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Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise
Posted by: July 22 2019
Getting Healthier By Eating Sustainable Food And Taking Exercise
So, how have you been doing on your new year’s resolutions? Chances are that you are frowning even when reading this, having difficulties just remembering what exactly it was that you vowed to change in your life, just some weeks ago. Well, let us help you to jog your memory. It probably included some random measures to improve your personal wellbeing, such as exercising more or eating healthier. Getting healthier and happier through some life-improving habits Is it coming back yet? Well, it might be good to keep reading. We fully understand that it has been hard to get up at 6am to squeeze in an hour of exercise before starting your day, or to stick to your commitment of bringing packed, fresh salads to work for lunch. There are, however, ways to make it easier to become a healthier person.  So stick with us as we run through some quick and foolproof ways of making  sustainable changes to your lifestyle, that are bound to last for a longer period of time. Curb junkfood into  healthy food An important first change could be to cut back on your favourite guilty-pleasures. Junk food can be our favourite go-to piece of comfort when we are busy, tired, or not feeling well. Whether it is ice cream, sweets, fried chicken, cheeseburgers or choc chip cookies: most of them will not add much in terms of nutritional value, while providing a steep intake of sugars and fats.  It could be as easy as ignoring those items while doing your grocery shopping, instead opting to fill your pantry with healthier options such as nuts, fruits, veggie chips, yoghurt or hummus. Once you get used to cracking open the avocado instead of that bag of chips, you will notice how it is actually more filling, while it sets you up with much needed nutrients. Sugary drinks, say them farewell Few people realise just how many ‘bad’ sugars and empty calories are added to our daily diet by drinking some of the sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, flavoured coffees of iced teas that have quickly become a fixture in our fridges. And yes, we understand that these are quite hard to replace, but it will definitely be worth your effort. You could opt for fresh water, unsweetened tea and coffee, low-fat milk, or flavoured calorie-free water drinks instead - and notice an instant drop in your blood glucose levels. Find suitable bread and pasta substitutes Most people who have attempted a diet in the past will know that some of these much hated carbs are hiding in the bread and pasta products that we so readily enjoy on a daily basis. Therefore, a first step towards becoming a healthier person might entail the exclusion of those foods from our lives. Bread is actually quite easily replaced by veggies. You could, for instance, use iceberg, green leaf or butter lettuce instead of bread when preparing your sandwich or a delicious burger. Simply pile it all together and wrap the lettuce around it, then wrap it up in some paper and a piece of tape - and tear away the paper as you take bites out of your delicious, low-calorie sub or burger. It’s not just bread, though. Pasta could just as easily be replaced by all kinds of veggies. Noodles from zucchini, sweet potato or carrots are just as delicious when whipping up a mean pasta, while squash has proven to be a perfect substitute for ‘traditional’ spaghetti. If you really want to go all the way, try using cauliflower, broccoli or butternut as the main ingredient for your rice dish. Befriend the local butcher While most diets will not require you to cut back on your meat intake, you can do something here to improve your health as well. Just head over to the butcher and kindly ask for the leanest cuts of meat that he has available. Why? Well, some of the lard, fatback and high-fat meats contain high amounts of saturated fat - a well-known contributor to high cholesterol levels. This includes favourites like ground beef, hot dogs, sausages, bacon and spareribs. Leaner meats, on the other hand, will be much healthier. This includes fish, turkey and chicken options (provided that it is skinless!), as well as some beef options that have been trimmed of fat. Your butcher will be able to point out some great options, that could include round, sirloin, flank and tenderloin. Get out in nature more and move, move, move! Finally, it may seem like an obvious point, but it really makes a world of difference: start moving more. Especially if your workday is mostly spent sedentary, you should find ways of getting out more. Even for as short as a 15-minute walk during your lunchbreak, or by taking the stairs instead of the elevator when riding the subway: the ‘hardcore’ exercise would be a great extra, although simple changes in your daily routine can go a long way as well. Especially by performing some of those activities outdoors, will you soon feel that the extra fresh air and rush of being outside - which could encourage you to frequently repeat such activities. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle Read more...
Bicycles Without Battery: We Just Forgot They Are Cleanest
Posted by: July 1 2019
Bicycles Without Battery: We Just Forgot They Are Cleanest
Bicycles were introduced in the late 19th century in Europe, and by the early 21st century, more than 1 billion were in existence at a given time. These numbers far exceed the number of cars, both in total and ranked by the number of individual models produced. They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for use as children's toys, general fitness, military and police applications, courier services, bicycle racing and bicycle stunts. The basic shape and configuration of a typical upright or "safety bicycle", has changed little since the first chain-driven model was developed around 1885. However, many details have been improved, especially since the advent of modern materials and computer-aided design. These have allowed for a proliferation of specialized designs for many types of cycling. The bicycle's invention has had an enormous effect on society, both in terms of culture and of advancing modern industrial methods. Several components that eventually played a key role in the development of the automobile were initially invented for use in the bicycle, including ball bearings, pneumatic tires, chain-driven sprockets and tension-spoked wheels. Flying Pigeon is a Chinese state-owned bicycle company based in Tianjin, a direct-controlled municipality, in North-eastern China.Since 1950, more than 500 million Flying Pigeon PA-02 bicycles have been made Bicycles Without Battery, so Many Choices! When trying to decide on the best type of bike, think about these questions: Who do you ride with? What do they ride? What have you had in the past that you liked? What have you had in the past that you disliked? Where would you like to ride your new bike? If you are buying a bike to ride with a group of friends, buy something similar to what they ride. You will not be able to keep up with road bikes if you are on a mountain bike or cruiser. And a road bike cannot go on the dirt or the sand. If you enjoyed a three speed as a child, you may find this a fun bike again. If you disliked the road bike you bought a few years ago, perhaps a mountain bike would be better. Bicycles for on the roads Road bicycles are designed to be ridden fast on smooth pavement. They have smooth, skinny tires and "drop" handlebars, and can be used for on-road racing. They are usually lighter than other types of bicycles. They can be ridden on paved trails, but most people find them uncomfortable and unstable on unpaved trails. Most road bikes are not capable of carrying heavy loads, so are not very suitable for commuting or touring. Cyclocross Bicycles Cyclocross bicycles are a special type of road bike designed to be raced on a mixed surface course (combination of pavement, unpaved trails, gravel, grass). They have a drop handlebar like regular road bikes, but the tires are a littler wider for more off-road traction, and they have a different style of brake that helps to prevent mud buildup in the frame. Cyclocross bicycles are sometimes called 'cross bikes or cx bikes for short. Touring Bicycles Touring bicycles are another special type of road bike. They are designed to be ridden on pavement, but are more durable for use on self-supported long-distance riding. They have all of the necessary mounting bolts for cargo racks and fenders, and although they still have a drop handlebar, they usually have a more relaxed frame design so that the rider is more upright, for more comfort when riding long distances for multiple days at a time. They have a lower gear range compared to regular road bikes, to allow for carrying heavy loads up steep hills. They also make good commuter bicycles, because of their durability and ability to carry heavy loads. Adventure Road Bicycles Adventure Road Bicycles are one of the newest categories of bicycle. They are sometimes called all-road bikes, any-road bikes, or gravel bikes, and are the most versatile sub-category of road bike. Similar to cyclocross bikes, they have drop handlebars and the ability to use wider tires. The frame geometry is longer and more upright compared to a cyclocross bike, however, making these bikes more suitable for long days in the saddle, light touring, and commuting. Triathlon/Time Trial Bicycles Triathlon/Time Trial Bicycles are road bikes with a special design that maximizes their aerodynamic properties. The handlebars are also a special aerodynamic design that allows you to crouch forward while riding, to minimize the wind resistance against your body. Triathlon/time trial races usually have staggered starts, where each racer starts on his/her own; these bicycles are usually not allowed to be used in mass-start races. Fitness Bicycles Fitness Bicycles have most of the advantages of regular road bikes--lightweight frames and relatively narrow tires for efficiency on pavement--with a flat or upright handlebar. These bikes are designed for people who want a light, high-performance bike, but don't like the drop-handlebar riding position of a regular road bike. These bicycles are sometimes called flat-bar road bikes or performance hybrid bikes. Most of them can accept somewhat wider tires, to make them suitable for use on unpaved trails. They usually have the ability to mount cargo racks and fenders, which make them good commuter bikes. Bicycle inventions {youtube} Bicycles Without Battery: We Just Forgot They Are Cleanest. New bicycle inventionst that are on another level Track/Fixed-Gear Bicycles Track/Fixed-Gear Bicycles or fixies are designed to be ridden on a velodrome, which is a banked oval track specifically for bicycle racing. Some commuters prefer track bikes, however, due to their simple design, which makes them easy to maintain. They have a single gear that does not provide the ability to coast, so if the bike is moving, your feet must be pedaling. For even more simplicity, some riders prefer to not have brakes, since the fixed-gear mechanism can act as a brake. Most track bikes have drop handlebars, but some riders outfit theirs with flat or upright handlebars. Mountain Bicycles Mountain Bicycles are design for riding rough off-road trails. They have flat or upright handlebars, and a very low gear range for pedaling up steep trails. Most mountain bikes have some type of shock absorbers or suspension. Mountain bikes with front suspension only are called hardtails; mountain bikes with both front and rear suspension are called full-suspension bikes or duallies. Mountain bikes with no suspension are called rigid. Mountain bikes can be outfitted for use as touring or commuting bikes, although they would not be as light or efficient as traditional touring or commuting bikes. Fat bikes, with their extremely wide tires, are included in the mountain bike category. Hybrid Bicycles Hybrid Bicycles were originally conceived to provide the advantages of both road bikes and mountain bikes. Their large, padded seats and upright handlebars provide a comfortable riding position, and are best for casual riding around the neighborhood or bike paths, short-distance commuting, and errands around town. They can be ridden on paved roads, but are not as lightweight or efficient as road bikes. They are ideal for paved or unpaved bike trails, but are not appropriate for rough off-road mountain bike trails. The tires are usually a medium-width with a semi-smooth tread, to provide a fairly smooth ride on pavement, but enough grip and cushion on unpaved trails. Most hybrid bikes have front suspension to smooth out small bumps, but some are fully rigid. Hybrid bikes used to also be referred to as cross bikes, but that term is not used any more in order to avoid confusion with cyclocross bikes (see above). Dual-Sport Bicycles Dual-Sport Bicycles are a sub-category of hybrid bikes oriented towards riders who want the multi-surface versatility of a hybrid bike, but want a little more aggressive style and riding position. They have a flat or upright handlebar, although not as upright as regular hybrid bikes; they usually have a smaller, more performance-oriented seat, rather than a large comfort seat. Most have front suspension. Dual-sport bikes make good commuter bikes, and are also good for touring on unpaved trails. Cruiser Bicylces Cruiser Bicycles are similar to hybrid bikes, in that they are designed for casual riding, and have a very comfortable, upright riding position, and a large, comfortable seat. Cruisers usually have wide "balloon" tires, and handlebars that are even more upright, and in some cases, swept back compared to hybrid bikes. Most cruiser bikes are single-speed or 3-speed, and have the old-fashioned coaster brake (where you pedal backwards to stop). They can be used for short-distance commuting and errands, as long as your route is fairly flat. Some cruiser bike manufacturers make a wide array of colorful models available, to suit the fashion tastes of any bike afficionado. Flat-Foot Comfort Bicycles Flat-Foot Comfort Bicycles are a sub-category of cruiser bikes. They have an elongated frame design that pushes the pedals a few inches forward of the seat. This allows you to ride with the seat low enough so that you can place your feet flat on the ground when you are stopped, but you still get the full extension of your legs while pedaling. All Electra Bicycle Company bikes have the flat-foot technology; some other manufacturers have created their own flat-foot designs. City Bicycles The term "city bike" doesn't really refer to a specific category of bikes; it's more of a general descriptive term. They might also be called "commuter" or "urban" bikes, although many of the bikes listed on this page can be used quite well for riding and commuting in a city. However, there is a certain type of bike that some people have in mind when they use the term "city bike." This bike has characteristics of both a hybrid bike and a cruiser bike--usually the upright riding position of a cruiser, but the wheel size of a hybrid bike. A city bike might also have some or all of these features that make it more amenable to riding in regular clothes, as opposed to cycling-specific clothing: Fenders Chain guard Skirt guard on rear wheel A city bike might also have an internally-geared rear hub for ease of use and maintenance, and a built-in generator and lights for safety when riding after dark. These bikes are also sometimes called "Dutch bikes," because of their resemblance to the everyday bikes used in Amsterdam and other bike-friendly European cities. Recommended:  The Bicycle Metropolis: Why Still Investing In Car Parking? BMX Bicycles BMX Bicycles are popular with kids because of their small size, but they are used by adults and kids alike for various styles of trick and stunt riding. Folding Bicycles Folding Bicycles are ideal for those who need to travel with their bike, want a bike to keep on their boat or plane, or who live in small apartments and don't have a lot of storage space. They're also good for commuters who need to take their bike on a bus or train for part of their commute, or who don't have a safe place to park their bike at work. Most folding bikes have smaller wheels, which makes the bike a little less efficient and trickier to handle than a standard bike, but most folding bike fans feel the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Recumbent Bicycles Recumbent Bicycles have a long, low design and a full-size seat with a backrest. Recumbents are available in two-wheel and three-wheel designs. Many recumbent riders feel that they are the most comfortable option available for bicycling. However, they are more difficult to pedal up hills, and they can be a challenge to carry from one place to another in a motor vehicle. Tandem Bicycles Tandem Bicycles are "bicycles built for two." They come in all styles, from cruiser tandems and hybrid tandems for the bike path or boardwalk, off-road mountain bike tandems, and high-performance road racing tandems. Adult Tricycles Adult Trikes are ideal for older folks who still want to get around under their own power, or those with balance issues or other special needs. They are also popular in environmentally-consious industrial/warehouse applications. By: Century Cycles. Cover photo by: Maria Soledad Recommended:  Sustainable Transport And Training: The Me-Mover Netherlands Read more...
Climate Change: Ticks And Oak Processionary Caterpillars
Posted by: July 1 2019
Climate Change: Ticks And Oak Processionary Caterpillars
You might think that ticks and oak processionary caterpillars are annoying insects but cannot do much harm. Think again! These little creatures have gone through some changes in the last decades, and they are expanding worldwide. The ticks are going further north to new places, where we cut forests or creating grasslands. But what can we do and what should we not do? Tick species There are thousands of ticks. For example, in North America, you have the American dog tick, the black-legged tick, the Gulf Coast tick, the Rocky Mountain tick, the brown dog tick, the lone star tick, and the western black-legged tick. Maybe they are invisible for the untrained eye, but they could be dangerous. It most likely has to do with the climate change, these creatures live in warm circumstances. The cold we know is changing, so it is not as cold as it used to, so it might be warmer in spring than before. A lot of tropical areas around the world have horrible problems with ticks, also dogs struggle with these little animals.  Recommended:  Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected Tick on your skin? What to do? A tick on your skin could make you anxious. But it does not mean the pathogen has spread. Not every tick carries the illness; the creature would have to stick to your skin in order to transmit infections. The longer the tick is on your skin, the more likely it is to be infected. Humans can handle a small number of pathogens, but the higher the dose, the higher the risk of transmission. Lyme disease In order to get Lyme disease, the tick has to be attached for over a day. Researchers have shown that there is at least a one-day window before an infectious dose has been transmitted from a black-legged tick. The Rocky Mountain tick carries an infection which can be transmitted way more rapidly, within the first 12 hours of tick attachment.  Enormous tick hunts its prey in the Netherlands We all are aware of the existence of the tick, but can we imagine a giant and much more horrifying tick? Now, these giant ticks have shown up in the Netherlands for the first time. The tick, Hyalomma, actively hunts down his prey and can chase you for 100 metres, even if you run as hard as you can. This giant tick is seen in Germany, and people were wondering if it would cross borders with the Netherlands. And, unfortunately, this is true. This kind of tick has very long legs and is super fast and is about three times bigger than the regular ticks we know. The main difference with the 'regular' tick is that these giant ticks are actively searching for hosts, instead of passively waiting and then jump on their prey. The Hyalomma tick is familiar in North Africa and Asia, but nowadays can be found in South and East Europe. It prefers larger animals and can see his prey from nine metres away. {youtube}                                                    Climate Change: Ticks   Ticks, 14 essential facts you have to know  Ticks are not insects Did you know that ticks are not insects? They are arachnids, which means that they are related to spiders. They even look a lot like spiders with their legs, no antennae and they do not fly or jump. They camp out on leaves, blades of grass or something like that, waiting on their prey (an animal or human) and then stretch out their first legs to crawl into a thin area of skin near a small blood vessel.  Not every tick spread diseases There are thousands of ticks around the world, but only a few types of ticks spread diseases. The black-legged tick is familiar for his Lyme disease, which is an infection that can cause you a lot of pain, an inflammation of the brain, and more things. But some ticks are more dangerous and could be fatal for us. The fever is called Rocky Mountain spotted fever, carried by the American dog tick and brown dog tick. They are both found in the United States. A tick stays around for a few days if they bite you A tick is not quite similar to a mosquito, which bites you and stays on you for a few minutes. When a tick is on your skin, he wants to wait around for a few days. When they found an excellent spot to extract blood, they will start their meal prep, and this could last for two hours. There is a good chance you will not notice them. But when they burry its little head into your skin, it unpacks its feeding tube and spits out saliva what our body is trying to protect. The tick will feed itself for about two or three days. Only if a female is on your skin, she will swell up in double its standard size.  Ticks do not spread disease immediately It is not likely that a tick spread an infection quickly. Some ticks spread a disease called anaplasmosis within eight hours, but most ticks take longer. If you remove the tick within 24 hours, you will probably not get Lyme disease. In most cases, it takes 36 to 48 hours before the bacteria can infect you with the virus. Unfortunately, ticks can spread multiple diseases at once Ticks do not only like human blood, but also blood from animals, like mice, deer, rabbits and birds. These animals carry diseases as well. They pick up certain bacteria and this way they can bring three different kinds of diseases at once. For example, the black-legged deer tick can spread anaplasmosis, Lyme disease and babesiosis at once.  Most of the internet home remedies do not work On the internet, you will find many suggestions to remove the tick, but do not believe everything you will read. Rubbing petroleum jelly, nail polish or gasoline will not help you to remove the tick. Alcohol will not help either. The problem is that these little creatures can survive long periods without air, so trying the above will not help. But if you want to know how to remove a tick correctly, please read on. Take a pair of tweezers to remove the little bastard Almost every household has tweezers and believe it or not, but with tweezers, you can remove this creature. So do not scratch it but remove the tick carefully and efficiently with tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull it upwards carefully and flush it down the toilet or put it in a sealed bag if your doctor wants to ID it. Clean up your skin afterwards with water and soap or an alcohol wipe. Do not worry if you do not remove the entire head. The tick is already dead, and the mouthpiece will get out eventually.  The symptoms can show up within a few days This is partly true. People with the Rocky Mountain spotted fever usually have a fever the first few days and get a rash later on. With Lyme disease, the rash could appear from three days to one month after the bite. The rash arrives before the fever. The symptoms could be a fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and some rash.  Not all with Lyme disease will get a rash Not everyone with Lyme disease will get a rash. About 20 to 30 per cent will not get the so-called bullseye rash, but they can develop other symptoms like arthritis in the joints, meningitis, muscle pain of encephalitis.  Not every tick transmits a disease Only one to three per cent of the people who are bitten by an infected tick will end up getting Lyme disease. So, it is a good chance you will not get it once you spot a tick on your skin. No vaccines for humans yet There used to be a vaccine for humans back in 1998, but it was not perfect. It caused a lot of side effects, and therefore, the manufacturer decided to take it off the market. There are vaccines for animals, but it is not clear how protective they are. You have more risk to get a tick bite in the summer Ticks are here during the entire year, but summer is peak point: Lyme disease season.  How can you protect yourself? Know where the little animals camp out. They are in forests, in open grassy areas. When you are in a tick area, tuck your jeans into your boots or socks and get some insecticide or insect repellant.  Check your skin every two to three hours You might find it exaggerated, but you should check your skin every two to three hours, especially when you are still outdoors. Check your belly button, armpits, scalp, the back of your knees, ears and between your legs.  Watch out for the oak processionary caterpillars! In recent weeks the oak processionary caterpillars made their way in the Netherlands, and it became the subject of national crisis in no time. It set foot in this European country in 1991, in the south, but over the years it expanded itself to the north-east. Oak trees are their favourite snack and let there be a lot of oak trees in the Netherlands.  Last few months significant parts of trees in the Netherlands had a rather strange look: wrapped in red-white warning tape because the caterpillars took their place in oak trees. They are poisonous, capable of causing a lot of discomforts and severe itching.  The trees are everywhere: forests, densely populated areas, but also in cities and towns. The oak trees are being woven in silky nests. Avoiding them might not even help, because the caterpillars can fire bristles which sting and can be carried by the wind for 500 metres. What are the health risks? Contact with the bristles can cause health complaints such as bumps, skin rashes, itching and redness of the skin and red, puffy eyes. Sometimes it feels like getting a cold: a runny nose, difficulties to swallow, shortness of breath and coughing. In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, vomiting, fever and dizziness may occur.  Prevention is better than cure Try to avoid contact with trees that carry oak processionary caterpillars. For example, you can teach children to take distance from (invested) oak trees. Keep your animals and pets away from the invested oak trees. And, to make sure you will not get any bristle, cover your neck, legs and arms. Please stay away from nests and caterpillars, and do not try to remove the nests yourself. Report the nest to local authorities who can arrange to remove them.  What to do when you get in contact with oak processionary caterpillars? Rinse your skin and eyes with lukewarm water. Try not to scratch, but if you do, please as little as possible.  Use sticky tape on your skin to strip it. This way you will remove the poisonous caterpillar hairs.  You can use ointment or cream with menthol, aloe vera or calendula in case of intense itching. You can find in the drugstores or pharmacies. In general, should the symptoms disappear within a few days up to two weeks. When do you need medical help? If you have difficulties breathing, getting thick lips, eyes or tongue, call a doctor right away. You should seek medical advice when you have eye problems or if you think a bristle caught your eye. It can cause severe eye problems, which can lead to blindness.  Recommended:  Environment And Insects: Bullet Ant Delivers 24 Hours Agony Read more...
Urban Mobility: The 15 Friendliest Bike Cities In the World
Posted by: June 5 2019
Urban Mobility: The 15 Friendliest Bike Cities In the World
Trends come and go, but simple designs stand the test of time, which you can notice clearly in urban mobility nowadays. You have autonomous cars, dock-less pogo sticks, but the bicycle continues to be the most shimmering, reliable and practical answer to urban mobility. A lot of cities change their infrastructure and expanding facilities to accommodate bicycles in their town as a new way of transportation while improving urban livability. Bicycle friendly We want to check pro-cycling efforts and initiatives taken by cities all over the world, to see which city is the most bicycle-friendly. Therefore, we present the Copenhagenize Index, which shows us a holistic and comprehensive ranking of the friendliest cities around the world. They evaluated on culture, streetscape design and ambition. They made a top 3 that is on the top for years. Copenhagen retains the top spot, Amsterdam is second, followed by another Dutch city Utrecht. But we see some action in other cities as well; it is no longer only the Danish and the Dutch cities that take biking seriously. Antwerp and Bordeaux are following, as well as Bogotá, Taipei and Vancouver. They all want to make their city better urban centres for the bicycle. Many cities want to change with regards to the bike as main transport, but for now, you will find the world's 15 most bicycle-friendly cities below. ( Scroll down for bicycle rental prices ) Copenhagen It is easy to see why Copenhagen remains the first place in ranking: 62 per cent of the inhabitants travel to work or school by bike. Every day, Copenhageners cycle 894,000 miles. The government built four bicycle bridges (some are still under construction), and there are a lot of regional cycle highways. Only the mayor has to have more attention for bikes. At this moment, bicycles do not have the highest priority anymore in this Danish capital. If Copenhagen wants to remain a global inspiration, they need to find a way to focus more on sustainable mobility and less on car parking spots. Photo by: Maksym Potapenko  Amsterdam Amsterdam has returned at spot 2 in the Copenhagenize Index ranking. Amsterdam released a new ambitious plan for 2022 to improve bicycle parking and the existing infrastructure. There are about 11,000 new inhabitants coming to Amsterdam every year, so the city is developing "royal routes" to accommodate more bikes. They want to expand existing cycle lanes to reduce stress during rush hours. With these new plans, Amsterdam could show us innovations and, perhaps, more extensive facilities, stricter enforcement of mopeds, and more precise signposts. Who knows, with the next Index, Amsterdam could take back the throne of Copenhagen. ( Also interesting:  Sustainable Picnic Charging Point, 'Tablet': The Netherlands ) Utrecht Many cities in the Netherlands are bike-friendly, but Utrecht shows a willingness to embrace innovations, to push boundaries. Politicians are helping as well because they want to reduce cars and are prioritizing pedalling over driving. {youtube}                               Friendliest Bike Cities In the World. Utrecht, get cars out the city and bicycles in They want to double bicycle commuting traffic by 2030. To stay in the top 3, Utrecht needs to focus on an improved signposts system to benefit visitors and commuters. There is also a lack of bicycle parking spaces in the city centre. Hopefully, they can fix that problem. Photo by: Robin Benzrihem Antwerp In the last two years, Antwerp has built upon a reputation as a bicycle-friendly city. Initiatives, civil actions and professional expertise have helped the city forward. Antwerp's recent city plan has a focus on improving and connecting the cycling network through traffic light management and improvements to intersections. Also, they want to reduce car speed limits to 30 kilometres per hour in most of the streets. They expand their bicycle parking facilities at train stations, and they want better cycle highways. The only thing is that politicians need to see the role of cycling in Antwerp. It is an efficient and modern mode of transportation. Besides, a better cycle network is required, so that there are fewer accidents. Oslo Once upon a time, Oslo said they were too snowy or hilly to cycle. In 2017, officials made the bold move to ban cars from the city centre and to invest substantially in calm traffic, such as biking and walking. Oslo is renovating but is still coping with small problems, such as unprotected streets. They need to continue with the focus on bicycles and investments to become a genuinely bicycle-friendly city in the next year. Photo by: Robin Benzrihem Paris Years and years, cyclists shared their road with buses driving around. Now, Paris is building dedicated cycle lanes, including safe facilities on the Champs-Elysées. Local politicians wanted new cycling facilities in spite of what the fierce opposition said. The result of local politicians: more children are riding their bike than ever before. A focus point for Paris is attention to the details of the facilities, how they connect to intersections, and how they meet cyclists of all ages and abilities. Bring on better communication to show the benefits of cycling for Parisians, and how to enjoy these new facilities. Vienna Vienna has an active policy and took a lot of effort in communication to improve cycling infrastructure. They are modest in investments but are trying to do something. How could they rank higher in the Index? Vienna could invest more in separate and better cycle highways. That would improve a lot. Photo by: 30daysreplay.de (PR & Marketing) Helsinki Helsinki had the ambitious goal for 2025 to be the world's best metropolis of sustainable transport. At this moment, 11 per cent of the Finnish population is riding a bike, they have more than 800 miles of bicycle infrastructure, and 12 miles of cycle highways and more to come). A significant boulevard for cyclists needs to be built by 2020. The fix in Helsinki: We see a lot of positive improvements, but there is a shortage of finance that can lead to problems for all the (cycling) plans. So, crowdfunding would be an option for Finland. Photo by: Morgana Bartolomei Bogotá Bogotá, capital of Colombia, still has a metropolis, full of cars driving around and poor air quality. Bogotá earned some points on the Index because of the positive influence for cycling in South America. Also, they organize the famous Ciclovía, a weekly Sunday activity that closes the streets to cars so that citizens can cycle or walk around the block. The problem in Bogotá is that you have to wear a helmet; it is unsafe riding around on your bike with cars driving by. They need a new signposting system for cyclists, a new bicycle government policy and new guidelines for the design of the bicycle infrastructure. ( Also interesting:  Sustainable Bamboo Traffic Sign For Safe Cities: Netherlands ) Barcelona Barcelona, the Catalan capital of Catalonia, continues to serve as a model of urban mobility innovation. They have an extensive network and an improved cycling plan around the city. They want to double the cycling network to 190 miles by the end of the year so that Barcelona can remain in the top 20 most cycling-friendly cities in the world. Barcelona should focus on expanding its roads so that everyone feels more comfortable and safer. It will also be a good idea to expand the cycling routes along the coastline and Montjuïc to give new urban connectivity. Ljubljana Unfortunately, Ljubljana has dropped on the Index this year; it still deserves a place in this top 15. They have an urgent desire for innovation and bicycle-friendly development. Inhabitants of all ages are riding a bike. Parking is the main problem for cyclists. There are not as many as needed, and they are not safe. This is a barrier to new cyclists. Also, there needs to be a better cycling network to create better protection and width. Photo by: Aneta Pawlik  Berlin The 2015 Volksentscheid Fahrrad was a significant disruption for urban mobility in the German capital. With more than 100,000 signatures, the 2015 referendum forced the Senate to build a more bicycle-friendly city. And now Berlin hopes to be able to realise this ambitious decision with an updated bicycle plan. The problem in Berlin: The ambitious goals of the cycling plan follow relatively vague timelines, awaiting more detailed strategies. There is an incoherent mix of cycling infrastructure, and they need to be adapted to be consistent and meet intuitive design standards. In addition, sufficient space must be built for cargo bikes. ( Also interesting:  Electric-Bike Mamachari Is Japan’s Moms Favourite Smart Idea ) Tokyo Tokyo can be called the city of the cyclist for years. Not because of its extensive infrastructure, but because it is one of the world's largest metropolis where millions of people cycle their Mamachari Bikes. They use these bikes to bring children to school, pick up, goods, going to work and going to train stations and stores. They are one of the largest and best cycling cities in the world, but they need a better safety network for cyclists. There is a high demand but an insufficient supply. Taiwan Taiwan is known as a production centre for the bicycle industry and has earned the title of "bicycle kingdom". Taipei has grown over the past ten years, launched the successful YouBike bike and started building a network of cycling infrastructure. They were invited - as the first Asian city - to organise the Velo-City conference in 2016. Mayor Ko, a strong supporter of cyclists, wants to triple the number of bicycle paths in the city centre by the end of the year. Taipei's problem is air pollution, which is a problem for many inhabitants. If they want to improve air quality, they have to reduce car traffic and use the bicycle instead of the car. Montreal Montreal is the only North American city on the Index since 2011 but faces removal from the rankings if they do not want to innovate. In 2017, Valérie Plante won the elections and gave a positive message about cycling infrastructure and new investments in public transport. The news showed the world the most adventurous cycling project Montreal has ever seen: The Réseau Express Vélo. It is a network of 114 miles of protected one-way bike paths across the island. The problem is that no one is changing the bike lanes as they are today. The bike paths are poorly painted, the road surface in Montreal is in a bad state, and there are too little protected facilities for cyclists. They have to tackle this problem in order to remain in the top 15 most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. As you can see there is a variety between the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world: European, Asian, North and South-American. They all can use some improvements to make their city more bicycle-friendly. But still, there is a great development going on if this number of cities are willing to improve their city, just to make it more sustainable and better. We have mentioned Vancouver in the first paragraph, but it is still not in the top 15. They need to improve more to get in this Copenhagenize Index. If you are looking for a bicycle-friendly place to stay, just give a look at this top 15 and you are ready to go.  Do you like to write about your own bike tour experience? Register today and share your adventures!  People also ask Copenhagen Prices Bicycle rentals Amsterdam Prices Bicycles rentals Utrecht Prices bicycle rentals Antwerpen Prices bicycle rentals Oslo Prices bicycle rentals Paris Prices bicycles rentals Vienna Prices bicycle rentals Helsinki Prices bicycle rentals Bogota Prices bicycle rentals Barcelona Prices bicycle rentals Ljubljana Prices bicycle rentals Berlin Prices bicycle rentals Tokyo Prices bicycle rentals Taiwan Prices bicycle rentals Montreal Prices bicycle rentals ( Extra:  Electric Bike Buying Guide For Starters And Professionals ) Read more...
Heat Waves: How Can You Cool Down Effectively. Tips & Tricks
Posted by: June 2 2019
Heat Waves: How Can You Cool Down Effectively. Tips & Tricks
Chances are that you will read this message while sitting behind the fan: several European cities and towns broke heat records. Also, there are extreme heat warnings for much of the Eastern United States. A few days ago, in the Netherlands, temperatures rose to 40,7 degrees, breaking the record of 1944. A national heat plan was set out. And that’s just one of the many examples. Last month was the hottest June in 139 years of record-keeping, according to NASA. Heatwaves are not only very uncomfortable, but dangerous: Red Cross even calls them silent killers. That’s why one of the largest disaster relief agencies has a message for the world: with simple (and often inexpensive) steps heat waves don’t have to be deadly. Warming climate Our planet is getter hotter, and heat waves ( Also interesting: Heatwaves Worldwide: Nothing New! How to Protect Your Self ) are becoming a more dangerous enemy for people vulnerable people. The worst heat waves in Europe over the last 500 years, for instance, have all come in the previous 17 years. If the emissions of heat-trapping gases continue to increase at the current pace, the United States and Europe are projected to have twice the number of sweltering and humid days that feel like at least 38 degrees Celsius, says this Union of Concerned Scientist study. They are not the only ones concerned. “Heat waves are silent killers,” according to Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. “They take the lives of people who are already vulnerable.” Those include older people, people that are overweight, and the poor. {youtube} Soaring temperatures broke records in Germany, France, Britain and the Netherlands as a heat wave gripped Europe for the second time in a month in 2019 Cities and companies should deal with heatwaves With industrial emissions having increased average global temperatures over the last 150 years, scientists say heat waves are becoming more frequent and longer-lasting. Heat records are being broken in cold and hot places and the heat spikes that were once considered rare are growing more prevalent. With the knowledge of this distressing information, cities and companies should prepare for more record-breaking hot days over the long term. One of the things a city can do to beat the heat is, for example, painting rooftops and sidewalks in reflective white paint. Companies should add heat waves to their list of occupational hazards, and especially make allowances for outdoor workers to rest during peak heat hours. It is also essential for a company to have enough fluids available for the employees in times of severe heat. Things you can do to cool down; Tips & Tricks Heat waves can be a silent killer for those who are already vulnerable, but heat can also affect seemingly healthy people. Especially dangerous for human health is when night-time temperatures don’t drop sufficiently to allow the body to cool down. We all must know how to cool down effectively if we want to avoid things like heatstroke. You can do more than drink water and wear sunscreen: here are some tips. 1. Recognize the symptoms of overheating If you are starting to feel at all unwell, with symptoms such as a headache, dizziness, excessive sweating, or a fast pulse, it might be heat exhaustion. If untreated, heat exhaustion can turn into heatstroke, which is much more severe. If this happens to you or someone else: lay down in a cool place, drink flinty of fluids, and call emergency services if the condition doesn’t improve after 30 minutes. 2. Make sure your house is cool Is your house well equipped to keep you cool? To ensure your windows can be opened and if they are exposed to direct sunlight, make sure shutters, blinds or curtains are installed which can help to keep heat out. Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day as a preventative measure to stop your room from overheating. Also, check if your fridge and fans are working correctly, and make sure you have enough food and water you need in case you are unable to leave your property during the hottest times of the day. Extra trip: freeze your fan freeze by placing a bowl of ice in front of the blowing fan. Your room will become cooler as the ice melts! 3. Eat smaller portions and stay hydrated Eat smaller portions throughout the day, as larger meals will warm your body up as it works to process. Stay hydrated by drinking cool glasses of water throughout the day. It can be enough to bring your body temperature down. Also, always bring lots of water (or other fluids) with you when you’re going out. 4. How to dress Opting for lightweight cotton clothing is the best option when it's scorching outside. Wear a hat and sunglasses, apply a sunscreen with a high SPF and excellent UVA protection, and go for clothing made of lightweight, natural materials to make your skin breathe in hot weather. Go for clothes in lighter tints, like white of creams. 5. Cover yourself up Cover your head with a cap, hat or sombrero. Wear a sunblock, to not only avoid the skin tan, but also other skin diseases caused by sun’s ultraviolet rays. 6. Keep your body cool If you want to lower your body temperature, you can rinse tour wrists with cold water. Also, keep your moisturizers in the fridge for a cooling effect by applying a cold moisturizer to your body. A quick and straightforward way to help take your temperature down is to dunk your feet into an ice bucket. 7. Breathe in, breathe out The cheapest way to cool off is to inhale through the mouth and exhale through the nose. You will create a naturally refreshing effect. In theory, when taking in breath this way, your saliva should help cool the air before it's taken to your lungs. 8. Get in the shade If you still want to go outside during a heat wave, it's advisable to step into the shade between 11am and 3pm from March to October. Don’t forget your sunscreen! ( Also interesting: Airbnb Tripadvisor, Hospitality Influencers : Tourism Damage )  9. Go low for a better sleep Can´t sleep because of the heat? Hot air rises, so get down as low as you can to make sure you’re surrounded by cool air. Sleep on the floor, or even head downstairs, if you’re getting desperate to escape the heat. At home and while traveling 10. Always carry water with you Many of us don’t have the habit of carrying a bottle of water while travelling. You should re-look at this habit and carry water more than you usually drink. Photo by:  Ryan Everton   11. Carry electrolytes and oral rehydration solution Water is very much essential, but it is equally important to have a packet of either electrolytes or oral rehydration solution twice a day if you sweat a lot. The reason is very straightforward. You lose a lot of electrolytes and minerals out of perspiration. You may also mix it with coconut water, khus sharbat or nimbu paani (lemonade). This will replenish the minerals lost due to excessive sweating. 12. Know what to eat and what to avoid When the temperatures are soaring outside, it is better to have light food. Avoid spicy and oily stuff. Oily foods reduce the percentage of naturally present water in your body. So, junks are a complete no-no. Eat healthy food that will help you increase your immunity. Have more succulent veggies that rehydrate - bottle gourd, turai, pumpkin, lotus stem and the like. 13. Eat loads of fruits Fruits contain 80-90% water, natural sugar and essential vitamins. Watermelons, tomatoes, oranges, fresh apricots, peaches, plums and pineapples are great summer choices. 14. Avoid alcohol As tempting as it might be, if you know that you are going to be travelling in the sun, then alcohol is best avoided. Consumption of alcohol drops down your hydration levels. 15. Step out early or after sunset This may not be possible to do every time. However, avoid the scorching heat and charter out plans to fit in either early morning or post sunset excursions. 16. Carry insulated bags for food The sweltering heat is not only bad for skin, but also spoils the food. Insulated bags will prevent them from getting perished. 17. Summer first aid First of all, make sure that your first aid kit is insulated and waterproof. Carry wet tissues to wipe off your sweat. Aloe Vera gel is excellent for sunburns. Instant ice packs work well for soothing your body heat as well as for inflammation. Other items that should always be a part of your first aid kit are sanitiser, bandages, cotton, gloves, tweezers, thermometer, personal medication, antiseptic & antibiotic creams and medicines. Enjoy your summer holiday! Cover photo by: Christian Bowen https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle Read more...
Blue Planet Earth: The Amount Of Water You Use
Posted by: June 1 2019
Blue Planet Earth: The Amount Of Water You Use
When looking at our planet from space, there is one thing that is sure to stand out: the gorgeous blue colour. We are not called the Blue Planet for nothing, as over 75% of our surface area is covered by bodies of water. Our oceans, seas, lakes, rivers - all serving as the lifeblood of, well - life. Much of our flora and fauna depends on water, as illustrated by the widespread devastation caused by draughts. Not having enough water will cause crops to fail, plants to die, and animals and humans to flee the affected area. Illnesses and pests are unavoidable, as is loss of land and livelihood altogether. Yet with the majority of our planet covered by bodies of water, one can assume that this is one resource that we will surely not run out of. Unfortunately, you could not be more wrong. About 97.5% of that water is actually salt water - which is great for dipping your toes into on your beach holiday, but utterly useless for drinking, hydration or irrigation purposes.  This leaves us with 2.5% of freshwater that is available for us to quench our thirst, so to speak. Now, you have to realise that we use about 10 billion m³ per day. A m³ equals 1.000 liters. So altogether, we consume 10 trilion liters - every single day! Scientists have been warning us that this is in excess of current supplies, meaning that supply is dwindling steadily. We are faced with a dripping faucet that we just do not care enough about to find a plumber for. What is our average daily water usage? When estimating how much water you use on average, you will not only have to consider the amount that we use to drink, shower, or wash our clothes - but also the amount ‘wasted’ on or in the products that we consume. If you are living in a moderate climate and are not overly active, you might be able to make do with about 5 liters of water each day.  Keeping this in mind, you might be shocked to find out that the average American uses between 380 to 660 liters of water per day. A number that should not be hard to cut back on, as it is so, so much . Just imagine logging 660 liter bottles of water from your local supermarket home - every single day . Chances are that there will not even be enough inventory to meet your needs.   What do we do with this water, you might ask? Well, simply brushing your teeth with the water running or washing your hands can cost 5 liters. Flushing the toilet will add 11 liters to your tally, while taking a bath accounts for 120 liters. Opting for the shower instead? Then you will be consuming about 20 liters per minute. Doing laundry can easily use up 150 liters of water per load.   You ‘eat’ water every day Still, we are not the ‘main’ problem. Agriculture alone can consume 72 to 90% of a region’s available freshwater. The production of 1 ton of grain requires 1.000 tons of water, while a single serving of steak costs about 4,600 liters to produce. How about that?   Of course, you never actually get to see any water while consuming those products. This is why it is often referred to as virtual water. This is water that is required to produce items that we use on an everyday basis, such as paper, clothes and food items. When including this in the equation, it can add up to about 3,500 liters of water per person per day. Thus, we might do well to understand how we can reduce our consumption of this virtual water.   Water needed for the products you eat? Food: Quantity Water consumption, litres       Chocolate 1 kg 24.000 Beef 1 kg 15.500 Sheep meat 1 kg 10.500 Pork 1 kg 4.800 Butter 1 kg 5.500 Olives 1 kg 4.400 Chicken Meat 1 kg 3.900 Cheese 1 kg 3.200 Rice 1 kg 2.500 Cotton 250 gram 2.500 Pasta (dry) 1 kg 1.800 Bread 1 kg 1.600 Pizza 1 unit 1.200 Banana 1 kg 800 Potatoes 1 kg 300 Milk 1 glass, 250 ml 250 Cabbage 1 kg 240 Tomato 1 kg 210 Egg 1 200 Wine 1 glass, 250 ml 110 Beer 1 glass, 250 ml 75 Tea 1 cup, 250 ml 30       Common Consumer Items:           Car 1 52.000/83.000 Leather Shoes Pair 13.700 Smart Phone (Mobile) 1 12.000 Bed Sheet (Cotton) 1 11.000 Jeans (Cotton) 1 8.000 T-Shirt (Cotton) 1 2.500 What is virtual water? So, virtual water is not directly visible to you like tap water or your sprinkler system is. Instead, it is water contained in the products that you consume.  Remember the steak I mentioned before? Did you not believe the math? Well, then consider that a cow has to eat 1,300 kilograms of grains for 3 years before it can be slaughtered. Upon being slaughtered, it delivers roughly 200 kilograms of beef. The sum of water required by these grains and the amount of water consumed by the cow adds up to 3 million liters of water - or about 4,600 liters for each serving of approximately 300 grams. Did you print out some documents at work today? Then know that it costs 10 liters of water per sheet of paper. Did you grab a bottle of water to hydrate yourself? This did not only cost you half a liter of water for the actual liquid, but also another 5 liters just to produce the bottle. Crazy, when you think of it! Click on:  WaterFootprint Water use by country There are quite significant differences between the water use of specific countries. The average amount of water as consumed by American citizens, for instance, represents the highest end of the spectrum. This is largely the result of the United States’ beef-eating habit, with quite the consumption number of meat per capita. One of the country’s favourite comfort foods - hamburgers - already require 2,400 liters per piece! Furthermore, there are a lot of industrial products operational in the country, that are notorious for their excessive water consumption.   Another ‘big user’ is Italy. Although it is a pretty small country, it still rakes up an impressive water bill. On average, Italians use 380 liters of water per day. A large portion of this is once again related to the local foods eaten - when taking the water footprint of pizza and pasta into account, this average consumption will increase by a factor 17. For instance, making a ‘regular’ pizza margarita requires some 1,200 liters of water; while a kilo of pasta requires 1,900 liters of water. Getting rid of those national foods seem to be a sure way of saving water.   India and China might boast a lower per capita consumption, at 98 liters and 90 liters per day respectively, they do however suffer from severe overpopulation. As there are simply so many of them, these countries have a massive water footprint. Enter the large agricultural and industrial sectors in this equation, and it is not hard to see why these countries both hold a share of 12% in the total global water consumption. Water shortages are hardly uncommon in these regions, making it important for them to guarantee a steady supply of fresh water. What can you do? While conserving water in everything that you do might already help - be it taking a shorter shower, turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, or not watering your garden every single day -, it is more effective to become a conscious shopper. Focus on purchasing products that require less water to produce, which, coincidentally, also happen to be the healthier options - such as grains, fruits and vegetables .   Eating meat will already add 5.000 liters to your personal water footprint every single day. Just imagine the savings if you were to reduce this in your diet . And once manufacturers start to notice that consumers care more about products that save water, they will inevitably start looking at ways of reducing their own consumption.   While it may sometimes feel like the literal drop in an ocean, it is important to realise that water is a precious resource and that even the smallest action you take to waste less of it will ultimately matter. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle Read more...
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