Sunday, December 15, 2019
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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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With cannibals at the table

Our dog is immediately given a bowl of water by Andreia Silva. We’ve come to try this vegetarian restaurant in Tavira at lunchtime. Good. I notice an Argentinian ant. It climbs up my table, walks across my plate and goes back down again. It’s not interested in the plate (from IKEA, Made in Portugal), since it’s still empty. This little ant is special. The species came into Europe via a port in southern France, then spread through Spain to Tavira, reaching as far as Silves and Monchique and from Aljezur to Cape Saint Vincent. It’s a little fighter. There are …

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A pot with many good things from your garden

Our goal is to become self sufficient with our food. We need five years to achieve this. We will reach this goal in five steps. In the first year, we worked the land, clearing it and creating a fine tilth, removing the stones and weeds. At the same time, we composted, then used compost as a fertilizer for the first sowing in the second year: potatoes and onions, peas and beans, tomatoes and peppers and many more things. We also would recommend a permaculture course at Quinta Vale da Lama in Lagos. For today’s recipe, almost all of the ingredients …

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Sowing water…

… is an old Portuguese saying associated with traditional agriculture. A farmer never uses insecticides, pesticides and fungicides, those poisonous chemicals, to kill insects, weeds and fungi. They live with them, as every living thing has its place in the countryside and in the forest and the rainwater seeps into the soil to make it fertile and healthy. In this way the water is held back so that it doesn’t flow directly down the slope to the stream and permeates the soil to give it life and allow growth in the garden. ECO123 visited Carlos Fernandes (46), one of the …

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How we can prevent forest fires

I was born in Goa, India – Domingos Xavier Viegas opens a conversation with ECO123 in the publisher’s garden. I am a Portuguese citizen and I came with my parents and three sisters to Portugal in 1957. My parents wanted to give us a higher education and understood that this would not be easy if we stayed in Goa. My father was a civil servant, and he sensed that India wanted to annex Goa, so he decided to come to Portugal. We left Goa in 1957 and in 1961 it was taken by the Indian Union. After that, I went …

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The monopoly

Without it nothing works. And it’s been that way since 1976. It’s a business worth millions. Only someone who’s on the inside really knows what’s going on in there. It’s one of the big businesses that are still very profitable and in which the state and governments, regardless of their politics, continue to have the last word and where, until recently, it was the state itself that collected the profits. It’s become a legal drug, electricity. The electricity business in Portugal has been monopolised for too long. Permission to sell electricity allows you to accumulate wealth and arrogance that are …

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The commitment?

Witnesses and experts of the catastrophe that struck Monchique a year ago were heard at the public hearing in Monchique on August 3rd. One of the goals of those present, amongst whom was Rui Lopes, commander of firefighters, married and father of two, was to re-examine the failures of 2018. “Commitment” was the keyword of his speech. Please explain to us the meaning of the word “commitment”(compromisso). It can have several meanings: agreement, obligation or debt. When we talk about forest fires there has to be an agreement, a commitment on the part of all those taking part in the …

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The desirable future of solar energy in Portugal

As a researcher working on the governance of energy transitions in 2016, I was fascinated by the relatively slow growth of solar energy in Portugal despite the amazing potential. I crafted a research project to explore this with a focus on accountability relations, and successfully competed for a position at the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation in Norway, where I feel fortunate to explore this and similar issues with some fantastic colleagues. Between 2017 and 2019, I have spent about five months in Portugal, studying the multi-sited and multi-scalar geographies of solar energy uptake, from the capital Lisbon to …

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The legacy I will leave to my children is whatever is left by the mine

Covas do Barroso, Chaves. Over the past few years, a teacher living in England from Covas do Barroso, Trás-os-Montes, has swapped Portuguese and English books for the Mining Journal, lithium market reports and the minutes of international mining conferences. Catarina Scarrott, a mother of two children aged 2 and 7, fights passionately for the land on which her family has lived for more than ten generations. This is the land to which she would like to return, were it not for the lack of access and services. This is the land that British company Savannah Resources wants to gut in …

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FF Solar Supplement

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