What is bilge dumping and why has it gone unnoticed?

What is bilge dumping?
Bilge dumping is an illegal practice where cargo vessels and tankers release bilge water into the ocean. This ‘bilge water’ is present in most modern vessels fueled by heavy oil. These toxic liquids are thick, oily sludge – extremely hazardous to marine life. Bilge tanks are located in “the lowest compartments of the ship” where the waste is transferred. In order to operate the ship, bilge water has to be produced and directed into the tank. On a sanitary and ecologically-sensitive vessel, the bilge tank is emptied and filtered offshore regularly. Large vessels providing goods via global shipping routes can go for weeks, however, with nowhere to adequately dispose of the waste.

Poaching and llegal wildlife trade – why?

What is illegal wildlife trade?
Illegal wildlife trade is one of the most horrific yet discrete industries in the world. The mulit-billion-dollar industry transports animals around the globe alive or dead, for pet markets, medicine, jewellery etc. The demand for valuable items like elephant tusks or Rhinosorus horns is presumably the driving force behind poaching and other illegal activity. Poaching practices have implications beyond individual animal suffering, and threaten the existence of entire species like the Western Black Rhinoceros. According to study.com, “[the] main reason the West African black rhino is extinct is because of poachers, or illegal hunters”.

The dark side of electric cars – part two:

The rise of electric cars:
Tesla Motors founded back in 2003, was another start-up aiming to rid the world of petroleum-powered vehicles. It released the ‘Roadster’ in 2008 with a range of 394 kilometres (245 miles) and was supposedly the first completely electric vehicle. Many were sceptical that the company would survive, even the CEO himself. Elon Musk said the company at one stage was a month away from bankruptcy.
Fast forward to today, Tesla is worth over $1 trillion and is ranked one of the most valuable car companies in history. Besides Tesla, the electric car market has boomed over recent years.

The dark side of electric cars – part one:

The rise of electric cars:
Tesla Motors founded back in 2003, was another start-up aiming to rid the world of petroleum-powered vehicles. It released the ‘Roadster’ in 2008 with a range of 394 kilometres (245 miles) and was supposedly the first completely electric vehicle. Many were sceptical that the company would survive, even the CEO himself. Elon Musk said the company at one stage was a month away from bankruptcy.
Fast forward to today, Tesla is worth over $1 trillion and is ranked one of the most valuable car companies in history. Besides Tesla, the electric car market has boomed over recent years.

Are plant-based diets the key to healthy, sustainable and prolonged lives?

Plant-based options:
Consumers can purchase many plant-based foods and/or alternatives, such as plant-based meat and dairy, beans, legumes, oils, nuts, seeds etc. People who have transitioned from regular to vegetarian or vegan diets often purchase meat and dairy substitutes like vegan-friendly beef, pork, bacon, mince, chicken, sausages, cheese, cream and much more. According to data from the Google search engine, the search for “vegan food near me” in 2021 leapt 5,000% with continuous upward trends. Plant-based meats are entirely composed of plants and minerals. Most commonly soybeans, peas, sunflower and coconut oil, wheat, water, zinc and vitamins.

The huge environmental, social and health implications of meat and dairy:

According to the Science Journal, eliminating meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental footprint! If the world was to end meat and dairy consumption, farmland around the globe could be cut by over 75%. For context, that’s as much land as all of China, the United States, Australia and the European Union combined! Not only would that allow for massive reforestation projects and support greener industries but still feed the entire world. Meat and diary contribute to 83% of all farmland globally and make up 60% of all greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural industry.

The global implication of desertification:

What is desertification?
Desertification is a form of land degradation where productive and fertile land alters into arid landscapes, incapable of supporting biodiversity. This can occur through natural land ‘evolution’ or human activity increasingly impacting the climate and natural habitats. Farming cattle can often cause deforestation and overgrazing, two prominent contributors to desertification. Other practices/operations like large pesticide and herbicide application, urbanisation, natural disasters, tillage and excessive use of groundwater are all leading causes of desertification globally.

The cleaning marvel that fails to wipe away it’s environmental footprint:

What is Bleach?
Bleach is the generic name for an industrial and commercial product most commonly used as a cleaning agent in millions of households. In 2019, 724.15 million sales of Bleach were reported in the United States alone. Bleach is widely used in the paper, water treatment and dental industry across the globe.
Despite the miraculous cleaning powers, bleach is rife with chemicals, endangering the lives of aquatic animals when flushed down the toilet or drained down the sink. According to experts, bleach should only be applied in well-ventilated rooms and as far away from children and pets as possible.

A pandemic more often – how global warming may awaken long gone viruses:

What are viruses?
Viruses are microscopic organisms that require hosts such as plants, bacteria and animals. A virus is typically 20 nanometres to 400 nanometres in diameter. Like all other organisms, a virus is made up of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) or RNA (Ribonucleic acid) but is surrounded by a defensive coat called a ‘capsid’. Some viruses may also be covered by a second coat called an ‘envelope’ that produces spikes. According to the ISRRT, when a virus invades a host, the organism gains access to cells and uses the machinery within, as a factory to begin manufacturing more of itself.

Is the Great Pacific garbage patch a threat to global food security?

What is food security?
According to the UN (United Nations), the World Food Summit back in 1996 defined ‘food security’ as the ability to produce enough food to support the global population and ensure everyone at all times, has access to affordable and nutritious food supply. Access to such foods will allow consumers to meet dietary needs and have the ability to live a healthy and productive life. The UN estimates, 25,000 people die from hunger or hunger-related diseases every day with 854 million around the world battling food insecurity.

How to be sustainable during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:

Environmental issues during COVID-19:
Whilst the world may seem to have ground to a stop, our impact on the planet has only carried on. Our transport sector has slowed down (no pun intended) yet our use of plastic masks and single-use products have escalated. It seems we’ve replaced one problem but encouraged another in its place. Despite the ongoing social and environmental issues from COVID-19, there are ways the public can help reduce their impacts on the planet while supporting the community around them during this difficult time in history.

Your grass lawn is a global disaster:

The issues with grass lawns:
Grass lawns found predominantly in first-world countries have become a staple in landscaping and development, occupying huge amounts of land and resources. Whilst the immaculate grass lawns have become a dream to many, the history behind this obsession carries a dark past and has dominated vast amounts of land that could otherwise be used far more efficiently.
In the United States, nearly three trillion gallons of water is sprinkled onto grass lawns every year. Along with 200 million gallons of petroleum for mowers and 3.2 million kilograms of pesticides for weed infestation. While grass is a natural blanket for soil, the lawns found in neighbourhoods, streets etc, exclude native plant and tree species reducing wildlife and biodiversity as a whole.

Is this brilliant yet controversial plant natures solution to our chaos?

What is hemp?
Hemp is a part of the Cannabis sativa class and is often associated with marijuana, a plant used for medical and industrial purposes. Hemp was first grown in central Asia as early as 280 BCE and used in ancient China to grow and produce foods, textiles and paper. Hemp sits alongside bamboo as some of the quickest growing plants on earth. Today, this plant is estimated to have over 25,000 different uses with the potential to rid many industries of fossil fuels as a far greener alternative.

The consequences of invasive species:

What are invasive species?
Invasive species are any organisms that have been imported into different locations around the globe. These are sometimes referred to as non-indigenous, alien, exotic and/or immigrant species. The consequence of introducing invasive organisms into foreign land has huge environmental, economic and social damage. Today, there are around 17,000 classified invasive species around the world with each ‘alien’ doing far greater harm than good.

Why the term ‘net-zero’ is nothing to get excited about:

What does ‘net-zero’ mean?
Net-zero refers to eliminating all greenhouse gas emission production or funding activities that offset however many emissions are produced e.g. tree planting or carbon capture. Doing the above would greatly lower the overall consequences of global warming, helping maintain the fragile ecosystem and human health. Many experts today believe the globe must reach net-zero by 2050 to avoid any catastrophic threats from global warming. However, experts believe such an accomplishment would require a triple in yearly clean energy investments by 2030 to around $5.63 trillion AUD ($4 trillion USD).

The magnificence of fungi:

What are fungi?
Fungi is a part of the eukaryotic organisms class and can range from microorganisms like mould and yeast to more commonly known varieties like mushrooms. In 2017, there were between 2.2 million and 3.8 million different species within the fungi kingdom. Fungi inhabit almost every location on planet earth, yet mostly unnoticeable with the vast majority of this unique species living beneath the surface.

What are GMOs and how could they be used to benefit the planet and humans? – part two:

What are GMOs?
Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs are animals, plants, microorganisms, etc that have had a portion of their genetic material artificially altered using genetic engineering techniques. This cannot occur naturally through two organisms mating and only via human technology. GMOs are usually made to benefit humans help solve food, environmental and/or health-related issues.

What are GMOs and how could they be used to benefit the planet and humans? – part one:

What are GMOs?
Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs are animals, plants, microorganisms, etc that have had a portion of their genetic material artificially altered using genetic engineering techniques. This cannot occur naturally through two organisms mating and only via human technology. GMOs are usually made to benefit humans help solve food, environmental and/or health-related issues.

How to have a sustainable Christmas in 2021 and years to come:

Why is Christmas unsustainable?
Christmas is the season of celebration where families connect and mass amounts of food are devoured until we feel unwell. However, due to the immense consumption of food, gifts and bright lights, Christmas is often a secret villain making the season of celebration, a season of destruction on the environment. However, there is a greener way to spend Christmas. A way that provides the joy and convenience of traditional Christmases while looking after the health of planet earth.

Why we need to rethink what bees we are saving:

Why are bees so important?
As many know, bees pollinate plants which is vital to the survival of the ecosystem, including us. Over the day, a bee will visit hundreds of different flowers to gather pollen. After collection, the bee will drop a small portion of that natural goodness into the female section of another flower. This process helps pollinate flowers which in turn, results in producing additional seeds for flowers to grow in the future. Without bees, this process could never be done and ultimately leave detrimental impacts on the food supply for all organisms that roam the earth.