eco blog welcome

Welcome to the Ecoants Eco Blog!

Welcome to our blog where we will talk about topical issues, opine about the news, maybe run some quick polls, quizzes and competitions, or just tell you about something different! We will also review some fantastic products, which are designed to make our world a more sustainable and less polluted place, or which will help make our world a little fairer and help to reduce some of the unnecessary poverty we see.

We are always grateful for your thoughts and ideas, so if you have any suggestions please don't hesitate to send us your comments.

Trees to remember our loved ones

31st August 2015

treeincarnation We've all coped with the loss of loved ones, being able to create a place where we can reflect and feel close to them again can offer a sense of peace. Treeincarnation have come up with the excellent idea of using what they term the Tree of Life, a tree which can grow using the nutrients from the cremated remains of your loved one, therefore becoming part of the tree and providing a personal memorial for you to visit. They supply a biodegradable urn which contains all the ingredients to grow a tree of your choice (they currently list several different species to choose from). The ashes are placed at the bottom of the urn and will become part of the tree's root system. The package also comes with a Oak plaque onto which you can request a few fitting words to be engraved. This would be an ideal memorial for pets. We all love animals, especially those that share our daily lives with us. Adventures at the park with the dog, trying to persuade the cat to do something it doesn't want to do, chasing after the runaway hamster! We devote a lot of time and love to our pets and they quickly become one of the family, often the centre of the family attention and they bring people together. Therefore, it's always a very sad moment when you lose a beloved pet and sometimes we'd like to be able to celebrate it's life in an appropriate way. This idea from Treeincarnation seems to be an ideal way to celebrate your loved one or pet's life and give them a natural and peaceful resting place. Find out more on the Treeincarnation website.

Author: Ecoants

Ecoants Competiton Alert (UK residents only this time)

23rd September 2014

win a fairtrade dark chocolate hamperWe haven't been around for a while, but to celebrate our return we are running a little competition with what we hope is a tempting prize - A Divine dark chocolate hamper. We love Divine chocolate, as not only does it have a great taste, but it is fairtrade too. So if you like the idea of winning this you can enter our competition, and if you're lucky enough to win the hamper, you'll be enjoying some melt-in-the-mouth dark chocolate from Divine too. Check back here for future competitions!

Author: Ecoants

The Wonder of Trees

10th November 2011

Two things have prompted me to write about trees today. Last evening I was watching a little TV and noticed a report highlighting how the Woodland Trust in the UK is promoting the idea of planting 6 million trees to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next year. I thought what a fantastic idea, getting people to plant trees in their gardens or to create some pleasant woodlands for people to stroll in. They want to create hundreds of new Jubilee Woods and 60 special Diamond Woods. It's a great idea and one that we can all support in some small way.

Then this morning I have popped out to find a quiet place to work and settled on a delightful woodland location nearby where I have the peace, quiet and shelter afforded to me by the array of wonderful trees living in this environment. It got me thinking about all the benefits that trees and woodlands give us and how I would try to encourage people like you to take part in the Woodland Trust's idea. We do need more trees in our local environments and this is a very good idea to help achieve that aim.

Ten good reasons to have trees!

autumn trees

What is so great about the humble tree then? Let's find out...

I - Walking around one of my local woodlands this morning I could not help but marvel at the fantastic array of autumn colours on offer. It really is just gorgeous and you can only appreciate and wonder at the natural world when it provides us with displays such as this. So many golden yellows, reds and oranges and also varying shades of green both on the trees and on the ground. When you take a moment to gaze at this superb natural event that happens each year, it makes you feel really good to be able to be a part of it and experience it. It's a similar story in the spring when the light green shoots of the first leaves start to show and give way to a beautiful light green and fresh canopy signalling warmer times ahead!

II - The second thing I love about trees, and in particular woodland in general, is the incredible sense of peace and tranquility they bring on quiet days throughout the year. They are full of wonderufl natural things too and the sound of the birds singing can be so clear on days like this.

III - As you can see I love trees in general, but I am especially fond of the fact that there are just so many different species to enjoy. I love the Pine for the uniquely piercing fragrance it emits. I love the British Oak for it's splendid canopy and the strength it portrays in abundance. I adore the Willow for it's melancholy and I like all the fruit trees for the variety and tasty fruits they give.

IV - A tree affords you shade on hot, sunny days (not that we have seen a lot of them this year!) as well as shelter on wet and windy days.

V - A tree can make an outstanding centrepiece in a garden, can give you fruit to eat, and can be used to celebrate and remember all manner of events and anniversaries, given the longevity of life many trees enjoy.

VI - Of course, trees absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the air in order to grow and perhaps we need a few more of them to help add balance to a world that is somewhat environmentally unbalanced at the moment.

VII - Trees provide homes, shelter and food for many animals, and in different parts of the world can provide work, medicine and fuel for us.

VIII - Trees can help to prevent flooding for they can absorb large quantities of water from the earth. Plus, their root systems, their decaying leaves and assortment of seeds and fruits can suport a large number of important habitats and species that help to maintain our fragile ecosystems.

IX - The incredible swathes of rainforest and jungle in our world are known as the lungs of the Earth and for very good reason. Without them we would not exist, which is why rapid rates of deforestation give cause for concern.

X - A tree can be a spiritual resting place, an important landmark, a memory of times past, or an important symbol of power, strength or wisdom. A tree can be so many things to so many different people, to so many animals and other plants, which is why we really need more of them.

This Idea of the Woodland Trust

Oak Tree

It's not just about creating new woods for us to enjoy, it's about planting more trees in general, whether that be in your garden, to commemmorate an event such as an anniversary of some kind, or in your village, town or city. It's about enjoying all the benefits that trees bring to our lives, that perhaps we can sometimes take for granted. You can suport the woodland trust directly, or you could pop down to your local garden centre and look for a tree there. If you don't have a garden centre near to you, you can buy a tree online these days, confident that it will be delivered to you in good condition. We use a site called Tree 2 my door, who stock a very good range of healthy trees which they carefully deliver to you. Whatever you decide to do, please make sure you pledge to plant a tree at the Woodland Trust website so they can achieve their ambitious target. So, which tree would you choose to buy? For me it would have to be a traditional Oak or one of the many fruit trees on offer.

Author: Paul K

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Will this research help to convince the Global Warming Sceptics?

28th October 2011

Recent reports suggest that research carried out by independent American scientists, and according to the BBC, part-funded by industrialists who have been known to fund lobbying organisations who do not accept the evidence of man-made global warming, supports the assertion that the Earth really is warming up in line with previous data released by other scientists who were affected by the rather childishly termed 'Climategate' affair. I say childish, because these days many journalists in our media seem to have to dramatise all news up to the point of ridicule. Facts get distorted and scandal, innuendo, rumour, and theories are reported in a factual way. It's absurd, but so are many things.

Back on topic, what is intriguing about this piece of research which has been published online by Berkeley Earth, is that the published data appears to suggest evidence of global warming in line with other published data from research by NASA, NOAA, and the Hadley Centre in the UK. Of course, it was hacked emails from Unversity of East Anglia scientists at their Climate Reserach Unit which suggested that they were manipulating data in some way and seeking to influence global debate in one direction, allegedely withholding any data which may have contradicted evidence of man-made global warming. I believe that their research and credibility has since been vindicated, however this particular report helps to vindicate them further. The irony is that this most recent independent research was brought about to find the truth about global warming, yet the preliminary findings suggest that both the CRU's published data and that of other bodies is correct, that there is evidence of recent global surface temperature increases. The graph from the Berkeley Earth site below demonstrates this succinctly. Indeed the correlation betwen the four sets of data is rather instructive given the consistency shown between the four separately published results.

global warming graph 2011

I highlight the word global as the research looks at temperatures across the globe. There is evidence of some kind of 'pause' in some parts of the world, and it is this that possibly influences and excites some climate sceptics from that part of the world, when they voice their doubts about the existence of anthropogenic global warming, yet the global data overall does suggest a clear warming pattern at present. From the evidence demonstrated by this research and other organisations, it is hard to deny that there is anything other than a warming trend and it appears to be happening at quite a pace. So the question I find myself wondering is whether any of the climate sceptics who questionned the warming, especially in light of the 'climategate' issue, are willing to accept this independent research? Are they prepared to accept that global surface temperatures are rising?

They may do, but there are still arguments that climate sceptics can espouse relating to the causes of this pronounced increased in temperature. In my opinion, it would be both ignorant and arrogant to assume that human industrial activities have had no affect on the Earth's global surface temperature. The Greenhouse Effect is a naturally occurring blanket of gases that keeps the planet warmer than it would otherwise be. The gases that cause this effect and help to keep us warmer include carbon dioxide. Our industrial and energy producing processes have released huge amounts of this gas into the atmosphere and there can be no consequence other than an enhanced greenhouse effect and a rise in global surface temperatures. Obviously there are many other influences on what is an incredibly complex system, such as solar activity, but it would be nice to hear a few of the sceptics accept that there has been a warming and that it is, at least in part, caused by human activity.

Author: Ecoants

If you would like to find out the kind of things you could do to help prevent further global warming, look at our section on what actions you can take to stop global warming and climate change.

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