A Guide That Will Help You Build An Eco-Friendly Home

tips for eco-friendly house

There is, indeed, a need to save the planet. Although we cannot be in control of what natural changes may occur on Earth, humans do have control on man-made activities that may also contribute to the deterioration of the planet as well as the beings in it.

In order to help save mother Earth, we ought to start with ourselves. From waste segregation in school to building an Eco-friendly home, there are so many things we can do to help save the environment.

Building an Eco-Friendly Home

Our homes are more or less permanent; hence, it is necessary for us to take steps in ensuring that most, if not all, things in our house are friendly to the environment. That said, we have gathered some Eco-friendly tips which might be useful for those who are building or renovating their homes.

  • Compost Bins

Let’s face it, we produce so many waste from our kitchen activities alone. Vegetable skin, left over food, egg shells, paper towels, and so many other things which can be recycled to create a compost. That said, compost pits or bins are still very useful these days. Luckily, there are many ready-made compost bins which are affordable and available online.

  • Eco-friendly Flooring

The flooring of the house is one of the most important things to consider as you build your dream home. If you want to help the environment, skip the conventional environmentally-harmful options and turn to eco-friendly flooring which you may check out from http://newfloorusa.com/hardwood-flooring/.

  • Low-flow Shower head

Showers waste a lot of water and unfortunately, the Earth is no longer that rich when it comes to water as compared to millions of years ago. This tells us why we definitely need to conserve water. That said, try out low-flow shower heads since these help save water. Several showering practices should also be changed; for instance, showering once a day instead of showering twice a day would already help in conserving water.

Further, you should skip shower curtains which are not recyclable such as those made from plastic. As a general rule, always choose recyclable materials over anything else.

how to help the environment

  • Plants and garden

The more plants we have, the more we contribute to mother Earth’s condition. Plants help absorb carbon dioxide which is one of the main culprits of global warming. And since humans leave tons of carbon footprints, it is only right for us to give back to Earth a cure for this problem. One way to do so is by planting; maintaining your own garden, skipping pesticides and insecticides of course, is one of the best options out there.

  • Durable furniture

As mentioned earlier, stick to materials that are recyclable or reusable even when it comes to furniture. Moreover, you must choose furniture that are sure to last since constantly buying new and throwing out old furniture is not an ideal practice. The more durable the furniture, the longer you can use it and basically, the more eco-friendly you will be.

The Bottom Line

Saving planet Earth must start within ourselves. Although these are only small acts done individually, if done together with millions of other people then it would definitely make a very big impact.

 

Environment Assessment and Drones: How They Can Help See Environmental Damage

Studies have show that the rate of environmental damage has been ever increasing since the Industrial Revolution. Natural resources have been gobbled up in an alarming rate in order to feed the industrial machines that we have created and utilized by the millions, if not billions.

The alarming rate of natural resource extractions have been followed with the rise of wastage production. Clearly, the environmental set-up of today is in a bad shape.

The environmental damage that we humans have caused has gave rise to movements all around the globe pertaining to the preservation of Mother Earth. Countless non-governmental groups, government agencies and international bodies has been created or spurned into action because of the alarming deterioration of our environment. The impending doom of environmental doomsday animated others for the purpose of conserving Mother Earth.

Environmental Assessment

The battle against the deterioration of the environment is a multi-faceted one. The first step is the promulgation of sound policies in order to accomplish the fancied results. However, this primordial step cannot be done in the vacuum. Policy makers cannot immediately start making policies without data. This is where assessment is needed.

Environmental Assessment has one purpose and that is to know the extent of the damage that we have caused. Survey teams are all around the world to gather the needed data for our fight against ourselves .An undertaking of this magnitude will need the help of a lot of instruments. Some instruments, like computers, have been used by the survey teams for years. Some instruments, however, are new to the arsenal.

Drone Usage in Assessment 

Drones have only been largely available for general consumption for the past decade. Before that, only military have utilized drones to the fullest. Drones were usually used for surveying and photography by the militaries of the world. Of course, these activities were directed towards other countries in order to spy on them.

The proliferation of drones in the market has caused an explosion of innovative ideas. Photographers have used drones in order to capture images that were impossible before the usage of drones. Drones have also been used to facilitate Environmental Assessment.

Aerial Mapping 

Drones have largely been used for aerial mapping. In the past, satellites were used in order to map the surface of the world and to look for signs of environmental damage. However, the satellites can only do so much.

The distance between the surface of the Earth and the satellites in orbit will always entail that the data being obtained might be distorted. The drones can bridge the gap by flying over any given area and collect the data with more clarity.

Aerial mapping have been used during natural calamities like typhoons and floods. Maps formed by said drones can be used to not only map the extent of the damage of said natural calamities but also to map the populace that are in need of help.

Drones have surely given us another edge to solve the environmental crisis that we ourselves have caused. We have the tools to solve the problem. We only have to persevere in order to solve environmental deterioration.

Overview of 2017

Across Atlantic Canada, coastlines and communities are being adversely affected by climate change, and as temperature, sea level and storm surge increase, mitigation and adaptation initiatives are being planned and implemented to navigate the impending storm. Dr. Ian Mauro and his multi-media research team used video to document this remarkable story of climate change in Atlantic Canada and conducted over 100 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders across the region, including: researchers, local and traditional knowledge holders, government officials and industry.

Using cutting edge multi-media research techniques, the objective of this project is to holistically assess and present the challenges and opportunities facing Atlantic Canadians, as their environment, cities and municipalities, and mechanisms for societal governance experience often immense and immediate climatic changes. The results of the project suggest four main thematic case studies – focused on climate, communities, mitigation and adaptation – and have produced this documentary and multi-media website to showcase the results. Given the high-impact nature of digital media, this project seeks to increase awareness and educational opportunities for Canadians, about the real world experiences of coastal communities, and how they are on the front lines of climate change and responding to it.

COASTAL ENVIRONMENT

Atlantic Canada is comprised of four provinces, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Over 2.3 million people live in urban areas and small communities along the coast, so it is no wonder that Maritime culture is so closely connected to the sea, with a span of more than 40,000 kilometers of predominantly rocky coastlinei. The region is also home to some of the highest tides in the world, specifically in the Bay of Fundy. With more extreme weather, decreasing sea ice cover, increasing storm surges, sea level rise and erosion rates, Atlantic Canadians are feeling the impacts of climate change and realizing the necessity of mitigating greenhouse gases and increasing adaptive capacity. Important programs, at the national and provincial levels, are helping to implement these changes in communities across the region.

 REGIONAL STAKEHOLDERS

Atlantic Canada has a mixed economy, with larger industrial centers such as St. John’s, Halifax, Charlottetown, and Fredericton, as well as smaller communities that often engage in forestry, fishing and agricultural enterprise. While all coastal communities are affected by and on the frontlines of climate change, this project was specifically interested in land-based communities, given their extensive local knowledge and experience observing the environment, weather and larger climatic patterns.

The project also included climate change researchers, government officials and industry, given the diversity of studies and municipal and corporate planning initiatives taking place across the region, largely coordinated through the RAC network. By focusing on local, expert, governance and industrial knowledge, this project holistically assessed climate change vulnerabilities and adaptive responses, and documents, integrates and communicates these findings using video. This video-based methodology is ideal for both research and educational purposes.

VIDEO-BASED INTERVIEWS

Over the past year Dr. Mauro and his team collected 107 semi-structured video-based interviews across all four Atlantic Canadian provinces (Figure 1). Interviews were conducted within a year timeframe, from November 2011 to August 2012, using a pace and approach that combined techniques of Rapid Rural Appraisalv and risk analysisvi. The project included a diversity of stakeholders across the region (n=107), such as local knowledge holders (n=69), researchers (n=25), government officials (n=9) and industry (n=4). All interviews were recorded using professional high definition video and audio equipment and participants were informed about and consented to this approach.

Interviews were largely conduced at participant’s resident or place of work, allowing for a comfortable atmosphere for discussion, and visual context to be built into the data collection process and outcomes. Interview questions focused on climate change impacts and adaptive responses and, given the semi-structured nature, participants were encouraged to guide discussion into topics relevant to their knowledge, experience and expertise.

As interviews were collected, they were clipped, coded and organized into themes using a combination of content analysisvii and social science video research methodsviii, which Mauro has helped to pioneer, and has used extensively on other documentary research films about biotechnology and sustainable agricultureixand Arctic climate changex. Similar to grounded theoryxi, the meta-narrative emerged from interview data, and the voices and perspectives of participants generated the storyline instead of a script or directorial decisions of the video researchers (Figure 2). All video editing was completed with Adobe Premiere Pro software.

The results of the project suggest four main thematic areas: climate, communities, mitigation and adaptation. These results are featured in the 60-minute documentary “Climate Change in Atlantic Canada” that will be released in the fall of 2013. The trailer for the film is available here

Discussion, Summary, and Usage

Atlantic Canadians are beginning to realize the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation, as they are seeing and experiencing impacts on their coastlines and within their communities. Given the large-scale nature of this multi-media project, with over 100 video-based interviews across various stakeholder groups, this research holistically presents the state of knowledge and action regarding climate change in Atlantic Canada. Our innovative digital approach and associated film and website encourages public education and awareness about climate change and will hopefully contribute to discussion and capacity building.

To facilitate this discussion, we have set up a Facebook page and comments page for this project, and encourage you to follow along, provide comments and talk about your own personal experiences and/or relevant initiatives. We have also created an “extras” page, on the website, which collates relevant news, resources and project updates so you can learn more and find out about important opportunities related to climate change across the region.

We encourage widespread use of our multi-media materials, and think that they will be useful to researchers, educational institutions, and the public at large in Canada and around the world. To organize a screening or purchase the film, please contact our distributor Wanda Vanderstoop at VTAPE at distribution@vtape.org

Works Cited and Bibliography

Environment Canada. Celebrating our coastlines from rivers to oceans. 2012. http://www.ec.gc.ca/envirozine/default.asp?lang=en&n;=82B538B3-1.

iiAtlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions Association. Regional Adaptation Collaborative (RAC). http://atlanticadaptation.ca/program

iiiNatural Resources Canada. Regional Adaptation Collaboratives: Facilitating Regional Adaptation Planning and Decision-Making. 2011. http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/climate-change/community-adaptation/regional-collaborative/48

ivNatural Resources Canada. Regional Adaptation Collaboratives: Facilitating Regional Adaptation Planning and Decision-Making. 2011. http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/climate-change/community-adaptation/regional-collaborative/48

vChambers, R. 1997. Whose Reality Really Counts: Putting the First Last. Intermediate Institute.

viLazo, J.K, Kinnell, JC. And A. Fisher. 2000. Expert and layperson perceptions of ecosystem risk. Risk Analysis, 20, 179-194.

viiMaxwell, J. 2012. Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach, Third Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

viiiHaw, K. and M. Hadfield. Video in Social Science Research: Functions and Forms. New York: Routledge.

ixMauro, I.J., McLachlan, S.M. and J. Sanders. 2005. Seeds of Change: Farmers, Biotechnology and The New Face of Agriculture. Available at: www.seedsofchangefilm.org

xKunuk, Z. and I.J. Mauro. 2010. Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change. Available at: www.isuma.tv/ikcc

xiCharmaz, K. 2006. Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide through Qualitative Analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.