A Conscious Christmas – 7 Ways to be Eco-friendly this Christmas

Wow, it is this time of year already! I swear, the older you get the more time just flies by! However, I am not complaining because Christmas has come along again and it’s always a great time of the year to be with family, friends and just overall great company.

The more I have become aware of humanities impact on the earth, the more I question the things I buy before I purchase them. This is because I am astonished that everything that is made has had to come from SOMETHING natural, some natural resource or chemical process that has affected the environment in some way. Now, of course, this mindset can be a little exhausting if you get into too much depth with it, but it is an important thought to have if you want to start being more environmentally conscious.

Because Christmas is coming, this is the time for us to buy all sorts of things, and sometimes unnecessary things, which means more unnecessary waste and harm done to our earth. Unless we can be smarter Christmas shoppers this year!

I have a few tips I went by last Christmas and I felt like I was very happy with them as well as my family and friends. Here they are:

1. Buy Smart – Buying smart means to buy a gift that can be reused over and over again for many years to come! That way, there will be less waste and it will be a handy gift for life!

Suggestion! Eco-friendly Christmas Bundle! 

2. Experiences – Instead of buying a material gift, try using Groupon or Adrenalin, or a similar platform to find experiences to give to your loved ones.  Giving someone an experience can end up being the best gift of all because they create beautiful memories that last forever and they may be experiences that they would never have given themselves otherwise. 

3. Safe Presents – Buy your loved ones gifts that are natural and toxin-free. Not only will this protect them from nasty additives but it can be a way of educating them about how easy it is to shop for the things you love but protect yourself and the environment at the same time.

Suggestion! Toxin and cruelty-free makeup!

4. Donation – If you don’t especially desire anything this Christmas and think your friends and family would be buying you just any old thing, you can suggest for them to put your Christmas present money towards a charity of your choice! Christmas is a great time to give to those that may not be fortunate enough to get a Christmas gift or spend it with loved ones, so your gift will be even more special. 

Suggestion! My chosen charity last year was buying land from the Daintree Rainforest so it is forever protected against deforestation!

5. Christmas Wrapping – Use newspaper or a reusable gift bag to wrap your gifts! I have gift bags that I have received from my friends and family and kept them over the years for my own gifts to give. However, if they are to my family, I usually ask if I can take them back to reuse them again haha. Otherwise, there are companies out there that provide Christmas wrapping paper made from 100% recycled newspaper!

6. Clothing – Clothing is a very popular present to give, but is actually very environmentally costly. To be more eco-friendly you can give them clothing made from bamboo! It is ALOT more sustainable and environmentally friendly!

Boody Eco Wear

To understand more about why Bamboo clothing is more sustainable than cotton or polyester clothing, have a peep at the article below!

See More: Bamboo Clothing Brands – Are they really eco-friendly? 

7. Plastic-free Gifts – If you do want to give your family or friends something that won’t last forever but will be a great present anyhow, try and find a plastic-free alternative! Plastic is a big no, no for the environment however luckily in today’s society, there are so many companies out there creating plastic alternatives to so many products.

Suggestion! For example, if you want to buy them a shampoo set, buy them a Natural Shampoo bar!

 

Thank you!

Thank you for landing on this blog to better your knowledge on what you can do to help our planet! Now more then ever we need more environmentally conscious people like you, doing the little things that make a big difference. Thanks for being a part of the movement and I hope to hear from you in the comment section below! I would love to hear any other ideas you have for a more Conscious Christmas!

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

 

Why is BPA Bad for you? Or is it just a Crazy Conspiracy?

What is BPA?

BPA is an abbreviation for bisphenol A, a plastic monomer and plasticizer and is one of the most produced chemicals in the world.

BPA is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins used in many consumer goods. BPA is used so much because of its unique and beneficial characteristics, such as it is very clear, lightweight, heat-resistant and shatter resistant. These characteristics make it an optimal material for a large variety of products, such as food packaging (cans, bottles), food containers, beverage bottles, tableware, storage containers, eyewear, lenses, sports safety equipment, electronics, and medical equipment.

Due to its large usage globally, BPA has been studied extensively. While studying this product, numerous concerns have arisen about its safety to our health and thus its continued use is questionable. The media started and has continued to cover this issue since 2008, and has focused particular attention onto BPA’s contact with fetuses, infants and young children.

The most common way BPA gets into our system is through oral intake and skin contact sources which are likely from canned foods with lined epoxy resins, water in polycarbonate bottles or cosmetics where it is used as an antioxidant.

In developed nations, almost all individuals are exposed to BPA continuously through the products we use and the foods we eat. Welshons et al, after measuring BPA levels in human blood and urine is concerned about two things:

(1) that BPA intake may be higher then what has been suggested and,

(2) the concern about long-term, daily intake which can lead to bioaccumulation of BPA. This can potentially lead to a steady-state level which has not been represented by any of the current models for BPA metabolism on single, acute administration.

Does BPA affect our health?

Most of the hazards from BPA have been found from studies that deduced their results from testing on rats and mice which already tells us their results may not be 100% accurate about its effects on humans; however one of the potential health impacts that can occur is to do with BPA’s estrogenicity which was discovered in the 1930’s, but it was not until 1997 that the adverse effects of low dose exposure on laboratory animals were first reported. Below is a list of concerning effects BPA exposure had on the animals and these results are from several studies done between 1997 and 2009.

  • Permanent changes to genital tract
  • Changes in breast tissue that predispose cells to hormones and carcinogens
  • Long-term adverse reproductive and carcinogenic effects
  • Increased prostate weight 30%
  • Lower body weight, increase of anogenital distance in both genders, signs of early puberty and longer estrus
  • A decline in testicular testosterone
  • Breast cells predisposed to cancer
  • Prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer
  • Decreased maternal behaviors
  • Reversed the normal sex differences in brain structure and behavior
  • Adverse neurological effects occur in non-human primates
  • Disrupts ovarian development

This range of detrimental health impacts provides a worthy amount of concern about our continued and varied use of BPA products.

Can BPA Really Affect Men’s Testosterone Levels?

 

BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which means it has the ability to mimic the bodies’ hormones and once it enters the body, it can cause problems with our cell functioning by acting as an estrogen and androgen agonist which can affect our health. This can be in the form of affecting a human’s development throughout the fetal period and may be carcinogenic, potentially leading to precursors of breast cancer (European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, 2006).

Additionally, due to BPA’s estrogenic behavior, it has been shown to reduce sperm count and their activity, be toxic to the liver and may be linked to obesity by affecting fat-cell activity (European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, 2006).

Supporting this theory, there are two studies that have shown that men have a larger BPA exposure than women, and this may have to do with BPA’s correlation with higher testosterone compared with normal women, indeed serum BPA concentrations were significantly higher in normal men and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome then ‘normal’ women.

See More: Things That Lower Testosterone – Plastic Product Alternatives

Food packaging with BPA going into our food/liquids

Food cans were shown in two studies to be a major contributor to our intake of BPA. The food cans that are lacquer-coated with a plastic lining are the ones to watch out for because the foods within these cans were shown to be contaminated by substantial amounts of BPA. In one study, they used plastic flasks which still contain BPA and are made by the same canning industry and found the liquid contents of the plastic flasks had BPA contents between 2-4 ug, whereas the original food cans had contents ranging between 4 and 23 ug. Almost all of the estrogenicity was due to BPA, based upon the results of the E-Screen.

 

What About Pregnant Women?

There have been several human studies that have found associations between maternal BPA exposure during gestation and endpoints in the offspring. In these studies, there was a clear representation between maternal exposure and stronger associations of adverse outcomes of the developing fetus.

It is dependent on the timing of the maternal exposure to BPA and thus results in stronger associations of adverse outcomes of the offspring. This indicates that there are sensitive times as to when BPA can have an impact on the developing fetus.  There were also several studies that found effects when following-up on postnatal BPA exposures and outcomes in young children, indicating that the critical windows of BPA exposure may persist postnatally into childhood.

Does BPA Affect the Environment?

 

The presence of BPA in the environment is due to man-made activities as it is not produced naturally. BPA traces are found in water bodies and the atmosphere from polycarbonate and epoxy resin manufacturing facilities. Fortunately, BPA is readily biodegradable and breaks down rapidly in the environment, in fact, approximately 92-98% is removed by microorganisms. The trace amounts left in water bodies can continue to biodegrade for about 1-4 days in receiving waters and downstream of treatments plants.

However,  there are other studies who state that BPA’s exposure in aquatic and terrestrial environments can be harmful to wildlife including annelids (both aquatic and terrestrial), mollusks, crustaceans, insects, fish, and amphibians, as well as on the embryonic development and the induction of genetic aberrations in crustaceans and amphibians.

Although there is a suspicion that the environmental exposure is not adequate to cause serious effects, except in unique situations where a large local contamination occurs, the potential hazards are too important, and more investigation is certainly recommended.

 

How do we Manage this Issue?

From reading all of the potential health implications BPA can have, you would assume its continued use would not be allowed. However, the adverse health effects still remain uncertain due to the tests being done on animals or the tests on humans were done with low dosages and do not know what the long-term with small doses of BPA can have over the course of someone’s life.

In 2010, an expert consultation was organized by WHO in 2010 and that expert recommended that public health officials should hold off on regulations limiting or banning the use of BPA. He states, ‘“initiation of public health measures would be premature”. On the other hand, in March 2010 the USEPA declared BPA as a chemical concern, though the USA Presidents Cancer Panel argued for a precautionary approach on BPA in April 2010. The European Union had prohibited the manufacture of BPA in infant baby bottles since 1 March 2011 and will ban their import and sale by 1 June 2011.

This information shows that though BPA has a large variety of potential health hazards, there is a lack of concrete evidence to make enough of an impact to stop the production and usage of BPA. BPA’s advantages in creating highly functional products outweigh the potential health hazards it may cause to humans in the long run.

What does a BPA website have to say?

The BPA website states that polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins have been safely used in consumer products for over 40 years.

Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that “a consumer would have to ingest more than 1,300 pounds of food and beverages in contact with polycarbonate plastic every day for an entire lifetime to exceed the safe level of BPA”.

What do we do?

==> BUY YOUR REUSABLE GROCERY BAG <==

What we can deduce from all this information is that you should not be too overwhelmed about using BPA products or buying canned foods, but if you can avoid the use of a BPA product, it is recommended that you use the alternative.

Additionally, plastic is not biodegradable and is overwhelming our oceans and wildlife.

By choosing plastic-free products, you are not only reducing your risk of potential health issues but you are also doing a world of good by helping the environment!

 

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

 

References

https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0890623807002377

http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/161013

https://academic-oup-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/endo/article/138/5/1777/2987307

https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0890623807002377#bib2

https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0160412011001206

 

 

 

 

Ways to Prevent Acid Rain – Why Change Needs to Happen Now

Since the industrial revolution in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, humans have been using the earth’s resources extensively for attaining energy and the means of transportation through burning coal, oil and natural gas. These industries have made our lives a lot easier but come at a high price to our Earth by damaging it in numerous ways which in turn will eventually lead to affect us. Acid rain is one of those consequences, and although attention has been brought to this issue globally and measures are being taken, acid rain remains a significant threat to numerous aspects of our earth and will only get worse while we still rely on the use of non-renewable and unsustainable practices.

Initially, acid rain was only occurring around industrialized sites, but due to the increase in power plants and industries in the world, atmospheric emissions are being transported regionally and even globally.  Astoundingly, acid rain has even been identified as one of one of the most serious environmental problems of transboundary nature (pollution originating in one country but affecting neighbor countries through transportation of air or water).

What is Acid Rain?

Acid Rain is the explanation through which acid falls from the atmosphere in the form of rain, snow hail or fog. It is the washout of oxides of sulfur, nitrogen and other constituents present in the atmosphere. These oxides largely originate from coal-fired powered stations, smelters (producing SO2) and motor vehicle exhausts (NOx).

The degree of acidity is measured by pH value. A normal pH for rain is around the 5-5.5 range. This is slightly acidic because rain slightly reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide to produce carbonic acid as well as the small amount of nitric acid which is produced by the oxidation of nitrogen in the presence of water during lightning storms.

 

Effects on Soil

The soil is crucial for life to flourish and grow, as every single plant needs and depends on it for their nutrient and water supply.  This means, that we need soil to function effectively for us to grow food and live in a healthy environment. The soil system is very complex and dynamic so even the smallest of changes can have large consequences.

Due to the reactions between these oxides (SO2 and Nox), and other constituents of the atmosphere, protons are released into the soil causing soil acidity. The soil’s pH consequently lowers and in turn leaches nutrient cations (like potassium (K), magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) in the soil) away and increases the availability of toxic heavy metals. In turn, this leaching leads to a nutrient deficiency in the affected soils and therefore reduces soil fertility which in turn impacts negatively on plant growth and the productivity of forest trees and crops. Nutrient cycling, a crucial aspect of soil health and functioning, is also negatively affected by acidification of soil because it disorientates the decomposition of the litter of certain tree species such as spruce, pine, birch and other cellulose-rich materials.

Effects on Aquatic Ecosystems

Unsurprisingly, acid rain makes water bodies acidic and in turn, affects all components of aquatic ecosystems, whether it is the plankton, amphibians or the fish. Some of these symptoms included fish showing increases in mortality rate, reproductive failure, reduced growth rate skeletal deformities and increased uptake of heavy metals.

When the pH gets below 5.5, the number of snails and phytoplankton start to fall and once reaching a pH of 5.2, they start to disappear. Zooplankton starts to disappear at a pH of 5.0 and then below 4.0, more fish species declined rapidly because embryos failed to mature at this level of acidity.

 

Effects on Forest Trees & Crop plants

Acid rain also has a detrimental effect to forest trees and does so in two ways, via through foliage or through the roots. Acid rain causes symptoms such as the damaging of plant tissue, reduced canopy cover and overall tree death. In crop plants, acid rain impacts various physiological and morphological characteristics such as their photosynthetic rate and the stomata conductance which reduce overall crop yield.

What is concerning about acid rain affecting crop plants is that this is the food we grow to feed the world. With an increasing population and climate change bringing us challenges such as acid rain, it impairs farmers, all over the world, the ability to increase current food supply demands. Because by 2050, farmers are expected to double food supply to feed a population of 9 billion people…that is pretty intimidating when normal farming conditions become challenging.

 

How do we reduce Acid Rain?

Below are some ways we can reduce the prevalence and severity of acid rain:

  • Liming – Adding lime to water bodies and soil can help eliminate some of the symptoms of acidification but must be done repeatedly to restore water and species health.
  • Emission control – The most important means of reducing and eliminating acid rain is the reduction of SO2 and NOx emissions as this is where the problem arises. It is unfortunately not common for there to be fuel low in SO2 but there are techniques available to reduce S02 from emissions from non-ferrous smelters.
  • Policy Intervention – In the 1970’s when the effects of acid rain were severely impacting the ecosystems of Europe and America. NAPAP, an acid rain programme was organized to achieve significant environmental and public health benefits through reductions in emissions of SO2 and NOx, the primary causes of acid rain.

Overall, with the rapid economic development and energy consumption throughout the world due to population growth and dependency on energy, fossil fuel consumption has increased significantly during the last few decades. Use of fossil fuel is the major cause of large-scale generation of acid precursors in the atmosphere and steps need to be pushed to significantly reduce our reliance on non-renewable sources of energy.

 

What Can You Do To Help?

  • You can participate in public protests that want an end to fossil fuels
  • You can donate to organizations that are that push against fossil fuels
  • You can vote for a party that pushes for renewable energy
  • You can learn more about this issue and talk about it with your friends and family. Education is powerful and with it, we can make small but powerful change within our own space of community and let it spread!

 

Thank You!

Thank you for taking an interest in the environment and educating yourself on world issues like acid rain. It is through education where change happens and it is important to find out ways you can make small but powerful changes in your life to make an impact.

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

References:

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/184/4142/1176

https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1469-8137.1985.tb03667.x

http://www.jeb.co.in/journal_issues/200801_jan08/paper_02.pdf

 

 

The Real Horror This Halloween – The Scary Truth About Plastic

Halloween is just around the corner, with its scary movies and trick or treat traditions. But given the current state of our planet, it’s clear the real horror story is happening here and now, on our own doorstep, right in front of our eyes.    One of the scariest truths of our generation is our 20th century-born love affair with plastic.

We’ve become so reliant on it that about 40% of all plastic produced is for packaging, used once, and then discarded. i

The convenience of plastic packaging has created habits that come with terrifying impacts. Every minute around the globe, we buy one million plastic bottles, one million disposable cups, and two million plastic bags.ii

The scary truth

As a synthetic material, plastic doesn’t biodegrade. As it gets battered and bruised in our environment, it becomes more and more brittle, breaking down into ‘microplastics’.

Microplastics are small pieces of plastic less than five millimeters long that are being consumed at all levels of the food chain.

Scientists have even found microplastics present in plankton!

Microplastics have found their way into our seafood, our water, our honey, our beer…

We don’t yet know the impact that it will have on human health, for this generation or those to come, but the evidence we have about how it affects marine life paints a disturbing picture for the future of the human race.

Read more: Tonnes of Plastic Missing from the Ocean – Where is it all going?

 

The transgenerational effect

Prior to the 1970s, polychlorinated biphenyls, better known as PCBs, were used in a range of products from electrical appliances to household paints.

In the 70s and 80s, scientists uncovered ‘extensive contamination’ to humans and the environment and PCBs were banned. Newer research has linked the chemicals to endocrine and immune system disruption, and reproductive failure in vertebrates.v

Now, more than thirty years later, the accumulation of these chemicals in the food chain could cause many of the world’s orca whale populations to collapse over the next century.

This case study provides some insight into the effects that our consumption of synthetic materials and chemicals can have on our environment and life on earth in years to come.

We can turn the tide!

It’s so easy to be terrified into inaction by the scary truths we see on the news every day. Trying to fix the big picture can feel impossible.

That’s why it’s so important to remember that every single tiny positive change each one of us makes to reduce our impact is a huge deal if we all do it together.

Here are 10 things you can do today to help reduce and change the future impacts of plastic:

  1. Arm yourself with a reusable water bottle and a reusable coffee cup.
  2. Remember reusable shopping bags when you’re out and about.
  3. Opt for food and skincare packaged in glass, aluminum, and cardboard.
  4. Switch to a bamboo or cornstarch toothbrush.
  5. Replace plastic scrubbing brushes with plant-fiber scrubbing brushes.
  6. Choose plant-fiber fabrics that won’t contribute to microplastic pollution when washed.
  7. Invest in beeswax wraps.
  8. Switch to reusable sanitary pads or period underwear.
  9. Try shampoo and soap bars.
  10. Spread the word about the solutions!

 

Remember, every natural and reusable solution you choose to use is a vote for a better future.

We can turn the tide, together.

 

Where does it go?

Our waste infrastructure is an overwhelmed and overflowing monster, and devastatingly every single minute we dump a lorry’s worth of rubbish into our ocean. iii

This level of synthetic, man-made pollution is unprecedented.

The world has never faced anything like it.

Currently, our plastic habits are killing 300,000 marine mammals and 400,000 seabirds every year. And if nothing changes, by 2050 there will be 500 times the amount of plastic in our ocean than there is now. In other words, there will be more plastic down there than fish.iv

 

Thank you!

Thanks for tuning in and I hope you learned a thing or two from this blog! Let me know your thoughts below in the comment section, I’d love to hear what you have to say or what practices you are taking to tackle this global issue.

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

*Republished from The Clean Collective*

References: 

i National Geographic
ii BBC, Drowning In Plastic
iii BBC, Drowning In Plastic
iv BBC, Drowning In Plastic
v National Centre For Biotechnology Information

 

Stainless Steel Straws – A Must for Eco-friendly Junkies

Some plastic facts:

  • The annual production of plastic has increased 200-fold from the 1950s to 2014
  • 90% of plastic worldwide doesn’t end up getting recycled
  • Plastic straws are too lightweight to make it through the mechanical recycling sorter
  • One of the most commonly found plastic items on our beaches are plastic straws
  • Straws end up in our oceans from human error – left on the beach, or are blown from trash bins
  • Approximately 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs. When they ingest plastic, marine life has a 50% mortality rate.

Plastic waste is a large issue globally and it is only until recently that people are starting to make a change in order to reduce their plastic footprint.

It is very easy to think that this ONE straw or this ONE plastic bag won’t do any harm. But remember there are billions of people in this world and we all have those thoughts. Now, if we all think like that, then that’s a huge contributing factor as to why we have so many environmental issues with plastic and its disposal processes.

We need to be a part of the CHANGE we want to see in the world, and not be a part of the problem.

To start being a part of the solution to this dilemma, we can reduce our single plastic use items as this is where our plastic problem gets out of hand.

There are various ways you can reduce your plastic use. One way is to continually reuse the plastic items you already have at home such as your plastic bags, bottles and containers. Use them over and over again until they are on their last legs!

Another option is to invest in products that are made to be reused and serve the same function as many plastic products. This is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint substantially.

One of the most commonly found plastics on the beach and in the ocean is plastic straws.

It is hard to put a number on it, but it has been estimated that we use around 10 million straws a day.. yep that may even be an underestimate..! Scary stuff!

Straws aren’t usually a necessity for the average person, but a lot of people do like the occasional straw to enjoy their drink.

If you are one of these people but don’t want to contribute more plastic pollution to our oceans or contribute to landfill, then don’t worry, there is a solution!

Reusable Stainless Steel Straws!

They are a great option to enjoy your drink and to help the environment.


These straws are beautifully made from 100% #304 Food Grade Stainless Steel that are great to use for smoothies, juices, iced coffee… you name it!

They are zero waste, plastic-free and are Australian owned.

It even comes with its own little cleaner!

Another option, are reusable bamboo straws, which are another great alternative to single-use plastic straws. They are also biodegradable, so there are no waste issues with these beauties.

 

Thank you!

Thanks for caring! It is really inspiring to see how many people are so motivated to do their part and really embrace how individuals can make a difference and understand its power to encourage others to join this amazing movement as well.

HealthPost natural supplements and skincare

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

 

Can I Compost at Home? And is it Really that Effective?

Landfill is reaching capacity limits due to an increasing population and thus increasing amounts of waste, especially with our single-use culture.

Food scraps are one of many waste products that get thrown into our bins and end up in landfill. To reduce your landfill footprint you can compost your food scraps to use on your garden bed. This is a viable means of organic waste management that you can implement at home.

What is Compost?

Compost is the decomposition of plant remains and other non-living materials which turns into a dark and earthy substance, which happens to be excellent for enhancing plant growth by enriching soil health.

What is the Science behind it?

 

Composting is a natural process, in which living organisms such as microbes, decompose organic matter into biologically stable, humic substances that make great soil amendments.

The organisms then feed on the organic matter and through respiration generate the energy that they use for movement, growth, reproduction or stored energy.

The organisms then excrete the organic material that enriches the soil. When the organisms die, their bodies add to the organic matter in the compost pile.

Biome Eco Stores - Zero Waste, Toxin Free, Ethical Choices

 

 

Why Do We Use It?

We use compost to enrich our soil to be able to grow things continually and effectively. We choose to use compost when our soil is depleted of nutrients and has poor soil structure which is necessary for air, water and root penetration to access nutrients.

Additionally, soil can be chemically imbalanced, such as being too acidic or too alkaline.

By adding compost, you are adding living organisms, better soil structure to put plants in, and more nutrients for your plants to use to grow!

 

 

Is Compost as good as we are told?

So here is the tricky bit! When we think of compost, we think it is the antidote to our gardening or agricultural problems.

But is it really that perfect?

What I found out to be astonishing is that no, that is not the case! There can actually be significant consequences to adding compost to your garden or farm but this comes down to what compost you buy. The commercial compost packages are the ones you need to look out for, especially the cheap ones. They can contain harmful toxins that can not only impact your soil health but be harmful to your health. On some of their bags, they even say to wear a mask when applying the compost… that’s not a good sign! These bags are usually the ones filled with just wood chips or something simple and are therefore not fully degraded into the luscious soil we imagine when we think of compost.

Additionally, micro-plastics can be found in commercial and cheap compost brands as well!

We are all becoming aware of our ongoing issue of plastic contamination in our world especially to our oceans, but they are coming up in our soils too! Unfortunately, there is little research done to analyse the long-term impacts of microplastics in our terrestrial environment but I can’t imagine it can be good!

 

 

 

How does Micro-plastics end up in my compost?

They can enter the environment either directly from products such as cosmetic products, or industrial abrasives for example. Otherwise, they can enter the soil through environmental degradation of larger plastic pieces. Additionally, when we wash our clothes in washing machines they contribute to the dispersal of microplastics from our clothes via water treatment plants, which can end up in agricultural fields.

See more: How to Shop Eco-friendly when it comes to clothes? Is there such a thing?

This can harm the soil if they are ingested by micro and mesofauna species such as mites, nematodes, beetles and others, and then its contamination accumulates in the soil food web (Rillig 2012).

An estimated 125 and 850 tons MP/million inhabitant have added annually to European agricultural soils either through direct application of sewage sludge or as processed biosolids. This is at least equal to, and probably much higher than our estimate of 110 to 180 tons MP/million inhabitants emitted annually to surface waters (Nizzetto et al. 2016).

In large farmland estates, a likely culprit for the increase of micro-plastics in our soils is from the application of sewage sludge from municipal wastewater treatment plants to farmlands. This is based on new microplastic emission estimates in industrialized countries (Nizzetto et al. 2016). Unfortunately, scientists do not know the long-term consequences this has for sustainability and food security.

From this information, it is clear that cheap, commercial compost may not be the best choice of fertilizer to use in your garden. However, you can always make your own compost, as commonly said, ‘the best things in life are the ones you make yourself’.

If you are thinking of making your own, you need to make sure you put in the right things and avoid some rooky errors.

 

How to make your own Compost

What to add:

  • Food scraps
  • Tree/plant litter
  • Soil
  • Newspaper
  • Woodchips
  • Cardboard
  • Hay
  • Coffee grounds
  • Sawdust
  • Lawn Clippings

 

Tips

  • Make sure you have a lid to warm up the soil, protect it from larger animals
  • Water it a little – the ideal moisture content of the compost pile is between 45%-60% by weight, this should feel moist to the touch when you squeeze a handful of blended feedstocks. The material should keep its form but not give out any excess water.
  • Air temperature affects microbial growth and activity in the compost pile and so affect the rate at which they are active. In summer, spring and autumn months composting are at its fastest whereas, in winter, it is likely to come to a complete standstill.
  • Use a little bin in your kitchen for you to put only your food scraps in, and then when it is full, head outside to put into your large compost bin

Cooperband, L 2002

Thank you!

Thanks for caring about what you can do to reduce your waste and increase your environmental awareness, it is a knowledge that is very valuable in today’s age with climate change and an increasing population creating more concerns for our worlds health and our wellbeing.

 

Yours truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

References

Cooperband, L 2002 ‘The Art and Science of Composting – A resource for farmers and compost producers’, Centre for Integrated Agricultural Systems, http://files.webydo.com/223087/artofcompost.pdf

Rillig, M, C 2012, ‘Microplastic in Terrestrial Ecosystems and the Soil’, Environmental Science and Technology, https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1021/es302011r

Nizzetto, L, Futter, M, Langaass, S, 2016 ‘Are Agricultural Soils Dumps for Microplastics of Urban Origin?’ Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 50, no. 20, pp. 10777-10779, <https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.6b04140>

 

 

 

 

 

Boody Eco Wear

How to Shop Eco-Friendly When it Comes to Clothes? Is there such a thing?

Why hello there!  I am sure you have clicked on this article because you care about our world and want to do what you can to do your part, which is exactly the attitude we need all over the world to make a massive change! So thank you for doing what you can to make this world a better place.

Now, the issue of clothes…. We have grown up in a society where buying clothes is something we should do on a weekly basis.

  • Are you bored? Buy some clothes!
  • Got a rip in your shirt, don’t fix it, just buy another one!
  • Is that on sale?! I don’t need it, in fact, I even have the same one at home but in a different colour, but I’ll buy it anyway!

It is interesting how we think, and don’t think twice about it, but I want to tell you why we should think twice..might save you some money too!

 

Clothing and the Environment

These are the sorts of reasons we tell ourselves to buy clothes and it seems harmless enough? They are cheap, it is fun, and it is a way to express YOU. I agree on all of these justifications, HOWEVER, what we fail to realize or be educated on is that the manufacturing process to make clothes is a very environmentally damaging process. We forget that everything we buy comes from somewhere, is made from something and usually affects the environment is some way or another and most of the time, it is not done in a sustainable way.

Most of the clothes we buy are made out of polyester or cotton. Polyester is a man-made material and is actually made out of petroleum, a waste chemical made from burning coal. How crazy is that?

The manufacturing process of polyester is also very energy intensive and requires large amounts of crude oil and releases emissions into the atmosphere. Additionally, volatile monomers, solvents, and other by-products of polyester production are emitted in the wastewater from polyester manufacturing plants. The EPA, under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, considers many textile manufacturing facilities to be hazardous waste generators (Claudio 2007).

To make matters worse, once we buy them, we have got to wash them..over and over again, and every time we do that, tiny micro-fibres of plastic get washed out and are released into the ocean, affecting sea life in never before seen ways.

See Post: Tonnes of Plastic Missing From the Ocean – Where is it all going?

Cotton, another very popular clothing textile is very harmful to our environment as it can use it can take 2,700 litres to produce the cotton needed to make a single t-shirt and accounts for a quarter of all pesticides used in the United States, the largest exporter of cotton in the world, according to the USDA.

Cotton production is high but they keep it at very low prices – this is how the crop industry benefits from subsidies that keep the prices low and production high, this is what drives the globalization of fashion.

 

How did this all start?

During the 1920’s, especially during World War 1, people were encouraged to repair, mend,  and tailor their clothes to fit other family members and recycle their clothing by using them as rags or quilts. They even urged designers to make clothing that used LESS fabric and to avoid unnecessary decoration.

Unfortunately, this did not last long because by the mid-1920’s consumerism kick-started our world due to the introduction of the industrialization period which increased the production of all sorts of goods. 

Our economy has become so dependent on continued marketing and the manufacture of new products which then quickly leads to disposing of them all because of the drive to keep up with the latest fashion. In fact, the rate of the disposal of clothing has dramatically increased, so much so that the average t-shirts lifespan, from the sale to end up in the landfill, has decreased substantially (Claudio 2007).

 

Population Increase means Waste Increase

So here we are now in 2018, and BOY not only has the population increase contributed to the production of more goods but so has our culture when related to continuous shopping. An increasing population means an increase in waste.

What is scary is that in the UK and the US, the average consumer produces, 30-40 kg of textile waste a year. In the US, 85% of textiles are thrown away without being reused or recycled accounting for 5.7% of the solid waste in landfills (Weber 2015).

By the looks of things, our waste issue is getting out of hand and the population is only going to keep increasing as the years go by, so how can we help?

 

 

How Can YOU help?

It is time to go back in time! Back in the 1920’s and practice their habits.

Some tips:

  • Only buy a piece of clothing if you NEED it or if you absolutely LOVE it. Ask yourself, ‘Am I buying this only because it is on sale?’ or ‘Am I just bored?’ 
  • If a piece of clothing you have gets a tear in it, get it fixed or if it is really bad, cut it up and use it as a washing cloth!
  • Additionally, if you need some new clothes, ask your family members if they have clothes they don’t want anymore and see if anything looks great on you!
  • If you do want to get rid of some clothes ask your family if they want any or ask some friends, otherwise donate them at a shelter such as the Salvation Army or St Vincent’s, to help others out. What you should not do, is put them in the bin, because they just end up in landfill.
  • Buy sustainable clothing from Eco-friendly brands!

What is interesting to note is that a lot of the clothes we have at home we don’t use. In fact, in a UK study, participants estimated that 60 per cent of their wardrobe is ‘inactive’ – their clothes are just stored, and not worn. And yet we continue to buy new clothes, because they are inexpensive and clothing trends are constantly going in and out of fashion, so there is that pressure too, especially for young women. Magazines are FILLED with the latest trends, sales, and celebrities influencing what we wear.

 

Sustainable Clothing Brands

Eco friendly clothes

If you do want to buy new clothes, there are brands out there that make it their priority to look after the environment, such as clothing that uses sustainable bamboo instead of harmful polyester and resource intensive, Cotton. I recommend Boody Eco Wear, if you are looking for underwear, bras, activewear or plain t-shirts, they are the place to go. I have their bra and underwear at home and oh my goodness they are extremely comfortable and soft!

Additionally, there are companies that have made use of our plastic bottle epidemic and made them into a textile used for clothing! Seriously, this world can be so inventive! Vegetaryn is a brand I recommend to buy tights that are made from recycled plastic bottles,  not only do they do their best to be environmentally friendly with the production of their clothing but they support the spread of the Vegan message to tackle animal cruelty and climate change. Here is a discount code on me! EARTHCO

See more: Can Millennial’s Get Any Better? Tights made from plastic bottles are the next big thing

 

 

Thank you!

That’s all from me today and I hope you learnt a thing or two about what you can do to help reduce your environmental footprint, there are so many things you can do, it is quite exciting!

Thanks for being interested and I hope to hear from you in the comment section below, please feel free to say what you think about this issue or provide ideas about what else we can do to help tackle this issue. 

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

Founder of The Earth Co.

 

References

Claudio, L 2007, ‘Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry’, Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 115, no. 9, pp. 449-454, available at, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1964887/

Weber, S 2015, ‘The After Life of Clothes’, Alternatives Journal, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 26-29, available at, https://search.proquest.com/openview/bc7c78907165a64f2796cae45ea0a2ef/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=35934

How is Vegan Leather Made? – An Inspiring New Movement

More and more people are turning away from animal products and trying to find plant alternatives. This is not just with food but also with bags, shoes, hats, wallets, clothing, make-up and skin care. The list goes on!

It is crazy to think how much we have continued to rely on animals for our ‘needs’ and with an increasing population, that ‘need’ will grow, which means more suffering for animals.

One particular fabric that has sparked interest in consumers that are seeking animal product alternatives is switching from leather (made from the skins of cows,

deer, elephants, snakes, crocodiles and others) to Vegan leather.

Now what is Vegan Leather you say? Is it really just as good as normal leather, and if so, what is it made out of?

I was very curious about all these questions too, and decided to research what I could about this topic of Vegan leather and see if it is not only durable like normal leather but if it was environmentally friendly.

I found out that there are various types of Vegan Leather:

1.       PVC Leather

2.       Micro-fiber Leather

3.      Suede Leather 

PVC Leather

It is a plastic called Polyvinyl chloride and is the world's third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, after polyethylene and polypropylene.

PVC is a thermoplastic (can become soft when heated) made of 57% chlorine (derived from industrial grade salt) and 43% carbon (derived from oil / gas). It is less dependent than other polymers on crude oil or natural gas, which is non-renewable, and hence can be regarded as a natural resource saving plastic, in contrast to plastics such as PE, PP, PET and PS, which are totally dependent on oil or gas.

It is a flexible plastic that is made from PVC Resin, fillers and additives to manipulate leathers softness, color and texture.  Once the desired fillers have been added, PVC is used as a coat on one side of a fabric backing.

 

Micro-fiber leather

Microfiber is a synthetic fiber which is very fine in fact it has a diameter of less than ten micro-meters. This is smaller than the diameter of a strand of silk, which is itself about 1/5 the diameter of a human hair… that is crazy small!

What is interesting about this fiber is that it is made out of the same materials used to make plastic would you believe!? It is a natural by product of petroleum production. Now don’t freak out! It is actually a great environmental solution because after the oil is processed, there is a type of 'sludge' residue left over . It is collected, then refined and then used in one of two processes. The first is to make plastic and the second is to be spun into fibers which is woven into materials. If it wasn’t used to make fabric, they would just dump it into landfill!

This all began in the 1970’s where they primarily used microfiber to make carpet and upholstering furniture.  Now, due to the continuing refinement of the this industries production, microfiber can be made into almost anything! From sheets, mops and car seats, to bags, wallets and shoes!

It use to be dumped into the environment, but now it is able to be created into something durable and very well used.

 

Vegan Leather Brands

 

Some vegan leather brands use more synthetic processes including the use of PVC and use a lot of polyurethane to make cheaper and therefore low grade products which will consequently lack durability tests such as peeling, crocking, and tensile strength.

Whereas other brands such as Doshi use microfiber leather and microfiber suede (a type of microfiber but made out of millions of microfibers) which are the only true animal leather alternatives as they were intentionally made to mimic the hand feel of leather and often outperform leather in durability tests. They avoid using pure non-microfiber polyurethane in almost all of their products and almost never use PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Doshi only uses a small amount of PU (polyurethane) with some of their microfiber products but avoid it when they can, microfiber suede on the other hand does not need any plastic at all.

In regards to other contributing environmental factors, microfiber uses no pesticides and there is no dying of the ‘fabric’ unlike cotton where thousands of water can be contaminated and leached out into water ways.

Doshi uses high quality microfiber and suede leather, and has now found a way to minimize their environmental footprint even more by selecting a refined microfiber from Japan where the production significantly minimizes their water-use and solvents which in comparison to other vegan leathers, increases sustainability by fourfold!

 

About Doshi

Not only is Doshi always trying to find ways to decrease their environmental footprint and increase sustainable production methods, they look after their workers by regularly visiting their factories in order to ensure environmental practices are being implemented as well as ensuring their employee’s are working in safe and fair conditions.

Additionally, Doshi aspires to make massive change to the world and have already done so by creating a program called The First Five for the World Initiative where they donate 5% of all sales to responsible non-for-profits working to benefit the lives of animals, people, and the environment. What an incredible Initiative!

They have already made contributions with:

  • Farm Sanctuary
  • Compassion Over Killing
  • Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank
  • Mercy For Animals
  • India Development and Relief Fund

They do all of this and still make sure their prices are reasonable for consumers, because they care about the quality of their product, the ethics and environmental footprint consequences to make the product. It is not every day you find a brand who is more concerned about making a difference in the lives of others then creating profit.

 

Thank you!

Thank you for reading this blog and I hope you found it informative!

Please feel free to comment below your thoughts on this topic, I would love to hear from you 🙂

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

 

Eco-friendly Organic Jewelry – A Stunning Collection


Not many people know the environmental impacts jewelry has on the environment as it is not spoken about often. The more our population is increasing, our demand for resources such as land, water food, clothing and in this case jewelry, increases too. The earth is being depleted of these resources and the destruction that is occurring through the processes to get the resources are becoming very apparent.  Attention must be made to this topic as well as spreading information about what we can all do to help.

 

How does jewelry affect the environment?

Gold mining is the most environmentally cost worthy resource when it comes to jewelry. The extraction of gold affects our planet in numerous ways, through emitting greenhouse gases, water pollution, and soil erosion.

The chemical or toxin, Cyanide is used to extract gold from its core. It is a very environmentally costly process, in fact, according to Dr. Gunthrie, dean of International Business and Management at the George Washington University School of Business, stated that ‘20 tons of waste are produced for every ounce of gold’.

Additionally, mercury occurs naturally in the earth and is a liquid metal. Most mercury forms in a sulfide ore called cinnabar. To separate the mercury from the cinnabar is to crush the ore and heat it in order to vaporize the mercury. This vapor is then condensed into liquid mercury form. If done improperly, mercury vapor, which is highly toxic, can escape into the atmosphere. It releases hundreds of tonnes of airborne elemental mercury every year.

Erosion from this process clogs streams and rivers and can lead to taint ecosystems. This contamination impacts biodiversity, with cyanide causing a direct lethal effect on biota close to the source and metal contaminants which considerably reduces aquatic biodiversity further downstream.

Additionally, gold mining is at fault for high levels of deforestation, destroying remote areas rich in biodiversity. It practically obliterates the natural landscape. The largest gold mine is now a crater in Utah which is so large that it can be seen from outer space!

Other jewelry such as silver, is a byproduct of the industrial mining of other metals such as copper, zinc, and gold, so has similar environmental consequences. 

Overall, gold is a very environmentally destructive, resource. But jewelry has been a part of many cultures for hundreds of years all over the world so it is not given up easily.

Gold mining is severely

destroying land,

the atmosphere,

and precious water.

 

The Gold Mine: Africa

Africa contains 30% of the world’s minerals so it is literally a gold mine when it comes to resources for jewelry such as silver, diamonds, gold, and other platinum-group metals. Because of Africa’s potential, large interest from foreign investors (China, Australia, Canada) is being made to mine there. Yet with less than 5% of global mineral exploitation has occurred in Africa, and large parts of the continent being geologically unexplored, the potential for growth is enormous (Taylor et al. 2009).

This enormous increase in mining will have detrimental effects on the natural environment, as mining can directly remove fragment, or degrade natural habitat, destroying as much as 1-12km squared depending on the mineral being mined. 

Additionally, the expansion of roads, and railways, for transport to move commodities, from mine to smelters, as well as shipping ports for exports and hydroelectric dams is one of the biggest threats to natural habitats and wildlife populations, and will increase access to some of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, including the eastern Congo rainforests, the Miombo and Guinea woodlands, and the Rift valley savannas and mountains (Edwards et.al., 2013).

Mining could provide poverty alleviation opportunities and enhancement of sustainable practices as well as implement environmental protection standards, but such positive outcomes seem unlikely due to Africa’s corruption and weak governance (Edwards et.al., 2013). 

Eco-friendly, Organic Jewelry

There are companies that have sustainable jewelry such as Grazza Portugal

Did you know you can make jewelry from cork?!

Cork is the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber L.) which means the material used for this jewelry is 100% natural, organic, sustainable, handmade, biodegradable and eco-friendly.

This tree, also called Sobreiro, is found in Portugal where these oaks can live up to 200 years old and can be harvested up to 12 times during its lifetime. The European cork industry produces 300,000 tonnes of cork a year, with a value of €1.5 billion and employing 30,000 people.

Wearing and supporting businesses that promote the use of sustainable and eco-friendly jewelry is doing a world of good for the earth and its resources. Not only that, but this jewelry looks gorgeous and trendy!

Thank you for reading and I hope you learned a thing or two. Please feel free to comment below any thoughts you have about this topic, I would love to hear from you!

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

 

References

Taylor, C.D., Schulz, K.J., Doebrich, J.L., et al. 2009 ‘Geology and nonfuel mineral deposits of Africa and the Middle East.U.S.’ Geological Survey, California.

David, P, Edwards, D, P, Sloan, S, Weng, L, Dirks, P, Sayer, J & Laurence, W, F, 2013 ‘Mining and the African Environment’, Policy Perspective, pp. 302-311, doi: 10.1111/conl.12076

How Much Water is used for Agriculture? A Scary Truth

This is a very good question and one that is becoming more prevalent due to climate change and an increasing population to feed.

2018: 7 billion people

2050: 9 billion people

That is a scary jump! This will take double the amount of food we now produce, to feed that population. How can we feed DOUBLE the amount, while climate change effects such as increasing temperatures and natural disasters make it harder for us to grow food?

That is the big question many people are asking.

There are a few things farmers and scientists are working on to feed our growing population without using more land such as using breeding practices to enhance yield and battle against climate extremes such as improving drought resistance.

Unfortunately, even with these changes, it is still looking pretty hard to produce that much food and in a way that does not cost too much or take too long, which most of those processes do.

Water Usage in Agriculture

Here are some interesting facts that can help you get an idea in regards to the extent to which agriculture contributes to climate change.

Water

Water is life. Remember that. It provides life to everything, and almost everything is made up of water, including us! It is a precious resource and yet we waste it so effortlessly without thinking about its importance and value. The only time we realize how precious it is is when it is missing! Like when we are in a drought or our house water has been temporally made unavailable.

Astonishingly, Agriculture uses 70% of the world’s fresh water.

Yep, that is a scary amount.

But what I want you to take away from this is what food group is the most water intensive.

Here is an infographic to help you understand how much water, 1 kg of beef uses…

So that not only tells you how much water is needed for 1 kg of beef but also the land needed and therefore deforestation and habitat loss as a result.

Land Usage in Agriculture

Animal agriculture is the single largest user of land, contributing to many environmental problems, including global warming and climate change.

Every 7 seconds, land, the size of a football field, is stripped of its vegetation and used for animals to graze on or to grow food such as corn and wheat for farm animals to consume.

CO2 Emissions in Animal Agriculture

It is true that transportation and the burning of fossil fuels are responsible for emitting large amounts of GHG emissions and contributing to climate change extensively, but what is less heard about is the substantial role animal agriculture has to climate change.

The FAO stated the animal agriculture emits 18% or 1/5 of human-induced GHG Emissions, more than the transport sector.

What is scary is that according to the FAOSTAT (FAO 2008) is that, globally, 56 billion land animals are reared and slaughtered for consumption annually. Consequently, this is expected to increase as the population increases, with most of it occurring in the developing world (Steinfield et al., 2006).

Consequently, the increase in consumption of farm animals and other animal products such as eggs and dairy will initiate the increase of GHG emissions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA 2004) has stated that:

GHG emissions from livestock are inherently tied to livestock population sizes because the livestock is either directly or indirectly the source for the emissions.’

Co2 is the most significant GHG that is directly affecting the warming of our planet because of the large volume of its emissions. Out of all the human-induced influences on climate change over the past 250 years, the most significant increase is due to increasing CO2 concentration coming from burning fossil fuels and deforestation (Biebaum et al. 2007)

Biome Eco Stores - Zero Waste, Toxin Free, Ethical Choices

The animal agriculture sector is responsible for emitting 9% of CO2 emissions, which majority is due to fertilizer production for feed crops, on-farm energy expenditures, feed transport, animal product processing and transport, and land use changes (Steinfeld et al. 2006). Interestingly, burning fossil fuels to produce fertilizers for feed crops can emit 41 million metric tons of CO2 per year (Steinfield et al., 2006).

What Can We Do?

It is quite intimidating when you realize what we are dealing with, but with small steps, we can reduce the amount of water, land, and CO2 that animal agriculture uses together.

There is a large and growing interest and willingness amongst consumers to make dietary changes to reduce their impact on this world.

Veganism is a core philosophy from which the boundaries of social justice are extended to include all non-humans and the natural environment.

In fact, according to Lux Research, plant-based proteins are expected to make up a third of the protein market by 2054. Meat companies are even getting on board.
Have you heard of the Bleeding Vegan Burger? It is amazing what science can do! Check out the video for a full rundown of what it is!

 

What I can tell you about this burger in regards to our topic here, is that is will use 75% less water and 95% less land! How amazing is that?!

Additionally, if you thought it couldn’t get any better, it uses 87% fewer greenhouse gases then a beef burger… ahh gimmie it already!

In the meantime, there are many alternatives to meat already, such as lentil patties, chickpea burgers, veggie sausages vegan cheeses, plant milk, the list goes on! So many companies are on board with this message, because they are listening to their consumers, and we are all becoming more aware of our impact on this world.

Ladies and gentlemen, the present has never looked so easy to help the world and its beings, get on board! 🙂

Thanks for tuning in and learning a thing or two!

Comment below any thoughts you have about this topic, I’d love to hear from you!

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

References

Bierbaum RM, Holdren JP, MacCracken MC, Moss RH, Raven PH, eds. 2007. Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable, Managing the Unavoidable. Washington, DC: United Nations Foundation. Available: http://vvww.unfoundation.org/files/pdf/2007/SEG_Report.pdf accessed 23 October 2007

Steinfeld H, Gerber P, Wassenaar T, Castel V, Rosales M, de Haan C. 2006. Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 2008. FAOSTAT. Available: http://faostat.fao.org/ [accessed 24 March 20081

USDA. 2004. U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse GasInventory: 1990-2001. Washington, DC:U.S. Department of Agriculture.

DeFries, R.S., Rudel, T., Uriarte, M. and Hansen, M., 2010. Deforestation driven by urban population growth and agricultural trade in the twenty-first century. Nature Geoscience, 3(3), p.178.