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What forest is this?

Like sap, we rise up through the four layers of a forest. We progress from the bureaucrats in state institutions to experts who are passionate about the forest. Let’s move from the Dantesque vision of the current ‘eucalyptugal’ to the landscape of the lush forest that is to come.   The ground layer It’s called Quinta da Fonteireira, in Belas, and it is a rare green lung in the suburbs along the Sintra railway line. Between the ages of eight and eighteen, I slept more than a hundred nights there, in Vale Escuro. At that time, when I was in …

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Dumpster Diving

Where? Lisbon, 7pm. Pling! A WhatsApp message: ‘You’re coming shopping tonight?’ ‘Shopping’ is code here for the ‘respiga’, Dumpster Diving. Wikipedia has it nailed down: ‘Dumpster diving (also ‘skipping’) is salvaging unused items discarded by their owners… from… waste containers.’ So, what does this look like in real life? At 8pm, we are waiting, with backpacks, head torch and rubber gloves at the ready, opposite our trusted organic supermarket. Half an hour later, we hear the comforting rumble of the wheelie bins, then wait till they are all lined up and the security guards are on their way. ‘Boa noite, …

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Is Eucalyptus Invasive?

Not everyone places economic growth at number one on their aspirational wish list. The area behind A’s house marks the beginning of a forest. If truth be told, A is living with B, his wife, inside the forest. On his plot of land, measuring one hectare, you’ll find over 500 trees of all kinds: umbrella pines, cork oaks, strawberry trees, willows, alders and ash, bay trees, birches and beeches, olive trees, cedars, chestnuts, and all kinds of fruit trees. Every tree, he says, has its own place, its own home. To him, the forest is the last paradise remaining to …

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The House is Falling Down
The trial against EDP Distribuição Energia SA has started

828 days have passed since the last great forest fire in the Monchique mountains. Now, in mid-November 2020, the judiciary is finally moving. Dare I say, a snail is approaching the finishing line? The third branch of power of the State is independent. In the dock, we have EDP Distribuição Energia SA, the company caught up in the tangled web of the former monopolist, which seems to be completely overwhelmed by its task. It transports electricity via transmission lines from the energy provider to the customers and end-users. The latter are starting to abandon EDP Comercial – now SU Electricidade …

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Forests, our Natural Heritage

Inspired by  https://florestautoctone.webnode.pt/ When I cast my mind back to the beginning of my time on earth, I remember my first visit to a forest, where the crowns of the trees provided shade for the soft soil underfoot. Huge, age-old and very strong trees, mostly beeches, oaks and pines. There were scattered birches and ash trees, trees that were both small and large, living together in their own universe. We would play hide-and-seek in the woods. There were caves and rock formations, many of which were overgrown with moss. It was always reassuringly cool, always a little damp, and occasionally …

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Association Milvoz

Manuel Malva was born in Coimbra in 1995, and, from an early age, he was encouraged to appreciate even the tiniest details of the natural world. At the age of seven, he began to photograph Nature, particularly birds, teaching himself to look them up afterwards in European bird guides, in order to identify the species he had photographed. Over time, his interest spread to other groups of fauna and flora, leading him to embark on an in-depth study of the ecology, behaviour and distribution of the wide range of species biodiversity in Portugal. His fascination with the dynamics of Nature …

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“What are politicians thinking about when they try not to think about global warming?”

There is nothing that reduces credibility in government policies more than a lack of trust in its climate measures. When someone travels from one climate conference to another by plane, despite being responsible for implementing measures that mitigate the greenhouse effect, this demonstrates a contradiction in their way of thinking, a contradiction between the statements that they make and their attitude. It has been proven that the burning of oil, gas and coal causes the overheating of our planet’s atmosphere and poses a threat to all of humanity. So why is it that European governments do not set a limit …

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Test Drive – Hyundai KAUAI EV

Electric cars are considered one of the main solutions for reducing carbon emissions in transport. They are appearing in increasing numbers on the roads, but it’s important to look at various factors when purchasing a car for yourself. ECO123 set off into the world of 100% electric vehicles and sat behind the wheel to test three different models: the Hyundai Kauai EV, the Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe.   The Peaceful Revolution There is little doubt that the future of sustainable mobility lies in the electrification of the transport sector. The need to reduce our carbon footprint, along with …

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Electricity in the hands of communities?

This year, Portuguese law paved the way for energy transition. “Collective self-consumption” and “energy communities” have now become legally recognised concepts. Now, we must transfer these concepts from paper into reality, overcome bureaucracy and lead the way towards decentralised energy systems that are both eco-friendly and collectively managed.   The legislation governing this change is Decree-Law No. 162/2019. Here, you will find seven pages of legal text which replace previous laws regulating the self-consumption of renewable energy and pave the way for a more efficient, decentralised energy grid. Effective since 1 January, the legislation allows people to collectively manage their …

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Combustion engine cars versus electric cars
Your days are numbered

A change of course? Certainly. From this edition onwards, ECO123 will have a piece dedicated to transport. Three well-known politicians also sought to set their own course on Wednesday 13 May. In this final phase of the first wave of Covid-19, they went to visit the Autoeuropa factory in Palmela. But we haven’t forgotten about the fraudulent software that was installed in millions of Volkswagen diesel cars. It led to a wave of lawsuits being brought worldwide against the German automobile industry. We will cover the development of this story with reports on our website. And we understand that it …

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