Tuesday, February 25, 2020
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Ecology

Mobility

People and Mobility.

Let’s start with the good news. Portugal is in 6th place in the global Climate Change Performance Index (1), directly behind Denmark and Sweden and ahead of both Switzerland and Germany. And the bad news? The reduction in greenhouse gases coming from emissions from industry, agriculture and forestry, from power stations, from buildings and households but especially from transport and mobility can mainly be attributed to drastic cuts during the economic and financial crisis. Important though a balanced national budget may be, savings alone are of little help when major investments in the right ideas and projects are lacking. Political …

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ECO123 Tesla Testdrive

The Future Now.

There it is in front of the door, and it looks like a completely normal car. Could even be a BMW. You don’t feel the difference until you’re sitting in it. On the dashboard, I find a 17” touch screen. It’s the car’s nerve centre. Roberto explains how it works. The computer (or the NSA) controls the navigation system, the internet connection, the front and rear cameras, the built-in telephone, the media centre, energy consumption and all the other personal control functions which you have to adjust yourself before setting off. You can say that the car is a machine …

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Ecotrails Odemira

Pure nature in the Alentejo.

Shaded by trees, the river Mira meanders lazily from Odemira to Vila Nova de Milfontes. For people wanting to spend their autumn holidays here with children and canoes, www.ecotrails.info offer a weekend tour in a leisurely paddling area. As the tide goes out, you paddle towards the mouth of the river, and you paddle back as the tide comes in. Each stretch of just over 30 km of paddling in one direction can easily be covered in two days. You can also add an overnight stop in Casas Brancas.

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Solar Impulse

To tell the story of SolarImpulse – the first solar aero plane project – we have to begin seven years ago in Switzerland. Here the idea was born. This summer the initiators and pilots André Borschberg and Bernard Piccard flew with it across the USA covering more than 5.600 km despite being confronted with heavy weather challenges. SolarImpulse, the first airplane ever to fly day and night on solar energy only, proved the reliability and efficiency of clean technologies and renewable energies. SolarImpulse took advantage of Switzerland’s long tradition of technological innovation, research and entrepreneurial excellence. Over the centuries this …

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Birdwatching - Faia Brava

Success stories.

The private educational programme for schools “Faia Brava” was successfully financed through crowdfunding  (www.ppl.com.pt) . €4,150 was used for six safari tents so that classes of school children could be given practical eco-lessons on the ground in the Faia Brava gorge in the wilderness of northern Portugal. €4,508 was raised from 77 private investors and donors. Themed walks, bird watching, seminars and educational games in the over 850 hectares of the unique nature reserve of the river Côa to the north of Guarda are intended to ensure increased understanding of our flora and fauna in Portugal.

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Ecological fabrics

Ideals: the road to success

At a time when clothing-related allergies are becoming increasingly worse, the online shop Tecidos Ecológicos (Ecological Fabrics) has invested in supplying ecological fabrics. This means that the manufacture of the fabrics is sustainable (1) because, by avoiding the use of chemicals, the effect on the health of the planet and its inhabitants is reduced to a minimum. But also because all types of synthetic dyes or those produced through genetic manipulation are avoided. All the items sold by Tecidos Ecológicos have certification from GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards), an organisation involving the USA, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan. The …

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Monastery Vallbona

Ruta del Cister

Twenty steps lead up to the second floor of the sandstone stronghold that stands behind metre-thick walls. That’s where the five guest cells of the Catalonian Cistercian monastery Poblet are to be found. Brother Paco, aged 79, alias Francisco Martínez Soria, hands me the key. He shows me the bathroom, broom cupboard and the wall-walk around the monastery. He’s a man of few words: “Singing at one, followed by lunch.” Then he leaves. Bed, desk, chair, shelf, rubbish bin, saint’s image, radiator, desk lamp. Four by two-and-a-half metres. This is where the three-day, 106 km long walk along the Cistercian …

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projeto 270

PROJECTO 270

It’s just a small step from organic agriculture to sustainable development Projecto 270 may be just a farm, but it is actually much more than that. It covers half a hectare and is located between the beaches of Praia da Riviera and Praia da Rainha on the Costa da Caparica. It’s been running for a decade and is organically certified. The idea for the project arose in Genoa at a demonstration against globalisation, putting into practice the motto “Think globally, act locally”. Its name comes from the number of the plot. To start with it was quite a sandy, family …

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rota dos pescadores

Path of the Fishermen

Shortly before Almograve, we really do lose our way when we stray from the path. No more wooden posts in the sand, all gone with the wind. From far away, we can see the village below us. To our left, we can hear the breakers roaring. High dunes separate the beach from the hinterland, which is what caught us out. The pine forest came to an end and we kept going along the path; at some point after post number 325 there were no more waymarkers. We head across country, with the village three kilometres away as the crow flies, …

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Via Algarviana

Via Algarviana

There is no doubt that Portugal’s future strength lies in its geography and its climatic conditions. The generation of electricity from the sun, wind and water makes the country independent. Up to 2030, the country experiences a surge in private investment. This enables Portugal to modernise its public infrastructure in a sustainable way. The doyen of urban planning, the Marquês de Pombal, is impressed. The Renaissance of the Via Algarviana. There had been a referendum about taxes imposed by the state. It emerged from this that the new Portugal could only be reformed from the bottom up. Three key values …

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