Wednesday, October 17, 2018
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Climate neutrality in the laboratory

  Flying, travelling by car, eating meat and sausages, are some of the most aggravating factors of a person’s ecological “balance sheet”. How can you explain to people that less can be more? Not using the car also always means a reduction of stress, at least in the city. And whoever exchanges their car for a bike, improves their footprint and arrives at their destination feeling more relaxed. It is obvious that anyone who flies to New Zealand clocks up a lot of CO₂. What you save by not flying significantly reduces your environmental footprint. The experiment has been going …

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Being an artisan is a profession with a future

Clay, palm, reed, wicker, cork, wood and flax, words of the earth which speak of the roots of a people and which can transform lives. They increase the value of our lives. The arts are dying, but there are still people who work together so that this heart continues to beat. This is what is behind the TASA Project (Ancestral Techniques, Current Solutions)! Designers, marketeers and artisans work for a common good: handicrafts. But the piece of craftwork is far removed from its ornamental or mass-produced role and is transformed into an aesthetically pleasing object for everyday use. Being an …

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Teaches a sure touch

A good many success stories in agriculture have begun with people’s hands in the soil. At CEARTE too, the Portuguese professional training centre for handicrafts and heritage (Centro de Formação Profissional para o Artesanato e Património) based in Coimbra, dexterity is required. Alongside traditional forms of handicraft, ecological farming is also taught. Cultivation methods from the past (técnicas de cultivo do antigamente) is how trainer Joaquim de Silva (aged 45) describes the 50-hour course. Participants learn how to prepare the land for tilling without any chemicals at all, how to maintain it and keep it fertile, and how to care …

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Plants on our path

When we go for a walk in the countryside we are far from understanding the value of the magnificent plants that live in the soil. Over and beyond their beauty, they can accompany us on our life’s journey, protecting our health and healing the body and mind at times of recuperation. Each year, more than 2,000 new plants are discovered. They are used in medicine, food, the environment, clothing, biofuels and the making of poisons. At present there are about 5,500 plants used for human consumption. A short four-kilometre walk in the heart of Monchique with the specialist in wild …

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Are we becoming stupid?

It’s a shame that so little good foreign literature finds its way to Portugal. This is presumably due to the fact that we live so far away, out here on the edge of Europe, with just a single neighbour and so much sea around us. This makes us a little isolated. But if we were to look at it from a different angle, then Europe begins here in Portugal, and people who live in isolation should make time for wise decisions. Even if we took into consideration that Portuguese is one of the world’s ten most-spoken languages, the market for …

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I’m doing my bit

ECO123 talked to Cassandra Jorge Querido (aged 54), a landscape architect who was born in Évora and has been working for the past 26 years on matters relating to the environment. We met in the picnic area, at Benafim, in the municipality of Loulé, beneath an oak-tree, a holm-oak tree that is over 500 years old. We talked and had lunch together… Is the new Law No. 10/2018 going to help prevent fires in Portugal? In my opinion, this law isn’t in any way fit for purpose. And it may even make matters worse if it’s implemented. So, it’s dangerous? …

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Land in Sight

Organic foods from organic seeds Creation offers us the whole range of nature, and what do we do with it? ECO123 wanted to know exactly, and visited the public limited company Sementes Vivas SA, which was founded three years ago in Idanha-a-Nova in the district of Castelo Branco near the Spanish border. Sementes Vivas (literally “Living Seeds”) comprises 30 young and committed people, a multi-cultural team that has set itself the goal of multiplying traditional seeds in an organic and biodynamic manner to sell them to environmentally aware gardeners, organic farmers, and those who want to work in this way. …

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A adaptação às alterações climáticas

  Teve lugar recentemente o Seminário “Agricultura Sustentável” em Alte (Loulé), que reuniu agricultores, peritos em solos, profissionais no desenvolvimento de comunidades, políticos e estudantes. O Seminário foi organizado pela Câmara Municipal de Loulé, a Associação In Loco, e a Escola Professional Cândido Guerreiro (EPALTE), com o objetivo de dar a conhecer aos agricultores alternativas perante o desafio das alterações climáticas, custos de produção elevados e baixos preços de venda. O tema do clima e do solo foi abordado nas duas sessões principais, por Alberto Espírito Santo e João Tiago Carapau, da WeConsultants. Alexandra Pestana, da EPALTE partilhou experiências na …

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In case of emergency, phone 1-800-447-8066

Keystone XL Pipeline, High Pressure Oil Pipeline Almost 800,000 litres of oil have flowed from a leak in the Keystone XL pipeline in the USA. This information was provided by the operating company Trans-Canada on Thursday, 16th November. According to the environmental authority the oil had leaked out underground in the state of South Dakota… This report was published the day after the environmental disaster by the New York Times, the Portuguese paper Público, the British paper The Guardian and the German FAZ, among others. It is one of around 2,000 daily reports that made it onto the news pages. …

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Let the education begin

John Dennis Liu was born in Tennessee in 1953, and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, but for over thirty years he has lived in China, where he is an intuitive educator. He also works as a documentary maker, researcher and ecologist, who has happened upon a solution to rehabilitate large-scale ecosystems. His insight began in around 1995 in China when researching the greening of the Loess plateau. He later made a film, “Hope in a changing climate,” which documents some of the transformation of a barren land into a green and fertile one. He has explored land restoration in Jordan and South …

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