to four-bedroom home is two to four hundred thousand. Since you can’t change the size of your land, you can at least increase the number of bedrooms.

If you are prepared to go full-scale, converting the attic or the basement into the bedroom is another especially favored project that will by far boost up your home’s value once you decide to put it on the market. Until you decide to list it you will enjoy in your own extra space for entertainment, living, sleeping, playing, exercising, or whatever you fancy.

Transformation with paint

If your walls have scrapes and stained paint, a vintage color or shabby wallpaper, several cans of paint can make a striking distinction. In order to increase the value of your home, it is recommended to go with neutral colors that will unify the whole house and make the space visually bigger.

transformation with paint

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Bottom line, nothing can transform a home like a cast of fresh new paint. It is the number one way to beef up a property value of any budget. Additionally, painting the house is still one of the easiest, fastest and highest value drivers.

Secure with style

All of your effort and money would be wasted if you can’t protect the investments you made. A good security door costs as little as a few hundred dollars but if it saves you just once from being robbed it instantly pays itself off. People avoid putting security screens on windows because they mostly do not look stylish enough, but there are other options, such as installing shutters. There are so many elegant and cool shutter options that we found at Independent Blinds & Awnings that it’s really hard not to find something for you.

Basic maintenance for a worry-free mind

A clean house is a healthier house for you and your family. By making a clean house your number one on the list for improving, you accomplish a couple of things at once.

First, you stay on track with maintenance issues and, consequently you are able to recognize future problems before they become costly ones. Secondly, you don’t allow dirt and garbage to pile up over time. Thirdly, smudged, dirty windows can have a bad impact on the overall perception of the house. Same as eyes are windows to the soul, windows are for the home. Therefore, you need to wash them properly.

Spice up the landscaping

Big backyard is an all Australian dream and still, it is more often than not the most ignored area of the house. However, landscaping is really important as it frames a property from every corner.

Simple, low budget cosmetic changes in the front yard including installing garden beds, adding plants, pebbles or mulch, and paving or painting the front walls will positively lift the curb appeal as well as the property value. As for the backyard, you may span a lawn to create more open space for you and your family to move freely, cut and reduce unruly trees and vegetation, and fix the fence if needed.

Adding value to your home through a cosmetic or structural renovation is an actual way to quickly enhance your money invested in a property. In the end, you need to make sure that if you will continue to live in the house and renovate, that your renovations will contribute to a good lifestyle and that it will give the impression of a “ready to move in” property once you decide to list it.

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