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Tag: environment

Energy-saving solutions let homeowners cut costs while helping the environment

Energy-saving solutions let homeowners cut costs while helping the environment

Finance
Sprinklers water the lawns of a housing development in Hesperia, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)David McNew | Getty Images News | Getty ImagesYou probably have a rough idea of how much energy and water your home uses, based on your utility bills.But new technologies aim to turn the tables, letting you see just how much in resources you are using in advance of those bills so that your bottom line is lower. And that goes for everything from everyday appliances to your sprinkler system.If you want to get smart about your home's energy efficiency, perhaps it's time to upgrade.Making smart upgrades in a home — electricity, water usage, heating and air-conditioning — could save a homeowner from 5% to 30% on annual utility bills, according to energy.gov.There are a variety of in-h

UN environment agency warns of effects of rising sand use

Technology
The U.N.'s environment program is warning about the overuse of sand resources, saying a three-fold increase in demand over the last 20 years amid increasing population, urbanization and building work has contributed to beach erosion, flooding and drought. In a new report launched Tuesday, UNEP urged a re-think about the use of the world's second-most extracted resource, after water, by industry, governments and the public. UNEP said demand for sand and gravel amounts to 40-50 billion tons every year, and pointed to the need for conservation, recycling and a look for alternatives like sawdust. Pascal Peduzzi, director of a UNEP program with the University of Geneva, said more thought needs to be taken: "We aren't very smart about how we use sand, because we think: This is just sand."Let's ...
How your weekly shop affects the environment

How your weekly shop affects the environment

Science
Food production is responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming, according to a University of Oxford study.However, the researchers found that the environmental impact of different foods varies hugely.Many of us have cut down on using plastic bags and plastic straws, recycle where possible and have turned our heating down a degree or two. But have you considered how your weekly shop can change the world? For BBC Radio 5 Live's Cool Planet season, I wanted to find out how making small changes to our grocery choices can have a big impact on the planet, so I went shopping with Professor Mike Berners-Lee from Lancaster University who specialises in climate change and sustainable food systems. Meat and fishWe don't e...
Risk of water shortages for England warns Environment Agency

Risk of water shortages for England warns Environment Agency

Science
England is facing water supply shortages by 2050 unless rapid action is taken to curb water use and wastage, the Environment Agency has warned. Its new report says enough water to meet the needs of 20 million people is lost through leakage every day.Population growth and the impact of climate change are expected to add to supply pressures. The agency wants people to have a personal water target and has urged them to use water more wisely at home.The study, the first major report on water resources in England, says that population growth and climate change are the biggest pressures on a system that is already struggling. In 2016, some 9,500 billion litres of freshwater were taken from rivers, lakes, reservoirs and underground sour...