Natural Dyes from your Flower Garden [Infographic]

We plant gardens for food, health, and beauty. But did you know that many plants yield natural dyes for yarn, fiber, and fabric as well? The truth is that humans have been borrowing nature’s colors for thousands of years. This concept is back in vogue as it opens up a whole new world for many – especially those who value organic practices.

Botanical dyes are earth-friendly, biodegradable renewable resources. Crafters are also drawn to them because natural plant dyes produce hues that are much more complex than their synthetic counterparts. Color doesn’t stop at flower petals. Depending on the species, it can also be found in other parts of the plant, such as leaves, stems, roots, and fruits.

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Rainforests of the World [Infographic]

From the Amazon in South America to Daintree in Australia and Africa’s Congo Rainforest, there are hundreds of fascinating creatures and trees to be found in these rainforests, even though deforestation continues to put many species at risk of extinction.

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Environmental Impact of Tourism on Coastlines [Infographic]

Saving Our Beaches: Engineering Solutions for Tourists’ Impact

Everyone loves a beach vacation. In colder climates especially, more and more people are taking advantage of cheap airfares for a long weekend of sunbathing and swimming in the dead of winter. In fact, 12 of the top 15 destinations were in coastal countries.

In 1995, there were around 528 million international tourist arrivals. That number jumped to 1.138 billion in 2014, and emerging economies are experiencing faster tourism growth than advanced economies, making the increase in tourism an important part of many countries’ growth.

Local economies encourage increased tourism, as it helps to grow local wealth and jobs that pay well. Unfortunately, this relaxing trend is having some serious consequences on the environment that may outweigh the economic benefits.

Some of the downsides of increased tourism include resort development, boating, snorkeling, diving, and fishing, cruise ship presence, litter, coral reef damage, and even the creation of artificial beaches. These activities introduce toxins and other harmful substances, cause physical damage and sedimentation, and exploit local fish populations.

So what can be done to preserve the benefits of tourism for developing economies while balancing the need for environmental responsibility? Engineers have a few ideas. Eco-friendly roofing systems, designs that catch rainwater for later use, innovative wastewater management, and considering the landscape when constructing resorts and hotels can all help to reduce the impact tourists have on the local environment.

These innovative solutions are key for helping to ensure that tourists, locals, the local environment, and wildlife can all exist harmoniously now and in the future. Find out more about how serious the problems caused by coastal tourism have become and how engineers are working to solve them with this resource from Ohio University’s Master of Science in Civil Engineering Program.

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How to Dry Flowers: 2 Simple Ways + Decor Ideas [Visuals]

Flowers set the tone for a magical experience and a memorable event. But what do you do with the flowers after a special day has ended? Dry them! And not only do dried flowers last, but you can also use them to decorate your home.

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Why Artificial Lighting is bad for the Environment [Infographic]

Light pollution is on the rise, with more and more LEDs lighting our homes, offices and streets at night. In 2011, LEDs made up just 9% of the global lighting market in 2011 but it’s predicted that this will rise to 68% by 2020. This increase in LED lighting will not occur without consequence however, as LED lighting already causes more damage to the world around us than we realise.

Many species of wildlife depend on natural light to regulate their circadian rhythm, sleep patterns, mating habits and feeding. Our artificial lighting interferes with the way other species live, putting them at risk and causing many fatalities.

There’s no way of avoiding artificial lighting, since society is so dependent on it to function, but luckily there are various ways that we can reduce its negative impact. By spreading awareness of the issue, actions can be taken to protect wildlife from danger whilst we continue to enjoy all the benefits of modern lighting systems.

This infographic created by 4ever Deck shows the ways in which our artificial lighting solutions affect the wildlife around us and provide some potential solutions to the issue.

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