Sunday, May 27, 2018
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The colour of white coffee

There is little in life that is black and white. However, the present-day river Tejo (the Tagus in English) is just that. It’s black on one side and white on the other. Transparent water alongside dirty water. This separation of the waters in the middle of the river is not due to force majeure in the classic, divine sense of the expression, but rather in a much more contemporary sense: the pollution of the river Tejo is due to the major paper factories on its banks in Vila Velha de Rodão. Until recently, no one had the courage to point …

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Water here, but not there…

ECO123 spoke with the Administration of the Algarve Hydrographic Region, (Administração da Região Hidrográfica do Algarve) part of, the Environment Agency, (Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente) based in Faro. The office in Faro has responsibility for the Algarve. There are five main offices across Portugal and the other offices have responsibility for the Alentejo, Tejo, the North and the Centre. The Environment Agency has five strategic goals: to increase the level of protection, recovery and enhancement of the ecosystem; to increase the level of protection of people and goods in a risk situation; to improve the knowledge and information available about …

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We have reached a production of 74 million litres

Monchique’s water has been known since the time when the Romans occupied the Iberian Peninsula. Endowed with unique properties, this water, with its ‘strange flavour’ (as various consumers have mentioned ever since it first began to be produced commercially), has recently become a synonym for quality and well-being. After passing through a period of financial difficulty, the Sociedade da Água de Monchique, which had held the concession for the commercial exploitation of the region’s water since 1992, was taken over in 2010 by the Braga-based company WaterBunkers SGPS SA. It rapidly evolved from being an own-label brand to become a …

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Must we prepare for water rationing?

Teresa Fernandes, head of Communication and Environmental Education at Águas do Algarve, the company that is responsible for the region’s water supply, admits that there is a possibility of a water shortage in the medium to long term. However, even if it doesn’t rain, she guarantees that there will be no lack of water for the local population, at least before the end of this year. Is water becoming a kind of “blue gold”? In my view, water is more important than gold, absolutely anywhere in the world, because it is irreplaceable. We can’t live without water, which is fundamental …

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Nature is alive!

Indigenous forest A current website recently attracted my journalistic attention. Here I must point out that I only recommend websites these days where the creators identify themselves with their name and address. I no longer look at anonymous rubbish as a matter of principle. I do the same with telephone calls. I do not waste valuable time or my attention on people who call me from hidden numbers. As the creators of this website worked in a transparent way, I simply rang them up and asked them for an interview on the topic that had led them to put this …

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The school belongs to the community

The school belongs to the community

In Portugal, José Pacheco, aged 63, is a symbol of alternative school education. This short grey-haired man with bright eyes and a moustache looks like the quintessential friendly teacher. But his words are radical: “Today the people of the 21st century are being taught by teachers from the 20th century using methods from the 19th century.” In his view, classes grouped by age, exams and marks have no scientific or legal basis. Above all, he knows that there is a completely different way of doing things. As a young teacher, he started to gradually reform a state school with two …

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Music is just as important as Maths

Recently, a crowd funding campaign attracted my journalistic attention. In it, a school wanted to implement an education project through crowd funding. So, I took €50 from the business till and invested it in the building of a new, year 9 classroom at the Waldorf school in São João dos Montes near Vila Franca da Xira. The project was going to cost €12,500 to implement and in the end this sum was indeed raised. And, as we at ECO123 only tell stories of success, I planned to make a visit to the school in the electric vehicle that belongs to …

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Every kilometre tells a story

José Júlio Brito’s story began in 2010, on the day when he left his home, in Vila Real de Santo António, with his rucksack on his back, and set off looking for the answers to his inner search. His original intention was to walk without any particular destination and to face up to the limitations that he had placed upon himself, fleeing from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, after ten days’ solid walking, he found that his route had taken him to Fátima. Along the way, he earned the nickname of the ‘Algarve Pilgrim’ and every kilometre …

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Travelling on foot through Western Europe

Oh Europa

And then one morning, the time had come, Jürgen Kahlisch recalls. On a cool April morning, he left his friends’ flat in Berlin and closed the door behind him. The hiker took a deep breath and shook the night-time frost out of his bones. Now lying ahead of him were six months and 4,000 kilometres from northeast to southwest. Travelling on foot through Western Europe was something he’d wanted to do for a long time, and now, with every step, the plan was increasingly becoming reality. It was April 2007. Through the Harz and the Rhön mountains, past Frankfurt am …

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We are belatedly living the American Dream

We are belatedly living the American Dream

At a time when directives are increasingly calling for the use of environmentally-friendly energies, how many electric vehicles does Eva have? Just one. Our investments in the fleet haven’t – yet – been made in electric vehicles or ones fuelled by natural gas, for two reasons: the possibility of investing in environmental measures announced by the government was limited to public or semi-public transport companies: Carris, STCP, Transportes Coletivos do Barreiro… and the National Association of Heavy Road Passenger Transport Operators (ANTROP), which represents us, promptly published a letter setting out our position… And, when it comes to buses used …

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