“At this time of year, bumblebee queens are a familiar sight foraging on spring flowers. After spending the winter hibernating, they need to build up vital energy stores before laying their eggs. According to the largest study of its kind, access to flower-rich habitats from spring through to summer is key to the survival of successive generations of the bees.”
We have created a simple visual, based on this article, for you to know which wild and garden plants are particularly important to get bumblebees’ colonies started in the spring and seeing them survive through to be successful into the next generation. Check it out!
Almost 20% of the food made available to consumers is lost through over-eating or waste, a study suggests. It says the world consumes about 10% more food than it needs, while almost 9% is thrown away or left to spoil.
Biofuels are combustible fuels created from biomass.
“Firewood is the oldest bio-fuel mankind has used, now we have biogas, gasohol and many more. Carbon dioxide is produced when these burn, but as long as the trees and plants are allowed to re-grow, burning them simply helps carbon on its way round its natural cycle.
What is biogas? If we collect the faeces from humans and farm animals and place them in a ‘digester’ we can mimic what happens in a cow’s intestine, and we get biogas. There are many such digesters in use all round the world, where the gas is used for cooking and lighting and the remains are a rich fertiliser. Biogas digesters are used in most sewage works where the methane is burnt to generate electricity.
This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?
“We want our food fast, convenient and cheap, but at what cost? As farms have become supersized, our environment suffers and so does the quality of our food. Food for Thought, Food for Life explains the downsides of current agribusiness practices, and also introduces us to farmers, chefs, researchers, educators, and advocates who are providing solutions. The film is both poetic and practical; its powerful examination of the connections between our planet and our well-being is accompanied by specific strategies that protect both. With an eye towards a sustainable and abundant future, it offers inspiration for communities that are ready to make a difference.”
Healthy soils are critical for global food production, but we are not paying enough attention to this important “silent ally,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said on the eve of World Soil Day, to be celebrated on 5 December.
Healthy soils not only are the foundation for food, fuel, fibre and medical products, but also are essential to our ecosystems, playing a key role in the carbon cycle, storing and filtering water, and improving resilience to floods and droughts, he noted.
The UN has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. Help raise awareness and promote more sustainable use of this critical resource. Related links: http://www.fao.org/soils-2015/en/
Air pollution has a variety of contributors from stationary sources, like factories and power plants, to natural sources, like forest fires and dust storms. Air pollution has been shown to have a direct link with health. Those living in areas with high levels of air pollutants have a 20% higher risk of death from lung cancer. It can also cause respiratory inflammation, asthma, and ear infections.
The good news is, air quality in the U.S. is improving, however there’s still a good amount of progress to be made. You and your family can help decrease air pollution by making simple changes in your home. From replacing a wood stove with an EPA-certified model to turning off the lights when you leave a room—you can have an impact on the quality of the air.