Sunday, April 11, 2021
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Nº 82 – There‘s no better Teacher than Experience …
with Photo gallery

Faro, Saturday 10th April 2021 Any reconstruction following a devastating fire starts with the removal of rubbish caused by humans: charred plastic, broken glass, bent metal. The Estaminé restaurant, the only building on the island called Ilha Deserta in Faro, which burnt to the ground on 2 March, is now scheduled to be rebuilt. The difficulties with the insurance company that José Vargas, owner of the restaurant had to contend with, seem to be resolved. And in order to emphasise its affinity with nature and its sustainability the architecture will again consist entirely of wood, while the building will be …

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Driving the Renault ZOE ZEN to
a HAPPY ENDING
or: How to save 10,000 euros in petrol over five years

Ten years ago, I decided to get rid of all machines, motors and engines that were powered by fossil fuels. At the time, I was driving an old petrol-guzzling Renault Kangoo and felt a pang of conscience each time I ate a piece of meat. Some of my colleagues were buying new cars at that point. Thinking about what I could do with my money, I decided to become independent, to liberate myself from the constraints of a society running on fossil fuels. I made a fundamental decision and didn’t buy a new car. Instead, I simply carried on driving …

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A conversation in the countryside

The hands of the clock have not yet reached five o’clock on this beautiful summer day that is slowly awakening from its slumber. The information arrives. I am going to meet with a group of citizens who have decided to put an end to monocultures. So, I get out of bed at four in the morning and get dressed. I arrive at a crossroads in no man’s land. I had parked my car in a safe place some time before, and so I walked the rest of the way. At some point, I turned off the tarmac road onto a …

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Do you know how
Intelligent Trees
communicate with humans?

Dr Suzanne Simard is a professor of forest ecology teaching at the University of British Columbia in Canada whose work focuses on how trees communicate with other trees. The passionate educator and TedTalk speaker was given an exclusive platform in the film “Intelligent Trees” to tell the most interesting eco story of the year. Dr Simard used radioactive carbon to measure the flow and sharing of carbon between individual trees and species. She discovered that birch and Douglas fir share carbon. Birch trees receive extra carbon from Douglas firs when the birch trees lose their leaves, and birch trees supply …

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Was the Forest the Bank of Nature?

We invited teacher and artist Ana Nunes (67 years old) for a conversation. She tells us: I’m from Monchique. I didn’t live here for many years, but I still have memories of what I learned from my family. ECO123 asks her about her memories of when the forest was managed in a sustainable way, before it was turned solely into a eucalyptus plantation.   The forest isn’t a sausage factory, is it? Um, um (She agrees). We need the forest to protect and save humanity, although people have always seen it as a source of income. Income, investment, profit. This …

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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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For better or worse

Over the last thirty years, I have often been asked where I come from and where I was born. Does this matter? And, if so, why? What can you deduce from knowing that someone was born in Metz, Monchique or Minden? Isn’t it enough just to be European? What if the woman in the queue behind me asks me once again and I reply that I’m from Monchique? Will that be of any help to her? In what way? Does it explain anything about the person inside me? When she smiles and shakes her head, I look at her and …

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