Funding Wastefulness

Cleaning up waste

Statistics on annual waste, from everything regarding paper to energy, can be found for nearly every inefficient venture. The amount of discarded items left to be dealt with each year is contemptible, and the U.S. alone is responsible for tons of it. In the aftermath of the recent Presidential debates, seeing the signage littered all over lawns and roadways finally being removed was just another reminder of this disposable attitude. Calculations were that last year’s exhilarating election cost somewhere in the several billions, with each upcoming year undoubtedly destined to outspend the last. It is wasteful. In addition, it has been… read more

Taking Advantage of Rain

Heavy rains in Africa

Summer is upon Swaziland, and summer rains are in abundance with rains experienced five days in a week on average. This article is dedicated to the many Swazi homes that have made a change and decided to take full advantage of the season. Many Swazi homes in both rural and urban areas have installed external water tanks for water recycling purposes. It seems that the average Swazi has heeded the call to save tap water by using tap water for domestic purposes that do not necessarily require tap water. These water tanks are strategically placed where the roof gutter deposits rain… read more

Green Collar

Green jobs

The creation of new ‘green jobs’ has been a frequent policy topic, yet it is not always made clear where to find these  jobs, or even what they entail. For anyone who is curious about green jobs or thinks they may want to employ their skills in the green sector, the following may be of help. What Constitutes a Green Job? Essentially, a green job can be any conventional job, from marketing and sales to engineering. The difference is green sector employees work for companies that make efforts to improve the environment. This is further illustrated by the U.S. Department of Labor, who define green jobs as: “jobs in businesses that produce… read more

Silence Finally Broken

Climate change issues

Despite climate change getting little attention during last year’s Presidential campaign, President Obama finally addressed the issue in a press conference a week after the election. According to MediaMatters, from August 1st to November 6th, television news coverage outside of MSNBC of climate change totaled 51 minutes. To give further perspective on the miniscule amount of time given to climate change, after the vice presidential debate, 91 minutes of television news coverage, again outside of MSNBC, were allotted to Joe Biden’s smiles and other aspects of body language toward Paul Ryan. A piece of “news” which had the lifespan of… read more

Benefits of Butterflies

butterfly_perched_flower

Butterflies are among the most common insects to frequent gardens. Adding an ornamental touch, a yard full of butterflies can only be good. As sensitive indicators, the very presence of butterflies may be enough to detect the health and vitality of the surrounding area. However, they are more than a by-product of healthy landscapes. Butterflies in themselves can prove essential to the overall health of plant life. Like bees and flies, butterflies are excellent pollinators, fertilizing trees, flowers, and shrubbery. The pollination of a plant is necessary for it to reproduce, contributing to the production of flowers and berries. This is an important process, required by all plants with the exception of grass, wheat, and corn. Butterflies also… read more

Land Preservation Critical

Town development in Africa

The importance of land as an environmental medium cannot be overstated. Land is the platform upon which every living thing primes its existence on. It brings forth the food we eat, and it provides good foundation for building shelter. It is therefore that land be protected by any means necessary. The government of Swaziland has recognized the importance and necessity to preserve land, particularly prime arable land. In the Manzini region there is an area known as Malkerns, this area is well known for its fertile land and the fact that it is well drained. Recognizing that owners of that… read more

A Pilgrim’s Way

Montserrat monastry

I had been hiking for hours and I knew I was lost. The ascent of Montserrat near the Spanish village of El Bruc was arduous but to this point there had only been one path. Now I stood some eight hundred meters above the plains below and had to choose between three paths. “Stay on the trail”, I had been told by my host. But which trail? Left? Right? Straight ahead? The finger-like rock formations of Montserrat were known to be treacherous. Alone, and with diminishing water, I needed help to find my way across the mountaintop. My goal was… read more

Climate Aid, Climate Change

Climate change

Despite the American presidential race being done and over with (thankfully, for some), it is still a relevant and important note to make that climate change was mentioned once during the campaigns, amidst the flurry of other, lesser topics which happened to be more alluring to the consensus. However, the election may be over, but the threat of a worsening climate due to human action is far from gone. Public opinion has experienced a massive sweep toward taking action against climate change, and it has also recognized human activity being responsible for the changing climate; over two-thirds of those polled… read more

Organic Farming

Organic farming

With our global population increasing our needs for food and shelter are growing too. And to meet that need we are clearing off farmlands and chopping down forests at an alarming rate. Further, to feed this population we are forcing high yielding fertilizers and pesticides on the land in order to grow a bumper crop year after year. Seeing the consumption figures of artificial fertilizers, one thing is certain, we are “over-extracting” the produce from the soil; which in a short time will not be able to suffice even the bare minimum produce. Remedy: switch over to organic farming techniques…. read more

Next Oil Victim: Alaska

Oil drilling

In what comes as a surprise to no one with any semblance of common sense or critical thinking skills, Shell’s Arctic drilling rig ran aground off of the Alaskan coast, just as experts predicted, on the evening of December 31st—a fitting way to end 2012, and begin 2013. Fortunately, the Coast Guard did not report any visible sheen on the water, signaling that no oil has leaked into the ocean. The Alaskan coast dodged an ecological and environmental disaster, and Shell dodged losing about 139,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 12,000 gallons of lubrication oil and hydraulic fluid. No harm,… read more