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Ecology

Introduction – We can be heroes, just for one year…

The protection of the climate is a question of education, knowledge and resulting attitudes Our story starts with practical information about how we can now begin to abandon energy obtained from coal, gas and petrol and use renewable energy instead, powered by the sun, wind, and water. We present solutions instead of provoking panic! It is also a question of using fewer resources and reusing those which we are already using. In 2011, before the launch of the first edition, we invested in two 40-panel photovoltaic systems. Follow our example! With this investment, we started to produce clean energy for …

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Investor warning

The University of Aveiro (UA) warns that, due to climate change, rainwater in Portugal, especially in the inland areas, will fall by 30%. Paula Quinteiro is the researcher at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) who is directing this study, and she appeals to those who have political responsibilities in this matter to promote a more effective use of rainwater. She calls for more rainwater to be kept in tanks and other forms of storage, and demands a more thoughtful, economic and sustainable use of this water. The results of the research linked to the “CLICURB” project point …

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Do it yourself and avoid waste

Homemade Shampoo Today we are going to talk about shampoo: a vegan alternative, without chemicals or plastics. I can’t imagine how many plastic shampoo bottles I’ve thrown away over the course of my life. Whether the bottle is 250 ml or 1000 ml, the flood of plastic never seems to end. Special soap for hair washing does exist, but it’s not always easy to find – and goodness knows where it’s been imported from, or rather, how much CO2 it has generated, even without counting my journey to buy it at the shop… plus, the never-ending list of ingredients makes …

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Theodor W. Adorno: There is no right life in the wrong one

Over the last few decades, tourism has become increasingly important to society, with an inevitable impact on the most visited tourist regions. Initially, they saw improvements in working and social conditions, and now they benefit from increased mobility and accessibility. But can tourism be sustainable, or at least contribute to sustainability? João Fernandes, president of the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA), which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020, believes that sustainable tourism is possible and explains why. But do we still have time? The rapid growth in tourism has outstripped the implementation of decarbonisation technologies. How do you view this issue? …

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We can be heroes, just for one year…

Humanity is facing a grave crisis. This crisis originates in a small molecule: carbon dioxide. There isn’t a high concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, but its effect is enormous. Through the release of carbon dioxide, we are warming our planet as we are permanently burning petrol, diesel, coal, gas and other fossil fuels, emitting CO2 – lots of CO2, tons of it in fact. ECO123 is writing today about the climate crisis, a formidable challenge which demands action-based solutions. How can we solve this problem?   There’s no point in beating about the bush: eight months after the challenge …

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Nature Reserve destroyed by avocado plantation

Clive Viney is the co-author (with Ray Tipper) of the book “Algarve Wildlife: The Natural Year.” As a nature lover and a long-term resident of Tavira, he is alarmed at the erosion of land and the destruction of natural habitats in the nature reserve near Castro Marim. Part of the Reserve has been given over to “the latest fad of avocado planting”. He is asking questions and demanding answers from IICNF (Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests), SPEA ( Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds) and other agencies. His actions have prompted the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment to …

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Salgados

People have short memories. They barely notice slow changes, because they are always moving on, without paying any real attention to a place on a regular basis. Recognition of the value of nature suffers because of this deficit in human awareness. Increasingly people are living in urban areas, in a permanent state of unease, in a space and a time that overshadows nature. In the deceptive safety of the city, nature is used merely for decorative purposes. A tree here and an avenue there, seemingly refuges of peace and quiet, such as Central Park in New York and the Botanical …

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Do it yourself and avoid waste

Today I will focus on oral hygiene and cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. When I buy toothpaste it almost always comes in a cardboard box as well as the tube, which annoys me. Why double the packaging costs and waste? And is it necessary to use plastic? I produce a very practical salt for oral hygiene and put it in a used but well cleaned small jar that in this way is used again and doesn’t have to go to the bottle bank. Whatever container you use to store your dental salt in, it can always be reused. Recipe for …

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For they know not what they do

The photos are clear. Two employees of the municipality of Monchique are spraying herbicides onto public pavements. The two men suspect perhaps that they are doing something they shouldn’t, because otherwise they wouldn’t be wearing white full-body suits, mouth protection or gloves. They are protecting themselves – but who is protecting the people, plants and animals? When I ask them why they’re doing that and if they know what they’re doing, they wave me away angrily. Clear off! they shout. But I stay. Less than 15 minutes later, a mother pushes her pram over just these cobblestones. A cat, a …

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Photos - Uwe Heitkamp

Another Festival

People who want to focus the general public’s attention on a special idea or product organise a festival. That is typical of our part of the world. A beer, wine, orange and medronho brandy festival, bird watching, ham, sausage, and confectionery festival. One festival follows on the heels of another throughout the year. They could also be called fairs or jamborees. What is certain is that the 5th Ameixial Walking Festival will be taking place this year from Friday 28 April to Monday 1 May in the southern municipality of Loulé. And in fact it’s good publicity for a different …

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