Are you wearing toxic fashion? Greenpeace’s Shocking Report 

Are you wearing toxic fashion? Greenpeace’s Shocking Report

This is my article on MyFashionReview about the shocking report made by Greenpeace about fast fashion.

Greenpeace Campaign against toxic clothes

Greenpeace Campaign against toxic clothes

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Ladybugs war

Not all ladybugs bring good luck, especially to their similar. Of the 5000 species cataloged, man of them struggle each other for domination of the area, reaching cannibalism to conquer the territory.

The entomologists call it the “War of the ladybugs,” a phenomenon that in recent years has attracted attention. One of the most famous species, the Coccinella septempunctata, the one with seven black dots on the red back risks to disappear.

To unseat this insect is its Asian cousin, Harmonia axyridis or the “Harlequin Ladybug”, more durable and quick to reproduce.

All ladybugs are voracious and combative, able to devour in a single day, as adults, up to 277 soybeans aphids or 207 larvae.

The septempunctata is the most famous star of songs, cartoons and commercial logos but its nice look should not be misleading, since it is one of the few insects that kill the prey before devouring her, just like cats.

The only one that could actually destroy it is the Harlequin Ladybug, even more terrible who lives with no enemies in an undisputed territory ranging from Kazakhstan to Japan.

Europeans, in the mid-90s, have made the serious mistake to introduce it in France, Belgium and Holland as a tool – very effective, it must be said – of biological control. Harmonia axyridis is now the ladybug that reproduces faster in the world and is gradually eliminating the other species.

It lives in a range that is extended from Denmark to southern France and from Great Britain to the Czech Republic, but for some mysterious reason, despite having been released in Greece, Spain, Portugal and the Azores Islands, does not seem to appreciate Southern Europe, as well as the south of Italy.

The higher risk is at the continental level: as explained on Diversity and Distributions the “ladybugs war”could lead to extinction, within a short time, the European species, just as happened in the ’70s, to the American one, brought to its knees by the exuberance of” septempunctata. ”

It is not difficult to distinguish our local ladybug from the Asian one. “The first – explains the biologist Lisa Master – is a bit ‘larger (up to 8 mm long) and on the back has a variable number of dots, while the elytra (the colered wings) are often not red but yellow or orange (or black, with two or four red dots) and is the variable color to them did gain the nickname “harlequin.”

On “pronotum” (the front part of the thorax that in our ladybug is almost always black) has two large white spots and black draws an “M” or “W”, depending on which side you look at it. The larva, which in all species is a spiny caterpillar, is black, with orange stripes on the sides, while it is gray with little orange dots in this case to seven points ladybug. ”

The Harlequin ladybug also ruin the vine production so is dangerous for all the country that produce it.

“Probably the harlequin ladybug has therefore its Achilles heel, we just have to find it”, says the experts.

Maybe being careful not to damage other species in the meanwhile.

 

Protestors against Somerset new nuclear power station

In Somerset anti nuclear protestors have taken squatting rights on farmland owned by the energy giant EDF after to stop the work for the new nuclear plant.

The power station will be the third plant to be build in the area of Bridgwater, which contains protected wetland. The activists took possession of an abandoned farm on the site, which is protected under International Environmental law.

Earlier in February, West Somerset Council approved planning permission for EDF to prepare the site for the controversial new nuclear station, which has now signed an agreement to provide £30m to mitigate the impact of the works and agreed to reinstate the land if its application to build the station is rejected by the Infrastructure Planning Committee.

This is the second time in a week that the campaigners occupy the site to stop the begging of the works.

During the second week of February the protesters toke possession of a wood, in a bid to stop the trees to be cutting down arguing that removing the trees would unnecessarily destroy the site if planning permission is not given.

After few days, the police and local authorities evicted them but the committee Stop Hinkley has decided not to give up.

One of the protestors Theo Simon told Earth First: “We want to reclaim this land and make sure that the wildlife that inhabits it and forages here is protected. Giving permission to clear the land before Planning Permission has even been granted clearly gives the message to EDF that permission is a done deal. I, and many others like me, want proper public consultation and debate before we commit to a technology whose toxic legacy will remain for generations.”

Through Social Media such their Facebook page and local newspapers campaigners are trying to get involved more and more people.

They ask for support and invite everyone to join their protest.

Although the anti-nuclear committees have gained more supporters, some locals welcome the new power station.

Camille Berens, from Stop Hincley adds: “There is support for our campaign but there is also a lot of support for the new power station. This is because there are very few secure jobs in the region and local people have been promised around 700 new jobs from Hinkley C and a community cash injection of over £1m. So you can understand why EDF Energy is such a powerful company in the region.

By Beatrice Giacobone

Photo by Oliver Dixon

Fixed-gear bicycle trend

She is the queen of the urban jungle.  The fixed-gear bicycle is recognisable by her austere design that makes her look like a piece of art.

Essential and really easy to manage the peculiarity of this bike is that she has no brakes and no gear changes.

The pedals, through the chain, are directly connected to the hub of the rear wheel. And the only way to stop cycling with this bike is by pedalling backwards.

This bike also has no fenders, and therefore is lightweight and requires minimal maintenance. Imported from New York, where bike messengers made them famous, fixed-gear is definitely the bike of the moment.

The key to the success of this fashion is definitely in the beauty of the objects: frames and matching coloured handlebars, pedals and wheels: even the chains reflect the tones of the other components!

In the world of fixed gear, as in fashion, clothing is not left to chance: colourful tops, pants rolled up, always ready to jump in the saddle at all times and little vintage cycling hats.

Everything must mach to be a real “fashionista” biker.

My sweet green Valentine

Skip the traditional chocolates and flowers for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day.

World Wildlife Fund suggests another option a symbolic animal adoption program gift-givers can adopt an animal in honor of a friend or loved one.

Or maybe you can send a really sweet e-card that will remind your love how much you care about him/her .

The e-cards will be for free and they are available on WWF site.

Valentine’s Day could be an other occasion to help the nature!

Fall in love with the Earth.

 

 

European Year Against Food Waste

Do you ever notice that there are no prepared sandwiches in the UK that are made with the bottom of the loaf. Where do all of those slices of bread end up? The answer is that they go to waste.

Most of the loaves have 10 slices and if two are just thrown away it means that 20% of the product will end up in the bin before even being commercialised.
We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food from our homes every year in the UK.
Each person living in Europe throws away 179 kg of edible produce every year.

This means that a massive 1,3 billion tons of food is wasted just in the continent.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) one third of the total production of food in the world gets wasted. Along with the food, the energy and the materials used to produce it are wasted too.

Food waste is a hot topic, especially with the financial crisis causing people to consume less and become more aware of wastage.

Discarding food damages the environment. If we all stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the CO2 impact would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 5 cars off the road, but it also means frittering away money.

In the UK alone, wasting food costs the average family with children around £680 a year. This is why the European Commission has declared 2014 as the European Year Against Food Waste.

The goal that the European Union wants to achieve is to reduce the 50 % food waste in the community by 2025.

MEPs want to prevent misuse in the EU through measures such as encouraging small- and medium-scale farming and crop production that is geared to local market demand. They also call for rethinking expiry dates on packaged foods.

Jose Graziano da Silva, general director of FAO, told 64 agriculture ministers meeting in Berlin over the weekend that consumers in rich countries dispose 220 million metric tons of food waste every year, equal to the entire food output of sub-Saharan Africa.

In the UK the wasted food is a big problem because it is not possible to feed farm animals with the leftovers of the manufacturing process.

For example, some farmers are asking to change the law because all pressed apples used to make apple juice could be eaten by pigs.

There is a similar problem with supermarkets. For example, they cannot give stale bread to charity associations or poor people and somebody who tries to take food from the bin of a supermarket could be accused of stealing.
The EU decision is the right one but the single government have to do more: change the legislation and support the awareness campaign.

Light up your bike with new LED technology

Taillights and fluorscent accessories for night-time journeys are history: the way to illuminate your road will completely change with Revolights.

This LED technology will not only light up all your wheels but will also make your bike perfectly visible in the darkness.

Revolights is a set of bicycle lights that will be placed on the rim of each wheel. The design is also quite simple: two thin LED rings (one red, one white) attached just below the brakes of each wheel.

The lights will continue to charge thanks to is a small hub attached to the bike, connected with a slim wire, holding a rechargeable polymer lithium-ion battery.

Although the authorised colours for lights on a road are red and white, the lights also come in slightly different tones.

Revolights will be available on the market from March.

Once it is complete, Revolights will be available for purchase on the net and will set you back around £ 142.

Are you ready to join the revolution?

Eve’s apple risks to disappear from Kazakhstan

In Kazakhstan the oldest apple on Earth risks to be destroyed by the wild urbanisation.

Malus sieversii, this is the name of this unique species of apple, is “only” 65 million years old but the astonish think is that it could resist to all the diseases that normally kill those fruits.

Malus does not need any of the 35 pesticides that are used to fight the parasites that infest the Snow-white fruit.

This apple is a real “living fossil”,  but now it is threatened by urbanisation.

In a press conference, few days ago, the association Alma, born two years ago to save the Malus sieversii ( “Eve’s apple”), launched its appeal.

Eve’s apple grows wild in the region of Almaty in the south east of Kazakhstan. The name Almaty means “full of apples.” For millions of years, at the foot of the Tian Shan on the border of China, this apple have grown undisturbed.

The seeds of this apple are contained in an envelope and  they can not bear fruit. This is why they need wild animals, which eat the seeds and, in the intestine, break the shells. The seeds back to the ground, germinate and grow.

To discover these apples was the Soviet biologist Nikolai Vavilov in 1929, before dying in prison, but was the agronomist Aymak Djangaliev who, in 1945, made the classification.

Only in 2010 when its the gene sequences was discovered , it turned out that the Malus sieversii was the ancestor of  all the apples of today.

The trees of this fruit are particularly beautiful, high between 20-30 meters and 2 meters wide. There’s not one that looks like another.

There are 6 thousand varieties of this apple, that unlike other wild apples, it is not small and bitter, but big and sweet. The enormous genetic diversity has made it resistant to pathogens.

So the genetic material of this apple could be crossed with the one of other apples and could seriously contribute to create more free pesticides apples.

Such work was already done in Japan with the bitter apple Malus floribunda, but it took 40 years to produce a new apple.

With the apple of Eve, according to Alma, things should be simpler. However, the real problem is deforestation.

According to Alma, already 70 percent of the apple trees are already been destroyed.

Costa Concordia threat of oil spill

After the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia, while the hopes of finding missing persons are fading, the alarm now becomes pollution, and the risk of a massive environmental disaster. On the cruise ship there are 2,400 tons of oil that could spill if the hull were to break.

The area affected by the possible oil slick depends on the currents: the Island of Giglio, probably the whole archipelago, perhaps the coast.

The alarm comes from the Italian Minister of Environment Corrado Clini who said on Monday that the risk of an environmental disaster is becoming really high.

“If the weather and climate change we may find ourselves in a different situation and there is serious risk connected to the tightness of the hull. We’re trying to solve the situation as quickly as possible, considering that it is likely that there are still survivors to be saved.”

The ship has tanks full of fuel that is dense, heavy, and may sediment on the seabed. This could contaminate the coast and affect marine animals and birds.

The weather conditions are getting worst at the Giglio Island and the cruise ship has started moving. In this condition it is impossible for the scuba divers to search for the missing people and until there is hope to find someone alive the operation to remove the oil cannot start.

In fact to take out the fuel would be a difficult and could even move the ship that is already in an unsafe position.

Minister Clini has assured that all the equipment and the team responsible for emptying the ship are ready to start their work as soon as possible.

The extraction of fuel will be assigned to Smit, a company specialising in sea rescue. It will be using a technique called “hot tapping”, which provides a safe hole in the fuel tank from which to draw the oil in a range of time that could go from three to fifteen days.

After this operation the main problem will be to place the ship vertically, so it will be able to float again and can be taken to port, where the owner will decide whether to restore or demolish it.

Otherwise, if the operation fails, the ship will be dismantled piece by piece.

Italian environmental associations have asked the Minister to save the Natural Park of Argenatario where the ship is stranded and also for more restrictions for the cruise circulation.

This is the article I wrote for the news website of my university.

The site has really nice articles check it out at Westminster News Online.