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About: <p>A community is you and me. A network of social, economic, ecological and many other relationships. We all work together and live in urban, suburban and rural areas. Social sustainability is becoming increasingly important on our small planet. We define: support, quality of life, development, adaptation, rights and labour.</p> <p>We belong to a group of individuals - <a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/society">our society</a> - in which we belong geographically. Certain environmental issues play an important role in our society. Here, sustainable solutions are sought, developed and implemented. This may differ from societies in other countries, but because of our global environmental issues and&nbsp;<span lang="en" tabindex="0">dependence</span>, we must learn to work more together so that we can all benefit from sharing sustainable knowledge to tackle, for example, climate change.</p> <p><a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/green-architecture">Green architecture</a> is important. Building with local materials that can be recycled and reused brings us a big step forward to have less impact on the environment. With green architecture we can build <a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/smart-cities">smart cities</a> where resources can be used more efficiently and information can be shared, thus improving our society, your community.</p> <p><a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle">Lifestyle</a> is the way we live, the dynamics of personality. Fashion defines our self and together with food it is getting - at present - an even more important role in our society. It's not just about taste, but especially about the burden that the fashion industry, agriculture and the meat industry have on our resources, especially water.</p> <p>If there was an urge to come up with a sustainable way of living solutions and share these topics globally it&rsquo;s now! WhatsOrb Global Sustainability X-change Platform is for you, storytellers and influencers to write about tiny houses, your experiences and expectations for the future at home and globally.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Global Sustainability X-change, that&rsquo;s what you can do together with WhatsOrb.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/blog/your-shared-sustainable-ideas-make-our-earth-a-better-place">What's in for me?</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
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Millennials Live More Eco-Friendly To Protect The Planet
Millennials are criticized for being selfish and entitled, but many are leading the way with the current eco-friendly trends. From owning tiny houses to eco-friendly tourism, millennials are proving to be an environmentally-conscious generation. The ever-increasing reach of social media has spawned a new era of online activism that includes a movement toward sustainable, eco-friendly living. Millennials adapt their lives to more eco-friendly living to protect the health of the planet Some older generations view millennials through a less-than-favourable lens. They might consider them self-centered, obsessed with technology, unwilling to conform to societalnorms or maybe all of the above. But this view of millennials isn’t necessarily accurate or fair. Take, for example, the steps millennials have taken to ensure the environment remains healthy for many years to come. It’s hard to argue current eco-friendly trends — see: tiny houses and thrift store shopping — stem largely from 20- and 30-somethings. But does that outweigh some of the potentially harmful habits of millennials? Sustainable living If you stack up the facts, it does. People in this age group are making great strides to reclaim the earth and keep it healthy for future generations. Read on to learn how millennials are saving the environment. Just check out the Instagram feed of any 20-something, and it’ll quickly become clear millennials love to travel the world. Perhaps that’s why they want to preserve it. Unlike previous generations, which largely preferred to stay close to home, millennials understand how far-reaching their actions are on the globe because they’ve seen and appreciated more of it. Many advances in modes of transportation have made it easier than ever for millennials to both explore and appreciate the world, which leads them toward focusing more on eco-tourism. Millennials also love anything that’s trending. And right now, all things eco-friendly are bang on-trend. Reusable grocery bags, upcycled home décor and thrifted clothing are all trending topics that have made a tremendous impact on the way millennials live. Positive habits like these can become a seismic shift when an entire generation starts to practice them, and that’s the direction millennials are starting to head. More and more millennials have made substantial changes to their lifestyles to create and sustain a healthier earth. For instance, many 20-somethings have embraced a vegan lifestyle. By eliminating animal products from their diet, vegan eaters help reduce their negative impact on the earth. The cultivation of plant-based food uses less fuel and creates less carbon than animal products — by a long shot. This shift in lifestyle is indicative of a larger change in millennials’ point of view in general. Social Outreach Millennials aren’t afraid to stand up to fight for what they believe in. They’re willing to march against an initiative they don’t believe in, environmentally related or otherwise. They’re committed not only to voting, but also to voting consciously for politicians who share their belief that the earth is a precious asset. This willingness to go up against longstanding systems makes millennials the perfect advocate for nature, and certainly a vocal one, particularly on social platforms. Although older generations may see the Internet as something that gets in the way of real human interaction, millennials have a much different outlook. They rally around issues using platforms like Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat. The ever-increasing reach of social media has spawned a new era of online activism that includes a movement toward sustainable, eco-friendly living. It’s easy for millennials to share the ways they’re living sustainably and get new ideas from fellow eco-minded friends. If you’re still not convinced that millennials are moving toward real, measurable change, just look at what the generation has already accomplished. Consider projects like Reforest Sri Lanka, led by young MBA students. Food to fashion It took them only 10 months to plant more than 26,000 trees in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, in the US, online platform iMatterNow has been spurring change. It encourages young people to take action regarding environmental policy or, at the very least, to get informed. These are just a few of the collective ways millennials have started pushing for a lasting shift in the way the world operates. There are also some movements that aren’t formally organized, and therefore fly under the radar. For instance, millennials tend to spend their dollars on products from environmentally conscious companies. This trend is directly affecting the way big companies market their goods and services. Many have even added pages to their websites that lay out their policies on sustainability. With millennials making so many moves to help nature not only survive, but thrive, it’s clear this generation has no ill will toward the environment. To the contrary, they’re seizing the opportunity to be the generation that makes a real long-lasting change in terms of eco-friendly living. As trends continue to move toward sustainability, in everything from food to fashion, you can expect millennials to only grow in their collective strength. Watch out for ways young people will change the world in years to come! By: Emily Folk https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle
Millennials are criticized for being selfish and entitled, but many are leading the way with the current eco-friendly trends. From owning tiny houses to eco-friendly tourism, millennials are proving to be an environmentally-conscious generation. The ever-increasing reach of social media has spawned a new era of online activism that includes a movement toward sustainable, eco-friendly living. Millennials adapt their lives to more eco-friendly living to protect the health of the planet Some older generations view millennials through a less-than-favourable lens. They might consider them self-centered, obsessed with technology, unwilling to conform to societalnorms or maybe all of the above. But this view of millennials isn’t necessarily accurate or fair. Take, for example, the steps millennials have taken to ensure the environment remains healthy for many years to come. It’s hard to argue current eco-friendly trends — see: tiny houses and thrift store shopping — stem largely from 20- and 30-somethings. But does that outweigh some of the potentially harmful habits of millennials? Sustainable living If you stack up the facts, it does. People in this age group are making great strides to reclaim the earth and keep it healthy for future generations. Read on to learn how millennials are saving the environment. Just check out the Instagram feed of any 20-something, and it’ll quickly become clear millennials love to travel the world. Perhaps that’s why they want to preserve it. Unlike previous generations, which largely preferred to stay close to home, millennials understand how far-reaching their actions are on the globe because they’ve seen and appreciated more of it. Many advances in modes of transportation have made it easier than ever for millennials to both explore and appreciate the world, which leads them toward focusing more on eco-tourism. Millennials also love anything that’s trending. And right now, all things eco-friendly are bang on-trend. Reusable grocery bags, upcycled home décor and thrifted clothing are all trending topics that have made a tremendous impact on the way millennials live. Positive habits like these can become a seismic shift when an entire generation starts to practice them, and that’s the direction millennials are starting to head. More and more millennials have made substantial changes to their lifestyles to create and sustain a healthier earth. For instance, many 20-somethings have embraced a vegan lifestyle. By eliminating animal products from their diet, vegan eaters help reduce their negative impact on the earth. The cultivation of plant-based food uses less fuel and creates less carbon than animal products — by a long shot. This shift in lifestyle is indicative of a larger change in millennials’ point of view in general. Social Outreach Millennials aren’t afraid to stand up to fight for what they believe in. They’re willing to march against an initiative they don’t believe in, environmentally related or otherwise. They’re committed not only to voting, but also to voting consciously for politicians who share their belief that the earth is a precious asset. This willingness to go up against longstanding systems makes millennials the perfect advocate for nature, and certainly a vocal one, particularly on social platforms. Although older generations may see the Internet as something that gets in the way of real human interaction, millennials have a much different outlook. They rally around issues using platforms like Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat. The ever-increasing reach of social media has spawned a new era of online activism that includes a movement toward sustainable, eco-friendly living. It’s easy for millennials to share the ways they’re living sustainably and get new ideas from fellow eco-minded friends. If you’re still not convinced that millennials are moving toward real, measurable change, just look at what the generation has already accomplished. Consider projects like Reforest Sri Lanka, led by young MBA students. Food to fashion It took them only 10 months to plant more than 26,000 trees in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, in the US, online platform iMatterNow has been spurring change. It encourages young people to take action regarding environmental policy or, at the very least, to get informed. These are just a few of the collective ways millennials have started pushing for a lasting shift in the way the world operates. There are also some movements that aren’t formally organized, and therefore fly under the radar. For instance, millennials tend to spend their dollars on products from environmentally conscious companies. This trend is directly affecting the way big companies market their goods and services. Many have even added pages to their websites that lay out their policies on sustainability. With millennials making so many moves to help nature not only survive, but thrive, it’s clear this generation has no ill will toward the environment. To the contrary, they’re seizing the opportunity to be the generation that makes a real long-lasting change in terms of eco-friendly living. As trends continue to move toward sustainability, in everything from food to fashion, you can expect millennials to only grow in their collective strength. Watch out for ways young people will change the world in years to come! By: Emily Folk https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle
Millennials Live More Eco-Friendly To Protect The Planet
Millennials Live More Eco-Friendly To Protect The Planet
Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Hospitality Influencers: Tourism Damage
The sand between your toes, the sun on your face, a light ocean breeze through your hair… For a lot of people this is the perfect description of a perfect holiday. The view of the ocean guarantees that sunny holiday feeling. Therefore, millions of people each year will go on a trip to the sea. But the ocean is of course much more than just a nice place of interest for tourists: it is a source of income for people that work in sea fishing, who provides us with the inhabitants of the ocean, fish, in other words: proteins. But first of all, the ocean is the home of billions of species - it is the source of life. And tourism is destroying that source. Sustainable tourism: here to rescue our oceans The majority of our earth's surface consists of water: the ocean is enormous and is needed for humanity to survive. World Economic Forum wonders: ‘what happens when it is facing a crisis and cannot revitalize its own wounds?’ Through human activities, according to scientists, 90% of the coral reefs in the ocean will have died in 2050. It doesn't help that more and more people can and will travel: World Economic Forum writes that according to United Nations World Tourism Organization, the number of international tourist trips worldwide reached 1.3 billion in 2017 and is predicted to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. All that traveling and the accompanying economic growth puts enormous pressure on natural resources and biodiversity. Tourism can therefore be disastrous for the ocean and nature, but sustainable tourism can also be a solution to various problems concerning the wellbeing of the ocean. Awareness through an eco-promise Well-known cities, like Amsterdam or Barcelona, must deal with a growing flow of tourists. Touristic-driven gentrification has major consequences for the inhabitants of the cities, such as higher house prices, but the impact on nature is massive: in coastal areas, for example, there is a higher level of coastal erosion, for example. Palau and New Zealand came up with a smart solution for this problem: they had visitors to their country sign an eco-promise. Awareness is the key word to be able to preserve nature for future generations: especially now that pictures on social media like Instagram and Facebook, but also digital platforms as AirBnB and Tripadvisor are boosting tourism more and more. Photo by: Hans van der Broek. Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, Vietnam Biodegradable sunscreen lotions Another major danger to the ocean is sunscreen. Did you know The more beach-goers, the more toxic sunscreen gets into our seas. According to research, the toxic pathological effects of the sunscreen UV filter, oxybenzone, are disastrous for the ocean. It causes water pollution, coral mortality and rising sea temperatures. In Mexico, Aruba and Hawaii there is a ban on non-biodegradable sunscreen lotions. Also in this case, awareness is very important: you can buy biodegradable sunscreen for a few extra euros - and the result is priceless. Strategic partnerships to save our oceans Plastic is a big problem for the ocean . Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of this fact: not only plastic bags, straws and cigarette butts are a danger, but also micro plastic from care products. There is so much plastic in the sea that it is almost impossible to clean up. You may know the Thai Maya Beach, where the movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was shot. That is now one of the best-known hot spots in Thailand. Unfortunately, the bounty island was contaminated by more and more plastic. In October 2018, Thailand closed the beach to clean up the enormous havoc of plastic. To be able to do this globally, cooperation between countries and regions is needed, but strategic partnerships are crucial. This also applies to packaging products in order to reduce the pollution of the oceans. Sustainable tourism can save the ocean from a collapse: we just have to do it together. Awareness is therefore more important than ever. Do you still want to go on those beautiful beach vacations? Make these vacations green! Adjust your travel behaviour and make sure that your grandchildren can still enjoy the beaches with their children. The ocean needs our help! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle
The sand between your toes, the sun on your face, a light ocean breeze through your hair… For a lot of people this is the perfect description of a perfect holiday. The view of the ocean guarantees that sunny holiday feeling. Therefore, millions of people each year will go on a trip to the sea. But the ocean is of course much more than just a nice place of interest for tourists: it is a source of income for people that work in sea fishing, who provides us with the inhabitants of the ocean, fish, in other words: proteins. But first of all, the ocean is the home of billions of species - it is the source of life. And tourism is destroying that source. Sustainable tourism: here to rescue our oceans The majority of our earth's surface consists of water: the ocean is enormous and is needed for humanity to survive. World Economic Forum wonders: ‘what happens when it is facing a crisis and cannot revitalize its own wounds?’ Through human activities, according to scientists, 90% of the coral reefs in the ocean will have died in 2050. It doesn't help that more and more people can and will travel: World Economic Forum writes that according to United Nations World Tourism Organization, the number of international tourist trips worldwide reached 1.3 billion in 2017 and is predicted to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. All that traveling and the accompanying economic growth puts enormous pressure on natural resources and biodiversity. Tourism can therefore be disastrous for the ocean and nature, but sustainable tourism can also be a solution to various problems concerning the wellbeing of the ocean. Awareness through an eco-promise Well-known cities, like Amsterdam or Barcelona, must deal with a growing flow of tourists. Touristic-driven gentrification has major consequences for the inhabitants of the cities, such as higher house prices, but the impact on nature is massive: in coastal areas, for example, there is a higher level of coastal erosion, for example. Palau and New Zealand came up with a smart solution for this problem: they had visitors to their country sign an eco-promise. Awareness is the key word to be able to preserve nature for future generations: especially now that pictures on social media like Instagram and Facebook, but also digital platforms as AirBnB and Tripadvisor are boosting tourism more and more. Photo by: Hans van der Broek. Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, Vietnam Biodegradable sunscreen lotions Another major danger to the ocean is sunscreen. Did you know The more beach-goers, the more toxic sunscreen gets into our seas. According to research, the toxic pathological effects of the sunscreen UV filter, oxybenzone, are disastrous for the ocean. It causes water pollution, coral mortality and rising sea temperatures. In Mexico, Aruba and Hawaii there is a ban on non-biodegradable sunscreen lotions. Also in this case, awareness is very important: you can buy biodegradable sunscreen for a few extra euros - and the result is priceless. Strategic partnerships to save our oceans Plastic is a big problem for the ocean . Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of this fact: not only plastic bags, straws and cigarette butts are a danger, but also micro plastic from care products. There is so much plastic in the sea that it is almost impossible to clean up. You may know the Thai Maya Beach, where the movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio was shot. That is now one of the best-known hot spots in Thailand. Unfortunately, the bounty island was contaminated by more and more plastic. In October 2018, Thailand closed the beach to clean up the enormous havoc of plastic. To be able to do this globally, cooperation between countries and regions is needed, but strategic partnerships are crucial. This also applies to packaging products in order to reduce the pollution of the oceans. Sustainable tourism can save the ocean from a collapse: we just have to do it together. Awareness is therefore more important than ever. Do you still want to go on those beautiful beach vacations? Make these vacations green! Adjust your travel behaviour and make sure that your grandchildren can still enjoy the beaches with their children. The ocean needs our help! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle
Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Hospitality Influencers: Tourism Damage
Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Hospitality Influencers: Tourism Damage
Winston Churchill: Serving Lab-Meat In Restaurants Reality?
If you love food, as many of us do, you must have heard of the 'farm to fork' movement. This is a social movement which promotes serving local and fresh food at restaurants. However, are you familiar with 'lab to table'? And what do you think about that? ' Lab to table' does not sound as incredible as 'farm to fork', but it might be the solution for the future: zero animals are killed, but we create a mass production of lab-grown meat that looks and tastes the same as regular meat. Besides, lab-grown meat could also help the environment, because there is way less food waste in the process. Can we produce meat in labs? Is this how our future will be? A dream from the past The idea of lab-grown meat is not something of recent events but has been around since decades. It was actually Winston Churchill, who had the idea. He took a look at the culinary prognostication. Churchill thought that, within 50 years, we do not need to grow a whole chicken to only eat the breast or wing, and that can be accomplished by growing single parts on their own. The man was right. Of course, this is not something to do quickly, but the idea has been shaped. In 2013, the Dutch pharmacologist and Professor Mark Post of Vascular Physiology showed the first lab-grown burger. In the lab, he used animal cells, without actually killing an animal, as a food source. From that moment on, clean meat has taken interest from many people and entrepreneurs. Since then, many companies copied the idea and are working on the technology to make clean meat better, so they obtain a small number of animal cells from high-quality livestock animals to duplicate the taste, the texture, and the ability to efficiently self-renew. Benefits of Lab-grown meat Not everyone is looking forward to this process but let us mention the benefits of why we should go for lab-grown meat. First of all, many animals are poorly treated, they live in unfortunate circumstances, and we eat it in spite of how it is produced. Moreover, food waste also has a prominent role in this matter. We do not use every part of an animal, so lab-grown meat could grow some elements that we do eat. Livestock animals produce 15 per cent of global gas emissions, according to the United Nations. That is not the only problem; livestock animal production uses a large amount of water, while toxic substances used in agriculture can enter natural waters, destroying habitats, animals and plants in the process. According to Post, one of the most devastating consequences of livestock farming is massive deforestation. For example, around 70 per cent of the Amazon rainforest has already been deforested for grazing. The production of farmed meat is expected to consume 99 per cent less land so that areas could be reforested again. Also, the traditional meat production is very inefficient: it is unnecessarily expensive, unnecessarily damaging to the environment, causes unnecessary animal suffering and will in its present form be challenging to meet the growing human demand for meat.   Solving problems There are still some challenges we need to overcome. On the scientific front, challenges remain around the reproductive capacity of the used cells , and there must be a reducing difference between "clean meat" and "traditional meat". Then there is the issue of large-scale production systems, which costs a lot. And of course, how do you sell this kind of meat instead of the "real" ones? A consumer might not like it, because it is produced in labs and not by an animal. Organic food is much more appealing, but what do people think about eating protein that is grown in a laboratory? And it should be as affordable and tasty as its traditional meat counterpart. Scientists are aware of this problem but are confident to solve this. "It takes time", Post said. Does it help the environment? Researchers from the University of Oxford have the idea that lab-grown meat actually could be worse for the environment than livestock farming. There are a lot of uncertainties around the large-scale meat production, what it looks like and what it tastes like. Therefore, we need to invest in the production of large-scale meat production. This means we have to deal with physical effort and energy requirements to produce this lab-grown meat. So, we are still on the journey at the start of this new kind of meat. Are we eating lab-grown meat in the future? Yes, that could be the case. But for now, it is still in the future, because we have to overcome a lot of challenges. Do not think you can buy lab-grown meat in the supermarkets any day now. For now, plant-based alternatives are substitutes for lab-grown meat or traditional meat. In this plant-based alternative, you also find protein, an impressively accurate meat-like texture and taste. Just keep hoping and waiting and in the future, we will have plant-based and/or cell-based products, because they are more sustainable, efficient and way more humane. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle  
If you love food, as many of us do, you must have heard of the 'farm to fork' movement. This is a social movement which promotes serving local and fresh food at restaurants. However, are you familiar with 'lab to table'? And what do you think about that? ' Lab to table' does not sound as incredible as 'farm to fork', but it might be the solution for the future: zero animals are killed, but we create a mass production of lab-grown meat that looks and tastes the same as regular meat. Besides, lab-grown meat could also help the environment, because there is way less food waste in the process. Can we produce meat in labs? Is this how our future will be? A dream from the past The idea of lab-grown meat is not something of recent events but has been around since decades. It was actually Winston Churchill, who had the idea. He took a look at the culinary prognostication. Churchill thought that, within 50 years, we do not need to grow a whole chicken to only eat the breast or wing, and that can be accomplished by growing single parts on their own. The man was right. Of course, this is not something to do quickly, but the idea has been shaped. In 2013, the Dutch pharmacologist and Professor Mark Post of Vascular Physiology showed the first lab-grown burger. In the lab, he used animal cells, without actually killing an animal, as a food source. From that moment on, clean meat has taken interest from many people and entrepreneurs. Since then, many companies copied the idea and are working on the technology to make clean meat better, so they obtain a small number of animal cells from high-quality livestock animals to duplicate the taste, the texture, and the ability to efficiently self-renew. Benefits of Lab-grown meat Not everyone is looking forward to this process but let us mention the benefits of why we should go for lab-grown meat. First of all, many animals are poorly treated, they live in unfortunate circumstances, and we eat it in spite of how it is produced. Moreover, food waste also has a prominent role in this matter. We do not use every part of an animal, so lab-grown meat could grow some elements that we do eat. Livestock animals produce 15 per cent of global gas emissions, according to the United Nations. That is not the only problem; livestock animal production uses a large amount of water, while toxic substances used in agriculture can enter natural waters, destroying habitats, animals and plants in the process. According to Post, one of the most devastating consequences of livestock farming is massive deforestation. For example, around 70 per cent of the Amazon rainforest has already been deforested for grazing. The production of farmed meat is expected to consume 99 per cent less land so that areas could be reforested again. Also, the traditional meat production is very inefficient: it is unnecessarily expensive, unnecessarily damaging to the environment, causes unnecessary animal suffering and will in its present form be challenging to meet the growing human demand for meat.   Solving problems There are still some challenges we need to overcome. On the scientific front, challenges remain around the reproductive capacity of the used cells , and there must be a reducing difference between "clean meat" and "traditional meat". Then there is the issue of large-scale production systems, which costs a lot. And of course, how do you sell this kind of meat instead of the "real" ones? A consumer might not like it, because it is produced in labs and not by an animal. Organic food is much more appealing, but what do people think about eating protein that is grown in a laboratory? And it should be as affordable and tasty as its traditional meat counterpart. Scientists are aware of this problem but are confident to solve this. "It takes time", Post said. Does it help the environment? Researchers from the University of Oxford have the idea that lab-grown meat actually could be worse for the environment than livestock farming. There are a lot of uncertainties around the large-scale meat production, what it looks like and what it tastes like. Therefore, we need to invest in the production of large-scale meat production. This means we have to deal with physical effort and energy requirements to produce this lab-grown meat. So, we are still on the journey at the start of this new kind of meat. Are we eating lab-grown meat in the future? Yes, that could be the case. But for now, it is still in the future, because we have to overcome a lot of challenges. Do not think you can buy lab-grown meat in the supermarkets any day now. For now, plant-based alternatives are substitutes for lab-grown meat or traditional meat. In this plant-based alternative, you also find protein, an impressively accurate meat-like texture and taste. Just keep hoping and waiting and in the future, we will have plant-based and/or cell-based products, because they are more sustainable, efficient and way more humane. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle  
Winston Churchill: Serving Lab-Meat In Restaurants Reality?
Winston Churchill: Serving Lab-Meat In Restaurants Reality?
Digital Ecosystem For The Environment: Big Data Worldwide
Big Data is a term reserved for technological advances in IT-related industries. This claim is often heard when discussing the topic of massive heaps of data collected from all kind of devices and sensors. Big Data is allegedly great in running algorithms and recognising patters, perhaps even predicting to some extent - but that is mostly beneficial to consumer- and financial industries. Right? Well, no. Completely wrong, in fact. Big Data is a player that should never be underestimated in any context. Regardless of whether you understand the benefits of collecting data that allows you to quickly act on it - the reality is that there are a whole lot of them. This also applies to the environment. Much can be said for incorporating Big Data in some kind of digital ecosystem, meant to advocate promising initiatives and analysing and predicting trends. Knowledge is key, and this is exactly what such a digital ecosystem would provide. Having environmental insights and patterns at your fingertips will make it that much easier to really act upon it - and hold others accountable if they are not. Global environment data Unfortunately, as nice as it sounds, we are still quite a way off from actually achieving something like this. This is often related to the very nature of our field: much of what we do and how we act is based on assumptions, anecdotal evidence, and largely incomplete data sets. If this is the basis for much of our financial investments and physical efforts, it is not hard to see why we are often hesitant to really push through. Yet it is important to be aware of how much there already could be for us to use. We could quite easily get access to a wealth of data on the global environment. Using the technologies, techniques and tools available for dealing with this data, we could quite easily ‘assimilate’ what we are looking for. Using those valuable insights and patterns, we can find ourselves equipped with a powerful means of creating a sustainable future and actually changing the way that we interact with our planet. Environmental history Using data, we can make informed decisions. This goes for everything that we do in our lives. When we are buying a new TV, we will browse the internet for user reviews and product videos. Through our phones, we can check the weather forecast in the morning to decide what to wear. For the environment, you will find that data has much of the same analysing and forecasting power.   The one problem? We are increasingly finding that a significant portion of the information that would be required for making such an informed decision is not readily available. For now, we are mostly piecing together snippets and tidbits of information, collected using vastly different methods and time periods - making them inherently flawed for actual use. As such, we have no steady basis that we can base our decisions on, effectively erasing the ‘informed’ from informed decision. Recent reports from the UN are alarming. They showed that out of the 93 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a staggering 64 cannot yet be measured using reliable and meaningful indicators showing its progress. This is the result of a chronic lack of data, crippling our ability to get a good report card of how we are doing thus far. It should not be hard to see why this is worrying.   This is why it is so important to start looking at ways of incorporating Big Data and related technologies in all that we do. The possibilities for monitoring the environment are endless, ranging from the use of satellites and drones to cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, blockchain and a plethora of (mobile) apps. Through all of these technologies, we can measure and protect our environment much more efficiently than ever before. Another hard truth is that none of the efforts taken thus far to reduce our strain on the world around us has actually worked. Especially now that the click is ticking - scientists have estimated that we only have about 10 years left to radically alter our ways -, it seems like an obvious solution that will, if invested in properly, pay off near-instantly.   Granted, ten years is not a lot of time; especially considering that a bunch of different systems will have to be aligned in order to be able to take definitive action. Our social, political and economic systems must work together with the technology to be able to drastically change our ways. This might seem daunting, but it is something that has to be done.   We largely created this mess and we will leave it to our children and grandchildren if we do nothing. There really is no alternative: we’ve got to get our act together, preferably today rather than tomorrow. Creating a digital ecosystem for the environment will definitely help us in getting things done. Connecting environmental governance with public-private partnerships through big data, groundbreaking technologies and analytics will allow us to foster expert communities - and ultimately receive much better environmental insights. Global digital ecosystem for the environment A few months ago, a group of companies, academics, UN member states, intergovernmental organisations and civil society actors came together to discuss how to move forward with Big Data, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Their main task was to envision some kind of global digital ecosystem for the environment. What would it look like, what partnerships would it benefit from? What are the benefits and potential pitfalls? Who is accountable and how to ensure that everyone cooperates to keep it as transparant as possible? Those and many other questions were answered in the first discussion paper of this working group, that was issued in March 2019. The writers were enthusiastic and passionate about the prospect of a fully digital ecosystem, although they recognised that, if it is to become a global standard by 2020, it requires a great deal of action, leadership and trust.   Below, I will highlight a number of particularly interesting elements that, according to this paper, should be considered before working on digital ecosystem harnessing Big Data of the environment. Artificial intelligence , big data and algorithms we need First of all, we must get a better grip on the problems we are dealing with. This can only be done by measuring them properly. Through Big Data and related technologies, we can be better informed and set ourselves up to be able to properly track and assess environmental trends and innovations. In the past, the limited availability of such data left a big gaping hole in the development and modelling of environmental policy options - something that can now be remedied. After making an inventory of what data is already readily available, we will quickly find out what information is missing - and how we can go about generating this. Big Data and algorithms, generated and run using modern technologies, will most likely help us doing so - especially if data is clearly, uniformly and articulately collected by companies and governments alike.   This kind of data can include information generated by open data cubes, providing spatial data on climate change parameters; which will help us to determine areas for growth and improvement on initiatives. This will make it easier to guarantee funding and investments for all kind of innovations. Additionally, more data and insights regarding supply chains and raw resource usage will allow investors to recognise opportunities and dangers ahead of time, getting them more involved in sustainability practices and highlighting polluting and/or damaging activities . Blockchain, for instance, is slated to be a major help in this, as it allows for the creation of a transparant, traceable database showing all the steps or resources used.   Finally, through the use of artificial intelligence, big data and all kinds of machine learning algorithms, consumers can be encouraged to think more about the environmental footprints of products they are considering. By tracing the supply chain and consumption patterns, it will be possible to find a way of changing consumer behaviour and, using gamification, reward programs and apps, encourage consumers to up their sustainability efforts. People and companies Another powerful element of a digital ecosystem is the actual people and companies that are making use of it. Social media in particular hugely influences the way that we interact with the world around us. It shapes our attitudes, perceptions, and invariably determines our actions. The recent commotion surrounding election influencing through social media should be enough to highlight how impactful this could potentially be. However, while many people are looking at the dangers of this, it can be flipped around and used to our benefit as well - such as the mobilising of people, encouraging them to not only let their voices be heard in a meaningful manner, but also actively recruiting them to collect data on our ecosystem, global warming, biodiversity and other sustainability matters. Crowdsourcing and citizen science have never been more relevant than today. Even the simple act of making people and companies aware of the issues and pointing out the impact it will have on their own lives will make a difference. Understanding the implications of the problems the world is facing today will help them to take action locally. Perhaps a minor change, but if those are added up, it can become a massive movement.   Getting people aware of the problem, foregoing any ‘fake news’ probability but focussing on the matter at hand in an objective, scientific manner will get them on board and set in motion a sequence of micro-actions that can turn into something great. Markets can be influenced, just like consumer behaviour and actions - but only if they have access to the digital ecosystem that points the way forward. Making environmental data a global public good will make it easily accessible, open and available for analysis. Satellites, drones, sensors and mobile applications. What are the risks? Some of the ways in which we can generate the environmental data mentioned include satellites, drones, sensors and mobile apps that continuously measure a certain object, area of phenomenon. Therefore, those who are in control of those kinds of technologies, will find themselves a willing target for governments and international organisations hoping to get better insights. The tech companies that are now holding those cards will find themselves faced with an interesting dilemma. Historically, they have been developing and acting upon their valuable data in a private manner, using it to outwit competition and make bigger profits. Their motivation is therefore largely based on the creation of profitable business models. The ultimate idea, as proven by companies as Google, Apple and Microsoft, is to find a way of locking in customers - making sure that they only benefit if they exclusively use their (affiliated) products and services. As a result, much of the data and proprietary know-how available regarding digital infrastructures and cutting-edge data generating technologies is held close to the chest. They alone have access to the majority of this data, shifting decision-making power to a handful instead of the many. Often, valuable data is sold to another lucky few instead of shared with a larger group. An issue that has inevitably come up in this regard is that of privacy.   After all, who owns the data? The party that collected it? The party that paid handsomely to receive it? Or the party who finds himself the subject of the data? If the plan is to release an armada of satellites, drones and sensors on our planet, the issue of data governance is bound to come up. How to respect the privacy of people and private companies, while still getting meaningful intel? As cliched as it may sound, information is power - and people are understandably afraid of anything or anyone that yields great power. As no single party can or will be able to be ‘in charge’ of this data, it will likely be a scattered field of tech companies, parts manufacturers, digital gurus, infrastructure experts, scientists, governments, private persons and environmental groups. Which is great - what we need is the combined effort of all those stakeholders in order to move forward and create this global digital ecosystem where environmental data is available at a moment’s notice. Yet this makes the issue of who is in control more pressing. In an ideal world, data in this digital ecosystem would be a public good. Yet in practice, there will be some pitfalls regarding individual privacy, intellectual property, data security, data quality assurance, transparency and purposely fake or malicious data entries. A watchdog will have to be appointed, while countries around the world will have to agree on certain guidelines and restrictions - these two preventive measures will be critical in validating and running this massive undertaking. Harness the power of data, AI and mobile apps. How do we get there? The basic idea is simple. If we can harness the power of Big Data, AI and mobile apps in a responsible and sensitive manner, we will find ourselves in a position where we are able to clearly see what is happening and therefore hold governments and institutions accountable. We will finally be able to track our progress on a large number of environmental indicators that have previously gone untracked. Simultaneously, we can analyse the trends and insights to make even more meaningful changes in the ‘way we do’, the ‘way we are’, and the ‘way we should be’. Now that most of the technologies are widely available, this is the time to take action. We must move ahead of the game and look at the ten-year-deadline given to us as a challenge instead of a threat. Through the power of data, we can influence consumers on a microlevel, changing their own behaviour, awareness and actions when it comes to global warming and other pressing environmental issues. We can challenge long-held beliefs and, through millions of micro-actions and micro-changes, bring about significant change.   Companies and governments can be held accountable for what they are (not) doing, while alternatives and solutions can be analysed and optimised to ensure we keep on making the right choices, every time we find ourselves at another crossroad. We can do so by making data sets as open as possible and involving companies, encouraging them to share their expertise, infrastructure and technologies on data science, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.   Environmental data as a public good should be the norm, not the exception. Data that should be streamlined for transparency, accuracy, quality and comparability. Governments play an instrumental role in setting forth guidelines and deciding on standards and norms; while also keeping in mind the issues outlined in this article, including individual privacy, data protection and intellectual property. A global, independent watchdog organisation could be in charge of constantly verifying and purifying the generated data sets and checking the performed analyses. The end result? A digital ecosystem that thrives, is openly accessible and contributed to by many. That allows for quick, accurate analyses and insights. That sets about a revolution: which companies and communities are doing well and leading the way to a better future; and which are seemingly undermining any progress, irreversibly harming our planet and undermining our actions in doing so?   This can turn the tide for global warming and other environmental issues. Accountability is a powerful tool. Let’s use it to our benefit. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/community
Big Data is a term reserved for technological advances in IT-related industries. This claim is often heard when discussing the topic of massive heaps of data collected from all kind of devices and sensors. Big Data is allegedly great in running algorithms and recognising patters, perhaps even predicting to some extent - but that is mostly beneficial to consumer- and financial industries. Right? Well, no. Completely wrong, in fact. Big Data is a player that should never be underestimated in any context. Regardless of whether you understand the benefits of collecting data that allows you to quickly act on it - the reality is that there are a whole lot of them. This also applies to the environment. Much can be said for incorporating Big Data in some kind of digital ecosystem, meant to advocate promising initiatives and analysing and predicting trends. Knowledge is key, and this is exactly what such a digital ecosystem would provide. Having environmental insights and patterns at your fingertips will make it that much easier to really act upon it - and hold others accountable if they are not. Global environment data Unfortunately, as nice as it sounds, we are still quite a way off from actually achieving something like this. This is often related to the very nature of our field: much of what we do and how we act is based on assumptions, anecdotal evidence, and largely incomplete data sets. If this is the basis for much of our financial investments and physical efforts, it is not hard to see why we are often hesitant to really push through. Yet it is important to be aware of how much there already could be for us to use. We could quite easily get access to a wealth of data on the global environment. Using the technologies, techniques and tools available for dealing with this data, we could quite easily ‘assimilate’ what we are looking for. Using those valuable insights and patterns, we can find ourselves equipped with a powerful means of creating a sustainable future and actually changing the way that we interact with our planet. Environmental history Using data, we can make informed decisions. This goes for everything that we do in our lives. When we are buying a new TV, we will browse the internet for user reviews and product videos. Through our phones, we can check the weather forecast in the morning to decide what to wear. For the environment, you will find that data has much of the same analysing and forecasting power.   The one problem? We are increasingly finding that a significant portion of the information that would be required for making such an informed decision is not readily available. For now, we are mostly piecing together snippets and tidbits of information, collected using vastly different methods and time periods - making them inherently flawed for actual use. As such, we have no steady basis that we can base our decisions on, effectively erasing the ‘informed’ from informed decision. Recent reports from the UN are alarming. They showed that out of the 93 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a staggering 64 cannot yet be measured using reliable and meaningful indicators showing its progress. This is the result of a chronic lack of data, crippling our ability to get a good report card of how we are doing thus far. It should not be hard to see why this is worrying.   This is why it is so important to start looking at ways of incorporating Big Data and related technologies in all that we do. The possibilities for monitoring the environment are endless, ranging from the use of satellites and drones to cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, blockchain and a plethora of (mobile) apps. Through all of these technologies, we can measure and protect our environment much more efficiently than ever before. Another hard truth is that none of the efforts taken thus far to reduce our strain on the world around us has actually worked. Especially now that the click is ticking - scientists have estimated that we only have about 10 years left to radically alter our ways -, it seems like an obvious solution that will, if invested in properly, pay off near-instantly.   Granted, ten years is not a lot of time; especially considering that a bunch of different systems will have to be aligned in order to be able to take definitive action. Our social, political and economic systems must work together with the technology to be able to drastically change our ways. This might seem daunting, but it is something that has to be done.   We largely created this mess and we will leave it to our children and grandchildren if we do nothing. There really is no alternative: we’ve got to get our act together, preferably today rather than tomorrow. Creating a digital ecosystem for the environment will definitely help us in getting things done. Connecting environmental governance with public-private partnerships through big data, groundbreaking technologies and analytics will allow us to foster expert communities - and ultimately receive much better environmental insights. Global digital ecosystem for the environment A few months ago, a group of companies, academics, UN member states, intergovernmental organisations and civil society actors came together to discuss how to move forward with Big Data, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Their main task was to envision some kind of global digital ecosystem for the environment. What would it look like, what partnerships would it benefit from? What are the benefits and potential pitfalls? Who is accountable and how to ensure that everyone cooperates to keep it as transparant as possible? Those and many other questions were answered in the first discussion paper of this working group, that was issued in March 2019. The writers were enthusiastic and passionate about the prospect of a fully digital ecosystem, although they recognised that, if it is to become a global standard by 2020, it requires a great deal of action, leadership and trust.   Below, I will highlight a number of particularly interesting elements that, according to this paper, should be considered before working on digital ecosystem harnessing Big Data of the environment. Artificial intelligence , big data and algorithms we need First of all, we must get a better grip on the problems we are dealing with. This can only be done by measuring them properly. Through Big Data and related technologies, we can be better informed and set ourselves up to be able to properly track and assess environmental trends and innovations. In the past, the limited availability of such data left a big gaping hole in the development and modelling of environmental policy options - something that can now be remedied. After making an inventory of what data is already readily available, we will quickly find out what information is missing - and how we can go about generating this. Big Data and algorithms, generated and run using modern technologies, will most likely help us doing so - especially if data is clearly, uniformly and articulately collected by companies and governments alike.   This kind of data can include information generated by open data cubes, providing spatial data on climate change parameters; which will help us to determine areas for growth and improvement on initiatives. This will make it easier to guarantee funding and investments for all kind of innovations. Additionally, more data and insights regarding supply chains and raw resource usage will allow investors to recognise opportunities and dangers ahead of time, getting them more involved in sustainability practices and highlighting polluting and/or damaging activities . Blockchain, for instance, is slated to be a major help in this, as it allows for the creation of a transparant, traceable database showing all the steps or resources used.   Finally, through the use of artificial intelligence, big data and all kinds of machine learning algorithms, consumers can be encouraged to think more about the environmental footprints of products they are considering. By tracing the supply chain and consumption patterns, it will be possible to find a way of changing consumer behaviour and, using gamification, reward programs and apps, encourage consumers to up their sustainability efforts. People and companies Another powerful element of a digital ecosystem is the actual people and companies that are making use of it. Social media in particular hugely influences the way that we interact with the world around us. It shapes our attitudes, perceptions, and invariably determines our actions. The recent commotion surrounding election influencing through social media should be enough to highlight how impactful this could potentially be. However, while many people are looking at the dangers of this, it can be flipped around and used to our benefit as well - such as the mobilising of people, encouraging them to not only let their voices be heard in a meaningful manner, but also actively recruiting them to collect data on our ecosystem, global warming, biodiversity and other sustainability matters. Crowdsourcing and citizen science have never been more relevant than today. Even the simple act of making people and companies aware of the issues and pointing out the impact it will have on their own lives will make a difference. Understanding the implications of the problems the world is facing today will help them to take action locally. Perhaps a minor change, but if those are added up, it can become a massive movement.   Getting people aware of the problem, foregoing any ‘fake news’ probability but focussing on the matter at hand in an objective, scientific manner will get them on board and set in motion a sequence of micro-actions that can turn into something great. Markets can be influenced, just like consumer behaviour and actions - but only if they have access to the digital ecosystem that points the way forward. Making environmental data a global public good will make it easily accessible, open and available for analysis. Satellites, drones, sensors and mobile applications. What are the risks? Some of the ways in which we can generate the environmental data mentioned include satellites, drones, sensors and mobile apps that continuously measure a certain object, area of phenomenon. Therefore, those who are in control of those kinds of technologies, will find themselves a willing target for governments and international organisations hoping to get better insights. The tech companies that are now holding those cards will find themselves faced with an interesting dilemma. Historically, they have been developing and acting upon their valuable data in a private manner, using it to outwit competition and make bigger profits. Their motivation is therefore largely based on the creation of profitable business models. The ultimate idea, as proven by companies as Google, Apple and Microsoft, is to find a way of locking in customers - making sure that they only benefit if they exclusively use their (affiliated) products and services. As a result, much of the data and proprietary know-how available regarding digital infrastructures and cutting-edge data generating technologies is held close to the chest. They alone have access to the majority of this data, shifting decision-making power to a handful instead of the many. Often, valuable data is sold to another lucky few instead of shared with a larger group. An issue that has inevitably come up in this regard is that of privacy.   After all, who owns the data? The party that collected it? The party that paid handsomely to receive it? Or the party who finds himself the subject of the data? If the plan is to release an armada of satellites, drones and sensors on our planet, the issue of data governance is bound to come up. How to respect the privacy of people and private companies, while still getting meaningful intel? As cliched as it may sound, information is power - and people are understandably afraid of anything or anyone that yields great power. As no single party can or will be able to be ‘in charge’ of this data, it will likely be a scattered field of tech companies, parts manufacturers, digital gurus, infrastructure experts, scientists, governments, private persons and environmental groups. Which is great - what we need is the combined effort of all those stakeholders in order to move forward and create this global digital ecosystem where environmental data is available at a moment’s notice. Yet this makes the issue of who is in control more pressing. In an ideal world, data in this digital ecosystem would be a public good. Yet in practice, there will be some pitfalls regarding individual privacy, intellectual property, data security, data quality assurance, transparency and purposely fake or malicious data entries. A watchdog will have to be appointed, while countries around the world will have to agree on certain guidelines and restrictions - these two preventive measures will be critical in validating and running this massive undertaking. Harness the power of data, AI and mobile apps. How do we get there? The basic idea is simple. If we can harness the power of Big Data, AI and mobile apps in a responsible and sensitive manner, we will find ourselves in a position where we are able to clearly see what is happening and therefore hold governments and institutions accountable. We will finally be able to track our progress on a large number of environmental indicators that have previously gone untracked. Simultaneously, we can analyse the trends and insights to make even more meaningful changes in the ‘way we do’, the ‘way we are’, and the ‘way we should be’. Now that most of the technologies are widely available, this is the time to take action. We must move ahead of the game and look at the ten-year-deadline given to us as a challenge instead of a threat. Through the power of data, we can influence consumers on a microlevel, changing their own behaviour, awareness and actions when it comes to global warming and other pressing environmental issues. We can challenge long-held beliefs and, through millions of micro-actions and micro-changes, bring about significant change.   Companies and governments can be held accountable for what they are (not) doing, while alternatives and solutions can be analysed and optimised to ensure we keep on making the right choices, every time we find ourselves at another crossroad. We can do so by making data sets as open as possible and involving companies, encouraging them to share their expertise, infrastructure and technologies on data science, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.   Environmental data as a public good should be the norm, not the exception. Data that should be streamlined for transparency, accuracy, quality and comparability. Governments play an instrumental role in setting forth guidelines and deciding on standards and norms; while also keeping in mind the issues outlined in this article, including individual privacy, data protection and intellectual property. A global, independent watchdog organisation could be in charge of constantly verifying and purifying the generated data sets and checking the performed analyses. The end result? A digital ecosystem that thrives, is openly accessible and contributed to by many. That allows for quick, accurate analyses and insights. That sets about a revolution: which companies and communities are doing well and leading the way to a better future; and which are seemingly undermining any progress, irreversibly harming our planet and undermining our actions in doing so?   This can turn the tide for global warming and other environmental issues. Accountability is a powerful tool. Let’s use it to our benefit. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/community
Digital Ecosystem For The Environment: Big Data Worldwide
Digital Ecosystem For The Environment: Big Data Worldwide
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
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
Blue Planet Earth: The Amount Of Water You Use
Community

A community is you and me. A network of social, economic, ecological and many other relationships. We all work together and live in urban, suburban and rural areas. Social sustainability is becoming increasingly important on our small planet. We define: support, quality of life, development, adaptation, rights and labour.

We belong to a group of individuals - our society - in which we belong geographically. Certain environmental issues play an important role in our society. Here, sustainable solutions are sought, developed and implemented. This may differ from societies in other countries, but because of our global environmental issues and dependence, we must learn to work more together so that we can all benefit from sharing sustainable knowledge to tackle, for example, climate change.

Green architecture is important. Building with local materials that can be recycled and reused brings us a big step forward to have less impact on the environment. With green architecture we can build smart cities where resources can be used more efficiently and information can be shared, thus improving our society, your community.

Lifestyle is the way we live, the dynamics of personality. Fashion defines our self and together with food it is getting - at present - an even more important role in our society. It's not just about taste, but especially about the burden that the fashion industry, agriculture and the meat industry have on our resources, especially water.

If there was an urge to come up with a sustainable way of living solutions and share these topics globally it’s now! WhatsOrb Global Sustainability X-change Platform is for you, storytellers and influencers to write about tiny houses, your experiences and expectations for the future at home and globally. 

Global Sustainability X-change, that’s what you can do together with WhatsOrb. What's in for me?

 

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